What a great question and so difficult to answer-- so dependent on price range and area- local and location are so important in answering your question-- almost impossible to give relevant info with out getting more specific....... more
Hi Kathy- You ask a very good question- theanswer is different depending on your price range. The homes between $200,000-$300,000 are very much in demand and there is very little inventory so that usually results in increased pricing and that seems to be what the market is saying. Houses in the mid price ranges $300,000-$600,000 have been slower to sell and condition and location have become huge factors in buyers moving forward. As the lower priced homes sell consistently then I think that mid priced home market will tighten and we will see prices going higher. The upper end market seems to be more active than it has been in the last 5 years. The numbers and stats are very interesting and if you would like more detail let me know.... more
We've seen values hold steady for about a year now. Asking prices have been coming down but sale prices have been flat across all price points. I have some great charts to illustrate this - just let me know and I can send it to you. Or if you can go to my website for Santa Rosa homes for sale http://www.realestateinsonomawinecountry.com/
The 2 listings I found are 2bd/2ba; 1 of 1731 sq ft at $2,150/mo. (or $1.25/sq ft) and the other of 1,870 sq ft at $2,100/mo. (or $1.12/sq ft). That would indicate you might get between $3,360 and $3,720/mo.... more
I am working with a number of people who are doing or considering doing the same thing. They want to move to Sonoma County or to downsize within the county and appreciate the current market values. The entry level market for homes is extremely competitive with multiple offers the norm, and declining inventory so it may take you a while to find the right property, depending on your price point.
Rincon Valley schools are highly regarded, in particular you have good proximity to Maria Carillo High School, so in general I think you would have a ready rental market for families who have school-age children.
There are a number of good rental agents who can manage your property, and most of us can give you a good feel for the rental market for your new home. Please let me know if I can help you further.... more
No one can tell the future, but there's little doubt home prices will go above where they are now. It's important to realize prices were inflated largely due to the ability of people to buy homes they couldn't afford because they were being qualified for loans based on unsustainably low interest rates or a lack of verification about their ability to repay their loans. Once loans are properly documented and employment rates increase, putting money back into people's pockets, the normal demand for housing to qualified buyers should cause the increase in housing prices that existed prior to the 'bubble' in housing prices due to irresponsible lending and borrowing practices.... more
There are a lot of separate questions packed into those two sentences. Let me try to answer some of the issues you raised. First, the inventory of bank-owned homes continues to move very fast relative to the market as a whole. Well priced homes under 500K, whether bank-owned or not, are moving out of inventory pretty quickly. Secondly, nobody can know what the foreclosure picture is going to look like next year. We are confident that many homeowners are going to be in trouble, but the government and banking interests are still discussing potential remedies for workouts and foreclosure time-outs. The $700 billion bailout can be used for this, but nobody is certain if anything will happen until January 20 of next year. There seems to be a consensus that keeping people in their homes makes more sense than continuing with massive foreclosures. In this area, almost everyone in trouble with their mortgage is way upside down on their equity. position and deciding who takes the loss seems to be the big question for everyone. In any case, I don't think you can plan on more or less foreclosures with any certainty.
Second, many of the mortgage lenders I talk to see rates possibly coming down half a point in the very near term. That is going to make financing easier. If you're looking at FHA loans, their down payment requirement goes up from 3% to 3.5% after the end of the year, so that half point extra down payment might make a difference for some buyers and encourage them to do something this year.
Third, tax credits are nice when you can fit them in with prudent financial planning. In the case of a credit on a home purchase, however, a lower purchase price can easily offset the credit's value. You should be taking tax planning advice from a tax professional since they will know your personal situation much better than any of us can.
Finally, whether you decide to do something this year or wait until 2009, you need to get all your ducks in a row with financing pre-qualification, bank and income documentation, and the other details that can trip up your sprint to get the next great deal. Work with a buyer's agent to help get focused on the neighborhoods and current market conditions in the areas you are interested in and watch for that one home that calls to you. Over the long haul, whether you buy now or next year is going to be a minor issue for your financial and residential plans.... more
There are a range of property pricing strategies in the market right now. REO properties are being reduced to levels that are good deals in any market. On the other hand, many owner occupied properties that aren't facing short sales tend to be priced as if market corrections weren't happening. I think it makes sense for you to keep a close eye on the market and watch for the occasional listing that is just what you want at a price that is reasonable. There are certainly properties being sold every day in Sonoma County that represent excellent value today and into the future.
Whether you buy now or later, a close house and price watching strategy will keep your finger on the pulse of the market . You will be able to sense when properties start to move faster and prices stabilize and even begin to rise. Many people in our office sense that we are near the bottom of the market, but others are less sure.
I did a quick check and there are three properties in the Sebastopol area over $1,000,000 that seem to be decent opportunities. There are many, many more in Santa Rosa.
I put a link to a Sebastopol map search page that you can adjust for the price you are looking for. If you keep track of the individual homes as they come on the market, you will know when to buy.... more