Belmont, CA Real Estate News

By Drew & Christine Morgan, Belmont California Real Estate
(RE/MAX Star Properties)
Examining the Real Estate Model-Part 2 In a strong seller's market it's much easier to sell a home. In recent years many Bay Area homes have been selling over the asking price in a week or two and with multiple offers. With record high median prices, it's not surprising that many would flock to the industry to get a piece of the action. Unfortunately, the market has changed and many of the start-up virtual companies may find it difficult to attract clientele. While the temptation to hire a bargain basement company may be attractive given a decrease in available equity, that's just the opposite of what a seller should be considering. Putting your best foot forward in a declining market is critical--read "Getting Maximum Exposure for your home" for more detailed discussion.Full service ag...
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By Drew & Christine Morgan, Belmont California Real Estate
(RE/MAX Star Properties)
One of the big complaints from the buyers of on-line virtual agents they represent is they can't get in to see a home since their agent does not show property. A virtual agent's buyer's only recourse is to go to open houses or call the listing agent directly to show the home.Many listing agents are unwilling to work with buyers who already have agent representation, and of course they are not supposed to. They can however make a home available to a buyer working with a virtual agent if they so choose. The virtual companies are quick to blame listing agents who are disinclined to show their listing to such a buyer by stating they are doing a disservice to their seller. Of course you'll never catch them showing one of their listings-they don't offer that service. Instead, they opt to make...
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By Drew & Christine Morgan, Belmont California Real Estate
(RE/MAX Star Properties)
The short answer is of course yes. Different sellers have different needs and abilities and some may choose a full service model and others limited or no service at all-the choices have been there all along. Yet the arrival of virtual Internet brokers has spawned a new ideology of it's either "us or them".The very survival of limited service or virtual Internet brokers relies on two things: The first is they are able to convince everyone that paying a 6% compensation is the only alternative to their "discount" model, and the second is that they must convince their prospects that the minimum service they provide is all that is needed to sell a home; and everything else which a full service agent does is a waste of their time and your money.These assertions that they need you to believe a...
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By Drew & Christine Morgan, Belmont California Real Estate
(RE/MAX Star Properties)
With the introduction of another new virtual real state company (see Inman News RealUmbrella seeks to shut agents out of transactions), it's appropriate to remind people that the choices they make in who to hire and what type of service they need (or can afford) has consequences. The real estate industry has been changing for years and thanks to the Internet it is now more transparent and will become more respected as a result. Each segment of the market--whether it's a professional full service agent or a virtual company has its place in the market and will contribute to the industry. Virtual companies are not a threat to the more established full service professional agent-they compliment the availability of alternative resources for selling or buying a home and provide employment for...
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By Drew & Christine Morgan, Belmont California Real Estate
(RE/MAX Star Properties)
Many of the real estate stories you may be hearing are dealing with national or statewide issues and do not reflect our local market. That doesn't mean that the overall housing picture doesn't affect our market-it does. The perception of a declining market is all it takes to create one. As optimistic as homeowners are about the value of their homes, we believe that somewhere in the back of their minds there's a nagging uncertainty of future valuation and a realization that at some point the run up in real estate values will come to an end. And of course it will. The question remains is this it? Are we there now?In the Bay Area, conditions are not the same as many parts of the country where cities are reporting a rapid decline in home values. These are some of the factors which may enabl...
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By Drew & Christine Morgan, Belmont California Real Estate
(RE/MAX Star Properties)
Inventory levels are rising to the highest level in at least the last four years as anxious buyers put off purchasing their first home. Clearly this is an indication of a market slow down or pull back. How long it will last and how it affects the median price is yet to be seen.    Drew & Christine Morgan Morganhomes.comVisit our Blog at BeautifulMountainBlog.orgDisclaimer: This information is for entertainment purposes only and includes no legal, accounting or real estate advice nor is this response in tended to be specific to your situation-consult a specialist for your specific situation.
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By Drew & Christine Morgan, Belmont California Real Estate
(RE/MAX Star Properties)
This graph which show3s the sales in San Mateo County through August of 1997 exemplifies the waning sales since last year. In fact, sales are almost down 50% over 2004. Many buyers are waiting for better interest rates (although they currently are near historical lows and others simply cannot afford a home as only 10% of the Bay Area first time buyers can afford the median priced home.Drew & Christine Morgan Morganhomes.comVisit our Blog at BeautifulMountainBlog.orgDisclaimer: This information is for entertainment purposes only and includes no legal, accounting or real estate advice nor is this response in tended to be specific to your situation-consult a specialist for your specific situation.   
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By Drew & Christine Morgan, Belmont California Real Estate
(RE/MAX Star Properties)
Clearly the report of waning sales are correct. This graph illustrates closed sales for Belmont for the last four years. Note that sales are down nearly 40% over prior years. This is indicative of trepidation on the part of buyers worried about the future of home values and mortgage rates. It also is a simple factor that after years of price ru-ups now only 10% of first time buyers can afford the median Bay Area home.Drew & Christine Morgan Morganhomes.comVisit our Blog at BeautifulMountainBlog.orgDisclaimer: This information is for entertainment purposes only and includes no legal, accounting or real estate advice nor is this response in tended to be specific to your situation-consult a specialist for your specific situation.   
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By Drew & Christine Morgan, Belmont California Real Estate
(RE/MAX Star Properties)
Here we see Belmont's inventory levels while higher than recent times, still within acceptable levels indicating a modest economy and housing future. Inventory or the number of homes for sale directly impacts selling prices if demands is stable. Inventory can grow simply because buyers are not buying homes or more homes are coming on the market. In this case, it's a case of fewer buyers (less sales) since the number of new listings is within acceptable and customary range.Drew & Christine Morgan Morganhomes.comVisit our Blog at BeautifulMountain Blog.orgDisclaimer: This information is for entertainment purposes only and includes no legal, accounting or real estate advice nor is this response in tended to be specific to your situation-consult a specialist for your specific situation. 
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By Drew & Christine Morgan, Belmont California Real Estate
(RE/MAX Star Properties)
This graph shows sales for the last the last four years for Belmont, California. It's interesting to note that even with higher inventory levels, the median price is till holding along the trend-line where it would be calculated to be based upon past trends, The third quarter ending period in September should add more valuable data to help understand if in deed the market forces are beginning to impact not just sales and inventory, put selling priced as well.  You can read more abou these grahs for Belnt and other openineuals cities on our web page at morganhomes.comAlso, visit our Belmont Blog at BeautifulMountainBlog.org
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By Drew & Christine Morgan, Belmont California Real Estate
(RE/MAX Star Properties)
There's just got to be a reason to why people choose to pay more to live in one city over another..help me figure it out! (Tongue in cheek folks...)We live in a little town called Belmont. We bought a home there because back then no one else was. That meant it was a lot less expensive than other towns. San Carlos is a nearby town that a lot of people like to live in; though the cost of owning a home is a lot more. And affordability seems disproportionate to their differences. People always said they wanted to live there for the schools; though recent school data suggests that either school do not have as much impact on where people live as years ago or buyers aren't reading about it. Is that because literacy in America is down? The schools in San Carlos have always been known for their ...
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By Drew & Christine Morgan, Belmont California Real Estate
(RE/MAX Star Properties)
Are you prepared for a changing market?It's no secret that home sales are down and inventories increasing. What does this mean for sellers? For the first time in years selling their home will take longer and pricing it will be critical; sellers will also be more discerning on who they hire.Experienced agents-ones who have experienced a real estate cycle in their career -will certainly have the upper hand when it comes to dealing with a changing market. Some newer agents who entered the market when selling a home was as easy as inputting a listing in their MLS system may find the challenge frustrating and overwhelming. Smart sellers will interview more agents and ask better questions than before-their success relies on it. Hiring your best friend's brother who just got his license may no...
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By Drew & Christine Morgan, Belmont California Real Estate
(RE/MAX Star Properties)
Most Sunday's we're busy working in real estate whether it's holding an open house or showing property. This Sunday we had the day off and we were excited to be able to get over to Belmont's Farmer's Market.This week they were promoting the last grapes of the season and there were more varietals than I had ever seen in one place. There are many local (Half Moon Bay) growers as well as ones from the San Joaquin valley and everything looked fresh and wholesome.There's also organic produce, fresh bakes berry pies, breads and a fantastic cinnamon loaf that reminds me of one my mother made when I was young (I've seen it at Piazza's too if you can't hold out for a week. It's held every Sunday from 9:00-1:00 at the CalTrain Parking Lot at El Camino Real & O'Neill Street. Grab a cup of coffee a...
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By Drew & Christine Morgan, Belmont California Real Estate
(RE/MAX Star Properties)
Belmont's Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring a meet the candidates night Thursday, October 4th at the library from 7:00-9:00. This is a great opportunity to meet the new candidates before the November 6th election. There are some excellent candidates challenging the sitting council and you owe it to yourself to hear what they have to say.This should be an exciting race! In some years council vacancies went unchallenged so it's refreshing to see some new faces and ideas. COME - HEAR - ASK The candidates will be at the Belmont Library October 4th 7PM-9PM. The Belmont Chamber is hosting this opportunity for you. Come meet the candidates Hear what the candidates are about and what they want for Belmont Ask the candidates what their view is This is a wonderful opportunity for you to get your ...
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By Drew & Christine Morgan, Belmont California Real Estate
(RE/MAX Star Properties)
As flawed as Zillow's "Zestimator" and other sites are at calculating home values, I don't believe they are trying to be the "End-All" and replace the need for Real Estate Agents. And though this new company "Cyberhomes" may use their own data, that even makes it less credible, not more.These companies are merely creating a portal to get advertising money and provide what they feel is a valuable tool to attract visitors to their site and reap advertising money.Personally, I embrace these companies and use them to promote my listing as well as communicate with buyers, and sellers. They are not the "Evil Empire" from the dark side influencing mindless people and raping your business. They are, in my estimation, another Internet company availing themselves of the Internet market.When a sel...
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By Drew & Christine Morgan, Belmont California Real Estate
(RE/MAX Star Properties)
Which end is up? or Understanding Our Housing MarketPart 1 of a 2 part series"Reports of my death are greatly exaggerated"-- Mark Twain quotation after hearing that his obituary had been published in the New York Journal.The same might be true for the real estate market in the Bay Area. While everyday there's some piece of news about the Bay Area's real Estate market, many of it is focused to capture your attention in a sensational way and does little to offer insight and discussion.Since no two markets are identical it's difficult to say where this one will end up. But the relentless news stories about the mortgage industry melt-down and sub-prime loan mess has got even the most bullish investors nervous.Clearly there will be a shake out (which is already occurring). Many areas of the ...
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By Drew & Christine Morgan, Belmont California Real Estate
(RE/MAX Star Properties)
The Writing was on the WallAddendum to Part 1 of a 2 part series--"Which End is Up" or Understanding Our Housing Market"Historically low interest rates, low cost housing availability across the country, investors hungry to reap a return after the dot com crash all set the stage for an overactive interest in housing as an investment. There are really three distinct factors which played into the current market conditions across the county. The first is the sub-prime market. Essentially, these are loans which are made to folks who otherwise could not qualify for an "A" paper loan-usually that means low credit scores. Anyone with even the foggiest crystal ball could foresee that giving loans to people with bad credit is risky. The second major players were investors. Aggressively seeking an...
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By Drew & Christine Morgan, Belmont California Real Estate
(RE/MAX Star Properties)
Part II of a Two Part seriesPart 1 "Which End Is Up" or "Understanding Our Housing Market"Opportunities in an Emerging MarketThere are always opportunities in any market. As in the stock market where you can profit on a given stock whether it is going up or down depending on the position you hold, real estate also has it's opportunities in a changing market.It has been a seller's market for years. So where are all the buyers now? Clearly the interest rates have increased making homeownership more expensive, but that can't account for the current market pull back we're experiencing. Certainly some buyers are playing a game of wait-and-see with the home values and others the same game with interest rates.Smart investors usually buy and sell when no one else is. We've devoted a lot of time...
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By Drew & Christine Morgan, Belmont California Real Estate
(RE/MAX Star Properties)
Agent Exodus in Real EstateThis is an interesting article from the New York Times about agents getting out of the real estate business. Sorry, but I got in the business in 1990 when it was waning and made it through the tough times for the next five years. If these agents aren't committed to making real estate a career and were only in it for the fast bucks--well, bye then.I've seen plenty of new agents coming along without the commitment and drive necessary to take this industry and their business (and mine) seriously. In fact, they've dragged our existing business down with less than professional behavior. (Call first then key safe what does that mean?)And this article quotes none other than the owner of that company in Seattle, He is quoted, "Some who want to stay in the business are...
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By Drew & Christine Morgan, Belmont California Real Estate
(RE/MAX Star Properties)
We launched our own local blog for Belmont, California. We live in a small town (relatively in the bay area) of 25,000 people. Starting our own local blog seemed like a great way to give back to the community and increase our local exposure at the same time. I listened to a recent interview about blogs on Inman News and decided the time is right for a local blog to focus on issues which impact our town. Check out our new Beautiful Mountain Blog and let us know what you think.Cheers, Drew & Christine Morgan, MorganHomes.com
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