I don’t know about you but I love anticipation. As someone in the real estate business I guess I get easily excited about what the market will bring next (cheap thrills, right?). Since the listings have been limited lately, I’m constantly wondering what will be next. Well, market watchers like me don’t have to wait any longer. Steve Watts of Re/Max PV just listed 2 Valmonte homes. The first is in the “Valmonte grove” at 2517 Via Anita. It’s a nicely appointed 4 bedroom/3 bath “California Ranch cottage” at nearly 2,200 square feet on a 7,100 foot lot. Listed at $1.295m it’s sure to see some lookers in the coming days. The second home is 3819 Via la Selva and Via Picaposte. This California Ranch is 3 bedrooms/2 baths in 1,900 feet and is listed at $1.495m. Why the premium price? The best reason I can find is the 12,744′ corner lot. The pricing of both properties represent a new found optimism in the local real estate market that hasn’t been seen in several years. Now the next thing I’m looking for is to see how long it takes for these to sell and at what price. I’m not much of a gambler, but I’m willing to bet that if these sell close to asking, we’re going to continue to see many more hit the market this year as we watch scared sellers awake from a long hibernation.
If you followed Alan Greenspan during his tenure as chairman of the Federal Reserve then you are probably quite familiar with the term “Irrational Exuberance.” This term often used by the chairman refers to a “heightened state of speculative ferver” as explained by economist Robert Shiller (widely known from the Case/Shiller home price index). While the numbers are too few at this point to confirm this irrational exuberance in the current Valmonte market, there are signs that certainly point in this direction. With only two listings currently on the market and many buyers combing the MLS for new listings, there is clearly evidence of demand far outpacing the supply. If the party-like atmosphere at this weekend’s open house on Via Solano is any indicator, then we certainly are on our way to a speculative ferver. How long this will last is anyone’s guess. Human nature tells us that when something is hard to get, we tend to want it more. And when we feel that something is scarce, we tend to act more irrationally than when there is a feeling that time is on our side and we have multiple options to chose from. My advice, take a deep breath before you go plunging off the cliff and make hasty decisions. Patience is typically rewarded. While it may not seem like it today, there will be other homes for sale. This will be especially true if prices continue to rise – as there are emotions stoked by scarcity, there are emotions provoked by the opportunity to make money. Good luck.
If you love Valmonte but haven’t found your chance to buy in, here’s a good opportunity. Listed for $889,000, you can have a 3 bedroom, 3 bath, 1600′ foot home on a 8,000′ lot next to the access trail with a peak of the ocean and city lights. Based on the lack of inventory on the market, I don’t see this one sticking around for long. It needs some elbow grease but with a decent sized yard and room to add on (this is key when looking in Valmonte due to the lot usage rules), you can call this great neighborhood home for a decent price. It’s open this Sunday so I’m putting this open house on my to-do list.
UPDATE: So I stopped by the open house today and it was going off! There were no less than 5 families at a time walking through the house and there probably would have been more if parking wasn’t at a premium. Nelu Ardeljan from Riviera Realtors informed me that prior to the open house, he had 3 offers, 2 over asking. I guess when you’re the only active listing under $2 million in Valmonte you’re going to get star treatment. Considering this one likely needs a new roof and some cleaning up, it looks like we have a seller’s market here in Valmonte. Let me know if you have one to sell . . . .
NEW UPDATE: LISTING CANCELED – Yeah, you’ve got me? I’m not quite sure why this one was cancelled, but maybe the owner knows something I don’t. There’s probably a good chance of that :)!
Well neighbors, I have some good news for those of you that own a home in Valmonte, and some bad news for those who are looking to buy. The good news is comps just got a whole lot better with 4125 Via Largavista recently closing at $1.6 mmmmmmillion, all cash. Yes, all cash. That is the second all cash close in the last few weeks. If that doesn’t encourage sellers that have been on the fence to get off and sell, then I don’t know what will. And buyers, I’m sorry. The buyer’s market we had during the last few years looks to be coming to an end. Now, I’m not ready to say we’re out of the woods just yet when it comes to the local real estate economy, but these are certainly good signs if you’ve been considering selling or in need of refinancing and haven’t had the comps to get you there. Now, a hiccup in the general economy or a flood of sellers can turn this market right back around, but with low interest rates and encouraging signs of a price recovery, we should continue to see improvements towards a healthy market. But then again, with such a great neighborhood, who would want to sell unless they have to? Not me!