What’s your Walk Score

 

Have you heard about {Walk Score}? Every home on the MLS has a walk score ranked 0-100 which tells you how close you are to restaurants, schools, parks, bars, and more. Home buyers prefer properties that are walkable to some of their favorite places.

The gated 228 Montclair Lane in Salinas {priced at $459,900 for a 3 bed/2.5 bath} has a walk score of 54 with these hot spots less than half a mile:
Starbucks
Target
Michael’s
BJ’s Brewhouse
McDonalds
Safeway
El Dorado Community Park

Check out the walk score at some of my other public listings:

  • 7070 Rainbow Drive #5, San Jose, CA
  • 233 Montclair Lane, Salinas, CA
  • 1225 Vienna Drive #202, Sunnyvale, CA

Looking for a place near work, a gym, or something in particular? Contact me at (831) 801-8206 or (650) 503-4110 to find a home that fits your lifestyle.

 

 

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Intero Prestigio International Magazine | A Luxury Real Estate Collection – Issue 23

A luxury collection from Intero Real Estate Services of the finest and most exclusive homes. Here at Intero, we’re always working to stay ahead of the curve and offer the best service possible to today’s homeowners. The Prestigio International system provides an elevated level of service through its elite selection of marketing tools set up to expose your home to relevant markets locally, nationally and globally. From the sign that goes in front of the house, to the online advertising of your home, you can be assured, Intero Prestigio International will showcase the best attributes your home has to offer to get it sold quickly and efficiently.

Luxury Insider: 2016… READY, SET, GO!

Luxury Insider: 2016… READY, SET, GO!

Luxury Insider: 2016… READY, SET, GO!

Another year. What are we in for this time? Want to make a bet? I will: it will be a good year. Why? Because of 2 good reasons, one based on facts (I’ll get there) and the other one based on needs… My needs. After all, I have a role to play to insure that I fully take advantage of the market conditions, whatever they may be. You do the same. I don’t want to preach psychology 101 but, let’s face it, we are in charge, we are accountable to ourselves (not to mention others) to try hard to win, sometimes against the odds. The market is always good for someone. This one will be great for most. It’s going to be a fun ride.

OK, back to cold business thinking now. 2016 will be good because, first & foremost, there is no good factual reason, today, to think otherwise. We are coming out of a year when unit sales across the 4 regions increased from the previous year, up to nearly 8% in the Northeast. And this happened at a time when the listing inventory was at a level which may very well have been an all-time low.

As far as price appreciation, same “positive” picture (for the sellers that is). When the final 2015 numbers are released, they will show that housing prices rose over 3% nationally. The West, as a whole, led the pack with about 5%. Pretty much what we thought would happen when we posted our prognostic a year ago.

We are in a good place, today, as we start 2016. The economy is strong. Finally. The agonizingly long/slow recovery from the 2007-2009 financial crisis produced stability & growth. We are looking at 2.5-2.8%% growth this year and an unemployment rate down in the neighborhood of 4.7%. Combine that with a strong consumer confidence (steady improvement since 2009)…. And the fact that housing formation (creating needs in the real estate sector) surged with 1.7 million new households in 2015 …. And the fact that vacancy rates in the commercial/business arena are as low as I have seen them since the late 90s (15.6% for offices, 13.2% for retail & 7.1% according to NAR)…. And the fact that there is a backlog of a few hundred IPOs in the pipeline after a disappointing 2015 (tech/internet IPOs were down 53% in number y/y and raised 77% less than in 2014)….. All that bodes well indeed for the US economic outlook.

It is expected that home sales, this year, will be in the neighborhood of 5.5M units. If this comes true, it will be roughly 3.5% better than last year and 30% more than in 2010. Prices will continue their slow and moderate rise, between 3% and 4.5% nationally. Like it. No dark clouds on the 2016 horizon, which does not mean that the sky will be solid-blue. It never is more than a day at a time. So, let’s take a look at the very few & small clouds that we need to keep an eye on this year.

  • Interest rates: The Fed did it; it raised rates for the first time in nearly 10 years. It is not the beginning of the end, just merely the end of the doubt. Frankly it will make no difference to speak of on the real estate activity. The rise should not exceed 1% by year-end. Business as usual.
  • Home ownership: it has dropped and there is a question mark as to whether the decline will continue. Aside from the over 65, all other age groups are down. The Millennials, as we wrote here a few weeks back, are not “doing their part”. They now account for 30% of home sales while they historically were good for 36%. We are counting on them in 2016.
  • Length of home ownership: If we use the CAR stats for California, where the turnover is known to be fast, we notice that from 4 years in 1989, the number of years people owned a home before selling jumped to 8 in 2013 and now stands at 10.
  • Investors: They were slow to buy over the last 2 years. Distressed sales are all but gone and prices have skyrocketed to the point where the cost and the risk are too high. With the economy growing, the picture is likely to improve all year.
  • Cash buyers: their numbers are shrinking. With the cost of mortgage money going up a notch, the downtrend may be reversed in 2016.
  • International buyers: CAR reports that their 2015 share (4% of all sales) was the lowest in 8 years. Don’t worry. Even a strong dollar and a weak global outlook will not stop or even slow wealthy foreign investors from rushing to buy US real estate. Quite the opposite. Will be a good year, thanks particularly to the insatiable appetite of Chines and Indian Nationals for our land & property.
  • Affordability: Not expecting great news for first-time buyers. One suggestion though. If you are one of them, buy now, even if it hurts. It will not get any easier anytime soon.
  • It’s an election year… Whatever that means.

To a good year in 2016!

Intero Prestigio International Magazine | A Luxury Real Estate Collection – Issue 20a

A luxury collection from Intero Real Estate Services of the finest and most exclusive homes. Here at Intero, we’re always working to stay ahead of the curve and offer the best service possible to today’s homeowners. The Prestigio International system provides an elevated level of service through its elite selection of marketing tools set up to expose your home to relevant markets locally, nationally and globally. From the sign that goes in front of the house, to the online advertising of your home, you can be assured, Intero Prestigio International will showcase the best attributes your home has to offer to get it sold quickly and efficiently.

Honolulu, Here We Come!

Honolulu is getting too small! There is only so much coastline for homes to spread, so the only easy way to try to satisfy an insatiable demand for luxury real estate is to grow taller. More towers are about to pop up on the seafront. The traditional tug-of-war between concrete and grass has been fought. Concrete won; although the concrete we are talking about here would make Singapore, Hong Kong and the likes very envious: the style of the new buildings is amazing and green open spaces are set to provide plenty of chlorophyll for the locals to breathe on.

Something like 6,500 new condo units are scheduled to be delivered by the end of 2016, in the most coveted downtown area. That’s a lot, yet it’s far from enough. Too many would-be buyers, coming from all horizons, are waiting in line to get a piece of paradise. At any price. Talking about the devil, prices have reached new all-time records last year; the median price for a single family house was 19% higher than in 2009 and nearly 3 times that of 2001.

I was in Honolulu at the end of May, supposedly to relax, although that option did not work. That’s OK because, instead of more time getting a tan on Waikiki, I was offered to go on a tour of the most striking high-end properties for sale by the pros who know the island luxury market best: Patricia and Cedric Choi, from Choi International, our Hawaiian partners within the Luxury Portfolio global marketing network.

They set me up with a terrific guide, Gwen Inzer, Patricia’s right arm. We covered a good many miles stretching along South & East of Oahu, enjoying the scenery and visiting a few unique properties; all out of my price-range for a vacation home, which, if nothing else, made them even more desirable.

The first one we saw is Waiea (try to pronounce every single vowel…). That’s the name of the most exclusive condo tower located in the Howard Hughes “Ward Village”, 60 acres of prime coastal property. Waiea will likely set a new standard for luxury living. Roughly half of its 171 units, including 11 penthouses, offer the most stunning views of the Pacific, Waikiki and iconic Diamond Head.

You may wonder what the price sheet looks like. Well, since you asked for it, please note that prices vary from $5,500,000 for a 3BD/3.5BA condo with open view & close to ground zero, to $7,500,000 for the same unit on floor 31. Not to mention 1 penthouse (my favorite) at $ 19.8M on the 34th & the mother of all penthouses (17,521 sqft. on the top floor) for a price which has yet to be determined. BTW, 75% of the units are already marked sold, although occupancy is more than 2 years away.

Our ride along the coast took us to Patricia Choi’s “hunting grounds”, where her For Sale signs decorate the sidewalks: the high-end neighborhoods of Diamond Head & Kahala, and then the South-East beach-towns jewels named Kailua & Lanikai. I don’t want to make you over-salivate but you need to know about the ultimate beachfront home at 213 Kailuana Loop, in Kailua. The list price is $21,138,000. For that, you get 8,200 sqft of striking contemporary design and a ¾ of an acre lot looking straight toward the Mokulua islands and stretching to the most pristine beach and the turquoise waters of Oahu….

Who, on earth (literally), is buying properties in Honolulu? Indeed, lots of people from lots of countries and with lots of money. East meets West in Honolulu/Oahu. America & Asia share the prize. Last year, the top foreign buyers were again the Japanese, who continue their love affair with Hawaii. They bought 215 properties for a total of $166M. Far behind, we find our neighbors from Canada, followed by Hong Kong, China (coming up fast), Australia, Singapore, the Mariana Islands, S. Korea, Guam & the Philippines.

Of course, we too are buying a big piece of the good life in Honolulu. The top US buyers are Hawaiian, as you would have guessed. They acquired 13,382 properties for $6.9B. They know what’s good, that’s where they live or come from. California comes next with $1.2B worth of sales volume. The other biggies are Washington ($262M), Texas ($252M) and …New York ($191M).

Yes, Honolulu is getting smaller. Don’t wait too long to indulge in a nice little place by-the-sea.