Monthly Archives: April 2008

The Mt. Carmel Annual Festival is Here!

Starting today, and running through Sunday. Rides, games, music, and good food.

Plus, if you happen to be buying something at the bar, you’ll find me working there (not UNDER it).



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What Your Home is REALLY Worth

Publicenemy Zillow will tell you one thing. A “neighborhood expert” will tell you something else. 

In the immortal words of Chuck D from Public Enemy, “don’t believe the hype.”

In its most basic form, here’s a guide that will tell you what your home is really worth (and thanks to David Phillips, CEO of the Charlottesville Area Assoc. of Realtors, and Judy Savage, their president):

The Market Value of Your Home is NOT:

1.         What you have in it.

2.         What you need out of it.

3.         What you want.

4.         What it appraised for.

5.         What you heard your neighbor’s house sold for.

6.         What the tax office says it is worth.

7.         How much it is insured for.

8.         Based on memories and treasures.

9.         Based on prices of homes where you are moving.


The True Market Value of Your Home Is What a Buyer is Willing to Pay:

1.         Based on today’s market.

2.         Based on today’s competition.

3.         Based on today’s financing.

4.         Based on today’s economic condition.

5.         Based on the buyer’s perception of the condition.

6.         Based on location.

7.         Based on normal marketing time.

8.         Based on showing accessibility.


Properties That Sell in Today’s Market:  On a Scale of 1 – 10, the “10’s” Are The Ones That Are Selling.  How Can Your Property Be A “10”?

1.         By improving the condition dramatically.

2.         By offering good terms.

3.         By improving the way the home shows.

4.         By adjusting your price.


As a Seller you control:

1.         The price you ask.

2.         The condition of the property.

3.         Access to the property.


As a Seller you do not control:

1.         Market conditions.

2.         The motivation of your competition.

3.         Value

Word. Boiiiiiiiiiii.

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Pending Sales and Recently Sold Mt. Carmel Homes

Ok, pending sales, here we go. Surprisingly, the average Days on Market (DOM) for the last 4 homes to go “pending” in Mt. Carmel was 11 days!!!  Any home, priced well, will continue to sell quickly.  Where there’s demand — which we do have in Mt. Carmel — appropriately-priced supply will succeed.

  • 190 Opal Ave, 2br/1ba, $850K — 11 DOM
  • 436 Sapphire St., 3br/2ba, $738,888 — 7 DOM
  • 145 Hillview Ave, 4br/2ba, $1,045,000 — 4 DOM
  • 245 King St., 2br/1ba, $846,500 — 25 DOM

Homes SOLD in the last 90 days in Mt. Carmel have sold for between 98.2% and 102.4% of asking price

  • 524 Jeter, 3br/1.5 ba – List: $989K, Sold: $1,013,000 — 11 DOM
  • 271 Myrtle, 4br/2.5ba – List: $1.565M, Sold: $1.55M — 10 DOM
  • 505 Jeter, 3br/2.5ba – List: $1.049M, Sold: $1.049M — 11 DOM
  • 1701 Whipple, 3br/2ba – List: $1.195M, Sold: $1.17M — 26 DOM
  • 824 Harrison, 3br/1.5ba – List: $875K, Sold: $885K — 11 DOM
  • 77 Myrtle, 5br/3ba – List: $1.475M, Sold: $1,448,400 — 58 DOM
  • 464 Topaz, 3br/2ba – List: $875K, Sold: $860K — 13 DOM
  • 241 Topaz, 4br/3ba – List: $999K, Sold: $999K — 43 DOM


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TIME article Presents a Potent Case for Buying Now

At last someone in the media who understands how real estate (and investing) works!  This is not your typical, “scary, sky-is-falling” article (because why would the media report on good news articles, they don’t sell many magazines) — but, finally, a reporter who uses reason and logic to analyze the buying and selling of real estate. Props to Adam O’Donnell for turning me on to this article.

From TIME magazine, here’s the article.

For any buyer, these should be the key takeaways:

  • Ignore the headlines
  •  “There’s rarely been a moment in history when you couldn’t scare yourself into doing nothing”
  •  “When prices are falling, few people have the discipline to buy stocks, a house, gold, art, or any other asset. But those who do pull the trigger excel in the long run. As John D. Rockefeller famously said, “The way to make money is to buy when blood is running in the streets
  • “It’s time to get serious – before an inevitable rise in interest rates wipes out your advantage.  The thing that will make home prices stop falling is the very same thing that will push mortgage rates higher. So anything you gain by a further drop in prices might be offset by rising financing costs.  … in other words, if you wait one year to buy, and the interest rates go up even ½ percent, you would have saved nothing.



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A Bevy of New Mt. Carmel Listings

It’s been quite a busy week — a handful of new listings have come on the market, many of which will be on tour today. A quick snapshot:

  • 1562 James – $828,000 – 2br/1ba, 1150 sq. ft on a 5304 sq. ft. lot.  For a 2br home, a decent amount of square footage — most 2br’s in this area tend to be in the 850-950 sq. ft. And a decent sized lot too. Decently updated and colorful too. Properly priced in my opinion.
  • 2469 Brewster – $1,250,000 – 3br/2ba, 1656 sq. ft. on an 11,480 sq. ft. lot.  Nicely updated, and a huuuuge backyard (great lot size!). My only “con” on this is that it’s a bit of a busy hump of Brewster, and cars can sometimes tend to fly down this street — I recall many a day in my high school years back in the early 80’s, trying to get go fast enough on Brewster coming from Alameda that we’d get our car airborn right at this “hump” of Brewster. But I digress.
  • 190 Opal – $850,000 – 2br/1ba, 1210 sq. ft. on a 7205 sq. ft. lot.  Here too, another decent sized 2br, on an even bigger lot. House could use a bit of updating, IMHO.
  • 233 King – $1,295,000 – 3br/3.5ba, 2169 sq. ft. on a 6500 sq. ft. lot. Although I did comment briefly on this one last time, I do have to reiterate — this is a very nicely updated house with some great features. Large master suite, elegant master bath, good sized family room, useful office w/ 1/2 bath in the back of the property.  The only thing that’s a bit of a distraction, and a client of mine pointed this out, is that there’s no bathroom on the main floor of the house. Ok, so the nearest bathroom is 6 steps away up the stairs to where the 2 bedrooms are, but still, it does feel a little quirky. The kitchen, while gorgeously updated, is a bit lacking on counter space and size in general, particularly if you’ve got a gourmet cook in your family.
  • 518 Hudson – $969,000 – 3br/2ba, 1550 sq. ft. on a 6500 sq. ft. lot.   A very nicely updated home, and a good amount of space. The only downside, if you don’t like busy streets, is that it’s on Hudson, one block away from the light at Jefferson, which can tend to get busy during rush hours (school dropoff and pickup at Redeemer, or later in the evening).
  • 306 Hillview – $899,888 – 4br/2ba, 1450 sq. ft. on a 5000 sq. ft. lot. This one feels like it’s been off and on the market for the past couple years. It last sold 3/2007 for $758K.  The owner seems to have done some updates to it, which was just absolutely needed the last time it was on the market. Will it be worth the $142K difference that a year makes? Back then it kind of had a funky layout, but you never know, it just may work for somebody.

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Get Green, 4/12 … Onsite E-waste Recycling Event

e-waste  Here’s a great way to unload your home of some unnecessary, unused, or just plain old electronics that you don’t use anymore. Hosted at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel school, it will take place on Saturday, April 12, 9am-4pm.  So bust out your old Ataris, Commodores, TRaSh-80s, Osbornes, 8-track players, and (I’m dating myself) combo cassette/turntables!!!  Here’s the info directly from their website:

Kick off your green efforts by bringing all your unwanted, used, and broken electronics to the Mount Carmel parking lot on Saturday April 12 from 9 am to 4pm.

Load up your car, drive over, and representatives from ASL (a state authorized recycling agent) will unload your car for you at no disposal charge, and off you go to enjoy the rest of your day. You will be cleaning out your garage, doing the community a service by safely disposing of these times, and the school earns a rebate based on the total weight collected. Here is what we will be able to accept

Televisions Computer Monitors Computers (CPUs) Laptops Keyboards Printers Mice Hard Drives Fax Machines Microwave Ovens DVD Players VCRs Cables and Cords Telephones * Cell Phones Radios * Shredders Stereo Components Power Supplies Tape and Zip Drives Oscilloscopes PC Boards Lab Equipment Loose PCBAs Optical Drives

*Please be sure to have removed any batteries

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Even More New Mt. Carmel Listings

A few new ones have popped up on the radar the past couple days. Some on the starter-size price range, others on the high-side of your typical Mt. Carmel homes. Here they are, in no particular order:

477 Topaz: $625,000: 2br/1ba, 700 sq. ft. on a 2625 sq. ft. lot. In my opinion a great price for a first time buyer — it’s in the 400 block, so you’re not as close to Jefferson (like the 500 block), and, thinking out loud, this is an east-side price for a west-side home.  There’s homes in the alphabet streets (A St., B St., C St., etc. — east of the RR tracks) that are priced higher. Now granted, the lot is one of those postage stamp-sized lots, but for the price, and to be in a relatively quiet area, near some shopping and amenities, this home is priced pretty well.

477 topaz redwood city mt. carmel

169 Inner Circle: $1,589,000: 3br/4+ba, 3150 sq. ft. on an 8300 sq. ft. lot.  This house sold almost exactly 2 years ago (4/14/06) for $1,499,000.  I remember back then when I viewed it on tour, I thought it was big, maybe a little overbuilt for that neighborhood, and a bit on the gawdy side in terms of its updates.  Hopefully the current owner (who is also a local realtor) did some “neutral” updates to justify the $90K increase in value over two years (which is not terribly unreasonable).  The sale of 271 Myrtle not too long ago (for $1.565M) does show that that area can sustain homes in this price range.

169 inner circle redwood city mt. carmel

233 King St: $1,295,000: 3br/3.5ba, 2169 sq. ft. on a 6500 sq. ft. lot.  This one was a flipper I believe. Sold in Sep. 2006 for $815K when it was a 3/2, 1090 sq. ft. home.  Will the addition of 1100+ more square feet justify the $500K premium for its upgrade/addition? Here’s the current picture of it on MLS — oh wait (cue trombone)…bwaaaa, bwaaaa, bwaaaaahhhh.  I’m sure the pic will be up soon. This, as mentioned in an earlier post, is a great street in Mt. Carmel. It’s not show-able till this weekend, otherwise I’d review it. But, its MLS description says it was remodeled and had an addition in ’07, so we’ll have to see how well it’s received.

346 Grand

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