Everything is Relative – Right?

When I joined RE/MAX Danville last year, I joined a Brokerage firm with far greater “reach” than the local boutique agencies I had worked for before. So I started getting notices of listings not only from my previous broker’s other East Bay offices, but from RE/MAX offices all over the Bay Area and the world.We’ve all heard that Real Estate is all about Location, Location, Location. And that the reason Real Estate is so expensive in California is not because of the HOUSES (the structure), but because of the LAND VALUE – the land the house structure sits on. Ok, I get that. And I’ve always known that our Tri-Valley area is what I used to call “the best kept secret in the Bay Area” when it comes to quality of living and affordable housing. Candidly, I don’t think it’s much of a secret anymore, but we are still in an enviable position when it comes to housing costs. Really? Could that really be the case? Even with housing prices going up, up, up?

Yes – it’s still true! One of the notices that popped up in my in-box recently was for a home for sale in Hillsborough – across the bay, on the Peninsula just north of San Mateo. The home looked remarkably like a typical Contra Costa home rancher – single story on a level ½ acre lot. We have a lot of those in Orinda, Lafayette, WC and Alamo – fewer in Danville and San Ramon – where lots tend to be smaller, but not always. When this Tri-Valley was developed over the past 50 years, there were a lot of ranches and orchards that were subdivided into housing tracts. Most of these had ½ acre minimum requirements until the mid 70’s – so we have big lots and Post WWII Ranchers. Anyway – I’m reading through the flyer for Barroilhet Drive in Hillsborough and it’s pretty typical for a lovely higher end home. 4500 square feet, all updated, chef’s kitchen etc. Nice house.

In our more expensive communities that home would be tipping the $2MM scale. In Diablo, it might get close to $3MM depending on the location.

Not across the bay – this pretty average rancher in Hillsborough just had a price reduction to $4,925,000.

Yep, just under FIVE MILLION dollars. For a 4500 square foot rancher? Am I missing something?

I fear we are headed back to the stratosphere of crazy prices and multiple offers. And it’s not just the under $1MM homes that are going with multiple offers. Did you hear about the one on Bobbie Drive in Danville? Priced at $1,254,000 it received 31 offers – perhaps as much as $300,000 over asking price! That house is NOT going to appraise, but the buyer didn’t care – they had enough cash in the deal to come in with no loan contingency.

So yes, everything is Relative – and we are fortunate to be living where we live. We have the beauty of our Mt. Diablo and Las Trampas Hills, 12 years of GREAT public schools, and yes, relatively affordable housing. I’m still having a hard time wrapping my head around the idea that our prices are affordable. Everything is Relative I guess!

Finally – the reason housing prices are skyrocketing is because there is such slim pickins! I’ve been talking about low inventory for months now, and it doesn’t appear to be getting any better. So if you are considering selling – buying up, down or just around, call me for a specific price evaluation of YOUR home. We need more homes on the market to stabilize this crazy seller’s market!

Have a great week!!

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