It is a buyers market, right? Foreclosures and short sales are on the rise, so buyers get out and buy properties at rock bottom prices! Well I will definitely not dispute the data that the news provides, but I will say in the Oakland and Berkeley area, I am seeing things that the news is not covering.
1. There is a lack of quality inventory! I believe sellers are afraid of this market and are choosing to stay put.
Homes in select areas such as, Berkeley, El Cerrito, Albany, Alameda, North Oakland, Temescal, Rockridge, Crocker Highlands, Haddan and China Hill, Sheffield Village, Oakmore, Dimond and various other districts of Oakland and are experiencing multiple offers due to the lack of inventory. These homes are often selling over the asking price. (If they are in good condition and are priced right.)
2. The sweet spot price range is between $300,000 and $700,000 (This is the price range that the bulk of today's buyers are in.)
3. Buyers are getting frustrated by the lack of quality inventory.
4. Buyers have to feel that they are buying something of value. So it is important for sellers to show off their homes properly, fresh paint, refinished floors and no clutter!
5. Buyers like homes that are move-in ready, but have room for their family to grow or areas that can be enhanced and improved.
6. Original details are key, buyers like homes that show off their history. Often homes that are completely gutted leaving no memories of its past get overlooked or are not buyer's first choice.
7. FHA loans, loans that require a very small down payment of approximately, 5% down, accounted for about 30% of the transactions in the Oakland and Berkeley area last year, (this is an approximate after to speaking with two reputable mortgage lenders and speaking with my general manager about Red Oak's production.) This is a good loan, if managed by a competent mortgage provider, but consumers should know there are many people out in this market place that have enough money to place 20% or more down on a home. I am finding with many of my clients that family members are willing to loan or gift down payment money, as they feel real estate is a good investment and they want to help their children find a place to call home.
When you are ready to buy or sell a home, ask a real estate expert what is going on in your neighborhood. Often the national and statewide statistics differ from what is happening locally. If you are a homeowner and you are on the fence wondering if you should sell your home, perhaps now is the time to sell. As always free to email or call me. - Deidre (firstname.lastname@example.org.)