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Boulder Creek is one of Sunset Magazine’s “Favorite Places to Move to”

Modern Day Boulder Creek in Sepia Tone for Fun

Boulder Creek – one of Sunset Magazine’s “Favorite Places to Move to”

per their recent issue.

Sunset calls Boulder Creek “absurdly rural,” with ample open space for hiking, biking and horses.

Not surprisingly, they list my hometown as a dream place to move to  – for those seeking a slower-paced life.

Having lived all over the Bay Area, working downtown in the San Francisco Financial district high-rises for many years, I couldn’t agree more!

Click here for the Sunset Article

Are you new to town?    Please share your stories about how relocating here feels to you!

Click here for help finding your dream home in Boulder Creek…

Building A Bridge to Your Future

Bridge over Boulder Creek on Big Basin Highway 236
Bridge over Boulder Creek on Big Basin Highway 236
(831) 419-9759M.C. Dwyer, MBA, REALTORCentury 21 Showcase REALTORShttp://www.Santa-Cruz-Mtns-Homes.com copyright 2012
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Boulder Creek and Brookdale Home Sales Prices 2011

Boulder Creek and Brookdale Home Sales, Prices and 2011 Market Update

Results for the 4th Quarter compared to the 3rd Quarter 2011

home sold by MC Dwyer
Boulder Creek home sold by MC Dwyer 2011

38 homes sold in Boulder Creek and Brookdale during the final 3 months of 2011.   The average home sales price was $244,723.     During the 3rd quarter, 39 homes had sold at an average sales price of $276,534.    During the final half of the year, the discount from the original list price remained stable at about 5%.Click here to find Your Dream Home.

2011 –year in review

Boulder Creek cottage
Brackenbrae home in Boulder Creek, sold by MC Dwyer 2011

In 2011, the  average home price fell when compared to 2010.   125 homes sold in Boulder Creek and Brookdale during 2011.   The average home sales price was $278,013 (off about 14.5% compared to last year), taking an average of just over 3 months (109 days) on the market prior to going into escrow.

 

 

Why did prices fall?    The way I see it, the main reason is that the number of higher end homes – those selling for more than $500,000 – shrank from 24 in 2010 to only 10 in 2011.    On the other hand, in the affordable and fixer-upper home segment, 39 homes sold in 2011 for less than $200,000, similar to the 33 that sold in in 2010.    The number of distressed sales held fairly steady: 63 homes were foreclosures, while 19 were short sales.     So in reality, prices fell due to the mix of homes that actually sold as much as anything else.    Curious what your Boulder Creek or Brookdale home might be worth?    Ask here for a free and confidential estimate – over the internet or in person – your choice.

2010 –year in review

In 2010, 127 homes sold at an average home sales price of $325,319 taking an average of just over 3 months (116 days) on the market prior to going into escrow.

60 homes were foreclosures, and 17 were short sales.

View Boulder Creek in a larger map

Bridge in Boulder Creek, CA
Big Basin Hwy 236 Bridge at Brackenbrae, Boulder Creek, CA

Building A Bridge to Your Future

M.C. Dwyer, MBA, REALTOR, Century 21 Showcase REALTORS

(831) 419-9759

http://www.Santa-Cruz-Mtns-Homes.com

copyright 2012

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Trout will be planted in Loch Lomond, Spring 2012

Loch Lomond is in the Lompico neighborhood of Felton, in the Santa Cruz Mountains, CAToday’s Santa Cruz Sentinel reported that, to supplement the existing populations of bass and bluegill, about 1,000 pounds of trout will be planted in the Loch Lomond reservoir on two separate occasions this spring.     The Department of Fish and Game hasn’t planted trout here in several years.      The new trout are an enticement to  fishermen to return to the lake this summer and in the future.

Loch Lomond, located at the end of West Drive above and just beyond the Lompico area of Felton, is a gorgeous and quiet get-a-way.    Because the lake is part of Santa Cruz’ City water supply, outside boats and sports craft are not allowed on the lake – this is intended to reduce the introduction of invasive species that can clog water pipes.   The unintended result is a peaceful, natural feeling mountain lake located just 1/2 hour from downtown Santa Cruz and about 10 minutes from down town Felton.

There are trails for hiking, picnic areas, and rental boats available, as well as a enrollment system for people to quarantine and store their boats.     The lake is closed for the winter now, but reopens for a long summer season around Memorial Day, ending around Labor Day.

Share your fun plans and fond memories about Loch Lomond here!

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San Lorenzo Valley Housing Market Update 2011

Boulder Creek, California

This market report focuses on the towns of Boulder Creek, (above), Brookdale, Ben Lomond, and Felton, all situated in the San Lorenzo Valley region of the Santa Cruz Mountains.

For the 4th Quarter 2011: Home Sales Rose; Prices fell

87 homes sold in the 4th Quarter of 2011, at an average price of $286,000  The most expensive home sold for $682,000; the least expensive $44,000.    Only 7 homes sold for more than $500,000; 22 homes sold for less than $200,000.

70 Homes sold in the 4th Quarter of 2010, at an average price of $360,000.   The most expensive home sold for $750,000; the least expensive $28,000.    14 homes sold for more than $500,000; 15 homes sold for less than $200,000.

If you are a buyer in the under $300,000 price range, prepare for steep competition from other buyers!    Most of these entry level homes are getting multiple offers – all from buyers with updated pre-approval letters from lenders – some offering all cash and no loan contingency.   Click here for help finding your dream home in the San Lorenzo Valley.

If you are a seller, prepare to have your home compared to distressed properties.    Have an agent walk through your property prior to putting it on the market: they can give you economical tips to bring out your properties best features, and advise you of the likely price range today’s value conscious buyers are willing to offer you.    Click here to discover what your home is worth.

If you are a homeowner in distress, please don’t wait until the last minute to contact a REALTOR.    We have the tools to help you minimize your credit damage, and in many cases can even get you money to help you relocate from your underwater home.

For the year 2011, Home Sales Rose; Prices fell.

The market was dominated once again by distressed sales.   115 of the 253, or, 45% of the homes sold were foreclosures, and 40 (16%) were short sales.   Only 42% were noted on the MLS as ordinary sales.   13 homes sold for $100,000 or less, but only 12 homes sold for over $600,000.

While about the same number of homes sold for under $100,000 this year as last year, the number of higher priced homes (above $600,000) dropped dramatically  – just 12 this year versus 22 last year.    This is what dragged the average price down, compared to 2010.  

During 2011, 253 homes sold, at an average price of $320,779.     The median price was $307,900 – meaning half of the homes sold for less, and half for more.    The highest price home sold in 2011 for $875,000: This was a farmhouse  situated on 27 gorgeous acres bordering Fall Creek State Park.   The lowest priced home sold for $44,000: this was a burned down, foreclosed home sold at auction.    The average days it took a home to go into escrow was stable at 93 days.

In 2010,  82 of the 234 homes sold were foreclosures, and 41 were short sales, so 53% of sales were distressed.    The average price was $373,200; the median was $372,000.    The highest price home sold for $800,000, while the lowest price home sold for $28,000.    12 homes sold for less than $100,000, while 22 homes sold for over $600,000.     The average time on the market before a home went into escrow was 97 days.

http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?msa=0&msid=214168273664459341077.0004b593ef6478646643d&hl=en&ie=UTF8&t=h&vpsrc=0&ll=37.107765,-122.110977&spn=0.262849,0.439453&z=11&output=embed

Building A Bridge to Your Future

M.C. Dwyer, MBA, REALTOR, Century 21 Showcase REALTORS

(831) 419-9759

http://www.Santa-Cruz-Mtns-Homes.com copyright 2012

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Bonny Doon Home Prices – 2011 Market Report

Bonny Doon is unincorporated, covering a wide swath of rural Santa Cruz County Real Estate –Spectacular Bonny Doon from the far reaches of Davenport over to Felton and Ben Lomond, and down toward University of California, Santa Cruz.   Real estate in this area is rather exclusive, featuring mostly well built homes on larger than average parcels.   The spectacular topography ranges from coastal redwood forests to open meadows and includes some of the Zayante Sand hills habitat.   There’s a local school, volunteer fire department, first class wineries, and the Bonny Doon Ecological Reserve.

 

 

During 2011, 25 homes sold.

The property that took the longest to sell (536 days) eventually fetched $3.5 Million.   This was a nearly 100 acre ranch featuring a large pond, 2 wells, barn and modest home   The property that was the fastest to go into escrow at 0 days on the market was a foreclosure that sold for $385,000: a 1 bedroom home on about an acre.    This was also the smallest parcel with a home on it that sold in 2011.

The average sales price was $815,243, the average lot size was about 7 acres.

The average days on the market until a home went into escrow was 137 days.

 

In comparison, during 2010, 22 homes sold, at an average sales price of $645,935.   The most expensive property that sold that year was $1.2 million, which brings the average down.    The average days until a home went into escrow was 108.

Click here to search for Bonny Doon homes.

Curious what your Bonny Doon home is worth?   Click here for a no-obligation estimated value…

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Scotts Valley Home Prices and 2011 Market Update

Results for the 4th Quarter compared to the 3rd Quarter 2011

36 homes sold across the city and rural areas of Scotts Valley during the final 3 months of 2011.   The average home sales price was $709,924.     During the 3rd quarter, 77 homes had sold at an average sales price of $727,842.    Whether or not these quarterly statistics represent a downward trend remains to be seen – because the number of homes sold in the 4th quarter is just barely statistically significant.  During the final half of the year, the discount from the original list price remained stable at about 4%.

Scotts Valley Clouds

 

2011 – the year in review

Overall, 2011 prices held fairly firm when compared to 2010, while the number of homes sold rose slightly and the time on the market increased by about 1 month.

 

157 homes sold across the city and rural areas of Scotts Valley during 2011.   The average home sales price was $715,158 (off about 2% compared to last year), taking an average of just over 4 months (131 days) on the market prior to going into escrow.

 

The least expensive home, a 2 bedroom 1 bath built in 1960 on a 3049 square foot lot, sold for $106,976.    The most expensive residential property was previously used as a residential care facility.   Built in 1985, it took 485 days to sell, eventually fetching $2,600,000.   The property had 14 bedrooms and 19 baths across 6200 square feet of living space, situated on 3 acres.

Click here to get a free estimate of your Scotts Valley home’s current market value.

Visit www.Scotts-ValleyReal-Estate.com to view current homes for sale.

2010 – the year in review

 

In 2010, 147 homes sold in Scotts Valley.   The average home sales price was $732,327, taking an average of just over 3 months (106 days) on the market prior to going into escrow.

 

The least expensive home was illegally reconstructed after the 1989 earthquake.   The bank owned structure was red-tagged by the county, as the acre and a half parcel still bore considerable visible evidence of the hill top having dramatically shifted; this sold for $30,600.

 

The most expensive home was built in 2006 and took 539 days to sell, eventually fetching $3,000,000.   The exquisite home featured Monterey Bay views and privacy,  4 bedrooms and 3 baths, 3500 square feet of living space on 10 acres.

Building A Bridge to Your Future

M.C. Dwyer, MBA, REALTOR, Century 21 Showcase REALTORS

(831) 419-9759

http://www.Santa-Cruz-Mtns-Homes.com copyright 2012

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Santa Cruz County Home Prices 4th Quarter 2011 Market Update

Aerial_view_Santa_Cruz_CA

Results for the 4th Quarter compared to the 3rd Quarter 2011

469 Single Family Homes sold across Santa Cruz County during the final 3 months of 2011.   The average home sales price fell about 3.5% to $523,264, compared to the 576 homes which sold during the 3rdquarter at an average price of $542,527.  The median price home in the 4th quarter (where half the homes sold for more and half for less), was $450,000, down 3.4% compared to $466,000 for the 3rd quarter.

 

Here’s an interesting observation:  the percentage of distressed sales fell at the end of the year.     Foreclosure sales fell: 107 of the homes sold in the 4th quarter were foreclosures, compared to 128 of the homes sold in the 3rd quarter.

There also fewer short sales: 85 short sales during the 4th quarter, versus 95 in the 3rd quarter.

 

Could this decline in distressed sales be a bright sign for the housing market’s health?   Time will tell, but there was a news report released today by the Mercury News, saying the Truckee research company Clear Capital reports a stable outlook for home prices in the Bay Area.   Click here to read more:

 

 

Click here to get a free estimate of your Santa Cruz area home’s current market value.

Visit www.Santa-Cruz-Realtor.com to view current homes for sale.

Building A Bridge to Your Future

M.C. Dwyer, MBA, REALTOR, Century 21 Showcase REALTORS

(831) 419-9759

http://www.Santa-Cruz-Mtns-Homes.com copyright 2012

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It’s a great time to refinance! 30 Year Mortgage Rates below 4%

For the 6th consecutive week, average rates for the 30 year mortgage were at all time historical lows of below 4%, according to an article published on RIS Media based on Freddie Mac Research

So it’s worth repeating a segment of a blog I published last year, under the headline of

New laws affecting CA homeowners…

…because enough time has passed so the regulators and the bankers have gotten their game plan together to help underwater homeowners refinance their homes.

I’ve discovered many people aren’t aware that, if their home mortgage was a Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, they may be able to refinance into today’s ultra low interest rates, even if their home is underwater!


HARP – the federal government’s “Home Affordable Refinance Plan” – was criticized for not helping enough people, so they’ve improved it.     There are some conditions—for example, you have to be current on your mortgage payments, and the mortgage must have been sold to Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac on or before May 31, 2009.       Check the links below to see if your loan is eligible:

http://www.FannieMae.com/loanlookup/

or call 800-7FANNIE (8 am to 8 pm ET)

https://ww3.FreddieMac.com/corporate/

or call 800-FREDDIE (8 am to 8 pm ET)

Or, you can always contact me for help.

Are you aware that the state of Californiahas funds for homeowners at risk of losing their homes?    The federal government gave the state $2 Billion for the “Keep your Home California” program to help people make their payments, but only $150 million has been granted.   Here’s an article about it, and the phone number: 888-954-KEEP (5337).

Finally, from the Ca Association of Realtors, come these “Fast Facts:” – Check out the Pending Home Sales!

Fast Facts
Calif. median home price: December 2011: $285,920 (Source: C.A.R.)
Calif. highest median home price by region/county December  2011: Marin: $693,880 (Source: C.A.R.)
Calif. lowest median home price by region/county December 2011: Madera: $106,000 (Source: C.A.R.)

Calif. Pending Home Sales IndexNovember 2011: 109.8, an increase of 11 percent compared with the prior year.

Calif. Traditional Housing Affordability Index: Third quarter 2011: 52 percent (Source: C.A.R.)

Mortgage rates: Week ending 1/12/2012 30-yr. fixed: 3.89% fees/points: 0.7% 15-yr. fixed: 3.16 fees/points: 0.8% 1-yr. adjustable: 2.76% Fees/points: 0.6% (Source: Freddie Mac)

Building A Bridge to Your Future

M.C. Dwyer, MBA, REALTOR, Century 21 Showcase REALTORS

(831) 419-9759

http://www.Santa-Cruz-Mtns-Homes.com copyright 2012

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Home Prices rose in the Western Region of the US in 2011

Median home prices rose .3% in 2011 across the Western Region of the United States.   Nationally, sales are at an 11 month high.     While the number of sales fell .8% for the western region, nationwide, single family home sales rose 1.7% for the year.

Importantly, the supply of unsold homes on the market has fallen to a 7 year low, to about 6 months.     A 6 month inventory is considered to be balanced.    When the inventory rises above six months, prices can fall.

The jobs market has shown positive signs of improvement, as unemployment has fallen to about 8.5%.     The number of unsold homes is the lowest it has been since April 2005.    Another key sign is builder confidence, which is at the highest it’s been in about 4 years.

Nationwide, distressed sales continued to account for about 1/3 of all sales, which will continue to be a damper on prices.

CashNearly 1/3 of all home sales across the nation were all cash transactions.   Investors accounted for 21% of sales, with first time buyers at 31%.

If you are a buyer who needs a loan to finance your purchase, be prepared to write a competitive offer.   I can help advise you on ways to make your offer attractive in a multiple offer situation, which we see frequently particularly on those under $200,000.

Yet, recently in Santa Cruz property, we’ve seen well-priced desirable homes in the $3-400,000 range get multiple offers as well.

Building A Bridge to Your Future

M.C. Dwyer, MBA, REALTOR, Century 21 Showcase REALTORS

(831) 419-9759

http://www.Santa-Cruz-Mtns-Homes.com copyright 2012