Appraisal value does not equal market valueAn appraisal is an opinion of real estate value  by a licensed appraiser, employed when a house or condo is under contract or sale pending with a mortgage, so that the lender does not over-invest. In other words, when an appraisal is used in escrow, it is to protect the bank which is lending money on the property. Appraisals may be used at other times, too.

Market value is what home buyers and sellers will agree on as the sale price of a property.  When Realtors work up a comparative market analysis or competitive market analysis, they try to figure out where the home will sell in the future, or what the market value will be.  They will also strive to bring that sale price to the top of the possible range of likely values – or go beyond it.

Put another way, appraisals attempt to determine the most precise value for what a home should be worth. Home buyers may or may not agree with an appraisal’s results, though.  The appraisal value does not equal market value.   The market may find the property to be worth more or less than what an official appraisal states as the worth of the real estate.

With an appraisal, there is a subjective element to the opinion of value.  For instance, if a brand new kitchen sink is tangerine in color but in great condition, will the appraiser ding it for being unpopular, or value it higher for being new?  I can tell you that most Realtors would take off projected value for that poor color choice – but I doubt that an appraiser would.  How about a flag lot? Is that worth more or less than a standard lot on the street? Most buyers would prefer a home on the street, and that may impact the sale price, but will an appraiser devalue a flag lot? Maybe.

Or with a view, how much is it worth?  Recently I sold a Saratoga home with a fantastic, once in a lifetime view.  The appraiser who came out for the bank downplayed the view as not having much value at all.  The home buyers who bid on the property, though, thought it was all about the view.

Fair market value is when there is just one buyer (or couple) and one seller (or couple) and the property is purchased with no undue pressure on either side.  It’s not a fire sale for the seller.  The buyer isn’t competing in a crazy multiple offer situation.  The appraisal will have the best odds of matching market value in this circumstance, but even then, it’s no guarantee. In the San Jose area, if there’s only one buyer for the residence and it’s a moderately priced piece of real estate, there may be something wrong that makes buyers somewhat devalue the home. (This is because we have perpetually low inventory – at least as of this writing in 2017.)

In a rapidly appreciating market, appraisal values often lag the probable buyer’s value (or market value). This is because appraisals are always backwards looking in time.  They consider the closed sales.  If a property closed escrow 3 months ago, that purchase price was probably agreed upon 4 months ago, since most escrows run about 30 days.  With multiple offer situations, we may get 6 offers on a Silicon Valley home and four of them can be at a certain number – but the appraisal comes in lower.

Home buyers decide on their pricing based on sold homes which are similar as well as the current competition and the trajectory of the market.  In spots, they say “run to where the ball is going“. If you run to where the ball is now, you will miss it.  So too with an actively changing market.

Sometimes the market gets soft, either generally or in certain pockets or pricing tiers.  When that happens, home sellers can find themselves frustrated if there was a recent appraisal but home buyers don’t agree with the stated value.  “But the appraisal said it’s worth MORE!”  Buyers don’t care about the appraisal. If the buyers who step up to the plate with an offer are the only ones bidding, there’s a good chance that the ultimate sale price negotiated will be the true market value.  That does not make the appraisal wrong, it only means that either prices have gone down a bit since the appraisal or that market conditions have created a lower sale price.

 

 

 

Related reading:

All comps are not equal

Home inspection vs. appraisal

Valuation: price per square foot is only part of the answer

Who was Painless Parker, and why was he so well known in Saratoga, San Francisco, and beyond?

Edgar Randolph Parker, born Friday, Mar. 22, 1872  in Newfounland, Canada, would eventually come to be known as Painless Parker..

In 1890, at age eighteen he set off for the Philadelphia Dental College (and apparently also studied in NY)  and his career as a dentist began..

He was a renegade dentist in the early 1900s with his flamboyant self-promotion, traveling from town to town with his dentistry show, proclaiming “painless” dentistry and hiring bands to play as he pulled teeth. In one day he pulled 357 teeth!

Dentists weren’t supposed to advertise, and California charged Dr. Parker with violating trade rules by practicing under the false name of Painless Parker instead of using his actual name.  In response, in 1915 Dr. Parker promptly legally changed his first name from Edgar to Painless.

He opened 30 dental clinics in the 1920s — which he called “Painless Parker’s Dental Parlors” — up and down the west coast, at one time employing 240 workers including  79 dentists in 8 states, and it grossed $3 million per year.

It was during this heyday of his that he bought 218 rolling acres off Prospect Road, close to the Saratoga Country Club (as the bird flies).You would know it today as Parker Ranch or the Parker Ranch neighborhood.

Parker died in 1952 at age 80 in San Francisco. He was buried here as Edgar Randolph Parker in the family plot at Madronia Cemetery in Saratoga, the implication being that, while death may have come as a release, it couldn’t be called Painless.

Parker’s son, Ned, followed his father into the profession and practiced dentistry in Oregon.  The Los Gatos Weekly-Times ( April 3, 1996) stated of Ned “It seems he could never pass the examination in California.”

If you find yourself in Philadelphia, you might visit the Philadelphia Dental College, Parker’s Alma Mater, which later was renamed the Temple’s School of Dentistry. The museum is at the dental school, N Broad Street and W Allegheny Avenue. And there you can view the “Painless Parker’s” Bucket of Teeth!

 

 

 

 

Often I have clients who are interested in purchasing a 4 bedroom, 2 bath home in a good school district in Silicon Valley, particularly in the South Bay and West Valley areas. Tonight I did a study on the MLS of homes that have sold and closed escrow in the last 4 months with these characteristics:

  • single family home (house)
  • 4 bedrooms
  • 2 bathrooms
  • 1800 to 2200 square feet of living space
  • 6000 to 10,000 sf lot

Disclaimers aside, here are the numbers for select West Valley Communities in the West/South Bay area with good schools. The first number is the average sales price per square foot, the second number is the average sales price:

And a look at the chart from all back in 2015…

And all the way back in 2011. What’s changed? A lot! The order has shifted some, showing where demand has increased or decreased. Most noticeably, the prices are significantly lower in 2011 than they are now. The 2015 chart shows prices somewhere in-between the 2011 and 2017 levels. Palo Alto and Los Altos remain consistently in the top two positions.

The home prices tend to run with the school district API scores.  You can check the 2013, three year average, API scores in Santa Clara County for both the districts and the individual schools online here.         Continue reading

hero-shakespeare-hollywood-768x400 - CopySummer means outdoors Shakespeare! The Los Gatos troupe, Festival Theatre Ensemble, has closed its doors for good, but don’t despair – there’s more to see in Saratoga!

Silicon Valley Shakespeare, formerly known as the Shady Shakespeare Theatre Company, is gearing up for the upcoming season of outdoors performances. This group has been active for 16 years and is a well-loved regular in the Saratoga summer arts scene. Every year they hold two sets of outdoor performances. The first are free performances of a Shakespeare classic in Willow Street Park of Willow Glen, San Jose. Bring your own seating and come early for the best spot. Following that, they produce a second Shakespeare play and another more contemporary work at the troupe’s usual venue, Sanborn Skyline County Park in the hills over Saratoga. Tickets may be purchased in advance for the Saratoga performances.

This year, the first show in San Jose will be the Merry Wives of Windsor held in June, providing locals the opportunity to enjoy free, live theatre within the community (donations are welcome). In Saratoga, see the Prince of Denmark in Hamlet from July through September, or catch the contemporary addition to Sherlock Holmes‘ adventures in the new case by Jeffrey Hatcher from August through September.

It’s a great deal, too, with tickets priced at $25. Senior (60+), college student, and educator discounts for $20, and kids come free with paying adult. Tickets are available to purchase online, so buy tickets ahead of time. Shows run through September 3rd.

Check the Silicon Valley Shakespeare website for more!

  1. 3 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,344 sq ft
    Lot size: 17,663 sqft
  2. 3 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 2,091 sq ft
    Lot size: 19,122 sqft
  3. 3 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,856 sq ft
    Lot size: 9,239 sqft
  4. 4 beds, 5 baths
    Home size: 4,628 sq ft
    Lot size: 30,091 sqft
  5. 5 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 1,820 sq ft
    Lot size: 6,072 sqft
  6. 3 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,500 sq ft
    Lot size: 1.40 ac
  7. 3 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,536 sq ft
    Lot size: 5.00 ac
  8. 4 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 2,165 sq ft
    Lot size: 2,848 sqft
  9. 4 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 2,224 sq ft
    Lot size: 3,319 sqft
  10. 4 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,983 sq ft
    Lot size: 10,101 sqft

See all Real estate in the city of Los Gatos.
(all data current as of 7/26/2017)

Listing information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Read full disclaimer.

Severe inventory shortage

Why is it so hard to buy a home in Silicon Valley?  Most of it has to do with our ongoing and severe inventory shortage.

I initially wrote the article below on Feb 9, 2012.  I thought it was bad then – and I suppose that relatively speaking, it was. But it’s much worse now!

Today is May 1, 2017, and I ran the numbers of available single family homes in Santa Clara County in a chart comparing since January of 2012.  Have a look, and please note the year over year numbers:

2017-05-01 Santa Clara County Inventory of Single Family Homes

The situation has only intensified since I first wrote this article in early 2012.  There are many reasons for the problem: older people won’t sell for tax reasons (mostly capital gains). move up buyers who elect to stay and add on rather than deal with hugely increased property taxes.  In general, home owners are opting to “buy and hold”.

Is it hard to buy a house in the San Jose area? You bet.  And unfortunately, I don’t see an end in sight anytime soon.

*********************************

Original article: Feb 9, 2012

Right now I’m working with a number of very frustrated home buyers.  Silicon Valley real estate inventory is painfully low, and in the lower price ranges especially, that means multiple offers are fairly common.  FHA home buyers, in particular, are getting out bid and out negotiated by all cash buyers, many of whom are investors.

How low is the inventory?  Let’s have a look at January’s inventory for houses & duet homes (“class 1” or single family homes) over the last ten years in Santa Clara County (San Jose, Los Gatos, Campbell, etc.):

2012  1,382
2011  2,007
2010  2,426
2009  4,759
2008  4,872
2007  2,698
2006  2,202
2005  1,285
2004  1,612
2003  3,119

The average January inventory of available houses over the last 10 years is 2,636.  At 1,382, January 2012’s available inventory of houses for sale in the San Jose area was just 52% of normalContinue reading

The Parker Ranch neighborhood is found in the low western foothills of Saratoga along the Cupertino border, making it a fantastic commute location for many high tech workers.  With larger homes and lots, it’s easy to stretch out!   The rolling hills make a pleasant vista, or, if you’re in a higher elevation provide beautiful valley views.  The Parker Ranch subdivision boasts highly acclaimed Cupertino schools.  There are many reasons why this is a much beloved area of Saratoga.

There are just shy of 80 houses and luxury homes in Parker Ranch, so it’s not a hugely populous area, but it is fairly large.  Here are a few quick facts on this scenic subdivision:

  • Range of home size:  2,797-7,500 SF
  • Average SF:  4,517 SF
  • Range of lot size:  22,000-146,361 SF
  • Average Lot:  70,786 SF
  • Years Built:  1900-2013, lots of development in the 1980s

What do homes cost in Parker Ranch?

Because there’s an incredible variety in home and lot size, as well as age and condition, it’s not easy to pinpoint the likely price of the neighborhood.  However, as a very broad rule, most homes will currently range between $2.5 and $3.5 million.

What are the subdivision’s boundaries?

Map Boundaries:  Streets include Vista Arroyo Ct, Star Ridge Ct, Prospect Rd (pasture only), Picea Ct, Pheasant Ridge Rd, Parker Ranch Rd (major road), Parker Ranch Ct, Farr Ranch Rd (2nd major road), Farr Ranch Ct, Diamond Oaks Ct, Continental Cir, Comer Dr, and Chiquita Ct. To the W and N, the border is Prospect rd. A SW portion borders the Saratoga Country Club. To the S is Mt Eden.

Parker Ranch subdivision map - Saratoga, CA

Any special issues with Parker Ranch homes?

As with all homes near the coastal foothills, water and drainage will be very important to manage here.  Also there are high voltage power lines running through part of the community, with some homes built very close to both the lines and the towers.

Homes for sale in Parker Ranch

 

 

Related Reading:

Saratoga, CA – on the popehandy.com site

Looking forward to those fabulous free summer concerts? So am I! This year we’ve combined the schedules of four different festivals, Los Gatos Music in the Park, Vasona Vibrations, Jazz on the Plazz, and Fiesta de Artes, plus some Fourth of July activities in a post on my Live in Los Gatos blog. Remember to check the festival web sites for rules, schedule changes, and directions.

Follow this link to get to the schedule on the Live in Los Gatos Blog!

 

  1. 3 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 2,091 sq ft
    Lot size: 19,122 sqft
  2. 3 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,856 sq ft
    Lot size: 9,239 sqft
  3. 4 beds, 5 baths
    Home size: 4,628 sq ft
    Lot size: 30,091 sqft
  4. 5 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 1,820 sq ft
    Lot size: 6,072 sqft
  5. 4 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 2,165 sq ft
    Lot size: 2,848 sqft
  6. 4 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 2,224 sq ft
    Lot size: 3,319 sqft
  7. 4 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,983 sq ft
    Lot size: 10,101 sqft
  8. 3 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 2,057 sq ft
    Lot size: 10,375 sqft
  9. 5 beds, 5 baths
    Home size: 6,181 sq ft
    Lot size: 3.79 ac
  10. 3 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 2,106 sq ft
    Lot size: 8,881 sqft

See all Real estate in the Los Gatos/Monte Sereno community.
(all data current as of 7/26/2017)

Listing information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Read full disclaimer.

If you live in Santa Clara County, once known as The Valley of Hearts Delight, you no doubt appreciate our mild, sub-tropical climate.

Unfortunately, so do the termites.

We have two main types of termites here (and other wood-destroying pests too), drywood termites and subterranean termites.

The subterranean termites, or subs as they are called, can be identified by the mud tubes they build from the ground or floor up the side of a wall. As their name implies, they live underground, and build the tubes as they go. Pest Control operators will remove the tubes and treat the area, injecting chemicals underground at spaced intervals, to exterminate them. See my post on identifying subs here.

Drywood termites, or drywoods, may live anywhere in the the home where there’s wood to eat. If they are found only in one or two areas, a licensed pest control company may do a local treatment. The difficulty with local treatments is that drywood termites may also be lurking in places that cannot be seen, such as between the walls. For that reason, the standard recommendation is to fumigate (also called to tent or to fume) the structure.

If you live in the Santa Cruz Mountains, you may also have dampwood termites to contend with.
Continue reading

If you enjoy touring open houses, historic properties, and taking in attractive decor, you don’t want to miss the annual spring home tours in the San Jose area!  Take a look at the opportunities listed below:

Spring home tours in the San Jose area

Spring home tours in the San Jose area include historic properties

22nd Los Gatos Historic Home Tour – April 22 & 23, 2017

10AM-4PM, General Admission $50, VIP $75

http://www.numulosgatos.org/events/2017/4/22/22nd-los-gatos-historic-home-tour

Fremont Older House & Garden Tours – April 23, 2017

9AM-4PM, tours are full, but you can join the wait-list (mark in on your calendar for next year’s spring home tours early on!).

http://www.openspace.org/activities/district-events/fremont-older-house-garden-tours-0

Willow Glen Home Tour – May 6 & May 7, 2017

10AM-4PM, Early Bird $40, At the Door for $50

http://willowglenhometour.com/

Eischler Home Tours San Mateo Highlands – May 6 & 7, 2017

10AM-3PM, Single Day $60, Two Days $100, Optional: Box Lunch $14, Poster $30, and VIP Happy Hour (May 6, 7PM-10PM) $50

http://eichlerhometour.org/

Gilroy Assistance League: 13th Annual Impressions Home and Garden Tour – May 12 & 13, 2017

$30

http://gilroyassistanceleague.org/-impressions-home-garden-tour/

AIA Santa Clara Valley: 3rd Annual Silicon Valley Home Tours, A Tour by Architects – June 3, 2017

10AM-4PM, Early Bird: General Admission $75, AIA Members $59, After 5/21/17 and Day of $75

http://aiascv.org/page/2017HomeTour

Wolfe & Higgins – Citywide Architectural Home Tour, Master Architects of the Spanish Revival – August 26, 2017

Early Bird: General $35, Preservation Action Council Members $30, Day of: $40

http://www.wolfeandhigginstour.com/

 

Garden Tours

GNGT: Going Native Garden Tour 2016 – April 22 & 23, 2017

10AM-4PM, Free

http://gngt.org/GNGT/HomeRO.php

Gamble Garden Tour – April 28 & 29, 2017

10AM-4PM, Members $30, General $35, Volunteer $25, Lunch Tickets $15

https://www.gamblegarden.org/support-us/spring-tour/

The Aromas Country Garden Tour – May 13, 2017

10AM-4PM, tickets not available online

http://www.aromashillsartisans.org/ahas-events.html

 

 

If you miss out on these events, the Ainsley house in downtown Campbell is open Thurs-Sun, March-December, 12PM-4PM (final tour at 3:15PM) with regular tours. Admission is $8 adult, $6 senior, $4 youth (7-17), and free for under 7.

http://www.ci.campbell.ca.us/332/Historical-Museum-Ainsley-House

 

Have we missed a tour of houses or homes that should be included? Please jot me a note or give me a call and we’ll get this page updated (and promote your event at no cost, of course).  Be sure to include the dates,  name of the tour, and a URL where people can get more information, please.

As I hold my listings open in and around Silicon Valley, I am amazed at the number of people interested in buying a home who are on their own and not working with a buyer’s agent. If that describes you, do you feel that you are a little afraid of a buyer consultation with a Realtor?  Not sure what to expect, or concerned that you may be coerced or manipulated into hiring someone you don’t want to work with?   Let’s talk about how that appointment usually or often works, and how you can meet with an agent and not feel like you have no control.

What is a home buyer consultation?

Talking over a computer  -buyer consultationFirst, let’s talk about what a home buyer consultation is.  In a nutshell, the appointment has just a few purposes: (1) to help the home buyer to learn about the process, what’s involved, and to answer questions about what happens and what kind of choices there are. (2) It is a job interview for the real estate professional – is this someone you would want to hire? Even though the seller usually pays the commission, the buyer’s representative is someone you hire or not. (3) It is also a chance for the Realtor to see if you are someone that he or she can or would like to work with, too.  The interview is a two way process.

How long does an initial buyer appointment take? Where does it happen?

In my experience, most of these initial appointments can run anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour or more.  The length of it is often driven by the consumer’s questions.  If it is clearly not a fit, either side can say it’s time to wrap things up and call it a day.  If the appointment goes well, it may last longer. Continue reading

Translation


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Mary Pope-Handy

Realtor
ABR, CIPS, CRS, SRES
Sereno Group Real Estate
214 Los Gatos-Saratoga Rd
Los Gatos, CA 95030
408 204-7673
Mary (at) PopeHandy.com
License# 01153805


Selling homes in
Silicon Valley:
Santa Clara County,
San Mateo County, and
Santa Cruz County.
:
Special focus on:
San Jose, Los Gatos,
Saratoga, Campbell,
Almaden Valley,
Cambrian Park.

Let’s Connect

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The real estate search

Use the widget below to browse properties which are for sale, under contract (pending) or sold. Want to view only homes which are available now? Use the "find a home" link on the menu above (next to the "home" button).

Mary’s other sites & blogs

Valley Of Hearts Delight
Santa Clara County Real Estate,
with an interest in history

Move2SiliconValley.com
Silicon Valley relocation info

popehandy.com
Silicon Valley real estate,
focus on home selling

Silicon Valley Real Estate Report
Silicon Valley real estate
market trends & statistics

Mary’s Blog Awards

Top 25 real estate blogs 2016
2016: Personal Income's list of top 25 real estate blogs.


Best Realtor blog award
2016: Coastal Group OC's list of best Realtor blogs


The 2009 Sellsius list of top 12 women real estate bloggers
2009: Sellsius list of top
12 women real estate bloggers


Mary Pope-Handy's Live in Los Gatos blog won the 2007 Project Blogger contest, sponsored by Inman News and Active Rain

2007: Mary Pope-Handy and Frances Flynn Thorsen win the Project Blogger Contest for Mary's Live in Los Gatos blog. The contest was sponsored by
Active Rain and Inman News.


Non blog award


Best real estate agent in Silicon Valley from the San Jose Mercury News poll of readers in 2011
"Best real estate agent
in Silicon Valley"

2011 readers' poll,
San Jose Mercury News

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