Menlo Park, CA Real Estate News

By Marcy Moyer, Probate, Trust, and Investment Specialist
(eXp Realty of California Silicon Valley Probate, Trust, and Investment Sales)
I have to admit that in a toss up for best picture between The Social Network and The King's Speech I was neutral.  I think they were both fantastic, with great scripts and acting for both. However, when it comes to investing in real estate, "The Social; Network" wins hands down. You are probably thinking I am a little nuts right now, but there is a method to my madness.  Facebook has purchased the east Menlo Park Sun campus.  There are going to be many many young Facebook employess looking for a place to live close by. Facebook encourages their workers to live close, reduce commute time, and lower their carbon footprints.  Belle Haven is going to be the place of choice for many of these Facebookers.  There are a variety of home choices for investors to choose from including small apart...
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By Marge Draper, REALTOR, Keller Williams Realty, Menlo Park CA
(Keller Williams Realty Palo Alto)
The best things in life are free!  I first heard that when I went to see the movie with the same name with my Aunt B.  That was 1956.  The movie starred Gordon MacRae, Dan Dailey and Ernest Borgnine.  I just remember the song and that there was a lot of singing and dancing.  I was in heaven!  Movies back then were almost free. In the last post I did about free or almost free, I left out your local library.  My library happens to be the Menlo Park library.  The library is having a Book Sale on Sunday, March 20 from Noon to 4 PM.  The books on sale have been donated and sorted and displayed by the Friends of the Menlo Park Library.  These books are almost free!  If you are going, get there early.  The best ones go quickly!   The library has books that can be downloaded to your Android, iP...
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By Mike Young, FHA 203k Consultant 916-758-1809
(203kOnLine.com, covering the USA)
We have been very surprised by the great response we are getting from our lenders regarding "lender training" which we recently added to our list of services. We have been training consultants since 1995, contractors were added to the mix in 1998, and most recently we added the lender training. Lenders get all of our marketing materials to help them get their 203k loan programs off the ground in a grand style.  Remember it has always been a more powerful concept to make joint calls with your consultant and lender calling on  Realtors and agents to let them know the many ways the FHA 203k loan "save a deal" or make a deal when all other possibilities have been exhausted. I met with a Broker today on her first 203k loan and she was very surprised to see the program has been around since 1...
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By Marcy Moyer, Probate, Trust, and Investment Specialist
(eXp Realty of California Silicon Valley Probate, Trust, and Investment Sales)
While much of the Bay Area has seen a large increase in the number of homes being sold as short sales there have not been very many Menlo Park homes or Palo Alto homes that are being sold this way.  However, as long the housing market has not appreciated back to the peak levels, and there are still people who need to sell homes that are worth less than the mortgages on them, short sales will be here, and possibly in increasing numbers.  So what happens when you find a home you really want to buy but it is priced higher than the market value and you can not get the seller to budge?   At this point it is time to get your realtor to do some investigation.  Find out when the home was purchased or refinanced, and for how much.  Add in the transfer taxes, closing costs, and commissions, and i...
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By Marge Draper, REALTOR, Keller Williams Realty, Menlo Park CA
(Keller Williams Realty Palo Alto)
Market Analysis:  What’s the Market Like in Menlo Park  For January, 2011 I looked at the figures for Menlo Park, Atherton, Redwood City and San Carlos.  I like looking at the numbers and thinking about what they mean.  Last month those four cities showed just over a three month supply of inventory.  After I got these figures together, I decided I prefer looking at one city at a time.  Today’s analysis is for Menlo Park, CA. For Menlo Park during February, 2011, we had a 1.9 month supply of inventory.  A less than six month inventory generally indicates a seller’s market.  To me a seller’s market means that homes don’t stay on the market for a long time, and the final sale price is more than the asking price. The national press talks about the fact that it is a buyer’s market.  We need...
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By Marcy Moyer, Probate, Trust, and Investment Specialist
(eXp Realty of California Silicon Valley Probate, Trust, and Investment Sales)
Question: We wrote our offer over a week ago. Why hasn't the listing agent presented it yet? The offer has expired. Should we withdraw? Are they playing games and using this to get a better offer? Answer: Good question. In our area if a seller or agent believes there are going to be multiple offers or wants to have multiple offers they will often set a date for offers and either not present any offers until that date, or keep presenting offers as they come in until that time.  In this case the short sale was listed right at market value, not below market in order to stimulate multiple offers, and the agent said offers will be presented as they are received.  The agent told me he had the flu and was not able to get together with the client. I spoke to him on the phone and he does sound v...
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By Marge Draper, REALTOR, Keller Williams Realty, Menlo Park CA
(Keller Williams Realty Palo Alto)
Sellers ask, "Should I list my property now?  Shouldn't I wait until after the Super Bowl?"  In the Menlo Park area and the rest of the mid-Peninsula area, the Super Bowl has been used as the calendar date for the start of the Spring real estate market season.   Actually, I think this past or almost past January has been a good time to list a home for sale.  As of today, January 27, 13 homes went pending and 4 additional closed escrow.  There are 57 active homes on the market priced from a high of $4,750,000 to a low of $240,000.  The buyers I have talked to have been disappointed in the lack of inventory.   The unfortunate thing is that if you are going to put your home on the market successfully, you need plenty of lead time.  Calling your agent on Friday and having your home listed o...
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By Menlo Park Real Estate and Homes for Sale, WendeByTheBay.com - 650.504.0219 - SF Peninsula
(Wende Schoof)
Why is it so great to be at home on the San Francisco Peninsula? January Roses!  Living in the temperate San Francisco Bay Area yields such winter treats as these roses, which were soaking up the California sunshine in Menlo Park earlier this week. To find your own place in the sun, contact Wende Schoof.
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By Marcy Moyer, Probate, Trust, and Investment Specialist
(eXp Realty of California Silicon Valley Probate, Trust, and Investment Sales)
Relocation Expenses From a Menlo Park Short Sale   The owners of a home in Menlo Park just got a short sale approval from Aurora.  They asked me the following:  "The approval letter did not say anything about $3000 towards relocation expenses. On their web site they said we could get that money for our relocation. Do you know how we can get it?" Here is the answer. If this were a HAFA short sale which is a short sale where the government makes the rules, the bank agrees to do certain things when they approve the short sale, including giving the borrower up to $3000 for relocation expenses.  However this is not a HAFA short sale. In order to qualify for a HAFA short sale you must agree to stay in the home until the short sale closes. Since you have already moved you do not qualify for a ...
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By Marcy Moyer, Probate, Trust, and Investment Specialist
(eXp Realty of California Silicon Valley Probate, Trust, and Investment Sales)
I have a Menlo Park short sale listing that is in escrow. Chase was the original lender and is now the servicer of the loan.  What that means is that after Chase made the loan they sold it to another investor. It could have been sold to Fannie or Freddie, Wall Street, another bank, or an individual. The important thing to remember is that this investor is The Decider.  The wonderful negotiator at Chase does not get to make the final decision, the investor does.  Now if you have a loan with Chase and have gone onto their web site to investigate what you need to submit for a short sale it does not say you have to send them any information on IRA or 401K accounts.  They are not vultures. However, my clients do have a 401 K and their paystub, which does have to be submitted shows that money...
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By Marcy Moyer, Probate, Trust, and Investment Specialist
(eXp Realty of California Silicon Valley Probate, Trust, and Investment Sales)
  Menlo Park, Ca. Distressed Property Update Are you waiting for a distressed property for sale in Menlo Park so you can snatch a bargain, or are just curious about them? Well, there are a few of these types of sales, but not many. Short sales, as in other places, are more common than foreclosures. Most banks are at least giving homeowners the option to try to do a loan modification or short sale before foreclosing. These options do not always work, but they are worth a try. Active Short Sale Listings:  8  Pending short sale listings:  14 They break down neighborhood wise into: west MP: 1 Central MP: 1 East of El Camino and west of 101: 5 Avenues: 2 Belle Haven: 14   Closed Short Sales since Jan 1, 2010:  17 West MP: 2 Central MP: 0 East of El Camino/West of 101: 1 Avenues: 3 Belle Hav...
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By Marge Draper, REALTOR, Keller Williams Realty, Menlo Park CA
(Keller Williams Realty Palo Alto)
There is a very interesting new restaurant in Menlo Park, Bona Restaurant, 651-H Maloney Street.  Maloney is off Oak Grove near the Post Office.  My husband and I had dinner there Saturday evening.  It was my birthday, as everyone seems to know, (facebook has changed communication - subject for a different blog), and I had waited too long to call the restaurant that I had first chosen.  They were full!  What recession? Bona used to be an Italian restaurant, then it was Italian with some Polish specialty dishes and now it is all Polish. I was excited because I would get a chance to use the little Polish I remember from childhood, and a chance to savor some of the flavors of home.  So I said good evening in Polish.  The waitress gave me a paragraph of very fast Polish so I was exposed!  H...
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By Menlo Park Real Estate and Homes for Sale, WendeByTheBay.com - 650.504.0219 - SF Peninsula
(Wende Schoof)
        I was looking at listings in one of my favorite neighborhoods, North Fair Oaks in Menlo Park, CA, this morning and realized there are 3 amazing opportunities there right now!      It's rare to use the words "deal" and "Menlo Park" in the same sentence, and now there are 3!  For anyone who is looking to get into the housing market on the San Francisco Peninsula, this is the portal!  Whether you're a first time buyer, move up or down buyer or investor, these 3 properties are screaming GREAT TIME TO BUY!  All 3 are real estate owned, which is still not that common in Menlo Park west of the 101 freeway.  All 3 are located in a wonderful, unincorporated area of Menlo Park that has the relaxing feel of a rural village while being located within a few minutes of every suburban amenity...
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By Marge Draper, REALTOR, Keller Williams Realty, Menlo Park CA
(Keller Williams Realty Palo Alto)
I'm holding a property open in Suburban Park this afternoon - October 10, 2010 from 1:30 to 4:30.  243 Hedge Road, Menlo Park.  It's listed by Dianne Fisher.  The home has three bedrooms and one bath.  It's 1,190 square feet and is on a lot of 7,600 square feet.  This is one of the larger lots in Suburban Park.  This home is being offered for $725,000.  This is a great price particularly if you are looking for a starter home in Menlo Park. Suburban Park is one of the most sought-after neighborhoods in Menlo Park.  It's located between Flood Park which is a county park and Lorilei Manor.  Many of the homes are occupied by long-time residents.  Many recent buyers in the neighborhood grew up here and want the same wonderful neighborhood for their children.  Each year the residents hold a n...
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By Menlo Park Real Estate and Homes for Sale, WendeByTheBay.com - 650.504.0219 - SF Peninsula
(Wende Schoof)
The third quarter numbers are in for Menlo Park listings and sales, and the improvement in the market is worth noting. Comparing third quarter 2010 with third quarter 2009 for single detached homes in all of Menlo Park: Median Sold Price: up 2%   2009 ($1,207,000)   2010 ($1,234,250)* Homes Sold: up 9%   2009 (99)   2010  (108) Homes for Sale: up 15%   2009  (224)   2010  (257) Days on Market: up 77%   2009  (27)   2010  (43) *These numbers are based on sales in all parts of Menlo Park, including areas heavily hit with foreclosures as well as luxury home neighborhoods.  For specific neighborhood market information, send your request to Wende@WendebytheBay.com. Comparing third quarter 2010 with third quarter 2009 for condominium and townhouse homes in all of Menlo Park: Median Sold Price...
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  The Willows neighborhood in Menlo Park has always been one of my favorite first time home buyer neighborhoods. Prices are very expensive in Menlo Park and Palo Alto, mostly due to our "landlocked" geography on the San Francisco Bay Peninsula. Menlo Park is adjacent to Stanford University, but most neighborhoods are too expensive even for tech workers and professionals. The Willows neighborhood in Menlo Park is the exception. The Willows neighborhood appeals to young professional families because it is affordable due to it's less than stellar location next to Hwy 101 and east Palo Alto. Recently, the German American School has opened in the Willows in Menlo Park, and several families have purchased homes in the East Palo Alto section of this neighborhood. Their home prices are far less...
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By Ruben Citores
(Menlo CK Developers)
Couple of years ago I met with a real estate agent from Palo Alto.  She showed me the house and asked me for my opinion.  As always, I asked her what was the seller's goal as it was a Trust Sale.  "They are looking to sell it for low 900K." I had a great feeling about the project, so I did my homework and came up with about $35K budget to help to sell the property for over $1M.  The plan was then presented to a trustee who was very opened to my suggestions. I was sure that besides getting more for the property, it will also sell much faster.  Indeed, we worked with the agent really very hard and fast.  We created a great team. In about 3 weeks the property was put on the market. However the first "OPEN HOUSE" was cancelled.... as the property sold 2 days after the Realtors Tour for $1,2...
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By Marge Draper, REALTOR, Keller Williams Realty, Menlo Park CA
(Keller Williams Realty Palo Alto)
I've just started a business fan page on Facebook.   I'm having a lot of fun with it.  Right now I don't have a lot of real estate info on it because I want the page to reflect the mid-Peninsula area.  I find I'm doing mostly Menlo Park related information, probably because that's where I spend time.  However, I do intend to branch out.  It's a work in progress.
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By Marge Draper, REALTOR, Keller Williams Realty, Menlo Park CA
(Keller Williams Realty Palo Alto)
One of the first things to know about the Menlo Park market is that it exists in the shadow of the Palo Alto market.  The next blog I do will contrast and compare of the two markets.  Today's is about Menlo Park. In a recent article in the San Fransisco Chronicle, the Mortgage Bankers Association has reported that mortgage applications have risen 7% in the past week.  But here's the really important information.  Applications to refinance existing mortgages have risen 9% and application for new mortgages have fallen 2% in the past week.  They are down 35% since the same time last year.  Mortgages are at the lowest they have been since 1971!  The average mortgage rate for a conforming 30-year fixed loan is at about 4.58%. So what does that mean to the Buyer or Seller in Menlo Park?  Inte...
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