Menlo Park, CA Real Estate News

By Arn Cenedella
(Coldwell Banker)
Until today, Fannie Mae had a rule that they would not buy mortgages from borrowers who had five or more real estate loans - or perhaps more accurately stated - mortgages from borrows that had loans on five or more properties. Fannie Mae changed this rule today: Per Fannie Mae announcement 09-02: Multiple Mortgages to the Same BorrowerTo support prudent lending for housing investment, Fannie Mae is changing our current limit of four financed properties per borrower. We will allow five to ten financed properties per borrower, with certain eligibility and underwriting requirements, including a 720 minimum credit score and 70-75% maximum LTV/CLTV/HCLTV (depending on the transaction and property type). The requirements apply to any loan being delivered to Fannie Mae, regardless of whether F...
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Yes, the economy is weak and yes, we may not have seen the worst. But if you feel your employment is secure, if you buy within your financial means, and if you wish to make the San Francisco Peninsula your home, this is a good time to buy. Long-term, I think we can have confidence that the economy will recover and that our area will continue to be a major employment center. Prices are down in many areas - especially the more affordable entry-level neighborhoods. 30 year fixed rates are around 5%. The Senate has passed a proposal for a $15,000 tax credit for home buyers. This is promising. But I caution everyone that this is NOT LAW. The House and Senate will need to agree on the bill and we need to see the exact final form of the bill. Will there be income limits? The current $7500 cred...
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By Arn Cenedella
(Coldwell Banker)
Yesterday the Senate passed a $15,000 tax credit for home buyers. For some preliminary information, click here Of course the details may change once the House looks at this piece of legislation. My questions are: credit for all home buyers? or just first-time buyers? credit retroactive? I have seen some proposals to make credit retroactive to July 1, 2008 so buyers who bought last year may benefit. stay tuned, let's see what the House and Senate work out and then we can determine the final exact form of the bill. this bill will not help cure all of the RE Market ills but it will help and especially for those first-time buyers.
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By Arn Cenedella
(Coldwell Banker)
As Menlo Park contains only 1 zip code, this report will cover all areas within the City of Menlo Park - both west and east of HWY 101 and the unincorporated areas known as North Fair Oaks and the County Area along the Alameda near the world famous Dutch Goose! Where is the market in Menlo Park headed? The median list price in Menlo Park increased to $1,295,000. Average price per square foot in Palo Alto 94303 increased to $695. Average days on market increased to 104. 47% of the listings in Menlo Park have a price reduction. The current market action index for Menlo Park is 17 - below 30 is considered a buyers' market. Below you will find chart showing market action index by price range over the past 6 months. The price range is broken down into 4 quartiles: Highest has median price of...
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By Deirdre Sauvage, DRE:00847381
(Alain Pinel Realtors)
Today's blog takes a look at average sales price data  for both the Allied Arts/Downtown area of Menlo Park and the Willows/O'connor area of Menlo Park.  This data is pulled from Multiple Listing sales data and does not reflect any sales that may not have been reported to the MLS. It is based on single family home sales. The Willows/O'conner area had an average sales price of $1,278,000 in December 2007.  In December 2008, the average sales price was $1,118,000.  This data indicates a 13% adjustment  from December 2007 to December 2008. The Allied Arts/Downtown area had an average sales price of $1,551,000 in January 2008(no sales data reported for December 2007). In December 2008, the average sales price was $1,228,000. This data indicates a 21% adjustment  from January 2008 to Decembe...
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By Arn Cenedella
(Coldwell Banker)
Here is a review of the Willows neighborhood of Menlo Park, California residential real estate market in 2008: Median price increased to $1,212,250 in 2008 from $1,119,500 in 2007 - an 8.3% increase. Average price increased to $1,211,030 in 2008 from $1,182,940 in 2007 - an 2.4% increase. The number of sales decreased to 38 in 2008 from 58 in 2007 - a 34.5% decrease. Current number of active listings is 9 compared to 5 at the same date in 2007 - an increase of 80%. The sales per list price ratio increased to 101.6% in 2008 from 103.1% in 2007 - a decrease of 1.4%. Days on market increased to 33 days in 2008 from 26days in 2007 - an decrease of 24.8%. Days of inventory increased to about 85 days in 2008 from about 50 in 2007. Much of this data is shown in the charts below.
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By Arn Cenedella
(Coldwell Banker)
There were several very interesting properties on tour today in the Allied Arts neighborhood of Menlo Park. Allied Arts is a very charming neighborhood located just north of Stanford and within wlaking distance to downtown Menlo Park and Palo Alto - not to mention that landmark - the OASIS! 723 Partridge, Menlo Park $1,595,000 Two houses on one lot - one could say 2 houses for the price of 1! 9,550sf lot. Updated 3 bedroom 1 bath house in front and an older 2 bedroom 1 bath home in the rear. This would be a great way to get into Allied Arts at an affordable price. Live in one and rent the other out to help with the payments. This property is listed with Jim Byrnes. Right down the street is a newer only 1 year old home at 810 Partridge. This is one a 4 homes built on 2 lots back in 2008....
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By Arn Cenedella
(Coldwell Banker)
Here is a review of the Menlo Park, California residential real estate market in 2008: Median price increased to $1,392,500 in 2008 from $1,295,000 in 2007 - a 7.5% increase. Average price increased to $1,555,810 in 2008 from $1,455,860 in 2007 - a 6.9% increase. The number of sales decreased to 298 from 395 in 2007 - a 24.6% decrease. Current number of active listings is 86 compared to 75 at the same date in 2007 - an increase of 14.7%. The sales per list price ratio dropped to 99.6% in 2008 from 101.4% in 2007 - a decrease of 1.8%. Days on market increased to 37 days in 2008 from 31 days in 2007 - an increase of 19.9%. Days of inventory increased to nearly 120 days in 2008 from about 85 in 2007. For charts and more data
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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. Tour 01-13-09 Recap   Here is what I saw on tour today in Menlo Park:   1.  2123 Ashton Ave. $2,079,000 4bd/3 baths 2,700 sq. ft, 6,000 sq ft. lot. Listed by Maggie Heilman APR   Very nice new home with interesting finishes, not a beige spec house. Unfortunately it is next to a parking lot, but a great price for the size and quality.   800 Hermosa Way $3,675,000:  5 bed/4+ baths 5350 sq ft. 21,816 sq ft lot Listed by Don Yarkin   Best house on tour in my opinion! Gorgeous architecture, magnificent lot, just needs a little updating.   324 Yale Rd. $3,525,000 5 bedrooms 4+ baths, 4,064 sq ft, 7,500 sq ft. lot Listed by Steve Niethammer Zane McGreggor   Outside of house is Craftsman, inside is high tech modern. Fabulous basement!   723 Partridge Ave. $1,595,000. 2787 sq ft....
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By Marcy Moyer, Probate, Trust, and Investment Specialist
(eXp Realty of California Silicon Valley Probate, Trust, and Investment Sales)
A New Kind of Real Estate Office   A few weeks ago I announced I was joining Intero Real Estate Services to help open a new office in Menlo Park. I tried in my own awkward way to explain what it was we were trying to do. The office is in the middle of the main downtown street, there are sofas to chat on, computers for public uses as well as wireless internet service, an art gallery, and an open invitation for the public to come in, research real estate, ask an agent questions, and spend time in a warm, comfortable environment while planning for their future.     Today in Inman news Ashfaq Munshi wrote a wonderful article saying that real estate offices that had cubicles, and conference rooms, and a little waiting area were agent centric, not consumer centric. A good example of a consume...
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By Marcy Moyer, Probate, Trust, and Investment Specialist
(eXp Realty of California Silicon Valley Probate, Trust, and Investment Sales)
  Ten Reasons To Love Menlo Park   1.Schools, Schools, Schools! Menlo Park, like Palo Alto and Mountain View, has some really outstanding schools. Students in this district are consistently high performers and many gain admission to top universities after high school.  Public schools include Menlo Park and Las Lomitas, and private schools in the area include Trinity, Phillips Booth, St. Raymonds, St. Joseph, Sacred Heart, and Peninsula School. 2. Burgess Park. Located next the Civic Center, this park features a little league baseball field, a regulation baseball field, an open play field, lighted tennis courts, a soccer field, picnic areas, and children's playgrounds. The Burgess pool, rec center, sports center, and skate park are adjacent to the main park area. There's also a lovely an...
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By Marcy Moyer, Probate, Trust, and Investment Specialist
(eXp Realty of California Silicon Valley Probate, Trust, and Investment Sales)
I'ved Moved to Intero Real Estate Services in Menlo Park, Ca.   I have exciting news to tell. I have moved to Intero Real Estate Services in order to help  open a new office in Menlo Park. It is at the corner on Santa Cruz Ave. and Crane St. which is right in the middle of downtown Menlo Park. We should be up and running in 2-3 weeks, right after the first of the year.   This office is awesome! It is set up like a hotel lobby with comfortable furniture, computers for the public to use, an in house professional art gallery, and computer screens in the windows show casing local and vacation listings on one screen, and the agents' web sites and blogs on the other screen. It's an opportunity that could not be refused and I am so looking forward to being able spend my days meeting with and t...
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By Deirdre Sauvage, DRE:00847381
(Alain Pinel Realtors)
Is the Real Estate Market Half Empty or Half Full?   Like all things in life, this depends upon one's perspective.  I thought it might be interesting to look at the data for the past twenty four months and compare Menlo Park City sales data overall with both the Allied Arts/Downtown Area and the Willows/Oconner Area.    Here is what the data indicates per MLS data.    Willows/Oconner Area.   Aug 2006 to July 2007   75 new listings for the period with an average sales price in July 2007 of $1,187,000. From Aug 2007 to July 2008 there were 59 new listings during this period with an average sales price in July 2008 of $1,446,000.    Allied Arts/Downtown Area.  Aug 2006 to July 2007 46 new listings for this period with an average sales price in July 2007 of $1,406,000. From Aug 2007 to July...
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By Keith Rockmael
(Intero Real Estate Services)
Down in Menlo Park, where Tesla Motors recently opened its industrial chic showroom, people might not think “Who Killed the Electric Car?” but rather “Who Can Afford the Electric Car?”. Nevertheless we’re totally juiced about the nearby showroom that displays a half dozen juicy Tesla Roadster electric car models that make the Prius look like a gas guzzling Hummer. It’s our checkbooks that aren’t as excited. If you happen to be one of the numerous stars like Matt Damon or green politicians (like Arnold Schwarzenegger or Gavin Newsome) then it’s easy to tool around in one of these electric beauties but with the current $98,000 price tag (going up to $109,000 for the 2009 model) it isn’t exactly priced like a Buick. Even, with the cash, the waiting list sits at about 1100. At least these g...
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By Deirdre Sauvage, DRE:00847381
(Alain Pinel Realtors)
Menlo Park is made up of several "micro markets" which tend to draw strong demand depending upon buyer preference.  Today's blog looks at recent market activity in both the Willows/O'connor Area  and Allied Arts/Downtown Menlo Park. Average Sales Price:  In June 2007 average sales price data indicated a $1,516.000 average sales price for  Allied Arts/Downtown Menlo Park.   In May 2008 this average sales price figure was $1,476.000.  Currently this market has less than  one month's supply of inventory  at current sales rates.  Average Sales Price:  In June 2007 average sales price data indicated a $1,271,000 average sales price for The Willows/O'conner Area. In May 2008 the average sales price in this area was $1,447.000.  Currently this market has three months inventory at current sales...
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By Deirdre Sauvage, DRE:00847381
(Alain Pinel Realtors)
The mid peninsula market is driven by  job growth and limited land.  More to the point, in order for new construction to take place it is typically necessary to tear down an existing structure.  This makes new construction expensive.  As the demand for housing continues  with job growth and population growth   our limited supply of land will continue to be impacted . It is important to know what activity is taking place in all the local "micro markets."  For example, the average sales price in San Mateo County during the month of May was $1,195.000. Statistics   indicate 5.2 months of unsold inventory.  The City of Menlo Park had an average sales price of $1,504,000 and 2.9 months of unsold inventory. Breaking down the numbers  even furthur, one would need to look at individual market d...
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By Deirdre Sauvage, DRE:00847381
(Alain Pinel Realtors)
I am frequently asked by sellers my opinion on staging. Staging a home can return large dividends. Staging does not have to be unduly expensive. To better assist my clients, I have a team of stagers, handymen and painters who can make the process as painless as possible.  We are in a market where buyers are looking carefully at price and condition. Staging is definitely an option that sellers should consider and in most cases will be well worth the effort.
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By Jason Sewald
(Coldwell Banker)
It is always a delightful occasion when you see a first time home buyer making their first purchase.  I wanted to share with some prospective first time buyers what I belive to be some key areas you need to make sure that you have down pact so you will not be in a ton of pain if something in your life goes south. Three key points during the search and offer time: Please make sure that you are approved to buy a house in the price range you are looking to be in.  Especially in this market, it is becoming more and more evident that some buyers are stretching themselves thin.  Secondary loans of the traditional 20% down payment are becoming a thing of the past.  Now we are looking for buyers to put at least 25% down.  When you and your Realtor find the right home, if you do not know anythin...
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Being in the state of California, all areas of government are expected to cut their expenditures by 10% for the fiscal year due to a $20 Billion deficit in the state budget.  Some areas have seen this happen during cyclical periods in our economy.  For any business, the ideal situation from an employment perspective by an HR department / management is to educate and maintain a top tier workforce in their company.  A school should have no less a perspective than that. My personal opinion is that our education should never be cut and we are paying the teachers much less than they are worth which has a two sided affect: (1) they cannot afford to live in the areas where they work all the time. (2) we lose great teachers to private institutions and other industries because the pay is too sma...
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Over the last few years and in certain regions of the country, we have been able to see a mortgage crisis occur, homes close due to no mortgage payments and sellers walking away and abandoning their homes in order to get out of the financial pinch so many were sold into.Here is my take:A lot of the people who moved forward and made purchases were either victims or setting themselves up to fail and here is why:One:  We are starting to see and hear rumors that a lot of people who were sold homes in the last few years made good moves for the time.  In various publications, such as the Wall Street Journal, I can recall reading how a group of buyers who acquired real estate through one firm in northern San Mateo County were unaware of what they were buying because the people selling it to th...
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