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Mary Elliott's Blog

April 30, 2014

Quarterly Market Report - Q1 2014

Mary Elliott

Q1 2014 San Mateo

SM Q1 2014

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RESOURCES
pdf San Mateo 2014 Q1 Report

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April 16, 2014

Happy Easter

Mary Elliott
Happy Easter
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February 14, 2014

Quaterly Market Report - Q4 2013

Mary Elliott

Quarterly Market Report Q4 2013

Quarterly Market Report Q4 2013 (2)

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January 31, 2014

Happy Year of the Horse

Mary Elliott
2014 Chinese New Year
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January 24, 2014

Mavericks Surf Contest

Mary Elliott

Two dozen of the world’s best surfers are competing today at Mavericks on the Half Moon Bay Coast.  Watch the thrilling competition live here:

http://universalsports.com/2014/01/22/2014-mavericks-invitational/

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January 21, 2014

How to Buy a Home in a Seller's Market

Mary Elliott

During a shortage of inventory, homes that are well priced or in a highly desirable neighborhood often receive more than one purchase offer.  In San Mateo County there was less than one month of inventory available for sale in December, 2013.  Given current inventory levels, the potential for multiple offers is expected to continue into the beginning of 2014.

How should a buyer strengthen their offer when there are potential multiple offers?

While purchase price is extremely important in the offer, a well prepared and presented offer can sometimes edge out the highest monetary offer.  Aside from purchase price, what should a buyer include with their offer for serious consideration by the seller?

Build rapport before you submit an offer

The impression you make on a seller often begins well before you even decide to submit an offer on their home.  How much notice do you give a seller before requesting an appointment to see their home?  Is your agent careful to lock all the doors and secure the home at the conclusion of your visit?  Are you careful where you park when you arrive to view the home so you do not inconvenience the neighbors?  At this stage the sellers may not yet know your name, but you are making an impression with your visit to their home.

Do your homework

Carefully review all disclosures and reports provided by the seller.  Thoroughly investigate financing options available to you.  Understanding the appraisal process and its impact on the amount of money you can borrow is extremely important in an escalating market. Make certain your agent is communicating read more...

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January 14, 2014

Saving for your Down Payment

Mary Elliott
Credit: Microsoft Office Clip Art

The first step towards purchasing your own home is to save for your down payment.  With our local market values, this can be a daunting task.  Here are a few suggestions to help you get started.

Estimate how much you need to save

As you begin to think about purchasing a home, you will familiarize yourself with the local communities and available housing.  After researching the market you will determine a price range goal based on your wants, needs, and income.  Ideally you will set a savings goal of 20% of the purchase price.  While there are various loan programs requiring different percentages for a down payment on the purchase of a home, a traditional mortgage generally requires 20% of the purchase price in order to receive the best possible interest rate and to avoid private mortgage insurance.

Determine the timeline for your goal

Once you have determined your target down payment amount, set a timeline to reach this specific goal.  If you will be saving for your down payment for five years, divide your goal by five.  This number is the amount you will need to save each year to reach your goal.  Next, divide the annual amount by 12.  This is the amount to save each month to reach your goal.  You may figure out that the amount you need to save each month to reach your goal is a challenge, but this may help you to figure extra ways to save.

Create a separate savings account

Set up a separate savings account for your down payment goal, and contribute regularly to this account.    Putting the funds aside in a separate account will make it more difficult to “dip” into the savings for other expenses.  You may also wish to set up an automatic transfer to your down payment savings account.

Put your savings to work

If you have a longer timeframe before you will need to access your down payment funds for a home purchase, you have several options  read more...

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January 08, 2014

Multiple Offers at Record Highs

Mary Elliott
Multiple Offers Blog Photo

According to the California Association of Realtors (CAR), 72% of all home sales in California in 2013 involved multiple offers. This staggering rate was the highest in the past 15 years.

In San Mateo County, the number of properties offered for sale was down 25.2% for the year. The lack of inventory was a significant factor in generating multiple offers.

Other factors influencing the competition for properties offered for sale include:

  • 82% of Investors who purchased property in 2013 indicated they would retain the purchase as rental property, while 18% purchased with the intent to “flip” the property and return the inventory to the sales market. The inventory staying off the market as rental property will decrease the available sales inventory into 2014.
  • The share of International buyers grew from 5.8% in 2012 to 8.0% in 2013, with 36% of this buyer group paying all cash for their real estate purchases.
  • With the price of homes increasing, equity sales have increased sharply since 2012. More equity in the sale of a property translates into a larger down payment for the next purchase. Expect more sellers to offer their home for sale in 2014, and to repurchase after the sale of their existing property.
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December 17, 2013

Stellar Crab Season on the Half Moon Bay Coast

Mary Elliott
Commercial Crab Fishing

On the West Coast, fresh Dungeness crab is a local delicacy enjoyed during the holiday season.  These large, hard-shell crabs with a sweet taste and flakey texture are abundant in the Half Moon Bay area, and can be purchased fresh directly from the boat as fisherman bring in their daily catch, or cooked and cleaned from your favorite market.

A local Dungeness Crab FishermanDungeness crabs live in the Pacific Ocean from Northern California to Alaska.  In the San Francisco Bay Area the season typically kicks off in November and ends in June, while about 80 percent of the Bay Area’s Dungeness is brought in by the end of the year.  Later in the season our markets usually receive crabs from Oregon and Washington.

The cost of the crab depends on season and supply.  When the crab is local and in high supply, costs are significantly lower than when crab’s flown into the area or in strong demand.  Now is the perfect time to enjoy Dungeness crab in the Bay Area.

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December 05, 2013

Quaterly Market Report - Q3 2013

Mary Elliott

 

Q3 2013 Report 1

 

Q3 2013 Report 2
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December 03, 2013

Welcome

Mary Elliott

Welcome to my personal blog. Stay tuned for personalized insights about current real estate trends, local traditions, and market analysis for buyers and sellers.

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