Monthly Weather Report – October

No tricks this past month, only treats! While other teams might be haunted by the fall selling season, we’ve been spooktacularly successful! The main theme you’ll find this month (other than ghouls and gobblins) is that we’re working with multiple clients who are both sellers and buyers. Selling an existing home and then purchasing a new home can be a complicated process, but we’re smoothly guiding our clients to the finish line.

2508 Wilde Avenue, Pleasanton – Sold for $2,255,000

This wow house went pending after just 8 days and sold for $60,000 over list price! It was a record high sale for the neighborhood. Virtual Tour.

 

1517 Whispering Oaks Way, Pleasanton – Sold for $1,353,858

The buyers of 2508 Wilde Avenue were the sellers of this beautiful Walnut Hills home. This rarely available Carriage House model didn’t last long on the market. Virtual Tour.

 

3839 Antonini Way, Pleasanton – Sold for $2,740,000

Originally starting as a pocket listing, or off market listing, this gorgeous Ruby Hill Mediterranean inspired home now belongs to a happy family. Virtual Tour.

 

480 Montori Court, Pleasanton – Sold for $1,569,000

The sellers of this Ruby Hill home are the buyers of 3839 Antonini Way. In order to purchase Antonini, they needed to sell their home. We were able to not only sell their home, but have a 7 day close! Virtual Tour.

2425 Heritage Oaks Drive, Alamo – Pending

We’re representing the buyers of this home, who happen to be the sellers of 3839 Antonini Way. They had liked a few other properties, but this one has won them over. Offered at $2,395,000, the views go on for miles.

1121 Navalle Court, Pleasanton – Pending

Offered at $1,299,000, we’re representing the sellers of this Vintage Hills home. Located in a highly-sought-after neighborhood, it didn’t stay available on the market for long! Virtual Tour.

14 Arreba Street, Martinez – Pending

We’re representing the sellers of this adorable home. What started out as their starter home, turned into an updated charmer offered at $479,000. Virtual Tour.

 

1824 Ohlone Heights, Clayton – Pending

The sellers of 14 Arreba Street are purchasing this house, listed at $839,999. They wanted to make the upgrade from their cute single story to this completely updated Clayton home.

2245 Doccia Court – Pending

Offered at $1,800,000 we’re representing the sellers of this French Country inspired home. We worked hard to find the perfect buyers for this property. Now our clients will be able to rest easy in their new construction, Brentwood home. Virtual Tour.

We love being able to represent sellers and buyers, working to make their dreams come true!

Marketing and selling high-end Luxury Homes in the Tri Valley is what we do best, but on this real estate journey, it’s all about the people we meet on the way, connecting them to each other and the places they call HOME.

2842 W Ruby Hill Drive, Pleasanton

Gorgeous Custom Estate Home in Ruby Hill!

Open House Friday 10-1, Saturday/Sunday 1-4

Built in 2001, this gorgeous custom estate home sits on one of the 15 original premium lots at the prestigious gated Ruby Hill golf course community, just steps from the 8th hole of the Jack Nicklaus designed course. Luxurious amenities and custom features throughout, with a well designed floor plan and highly upgraded entertainer’s backyard. Top rated Pleasanton schools and proximity to Historic Downtown, award winning Livermore Valley Wineries, San Francisco, and Silicon Valley. Monthly dues of $215 include resort style HOA amenities.

Highlights of this home include striking Formal Entry with custom hand crafted front doors and column accents. Elegant Formal Living and Dining Rooms with hardwood flooring and wine closet with hand crafted doors, complementing the main entry doors. Gourmet Kitchen and Breakfast Nook feature distressed Alder cabinetry, granite counter tops and travertine backsplash, top of the line appliances, built-in coffee bar, oversized island with bar seating, walk-in pantry, and travertine tile flooring. Adjacent Family Room with fireplace and granite topped wet bar, distressed Alder cabinetry with media niche, and 50 gallon salt water fish tank. Luxurious Main Level Master Bedroom with coffered ceiling, slider to backyard, and pass-through to Executive Office. Master Bathroom features his & hers vanities, Jacuzzi tub, oversized stall shower, and large walk-in closet. Sun Room with Half Bathroom and Laundry Room with sink and storage round out the main floor. Upstairs features oversized Bonus Room (easily converted to additional Bedroom or second Master Bedroom Suite) and 3 generously sized Upstairs Bedrooms with 2 Full Bathrooms. Smart Home System with built-in speakers, Pella dual pane windows, crown molding, recessed lighting, ceiling fans, stone accented doorways and alcoves, multi-zone HVAC, central vacuum, and so much more! Highly upgraded, private Entertainer’s Backyard with 30′ x 25′ Outdoor Cabana with Kitchen, fireplace, and commercial grade heaters. Custom designed lower level temperature controlled Wine Cellar with 2100 bottle storage, hand carved imported door, and spacious tasting area. Pool and Spa, Fire-Pit, Sports Court, and Fenced Yard with Gated Access to Golf Course. Country club amenities (with membership) including social club and golf club.

Contact us for more information.

For club membership information click here.

Pleasanton is a wonderful place to live!

Marketing and selling high-end Luxury Homes in the Tri Valley is what we do best, but on this real estate journey, it’s all about the people we meet on the way, connecting them to each other and the places they call HOME.

Pleasanton Real Estate Agents

Congrats to our local winners!

Pleasanton Chamber Announces Community Service Awards Honorees

Excellence, philanthropy, green practices–all are being recognized. Do you know anyone who’s getting an award?

Pleasanton Chamber Announces Community Service Awards Honorees

The Pleasanton Chamber of Commerce will recognize those deserving individuals, groups and businesses who have demonstrated excellence and community leadership in business, volunteer activities and achievement within the Pleasanton community on this evening, March 25, beginning at 6 p.m. at the Firehouse Arts Center.

The public is invited to attend. The evening includes a hosted bar and heavy hors’ doeuvres as well as a silent auction followed by the awards presentation. Cost to attend is $35 per person and tickets are on sale now

Award recipients include:

Hoge Fenton Jones & Appel, Inc., Business Philanthropy Award: For businesses that have provided philanthropic service beyond the scope of normal business activity.

Ritter Investments, LLC, Excellence in Business Award: For businesses that have made a positive impact in the Pleasanton community through their achievement within the scope of normal business activity.

Cassidy Turley / DTZ, Excellence in Service Award: For organizations that have contributed to Pleasanton.

Read more…

Pleasanton Principals speak out…

Principals reflect on their time at Pleasanton schools | All three agree building relationships is paramount

Glenn Wohltmann | Pleasanton Weekly | June 7, 2013 | link

Pleasanton’s three departing veteran principals all have different backgrounds, but they share a common message: The key to their success is building relationships.

“The way we’re most successful with students is getting to know them and getting them to connect with us,” said John Whitney, who’s retiring after 14 years at Pleasanton Middle School. He was principal at Donlon Elementary before that, and served as dean at PMS before moving to Donlon.

One of the ways Whitney’s been known to reach out is through music, playing guitar with students and getting others to dance.

Both high school principals, Foothill’s John Dwyer, who’s headed to a high school in west San Jose, and Jim Hansen, who’s retiring, agreed that success is about more than just the students.

Dwyer is leaving after spending nine years at the school, where he started as a vice principal. He’s been principal for six years.

“Everything is built on relationships,” Dwyer said. “You need to build solid relationships with staff, parents, kids and the community.”

Hansen has been principal at Amador since 2010, and spent 11 years before that as principal at Harvest Park Middle School. Give him five minutes, and he loves to talk about accomplishments — not his own, but those of his students.

“It’s pretty exciting when, for example, our baseball team won Saturday,” he said. “They’re moving on to the next level of North Coast Section play. It’s kind of cool to see how excited the kids get and be able to be involved in that, to see the excitement of the kids that came in second in the nation in ‘We the People,’ just how hard they worked to get there.

“It’s just gratifying as a principal to see kids doing so well and thriving.”

Hansen also complimented the school’s drama and mock trial team.

“In this school, excellence in the classroom is the norm, but even beyond the classroom, just being able to watch kids excel. Not only do they excel in competitive environments, but they excel in community service,” he said.

Whitney said the best part of the job is being part of a team.

“Being part of a large team of dedicated, passionate people who want to make a difference in the lives of kids — that’s awesome,” he said.

Dwyer agreed.

“You get to work with wonderful kids, great teachers and faculty,” Dywer said.

He said the hardest part of being a principal is trying to achieve balance.

“Between the time you spend at school and the time you want to spend at school, because it’s a great place to be, but also looking at your own personal family life and trying to find that balance, it’s a time consuming job,” he said. “For your personal health and sanity, you’ve got to find that balance. We’re all challenged by that, trying to find balance in our lives.”

Both Whitney and Hansen touched on recent economic struggles as among the hardest parts of the job.

“Overall, the funding situation has been so unpredictable,” Whitney said. “We’re used to doing educational instruction at certain levels of staffing and financial support. With the budgeting challenges, we were bound and determined to continue that. We did everything we could to continue the highest levels of quality.”

For Hansen, less money meant having to say “no” more often.

“If there’s a request for funding a project or funding an event or something that’s near and dear to the staff or the students and the funds aren’t there to do that, that’s difficult,” he said.

They said working with problem students can be tough, too.

“Once in a while, you try everything you can for a specific student but there’s something in the way of getting them where they need to be,” Whitney said.

Hansen said his approach to discipline has always been less about punishment than it is about helping a student realize the consequences of her or his actions.

“Having that conversation with a student about what they did and what the consequences are — involving the family in that conversation, typically — I know that I’ve been successful if the child doesn’t do it again, if there’s a sense that he understands,” he said. “When a kid walks out of the office after you’ve had that conversation and after you’ve given him the consequence and he says, ‘Thank you,’ or she says, ‘Thank you’ — and they usually do — I think it’s been successful.

“There are times you have to be heavy handed with suspensions and expulsions but I really think kids come away from those experiences having learned a huge life lesson, so it’s really about the life lesson.”

All three offered simple advice for the next person to step into their job.

“Establish a real solid foundation of positive relationships with all staff — teaching staff, classified staff, kids, community. When it comes time to make changes, that becomes much more difficult, I think,” Dwyer said. “If you want to be successful with the changes you want to make or moving the school forward, you have to spend a lot of time building those relationships.”

Jason Krolikowski, an assistant principal from the San Ramon Valley Unified School District, was hired as Foothill High’s new principal.

Hansen’s successor at Amador Valley has yet to be selected.

His advice for the next principal is “learn the culture, get to know the staff and the students and the parents and understand what this community is about, what direction it’s already going.

“Obviously,” he said, “that person is going to want to add his own ideas in terms of that, but make sure he understands the direction the place is already going before implementing any changes.”

Whitney said he’s already confident the incoming principal at PMS, Aileen Parsons, will do a great job.

“She knows our school well,” he said. His single piece of advice: “You just have to enjoy the moment.”

The future of Pleasanton’s past…

City Council, public debate whether to make downtown Pleasanton a ‘historic district’

Chris De Benedetti | Contra Costa Times | June 6, 2013 | link
A historic home on Neal Street in Pleasanton, Calif., on Thursday, June 6, 2013. A lengthy…

PLEASANTON — Conflicting viewpoints on how to maximize downtown’s tree-lined charm dominated a debate among council members and dozens of residents at a recent City Council meeting, where the Historic Preservation Task Force presented a slate of options.

Just about everyone agrees that the area’s quaint mix of old-fashioned homes and storefronts is teeming with historic qualities and should be used to attract more tourism and business.

On one side, preservationists say that designating the area around Main and First streets a historic district will achieve that goal. Others say that will hurt business by cluttering the planning process with regulation and bureaucracy.

“There are some people in the community who feel that individual property rights are more important than preserving each and every old building,” said Brian Dolan, Pleasanton’s community development director.

At Tuesday’s council meeting, Dolan delivered the task force’s wide-ranging list of options, including whether to re-brand the city’s oldest neighborhood as a historic zone. The seven-member task force, comprised of two planning commissioners and five residents, created the list after meeting 10 times in the past 15 months, Dolan said.

Most of the council members — who are not expected to vote on the issue until the end of the year — responded by saying they want to protect individual property rights as much as preserve history.

The council directed staff employees to clarify the city’s existing policies and guidelines and complete a survey of the older downtown homes to determine how many of them might meet the criteria for being considered historic.

“It helps to streamline things,” Mayor Jerry Thorne said, adding that he favors “some modest preservation without getting into the violation of property rights.”

Thorne said he is not in favor of creating a historic district, but cautioned that no decisions have been made. About 50 downtown merchants recently submitted a petition to the city, saying that creating a historical district would create “unnecessary local regulations that will negatively affect current and future business and investment prosperity.”

Andrew Shaper was one of 20 speakers at the council meeting who echoed the sentiment.

“I think the existing downtown specific plan guidelines are just fine,” Shaper said. “If they haven’t been implemented properly, more regulations won’t fix that.”

Councilwoman Karla Brown said downtown Pleasanton is “extremely valuable” and worth preserving. “Owning a historic downtown home is not for everyone,” Brown said. “But for people who do want it, they should be allowed to have their home and district protected.”

Bonnie Krichbaum, a longtime Pleasanton resident who serves on the task force, advocated for a historic district. “Our heritage homes and buildings, with proper care, will enhance the pride and quality of life for all of us and for the future generations, too,” she said.

Krichbaum and several other speakers lauded Livermore’s preservation efforts, saying that embracing its past has helped the city’s downtown grow and prosper.

The good news for both sides is that they have time yet to lobby the council. The task force soon will reconvene to consider the council’s suggestions, and its next slate of ideas will go through another round of hearings before the Planning Commission and the City Council.

“The task force still has some work to do and when it comes back to us, we’ll have to decide what we want to do,” Thorne said. “It’s still a long way from completion.”

Paying our tabs…

Mortgages Being Paid Off At Fastest Pace Since 2005

Jann Swanson / Mortgage News Daily / Oct 3 2012 / link

Mortgages were prepaid at a higher rate in August than at any time since 2005 according to the August Mortgage Monitor report issued by Lender Processing Services (LPS) on Wednesday. Prepayments are usually an indicator of home refinancing and the prepayments in August were higher even than those seen in the “mini-refinance waves” of both 2009 and 2010.

LPS Applied Analytics Senior Vice President Herb Blecher said that the impact of the prepayment increase has been both pronounced and broad based.  “Our analysis showed an increase in prepayment activity across the entire combined loan-to-value (CLTV) continuum,” he said. “While those loans with equity, particularly 80 percent CLTV and below, have much higher prepayment speeds, the impact of the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) was also clear. Loans with a CLTV of more than 120 percent saw the greatest uptick – a 65 percent increase for the year to date. However, it is also becoming evident that loans originated in 2007 and earlier have diminished prospects for conventional refinancing opportunities. Fewer than 30 percent of these vintages remain both active and current, and on average, they are marked by larger negative equity positions and lower credit scores. That said HARP might yet represent a viable refi option for a good portion of this pool.”


The U.S. loan delinquency rate fell 2.30 percent during the month to a rate of 6.87 percent. The current rate is 10.6 percent below that of one year ago, 7.69 percent.  Continuing its decline, the inventory of loans 90 or more days delinquent is now almost 50 percent off its January 2010 peak. The bulk of the remaining inventory has now been past due for more than nine months, with a full 43 percent past due for 12 months or more. There are, however still, signs of ongoing modification activity in late-stage delinquency, with loans six or more months past due but not yet in foreclosure showing the greatest increase in cures from the prior month’s status.

The foreclosure presale inventory rate was down 1.00 percent from July and 2.0 percent from a year earlier to 4.04 percent.  This is the lowest point for the inventory since October 2010 but the average is misleading.  In judicial foreclosure states the inventory is at a near record high of 6.49 percent while it is only 2.28 percent in non-judicial foreclosure states.  Foreclosure sales were up 12 percent nationally in August, but remain 33 percent below their September 2010 peak.

Origination volume has recovered substantially from the low points reached in each of the last three years but still remains well below historic levels.  July originations totaled 655,000, up 3 percent from June and 39.0 percent higher than one year ago.

Mortgage Monitor statistics arederived from the LPS database of loan level residential mortgage data and performance information on nearly 40 million loans across the spectrum of credit products.

Great news for homeowners…

Over Half-Million Underwater Mortgages Turned Positive in Q2

Jann Swanson, Mortgage News Daily, Sep 12 2012, link

The proportion of homeowners with negative or near equity in their homes declined in the second quarter of the year with 600,000 borrowers reaching a state of positive equity during the quarter making a total of 1.3 million so far this year.  Negative equity refers to a mortgage with a balance greater than the value of the home.

CoreLogic released a report Wednesday morning showing that 10.8 million homeowners, or 22.3 percent of those with a mortgage, were underwater at the end of the quarter, down from 11.4 million or 23.7 percent at the end of the first quarter.  An additional 2.3 borrowers* were classed as near-negative with less than 5 percent equity in their home.  Twenty-seven percent of all mortgaged homes nationwide had negative and near-negative equity mortgages at the end of the second quarter compared to 28.5 percent a quarter earlier.

The dollar value of negative balances was $689 billion at the end of the quarter, down $2 billion from Q1.  CoreLogic attributed the decline largely to improving house prices.  Despite their negative equity position 84.9 percent of these homeowners continue to pay their mortgages, a slight increase from 84.8 percent in the previous period.  In a report earlier this week, LPS noted that negative equity is, however a leading indicator of mortgage delinquencies.  The CoreLogic chart below reinforces that correlation.

“The level of negative equity continues to improve with more than 1.3 million households regaining a positive equity position since the beginning of the year,” said Mark Fleming, chief economist for CoreLogic. “Surging home prices this spring and summer, lower levels of inventory, and declining REO sale shares are all contributing to the nascent housing recovery and declining negative equity.”

“Nearly 2 million more borrowers in negative equity would be above water if house prices nationally increased by 5 percent,” said Anand Nallathambi, president and CEO of CoreLogic. “We currently expect home prices to continue to trend up in August. Were this trend to be sustained we could see significant reductions in the number of borrowers in negative equity by next year.”

CoreLogic said that 6.6 million underwater borrowers hold only a single mortgage compared to 4.2 million who hold both first and second mortgage liens.  The average homeowner in the first group has average underwater equity of $51,000 and account for $689 billion in aggregate negative equity; those in the second group are upside down by $84,000 for a total of $353 billion.

The bulk of negative equity is concentrated in the low end of the housing market. For example, for low-to-mid value homes (less than $200,000), the negative equity share is 32 percent, almost twice the 17 percent for borrowers with home values greater than $200,000.

At the end of the second quarter, just over 17 million borrowers had LTVs between 80 and 125 percent which would qualify them for refinancing through the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) under the original requirements first introduced in March 2009. The lifting of the 125 percent LTV cap via HARP 2.0 opens the door to another 5 million borrowers.

Nevada had the highest percentage of mortgaged properties in negative equity at 59 percent, followed by Florida (43 percent), Arizona (40 percent), Georgia (36 percent) and Michigan (33 percent). These top five states combined account for 34.1 percent of the total amount of negative equity in the U.S.

*Elsewhere in the report CoreLogic states, “As of Q2 2012, there were 1.8 million borrowers who were only 5 percent underwater. If home prices continue increasing over the next year, these borrowers could move out of a negative equity position” This number appears to be reflected in Nallathambi’s quote.

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