There’s a lot of talk going on in the Realtor community about Lots of Realtors are upset with the inaccurate estimates that Zillow provides on home value. I guess I see Zillow as just another tool. I offer free home valuations on my website which I look at as a way to get Sold prices for a particular neighborhood. The problem with calculating a home value is that it can only be as good as the info provided. In SLO County, the tax records don’t even store # of bedrooms, square feet of home, or size of lot. That doesn’t provide enough info to do an accurate analysis no matter what pricing algorithm you use.

Zillow does publish what they believe is their accuracy rate per county. You can see it here. They admit the data quantity for SLO County is lacking and say that for 66% of the estimates for SLO County are within 10%. So, for a home correctly valued at $700,000, you have a 66% chance that Zillow would be in the ballpark between $630,000-$770,000. There is also a 34% chance that the Zillow estimate would be outside this range. Unfortunately, if you are one of the 34% and Zillow says your home is valued at $850,000, you’ve been given an unrealistic estimate.

But, I use Zillow knowing that it’s just one piece of data, not the answer.

Last week I posted that SLO was included in the Top 10 places to buy a home (based on potential appreciation) from CNN Money. Today, they released the top 10 places NOT to buy. Multiple cities in the Central Valley made the top 10. Article here

The Tribune printed an article in the Sunday paper about home buyers turning to the Internet to search for a home. I must say, I’m surprised. The Tribune usually doesn’t talk about the impact of the Internet on real estate because it is still trying to get agents to advertise their homes in their paper. I would have been more surprised if they had included the latest statistics on how many people found their home through the newspaper, which is 3% (down from 15% a few years ago).

San Luis Obispo makes CNN money’s Top 10 cities of where to buy. They predict that home prices will raise 40% over the next 5 years. They also state the median home price is $440,000 (where are they looking???). The description below sounds kinda scary. Full article here

SLO-Town, as the locals call it, is on the development fast track. It’s in the middle of the last semi-rural stretch of central California coastline, and it’s also home to the state’s rising star of wine production, Paso Robles, where even French vintners are buying property.
The Median home price in Paso Robles has shot up by more than 100% since 2000. And according to local developer Peter Laughlin, commercial land has skyrocketed from $3 to $20 a square foot since 2001.
Yet the natural amenities, proximity to Southern California, and relatively low prices support forecasts of a continuing surge. Thousands of retirement-age boomers, it’s said, will sell their SoCal homes for cheaper digs in SLO. Anti-development sentiment also helps. “They’re not zoning quickly enough for the demand,” Laughlin says. “Either they have to allow more homes or prices will go through the roof.”

From MSN Money- Mortgage Loan Center- Here are the mortgage annual percentage rates as posted today. National Averages(APR): Low – 5.71% Average – 6.31% High – 7.17%

Here on the Central Coast we are again on the high side of Average. We’ll see if this is going to be a trend.

When chosing who to work with for your purchase mortgage or refinance, I appreciate the position a GOOD Mortgage Broker will have for your loan search. Brokers allow many different banks and funding companies to compete for your loan. GOOD Brokers shop many (at least 5) different sources and generally some larger funders (banks) to ensure the rate, program and terms for your loan are the best for your situation. You benefit when working with a broker rather than walking into “a bank” and simply taking what they offer, brokers shop around on your behalf. When working with a trusted mortgage broker like Team Mortgage, you get that benefit.

It looks we won’t have a store open on Sunday that sells Macs any time soon. According to today’s Tribune, the Apple store in downtown SLO is on hold. Apple doesn’t talk about upcoming stores so only they know what they are going to do. I bet there are some happier people at a store on South Higuera today!

So…how is October shaping up?

Through the first 23 days, here’s where we’re at:

New Listings – 503
Price Reductions – 858
Pendings – 305

Both expireds and withdrawn/cancellations are up, helping to reduce the inventory:
Expireds – 317
Withdrawn/cancelled – 324