Silicon Valley Search

We’ve teamed with another Realtor team in the SF Bay Area so that we can offer a powerful home search experience for Buyers and Sellers in Silicon Valley too. The Silicon Valley city pages have a similar MLS Search menu to what we just added to the Central Coast search pages.

Go to the Sunnyvale Real Estate page and you’ll have access to the Siicon Valley MLS Menu so you can search other cities in the area.

We will also be adding other areas with similar search capabilities in the upcoming weeks. Stay Tuned!

New MLS Search Menu

In our efforts to provide you with the best information about local real estate while making the info as easy as possible to access, we are excited to announce our new MLS Search menu. This menu is now included on all property searches and property detail pages (click on this property page to see it).

The New MLS Search Menu allows you to choose from the following by just pointing and clicking:

– MLS Form Search
Choose either basic, advanced, address, and MLS number search forms.

MLS Map Search
From here, you can jump to different city web pages to display the MLS Map Search. You can also use the neighborhood menu next to the map to easily display different areas within a city.

– REO/Foreclosure Listings
From here, you can choose to see REO listings in the city of your choice.

– Short Sale Listings
Same as REOs, just for short sales.

– New Listings
From this menu choice, you can choose a type of property (single family, condo, REO, short sale, mutlifamily, and Lots/land), then choose the city, and then either listings from the past day, 3 days ago, or 7 days ago.

– Specialty Properties
This will allow you to easily choose a variety of properties such as oceanfront, horse properties, properteis with RV parking, vineyards, homes with granny units, and more.

– Search By Price Range
If you want to choose to see listings in a price range in a particular city by just using your mouse, this will do it for you!

– MLS Listings Report
From here you can choose our popular listing reports; New listings, REO, Short Sales, and Price Changes.

We’ll be adding the new MLS Menu to other pages on our site in the near future so you always have easy access to it.

Home Sales Double in California

Get ready to read the above headline in newspapers as the California Association of Realtors released a report today showing that foreclosures have fueled home sales.

This is not the case in SLO County though. I created the following charts for single family homes (no condos) from Jan 1 – Nov 24. We are a bit behind the volume of home sales as were were at in the same time period last year, but Santa Maria is way up. The pie charts will show why this is the case as you’ll see that the percentage of foreclosures in SLO County is a lot lower than Santa Maria (and other areas in California).

Light, Bright and Airy Home Staging Tips

Do you have a house on the market through the holidays? Here are some great tips for success!

  1. Take photos before you put out holiday decorations – in case your home is still on the market in the the spring – it will look very dated if it has holiday decorations in the photos.
  2. Decorate simply, no crazy over the top Clark Griswald decorations.
  3. The smells of the season: cinnamon, hot cider, and baked goods are great cozy scents that will help your home appeal to buyers!
  4. Pre-plan for success… Keep your house clean enough that you can be ready to show it throughout the holiday season.
  5. There may be home shoppers in town for the holidays, so try to be flexible.
  6. If you are planning to be out of town for an extended period during the holidays, set your thermostat to come on for a little while each day, so that in case your house shows it won’t be too chilly inside.
  7. Remember to try to get a little fresh air through your house when you can, lots of houses get stale through the winter from being closed up tight.
  8. Do your dishes as soon as possible after parties and feasts, so that the smells of your home stay as neutral as possible.
  9. Don’t forget to tend to your winter landscape- even though its not pretty like spring, it is still the first thing that buyers see of your house.
  10. Make sure that your decorations don’t impede the traffic flow in your home. You don’t want to scare away buyers by making your home feel crowded or cluttered.

Happy Holiday selling! I have sold a number of homes in the winter, when the market is “slow,” so plan for success.

For more information or to contact me directly please visit my website:

Seasonal Market Slowdown

While our market has stayed pretty active in October, it looks like we’re taking a breather this month. As of a few minutes a ago, here’s where we’re at:

New Listings – 376
Price Changes – 647
Pending Sales – 366

We still have a week to go although it is a holiday week. Here’s what October numbers were:

New Listings – 589
Price Changes – 952
Pending Sales – 534

The good news for home sellers is that it doesn’t look like inventory will be going up.

Ryan Baker’s Mortgage Blog

Well Keith beat me to the news about the early holiday present from the Government to around 16,000 households. See blog below.

Today was a good day….the Dow was up 494.13 and mortgage rates continued to lower slightly. I just read an article in, which had a bunch of poor outlooks on the economy, but what’s new. They did have some good things to say like we could never fall into another great depression because we have too many safeguards in place. Wonder if these safe guards will pay my bills? Sorry, I almost went on a tangent. Anyways, they said the key to recovery is the housing market. Not only do I agree, I was excited. You know why? It made me remember there is going to be greener pastures on the other side, and a lot of good deals are out there right now and there is money to make (or save) in the not so distant future once this all turns, and it will turn. And if you’re smart, and I assume you are since you are reading Keith’s blog, you’re probably already 2 steps ahead of the game and making some good investments right now and I’m just preaching to the choir.

The new touch screen Blackberry Storm from Verizon goes on sale today. I am very intrigued with this phone since I have Verizon and not AT&T so I couldn’t get an I-Phone.

If you have any mortgage related questions you can contact me at

What About an Education Bailout?

We spend money developing Poly Canyon Village so Cal Poly could up their enrollment but last years budget cuts reduced the enrollment. Now there’s talk about the UC and State College system having further cut backs that will, for the first time, turn away students that want (and are eligible) to attend one of colleges in the State system.

As I blogged before, Cal Poly is vital to our local economy. Since we don’t have many other industries, we need those students (and parents) to help keep our local businesses open. It’s like our local auto industry.

Phase I of Poly Canyon Village added 1,129 beds this year. Phase II will be completed in Summer of 2009 which will add another 1,541 beds. If enrollment is reduced yet again for next year, Cal Poly will be competing with off-campus housing to fill those beds with upper classmen.

When will education become a priority? Not only will more cuts impact the education of our future generation, it’s going to hurt our local economy more than other areas.

An additional solar plant in SLO County?

SunPower is developing a previously undisclosed 45 megawatt photovoltaic facility in San Luis Obispo County, California, according to Pacific Crest analyst Mark Bachman. Bachman says the facility is separate from a 250 MW project called California Valley Solar Ranch which also is based in San Luis Obispo County that was announced over the summer.

Target date for commercial operation of the new project is December 2011, Bachman reports. According to Bachman, this will be the third largest PV facility in the U.S., after the other project noted above and a 550 MW project under development elsewhere in California by Optisolar.

From this article