Team Sweasey's Real Estate Blog

April 14, 2021

Your April 2021 Market Update

Here are three reasons our real estate market is outstanding these days.

Today I’m sharing our April 2021 real estate market update. The market has been fantastic lately, and there are three main reasons why:

First, in our market update last month, I said that was the best market in our area’s history. Well, I was wrong. This past month has now been our best market ever. That’s because, in the last month, we’ve had about 64% fewer homes available for sale than we had a year ago, and we had low inventory last year, too. We also had 30% more houses sell but only 96 new listings come onto the market versus around 230 last year at this time. All this is placing quite a bit of pressure on the properties available.

Right now our market has appealing rates, massive demand, and tons of buyers.

Second, home values are rising, and here are two examples to illustrate that: In December 2019, a new custom home sold, and it was just resold in February. In 2019 it sold for $2,595,000; in just 14 months it sold again for $3.3 million, which is a 27% increase. Another house originally sold for $990,000 and just sold again for more than $1.2 million in just over a year. So we’ve seen more than a 20% rise in a little more than a year. I’ve never seen this much pressure on prices.

Third, I’ve been receiving many calls from people who at first wanted to wait to sell but decided to take advantage of the current market, and they’re pleasantly surprised by the results. If you’re considering selling, even if it’s a year from now, you may want to think about moving sooner because we don’t know how long this strong seller’s market will last. Right now our market has appealing rates, massive demand, and tons of buyers; it’s a perfect storm for sellers.

If you have any questions about our market or how it will affect your plans, call or email us. We would love to help you.

March 17, 2021

This Market’s Impact on Buyers and Sellers

Here’s how both buyers and sellers win in our current real estate market.

I’ve had a mentor and coach throughout my 30 years in real estate, and he’s been in the business for about 50 years. I truly respect his opinion, and I was recently asking him what he thinks of our current real estate market. He said that this is the best market ever, and I agree.

In February, active inventory decreased by 60% compared to a year ago. Despite that, our sales are still higher than last year by 7% to 15%. Since fewer homes are coming onto the market, prices are continuing to rise.

If you’re a seller in this market, you’re likely to get the best price in the history of real estate. However, that doesn’t apply to every home; just like the stock market, the market could be up, but you may own some stocks that went down instead. Overall, we couldn’t ask for a better market.

 "In our market these days, sellers will get an excellent price and buyers will get a fantastic rate."

If you’re a buyer, you may be wondering how this can be good for you. Well, the market has bottomed out—not with prices, but with interest rates. Interest rates have such a massive impact on the affordability of real estate.

Here’s an example: Two years ago, rates were hovering around 5%, and right now they’re at about 3%. That means that if you were to borrow $683,000 today, your payment would be the same as a $500,000 mortgage two years ago. You have $183,000 more buying power now than two years ago. That’s another reason home prices are trending upward.

So, in our market these days, sellers will get an excellent price and buyers will get a fantastic rate. That’s why our market is so active; it’s stellar for both buyers and sellers.

If you have any questions about our market or real estate in general, give us a call or send an email. We would love to be your real estate resource.

Feb. 5, 2021

San Luis Obispo Real Estate Market Update for February 2021

Here’s a quick snapshot of our real estate market from this past month.

I feel like a broken record when I say our real estate market has remained strong again this month, but that is the case here in February 2021. Before I get to my update, I first want to give a shout out to all of our physicians and front-line workers. We’ve now got people administering vaccines, which is great news.

Now back to real estate. As we look at this January’s numbers compared to January 2020, our pending sales are about the same. This makes sense after a very strong start in 2020. Closed sales are up 40% to 50%, which is a reflection of how strong December was. Interest rates have dropped from 3.4% to 2.75%, and inventory is about half of what it was at this time last year.

What is the challenge I’m hearing about the most? Sellers who would love to move up or down, but are worried about their subsequent purchase because of the limited inventory. They can’t imagine putting a house up for sale and having nowhere to go. If you’re in a similar situation, we have seven different solutions. One is an extended closing. Buyers are so eager to buy homes in this market, they are willing to wait. They just want to know they have somewhere to go.

The biggest challenge for sellers is finding where to go next.

Here’s another option homebuyers are taking advantage of with these low rates. You can buy an investment property, move into it, buy it with an owner-occupied rate, then sell the primary residence, take all that equity, and be sitting in that house in a position to buy the next home. When that home comes along, you have plenty of time to move in, then find a tenant for your rental property.

Those are just a couple of avenues. If you’d like to learn more or if you have any other real estate questions, don’t hesitate to reach out via phone or email. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Jan. 8, 2021

How Can I Capitalize on Market Conditions?

The new year is finally here. As we begin 2021, I’m excited to share the latest market stats, my predictions for 2021, and how to capitalize on what’s going on right now in our real estate market.

At the end of 2020, we had 49% fewer homes on the market than we did at the end of 2019. We also had 49% more homes go into escrow. This has sped up home sales while simultaneously raising prices.

Looking forward to 2021, I predict a continued increase in prices. Our supply of homes remains very small while demand remains very high due to historically low interest rates. More and more people working remotely has also increased demand for homes because homebuyers are realizing they can live anywhere they want.

It doesn’t take many people from San Francisco or Los Angeles to migrate here to affect and change what happens here in San Luis Obispo. This trend will bolster our market. The great news is that affordability will remain strong because of the low rates.

It’s a great time to buy, sell, or refinance your mortgage.

How can you take advantage of these trends? For starters, you could buy a home with some of the lowest interest rates that we’ve ever seen in this country. You could also sell your property for an all-time high price. If you need to buy and sell, your ability to sell for top dollar while also buying with an interest rate below 3% is an ideal place to be.

If you're not planning on buying or selling but you are a homeowner, double check your mortgage’s interest rate. Over 4.6 million people have refinanced their mortgages in the past year and lowered their rates. That’s almost 25% of the homeowners in this country.

Why wouldn’t you want to lower your monthly payment? I understand that it can be a cumbersome and intimidating process to refinance. There is a bit of paperwork involved. If you don’t have someone to give you guidance through the process, that makes the process even more difficult. However, if you work with a strong agent and local lender, you could be saving $600 to $700 per month for the remainder of the life of your loan.

If you need some advice on how to buy, sell, or refinance in this market, don’t hesitate to reach out via phone or email. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Dec. 30, 2020

Here’s what every property owner in California should know about Proposition 19

I recently had the pleasure of meeting with County Assessor Tom Bordonaro to discuss some important changes to state property tax law that will take effect in early 2021. For those of you who don’t know, the newly passed Proposition 19 increases the portability of tax bases among senior homeowners across county lines but imposes new limitations on the transfer of tax bases via family inheritance. In other words, residents 55 years or older who are moving into a new property can now carry their old tax base with them, regardless of that new property’s location in the state; they’re also allowed to do this up to three times.

Feel free to listen to our conversation in the video above, or use the timestamps below to navigate the discussion at your leisure:

1:00 - An introduction to Proposition 19 and the increased portability of California tax bases.

2:22 - New limitations on the transfer of tax bases to family members.

3:22 - How will these new limitations put pressure on our San Luis Obispo market?

4:30 - When the different components of Proposition 19 will go into effect.

5:22 - Tax bases can only be preserved if the property is inherited as a primary residence.

7:55 - Wrapping up today’s topic.

Special thanks to Tom Bordonaro for taking the time to help us make sense of this new tax law. As he said himself, much work will be needed to further clarify some gray areas in the legislation. Until then, Tom suggests that you consult with your attorney for advice on how to manage your real estate assets in the coming month or so. (The County Assessor’s Office can inform you of what may happen in a given scenario, but they cannot offer legal advice).

As always, reach out to me by phone or email with any questions or real estate needs you may have. I look forward to hearing from you.

Dec. 18, 2020

Virtual Tour - 1220 Bassi Dr, San Luis Obispo 93405

Situated behind the gates of Bassi Ranch on 2.65 acres of impeccably maintained grounds featuring courtyards, pergolas, fountains and pathways to wander and enjoy the panoramic views of rolling hills with a peek of the ocean. This magnificent 3 bedroom 4 bath home featuring a separate Casita, 4 bay garage, and separate workshop was custom built in the authentic Spanish Colonial style. Upon entrance you're immediately transported back in time to a different era when craftsmanship and attention to detail was evident in all areas of the finishes including custom tiles, the unique ceilings, custom windows, doors, curved walls, alcoves, built in cabinetry and shelving. The sprawling floor plan features a centrally located living room with dining area, dual master suites, including one on the main level with separate den/office, master bath with soaking tub and separate shower, and the 2nd on the upper level with a private deck overlooking the front courtyard. The kitchen showcases top of the line appliances, center island, breakfast nook with access to the courtyard. A library/game room could serve as a formal dining room, an en-suite guest room accesses the back courtyard, plus an additional office/den. The separate Casita with bath overlooks the back courtyard area and fountain, ideal for guests or extended family. This unique home has so much to offer, don't miss this opportunity to live secluded in privacy yet just minutes from beaches, wineries and downtown San Luis Obispo.

Click here for more information.

Dec. 4, 2020

Is It Possible for the Market to Be Any Better?

What’s the latest news from our San Luis Obispo real estate market as 2020 draws to a close?

Before I answer that question, I want to say that with everything that’s happened this year, a lot of people are probably ready to close the door on 2020 and hope for a much better 2021. Every morning I like to take time to reflect on what I’m grateful for. Obviously I’m grateful for my wonderful family and their good health, and I’m also grateful for my team and the opportunity we have to deliver the kind of service we take pride in. Lastly, I’m grateful to all my great clients—thank you for supporting my team and I and using us as a resource. Helping you is how we find our joy, and you bring tremendous value to our lives.

"In spite of everything that’s happened in 2020, it’s a phenomenal time to be a buyer or seller."

As far as our local market goes, not much has changed lately. Our market remains incredibly strong. Last month, the number of sales and pending listings both rose about 20% year over year. Our listing inventory, meanwhile, is about half of what it was at this time last year, which itself was lower than 2018’s numbers. Over the last two years, our marketplace has done nothing but improve. On top of that, interest rates are still historically low - as low as 2.75%.

What does this mean moving forward? I don’t see a lot of change happening. If you’re a buyer or seller right now, good for you! Low interest rates benefit buyers and sellers. At the same time, be prepared for some delays. I know this can be stressful when moving, but lenders, underwriters, and appraisers are working as hard as they can right now.

In spite of everything that’s happened in 2020, it’s a phenomenal time to be a buyer or seller. If you need help buying or selling a home or have more questions about our San Luis Obispo market, don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I’d love to speak with you, and I hope you have a happy holiday season.

Nov. 12, 2020

Coming Soon - 2515 Bayside Pl, Arroyo Grande 93420

Coming Soon - 2515 Bayside Pl, Arroyo Grande 93420

Coming Soon in Arroyo Grande. A stunning 4 bedroom, 3 bath, single level home located in the gated community of Bayview Estates. Immaculately maintained with an attention to detail that is evident upon arrival. The beautifully manicured front yard, double insulated garage doors with wood façade and Knotty Alder custom double slab entry door with custom ironwork made locally in San Luis Obispo, set the tone for what's to follow. Hardwood floors throughout the living areas including the remodeled gourmet kitchen with solid granite counters, updated cabinetry and under the counter wine fridge. Recently upgraded family room fireplace with natural stone wall and hearth. Enjoy the view of the adjoining 5 acre park from the covered patio, bar area or firepit or watch the sunset from the hot tub. Plenty of room for your gardening ideas, including raised beds and several fruit trees. Great location near Cypress Ridge Golf Course and just minutes to the beach.

Contact us on 805-781-3750

Coming Soon - 2515 Bayside Pl, Arroyo Grande 93420

Coming Soon - 2515 Bayside Pl, Arroyo Grande 93420

Coming Soon - 2515 Bayside Pl, Arroyo Grande 93420

Nov. 12, 2020

Market Update Comparing Octobers 2019 and 2020

As we take a look at our most recent statistics, they’re very similar to what we’ve been seeing lately. Our inventory has decreased by about 50% from a year ago, and generally, October through December are lower inventory times anyway, so the season will exacerbate our inventory issue. However, pending sales have risen 31%, so as we head into the holiday season, this will likely be the best holiday market I’ve ever seen because we have increased demand but a decreased supply. This is excellent for sellers.

Of course, this is affecting prices; we’re beginning to see challenges with appraisers because they can’t always justify the price a home is sold for. The number of homes coming onto the market has dropped by about 50%; last October we had about 200 homes, while this October we only had 106. This is going to be a strong market for a while.

We can tell how different sellers are going to experience this real estate market by how long houses are staying on the market. Certain properties will sell very quickly; we have an average days on market of 30 . That means some homes are selling in four or five days, and some are taking two months. A few of the reasons some houses aren’t selling as quickly are because of the condition, floor plan (single-levels are more in demand than two-levels), less usable yard space, location, or price. So not everyone is benefiting the same way from this hot market; the home will sell, but some take a bit longer if there’s less demand for it.

"This will likely be the best holiday market I’ve ever seen."

We’re currently seeing a massive influx of first-time buyers, and I credit that to the very low interest rates. If you look at the rental prices right now, they’re so much higher than what you would pay to own a home. Those considering buying will be shocked by what they can afford.

If you’re thinking about buying, I recommend three things:
1. Find a stellar real estate agent to help you with the process
2. Connect with a great lender and get pre-approved
3. Start looking at houses

I suggest doing these things in this order because the right agent will help you find which lenders will provide the best service. They’ll also help you figure out where to look and what options you have so you can find the ideal property for you. This is an opportune time to get into the marketplace because you have exceptionally low rates, and prices are only going to rise.

If you have any questions or you’re considering buying for the first time, give us a call or send an email. We would love to help you. We also appreciate the fantastic referrals you’ve sent our way, so thank you!

Oct. 8, 2020

What Do the September Stats Say About Our Market?

As we move through October, what do the latest numbers say about our San Luis Obispo real estate market? Is there anything that can cause our market to shift moving forward?

I know I sound like a broken record, but I once more have to report that inventory is down. In September, it dropped 45% year over year. Pending sales also rose once more, this time to the tune of 18% year over year. Additionally, the number of escrows closed rose 40%, which marks the first time in 2020 we saw more sales than a year ago. In other words, closings have finally caught up to the number of pending sales and everything else that’s happened these past few months. Finally, the number of new listings dropped 30% year over year. Overall, there’s a lot of energy in our economy that’s coming from real estate.

This means we’re about to see a lot more of the same from our market. We’re taking homes off the market at twice the pace that they’re being listed. If we stopped listing homes altogether, we’d have a 45-day supply left. During the Great Recession, it wasn’t uncommon to have a seven or eight-month supply of homes. The difference is unbelievable. On top of that, interest rates are still incredibly low. A friend of mine recently refinanced their home at a rate of 2.69% with no additional costs.

None of us have a crystal ball, but one thing that could alter the state of our market is a change in inventory, which would then affect home prices. For example, many people experiencing financial hardship due to the coronavirus may have no choice but to list their home. Or, many people may be nervous about the prospect of listing their home due to safety concerns. The biggest factor that could impact inventory, though, is the number of new homes that have been approved and are under construction. If this number is big enough, it could make our market look a little more normal. However, this change still would take at least three or four months.

If you’d like to talk more about our San Luis Obispo market or have any real estate needs at all, don’t hesitate to call, email, or stop by my office (we’ll provide the masks). I look forward to hearing from you.