Would you like a public report card for realtors?


I just read in The 1000 Watt Blog that in a couple of weeks the Houston Association of Realtors is launching an application to allow readers to see the amount of business that every agent is transacting!    This map-based application is going to track every realtor, no opt-out allowed, and it could be spread to every MLS in the country…..Ever the empathic one, I am concerned for the huge number of good and great agents who will be bunched in the middle.  Will sellers and buyers care?  Will more opportunities go to those who are already at the top?  Does this comparison matter?  How do people choose realtors, anyway….

Even though I know it doesn’t matter, there can only be a few up there at the top, I am the kind of person who might work harder if I think that the chart is on display for the world to see. Let me know if you are a buyer or seller and you think this application will influence you in any way.  –  Jamie Madison


Davis CA Real Estate 2010 Predictions

Friends, I hope that this new year and this new decade is one of hope, peace, personal contentment, and a time when you are surprised and happy with what you make happen in your life! 

The question of the season is, so what is going to happen this year? First, let’s visit 2009 for a moment.  It was the year of the first time home buyer.  I helped buy/sell 46 properties and 31 of them were for people who had never owned a home before.  My favorite was a family who has been renting in Davis for 30 years, and decided that NOW is the time to own.  There was lots of nervousness around these sales, but ultimately the rates were excellent, the government incentives were a help and these new homeowners are excitedly begining to nest in their new homes.

What we did not see in 2009 were enough mid-range homes of good aesthetic quality.  And even fewer high end homes.  I believe that sellers in the mid-upper ranges have chosen to stay put and remodel rather than move up.    For buyers in this range, the prospects were generally dismal.

So, 2010?  If we were “returning to normal” before, we have definitely arrived now!  People are buying homes not simply as an investment, but as a place to live, to have a sense of neighborhood, to raise their children and to LIVE comfortably.  Sales take longer, buyers are more detail-oriented, processes are undertaken more deliberately.

Inventory will improve.  At present we have 81 properties on the market.  For a town with a population of about 65,000 this represents VERY few choices!  Many people who were waiting will make their move to sell this year.  We have a large population of people who own large homes (think Northstar) whose children have long since left home – I predict that this population will be ready to start right sizing, looking for something new that better suits their lifestyle. We will see these homes begin to come on the market.

There will be no “average” Days On Market. Homes that are attractive, well kept and accurately priced will sell within a week on the market, so buyers, be prepared to take action.  Homes in ill repair, unstaged and unready for market, and not priced correctly will linger for hundreds of days.  Buyers are no longer tolerant of paying top dollar for what they disparagingly refer to as “dumps”.

Interest rates will go up.  The U.S. government will stop purchasing mortgage-backed securities from Fannie-Mae and Freddie-Mac by the end of March 2010 based on the lack of funds that have currently been allocated for the ongoing purchase of these mortgages. If true, this means that banks will once again need to step in and underwrite these loans (as opposed to the American public) and it’s fairly safe to assume that banks won’t be writing loans at 5% fixed interest for 30 years.

Foreclosures, in Davis? There will continue to be a handful of foreclosures in Davis, and there will be mid and high end homes in the mix.  There will be short sales and new rules for short sale processes mean that the sales time will be shorter and less mysterious.

People want to build their own homes.  This Instinct that is unscientifically based on anecdotal evidence from the many people I speak with.   They want something new, something with a modern aesthetic, something that fits their life, something that they aren’t finding in our most recent inventory. There are very few lots in Davis, this is the year that homes will go up on these lots….


Davis Homes: Six Months at a Glance

This is a dynamic chart that updates in real time….like it?  Save it to your favorites and it will be up-to-date every time you look at it.


The year so far….not much left to buy!

Becoming more of a seller's market?

It has never been easy in Davis and it isn’t easy now to find your home. This data suggests that it might be a seller’s market is developing in the past few months.    Add to this that we will not be anticipating new “affordable” (under the median by $100,000) housing that had been proposed in Wildhorse Ranch.  The people of Davis have voted it down in this week’s election.

HOWEVER great news for first time buyers.  It looks like very shortly President Obama will sign a bill to extend the federal housing credit through June of 2010.   The sale will have to be completed by April 2010.  Additionally there will be a new $6500 credit for homeowners who have been in their homes at least 5 years, whose homes are valued at less than $800,000 and who have a family income of less than $125,000.



Here are a few homes that sold in the past month:

Listed $999k / Sold $961k

Listed $999k / Sold $961k

Listed $559k / Sold $560k

Listed $559k / Sold $560k

Listed $559k / Sold $535k
Listed $559k / Sold $535k
Listed $689k / Sold $681k

Listed $689k / Sold $681k


I live in a park

Putah Creek Real Estate

Putah Creek Real Estate

It was plain luck – double luck – that we accidently landed in this country place on Putah Creek  and that my husband uncovered a passion for gardening.  Though hot and dry now, it has been a particularly lovely spring.   The volume of birdsounds this year is LOUD.  It is a world apart and here are a few pictures for you to enjoy…

On the hunt...

On the hunt...


NEW Look and Feel…

If you noticed a change, you are right!  DavisRealEstateBlog has a new look – I wanted something clean, clear and bright that delivered the information straight to you.  I had some help!  There is a lot to be said for a professional designer.  Let me know what you think, and also tell me what you want to hear about in future posts…


So Little to Choose From:Less than 2 Month Supply of Davis Homes

The investors have come to Davis with their checkbooks open looking for a well priced home or rental property. I know of at least five multiple offer (meaning MANY)transactions in progress now.  Was it that duplex on 14th Street that made people realize that they COULD own in Davis and make money every month on their investment?  Was it those articles in the Wall Street Journal suggesting that it might be a good time to ditch your 401K for something more tangible?  This is the Davis real estate snapshot at the moment:

Available Properties

135 properties :  8 residential income properties :  11 short sales

Pending Properties

79 properties
average price : $555,000
average price sq ft : 292.60
average days on market: 43
average size: 1929 sq ft

Sold Properties (since Jan 1)

75 properties
average price: $482,900
average price sq ft: 286.40
average days on market: 66
average size : 1726 sq ft

A Notable Sale…

309 10th Street – open, airy, breezy small home with a beach cottage feeling walking distance from campus. This is not a fancy neighborhood but it is friendly, built on a human scale, and it has sort of a nostaligic homey feel.  This house had been added on to (master suite upstairs, garage integrated into home as a entertainment room) for a total of 2056 sq ft with no garage. The garden had a wonderful jetted dipping pool, new deck and tropical landscape. So delightful was this house, it sold at a whopping $730,000 list price in just a couple of days…


Only Number 19 ??

The Forbes 25 best places to live include Davis at number 19. Factors included median income, commute times, number of advanced degrees per capita, number of small business per capita, number of professionals, number of small local business, and access to world class entertainment.  I guess they never heard of the Mondavi Performing Arts Center…here is what Forbes had to say:

19. Davis, Calif.

Population: 68,660
Location: Between Sacramento and the Bay Area, though definitely solidly part of the Sacramento metro area.
Median income: $52,322

Strongest categories: Davis attracts a high share of people with a bachelor’s degree or higher (70%) and international workers with education (who represent 6% of the adult labor force). A college town, it’s stocked stocked with plenty of restaurants and bars.

Drawbacks: It’s a decent hike to Northern California business capitals San Francisco and San Jose. It lacks the world-class entertainment those cities regularly attract. Further, Californians earning $52,322 have a difficult time making end


I think this means is it time to buy…

This weekend at an open house a homebuyer from the Bay Area whom I haven’t seen in 18 months admonished me for no new entries in the Davis Real Estate Blog!  I stand before you sheepish and apologetic – no excuse, just too busy selling homes.

The spring market is up and running.  Here is  a snapshot of the market today:

We have 64 new listings, but 99 new pendings and solds – very short supply of homes, particularly for this time of the year.  Here is a breakdown of the year so far:

Davis Real Estate Activity 2009

So, why a good time to buy?  Those sellers who have listed their homes have done so because they REALLY need to sell (the others are still waiting)!  AND the interest rates have almost never been lower.  Two weeks ago I had two clients secure loans (with 50% down and amazing over-800 credit scores) of 4.3% with a couple of points.

From listening to buyers, sellers, friends, disinterested parties, interested parties, – from all of them I gather that there is a lot of pent up desire – some want to sell their homes and downsize, some are looking for larger homes. They have stopped their search in the past 18 months due to market conditions.  My guess is that we are going to see people coming out of the woodwork in droves ready to buy, ready to sell.

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