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Walnut Creek - $700-800,000 - Wow, En Fuego!

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Empire Realty Associates
The $700-800,000 price range in Walnut Creek is moving! I’m hearing of lots of multiple offers and many properties selling in less than a week, causing a bit of a stir in real estate circles. Here are some details to put the activity in perspective, and as always, call me if you’d like to know more! 925-413-0044.

In June, 2009, of 32 properties priced between $700-800K in Walnut Creek, 14 went pending (meaning an offer was accepted). Of those 14, five closed before July 1, giving us some factual sold data. This info helps demonstrate what multiple offers mean to a buyer/seller. Four of the sold properties closed at 95% of the asking price. One, 925 Stonehaven Ct (in Northgate – had a gorgeous kitchen!), sold at full asking price of $799,995, which represented $404 per square foot. The other four solds ranged from $367 to $384 per square foot.
The majority of properties that went under contract were on the market for less than 2 weeks (five were less than 1 week); two stayed on the market nearly 2 months, and both of these eventually took price reductions to sell.
Neighborhoods where this $700-800 price range are hot include Northgate, Walnut Heights, Rudgear Estates, and Parkmead. Most of these homes are 3 or 4 bedroom (with a couple 5-BR) with 2 or 3 bathrooms, ranging from about 1500-2600 square feet. For an immaculate property (needing little in the way of upgrades/modernization) to land in this price range, it is usually under 2000 sqft, though neighborhood does factor in heavily for Walnut Creek pricing.
One of the biggest reasons this is a hot market? Buyers can utilize FHA loans to borrow up to $729,750, and with their own 3.5% down, the sale price can be $756,000. Then, if a buyer has more cash for the deposit, they can reach to the $800K price with as little as 8.7 percent down. HOT!

The Federal Tax Credit (up to $8,000) is set to expire November 30th, of this year. In the event of any update to extend this, I will hear from Mike DiMaggio of RPM Mortgage and will keep you posted.
No longer available… per the Franchise Tax Board, the $10,000 State credit (for new construction) has been filled, and no new applications are being accepted. http://www.ftb.ca.gov/individuals/New_home_Credit.shtml

This one is close to my heart because I have many friends who must make some serious life decisions about home ownership. Many have asked me about loan modification programs, counselors, when and if they should hire someone to represent them, etc. I wish there were easy answers. If you or anyone you know has to go down this path, please listen to this interview from Tuesday, 7/7/09, with Michael Krasny of KQED. He asks questions of people who are very astute in the industry to address loan modification concerns.
Panel includes:
• George Duarte, legislative chairman of the East Bay chapter of the California Association of Mortgage Brokers
• Kamala Harris, San Francisco District Attorney.
• Kevin Stein, associate director of the California Reinvestment Coalition, an organization that advocates for equitable access to financial services for low-income and minority communities
• Pedro Nava, member of the California Assembly, District 35.
• Wayne Bell, chief counsel at the California Department of Real Estate.