Real Estate in the News: June 2017

June 21st, 2017

It’s June 21st, the first day of summer, and we’re nearly halfway through 2017. It seems like only yesterday we were popping champagne on New Year’s Eve…now we’re facing scorching temperatures and short nights. What better time than now to take a broad look at the state of real estate? Here are some great articles that can help you get up to speed with all the latest developments!

June News 1

Home sales rise in May, but buyers see sharply rising prices

First, let’s take a look at the current real estate market. As this article indicates, leading into June it continues to be a seller’s market. In fact, the consistently low inventory and ever-rising prices of homes have proven to be sources of frustration for many buyers. Far fewer homes are on the market than this time last year, and those that do come on tend to sell extremely quickly. Essentially, if you’re looking to buy a home, you’re going to need a few things: money, patience, and an excellent Realtor!

On the other hand, if you’re selling, things couldn’t be better. Demand is so high and supply is so low that any seller is likely to have little trouble selling their home (as long as they follow their real estate agent’s advice!). The situation does certainly require some analysis though, as this sort of market does not last forever. Anyone on the fence about selling absolutely must give serious consideration to moving forward now while things remain so favorable.

What’s the best air conditioner for you?

Home improvement and remodeling projects are an important part of real estate. One element that often gets neglected, however, is your home’s climate control. It may not be as flashy as granite countertops, stainless steel appliances or crown molding, but in the summer heat, effective air conditioning greatly increases your home’s livability and your own quality of life. This article gives a good rundown of what sort of a/c setups work best for different people and styles of homes.

Boomers Look To Real Estate To Afford Retirement

As I mentioned above, it can be hard out there for a buyer right now, but this article shows the importance of keeping a long-term view of things. It’s never too early to start planning for the future, and as the boomers profiled in the article above have proven, there are few better investments for your long-term financial well-being than real estate. Real estate is not only an investment with great gains over the years, but is also a tangible resource you can physically get involved with. It will forever remain an excellent addition to people’s financial portfolios.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this look into June’s real estate news! As always, I am happily available as a resource. If you have any questions or would like more specific advice about your own personal real estate situation, please don’t hesitate to ask me!

Listing Spotlight: 3241 Esperanza Court

June 8th, 2017

This week we’re going to take a look at my new listing, a lovely home in the Chaboya neighborhood in San Jose. In a hot real estate market, the Evergreen area is one of the hottest, as my several recent listings there can attest. 3241 Esperanza Court, San Jose, CA 95135 is a shining example of the great homes in the area.

Esperanza 1

3241 Esperanza is truly a perfect combination of comfort and convenience. Bright and sunny, the home offers a flowing open floor plan while maintaining your privacy.  Its high ceilings and oversized Anderson windows add to the airy, open feel. With a full suite of upgrades throughout, including recessed lighting, a tankless water heater and a built-in entertainment system with surround sound, you’ll love every moment in this house.

Esperanza 2

The gourmet kitchen is similarly optimized. With its gleaming granite countertops, center island with sink, handsome cabinetry and stainless steel appliances including wine refrigerator, it is the ideal place to prepare a meal.

Esperanza 3

Upstairs, each spacious bedroom allows plenty of room to comfortably fit a queen bed. The master bedroom is a private retreat, complete with a sitting/office room, dual fireplaces, walk-in closet with lots of storage and full bathroom with his/her vanity. A bonus room offers a plethora of possibilities, including an office, another bedroom, or a media room…the choice is yours!  Downstairs, you’ll find a full guest bedroom suite with a view of the beautiful private backyard.

Esperanza 4

Outside, the backyard is extensively landscaped, with a retaining wall detailed with travertine and marble, custom built planter boxes, a large covered patio and plenty of room for entertaining or private relaxation. This is a green home as well, featuring drought resistant plants and owned solar panels to drastically reduce your energy bills.

Esperanza 5

On top of all that, the location is perfect. The home sits within the districts of acclaimed schools: Matsumoto Elementary, Chaboya Middle and Evergreen Valley High. The close proximity to walking trails, the park, and shopping and dining provides a number of entertainment options for all lifestyles. All in all, this home is a gem, the embodiment of Silicon Valley living.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this look at this wonderful property! If you’d like any more info, please visit the listing’s website HERE, or contact me and I’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have.

School’s Out…What About You?

June 1st, 2017

Memorial Day has come and gone, and that means the school year is about to be in the rear-view mirror. As summer dawns and children once again roam the streets during weekdays, the real estate market typically goes through some changes as well.  Today we’ll take a look at these changes and what they mean for homeowners and homebuyers alike.

School and Summer Real Estate

How Does the End of the School Year Affect Sellers?

Ask any parent with school-age children and they’ll tell you: changing schools is hard on their kids. At a time in their lives when they are still developing socially, swapping children from one school to another can be a tough process. The social circle a child has spent years building up disappears, as they are suddenly faced with the prospect of rebuilding it among strangers. New facilities, new teachers, new educational standards and practices…the list goes on and on. Even though the change is often for the best in the long run, parents tend to look for ways to minimize any negative impact it could have on their children.

Hence, we have the summer. It is a time of transition, as kids take a break for a couple months and prepare to move on to the next grade. As such, it presents the perfect opportunity to parents looking to move into a different school district. Rather than pulling their child out in the middle of their lessons and forcing them to readjust on the fly to a system they aren’t used to, it allows them to start fresh.

What this all means is that, for most parents, the ideal time to move is during the summer. Many families hold out until after Memorial Day, and over the following weeks, For Sale signs pop up like towels on the beach. The plan is simple: get the home on the market, sold, and move into a new home in time for that first school bell in late August. During this period, inventory on the market typically surges to the highest point of the year.

If you’re considering selling,  the sooner you can get your home on the market, the better. Whether you’re among the families I mentioned above, or just someone looking to get the best possible deal for their home, getting it listed ahead of the crowd helps attract buyer attention and minimize competition, ensuring the highest possible sale price. Demand is at an all-time high…best to take advantage of that while inventory is at historic lows.

How Does the End of the School Year Affect Buyers?

What I said above about families who sell also holds true for buyers, many of whom would rather hold off on purchasing, or at least moving into, a new home until the summertime. Therefore, the already crowded field of buyers becomes even more massive.

This effect is mitigated, however, by the increased number of homes hitting the market in the summer, and every buyer regardless of family situation can take advantage of it. Basically, if you’ve been looking to buy a home, you’ll most likely have the biggest selection of homes you’ve seen in some time over the next couple months. Competition will still be fierce, and prices high, but with more inventory comes a greater chance than ever to find the home of your dreams.

In the end, summer is quite fittingly the hottest season for real estate, in large part due to the school factor. Market activity is likely to be at a fever pitch for the foreseeable future, but if you do your homework, summer vacation could lead to some amazing opportunities. As always, please feel free to use me as a resource for any questions you may have related to your own personal real estate plans. Consider me your tutor in the market…together, we can achieve incredible results!

1516 Norman Avenue: Willow Glen Elegance

May 18th, 2017

Last week, I discussed some of my recent listings in San Jose’s Evergreen area. This week, I have another new listing located in a different part of San Jose: Willow Glen. Let’s take a peek inside 1516 Norman Avenue, my latest listing in this highly desirable Silicon Valley neighborhood!

1516 Norman Avenue, San Jose 95125

Norman 1

This completely remodeled four bedroom/three bath/2,256 square foot single-story home displays the highest quality of workmanship, utilizing amazing materials. With its open, flowing floor plan to lend it a light and breezy feel, as well as a huge backyard, this home is a rare find! Two of the four spacious bedrooms are full master suites, and hardwood floors throughout the home enhance its elegance.

Norman 2

The gourmet kitchen boasts beautiful upgrades and high-end appliances, including a wine refrigerator, Thermador drawer microwave, granite-topped center island, a sink with a Hansgrohe faucet and a full suite of stainless steel appliances. Throughout the rest of the home, the upgrades are almost too numerous to count: colonial crown molding, new windows, doors and plumbing, LED recessed lighting…the list goes on and on! It’s the epitome of a modern Bay Area home.

The bathrooms are similarly upgraded, featuring travertine and marble floors, dual sinks, a soaking tub and top-of-the-line Raindance showerheads.

Outside, the home displays even more of its ample charms. Situated on a massive lot, its sprawling backyard is perfect for entertaining or relaxation, with three patios and lovely, lush magnolia and fruit trees. This property truly is gorgeous inside and out. And for those of you going green in your travels, the garage even has an electric car hookup!

1516 Norman Avenue is currently listed at $1,898,000. For more details and photos, visit the home’s website at this link or contact me directly, and please share with anyone you think might be interested in making this superb home their own.

Real Estate Spotlight: Evergreen

May 11th, 2017

One of my favorite neighborhoods in the Bay Area to work in is Evergreen in San Jose. It’s a lovely neighborhood with great homes and some amazing people. Within Evergreen, areas like the Meadowlands boast some truly stunning homes that I love touring (and, of course, selling)!

This week, I’d like to spotlight some of my recent listings in Evergreen. They should give you a pretty good idea of why I love the area so much!

2702 Scenic Meadow Ct,San Jose, CA 95135

Evergreen 1

This Meadowlands home is a stunning single-story estate with an open floor plan and incredible backyard. With a host of upgrades, including hardwood floors, crown molding and so much more, this 4 bedroom/3 bath/2,854 square foot home is a Bay Area dream. A huge lot, office space and great schools offer something offer something for buyers of all tastes. Add in the tremendous views and you’ve got a home that is truly the total package. Listed at $1,649,000. For more photos, visit the website HERE.

Evergreen 2

3110 Royal Meadow Ln,San Jose, CA 95135

Evergreen 3

Another gorgeous Meadowlands home, this  is a 4 bed/3 bath/2,652 sq. ft. beauty  is thoroughly updated and spacious within, with a massive backyard. The huge, flat lot offers complete privacy and peerless views, all while remaining within a conveniently close distance to great schools and amenities. Some of the home’s many features include high ceilings, a full downstairs guest suite, an amazing gourmet kitchen with high-end appliances, and so much more! Listed at $1,539,000. For more photos, visit the website HERE.

Evergreen 4

Recent Sale in Evergreen

If you’re curious about how homes are selling in Evergreen right now, observe this recent listing of mine that just closed escrow.

Evergreen 5

1200 Thornbury Lane is a 4 bed/3.5 bath/2,612 square foot home that I listed in The Ranch at Silver Creek Golf Course community. After multiple offers, it sold for well above asking price, and in fact set a new record for the area. Clearly, buyers love this area as much as I do!

If you or someone you know loves these Evergreen homes, please contact me for more information! I’d be happy to help anyone find the perfect property in this neighborhood to call home.

15141 Sobey Road: Dazzling Saratoga Elegance

May 4th, 2017

Over the course of my real estate career, I’ve seen many wonderful homes and have had the honor or selling some tremendous listings. But every once in awhile, a truly remarkable, dazzling listing comes along that exemplifies elegance. My new co-listing on Sobey Road in Saratoga is one of these rare gems.

Sobey1

15141 Sobey Road, Saratoga 95070

This exquisite listing is a spectacular estate that epitomizes Silicon Valley living.  Nestled on a full acre of land, this home was constructed in 2002 using the finest materials from Europe and the U.S. This approximately 6,427 sq. ft. residence includes six bedrooms, six full baths, a powder room, a generous theater/entertainment room, and an office/library.

Sobey2

Photos can barely do justice to the intricate details of this warm, light-filled home’s inspirational design, with a full suite of elegant designer touches throughout. The home’s location is incredibly desirable as well, with top-rated schools and endless breathtaking views. Beautiful professional landscaping, including lush lawns, mature trees and established vegetation, complete the package, making this home the ideal retreat!

Sobey 3

One of the reasons I enjoy real estate so much is because of the homes themselves, and this is truly the sort of one-of-a-kind residence that will remind any agent why they love this business. The beauty inside and out is absolutely a wonder to behold. If you or anyone you know would like to view this sumptuous estate and experience its magic for yourself, please contact me to arrange a showing, or attend one of our amazing open houses!

In Other News…

Canopy 1

Looking for a great home at a great value? I’ve just DROPPED THE PRICE for my exceptional listing up in Gilroy. 430 Canopy Court is a stunning newly remodeled 4 bed/2.5 bath home located on a quiet cul-de-sac. A large gourmet kitchen and huge backyard are among the numerous impressive features that make this home so desirable. Now listed at just $699,000! Act now and make it yours!

Ready for an Upgrade?

April 20th, 2017

I was reading an article lately that was pretty inspiring. It concerns a recent study conducted on behalf of Bank of America regarding millennial homeowners’ attitudes toward homeownership. You can read it right here. One of the study’s big findings is the fact that a majority of young homeowners are looking to upgrade. They (rightly) view their current home as an asset that they will eventually sell, with the money going towards the purchase of another home. This process of upgrading is important, as families grow in size, work commutes change, etc., and one’s living situation must adapt accordingly. There’s a reason they’re called “starter homes” and not “forever homes,” after all.

Upgrade Your Home

As it happens, this is a great time to act on the desire for a home upgrade. Mortgage rates are phenomenally low right now, which is a situation that cannot last forever. Eventually, they will tick back up, and many experts predict a significant rise over the course of this year. For now, though, mortgages are the most affordable and buyer-friendly that they’ve been in a while. Anyone who has been considering a real estate purchase would be wise to consider this. This most certainly includes anyone looking to upgrade their home.

Think of it this way: property values are very, very high right now. Inventory is still quite low, and demand for Bay Area homes is red hot. For first-time homebuyers, this presents quite a challenge, as I have mentioned before. But for people who already own a home-starter or otherwise-the combination of this seller’s market and the current low mortgages rates presents a great opportunity to upgrade. If a homeowner puts their house on the market now, sells it, and puts that capital towards the purchase of a new home with low monthly payments, they are extracting maximum value from their home. If they delay too long, it may be quite a while before a similar situation presents itself.

Obviously there are a great number of factors and considerations that go into purchasing a home. It’s one of the most complex and difficult decisions a person can make (which is why having a good real estate agent is so important!). But sometimes the key to progress is recognizing an opportunity and taking advantage of it, even if it seems a bit inconvenient. If you are a homeowner like the ones mentioned in the study, perhaps your plans for upgrading are focused on the distant future. Perhaps that truly is the best option at this point in time. But it’s also worth evaluating whether speeding that timeline up a bit might be the most beneficial option for you. Even if it creates a bit of financial discomfort for you now, the long-term savings and the ability to live in your dream home sooner than you thought might be worth it. Upgrading your home is not a decision to take lightly…but it’s certainly one to consider.

If you or anyone you know would like more information on upgrading their home, or forming a specific plan for turning their current home into one better suited for their needs, please contact me! I am always happy to help anyone acquire the home that is right for them, now and in the future.

Spring, Transitions, and Real Estate

April 6th, 2017

Whether due to warm temperatures or watery eyes and sneezing, there’s no doubt about it: spring is in the air. The cozier climate and blooming plants aren’t the only changes afoot, though. Just as it marks a period of transition from winter to summer, spring also marks one for real estate.

The Spring Transition

Spring is in the air!

Winter historically represents a lull in the real estate market. As I have mentioned before, the combination of a plethora of holidays and harsh weather can be a rough one for home sales. Even after the new beginning of January 1st, this lull drags on for some time as rain clouds linger in the sky. Moving simply isn’t as appealing when people don’t want to even leave the house!

Fortunately, after a few months of gloom, spring rolls in with its rejuvenative effect, and the real estate paradigm shifts. A sleepy market wakes up from hibernation as relocation plans delayed by rain and cold seem much more manageable in the sunshine. The newly blossomed green leaves indicate a perfect chance to see another kind of green in the form of cold, hard cash. For Sale signs begin to sprout in front of homes all over the county. The transition has begun.

That’s where we are right now, with one exception. Interestingly enough, this spring comes on the heels of a winter with a particularly hot real estate market. Potential sellers have been staying put, sure, but buyers have been out in droves, driving inventory sky high as demand has so greatly outpaced supply. Not only have the torrential downpours these past few months ended our drought…it’s been raining offers!

This makes our current spring season particularly interesting, as now would be the time that the deluge of new listings coming on the market usually begins. And indeed, personal experience suggests that listings have certainly been ramping up in the last few weeks. While I wouldn’t say there’s a ton of inventory on the market, it would seem we are to a degree escaping the historic low supply we faced around the dawn of 2017.

What Does This Mean for This Spring?

In the near future, this steady flow of new listings means more options and opportunities for homebuyers. Demand is still so strong that these listings can only soak up so much of it, but those potential buyers that have been facing disappointment since the fall may finally feel some relief. With that said, it would take a lot of new listings, far beyond what is likely, to turn this into a true buyers’ market.  Buying a home may be easier, but it won’t be easy without plenty of luck, money and a good real estate agent.

If you’re thinking about selling, there is ample reason to make a move in the near future. As I noted, the increase of listings on the market may reduce demand for any one individual listing, however slightly, and thus drive down its potential selling price a bit. As such, now may well be the time for highest sale prices in a while, especially coupled with the buyer fatigue that may be setting in after a winter that was frustrating for many potential homebuyers. Also, steadily rising interest rates may end up pricing out a substantial amount of buyers if you delay too long. If selling your home this year is in the forecast, you may want to take inspiration from the season and spring into action!

Of course, each individual situation is unique. I encourage you to use me as a resource to help determine what is the best way for you to realize your goals, whether buying or selling. Together, we can minimize the fuss of transitioning you to a new home. Enjoy your spring, everyone!

An Award-Winning Team

March 30th, 2017

Last week, my team and I attended the Keller Williams Bay Area Estates awards show. It was a lovely evening, full of great people in a beautiful setting. It was a successful evening, too!

Team Award 1

Yes, that’s me, holding my 2016 award for being one of the top producers in the office. It was an absolute honor and delight to receive this award! It also helps put things into perspective after a very remarkable year in real estate.

Real estate is like any other market: it has its ups and its downs. Fluctuations are inherent…one must be cognizant of them, and roll with them either way. As such, in weighing one’s progress, an agent must take a more holistic view of their business.

In this past year, my business has taken a huge step forward as I have assembled my real estate team. Month by month, I have recruited some truly incredible agents to work alongside me and build our collective business. The night of the awards was a chance for us all to get together and celebrate our partnership. I am so very grateful to work with such a phenomenal group of people, and I look forward to seeing how our combined efforts propel us to new heights!

Elena Johal Team

Market Update

In other news, home prices in the Bay Area continue to rise as inventory creeps lower and lower. This has created what is effectively the very definition of a seller’s market, as a multitude of buyers compete for the few homes on the market. Home values are reaching unprecedented heights as desperate buyers offer well above asking price in order to secure their dream home.  How this will play out in the long term is uncertain, but one thing is abundantly clear: if you’ve been thinking about selling, there has never been a better time than NOW!

This week served as a reminder of how much I love my job and the talented agents I work with…and we’re always thrilled to share that love. Whatever your real estate needs, contact me and my team and let us put our award-winning skills to work for you!

Award

New Season, New Listings

March 23rd, 2017

Well, it’s official: Spring is here! After a wet winter, it’s a welcome relief to see blue skies (albeit amidst some gray ones) and warmer temperatures. Fittingly enough, I’ve been able to do some spring cleaning of sorts lately. My listings from the winter are currently all either in contract or have closed escrow. With the seasonal shift, I’m facing a new beginning. Fortunately, this new season brings with it new listings! I’d like to highlight two new listings of mine that have come on the market in the past week, just in time for spring.

4479 Park Bristol Place, San Jose 95136

Spring Listings 1

This beautiful five bedroom, three bath home is a Blossom Valley dream come true! This highly desirable open floor plan model comes complete with a downstairs guest suite and a large upstairs master bedroom suite. Located on a quiet cul-de-sac, the home features a gourmet kitchen with gleaming granite countertops, a large garden window, newer appliances, a pantry and an open view of the dining and family rooms. Additionally, the house is freshly painted and newly remodeled with designer carpeting, amazing lighting fixtures, marble tiles and simply HUGE rooms providing plenty of space for you and your family! Dual pane windows throughout allow for ample amounts of soothing natural light.

Spring Listings 2

Outside, the sizable backyard boasts a patio, fruit trees, gardening, herb area and room for a pool, play structure and more! The sizable three-car attached garage offers room for parking and storage. The location is superb as well, within a peaceful neighborhood and walking distance from grocery stores, public transportation, great elementary school, tennis courts, playground, Hayes Mansion Park, and the library. Conveniently a few minutes away from highways 101, 87, and 85, this home is ideal for any commuter as well!

Spring Listings 3

Listed at $999,998. Here is a link to the property website for more photos and information: 4479 Park Bristol Place.

430 Canopy Court, Gilroy 95020

Spring Listings 4

A sensational Gilroy home awaits you! This one-of-a-kind property is located on a cul-de-sac and is newly remodeled. Its open floor plan and high ceilings lend it a relaxing, airy feel. Other fantastic upgrades include brand new gleaming laminate flooring, new carpet, fresh designer paint, new lighting and so much more! A large open kitchen with a breakfast bar is the perfect place to prepare a meal, and the large dining room area is the perfect place to enjoy it. The family room, with its beautiful fireplace, lends itself to recreation. All the bedrooms are quite spacious and capable of accommodating a nice size bed, a desk and more.

Spring Listings 5

The home’s luxurious master suite has high ceilings, a walk-in closet, and a full bath complete with his and hers sinks, shower and an inviting tub. The laundry room is conveniently located upstairs, near all the bedrooms. Walk out to the huge backyard, which provides plenty of room to entertain, play or have a nice outdoor dinner on the large patio covered by a trellis and surrounded by mature trees. Finally, the close proximity to the local park, tennis courts, playground, large grass field and trails and walking distance to shopping and restaurants make the location highly desirable.

Spring Listings 6

Listed at $720,000. Here is a link to the property website for more photos and information: 430 Canopy Court.

Thanks for taking a look at this two great listings with me! If you or anyone you know is interested in more information or a private showing of either property, contact me at ejohal@kw.com. Until next time, enjoy your spring, everyone!