GCV Blog

The Sequoyah Hills Eichler community in Oakland is the closest Eichler community to Castro Valley’s Greenridge neighborhood in both distance and comparative prices.  Ever since I moved to the East Bay in 2007, I’ve watched the 2 neighborhoods closely, and would consider Sequoyah Hills the community I know the best next to Greenridge in regards to Eichlers.  Probably because we considered moving to Sequoyah Hills as well but happened to find our home in Castro Valley first.  In fact, I saw a lot of the same faces when I had listings in both Castro Valley and Oakland this year supporting my belief that a lot of Eichler buyers are looking for the home first, and the area second.  Oakland does seem to have a more diverse range in sold prices, however Oakland also has a lot more diversity in regards to the sizes of their Eichlers.  For example, Sequoyah Hills has comparatively more 3 bedrooms around 1,500 square feet than Greenridge, and the 4 or 5 bedrooms all seem to be over 2,000 square feet.  However, at the end of the day, the homes in both neighborhoods tend to sell around the same price per square foot, which for the moment is right around $400 depending on the condition of the property.  Both neighborhoods have great qualities, but the deciding factor for Sequoyah Hills seems to be the proximity to Oakland and San Francisco, while the school system seems to be the cache for Castro Valley. 

2013 was a very interesting year to say the least when it comes to real estate in the Bay Area. There was substantial growth in the areas west of us like the Peninsula and San Francisco that actually surpassed the boom of 2005-2007. Bad for those who want to live on the West Side of the Bay, but great for us because it is driving prices up in the East Bay with signs of continued growth. The calendar year of 2013 saw 3 Eichler closed sales in Sequoyah Hills, which is actually a touch higher than the average 1 or 2 sales we normally see annually, with this being one of the smallest Eichler communities.

 

However, there was a long drought between listings in Sequoyah Hills since the last sale at 8165 Phaeton in late December of 2012, and it wasn’t until August 16th of 2013 that 8020 Shay came on the market for $499,000. This price seemed to be low considering what was happening to the market as a whole in the Bay Area, but every home has a story and a reason for selling. To my understanding, 8020 Shay did not have the luxury of time, and had to be sold within a matter of weeks of being listed or it was going to be sold at auction due to a clerical error by the recently demised borrower of a reverse mortgage. Because of this, the seller’s estate had to sell the home ASAP, and that’s why it was listed for what I consider below market value.  Fortunately there’s a lot of interest in Eichler homes and the home did receive multiple offers and closed escrow days before the scheduled auction for $560,000. Even though 8020 Shay sold for $61,000 over asking, I believe the new owners got an incredible deal on the property and the property could have been sold for substantially more with a little TLC and preparation. 

 

The next property to be listed was Neil and Carol Lewis’s home at 8119 Phaeton on September 12th for $775,000. Obviously substantially higher than 8020 Shay, but an excellent example of how a seller can maximize their return if they take the time to prepare a home for sale, even in original condition.  This was proven when the property sold and closed for $775,000 in less than 30 days after ratification.  8119 Phaeton was the highest Eichler sale in the neighborhood in over 6 years and happy to say my first listing in the neighborhood.  I really enjoyed meeting everyone and please visit www.8119Phaeton.com if you’d like to see the website.

 

It was only a few days after 8119 Phaeton went active that 8070 Phaeton came on the market for $605,000.  Although it seems to be significantly less than the property at 8119 Phaeton, the price per square foot was almost identical when the property sold for $641,000, which is equal to $384.52 per square foot, where 8119 Phaeton sold for $386.53.  This is a great example of how an appraiser would determine the value of your home during a sale or refinance based on price per square feet.  Obviously this is generally speaking and not taking everything into account such as condition, however I do consider this a good benchmark of your homes current market value around $385.00 a square foot. 

 

So here’s a quick breakdown and recap of the year in review for Sequoyah Hills:

 

Address

List Date

Closed Date

Listing Price

Sales Price

8020 Shay

8/16/2013

9/11/2013

$499,000

$560,000

8119 Phaeton

9/12/2013

10/22/2013

$775,000

$775,000

8070 Phaeton

9/18/2013

11/1/2013

$605,000

$641,000

In my professional opinion, I believe 2014 is going to be similar to 2013 and we should probably expect to see at least 2 to 3 Eichler listings.  There will continue to be significant interest from buyers when a property comes available, because of the cache of owning an Eichler home and the comparative “value” in Bay Area standards.  I don’t necessarily expect the market to see the increase we saw in 2013, but I do expect sales to remain strong and solid with continued growth.

 

Thank you everyone for your time and consideration, and all the best in 2014!!!

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