Thomas Westfall's Posts (51)

Know someone looking to rent a house in Castro Valley? There is a wonderful opportunity on the upper part of the hill to rent a 4 bed/2 bath Claude Oakland model with atrium and 2-car garage. Contact me for showing by appointment only. More details on Craigslist:  http://sfbay.craigslist.org/eby/apa/5599391813.html

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Just listed, coveted 4 bedroom, 2 bathroom Castro Valley Eichler in premium Greenridge location.  Spacious, 4 bedroom, 2 bathroom single-level home with covered atrium for 2,240 square feet of measure living space, and a massive 2 car attached garage on a sizable corner lot of over 11,000 square feet! Lots of original details. Offered at $900,000. Please visit www.5768Highwood.com for more photos and information.

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Extraordinary example of Mid-Century Modern architecture, this is a lovely "super-Eichler", which flows over 2400+ square feet not including the massive atrium.  Spacious 4 bedroom, 2.5 bath floor plan also includes a dramatic view-through loggia between the atrium and the courtyard with modern firepit at the back of the home.

This Walnut Creek gem features remodeled kitchen and baths, gorgeous cork flooring and period details, radiant heating, 2 car-attached garage, and more.  Situated on a level ¼ acre park-like lot of over 10,800 square feet, with gas heated pool and spa, large grassy area for pets and play, side yards, and courtyard surrounded by the dining and living rooms. 

Offered at $1,100,000

Please visit www.253Wiget.com for more photos and information.

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Mod Manor: The Ultimate Eichler

Mod Manor, one of the nicest Eichler homes you will ever have the opportunity to own. Extraordinary remodeled and renovated A. Quincy Jones "Double-A" model that was featured in the Eichler documentary, "People who live in Glass Houses".  Please visit www.18511Mountain.com for photos and detailed information. Open Sat & Sun November 7th & 8th from 1pm to 4pm.

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An Eichler home tour is an excellent opportunity for both owners and enthusiasts to see examples of different models, and the improvements and renovations made by the owners kind enough to let us view their homes. 

The San Mateo Highland Eichler home tour is coming this May 3rd & 4th from 10AM to 3PM featuring 10 homes, a restored vintage Airstream trailer, a historical documentary of the Highlands neighborhood, the film "People
in Glass Houses" (featuring my neighbors Scott and Mona), vintage cars, limited edition commemorative poster (see below), 9 midcentury modern artists, and much more.

The cost for the tour is $55 for a single day and $100 for the weekend.  Lunch is also available for an additional $12 or you can bring your own.  Reservations and additional information are available via www.eichlerhometour.org, and I’d recommend you make them sooner than later because space is limited. 

Enjoy the tour, and I hope to see you there!

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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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2013 Greenridge Eichler home sales in review

2013 was without a doubt a rebound year when it comes to real estate in the East Bay, and the Greenridge Eichler community of Castro Valley saw some significant growth when it comes to closed sales prices. 

The first sold property was 5817 Badger Court, which was actually listed in November of 2012, ratified in December, and closed on January 31st of 2013.  5817 Badger Court was listed for $600,000, received 8 offers on its offer date, and closed for $640,058.  Even though Badger was listed in November of 2012, it’s an excellent example and precursor to the significant growth and continued popularity of Eichler homes in Greenridge that we were going to see in 2013. 

It wasn’t until July 18th that we’d see our next Eichler listing in Greenridge at 5305 Greenridge, which was actually 8 months from when 5817 Badger Court was listed.  During that time, a lot had happened to Bay Area Real Estate as a whole with prices increasing everywhere, and especially in San Francisco, the Peninsula, and Western South Bay.  In fact, a lot of these areas actually saw growth beyond the boom of 2005 to 2007 with signs of continuing growth into 2014.   Because of this, I believe areas like Castro Valley benefit from the ripple effect of buyers being forced out of those areas and finding areas like Greenridge to be relatively “affordable” by Bay Area standards.  Add the Eichler phenomenon to the equation, and you have solid market growth like we saw in 2013, and proven with the sale of 5305 Greenridge, which was listed for $750,000 or 25% more than the previous Eichler in the neighborhood.  It too received multiple offers, and sold for $769,000 or $139,000 more than the previous sale.  5305 Greenridge was the first sale in the neighborhood of over $750,000 in almost 5 years, and set the standard for the next few listings to come.

Selling like buying can be contagious, and it seemed like there was a new listing coming on the market every other week during the summer.  The next listing to the neighborhood was 5953 Highwood, which was listed on August 8th for $775,000, and literally sold after the first open house for $774,000.  This was by design and what the seller preferred.  They had a price in mind that they wanted to achieve because they were in contract with another home back East.  They also preferred not to have multiple open houses, and the buyer was generous enough to include a rent-back per gratis, which added value and enabled the seller to move on their schedule.  5953 Highwood is an excellent example of the fact that every home has a reason for selling, and a seller always has a choice in how they want to sell their home.  This is also a great example that being prepared as a buyer can behoove you in a situation like this. 

It was only 2 weeks later that 5695 Greenridge came on the market and listed for $700,000.  I know a lot of neighbors were understandably concerned about the price because we had just seen the last 2 homes sell for $769k and $774k, however there’s a lot that needs to be considered when pricing a home.  For example, the condition of the property (regardless of it being an Eichler or not) will always make a difference in pricing.  5695 Greenridge was in wonderfully original condition, but it did have some flaws that the seller disclosed because they did the proper inspections before going to market, and the price took that into consideration.  5695 Greenridge still had multiple offers and sold for $710,000 with the new owners knowing they were going to need to do a little work.  However, this also gives a buyer the opportunity to improve the property to their own personal tastes.

The next property to come on the market was 5394 Greenridge, which was listed on September 17th for $698,000 and sold for $741,000 on October 25th.  Like a lot of homes that come on the market it needed a little TLC, but it also had a lot going for it like a wonderful view and large lot.  Even with the home needing some TLC, it too received multiple offers and sold for over asking. 

Speaking of condition, there is currently another Eichler home that’s pending at 5345 Crown Court.  I visited this home multiple times, and I can honestly say that it needs significant work inside and out.  5345 Crown Court is also a short sale, and requires lender approval on everything including price, which is why escrow takes a lot longer than your typical transaction. However, even being a short sale and needing everything, it looks as if it’s going to sell for over 600K!  I’m not the listing agent, but I do know that the lender wasn’t going to accept anything less than $590,000, and the odds are likely that they have a higher offer because they received 8 offers!  5345 Crown Court is a great example of homes in the area being desirable regardless of condition, as long as the price is right.

Finally, 2013 ended on an incredibly strong note with the sale of 18407 Cotton Court.  18407 Cotton Court was listed on October 30th for $800,000, and received 8 offers on its offer date 2 weeks later.  I can honestly say that this was the most popular listing I’ve ever had, and was very happy to see how many people want to be a part of Greenridge.  Cotton Court closed on December 13th for $835,000, which was the highest sale in the neighborhood in 7 years!

In summary, we had 6 listings and 6 closings in the calendar year with closed sales prices ranging from $640,000 to $835,000.  To put it in perspective, the highest sales price in 2012 was $615,000 or $25,000 less than the lowest sale of 2013 and $220,000 less than the highest.  This is good news for those who are considering selling or hoping to refinance, and possibly concerning for those buying.  However, even though prices are increasing, interest rates are still historically low, which will help both current home owners wanting to refinance and potential buyers with their purchase. Even with prices increasing, I still believe Castro Valley is one of the best values in the entire Bay Area.

Address       

Listing Date

Closed Date

Offer Price

Closed Price

5817 Badger Court

Nov 7, 2012

Jan 31, 2013

$600,000

$640,058

5305 Greenridge

July 18, 2013

Aug 28, 2013

$750,000

$769,000

5953 Highwood

Aug 8, 2013

Sep 13, 2013

$775,000

$774,000

5695 Greenridge

Aug 22, 2013

Oct 4, 2013

$700,000

$710,000

5394 Greenridge

Sep 17, 2013

Oct 25, 2013

$698,000

$741,000

18407 Cotton Court

Oct 30, 2013

Dec 11, 2013

$800,000

$835,000

5345 Crown Court

Sep 4, 2013

TBD

$590,000

TBD

In my professional opinion, I believe 2014 is going to be similar to 2013.  We should probably expect 5 to 7 listings with significant interest from buyers when a property comes available.  I don’t expect the market to see the increase we saw in 2013, but I do expect sales to remain strong and solid. 

I want to thank everyone who took the time to read this report and let you know that it’s a pleasure to be your Realtor, friend, and neighbor of the Greenridge Eichler community.   Please feel free to call or email with any questions including refinancing, and all the best in 2014!!

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