Quoted in a Sacbee article about the 2019 Sacramento real estate market forecast...
I was quoted in a Sacramento Bee article this weekend - Tony Bizjak interviewed a panel of Sacramento real estate experts including myself, appraiser Ryan Lundquist, and a few others to get our thoughts on the 2018 market and what we foresee for 2019.

I was not surprised to see that our answers were all fairly similar. And none of us predict that our market is in a "bubble" right now. That seems to be a popular question right now after increasing home prices for the last several years, since the bottom of the market in 2011.

I hate being asked the "are we in a bubble" question because I think most people associate the word bubble with what happened in the real estate market back in 2005-2007 when the real estate market literally exploded and the bottom dropped out of home prices. I do not believe we will experience a situation similar to that era anytime soon. The longer answer is a little more complicated. 

I think psychologically, a lot of people see that home values are approaching where they were in 2005 and fear a bubble. While it seems like yesterday, that was over 13 years ago! According to Trendgraphix, Sacramento County's median home price at the peak of the market in August 2005 reached $395,000. December 2018's Sacramento County median home price is $365,000. The reality is that the value of money changes over time, and when adjusted for CPI inflation, Sacramento's median home price would have to be approximately $507,000 today to be equivalent to the 2005 peak. When I earned my masters degree in public policy, the concept of adjusting for inflation and making values equal in today's dollars to be able to compare apples to apples was really beaten into us. I think this idea is absent a lot of analyses that I see.

Part of the run-up in prices from the previous peak was fueled by bad lending products like stated-income (non-qualifying) zero-down, interest only, or negative amortization loans. Those previous buyers hyper-extended themselves and could not actually afford those homes, and when the market declined many had to short sell or were foreclosed. We actually do not have those artificial lending products anymore, and buyers have to qualify for loans. Your average buyer today can not get a loan without verification of income, assets (for a 3-5% downpayment at a minimum), good credit, income and/or employment. Generally with unemployment rates low, interest rates still relatively low (and having dipped a little in the last month), and home prices still relatively affordable for California, I just do not foresee a bubble. And when the market does eventually decline -- because prices can not go up forever, and someday it will -- we will not have the same hyper-extension and level of buyer default that added gas to the fire before.

What I think we do need to be aware of is that incomes have not risen commensurately with sales prices, and we are likely approaching a saturation point where affordability becomes an issue. I believe that this is what will lead to stagnation of home values in Sacramento. But not a bursting bubble. There was an article this week in Comstock's Magazine that is a pretty good read that reviews the history of past real estate cycles. It is interesting to note that in past market cycles, the bottom did not drop out of prices the way it did during the Great Recession. Anyway, I am off to a super busy 2019 and I look forward to a solid year of helping both home buyers and sellers.
A great start to 2019 - honored by the Sacramento Association of Realtors for my work in real estate advocacy...
It's nice to be recognized for my efforts, and last night at the officer and directors installation event at the Sacramento Association of Realtors I received an award for my efforts in political affairs. I imagine this is due in large part to helping orchestrate association's the "Yes on 5, No on 10" campaign locally during the election cycle, among other activities I help with as a member of the board of directors for the California Association of Realtors. I do not think many people are aware, but the Realtors associations are among the only advocates for private property rights and homeownership. I love being involved in our advocacy endeavors. Onward!
2018 - review of my real estate transaction statistics and how I compare to Sacramento market averages...
I ended last year with a bang, and had a busy start to 2018. I can't believe the year is over already! And what a year it was...it was one of my busiest years ever in my 13+ years in Sacramento real estate and did so while finishing my master's degree.

I like to track the statistics of my transactions, and toward the year end I always reflect on what I have done, how I compare to the rest of the agents in the market, and how I can improve. So as a follow up to my similar post last year, I thought I would publish some statistics and my thoughts on the coming year. Keep in mind, I am not a part of a "team" and this is all my own production. This year, all of my transactions are in Metrolist MLS, so this information is easily verifiable (although one sale was erroneously attributed to me that is not included in here)...in 2018:

-I closed 36 transactions and closed $14,473,000 in volume. My lowest transaction was $190,000, and my highest transaction was $749,900. The average was $402,028 and the median was $376,050.
-41.67% of my transactions were past/repeat clients (which is amazing to me!) 58.33% were new clients.
-94.4% of my transactions were residential properties (condossingle family homes), 5.6% were multi-family properties (duplexestriplexesfourplexes), and 0 were other (commercialland).
-58.3% of my transactions I represented the seller, while 41.61% of my transactions I represented the buyer.
-My typical residential listing sold for an average of 100.56% of its original listing price (meaning, 0.56% over the original listing price) in just 17 cumulative days on the market. The distinction of original and cumulative is important...original means even after a price reduction from the initial listing price, and cumulative means even if a property is re-listed or comes back on the market.
-My typical multi-family listing sold for an average of 108.7% of its original listing price (8.7% over the listing price) in just 2 cumulative days on the market.
-My typical listing had an average of 4.14 buyer offers on it! (For further disclosure though, one listing really skewed this statistic and had 23 offers on it alone...removing that one, then it becomes an average of 3.2 buyer offers)

Comparing my production statistics to the overall Sacramento real estate market averages, my clients and I had another stellar year.

For one, to qualify for the Sacramento Association of Realtors Masters Club, a realtor must close $5M in transaction volume and a minimum of 8 closed transactions. Clearly I blew those numbers out of the water. I would guess that with 36 closed transactions and nearly $14.5M in volume I am likely in the top 1-2% of all agents in greater Sacramento.

My clients are all over the spectrum from first-time buyersmove-up buyers (those who sell their home and then purchase another home), investors, sellers of property they inherited via a trust or probate, sellers retiring and moving out of the area, sellers divorcing, etc. My average and median transactions at $402,028 and $376,050 are basically in line with the average and median home prices in the Sacramento region according to Trendgraphix data. My high and low range indicates I work with a broad economic client spectrum as well, from those working with downpayment assistance to those among top-income earners in the region. I closed just one short sale listing in 2018, and I also did list one foreclosure/bank repo. Distressed properties are a very small part of the marketplace right now though 5 or so years ago they were the bulk of my transactions.

My listing statistics are also excellent...according to Trendgraphix for Sacramento County, the lowest average days on market for a single family listing in the last 14 months was 23 days on market (with a high of 41 days on market), versus my listings at 17 cumulative days on market. My original listing price versus final selling price ratio is also outstanding as my listings sell for 100.56% above original listing price on average, versus the highest month of the last 14 months at 100% (lowest at 96%). I think these numbers are indicative of my strategic approach to listing property -- complete with pre-listing inspectionsstagingrepairsprofessional photography3D virtual tours, TV ads, and multi-faceted marketing.

Comparing 2017 to 2018, the market went from crazy nuts to a little more balanced between buyer and seller. This, as far as I am concerned, is a welcome change and brings a slightly more equitable transaction between buyer and seller. Sellers need to price according to the market, and buyers won't have to offer their first born to actually have their offers accepted.

 It is a good thing for buyers not to be faced with such intense competition from other buyers -- though don't get me wrong: properly marketed, appropriately priced, good homes still sell with plenty of competition and offers.

Of course I hope to improve these numbers this year in 2019...so we shall see how that shapes up! If you think we would be a good fit to work together toward your next property sale or purchase, I welcome your contact via phone or email.
Quoted in a Robb Report article today about the new California mandate for new construction homes to have solar panels...
I was quoted in a Robb Report article today about the new California mandate for new construction homes to be built equipped with solar panels. Renewable energy sources and energy efficiency are great things, and California is definitely leading the way and setting a new standard in the US.

All policies have impacts though, and when California generally also leads the nation with the highest median home prices (statewide median home price is over $550,000 and $365,000 in Sacramento as of November 2018), imposing a requirement to install expensive solar panels on every new construction home in the state could lead to higher home prices as builders look to recoup the extra costs of solar arrays.

The market may very well be able to handle a $10,000 - $15,000 increase in a new home's price. However, If the market cannot handle price increases from the additional costs of solar on new homes (e.g. fewer people buy those homes - perhaps buying less expensive resale homes instead, new home prices decrease, etc.) it may drive builders out of the state to build elsewhere. There are other states with fewer of these mandates, and Texas, Arizona, and Idaho for example are all experiencing building booms. We shall see in the coming years if this has an impact on the volume of new housing construction in California. 
REALTORS® awarding housing assistance grants to homeowners and renters affected by the Camp, Woolsey, and Hill fires...
Thanks to a generous donation of $1 million by National Association of REALTORS® Relief Foundation, as well as California Association of REALTORS®, other state and local REALTOR® associations (including Sacramento), and other contributors, C.A.R. is awarding housing assistance grants to homeowners and renters affected by the Camp, Woolsey, and Hill fires. Households can apply for up to $2,000 to provide assistance with mortgage relief or temporary housing, such as payments on the mortgage of a primary residence that was burned in a fire, lease, or rent payments on replacement housing, or payments to a temporary shelter.

If you or know anyone who has been affected by the fires and would like to apply for a grant, please apply online here or email disasterrelief@car.org.
In the Top 2% of over 50,000 NRT Agents Nationally!
It’s not everyday I get a letter from the President/CEO of the company with congratulations for being in the top 2% of over 50,000 agents nationally. Cheers to another busy year ahead!
New Listing - 1710 27th Street, Sacramento, CA 95816
Here is your chance to live in a stunning 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom, 1,337sf remodeled home in a highly-sought Midtown Sacramento location! You will love this bungalow's light and bright open layout, hardwood floors, formal dining room, classic built-in hutch, remodeled kitchen with quartz counters and custom wood shelving. It offers an amazing master suite with a walk-in closet, an impressive en-suite bathroom with dual sinks, quartz counters, and a walk-in shower. Enjoy a quaint backyard with lots of sunny space for your garden. It features a freshly painted interior and exterior, newer roof, newer dual pane windows, central heating and air, and a partial basement. This is a sensational location within close proximity to all that midtown has to offer including the R Street Corridor, Winn Park, light rail, breweries, bakeries, coffee, wine tasting, grocery shopping, downtown and more! Don't wait! Offered at $549,900. For more photos, 3D virtual tour, and information please visit 1710 27th Street, Sacramento, CA 95816.

Tips for storing items in your home while preparing to sell...
When I meet with potential home sellers, frequently sellers ask me how best to prepare the home for photography and showings. Often, sellers are inclined to remove belongings from the home and just cram every closet full of stuff. Or they throw everything into the garage or the basement. While this is an adequate solution to thinning out what is inside the home, homeowners must be strategic and intentional about how items are stored. While readying the house for photography and showings is super important, filling every spare nook and cranny in your home can really hamper a buyer's ability to do inspections or appraisal. So here I offer a few tips when it comes to storing items.

Tip #1: If filling your garage or basement with items, arrange things neatly in the center of the space. If you stack things up against the walls, you create "inaccessible areas" for termite and home inspectors. Most astute buyer's agents will request you make these areas accessible visually and physically, so if you pile boxes and furniture up against the walls, you will end up creating more work for yourself and just have to move items again later. If you arrange things neatly in the center with an accessible walkway around the perimeter (like in the photo), this is the best way to leave the garage or basement accessible for inspection.

Tip #2: If filling closets, be sure not to stack items on top of a crawl-space access door. Often in homes with raised foundations, the access to the crawl-space is in the floor of a closet. Termite and home inspectors must be able to have access to the sub-area of the home. Depending on the buyer's loan type, appraisers need crawl-space access too. So please do not send everyone on a hunt for access to the underside of the home by covering it. Inspectors and agents will not move items from a closet to create accessibility.

Tip #3: Again, if filling closets, be sure not to block attic access doors. Often, attic access doors are also in closet ceilings and sellers tend to stack items so high that the attic door is blocked. If there is an upper shelf installed blocking access to the attic door, you should remove it to provide unobstructed access. Again, inspectors and some appraisers will need access to the attic.

Tip #4: Have a garage sale and get rid of items! Selling and moving can be a great time to purge unused or unwanted items. Rather than stash things in the garage or closet, if you have time on your side have a garage sale so you don't end up storing or moving stuff you won't use.

Tip #5: Get a storage unit. You will need to pack things up to move them into your next home anyway. I know, I know...you aren't excited to move things twice. But you probably have a friend with a truck who can help you remove things from the house completely. I have a truck and occasionally have helped my clients relocate items as well. Just sayin'.

Most people do not roll out of bed one day and decide to sell their homes, so with a little planning and strategy you can make things easier on yourself...
New Listing - 2664 Aramon Drive, Rancho Cordova, CA 95670
Adorable updated 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom, 1309sf Rancho Cordova home! You will love the spacious floorplan with laminate flooring throughout, dual pane windows, remodeled kitchen with granite counters and tile flooring, formal dining room, large bedrooms, master suite with remodeled bathroom, updated hallway bathroom with dual sinks and lots of storage space. The backyard has a covered patio area and lots of sunny spaces to garden or play. Located in close proximity to shopping, restaurants, schools, public transportation, and more. Don't wait! Offered at $299,900. For more photos and information please visit 2664 Aramon Drive, Rancho Cordova, CA 95670.

New Listing - 7444 Tamoshanter Way, Sacramento, CA 95822
Adorable, well-maintained 3 bedroom, 1 bathroom 960sf home on a large corner lot is ready for a new owner - it is the perfect blank canvas for your personal touches! You will love the light and bright interior, open layout, spacious kitchen, big bedrooms, lots of storage space, dual pane windows, newer tankless water heater, central heat and air, 2-car attached garage. The backyard offers plenty of sunny space to garden or play, shed with shelving and electrical power and light, manicured lawn, and automatic sprinklers. Located near schools, public transportation, parks, shopping, and more. Don't wait! Offered at $209,900. For more photos and information please visit 7444 Tamoshanter Way, Sacramento, CA 95822.

Why I am voting YES on Proposition 5, and NO on Proposition 10
While I was out of town this last week attending the California Association of Realtors policy committees and board of directors meetings, my vote-by-mail ballot arrived at my house. Sacramento County residents now ALL receive ballots in the mail to be mailed back or dropped off at designated locations. And over the next few weeks, voters will have to contemplate their options with regard to a number of local, state, and federal races and numerous California ballot propositions. There are two propositions in particular that could dramatically affect housing opportunities, private property rights, and the availability of affordable housing in California: Proposition 5 and Proposition 10. As someone with a Master's Degree in Public Policy and Administration, who understands housing issues, who works with buyers and sellers - I want to explain why I support Proposition 5 and oppose Proposition 10 and encourage you to keep this rationale in mind when completing your ballots.

YES on Proposition 5
Proposition 5 is the "Property Tax Fairness" initiative and would remove the "moving penalty" from California's property tax system. It would allow seniors, the severely disabled, and victims of natural disasters (think California wildfires) to transfer their existing low property tax base value when purchasing another home located anywhere in California. These people would be permitted to purchase a more expensive property if needed and pay a blended rate that incorporates a slight property tax increase from the difference in value from the home sold and the home purchased.

There are several seniors I have talked to over my 13 years in real estate who would love to sell their current home, but they'd suffer a "moving penalty" and cannot afford to sell. Huh? Let me explain. One such Sacramento couple has lived in their home for 30+ years, their children long ago moved out, and both are retired and living on fixed incomes. They own their home free and clear but no longer can maintain it. They no longer need the quarter acre yard where their children once played, and what used to be manicured lawn and gardens is now mostly overgrown weeds. The wife has mobility issues and has not been upstairs in a few years - because she physically can't get up the stairs. There a couple of empty bedrooms. The house needs a new roof. The home is drafty and grossly energy inefficient, and needs those improvements and other cosmetic updates. The expense of making those repairs would more than wipe out their savings. They would love to move to a newer single level condo in Alameda County, near their adult children and grandchildren, with no yard to maintain and that requires little upkeep. Their current property tax bill for their paid-for Sacramento home is roughly $1200 per year, kept low by Proposition 13 from 1978, which bases property tax on the home's acquisition value. Their home is worth about $400,000. The type of condo they'd like to buy is about $500,000. Current law allows for one-time property tax base transfers and within the same California county (or to few other counties that allow incoming transfers), and only to purchase a lower priced home. Purchasing a new condo for a higher price in another county would quadruple their annual property tax to $5,000 per year (over $400/month). This is an expense they cannot afford. And because of this, they stay in their home even though it no longer meets their needs. Moving from their current home would also free it up to allow another family to come in buy it, and renovate the property, better maintain the yard, and use the home's full bedroom capacity.

Because I see this scenario first hand everyday, I want to support helping homeowners like this couple avoid the moving penalty and be able to purchase a more suitable home in a different area. The elderly couple I described would pay $1200 plus another $1000 (the value of property tax for the difference between their $400,000 sale and $500,000 purchase). The new owner of the home they sold would pay $4000 of annual property tax instead of the $1200 the sellers paid.

The social benefits of this proposition are many - parents can be closer to adult children. Adult children nearby can help care for aging parents. Conversely, grandparents can help care for their grandchildren instead of hired babysitters or daycare. The positive economic spillover effects of these moves are also many. The buyer of the sold home will likely spend money to renovate the home, hiring local contractors. They will spend money at Home Depot and other local suppliers. Their kids again will attend the local schools. They will eat at local restaurants and spend money in other local stores. They will infuse new capital and economic activity into the local area.

I could enumerate many other examples of other people who are locked into their homes by the low property tax base. These people need to sell and cannot afford the moving penalty. This is why I am voting YES on Proposition 5 - to help these people afford to move and to free up their existing home for another more suitable buyer.

NO on Proposition 10
Proposition 10 is a repeal of the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act. The California Legislature enacted Costa-Hawkins in 1995 to place parameters on how local governments can apply rent control ordinances. The parameters imposed by Costa-Hawkins prevent rent control from being imposed on new construction (rental units built after 1995 when the legislation went into effect). It prevents rent control from being applied to single family homes and condos. It also allows for "vacancy decontrol", such that when a rent-controlled unit is vacated by a tenant, a landlord can charge a new incoming tenant market rent. That market rent would be the new baseline for the rent control pricing. Proposition 10 remove these parameters, thus enabling the wild west of rent control ordinances.

Oh gosh, where do I begin to describe how devastating Proposition 10 would be to housing in California? It's such a bad idea that both Gavin Newsom and John Cox, candidates for California Governor, are opposed to Proposition 10. The California Legislature defeated a bill to repeal Costa-Hawkins earlier this year. And a vast majority of economists agree rent control is bad for renters having the opposite effects intended.

First, Proposition 10 would allow rent control to be applied to new construction. At a time where the California Department of Housing and Community Development reports we need at least 180,000 new housing units constructed each year -- an annual number California has been far behind already for a decade -- Proposition 10 would gut every effort to construct new units. We need builders to build in California. Builders in turn need to be profitable. If Proposition 10 passed, what builders in their right minds would build rental housing in California knowing at any time their profitability could be threatened by rent control? They would take their resources to other states and build there. We already have a severe housing shortage in California and this would exacerbate the housing shortage.

Second, Proposition 10 would allow rent control to be applied to single family homes and condos. This could result in rent control applying to homeowners who rent rooms in their own residences. It could allow bureaucrats the ability to mandate homeowners pay a fee to take their own home off the rental market. Why would voters want to handcuff the use of their own homes? Further, I know a lot about Homeowners Associations (HOAs - my masters thesis topic actually), and nearly one quarter of Californians live in properties governed by HOAs. Private associations have the ability to limit or restrict an owner's ability to rent out their units. If Proposition 10 is passed, HOA's are likely to respond by passing rules cease the rental of properties in their neighborhoods. This will further limit how owners can use their properties, and prevent homes and condos that might be turned into rental units from doing so. This again would limit the availability of units for rent and result in curbing owners' private property rights.

Third, Proposition 10 would eliminate vacancy decontrol, where landlords can increase the rent of a unit to the current market rent when a tenant moves out. If landlords must continue to charge the same low rent to subsequent tenants in rent-controlled property, this would further constrain ability of landlords to make any profit on their rentals. MOST landlords in California are mom-and-pop owners whose rental properties are part of their long-term retirement portfolio. Making rent-controlled units perpetually price-fixed for eternity is extremely unfair to landlords who already are burdened by increasing maintenance and utility costs, and rent price ceilings. It would likely result in decreased property values as well as create a perverse incentive for landlords not to maintain or improve their units for new tenants because they will just not be able to afford it.

There are many other negative implications to the repeal of Costa Hawkins as well, but I think you get the idea. At a time when California desperately needs more housing units, this is NOT a way to increase the supply of housing. This does not help renters. There are about 15 cities in California that have some form of rent control. Recent studies from Stanford have linked the current rent control ordinances in San Francisco with as much as a 15% reduction in available rental housing units. The results of not constructing new housing units and pillaging the property rights of owners will make a bad problem worse. This is why I am voting NO on Proposition 10.
Quoted in a Sacramento Bee article about the local real estate market conditions...
I was quoted a few days ago in a SacBee article this week about the cooling home market. But is this really news? I am not sure this is anything to get hot and bothered by. We have 2.2 months of inventory right now. For the sake of comparison, there was 15 months of inventory in September 2007 when the market turned south. Peeps, I have been in real estate for 13 years, and the market today is nothing like it was then.

Contrary to what many would think, it is normal for the Sacramento real estate market to seasonally slow down a bit in the months of July, August, and September. For the past several consecutive years, the available number homes for sale has tended to spike during the summer months while demand calms down slightly. This is normal. I think it probably has to do with our super hot summers...people go on vacation in July. Schools resume in August...people just have other priorities during Sacramento summers. And then after Labor Day the market picks back up a bit again until the holidays.

In fact if you look at a graph examining months of inventory in Sacramento County, you will see the same trend each summer...inventory increases. Then it decreases.

And the same has happened this summer. This is not unusual. In fact, if you look at the increase in inventory from summer 2014, the increase in inventory then was much higher than it is now. And everything was peachy keen.

I think buyers have a nice opportunity until the buying frenzy picks back up after the holidays. Relatively speaking, there is a little less competition from other buyers (and if this season is anything like past ones, there probably will be a bit less competition through the holidays). Relatively speaking, there are more homes to choose from. Key word here is relative. 2.2 months of for sale inventory is still not a lot. But this is definitely more inventory than what Sacramento home buyers have grown accustomed to. Sellers, don't expect to overprice your home and sell it quickly with multiple offers. Be realistic. Good marketing and exposure is key. The fundamentals matter. (For the record, all of my current listings are in contract with buyers)

The reality is that good homes are still in high demand.
New Listing - 5400 Robertson Avenue, Carmichael, CA 95608
Lovingly-maintained 3 bedroom, 1 bathroom, 960sf Carmichael home is ready for a new owner! You will love the spacious layout, updated kitchen with tile counters, big bedrooms, lots of storage, attached 2-car garage, central heat & air, dual pane windows, nearly quarter acre park-like backyard with newer fencing and HUGE 12x18 workshop with electrical, additional storage shed, large covered patio. Freshly painted exterior, pest clearance and 2-year roof certification. Located near schools, parks and shopping. Don't wait! Offered at $309,900. For more photos and information visit 5400 Robertson Avenue, Carmichael, CA 95608.

Top Individual Agent in my Coldwell Banker Sierra Oaks office FOUR months straight...
It has been a BUSY summer and I have nothing to complain about...for the 4th month in a row I am the top producing individual agent in my office. Needless to say, I have thrived since joining Coldwell Banker Sierra Oaks. Looking forward to continuing to be busy helping buyers and sellers throughout Sacramento.
Do I personally think it is a good time to buy property in Sacramento? Yes, and my husband and I just bought another property...
The million dollar question during just about type of real estate market seems to be "is now a good time to buy a home in Sacramento?" I feel there is no good blanket answer for this question since everyone has different motivations to purchase a home, comprised usually of some combination of personal and financial factors. But generally, yes I do think it is still an opportune time in Sacramento to purchase property. And last week my husband and I closed escrow on another property and we could not be more thrilled about it.

We purchased a cute fixer single family property in the Del Paso Manor neighborhood and will embark on a little renovation project over the coming weeks to restore the home to its former glory. 
New Listing - 2180 Irvin Way, Sacramento, CA 95822
Adorable 2 bedroom, 1 bathroom, 939sf home in Hollywood Park! You will love the spacious layout, wood floors throughout, freshly painted interior, updated kitchen with white cabinets and laminate counters, dining nook, remodeled bathroom with tile flooring and new vanity, indoor laundry room, central heat and air, attached one-car garage. The huge backyard offers a great sunny space to garden or play. It is in close proximity to awarding-winning schools, William Land Park, restaurants, parks and more! Don't wait! Offered at $349,900. For more photos and information visit 2180 Irvin Way, Sacramento, CA 95822.
Not on public sewer? Be sure to get a septic inspection...
Occasionally I help clients buy or sell property that is not hooked up to public utilities. These properties tend not to be located in urban or suburban areas, and are usually a bit more rural -- like Elverta, Rio Linda, Elk Grove or unincorporated Sacramento County or Placer County areas.

Recently I helped a buyer purchase a horse property home on acreage in Elverta, and while MLS stated that the home was on all public utilities, we observed that there were indeed septic tanks on the property.

Septic systems must be pumped and drained in order to be fully inspected. Do yourself a favor and do not stand downwind of the septic while it is being drained. It's pretty disgusting to smell.

In cases where the septic is easily accessible -- meaning that the location to the access points of the underground tanks is known, and the access points are not buried or require excavation -- pumping is approximately $350 and then the inspection itself is approximately $125.

Assuming the septic system is in good, functioning condition, having a septic company issue a "certification" may cost another $250. A certification means that the company will guarantee the system is operable for the next 2 years. Some lenders may require as a condition of funding a loan that buyers obtain a septic certification for homes not on public sewer. So if you are buying (or selling) a home on a septic system, I would be sure to budget at least $725 for a septic certification. Maybe more.

For homes on septic systems where the tanks, wells, leach lines, etc. are NOT in good condition, a certification may not be issued without repairs. This can get pretty expensive (thousands of dollars!) depending on what the issues are.

The costs of inspection, repairs, and certification are negotiable between buyer and seller.
New Listing - 5630 35th Avenue, Sacramento, CA 95824
Adorable 2 bedroom, 1 bathroom, 1,213sf Fruitridge Manor home is the perfect blank canvas for your personal touches, and is ready for a new owner. Lovingly maintained by the same family for many years, you will appreciate the wood floors, large kitchen with double oven, separate living and family rooms, fireplace with gas starter, and spacious bedrooms. Backyard offers both sunny and shady spaces to garden and play and a shed for additional storage. Close proximity to shopping, public transit, CSUS, and more. Probate sale. Offered at $249,900. Don't wait! For more photos and information please visit 5630 35th Avenue, Sacramento, CA 95824.

What is that red device and why did it have to be installed on the gas meter of one of my listings?
Well, even after nearly 13 years as an agent and after hundreds of sold properties, I still occasionally come across new things in my transactions. You might be looking at that photo wondering what is that red thing on that gas meter?

Candidly I had never seen one before being required to install one on the gas meter of one of my listings prior to the close of escrow. It is an automatic gas shut off valve device.

When the buyer for one of my listings was in the process of getting homeowners insurance quotes, he had to fill out a questionnaire about the property. One of the questions was "Is the house bolted to the foundation?" This actually mirrors one of the questions on a seller property disclosure, the Residential Earthquake Hazards Report. My seller clients answered this question as "Don't know."

This set off alarm bells with the insurance company.

You might think, well duh, of course the house is bolted to the foundation. Not so fast...this home was built in 1922. We asked the home inspector to go down in the basement and look for anchor bolts. The manner in which the home was constructed either concealed the bolts (probably likely), or the house was indeed not bolted to the foundation.

So is a house that is not bolted to its foundation un-insurable? That alone apparently won't disqualify the home from being eligible for a homeowners insurance policy, however the insurance company mandated the home have an automatic gas shut off valve installed prior to issuing a new insurance policy.

Why? We were told that in the event of an earthquake, if the home somehow shimmied off its foundation, this shut off valve would at least prevent a natural gas leak. Ok then.

I called several plumbing contractors to have this thing installed, and literally none of them even knew what I was talking about when I described what I needed. Apparently this is way more common in the bay area, but nobody locally here in Sacramento had ever seen one or heard of it being required.

So...$720 later, the buyer is now the proud owner of a cute home in Land Park with a shiny red gas shut off valve.
Quoted in a Sacramento Bee article about million dollar homes in Sacramento...
I’m quoted in the Sacramento Bee this week in an article about Sacramento being #13 in the nation for homes valued over $1M. Spoiler alert: about half the cities ahead of Sacramento on the list are in CA. And the number of million dollar homes equates to only 1.7% of our housing inventory - meaning 98.3% of inventory here is under $1M.

Relative to the rest of California, the Sacramento region is still remarkably affordable. The California statewide median home price as of last month is $600,860 per the California Association of Realtors. The median home price in Sacramento County is $375,000. There are California counties where the median price is well over $1,000,000 (Alameda, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, etc.). And even in the greater Sacramento area, homes in Sacramento are more affordable than Placer County at $499,650, Yolo County at $476,500, Nevada County at $404,000, El Dorado County at $552,000, and Solano County at $451,000.
New listing - 7556 Wooddale Way, Citrus Heights, CA 95610
Well-maintained 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom, 960sf adorable Citrus Heights home is ready for a new owner. You will love the laminate flooring, freshly painted interior, cute updated kitchen with tile counters, remodeled master bathroom, dual pane windows, central heat and air, acrylic stucco exterior, composition roof, and attached two car garage. Big backyard with spacious patio for entertaining, shed for extra storage. Located close to parks, k-12 schools, shopping and more. Don't wait! Offered at $299,900. For more photos and detail visit 7556 Wooddale Way, Citrus Heights, CA 95610.

Top Producer Trifecta for May 2018 in my Coldwell Banker Sierra Oaks office...
In my first full month at my new office at Coldwell Banker in Sierra Oaks, I hit the trifecta: Top Closer, Top Seller, and Top Listing Agent in the office. You will see they rank "teams" (groups of multiple agents) and individuals, and I swept the individual category. There are well over 100 agents in my office, and it's nice to see I rank among the top, and clearly I hit the ground running after transitioning to this Coldwell Banker office from another brokerage in mid-April.
New Listing - 8238 Leesburg Way, Elk Grove, CA 95624
Adorable 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom, 1220sf Elk Grove home! You will love the spacious open layout with vaulted ceilings, freshly painted interior, updated flooring, and a cozy fireplace. The kitchen has lots of storage space, tile counters, and a cute dining nook. The backyard is a great place to garden and it has a covered deck which is a wonderful spot to entertain or barbeque! This home features a newer fencing, corner lot with possible RV access and an attached 2-car garage. It is located close to parks, Harriet Eddy Middle School, Monterey Trail High School, shopping & more! Don't wait! Offered at $339,900. For more photos and detail, please visit 8238 Leesburg Way, Elk Grove, CA 95624.
Don't wait to get a "Date of Death" Appraisal...
I sell many homes where the original owner passed away, and the successor trustee of a trust is the person selling the home. As a rule, I do not give tax or legal advice to my clients since I am not a CPA and not an attorney...but I see this situation enough that I feel the need to make a suggestion to sellers of homes after the death of the owner - talk to a CPA immediately, and obtain A DATE OF DEATH APPRAISAL.

A Date of Death Appraisal is a formal valuation of the home by a state-licensed real estate appraiser upon the date of death of the owner.

You should look into this sooner than later. The estate will likely need one for tax purposes, whether you decide to sell the home immediately or wait.

For too many people having this done is an afterthought. Be proactive. Recently I sold a home for a successor trustee where the owner died over 8 years ago. The longer you wait to have a this done, the more expensive the appraisal will be. The appraisers I refer to my clients typically charge $400-$500 for an appraisal, however if they have to dig for comparable sales information that is not readily available or current, the cost will definitely increase. Additionally, if you get this done sooner than later, while you still have access to the property, the appraiser can actually see the home. If you wait a long time...and maybe even wait until after the property is sold (very common), then the appraiser not only has to dig up old information but also won't have the benefit of being able to see the home in person.

My suggestion - talk to a CPA and don't delay getting this done. If you need a referral to a great appraiser, reach out to me and I can connect you.
Quoted in a Sacramento Bee article about bay area buyers moving to Sacramento...
I have helped numerous buyers relocate to Sacramento, but one thing is certain -- none of them have been overeager to plunk down a bunch of money on a home here. For some reason there is concern that bay area buyers come to Sacramento with their high tech salaries and recklessly offer more than homes are worth.


All of the bay area transplants I have worked with have been very financially prudent and conservative. I relayed this experience to a Sacramento Bee reporter for an article that ran in this weeks newspaper about bay area home buyers moving to Sacramento. He also interviewed some of my recently closed clients in the article as well. They sold their long-time home in Dublin and paid cash for a cute 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom, 1501sf Antelope home for $339,000, closing just last week. They did so in order to retire a little ahead of schedule. We looked at many homes together before they made any decisions, and before they made an offer we carefully reviewed recent comparable sales so their offer was in line with the market value.