Todd & Lisa Sheppard
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Archive for April 2013

Real Estate Roundup: Strong Forecast for Home Prices; Equity Loans Stage Comeback

April 30th, 2013   by lisasheppard

House built of $100 bills

Recent news of interest to homebuyers, home sellers, and the home-curious includes a forecast of 10 percent growth in home prices this year and 8 percent growth next year. Also, lenders are warming up to home equity loans again, and sales of new and existing homes posted solid gains in March.

Click Here to read the full report.

In Windsor, Community Activities Center on Town Green

April 29th, 2013   by lisasheppard

Town Green Village

Windsor is a family-friendly town in Sonoma County with an outsized sense of community. Many of the town’s most cherished activities take place at the Town Green, a civic treasure that is home to a farmers market, free outdoor concerts, holiday celebrations, and summertime movie nights.

To read more about the town of Windsor, Click Here.

Pacific Union Quarterly Report: Q1 2013

April 26th, 2013   by lisasheppard

Sonoma County scene

After record-breaking results in 2012, real estate activity in the first quarter suggests 2013 will once again reach new highs. Pacific Union’s Quarterly Real Estate Report has the facts and numbers behind the good news.


With a limited supply of homes for sale, new listings in Sonoma County typically received multiple bids as soon as they came on the market in the first quarter – except for those homes that landed preemptive offers and sold quickly in an off-market deal. In such an environment, it comes as no surprise that homes sold quicker and at higher prices than we’ve seen in many years.

Sellers have a distinct advantage in the current marketplace. In a more balanced market, a buyer typically might attach contingencies to an offer, making the deal dependent on a pest inspection or an appraisal, for example. Lately, however, we’ve seen buyers offering contingencies to the seller. These include offers that give sellers time to find a new home and waive inspections and appraisals, as well as all-cash deals well above the asking price. In such a tricky marketplace, with many buyers willing to accept greater risk to close a deal, the expertise of a local real estate professional can make a huge difference in the outcome.

Distressed properties, such as foreclosures and bank-owned homes, had been a dominant force in local real estate in recent years, but few such homes were available in the first quarter as the supply began to dry up. We saw an increased interest in second homes, and more homeowners looking to move up to higher-priced properties.

Looking Forward: We expect to see more sellers enter the market as they realize how much equity their homes have accumulated over the past year. Multiple offers will remain the norm until the supply bottleneck eases.

To read the full report, Click Here.

The Bay Area Sellers’ Market Heats Up

April 25th, 2013   by lisasheppard

Illustration of a man in front of a for-sale sign

It has been a bitterly cold few years for would-be sellers in the Bay Area, but spring is bringing welcome warmth for both home values and buyer activity. Many homeowners who believe they are “underwater” may be surprised to learn that they’ve regained equity based on recent sale prices for comparable homes in their neighborhood.

To read the full report, Click Here.

Here’s a Bright Idea: Update Your Home’s Appearance With a Fresh Coat of Paint

April 24th, 2013   by lisasheppard

Color swatches

Looking to add a bit of pizazz to your home without all the trouble (and expense) of a full-on remodeling effort? Buy a gallon of paint.

Painting a wall, or a whole room, adds a fresh perspective at little cost. And color choices can affect your mood, helping you perk up or calm down. To help you get started, check out the Color Guide and Color Theory 101 sections on the HGTV website.

To read more, Click Here.

Bay Area Included in Study That Links Public Transit With Stable Property Values

April 23rd, 2013   by lisasheppard

San Francisco Muni bus

Living near a public transit line can be a desirable perk in crowded cities, but a recent study revealed that it also helps keep home prices stable.

Click Here to read the full report.


Real Estate Roundup: Home Sales Squeezed; Housing Rebound Boosts U.S. Economy

April 23rd, 2013   by lisasheppard

View of homes in Oakland's Rockridge neighborhood.

Bay Area home sales trailed last year’s pace for the second month in a row in March, rising home prices will help spur U.S. economic growth throughout 2013, lenders may be gradually easing up on loan requirements, and housing starts climb higher.

To read the full report, Click Here.


Tight Supply of Homes Driving Prices Higher, Holding Back Sales in Bay Area, California

April 19th, 2013   by lisasheppard

Photo of hundred-dollar bills

Bay Area home prices continued to climb higher in March, with the median price of all sales up 33 percent from a year earlier.

All nine Bay Area counties posted double-digit increases in year-over-year median sale prices.

To read the full report, Click Here.

A Dog Helps Make a House a Home, But It Adds Liability, Too

April 17th, 2013   by lisasheppard

Among the many unheralded benefits of homeownership is the right to have whatever kind of dog you choose. No one can tell you your dog is unwelcome — that it’s too big, or too this or that.

But with that right come responsibilities, such as making sure your treasured pet won’t take a bite out of the mail carrier, the plumber, or a neighbor.

To read the full report, Click Here.


Real Estate Roundup: Inventory Up, Foreclosures Down, Agents Happy

April 16th, 2013   by lisasheppard

Toy houses

San Francisco’s inventory of available homes for sale jumped 14 percent from February to March, U.S. foreclosures in March were down 23% from a year ago, the Home Affordable Refinance Program was extended another two years, and real estate agents have the happiest jobs.