Sacramento Real Estate Resource Guide - Sacramento County, El Dorado County and Placer County Realtors

Tuesday, January 9, 2007, 01:51 PM
What's Hot and What's Not in Home Design
Source: Washington Post, Kirstin Downey (01/06/07)
Daily Real Estate News | January 9, 2007

Mark Nash, the Chicago-based real estate broker who penned 1,001 Tips for Buying and Selling a Home (Thomson/South-Western, 2004), has released a list of home features that remain popular among buyers and those that are no longer in vogue. His list is based on responses from more than 900 real estate professionals nationwide.

For example, practitioners surveyed reported that the inability to keep stainless steel appliances, glass-front cabinets, and vessel-style sinks clean has caused them to fall out of favor with buyers. Also, spiral staircases have become less popular, particularly among buyers with young children.

As for what's "in," Nash found buyers are increasingly looking for some of the following features in homes:

. Glass bathroom and kitchen tiles.
. His-and-her home offices complete with fiber-optic cables for Internet connectivity.
. Wood floors — except for those made of bamboo, which is not as durable.
. Extra storage space in the form of linen closets, pantries, and luggage rooms.

With a large supply of unsold homes on the market, practitioners note that buyers have become pickier and expect homes to be in move-in condition.

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Monday, November 27, 2006, 06:25 PM
Real Estate Lingo: What's a Country Kitchen?
Source: Newsday, Sylvia Adcock
Daily Real Estate News | November 27, 2006

When you're working in the real estate business, you need to be able to cut through marketing language that sellers use in ads to find out what a property really is like. The staff of Newsday newspaper in New York interviewed several Long Island real estate professionals to come up with these commonly used terms, and their somewhat unexpected definitions:

. Country club landscaping: The land is flat and has been landscaped.
. Handyman's dream: "It's better to say 'fixer-upper' than 'in a serious state of disrepair,'" says one practitioner.
. Investor's delight: The property's best bet may be if the new owner just knocked down the building and started over.
. Country kitchen: Warm and cheery kitchen with maple or pine cabinets.
. Do not windshield: Means don't just drive by this one. It has no curb appeal, but there's something good inside.
. Rolling acres: Extremely hilly; no place to put a pool or playset.
. Victorian: This can mean a range of things. Either it's built in Victorian era (turn of the 20th century), or it could mean a brand-new home with peaked roof, turret, and maybe some gingerbread trim.
. Winter water views. Don't expect to see any water except for a brief period in the winter when all the leaves are off the trees.
. 3-4 bedrooms: Three bedrooms, with a fourth room that you could put a bed in if you had to.

Although real estate ads are known for their euphemisms, practitioners say they're careful to not be misleading and they ask sellers to do the same. "I always advise clients to be truthful because we have a very litigious society," says Lita Smith-Mines, a real estate lawyer in Commack. New York State law prohibits false advertising. "You can be flowery," she says. "But don't exaggerate."

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Monday, November 27, 2006, 06:09 PM
Energy Costs to Become Top Buyer Concern
By Camilla McLaughlin for REALTOR® Magazine Online
Daily Real Estate News | November 27, 2006
— REALTOR® Magazine Online

Look for “house miles” to become an important consideration in home purchases in coming years, say land-use experts who gathered for the Urban Land Institute’s recent meeting in Denver.

“A new generation of home buyers is looking at the world differently, and to them, green building will be a given," says John McIlwain, a senior resident fellow of ULI. "The issue of energy savings will be a fundamental driver in their decisions on what and where to buy."

The cost of distance, along with heating and cooling, has a direct impact on housing affordability, McIlwain pointed out, noting that “miles per house” — the number of miles a home is from employment, retail, education, and entertainment — could become a standard measurement of location desirability.

A 2005 ULI survey of consumers found them willing to combine more trips and use mass transit more to cut down on fuel consumption, said Robert Dunphy, who's also a senior resident fellow of ULI. Transportation spending is the second largest component of consumer expenses, currently taking up an average of 19 percent of their monthly income (monthly home mortgage payments generally at least 33 percent).

As the cost of energy plays a more important role in home-buying decisions, house miles will become a deal breaker or maker. That trend will drive the development of sustainable housing and "green" communities. The land-use experts discussed some designs that are now gaining traction, such as close-in infill projects, more downtown housing, and more mixed-use projects in urban centers and on the urban fringe.

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Monday, November 6, 2006, 05:51 PM
Research - What's New
— REALTOR® Magazine Online

For more housing market statistics and research reports, see Related Link for the COMPLETE Real Estate News articles ...

Monday, November 6, 2006, 05:44 PM
Pending Home Sales Down Slightly in September
Daily Real Estate News | November 1, 2006
— REALTOR® Magazine Online

Home sales are expected to hold fairly steady in the months ahead, according to the latest reading on pending home sales published by the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®.

The Pending Home Sales Index, based on contracts signed in September, slipped 1.1 percent to a level of 109.1, following a 4.7 percent gain in August. The index remains 13.6 percent below September 2005.

The index shows home sales will not be moving much in one direction or another, says David Lereah, NAR’s chief economist. “The present level of home sales is relatively high in historic terms, and we can expect generally minor movements around this level,” he says. “We don’t expect to see any changes of note until early next year when we’re likely to see a modest lift.”

The market currently is a little lower than expected as buyers try to time their entry, Lereah adds. “In the meantime, there’s some build-up in demand that will move when consumers realize that conditions are optimal for them.”

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