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June, ’19 Regional Real Estate Roundup

Overall the regional real estate market (American Canyon, Vallejo & Fairfield) remains strong. The apparent market correction is starting to retreat in certain subdivisions and we are starting to see a rebound in prices and activity.

American Canyon

American Canyon median home prices remained steady at $535,000 in June, although it is down 3.3% from last year at the same time. Although statistically negligible, it does represent an approximately $18,000 price drop.

Median income is done 3.3% year-over-year and 2.7% from last month.

This isn’t necessarily cause for panic, however, as part of this price drop reflects smaller, more affordable homes selling. One thing that we have noticed in the business is that the selling season appears to have started later this year. Homes that are turnkey, staged and cleaned are selling extremely quickly (within 10 days) and homes that are dated and that need a bit of work are lingering on the market. This is especially true of the older sub divisions like Rancho del Mar and Napa Square.

Average days on market dropped significantly since the winter.

Average days on market plummeted after the winter and is now hovering in the 50-60 day range. This is a little deceiving because BAREIS counts homes that are listed as contingent (in contract but with contingencies) as still being active and on the market. This isn’t necessarily true. Given that most escrows are for between 21-30 days and you can see that actual time on the market is somewhere between three and four weeks before going into contract.

Overall, there is still very little inventory in American Canyon. There were only 15 new listings in June although July has kicked off very strong and we should return to a more normal 20-25 new listings.

All in all, the American Canyon Market is still strong and prices are still expected to rise although more likely in the 3-5% range, rather than the double digit increases we have been seeing for the past 5 years.

Vallejo Market

The Vallejo market has also bounced back from it’s winter doldrums. Inventory increased by 14.2% year-over-year. However, this is not causing expected downward pressure on the price: median sales price still rose 6.8% year-over-year.

14 month Median Sales Price for Vallejo

Homes are generally still selling for around the original list price. The days on market is still hovering between 40-45 days which means that homes are generally going into contract in about 2 weeks. Still a fast market.

Anything below 3 months of inventory is considered a sellers market.

Still a sellers’ market. With only 1.5 months of inventory based on pending sales, the market is moving exceptionally fast. What really stands out for me is that even with the increased inventory median home prices still rose significantly over the past two months. It’s worth paying attention to. For the most part I’ve been dismissive of the potential instant millionaire wave from all of the techies across the Bay but I may have been wrong.

Fairfield Market

The Fairfield Market is kind of going crazy. There are more homes on the market right now than any other time in the last 14 months. It will be interesting to see if that trend holds but – anecdotally – I don’t see it cooling down.

Huge spike in homes for sale in June

What I find interesting is that – so far – the pending sales haven’t been able to keep up with the rash of new inventory. Although there is a corresponding hike in pending sales, it’s only up 4% for the quarter, year-over-year. Homes for sale for the quarter is up 21.8% year-over-year but!! solds for the same quarter have dropped 11.1% year-over-year.

Median sold price down 8% year-over-year

Here’s where things are starting to look like we’d expect. The laws of market supply and demand mean that the more inventory we see the lower the sales price. That hasn’t always been the case with each city in the region but we are seeing that in Fairfield. Median sales price dipped to $448,000 for June which is off by 8% from last June. That’s a $39,000 drop in the median home price. What’s amazing is that the days on market is still roughly the same from this time last year. This number is worth watching as it will help us to gauge which way the market is going.

What Does This Mean to Me?

If you’re a buyer

The panic that we’ve all felt that you are going to miss out on “the home” can start to ease. Homes are hanging out a little bit longer. You might not get the deal that you’re looking for but you aren’t gong to have to pay through the nose either. A reasonably priced home will still go into contract in about 10-14 days and you might have some competition, but it won’t be overwhelming. Try to stay open minded throughout the process.

If you’re a seller

I’ve said this a few times, but it’s time to up your game. Stage your home. Get it cleaned. Don’t lie to yourself, curb appeal is huge. I can’t tell you how many cars do a drive by during an open house and choose to leave. It doesn’t matter that you used gold nails on your DIY kitchen remodel if the lawn is dead.

Here’s what it really means, though: breathe. Your home will sell and it will sell at close to asking but it just might take time.

Open Houses 7/13-14/2019

3 bed, 2 bath, 10038±sf – Significant upgrades throughout the home. Newer stainless steel appliances, spacious backyard, perfect for entertaining.

Here is your roundup of open houses in American Canyon this weekend of July 13th & 14th. If one of these times doesn’t work for you, contact me at: 707.853.0797 for a showing.

Saturday Open Houses

  • 77 Oakstone Way, 10am -1pm (6 bed, 3 bath, 3164± sf) @ $699,990. Listed by Elvira de Guzman w/ Cornerstone Real Estate Investment Group
  • 24 Independence Drive, 10am – 12pm (4 bed, 3 bath, 3368± sf) @ $699,000. Listed by Kasama Lee with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Drysdale Properties
  • 31 Pelleria Dr, 11am – 2pm (4 bed, 2 bath, 2233± sf) @ $624,000. Listed by Yu Ding with Golden Gate Sothebys International.
  • 54 Crawford Way, 11am – 2pm (4 bed, 2 bath, 1812± sf) @ $570,000. Listed by Eric Pangilinan with RE/Max Gold of Fairfield.

Sunday Open Houses

  • 77 Oakstone Way, 11am -2pm (6 bed, 3 bath, 3164± sf) @ $699,990. Listed by Elvira de Guzman w/ Cornerstone Real Estate Investment Group
  • 70 Larkspur St, 1pm – 4pm (4 bed, 2 bath, 1812± sf) @ $539,000. Listed by Christen Hamilton with Vanguard Properties.
  • 239 Rio del Mar, 1pm – 3:30pm (3 bed, 2 bath, 1100± sf) @ $425,000. Listed by Sergio Sosa with Security Pacific Real Estate.
  • 31 Pelleria Dr, 1pm – 4pm (4 bed, 2 bath, 2233± sf) @ $624,000. Listed by Yu Ding with Golden Gate Sothebys International.
  • 2 Eisenhower Ct, 1 – 3pm (4 bed, 3 bath, 2620±sf) @ $679,900. Listed by Justin Jafari with Coldwell Banker Brokers of the Valley.
  • 54 Crawford Way, 1pm – 4pm (4 bed, 2 bath, 1812± sf) @ $570,000. Listed by Eric Pangilinan with RE/Max Gold of Fairfield.
  • 24 Independence Drive, 2pm – 4pm (4 bed, 3 bath, 3368± sf) @ $699,000. Listed by Kasama Lee with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Drysdale Properties

Make Your Home Timeless or Keep up with the Jones’

Thinking of renovating? It’s easy to get caught up in the latest trends. Wondering which fads will last? Check out the latest info graph from the California Association of Realtors.

Personally, I hope that the barn doors are here to stay. I think that the provide a ton of character to any home – and I have to say that I particularly love them for a garage. Maybe not so much as a divider between rooms although, done right, they can be exquisite. Robert Weyant over at Wine Country Reclaimed Furniture is a true craftsman and comes highly recommended.

And I’m probably in the minority here, but if I never saw another gray on gray with white trim kitchen or bathroom again, I’d be a happy camper. Definitely played out for me.

What’s your favorite trend that you hope stays?

American Canyon Open Houses 6/21-23

Friday Open Houses

Saturday Open Houses

Sunday Open Houses

Open Letter to Council – Approve the Broadway Specific Plan

The American Canyon City Council will be taking up – among other items – approval of the Broadway Specific Plan. This is my letter to council.

Dear Mayor Garcia, and Members of the American Canyon City Council-

I apologize that I cannot appear in person for this important meeting. However, I feel that the Broadway Specific Plan is so important to the economic growth and enhanced quality of life of our community that I must speak out.

I urge you to approve the Broadway Specific Plan tonight.

What American Canyon Lacks

I recognize that there are still hurdles to overcome but the benefits to our community are legion. Broadway is the face of our community. Currently, visitors see a neglected highway that is little more than a passthrough to the Napa Valley. They speed through town as quickly as possible, never seeing all that our community has to offer.

Unless we have a complete makeover, this will continue. Our town is vivacious with a spark that shines to all who stay long enough to get to know it. In order to attract new people, we need to look every bit as vibrant as we are. We cannot do that without radically changing the experience that people have when driving into town.

What we gain from the Specific Plan

The Broadway Specific Plan will provide multiple opportunities to show-case our community. Traffic congestion cannot be fixed by the Broadway Specific Plan alone, but increasing the highway to 6 lanes will help. I also recognize that it hinges on American Canyon being able to work with CalTrans to lower the speed limit. Although paradoxical, I believe that the traffic studies are correct in showing that decreasing the speed limit to 35mph will help the current flow of traffic. However, to be blunt, the current flow of traffic is rarely 35. This is not an American Canyon problem but, as Supervisor Ramos pointed out on Friday, a regional one.

Nevertheless the solution necessarily starts with us. Lowering the speed limit will allow for the community face to be a pleasant one. We will be able to put trees in the median creating a welcoming environment for potential shoppers and travelers. Unifying the character of the new developments along Broadway is equally important. Rather than having multiple developments with myriad designs, bonding the diverse developments with consistent design standards will help to address the lackluster feeling when passing through town.

Finally, providing connectivity to community is – for me – the most important element of the Broadway Specific Plan. With Watson Ranch being built out over the next few years, it will be important to residents on the West Side of Broadway to feel included in the project. By enhancing the walkability between neighboring properties, adjacent properties and the East-West pathways to the Town Center, you will be helping to create a cohesive community.

Our Shared Vision

The goal for the Broadway Specific Plan is to “enhance the Broadway District as a livable, small town, mixed use City center that is vibrant and thriving and alluring as the Face of American Canyon.” I believe that American Canyon is – and should appear as – a jewel of the Napa Valley. I believe in our shared goals of community and know that together we can do great things.

We are an amazing community that embraces those who have come before us and those who will come after us. As long as we continue to grow responsibly, we can achieve our shared vision of strengthening our small town feel (i.e. community) while flexing our economic muscle in an enticing way that will continue to lure individuals to our community. The Chamber’s work to bolster our economic vitality will only be enhanced by making over the “face of American Canyon.” It is imperative that we move forward on multiple fronts.

I urge you to approve the Broadway Specific Plan.

Weekend Open Houses

Happy Father’s Day to all of you awesome dads out there!

Open Homes for the weekend of June 15

Saturday, June 15

Sunday, June 16

June Real Estate Roundup

The real estate market in the area is still strong but it is starting to stabilize. What I mean by that is that we aren’t seeing the double digit sales price increases the way that we have in the past and this is a good thing for the market overall – if not necessarily for sellers. We’ll take a deep dive into the numbers for 3 key cities: American Canyon, Fairfield and Vallejo.

American Canyon RE Update

American Canyon For Sale, Sold & Pended

The American Canyon market still feels a little off kilter. There is a definite shift in the market although it’s hard to say what that is, exactly. After a huge drop in for sale properties in March, there is a slow trend toward normalcy. Currently there are 27 homes on the market (including one Rex home that isn’t on MLS – more on that later in the week). It’s good to see that these numbers are bouncing back after such a sluggish spring. Many agents that I’ve spoken to think that it was because of all the rain, but I’m not so sure. Pending sales are way up year-over-year and home sales are also up from last year for the same month (although they are down overall year-to-date). And then there’s the median price.

American Canyon Median Sales Price

Median price has consistently been on the rise since January. Good stuff. It’s also up year-over-year. Also good stuff. What I find interesting, however, is that this doesn’t necessarily reflect an overall increase in home prices; rather it most reflects larger, newer homes for sale. What’s going on with Rancho & Napa Square? Fewer of these older homes are going for sale and when they do come up, they are languishing on the market. Last year Rancho homes were going for low-to-mid $400,000’s (with a few exceptions) but this year, when they are up for sale, they have completely retreated back to the mid-$400,000’s. These older homes are a bellweather for the rest of the American Canyon Market. If these homes catch fire this summer they will continue to put upward pressure on the rest of the American Canyon market but as of right now, it looks like they are staying put. We’ll continue to see increases in the prices but not like we have in the past.

Vallejo Update

Vallejo For Sale Sold & Pended

The Vallejo market has cooled a bit over the past few months. It’s been in and out of realtor.com’s hottest 20 markets after being in the top five for a few years. Inventory is up from last year at this time but sales are relatively stagnant. Median home sales price is up about 7% year-over-year. Here’s what I find interesting, however; days on market for Vallejo is now at 45. That’s a 40.6% jump from last year at the same time. Now, 45 days is still a fast sell but it’s also 2 weeks longer than the 30ish it was last spring at the same time. The market is slowing down even though the inventory is still there.

Vallejo DOM

The good news is that homes are, for the most part, retaining their value. So even though the length of time might be longer sellers can still expect to sell – at this point – close to their original list price.

Fairfield Market

Fairfield For Sale Sold & Pended

Like American Canyon and Vallejo, Fairfield saw a significant dip in available inventory during the winter but has bounced back remarkably this spring, in particular after the rains stopped. The market felt incredibly fast for the first couple of months this year with some homes going in hours. As the bigger homes started to come on the market – a few of which were ambitiously priced – it slowed a bit. However, it’s heated back but days on market is still well over what it was at this time last year.

Fairfield Median Sold Price

One important aspect to note about the Fairfield market is that prices are truly stagnant. The median homes sales price was down 2.5% year-over-year but up slightly for the same quarter (March through May) from last year.

What does it all mean?

The bottom line is that – as I mentioned earlier – the market is leveling out. The spring selling season is in full swing and although home prices are up slightly across the board, we are not seeing the same increases that we have in the past.

If you are a buyer, now is a great time to go out and get your dream home. Prices have stabilized and interest rates were dropping at the end of last week (I have one client who was able to lock in below 4%!!!).

If you are a seller, don’t despair if you don’t get your home into contract after the first weekend. While that is still happening, for the most part it’s taking 2-3 weeks to get an offer in and into contract. Make sure that your property is clean, decluttered, cut down on the amount of furniture you have and has curb appeal (e.g. mow the front lawn, weed, water the plants, etc.). If you are patient and follow your agent’s advice, your time will come.

Home of the Week

Most days homes tend to look all the same. Even some of the older homes in American Canyon, Fairfield and Vallejo have similar layouts or are mirror images. This week, I was lucky enough to preview 895 Taylor Street in Fairfield and I absolutely fell in love with the property.

Front view of 895 Taylor St

It’s listed by Bonnie Falk with Coldwell Banker Kappel Gateway Realty and offered at $529,950 and it’s worth every penny. This 5 bed, 2 bath home has almost 3300± square feet. It’s nestled in the heart of downtown Fairfield.

Period fireplace with built-in cabinetry throughout the home

When you walk into the home you are greeted by a large living space with a fireplace on one end and huge bay windows behind you looking out onto Taylor. There is built in cabinetry throughout the home allowing for ample storage space. Hardwood floors abound throughout the home. The layout can be a bit tricky but this home is an entertainer’s dream.

Large living area off the kitchen

There is a spacious living area that connects the kitchen and the outdoors; walking through the back yard feels like a walk through a Parisian cloister. It has a built-in brick kitchen at the back of the main yard.

Brick fireplace and kitchen complete with running water

Nestled at the rear of the property is a perfect spot for the home farmer. Raised beds all around just ready for your lettuces, tomatoes and any other vegetables or fruits your heart desires. There are no scheduled open homes for this weekend so if you want to see it, give me a call: 707.853.0797 or email me: rich@napasolanohomesforsale.com

Thinking about updating your kitchen?

If you’re anything like me, there’s always a project to be done around the house…especially the main living areas. Every morning I think about re-doing the counter tops in the kitchen because I lose stray coffee beans on the black granite. There are plenty of options out there if you’re looking at renovating the kitchen.

These days I’m big into the butcher block countertops. It reminds me of my parents home and – if they’re well kept – they look absolutely gorgeous and go with just about everything. I like the farm look – I blame it on Chip & Joanna!!