Los Altos Among Best Small Cities in America

According to a recent survey by WalletHub, Los Altos as been voted as the 7th best small city in the nation and the only California city in the top 20. Among the factors in the vote was economic health, education and quality of life. Click on the link below for more details.

https://tinyurl.com/y6uww4kv

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Posted in Bay Area - General, bay area real estate, Buying, Los Altos, Santa Clara County, Schools, silicon valley, Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

How is the Real Estate Market Doing?

From the 2019 Economic and Market Forecast – California Association of Realtors

  1. The Fed has increased rates 8 times since December 2015
  2. Consumer confidence is the highest in 18 years
  3. The unemployment rate is the lowest it has been in 40+ years
  4. Price gains are slowing in California
  5. 29% of sellers move out of California
  6. The GDP for Q2 2018 was 4.2%
  7. Interest rates have risen lately but are still at an all-time low
  8. Home values in Santa Clara County are up more than 49% over peak values in October 2007

Average Home Sale Prices from 2017 to 2018, Year-to-Date

City 2017 2018 YTD % Difference
Los Altos $3,259,678 $3,702,743 12%
Mountain View $2,058,585 $2,415,739 15%
Sunnyvale $1,699,124 $1,937,001 12%
Palo Alto $3,522,344 $3,810,667 8%
Santa Clara $1,306,229 $1,560,563 16%
San Jose $1,100,071 $1,281,604 14%
Posted in Bay Area - General, bay area real estate, California Market Statistics, Los Altos, Los Altos Housing Prices, Mountain View, Mountain View Housing Prices, Palo Alto, San Jose, San Jose Housing Prices, Santa Clara, Santa Clara Housing Prices, Sunnyvale, Sunnyvale Housing Prices, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

VOTE Yes on Prop 5, No on Prop 10!!

Proposition 5 – YES for Property Tax Fairness

C.A.R. (California Association of Realtors) sponsored Proposition 5 (The Property Tax Fairness Initiative) eliminates the property tax “moving penalty” and allows seniors, the severely disabled and families whose homes have been destroyed in a natural disaster to maintain the Proposition 13 taxpayer protections when they move. This will create new homeownership opportunities and generate more sales of single family homes in existing neighborhoods. Proposition 5 also benefits young families at a time when California faces a severe housing supply crisis.

Proposition 10 – NO Repeal of C.A.R.’s Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act

Proposition 10 will make California’s housing crisis even worse by rolling back important
protections that have been in effect for more than 20 years. Without those protections, unelected bureaucrats could dictate how much homeowners can charge to rent out their homes or even a single room in that home. Property rights protections are destroyed as these bureaucrats can impose steep penalties for landlords who want to move into the property themselves.

Make your voice heard. Return your ballot. It matters for homeownership.

Posted in Bay Area - General, bay area real estate, Buying, buying vs renting, Just Cause Eviction, Rent Control, Rent STabilization, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Bay Area Real Estate Market – Bubble? Slowdown?

After a long run of skyrocketing prices it appears that the housing market in the Bay Area is cooling…at least temporarily. Sellers have been keeping “For Sale” signs up longer and even reducing asking prices in the hopes of attracting buyers.

While most of us feel that the market has at long last come closer to “equilibrium”, sellers are having difficulty accepting the change in pace.  We recognize that the double-digit appreciation rates seen over the last several years were not sustainable and that we would have to return to a more balanced market.  Buyers are definitely happier about the shift than sellers.

Click on the link below to read more on this topic.

https://tinyurl.com/y86mk9j7

Posted in Bay Area - General, bay area real estate, Buying, California Market Statistics, Santa Clara County, Selling, silicon valley, Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Striking a Balance Between Old and New Los Altos

You may have noticed that high-rise condominium complexes along El Camino Real in Los Altos and Mountain View have been popping up increasingly. City officials and developers are trying to accommodate new families that want to move into the area, mostly for the excellent schools. But, some residents are not happy with the new developments in their small hometown. Click on the link below for more details.

https://tinyurl.com/ya7oqle5

Posted in Bay Area - General, bay area real estate, Buying, LASD, Los Altos, Mountain View, Schools, silicon valley, Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

The California Property Tax “Fairness” Initiative

Earlier this year, the California Association of Realtors (C.A.R.) began the effort to address California’s housing supply crisis as well as to increase home ownership opportunities for Californians by gathering nearly 1 million signatures—enough to qualify the Property Tax Fairness Initiative for the November 2018 General Election Ballot.

The initiative would eliminate the “moving penalty” for seniors 55 and older, the disabled, and victims of natural disasters, allowing them to carry their current Proposition 13-protected property tax assessment level to another home of any price, anywhere in the state, any number of times.

The current initiative will show up on the November 2018 ballot, and a revised initiative will be reviewed with the state Attorney General for the November 2020 ballot.

The November 2020 ballot initiative will move portability forward while at the same time generating revenue for schools and local governments by: 1) requiring reassessment in connection with inter-generational transfers where heirs keep property for investment purposes; and 2) tightening up the reassessment law to address corporate property transfers where “creative” efforts are used to avoid reassessment.

The Santa Clara County Tax Assessor’s office has expressed concern that this initiative will cut taxes and negatively impact schools and other beneficiaries of our local property taxes.  It has been stated that it is “unfair” for neighbors to pay vastly differing taxes for the same services based only on the length of time they have owned their homes.  But many of us feel that the current housing shortage is created by the inability of seniors to sell their homes and move to be closer to family and friends anywhere in the state.  Since their children often can’t afford to buy in the Bay Area, many children from local families migrate to cities with cheaper housing, and their parents can’t afford to move with them due to capital gains penalties.  And what of the fact that many seniors have paid into the school districts for many years beyond the graduation and migration of their now grown children, whereas new buyers buy for the schools and receive the benefit of our excellent school systems for many years?

No, the issue is clear – if we increase the ability of seniors to take their tax basis anywhere within the state there will be more movement, more sales, and ultimately more taxes in the highest-priced areas.

Support the Property Tax Fairness Initiative in November!

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Vote No on Proposition 10

The issue of rental control is hotly debated and does not have a simple solution.  There are reasonable positions on both sides of the argument – rental rates are tough for many to afford, and landlords who own rentals for retirement income should be able to charge rates sufficient to maintain the property and earn a profit to justify the investment.

If Proposition 10 is passed, the measure would repeal the 1995 Costa Hawkins Rental Housing Act, which sets limits on the kind of rent control policies cities are able to impose. Right now, 15 California cities have rent control policies including San Jose & Mountain View.

If passed, Landlords will be severely restricted and would be forced to give up many of their rights as landlords.

Passing Prop 10 would:

  • Provide City Bureaucrats the power to impose rent control on Single Family Rentals, Condominium Rentals and Duplex Rentals 
  • Mandate Just Cause Evictions on all residential rentals including Single Family Rentals, Condominiums and Duplexes
  • Allow cities to institute permanent price controls on vacant units, capping rents landlords can charge

If Prop 10 passes, we transfer crucial property ownership rights to City Council Members. Do we really need bureaucrats imposing more rental restrictions on properties?

 

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