We read with interest a recent Q&A with Lawrence Yun, the chief economist for the National Association of Realtors (NAR), that ran in the San Jose Mercury News. Yun is a man who, when he speaks, everyone interested in real estate listens. His predictions and observations is closely analyzed across the country and in the halls of congress. As a builder of new homes for sale in the bay area, we were especially interested in his thoughts on how creating more housing can ease the pain of high home prices, and on whether or not we’re seeing a bubble in bay area residential real estate (Yun says there is no bubble). Some highlights:
Yun is asked whether he saw a bubble before the 2008 crash. His response:
Lending was opening up to a point at which there were no underwriting standards. It clearly was abnormal. It was … a misalignment of all the fundamentals.
Yun looks at bay area real estate prices and contrasts now to 2008:
Underwriting standards are much tighter. People who get mortgages are meeting very strict standards. Second, there are large cash transactions. People are cashing in stock options and Asian buyers are coming in with all cash. Any time there are cash transactions and higher down payments, the risk of potential decline is reduced.
The market is still in recovery mode. Together with tighter lending standards and crash transactions… there’s less risk.
We think the article is worth reading in full here
SummerHill Homes is currently selling a variety of new home communities in the San Francisco Bay Area. We want to update you on all the communities, basically because recently much of the attention in the press has been just about Las Palmas, an attached homes community in Sunnyvale. (The first release sold out in the first 10 minutes. We averaged about ten offers for each home sold. The next release went even faster with 100 offers in five minutes, and all the homes sold instantly.) We want you, dear reader of this blog post, to get an update about the other communities for sale. You’ve been asking, so here you go:
Midtown Village – New Single Family Homes in Santa Clara: The final releases are now selling. 3 “Avenues”, 3 “Boulevards”, and 2 Model Home “Boulevards” remain.
Midtown Village - New Single Family Homes in Santa Clara
Evergreen Place – New Townhomes and Single Family Homes for Sale in San Jose: Final homes just released, only two model homes remain for sale.
Evergreen Place - New Townhomes and Single Family Homes for Sale in San Jose
Roubion – New Single Family Homes in Santa Clara: Final release (just five homes) scheduled for late June or early July.
Roubion - New Single Family Homes in Santa Clara
Astute readers will notice there are some model homes for sale, still. The model homes are homes we use to “stage” for potential buyers what you can do if you buy one of our homes. These homes are saved for last, and, because the model homes are the homes we use to demonstrate the best possible example of our homes for sale, the model homes are a great buy. Model homes are now for sale at Midtown Village, Evergreen Place, and soon for Roubion.
We’ll post back here with news on some other exciting developments, coming soon.
With memorial day behind us, we can now turn to thoughts of summer. For many in the bay area, that means thoughts of gardening. At our new attached homes community in Sunnyvale, Las Palmas, the team of landscaping pros have thought a lot about what makes a garden beautiful. Rows of beautifully manicured palm trees dot the landscape and everywhere you’ll see beautiful little touches, including many of these drought-tolerant plants. Because this summer is a drought summer we are giving would-be gardeners some tips on some beautiful gardening options that require little water. (Note: Sunnyvale, CA is gardening Zone 9 and so are all the following selections.)
Sedum spathulifolium ‘Cape Blanco’
Tiny blue-green leaves form tight rosettes on trailing stems. This low grower from California makes a great groundcover.
Thin, stiff orangey blades of this iris relation from New Zealand reach 2 feet tall and half as wide. Clusters of inch-wide white flowers bloom in spring and summer.
Sedum rupestre ‘Angelina’
Short chartreuse leaves grow on stems up to 6 inches tall. This succulent from Europe spreads freely, making it a fluffy groundcover or filler between other plants.
Sedum spurium ‘Voodoo’
Small, rounded burgundy leaves cover this low-growing, quick-spreading succulent from the Caucasus. Tiny reddish flowers bloom in summer.
Purple-blue flower spikes rise above aromatic gray-green foliage in early summer. This sage, from Southern California and northern Baja, grows 3 to 5 feet tall, and 5 to 8 feet wide.
This European native, with gray-green, pink-tipped rosettes from 2 to 5 inches across, grows into clumps spanning 2 feet or more. Reddish flowers shoot from thin, 2-foot-tall stems.
Stems of glossy green, licorice-scented leaves reach 5 feet tall and 2 feet wide. This perennial from Korea has purple-blue summer flowers that hummingbirds love.
Gardening enthusiasts, whether you live in a SummerHill Homes new home community or not, we’d love to hear where you are having success.
It seems like everyone is trying to buy in Sunnyvale. At least that’s our impression watching all the brisk sales activity at Las Palmas, the new home community in Sunnyvale (and its not just an impression. The number of homes sold in Santa Clara County jumped 27.4% in April and the average number of days on the market dropped to just 22 days!). So we keep getting asked for tips on home sales: what should would-be home sellers avoid doing to help increase the likelihood of selling their home? The San Jose Mercury News offers these helpful tips:
- Don’t hold on to imagined equity
Remember that a house is only worth what a buyer will pay for it and nothing more. Often times sellers will believe their property offers something special that isn’t available in other homes and is worth the extra money; however the chances of that being true is rare. Remember: if your home is priced properly, it will sell; if it isn’t, it won’t.
- Don’t leave a mess behind
Make sure to take the extra time to prepare your home for a showing. Homebuyers visualize how they will live in a home and if that space is cluttered, it makes it difficult for buyers to see themselves living there. Cleaning up doesn’t stop after the showings either; make sure the house is cleaned up upon moving out too.
- Don’t stay for showings or open houses
Who knows more about the bestselling features of a house than the homeowner? That may be true, but hanging around during showings and open houses may have a negative effect. Having the homeowner present during a showing or open house actually makes buyers feel uncomfortable and may make them want to leave quickly. Because serious buyers want to fully examine a home by opening doors and looking through cabinets, they may feel uncomfortable if the home seller is present, no matter how nice you may be.
- Don’t walk away from an offer because of a couple thousand dollars
After all the showings and open houses, you’ve finally received an offer but it’s less than your asking price. After negotiating with the buyer’s agent, the final agreement is reached and it’s still a few thousand dollars short. Do you try to squeeze a little more and risk having to agree on more credit towards closing to close the deal? If you really want to sell your home, don’t try to “buy your house back” because of a few thousand dollars.
Let us know if you have any other tips…
This is great! On April 17th, the SummerHill Homes new home community Maravilla was acknowledged with the prestigious “Public Private Partnership Award” by the Association of Bay Area Governments. This was at the eighth annual “Growing Smarter Together Awards” presented during the spring General Assembly to the cities of Redwood City, Walnut Creek, Campbell, Richmond, Fremont, South San Francisco, and Vallejo. Specifically, the award is for the partnership between SummerHill Homes and the City of Campbell and the Santa Clara Valley Water District.
The acknowledgement was for a successful partnership that focused on affordable housing and access to housing in the region of Silicon Valley. In Silicon Valley many hard workers cannot afford to buy a home, even with two full-time salaries, so the partnership focused on reducing blight while providing housing working people can afford. The community contains 40 homes, including 16 single family homes at market rate and 24 3-story attached homes at an affordable price. The community is close to downtown and close to jobs and the partnership is a great model of private-public collaboration at its finest.
You can learn lots more about the partnership and see short interviews with the folks involved here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=55UwucfseUA&feature=youtu.be
SummerHill Homes has a lot of moms working in our office and with Mother’s Day just around the corner (Sunday, May 11th, and we’re guessing if you are a mom you already knew that) we thought we would share some tips to make sure the moms out there are treated to a really special day. These tips are borrowed from conversations we’ve had with the moms at our office and are their answers to “what would you think would make Mother’s Day really special for you?” so here’s what they said:
- Mom works really hard to make life at home perfect for her family. What if she got to spend a day all about enjoying home? Instead of running all over town, let Mom celebrate the day in the comfort of home and relax for a change.
- Do you know any of Mom’s favorite foods? How about cooking for her. Breakfast in bed is always amazing and we’re guessing if you start the day with this thoughtful gesture then the day starts off amazing and stays that way. And if you are feeling ambitious, we love the recipes over at epicurious.com. And be sure to do the dishes after, if you get to cooking.
- You can turn “home” into “spa” fairly easily. Maybe after that breakfast in bed or ambitious meal, give Mom some pampering. Get some bubble bath stuff, a face mask, and even some nail polish. Giving her these things and the time to just chill out will be a gift any mother will treasure.
- The May weather should be perfect for you Bay Area moms. We’re focusing on not getting in the car and schlepping around, so what about a walk? When was the last time Mom went for a nice mellow stroll with the family? We’re betting its been awhile. So get out there! Go for a walk! Its free, easy, and you’ll be glad to just get out there and stroll around.
- If you do want to get in a car, one of the “foodie” moms here points out that opentable.com has a list of restaurants specializing in making memorable Mother’s Day meals here.
What every mom around here knows for sure is that if you let Mom relax, enjoy herself, and feel special, then you can be sure the day will be one she’ll cherish.
We’re excited about the rousing success of our newest community of distinction, Las Palmas in Sunnyvale. The weather was amazing and the crowds went wild for our new collection of attached homes.
Over 400 people and families came out to celebrate the grand opening of our newest community and to tour the fully-furnished model homes. It was so busy that both of our parking lots stayed full all day and our six valets were kept very busy all weekend!
Now that the models are open, we can finally announce the first sales release! The first release of new homes will happen this Friday, May 2nd and will be conducted online on a first come-first served basis. Due to overwhelming demand, potential homebuyers must be pre-approved by our preferred lenders to be eligible to participate in this release. If you’re interested in joining the priority list for this weekend’s release or have additional questions, please email us or call us at 408-733-1667.
It’ll be another gorgeous California weekend so why not enjoy the nice weather and join us for the Grand Opening of our model homes at Las Palmas in Sunnyvale! This weekend, April 26th and 27th from 10AM – 4PM, tour all of our new, beautiful and fully-furnished home models and see why Las Palmas is one of the most anticipated new home communities in Sunnyvale.
The community is divided into “The Gardens” and “The Groves” and here are details of each:
- 54 attached homes
- 2 – 4 bedrooms, 2.5 – 3.5 baths
- Approximately 1,267 – 1,876 square feet in a more urban design
- 49 attached homes
- 3 – 4 bedrooms, 2.5 – 3 baths
- Approximately 1,611 – 1,851 square feet with private outdoor space and floor plans reminiscent of a detached home
Las Palmas is super close to major Silicon Valley employers like Yahoo, Google, Apple, and many others. The neighborhood has a high “walkability” score with enviable convenience to highly-ranked schools, restaurants, shopping, outdoor amenities, and parks. The community also boasts an elegant club house with outdoor kitchen and play area. and gorgeous manicured rows of canary palm trees to welcome you to a relaxed atmosphere.
Las Palmas will be the place you’ll want to call home.
Las Palmas Sales Office
660 W. El Camino Real, Sunnyvale, CA
Email: [email protected]
A few days ago, NBC Bay Area ran a story about the South Bay Housing market. According to NBC, the South Bay housing market is so hot that sellers are pulling out at the last minute. Cancelling the sale. Saying “nevermind.” Why? Because the sellers worry they might become homeless themselves if they sell! This is brand new. Unprecedented. And we’ll add this to the list of reasons to buy new from SummerHill Homes. As a respected home builder with decades of Bay Area experience, we can guarantee that, as the seller of your new home, that we won’t walk away. You have that assurance.
Midtown Village in Santa Clara
Midtown Village, our new home community in vibrant Santa Clara, still has homes available and you can be sure that there won’t be any 11th hour funny business. So come check out the homes and see for yourself why Midtown Village is a great buy!
The Grand Opening of the Model Homes at Las Palmas in Sunnyvale is the weekend of April 26. We’re hearing interest from employees at Facebook, LinkedIn, Google, Yahoo, Apple, and lots of smaller companies too. One nice aspect of life at Las Palmas that many of these folks seem to value is “walkability.” We thought a lot about building for a contemporary, leisurely lifestyle and in addition to many great amenities within the community (play areas, gym), we’re happy about all the places that can be easily reached on foot. (And we have a great Walk Score!) Here are some great places within easy walking distance of Las Palmas.
Craving Chinese? Head over to Ginger Café for southeast asian-flavored Chinese, grab dim sum at Dim Sum King, or eat at the popular chain P.F. Chang’s. Not in the mood for Chinese? Pasta Pomordoro is super close too, as are a variety of other popular chains like Chipotle, Juicy Berry (for frozen yogurt) and the ubiquitous Starbucks.
If walking isn’t enough exercise for you, then walk to play tennis at the Sunnyvale Tennis Center. If that makes your muscles hurt, mellow out at Elements Massage.
Highly-rated Cumberland elementary school is a walk and, if you’re having that kind of day, all sorts of shopping is available for after walking the kids to school.
Las Palmas at Sunnyvale is designed to support the values of our buyers, and we know being able to walk to so many local spots will be appreciated by the new home owners.