California Real Estate Forecast for 2020

sebfreyBlog, Local, Santa Cruz Real Estate, Silicon Valley Real Estate, Video

As you may have heard, I recently became a Broker Associate with Compass in Los Gatos (the former Alain Pinel REALTORS). There are a lot of benefits to working with a large, upscale brokerage – one of them being that you can get access to valuable information before the competition. Yesterday, our office had the first meeting of the year and it featured a feature presentation by Jordan Levine, the Deputy Chief Economist for the California Association of REALTORS. I have also seen many presentations by Jordan’s boss, Leslie Appleton-Young, and I even had her as a guest on an episode of the Bay to Bay Podcast. Jordan, by the way, is also a podcaster as he is the co-host of California Association of REALTORS Housing Matters podcast. Video of California Real Estate Forecast for 2020 The presentation was about 40 minutes long, as there was a lot to digest in there. The bottom line is that the 2020 real estate market is expected to look a lot like the 2019 real estate market: tight inventory, low interest rates, poor affordability, but with slightly more sales at somewhat higher prices (statewide, but the greater Bay Area should be an exception). Key Points for California’s 2020 Real Estate Forecast Housing prices may be up, but actual mortgage payments are down Lowest Unemployment in 50 Years Prices at the very high end softening, lower priced homes rising in price. Higher-end homes taking longer to sell U.S. 2020 GDP Projected @ 1.6% (down from 2.2% in 2019) U.S. Inflation … Read More

Why I Moved to Compass

sebfreyBlog, Commentary

On November 1, 2019 I joined Compass as a Broker Associate. This is only the third brokerage I have been affiliated with in nearly 17 years in business. I was with my first broker for ten years to the day, before I opened up my own brokerage in early 2013. For almost seven years, I operated as a Broker/Owner, Captain of my ship, with complete freedom to run my business as I see fit. So why did I trade in my autonomy and throw my lot in with Compass? To answer that, I’ll begin by explaining what Compass is. Compass is a real estate start-up company based in New York City. They’ve actually been around for seven years or so at this point, but they have really grown in the last couple of years, fueled by massive investments from a number of blue chip firms and private investors. You can see a list here. Compass has a goal of achieving 20% market share in the top 20 U.S. markets by the end of 2020. As I understand it, they’re very nearly there already. Locally, they purchased a few high-performing northern California brokerages in 2018 and 2019 – Pacific Union International, Paragon, Alain Pinel Realtors, and Central Coast Realty Group. Their current agent count nationwide tops 12,000 with about 250 offices coast to coast and over 2,000 employees on staff. Compass is not a franchise. Every Compass office is 100% owned by the company. They have a number of “organic” offices throughout the greater Bay Area in … Read More

2019 REALTOR Installation Speech

sebfreyBlog, Video

Thank you for braving yet another ferocious northern California rainstorm to be with us today at our 2019 Installation.  I’ve been fortunate to get to attend a couple other installations lately – in Monterey, and San Benito and they were great opportunities to get to meet and connect and re-connect with colleagues from our adjoining communities.  I’d like to thank all the brokers, agents, and staff who’ve traveled here from Santa Clara AOR, Silicon Valley AOR, MontereyAOR, and San Benito  AOR.  I hope that everyone here has had the opportunity to meet someone new and learn something about what’s going on in our adjoining marketplaces.  I’d also like to extend a very special thanks in particular to Jeanne Radsick, CAR president-Elect for 2019, who came all the way from Bakersfield to be with us today – thanks Jeanne! After a long, hard fought and divisive campaign to become your 2019 President, I think we all need to come together to fight the biggest threat to our industry. What’s that?  In a word, it’s apathy. And I’m not saying you all gathered here are apathetic – because today, you showed up.  And a lot of you show up for many of our meetings.  You are involved. And you not only show up for our meetings – you show up at county supervisor meetings, city council meetings, planning commission meetings, RTC meetings.  You write your representatives and urge your clients to do so as well.  You know that good things don’t just happen.  They happen because people who care … Read More

Work with a Certified Residential Specialist (CRS)

sebfreyBlog

Buying a home is a big decision, but there’s another choice you’ll have to make before you pick a home to buy. I’m referring to who you choose to help you find a home and negotiate with the seller on your behalf. Before you choose your house, one of your very first important decisions will be choosing the Realtor to help you get it done. How do you know which Realtor to choose? Are they all the same? Or is there something in particular you should look for in a Realtor? Certainly, you’ll want to find a Realtor who is experienced, who’s been around the block a few hundred times. One who is accessible, reputable, and will always work in your best interest. But how can you know which Realtors meet that criteria? You can start by looking for a Realtor who is a Certified Residential Specialist. Only 6% of Realtors are members of the council, and they are among the most elite Realtors practicing today.  To become a CRS, a Realtor must take a series of high-level real estate classes and actually show proof of production (homes sold) to the Council of Residential Specialists to be awarded this prestigious designation. Use a CRS Realtor When Buying a Home Video

Aptos Foreclosure Fixer Upper

sebfreyBlog, Distressed Properties

Need a nice fixer upper project? How about a big, fat house on a good sized lot? I’ve got just the place for you – and did I mention it’s less than a mile to the beach (as the crow flies, anyway)?   Plus it’s got swimming pool, detached office room, and an indoor basketball court (yes, really!). Check out the video below: 2816 Estates Drive, Aptos, CA Please let me know if you’d like to get in to tour this amazing opportunity. Yes I know it’s over $1,000,000 (asking price, but we can surely negotiate that down) and it needs a lot of work – but it’s only $380/sf or so which is really cheap for the area.  You can see all the listing details here. Listing courtesy of John Lee, MRL Group, Inc

Santa Cruz Foreclosure Cash Cow

sebfreyBlog, Distressed Properties

Been looking for the unicorn of real estate in Santa Cruz, the cash cow?  I’m always talking to folks who are looking for great real estate investment opportunities.  It’s hard to get more than a 5% cash on cash return with most properties that are in the reach of the typical real estate buyer. I was recently turned onto the business of running residential assisted living facilities for senior citizens and the disabled.  This kind of business can be extremely lucrative, especially if you have a house that’s pretty big. Lo and behold, a 10 bedroom, 5.5 bathroom, 4,500+ sf house hit the market recently.  It’s a bank-owned REO foreclosure property, and was most recently used as a licensed residential care facility.  This is a tremendous opportunity for the right buyer!  I took a video below: 1106 Darlene Drive Santa Cruz Video Please let me know if you’d like to get in to tour this amazing opportunity.  You can see all the listing details here. Wondering how you can turn a property like this into a money making cash cow?  I encourage you to head over to the Residential Assisted Living Academy.  They’ll give you all the training and information you need to make an incredible business for yourself, while providing a critical service to our senior citizen community. Listing courtesy of Chantel Henson, Vanco Real Estate Executives

Upsizing or Downsizing your Home – Now or Later?

sebfreyBlog, Sellers

Thinking about upsizing or downsizing our home? With the considerable increases in home values we’ve seen over the past couple of years, a lot of homeowners are enjoying more equity in their homes than perhaps they’ve ever seen, or certainly more than they’ve seen in the past 6 or 7 years.  And with this increase in equity, many homeowners are considering making a move – to either upsize, or downsize, their homes. One question though is – does it make more sense to upsize or downsize today, or at some point in the future, when perhaps they have more equity in their homes?  To address that issue, we’ve created a brief video presentation which should be helpful. Download the Spreadsheet used in this Video   You can also download the spreadsheet used in the video here.  The spreadsheet is in Microsoft Excel format.  If you don’t have Excel, you can import it into Google Docs and work with it there.