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Jeff-KTVU

Cupertino-Sunnyvale District Chair Jeff Bell being interviewed by Maureen Naylor, reporter for KTVU Channel 2 News, at a home for sale in Mountain View

 

Jeff Bell, board director and 2010 president of the Silicon Valley Association of REALTORS®, was featured in KTVU news on Tuesday, in a story about how the low inventory and rising home prices are impacting even high paid tech workers in the region.

As of January 2018, Bell indicated the median sales price of a single-family home in Santa Clara County was $1,170,000, up 26 percent from a year ago. In Mountain View, where he has a listing, the median is $2,400,000, up 51 percent from last year.

According to MLSListings Inc., homes in Santa Clara County are being scooped up at a rapid pace, staying on the market between six to eight days. One home located in the Mountain View Whisman School District was only on the market a mere two days. Currently there are only six listings in Mountain View.

Bell said in order to qualify for a home priced at $2.4 million, a buyer would have to have an annual income of $340,000, with no other consumer debt (credit cards, car loans, etc.). With a 20 percent down payment, a buyer’s monthly payment, including principal, interest, insurance and property taxes, would amount to a whopping $12,185.25.

Bell observed while challenging, the cost does not appear to have deterred tech workers. He noted in one day he had 80 groups of potential buyers walk through the Mountain View listing, majority of whom were high-tech workers, many who worked at nearby Google. He said most who were keenly interested in purchasing the home were dual income couples.

“They are the type of buyers who are in the best position to afford such a home in this current hot market,” said Bell.

 

 

 

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The Housing Trust of Santa Clara County is asking SILVAR REALTORS® to inform their clients that money is available to help Santa Clara County residents purchase their first home.

“We have money and we want to help. There’s plenty of money for people to qualify,” Dan Lachman, director of lending for The Housing Trust of Santa Clara County, told a focus group composed of SILVAR REALTORS® meeting in Mountain View this week.

Lachman discussed The Housing Trust’s current homebuyer assistance programs and sought feedback from the REALTORS® on how the nonprofit lender can more effectively provide opportunities in Mountain View. The Housing Trust is planning to have a public outreach event for Mountain View residents in the fall. Mountain View City Council member Margaret Abe-Koga joined Lachman and the REALTORS® at the meeting, stating she wishes more people who work in Mountain View could avail of the home buyer programs, so they could live in Mountain View, as well.

The Housing Trust of Santa Clara County makes loans and grants to increase the supply of affordable housing, prevent homelessness and assist qualified individuals and families in buying their first home. Lachman specifically asked the REALTORS® to inform their clients of two programs that provide assistance to first-time home buyers – the Closing Cost Assistance Program (CCAP) and the Mortgage Assistance Program (MAP). In order to qualify for either of these programs, the household income for a four-member household cannot exceed $126,000, or the income for a single-member household cannot exceed $88,200.

The Closing Cost Assistance Program (CCAP) for first-time homebuyers provides 3 percent of the purchase price up to $15,000 towards the down payment, closing costs or other transaction expenses associated with a home purchase. No interest or principal payments are due during the term of the loan. This loan is due when the borrower sells the house or refinances the home, or in 30 years, with a 3 percent deferred interest rate.

The Mortgage Assistance Program (MAP) is an amortizing 30-year second mortgage available for moderate-income first-time home buyers. Second loans of 17 percent of the purchase price up to $85,000 are available under this program, with the interest rate at 1 percent above the interest rate of the first loan.

Lachman and his team have offered to speak to companies and business about the non-profit lender’s loan programs. See the next scheduled workshop here. For more information about The Housing Trust, its programs and program guidelines, visit www.housingtrustcc.org

The California State Senate will be holding an informational hearing regarding High Speed Rail on Tuesday, March 13, at 7 p.m., in the Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts, 500 Castro Street.

Senator Joe Simitian will be hosting the hearing and will be joined by Senator Mark DeSaulnier, chair of the Senate Transportation and Housing Committee and Senator Alan Lowenthal, chair of the Senate Select Committee on High-Speed Rail. This event is open to the public, and attendees will have the opportunity to speak during a public comment period following prepared testimony from state officials and others.

 

There’s an optimism in the air. It’s quite evident in attendance at the different SILVAR district meetings. It’s also evident in the attitudes and points of view of the various speakers at each of SILVAR’s districts.

Left to right: Chris Trapani (Sereno Group), John Thompson (Intero Real Estate), Bill Lewis (Alain Pinel Realtors) and Fred Hibbert (Coldwell Banker)

The first 2011 Los Altos/Mountain View District tour meeting took place last Friday with a good attendance and a broker/manager panel, which included Chris Trapani (Sereno Group), John Thompson (Intero Real Estate), Bill Lewis (Alain Pinel Realtors) and Fred Hibbert (Coldwell Banker). 2011 District Chair Denise Welsh, who served as moderator, asked the brokers to share their greatest challenges, advice to agents for positioning buyers (and sellers) in 2011, and valuable traits they look for in an agent.

For Fred Hibbert, the greatest challenge is managing expectations of buyers and sellers.

Bill Lewis said it’s staying on top of the market. “Success is preparation and opportunity. You need to know the market,” he stressed.

John Thompson said knowledge and skills in the industry are important. An agent needs to be objective and focus on what he/she should improve.

Chris Trapani said it’s important for him as a manager to see growth in his office. His goal is to have his agents succeed. He especially wants to coach agents who have not yet experienced levels of success and guide them to a place of stability.

What is the panel’s advice to agents for 2011? Hibbert advised agents to study the information, be knowledgeable about the market, and know the stats.

“Stats are important and talking points are important,” confirmed Lewis. Armed with this knowledge, Lewis said agents can discuss real estate and show their knowledge to everyone, even while waiting in line in the supermarket.

“Have patience,” Lewis added. “You have to understand your clients and help your clients understand the market and manage their expectations.”

Thompson said there’s no excuse for agents to be operating without stats. Agents have access to the data and need to be able to explain the short and long-term impact on value in the different neighborhoods.

As for valuable traits the managers look for in an agent, Trapani said he looks at the agent’s track record, and most of all, he looks for a “culture fit” in his company.

Thompson looks for intangibles, especially personality. “If a person knows what they want to get out of this business, I can help them with a business plan. They have to know what they want,” Thompson stressed.

Lewis looks for a high level of honesty, integrity and fair dealing in an agent. It’s his foundation to building a culture in the office. The agent would need to get along with others in the office.

Hibbert wants the agent to have a game plan and goals.

A red flag to these managers is when the agent immediately wants to know what the deal is, and does not express much interest in the company’s philosophy.

The brokers are very optimistic about 2011. Enjoy the ride, be prepared, focus on what you want, but you have to work. Get out there, get the inventory, get the listings, they said.

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