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by Mark Martinho
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Redwood City
Things looking better,
especially compared to EPA!
Overall, average home prices in Redwood City are only down about 20% now from their highs at the end of 2007. While a 20% decline is still painful for many home owners, it is nothing compared to other communities..
Prices Rising, but don't get too Excited!
Redwood City is a perfect example of rising prices not equating to real appreciation in home values. While in the past few months we have seen average home prices rise from $734K to $935K, each month the average size of the houses and lots sold have also increased.

How to Really Save Big when you Refinance!

OK, this is not a Redwood City story, but it is topical to many out there. The other day I was with a friend and I mentioned that I was refinancing my house to take advantage of the lower rates and he replied that despite rates being lower for him too, he did not want to refinance and start the clock again of paying his mortgage for 30 years. Wow, common perception, but he could not have been more wrong!
Prices Continue to be Stable,
but Inventory High for County, not so for City!
While prices appear relatively stable in San Mateo County, inventories have never been higher. Obviously the market has not been able to absorb the extra inventory and this could put pressure on prices if this same pattern continues.
May's Real Estate Numbers
all Trended in a Positive Direction!
May's Real Estate numbers for Redwood City all trended towards an improving market. While May 2010's inventory is high (200 homes), the number of new listings remains low (67 homes) and the number of monthly closed sales bounced from 30 homes last year to 58 this May.

While Stock Market appears to overshot its Mark,
House Market appears stable, for now?

The reason I caution that this stability is precarious is that in my opinion there are far more catalysts for a downside then upside.

You wanna Piece of Me?

Lots of homes suddenly on the market in prestigious Edgewood/Wellesley Park in Redwood City. Some of the larger, more majestic homes are currently for sale along with other more modest properties.
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Making Loan Modifications more Predictable!
Getting a permanent loan modification has been like going to Vegas, it was a nearly impossible gamble with the odds stacked against you.
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I was Surprised that 197 Wellesley Crescent
did not sell at its $1,175,000 Price, but it's Back!
Given its size and property tax savings, I was surprised that 197 Wellesley Crescent, Redwood City did not sell after the price reductions?
A leaky roof, some mold and there's goes $500,000!
I just visited a home for sale in Redwood City that was a real shame. Get this, an 8 year old home, with 2,574 sq ft of living space featuring 4 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms. A cool looking house with Bay views for $825,000.
The past Decade was quite a Wild Ride for all Markets
Unfortunately, the end of this decade was one huge reset button for everything of value. The Down Jones Index started 2000 at around 10,500 and it ended 2009 at around 10,500. The DJI did shoot up to 14,000 in 2007, but that was all wiped away over the next two years.
Loan Modifications can have many
Hidden & Bitter Surprises!
I attended a meeting yesterday in Redwood City with several mortgage brokers and the topic of loan modifications came up. If you’re thinking about getting one or are already in one, here’s a couple really important issues that came up.
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Many Redwood City Buyers
Don't like What they See!
There are many qualified buyers out there looking to buy homes, but they do not like what they see. Most of the inventory on the market is over 100 days old.
Redwood City's Average Single-Family Home
Prices Stabilizing
The seasonal spread between the DOJ and San Mateo County average single family home prices is here again.  Each year, average home prices tend to drop as fewer luxury homes selling while the stock market does not suffer the same seasonal decline.
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Monster House on 350 Alameda de las Pulgas
for sale at $2.1M
We have all driven down Alameda de las Pulgas and seen that behemoth of a house and wondered, ‘what the heck is that doing there?” That house might fit in places like Atherton, but it’s out of place in that area of Redwood City.
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Some Good Real Estate News Amongst Gloomy Facts
It appears that the First Time Homebuyer tax credit was effective at generating home sales. According to the Association of Realtors, first-time home buyers were responsible for 47% of all home sales during the past year vs. 41% the previous year.
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Loan Issues arise from Developer's Deed Restrictions
Such a deed restriction would not have raised a single eye brow with any lender a couple  years ago, but this is a different environment. This deed restriction caused all kinds of delays with the lender. The mortgage broker had to negotiate back and forth and the deal finally closed, but this hurdle came up unexpectedly and late in the process.
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Developer Not Allowed to Flip Finger

The Finger Avenue, Redwood City development proposal has been riddled with controversy from day one. Neighbors have protested many aspects of the project and it now appears to have hit yet another wall.

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