Thursday, April 3, 2014

Don't Forget the Homeowner's Exemption!

I glanced at our tax bill recently and realized the Assessor's Office didn't have our homeowner's exemption reflected.  It's only $7000, which is a savings over investor-owned property of only about $70/year, but still.  Take a peek at your next tax bill, and if you don't see the $7000 exemption, reach out to the Alameda Assessor's Office.  They have a commonly searched forms sub-site, but it doesn't include this one, which would reduce your taxes!

And Now onto the Market

We currently have 15 homes on the market--and none has been available for more than 28 days.  We have 11 homes currently pending, and with one exception, none was on the market for longer than 19 days.  More than half received multiple offers.

In contrast, across the quarter to date--nearly three months!--we saw only 18 homes sell, and they sold in an average 50 days.  That means the market is ramping up rapidly.  At present, the quarter's sales averaged $1.961 million ($547/sf), with a median of $1.635 million (after excluding one whose sales terms are confidential). 

These figures are skewed by several things: 

--Seven of the 17 homes sold for more than $2.5 million--it's been a very long while since such a flush of high-end homes actually found a serious, bankable, willing buyer.  These sales pulled the average and the median sales prices up.

--On the other hand, a number of the 18 had been on the market for a long while, and sellers ''got serious'' in the quiet period at the end of the year or as the new year began.  These so-so results actually closed in 2014, leading to the high days-on-market statistic.

--In fact, with one exception, all the homes that found a willing buyer after more than 23 days on the market sold for below the asking price, while those that went into contract in 1 or 2 or 3 weeks tended to garner the multiple offers and sell for more than the asking price--at an average of 10% over the asking price, and $649/sf.

Because there were so few sales in the first quarter, and because the group was so skewed in various ways, I won't compare these figures to those of the last few quarters.  But clearly, with all the activity here at the end of the quarter, we'll have plenty of broadbased data to review in the coming few months.

I'll send out the final data for the quarter in a few weeks, along with the basic data on each sale as in the past (excluding the street numbers!  We have little enough privacy as it is in this town!)

Cul-de-Sac Living in Central Piedmont

16 Keefer Court offers a rare cul-de-sac setting close to all three levels of Piedmont's prized public schools, as well as a number of recent systems and structural updates.  Comprised of three bedrooms and two baths in nearly 2200 sf, the home offers a large main-level family room that's very unusual for homes from this era.  [And that's a barrel ceiling flattened by the photo lens, not a flat ceiling curved by the lens!]

Handcrafted Details Abound

Designed by regional architect Ray Keefer, the house reflects his deep understanding of the Mediterranean aesthetic, and his typical high quality finishes--gorgeous 2-inch oak parquet floors in the living room and entry, graceful barrel ceilings and proportions, and wonderful original hardware.  The many windows and skylights let the famous East Bay sun pour into this southwest-facing home.  Gracious french doors open the large living room and formal dining room to a fig-tree shaded patio perfect for outdoor dining or BBQs.  And the front garden's succulents and sapote tree beautifully complement the home's architecture.

A Great Central Piedmont Location

Simplify your life!  Set on a very private cul-de-sac tucked between Oakland Avenue and Piedmont Park, the home is a couple of blocks away from Wildwood Elementary's playground, its after-school child care site, and Piedmont's middle and high schools, and just a tad further to casual carpool (or the bus stop) bound for San Francisco's Financial District (the ride is about a half-hour, door to door).  Watch the kids ride bikes or play ball in the circle.

Careful Attention to the Systems--

Too many homes built with quality during the Roaring Twenties missed out on systems updates in intervening years.  16 Keefer Court, by contrast, has been carefully maintained over the past 30 years, including roof replacement, electrical update, seismic update, french door replacement, dry rot repairs, newer high-efficiency furnace, and some dual-pane window replacements. 

Open Sunday, 2-4:30 pm, and Monday 10-1 for broker's tour (public welcome).  Offered at $1.095 million.

Lots more photos and info at