The housing market has been in hibernation these past few months and yet there are signs of a steady return to a more stable market this New Year. “Industry experts liken the national real estate market to a hangover,” says Timo, “slow to get moving the morning after the party. Yet here in the Petaluma area, homes that are priced right are holding their value and still in demand given low inventory in our desirable communities.” As reported in the New York Times early in the New Year, the pandemic created the perfect storm for driving up housing prices. When mortgage rates doubled in a matter of months, buyers elsewhere across the country froze.
Lingering economic uncertainty will most likely prevent the housing market from getting out of control again any time soon,” says Timo. “While national sales fell in the last six months, prices locally have largely held.” In fact, the West Petaluma median home listing price in November was $1.2 million. And according to Realtor.com, most homes sold close to asking price if not more. While it is tough for first time buyers to get into the market without family support while interest rates are as high as they are, there is certainly less competition from other buyers. “I’ve been able to help buyers secure fixers and other starter homes in this less frantic market,” says Timo. “They have an opportunity to negotiate for repairs and reductions.”
“Many of my clients have accrued substantial home equity simply by living in the Petaluma area for a period of time. It’s a seller’s market in that there are more people looking for homes than there are listings. Those who have a desire or need to move may do so without having to overbid on their replacement property, making moving a far less stressful concept.” The National Association of Realtors expects home prices to remain stable overall this year but a lot of that depends on address. San Francisco may see a more noticeable price drop, whereas the Petaluma area and Sonoma County as a whole represents the second-best house pricing deals in all Bay Area counties. And there’s no dispute that it’s a great place to live. “This really is more of a normal market,” says Timo. “Sellers who price their home conservatively should still expect to see a couple of good offers.”
Some real estate economists project mortgage rates beginning to fall maybe by the second half of this year. “This could make it more feasible for buyers to enter the market,” says Timo. “But finding the right home at the right time and price is always the most important aspect of a move. A buyer now may remortgage at a later date if all the other factors work well.”
Timo is ready to go to work for you, your family, coworkers and friends as a buyer or selling agent. Call 707. 477.8396 to discuss your housing needs today
Timo opened his office in Theatre Square, Petaluma on two evenings in late December for clients and readers to purchase signed copies of Frances’ new novel, The House on Liberty Street. We had fun with sparkling wine toasts with our community support for Frances’ work. We hope to hold more casual open houses at the office this year as it was so nice to reconnect in person. You can still buy signed copies in the RE/MAX Gold office on Second Street during office hours. $20 per copy – cash please. Books are available in VIBE Gallery on Petaluma Blvd, by order from Copperfield’s Books if they don’t have copies in stock and online in e-book form and paperback. We like Bookshop.org because it supports brick and mortar bookstores with a portion of its profits.
If you’ve read and enjoyed The House on Liberty Street, please post a review on Amazon and/or wherever you purchased it. You don’t have to have purchased on Amazon to leave a review, but these reviews make a huge difference in the promotion of a book. So, thank you in advance if you take the time to do so!
Thinking of a renovation or a spruce up at home this year? After the holiday clean-up is a great time to reflect on what improvements and updates you may want to tackle in the new year. Here are the top trends we’ve tracked down for home updates for 2023:
1.Open plan floorplans are being thoughtfully reconsidered. After the long stay-at-home and work-from-home era, we’re not so sure that open plan works with our modern lives. While flow and space are important, so are defined, designated areas. Homeowners and designers are working together to create rooms that provide multi-purpose privacy.
2.Subway kitchen tiles have had their day. In mode are slabs of quart or marble as seamless backsplashes. The lack of grout lines makes it easier to keep clean.
3.Kitchen islands become multi-work areas with technology chargers, extra storage and seating. The modern kitchen island increasingly becomes the space for work, entertainment, family gathering and cooking.
4.Art Deco is taking over from mid-Century Modern in furniture, lamps and accents. Expect more vibrant colors, geometric shapes in wallpaper, furniture and lighting in 2023.
5.Pantone’s new color of the year, Viva Magenta, is a not-so-subtle hint at how boldly colorful interiors will be in 2023 and beyond.
6.Mellow yellow – a warmer, muted tone of yellow replaces the greys and beiges of the past few years.
7.Recognize the ceiling as a fifth wall. Designers are calling for color up above.
8.Updates that improve a home’s energy efficiency are primed to surge in 2023. These home improvements reduce energy and utility bills – offering a much-needed reprieve during times of high inflation.
9.Outdoor living spaces are becoming more prolific as we’ve adapted to al fresco gatherings and shared living.
10. Accessory units continue to be the number one sought-after solution in the housing market.
Sold OVER ASK with MULTIPLE OFFERS At $640,000
"Timo helped us buy our first home 20 years ago. Recently when we needed to sell our house he helped us again. Timo and his team listened; they were easy to work with and coordinated all the details. I highly recommend this professional team."
Bring 2 quarts water to a boil in a large saucepan. Place bean sprouts in a metal strainer; lower into boiling water, & blanch bean sprouts until crisp-tender, about 10 seconds. Remove strainer from water (do not remove water from heat), & rinse bean sprouts under cold water about 30 seconds to stop the cooking process. Drain well, & set aside. Add salt to water in saucepan, & return to a boil over high. Add noodles, & return to a boil over high. Boil, stirring often, until just under al dente, about 1 minute. Drain noodles well in a colander, & rinse under cold water about 1 minute to stop the cooking process. Drain. Briefly rinse again, & drain, lifting noodles to separate & dry the strands. Set aside. Stir together stock, soy sauce, & sesame oil in a small bowl. Set aside. Heat peanut oil in a wok over high until shimmering & fragrant; swirl to coat wok. Add ginger; stirring constantly, until sizzling & starting to brown around edges, about 10 seconds. Add snow peas; stirring constantly, until bright green, about 1 minute. Add water chestnuts; stirring constantly, 30 seconds. Add bean sprouts; stirring constantly, until wilted, about 1 minute. Stir sauce, & add to mixture in wok; bring to a boil over high. Add noodles to wok; stirring constantly, until noodles absorb sauce, about 2 minutes. Remove & discard ginger. Season with more soy sauce to taste. Serve immediately.