Incline Village Home Sales 2008

Incline Village has been affected by the economic slowdown, reflecting lower home sales prices and fewer sales, as seen across most markets. The median sales price of a single family home in Incline Village, dropped to $1,383,060 in 2008, down 6% from $1,24187,500 in 2007. This is better than you might expect considering the sales volume dropped 39%, as 84 homes sold in 2008 compared to 138 in 2007. Read all Incline Village home sales stats for 2008 at BuyTahoeHomes.com

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Video Draws Lakeshore Home Buyers, Incline Village

After attending the INMAN connect technology conference in San Francisco last week,there is no doubt about it ,that video is the platform for marketing real estate now and the future.With the next generations of 20-30 somethings all engaged in social networking on MySpace,Facebook, and engrossed in Youtube and like media,this is the new way for screening and shopping for homes.So get your flip cameras ready and be ready to build this into your marketing plan.

I am a firm believer in that providing a quality digital package, combined with unlimited distribution on the www is a necessity in marketing real estate.I am wondering though, who out there has had true success with actual videos,not virtual tours….but video, either with or without sound, in truly more than attracting buyers, but closing sales?

“Last weekend I was with buyers who were shopping in the $2-4m range in Incline Village.They picked the properties that they wanted to see from viewing online.They also eliminated potential properties based on their online selections.These Buyer’s made a comment about one of Lexi Cerreti’s (Chase Incline) videos.They preferred the video,more so than the house.The interesting note was that they complimented Lexi, and were very comfortable with pointing out what looked better on video than live.So,would like to hear who is using affordable,quality video,and are your Buyer’s responding,more so than to the quality virtual tours?”
Kerry Donovan, Chase International, Incline Village

It really goes to show how video draws buyers to a particular listing. When I greeted Kerry’s buyers at 928 Lakeshore Blvd, they already recognized me from the video and were very open about saying what features they loved- the kitchen, the great room with open ceilings and were impressed in person. It was refreshing that they felt comfortable enough to give honest feedback about why the home didn’t work for them- needing more bedrooms and wanting more privacy in the backyard. So while they may not end up buying this property, they chose to see it over several other options they had on Lakeshore Boulevard (24 other listings, at last count). The video was an icebreaker, they gave them the feeling they were familiar enough with me to open up, and gave me the opportunity to offer suggestions about adding walls to create an extra bedroom, and planting trees to screen the neighbors home. Not everyone has access to professional grade video productions- I happen to be lucky in that my dad is a videographer and produces mine. But flipbooks are a great alternative that can give buyers a sense of the layout and better feel of the home, where photos leave much to the imagination.
Lexi Cerretti, Chase International, Incline Village

Changing Horses in the Middle of the Race

It seems as of recent that many sellers in this market are getting frustrated due to the slowing real estate marketplace. Even though the agents are going through all the right marketing procedures, they can not fabricate buyers who are not there. So the seller takes on a “new broom sweeps clean” approach, lowering the price and even increasing the selling side commission, as well. All is a step in the right direction except when a complete new agent is brought in to list the property along with these attractive new incentives! If only the seller  gave the existing agent a brief window of time with these new perks, I believe alot of hard work and good will would be rewarded.

The Inman Conference- Conquering the Social Media Universe

With a fantastic venue in the palatial halls of the Palace Hotel, over a thousand real estate and technology entrepeneurs and seasoned agents colluded in this 3 day event, each conspiring to conquer this new universe of social media soon-to-be-giants.

As a mignon in this world of collosal idea makers, I scan the registration hall and pick out whom I think might be some of the industry’s founders, CEO’s and heads of these newly emerging technologies, one even going by “Virtual Earth Technical Evangelist”. Of Microsoft, no doubt. I meet two guys who have flown from Australia for the conference, excited to be in San Francisco, if not somewhat jetlagged.

Blogging has become a new media outlet that real estate professionals are jumping into with both feet. Many view this as a way to share their voice with their clients, and clients begin to feel that they have come to know these writers they follow and it helps them choose who they would feel comfortable working with. Blogging has also brought news, market data and heated topics of discussion to the readers, allowing them to comment and lead the discussions.

With dozens of new outlets coming online daily in the areas of real estate listing sites, social media, multi-media, communications and blogging platforms, there was a wealth of information to be had. New API and Widgets allow users to incorporate useful content and tools such as mapping into their own websites. This open source revolution is putting access to great features into our hands, the users, and enabling our brands and services to become a part of the industries.

One of the notable leaders in new technology that I was especially pleased to talk with is Jason Spencer, Co-founder of Street Advisor. I stopped by the vendor booth for streetadvisor.com interested in the neighborhood ranking feature that they pioneered. Google’s satellite mapping combined with ortho-photography (3-D) mesh with the results and detailed narratives of neighborhood reviews, commenting on everything from schools and parks in the area, to the best cup of coffee (71 Irving Place in Manhatten), to notable neighbors- have you ever heard of Cyrus Field?

After coming upon a vacant computer, Jason walked up and introduced himself with a charming Australian candor, and offered me the tour through this user-based city and neighborhood guide. I was pleased to hear they are coming out with API to allow integration into user’s sites. He offered to email me when this feature comes out, and I offered to link to his site in the meantime. This one-on-one with the man behind this new, user-centric software renewed my admiration for the entrepreneur who believes in technology, but more importantly, takes the time to connect with users directly. How many people has he offered to email when new features come out? He must be very efficient in his correspondance!

Pete Flint, co-founder of Trulia, also engaged in such a personable manner which stood out in this mass of media display and technical nomenclature. I didn’t have anything specific I wanted to ask him, but just wanted to put a name and a voice behind a software that has made such a strong presence in the new Real Estate cache of tools.

Hugh MacLeod, of Scottish Highland ancestry, really showed everyone what was under his kilt (figuratively), in telling the sotires of how an English Tailor, a South African Winery, and a Kula-obsessed culture in the South Pacific turned simple “social objects” into cult-followings. He brings home the message that a story worth telling is one that is close to you and the things you love. His cartoonist depictions make their way into blog posts, and have driven multitudes of people to a small tailor in England and an unknown winery in South Africa.

Hugh told me one of the things he has embraced is never to denegrade competitors. The English Tailor he brought into the limelight was asked to set himself apart from another very good tailor down the street. He simply told the customer, “You should go to him and have him make you a suit, he is the best”. The customer came back to him later, and told him he really wanted a suit from not from this other tailor, but from him, yet the tailor would not sing his own praises. That, says Hugh, is how to be true to your own message.

There were speakers on SEO and Web Marketing, Video and New Media for Real Estate, Luxry Marketing, Real Estate Portals and much more. The idea of branding quality, consistency of presence in marketing your brand, and featuring your listings as a lifestyle were important messages.

Energy ran high in the conclusion of the event, with Innovators recognized in an award ceremony, and Brad Inman sending a strong message in this diverse conglomoration of techies and real estate leaders. I look forward to the next phase in the new world of Web 2.0.

CASH IS KING

Incline Village is an economic entity in itself, in many ways. It is by and large a true resort town with most of the housing being second or third homes  belonging to the upper 1% of income earners. We have been noticing a strong increase in the 2 million plus homes that are being purchased for all cash. With a strong stock market {with the exception of 2 days last week} putting tremendous amounts of cash in these afformentioned hands and the pent up demand for luxury properties,  an interesting “micro market” has been created. There has been a progresive uptick in interest rates that has added fuel to the already slumping housing market in mainstream markets. Although last weeks stock market correction drove many investors to a “flight to quality”, putting cash into bonds and thereby causing interest rates to come down. I believe this is only a temporary correction as the stock market appears to be recovering this week and money will flow back out of bonds and reverse the interest trend. With all cash buyers, the negotiating position of the buyers is better than ever with no need for extensive underwriting by banks, insurance companies and much quicker closing times. These factors combine to provide a unique market in Incline Village, where prices have been increasing.

The “Where” of Real Estate Values

The media and statisics in today’s real estate markets have been a challenge to report accurately due to specific “sub markets”. Incline Village, Reno and Las Vegas markets are a perfect example. These markets are all located in Nevada, but the bulk of foreclosers are happening in Clark County (Las Vegas). Incline Village and Reno are both located in northern Nevada’s most populous county, Washoe, but even these real estate markets are quite different. New home developers in Reno have cut prices sharply across the board to reduce their inventory, creating pressure on the rest of the market to lower prices. Incline Village, on the other hand, has remained very stable. Although sales volume was down 35% in 2006, the average price for a single family home in Incline Village rose 8%.

This discrepancy between markets, even those in close proximity to each other, is causing a tremendous amount of misinterpretation to consumers. The “Real Estate Market Downturn” is used by the media in a sweeping, nationwide generalization. In fact in many places such as the Northwest (Seattle and Portland), we have seen the market bottom and prices have already rebounded. The news media should qualify real estate market data by the specific region and by the local economy impacting it. This would give consumers a much more accurate portrayal of the local economy and market they live in. Educated consumers make smarter decisions and it is in everyone’s best interest to share an accurate overview of regional markets.

The “Where” of Real Estate Values

The media and statisics in today’s real estate markets have been a challenge to report accurately due to specific “sub markets”. Incline Village, Reno and Las Vegas markets are a perfect example. These markets are all located in Nevada, but the bulk of foreclosers are happening in Clark County (Las Vegas). Incline Village and Reno are both located in northern Nevada’s most populous county, Washoe, but even these real estate markets are quite different. New home developers in Reno have cut prices sharply across the board to reduce their inventory, creating pressure on the rest of the market to lower prices. Incline Village, on the other hand, has remained very stable. Although sales volume was down 35% in 2006, the average price for a single family home in Incline Village rose 8%.

This discrepancy between markets, even those in close proximity to each other, is causing a tremendous amount of misinterpretation to consumers. The “Real Estate Market Downturn” is used by the media in a sweeping, nationwide generalization. In fact in many places such as the Northwest (Seattle and Portland), we have seen the market bottom and prices have already rebounded. The news media should qualify real estate market data by the specific region and by the local economy impacting it. This would give consumers a much more accurate portrayal of the local economy and market they live in. Educated consumers make smarter decisions and it is in everyone’s best interest to share an accurate overview of regional markets.

Should You Sell Your Home in Today’s Real Estate Market?

In this current declining housing market, homeowners who can wait for the market to rebound to sell their homes should. However, homeowners who need to sell now to move to another area can still do well. If you are selling in one declining market, you won’t get the price you could have in the hot market of 2004-2005, but you are also paying less in the market you are moving too. This is providing the new area you are moving to has an equal or better likelihood to rebound as the market you are moving from.The problem in today’s market is sellers can’t let go of what their home was worth a few years ago.

Many overpriced homes are sitting on the market, not moving, because buyers won’t pay the high prices and sellers refuse to lower them. If a seller is not motivated, the long listing period may not be of concern, and if the home doesn’t sell, they can take it off the market with nothing lost.

Other sellers get caught chasing a down-cycling market. Say you are selling your home in Sacramento and moving to Reno for a new job. You list your home for $500,000, which you pay $2000 a monthly mortgage payment. You find a new home in Reno for $500,000 that you purchase, and have a $2200 second mortgage payment at a higher rate. Now you need to sell your home. The problem is, you listed your home 5% higher than other comparable homes that were selling, the market has continued to decline, and you end up chasing the market and selling their home for $450,000 6 months later, 10% less than your original asking price. You just lost $25,000 in the sale of your home, plus 6 months mortgage payments at $2200, totaling $38,200.

This financial loss coupled with the stress of watching your funds dwindle for 6 months could have been avoided by picking a realistic selling price at the outlay. If a seller is willing to acknowledge a loss on their original investment, they can price their home to sell in this market, and move into a similar market at a low entry point, and stand to gain when the market turns around. This seems like a simple concept, until you are in the position of the seller and have to make this humbling decision and accept the loss on your investment. If you look at the bottom line and the life or your long-term real estate investment, you will gain in the long run.

What are markets that have potential for strong rebounds? Yesterday in Forbes article  “Most Resilient U.S. Real Estate Markets” by Matt Woolsey, growth projections for real estate markets in major US cities were discussed. Cities like Seattle have already hit bottom, and posted double digit gains since. Seattle bottomed 1st quarter 2006 since gained 12.3% . Tampa and Phoenix had a sharp downturn starting in 2005, as a high investors owned approximately 1/4 of all properties, leading to vacancy rates over 3%, when many pulled out. But because the job market is very good, both markets are expected to rebound nicely, with 10.6% annual gains in Tampa after the projected bottom in early 2008 and 7.7% projected gains in Phoenix after bottoming in late 2008.

Here is the rundown on several other cities reviewed by Forbes:
Tampa
Market trough: First quarter, 2008 Annual price growth following trough: 10.6%
Phoenix
Market trough: Fourth quarter, 2008 Annual price growth following trough: 7.7%
Las Vegas
Market trough: Second quarter, 2009 Annual price growth following trough: 7.2%
San Diego
Market trough: Second quarter, 2008 Annual price growth following trough: 5.3%
Los Angeles
Market trough: Second quarter, 2008 Annual price growth following trough: 3.6%
San Francisco
Market trough: Second quarter, 2008 Annual price growth following trough: 3.4%
Boston
Market trough: First quarter, 2008 Annual price growth following trough: 3.3%
Providence, R.I.
Market trough: First quarter, 2008 Annual price growth following trough: 3.3%
Washington, D.C.
Market trough: Fourth quarter, 2008 Annual price growth following trough: 2.6%
Orlando, FL
Market trough: Second quarter, 2008 Annual price growth following trough: 2.5%
Minneapolis
Market trough: Second quarter, 2008 Annual price growth following trough: 2.4%
Sacramento
Market trough: Second quarter, 2008 Annual price growth following trough: 2.4%
New York City
Market trough: First quarter, 2009 Annual price growth following trough: 2.4%
Denver
Market trough: Second quarter, 2008 Annual price growth following trough: 1.6%
Detroit
Market trough: Third quarter, 2007 Annual price growth following trough: 0.9%
Milwaukee
Market trough: Third quarter, 2008 Annual price growth following trough: 0.4%

Should You Sell Your Home in Today’s Real Estate Market?

In this current declining housing market, homeowners who can wait for the market to rebound to sell their homes should. However, homeowners who need to sell now to move to another area can still do well. If you are selling in one declining market, you won’t get the price you could have in the hot market of 2004-2005, but you are also paying less in the market you are moving too. This is providing the new area you are moving to has an equal or better likelihood to rebound as the market you are moving from.The problem in today’s market is sellers can’t let go of what their home was worth a few years ago.

Many overpriced homes are sitting on the market, not moving, because buyers won’t pay the high prices and sellers refuse to lower them. If a seller is not motivated, the long listing period may not be of concern, and if the home doesn’t sell, they can take it off the market with nothing lost.

Other sellers get caught chasing a down-cycling market. Say you are selling your home in Sacramento and moving to Reno for a new job. You list your home for $500,000, which you pay $2000 a monthly mortgage payment. You find a new home in Reno for $500,000 that you purchase, and have a $2200 second mortgage payment at a higher rate. Now you need to sell your home. The problem is, you listed your home 5% higher than other comparable homes that were selling, the market has continued to decline, and you end up chasing the market and selling their home for $450,000 6 months later, 10% less than your original asking price. You just lost $25,000 in the sale of your home, plus 6 months mortgage payments at $2200, totaling $38,200.

This financial loss coupled with the stress of watching your funds dwindle for 6 months could have been avoided by picking a realistic selling price at the outlay. If a seller is willing to acknowledge a loss on their original investment, they can price their home to sell in this market, and move into a similar market at a low entry point, and stand to gain when the market turns around. This seems like a simple concept, until you are in the position of the seller and have to make this humbling decision and accept the loss on your investment. If you look at the bottom line and the life or your long-term real estate investment, you will gain in the long run.

What are markets that have potential for strong rebounds? Yesterday in Forbes article  “Most Resilient U.S. Real Estate Markets” by Matt Woolsey, growth projections for real estate markets in major US cities were discussed. Cities like Seattle have already hit bottom, and posted double digit gains since. Seattle bottomed 1st quarter 2006 since gained 12.3% . Tampa and Phoenix had a sharp downturn starting in 2005, as a high investors owned approximately 1/4 of all properties, leading to vacancy rates over 3%, when many pulled out. But because the job market is very good, both markets are expected to rebound nicely, with 10.6% annual gains in Tampa after the projected bottom in early 2008 and 7.7% projected gains in Phoenix after bottoming in late 2008.

Here is the rundown on several other cities reviewed by Forbes:
Tampa
Market trough: First quarter, 2008 Annual price growth following trough: 10.6%
Phoenix
Market trough: Fourth quarter, 2008 Annual price growth following trough: 7.7%
Las Vegas
Market trough: Second quarter, 2009 Annual price growth following trough: 7.2%
San Diego
Market trough: Second quarter, 2008 Annual price growth following trough: 5.3%
Los Angeles
Market trough: Second quarter, 2008 Annual price growth following trough: 3.6%
San Francisco
Market trough: Second quarter, 2008 Annual price growth following trough: 3.4%
Boston
Market trough: First quarter, 2008 Annual price growth following trough: 3.3%
Providence, R.I.
Market trough: First quarter, 2008 Annual price growth following trough: 3.3%
Washington, D.C.
Market trough: Fourth quarter, 2008 Annual price growth following trough: 2.6%
Orlando, FL
Market trough: Second quarter, 2008 Annual price growth following trough: 2.5%
Minneapolis
Market trough: Second quarter, 2008 Annual price growth following trough: 2.4%
Sacramento
Market trough: Second quarter, 2008 Annual price growth following trough: 2.4%
New York City
Market trough: First quarter, 2009 Annual price growth following trough: 2.4%
Denver
Market trough: Second quarter, 2008 Annual price growth following trough: 1.6%
Detroit
Market trough: Third quarter, 2007 Annual price growth following trough: 0.9%
Milwaukee
Market trough: Third quarter, 2008 Annual price growth following trough: 0.4%