Sunday, April 11, 2010

Real Estate Bargains in Bodega Bay

1750 Hwy 1, Bodega Bay, 3BR,2BA, $379,000

There are some incredible real estate deals in Bodega Bay right now, I can’t believe the prices. My husband and I have been watching this market since the mid-1990’s, when we first started dreaming of moving here. We watched Bodega Bay properties climb steadily until they peaked in late 2006. At that time, it seemed like the majority of houses were well over $1 million.

Well guess what? The median price in Bodega Bay has now dropped to its lowest level since July 2003! I’ve sprinkled examples of some amazing deals throughout this post.

One reason for the dramatic drop is foreclosures, of course. Like the rest of California, we've had our share out here. Then recently one investor lost eight of his vacation rental homes (yes eight!!!) and those REOs are coming on the market now.

We’re friends with several realtors here and I asked their opinions of the current market. John Chute, Steve Hecht, and Ed Vail are all with Coldwell Banker Coast Properties and they know this market inside and out. They’re good guys, too. They live locally, are very involved in the community and give generously of their time and resources. For example, next weekend, you’ll find Ed and Steve volunteering again at the Fisherman’s Festival while John holds down the fort at the office. (John volunteers in others ways, including serving as a Big Brother for two local boys.)

I caught up with John yesterday at an open house. The beautiful home at 21177 Heron Drive, 4 bedroom/3 bath, was listed for $789,000! If you’re in other parts of the country, these prices might still seem steep but remember this is the San Francisco Bay Area where housing has always been expensive.

John Chute on the deck of 21177 Heron Drive, 4BR/3BA, $789,000

“Our problems have been made worse by a rash of foreclosures and until these homes wash through the system it is going to be challenging for those who own homes once worth over a million dollars,” John explained. “Our market was fueled by the same bubble as elsewhere, too much money and lax lending practices. The herd chasing too few homes fearing prices were going to go up forever. Now it has gone the other way of course, buyers are concerned that prices will keep falling and they are reluctant to take advantage of the excellent opportunities that are on offer."

1482 Sea Way, 3BR/2BA, $589,000

“I think we are at the bottom now and those who buy in 2010 will be seen as savvy buyers in a few years," he continued. "I expect interest rates will creep up but predict that they will be still be under 6% in 2011.”

188 Cypress Loop, 2BR/2BA, $729,000

Steve agreed about the foreclosures. “Those properties did contribute to a lot of downward pressure on the local market and certainly had an impact on all properties throughout Bodega Bay,” he said.

“The good news is that many of the REO's are getting purchased and the effect will begin to fade away soon. Unless there is another wave of foreclosures behind that, I'd guess that we'll see a steadying of prices and activity through summer or perhaps the rest of the year.

3010 Maryanna Drive, 2BR/1BA, $475,000

“The next factor that I'd expect to see is an increase in interest rates, Steve continued. "The Administration has been holding rates artificially low for quite a while now and as we begin to see prices increase throughout much of the US, we're sure to see rates creeping up with them. That does suggest this could be, and may continue to be, a very good time to buy.” Steve writes an excellent real estate blog where he posts news, market trends, local sales reports, and his professional analyses.

1487 Sea Way, 3BR/ 2.5BA, $779,000. I LOVE the views from this house!

I love talking to Ed too because he knows so much about the history not only of the town itself, but of nearly every single house here in Bodega Bay. He knows which ones are the best-built, which have been updated when and by which contractors, the quality of materials used, and so forth.

I’ve noticed a lot more traffic at Open Houses around town on recent weekends. Ed agrees and said activity is definitely picking up. He's been hearing from buyers who have been looking in Bodega Bay for as long as ten years and are now finally ready to make the move.

20903 Grebe Ct, 5BR/3BA, $650,000

There are great deals on lots now too, whether you want to build your own custom home, or just hold coastal land for an investment. A few years ago, they were going for $500,00-$600,000. Here's a large lot with panoramic water views and two sets of plans for $399,000. Disclosure: we know these sellers personally. :-)


2134 Sea Way, $399,000

These are very interesting times, 2003 pricing in Spring 2010. I sure wish I could take advantage of one of these deals rather than just watching from the sidelines.

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7 comments:

patti said...

thanks for the tour, kathlene. i am envious of people who are able to take advantage of this market right now. wish we could, too!

Cherrie said...

Here in Arizona we have seen a drop in housing prices too! Those are some beautiful homes, thanks for showing them to us.

Kathlene said...

Yes Patti! Your family comes here so often to vacation, wouldn't it be cool to have your own rental? :-)

Kathlene said...

Oh yeah Cherrie, good point! You must be seeing a lot of this too in Arizona.

Anonymous said...

That last one is BEAUTIFUL! What a steal...

Anonymous said...

Hi Kathlene,

What I would do for the opportunity to 'buy now'! It is truly a rare time. We all know Bodega is so beautiful and rare that eventually it will return to it's high in demand reputation. Thanks so much for the Chronicle!

Suzanne

Beach Mama said...

Great post Kathlene. We've seen some amazing deals popping up in our sleepy little town. The Seaway property is stunning . . . views to die for . . . almost makes me want to build again ; )

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