A Burbed reader, Scott, noted that Tom Stynes is pretty annoying. Let’s look at some quotes:
Ask the Expert
Q Hi, Tom I’m tring to get prices of houses sold in my area within the last 6 months I live at 3816 Sunflower Cir. Bowie , MD 20721
Mike, Bowie , MD 6/20/06
A Dear Mike:
If you trying to find sold prices in an area throughout the United States, I recommend you call a local REALTOR to the area in question. Even you are just trying to update current value on your property insurance with no intention or buying or selling. We get questions like your’s all the time. You might be surprised to know most agents are in the business because they like to help.
Tom Stynes 6/24/06
Apparently Tom has never heard of Zillow.
Q Tom, I’m considering taking a job with a prominent corporation in Mountain View and moving from Texas; however, I just can’t understand how people afford to purchase homes in the valley. I am married with two children under five and although I would be getting about 25% more in salary, the home prices are about 400% more in Silicon Valley than here in southwest Texas. Can you please provide some insight? Thanks.
A Dear Jason:
I speak to individuals contemplating the same question you pose several times a month. For people outside of the San Francisco Bay Area, they cannot understand a 3 Bedroom / 2 Bath; 1600 sq. ft. single-family home sells here upwards of $800,000. All I can say from a personal prospective the Bay Area is a great place to live and raise a family. Without sounding like a marketing piece published by a local Chamber of Commerce, the weather is great; we have an expanding job market highly trained professionals, etc., etc.
Likewise home prices in the South Bay continue to remain strong. In fact, I presented three offers this week on separate properties where multiple offers were involved. All three properties sold about list price. Each property was located in areas with above average school performance so that also influenced the level interest.
Ultimately home sales are influenced by supply and demand. We have very little vacant land so we’re unable to build more housing in the most desirable areas. Likewise our inventory of homes for sale continues to stay low (less than 1% of total homes) so we still have a Sellers market. Sure we are seeing some softening in homes listed about $1.5 million, yet these are not the homes someone like you can afford without a very large down payment.
I’m not sure this is the information you wanted to hear. Hopefully it provided some insight into the why behind our pricing. If you decide to move California – Welcome!!!
Translation: Dear Jason, prices in the Bay Area always go up. It’s the most special place in the world. Get a 40 year neg am mortgage and unlock that equity today! Besides, you’ll never need to go on vacation again!
Here’s an answer that was pretty good – until it became a Realtor answer:
Q Hi Tom, We are interested in demolition of our existing home in Cupertino and rebuilding a new home on the land. Cost of construction vs simply selling the existing home and buying another one (for larger size and other desirable features etc.) is an important consideration. Can you comment on the construction costs (per sq ft) and other costs, and point me to any resources that could help me to get started. Thank you very much.
A Dear Anonymous: You ask a good question. Construction cost in the Cupertino area run between $200 and $350 per square foot depending on desired amenities. For resources, I would start by going to the Cupertino planning department. They will tell you the maximum limits on expansion, zoning requirements etc.
The next step would be to talk to architects so you can draw up plans for construction. If you want to contact me directly I can recommend several architects and builders in area.
The other option should you want to sell, please contact me directly. I recently sold a home in the Rancho Rinconada area of Cupertino. The property, potential tear down, sold “As Is” with seven offers well above the asking price.
Hope this helps.
Ah yes. A simple “$200-350 per square foot” answer became “btw, now’s a great time to buy! don’t get priced out!” answer.