Year to Year Sales

Data Quick has produced their March results, and of all of the “Escondido” areas, 92026 did less poorly.


Now I realize that is not a ringing endorsement of the market, but March 2008 to March, 2009, 92026 single detached homes declined “only” 21.3%, while South Escondido declined 40.1%, East Escondido declined 32.4% and West Escondido declined 46%.


And I realize that Hidden Meadows is not in Escondido, but for home price purposes we are included.


I again caution reading too much into the numbers. A legitimate number would include an appropriate number of low, middle and upper priced homes, and as you know only lower priced homes were selling during most of that year. Those lower priced homes are the most under pressure from short sales and foreclosures, so obviously they will sell for less.


It is only recently that middle priced homes began to sell, and therefore be included in the mix.

Part One of How Much is My Home Worth?

How Much is my Home Worth?

Evaluating the listing price of a home is one of the main jobs of a Realtor, and there are so many factors that it is as much an art as a science. Realtors, particularly those who regularly work Hidden Meadows, are very good at predicting the eventual sale price of a home, but valuation is NOT an exact science – and many sellers impose a higher price than their professional recommends.

I was designated as an Expert Witness on Real Estate Values by the Superior Court of the State of California in 1978, and I can attest that Hidden Meadows is as difficult to appraise as any place in the world. We have an entire community of custom homes, some new, some old; some luxurious, some rather plain; some on tiny lots and some on huge acreage; some with great views and some nestled in for privacy; some with pools, and some without…

Appraisers would like to make evaluations based on dollars per square foot. That concept has some validity in areas like Rancho Bernardo where one Acapulco model is very similar to all Acapulco models except for decoration. In Hidden Meadows, similar-sized homes may have vastly different construction, or views, or a pool, or marble floors, or … None of these things are accurately reflected in a “price per square foot” valuation.

(That said, I regularly publish the $/s.f. of homes listed, because it is a “quick and dirty” method of valuation, and easily understood.)

A home is actually worth what a buyer will pay for it (assuming the Lender agrees to loan that much), so the real arbiter of prices is the market, and that is best reflected by recent comparable sales. The vast differences between homes in the Meadows makes both “recent” and “comparable” suspect terms in doing an evaluation, but knowledge of the area and experience can smooth out those bumps. If you want an “outside” opinion – and I recommend that you have one, please open the phone book and call an MAI-certified appraiser. It will cost you $350-$375 for most average sized homes, but it will really help you determine an unemotional price.

MLS Update

It was a normal, which is to say an extra quiet weekend – and exactly NOTHING went on in the Meadows.

In the Zip Code for the past 48 hours, the numbers were small but very good – which is to say that Pendings and Closings exceeded New Listings.

There were three new listings, but seven Pendings and seven homes closed escrow.

(And, most importantly to my clients, we closed our home sale in Valley Center.)