Hiking Near Lincoln, Ca – Favorite Things Friday

Lately the weather has been so nice. If feels like Spring already! As the temperatures rise and the weekend gets closer I start thinking about getting some fresh air away from the office. Hidden Falls is a perfect place to reset after a long week. Hidden Falls Regional Park is an 1180-acre open space park in Placer County. Sometimes there isn’t time for a drive up to the mountains so this location is ideal.  hidden falls mapOverall, the trails are very simple to navigate and the hike is easy enough for the little ones, so it makes for a fun outing for everyone. There are many loops in the park, with multiple trails to hike, run, mountain bike, or even horseback ride. And don’t forget to bring the family dog. Our family likes to bring a sack lunch and take the 5-mile loop to see the falls. They recently re-did the overlook by one of the larger falls, so there are places to sit and enjoy the awesome view.  Since it’s Valentines weekend, why not get out and enjoy this beautiful weather and take your sweetheart on a little hike. Happy weekend Everyone! The Falls

Favorite Things Friday

Screen Shot 2016-01-28 at 2.22.17 PM Well, January 2016 is just about over. Where does the time go? We have been busy here at the office and real estate is off to a great start for the year! Today I want to share the first post of a new blog series I have labeled, “Favorite Things Friday”. I will be posting some of my favorite things about Lincoln and the surrounding areas each Friday . There are so many things I LOVE about living in this area. I hope you will enjoy it.

My wife grew up in Lincoln (it has changed A LOT). When she went away to college, she took a pottery class as part of her major. The first day of class when she told her professor that she was from Lincoln, California, he excitedly said, “That’s where we get all of our clay!”  Sort of cool! Up until then she knew the Gladding McBean Pottery in Lincoln made clay sewer pipes, but wasn’t aware that it supplied clay to various places like BYU Idaho. She spent most of her Freshman year in the art studio at the potters wheel, molding and creating with clay from her hometown. She literalIy held a little bit of home in her hands everyday.

This is my Wife’s first pot made out of Lincoln clay.

Did you know the Pottery in Lincoln started making clay sewer pipes in 1875? By the 1890’s, investors Charles Gladding, Peter McGill McBean and George Chambers had invested and built up the factory to produce more than sewer pipes. Creations ranged from prominent architectural terra cotta and building gargoyles to fountains, garden pottery, roof and floor tile, bricks and even dish ware. Many of these items are extremely collectable now. Gladding McBean has worked with world renowned architects and its own distinguished artisans’ creations are incorporated into numerous historical landmarks throughout the United States. It has produced terra cotta for more than 10,000 buildings around the world. Gladding McBean is an important part of our City’s past. Living in a town that has a rich history of hard work and craftsmanship makes me proud and makes the Gladding McBean Pottery one of my favorite things.


Photo credit : How I See Life
The Kilns



How Accurate are the Zillow “Zestimates”?

One of our Realty World Brokers sent this interesting article on to me. I have sellers and buyers that frequently ask me about the values on Zillow and sometimes they are very influenced by the numbers they see. This article, written by Ryan Lundquist of Lundquist Appraisal Company, sums things up pretty well. I have seen properties that the Zillow “Zestimate” is way too high or way too low. There really is no substitute for a good appraiser or broker that knows the neighborhoods, floor plans and upgrades. Call me anytime and I would be happy to do a free comparable market analysis that gives you a real value of your property. See Ryan’s article below:


How does Zillow compare with 10 real appraisals?

by Ryan Lundquist on March 5th, 2013

I have people ask me about Zillow all the time. In fact, it came up last week at a discussion I led for Realtors. Is Zillow accurate? Do I use Zillow as an appraiser? Let me share 10 recent appraised values in 2013 and compare them with “Zestimates”.

1) Elk Grove Condo: Appraisal: $90,000; Zillow: $79,454 (-11.7%)
2) Rancho Cordova House: Appraisal: $172,000; Zillow $155,567 (-9.5%)
3) East Sacramento House: Appraisal: $315,000; Zillow $399,893 (+26.9%)
4) Elk Grove House: Appraisal: $262,000; Zillow: $267,676 (+2.1%)
5) South Land Park House: Appraisal: $217,000; Zillow: $273, 293 (+25.9%)
6) Roseville Condo: Appraisal: $111,500; Zillow: $113,914 (+2.1%)
7) Roseville House: Appraisal: $415,000; Zillow: $396,763 (-4.4%)
8) East Sacramento House: Appraisal: $232,000 ; Zillow: $368,000 (-36.9%)
9) Elk Grove House: Appraisal: $305,000 ; Zillow: $264,340 (-13.3%)
10) Del Paso Heights House: Appraisal: $65,000 ; Zillow: $76,348 (+17.4%)


Is Zillow accurate? It’s hit and miss. Ultimately I don’t consider Zillow to be reliable. As you can see above, some of the values were really close, but others were not close at all. An online valuation site cannot possibly know the idiosyncrasies of a real estate market – not to mention interior condition, level of charm or quality of updates either. Sometimes tract neighborhoods with a high level of data seem to have more accuracy on Zillow (not always true), while neighborhoods where each street and house are different can be very far off (even hundreds of thousands of dollars off the mark). For instance, in Yolo County data can be very sparse, so an online “valuation” without actual data isn’t all that compelling. I would say if you use Zillow regularly, use it for what it’s worth, but understand its limitations.

Do I use Zillow in my appraisals? I never use Zillow to guide or support values in my reports. Sometimes out of curiosity I will check Zillow because I wonder how a lender might view a property if they run an AVM (Automated Valuation Model).

By the way, I don’t have any problem with Zillow. This post is simply written as an FYI for clients and consumers.

Questions: How do you use Zillow? Any comments or stories to share?

If you have any questions or Sacramento home appraisal or property tax appeal needs, let’s connect by phone 916-595-3735, email, Twitter, subscribe to posts by email (or RSS) or “like” my page on Facebook

Well done Ryan!


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Real Estate prices trending upward in Lincoln, CA

As I looked out the back window on Saturday, I noticed that the ornamental crab apples trees are starting to bloom. Spring is just around the corner and the real estate market is heating up even more. The last few years have been extremely interesting for real estate in Placer County. We saw the foreclosures come through and every second home on the market seemed to be a foreclosure with holes kicked in the walls, missing appliances and other damage. We saw the short sale boom and it went from being a situation where the owners didn’t want the neighbors to know they were selling, to it being commonplace and almost a trendy thing to do a “strategic short sale”. While bank-owned properties are still popping up and short sales are still happening, we have seen a definite change over the last 6 months. Most listings are seeing multiple offers and we are seeing more and more “regular sales” where we have an actual homeowner with some equity and a buyer that is purchasing to move in. I have read a lot of the predictions for where the market is going this year and most experts tend to agree that we will continue to see appreciation this year. The California Association of Realtors forecasted that the median home price in California would increase by 5.7 percent. Each market place is different and I think we will see an increase of well over the predicted statewide appreciation. We are seeing homes that sold last year for under $200,000 now selling in the $250,000 range. On the higher end, I have seen examples of homes purchased last year for $500,000 that would now easily sell for $600,000. Both of these are examples are around a 20% increase. Even within Lincoln, the rates of appreciation will be different in different neighborhoods and different price ranges.

Will appreciation continue? There are some indicators that we can watch to predict what will happen. The first one that is affecting our area significantly in terms of pushing the prices higher is supply and demand. Right now, the demand far exceeds the supply in most price ranges. Days on market are low (with the exception of short sales) and multiple offers are common. When we start to see the supply rise and days on market go up we can predict that the rate of appreciation will start to level off. I do think that because our demand far exceeds our supply that this won’t start to balance out at least until the end of summer.

The second indicator to watch is the interest rate. Interest rates are very good right now and a borrower’s buying power is quite strong. As rates go up, affordability goes down and this causes home prices to level out or even start to drop. A general rule is that as rates go up, prices go down. We have continually been hearing (over the last 3 years) that rates are going to go up. This hasn’t really happened. At certain times they may have ticked up a little but overall rates have been great. We’ll have to see what happens.

The current market is good for sellers. If you are thinking about selling this year, I wouldn’t wait too much longer to do it. There will be more homes coming on the market this summer, so get a jump on the competition. Call me to see what your home is worth, you may be surprised! I can put together a CMA (comparative market analysis) for you for free. This is a fun time for me being able to tell people their homes are worth more than they thought they were. I like to be able to give good news! A few years back it was exactly the opposite, people thinking their homes were worth much more than they really were…Give me a call, I’ll give you a number that is realistic and based on comparable sales. Hopefully the real estate market and the overall economy will head in the right direction!

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