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About this blog: I am a native of Alameda County, grew up in Pleasanton and currently live in the house I grew up in that is more than 100 years old. I spent 39 years in the daily newspaper business and wrote a column for more than 25 years in add...  (More)

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Tight, tight real estate market

Uploaded: Jan 22, 2013
If you are in search of a home in Pleasanton or, better yet, want to sell and move elsewhere, now is the time.
I got a call from Bob Cilk, a real estate friend last week, to check in and ask if I knew anyone looking to sell. One of my neighbors, it so happens, put their home and 2-plus acres on the market last fall and already have closed on the deal.
Bob pointed out that there are only 30 homes on the market in Pleasanton now—a stunning low number—four, five or six times lower than in more typical times. That readily results in multiple offers—something other desirable Bay Area communities have been seeing.
In different times, even in the depths of winter when the real estate market typically slows dramatically, there were significantly more homes on the market in Pleasanton and other Tri-Valley communities.
Inventory for resale homes is equally low in other Tri-Valley communities. The difference is other communities have developers building new homes in new neighborhoods. Home sales in east Dublin and the Dougherty Valley area of San Ramon have been quite strong—even to the point of people waiting in line for their opportunity to buy a new home. Livermore also has some new home construction.
It was a welcome sight to see Toll Brothers, which picked up lots on Vineyard Avenue between Ruby Hill and existing development, start to move ahead with construction. The Reserve is only 19 lots and they are large estate lots designed back when the economy was substantially better to create the vineyard estate corridor between Ruby Hill and Pleasanton proper.
Given the price point, these are designed for families that could choose a home anywhere in the valley. It's notable that the web site talks of family homes, but makes it a point to establish that all of the models have first-floor bedrooms.
Incidentally, Ponderosa Homes active adult community at Ironwood has been a consistent winner for the Pleasanton-based builder through the housing downtown. Single-story construction is a key there.
Moving forward, for families who own in traditional Pleasanton neighborhoods built 20-40 years ago when the community was not one of the three "Ps"—Palo Alto, Piedmont and Pleasanton-- they are sitting pretty. When it is time to move and they are willing to leave the area, the demand for their property will be intense.
The Toll Brothers project is finishing plans approved prior to the recession—what is in the future looks like high-density workforce housing. A law suit that the city lost required it zone more land for high density housing, which was done last year.
One result is a huge gap and no zoning for a family seeking a 4-bedroom home on a modest lot. That was the core of Pleasanton housing, but there is precious little, if any zoning, permitting that style of housing. It contrasts sharply with what's being built in other communities as developers strive to hit the sweet spot in the market place

What is it worth to you?


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