Oakland Real Estate Market 10/13/09

October 13th, 2009

 At our Pacific Union office meeting this morning in the Oakland Montclair office some interesting topics were discussed.


It is sounding more and more likely that the first time buyer’s tax credit that was implemented as part of the stimulus package will be going away on November 30, 2009.  The government has extended the program for Veterans however.  Some think that the entire program will be extended but there is no consensus.


FHA loans have avoided the appraisal pitfalls that the conventional market has experienced lately because FHA has continued to allow the mortgage brokers to choose the appraiser.  Now some of you may be thinking that it’s a good thing NOT to have a mortgage broker choosing the appraiser.   In general I’d agree with you.  However, if the appraiser is instead chosen by the lowest fee or by a lottery system, the appraiser may be completely out of touch with the market place he’s being asked to review.   You can see the potential for poor service and/or appraisal results.  I chalk this up to “unintended consequences from well intentioned laws.”  It is rumored that FHA is now moving toward the same appraisal guidelines of the conventional market.  We will see how things turn out.  Time lines for escrows are creeping up to the 40-45 day mark.  This is due mainly to lender delays.  A home sale without a loan can close in a matter of 5-7 days.  When a lender is involved and all of the appraisal, underwriting, verification, loan docs etc. are involved it takes more time.  If any one of the steps in the process is delayed, it puts a Buyers good faith deposit at risk even if the delay is comes from your lenders non timely performance.


Brian Santilena has been representing home buyers and home sellers in the Oakland Hills, Berkeley Hills and Piedmont California marketplace since 1998.  He is a Realtor, CRS Certified Residential Specialist, liscened contractor and Sr. Sales Associate with Pacific Union Real Estate.  He is highly knowledgeable in the Oakland Hills premier neighborhoods such as Haddon Hill, Rockridge, Montclair, Glenview, Trestle Glen, Crocker Highlands, Oakmore, Laurel District and Redwood Heights.  Berkeley Hills neighborhoods such as Northbrea, Westbrea, North Berkeley Hills, Berkeley Flats, Thousand Oaks, South Berkeley, Gourmet Ghetto, Elmwood, Uplands, Claremont, LeConte.  City of Piedmont, City of Kensington, City of Albany.  Please feel free to CONTACT BRIAN if you have any real estate needs in Oakland, Berkeley or Piedmont CA.

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