Jerry’s Journal of 2009

03-20-09. Wow! Spring has sprung, or at least it's springing, for the inventory of Eichlers has taken a quick turn for the better.  As of today, our Eichler area now boasts 30 listings, about one-third of them showing up in the last week or so.  We've not seen the listing activity that normally happens just after the Super Bowl until now.  Perhaps the hesitancy and uncertainty caused by our economic situation to either sell or buy is beginning to wane, and so folks are getting on with their lives.  I think what we need now is to have that 30 number remain about the same, with several new listings appearing weekly, and the same or similar number of sales occurring as well. Everybody wins in that climate.  We'll see what happens.

It is rather unusal to have two of the outstanding Eichlers located on Stanford University grounds be listed at the same time, as happens today. And for those of you who may be new Eichler enthusiasts, you may be surprised to learn that there are over 100 Eichler homes located in the beautiful environs of the Stanford property.

Virtually all of the homes, several of which are shown in our book, Eichler Homes – Design for Living, are considerably larger than the homes found in the “normal” communities of Palo Alto, Sunnyvale, Mountain View, etc.  They are, however, recognizable Eichlers, through and through, with more square footage devoted to the home, in particular the living or “gathering” spaces.  They are usually set on the larger lots, more common at Stanford, and by now rather secluded by the mature landscaping.

While I have not yet seen the home on Frenchmans Road, it likely benefits from the mature landscaping as well.   Frank Lloyd Wright fans and devotees will probably recognize the address, for the famous “Hana House” of the world renown architect is located on Frenchmans Road as well.  715 Frenchmans Road is in very good company.

02-16-09. It's been a little wet as of late, but the activity that we expect to happen after the Super Bowl does seem to be beginning.  My Eichler Market Data posting of February 8th showed the lowest number of transactions for the last 6 months that I can ever recall – 56, less than 10 a month.  Last week the inventory began to build, and the sales that did occur should make potential home sellers feel better.  The list prices were in general, prices that we were accustomed to last year, and several of the new listings did sell promptly.  There are, as always, areas -locations – where the activity is not as rapid, but that always seems to be the case.  As mentioned previously, the total spring activity around here will be interesting, and telling to observe.

02-02-09. Well, the Super Bowl is over, so let's let the real estate games begin!  Let's hope that will be the case before long.  I'll try to compare and contrast our spring real estate season with those of the past couple of years, and see what differences will be occuring.  Should be interesting – and telling.

Those of you that have been following my brief notes regarding the "2-story lower level" Eichler remodel in Monte Sereno are in for much more of a treat, now that Bryan and Jo-Anne have posed a very interesting and visually graphic site/blog on their unique project.  The address is, and among the General Contractor role duties that Bryan has undertaken, he has also made time to author this great site.

This past weekend Bryan and Jo-Anne hosed not an Open House, but an "Open Hole" gathering for neighbors, friends, and interested parties, and once again it was amazing to visit and sense the scope and enormity of what they have undertaken.  Do visit his website, and you will be able to see for yourselves what I mean.  I know you will be following the progress of the "2-story lower level Eichler" from now on.

01-26-09. One week to go to Super Bowl Sunday, and as mentioned many times before, one week to go before the spring real estate season really begins.  I must say that all things considered, in particular our country’s financial mess, our Eichler listing and sale activity has been about what one expects during this seasonally slow time.  3 new listings and 3 pending sales during the last 8-10 days would be the envy of most real estate markets, micro or otherwise.

I just learned of some re-financing activity that is now occuring in Eichlerdom.  It provides some hard evidence that economic events such as we are experiencing today provide difficulties for some, and opportunities for others.  Sufficient equity and proper FICO credit scores are enabling 30year fixed re-financing in the high 4% ranges.  My goodness, that takes us back to post World War II rates!  Until next time.

01-19-09. Two new listings, one in San Jose and one in Los Altos; Snowberry now is closed.

01-12-09. Jerry is out on holiday at this time, but here is the
market update for this week.  We have 12 Active Eichlers with an
additional 8 Pending, a strong signal of balanced demand.  The
“unseasonably” warm weather has drawn out some buyers to look at homes,
like a groundhog looking for his shadow.  No, it’s not an early Spring,
but it is a welcome relief from the typical winter weather (and real
estate doldrums). 

01-05-09. No commentary this time for the Eichler Market update.  However, after having spent the greater part of 15 years working with
Eichlers, it is a bit difficult to “hang it up”, stop living
with them and the marketplace, and just ignore what I’ve been involved
in for some time. So from time to time I’m going to offer
some thoughts and perspectives I’ve developed over the years in these
“musings”, and hope it provides further insight – “Eichler Insight” –
for those of you that have interests in these historic homes.  If these
thoughts prompt further views or questions from you, don’t hesitate to
either send an email to us or share them with us by leaving a comment
in one of the post.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s