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Exquisite Living

Notable Listings / Sales

Featured Home: 730 Adobe Canyon Road in Kenwood

August 1, 2014

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Where: 730 Adobe Canyon Road in Kenwood (listing | virtual tour)
A rare one of a kind offering in Sonoma County! This is one of four adjacent parcels that make up the compound at La Vid. Parcels may be purchased together or separately. This first offering at 730 Adobe Canyon Road is a four bedroom custom home created with a sense of history in the European tradition with all the modern conveniences of today’s world: gourmet kitchen with stainless appliances, outdoor kitchen, outdoor fireplace, pool, spa, home theater, wine cellar, separate office and guest quarters.
This home is listed by Nicki Naylor of Alain Pinel Realtors Sonoma.
Offered at: $7,250,000
View this property and more incredible estates in the Summer 2014 Exquisite Living  – an exclusive luxury magazine from Alain Pinel Realtors.
See more homes for sale in Kenwood. | Visit our Wine Country community page.


 
 

APR in the News APR Tools Buyer / Seller Information Community Spotlights

Alain Pinel Realtors: Exquisite Living Summer 2014

July 30, 2014


EL Widget_Summer 2014
Alain Pinel Realtors is proud to present our Summer 2014 Exquisite Living – our premier digital luxury lifestyle magazine. The magazine allows readers to immerse themselves in the luxuries of the Bay Area by browsing through visually rich and engaging content. Using the latest technology, flip through it just like a regular magazine, and get a tour of the Bay Area and beyond. In addition to featuring the greatest and most luxurious properties and estates from all the regions we serve, we made sure it included information about the latest trends in luxury, market information, and both property and community spotlights. With easy to use sharing features, the magazine can be shared through social media, on websites, and by email – this is another way Alain Pinel Realtors brings widespread exposure to our listings.
The winter edition takes a special focus on the Peninsula – including a look at its many new restaurants, the best museums, and a look at how the Peninsula is changing the luxury bathroom. It also features 1 Faxon Road –  a grand estate reminiscent of a fine Italian manor on a gorgeous lot in the Circus Club area of Atherton.
Don’t take our word for it – start exploring Exquisite Living today – and experience the APR difference.
 

Market Updates

Bay Area Market Summary 2013

February 12, 2014


Overall, 2013 was a banner year in the Bay Area real estate market – especially in the luxury and higher end markets our region is known for. While we have known the real estate market has been rebounding, this past year we saw that recovery dramatically accelerate. While the numbers showed limited inventory and historically low interest rates, the headlines told stories of multiple offers and bidding wars. With an influx of cash from booming tech companies and international buyers, sales and prices reached or exceeded pre-recession peaks in many of our communities. In some areas, year-over-year numbers show double-digit increases. For Alain Pinel Realtors, this meant a record breaking year in which we closed $10.5 billion, a 19% increase over our 2012 sales.
For a more detailed look at 2013 and the year ahead, check out our summaries on specific regions below:
East Bay: Limited inventory of homes for sale continued to keep a lid on the number of sales while driving sales prices upward and time on the market downward. Unlike buying frenzies of the past, overpriced and/or poorly prepared properties didn’t attract buyers, while properties that were priced well received a lot of attention, resulting in many multiple-offer situations.  We anticipate a more moderate increase in home prices as inventory begins to increase and the anticipated increase in interest rates somewhat dampen demand compared to 2013 levels.
Marin: 2013 was the best of times, and it was the worst of times. We struggled with a low inventory of houses all year, yet the number of homes sold was very good. In terms of homes sold, 2013 was significantly ahead of 2012 (California’s first year of recovery after the recession), and in May, July and December, even outperformed pre-recession numbers. All-in-all, this is a very strong indication that the recovery is alive and well.
Monterey Bay: The Monterey Bay is probably one of the most diverse areas of California, with prices ranging from $80,000 to $80,000,000. While total number of sales remained relatively level, we’ve seen an increase in median home price. In Santa Cruz County, we have seen a new energy in sales of $1 million or more. In Monterey County, we are experiencing more sales and fewer listings, which means that prices will go up even more. The overall market is now on solid footing and we project that 2014 should show continued growth.
Peninsula: The entire region is experiencing one of the shortest inventory selections in years. Multiple offers still abound, yet in most cases, fewer than earlier last year. Agents are finding themselves reaching out to their co-workers for upcoming offerings and priming their clients to react as quickly as possible when the right property comes on the market. The coastal area had a phenomenal increase in activity in 2013 and offers tremendous value in 2014 compared to many Peninsula areas. Although multiple offers are somewhat common in that market as well, they are not experiencing the frenzy that many Peninsula communities are.
San Francisco: The market continues to be a seller’s market with price appreciation continuing to rise in 2014. In most San Francisco neighborhoods, there is a shortage of available homes; however, record-low rates continue to drive buyers into the City. In addition, cash offers are plentiful, fueled by Silicon Valley and Pacific Rim buyers. New condominium developments will provide much needed product in 2014 on the Van Ness Corridor and Market Street. Multi-family and apartment buildings will continue to be sought after by value investors, motivated by record high rents paid by newcomers.
Silicon Valley: Because of the shortage of inventory and an excess of buyers, many transactions experienced multiple offers, with most properties selling over the listed price. Although the total number of sales was off slightly from 2012 (-5%), there was a dramatic increase in the median sale price (+23%). It is expected this robust marketplace to continue into 2014, especially during the first six months. Elements that will influence the rate of appreciation and level of activity in 2014 are: interest rates (it is anticipated they will rise), scarcity of inventory, and overall economic health.
Wine Country: While generally speaking the number of sales in the region was slightly fewer in 2013 than 2012, the average sales prices were significantly higher. 2014 is starting very strong as dryer conditions and warmer weather have resulted in many consumers flocking to the region. The hills may be brown instead of their lush winter green, but it’s great for wine country real estate, which traditionally doesn’t take off until the second quarter.
Overall, as we look towards 2014 in the Bay Area, we expect a healthier, balanced market. Lured by increasing prices, and new-found equity in their homes, we expect more sellers to enter the market, slowly increasing inventory. Some wild cards for buyers include interest rates, interest deductions and mortgage reform, and the actions of the Federal Reserve, which all can impact housing affordability. However, we expect sustained demand for home ownership and continued, but slower, growth in sales and home prices – leaving plenty of opportunity for buyers and sellers in 2014.
This article recently published in the Winter 2014 Exquisite Living.


About Exquisite Living

Exquisite Living is a premier digital luxury magazine presented by Alain Pinel Realtors. The magazine immerses readers in the luxuries of the Bay Area and beyond as one flips through luxury trends, market updates, community spotlights, and of course some of the most magnificent homes and estates.
 
 
 
 
Notable Listings / Sales

Featured Home: 421 Los Gatos Boulevard in Los Gatos

February 7, 2014


Where: 421 Los Gatos Boulevard in Los Gatos (listing | virtual tour)
The estate at 421 Los Gatos Boulevard combines historic grandeur and modern luxury. This is a rare opportunity to own a piece of Los Gatos history. This estate has been meticulously restored by a team of renowned architects, designers and craftsmen. This is a one-of-a-kind residence with timeless charm while showcasing the best of today’s premium home design. A culinary kitchen. Minutes to exciting downtown Los Gatos and all Los Gatos Schools!
The home is listed by Don Knight and Tom Yore of the Alain Pinel Realtors Saratoga office.
Offered at: $4,498,000

View more incredible properties in Exquisite Living Winter 2014 – Alain Pinel Realtors exclusive luxury magazine.

See more homes for sale in Los Gatos. | Visit our Silicon Valley community page.


 

APR in the News APR Tools Buyer / Seller Information Community Spotlights

Alain Pinel Realtors: Exquisite Living Winter 2014

February 4, 2014


Alain Pinel Realtors is proud to present our Winter 2014 Exquisite Living – our premier digital luxury lifestyle magazine. The magazine allows readers to immerse themselves in the luxuries of the Bay Area by browsing through visually rich and engaging content. Using the latest technology, flip through it just like a regular magazine, and get a tour of the Bay Area and beyond. In addition to featuring the greatest and most luxurious properties and estates from all the regions we serve, we made sure it included information about the latest trends in luxury, market information, and both property and community spotlights. With easy to use sharing features, the magazine can be shared through social media, on websites, and by email – this is another way Alain Pinel Realtors brings widespread exposure to our listings.
The winter edition takes a special focus on the East Bay with its impressive array of restaurants, cafes, antique shops, boutiques and historic downtowns. It also features El Sueno  – a masterfully designed Spanish hacienda at the heart of Orinda Country Club.
Don’t take our word for it – start exploring Exquisite Living today – and experience the APR difference.
 

Business Planning Insights Industry Insights Marketing and Technology Insights Sales Insights

Staying in Front of Your Clients Online This Holiday Season

December 12, 2013

Author: Diane Bravo, Director of Technical Training at Alain Pinel Realtors.
Did you know that according to the National Association of Realtors® surveys of buyers and sellers in 2011 that over 90% of real estate consumers never hear from their Realtor again after closing? Be different. Get more future business by keeping in touch!  The holidays are a perfect time for you to reach out to past, current and future clients in a natural way –and with online tools, it has never been easier.
Here are 5 easy was to get more exposure online this holiday season with the click of a button:

  1. Send a holiday card from your contact management tool.  Want to avoid the religious connotations of some of the season’s holidays?  Select a classy New Year greeting to ring in the New Year!
  2. Post a holiday tip on your favorite social networking site.  This can be anything from a decorating tip, to gift ideas, to recipes, to general entertaining ideas.  Just Google “holiday tips” and the possibilities are endless.
  3. Send a Facebook Gift. Facebook Gifts were launched late last year as a way to send gifts to celebrate the special moments millions of people share on Facebook each day.  It couldn’t be easier and can cost as little as a $5 for a Starbucks gift card. This is a thoughtful and easy way to really surprise your clients and connections in an unexpected way. And it’s simple for them – a message and redemption code is emailed directly to your friends.
  4. Share an online magazine or article. The Autumn 2013 Exquisite Living magazine is the perfect example of an online read to share. The magazine was designed for ease-of-use for the consumer to flip through luxury trends, market updates, community spotlights and some of Alain Pinel Realtors most impressive homes and estates.
  5. Sharing local holiday happenings in your area is another great way to touch base, while at the same time providing useful information. If you don’t already know some in your area – try checking out your local Chamber of Commerce, community events calendars and local news sources and papers. From holiday wine events, art exhibitions, parades and lightshows, to visits from Santa, who wouldn’t want to see a list of nearby events at a glance? In today’s fast paced environment, people seldom have the time to go out and look for things to do. Do it for them!

Whatever method you choose, remember keeping in touch ultimately lead to more sales. Do something today to cultivate more business and fill your pipeline for 2014.


About Author:

Diane Bravo brings 20 years of technical training and implementation experience to Alain Pinel Realtors. In her current capacity as Director of Technical Training, she is responsible for helping all APR agents improve their business through the use of real estate software. Before moving to APR, Ms. Bravo worked for Integrated Device Technology as Business Systems Analyst.
 

Buyer / Seller Information Community Spotlights

Are You The Perfect Tahoe Buyer?

November 18, 2013

For many of us in the Bay Area, when we want to get away for a bit – we flee to Tahoe. That is why it is no surprise that the great outdoor playground is a very popular place for many Bay Area residents to have vacation homes. To find out what every Bay Area resident need to know when looking at Tahoe, we asked Linda Granger, Alain Pinel Realtors Lake Tahoe Manager, a couple questions.

What does any buyer need to know before looking for a vacation home?
No matter what kind of home purchase you’re making, some questions always remain: how much can you afford, what type of home appeals to you, etc. With a vacation home though it’s really important that it suits what you’re looking for: what kind of activities do you enjoy? What climate suits you? What kind of escape appeals to you? It also is important to establish what your goals are. Are you looking to rent it out? Are you just purchasing it as an investment?
Why is Tahoe so popular for Bay Area buyers looking for second homes?
Proximity is a huge factor – you don’t have to get on a plane. Tahoe is also a unique vacation environment that can be enjoyed year-round, with a full roster of both summer and winter activities in a relatively moderate climate. It’s also a huge playground where people can get away from their busy lives and just enjoy amazing outdoor experiences. There’s also something for people of all ages – so it really allows families to spend quality time together that might not otherwise.
What specifically should they be asking themselves before looking in Tahoe?
The perfect Tahoe or Truckee buyer is someone who wants to gain equity over time, may do some vacation rentals to help cover costs, and really enjoys and values the activities Tahoe has to offer. If you’re just looking for a “cash cow,” in most scenarios, you are not the perfect buyer. From there, you need to know what it is about Tahoe that appeals to you. There are so many different communities – Serene Lakes, Donner Lake, Lake Tahoe – all with different benefits. If you can describe your ideal Tahoe getaway (setting, house, views, sun, recreation, season they enjoy, etc.), we can usually pinpoint where you should purchase.
What’s going on in the market in the Tahoe area right now?
With an eventful summer all over California for real estate, the Lake Tahoe area was right there in the midst of a bustling seller’s market. Although we saw a drop in the overall volume of sales from last year this time, we are observing both the median and average prices make a steady creep up. With steadily rising sale prices, the market is continuing to create a comfortable environment for sellers all around the Lake Tahoe Basin and Truckee areas. In turn, it is offering buyers opportunities to take part in this competitive market while loan rates remain relatively low.
Are there any new developments in Tahoe that Bay Area buyers should be aware of?
There is a new development called Martis Camp that is a very high-end community which includes fantastic amenities that has really taken off. The homes are big and beautiful with much more modern luxuries and architecture – something we haven’t really seen in Tahoe before. People love that they don’t really need to leave; the community has it all, including its own ski lift to Northstar! There will always be the Bay Area contingents that love the Tahoe cabin feel and just want a cozy place to rest their feet by the fire, and others that want to be right on the Lakefront, but Martis is providing a place for those really high-end buyers that are used to the ultra-luxury homes of the Peninsula.
This article recently published in the Autumn 2013 Exquisite Living.
It also ran in the November 15th, 2013 Palo Alto Daily News publication Premier Homespg 12 


About Exquisite Living

Exquisite Living is a premier digital luxury magazine presented by Alain Pinel Realtors. The magazine immerses readers in the luxuries of the Bay Area and beyond as one flips through luxury trends, market updates, community spotlights, and of course some of the most magnificent homes and estates.
 
 
 
 
APR in the News APR Tools Buyer / Seller Information Notable Listings / Sales

Alain Pinel Realtors: Exquisite Living Autumn 2013

November 8, 2013


Alain Pinel Realtors is proud to present our Autumn 2013 Exquisite Living – our premier digital luxury lifestyle magazine. The magazine allows readers to immerse themselves in the luxuries of the Bay Area by browsing through visually rich and engaging content. Using the latest technology, flip through it just like a regular magazine, and get a tour of the Bay Area and beyond. In addition to featuring the greatest and most luxurious properties and estates from all the regions we serve, we made sure it included information about the latest trends in luxury, market information, and both property and community spotlights. With easy to use sharing features, the magazine can be shared through social media, on websites, and by email – this is another way Alain Pinel Realtors brings widespread exposure to our listings.
The autumn edition takes a special focus on the Lake Tahoe as a popular vacation and second-home destination for Bay Area residents looking for an outdoor playground. It also features the Greystone Property – a serene and majestic lakefront home in Cornelian Bay with a private peer right into Lake Tahoe.
Don’t take our word for it – start exploring Exquisite Living today – and experience the APR difference.

Buyer / Seller Information

Real Estate – A Unique Investment

August 19, 2013


When it comes to where to invest your money, there are a wealth of options. While all investments have pros and cons, let us look specifically at real estate. Whether it is your first home, an investment property you plan on renting out, or a vacation home – home ownership has a number of compelling built-in advantages over the stock market.
One of the most prominent advantages is the ability to leverage real estate purchases using debt. When you place $100,000 in the stock market, you are getting an asset worth exactly what you have put in. In real estate, using a mortgage, you are able to get an asset worth significantly more than your initial down payment. Therefore, similar percentage increases on the stock market and housing market actually equal very different dollar amount returns. Additionally, as your real estate accrues equity, you can pull money out and reinvest it elsewhere without having to sell any of your assets.
Home ownership also has many tax benefits including the ability to deduct the interest on your mortgage on your primary home. Additionally, you may be able to exclude some profits from the sale of your home from steep capital gain taxes that stocks are subjected to. Another benefit of real estate is that you are in complete control of it. You get to decide when to make improvements, cut costs, raise rents, and more. Stocks only provide performance reports and little ability to make changes to management.
Let us take a look at the specific realities of our local market. The average increase in prices year-over-year for the nine counties of the Bay Area range from 20 to 36 percent. While we expect this rapid growth to slow as inventory and interest rates begin to inch upwards, there is still huge growth potential. With a strengthening economy, low unemployment, increased cash from tech industry successes and the high desirability of the Bay Area, the housing market should continue to grow for the foreseeable future.
While all investments are subject to risk, the real estate market does not show the same day-to-day volatility as the stock market. Bay Area real estate has historically been a sound investment, with a cumulative 5-year appreciation of 32 percent. But perhaps most compelling of all is that real estate is a tangible asset. Through the ups and downs of any market, your home is just as enjoyable in the highs as it is in the lows – and one you can be proud of.

All data from TrendGraphix, Inc.
This article recently published in the Summer 2013 Exquisite Living.


About Exquisite Living

Exquisite Living is a premier digital luxury magazine presented by Alain Pinel Realtors. The magazine immerses readers in the luxuries of the Bay Area and beyond as one flips through luxury trends, market updates, community spotlights, and of course some of the most magnificent homes and estates.
 
 
 
 
APR in the News APR Tools Buyer / Seller Information Notable Listings / Sales

Alain Pinel Realtors: Exquisite Living Summer 2013

August 15, 2013


Alain Pinel Realtors is proud to present our Summer 2013 Exquisite Living – our premier digital luxury lifestyle magazine. The magazine allows readers to immerse themselves in the luxuries of the Bay Area by browsing through visually rich and engaging content. Using the latest technology, flip through it just like a regular magazine, and get a tour of the Bay Area and beyond. In addition to featuring the greatest and most luxurious properties and estates from all the regions we serve, we made sure it included information about the latest trends in luxury, market information, and both property and community spotlights. With easy to use sharing features, the magazine can be shared through social media, on websites, and by email – this is another way Alain Pinel Realtors brings widespread exposure to our listings.
The summer edition takes a special focus on the Silicon Valley as a high-end hub of innovation and development. It also features the Forrester Estate – a grand and unique Los Gatos estate that boasts uncompromising quality and meticulous craftsmanship.
Don’t take our word for it – start exploring Exquisite Living today – and experience the APR difference.