Thursday, December 29, 2016

Today's Best Mansion and Top  Luxury Estates in Los Angeles, Phoenix, 
San Diego, San Francisco and Seattle Listed For Sale.

The exact definition of the word "mansion" varies but in U.S. real estate terms, it generally defined as single family residence of more than 6,000 square feet. Mansion derives through Old French from the Latin word "mansio". The English word "manse" originally defined a property large enough for the parish priest to maintain himself. The word "manor" comes from the same root territorial holdings granted to a lord who would remain there. Therefore, it is easy to see how a "mansion" came to have its meaning.

Today's Best Mansion Listed For Sale

#1      6861 Briggs Ranch Road, Calistoga, CA 94515 with 5 bedrooms, 12 baths, 
and 22,000 sq.ft. is listed for sale at $32,000,000.


Tucked into the hills between Healdsburg and the Napa spa town of Calistoga, near the vineyards of Alexander Valley, sits an elegant Ranch Estate with a European Soul. Created in the style of an Austrian Countryside Villa, the expansive property encompasses approx. 600 acres of woodlands, pastures and year round creeks. This exceptional home enjoys magnificent views over Knights Valley toward Napa. The breathtaking, oak-studded country setting is reminiscent of Early California. Seclusion is assured. Rich, complex forms, often with slightly differing architectural styles, blend to form an environment that spans culture and time. This destination home enjoys pastoral views while a seductive Mediterranean climate seamlessly blends indoor and outdoor living. Blue skies by day, starry skies by night. A sophisticated Country Lifestyle saturated by the California sun.At one time a working ranch, this property boasts a spectacular garden with a bountiful harvest enjoyed daily. Old barns remain with the possibility to raise livestock and grow crops–a true farm to table opportunity. Two wells and mountain springs provide ample water to service the Ranch.


6861 6325 Briggs Ranch Rd, Calistoga, CA 94515








Today's Best Celebrity Estate 

Meg Ryan's light-filled SoHo Loft.

Meg Ryan loves renovating homes, and the light-filled SoHo loft that was featured in the November issue of Architectural Digest was the ninth home she has remodeled.  

Today's Top Real Estate News
Pending Home Sales Reflect "Dispirited" Buyers
Dec 28 2016, 10:37AM

By Jann Swanson
Mortgage News Daily

Pending sales, which were widely expected to make a good showing in November, pulled back sharply instead.  The National Association of Realtors® (NAR) said its Pending Home

Sales Index (PHSI), a forward-looking indicator based on contracts for existing home purchases, declined 2.5 percent to 107.3 in November from 110.0 in October.  NAR said "the brisk upswing in mortgage rates and not enough inventory dispirited some would-be buyers." The decrease brought the PHSI to its lowest level since January of this year and it is now 0.4 percent below the index last November which stood at 107.7. 

Analysts polled by Econoday had been upbeat about the November outlook.  The consensus was for an increase of 0.5 percent with some analysts predicting as much as a 2.0 percent gain.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist said, "The budget of many prospective buyers last month was dealt an abrupt hit by the quick ascension of rates immediately after the election. Already faced with climbing home prices and minimal listings in the affordable price range, fewer home shoppers in most of the country were successfully able to sign a contract."

Only one of the four regions displayed any strength in November.  Pending sales in the Northeast were up 0.6 percent to 97.5 and are 5.7 percent higher than in November 2015. 

The Midwest saw contract signings decline 2.5 percent to 103.5, falling behind the previous November by 2.4 percent. Sales in the South were down 1.2 percent to an index of 118.7, this is 1.3 percent behind the level a year earlier.  The West posted the largest loss, 6.7 percent, and a year-over-year drop of 1.0 percent.

Yun says higher borrowing costs somewhat cloud the outlook for the housing market in 2017.  NAR's most recent HOME survey, found that renters have less confidence about the present being a good time to buy than they had at the beginning of the year.  On the other hand, Yun says that the impact of higher rates will be partly neutralized by stronger wage growth because of the 2 million net new job additions expected next year.

"Healthy local job markets amidst tight supply means many areas will remain competitive with prices on the rise. Those rushing to lock in a rate before they advance even higher will probably have few listings to choose from," said Yun. "Some buyers will have to expand the area of their home search or be forced to delay in order to save a little more money for their down payment."

NAR continues to forecast that existing home sales will close out 2016 at a pace of about 5.42 million units, up from the 5.25 million sales in 2015, becoming the best year since 2006 with its 6.48 million sales. Sales will increase by about 2.0 percent in 2017 to 5.52 million and the median existing home price will increase by about 5 percent this year and 4 percent next year.

"Much more robust new home construction is needed to relieve inventory shortages and lessen the affordability pressures present throughout the country," added Yun.

The Pending Home Sales Index is based on a large national sample, typically representing about 20 percent of transactions for existing-home sales. An index of 100 is equal to the average level of contract activity during 2001, which was the first year to be examined. By coincidence, the volume of existing-home sales in 2001 fell within the range of 5.0 to 5.5 million, which is considered normal for the current U.S. population.  Pending sales are generally expected to close within two months of contract signing
Today's Top LA Luxury Estate Listed For Sale 

The median home value in Los Angeles County is $542,600. Los Angeles County home values have gone up 7.1% over the past year, Zillow predicts they will rise 1.8% within the next year.

The median home value in Brentwood is $2,420,000. Brentwood home values have gone up 8.4% over the past year.  Zillow predicts they will rise 1.7% with the next year.

The median home value in Malibu  is $2,782,400.  Malibu home values have gone u[p 3.5% 
over the past year.  Zillow predicts they will rise 0.6 % with the year.

The median home value in Beverly Hills is $2,930,800.  Beverly Hills hhome values have gone up 1.9% over the past year.  Zillow predicts they will rise 0.4% with the next year.

The median home value in Bel Air is $3,258,800. Bel  Air home values have gone up 4.1% over the past year.  Zillow predicts they will rise 0.8% within the next year.

#1     9038 Wonderland Park, Los Angeles, CA 90046 with 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, and 1,250 sq.ft. is listed for sale at $4,500,000


One of the most famous houses in Los Angeles, and acknowledged world-wide as a seminal modernist single home design, Case Study House #21 is arguably Pierre Koenig’s greatest steel frame design, and the high point of the Case Study Program promoted by Arts & Architecture Magazine from 1945 to 1964. The house was one of the few Case Study houses that was a true prototype in terms of ground-breaking design and use of new materials. Breathtakingly radical and innovative for its time, the public and private rooms are separated by a central core housing bathrooms and mechanical room. The structure is surrounded by water ponds that circulate to the roof and return as fountains. Koenig’s Case Study House #21 exemplifies the architectural revolution that took place in Los Angeles just after World War II. In 1997 Pierre Koenig was asked by the then current owner of the home to restore the house to its former glory, and this was completed in 1998.









Today's Top Phoenix Luxury Estate Listed For Sale 
A photo showing the skyline of Phoenix, looking north.  It shows the various buildings of the downtown area, as well as Sunnyslope Mountain in the background
The median home value in Scottsdale is $413,200. Scottsdale home values have gone up 3.6% over the past year. Zillow predicts they will rise 1.8% withiin the next year.

The median home value in Carefree is $729,000. Carefree home values have gone up 3.6% over the past year.  Zillow predicts they will rise 1.7% within the next year.

The median home value in Paradise Valley is $1,590,000. Paradise Valley home values have gone up 1.8% over the past year. Zillow predicts they will 1.4% with the next year.

#1     3203 E San Miguel Place, Paradise Valley, AZ 85253 with 
5 bedrooms, 5 baths, and 6,861 sq.ft. is listed for sale at $2,350,000. 

Enjoy Paradise Valley convenience at privately gated ''transitional style ''estate reminiscent of a relaxing resort, complete with mountain views. Expansive acre plus compound offers main house, guest casita, bridge across natural wash to private citrus grove and lighted tennis court. Owner invested in extensive remodel to add state of the art media room and garage were added, and house was essentially remodeled throughout, incl. Smart Home Automation. Main house has gourmet kitchen with custom dark stained cabinets, neutral granite, natural stone floors, top of the line appliances and floor-to-ceiling windows for natural light and enjoyment of lush grounds and mountain views. Guest wing includes two bedrooms, office and flex space. Spacious Private Casita. Near great schools

Today's Top San Diego Luxury Estate Listed For Sale

The median home value in San Diego County is $524,900. San Diego County home values have gone up 6.4% over the past year. Zillow predicts they will rise 2.1% within the next year.

The median home value in La Jolla, 92037 is $1,464,200. La Jolla, 92037 home values have gone up 2.6% over the past year.  Zillow predicts they will rise 1.4% within the next year.

The median home value in Solana Beach 92075 is $1,326,500. Solana Beach 92075 home values have gone up 10.8% over the past year.  Zillow predicts they will rise 3.0% within the next year.

The median home value in Del Mar is $1,598,800. Del Mar home values have gone up 6.2% over the past year.  Zillow predicts they will rise 2.3% with then next year.

The median home value in Rancho Santa Fe is $2,639,500. Rancho Santa Fe home values have declined -5.2% over the past year and Zillow predicts they will fall -1.7% within the next year.

#1     4030 Alameda Drive, San Diego-Mission Hills,CA 92103 with 
5 bedrooms, 6 baths, and 4,676 sq.ft. is listed for sale at $2,599,000

Once in a lifetime opportunity to own this elegant Mission Hills estate. Designed by Kim Grant and completely renovated to provide luxurious living spaces, modern amenities and captivating views. All bedrooms feature attached Full baths with over sized closet space. Extensive detailing throughout this Craftsman estate continues with a 700sf exotic Ipe wood deck that overlooks the canyon of this 1/3 acre lot. The porte cochre and 3 car garage provide ample off street parking.

Today's Top San Francisco Bay Area Luxury Estate Listed For Sale.

Image result for San Francisco skyline pictures
The median home value in San Francisco is $1,116,300. San Francisco home values have gone up 0.8% over the past year.  Zillow predicts they will fall -0.0% within the next year.

The median home value in Sausalito is $1,217,500. Sausalito home values have gone up 3.0% over the past year. Zillow predicts they will rise 1.3% within the next year. 

The median home value in Tiburon is $2,383,000. Tiburon home values have declined -0.1% over the past year. Zillow predicts they will rise 1.2% within the next year. 

The median home value in Saratoga is $2,367,600. Saratoga home values have gone up 1.3% over the past year.  Zillow predicts they will fall -0.3% within the next year.

#1     1090 Chestnut Street, Unit 2, San Francisco, CA 94109 with 
4 bedrooms, 3 baths, and 3,260 sq.ft. is listed for sale at $7.500.000


Extraordinary views of the Golden Gate Bridge and San Francisco Bay unfold from this timelessly elegant full floor apartment in of one of San Francisco’s most prestigious buildings, designed circa 1927 by Willis Polk & Co. Perched high on one of Russian Hill’s most desirable level blocks, its northerly position near the waterfront affords immediate views of many Bay Area landmarks including Alcatraz, Angel Island, Aquatic Park, Fort Mason, and the Yacht Harbor. Also showcased from oversized picture windows are the Golden Gate Bridge, Palace of Fine Arts and the Presidio. This a rare offering in a premier boutique building comprised of only twelve apartments. With an enviable Walk Score of 93, it is ideally located near the cable car, Sterling Park, Alice Marble Tennis Courts, Ghirardelli Square, the Wharf, and the acclaimed neighborhood shopping, dining and entertainment districts of Hyde Street, Polk Street, Chestnut Street and North Beach. The residence, which is directly serviced by passenger and service elevators, boasts high ceilings and a superb floor plan for both entertaining and comfortable modern living. From the stylish private elevator vestibule you enter into a gracious reception hall where you are at once met with perfectly framed views of Alcatraz Island. The grand living and dining rooms feature sweeping bay and Golden Gate views while the handsome library showcases the Golden Gate Bridge. 








Today's Top Seattle Luxury Estate Listed For Sale

Image result for Seattle

The median home value in Kirkland is $593,000.  Kirkland home values have gone up 15.6% over the past year.  Zillow predicts they will rise 6.6% within the next year.

The median home value in Seattle is $611,500. Seattle home values have gone up 14.4% over the past year. Zillow predicts they will rise 6.3% within the next year.

The median home value in Bellevue is $743,500. Bellevue home values have gone up 13.9% over the past year. Zillow predicts they will rise 5.9% within the next year. 

The median home value in Clyde Hill is $2,301,000. Clyde Hill home values have gone up 12.3% over the past year. Zillow predicts they will rise 6.0% within the next year 

The median home value in Medina is $2,311,900. Medina home values have gone up 10.4% over the past year and Zillow predicts they will rise 4.8% within the next year.

30 Yr FRM4.30%4.36%-0.063.34%4.38%
15 Yr FRM3.48%3.55%-0.072.69%3.58%
FHA 30 Year Fixed3.75%3.90%-0.153.15%4.10%
Jumbo 30 Year Fixed4.33%4.38%-0.053.41%4.40%
5/1 Yr ARM3.13%3.17%-0.042.80%3.25%
Updated: 12/28/16 3:49 PM

Mortgage Rates Lowest in 2 Weeks After Treasury Auction

Mortgage rates moved lower today following back-to-back afternoons of improvements in underlying bond markets.  Yesterday afternoon was only slightly stronger.  It didn't result in many lenders offering mid-day improvements in rate sheets.  Today, however, multiple lenders put out positive reprices after a well-received Treasury auction indicated strong investor demand in the bond market (higher demand for bonds = lower rates).

The average lender is back to their best levels since December 14th.  Whereas 4.375% had easily been the most prevalent conventional 30yr fixed quote for top tier scenarios, 4.25% is at least as common today.  All that having been said, rates were already fairly close to that tipping point.  The range has been calm and narrow over the past 2 weeks.

Today's move stands out against that backdrop, but isn't much more than an ordinary day any other time of the year.

The moral of the story is that there's been no fundamental change in the bigger picture, even though today's improvements are "nice."  

Loan Originator Perspective

Even though we've seen some nice improvements in bond markets this afternoon, we need to wait for the second week of January for any real trading confirmation.  Rates MIGHT be reluctant to go higher from here, but it's yet to be seen. I would lock in to play it safe until we see a change in momentum, until that point I believe defense is the only option. -Gus Floropoulos, VP, The Federal Savings Bank

Today's Best-Execution Rates

  • 30YR FIXED - 4.25-4.375%
  • FHA/VA - 4.0%
  • 15 YEAR FIXED - 3.375-3.5%
  • 5 YEAR ARMS -  3.0 - 3.5% depending on the lender
Ongoing Lock/Float Considerations
  • Rates had been trending higher since hitting all-time lows in early July, and exploded higher following the presidential election
  • Some investors are increasingly worried/convinced that the decades-long trend toward lower rates has been permanently reversed, but such a conclusion would require YEARS to truly confirm
  • With the incoming administration's policies driving a large portion of upward rate momentum, mortgage rates will be hard-pressed to make significant improvements until after Trump takes office.  Rates can move for other reasons, but it would take something big and unexpected for rates to move appreciably lower.
  • We'd need to see a sustained push back toward lower rates (something that lasts more than 3 days) before anything less than a cautious, lock-biased approach makes sense for all but the most risk-tolerant borrowers.
  • As always, please keep in mind that the rates discussed generally refer to what we've termed 'best-execution(that is, the most frequently quoted, conforming, conventional 30yr fixed rate for top tier borrowers, based not only on the outright price, but also 'bang-for-the-buck.'  Generally speaking, our best-execution rate tends to connote no origination or discount points--though this can vary--and tends to predict Freddie Mac's weekly survey with high accuracy.  It's safe to assume that our best-ex rate is the more timely and accurate of the two due to Freddie's once-a-week polling method).
Thanks for reading today's Blog.  Looking for more information?  Have a comment? 

Please call, text or email me.  Most importantly, have a great day and a happy and prosperous New Year!

Tom Furino
Phone/Text 619-944-8749