Thursday, February 23, 2017

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

The definition of the word "mansion" varies but in U.S. real estate terms, it generally defined as single family residence of more than 8,000 square feet. Mega Mansion range from 20,000 sq,ft. and Super Mansions over 50,000 sq.ft. Until the mid 20th century most "mansions" would have a hall, two or three salons or drawing rooms, library, billiards room, ball room, dining room, breakfast room, morning room, study and numerous bedrooms but only 2-3 bathrooms.

World's Top Mansions

Image result for Waddesdon Manor Rothschild Houses

Waddesdon Manor was built (1874-89) by Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild to display his outstanding collection of art treasures and to entertain the fashionable world. On a hilltop overlooking the Aylesbury Vale, it is the last remaining complete example of ‘le goût Rothschild’. The House combines the highest quality French furniture, textiles and decorative arts from the 18th century with magnificent English portraits and Dutch Old Master paintings. 

Today's Top Mansion Listed For Sale

#1     42 Deep Sea, Newport Coast, CA 92657 with 6 bedrooms, 11 baths, and 
12,780 sq.ft. is listed for sale at $23,995,000.

Behind the gates of the prestigious Crystal Cove enclave of Newport Coast, this contemporary trophy estate perfectly blends old-world elegance and taste with modern appointments to create a truly extraordinary living experience.  A private central courtyard leads into the residence, where bespoke interiors are complemented by designer finishes and every amenity imaginable. Beautifully appointed main level common areas include a luxurious great room, chef's kitchen with butler's pantry and breakfast nook, library with adjacent lounge and bar, and stately home office. The subterranean level is an entertainer's dream complete with an air-conditioned 9-vehicle showroom style garage with turntable (no need to turn the car around), media lounge with bar, wine tasting and storage, glass-enclosed showroom putting green, billiards room and fitness center with massage studio and wellness spa. An opulent master suite on the upper level features a spacious sitting area, sumptuous dual bathrooms with separate walk-in closets, and private balconies overlooking the central courtyard and backyard against ocean views. With nearly every room in the home having access to a balcony, loggia or patio, this estate perfectly complements the southern California lifestyle. 

Today's Top Real Estate News

Americans Buying Existing Homes At Fastest Pace In A Decade 

By Christopher S. Rugaber
Associated Press

Image result for house with sold sign

Americans shrugged off rising mortgage rates and bought existing homes in January at the fastest pace since 2007. That has set off bidding wars that have pushed up prices as the supply of available homes has dwindled to record lows.

Home sales rose 3.3 percent in January from December to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.69 million, the National Association of Realtors said Wednesday.
Steady job gains, modest pay raises and rising consumer confidence are spurring healthy home buying even as borrowing costs have risen since last fall. Some potential buyers may be accelerating their home purchases to get ahead of any further increases in mortgage rates. With few homes available for sale, buyers are pressured to rapidly close a deal as they find a suitable property.

The typical house for sale was on the market for just 50 days last month, compared with 64 days a year ago. Strong demand is pushing up median home prices, which jumped 7.1 percent from a year earlier to $228,900.

Just 1.69 million homes were on the market nationwide in January, near the lowest level since records began in 1999. It would take just 3.6 months to deplete that supply at the current pace of sales, matching a record low reached in December. Supply is usually equal to about six months of sales in a balanced housing market.

The supply crunch will likely get worse during the upcoming spring buying season, economists say, as demand typically rises by more than supply during that time.
"Relative to the number of households, the number of homes for sale is well through prior historic lows," said Ted Wieseman, an economist at Morgan Stanley. "The level of inventories could be a much bigger challenge moving into much higher sales in the spring and summer."

That, combined with higher mortgage rates, could soon restrain sales.
"We are a bit less gloomy about housing than a couple of months ago but sales will not continue to rise at their recent pace," said Ian Shepherdson, chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics.

The bulk of the stronger buying is occurring among higher-priced properties, the NAR said. Sales among homes and condominiums priced at $100,000 and below fell nearly 10 percent in January compared with a year earlier. They rose slightly in the $100,000 to $250,000 bracket and jumped by roughly 20 percent in homes priced at higher levels.
Last year, low mortgage rates helped offset rising home prices. Yet now both are rising.
Mortgage rates have climbed since the presidential election. Investors are anticipating that tax cuts, deregulation and infrastructure spending will accelerate growth and push up inflation. That has caused investors to cut back on their bond holdings, pushing up yields.
The average rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage was 4.15 percent last week, according to mortgage buyer Freddie Mac. While that has dipped since earlier this month, it is much higher than last year's average rate of 3.65 percent.

By some measures, the housing market has fully recovered from the bust that began in 2006. Yet its newfound health is creating its own set of challenges.

In high-demand markets, mostly on the West Coast, homes are being purchased after less than a month on the market, according to real estate brokerage Redfin.

Denver was the fastest market last month, Redfin found, with purchase contracts signed just 23 days after listing for a typical home, far below the 43 days that was typical a year earlier. Seattle was the second fastest, with 26 days on the market, followed by Oakland, at 27 days.

The strength in sales should lift growth going forward, as new homeowners purchase furniture, buy appliances and spend more on landscaping and outdoor equipment. Home sales also tend to spur renovations, which helps to update aging properties and generates additional construction work for the broader economy.

Today's Best LA Luxury Estate Listed For Sal

The median home value in Los Angeles County is $551,600. Los Angeles County home values have gone up 7.4% over the past year, Zillow predicts they will rise 2.6% within the next year.

The median home value in Brentwood, 90049 is $2,523,000. Brentwood home values have gone up 10.5% over the past year.  Zillow predicts they will rise 3.0% with the next year.

The median home value in Malibu  is $2,893,700.  Malibu home values have gone up 6.6% 
over the past year.  Zillow predicts they will rise 2.0 % with the year.

The median home value in Beverly Hills is $3,033,400.  Beverly Hills home values have gone up 4.1% over the past year.  Zillow predicts they will rise 1.1% with the next year.

The median home value in Bel Air is $3,309,900. Bel  Air home values have gone up 5.3% over the past year.  Zillow predicts they will rise 1.8% within the next year.  

#1      31516 Victoria Point Road, Malibu, CA 90265 with 4 bedrooms, 5 baths, 
and 4,335 sq.ft. is listed for sale at $10,995,000.

Situated on a low bluff, this custom home epitomizes beach living. Open floor plan with huge decks. The entire top floor is an incredible master suite with fireplace. 4 bedrooms, 4-1/2 baths, plus a large recreation room with its own deck and separate entrance. A private, gated road leads to this architectural home (Michael Barsocchini, AIA), with approximately 50 feet of sandy beach. Nearby coves, caves, miles of beach to walk on, and an excellent surf break. Sweeping coastline views. Dramatic is an understatement.

Today's Best 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 $416,400. Scottsdale home values have gone up 4.0% over the past year. Zillow predicts they will rise 2.4% withiin the next year.

The median home value in Carefree is $750,000. Carefree home values have gone up 4.8% over the past year.  Zillow predicts they will rise 2.7% within the next year.

The median home value in Paradise Valley is $1,609,500. Paradise Valley home values have gone up 2.7% over the past year. Zillow predicts they will 2.0% with the next year.   

#1     4700 E Charles Drive, Paradise Valley, AZ 85253 with 5 bedrooms, 6 baths, 
and 6,253 sq.ft. is  listed for sale at $3,890,000.

Luxury hillside home in Paradise Valley.Experience the ultimate in indoor outdoor living: 40 feet of glass panels slide into the wall to give you uninterrupted views of the mountains and northeast valley.Great room with walk in wine room.Kitchen has custom walnut cabinets, Gaggenau appliances, huge island with Gravity Glass counter.Split master suite with fireplace in the bedroom, his and hers tubs and walk in shower.Huge custom closet.Main house has 3 additional bedrooms with en suite bathrooms.Wood paneled library plus additional bonus room - perfect for office or gym.Other features include butterfly roof, soaring ceilings, hardwood floors, expansive patio, pool and built in barbeque. Attached guest suite with full kitchen, living room, bedroom, bathroom and garage.

Today's Best San Diego Luxury Estate Listed For Sale

The median home value in San Diego County is $529,500. San Diego County home values have gone up 6.3% over the past year. Zillow predicts they will rise 2.4% within the next year.

The median home value in La Jolla, 92037 is $1,497,500. La Jolla, 92037 home values have gone up 6.5% over the past year.  Zillow predicts they will rise 2.3% within the next year.

The median home value in Solana Beach 92075 is $1,250,700. Solana Beach 92075 home values have gone up 3.3% over the past year.  Zillow predicts they will rise 2.5% within the next year.

The median home value in Del Mar 92014 is $1,675,700. Del Mar home values have gone up 9.1% over the past year.  Zillow predicts they will rise 2.5% with then next year.

The median home value in Rancho Santa Fe is $2,675,200. Rancho Santa Fe home values have declined -4.3% over the past year and Zillow predicts they will fall -1.1% within the next year.  

#1      6849 Las Colinas, Rancho Santa Fe, CA 92067 with 9 bedrooms, 11 baths, 
and 8,051 sq.ft. is listed for sale at $4,750,000.
Private, exclusive and enriched by expansive southern views of the adjacent canyon, rolling hills and nearby golf course, this resort-caliber tennis estate is in a league of its own. Completely upgraded and fresh with todays most desirable amenities, the custom residence occupies more than 4 equestrian-ready acres on a prime corner homesite that reveals a gated driveway, regulation tennis court, large pool and spa, cabana with outdoor kitchen, a 5-car garage and parking for 15 guests.

Today's Best San Francisco Luxury Estate Listed For Sale

Image result for San Francisco skyline pictures

The median home value in San Francisco is $1,146,800. San Francisco home values have gone up 1.6% over the past year.  Zillow predicts they will rise 0.3% within the next year.

The median home value in Sausalito is $1,258,500. Sausalito home values have gone up 4.8% over the past year. Zillow predicts they will rise 0.5% within the next year. 

The median home value in Tiburon is $2,475,900. Tiburon home values have gone up 2.0% over the past year.   Zillow predicts they will rise 0.8% within the next year. 

The median home value in Saratoga is $2,372,300. Saratoga home values have gone up 0.8% over the past year.  Zillow predicts they will fall -0.3% within the next year.       

#1     671 Benvenue Avenue, Los Altos, CA 94024 with 5 bedrooms, 7 baths, 
and 4,718 sq.ft. is listed for sale at $4,275,000.
Welcome to this three levels 5 yrs new Spanish-style residence, romantic as the Mediterranean villas which inspired it. The highlight of this beautiful home's 5 + BD/5 BA, 2 half BA, includes a one bedroom suite on the main floor, chef's-kitchen with top-of-the-line appliances, an oversize granite island, spacious living rm, formal dining rm, awesome great rm, master BD and two other bedroom suites on upper level, second family rm, recreation rm, play rm, theater rm, and guest BD and full BA on lower level. The outside, the wrap-around manicured grounds offer a mature trees, travertine patio, fire pit,built-in barbecue and paverstone path to side gate.

Today's Best Seattle Luxury Estate Listed For Sale

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The median home value in Kirkland is $594,400.  Kirkland home values have gone up 13.1% over the past year.  Zillow predicts they will rise 5.3% within the next year.

The median home value in Seattle is $609,100. Seattle home values have gone up 13.3% over the past year. Zillow predicts they will rise 4.7% within the next year.

The median home value in Bellevue is $751,300. Bellevue home values have gone up 13.5% over the past year. Zillow predicts they will rise 4.8% within the next year. 

The median home value in Clyde Hill is $2,149,500. Clyde Hill home values have gone up 7.7% over the past year. Zillow predicts they will rise 3.3% within the next year 

The median home value in Medina is $2,353,600. Medina home values have gone up 
10.6% over the past year and Zillow predicts they will rise 4.2% within the next year. 

#1     4014 E Mercer Way, Mercer Island, WA 98040 with 4 bedrooms, 4 baths, 
and 4,540 sq.ft. is listed for sale at $4,985,000.
Extraordinary Ross & Ralph Anderson designed and built masterpiece on Lake Washington. A gated drive welcomes you to the ground entry & perfectly flowing floor plan. Chef's kitchen, enormous living room with picture windows and breathtaking views of Lake Washington. The upstairs provides an amazing master bedroom & spa bathroom with a walk in closet. Multiple decks facing the lake. Spacious recreational room leads to a 80 ft wide exclusive waterfront. Extensive dock with yacht lift.

Today's Mortgage Rates                                                                           52 Week 
30 Yr FRM4.20%4.21%-0.013.34%4.38%
15 Yr FRM3.40%3.41%-0.012.69%3.58%
FHA 30 Year Fixed3.75%3.75%--3.15%4.10%
Jumbo 30 Year Fixed4.32%4.33%-0.013.42%4.40%
5/1 Yr ARM3.01%3.02%-0.012.80%3.25%
Updated: 2/22/17 3:55 PM
Mortgage Rates Slightly Lower After Fed Minutes
Feb 22 2017, 3:56PM

Mortgage rates began the day decidedly lower than yesterday, but most lenders ended up revising rates higher in the mid-morning hours due to bond market weakness.  Investors remained on edge heading into the release of the Minutes from the Fed's most recent meeting.  

Markets were generally prepared for the Fed Minutes to support recent Fed comments regarding faster rate hikes and a reduction the Fed's balance sheet.  By continuing to reinvest proceeds from its balance sheet, the Fed is helping to keep mortgage rates much lower than they otherwise would be.

The Minutes ended up being slightly less threatening than expected.  Bonds consequently improved.  Several mortgage lenders have offered rate sheet improvements as a result.  If bond market levels were to hold here through tomorrow morning, the average lender would be offering slightly lower rates than they are currently.  

All of this is splitting hairs though.  We're talking about very small changes in the closing cost side of the mortgage rate quote equation.  Average top tier rates continue running in the 4.125%-4.25% range.  Day-over-day changes vary by lender (some are higher, some are lower), but many borrowers would see the exact same quote as yesterday.

Loan Originator Perspective

Markets have been overwhelmingly volatile, and continue to pose a major dilemma for all borrowers who are not protected.  It is too speculative to determine if rates may improve in an economic environment that is clearly supporting stronger growth in income, jobs, economic expansion and deregulation.  Locking in at application is the only way to ensure your success.  Take the risk off the table, lock in, even if for 60 or 90 days. -Gus Floropoulos, VP, The Federal Savings Bank

Today's Best-Execution Rates

  • 30YR FIXED - 4.125-4.25%
  • FHA/VA - 3.75-4.25%
  • 15 YEAR FIXED - 3.375-3.5%
  • 5 YEAR ARMS -  2.75 - 3.25% 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 return to pre-election levels until well after Trump takes office.  Rates can move for other reasons, but it would take something big and unexpected for rates to get back to pre-election levels.
  • 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 at 619-944-8749 or 

Most importantly, have a great day!

Tom Furino


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