Thursday, January 10, 2008

The Weekly Screen Scrape Gets a Makeover

Last January was when Mr. BT and I got serious about our home search. We interviewed agents and started to troll the real estate listings. For a bit more history, see my earlier post.

I was rather disappointed, once I realized how little home our $$ would buy us here. So I started the weekly screen scrape to keep an eye on things in our price range. There was very little of interest, since most of the homes in our price range were smaller dilapidated fixers.....and so I couldn't justify moving out of our spacious rental.

Over the course of the year I have seen a huge growth in listings that meet our criteria, and many of them are fairly new tract homes in good condition.

So with the new year, I decided to change my search criteria to reflect what we really want. January is the time for new beginnings, and an especially slow RE market, so it seemed like the ideal time to make the change.

In a nutshell, my search criteria now has a higher sqft minimum, and a lower bedroom minimum (since bigger homes tend to have offices). The number of homes in my criteria actually took a substantial jump with this change.

As for trends, inventory is already rising, as I had several more homes this week than last week.


Cmyst said...

I track homes listed for less than 300K for fun, but they're in zips that I wouldn't mind living in -- not obviously depressed areas like Rio Linda, Del Paso Heights, a lot of South Sac, etc.
In 2005, there were NO homes in those areas for less than 300K. In 2006, there were about 50. In 2007, there were between 120 and 130. Now, there are 158. I'm thinking of making a "under 200K" category.

Cmyst said...

BTW, I'm babysitting my wee grand-daughter tomorrow and I'm hoping for a lot of posters here and on Lander's blog!

mr big said...

There are actually some homes under 300k over in roseville and rocklin.I think they are worth 250 but what the hell.I am not buying here for 2 more years.Heading back to arizona to buy a house there in the spring.The winters suck here in sac.

AgentBubble said...

I'm tracking homes for a client shopping for homes under $240K in Elk Grove that are in a neighborhood they can at least let their kids safely play in (harder than it sounds, believe me) and the number of homes I'm getting each morning has gone up ten fold in two weeks. It used to be one or two each morning, now I'm seeing 10-15 for a week straight. At first I thought a bank was releasing all of the homes, but that's not the case.

Gwynster said...


I watch the under 200k list too. There even some here in Yolo and if the trending continues, they will be the norm for starters in late fall and next year.

What worries me is that we are already seeing a dramatic increase in the crime rate all over the region. It's been going on for the last 3 yrs. Now if we get that mass prison release that Arnold is talking about, what happens then? What about people who were on the fence about where to leave CA or not? Will an increase in crime be the straw that breaks the camel's back?

I think our ideas of what is a good or bad neighborhood are really going to be tested as this accelerates.

Paul said...

At one time in 2005, the lowest priced SFH in Cameron Park was $400k. Today, there are 50 under $400k, and 4 under $300k.

Gwynster---What happened to your blog?

AgentBubble said...

In 2005, 7 SFR listings sold in Elk Grove for under $275,000. At present, there are 244 listings under $275,000. There's been 33 sales in that price range in the last 30 days alone.

Jacob said...

There were 60 or so in my range for roseville/rocklin/lincoln a few month ago and now there are over 120.

Also until recently there were no homes I was looking at that were under 300k, now there are 11.

Gwynster said...

I had a few properties I was following (mostly curious) and they had been dissappearing off the MLS. No record of being sold so I fingured either the families stayed put or they became rentals like a lot of the others.

Well I found a few of them and some I had never seen before

$79k to 129K, Even if they sell for twice the opening big, which would be extroidinary given what I've seen at other auctions, these new comps would hammer the existing stock in West sac and Woodland - wow

I think Hudson is doing a large lot of homes in the BA next month as well. So if you had money to invest and you wanted the safest bet, would you buy in Sacramento or the BA? **winks**

Patient Renter said...

cymst, gwyn, et. al, you guys using ziprealty to do your tracking?

Gwynster said...

I keep a saved list in Zip. I like the notes feature. This comes in handy when the listing go inactive. I keep them saved and wait for either the relisting or the sale price to appear.

It helps with keeping track of those serial relisters. I have more then a few houses that have been doing the slow bleed since 05. It comforts me to point and laugh >; )

Patient Renter said...

The one downside to zip is being harrassed via e-mail by the Realtor that zip assigns to you. Zip was cool, but the e-mails from this guy made me abandon it, at least temporarily.

Buying Time said...

This might sound odd...but Mr. BT and I both love Zip and use it daily. So we actually plan to send them some money when we finally purchase a house.

Its a drop in the bucket compared to the thousands we have saved from waiting and monitoring the data data via their website.

We tried to change agents and it wouldn't let us, cause hubby's cousin just joined them.

earl said...

Anyone of you brilliant folks familiar with the blackstone subdivision off latrobe road? What are prices and what builders are there?

Buying Time said...

Earl - I've written about them a a search for Blackstone on the blog. I have mentioned some of their prices in the good buys section as well.

To see a list of the builders go to their website

Gwynster said...

I have 2 Zip accounts, one for Davis only and one for everything else.

The davis account was really recent and the blue haired agent gets me screaming at him to stop the spam about once a month. I'll set my searches to no notification and he goes in and resets them. I then deleted them all and he goes in and make me new ones based on what he thinks I should want - Total tard. You just know he was a aluminum siding salesman in a former life.

My original agent is very cool and laid back.

BT, you can get a new agent by just registering with new email addys. Go to yahoo and make new ones until you get your guy.

DFC said...


I know someone who just signed a contract for a home currently under construction in Blackstone.
According to this person the list price for the model was 419K, they got it for 411K. Model is 3000 sq ft, 5b/4b/3 stall garage. The lot is only 6000 sq ft! Other negatives are 150/mo HOA, 250/mo mello roos.

Cmyst said...

I use Zip over straight MLS for two reasons:
Zip lets me save even homes that are inactive, as Gwynster has pointed out, and keep notes.
Zip loads fast. MLS site keeps me captive through some video stream thing until I can finally look stuff up.
In addition, Zip has the links to the most pertinent Zillow information in a way that is actually easier for me to use than going directly to Zillow's site, which I only use when I'm looking up info on properties not on MLS.

I think I got one email from the Zip agent, he's never messed with my settings (he can do that?? yuck..)and I'm not intending to use Zip when I want to buy. I probably won't end up using BuySide, either, because they won't work with you unless the property is over 200K.

I used the same agent to buy and sell my condo, and he's a very nice and low-key guy, but I probably won't use him, either. He did call me about a year ago to congratulate me on my genius in selling in early 2006, and to see if maybe I was thinking of buying again. He sounded very anxious, and it honestly made me feel sad. He was never one of the pretentious flashy agents, he's not young, and I know he has a family.

earl said...

Thanks to all for info on blackstone.I saw this area on my way to jackson.I was amazed how much commercial development has occurred in jackson.Anyone stepped foot in the drytown club? Looks like a rough joint but there use to be a hot bartendar in there few years ago.