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Here is a brief podcast recap of the 2009 real estate market (in general) in the Greater Sacramento region. What will 2010 have in store for us? Do you think the market will surge, stabilize or decline? Do you feel like now is a good time to buy? Your comments are welcome below. Recap of 2009 Sacramento Area Real Estate Market


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I’d like to take a few moments to reflect on my favorite appraisal assignments of the year. Maybe I’m jumping the gun a bit since 2009 is not quite over, but that’s okay. I won’t get specific about addresses or location because I take client confidentiality very seriously.

Top 10 Favorite Appraisal Assignments of 2009

  1. water-bill-few-easy-steps-200X200Facuets Left On:  I appraised a bank-owned property in Solano County. It was a very nice property, but unfortunately all faucets and spickets were left on (with clogged drains), so there was extensive water damage. It was unclear if the damage was done by the disgruntled home owner or a vandal.
  2. oak park kj imagery former starbucksOak Park Fixers:  This year I appraised quite a few fixer properties in the Oak Park area of Sacramento that were purchased by an investment group, re-habbed, and then re-sold on the open market to first-time home buyers. It’s nice to be a part of a project where the end result is good for the community.
  3. 008Vacant Subdivision Land in Sacramento:  Acting as a property tax consultant, I valued two parcels in Sacramento County under the supervision of an AG (Commercial Appraiser). These sites were scheduled to be finished out as a subdivision, but then the market burst and subdivision building virtually stopped.
  4. imagesCA9RGC87Spring Water & Cesspool:  I appraised a house in Placer County that was on spring water and a cesspool (as opposed to a well and septic tank). Do you think this would have an impact on market value? How much of a price discount would it take for the typical buyer to look over an atypical feature such as this to purchase the property?
  5. Dilapidated Fourplex:  This property was interesting because it had repeated damage from squatters. I had to climb through a window to inspect one of the units too, and I cut my finger on broken glass (that made me remember this property even more).
  6. fixer-property-lundquist-appraisalUpgraded Duplex:  The residential-income market in Sacramento saw a huge decline in value over recent years. All of the latest sales in this particular neighborhood were fixers. So what is a bright and shiny upgraded non-bank-owned duplex worth in a marketplace of REO fixers?
  7. city-thumbnailRancho Cordova Property:  I’ll be honest. Since my office is located in Rancho Cordova, it sure is nice to get local assignments in the same city. I don’t mind at all driving to other counties, but it’s a great thing to travel a mile from the office to take care of business. My business in Rancho Cordova definitely increased this year.  
  8. Divorce Appraisals:  I do work for home owners and attorneys during a divorcedifficult time of life. It was a pleasure to provide excellent service to home owners in need this year and at least make the appraisal process smooth in the midst of a challenging situation. I grew up in a divorced home and I know it’s not an easy time of life.
  9. Pre-Listing Appraisals for Local Agent:  I am a realtor logohuge fan of working with local Realtors and it was a pleasure to establish a new working relationship with a particular agent who began to rely upon my knowledge and services this year. This year I had more referral work from Realtors and that’s a wonderful thing!!! I am also really grateful to be more connected to some stellar local real estate agents on Facebook and Twitter too.
  10. imagesCA42V1MYRipon New Subdivision:  There was nothing terribly complex about this assignment, but I really felt like I did a solid job on this appraisal in Stanislaus County and my client was very happy with the end-product. It’s just one of those I remember putting in a good amount of time and really enjoying the finished product.

I appreciate all my clients and colleagues who made 2009 a fantastic year. This has been a trying year for the appraisal industry in light of HVCC, but I am grateful nonetheless for all the good things that happened this year. Thank you.

If you are a real estate agent or home owner, what was the best experience you had this year with an appraiser? If you are a real estate appraiser reading this post, what were some of your favorite assignments this year. My Top 10 Favorite Appraisals of 2009


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Congratulations to Exit Realty West for their fantastic Christmas CanTree auction last night. The event was managed well (with humor) and there were so many generous Realtors, agents, mortgage consultants, and others that handed over cash for gift baskets, 49ers tickets, wine bottles, Kings tickets, cookies, and other random stuff. I know Jeff Dominguez and Francisco Cuellar of Exit Realty West put in some hard work to pull this off. Great work guys!! Thank you for advocating for families in need and providing a hub to bring others together to participate. 



The photos are a bit blurry. My mobile phone takes really great pictures, but when it comes to shots in a dimly lit room -  not so good. Exit Realty West Hosts Successful CanTree Auction


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I wrote previously about the “Bursting of the Duplex Market in Sacramento“, so I figured I’d also provide a graph of the fourplex market so we can see visually what has taken place over the past three years in Sacramento County. Yes, I know Sacramento County is a large territory representing many neighborhoods and sub-markets, but I think this trend graph tells a story nonetheless. All blue dots below are sales based on data in Sacramento MLS.

Quadruplex Fourplex Sales in Sacramento County November 2006 to November 2009 Trend Graph by Lundquist Appraisal

Isn’t it amazing to see the impact of the housing bubble burst? Three years ago many quadruplex units in Sacramento County were selling between $400,000 to $600,000, but the bulk of sales lately have been easily hovering around $200,000 +/- or lower. With prices so low right now, many investors have understandably been purchasing 4-plex units. The ideal scenario would be to pick up a quadruplex, have postive cash flow, and then re-sell the property in a number of years when the market turns around.

I actually just finished a property tax appeal for an investor who purchased a fourplex in late 2009 for under $200,000, but the Assessor still had his property valued in the high $300,000s. He is scheduled to pay over $1,000 too much in property taxes this year because the Assessor’s records are not consistent with realistic trends in the marketplace. This is a common problem for so many properties that sold near the top of the market and are now re-selling in today’s market.

Let me know if you have any questions. Comments are welcome. Ryan 916-595-3735.

www. The Crashing of the Fourplex Market in


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This is a graph I put together earlier today for a home owner as part of the total package for appealing his property taxes. All dots represent model match sales over the past three years in a specifically defined neighborhood in the Sacramento area. The Assessor’s Office bases their value for this year on January 1, 2009, which is represented by the vertical line. For reference, I also included all model match sales through November 2009. What do you see? How does this graph strike you?

Graph by Sacramento Tax Appeals

When looking at all model match sales, it’s not hard to see that the Assessor valued this property too high. In this case, the assessed valued was only about $30,000 higher than true market value, but this amount is still $300+ out of the home owner’s pocket for the year. It’s more common for me to help property owners dispute their taxes for residential properties when there is a greater savings of $500, $1000 or even thousands of dollars, but in this instance the home owner felt strongly about moving forward to contest the Assessor’s value.

Let me know if you have any questions. You are welcome to call me at 916-595-3735 or visit Remember, the deadline for appealing property taxes in many counties surrounding Sacramento is November 30, 2009. The Assessor’s Value vs. True Market Value


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What sort of a price difference is there between bank-owned properties (REO), short sales, and arms-length transactions in the market? For an example, let’s take a look at a trend graph of all sales in Rancho Cordova below, where blue dots are REO sales, green dots are Short Sales and red dots are typical arms-length sales (per Sacramento MLS).

Rancho Cordova Sales REO Short Sale Typical Trend Graph by Lundquist Appraisal November 2009

Each neighborhood, niche, and location will differ in results, but generally speaking, like the data above seems to show for Rancho Cordova sales over the past 2 years, buyers tend to pay more for houses that are non-distressed transactions (notice how the red dots on the graph above tend to be located toward the top and NOT the bottom). When it comes to REO properties, it looks like the price level is a bit higher overall than short sales, though there are quite a few short sales on the upper-end of the market too. In fact, both Rancho Cordova and Sacramento County saw a 7% increase in short sales last year in comparison to the year before, so clearly there is a greater acceptance for short sales in the marketplace.

fixer-property-lundquist-appraisalOne important observation is that most of the sales at the bottom of the market are bank-owned. Why is that? Investors typically gobble up the lowest end of the market with all-cash offers because fixer-type properties at the lowest level will not qualify for conventional or government financing. This means first-time buyers utilizing conventional or FHA financing will usually need to look to a price level above the “all cash” market. In light of this segmentation, imagine scraping off the bottom layer of all-cash foreclosures. What would you find? You’d still see many REO properties, but you’d certainly see a good amount of Short Sales too. 

Overall, in my experience as a Sacramento-area real estate appraiser it seems the market price tier goes: 1) Arms-length sale; 2) REO; 3) Short Sale. This is common sense really, but it’s another thing to prove that by crunching numbers, making trend graphs, and observing data in the marketplace. But there are certainly cases and stories and sub-markets that might show a different order for whatever reason - especially depending on the supply of housing inventory and particulars of a given property. Interestingly enough, sometimes there is little to no difference between non-distressed sales and REO sales. For example, what does it do to pricing differences when 90% of all sales in a market are either bank-owned or short sales? In a case like this, since the market is clearly saturated with distressed sales, it’s probably a safe bet to assume foreclosure-pricing is indeed the market and will set the pace for what buyers expect to pay for properties (see a previous post on Patterson having 96.5% of all sales as distressed). In a case like this, there may be no verifiable difference between REO and non-distressed sales.

Let me know if you have questions or insight. Comments are welcome. Is there a price difference between REO properties, short sales, and arms-length transactions?


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How is the Rancho Cordova real estate market doing compared to the rest of Sacramento county? What is the percentage of foreclosure sales (REO), short sales and total amount of distressed property sales (REO + Short Sales)? Let’s take a look below to glean some insight.  

Rancho Cordova Sales and Sacramento County Sales Past 2 Years November 2009 by Lundquist Appraisal Company

The information above is based on all residential sales listed in Sacramento Metrolist over the past two years. Overall, the percentage of bank-owned sales dropped by 5% in both Rancho Cordova and Sacramento County, while at the same time the percentage of Short Sales rose by 7% in both Rancho Cordova and Sacramento County. Over the past two years Rancho Cordova had a 7% lower foreclosure rate than Sacramento County and a 2% higher percentage of short sales. Foreclosure and Short Sales Figures in Rancho Cordova Compared to Sacramento County


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We hear so many voices in today’s real estate market talk about the foreclosure rate decreasing in the Sacramento Region. Is that true? Are there less REO (bank-owned) sales today than there were two or three years ago? Let’s look at some hard numbers below for Sacramento County.

Sacramento County REO and Short Sales Percentages 2008 2009 by Lundquist Appraisal Company

The information above is based on all residential sales listed in Sacramento Metrolist over the past two years. Overall, it’s true that there were less bank-owned sales in Sacramento County during the last 12 months in comparison to the year before that. The foreclosure rate decreased by 5% overall, but the interesting thing is that short sales increased by 7% during this same time period. What do you make of that? Have short sales simply replaced what would have been a similar rate of foreclosure for this year? As a home owner or real estate agent, have you found banks to be more receptive to working with you to do a short sale? Comments welcome. The Up and Down Dynamic of Foreclosures and Short Sales in Sacramento County


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Do you remember several years ago in the Sacramento area when duplexes were selling for $400,000-$500,000+ like it was nothing? Well, the housing bubble burst and the residential-income market came crashing down along with everything else.

The graph below displays all sales in Sacramento County for duplex properties. I know, Sacramento County is an enormous territory, but sometimes viewing large ares helps to see an overall trend.

Duplex Sales Past Three Years in Sacramento County Trend Graph by Lundquist Appraisal

What do you notice when looking at all duplex sales in Sacramento county? It seems the bulk of sales are well under $300,000, and that the median sales price level easily lost $200,000 or more over the past three years. Ouch. There certainly are an enormous portion of sales between $100,000 to $200,000 too, aren’t there? 

Let’s take a closer look at a specific area in Sacramento by viewing sales in North Sacramento in the 95815 and 95838 zip codes. No, that’s not a ski slope, but a trend graph of all duplex sales.

Duplex Sales in 95815 and 95838 Zip Code of Sacramento November 2006 to 2009 by Lundquist Appraisal

It’s interesting to see what looks like two markets at hand above: One market below $100,000 and another market hovering between $150,000-$175,000. Market segmentation (bifurcation) is common depending on condition, location, size, or even the nature of the sale – short sale vs foreclosure vs typical arms-length transaction.

One more. What’s happened in the city of Rancho Cordova’s duplex market over the past thirty six months? No surprises. It looks similar to the graphs above.

Duplex Sales in Rancho Cordova Trend Graph 2006 to 2009 by Lundquist Apprasial Company

When it comes to duplexes in Rancho Cordova and surrounding areas of Sacramento, the majority of recent sales are reo properties (bank-owned). For example, in a recent duplex appraisal I just completed in a Sacramento neighborhood, 84% of all duplex sales over the past 12 months within this neighborhood were REO sales and 10% of all sales were Short Sales. It’s not an easy market when 94% of all sales carry some level of distress.

Contact me at 916-595-3735 or if you have any questions. The Bursting of the Duplex Market in Sacramento


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022008ins 009aWhat’s been happening with Sacramento County unemployment rates over the past several months? Below are the most recent figures for unemployment during the most recent four months per the Employment Development Department. The rates encompass both cities and Census Designated Places (CDP) in Sacramento County from May through August 2009. Data for September 2009 has not yet been released (wait about two more weeks for that). 

As of August 2009, Sacramento County as a whole has an unemployment rate of 12.3% ( July was 12.0%, June was 11.6% and May was 11.1%). What do you notice about the data below? Does anything stand out to you or surprise you?

Arden Arcade CDP  11.9%  (July 11.7%, June 11.4%, May 10.8%)

Carmichael CDP  9.1%  ( July 8.9%, June 8.7%, May was 8.2%)

Citrus Heights city  8.6%  (July 8.5%  June 8.3%, May 7.8%)

Elk Grove CDP  10.0%  (July 9.8%, June 9.6%, May 9.0%)

Fair Oaks CDP  6.8%  (July 6.7% , June 6.6%, May 6.2%)

Florin CDP  18.2%  (July 17.9  June 17.6%, May 16.7%)

Folsom city  5.6%  (July 5.5%, June 5.4%, May 5.1%)

Foothill Farms CDP  15.6%  (July 15.3%, June 15.0%, May 14.2%)

Galt city  18.4%  (July 18.1% , June 17.8%, May 16.9%)

Gold River CDP  2.1%  (July 2.0%, June 2.0%, May 1.9%)

Isleton city  13.2%  (July 12.9%, June 12.5%, May 11.8%)

La Riviera CDP  6.7%  (July 6.6%, June 6.5%, (May 6.1%)

Laguna CDP  6.4%  (July 6.2%, June 6.1%, May 5.8%)

Laguna West Lakeside CDP  8.3%  (July 8.1%, June 8.0%, May 7.5%)

North Highlands CDP  18.0%  (July 17.6%, June 17.3%, May 16.4%)

Orangevale CDP  8.8%  (July 8.6%, June 8.5%, May 8.0%)

Parkway South Sacramento CDP  20.4%  (July 20.0%, June 19.7%, May 18.7%)

Rancho Cordova City  14.0%  (July 13.8%, June 13.5%, May 12.8%)

Rancho Murieta CDP  3.8%  (July 3.7%, June 3.7%, May 3.5%)

Rio Linda CDP  17.8%  (July 17.5%, June 17.2%, May 16.3%)

Rosemont CDP  9.7%  (July 9.5%, June 9.3%, May 8.8%)

Sacramento city  14.3%  (July 14.1%, June 13.8%, May 13.1%)

Vineyard CDP  5.7%  (July 5.6%, June 5.5%, May 5.2%)

Walnut Grove CDP  26.5%  (July 26.2%, June 25.6%, May 24.5%)

Wilton CDP  7.5%  (July 7.4% , June 7.2%, May 6.8%)

Every single category above, whether city or CDP, saw an increase in unemployment from July 2009 to August 2009. If there was a prize for lowest unemployment rate in Sacramento County, Gold River would be the winner at 2.1%. On the other end of the spectrum, Walnut Grove has the highest unemployment rate in Sacramento County at 26.5%.

Let me know if you have any questions about the latest figures. You are welcome to call 916-595-3735 or visit our company website at Comparing Four Months of Unemployment Rates in Sacramento County: May-August 2009


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On Saturday, I took 801 black and white pictures while riding my bike on the American River trail in Rancho Cordova and Sacramento. I built a mount for my bike (for only 87 cents, by the way) to hold down my camera and then I had to manually push the button to take photos. The images were then placed in sequence to show as a “video”. You can see my previous outing HERE.

I road an average of 15 mph throughout this brief ride and I tried the “continuous shooting” feature on my camera so that as long as I was holding the button down, my camera was taking photos.

I think the video got a bit washed out in the middle because of the sun. If you notice, when there are few trees along the bike path, the pictures look very bright. It was either that or evidence of my camera’s death since the last frame in this ride was the very last breath of life for my camera (bummer).


By the way, at the very beginning of the video there is a snake on the trail. Did you see it? A group of riders stopped to watch it cross the pavement.

I’m no photographer, but just a guy who loves biking and is experimenting with taking photos while on the road. This is my third “video” like this and I can only see my methodology evolving over time to capture some of the essence of the trails and how fun it is to ride them. The first “video” I made is much inferior to the second and third, but I’ll keep it up because that’s usually how experimentation goes. We tend to get better at what we do as time goes on. Riding my Bike on the American River: Round 3 – A “Video” in Black & White


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