The Blog Author

Ryan Lundquist is a Certified Residential real estate appraiser serving the Greater Sacramento Region. He is FHA approved and does work for brokers, banks, governmental agencies, Realtors, attorneys, home owners and more. Ryan speaks some Spanish too.

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The material and information contained on this website is the copyrighted property of Ryan Lundquist and Lundquist Appraisal Company. Content on this website may not be reproduced or republished without prior written permission from Ryan Lundquist. The information on this website is meant soley for educational purposes and is not intended in any way to support an opinion of value for your appraisal needs or any sort of value conclusion for a loan, litigation or any other potential appraisal-related purpose. The material found on this website is meant for casual reading only. For more detailed market analysis to be used for an appraisal report or any appraisal-related purpose, please contact us for more information. Thank you.

It’s hard to imagine doing business without a smart phone these days. I feel like I can leave the office and yet stay in constant communication with clients, while having incredibly useful techie business tools at my disposal. It’s like my six year old says, my phone is “Daddy’s small computer”.

I currently use Google’s Android phone, and as a real estate appraiser I find the following apps most useful for me:

googlemaps-smGoogle Maps: Hands down, this is one of the most useful tools for me while I’m on the road. I have leaned on this app many times for GPS location, directions, and finding different routes to navigate.

Google Voice: It’s still amazing to me that I can talk into my phone and Google_Voice_Searchfind search results based on what I say.  This helps me find what I need and drive more “hands free”. I’ve used this tool to find phone numbers, addresses, and other needed information while on the road.

voicerecorder-smVoice Recorder: This is a great little app. I can record a digital note to myself and store it on my phone or email it. I can even send audio notes to a client if need be.

Translator: It’s great to be able to find certain words if I need to use them during an inspection. I speak basic Spanish and I’m always saying things like: “Hola, como estas? Me llamo Ryan” translate 1or “Tienes perros en su yarda?” But sometimes I might need a certain word translated to help communication flow even better. The one big downfall with any translation tool though is you could end up saying something insulting if the tool doesn’t work right (hasn’t happened to me yet).

snapphoto-smCamera: I don’t know that my camera is technically considered an app, but it has saved me countless times when my handheld ran out of batteries. It’s also handy to email photos to clients during inspections if there are certain issues they should be aware of.

app-BFj_csTwitterRide: This is the best Android app for Twitter and it’s handy to tweet from the road and send messages back and forth.

facebook_48Facebook for Android: Honestly, I’m not too impressed with the Android’s Facebook apps, but this one has been mostly okay for me. Once I needed to get a Listing Agent’s phone number while at a property, but the only problem was that I did not know the agent’s name. I put up a quick “help me” status on Facebook and then local Realtor Erin Attardi saw the post and got me what I needed (now I know I can access a PDA link that Metrolist launched in 2009).

imagesCAQKRR31Others: There are some other apps I use from time to time like the flashlight and bubble level, but the ones I use most frequently are listed above. And of course the Star Wars light saber has been a strong defense when dealing with unexpected squatters in REO properties.

What phone apps do you use? What type of business are you in and what apps help you get things done throughout your business day?

www.lundquistcompany.com/blog What phone apps do you use for business?

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What are the latest unemployment figures for San Joaquin County and El Dorado County? Below you will find the latest rates for all cities and CDPs from October 2009 based on information provided by EDD. Unemployment rates for Sacramento County & Placer County, and Yolo County, Solano County & Merced County are also available. These are all areas I appraise in, so I keep a close eye on unemployment each month.

It’s interesting to hear so much on the news about how the economy is improving, yet one glance at unemployment seems to indicate that things are not so hot. Or is that just me?

El Dorado San Joaquin County Unemployment October 2009 Lundquist Appraisal Company

www.lundquistcompany.com/blog Unemployment Rates in El Dorado County & San Joaquin County

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What are the latest unemployment figures for Yolo County, Solano County and Merced County? Below you will find the latest rates for all cities and CDPs from October 2009 based on information provided by EDD. Unemployment rates for Sacramento County & Placer County, and San Joaquin & El Dorado County are also available. These are all areas I appraise in, so I keep a close eye on unemployment each month.

What do you see? Does anything stand out to you or surprise you? There are some fairly high levels of unemployment in each county, aren’t there, particularly Merced County?

Yolo Solano Merced County Unemployment October 2009 Lundquist Appraisal Company

www.lundquistcompany.com/blog Unemployment Rates in Yolo County, Solano County & Merced County: October 2009

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The Capital Village neighborhood of Rancho Cordova has played host to the Cordova Community Council’s annual tree lighting for the past two years at Village Green Park. Here are some photos showing the lit tree, tower at Capital Village and some of the “fusion” units in the development. I made a video tour of the Capital Village neighborhood last Summer in case you want to see the layout of this community.

Capital Village Rancho Cordovay Lundquist Appraisal Company

Capital Village Rancho Cordova Lundquist Appraisal Company 3

Capital Village Rancho Cordova Lundquist Appraisal Company 2

www.lundquistcompany.com/blog Photos from the Field: Christmas in Capital Village

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Quick data. Here are unemployment rates for all cities and CDPs in Sacramento County and Placer County for October 2009. This data is based upon information provided by EDD. Unemployment rates for San Joaquin County & El Dorado County, and Yolo County, Solano County & Merced County are also available. These are all areas I appraise in, so I keep a close eye on unemployment each month.

What do you see? Does anything stand out to you or surprise you?  

October 2009 Unemployment in Sacramento County

October 2009 Unemployment in Placer County

www.lundquistcompany.com/blog October 2009 Unemployment Rates in Sacramento & Placer County

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I think about houses and neighborhoods quite a bit because of my chosen career as a real estate appraiser. But beyond my job considering market value, I find myself delving into a different type of worth: neighborhood value. 

052108ins 182Isolation in Society: Something has happened in our society. There used to be a day and time where kids played outside more often, where families knew and relied upon households next door, and where it was normal to feel a sense of connection amongst neighbors. In thinking back to when you were a kid, did life in your neighborhood seem a bit more interactive and relational than your experience today? Did people trust each other more readily? Did passersby wave? Did you play outside without worrying about Megan’s Law registrants?

What happened?

I’m no big-wig expert by any means, but I wrote a group of short essays in a series entitled “Community Building 101” (pdf file), and I’d like to share them here. My take is that life is not just about the value of our homes, but the quality and value of the relationships we have - even in our neighborhoods. This series made an appearance in The Rancho Cordova Post and Sacramento Press.

Community Building Resources:

Let me know if you have any insight, ideas or other resources to share. Feel free to comment below.

www.lundquistcompany.com/blog What Happened to our Neighborhoods?

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I inspected a property in the city of Vallejo today and I’m crunching some numbers right now (as I always do) to get a better look at the overall real estate market. During the course of my neighborhood research, for kicks I thought I would plot all sales in the entire city over the past two years to see if there might be any discernable trend or pattern due to the City of Vallejo filing for bankruptcy on May 23, 2008. The blue dots represent sales and the vertical red line represents the date when bankruptcy was filed.

City of Vallejo Sales Since 01-01-08

Let’s be honest, this one scatter graph is not meant to display anything revolutionary about the impact of Vallejo’s bankruptcy. Let’s save that for someone hired to delve into intense research to uncover that kind of information. This is purely recreational graphing out of curiosity. But isn’t it still interesting to take a glimpse at sales?

There is certainly a downward trend in the graph above, but that’s not an uncommon phenomenon for Solano County over the past couple of years, is it? The question becomes though, did the City of Vallejo’s bankruptcy impact the market at all, or is the declining trend simply a byproduct of the real estate market bubble burst and economy? 

Have you seen any tangible evidence that the city’s bankruptcy has negatively impacted home values or perception of Vallejo among buyers? If you are considering purchasing a home, is it a turn-off to you that the City of Vallejo filed for bankruptcy? Or is it no big deal for you? Feel free to comment below.

NOTE: All sales above are based upon information found in BAREIS for single family residential properties under $800,000. There were very few sales above $800,000, so it seemed most relevant to disregard a few higher sales because they were outliers.

www.lundquistcompany.com/blog A Trend Graph of Vallejo Since City Bankruptcy

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Today I took the last batch of property tax appeals for the year to the Sacramento County Assessment Appeals Board at 700 H Street in Sacramento (as pictured below). Before I headed out of the office though I thought it would be interesting to calculate the difference between the Assessor’s property tax assessment and my calculation of fair market value. Guess what, when considering only these eight tax appeals, the Assessor’s Office had these properties valued higher by $2,860,000, which essentially means local property owners were scheduled to pay $30,000 more in property taxes than they should this year. Ouch.  

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Today was the last day to appeal property taxes for 2009 in Sacramento County (and in most if not all counties in California). If you did not dispute your taxes this year, you will have the opportunity to do so next year. You can expect new assessments for 2010 to come out at some point between May to July 2010 depending on which county you are located in. The assessment appeals period will then go from July 2010 to either September 15, 2010 or November 30, 2010 (depending on which county you are located in). Remember, your property assessment for next year will be based on your property’s value on January 1, 2o10.

If you have any questions or a story to share, comment above.

www.lundquistcompany.com/blog Assessor Value vs. Market Value: A Difference of 2.86 Million Dollars

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Dear Local Home Owners, Real Estate Agents, Loan Officers & Attorneys:

The Sacramento Appraisal Blog is hosting a little contest for you, and the prize is a free $125.00 Residential Natural Hazard & Tax Disclosure Report by GeoAssurance. It’s what you wanted for Christmas, right?

gift_certificateThese types of reports are beefy in detail and help you get the skinny on hazards surrounding your property. GeoAssurance provides top-notch research, and you can use their report for any local residential property you want, whether for business or personal use (or for a friend or family member).

All you have to do is comment on THIS blog post or tweet the following message: ”Christmas Contest from @SacAppraiser: FREE Natural Hazards Report http://bit.ly/7BKVzX”

Contest Rules & Details:

  1. Home Owners, Realtors, real estate agents, loan officers and attorneys may participate (future home owners too).
  2. twitterYou must live in or do business in one of the following California counties: Sacramento, Placer, Yolo, El Dorado, San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Merced, Yuba, Sutter, or Solano.
  3. All you need to do to enter the contest is leave one comment on THIS blog post. Each person only gets one entry, but if you have a Twitter account like me and you re-tweet the post, you can have two chances to win (blog comment and tweet).  Please re-tweet by manually clicking the re-tweet button on the post, or manually tweet the following message: “Christmas Contest from @SacAppraiser: FREE Natural Hazards Report http://bit.ly/7BKVzX”
  4. The NHD report applies to residential properties only and will be good for one residential property located in one of the aforementioned counties. Use the report for personal use, for a friend, or for business – whatever you want. Read HERE for more information on what the NHD Report includes.
  5. The winner’s name and contact information will be passed on promptly to GeoAssurance and they will contact you.
  6. A winner will be selected on December 21, 2009 at 3pm PST and announced here and on Twitter so long as there is at least a combined total of 50 blog comments and tweets. If there is not a total of 50 entries by then, the deadline will be extended. Email your local friends and everyone in your office though and the goal can be met easily.
  7. Please make sure I know how to contact you. If you do not provide accurate contact information, someone else will be selected. If you are on Twitter, no problem because I’ll tweet you to let you know you won. If you leave a comment below, just smlogo-234make sure your email address is accurate because I will contact you by email (your email address will not be visible in the actual comment you leave, but will be private between me and you).

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask. And while you’re here, have a look around the Sacramento Appraisal Blog and subscribe to our RSS feed or get posts emailed to you directly by entering your email just below the banner in the upper right corner of this page. Email ryan@lundquistcompany.com, contact me on Twitter at @SacAppraiser or call 916-595-3735. 

This should be fun!!! Good luck to you!!!

www.lundquistcompany.com/blog Win a FREE Natural Hazards Disclosure Report: A Christmas Gift from The Sacramento Appraisal Blog

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I had a little break in life over the past ten days. It was so relaxing to enjoy Huntington Beach in Southern California with the family. Now I am back in action and invigorated to get going for the last bit of 2009.

While spending time at Sunset Beach I snapped the following image. This photo is interesting to me because it’s definitely a “sign of the times” and even ironic in that I wonder if there would be enough time to escape to higher ground if a large earthquake hit. I am curious too how property owners (including prospective owners) feel about this new addition to their beach.

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If you are interested to read more about tsunami signs, you can visit the California Department of Transportation website to see different types of signage as well as tsunami sign policies.

How does this sign strike you? What does it make you think of?  Feel free to comment below.

www.lundquistcompany.com/blog Tsunami Hazard Zone: Photos from the Field

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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. 

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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.

www.lundquistcompany.com/blog Exit Realty West Hosts Successful CanTree Auction

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