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SLO County's Median Home Price Rises to $434,500 in October


By Kaytlyn Leslie
Published November 21, 2013

Total number of dwellings sold decreases 6.1 percent from 2012; median cost up to $434,500, the highest for an October since 2007.

Fewer homes sold in San Luis Obispo County in October, but the median price of those homes continued to rise. The total number of homes sold in San Luis Obispo County — including new homes, resale single-family homes and condos — was 323 last month, down 6.1 percent from the same month in 2012, according to DataQuick of San Diego. That ended a seven-month streak of increasing year-over-year home sales, and is only the second time since January 2012 that sales have decreased year over year.

Despite the decrease in sales volume, the overall median home price increased 20.7 percent to $434,500 in October — the highest median price for that month since 2007. This also marked the 18th consecutive month in which the median homes sales price has increased year over year. The median is the midpoint where half of the residences sold for more and half for less; figures are compared year over year because of the highly seasonal nature of home sales.

Statewide, sales fell by 7.1 percent to 36,468 total units sold, with the median home price increasing 25.3 percent to $357,000. In San Luis Obispo County, some 76.7 percent of the homes sold were resale single-family homes, though those sales fell 16.8 percent to 248. The median price of these resale single-family homes grew 15.5 percent to $439,000 — also hitting its highest point since October 2007.

DataQuick also tracks sales of condos and new homes, though data for those categories are subject to large swings because the sales numbers are so small. Condo sales fell year over year with 37 units sold in October, but the median price rose 11.3 percent to $334,000. Sales of new homes in October increased by 375 percent year over year, with 38 being sold compared with only eight in the same month in 2012. The median price of a new home increased by 52 percent from the same month last year to $466,000.

Read more here:

"Most Wanted List", What Buyers Most Want in a New Home

by California Association of Realtors

Wine Enthusiast Names Paso Robles Wine Region of the Year!


By Steve Heimoff

The purpose of Wine Enthusiast’s Wine Region of the Year award is to recognize not only excellence in wine quality, but also innovation and excitement. Wine regions far more famous than Paso Robles produce great wines, but few places exhibit the spirit and can-do positivity of this Central Coast appellation. It’s not easy for a wine region to reinvent itself, but Paso is doing it with flair. Put another way, it’s the region to watch.

Its vinous beginnings are similar to other Californian regions. Grapes were planted in the 18th century by Franciscan padres for altar wine when the state was Mexican territory. By the 1880s, Paso had a thriving commercial wine industry. Historians debate when Paso’s modern era began. Certainly, Gary Eberle’s arrival in 1973 (he later started Estrella River) was a milestone. By the 1980s, the boutique winery movement had arrived, symbolized by the 1981 arrivals of Jerry Lohr and Ken Volk. The decade also saw the proliferation of Syrah, which would have a huge local impact.

But it has been in the 2000s that Paso Robles has turned the corner on its past reputation. In part, that reputation—for excessive heat—was valid, especially in the appellation’s eastern and northern corners. But it was also never completely justified—there simply had been few vintners willing or able to exploit Paso’s varied terroirs. The regrettable tendency for wine writers to repeat conventional wisdoms not necessarily grounded in truth didn’t help matters. What caused that to change is a bit of a chicken-and-egg conundrum, but the issue was described well by ONX winemaker Brian Brown, who told Wine Enthusiast: “As there’s more interest in Paso wines from the public, that brings capital in, so folks want to invest, and [winemaking] talent follows the money.”

In particular, young winemakers want to work there, because they can pursue their visions outside the constraints of convention. “In Paso, we don’t care about boundaries or traditions,” says Matt Villard, the owner/winemaker at MCV Wines. “We’re just out to make the best wines we can.” 

Whether the varieties are Spanish, French, Italian, or, as with Zinfandel and Petite Sirah, historically Californian, Paso vintners can tinker with blends and styles that would be unfeasible in other regions more bound by tradition and consumer expectations. The infusion of youthful passion has had a galvanizing effect throughout the appellation. Jerry Lohr, at J. Lohr, while crediting Paso’s climate and soils, praises “the new energy we have here. We don’t rest on our laurels. We’re always willing to learn.” It’s that happy willingness to forge forward, to press relentlessly into the future and craft its own identity for the 21st century that makes Paso Robles Wine Enthusiast’s 2013 Wine Region of the Year.

The Ups and Downs of Mortgage Rates

by RE/ Blog

Posted 11/7/13

For the past few years, mortgage rates have reached – and remained at – historic lows. Between the low rates and federal stimulus incentives, millions of first-time buyers became homeowners and existing homeowners moved up. That was then. What’s going on now? Like the stock market, it depends when you check.The good news is that 30-year fixed-rate loans are still very low: 4.1 percent, according to USA Today on Thursday, Oct. 31. Yes, it’s a little higher than last year, but still a bargain compared to, for example, the 6.4 percent Freddie Mac reported in October 2008.

The more sobering news is that rates for 30-year, fixed-rate loans are expected to rise in 2014. The Mortgage Bankers Association predicts 5 percent next year, and 5.3 percent by early 2015. None of this should come as a surprise, and buyers should keep the prospective hike in, well, perspective. Rising interest rates are a sign of a strengthening economy. You'd be buying a house in a more economically stable environment, which is good news. The expected rise is slow and measured, and rates will remain a relative bargain.

The best person to talk to about ramifications of rising mortgage rates is your local RE/MAX agent. He or she can tell you about lending conditions for your area, and how interest rate fluctuations may affect your options.

Paso Wine Man-November "Roussanne: Old is New"


What Buyers Don't Want


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Contact Information

Real Team 360
RE/MAX Parkside Real Estate - BRE #01421338
1213 Vine Street
Paso Robles CA 93446
Office: (805) 238-1555