Vacaville, a Great Place to Live in Northern California

Lauralee Ensign, Sales Manager for Vacaville office, and COO of Century 21 M&M and Associates

Century 21 M&M Vacaville has 13 local Realtors to serve all of your Real Estate needs. Currently Lauralee Ensign is the Sales Manager for the Vacaville office and she says that Vacaville is a great place to live. It is close to the Napa Wine Country, Travis Air Force Base, the Nut Tree and the Jelly Belly Factory in nearby Fairfield.

Vacaville, California is located in Solano County in Northern California, nearly half-way between Sacramento and San Francisco on I-80. Vacaville has a beautiful setting bordered by rolling hillsides, fruit orchards and fertile farmland.

With an elevation ranging from 90 to 300 feet, Vacaville enjoys a typical Mediterranean-type climate with warm summers and mild, wet winters, with an average summer high of 94º and an average winter low of 36º. Annual rainfall averages approximately 20 inches.

‘A small town at heart’, Vacaville has transformed from a small agricultural town into a thriving and progressive city with a diverse population of almost 100,000 residents. These ‘small town’ residents pride themselves on a high level of community involvement.

What makes Vacaville a family-oriented city is;

  • The median price of a home as of March 2012 is $215,500.
  • Residents of all ages participate in organized sports leagues year-round, including; soccer, baseball, softball, basketball and ice hockey.
  • Vacaville has invested in state-of-the-art public recreation facilities, including a community pool with water slides and a diving well, ball fields and a skateboard park.
  • Community events include: Fiesta Days, 4th of July Celebration, a Tribute to Seniors, Free Creekwalk Concerts during the summer and Merriment on Main festivities during the holiday season.
  • Vacaville also has a wide range and arts and entertainment opportunities, including the Vacaville Performing Arts Theater and special events at the McBride Center.
  • Nearby, the Lagoon Valley Park provides an opportunity to fish, hike and sail.
  • Residents and visitors enjoy an expanding choice of restaurants in the revitalized, historic downtown, and some of the best shopping in the area.

The top 10 employers in Vacaville are: California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, Vacaville Unified School District, Genentech, City of Vacaville, Alza, State Compensation Insurance Fund, Kaiser Permanente, VacaValley Hospital, M & G Duravent and Travis Credit Union.

Two state prisons are located in Vacaville; California State Prison Solano and California Medical LoFacility. The latter prison houses inmates undergoing medical treatments.

According to Google.com/publicdata, Vacaville unemployment rate stands at 8.1% for the month of February 2012.

Local school API scores average from 736-868 according to California School Ratings, (http://school-ratings.com/cities/Vacaville.html) with at least dozen elementary public schools and five high schools.

The town has a District supporting the Solano Community College. Among others, it offers an associate degree in biotechnology, which could lead to employment with local industries. Other colleges and universities include; California Maritime Academy, Chapman University, The University of Phoenix and Touro University (Osteopathic Medicine).

If you are looking for a community that believes it is a ‘small town at heart’ with the added advantage of its close proximity to the Bay Area, the Napa Wine Country, and the state capitol – consider Vacaville. For all of your Vacaville Real Estate needs, call a Century 21 M&M Realtor at (800) 350-1548. You will be glad you did.

Oakdale, CA; a Great Place to Live in Northern California

Century 21 M&M Oakdale CA. Oakdale RodeoCentury 21 M&M has a local office with 39 agents ready to serve you in Oakdale, CA. Cecilia Solorio-Smith, Sales Manager for the Oakdale office says, ” I love Oakdale because it is close to everything; Yosemite National Park, the Sierra Mountains and is located just a hundred miles away from the Bay Area. Besides that, it has great schools, lots of community involvement and a small town feel. The area is agricultural driven with dairies and orchards, and we even have our own winery – Most Wanted Winery.”

Founded in 1871 when the Stockton & Visalia Railroad met the Copperopolis Railroad, Oakdale goes by the slogan of ‘Cowboy Capitol of the World’ and to that end hosts its annual rodeo the 2nd week-end in April.

Nearby lakes are popular destinations for fishing, boating and water skiing. Camping, hiking, hunting, fishing and snow skiing are available within an hour’s drive from the nearby Sierra Mountains.

In-city recreation includes an 18-hole country club golf course, and numerous city and recreational parks. Oakdale also hosts the Oakdale Chocolate Festival the third weekend in May each year.

Our local museum, the Oakdale Cowboy Museum focuses on area ranchers, rodeo cowboys and cowgirls. Exhibits include historic photographs, saddles, rodeo artifacts and cowboy gear.

During the warmer weather, Oakdale hosts a weekly Farmers Market, local concerts and movies in the park. Several community theater companies also thrive in the surrounding area.

With a current population of around 20,000, Oakdale takes pride in its small town atmosphere, with a full range of services, shopping and recreation.

Oakdale enjoys a moderate climate throughout the year with winter temperatures ranging from the mid 30’s to the high 60’s and summer temperatures from the 70’s to the low 100’s.

There are four elementary schools in the Oakdale Joint Unified School District and two high schools. According to school-ratings.com, Oakdale’s Base API scores start at 507 and go all the way up to 759. Students at Oakdale schools receive the additional benefits of music and sports programs, along with club activities and academic competitions.

Oakdale offers a variety of housing options from established neighborhoods to new subdivisions currently under construction. Homes with acreage are available just outside city limits.

The average annual Oakdale rainfall is 13.33”, and there are an average of 44 days annually with measurable precipitation. The wettest year was 1958 with 22.15” and the dryest year was 1947 with 7.99”.

If you are looking for a diverse rural community located in the heart of Northern California, consider Oakdale. And, if you are looking for a Realtor that knows this area inside and out, contact a Century 21 M&M Realtor at 800-350-1548.

Cupertino, A Great Place to Live in Northern California

Century 21 M&M Cupertino officeOne of Century 21 M&M’s largest and most productive offices is in Cupertino, CA. Cupertino is a city in the Bay Area, directly west of San Jose with portions extending into the foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains.

Cupertino is situated in the Silicon Valley, where many semi-conductor and computer companies were founded. The worldwide headquarters for Apple, Inc is also located in here.

Besides Apple, Inc, the top 10 employers in Cupertino include; Oracle, Foothill DeAnza Junior College District, Hewlett Packard, Cupertino Union School District, ArcSight, Fremont Union High School District, Chordiant and Trend Micro.

Cupertino CA job market

Cupertino CA job market

Cupertino’s job market is robust and according to simplyhired.com, the number of jobs filled has increased 137% since August of 2010.

Over the years, housing developments were constructed as developers created many neighborhoods, including Fairgrove, Garden Gate, Monte Vista, Seven Springs, Rancho Rinconada and many other developments.

The neighborhood of Seven Springs is at the Southern tip of Cupertino and was developed in the 1980s. The newest and most northern neighborhood, Oak Valley, borders Rancho San Antonio Park and was developed around the year 2000.

Although originally low-cost housing, Silicon Valley’s housing prices shot up dramatically as many houses that were formerly lowly priced became multi-million dollar homes.

Cupertino Housing MarketThe high cost of living in Cupertino is attributed by people wanting their children to receive high-quality schooling. Nevertheless, the price of housing seems to have weathered even the 2007–8 slump in economy.

According to Zillow.com, the median home list price is $1,059,000 and the median home sale price is $898,300.

In 2010, according to money.cnn.com, Cupertino’s median family income was $142,490, it’s median age was 40 years old and the reading and math test scores in it’s local schools, were well above the national average.

Cupertino’s weather is exceptional with the lowest temp around 40 degrees and the highest temp around 83 degrees.

The Vallco Mall, at the center of Cupertino, includes department stores (Macy’s, JCPenney, Sears, etc.), an ice center, bowling, and an AMC theater complex. It hosts a farmer’s market on Fridays. The scenic Blackberry Farm golf course and ranch is located near Monta Vista High School.

The Cupertino Historical Society has an elaborate museum at the Cupertino Community Center, located next to Memorial Park, which houses the Cupertino Veterans Memorial as well as an amphitheater that hosts events such as summer movies and Free Shakespeare in the Park.

Contact the Century 21 M&M Cupertino office for any questions or concerns you have regarding the Cupertino Real Estate Market at (408) 725-4000.

*Resources: Zillow.com, Wikipedia.com, Simplyhired.com and Money.cnn.com

It is a good time to sell your home in Northern California

Century 21 M&M sells home in Northern CaliforniaCentury 21 M&M Realtors are reporting a shortage of the housing inventory in Northern California. North to South, from Roseville to Fresno, and East to West from Oakdale to Cupertino, all of our Sales Managers say that there are lots of Buyers, but a limited supply of homes for sale. What does this mean – It’s a good time to sell your home in Northern California!

To that end, we scoured the internet looking for articles related to the California housing inventory shortage. Is it a good thing… or, is it a bad thing? What follows are a sampling of articles;

You’ll Have To Search For California Real Estate

If you are thinking of moving to California or of relocating within the great state, then it might be a bit more difficult than you think to find great California real estate at prices you can afford and in areas you want to live in. Why? Simply put, the California real estate market is a tough market to get into and to find any product that fits all of your needs in.

The first move you need to make before you make the move to California is to sit down with a financial planner and make a budget for the kind of lifestyle you can lead there. If you start with a budget than you’ll be far more able to figure out California real estate without disappointment. One of the biggest problems I see all the time is people who plan to move to California and then wind up really disappointed by a California real estate market that is more expensive and less exciting than they planned on. Read More at allcaliforniarealestate.com

San Francisco Homes Selling Faster as Inventory Drops

With potential home sellers feeling that the market is on the upswing and that housing prices will soon appreciate, many of them have elected to hold off listing their homes, resulting in a citywide inventory shortage. At the same time, potential home buyers fearing higher prices are rushing to buy, particularly with the low-interest rate mortgages that are available today. These two forces are causing the already low for sale housing inventory in the city to be gobbled up at a faster rate. And, without new homes for sale to replace those that have been sold, the city’s inventory remains low, while home sales are staying high.

Single-Family Home Sales

Although the city’s inventory has dropped by 25.5 percent compared to February 2011, inventory levels also have ticked slightly upwards since January of this year, by 7.7 percent. And, despite the low inventory, homes under contract showed improvement compared to the same time last year, rising by as much as 22.9 percent. Moreover, the number of homes sold has almost doubled, by 40.7 percent, with a tally of 173 properties. Read more at thefrontsteps.com

Spring Brings Some Green Shoots in Housing Market – npr.com

News Graphics courtesy of npr.org

Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors, says he is much more encouraged than he was one or two years ago. “The recovery seems much more broad-based,” he says. “Whether one goes East Coast — Boston, [or] to the West Coast — Seattle, sales activity is solidly higher.” And smaller markets like Peoria, Ill., Greenville, S.C., and Chattanooga, Tenn., are also doing better, Yun says.

But the single most telling number Yun follows — and these days, celebrates — is housing inventory. Home listings are down 26 percent from last year. That’s close to healthy market levels.

Some worry that a recent settlement between banks and regulators will result in a flood of foreclosed homes hitting the market. But Yun says that so-called shadow inventory of homes in serious delinquency or in the foreclosure process is also down. Read more at npr.org.

Is Declining Housing Inventory a Bad Thing?

It wasn’t long ago that the world was worried about millions and millions of foreclosed homes hitting the open market and crashing home prices another 30%.  Now we’re worried there’s not enough supply. Huh?

The problem with the housing market in the first place was too much supply at bubble prices and demand levels. Because housing supply is difficult to destroy or spoil, I’d much rather be in a place with very low supply – even a shortage in terms of “homes for sale relative to demand” – that causes prices to rise in the short-to-intermediate term. Trying to fine tune the “right” supply level is very dangerous. Read more courtesy of altosresearch.com.

If you are ready to sell your home, or you have missed a couple of payments and want to avoid foreclosure, call a Century 21 M&M Realtor today at (800) 350-1548, or Find an Agent. In today’s real estate market you have the best chance of selling your home quickly!