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Complaining about home prices . . .
Why we are lucky living in Northern San Joaquin Valley
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Good morning Saturday readers.  Larry and Lloyd thought they’d have a little fun today by showing our readers how lucky we all are to be living in this beautiful, tropical valley we call home.  A close friend of ours sent us an e mail last week from where they were spending a week relaxing and getting tan, Santa Cruz.  That’s the California Santa Cruz folks.  The couple forwarded a real estate ad they found.  It was a “manufactured home” listed for $367,000.  There were 56 pictures of this home and really it was quite nice.  Hammered copper sinks, “completely redesigned with innovative open floor plan and built to the highest LEED standards, featuring Hubbarton-Forge lighting.” Wow! What? OK we said $367,000 sounded a bit expensive to the Boys but hey, it’s in Santa Cruz and it does have a view of the ocean.  Reading on we suddenly got hit between the eyes.  The financing showed the monthly payment including principal & interest, property tax and insurance was only $1,886per month.  OK, a little out of our range for a weekend retreat but hey.  What caught our eyes was this mobile home is in a park and you were only buying the mobile home for $367K.  On top of the monthly PITI payment was the space rent of $3,000.  Not a typo folks, $3,000a month, or $36,000 a year for the ground.  Yes we are lucky here in the Valley. 
That got us thinking about other areas in California and what the cost of living might be compared to ours. 
The Boys recently helped one of their boys (kids) buy a house in Guerneville.  The middle of the wine country and just 16 miles inland from Jenner, walking distance to the Russian River.  The kids finally got an accepted offer after trying to buy for about 4 months.  They found a nice little cabin type home nestled in the Redwoods and poison oak.  The home is really nice.  The last owners bought it and totally fixed it up.  The home even came with an extra, legal lot, for a total of a ¼ acre.  A few small drawbacks, it was on a very skinny, almost one way street in which this writer had to go to the next driveway so he could turn his tank around to get into the driveway.  The cost for 936 sq. feet.  $430,000.00.  Guys and Gals, that’s a whopping $459.41 per sq. ft. for a very small 2 bedroom, 1 bath home.  Just a side note or two on this one.  Two weeks after the close of escrow in January the kids had a scare of the Russian River rushing by their new home.  Honestly, the flooding was just below them.  Then just a few Saturdays ago their dogs woke them up at midnight barking.  There was a home just 1 door away from them on fire.  As we said, the streets are so skinny only one fire truck could get close.  But 25 firemen trudged up the street dragging the fire hose.  The home was a total loss.  Too close for comfort.  On the brighter side Scott and Carmen met all their neighbors that evening. 
Orange County; we don’t have any personal stories about a purchase inn this Southern California real estate hot spot so we went to the Association of Realtors’ web site and found the median sold prices for a plethora of cities and towns.  The median price for a home in Orange County in May of 17 was $795,000 while in April of the same year it was $$775,000.  Nice $20,000increase for one month.  Meanwhile just across the County line in Los Angles the median price was $492,040 in May and just $480,230 in April. 
One of the least pricy areas in California is Lassen County where just $192,500 was the median in May price but way up from $175,500in April.  In fact that is one of the higher percentage increases in the state.  The highest increase in percent was Mono County.  That must be for the cabins at Mammoth ski resort at a 21.5% increase in one month’s time from April being $516,250  to May’s $627,500.  Over $100K increase in ONE MONTH. 
OK, we know you asking well what about us here at home Boys.  Well, San Joaquin County in April was $340,000 and then in May went down to $331,950 for a negative 2.4% decrease.  While in Stanislaus County April’s median price was $282,000and jumped 2.5% in May to $290,000. 
But while we are in this this summer’s hot streak many of us are thinking cool.  Two of the coolest counties in California is Del Norte and Humboldt. Del Norte and Humboldt Counties are way up the coast where Eureka and Crescent City are located.  Still a bit confused, top left corner of California.  The April median price in Del Norte was $239,000 and then in May a 7.9% decrease to $220,000.  Humboldt did the same with April’s price being $300,000 and dropping 3.5% to $289,500.   Their prices may have decreased but just think of the temperatures there for the summer.  Highs for July are in the mid to high 60s all month and the lows 49 to 52.  Might be worth a look see for the retirement years if you can live without seeing the sun for a while.  The Boys kind of like the sound of a crackling fire in mid-July to keep warm.       
So get a cold ice tea, a magazine, maybe sit in the shade in the shallow end of the pool, and appreciate the affordability of your valley home.