Le Chateau Realty

Le Chateau Realty With 12 years of experience helping buyers and sellers of homes, commercial property and franchise businesses, I can help you through any transaction.

Residential Brokerage Firm in greater Northern California covering Sacramento, San Francisco, Monterey, and Central Valley Metropolitan areas.


Real Estate market and specifically residential market is still strong in Northern California. It is still some what a sellers market, but there are now disturbing signs emerging in some counties such as Solano. There are more households with 2 or more payments behind on their mortgages and some short sale and foreclosures are being listed in some cities. If you are a flipper, you need to use more caution than 2 or even a year ago. Come November and election time, regardless of who wins, we will have some shakeup or worse. Caution is the word for the day. Call or message me if you need more details or if you like to sell/buy a residential unit.

As I have been saying all along in the past year or so, time to sell your investment house and buy a gauranteed fixed an...

As I have been saying all along in the past year or so, time to sell your investment house and buy a gauranteed fixed annuity to lock in your gains and create a fabulous retirement that pays the rest of your life....details only in person


As of a year ago, I saw signs and warned that housing in California and specially Northern California is poised to have a correction. The prices went too high and we lacked inventory.

The sad news for sellers is that the down turn has started. Inventory is up, as much as 3 times in Southern California, and prices are starting to decrease. That is good news for buyers. How deep and long this cycle would be is any body's guess. My recommendation id to refrain from purchasing any property for further clarification unless you need a house that you will hold onto for at least 5 years or longer.


I really do NOT want to tell you I told you so, but have you checked the price of bitcoin on Bitcoin's closing price on Friday? Does 6700 look right? Where is this garbage going from here, who knows. But always remember, what goes up, must eventually come down. So, will the price of houses specially in Bay Area. The prices are ridiculous and NOT affordable even by the very techies who caused this market. Welcome to reality.


Will housing markets follow the stock markets and start loosening up or even crashing? Since we do NOT have the mortgage problems of last crash, is a crash in housing not possible? Many people have bought at high prices with high volume loans which makes then susceptible to foreclosure with a sudden loss of jobs. Would that be the factor that would crash the housing market? I do NOT think we have to wait long to find out.


WE are closing the year out with a substantially reduced home sales through out the country. One reason is the high home prices and lack of inventory of course. There was a study done recently indicating that average number of years of house lived in has increased to 10 years from 5. That is an astonishing increase and the reason stated is lack of inventory. People feel if they list their homes for sale, they may not find a suitable replacement to buy and hence reluctance to do so. Will the new year bring about a change, or will we finally start to see a change in this over heated and priced market? We just have to wait and see. I still feel a correction is coming. I wish i knew the exact time.


The devastating California fires will have a silver Lining which seems to be an imminent boost for construction activity which had flattened out and could have been on the verge of decline. In general all storms in Florida, Texas, Porto Rico and Fire storms of California will have a positive affect on the economy going forward. Home prices and rents which had plateaued, might resume their increase due to demand by the displaced and boost the housing market in Northern California.


Housing market in Bay Area seems to be hot, but either lack of inventory or high prices are gradually keeping the buyers on the fence. Immediately outside of Bay Area, there are pockets of weakness developing. Some cities are seeing higher than average sales cycle and even price drops in order to attract buyers. If the trend continues, we will see a turn-around in prices. It has been a couple of years since some people have decided to leave the Bay for more affordable cities outside and inside California. For now, I am calling this the market peak and a correction in the works.


All of those who have not refinanced their loans should pay attention to rising interest rates. With Trump administration and the his policies, we will continue to see an increased rate of inflation along with rising rents. If you are sitting on fence thinking to sell, you need to make a move. With rising rates, we should see a drop in home prices specially in areas like Northern California. Also with Tech hiring expected to be decreasing vs the last few years, the lower demand by new money with ease pressure on pricing. 2017 is going to be a interesting year when it comes to the housing. Fasten your seat belts we expect a bumpy ride ahead.


Does Solar system installation add to the value of your house?

This is a hard question to answer. Clearly the answer depends on the detail. Does it financially make sense? If not, did you do it to save the environment? Here are the different scenarios to consider. 1-Is it leased or owned system?
2-Do you actually save money over the life of the system?
3-Does it prevent fluctuations in monthly bill from month to month?
Here are some answers:
1- Leased solar systems DO NOT usually add to the value of your house unless the monthly payments are half or more than half below your average annual bill. The reason is when it comes to sell the house, it can actually prolong the sale and be a burden on the buyer due to their different energy needs. Getting rid of a leased system is very hard and costly.
2-Bought solar system attracts more buyers in high energy consumption cities and if not economical for the purchaser, it probably is economical for the buyer; since they do NOT pay for it!
3- Having said that, a purchased solar system does not recover all its price at the time of the sale of the house.

All in all, the answer to the burning question of solar system installation and purchase vs lease option is "it all depends on your unique situation". But generally to purchase any solar system is much better than leasing one specially if you plan to live in the house more than half the useful life of the system or 15 years.
Leasing like a car leasing is only a good choice in a very small scenarios. If you need an complete evaluation, you can contact me for Free consultation.


38,000 new and resale home transactions closed escrow in California during March 2016. In step with the seasonal sales cycle, sales volume was up significantly from the prior month. It was also 3% higher than a year earlier. While this is an improvement over last year, the rise has decelerated in recent months, signaling sales volume will decline to 2015 levels by mid-2016.

2015 ended with 450,700 home sales in California. This is 35,400, or 9%, more sales than took place in 2014. This is just above 2013 sales volume. For perspective, the number of homes sold in 2015 is still 303,203, or 40%, below peak sales volume experienced in 2005.

The number of homes sold year-to-date is 6% higher than 2015 as of March 2016. Sales volume is likely to continue to pick up in the first half of 2016 as job numbers continue to grow, to fall back in the months following the inevitable fixed rate mortgage (FRM) rate increase, expected as early as the second half of 2016.

Le Chateau Realty

Le Chateau Realty

Le Chateau Realty's cover photo

Le Chateau Realty's cover photo


Even with the run-up in home prices over the past few years, the majority of Bay Area counties are still more affordable than their historic normal levels. However, home price growth is outpacing wage growth on an annual basis, which doesn’t bode particularly well for affordability improvements.

In its Q1 2016 Housing Affordability Index, RealtyTrac found that only 9 percent of U.S. housing markets were less affordable that their historic norms. At the peak of the housing bubble in 2006, 99 percent of markets were less affordable than their historic levels. The company calculates affordability by the percentage of average wages needed to make monthly mortgage payments on a median-priced home assuming a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage and a 3 percent down payment. Scores higher than 100 mean a market is more affordable than normal, while those below indicate that it is less affordable.

Even with some of the lowest affordability conditions in California, most Bay Area counties are more affordable than their historic levels, though in some cases not by much. Solano was the Bay Area’s most affordable county, with an index score of 111, followed by San Mateo and Santa Clara (106), Marin (105), Napa and Sonoma (103), and Contra Costa (102) counties.

The other two Bay Area counties — San Francisco and Alameda — have the dubious distinction of being among the 20 least affordable in the nation. Alameda County notched an affordability score of 100, while San Francisco was even less affordable, with a 92. RealtyTrac puts San Francisco as the most expensive county in the Bay Area, with a median sales price of $1.1 million in the first quarter of this year.


If you're looking to buy a home but don't have the 20% down payment sitting around, Bank of America is now offering mortgages with as little as 3% down.
The new loan program is aimed at helping low- and moderate- income borrowers get home loans for up to $417,000.

To qualify, borrowers can't make more than the median income for their area and need a credit score of at least 660. And the home must be the applicant's primary residence.
Calculator: What will your monthly mortgage payment be?
Low down payment mortgages aren't exactly new. But borrowers won't have to pay private mortgage insurance with this loan.
Most loans with less than 20% down, like those backed by the Federal Housing Administration, also require monthly insurance premiums on top of the mortgage payments. The premiums are used to help protect the lender in case the borrower can't make payments.
As with most mortgages, applicants must still have a debt-to-income ratio of no more than 43%. But Bank of America will also consider non-traditional forms of credit -- like daycare expenses, health club memberships and rental history -- to help determine credit history.
"There are creditworthy borrowers -- people who have shown good experience paying off debts who fit income restrictions -- and except for the fact that they don't have the money for a down payment, they would be good homeowners," said Terry Francisco, a spokesman for the bank.
Related: Should I buy a home while still paying student loans?
Interest rates on the loans will be determined by a borrower's creditworthiness and score, and Francisco said Bank of America's loan option will be cheaper than FHA's rate.
First-time buyers will have to attend a homebuyer education program.
Bank of America (BAC) will sell the mortgages to nonprofit loan fund Self-Help, which will then sell them to Freddie Mac.


Housing Market in California is still going strong. The recent drop in rates seems to have helped some home buyers get off the fence and start pursuit of their dream homes and hence a surge in home purchase transactions almost across all regions of USA. If you are thinking of selling your home, this is a perfect time to call me to prepare your house for putting it on the market. I will lower my commission rate by 1% if you reach me before the end of March. You can reach me on my cell phone 510-543-4184.


The recent market turmoil and the indices getting into a bear market territory only means one thing to me, The stock market has been and will be a Casino with the house always winning. If you have a 401K, and it is one managed by your company and partially paid into by them, I would leave it alone and not look at it hoping that eventually it will pay off. If you are an independent business person, I would be very careful how I invest my IRA, or 401k that I only contribute to. For now, cash is obviously king. The 10 year bond yield has astonishingly dropped to 1.64% today. It indicates a recession ahead. The manufacturing index has been below 50 in the past 6 months indicating contraction. Housing is still strong, but housing always lags behind and the drop in rates always help it, but to a point. If we don't see a turnaround in markets, we might see problems in job market as well. It might not happen due to the real reasons for market corrections and that would a topic of next discussion; the reasons markets went up in the past few years and the reasons for the correction now. For now suffice to say that market performance has less to do with US economy than we are lead to believe.


5 tips for the first time home buyers:

1-You need to check your credit. Your FICO score is a big determining factor in easily you can qualify or what rate the banks will offer you.
2- Evaluate Assets & Liabilities. It is important to know what your liabilities are even more than your assets since that will determine your debt-to-income ratio as a major qualification factors used by lenders.
3- Organize Documents. You need two years of tax returns, two months of bank accounts statements, and two months of recent pay stubs.
4-Qualify yourself. Ideally, first-time homebuyers would know how much they can afford to spend before the mortgage lender tells them how much they qualify for. The Income-to-debt ratios, both front end and back end are important. Call me to explain these rations in detail.
5-Figure out your down payment. There are programs that can assist buyers with qualifying incomes and situations.

"We can help arrange assistance loans for $10,000, which are interest- and payment-free, and forgivable after five years. Although considered a loan, they're more like grants. Other programs can provide up to $40,000 interest-free. Call for details since these programs are offered by different agencies and in different areas and change from time to time.


We will see an increase of about 0.25% in interest rates in a week or so. The housing market is still very strong in the San Francisco Bay Area but increasingly looks like it is approaching a more balanced market else where. I am seeing more number of short sales in Sacramento market and sellers have to wait a couple of weeks longer to get an offer. Price increases have also moderated and nationally we see some declines from last year. If I had to guess the peak of the market for this growth period, I have to say we experienced it in the last quarter of 2014 and first quarter of 2015. If you are sitting on the fence thinking you would like to sell but you want to catch the top of the market, your wait might disappoint you. Time is now if you like to rake in a descent price. Start getting ready for Mid January to put the house on the market.


Are we in a housing price bubble or not? With multi-offer and higher than asking price offers and full cash offers going strong in some markets, should we expect a continuation of this trend or a reversal. No one knows the answer, but one thing is for sure, everything that goes up must come down and for sure once the Feds start raising rates, we will see some adjustment to this once again heated market. I always say, buy with a focus on long term and suitability to your life style and affordability in case of income loss or adjustment. Like the neighborhood, the schools and the house and can afford the payment against some financial hardship in a 10 year term, Go ahead and buy the house and forget if we are in bubble territory or not, you have to live.


The median age of a homebuyer has gone from 35 to 43
The median age of a homebuyer in 1985 was 35.
When the housing boom was nearing its peak in 2005, the median homebuyer's age was 39. Now it's 43, according to U.S. Census data.
"We consistently tell that story of people delaying homeownership," says Skylar Olsen, senior economist at Zillow. "People are delaying things that pre-date homeownership -- like getting married later and having children later."


1164 Solano Ave, Ste 131
Albany, CA

We hold office hours by appointment only. Please give us one day notice before you decide to visit. I prefer to visit clients at a location convenient to them. Our office can be reached through Bart and AC Transit.

General information

Le Chateau Realty is a Residential Brokerage firm specializing in Sells of Houses and Condominiums in greater San Francisco Bay Area. We have represented sellers and buyers in most communities but specially in East Bay Area.

Opening Hours

Monday 09:00 - 17:00
Tuesday 09:00 - 17:00
Wednesday 09:00 - 17:00
Thursday 09:00 - 17:00
Friday 09:00 - 17:00
Saturday 08:00 - 20:00
Sunday 08:00 - 20:00


(510) 543-4184


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