Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Solano residential real estate remains a great long-term investment

Solano remains a great long-term investment
Article Launched: 10/20/2007 07:12:01 AM PDT

I'm no financial planner, but if you're looking for a rapid profit, Google stock seems to be performing well. Local real estate isn't for you.

But if you want long-term gains, now is an excellent time to buy a residential investment property in Solano County.

Solano County still has a huge surplus of listings. Some sellers have been waiting for months to get out of their local properties. A serious buyer with a smart realtor can negotiate an excellent deal today. Sensible offers are being accepted all over the county right now.

However, more buyers from the Bay Area could be hitting our local market in 2008. According to DataQuick, San Francisco's median sales price reached $810,000 in August 2007. Alameda County's median reached $625,000 in August, up from $600,000 in August 2006.

In August, Solano County's median sales price was $416,000 - down 9.27 percent from the August 2006 median of $458,000. $416,000 is more than reasonable to Bay Area residents now renting starter homes that would cost $600,000 to purchase.

Historically, buyers from the 415 and 510 area codes have no problem moving to Solano County and commuting to jobs in their old neighborhoods. Interested in buying a local condo and renting it out? Make
an offer soon, before a Bay Area family happily beats you to the punch.

Also consider location - one of the most basic components of real estate valuation. Dixon residents are still minutes from U.C. Davis. It's safe to presume that three or four of its 30,000 students could rent your investment property in Dixon and cover its mortgage.

Fairfield and Vallejo residents are still minutes away from Napa Valley, the center of American viticulture. San Francisco is still home to Fortune 500 companies, and remains the epicenter of the Information Age - and you can still get their comfortably from the Vallejo Ferry Terminal.

Vacaville is still home to Genentech, a global biotech powerhouse. Need I remind anyone about the economic powerhouse that is Travis Air Force Base and the thousands of people employed there?

Our location is incredible. So while home values may be down now, they'll come back. We're surrounded by astounding places that people want to live near.

Am I suggesting that the days of flipping properties will make a comeback soon? Not at all.

All I know is prices are low, demand will be on the rise again soon, and our location is great. If you're looking to buy a property that will make you money down the road, look down the street.

We're a blue chip county, my friends.

Annie Vogelpohl is past president of the Solano County chapter of the Women's Council of Realtors. She has been a licensed real estate broker since 1984. Contact her at annievogelpohl@msn.com.

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