South Bay hosts huge open house


The event is being called the Open House Extravaganza and what the Santa Clara County Association of Realtors is trying to do is attract as many buyers and their offers to sell off some of their huge inventory of homes. They are calling it a buyers market and say they are ready to deal.

Jose Gutierrez and his family toured one of several hundred realtor open houses in Santa Clara County on Sunday. The price is now $399,000 for a five-bedroom home on Ramsgate Way in San Jose. It's down 40 percent from its original sale price. Gutierrez says he may finally be able to buy a home for his family.

"I take a look. I go to see three or four more and then decide what to do," says Gutierrez.

Some of these homes are for sale because families are relocating. Other homes are being sold because the owners can't afford the payments any longer.

"It's listed for 399 it a short sale meaning that the loan is greater than the value of the house," says Sandra Sample.

Sandra Sample is a realtor and mortgage broker. She says contrary to many reports, home loans are available for properties like that, but you have to prove you can afford to buy the home.

"Most of them are full due and there are some first time home buyer loans out there as well," says Sample.

This Open House Extravaganza'\ is trying to move some of the inventory of hundreds of homes that have been slow to sell. 53 pages of available properties are on the association's web site. Realtors say sellers are motivated, interest rates are low and prices have stabilized.

One 6,500 square home in the Silver Creek section of San Jose has been on the market for three months. It offers a cavernous garage, pool, four bedrooms and four baths, swimming pool and a kitchen the size of some average homes -- only $2.8 million dollars.

"It depends on motivation but there is always room for negotiation," says the properties owner.

Jill Wolpert is moving to Alaska to be with her daughter. Her 3,600 square foot home is on the market for $1.6 million dollars. After three months on the market, the price is still firm.

"We've had a lot of foot traffic coming in but no offers yet," says Wolpert.

Some realtors say the Open House Extravaganza didn't work too well for them. For example, one home dropped $20,000 dollars in price from $649,000 down to $629,000 and not one person came by to see it.

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