“A home-sales revival that began last year in some of California’s cheaper inland areas has begun to spread to several more expensive coastal areas, another hint that devastated real-estate markets in the state — and other parts of the country — may see less grim days ahead.”

So says an article in this weekend’s Wall St. Journal. The article discusses Santa Clara County but it is transferable to San Francisco real estate where SF home listings also show positive signs. The “entry-level” or first time buyer housing market, say home prices of $800,000 or less, is picking up major steam. This part of the market could even be called hot. Multiple offers are common place.

The reason is that, overall, prices are down so homes are more affordable for more folks. I have a number of San Francisco first time home buyer clients who have been waiting (praying) for house values to come down to their affordability level. They are not concerned with timing the market perfectly. They want to own a home in San Francisco and can see that now is their chance.

This makes it a prime-time to “move-up,” or move from your starter home and into one that better suits your current needs. If your current home would be marketable to first-time buyers, there’s a good chance that you’ll be selling in a relative seller’s market while buying in a buyer’s market.

Yes, your current home’s value has decreased from the peak of the market but so has that bigger home you’ve been eyeing. And guess what? When you run the numbers, you’ll see that you can actually come out ahead when you trade-up in a market like this.

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