Granite Bay real estate market on the upswing

Luxury homes cater to buyers’ wishes
By: Tinka Davi, Granity Bay View correspondent
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The Bishop Real Estate Group

Where: 2270 Douglas Boulevard, Suite 120, Roseville, CA 95661

Phone: (916) 458-5488 or (530) 745-6545

Darrin and Julie Lynch didn’t travel too far when they sold their home in Loomis and moved to Granite Bay.

They wanted less property. They were on five acres and the place was just too much to keep up, Darrin Lynch said. They were referred by a friend to Kendra Bishop, broker associate with the Bishop Real Estate Group, who helped them sell their former home and find a new home in the Hidden Lakes area.

“It’s a community with a bunch of great people.” Lynch said.

The couple appreciated Bishop’s knowledge of the Granite Bay area and the time she spent helping them find a home.

That’s part of the service Bishop provides clients, and it keeps her busy.

“The Granite Bay real estate market is showing an uptick,” Bishop said. “Sales have increased 23 percent from January 2012 to January 2013.”

“While the luxury home market has been lagging, it is starting to pick up, and we are getting an increased number of showings and calls on all luxury listings,” Bishop said.

Luxury listings in Granite Bay are homes priced at $l million and up.

“When I take buyers out for a day to show them what Granite Bay has to offer, I can sell them easily because Granite Bay homes have such an incredible value,” she said. “They’re an affordable luxury.”

A $4 million home in the Bay Area sells for $1 million in Granite Bay.

“We’re coming back to what prices were in 2002,” Bishop said.

From the end of December through mid-February, the selling price of Granite Bay homes ranged from a low of $208,500, which was for an older fixer-upper, to a high of $2.3 million.

The average price per square foot is $185; in the luxury home market the price per square foot is $234.

“The market is very diverse,” Bishop said. “The entry point in Granite Bay is in the mid-$300,000s and homes sell up to the $5 million range.”

Several homes for sale are not part of the MLS (Multiple Listing Service).

“There are a significant number of buyers who have what we call ‘pocket’ listings. The seller doesn’t want to advertise, but is willing to sell,” Bishop said. “It’s just an interesting market– and a great market.”

Among the luxury home communities are Shelborne Estates off Auburn-Folsom Road, which reminds people of East Coast homes, Bishop said. Another is Los Lagos, located further east on Auburn-Folsom Road, and Wexford, off East Roseville Parkway. Homes at these two communities have a Mediterranean look.

Others buyers want acreage, not a gated community.

“That’s the beauty of Granite Bay.” Bishop said. “There are very diverse opportunities that cater to most people’s wishes.”

Like the Lynch family, many buyers are relocating to Granite Bay from around the region. Others come from a distance.

“In the past, buyers were predominately from the Bay area, but now people are from all over the country,” Bishop said. Just last week she had a buyer from Chicago, another from Connecticut and two from the Bay Area.

Many are relocating to the area due to transfers by their employers and others are choosing Granite Bay for the schools. “They’re phenomenal,” Bishop said.

She pointed out that Granite Bay High School was ranked (by Newsweek and The Daily Beast) as one of America’s best high schools. “That’s a great accolade for our community,” Bishop said.

The Lynches’ son, Ian, 12, attends Cavitt Middle School.

“The school is outstanding,” Lynch said. “The teachers and the curriculum are better than expected.”

Their daughter, Jessica, 17, didn’t transfer, but is finishing her senior year at her former high school, Del Oro.

People like Granite Bay for its retail, night life, recreation and its proximity to Lake Tahoe, Bishop said. She promotes the community via videos on her website that show community amenities and activities such as shopping, outdoor life and bicycle trails.

“We’re able to capture a ton of folks to our site,” she said. “We have such a beautiful region.”

Granite Bay offers shopping at Quarry Ponds, the local stores along Douglas Boulevard and the areas around Sierra College Boulevard.

People like the many parks, youth sports and trails for hiking and bicycling.

Bishop also feels that, as the market picks up, advertising homes is critical, not only regionally but throughout the state and the country.

“The Granite Bay View is part of our marketing campaign,” she said.

Bishop enjoys helping people like the Lynches find the right home to fit their needs.

Lynch likes their home’s proximity to Folsom Lake, where he and his wife go walking a few times a week. They also like Hidden Lakes because of the activities, including Easter egg hunts and 4th of July celebrations.

Bishop lives in Granite Bay and knows the region and the schools.

“I’m an active member of the community, I love the small businesses here and it’s where I’ve chosen to raise my family.”

She and her husband, Scott, have five children.

She’s been in the real estate business for 10 years and opened her own office in February 2008.

“Buyers have so much information at their fingertips,” Bishop said. “However, they really need someone who understands the different neighborhoods.”

And that’s exactly what Bishop offers.