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Sun City bucks nationwide foreclosure trend

By: Susan Belknap Press-Tribune Editor
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Lately, reports from the real estate industry have not been rosy. Record numbers of foreclosures have been headline news for months. But the situation is not quite as dire in the Sun City Roseville neighborhood where only three foreclosures have occurred since the first of the year. Real estate agent Lenora Harrison said she’s as busy as can be with her business that deals exclusively in the Sun City Roseville neighborhood. “There’s a total of 3,100 homes in Sun City,” Harrison said. “I had 30 closings from Jan. 1 through May 15. I have about one-third of all the listings in Sun City in any average month.” Harrison is the owner of Squier Real Estate located on Blue Oaks Boulevard in Roseville where three agents work exclusively in the senior community. “I have lived, worked and played here in Sun City for the last 12 years,” she said. Harrision feels her real estate business is going well because she has always been active in the community in such organizations like the Sun City Foundation and the community’s dance club. “I love living in this beautiful active adult community,” Harrison said. “I love meeting and working with buyers to help them find the perfect home.” Harrison admits the market has softened but finds she is never at a loss for listings. She said the neighborhood hasn’t been hit as hard with the economic times because many Sun City clients are “buying a lifestyle.” Most of Harrison’s clients are secure financially and are not first time buyers. “I feel like I’ve always been busy with work,” she said. “Our office is busy although we have noticed some softening. We’ve noticed prices have gone down 10 to 15 percent in the last year.” According to Harrision the average sales price of a home in Sun City this year has been around $346,777 compared to $379,376 last year. Prices in Sun City range from $275,000 to $695,900. While homes priced right will always sell, Harrison said there’s been a change in how long the homes are on the market. “In 2006 the average was 19 days a home would be on the market,” she said. “In 2007 it was 60 days. This year it’s been about 149 days.” Don and Chantry Rogers have had their home listed for sale for about two weeks. Chantry Rogers said she and her husband are looking to sell their current home in order to move into a smaller one. “We’re just downsizing,” Chantry Rogers said. “We have two bedrooms that just don’t get used anymore.” Chantry Rogers said they are planning to stay in the Sun City neighborhood in a smaller home. “This is a good place to live,” she said. “We’re busy all the time, there’s so much to do. We’ll just wait until this one sells. Then we’ll start looking for something else.” For Harrison, she’ll keep marketing the Rogers’ home until she has a buyer. Patience is the key in a down market. Since Jan 1, Harrison said there have have been 40 closed escrows plus 2 not reported through the Multiple Listing Service making a total of 42 closed sales. Harrison has represented 11 sellers and nine buyers totaling 47.6 percent of total sales in Sun City. “I’m starting to feel energy in the area,” Harrison said. “Things are picking up. I think people are thinking it’s a good time to buy because the interest rates are low and there is a large selection of homes on the market. Harrison’s tips to prospective sellers include making sure the home’s interior has a fresh coat of paint and to trying to minimize the amount of personal clutter in living areas. “I also tell people to try to spruce up their yards,” she said. “Get the house pressure-washed and cleaned throughout.” Harrision can be reached at 765-4188 or her Web site, www.SquierRealEstate.com.