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It should come as no surprise when “California” and “Cost of Living” come up in the same sentence.  However, many people are just as surprised that not all of California is plagued by the housing market costs like San Francisco and Los Angeles.  The Central Valley is one of California’s undiscovered gems and comes with a median home price of just $218,000 in Fresno compared to $1,300,000 in San Francisco or $651,000 in Los Angeles.  For a fraction of the cost of living in the major metropolitan areas you can live just a few hours away while still enjoying all the aspects of California.

Real Estate Infographic

There are a ton of areas within The Valley that are not only developing at a rapid pace but also revitalizing the existing neighborhoods.  In an earlier blog I talked over what these new communities mean for not only the homebuyer but the current homeowner as well.  One of the most prominent examples of this is Clovis, CA.  Clovis is a rapidly expanding city with a population of over 112,000.  There are thousands of new homes being built in Clovis in 2020 and it is showing no signs of slowing down anytime soon.  On top of this Clovis also has one of the most amazing atmospheres in the famous “Old Town Clovis”.  This downtown portion is filled with some of the best food the valley has to offer, from steakhouses to vegan, there is an immense amount of variety and flair.  The street is also lined with various shops, from houseplants to clothing, you will be sure to find what you are looking for while walking through.

Clovis Gateway to the Sierras

While food and shopping may be great motivators for learning more about a new city the appeal doesn’t stop there.  According to research data by Zillow.com the cost of living is 20% below the California average.  Along with this the median home price is almost ¼ of the price in San Francisco and almost ½ the price of Los Angeles.  These are all amazing reasons to look at Clovis for your next home, however, these aren’t the only factors that you should consider when moving to a new area.

California Sunset

One of the most talked about points when moving from a higher cost of living area is what that translates to in salary.  According to research done by salary.com, moving from San Francisco to The Central Valley has a net positive impact of over 12% disposable income when factoring in a decrease in pay.  These massive cost of living savings make it much more affordable to live in The Central Valley while not having to break the bank in other major cities. 

How schools perform is another major talking point that should always be addressed when looking at a new location.  According to the USNews best high schools in California, University High School is the #10 high school in California and the #87 high school nationally.  Along with this Clovis Unified and Visalia Unified also have incredibly highly rated schools with exceptional graduation rates.

Yosemite Highway

Culture is another important aspect that is so important and is also overlooked when researching and deciding on a new location.  Questions like: How highly rated are local restaurants? How active is the surrounding area? What can we do for fun locally? and many other important lifestyle aspects are critical to learn more about.  The Central Valley offers so many different options because of its unique location within the state, these options give it such a great cultural foundation.  There are not only amazing locally owned restaurants, but it is located right in the backyard of Yosemite National Park, Sequoia National Park, and is home to some of the state’s best wineries. 

Winey landscape

No matter where you are looking to move it is hard to argue that California is such an amazing state to live in.  The cost of living, however, is one of the biggest turnoffs for anyone interested in the state.  If the cost of living is a deterrent for living in this wonderful state, please check out The Central Valley and learn more about all the amazing things it has to offer.  Remember, it is so important to understand the area that you are moving to and work with your real estate agent to find everything that is necessary for you to flourish in your new home! 

How We Rank the Best High Schools. (n.d.). Fresno Unified Public Schools | California | Best High Schools | US News. Retrieved March 1, 2020, from https://www.usnews.com/education/best-high-schools/california/districts/fresno-unified-100167

Salary.com. (2020, January 20). Cost of Living Comparison between San Francisco, CA and Fresno, CA. Retrieved March 1, 2020, from https://www.salary.com/research/cost-of-living/compare/san-francisco-ca/fresno-ca

The Central Valley is absolutely booming with new developments.  According to Zillow, between the four biggest cities in The Valley, Fresno, Clovis, Madera, and Visalia, there are over 50 new communities being built! These new developments play a major factor in buying a new home or selling your existing one, so it is not only important to know all the logistics that go into developing a new community but also what these communities mean to anyone interested in learning more about real estate.  In an earlier blog I talked about the role that analytics plays in the real estate industry along with the importance of these analytics for anyone interested in real estate.  In this post we will build off that knowledge and dive into how these new communities affect your current home value, its future value, and what this means for the market as a whole.

Vivian McCutchen New Developments

These new communities are a great example of how analytics has shaped the future of real estate and will continue to have a tremendous impact on the industry.  For example, “homes […] increased in value by 22%” (1) while also being part of an industry that “contributed $990B to the nation’s economy last year”. (1) Which means that while home values were increasing, real estate still made up a major portion of the United States economy and continues to trend in a positive direction.  These factors play a huge part in the way that new communities affect the existing local economy while also generating new growth for homebuyers and retaining value for current homeowners.  While this explosive growth is great for a current homeowner, it also highlights the necessity for a top-notch realtor that can secure the best value for you.  One of the most overlooked aspects of selling a home is what its future value is within the market and new communities play a major role in deciding that. 

Fresno Communities

Sample House Vivian McCutchen

Fresno is known as being the largest city in the Central Valley with a population over 530,000 people, however, the entire county has a population of over 1,000,000 people.  There are a few other areas in The Valley that are experiencing a hefty amount of growth and expansion.  Clovis, Visalia, and Madera are all also rapidly expanding areas, with over 40 new communities being built in 2020.  These three cities make up a huge amount of growth to both the local economy and the housing market.  This is great news for existing homeowners that are looking to stay in their home while also retaining its value.  According to Science Direct “New construction is generally expected to create positive externalities.” which is important to consider when looking at not only the current market value of your property but the future value as well. 

Clovis Communities

Vivian McCutchen Sample Home
Kitchen Sink Facet Background

On the home buying side this amount of growth is really positive news.  “In June, the average American home listing price hit a high of $316,000, according to Realtor.com’s Housing Trend Report.” (2) However, “It was only 18 months ago that the number of homes for sale hit its lowest level in recorded history and sparked the fiercest competition among buyers we’ve ever seen. If the trend we’re seeing continues, overall inventory could near record lows by early next year,” (2) Realtor.com Chief Economist Danielle Hale said but “Home construction activity, however, is poised to exceed what experts had projected.” (3) This is great news for people that are looking to secure a good deal on a home since according to moving.com buying in new construction is “less stress and less money spent while everything is still new. In addition, most builders include a range of warranties with their homes, which may include a short-term full structure warranty and a longer-term exterior warranty. It’s a big financial benefit, and a nice relief in the years following such a major purchase.”  However, one of the most overlooked aspects of buying a new community is the necessity for a real estate agent.  Most people don’t understand the important role that a real estate agent can play in the negotiation process of buying a new construction home.

Madera & Visalia Communities

Vivian McCutchen New Development Build
Vivian McCutchen Sample Home 4
Vivian McCtuchen Real Estate Build

There are a ton of new communities being built in The Central Valley.  These new communities coming in have been shown to create a positive impact on the existing market by boosting value to current homeowners while also providing beneficial deals for people interested in buying a home or investing in real estate.  Which means it is beneficial for both the current homeowner and homebuyer to be as educated as possible on new developments coming to their area in order to secure the best deal on the market. 


Merrill, T. (2020, February 11). The Residential Redeveloper Effect: 7 Positive Ways The Impact Communities. Retrieved February 27, 2020, from https://www.fortunebuilders.com/the-residential-redeveloper-effect-7-positive-ways-the-impact-communities/

Alcynna, L. (2019, September 20). Housing supply and buyer demand mismatch is pushing buyers out of the market. Retrieved February 27, 2020, from https://www.housingwire.com/articles/49512-housing-supply-and-buyer-demand-mismatch-is-pushing-buyers-out-of-the-market/

Mueller, L. (2018, April 12). The Pros and Cons of Buying New Construction. Retrieved February 27, 2020, from https://www.moving.com/tips/pros-cons-buying-new-construction/

Passy, J. (2020, January 21). Will 2020 be a good year to buy a home? Here's what the experts say. Retrieved February 27, 2020, from https://www.marketwatch.com/story/will-2020-be-a-good-time-to-buy-a-house-heres-what-the-experts-say-2019-12-18

Analytics is a term that we hear thrown around every day it seems; but what does it actually mean for someone that is just learning to navigate the real estate world? Well actually, it entails a lot! The vast amount of data that is available at our fingertips these days can be very overwhelming if you don’t know what you are looking at; which is a major reason that many people spend so much time researching before they start the process of buying or selling their home.  According to A Joint Study from The National Association of Realtors® and Google, “Home shoppers using search engines are actively engaged, raising their hands asking for more information or assistance.” (1). Which is AMAZING to hear as a real estate agent because I am here to help make your experience the best possible! However, what most people don’t realize is that there is so much more data available than a quick Google search can provide.  Which is why choosing an agent that works both for you and with you is a key aspect in the real estate process. 

Vivian McCutchen Analytics

So what are the analytics that you are missing on your own? Well, according to National Association of Realtors, “Finding the right property was ranked highest among all generations as the most difficult step in home buying.” (2) This is where analytics and forecasting come in to give perspective clients the best snapshot of the market that they are in and where they are looking to go.  There are so many other factors that need to be looked at in order to generate a complete story for your needs that without using analytics to help with your decision it would be overwhelming and almost impossible to find exactly what you are looking for.  One example of this is the fact that one of the most looked at statistics is how the schools in a neighborhood perform, however another statistic people often overlook is publicly available service call data. Service complaints about issues such as utilities problems or road debris can provide a view about a neighborhood’s standards of maintenance as a whole, but also the most common issues facing the area. This can tell us a lot about the value of the property in the neighborhood and also forecast how it will hold that value over its lifetime. You can even use these analytics and dive deeper into more niche areas. For example, an interesting statistic is that “neighborhoods with higher noise complaints than service complaints are indicative of a higher-level neighborhood.” (3).  Through these advanced analytics an agent can provide clients with a much better understanding of not only the market, but the true needs of the client.

Beyond this there are even more tools available to help navigate the real estate process. Predictive analytics is barely scratching the surface of the real estate sector. However, the impact of this technology is apparent across the industry. There’s no doubt that predictive analytics will drastically change the landscape of this market in years to come for residential and commercial real estate and on both the buying and selling side. Understanding how this technology works and its potential is crucial moving forward. However, it is always a good idea to do some research before and know your home’s value or how much you can afford. However, if you are ready to start the real estate process please reach out to get a personalized experience and make your real estate dreams a reality!

(1) The National Association of REALTORS® and Google. (2013). Consumer and Market Trends in Real Estate. Retrieved from https://www.nar.realtor/sites/default/files/documents/Study-Digital-House-Hunt-2013-01_1.pdf
(2) National Association of REALTORS® Research Group. (2019). Real Estate in a Digital Age 2019 Report. Retrieved from https://docs.google.com/viewerng/viewer?url=https://www.nar.realtor/sites/default/files/documents/2019-real-estate-in-a-digital-age-08-22-2019.pdf
(3) Zapori, G. (2019, August 27). Six Surprising Data Sources Probably Being Overlooked In Your Multifamily Analysis. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesrealestatecouncil/2019/08/27/six-surprising-data-sources-probably-being-overlooked-in-your-multifamily-analysis/#67b2ba174f6d

Vivian McCutchen Real Estate
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