Published July 17, 2012
Volume 20, Number 6

Legacy Real Estate Adds Pleasanton Office, ERA Affiliation        
Hacienda Location Joins Fremont, Livermore to Service the 580/680 Corridor

Larry Spiteri enjoys the bright, comfortable environment of
Legacy’s new offices.

By Nicole Zaro Stahl

The affiliation with a leading global real estate franchisor, the opening of a third office, and a merger with a firm in Fremont have been keeping the professionals at Legacy Real Estate & Associates, ERA Powered busy over the past year.

Legacy's roots go back four decades to its start as Good Real Estate in Fremont. It added an office in Livermore in 1998, and an office in Pleasanton has been a long-time dream. Sensing the rising tide in the real estate market, last summer owner Bill Aboumrad and associate Larry Spiteri decided to make the dream a reality.

”We spent an exhaustive amount of time looking for the right location,” relates Spiteri, who now manages the Hacienda office. When they toured the 8,500-square-foot suite at 4637 Chabot Drive in November, they knew they had found the perfect spot. An accommodating landlord and the light-filled interior clinched the deal. “Most people work best when they have access to daylight. Here, everyone has a windowed exterior office. It's spacious, but also homey and warm,” Spiteri enthuses. Other selling points were the ample parking, easy freeway access, and “the great restaurants to take clients to, from breakfast to dinner.”

The office officially opened in March, and in mid-June Spiteri hired its 30th agent, bringing the firm's total to roughly 200. “We are listing properties along the 580/680 corridor and closing escrows. We'll probably outgrow this office soon,” he comments.

With the expansions complete, Legacy is now positioned to combine the best of its local focus with a new global reach. “Real estate is very localized. We established our three offices about 20 minutes apart so we can continue to deliver the small town, neighborly feel that best serves our clients,” Spiteri notes. The ERA Powered relationship provides the toolkit to operate in the global arena. The reciprocal referral network extends to 49 countries. “When we list a property, it goes not only to the local MLS but to websites in, for example, the Far East, so someone coming from Asia can see what is available here. Agents there can send their clients here, and vice versa. We couldn’t have done this to the same extent on our own.”

Perhaps the biggest challenge is the swirl of forces at play in the local real estate market. A high affordability index combined with the Bay Area's vibrant technology sector have boosted the confidence of consumers eager to take advantage of historically low interest rates. With rates in the 3.5 to 4 percent range, up to 30 percent of the monthly mortgage payment will be applied to principle. Compare that to a 7 percent rate, where roughly 4 percent of the payment goes to principle, Spiteri points out.

These favorable conditions do have a flip side: a lack of inventory. “The one issue is that there is not a lot to choose from,” he reports, noting that the era of multiple offers—not just a few, but a dozen or more on the most desirable properties—has returned.

Still, home prices are at 2002 levels, and “buyers now are as fortunate as they probably ever will be. Interest rates will go up eventually,” he advises. For more information, visit www.legacyrea.com.


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