Category Archives: homes

Veterans Day, Veterans and VA Loans

Veterans Day

Anyone who has read some of my earlier Veteran’s Day blogs know that I am enormously proud of my father, Richard Neddersen, who was a war hero in WWII.  I wished he had talked more about his experiences, but since he was reluctant to discuss the war I became a researcher, reading as much as I could about the history and causes of World War II and trying to place my dad in the action.

This morning I saw an piece in the news about the growing number of suicides among veterans and consulted a site full of scholarly articles about the problem.

It was a sobering assessment. I recalled a bumper sticker that read “There are no unwounded soldiers” and I began to understand my father’s reluctance to recount his experiences to his young sons.  His long years in the war must have been horrific, so horrific that he strongly advised my brother and I NOT to follow in his footsteps.

War is a brutal business. I honor my father and all those who fight, and hope the decision to commit to this ultimate violence is never taken without alternatives having exhaustively been undertaken.  I also wonder why those that send our boys off to fight are so reluctant to spend money on their health care, food, job training and lodging when they return.  At least there are a few things that we real estate agents can do to aid veterans and those are:

  • Provide them with names of lenders who work with VA loans
  • Help them find homes suitable for that type of funding.

If you’re a veteran, or just curious, I found a link that discusses VA eligibility and another that talks about loan limits in various areas in the United States. In the Bay area, for example, the loan limit is $625,000.00.

I’m glad to know our industry is working to help veterans and their families put a roof over their heads.  Here’s hoping that more help will come from other agencies to assist a veteran’s transition from military to civilian life.

If you’re a veteran looking for a home, or if you’re  a civilian buyer or seller, I’m happy to help you with your real estate needs.

I’m easy to contact.  As so many of us do, I carry my office with me wherever I go, so phone 510-527-0174.  and you’ll probably reach me. I’m never too busy to take care of you– or your referrals–and I’ll make sure you’re glad you called.

Get to know me! Check me out on facebook, linkedIn or see my other online presences. I have two sites made just for you.If you want to get a feel for what’s going on in the East Bay Real Estate market check out my My New Site to discover homes on the market–neighborhood by neighborhood–almost as soon as they’re posted on the MLS!

If you’re a BUYER go to That House Detective
If you’re a SELLER go to What’s Next Homes.

Whatever your real estate need,  I’m happy to help!

Chris Neddersen
Broker Associate
CalBRE R01143189
Coldwell Banker in Berkeley

 

Why Do We Yearn for HOME?

happy-homes-1

Having a home is part of the American Dream, but why? We’re a nation of restless people. Why isn’t travel, adventure, the wandering life a bigger part of our American identity?

I know it is, in a way. Jack Kerouac’s On The Road touched upon that myth, but travel is about the journey, not the goal.  Home seems to be the goal.  What makes the dream of home so compelling?  What defines “home”?

I think an ideal definition of “home” is a place where we can feel safe, loved, accepted, and at peace. Yet there are many who can testify that their homes, past and present, were never those kinds of emotional oases.

Maybe the reason home is not where the heart is is because we haven’t put our hearts and minds into creating the kind of home we want.

Denmark, often sited as the happiest country in the world, has a concept called “hygge” that is designed to foster the feelings we think of when we think about our ideal home. It’s not about a white picket fence, or a four car garage, or a certain kind of marriage. It’s about creating a family bond that encourages and empowers a sense of certainty, stability, and love–a place where you can truly relax and be yourself.  In other words, a place where you can feel at HOME.

THAT is the American Dream, but the Danes don’t have to dream about it. They’ve learned how to make it happen.

If you’re looking for a house in which to make a home, or if you’re wanting to sell the old dream and find a new one, give me a call. I’d love to help.

I’m easy to contact.  As so many of us do, I carry my office with me wherever I go, so phone 510-527-0174.  and you’ll probably reach me. I’m never too busy to take care of you– or your referrals–and I’ll make sure you’re glad you called.

Get to know me! Check me out on facebook, linkedIn or see my other online presences. I have two sites made just for you.If you want to get a feel for what’s going on in the East Bay Real Estate market check out my My New Site to discover homes on the market–neighborhood by neighborhood–almost as soon as they’re posted on the MLS!

If you’re a BUYER go to That House Detective
If you’re a SELLER go to What’s Next Homes.

Whatever your real estate need,  I’m happy to help!

Chris Neddersen
Broker Associate
CalBRE R01143189
Coldwell Banker in Berkeley

How to Make Your Move Easier–Part Three

interior-floor-plan

FITTING YOUR OLD LIFE
INTO YOUR NEW HOME

Whether you’re up or downsizing a certain winnowing of the wheat from the chaff of your daily life is necessary. After all, everything you have in your current home might not work well in your newer space. Here are some tips to make sure your next home will accommodate the items and furniture that still reflect the best of you and your style, and that you know you can’t live without.

  1. Get the room measurements of your new space and make a floor-plan or ask if there is a floor-plan available to you. Don’t forget to indicate the location of the doors and windows as this will be a factor in furniture placement.
  2. Measure your furniture. You will need to know how your furniture will (or won’t) fit into your new space so measure everything.
  3. Using the floor-plan and your furniture’s measurements, see how your furniture will fit into the new space by cutting sized-to-scale representatives of your furniture out of paper. It’s a great way to do some early furniture arranging to see what fits best where.
  4. Assessing exactly how much of the new space is dedicated to storage will give you and idea of the volume of items you need to dispose of before moving in. Don’t forget hidden storage areas you currently use in your old place. If you put a lot of items above the kitchen cabinets in your current home, for example, find out if the cupboards in the new place have storage in that area as well.

Remember, I’m here to help–not with loading boxes, mind you, but with any other real estate concerns.

Want to get a feel for what’s going on in the East Bay Real Estate market? Check out my My New Site and discover properties on the market neighborhood by neighborhood–almost as soon as they’re posted on the MLS!

Give me a call if you’re thinking of  buying or selling a home, and for all your other real estate needs.  Just phone 510-527-0174 .  I’m never too busy to take care of you– or your referrals–and I’ll make you glad you called.

Get to know me! Check me out on facebook, linkedIn or see my other online presences. I have two sites made just for you.

If you’re a BUYER go to That House Detective
If you’re a SELLER go to What’s Next Homes.

Whatever your real estate need,  I’m happy to help!

Chris Neddersen,

Chris_sig

Broker Associate
CalBRE R01143189
Coldwell Banker in Berkeley

Avoiding Buyer’s Remorse

BuyersRemorse

First time buyers, downsizers, workers transferring from location to location, anyone and everyone who wants to buy a house goes through some anxiety.  After all, a home purchase is a huge commitment. You plunk a bunch of money down, agree to pay a monthly mortgage payment (if you’re not an all-cash buyer) and you’re stuck with your choice to stay in one place for years to come.

Naturally, there might be some nervousness and fear of buyers remorse.

First time buyers have experienced the relative freedom of apartment living. They pay rent, but don’t have to worry about home and yard maintenance and the other costs of owning a property.

Downsizers lose a big part of their past lives defined by rooms their kids lived in, yards where they played, and weighed down by stored, multi-generational but non-essential, objects from their family life.

Transfers lose the familiarity of their original city and hope to land in a place where the same or similar amenities and pleasures that they left behind will be replaced in their new home.

The answer to avoiding buyers remorse is a good realtor, someone who listens to your needs and desires, as well as your fears, and helps solve the problems that might come up in advance of the new purchase.

First-timers need the wisdom and experience of a seasoned agent to help them understand the advantages and disadvantages of any potential purchase–someone who will tell them the truth about affordability, neighborhoods, and home value. A good agent is a pro at blending your needs with your budget and helping any first time buyer feel that they’ve made the responsible move.

Downsizers will get the benefit of an agent’s bevy of moving professionals, from cleaners who can help clear the clutter, home stagers who can weed out the gold from the straw regarding what to keep and what to get rid of, professional yard sellers who can help you sell the rest. and storage professionals who can help store anything that you can’t let go of.  A good agent will help downsizers discover that moving to the new house with a lighter load is a much happier journey.

Transfers will benefit from an agent who has listened well to the buyer and knows the local neighborhoods well enough to suggest which will be the best fit. 

I’ve had a lot of experience with all of these types of buyers, and hope, when you need an agent, that you will choose me.

Want to get a feel for what’s going on in the East Bay Real Estate market? Check out my Super Site and discover properties on the market neighborhood by neighborhood–almost as soon as they’re posted on the MLS!

Give me a call if you’re thinking of  buying or selling a home, and for all your other real estate needs.  Just phone 510-527-0174 .  I’m never too busy to take care of you– or your referrals–and I’ll make you glad you called.

Get to know me! Check me out on facebook, linkedIn or see my other online presences. I have two sites made just for you.

If you’re a BUYER go to That House Detective
If you’re a SELLER go to What’s Next Homes.

Whatever your real estate need,  I’m happy to help!

Chris Neddersen,

Chris_sig

Broker Associate
CalBRE R01143189
Coldwell Banker in Berkeley

Confused about the Process? Here’s Help for Home Buyers & Sellers

Language confusion

 

In every industry there’s jargon and procedures that are plain as day to insiders but often confusing to outsiders.  Real Estate has it’s own language, and to help with any potential language barrier or perplexing procedural processes, here’s a short summery of the Home Sale process which includes a little of both.

A typical house sells in stages:

1. market appearance—listing agents published details on proprietary MLS® (syndicates to consumer sites)

2. listing status is Active—Seller and their agents work to attract Buyers

3. offer[s] submitted by would-be Buyer[s]—sometimes on a date announced in advance

4. Sellers review and accept an offer, creating a Pending Sale and starting Escrow interval

5. Buyers hire property inspection[s] and complete lender’s financing requirements

6. Buyers may attempt to renegotiate terms or withdraw from Escrow, based on inspection findings

7. agreed price and other terms remain confidential among Buyer, Seller and the agents throughout Escrow

8. Close of Escrow—legal change of ownership, listing status Sold.

Not every sale is identical, but these are the most usual steps.  For more details this link will lead  you to my Buyers’ Handbook, which digs even deeper into the process and includes a wonderful Glossary of the industry’s jargon.

If you’re from out of town and not ready to make a purchase when you first arrive in the East Bay, the most comprehensive resource for finding a rental property is at Craig’s List.  California Realtors® are very seldom involved in arranging rentals, although I’d be glad to share some tips if you’d like to hear them.

OR to have a shot at answering any other real estate or SF Bay Area questions you might have. My blog and web sites are constantly updated with useful (and often fun) things about the area.

Call me for all your real estate needs at 510-527-0174 , I’m never too busy to take care of you– or your referrals–and I’ll make you glad you called.

Get to know me! Check me out on facebook, linkedIn or see my other online presences. I have two sites made just for you.

If you’re a BUYER go to That House Detective
If you’re a SELLER go to What’s Next Homes.

If you want to get a feel for what’s going on in the East Bay Real Estate market, check out my Company Super Site.

If you’re interested in HIGH WALK SCORE HOMES click HERE.

Whatever your real estate need,  I’m happy to help!

Chris_sig

Chris Neddersen,
Broker Associate
CalBRE R01143189
Coldwell Banker in Berkeley

What kind of Mortgage is Right for YOU?

MortgageChallenge

If you’re a first time homebuyer, and need financing  to purchase a property, you might not know all you need to know about the kind of mortgage that’s right for you.  How do you find that information quickly and easily?

I have some solutions:

  1. For a terrific series of easy to access videos that give you an overview of this–and other issues that concern home buyers–go to this informative, and kinda fun, Coldwell Banker site. They really do a nice job of providing many of the answers you need.
  2. After you have more facts about the process, you can speak to a lender with more confidence and a fuller understanding of where you are in the process; thus helping HIM help YOU more effectively and efficiently.
  3. In this market, listing agents feel more comfortable with–and therefore more likely to give an edge to– buyers who have lenders the listing agent also knows and trusts, and who also have a real working knowledge of the local market.  So, If you don’t have a lender, call me a 510-527-0174 for a list of trusted local mortgage brokers.  I’m happy to help.

If you have any questions about buying or selling a home in the East Bay, I’m happy to help.  Please give me a call.

East Bay home sellers: This is a golden time to sell your home! Demand is high and inventory and mortgages are low.  It can’t last forever, you know, so give me a call and let’s talk!

If you’re looking for a home in this amazing area, I can help you strategize for a successful purchase.

Call me for all your real estate needs at 510-527-0174 , I’m never too busy to take care of you– or your referrals–and I’ll make you glad you called.

Get to know me! Check me out on facebook, linkedIn or see my other online presences. I have two sites made just for you.

If you’re a BUYER go to That House Detective
If you’re a SELLER go to What’s Next Homes.

If you want to get a feel for what’s going on in the East Bay Real Estate market, check out my Company Super Site.

If you’re interested in HIGH WALK SCORE HOMES click HERE.

Whatever your real estate need,  I’m happy to help!

Chris_sig

Chris Neddersen,
Broker Associate
CalBRE R01143189
Coldwell Banker in Berkeley

Thrifty Thursday & Finding Your Dream Home

Warren-Buffett

There’s a feeling you get when you know you’re where you belong.  I see that look in the eyes of my clients when they fall in love with a home.  They start to imagine a life there, rich and full: enjoying their interaction with the neighborhood, relishing the walks they’ll take, and, if they’re parents, the playgrounds they’ll explore and holidays they’ll celebrate with their kids,

I recognize THE LOOK, not just because I’ve been a real estate agent for years, but because it this was the way I felt when we found our home, the one we still live in and the one our kids think of when they imagine being home for the holidays.

We took a risk when we bought our home.  It was a bit out of our price range, but our very savvy agent (my mom) assured us we wouldn’t be sorry.  She must have seen the look in our eyes as we happily poked around the home, yard, and neighborhood.

We were HOME, and we’ve never looked back!

If you’re buying, I know I can help you find your dream home.

If you’re downsizing–wanting to sell a home you love for a more practical choice–I can relate to the difficulty of leaving an old friend, but I’ll make the sale as smooth and painless as possible and find you a new home that you’ll love just as well but for brand new reasons.

If you, your friends or relatives are interested in buying or selling a home in the Berkeley Area,  give me a call at 510-527-0174.  I’m never too busy to take care of you or your referals. I’ll make sure you’ll be glad you did.

Please check me out on facebook, linkedIn or see my online presence. I have two sites I made just for you.

If you’re a BUYER go to That House Detective
If you’re a SELLER go to What’s Next Homes.
If you’re interested in HIGH WALK SCORE HOMES click HERE.

Whatever your real estate need, I’m happy to help!

Chris_sig

Chris Neddersen,
Broker Associate
CalBRE R01143189
Coldwell Banker in Berkeley

Financial Friday: Protect Your Investment


About Home Inspections

When you’re buying a home, it’s smart to make sure your investment is solid. That’s why, In California at least, real estate agents advise home inspections for their buyer clients.
 
Often both buyers and sellers are surprised by the results. Pristine-looking homes might hide mold, dry rot, or a number of other problems.

Reading the results is an art in itself. Different home inspectors have different styles. Some are fairly casual in their evaluation, but some can make a metaphorical hangnail seem like a life threatening disease.
 
Experienced agents usually know the trusted local inspectors and they’re also well versed in how to read inspection reports. They can look it over with the buyer and offer a more nuanced look of the home’s condition. 

For example, a fellow agent told me that one inspector worried his buyer by pointing out a cracked window, which might indicate earth movements. 

The agent’s response to the buyer? “How many million years are you planning to live in this home?”

The agent realized that the earth did indeed move in that area, but the rate of movement was really the issue.

Understand that California home inspectors are not licensed, nor are they licensed in many states. However, a home inspector’s standard practice typically does not include the following, for which a specific license to inspect and identify may be required to evaluate:
  • Asbestos
  • Radon, Methane, Radiation and Formaldehyde
  • Wood-Destroying Organisms
  • Mold, Mildew and Fungi
  • Rodents
  • Lead
Here’s a checklist–brought to you by Coldwell Banker–that will let you potential sellers see if your house could pass a home inspection.

I’ve recently had some clients who have done just that, and I’d love to help you, too.  Whether you’re moving in or out of this amazing Bay Area, I’d be honored to help. 

For SELLERS, I’ll help you prepare and market your home for sale that will give it the widest appeal and best exposure; thus attracting a bevy of buyers and the best chance for multiple offers and competitive bidding. To learn more, go to go to What’s Next Homes.

For BUYERS I’ll set up an REAlert account that will search the MLS real estate site–using requirements that you provide–for properties that meet your needs.  Once found, pictures and details will be delivered directly to your email courtesy of Coldwell Banker! 

It’s the best way for you to get a look at first-time-on-the-market properties; and this saves you wasted time and disappointment that happens when you find the perfect home but discover it’s already been sold, a common occurance when using the usual home finding sites like Trulio, Zillow, etc.  They are fun to search, but their information is often out of date. Not so with REAlert.

If you’re specifically interested in high walk score homes, click here to find those that are currently on the market in great East Bay neighborhoods. To learn more, go to go to That House Detective.

Or, just give me a call at 510-527-0174.