Category Archives: Real Estate

Financial Friday: California Home Prices. . .


. . .Are UP!  


This from Corefact:

Excluding distressed sales, the five states with the highest home price appreciation were: Hawaii (+13.0 percent), California (+11.4 percent), Nevada (+11.1 percent), New York (+10.3 percent) and Florida (+10.2 percent).

Want more details? Here are some C.A.R. quick financial facts.

Calif. median home price: April 2014:
California: $449,360
Calif. highest median home price by region/county April 2014:
Marin, $1.007 million
Calif. lowest median home price by region/county April 2014: 
Del Norte, $147,500
Calif. Pending Home Sales Index: 
April 2014: Decreased 0.5 percent from 114.4 in March to 113.8 in April.
Calif. Traditional Housing Affordability Index: 
First Quarter 2014: 33 percent (Source: C.A.R.)
Mortgage rates: Week ending 5/29/2014 (Source: Freddie Mac)
  • 30-yr. fixed: 4.12% fees/points: 0.6% 
  • 15-yr. fixed: 3.21% fees/points: 0.5% 
  • 1-yr. adjustable: 2.41% Fees/points: 0.4%
Good news for Neighborhoods in that underwater homes just might be ready float to the surface
Good news for Sellers in that you might get more than you thought for your home.
Good news for Buyers in that the rise in home values means that homes are becoming a good investment again.

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; which saves you wasted time and the disappointment when you find the perfect home but discover it’s already been sold. This is 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  They are fun to search, but their information is often out of date.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.

The Value of Home Inspections


Presale Disclosures and YOU.

Presale disclosures are common in Eastbay sales transactions and are important to both Buyers and Sellers.  Here’s why

Our East Bay custom is to counsel Sellers to disclose as much as possible to prospective Buyers. It’s not uncommon for local Sellers to invest in a range of inspection reports including termite, general home and others as seem appropriate to the site and structure. These also help them set a realistic price point for their home.

Since overbidding is common hereabouts, Selling agents find it serves their clients’ interests to provide such information to potential buyers. After all, the more buyers know about a property the more intelligently they can frame their offer. Also, extensive reports mean fewer arguing points are likely to surface during price negotiations with Buyers. 

I’ve recently had some clients who have learned to appreciate home inspections and how they affect the price of a home.  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; which saves you wasted time and the disappointment when you find the perfect home but discover it’s already been sold. This is 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.

Free Fun in the Bay Area


Have a Memorable Memorial Day

It’s amazing how quiet it is. Passing the local cematary you can see tiny flags as plentiful as flowers on many of the graves.
I like to think that there’s a feeling of reverence on this day that hushes noisy celebrations, but more likely it’s that this Monday is not a work day.
 
The traffic noise near my home in Kensington is almost non-existent, consisting mostly of bikers heading for Tilden Park, dog walkers, and parents with kids looking forward to an day playing at the playgrounds, picnic tables, and open spaces around the community center. 

It’s a day to remember, but it’s also a day to relax and enjoy being alive. I hope you’re enjoying this incredibly beautiful Memorial Day weekend. 

Let’s take a look at what FREE FUN is in store for the rest of the week in the Bay Area:

TUESDAY MAY 27TH
Pub Trivia Nerd Night at Alameda’s Churchward Pub

WEDNESDAY MAY 28TH
Free Lecture: Living with Mountain Lions in San Rafael

THURSDAY MAY 29TH
See great Theater on a budget (“Daylighting”) at Shotgun in Berkeley  

FRIDAY MAY 30TH
Friday Food Truck night at OMAC in Oakland

SATURDAY MAY 31ST

SUNDAY JUNE 1ST

I hope you enjoy your holiday!

For you Home Sellers or Buyers, 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 occurrence 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.

Financial Friday: Multifamily Multiuse


What Empty Nesters and First Time Home Buyers Have in Common


At first glance, you wouldn’t think that a group that want to sell their homes of long standing and a group that’s brand-new on the housing market have anything in common besides wanting to find a place to live. 

The TYPE of home they seek out, however, is where their interests converge. Both seem to be interested in multifamily units, although their reasons might differ.  Retiring baby boomers/empty nesters are looking for less home to maintain. Young people are wanting the flexible lifestyle a multifamily can provide.  Both, however, are attracted to the generally good walkscores multifamilies commonly have.

These two groups have contributed to the whopping 13.2% Housing Starts in in April, the fastest pace in five months, to a 1.072 million unit annual rate. Those who doubt the housing recovery were quick to point out the very mild 0.8% increase in single family starts, ignoring their 9.8% gain over the past year. Multifamily starts are up much more. 

Whether you’re thinking of selling your now-too-big-for-you home or are looking for your first home purchase in the 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 That House Detective

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

Financial Friday: Should You Overprice Your Home?


Maybe, but Instant Karma
Just Might Get You.


Here’s some news from C.A.R. (California Association of Realtors) on this very topic.

“FORTY-PERCENT OF HOME SELLERS PLAN TO PRICE HIGHER THAN MARKET VALUE
Home sellers are kicking off the spring real estate season with what might be considered a risky pricing strategy: 40.3 percent say they plan to price their homes above market value, despite warnings from their agents, according to the latest Real-Time Seller Survey from Redfin. 
More than half (51.3 percent) of home sellers surveyed said they plan to price their home in the middle of the range based on local comparable sales. An analysis by Redfin found that a home listing gets nearly four times more visits on real estate websites during the first week on the market than it does a month later.

In the second quarter, 52.4 percent of sellers were confident that now is a good time to sell their home, compared with 37.5 percent in the first quarter. Nevertheless, home sellers are not free from worry. In the second quarter, 40.9 percent of sellers said they are worried about being able to afford their next home.”

Here are the risks: 
  • Home Buyers go into sticker shock and decide to wait until the market cools off.
  • Buyer’s agents consider your home overpriced and suggest that their buyers make their offers below your asking price.
  • Your home languishes on the market because buyers think there is “something wrong” with it when it doesn’t sell.
  • What goes around does come around. The home you want to buy after you sell your own might be overpriced 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 make a shrewd and realistic decision regarding the price for your home, then we’ll talk about how to 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.

Hurry-up Home Sales

Faster than a Speeding Bullet


Well, maybe not that fast, but there’s some pretty amazing news for home sellersespecially in the Bay Area. My latest two listings were on the market for under a week and both recieved multiple offers and went for well over the asking price. Take a look at the figures on this graphic provided courtesy of the California Association of Realtors.



One reason for the rapid sales, of course, is the dirth of inventory, i.e. too few homes on the market and lots of demand. Of those homes for sale, the ones that tend to “speed off the shelves” are the ones that are reasonably priced based on their location and condition. 

The other side of this is anticdotal, but not unusual.  A home one of my buyer clients was interested in had been on the market for 242 days

A FISBO (For Sale By Owner), the guy was sure that all the improvements he had made meant the house was worth the price he was asking. There’s an old saw in the Real Estate Biz: “A home is worth what a willing buyer and willing seller agree upon.” No willing buyer lurked in this scenario. The market had decided his home cost too much. 

A savvy real estate agent would not have made this mistake. Make sure you have a realtor looking out for your interests.

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.

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.