April 2009

Found 6 blog entries for April 2009.

The figures for the 1st quarter have come in with some predictable results. Housing sales are way up (almost 200% in Hayward!) with the bulk of these sales in the lower end markets. Foreclosures have been the bread and butter of this market with Short Sales and REOs bringing in buyers from all over. I've had one eager man in New Zealand who has been buying up properties in Richmond.

The low interest rates combined with the $8000 tax credit has made first-time buyers and investors dive into affordable East Bay and Oakland Real Estate. The median sales price of homes sold has dropped dramatically because of the focus on the lower end market. The median price of a Oakland home sale has dropped 70% since the same quarter last year. While many areas of

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 Ok forgive the sensationalism I just wanted to  welcome back Capt. Richard Phillips who was held hostage by the Somali pirates. What an ordeal, I can't imagine. It was just a nice day at the Union Point Park in Oakland again. I caught site of this beautiful ship tied up at the harbor and . The pirates wish they could command a boat this regal.

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There are so many tips about fixing up your home before you put it on the market.  You can go as far as hiring a designer to come in and “stage” your house, or have a new front garden installed to increase its curb appeal.  With families centered around the kitchen, any new appliances or cabinet door fronts are a welcome addition to a tired format.  All this costs money, but surveys have shown that some of this is a wise investment, because your home is more attractive and can command a higher price.

One thing that often gets overlooked is cracks.  Cracks can mean a lot of things, and can make people anxious about the condition of the home.  A house can look fresh and newly painted, but if cracks-even very small ones- are showing up in the floors, on the…
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money_120I've been getting a lot of calls about the Governments First-Time home buyers credit. The newly passed legislation allows first-time buyers to claim a credit of up to $8,000, or 10% of the home's value, whichever is less, on their 2008 or 2009 taxes. This is a refundable tax credit meaning that you can actually have the money refunded to you even if you don't owe the full amount on your taxes.

The purchase must be made between Jan. 1, 2009 and Nov. 30, 2009 to qualify for the credit. Buyers must make less than $75,000 for individuals and $150,000 for couples. To qualify has a first time home buyer you cannot have purchased a home in the last three years. They must also live in the house for at least three years, or they will be obligated to pay back the

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“Doing your homework” has a special meaning when buying a house. There is a tendency to focus on the home itself—it's size, it's backyard, the kitchen and family room, etc.. The buyers will concentrate on the number of bedrooms, and baths, and how they can negotiate the best price for the home once they have found the ideal place.

While that is normal, and eminently practical, there is another consideration that often is not fully included in the consideration. That element is the neighborhood. This may seem obvious, and most parents have already checked into the school district and looked up and down their street for any obvious issues for discussion with their agent.

But there is more—the extended neighborhood. That extended neighborhood

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Actually, the question should be "Why not choose Oakland?". It's central location on the coast makes an ideal departure site for nearby San Francisco or busy San Jose.  It is short distance from scenic coastal towns like Monterey or Mendocino, or the nearby wine country of Napa and Sonoma counties.  
Looking for your own personal scenic views?  feb_2009_044_400The hills above Oakland gives you a panoramic view in every direction.  The Oakland estuary offers everything from small kayaks to sailboat racing on weeknights, to the bright white Coast Guard cutters making ready for long offshore trips.
Enjoy mountain views?  The Claremont and Montclair neighborhoods have streets lined with ecalyptus, pine, manzanita and fir trees, causing you to mistake the area for Lake Tahoe.  
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