August 2012

Found 12 blog entries for August 2012.

When planning to buy a home, most potential buyers begin to search for homes on the Internet.  They will locate the area-perhaps considering Berkeley homes-and then isolate the specific neighborhood to investigate.  The traditional Open House format is an ideal way to have some idea about what is available in their price range.  While a nice flyer about the home is always helpful, touring a home that interests you is an even better way to evaluate your possibilities.

This is one of a few articles that will be written as to what to look for when touring an Open House.  This one stresses asking about the condition of the home. This is the time to ask questions and get answers.

Items to Ask About the Condition of the Home:

1. What is the condition of

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There are so many homes in the San Francisco Bay area that are located on, or adjacent to, some form of water.  They could be located on a small estuary with  Alameda homes, or in Alameda Bay Farm Island homes facing the bay. They could be alongside a stream in an Oakland hills home, or right on the ocean in San Francisco. 

With all the many options, it is important to consider the elements that surround a home purchase adjacent to water.  Generally, these homes are in demand because they are often quite appealing, so purchasing one becomes a bit more expensive, hence the need to make sure that you get the best value for your money.

The Pluses of Purchasing a Home On The Water:

1. The presence of water in any form is prized because it is a soothing,

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One of the most important steps in preparing to sell your Oakland home is to price it correctly from the outset.  Putting too high a price on your home is the fastest way to have it sit for months on end, and have potential broker and buyer interest dwindle as the weeks wear on.  Many sellers already have an unrealistic price in mind before they even begin to contact a broker to sell their home. Below are some ideas to assist in that consideration.

Here Are A Few Steps To Take When First Deciding How to Price Your Home:

1. Do Your Homework First:  With a wealth of web sites devoted to real estate properties for sale, it is impossible not to locate information about home prices in your market area. The Sunday newspaper, every real estate brokerage

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It is true, when presenting your Berkeley home to future buyers, that first impressions are the most lasting.  That is why it is so important to have all of your potential issues dealt with before you invite them to tour your home. I, as you agent, will suggest many simple and easy tips to make your home extra appealing, but there are some basic things that will always need attention. 

Below are suggestions to deal with the most common mistakes in failing to prepare your home for showing to potential buyers:

a. Deal With Your Plants and Gardens.- Make sure that the dead plants are removed, trees are trimmed and old branches removed. Consult with your nurseryman to see what plants are in season, and will be for a few months, and plant them.  It is one

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In considering the affordability of your Berkeley home, you tend to focus on the sale price, and then the calculated monthly mortgage payment.  While this is perfectly normal, it is important to be aware of other, unexpected costs that will occur as you move towards finalizing the purchase.  Money should be set aside to cover whatever may develop. While not all of these things will apply to your situation, you should be aware of them as possibilities.  Additionally, some of these costs and fees are often negotiated between the buyer and seller, so not all will apply to the buyer, only. Here is a good summary:

a. Professional Home Inspection Fees: It is a wise idea to pay for and have the home thoroughly inspected before making the final purchase.  Costs

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One of my jobs as your listing agent is to assist you in pricing your home correctly in order to attract the most interest among potential buyers and area brokers.  It is important that you consider the problems that can arise if you overprice any home, whether it be a Piedmont home, a Berkeley home, or an Oakland home.

Here are the basic problems to consider before deciding on your final price. Should you overprice:

a. There Will Be No Showings:  With the Internet available to everyone, today's buyers are very sophisticated as to comparable pricing.  In fact, many real estate web sites will furnish them with comps at the click of a mouse.  They, and their broker, will know very quickly when a house is overpriced.  They will not want to see or

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If you are a senior citizen, 55 years or older, and are considering selling your home in Alameda county, you may have surprising tax benefits waiting for you.

Normally, if seniors have been in their home for a long time, and are enjoying the tax benefits of Proposition 13, they have had their current home assessed at a very low yearly tax rate.  However, when considering selling their current home, and moving into another, perhaps smaller home, they may experience what could be called "sticker shock" when they see the property taxes on the homes in the marketplace today.  These taxes could be considerably higher than what they are used to, and often for less property in terms of size.  

A solution has been offered in the form of California

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At sometime in our lives, we have all had to move from one home to another.  Some people may just move from a Berkeley home to an Oakland home, while others need to move cross country.  When we make the preparations to sell one home and buy another, it is very easy to get caught up with all the financial and operational details involved in making this very important transition.  Very often, because of so many intersecting events during this time, young children are left out of the planning stage, and are asked to make some major adjustments at a very confusing time.

Below are some common sense suggestions that can make the whole event a lot easier.  (One note, however, is that if the move is preceded by a stressful event such as a death, divorce or

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When your Oakland home is on the market, you are going to find that you are showing it a lot to potential buyers and their realtors, whether through private showings, or through having an Open House.  If your schedule is as busy as most, you may not have time to stop everything and clean up the entire house just before they arrive to view your home. Here are some suggestions of things to do on a weekly basis, as needed, so there is no need for last minute scrambling:

a. Wash Your Windows, Mirrors and Shower Doors-Windows are one of the most overlooked items, and as such are often the most in need of attention.  Dirty windows, mirrors and glass doors, besides being unsightly, give the impression that less obvious things are being overlooked, as well,

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As you begin your search for that perfect Tudor style Oakland home in the hills, there is always the concern about whether or not you will qualify financially, so that you can buy it.  This is not uncommon concern, and below are some tips on how to analyze where you are financially, and get a sense of just "how much home" you will be able to afford.  While it is not the final say, and there are many more elements involved, it will give you a general sense of what the banks will be looking for. 

Overall, the lenders are concerned about three things regarding future borrowers:

1. Credit Rating: In an earlier blog, on July 13th, I wrote a detailed blog on how a credit rating is arrived at.  But, in quick summary form, a credit rating is based on a FICO

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