September 2012

Found 10 blog entries for September 2012.

Nothing can be more shocking or discouraging than to plan to purchase your perfect home, and find out that the lenders have rejected your application because you have some credit problems.  It is entirely possible that you may not know that you have them, because you have not checked your credit in a long time, or at all.  Many new buyers are unsure about how to go about it, or have heard conflicting reports about doing so.

Whether you are buying a Piedmont home, an Oakland home, or any home, you need to know where you stand financially.  Even if you have been paying all your bills on time,  and not exceeding your credit limits, there may be items in your report that are there due to the fact that they may have been incorrectly entered by the credit

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 Recently, in Part 1, we addressed how to keep your newly purchased Alameda home in top condition, and how to keep it in such a way that you could easily to resell it with very little time and money involved in reconditioning it.

In Part 1, we discussed what should be done to the exterior on a regular basis to keep things in shape.  In Part 2, we will follow the same pattern, and address the interior. Here are the basic  interior checks to make:

1. Check the ceilings regularly. Look for any new stains or cracks that might be a warning of some recent event that you should know about. Stains could reveal a leak in the roof, and cracks could alert you to foundation or floor problems.

2. Check the windows and doors on a monthly basis. See if they are

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You have just bought an Alameda home. You are very pleased to be there, and you want to live there for a long time. Below are some tips that will maintain your home for the long run, and, as a bonus, keep your home ready for any future sale that you might want to consider. Many of these suggestions do not cost a great deal of money, and, if followed consistently, will prevent more expensive repairs later.

 You need to have a regular plan of maintenance based on the various elements of the home. Here are some suggestions regarding the exterior:

1. Have a schedule to repaint, reseal, or restain the exterior walls.

2. Clean and inspect all gutters, downspouts, and drainage areas to avoid leaks into the home.

3. Inspect the roof regularly for leaks,

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While it is my job as your agent to sell your Piedmont home, there are many things that you, as a seller, can do that will move the process and the negotiations along sucessfully.  Here are some ideas:

1. Know What Your Property Is Worth--You are considering selling your home.  One of the most important first steps that you should take is to go my website, or to the various real estate web sites like Trulia or Zillow, and get a sense of what homes like yours are selling for today.  You will be amazed at the wealth of information available.  It may be a shock to you.  If you bought your home at the peak of the home selling cycle a few years ago, you will become aware that your home may not be worth what you want it to be.  If you have a true sense of

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It would be ideal if you had plenty of time and money to upgrade your Oakland home before you put it up for sale.  Realistically, the odds are that you might not have either one.  If it is important to get your house on the market in a short time period, and still be able to make it attractive to potential buyers, there are some ways that are flexible in terms of both time and money. 

Four Quick and Reasonably Priced Ways to Upgrade Your Home:

a. Paint Your House--One of the quickest, and most effective ways to give a facelift to a tired home is by using paint.  You can choose to paint all the rooms, or some of the rooms, or just concentrate on the exterior trim.  That is the appeal of paint. Take a complete tour of your home, and look at it as if

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One of the jobs of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac is to guarantee home loans to lenders who make them.  When loans are made through either of these entities, the lender can feel safe that through these agencies their funds will be insured and guaranteed against default by their borrowers.

These agencies do not insure these loans for free, however.  They, like any other insurer, charge the lenders a fee for this insurance.  The fees vary from year to year, and are called "guarantee fees" (g-fees). As announced last week by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (who regulates both agencies), a new increase is due to go into effect between November 1st and December 1st of this year.  It is estimated to be a 0.5 percent increase in the mortgage rates no matter

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Tilden Park, part of the large East Bay Park System, has been a favorite of S. F.Bay Area families for many years.  With its welcoming trees and greenery that house its varied wildlife, it is always a new adventure for families each time they visit.  While it has many things for adults to do, there are some interesting things that will hold children's attention as well. 

One of the most popular attractions is the Merry-Go-Round.  This delightful attraction, complete with beautifully carved, and handsomely painted animals to ride, along with wonderful calliope music, is a joy for children and adults.  Merry-go-rounds are becoming increasingly rare, so this is a unique treat.  It is open only on the weekends in the Fall, and charges a fee for the rides.

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If it is important to you to sell your Oakland home quickly in this slower economy, there are many things that you can do to engage a buyer into considering your home first over the competition.  Most of the suggestions revolve around some form of financial reward. If you are in a financial position to do one or more of these things, you may be pleased at the response. While this is by no means a complete list, it provides some ideas.

A Few Ideas to Consider In Motivating an Interested Buyer:

a. Offer to Pay the Closing Costs: Closing costs are all the fees associated with the purchase of the home.  Fees are assessed by the escrow company, the lender, the county, etc..  While it is traditional for you, as the seller, to purchase title insurance on

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Recently, we discussed a number of issues to consider when touring a Berkeley home Open House.  They were centered around the condition of the home.  This time we will consider additional questions that will help you decide if this home will be a comfortable fit for you and your family.

a. Ask About Storage and Growth Space: Everyone needs storage space. Having lots of space is a real asset when considering a home--especially if you have a family.  Often, storage space is not immediately visible on the tour.  Some rooms or closets may be located in places other than the main floors.  Ask about the attic space, extra basement rooms, and all about the garage units.  Can you grow up or down?  How practical will that be financially?

b. Ask About What Is

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When homes are for sale, the listing will state that there are a certain number rooms in the home, and itemizes the number of bedrooms and baths.  One of the most overlooked ways to add appeal to the house, and make it appear larger, it to devote time to developing and expanding the backyard patio.  With a little planning and effort, it can become, in essence, an additional room for use by the family, especially with the moderate weather of Alameda homes and Alameda Bay Farm Island homes.  Most home developers have recognized this concept, and have designed a means of bringing the outdoors in, and by the use of large sliding glass doors to the outside patio or seating area, plus the other clever techniques listed below.

Here Are Some Ideas to Expand

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