Open House at Divine 40's Cottage 12/22/13 1-4PM

Open the door and fall in love with this adorable & well maintained home.  This home maintains the best of it’s vintage touches while feeling modern and fresh.   New paint, new interior doors, new flooring in the kitchen, bathroom, dining room & utility room.  Hardwood floors in the living room and bedrooms.   You’ll love the options for use with the bonus dining room (currently used as a home office).  Lush, fenced rear yard with deck and plenty of space to BBQ, garden or play.  Enjoy the covered breezeway to the garage with shop space.  This lot is zoned LR2 for future investment/development!


· 2 Bedrooms & 1 Bathroom

· LR2 Zoned

· MLS #530278

Offered at: $240,000

 Click Here through to the MLS for pictures!

Mid-Century Sunday Open Canceled 12/22/13 1-4PM

Fabulous mid-century home in an amazing neighborhood.  Vintage touches and modern  amenities give you many options with this home. Open the door to the elegant entry with slate floor and vintage indoor planter with herb garden.  Open concept living and dining room with fireplace and slider to view deck.  Groovy vintage kitchen with fab linoleum, Formica counters, wall of built-in cupboards and taupe colored retro appliances.  Two spacious bedrooms with good storage and two tiled bathrooms on this floor.  Lower level remodel includes second  kitchen, dining room, & living room with fireplace.  Extra large lower level bedroom with      walk-in closet. Bathroom, utility room, and storage round out this floor.  Enjoy Puget Sound, Olympic Mountain and sunset views from both floors.  Bring out the mid-century personality of this home, convert to traditional elegance, or add a second story to capture more views!

· 3 Bedrooms & 2.5 Bathrooms

· 2,780 Interior Square Feet

· MLS #528898

Click Through for More Photos

Offered at: $600,000


Reasons to Sell or Buy Before Spring Tip 9

Tip 9: Sell Now!  
You can sell now, then delay closing or extended occupancy can be negotiated, leaving both parties the leniency to get through the holiday season and past the new year.

So, if you are wondering whether or not to put your home on the selling market now, or to wait – one important factor is that waiting will not provide much benefit. 

Reasons to Sell or Buy Before Spring Tip 7

Tip 7: It’s Time to Move On with Your Life
You have the power to take back control of the selling of your home by pricing your home to guarantee it sells. The time has come for you and your family to move on and start living the life you desire. That is what is truly important.

Reasons to Sell or Buy Before Spring

Tip 6: There Will Never Be a Better Time to Move Up
If you are moving up to a larger, more expensive home, consider doing it now. Prices are projected to appreciate by over 25% from now until 2018. If you are moving to a higher priced home, it will wind up costing you more in raw dollars (both in down payment and mortgage payment) if you wait. You can also lock in your 30-year housing expense with historically low interest rates, right now. There is no guarantee rates will remain at these levels in years to come.

Reasons To Sell or Buy Before Spring Tip 5

Tip 5: The Process Will Be Quicker

One of the biggest challenges of the 2013 housing market has been the length of time it takes from contract to closing. Banks have been inundated with both purchase and refinancing loan requests. Both of these will slow in the winter cutting timelines and the frustration these delays cause both buyers and sellers.

Buyers! Better, faster service from your lender? Why would you not buy before the Spring?

Reasons to Sell or Buy Before Spring Tip 4

Tip 4: There Is Far Less Competition

The less competition there is, the higher the chance there is for a home to sell. Housing supply always shrinks dramatically at this time of year. The choices for buyers will be limited. Don’t wait until the spring when all the other potential sellers in your market will put their homes up for sale.Inventory always increases in January and through the spring.

Reasons to Sell or Buy Before Spring Tip 2

Tip 2: Only Serious Buyers Are Out

At this time of year, only those purchasers who are serious about buying a home will be in the marketplace. You and your family will not be bothered and inconvenienced by mere ‘lookers.”   The lookers are at the mall or online doing their holiday shopping.

Reasons to Sell or Buy Before Spring

The CEO of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Northwest Real Estate Mike Gain wrote an office wide e-mail including some great reasons for Sellers to sell now, and many of them are also great reasons for Buyers to be buying now.  I'll be posting these great insights over the month of December to serve as an inspiration for anyone considering making a move to do it now!

Many sellers feel that spring is the best time to place their home on the market as buyer demand increases at that time of year. However, the fall and winter have their own advantages. Traditional school of thought dictates that selling a home during the holidays is a bad idea. People are busy celebrating with their families and will hardly go shopping for a home, right? Not so! There are numerous advantages to listing a home during this season and below are just a few reasons to put a home on the market now.   

Tip 1: Decked Halls Look Great

Homes are very appealing to prospective buyers when they are decorated for the holidays. With all the festive décor, lights, greenery and added beauty of the season, homes show very well during this time of the year.

Buyer Fatigue

I tour homes in the East Bay every Monday and Thursday as part of special broker's open houses.  It's a great opportunity to preview homes for clients, keep up with all the local inventory and most of all it's good to touch base with other agents, and talk about what we have all be experiencing with the market. AND WHAT A MARKET WE HAVE BEEN HAVING.  In many places home prices are up to levels we haven't seen since 2005 -2007 and this is all being driven by the number of buyers competing for each home.  

This type of competition can be very nerve wracking especially for buyers who do not have a lot of cash to put down and have to come in with loan and appraisal contingencies. Buyer's are FEELING like they can't compete with all cash buyers, and can't go as high as they need to, to get a house these days. The result is buyer fatigue, and buyers withdrawing from the home search. Experienced buyer's agent can make all the difference to buyer's who look at the low interest rates and are willing to keep moving forward with the home search.  Seller's are not usually countering multiple offers, they are looking for a stand out that will bring them the best price sure, but above all one that will close escrow without much difficulty.  Ask your agent what you can do to help make your offer stand out? and believe me buyers agent's are feeling this market's buyer fatigue acutely as well. Hang in there everybody!

Mortgage Debt Relief Update

President Obama signed the American Taxpayers Relief Act into law last Wednesday.

"The bill includes a provision to extend the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act, which will for one more year exempt the taxation of mortgage debt that is forgiven when homeowners and their mortgage lenders negotiate a short sale or loan modification (including any principal reduction).  While debt relief has been extended at the federal level, the California exemption expired at the end of 2012, so forgiven mortgage debt is considered taxable state income for now. C.A.R is sponsoring SB 30 (Calderon, D-Montebello).  SB 30 will conform state law to the federal law passed last week.  Upon passage of SB 30, the measure will be effective retroactive to Jan. 1, 2013." -California Association of Realtors (C.A.R)

Time to take this on at the state level! Let your local representative know that they need to support this and protect the interest of both home buyers and sellers in the Bay Area.

City of Alameda Down Payment Assistance Program

What is the Alameda Down Payment Assistance (DPA) Program?

It is a second mortgage loan program to assist qualified low-and moderate-income individuals with the purchase of their first home.

What are the maximum income limits and DPA loan amounts?

Households earning at or below 80% of the Area Median Income are eligible for up to an $80,000 loan. Those earning between 81% and 120% of the Area Median Income are eligible for up to a $50,000 loan. For a list of income limits contact me.

Who is eligible for a loan?

Borrower must be a first time homebuyer, which is a household that has not owned a Principal Residence within the past three years. Borrowers must be able to qualify for a first mortgage from a participating lender. Other restrictions apply. 

What homes are eligible for purchase?

Homebuyers may purchase an existing single-family detached home, condominium, or townhouse located anywhere within Alameda City Limits.

What are the loan terms?

  • The loan is a zero-interest, 15-year loan. Loan payments are deferred, with the loan being due at the end of 15 years, or earlier if the house is sold or transferred.
  • Instead of paying interest on the loan, the homebuyer will owe the City a portion of the increased value of the home at the time the loan is paid back. This is called a Shared Appreciation loan. If the loan is repaid within five years, there is no interest or share of the appreciation due and the Homebuyer only has to pay back the principal.
  • A $500 fee is due upon closing of the loan in order to cover a portion of the costs associated with loan processing, review, underwriting, and the preparation on loan documents. In addition the homebuyer will be required to pay a small fee equal to the City’s loan set-up costs. Both fees will be paid with other closing costs through escrow.