October 7, 2019

Have you been thinking about buying or selling? Let’s chat about it.

Have you been thinking about buying or selling? Have you inherited your family property or are starting to have to be the caregiver for your aging parents and are trying to make it all work? I know it can be quite the juggle. Have the finances all been strategically planned for yourself and your family’s future? Or are you realizing now, as you are caring for those aging parents, things need a bit of straightening up and organizing?

Do you want to buy investment properties or do you need to know how to best exit from an investment property with as little tax liability as possible? Or maybe you just want stability in your housing cost and want to buy your self a home? Are you at a loss as to where to start or what to do in order to be able to sell for the highest price or buy for the lowest price?

In today’s day and age we are all so reliant on technology. Most of our questions we think can be answered by a quick push of a button, a search of the internet or talking to a handful of friends who may have done this before. But when dealing with the largest asset most of us will ever own you need to know you have fully educated yourself on everything. There are so many questions when it comes to real estate and you want to know you have asked them all, even the ones you didn’t know to ask.

You need to know the team you hire to protect your assets, to negotiate for the highest or the lowest price possible is 100% committed to your goals and has time proven experience to guide you down the right path. You need to know the person you are going to work with is experienced and trustworthy and will always put you first no matter what.

With all the technology in the world I firmly believe we as humans need human contact even more today, especially when making huge life decisions like real estate. No one wants a BOT to dictate how to negotiate and at what price when it comes to your bottom line dollar. A BOT can’t understand the finer details of a transaction. A BOT doesn’t understand construction, dryrot or termite damage or how to sell the potential in your home’s dreary basement. And a BOT can’t dictate how valuable that perfect view may be for your peace of mind at the end of a long day. You need a human for these things.

I would like to invite you out to sit down with me one on one in person. I’ll buy the coffee and we will discuss those big life goals. I’ll explain how we can help you achieve those goals, the tricks that we have and the experience and connections that you need on your side. My team and I have grown larger and we service multiple San Francisco Bay Area Counties and multiple property types in both residential and commercial aspects of real estate. New construction, fixers, businesses and for personal use, we do it all.

So if you are looking for a warehouse to open the next best business or a multi-plex apartment building for income or the best single family home or condo you can afford in the best location to suit your needs, reach out and let’s schedule time for a bit of human connection! In person we will come up with a plan to help you achieve your goals and explain how we utilize our skills to get you there! Coffee is on me! Call, email or message today for an appointment!

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October 2, 2019

Here’s what you need to know before buying a fixer upper

When Breanna Reish decided to buy a home, she didn’t have a lot of extra cash on hand so she looked at foreclosures. She found an older home that had been virtually stripped to the bone, but that didn’t deter her.

“You name it, (the previous owners) took it,” says Reish, owner and financial planner of Wealth of Confidence in Riverside, California, who bought her home in 2009. “We were left with a shell of a home that needed a ton of work, but we were able to lower the asking price down $27,000 and the bank also put in $18,000 worth of repairs in order for us to qualify for a loan.”

Reish wanted to do most of the work herself, but some of the projects (like new hardwood floors) were hired out to professionals. Although it took extra time and sweat equity, Reish says she’s happy with her fixer upper.

“We paid so little compared to what we would pay to live anywhere else,” she says, adding that the home has since appreciated in value — an added bonus.

Buying and renovating an existing, older home that needs substantial work isn’t for the faint of heart. A fixer upper can come with a host of obstacles, both financial and logistical, but the rewards can outweigh those challenges.

Here are some considerations and tips for buying a fixer upper so you know what to expect.

Get into the right mindset

When figuring out how to buy a fixer upper, it’s crucial that you have a plan going into it. It can take a considerable amount of time and money to renovate a home, which could extend your timeline and blow up your budget if you’re not careful.

Donovan Reynolds, a licensed real estate agent with Coldwell Banker in Atlanta, suggests budgeting an extra 20 percent into your homebuying budget for a fixer upper, just in case.

Mina Starsiak Hawk, half of the mother-daughter duo on HGTV’s home renovation show, Good Bones, agrees.

“Even in the best-case scenarios there can be factors out of your control, like delays in city permits or repairs that come to a halt because of weather conditions,” Hawk says. “So when looking at fixer uppers, approach it like there will be problems down the line.”

If you plan to do many of the repairs and renovations yourself, you still might need to hire a professional at some point. There may be projects that are beyond your skill set, like electrical and plumbing work, so you’ll want to incorporate that into your budget as well.

Expect your life to be disrupted

Aside from the timeline and budget, consider your lifestyle. Do you intend to live in the home while it’s being renovated, or do you want something that’s move-in ready? If you work from home or have young children, for example, living in a home that’s under construction for several months might be a deal-breaker.

“Like the saying goes, the true test of any relationship is if you can live in a renovation together because there are lots of things to consider like your usual habits and standards of living,” says Karen E. Laine, Hawk’s mother and co-host on their HGTV show. “Think carefully about whether you can live without things like a bathroom or a fully functioning kitchen when you’re fixing up your home.”

If living through the hum of chainsaws and bangs of hammers isn’t appealing, you can spread out the remodeling projects over time to minimize the disruption.

Focus on location

Location, location, location. It’s the oft-repeated mantra in real estate, and for good reason. You can always fix up a home, but you can’t change its location. An ideal fixer upper is in a desirable neighborhood that you love. Same goes for future buyers if and when you sell.

You might be able to score a great deal on an older, dilapidated home, but if you end up hating your surroundings or property values are struggling in the area, you might be left with buyer’s remorse.

“Seek the help of an experienced (real estate agent) to help you understand the neighborhood,” Reynolds says. Putting the work into a shabbier home in a sought-after neighborhood, he adds, means you get to “live in an area you might otherwise not have been able to afford.”

When shopping for a fixer-upper home, look at neighborhood amenities, such as local schools, shopping, dining, parks and crime statistics. Are the surrounding homes well maintained? Is the fixer upper located on a busy intersection or close to places like a railway or a landfill?

Reynolds also suggests paying attention to whether the renovations you plan on making will make sense for the area.

“Pay attention to the after renovation value (ARV) so you can estimate whether or not these improvements will give you a return on your investment,” he says.

In other words, your home may increase in value, but you may not be able to recoup what you put into repairs. An experienced real estate agent can help you determine the ARV by comparing properties in the local area to estimate the value after the repairs you want to make.

Get the right type of inspection

Laine, Reynolds and Hawk all agree that when you’re ready to put in an offer, it’s a wise move to bring along a trusted home inspector or contractor. That’s because these professionals may be able to point out potential flaws or other critical issues that could present problems later on.

“You want to have someone look at things like the overall structure of the home, crawlspaces, insulation and especially the foundation,” Hawk says. “If the property doesn’t have a good foundation, it may not be the right one for you because it can end up being a money pit.”

It’s also important to not let cosmetic flaws deter you from a home you love. Things like broken windows, paint, fixtures and trim, to name a few, can be easily fixed. Instead, focus on the major components of a home so you can anticipate how much you might need to budget and how long it might take to make repairs, such as:

  • Electrical, plumbing and sewer systems
  • Air conditioning and heating (HVAC) systems
  • Roofing
  • Driveway, decks or steps
  • Extensive work needed on bathrooms and kitchen
  • Foundation

Before closing on a fixer upper, consider a specialized home inspection for a detailed report on the house. Here’s what to consider getting done, in addition to a standard home inspection:

  • Pest inspection: You never know if a home is damaged from pests like termites, ants or beetles, as it can cause major headaches down the line.
  • Sewer lines: Getting a sewer line scope and septic tank inspection can help you figure out if they’re in need of repair or replacement, especially on older properties.
  • Thermal imaging: A home inspector uses infrared light technology to identify potential issues that may not be apparent to the naked eye. This includes heat loss and air leakage, insufficient insulation, moisture damage and abnormal electrical components.

There are additional services your home inspector might offer, so speak with a reputable professional to see if you may need more specialized inspections.

Find the right financing

Remodeling a fixer upper can get pricey, so it’s critical you have the right financing lined up. Some home renovation mortgages even allow you to roll remodeling costs into your loan amount with a single mortgage. Here’s an overview of some of those programs:

Fannie Mae’s HomeStyle Loan
The HomeStyle Renovation loan is a conventional mortgage that allows borrowers to either buy a place that needs repairs or refinance their existing home loan to pay for improvements. A certified contractor must prepare and submit a cost estimate and detailed scope of work. The money for the projects goes into a separate escrow account that’s used to pay contractors directly, so you won’t have direct access to the money.

Freddie Mac’s CHOICERenovation Mortgage
This renovation mortgage, guaranteed by Freddie Mac, is another conventional loan option to roll remodeling costs into a single-close mortgage. The loan can also be used to renovate or repair a home that’s been damaged by a natural disaster or to prevent future damage from a disaster.

VA renovation loan
The U.S. Department of Veterans of Affairs guarantees loans for military borrowers and their spouses. Borrowers can use a VA loan to purchase a home in need of repairs and improvements, and combine the cost of those projects into their loan amount. Borrowers must use a VA-approved contractor, and lenders may charge a construction fee.

FHA 203(k) loans
The Federal Housing Administration Section 203(k) renovation loan helps homebuyers purchase a home — and renovate it — with one mortgage. FHA loans also have lower credit score and down payment requirements than conventional mortgages. Homeowners can also use the FHA 203(k) loan program to refinance their existing loan and add the cost of renovation projects into the new one.

Other options to fund home renovations include taking out a home equity loan or line of credit or a personal loan. An experienced mortgage lender can help you narrow down your choices and decide on the best type of financing for your needs and real estate goals.

Bottom line

There is no such thing as the perfect fixer upper. It’s a matter of a fixer upper that’s perfect for you. Each property is different and the choice depends on your budget, timeline and lifestyle preferences. Be realistic about whether you want to take on a major project or one that requires a few fixes here and there before taking the leap.

Written by Sarah Li Cain on AUGUST 21, 2019 on

By Admin
July 23, 2019

Determining Your Goals And Priorities

Why have you decided to sell your home?

Are you flexible in your timing?

Do you have a desired price or a minimum price in mind?

Decision Making
Will anyone else (family member, financial advisor) be involved?

How often would you like updates, and what is the best way to contact you?

Previous Selling Experience
What went well? What would you like to improve upon from that past
Experience? If this is your first time selling a home, what are your concerns?

Condition of Property
Are there any internal or landscaping projects that would increase the value
Of the house? Are there any issues we will need to disclose? Have you made
Substantial renovations?

Can we assist you in purchasing or moving to a new area or home?

What are your concerns with regards to your home and the transaction?

Download a PDF Guide for Selling your Home in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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July 23, 2019

Using A CMA To Price

A Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) is the strongest tool we use when estimating
the potential selling price for your home. As a member of the Board of REALTORS®
with access to the Multiple Listing Service, we can prepare a report that analyzes
comparable homes in your area. Using this valuable information, we can assist you
in determining an attractive, yet realistic price for your home. A Comparative Market
Analysis highlights similar homes in your area:

SOLD Looking at the prices paid for recently sold homes provides the best foundation
in determining your home’s most accurate market value. Once adjustments are made
for square footage and features, we can make a qualified recommendation for the
asking price of your home.

UNDER CONTRACT Homes that have received and accepted an offer give a good
indication of realistic pricing.

ACTIVE LISTINGS Homes that are currently competing with yours for the attention
of buyers. We can see what comparable asking prices are, but remember, these homes
have not yet received an acceptable offer.

EXPIRED Homes that have gone through the duration of a listing period, but failed
to sell. Many factors could be responsible such as lack of marketing or the home’s
condition, but most often it is simply because the home was priced too high.

Download a PDF Guide for Selling your Home in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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July 23, 2019

Pricing Strategy

Understanding Pricing Strategies And How They Affect The Sale Of Your Property.
Pricing strategy is a critical element in your overall value proposition. Depending on the
market and your property, there are several factors to consider when determining the
price of your home.

Uninformed sellers can easily make the common mistake of overpricing their home and
end up chasing the market. The owner can incur significant carrying costs, and homes
that are on the market for long periods of time may be labeled negatively by potential
buyers and buyer’s agents.

There are other factors that also directly impact the value of your home. These include
current mortgage interest rates, national and regional economic conditions, buyer
demand, seasonal trends, availability of competing properties, and prices of recently
sold properties. I will help you account for these factors when pricing your home.

Pricing Strategy
• If you price too high, many potential buyers will not look at your property.
• If you price too low, you may not get the highest return on investment.
• It is useful to adopt the mindset of a buyer to objectively assess your home’s value
and position it competitively within the marketplace

Download a PDF Guide for Selling your Home in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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July 23, 2019

Our Approach To Selling Your Home

Our listing strategy is designed to meet your goals and is built with market conditions
in mind to provide the most effective property marketing strategy available.

  • We begin with a detailed assessment of your goals and property along with the
    local market and competitive properties. Together, we will determine and maximize
    the unique value of your property.
  • We bring the story of your property to life and design a winning strategy to showcase
    the unique quality of your home.
  • We implement your custom marketing plan across a wide array of channels.
  • We track and analyze showing feedback, market changes, and new competition.
  • As the market changes, we will work with you to make informed decisions that will
    allow us to improve the competitiveness of your property

Download a PDF Guide for Selling your Home in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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July 23, 2019

Broad And Strategic Exposure

Our comprehensive approach to marketing integrates the latest in digital, print, and
agent outreach. We have the tools to design and execute a holistic campaign that casts
a wide net to potential buyers.

• Customized listing strategies
• Professional in-house photography and videography
• Drone capability and virtual tours
• Custom property flyers and brochures
• Direct mail campaigns
• Local, national, and international advertising
• Open house promotion
• Gallery exposure
• Mobile marketing
• Agent-to-agent outreach
• Cutting edge online marketing
• Social media

Download a PDF Guide for Selling your Home in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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July 23, 2019

The Property, Market And Competition

What You Need to Consider
• Property style and floor plan
• Local community and amenities
• Condition and curb appeal
• Property age
• Public information
• Tax Records
• Lifestyle and story of the property

Market Trends
As part of the most respected company in the world, we not only have the best resources
for local market data, but also have access to highly sophisticated regional, national,
and international trend reports that no other brokerage offers. With a proven track record
assisting home sellers make informed decisions, we can provide you with historic market
information and predict what trends you are most likely to witness in your neighborhood.
It is important to note that publicly available data is often out of date and can be
misleading. We have unique access to a variety of proprietary sources that depict
accurate data, which will be crucial in creating a successful strategy to sell your home.

Separating Your Home from the Competition
As your agent, I will help you think like a prospective buyer and identify comparable
properties in your market with a “Competitive Market Analysis.” Being aware of your
competition will help establish a tactical value proposition that will increase the likelihood
of a speedy and successful sale.

Download a PDF Guide for Selling your Home in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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