What Do U Think?

HELLOOOO My Beeeuuuutiful, Wonderful Bay Area!… Its another gorgeous day in our part of the world!… As you know our real estate market in the Bay Area is in great demand… always lots of buyers and interested buyers and not enough houses for sale… prices are soaring and loans are harder to get…

Our Home 10.7.11

Do you feel the younger adults ie) milennials have a chance of buying a home?

Do You Appreciate Gas Prices Dropping?


For those of us in a certain age bracket…shortly after I posted the price drop of gas by a couple dollars in our Great Bay Area… (one of the much younger than most of us)… on the move… up and coming… very brite young entrepeneurs FB friends I have… posted his own comment on why we’re silly to get excited over saving a few bucks… HAH!…

Personally I was amazed at his pompous thinking…this younger generation feel they know all things smart!…HAH! (must be nice to think its no big deal to save a couple bucks on gas per gallon) this GenXr has no idea at one time we literally raced to get in line in the wee hours of the morning ie) 3- 4-5 am (forget about 6am you would be too late)… to get gas that jumped from 37 cents per gal. to 63 cents!! Not to mention gas was rationed at one point… Call me “old” call me “silly”… Life repeats itself in so many ways… I remember vividly how my Mom would constantly remind us by example and always repeating the importance of comparing prices and saving every bit we could…

Its nice FB allows comments from all … how unfortunate some very brite folks can be “a day late and a dollar short”…!! or is two dollars short… and yes people I do save pennies too.

Do You Have Buyer’s Paralysis??

HELLOOOOO My Wonderful Beeeeuuutiful Bay Area!!.. Its a gorgeous day today in our Bay Area!!… If you’re in a slump not sure what to do or how to overcome your fears and doubts of  buying a home…thought  the following article by Blanche Evans would be helpful to you… Many issues can be at root of indecision

You’ve looked at dozens of homes. Your REALTOR® is about to tear her hair out with frustration. You are paralyzed, letting one great home after another pass you by. Why can’t you make a decision?

Buying a home can be an overwhelming process... There are so many decisions to make and any of them can mean serious financial consequences. A home, after all, is hardly a liquid asset. Nor is it a growth investment, according to Wall Street definitions. It’s your greatest financial debt, even while it puts a roof over your head. As it appreciates, it also needs repairs and maintenance. With all that weighing on you, no wonder you’ve got commitmentphobia.

Yet, you really want to buy a home… You know that few purchases will provide you the quality of  life that a home of your own does. There are plenty of advantages, as well – tax breaks, rising real estate values, a stable environment for the family, to name only a few. So you stifle your worries and keep looking for homes. You just can’t find the one that’s just right for you.

It might be time to back this train up and examine what is causing the conflict between wanting to buy and being unable to make a decision. There is a cause, and it’s name is money. The question is, which aspect of money is stopping you from moving forward? Fear of spending too much… Lenders will loan you money at the top of your ability to borrow. Realtors will suggest that you will be happier in a “bigger, better” home, eliminating the need to “trade up” in a few years. Stretching to buy the most home you can possibly afford is a good strategy, but only under certain conditions – that you have confidence that your salary will rise, that your income is stable, and that you can handle large surprise expenses.

If you’ve been pre-qualified, you are already looking at bigger, better, more beautiful homes at the top of your range. But something isn’t quite right… Even though you may feel that your income is stable, a feeling is telling you that if you buy in this range, you won’t have enough in reserves should something happen. Those are your instincts talking, and you should listen, because your desires have been doing the talking up to now. Your instincts are telling your desires to scale back a little.

That means backtracking... Talk to your Realtor and ask her to show you less expensive homes. You can’t go wrong buying slightly under your ability. In fact, many financial advisors tell their clients to budget about 25% of their income for housing in order to position them to build reserves for savings, investments, home improvements, emergencies and dozens of other reasons. That’s almost six percent less than lenders will allow you to borrow. Just think what else you can do with six percent of your income. You’ll still have your house, you’ll just have more to do other things with.

A conflict in goals… Many couples purchase homes with the idea that they will have a child, so stretching buying power to have the extra space makes sense. But if you are trying to accomplish two big financial goals at the same time – buying a home and adding to your family, then something has to give.

You can’t have it all – peace of mind, a large mortgage, and burgeoning expenses all at the same time… Something has to give and the way to do that is simply to prioritize your goals. In what order of importance do you want things to happen? What is most important to you? Whether you are planning a family, returning to graduate school, paying off a student loan, or buying a new car, you surely realize that your financial pie can only be sliced so many ways. Your mortgage is the largest, and the larger it is the smaller the other pieces.

Problems in the marriage… This is one of the toughest issues to address, and one your Realtor can’t help you with. But just as you are listening to your instincts about the amount of money you should spend on your new home, you should be paying even more attention to your feelings about your marriage. And only you can answer the question – will we still be together in five years? You should at least be able to predict being together long enough to pay off the interest on your loan! Or you’ll be selling your home without the benefit of building any equity and equity only comes with appreciation and mortgage reduction.

Buying a home will not fix a poor relationship… It will only make things worse… So you have a decision to make and it isn’t which house to buy. It is whether or not you want this relationship to survive. If you decide you want the marriage, then you must pour your efforts into fixing its problems, including your share of the blame. Be willing to change some things, compromise on others, or accept many things as they are. If you can’t do all of those, then to dissolve the partnership is your only other choice. After you have solved the problems in your relationship, you will find your home more easily.

Fear of the future… Fear takes the fun out of a lot of things, but there is reasonable fear and unreasonable fear. Unreasonable fears have no basis in reality, so there is little you can do beyond getting professional help for your anxiety. Reasonable fears you can handle on your own with a little common sense.

Fear can be tamed by looking at the worst case scenarios compared to the best case scenarios. So examine the questions that are really bothering you. What if we can’t make our payments?… This question can be balanced by a best case. What if we manage our money so well that we can make double payments? So the fear here is manageable – it comes down to how confident you are about managing your money. If you aren’t sure of yourself, get help. Ask someone whose money management style you admire for advice on how to manage your money better. Then stick with it.

What if the value of our home goes down in value?… Would you feel as fearful if you asked yourself whether your property will go up in value? Property can go up or down, but all property requires maintenance or it surely will deteriorate in value. This can be easily prevented by having enough budgeted or in your reserves to perform scheduled and unscheduled maintenance. Look at the properties surrounding the home you are considering. Are they maintained with pride? Are they being updated? Then your chances are good that the neighborhood and your home will retain its value. Rest assured that there will always be a buyer for an attractive, well-maintained property.

Because it is not a liquid asset, real estate is not as volatile as you think… It goes down slowly and rises comparatively slowly. And home values even when depressed may get a resuscitation after a few years. Your best hedge against the future is to keep your property in desirable condition.

You can’t predict the future. The only thing you can do is prepare yourself to handle what may happen. So money isn’t the root of all evil, but it is the root of indecision – at least when you are paralyzed about buying a home. Thinking through the money issues can help you get moving one direction or the other. For some of you, just reading this article will put your jitters to rest. For others, you may realize that a home isn’t in the cards for you right now, and that’s OK. Wait a few days or weeks if you need to. Use the time to regroup. It is far better for you to work through a few obstacles than to jump into the largest investment of your life without confidence. If you can work through your fears, get your finances in tip top shape and proceed, you’ll find buying a home doesn’t have to be a paralyzing decision. In fact, it can be one of the most exhilarating things you’ll ever do.

If you are worried about cash flow, then making disproportionately large house payments will tarnish the joy of home ownership, unless you can find ways to cut down the other pie pieces. Work to improve your cash flow. Accelerate your credit card pay -offs Don’t incur new debt. Rebudget your expenses and eliminate unnecessary expenditures. Make compromises – vow to cut down if you can’t cut something out. Be willing to move timelines for meeting your goals. Don’t be influenced by others to live beyond your means. Set your sights on an affordable home, and you may find your dream home will appear right before your very eyes.

Just keep at it my friends… am always available for Q&A, Chat, Selling or Buying… Have a Brite Happy Day!!… Isi…  isiwu@comcast.net

Buying vs Renting

Not sure about becoming a home owner? Do the numbers and the decision is real easy.

Desire, Focus, Achieve…


HELLLLLOOOO My Beautiful, Wonderful Bay Area!!…. as you all must know by now… we who are so fortunate to own a home in our beautiful wonderful bay area… are so very fortunate to have a home to call home not only because of where we are geographically but in the ever increasing HOT HOT real estate market… I wish to encourage those of you on the hunt, who feel discouraged and priced out of the market… there’s ways to get that home you’d like… you may be very surprised to find that it is doable even in today’s tough market…

John & Winsa are an exemplary couple who had the Desire and Focus and Achieved in their hunt for that elusive property!…

Huge Congrats John & Winsa!! I’m sure you’ll have many many wonderful memories and happy times in your new home!… It was an honor and my pleasure to represent you in your search and purchase…




Avoid Hassles…You can count on me…

HELLLLOOOO My Wonderful, Beeeeeautiful Bay Area!!..We’re in a very aggressive multiple offer market…  you need to take action asap… I’m happy to help and at your service… 925.997.2426 or isiwu@comcast.net…

(please read below…from a satisfied repeat client)….

Now is a great time to make your dream come true of owning a home.  Interest rates are great and real estate prices are good. That’ s all you have to think about, Isi will take care of the rest.

You need a real estate agent who’s fresh and a “go getter” when it’s time to make a deal. Someone who has been around the block.  Someone who can represent you when the pressure is on. Timing is crucial when it comes to closing, because there’s so many “unknowns” that can spoil the deal.  Isi, has the knowledge of the whole process.  She has represented me in two house purchases and one sale.. she knows both sides of the negotiation… This is how she can put together as she would say, “a great package” when its time to submit an offer or receiving an offer.  Isi also has an extensive network of professionals to keep the process moving along…This recent purchase Isi made sure we got our inspections done in a timely manner and turned us on to a loan agent with much better rates than what we were already approved for by another company.

I’m convinced I would still be renting if Isi was not my agent… if you’re in the market for a home or considering one… CALL ISI… your dreams can become a reality like it happenend for my wife and me… Thank You Isi!!… by S Hipol

(and NO… I didnt pay him LOL… He’s a very happy client… I would love to go to work for you !!…Thanks for your consideration!!)



In Trouble?… Dont Pay Upfront!

HELLLOOOO My Beautiful Wonderful Bay Area!…. My Nugget for the Day…It’s important homeowners facing foreclosure… know they should never pay fees in advance to anyone promising to lower their monthly payment or any other service. In fact, “there are usually no costs associated with modifying a loan.”

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Purchase Strategy for a Fixer Upper…



HELLLOOOO My Beautiful Wonderful Bay Area…. As you all may have heard or perhaps been a part of... our current bay area real estate market for sellers is in the throes of Multiple Offers...Hooray for the Sellers!… however this sort of situation can put buyers into the fray of uncertainty and aggressive competition for a chance to buy a home…  the current low inventory of homes surely adds pressure for the buyer… many have to compromise on what their true desires for a home may be… Today my focus is to provide some information and help for those buyers…  whose goal is to become homeowners!!  There’s plenty of other types of buyers who have at least 30-40-50% down and in many cases All Cash… Buyers who are barely able to put down 1-3% don’t have the luxury of extra money set aside to repair or remodel the only property they can afford.  Lets say for example…
You are attracted to a house that is perfectly located but it just came out of foreclosure and needs a lot of work to make it habitable. To swing the deal, you need to finance both the purchase and the required repairs. How do you do that?
Getting the mortgage required to purchase a house is only one of the challenges facing the buyer when the house needs work. The second challenge is finding a way to finance the needed repairs. The standard purchase mortgage doesn’t do that because it is based on the lower of sale price or the appraised value of the home in its current condition.
An obvious solution is a second mortgage, but they are not available in the current market except where the first mortgage is too small to do the buyer any good. Second mortgage lenders are still smarting from the steep losses they suffered on second mortgages written during the go-go years leading up to the financial crisis. An unsecured personal loan would be extremely costly if it were available at all.
The solution to this problem is a mortgage on which the loan amount is based on the value of the property after needed repairs have been made. Then one mortgage would cover both a purchase and the repairs needed to make the house habitable. This is future value financing, and it is available through a special FHA program termed “203(k).” This program is available to both home purchasers and existing homeowners who want to rehabilitate their properties in conjunction with a refinance.

The Section 203(k) program is complicated because FHA as the risk bearer has to make sure that the future value of the property upon which the mortgage amount is based actually materializes. To protect itself, FHA requires an appraisal of the property’s value after completion of the planned rehabilitation, in addition to an appraisal of the property “as is.”
Further, before the mortgage is insured, the lender must create a rehabilitation escrow account that contains the money allocated for expenses. FHA has procedures in place to assure that draws against this account are properly disbursed and accounted for, and that the rehabilitation work is completed.
Lenders are encouraged to participate in 203(k)s by the insurance against loss provided by FHA. However, 203(k)s are more complicated and involve more paperwork than the mainstream FHA program, and participating lenders use specially trained staff. As a result, many lenders don’t offer 203(k)s. Lenders that do offer them charge a rate above that on standard FHAs — figure on paying about 0.25 percent more. 

The borrower looking for future value financing must deal with multiple players. In a typical case, the real estate agent who shows a potential buyer a house in need of work will recommend a lender who will preapprove the borrower for a 203(k). The preapproval is based on estimates of sale price and repair costs. The sale price estimate is provided by an appraiser selected by the lender who values the property on both an as-is and after-repairs basis. The repair cost is provided by a licensed general contractor who is usually recommended by the lender. 
In addition, if the repair costs are more than $35,000, FHA requires the borrower to retain a HUD-approved consultant to help manage the process… Among other things, the consultant prepares the required architectural exhibits, and monitors the improvements at each stage. HUD provides a list of consultants and sets their fee schedule, but does not warrant their performance. Lenders will usually recommend consultants that they have worked with, and this is one case where a lender referral is likely to serve the borrower well. The consultant’s fee can be included in the mortgage.
Increased use of 203(k) in the next few years is expected. Millions of homes emerging from the foreclosure process will enter the market, and many of them have been neglected and need work.
(written by…Jack Guttentag is professor of finance emeritus at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania)
Perhaps its time to get you lined up for this sort of financing… contact me for further information… Call or Email Me Anytime… Isi
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Most Recent Real Estate Factoids…


HELLLLOOOOO MY WONDERFUL BEAUTIFUL BAY AREA!!… Have I told you lately how much I appreciate living and working in this awesome area we call the San Francisco Bay Area?… Having resided in other parts of  this US of A… sorry cant help it… we are blessed we are truly blessed to call this area HOME!!….

At a recent training I learned more real estate related factoids...(we can never get enough factoids… correct??… )  in the state of California there are…

  • 6.8 million Mortgages
  • 2.04 million Homes Underwater
  • 435,000 Delinquent Mortgages
  • 183,600 in Foreclosure
  • 75,000 Bank Owned
  • 18,000 Distressed

Do you fit into any of these categories?… let me hear your story… let me try and help you… WE ARE ABSOLUTELY THE LAND OF 2ND CHANCES… with rules changing every day there are No Rigid Rules!! Nothing is written in stone… I’m happy to hear your story… lets work together to get things straightened out…

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Certain Tax Deductions Are Going Away…

HELLLLOOOO My Wonderful Beautiful Bay Area… Those of you who have enjoyed taking certain deductions yearly… be forewarned… certain tax benefits will be going up up and away… (the article below comes from Inman News)… please make your notes and be sure to take what you can before they disappear…

Real Estate Tax Talk. There are several tax credits and deductions set to expire at the end of the year, and given the federal deficit problem, there’s a good chance they won’t be extended. If you want to take advantage of them, you need to act before Jan. 1, 2012. Mortgage insurance premium deduction If you itemize deductions, you may deduct the premiums you pay for mortgage insurance, just like you do mortgage interest. However, this deduction is phased out if your income exceeds certain levels. To qualify for the full deduction, a couple or a single taxpayer must have an adjusted gross income of $100,000 or less. The deduction is phased out completely if AGI exceeds $109,000. For further details go ahead and check out the full article…click open the hyperlink below…