Flat Out False…LOL

HELLOOOOO MY WONDERFUL BEEEEEUUUUTIFUL BAY AREA!…. We have yet another glorious gorgeous day in Our Cities by the Bay!!… as you go about your day today… as you meander through a local farmers market, go for a walk, sit by the water’s edge, enjoy a lazy start to your day with a cup of your favorite joe… thought it would be enlightening and fun for those of you keeping up with our ever hot hot real estate market by whatever means you choose… to have a few chuckles regarding listing descriptions… Jon Boyd, past president of the National Association of Exclusive Buyer Agents, joined forces with NAEBA members worldwide to compile a translation guide of listing agent euphemisms.

They include:

  • Grandma’s house: Realtors interpret this to mean a) the house hasn’t been updated since Grandma moved in or b) it still smells like Grandma.
  • Great potential: The operative word here is “potential.” The “potential” in one case pointed to the fact that there was a large crack through the center of the foundation caused by an earthquake.
  • Light and bright: Bring your sunglasses because everything in this baby will be white: walls, cabinets, tile. Where have you seen this before? Oh yeah, the hospital.
  • Meticulously maintained: It could mean the owners never bothered to update the property. Maintenance is admirable for plumbing and HVAC, not so much for cabinets, carpets and windows.
  • Mile to the beach as the seagull flies: And you’ll wish you had wings. Those straight-line calculations can mean some pesky traffic lies between you and the lifeguard shack.
  • Needs TLC: You may freely substitute “OMG” for “TLC” here. Boyd says the phrase “TLC” often means the house has been abused and requires more than mere redecorating. “The average homebuyer who sees HGTV a couple times before they go looking is not sensitive to that,” he says.
  • Newer furnace and AC: “Newer” has a certain “truthiness” to it. In one case, both units were 25 years old. When the listing agent was asked why she made such an audacious claim, she replied, “Because each one of them had received a new part within the last year.”
  • Retro decor: It’s ’60s flashback time. Can you dig the original paisley vinyl floors and avocado appliances, man? Groovy!
  • This house just had a total facelift: Loosely translated, it means the seller painted everything. But paint, like a facelift, can only hide so much.
  • This house will go fast: Might have been believable in the first 30 days on the market, but not anymore. One home with this description had been on the market 247 days.
  • Turnkey: Meaning they don’t want to have to haul away all that orange-and-brown-plaid-polyester-covered furniture.
  • Very bright, sunny home: Often true because there’s not a tree in sight.
  • Water view: Of course, you’ll need to stand on the upper deck railing and crane your neck. With binoculars. On an extremely clear day.

Have a Brite Happy Day!  Isi

Some Current ACTIVE Listings in….

 

HELLO MY BEEEEUTIFUL, WONDERFUL Bay Area!!!... I know many of you enjoy following the real estate market… especially in areas where you currently live or would like to live…To get an idea of your chosen market area most everyone likes to see what properties have SOLD AT…TODAY (9.5.14) I’d like to offer you the most current stats on  ACTIVE properties for sale...(keep in mind I’ve chosen just a few local cities in the Eastbay as a starting point… if you dont see a city you’re interested in just let me know)…

CITY:          ALL ACTIVE   DET.SFR/ AVG LIST    DET.3.2/ AVG LIST
ALAMEDA                 54               82          $858,499            9           $858,532
CASTRO VALLEY   96               81          $887,718             23         $774,985

DANVILLE                103             81   $1,637,430         5      $993,460

DUBLIN                     111               77             $986,511          12           $690,904
HAYWARD               232             175           $577.696          66           $483,000
SAN LEANDRO       97                86            $534,282          28          $534,383
SAN RAMON            133              81         $1,083,298          14           $788,342

Dont forget these figures are for ALL ACTIVE Listings on the market for sale… Four out of the  seven cities currently have OVER 100 properties for sale… Inventory is still not overwhelming abundant everywhere…Buyers depending on your needs and price point your chances of getting your piece of property is improving… you just have to be completely ready… Sellers due to the sluggish inventory… you’re still in a great position to receive Top Dollar… keep in mind you must be realistic and price your home right!… Buyers and Sellers I’m here to assist you… Contact Me Now and lets get going…

925.997.2426 Cell/Text and email isiwu@comcast.net

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
 
 
 
 

Some Do’s and Don’ts

 

San Francisco Bay Area highlighted in red on a...

HELLLOOOOO MY WONDERFUL BEAUTIFUL BAY AREA!!  Cant say enough how fortunate we all are to be calling our gorgeous Bay Area Home!!…Sure don’t wish to be living in those freezing cold areas hitting all the many other regions of these United States…the beat goes on regardless… many many buyers are still on the hunt for reasonably priced homes… patience and steadfastness will most certainly help…

Here are some things to avoid during the home buying process to assure your transaction goes smoothly:

 -Don’t Make an Expensive Purchase… It’s best to avoid making major purchases like furniture, cars, appliances, electronic equipment, jewelry, or vacations until after the closing. Financing furniture with a credit card could jeopardize your credit worthiness during the time it means the most. Using cash to purchase big items can also create a problem because many banks take into consideration your cash reserve when approving your mortgage.

-Don’t Get a New Job… Lenders like to see a consistent job history. Generally, changing jobs will not affect your ability to qualify for a mortgage loan-especially if you are going to be making more money. But for some people, getting a new job during the loan approval process could raise some concern and affect your application.

-Don’t Switch Banks or Move Money Around… As your lender reviews your loan package, you will be asked to provide bank statements for the last two or three months on your checking accounts, savings accounts, money market funds and other liquid assets. To eliminate potential fraud, most loans require a thorough paper trail to document the source of all funds. Changing banks or transferring money to another account could make it difficult for the lender to document your funds.

-Don’t Disregard Your Lenders Requirements… You may have been pre-approved for the loan but your work with the lender is far from over. Your lender will need copies of your bank statements, W2s and other paperwork. It is up to you to get it to him or her as soon as possible. Failure to submit certain qualifying documents could cause you to lose your loan and the financing you need to buy your home.

I’m always available assist you…928.997.2426 text/cell or isiwu@comcast.net

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Desire, Focus, Achieve…

SAMSUNG

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…

 

 

 

Question of the Day…

English: The new MLSpulse™ Home Search Directo...

Q…How large a down-payment should first time homebuyers expect to put down?
A…Hello..now this is a question all buyers should be aware of… not only first x homebuyers..to be completely honest its not the best market for any buyers but especially for 1st x homebuyers… unless they have lots of money down ie) more than 20-40% down or better yet All Cash… we’re currently in a Seller’s Market which basically means if sellers price their properties correctly… they’ll receive multiple offers which drives the offers upwards… Down payment (which includes Earnest Money to go with your purchase offer…) is only part of the package buyers must submit with their purchase offers… the more prepared and complete your Offer Package including best price & terms will help you… Down Payment is absolutely part of what the Seller’s Agent will be looking for but is not the only criteria that needs to be met… 
Please talk with your realtor and work on ways to strengthen your offer in all ways… there are many options you can find the right property for you. Its a fact we have very low inventory all the more reason you have to be completely prepared to make your move on a property asap… dont forget interest rates are still super low… they’re inching upwards…seize the time to make your purchase come true… 
Thanks for your question… 
Much Luck and Perseverance!… Isi
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Homeownership Pride….

HELLOOOOO My Wonderful, Beautiful Bay Area!!… Decisions have been made politically… now back to the subject of Homes, Pride of Owning a Home, the Responsibilites and Duties that come with owning a home…(my treasured Iris plantings were trampled over by something… my wonderful Honey set out a trap… now whaaaaat?????….)

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Should I Stay or Should I Go Now?

 

Upside Down

HELLLOOO My Wonderful Beautiful Bay Area!… The following is a question that has been entering many homeowners minds… fortunately for many… our current real estate market in our glorious Bay Area is enjoying a boom to put it mildly… still there are many other folks facing a situation they never ever dreamed they would be in…and I think its important to touch on this subject…

Homeowners buried in a mountain of negative equity are wondering what to do. “If they go there will be trouble and if they stay it would be double trouble.”

The first step in answering this question is to find out if you qualify for a modification or if you can refinance & take advantage of today’s low interest rates. The process of getting a modification can be very frustrating.  It not only takes a while to get approved, you must keep in mind that the lender has no legal obligation to offer or approve a loan modification. It’s important to note that they may dual track your file, which means while they’re  considering a t “Loan Mod” they’re also moving forward with the foreclosure. Sometimes they “set you free” and foreclose in the middle of your modification application.

Let’s say you get a modification. I have a friend who was approved for what at first appeared  to be an unbelievable loan modification. The modification did not lower the principle but did lower the interest rate to just 2 percent and locked that in for 30 years! This reduced their payment to the same amount that they would pay to rent a similar property, it sure seemed reasonable to stay – they get to keep their credit intact and remain owners, while paying no more than what they would pay for a rental. Plus the payment remains fixed for 30 years, while rents would increase. But that analysis is incomplete. The question that remains is their status when they sell, and would  they break even given the substantial negative equity that would remain?

Divorce, death, job loss, job transfer, and other negatives do happen.  Sometimes folks just want to relocate. Assuming long-term home price appreciation rates, these folks would need to stay until 2026 to simply BREAK EVEN vs. paying rent. Worse, unless they use the rent savings to pay down principal, they’ll be stuck upside down in the property, and unable to sell without bank approval of a short sale until 2033. So whether or not it is a good deal for them depends a lot on how long they plan to stay.

The best financial decision appears to be to try to short sell their current home, or if necessary let the bank foreclose.  If they rent for 3-5 years they should be able to qualify to buy again.  Assuming interest rates don’t skyrocket, or some other major change doesn’t occur, this will save them over $100,000, and give them the flexibility to move if needed without being stuck in their current prison of debt until 2033.

Unfortunately, few homeowners facing this decision have the financial skills to analyze the various scenarios, and few will consult a qualified accountant or other professional to do it for them.

This analysis is different for every homeowner facing this question.

How far under water are they?

The terms of the loan modification are clearly important.

It also requires some assumptions about price appreciation, rent inflation, and future interest rates.

Most importantly, it requires some serious thought as to how long they plan to stay, and perhaps some soul searching on the moral implications of walking away.

Bottom line, this question can be answered only by the homeowner based on their current situation and what is best for them. Would you stay or would you go now?

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Buying a Condo in Berkeley or Oakland…

  
  
 
 
 
HELLLLOOOOO My Wonderful, Beautiful Bay Area!!… Good Day to you… today I have another question and answer regarding buying  a condo in Berkeley or Oakland, CA… I hope my response is helpful for any of you who may be considering a purchase no matter what the price range or location…
  
Question… Where is a good place to look for a condo in Oakland or Berkeley for less than $300,000??
I would like to be in an area close to BART (preferably walking distance), reasonably quiet but has lots of places to walk to (and where I will feel safe walking around), and will be in an up-and-coming neighborhood as far as property value. I do not want a fixer-upper.
 
I’ve seen some places in the Adam’s Point, Uptown, Jack London Square, Harrison St.,and Downtown areas that look good on paper at least, but I don’t know too much about them. Any advice?
asked by Krabappel… Just looking…94117
 

 

BEST ANSWER

Hello… These days its very possible to purchase a nice little place with the parameters you’ve listed… the areas you listed are some of the more popular areas to purchase in but not necessarily the only areas… when you look in the more desired areas you may end up in multiple offer situations (especially in the price point you’re looking at)…as well as other things to consider…Price points are naturally key but not the only criteria you should consider… you didnt mention how many bedroom/baths/sq.ft. you require… First and foremost I would suggest getting pre-approved for a loan before you do any looking… feel free to contact me if you’d to discuss your options further…
Cheers…
Isi

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