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Blog Archives: May 2013

The Relevance Of A REALTOR®

May 31, 2013
I often get asked, “why do I need to pay a REALTOR, anyway”?  I can just sell the house myself and save the commission. While it is technically possible to represent yourself, it’s not as simple as that, especially in San Francisco and where we have a myriad of SF-only laws and compliance standards. A REALTOR’s fee is earned.  Here are a few (178 and counting) of the tasks your REALTOR performs for you: Pre-Listing Activities 1 Make appointment with seller for listing presentation 2 Send seller an e-mail confirmation of listing ...

5 Super Spring Decorating Ideas To Spruce Up Your Home

May 31, 2013
With spring just around the corner, now is a good time to begin decorating your home for the upcoming season. Whether you enjoy chic decorations that are budget-friendly or easy changes to create a fresh look, below are five quick ideas to brighten up your home for the season. Add a Pop of Color Spring is a good time to add color to your décor. Switch your tablecloth in the dining room for one with lighter colors. Cover decorative pillows with pastel pillowcases to lighten a room. Adding decorative centerpieces to tables that contain a ...

Case-Shiller Reports Energetic Annual Home Price Gains Nationally

May 30, 2013
The most recent S&P/Case-Shiller Index showed all three composites posting double-digit increases over the last four quarters.  The national composite, which is the broadest based index, showed an increase of 10.2% annually. The 20-City composite posted even stronger annual growth at 10.9%. Click Here To Download The Full Report The Case-Shiller Index measures changes in home prices by tracking same-home sales using 10-City, 20-City and national housing markets; and the change in sales price from sale-to-sale. Detached, single-family ...

Simple Ideas To Create An Outdoor Living Space For Your Home

May 29, 2013
As the weather gets warmer, the desire to get outside and enjoy the fresh air begins to take hold. Having a place to entertain or just unwind can add a new dimension and enjoyment to your home. First, you have to decide what type of space you want to create. Whether you want to have an outdoor living room, a vacation-like spot or a place to meditate and enjoy nature, how you extend your living space is limited only by your imagination — and possibly your budget. Start with your vision and make a list of the things you want to have there....

Existing Home Sales Numbers Highest Since 2009

May 28, 2013
The National Association of REALTORS reported that sales of existing homes in April reached 4.97 million on a seasonally-adjusted annual basis. Although this reading fell short of Wall Street’s expectations of 5.00 million existing homes sold, it surpassed the March 2013 upwardly revised reading of 4.94 million existing home sales. This represents a 0.60 percent increase from March to April, and a 9.70 increase year-over-year. Low Mortgage Rates Contribute To High Sales Levels  Low mortgage rates and pent-up demand for homes are driving ...

How To Throw A Memorial Day Weekend Party To Remember

May 24, 2013
Memorial Day weekend is widely regarded as the beginning of summer and many people kick off their summer plans on the weekend coming up. We take this time to remember the brave men and women who have given their lives to protect and defend our liberty and freedom. But even while giving thanks for their sacrifice, we also celebrate the beginning of our summer with fun and (hopefully) sun! As many people are more budget-conscious these days, holiday travel out of town may not be the best option for everyone. There are so many ways to enjoy ...

Fed Meeting Minutes Expose Rising Interest Rate Risk

May 23, 2013
Minutes of the April/May Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) recently released may have a significant impact on mortgage rates going forward.  One significant development from the meeting suggests that the present quantitative easing (QE)  program may be modified in the near future. The current QE program involves the Fed purchasing $85 billion per month in mortgage backed securities (MBS) and Treasury bonds. The Fed’s goal with QE is keeping long-term interest rates, including mortgage rates, low. Considerations mentioned in favor of ...

Simple Tips To Help Your Flowerbeds Flourish This Spring

May 22, 2013
Flowerbeds can be a very attractive addition to any San Francisco home — if you have the time to set up and maintain them. Flowerbeds don’t necessarily require a profusion of costly flowers that need to be fertilized, mulched, covered during severe weather, and possibly re-planted on a yearly basis. So put on your green thumb and brave the outdoors this spring. With the tips below, you’ll keep your flowerbeds filled and your house looking cheery without a huge money or time commitment. Weed Eradication Before you even start picking out ...

Michael Minson Presents 2028 Damuth #2 Oakland, CA

May 21, 2013
SOLD FOR $330,000 (15% over asking price) to an all Cash Buyer 9 Offers Received 9 Days on Market 15 Day Close Welcome to the Diamond of Dimond. Immaculate, updated and spacious 2 Bedroom, 1.5 Bath condo in the hip Upper Dimond district. Create new memories from your large eat-in kitchen with granite countertops and stainless steel appliances. BBQ and relax outside on your own private 2nd story outdoor deck. Entertain friends and family in your large open concept living room. Enjoy the convenience of the in-unit stacked washer & ...

Avoid These Common Mistakes When Pricing Your Home To Sell

May 21, 2013
It can be very difficult to determine what your property is worth in the current marketplace, because you are biased by what the property is worth to you. These emotions can get in the way of impartially evaluating a property and often cause sellers to overprice their home. When pricing your property, you need to be objective and reasonable so you can come up with a selling price that will capture the interest of buyers. Here are a few examples of common mistakes people make when pricing their house for sale. Reading Too Much Into Online ...

What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – May 20, 2013

May 20, 2013
Last week was jam-packed with economic news; here are some highlights with emphasis on housing and mortgage related news: Monday: Retail sales for April increased to -0.1 percent from the March reading of -0.5 percent and also surpassed Wall Street’s downward forecast of -0.6 percent. Retail sales are important to economic recovery as sales of goods and services represent approximately 70 percent of the U.S. economy. Tuesday: The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) released its Small Business Optimism Index for April with ...

Benefits Of Owning A Green Home You May Not Have Considered

May 17, 2013
Going green is not just a new trend; it is a way of life that benefits not only the environment, but also your health — and your pocketbook. Green living cuts down on carbon emissions and creates a healthier environment both inside and outside of a home. While green structures sometimes cost more initially, the money (and environment) saved in the long run is well worth the investment. Health Benefits Owning a green San Francisco home has significant health benefits. Many conventional buildings are not properly ventilated and indoor air ...

Home Builder Future Sales Confidence Rises To New Highs

May 16, 2013
Home builders are gaining confidence in current and future market conditions for new homes, but continue to see below-average foot traffic in new homes. The reading for May’s National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) /Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) increased by three points to a reading of 44 as compared to April’s revised reading of 41. The HMI measures builder confidence in current sales conditions for newly built homes, buyer foot traffic in new homes and builder expectations for future sales conditions. Builder Confidence In ...

7 Tips To Make Your Living Room More Appealing To Home Buyers

May 15, 2013
Everyone knows that first impressions are important. By carefully staging your home, you can positively influence the feelings your potential buyers have when they are viewing the property. Staging is the art of decorating and arranging the spaces within your house to make it more appealing to buyers. If you can adapt the rooms to create an attractive and welcoming zone that home buyers can see themselves in, they will be more likely to buy your property. One of the most important rooms to stage is the living room, because it is such a ...

Know Your Real Estate Disclosure Laws Before You Sell Your Home

May 14, 2013
When deciding to sell a piece of San Francisco real estate, there are certain things you must disclose about the property to the buyer before the sale can go through. Disclosure laws are put in place to protect the buyer from unknowingly purchasing defective property. Not disclosing certain information about the property can jeopardize the sale, or worse, invite a lawsuit. This has become more of an issue lately as some sellers are tempted to gloss over deficiencies in the home they are selling in order to try to get a higher sales price....

What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – May 13, 2013

May 13, 2013
Mortgage rates rose last week with average rates a 30-year fixed rate mortgage rising from last week’s 3.35 percent to 3.42 percent with buyers paying all closing costs and 0.7 percent in discount points. Average rates for a 15-year fixed rate mortgage rose from 2.56 percent to 2.61 percent with buyers paying their closing costs and 0.7 percent in discount points. Freddie Mac also reports that average rates for a 5/1 adjustable rate mortgage rose from 2.56 percent last week to 2.58 percent with buyers paying their closing costs and 0.5 ...

May 2013 RealtyTrac Foreclosure Report Shows Strength For The US Housing Market

May 10, 2013
RealtyTrac recently reported that national foreclosure filings are down while foreclosure filings are seeing marked increases in some states. There are two systems for foreclosing residential real estate in the United States; judicial and non-judicial foreclosure. The states individually decide which foreclosure process will be followed in their state. Click Here To Download An Overview Of The Foreclosure Process Judicial foreclosure requires action by the courts because the mortgage is not written including a “power of sale clause”....

What Women Want In Homes This Mother’s Day

May 09, 2013
Whether you’re looking to buy a new house this month or do a little remodeling, take advantage of the opportunity to give the mom in your life a present she’ll appreciate every day. Below are a few ideas for housing priorities and renovation projects that typically rate high on women’s wish lists for their homes. Open Living Areas The open floor plan is usually a big plus for any mother. They want to be able to cook dinner in the kitchen while monitoring their children’s schoolwork at the dining table. So look for a house that affords ...

Upswing In April 2013 Jobs Report Signals Good News For Real Estate

May 08, 2013
The Bureau of Labor Statistics released its monthly Non-farm Payrolls and National Unemployment Rate for April last Friday. These two reports are collectively called the Jobs Report. 165,000 jobs were added in April, while the unemployment rate dropped from 7.60 percent in March to 7.50 percent in April. 673,000 jobs have been added since January. Jobs were added in employment sectors including business and professional, health care and eating and drinking establishments. The main impact of the jobs report on home sales and mortgage lending ...

How To Maximize Those Awkward Spaces In Your Home

May 07, 2013
In almost every San Francisco home, there are awkward spaces that are difficult to utilize. Especially in older houses, there are rooms, closets and nooks that once had a purpose that is now outdated. So before you try to cover it up or fill it with junk, take a look at the smart solutions below to see how you can revitalize those problematic spaces and turn them into something useful. The Space Under The Stairs While this is likely to be more of a hiding spot for dust-bunnies than teenage wizards, it is valuable space that you don’t have ...

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