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Blog Archives: August 2014

Experiencing ‘Purchase Anxiety’? How to Calm Your Nerves Before Committing to Buy a New Home

August 29, 2014
Whether this is your first big purchase, or your family is moving to a new location or looking for more space, buying a home has its share of ups and downs. It’s perfectly normal to feel anxious about whether or not you’ve found the right property. Here are some things you can do to make yourself feel more secure with your decision. Do The Math You’ve probably already done this, but it’s okay to go over it a number of times to be sure. Factor in your household income and all the bills you expect to pay every month. Add everything up. It ...

Case-Shiller, FHFA Report Slowing Growth in Home Prices

August 28, 2014
The Case-Shiller 10 and 20-City Home Price Indices for June reported year-over-year gains of 8.10 percent while the Case-Shiller National Home Price Index covers all nine census regions and reported a year-over-year gain of 6.20 percent. Readings for all three indices worsened as compared to May readings, and all cities tracked showed slower growth in home prices. The National Home Price Index, which is now published monthly, rose by 0.90 percent from May’s reading, and both the 10 and 20-City Index posted month-to-month gains of one ...

Median List Price for San Francisco Condos is $895,000

August 27, 2014
This Week The median list price in SAN FRANCISCO, CA this week is $895,000. Inventory has been lightening lately and the Market Action Index has been trending up. These are mildly positive indications for the market. Supply and Demand The market has been cooling off a bit in recent weeks, as more homes are available and demand is less.  We’re already seeing prices move lower as a result.  Expect this trend to continue especially if the index falls to the Buyer’s zone. Watch for a persistent up-turn in Market Action to signal prices rising ...

Real Estate Secrets: Understanding the ‘Option Period’ and What This Term Means for You as a Buyer

August 27, 2014
When the sale of real estate takes place, a certain amount of time might be allotted after a contract is created but before the transaction is finalized.  During this time the buyer may decide not to follow through with the deal set forth in the contract. This ‘option period’ allows buyers to have a property inspected and its value ascertained without the risk of losing the property to another buyer. What Happens When The Option Period Takes Place Typically, a buyer must pay an option fee in order to be able to enjoy the luxury of an option ...

Condominium is from the Latin “Cum Dominium”

August 26, 2014
While researching a new listing I have coming up, I came across this little diddy: The noun condominium is an English word derived from the latin words Cum (Shared) and Dominium (Sovereignty). To live in a condo is to share sovereignty, which is apropos. This educational moment brought to you by Michael Minson, Realtor and linguistics enthusiast. Source:

What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – Aug 18, 2014

August 18, 2014
Last week’s economic news brought little housing-related content, but several economic reports in other sectors contributed to overall perceptions of the economy. In a speech given in Sweden, Fed Vice President Stanley Fischer noted that the economy might be in a period of “secular stagnation.” This condition is expected to keep interest rates low for longer than expected. A survey of small business owners showed that confidence increased by 0.70 in July. Job openings for June increased from 4.60 million to 4.70 million. Readings for ...

Six Key Questions to Ask when Hiring a Real Estate Agent to Market and Sell Your Home

August 15, 2014
The work of a real estate agent can make or break how a prospective buyer feels about the property. Now that it’s time to sell your home, you want to find the right agent to market it. How do you find someone you can trust who will make you feel confident they can sell your home quickly for the best price possible? Here are the questions you should be asking. Are They Licensed? This one is the easy one. You should be working with a member of the National Association of Realtors®. It is also important that you check whether they have any ...

Rents Skyrocket in Bernal Heights

August 14, 2014
Bernal Heights median rents have more than doubled in three years, according to a recent SF rental market analysis by data nerds Median 1BR rents jumped from $1,683/mo in 2011 to $3,390 in 2014.  That’s a 101% increase! 42% of that increase occurred in the past year alone (average 1BR in 2013 was $2,385).  This is the second highest rental appreciation rate in the city, second to Hayes Valley with a median rent of $3,750 for a 1BR. Here’s another shocker for long-time residents of Bernal:  We’re the fifth most expensive ...

Considering a Major Home Addition? Why a Detached Garage Can Drastically Improve Your Resale Price

August 14, 2014
Before you make a major structural change to your property, it is important to consider how this will affect your resale value. While there are many steps that you can take to improve your property, the addition of a detached garage may be beneficial to you and may drastically improve your resale price when you are ready to sell. You can contact a trusted real estate agent today to obtain customized information about how the addition of a detached garage may affect your property’s value. Adding Square Footage to Your Home As a property ...

Scam Alert! Three Mortgage Modification Scams to Watch out for (And How to Avoid Them)

August 13, 2014
As if homeowners who are facing foreclosure don’t have enough to worry about, a multitude of loan modification scam artists have invaded the internet, public files and even foreclosure notices in newspapers in hopes of targeting their next victim. By identifying the top three modification scams and learning how to avoid them, at-risk homeowners can protect themselves (and their homes). Never Pay For Mortgage Modification Assistance Many desperate homeowners fall victim to scam artists who offer to provide them with assistance in the loan ...

Market Focus Report July 2014

August 12, 2014
Although low supply and tight credit standards are still hurdles to recovery, prices continue to rise in most local areas. Job growth has strengthened lately, but wage growth has not kept pace with the price gains we have seen. Buoyed by stable and continuously lower interest rates, affordability is still historically high yet below its all-time peak. Rising inventory levels will lead to more choices for qualified buyers, but as the summer reaches toward fall, the prospect of more homes coming on the market begins to wane. New Listings were ...

Tuesday Tour Schedule Released – 16 Pages

August 12, 2014
Tuesday tour (aka Broker’s Tour) is not just for brokers anymore – the public is invited and welcome to attend. In fact, it’s one of SF’s best kept real estate secrets. Many of the properties on the tour are open for the first time. For serious buyers, this is a great opportunity to get a sneak peak before the weekend crowds. Plus, many of the open houses are catered – BONUS! Click HERE for a full schedule. I go out just about every week to scope out what’s hot and what’s not and report back to my clients. This week we have 16 page. Last ...

Five Absolute Truths About the Home Buying Process That You Will Need to Come to Terms With

August 12, 2014
Buying a home is one of the most exciting times that an individual will undertake in life. However, a property purchase is not without its challenges, and these can cause frustration. In this article we’ll share five potential setbacks that home buyers will need to understand and come to terms with to make a successful purchase. Homeowner’s Insurance is Necessary Most lenders will require insurance before financing is approved. To fulfill these requirements, the policy should be for at least one year and proof that the policy has been paid ...

Lowballing 101: How to Avoid Insulting a Home Seller when Making a Low Offer for Their House or Condo

August 11, 2014
Buying a home is a huge step for people who are ready to make an investment in their future. Getting a great deal on a home is just as important and knowing how much to offer could be confusing. It is important to make sure the home seller is not insulted by the lowball offer and is ready to negotiate to make sure everyone wins. Make a List of Necessary Improvements One of the best ways to validate a lowball offer on a home is to list improvements that need to be made to the property. If the home needs a new roof or a new heating and air ...

What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – Aug 11, 2014

August 11, 2014
  Last week’s housing related news was minimal, but a Federal Reserve survey of senior loan officers revealed that although credit standards for commercial and industrial loans as well as credit cards are easing, current mortgage credit standards are more stringent than in 2005. This could be a contributing factor to slowing housing market gains while other sectors of the economy are recovering at a faster pace. Qualified Mortgage Rules Impact Non-Conforming Mortgages The Senior Loan Officers survey also noted that qualified mortgage rules ...

3 Reasons Why Changing Your Kitchen And Dining Room Lighting Fixtures Can Increase Your Sale Price

August 08, 2014
If you are considering selling your home, you may be wondering if there are things that you can do to increase your sale price. The truth is, you could spend thousands of dollars updating your home, but most homeowners will not want to put in such a large investment without knowing how much it will add to the selling price. Fortunately, there are more affordable things that can be done. One affordable change to your home that can increase your sale price is to change your kitchen and dining room lighting fixtures. There are a number of ...

DIY Home Improvement: How to Spice Up That Boring Basement by Adding a New Bar

August 07, 2014
  If you live in a home with a basement, you may have already started finishing it, or you may have big plans to convert the space into something more usable and practical. When it comes to basement renovations, few projects add as much value and opportunity for entertainment as adding in a basement bar. A bar is an easy home improvement project to complete, and you can use it for entertaining family and friends. Here’s a quick guide to installing a bar in your basement and turning that dank, dreary room into a great space for making new ...

Median List Price for San Francisco Condos is $899,000

August 06, 2014
This Week The median list price in SAN FRANCISCO, CA this week is $899,000. The Market Action Index has been trending down lately, while inventory is climbing. These trends imply a weakening market. Supply and Demand The market has been cooling off consistently for several weeks, as more homes are available and demand is less.  We have begun to seen prices move lower as a result. If the MAI falls into the Buyer’s zone, it is likely that prices continue their downward trend until we see some turnaround in Market Action. Price Again this ...

Five Tips for Managing Your Monthly Budget to Ensure Your Mortgage is Paid On-Time, Every Time

August 06, 2014
Homeowners who are struggling to make their monthly mortgage payments can make it easier on themselves by cutting costs in other areas. Learning how to budget effectively will likely enable homeowners to pay their mortgage payments on-time, every time. Here are five of the best budget tips: Conserve Energy It is advisable to be mindful of energy use in order to keep utility bills down to a minimum. Lights, televisions and other devices requiring electrical power are best to leave off in unoccupied rooms. It is also a good idea to make sure ...

Visitacion Valley Home Values up 29.6%

August 05, 2014
San Francisco’s Visitacion Valley neighborhood experienced a 29.6% increase in estimated home value from July 2013 to July 2014. The median estimated home value in Visitacion Valley was $677K. The median home value in San Francisco was $927K. Most homes sold were between 60 to 75 years old and had three or four bedrooms.  However, there is a considerable amount of variation. For a full neighborhood profile of Visitacion Valley, click HERE. If you’re interested in buying or selling in Visitacion Valley, don’t hesitate to call.  I ...

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