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Blog Archives: January 2015 — December 2015

Home Sales Tips: How to Market the Community Around Your Home to Prospective Buyers

December 18, 2015
For sellers as well as buyers, it’s important to highlight the benefits of living in a particular community. After all, neighborhoods will have an enormous impact on the future buyer’s living experience. It’s All About Walkable Neighborhoods According to a Portland, Oregon-based company, City Observatory, there’s a growing demand for homes located in walkable neighborhoods. A decades-long love affair with commuting from suburban areas to work in the city has greatly lost its appeal. Also, the growing demand for walkable neighborhoods is ...

Buying or Selling a Home This Winter? Keep These Tax Tips in Mind!

December 17, 2015
Gaining from Capital Gains In the event that you’ve made money off the sale of your home through a capital gain, it’s possible that you may be able to exclude this amount from your tax filing. If you’ve lived in the home you just sold for at least two of the five years before the sale date, not having to report this amount on your taxes may come as a financial win. Reporting Your Gain If you have not lived in your home for two of the five years, you will have to report the sale of your home and the capital gain when you file your taxes....

DIY Home Decorating: How to Use Spray Paint to Spice Up Your Home and Furniture

December 16, 2015
Dress Up Your Doorknobs An outdated doorknob can instantly age the look of your home, but what you might not know is that a simple douse of spray paint can instantly change the look of your knobs and provide a facelift. Instead of going down to the hardware store and paying hundreds of dollars to switch out each and every knob in your home, you can grab a can of paint in an appropriate shade and spray away for a result that will be long-lasting, modern and easy to complete. Fix Up The Fixtures Instead of just contending with the light ...

Tuesday Brokers Tour, December 15, 2015

December 15, 2015
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. For help with San Francisco real ...

Deck the Halls: 4 Staging Tips to Follow When Selling Your Home This Holiday Season

December 15, 2015
Compliment Your Home’s Colors If the green, red and gold tones of the holiday season contrast with your home décor, it might be a good idea to bring out some less flashy pieces that will still lend to the joyous season. Instead of huge garlands all over the house or old decorations that have been passed down through the years, go for items that will complement the décor and coloring of your home to maximum effect. Adorn It With A Wreath A holiday wreath is often the perfect finishing touch when it comes to home decorating, but since your ...

What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – December 14, 2015

December 14, 2015
Last week’s scheduled economic releases included reports on job openings, retail sales and consumer confidence in addition to usual weekly releases on mortgage rates and new jobless claims. The details: According to the U.S. Labor Department, job openings were down 2.70 percent in October to a reading of 5.38 million as compared to September’s reading of 5.50 million job openings and the all-time high reading of 5.67 million job openings in July. October’s reading was the third highest since the recession ended in 2009. Analysts said that a ...

Moving to a New Home? Use These Websites and Apps to Research Potential Neighborhoods

December 11, 2015
With the advancement of technology, it’s now possible to research new neighborhoods without getting up off the couch. Here are some websites and apps that have proven invaluable with researching new areas: Use The Forums On City-Data For Exact Answers While city-data.com is a valuable resource for people who are looking into relocating to a different city, one of the best uses of the site is the active forums. Here, locals will answer questions about different cities to help narrow down the selection. Track Specific Neighborhoods With ...

How to Give the Ultimate Christmas Gift: Paying Off a Family Member’s Mortgage

December 10, 2015
So how do you pay off a family member’s mortgage? Here’s what you need to know. Be Wary Of The Gift Tax Under US law, you can provide a cash gift to someone else – entirely tax-free – as long as it doesn’t exceed the annual limit for that calendar year (for 2015, the annual limit is $14,000). If the gift amount exceeds the annual limit, you’ll need to pay tax on the difference or tap into your lifetime exclusion. The IRS gives all citizens a unified credit/lifetime exclusion, which allows the transfer of up to $5.43 million tax-free over ...

$500 Renovations That Will Boost Your Home’s Value and Speed Up Your Sale

December 09, 2015
Kick Up The Kitchen A Notch With all of the time that a family spends in the kitchen, it’s unsurprising that it is fast becoming one of the most important features that go into a potential buyer’s interest in a home. For less than a thousand, you may want to consider an upgraded appliance that will serve as a sparkly new selling feature or even some slightly revamped cabinet fronts that will keep the price down and the look up-to-date. A Little Bathroom Fix-Up With the bathroom being one of the smallest spaces in any home, it can be hard ...

Real Estate Investing: 3 Secrets of Successful Home Buyers That You Can Use Today

December 08, 2015
While making a real estate purchase can be a matter rife with many questions, buying to invest in a long-term property can be even more confusing. If you’re looking into investing in real estate and wondering what variables to consider, here are a few tips that you’ll want to keep in mind before deciding on a fruitful investment property. Be Aware Of The Market You’re Buying Into Since you’ll need to be aware of what other people are looking for in a property if you’re diving into real estate to invest, you’ll want to carefully consider the ...

What Happens at a Mortgage Loan Closing Meeting? Let’s Take a Look

December 08, 2015
But what does this meeting entail? And what do you need to prepare for it? Here’s what you need to know. The Day Prior: Walking Through The Property 24 hours before the closing meeting, you’ll be given an opportunity to walk through the property and do a final inspection. During this inspection, you’ll be able to look for any damage that may have occurred between contract and closing, which means you can negotiate repairs with the seller. It can be a good idea to schedule your closing date around the 20th of the month, so that if you do ...

What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – December 07, 2015

December 07, 2015
  Multiple economic reports released last week indicate further improvement in economic conditions. Pending home sales, construction spending and ADP payrolls increased while Non-farm Payrolls fell and the national unemployment rate held steady. The details: Pending Home Sales, Construction Spending Increase According to the Commerce Department, pending home sales increased by 0.20 percent in October as compared to September’s reading of -2.30 percent. Construction spending of 1.00 percent for October exceeded September’s reading of 0.60 ...

Find Something Wrong During a Home Inspection? How to Discuss Repairs or Defects with a Seller

December 04, 2015
Be Cautious About What You Say Without a doubt, anything that you discuss with the real estate agent regarding the property you’re looking at is going to be addressed with the seller. Instead of telling the agent everything is fine and dandy, maintain a poker face with any deficiencies in the home so you can assess them after the inspection. While a seller may think they have you on the line if all seems fine during the inspection, maintaining your peace and negotiating after the fact may end up providing a better post-inspection deal for ...

Existing Home Sales Fall More Than Expected

December 03, 2015
  Sales of previously owned homes reached 5.36 million sales on a seasonally adjusted annual basis and fell by 3.40 percent in October according to the National Association of Realtors®. Rising home prices and a shortage of available homes strained housing markets. Concerns over potentially higher mortgage rates may have sidelined home buyers as concerns over an anticipated rate hike by the Federal Reserve persisted. Many analysts expect the Federal Reserve to raise rates at its December meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee, which ...

Thinking About Downsizing? Here’s What You Need to Know About Life in a Condo

December 02, 2015
The Fees You’ll Have to Pay While a smaller condo is unlikely to have the same associated costs as a large home, you will be paying a monthly condominium fee that will be covering maintenance and insurance so that many repairs and upgrades won’t have to be paid out of pocket. While this cost will not cover each and every maintenance issue that can occur in a condo, it should keep you covered for many standard home costs. When purchasing a condominium, it’s important to read about what this monthly fee entails. The Life of Central Living ...

S&P Case-Shiller: September Home Prices Gain Across U.S.

December 01, 2015
  Home prices increased across the S&P Case Shiller 20-City Home Price Index in September. According to the 20-City Home Price Index, Year-over year home price gains increased to 5.50 percent from August’s reading of 5.10 percent. 17 cities posted higher year-over0year price gains in September as compared to August. Western cities led price gains with San Francisco, California reclaiming its lead with a year-over-year gain of 11.20 percent in September. Denver, Colorado followed with a year-over-year gain of 10.90 percent and Portland, ...

What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – November 30, 2015

November 30, 2015
  Although last week’s economic calendar was cut short by the Thanksgiving holiday, several housing-related reports were released. The FHFA reported on third quarter results for its Housing Market Index and the Commerce Department reported on new home sales for October. Freddie Mac released its weekly report on mortgage rates and data on new weekly jobless claims was also released. FHFA, Commerce Department report Gains for Home Prices, New Home Sales Home prices for mortgages associated with mortgages owned or backed by Fannie Mae and ...

Did You Know? Why a Mortgage Pre-qualification Meeting Might Be Your Best Use of 5 Minutes

November 27, 2015
So why should you go to a mortgage pre-qualification meeting with a mortgage lender? Here are just a few reasons why it’s a great idea. It’ll Give You A Good Idea Of How Much House You Can Afford A mortgage pre-qualification is not the same thing as a pre-approval. When you pre-qualify for a mortgage, your lender will use information that you provide – information like your debts, your income, and your assets – to determine what size of a mortgage you can afford. This affordability information discovered during pre-qualification is then ...

Remodeling 101: How to Create a Proper Budget for Any Renovation, Large or Small

November 25, 2015
Determine What Is Most Important Whether it’s the tile floor in your bathroom or the outdated kitchen sink, if the need for an upgrade in a certain part of your home has been staring you in the face for a while, you’ll want to begin there. By determining your first priority and the no-frills cost assessment of completing it, you can arrive at the cost of what renovating the item will mean. Once you’re in the ballpark, you can then move on to any additional features or accessories that may perk up your basic renovation. Add A Little Extra To ...

How Do I Know If I Am Ready To Buy A Home?

November 24, 2015
  How Do I Know If I Am Ready To Buy A Home? As you’ll see in this video, you can find out by asking yourself some questions: Do I have a steady source of income (usually a job)? Have I been employed on a regular basis for the last 2-3 years? Is my current income reliable? Do I have a good record of paying my bills? Do I have few outstanding long-term debts, like car payments? Do I have money saved for a down payment? Do I have the ability to pay a mortgage every month, plus additional costs? If you can answer “yes” to these questions, ...

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