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Home Buying:

March 18, 2015


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1860 Embarcadero Road, Palo Alto


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Writing a good offer

writing a good offer

I like to have the best shot possible of getting my offers accepted when I am presenting them and in most cases it is a multiple offer situation so there is no room for mistakes. I always think of the presentation as a job interview and so other than possibly the price I can always be best. Here are some simple things I like to do to increase my odds:

Credit Cards and College Students

credit cards and college students

Many college students are graduating with more than just a degree – they are also leaving school with credit card debt. If you are a college student, does this mean that you should rip up every credit card offer that comes your way? Not necessarily. If credit cards are not used responsibly, possessing them can seem like a mistake, but having good credit provides considerable benefits in today’s credit-oriented society.

Pending Sales Plunge

pending sales

With the increase in prices over the past two years pulling most homeowners above water, one would expect more homes on the market.  In fact, the lack of active listings continues to hobble the market.  From the middle of 2007 through the end of summer in 2011, home inventory averaged over 1,400 units. Right now, there are 535 homes on the market.  Pending sales of single-family, re-sale homes, a harbinger of future closed sales, dropped to their lowest level since December 2008 last month.  Pending sales were down 17.5% from June, and they were off 38.8% compared to July 2013.  For the past four months, pending sales have been lower than closed sales, which is highly unusual.  There are three reasons for the lack of active listings.  First, many long-time homeowners have a lot of equity in their properties, thus, they will be subject to capital gains.  Second, credit, while becoming easier to obtain, is still much more difficult to qualify for than in the past.  Third, retirees are staying put in larger numbers than before.  They want to be near their families.  Plus, they are leaving their homes to their families.

How To Plan For Financial Emergencies

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Wouldn't it be nice to adapt to change easily and gracefully? To offset the wallet-shock an unexpected life change can bring? You can. Whether you have one year or one week to adjust to such monetary upheavals as marriage, divorce, a growing family, or military deployment, you can sail through financial foul weather - as long as you PLAN for it.

Home Buyers Distracted

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Since the beginning of June I have noticed a slow down in the Bay Area home buying market. Fewer competing offers when we make offers on homes and fewer offers coming in on our listings for sale. It is typical for the July/August Real Estate market to slow down in the Bay Area because so many people leave on extended vacations. However this feels like the home buyers all stopped to take a deep breath and rest up from the frantic pace of the previous two years. I personally have been involved with offers that have gone back and forth in counter offers several times until we were able to reach an agreement which was not happening even six months ago. I suspect that some list prices were a bit aggressive in selecting price in the anticipation that prices were still rising and buyers would chase the price to get the homes. Here is an excerpt from a California Association of Realtors article on the new home market from this July:

Buyers Resistance?

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After surging the first four months of the year, the real estate market in Santa Clara County and San Mateo County seems to be encountering a little buyer’s resistance. While multiple offers are still the norm, the number of offers on any property have decreased. Also, it seems buyers are getting a little more particular about what they’re willing to bid on.

Summer Savers: Items to Buy Now


Believe it or not, having a plan in place for buying items you need at the right time can save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars per year. Here’s a look at items best bought during summer:

Single Family Detached Homes VS Planned Unit Development


Many home buyers are confused over the difference between Single Family Homes (SFR) and Planned Unit Developments (PUD) such as Town Homes and Condominiums. I find that once the buyers understand the features of both they can then make an informed decision.

Easy Ways to Save on Your Water Bill


You know there’s money to be saved by using less water in and around your home, but you aren’t quite ready to reduce your shower flow to a trickle. Have no fear; there are still steps you can take to seriously reduce your water bill each month.

Spring Surge in the Real Estate Market!

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San Mateo County is on fire!  A number of the clients I have been working with over the last two years commute both North and South for the daily work commute; with the boom of start-ups in San Francisco and the main-stay hi-tech jobs down in Santa Clara County, splitting family commutes in half. This makes the mid-peninsula area of San Mateo County the ideal location to split the difference.

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