November 18, 2018

. ~ Above and Beyond the Sale ~ #Izabella #luxuryrealestate #bayarea #luxury #realestate #milliondollarlisting

Hi everyone,

Please have a safe weekend - if you are in town please avoid any unnecessary outdoor activities. The Cal-Stanford game along with outdoor markets and marathons have been canceled as the official AQI in Oakland and Berkeley is now steady at 250 with many independent readings over 300.
Please note that levels above 100 are unhealthy for those with health issues, levels above 150 are unhealthy for all, 200 are very unhealthy for all, and over 300 is hazardous.
Berkeley Ace Hardware got 3,000 masks earlier today and there may still be some available if you're in search of one.
The weather is expected to alter around Wednesday with different wind patterns and much-needed rain.
Please take precautions and keep in mind those who are in evacuation centers and/or who have lost loved ones due to the fire.

August 6, 2018

Rising Rates Affect the Cost Too

Mortgage rates have risen 0.5% in 2018 on 30-year and 15-year fixed rate mortgages and experts expect them to continue to increase. Buyers paying attention to the market understand the relationship that inventory has on pricing; when the supply is low, the price usually goes up. Rising interest rates can affect the cost of homes also.

When interest rates go up, fewer people can afford homes. Lower numbers of buyers can affect the demand, which could cause prices of homes to come down. The question is how much do the interest rates have to go up to affect demand?

As the rates gradually go up, the affect may not be noticeable at all except for the fact that the payments for the buyer have increased.

A ½% change in interest is approximately equal to a 5% change in price. A $300,000 mortgage at 4.5% for a 30-year term will have a $1,520.06 principal and interest payment. If the mortgage rate goes up 0.5%, it would affect the payment the same as if the price had gone up 5%. The difference in payments for the full term of the loan would be $32,547.

There are some things beyond buyers’ control, but indecision isn’t one of them. If they haven’t found the “right” home yet, it is understandable. However, when that home does present itself, the buyer needs to be ready to make a decision. If they are preapproved and have done their due diligence in the market, they should be able to contract before significant changes occur in the mortgage rates.

July 30, 2018

Replace It Anyway

If it's not broken, why would a homeowner consider replacing something as expensive as a toilet when there may be other things in the home to replace that provide more aesthetic appeal. Don't be too quick to ignore the functionality and the reliability of this basic convenience.toilet.jpg

The first rationalization might take place at the economic level. A water-saving model could easily pay for itself in a few years and then, there is the good feeling of participating in the conservation of our natural resources.

Having to plunge a toilet more than once a week could motivate a homeowner to spend money on a replacement especially, if having made repairs to the flapper and fill valve didn't solve the issue.

Maybe your existing toilet has ugly scratches that make it difficult to clean. Maybe there are cracks in the tank or bowl that you're concerned will develop into a leak at the worst possible time.

The average cost to replace a toilet is around $400 with models ranging more and less based on the features and brands. Round toilet bowls tend to take up less room, are less expensive and better suited for children. Elongated bowls generally take more room, have more powerful flushing action, more comfortable, more stylish and cost more.

Replacing the shut-off valve for the toilet could be a good thing to do while you're replacing the toilet. Generally, it is as old as the toilet and having a reliable valve that works could be very convenient in a future repair or emergency.

There are a variety of videos on YouTube that could give you the confidence to do it yourself or simply, to have a better understanding of the scope of the project

July 23, 2018

Before You Leave Town...

Along with all the planning of what you're going to do and where you're going to stay, consider this checklist to make you feel more comfortable while you're away from home.

  • Ask a trusted friend to pick up your mail, newspaper and keep yard picked up to avoid an appearance of not being at home.
  • Stop your mail (USPS Hold Mail Service) and your newspaper.29938746-250.jpg
  • Don't post about your trip on Facebook and other social media until you return; some burglars look for this type of announcement to schedule their activities.
  • Do notify police or neighborhood watch - especially if you're going to be gone for more than just a few days. Let your monitoring service know when you'll be gone and if someone will be checking on your home for you.
  • Light timers make it look like someone is home. Set multiple timers for various times to better simulate someone at home. There are plug-in modules for lights and appliances that would allow you to control them from your phone while your out of town.
  • Do unplug certain appliances - TV, computers, toaster ovens that use electricity even when they're off and to protect them from power surges.
  • Don't hide a key; burglars know exactly where to look for your key and it only takes them a moment to check under the mat, above the door, in the flower pot or in a fake rock.

These easy-to-handle suggestions may protect your belongings while you're gone while adding a level of serenity to your trip.

June 22, 2018

. ~ Your Satisfaction is My Success ~ #Izabella #luxuryrealestate #bayarea #luxury #realestate #milliondollarlisting

June 3, 2018

. ~ Your Satisfaction is My Success ~ #Izabella #luxuryrealestate #bayarea #luxury #realestate #milliondollarlisting

Should you buy a house in a good school district?

Many people look at the schools their children would be attending when looking to buy a new home. However, is this the best way to go?

Houses near good schools are often much more expensive. Sometimes, out of one’s budget. However, if one buys a house in a bad school district, they may decide to pay for
their kids to attend a private school for a good education. Either way, there is an added cost.

Competitive schools are also not for everyone. Some students don’t do well under the pressure, and would be more successful in a less prestigious school.

You may think, well if I buy a house in a good school district, it will benefit my kids now, and me in the future, for the prices of the house will rise and I will make a profit if I decide to sell it. At the same time though, if you buy a house in a less developed area, and it eventually grows and becomes more wealthy, you may make an even bigger profit.

A friend of mine used to own an apartment in Manhattan, long before it grew into the city it is today. She sold the apartment, but greatly regrets it, for today it would be worth millions.

It all depends on your priorities, and what you think is riskier. Leave a comment with your thoughts!

May 28, 2018

. ~ Your Satisfaction is My Success ~ #Izabella #luxuryrealestate #bayarea #luxury #realestate #milliondollarlisting

Fruit for thought:

Should you buy your first home in order to live in it, or should your first home be an investment property?

Many people have the mindset that the first home they by should be the home they live in for a very long time. However, this isn’t always the best option for everyone.

Let’s say you want to live in a place where homes are very expensive and you can only afford to rent. However, in other areas in the country houses are much cheaper and you can afford to buy one there. You also may not know where you want to live long-term and are worried that buying a house to live in will be a poor investment if you decide to move.

If this is the case, your best option is to buy a small home in an area where renting is popular. That way, the rent will first pay off your mortgage, and will eventually become passive income once the mortgage is fully paid off.

Buying a house is a good investment is the market is steady and on the rise. If you decide to sell your house, you will still gain revenue. Like President Franklin D. Roosevelt once said, “Real estate cannot be lost or stolen, nor can it be carried away. Purchased with common sense, paid for in full, and managed with reasonable care, it is about the safest investment in the world.”

What are your thoughts? Should one wait to buy a house until they have enough money to buy one where they want to live? Or should one buy a small house to rent out as soon as possible as an investment? Leave a comment to share!