Blog Posts in Category: Essentials

07/26/2021

The Cost of Construction Materials is Rising Nationwide

The Cost of Construction Materials is Rising Nationwide

Nationwide, the challenges contractors are experiencing with fast-rising materials costs, uncertain delivery times, and rationing of vital inputs are due to the ongoing global construction struggles with materials shortages and prices.
The steep material cost increases tell only part of the story — One example is a potential shortage of steel form ties used in concrete formwork. The US-based Concrete Foundations Association (CFA), representing cast-in-place contractors, has announced an industry-wide effort to mitigate the shortage.   more...

05/28/2021

Reopening the economy is stabilizing the Bay Area rental market, but to what extent?

Reopening the economy is stabilizing the Bay Area rental market, but to what extent?

It’s no secret that rent prices were dropping quickly during the pandemic – especially in major Bay Area cities. But according to a recent analysis, there are signs the pandemic-weary rental market is edging up just a bit.
After months of decline essentially due to the pandemic, the Bay Area rental market appears to be stabilizing, although there is still a lot of uncertainty as the economy reopens. Even as home prices are red hot, the median rent for a one-bedroom apartment has dropped as much as a quarter in many Bay Area cities, but rents have begun to edge up just a bit.   more...

04/06/2021

How to Increase Your Home's Value with Effective Staging

How to Increase Your Home's Value with Effective Staging

Staging your home in the best way possible is proven to increase the value of your home. Walking into a house with basic furniture and decorations gives potential buyers an idea of what life will be like there. And removing personal items helps you disconnect from the home.
In a recent report by the National Association of Realtors, 83% of buyer's agents said staging a home made it easier for a buyer to visualize the property as a future home. The most commonly-staged rooms include the living room (93%), kitchen (84%), master bedroom (78%), and dining room (72%).   more...

03/25/2021

3 Vital Facts Rental Property Owners Need To Know About Workers’ Compensation

3 Vital Facts Rental Property Owners Need To Know About Workers’ Compensation

Photo by Sora Shimazaki from Pexels
Rental Property Owners face many risks and exposures, and some are not aware of what their insurance covers specifically. Many Rental Property Owners do not have coverage for what they should, which accounts for millions of dollars in uninsured claims each year.   more...

03/12/2021

5 Major COVID Effects After One Year

5 Major COVID Effects After One Year

Photo by August de Richelieu from Pexels. It was one year ago that the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic and changed the world. Here are some of COVID’s profound effects on the Real Estate and Mortgage Industries:
1. Interest Rates: Even though rates have increased about 1/2% over the last few months, they remain about 3/8% LOWER than where they were last year at this time on average. That is because rates dropped about 1% in response to the COVID crisis, and the Government’s intervention before started to climb.   more...

03/10/2021

Everyday Tips to Curb "Zoom Gloom"

Everyday Tips to Curb "Zoom Gloom"

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels
As people spend more time on their computers and mobile devices than ever before, many have experience tech fatigue. The concept has been around long before the pandemic outbreak, but it has become mainstream.   more...

01/30/2021

SB 91 provides $2.6 billion in federal funds for unpaid rent

SB 91 provides $2.6 billion in federal funds for unpaid rent

Gavin Newsom (CC BY-SA 4.0) by Gage Skidmore
Governor Gavin Newsom and the top two legislative leaders of California state have succeeded in passing SB 91. The legislation, SB 91, won overwhelming bipartisan approval Thursday in both houses of the Legislature. SB 91 replaces California’s COVID-19 Tenant Relief Act of 2020, or AB 3088, which expires this Sunday.   more...

01/29/2021

Gov. Newsom urges swift distribution of federal rent relief

Gov. Newsom urges swift distribution of federal rent relief

Photo by Jorge Maya on Unsplash
On Wednesday, January 6th, 2021, Gov. Gavin Newsom pushed for the rapid distribution of $2.6 billion in federal rent relief headed to California from the latest COVID-19 economic stimulus package. Newsom’s office said the funds should help low-income Californians and small-scale landlords struggling financially from the pandemic.   more...

08/26/2020

How to Protect and Prepare Yourself for Wildfire Smoke

How to Protect and Prepare Yourself for Wildfire Smoke

Climate change continues to impact our community dramatically, with California’s annual fire season lasting longer and setting new records nearly every year. Wildfire smoke poses a number of public health concerns, especially for children, seniors, and individuals with underlying heart and lung illnesses.
Protect Yourself from Wildfire Smoke: As the wildfires continue to affect the air quality in Alameda County, the Alameda County Public Health Department (ACPHD) reminds residents of the following guidelines to help protect their health from wildfire smoke:   more...

06/05/2020

Energy Tips and Tools While Residents Spend More Time at Home

Energy Tips and Tools While Residents Spend More Time at Home

As Bay Area residents do their part by turning their residences into virtual places of business and e-learning hubs, they must think about energy use. Whether using energy to power appliances and technology or light, heat or cool their homes, this increase in residential energy use could result in higher costs.
Since California's shelter in place rule went into place in March, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has seen residential electric usage already increase by 15-20% compared to the same time last year. Two programs currently exist which may help residents who are feeling the energy burden, including:   more...

05/29/2020

10 Very Common Rental Property Repairs

10 Very Common Rental  Property Repairs

As a Property Owner, one of your most significant responsibilities is to keep up the property and repair things when they break. Although this can be high-priced and stressful if you budget and successfully plan for maintenance, you will have funds saved to handle these issues. Repairs tend to scare new landlords, but most maintenance issues are typically simple to repair. Even though you will rarely foresee when these issues happen, you can predict that they certainly will.
1. Appliances Not Working Appliances have a lot of moving parts, and as such, tend to break down fairly often. Although the landlord can fix some issues, many problems will require a professional appliance repair representative. Unless a new appliance is needed, the typical cost to fix is between $50 and $100 per hour, and most repairs take about an hour. Used appliance stores exist in almost every town, and especially in the case of stoves, can be just as good as new.   more...

05/22/2020

6 Common Mistakes First-time Homebuyers Make

6 Common Mistakes First-time Homebuyers Make

Buying a home is one of the most significant financial decisions you’ll make in your life. Although, on occasion, it can be one of the largest sources of stress for many first-time buyers is the financing process. Unless you’ve planned thoroughly and dedicated time for research, receiving a mortgage can feel complicated and overwhelming. Luckily, you could learn from these common mistakes first-time homebuyers make to have a less stressful experience:
1. Not realizing the full cost of homeownership: Being a first-time homebuyer involves much more than the monthly cost of renting, which usually includes your rent payment, some of the utilities, your internet, and cable bills. As a homeowner, you’ll be responsible for the additional monthly costs that may have been covered by your landlord. That includes the following expenses: Water, sewer and garbage, monthly HOA fees, landscaping, property taxes, and homeowners insurance. All of that is in addition to maintenance costs, which you should set aside 1-3 percent of the purchase price of the home annually to cover repairs and maintenance.   more...

05/22/2020

4 Things You Can Do To Prepare Your Home For The Market After COVID-19

4 Things You Can Do To Prepare Your Home For The Market After COVID-19

While the spring market would usually be running at full power now, COVID-19 has put an impermanent stop to most real estate transactions. However, that does not imply that you cannot set aside the effort to prepare your home to be listed and available to be purchased once we flatten the curve. In light of that, here are four recommendations on things you can do to prepare your home to hit the market after stay-at-home orders have been relieved:
1. Address any minor repairs: Even the most meticulous homeowners typically have a list of home repairs that they mean to fix when they have time. Whatever fixes may be on your to-do list, it's imperative to deal with them before you list your home available for sale. While these fixes usually won't require a ton of effort on your part, they will go a long way towards improving the opinions of the overall condition of the home, which can lead to higher-priced offers.   more...

04/09/2020

The Difference Between Cash vs. Mortgage When Buying a Home

The Difference Between Cash vs. Mortgage When Buying a Home

Cash vs. Mortgage Overview: There's a lot to consider when contemplating purchasing a home outright versus financing it. Here are some of the major differences between using cash or a mortgage to buy a home:
KEY TAKEAWAYS   more...

04/08/2020

The Masketeers for Covid-19 Outbreak Relief

The Masketeers for Covid-19 Outbreak Relief

Dear Friends & Fellow Citizens: We are a group of individuals with resources and connections in Asia for Mask and PPE (Personal Protection Equipment) supplies. This campaign is to help fund the purchase of these vital supplies and deliver to those service providers in the most urgent need during this pandemic outbreak. We are ordering masks and PPE as we speak, and fundraising on the backend to help multiply our purchases by way of large quantity discounts.
We are contacting all hospitals and clinics in the hot spots initially to understand their situation for supplies and will prioritize based on the needs accordingly.   more...

Effective August 3, 2021, all visitors to our office are required to wear a face-covering over mouth and nose by the order of Alameda County Health Officer Order 21-03. Those who do not comply with this requirement will be refused entry.
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