Blog Posts in Category: Homes

09/29/2021

What Happens After September 30th, 2021?

What Happens After September 30th, 2021?

'The state legislature adjourned this month without extending its eviction moratorium and the terms of AB 832. So, barring any extraordinary effort on either the governor or lawmakers, the state moratorium should, therefore, finally lapse on September 30, 2021. Beginning October 1, 2021, and continuing through March 2022, California will enter into the "COVID-19 Rental Housing Recovery Act." What this means in Alameda County
Nothing at all! For some of you, September 30, 2021, will be the proverbial "light at the end of the tunnel." But for those with rentals in Alameda County, the end of California's moratorium will have absolutely no effect, and properties will remain mired in local "emergency" ordinances, which still effectively prohibit ALL evictions indefinitely. Laws in both Oakland and Alameda County will only expire 60 days after the local emergency ends. Our honest assessment is that regular evictions will not be allowed in Alameda County until 2022 at the earliest. Only cases involving an "imminent threat to health and safety," post-foreclosure, forcible detainer, and at-will tenancies may move forward for the time being. Please reach out to us if these issues relate to your tenancy. What this Means Everywhere Else   more...

08/27/2021

A New Fannie Mae Rule Could Help Renters Qualify for Mortgages

A New Fannie Mae Rule Could Help Renters Qualify for Mortgages

Photo by RODNAE Productions via. Pexels.com
Would-be homebuyers with thin credit files will have a better chance of getting approved for a mortgage if they’ve been paying their rent consistently, thanks to changes to Fannie Mae’s automated underwriting system taking effect next month.   more...

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

Facts About Selling a Home to Your Family

Facts About Selling a Home to Your Family

It’s not uncommon to wish to sell a home to a family member, but it can become a tricky situation. You have to be mindful of not only the personal elements that can come with doing this type of transaction with a relative, but the IRS may also scrutinize the transaction if you don’t avoid certain red flags. It’s perfectly legal to sell a home to a family member as long as you’re not just doing it to avoid taxes. If you’re selling the property at a steeply discounted rate, you might have to pay an estate and gift tax, but beyond that, it’s just like any other real estate transaction.
Owner-Financed: One option if you’re selling your home to your child, for example, is to select an owner-financed sale. Then, your family member would make payments to you instead of a bank. However, you’ll need to legally arrange it so that if your relative defaults, the home goes back to you automatically, enabling you to sell it.   more...

05/12/2021

Housing Interest Continues to Fall as Mortgage Rates Drop to a Two-Month Low!

Housing Interest Continues to Fall as Mortgage Rates Drop to a Two-Month Low!

Lower mortgage rates are not prompting homeowners or potential homebuyers to contact their lenders, as other obstacles stand in their way. According to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s seasonally adjusted index, the total mortgage application volume fell 2.5% last week from the previous week.
The decline came even though the average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($548,250 or less) decreased to 3.17% from 3.20%, with points decreasing to 0.30 from 0.36 (including the origination fee) for loans with a 20% down payment. That is the lowest rate since the end of February.   more...

05/11/2021

Millennials are making their presence felt in the real estate market

Millennials are making their presence felt in the real estate market

Photo by Kindel Media from Pexels
Over the last several years, millennials have rented to stay nimble and keep work opportunities open. Now, they're ready to buy.   more...

05/04/2021

First-time Homebuyers May Find Success in Slow Condo Price Growth

First-time Homebuyers May Find Success in Slow Condo Price Growth

The hot housing market is not even — and some cities and types of properties are noticing higher price gains than others. Condominium prices, in particular, are rising less than those for single-family homes across the board, according to recent insights from Black Knight.
The data firm reports that single-family home prices grew by 12.3% on average in 2020 — the highest appreciation rate since 1992 — but condos aren’t gaining as quickly. That could be an opportunity, especially for first-time homebuyers, in a market starved for inventory and where bidding wars occur in many markets.   more...

04/23/2021

A Recent Study Shows 11-Million Borrowers Could Benefit From Refinancing

A Recent Study Shows 11-Million Borrowers Could Benefit From Refinancing

Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels
The number of mortgage refinancing applications is dropping as mortgage rates have been rising in recent weeks. That may scare off some homeowners who could still greatly benefit from refinancing to lock in lower interest rates.   more...

04/22/2021

The American Rescue Plan Act: Homeowner Assistance Fund

The American Rescue Plan Act: Homeowner Assistance Fund

The recently enacted COVID-19 relief legislation, the American Rescue Plan Act, included $9.9 billion in relief for homeowners to be administered through a new Homeowner Assistance Fund. These funds, which will soon be made available to eligible homeowners through their states, may be used for assistance with mortgage payments, homeowner’s insurance, utility payments, and other specified purposes.
The creation of the Homeowner Assistance Fund was to prevent mortgage delinquencies and defaults, foreclosures, loss of utilities or home energy services, and displacement of homeowners experiencing financial hardship after January 21, 2020. The law prioritizes funds for homeowners who have experienced challenging difficulties, limits eligibility based on need, and only used for certain qualified expenses, outlined in more detail below.   more...

04/08/2021

Why Do New Homes Cost So Much Money?

Why Do New Homes Cost So Much Money?

Ricky Singh on Unsplash
With mortgage rates trending upwards and a lack of housing inventory in California, prospective home buyers are beginning to consider an alternative solution to their housing needs.   more...

04/07/2021

How to Lower Your Property Taxes

How to Lower Your Property Taxes

Property taxes provide funds for schools, roads, and many other vital aspects of our community. However, that doesn't mean you should be paying more than you have to. If you're a veteran, disabled, over 65, or under certain income thresholds, you may qualify for a property tax exemption. Here are some other ways to lower your taxes:
Homestead Exemption Your primary residence may qualify for a homestead exemption, which will lower your home's assessed value for tax purposes. Which will reduce how much you owe in property taxes.   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...

03/18/2021

Expertise.com's 2021 Best Property Managers in San Francisco & Concord

Expertise.com's 2021 Best Property Managers in San Francisco & Concord

Nationally respected business recommendation website, Expertise.com, scored 178 Property Management companies in San Francisco and 31 Property Management companies in Concord — so far, we technically rank #1 on both lists in 2021! We also received this award last year in San Francisco, and both lists were recently updated on March 12th and 17th, 2021 — giving us a great sign that our hard work is not going unnoticed!
Expertise makes it easy to find the best local experts in your area. Their proprietary research and selection process identifies the top service professionals in over 200 different industries in major cities across the United States. Expertise features are only objectively quantified, and qualified professionals hand-picked by their selection process and research to understand what’s important when searching for experienced and professional companies.   more...

03/16/2021

Prop 19 Explained: How It Helps Property Owners and Who is Eligible?

Prop 19 Explained: How It Helps Property Owners and Who is Eligible?

Prop 19 frees up inventory while providing tax savings for seniors, homeowners with disabilities, and wildfire victims — here are the ways it helps:
Tax Savings For Senior Homeowners: Thanks to Prop 19, seniors, retirees, and all homeowners aged 55+ can move closer to family, medical care, or to a home that better meets their needs anywhere in California without a tax penalty. Prop 19 removed unfair location and price restrictions. That allows senior homeowners to transfer the tax base of their home to a new property.   more...

03/05/2021

How Much Should Your Down Payment Be?

How Much Should Your Down Payment Be?

If you’re planning to buy a new house, a big part of that is saving for a down payment. Your down payment is the money you put down when you close on a mortgage. Lenders will often describe down-payment in terms of percentages. A down payment represents what you initially own when you buy a home. Then, the remainder comes from your lender.
The standard is often referred to as 20%, but is that the reality? Paying a 20% down payment may make you feel like ownership isn’t attainable for you, but is that truly how much you have to or should pay?   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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