Home Buying

How Professional Recommendations Will Help You Avoid Frustrations

As an experienced agent, I can confidently say that the real estate business is solely based on relationships. Many of these critical relationships are with our preferred vendors.  Those of us in the real estate industry have learned that if we treat our vendors well, then they will reciprocate the efforts by bending over backward for our clients. Relationships made with our vendors are established over the course of a decade and because each relationship is reliant upon performance if the vendor does not accomplish or exceed our expectations, then, unfortunately, they will no longer be recommended for our clients in the future.  



Recently, I closed a transaction...

Did You Know About the Three Real Estate Agency Relationships?

The market continues to heat up for both buyers and sellers with aggressive interest rates and the limited supply and high demand. A lot of buyers out there do not fully understand the types of different agency relationships that exist and their relative importance.

There are essentially three types of agency relationships. The first is "Buyer Agency" which means that there are agents that exclusively represent a buyer's interest during the search and purchase process. The second the relationship is "Seller Agency" which is where listing agents exclusively represent sellers with the sale of their home. Lastly, the third relationship is "Dual Agency." “Dual Agency” is a very misconstrued...

Not Just Another Monthly Fee - The Hidden Perks of Your HOA

Some homeowners don’t fully understand or appreciate the importance of having a homeowners association. For all they know it is just another monthly payment that they are required to pay. However, what they don’t realize is that HOA’s can add far more value to the neighborhood. Not only do they enforce community rules and guidelines, but they also offer perks. Overall, the association protects the homeowner’s real estate investment.

Standard HOA’s fees include security, common area maintenance and landscaping, water, trash and cable services, complex community amenities (i.e., gyms, pools, spas, and recreational rooms), etc. Most assume that these fees pay for the homeowner’s...

Why Proper Inspections Impact Your Buyer's Decisions

A big part of purchasing a home is doing your due diligence and properly investigating the substantial purchase you are making.  Upon opening up escrow on your new home, you will begin to receive disclosure documents of the seller knowledge of the home (repairs, remodels, etc.) since they have owned it.  In addition to the seller disclosures, you will also have the right to hire an inspector of your choosing to fully inspect the home for you.  This is a very crucial part of the home buying process.  

A few months back,...

How to Win Multiple Negotiations When Buying a Home

Over the course of the past few months, we have seen some new trends begin to develop regarding the terms buyers are presenting to sellers. In the current market, some buyers developed a defeatist attitude as homes have often been selling above asking price.  This is based on the limited supply of homes and the increased demand for them.  This has forced me to be more creative in order to help buyers engage sellers and get them in the home that they desire. 

We have seen over a dozen situations in which the listing agent has countered the buyers offer with the terms ...

What are Mello-Roos Taxes and Do They Affect Me?

Unlike other states countrywide, California has a property tax of only 1% annually of a home's purchase price.  However, some Californians can be faced with an additional tax called Mello-Roos.  Mello-Roos calls for all newly developed areas that need cooperative homeowner financing to tax the homeowners of the community for building the necessary infrastructure of these districts.  The Mello-Roos funds go toward public facilities and service needs.    

Local developers build these new communities with the expectation that they will be able to function independently. These public...

What Home Improvements Do Buyers Look For?

Over the past year, a large majority of the buyers we worked with were typically drawn towards floor plans that had upgrades throughout the home. There are certain improvements that will speak to buyers and make a difference when selling your house.  However, it is important to make improvements that you will enjoy while living in the house, yet at the same time make sense financially.

The most sought after upgrade for buyers this past year was a fresh coat of paint on the exterior and/or the interior of the home. Choosing a lighter color paint allows each room and the hallways feel much more open and inviting for buyers. There was a strong preference towards neutral and gray tone paints...

Beat the Competition in a Seller's Market

In this competitive sellers’ market with little inventory available, home buyers are going head to head and muscling each other out by offering higher prices and attractive terms to the seller which ultimately may be to their own detriment.  However, I recently encountered a situation giving my home buyer a distinct advantage.

One of our lenders had advised me about an advanced approval process that one of my buying clients proceeded with.  The lender and I had the buyer go through the underwriting process with approval already in hand.  The only outstanding item pertaining to the loan was the appraised value.  

After a few weeks of looking...

3 Ways We Find Off-Market Deals for Our Clients

Buying in a competitive market can be stressful. Here’s how we can reduce the stress for you, especially in this market.

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Many buyers in this market are finding that the homes their agents are showing them are homes that everyone else is already looking at and competing for. As a buyer, you want the right home, you want it now, and you want to stop competing like crazy for it. Right? Here are three strategies that we use day in and day out to get around that competition and find the perfect homes for our buyers:

1. Expired listings. ...

Why Is Value Range Pricing Such a Bad Idea?

Today I’ll be talking about value range pricing. Truthfully, it has no place in today’s market.

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Today we’re going to talk a little about the subject of value range pricing. You may have encountered a situation where this kind of pricing was used—where, instead of simply giving a single number for the list price, the seller says the home is available from $750,000 to $850,000.

But what does this mean, why do sellers use it, and does it make sense in this market?

Well, specifically in today’s low-inventory seller’s market, I...

4 Tips for Making a Successful Offer

So you’ve been searching for that perfect house to call a ‘home,’ and you finally found one! The price is right and in such a competitive market, you want to make sure you make a good offer so you can guarantee your dream of making this house yours comes true!


Freddie Mac covered “4 Tips for Making an Offer” in their latest Executive Perspective. Here are the 4 Tips they covered along with some additional information for your consideration:


1. Understand How Much You Can Afford
“While it's not nearly as fun as house hunting, fully understanding your finances is critical in making an offer.”...

How to Win in This Market as a Homebuyer

Why is it so difficult to purchase a home in this market? How can homebuyers beat the competition and find the home they want? We have a few tips for you today. 

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There are many frustrated homebuyers in our current market. Every time they see a good house, it already has a bunch of offers on it. How can you find a home in such a competitive market?

Every buyer is doing one of three things:

  1. They are looking at Zillow or their other favorite real estate website.

    ...

Adding Personality to Your New Home

Renovations to Personalize the HomeIt's true that homes can be "Plain Janes" when you first move into them. But even the most boring of homes have the potential become beauties with a bit of imagination and some simple enhancements.

If the rooms in your home lack personality, consider adding interest with easy to install features like built-in bookcases, window seats, faux raised paneling, chair rail and ceiling molding. Not only will they add architectural interest to your spaces, but they will add value to your property. Whether you're after period charm or contemporary...

4 Things to Watch for Before You Buy Your Next Home

Monitoring Home Sales and Market DataIf you are thinking of buying a home some time in the near future, you will want to be prepared. Even though you may spend a great deal of time ensuring that you personally are ready, it is just as important to confirm that the current real estate market is suited to your needs.

Here are four aspects of the home buying process to ensure a better overall investment.

If you have questions about your personal financial situation, ask your lender and/or a financial advisor what buying a new home could mean for you.

Asking Home Prices in Your Preferred Neighborhoods

The...

A Quick Guide to Down Payments

Down Payment TipsThe first steps toward buying a new home aren't attending open houses and pouring over online listings. The first step toward home ownership is preparing yourself financially for the commitment of buying a home.

Speak with your lender or a financial advisor to see what kind of down payment makes sense for your financial situation.

Why Do Lenders Require a Down Payment?

One reason lenders require a down payment is that they want to be certain that the borrower is financially invested in the home. In a lender's mind, the larger the down payment, the less likely a buyer is to go into...

6 Tips for Buying an Older Home

What to Look for in an Older HomeO lder homes have the potential to be great, but buyers looking for an older home must be careful when making their purchase. Some older properties can be a drain on financial resources, which can reduce the potential for return on investment.

As a buyer of an older property, knowing how to avoid the pitfalls and how to prepare yourself for ownership of an older home can help you make the most of your investment.

Get Multiple Inspections

Schedule multiple inspections of the property as soon as it makes sense. Remember that standard home inspectors may not look...

What to Look for When Shopping for an Accessible Home

Home AccessibilityIf you or someone you love have a disability that limits range of motion or makes performing some tasks difficult, you're likely already intimately familiar with just how challenging it can be to work around a home that isn't designed to be accessible.

Even if you're in perfect health today, it's still a good idea to know what to look for in an accessible home. 

The good news is that buying a home with accessibility features is easier than ever. In fact, many builders voluntarily follow standards of "Universal Design", to make new construction more accessible to all. If you're interested in making life easier for yourself or that someone special who needs some extra care,...

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