Real Estate Topics

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During the 2008 financial crisis, many savvy investors bought foreclosed properties to “flip” them for a profit or to rent out. These investors ranged from well-heeled individuals to large Wall St. firms. There is a new law in California that attempts to reduce the number of foreclosures tha…

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The more criteria you put in, the fewer results you are going to get, but when inventory is low like it is now, you’ll want to put in as few criteria as possible. If you plug in that you are looking for a one-story home with a 3 car garage and a pool and paid-for solar, you aren’t going to g…

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How does the financial crisis of 2020 compare to the crisis we had in 2008? Some of the 2020 numbers are far worse than 2008 (unprecedented rise in unemployment and the biggest drop in GDP since the Great Depression), yet the stock market and real estate markets are soaring.

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If you want to give a piece of real estate to your children, is it better to sign the title over to them now, or let them inherit the property when you pass away? This can be a complicated question, so you’ll want to check with your tax and estate planning experts. But in general, most of th…

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Most people have spent more time at home this year than at any time in the past due to the COVID crisis. Before 2020, many people viewed their home only as a place to sleep, but they did most of their “living” elsewhere. For years we have been seeing a move away from big, sprawling homes in …

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A frequent question I’m getting lately is about my prediction for what will happen to the stock and real estate markets after the presidential election. Many people have strong opinions that if one candidate wins, everything is going to crash immediately. Other people have the exact opposite…

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Thanks to COVID-19, many businesses are closed, some for good, whole industries are shuttered, and unemployment claims are sky-high. It’s no surprise that we are seeing an increase in mortgage delinquencies. Unemployment benefits and savings only last so long. There is a concern this will tu…

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I read a very long and thoughtful article recently that claimed that once the COVID crisis is over, people will flock back to their offices and office buildings will be full again in no time. I looked at the byline and it was written by one of the largest commercial real estate brokers in th…

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How do you sell your home if you have a lien on it? Well, it depends on what the lien is and how much. The definition of a lien is, “A legal claim on assets that allows the holder to obtain access to the property if debts are not paid.” By this definition, most homeowners already have at lea…

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The number of homes for sale in East Contra Costa County hasn’t been this low in several years. There are about half as many homes for sale right now compared to the last few years. More homes exist in our area than just a few years ago due to new homes being built, yet there are even LESS f…

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When you apply for a mortgage loan to buy a home, your lender will look at many factors. One of the most important is your debt ratio. There are actual two debt ratios they are concerned with. The first one is called the “front-end ratio” and is calculated by your mortgage payment including …

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I reported to you a couple of weeks ago about a new .5 percent fee that will apply to most refinances that was supposed to go into effect on September 1. It was going to add thousands of dollars to most refinances. There was a large hue and cry from the industry and consumer protection organ…

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A couple of months ago I reported to you that many loan servicers were allowing their borrowers to delay making payments on their mortgages if they were impacted by COVID-19. This is called a “forbearance.” It wasn’t supposed to hurt your credit score but there were concerns and rumors that …

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Good news and bad news if you are looking to refinance your loan.

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People ask me all the time about how the real estate market is doing. I answer that there are a lot of buyers right now, inventory is dropping, and prices are up. Buyers appear to be trying to take advantage of the low interest rates and wanting to get out of the big cities like San Francisc…

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If you are suddenly working from home instead of at the office, you may be struggling to find the space to work efficiently. Here are some ideas...

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We are in an extremely odd time right now in real estate. The next 6-12 months are VERY hard to predict what will happen.

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Fannie Mae does a survey of buyer sentiment every month. It had fallen to almost it’s lowest level in April. But it has bounced back in a big way in June. The percent of consumers who think it’s a good time to buy a home has risen from 52% in May to 61% in June.

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Tax-time is upon us so I thought I’d give you some real estate tax tips.

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I’ll often get questions from some buyer’s agents asking if my sellers would be “OK” with an offer from a buyer who is using FHA or VA for their loan. (FHA stands for “Federal Housing Administration” and VA stands for “Veteran’s Administration.”). It used to be that these types of loans were…

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If you have pets, below are some tips to help you keep your home in top shape while it’s on the market.

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A long, long time ago, someone who wanted to apply for a loan to buy a house would contact their local bank or savings and loan. Once the loan was approved, it would stay on that institution’s books. Eventually a “secondary” market grew where another institution would buy that loan and colle…

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It’s possible that your credit score will change soon – either up or down. The company behind the most popular credit score (called your “FICO score”) has announced some changes to how they will be calculating scores starting this summer.

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Solar panels, tankless water heaters and radiant barriers in your attic are all great ways to reduce your utility bills, but they can be a bit pricey. Below are some cheaper tips that won’t make as big of a difference but every little bit helps!

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In the past, a lender usually would only count the income on a rental you owned as part of your total income if it was verifiable and established. This means they wanted to see a copy of the lease and proof that rent payments are coming in. Sometimes they wanted to see at least a year or two…