Home Prices in Our Bay Areas

Here is a quick glance, one page summary of year-over-year values for of our Bay Areas.

The median prices increased slightly in Santa Clara County (up 9%) and Monterey County (up 6%) but dropped 1% in San Benito County.

At the bottom of the summary page we see some indicators which suggest San Benito County values may rise in 2015: Inventory of homes for sale increased 14% 9/13 to 9/14 which is one of the causes of the median price to drop. However, the Days on Market (DOM) dropped a whopping 46%!  Since homes sold significantly faster year-over-year we may see San Benito County single family prices rise next year.

With one eye on these opaque indicators and one on “the holidays” disengagement many get caught up in – a shrewd buyer should buy a home before the year is out. And, with interest rates around 4% for a home loan, you could be one of the few others admire in the future: “You bought at the end 2014?  You really ‘lucked’ out”.

Why not text, email or call me?  With your answers to 4 simple questions I will be able to compute for you how much of a home you can qualify for and provide you with a list of those homes in your price range.

“Happy (Holiday) shopping”.

 

 

No Place For a Pool? Check This Out.

I have had a pool. It was a lot of fun on those hot days. It looked nice (most of the time). It was another chore – to keep clean and the chemicals balanced.  It took up most of our backyard and, it could only be used for one thing – getting wet.

Check out  this cool pool. I wish these were available back in the day. How cool is this? It’s a pool and decorative patio you can use for more than – just getting wet.

Do you have a pool story? Did you become familiar with “black algae”?  Ever forget to turn the water off?  Did it change from blue to lily-pad green?

11 Ideas for Curb Appeal $100 or Less

 

When you drive up to some homes they yawn:  “I’m tired”

 

 

 

 

This article demonstrates some easy and            inexpensive things you can do, right now, to help your home pop out.

 

What have you done to your home we can add to this list?

Agents: AFTER Service, THEN Paid

Here’s a fantasy thought: “What if our teachers, doctors, or politicians only got paid AFTER they finished their service, to their client’s satisfaction?” And, the professional gets paid nothing until those they serve are satisfied with an acceptable conclusion. Can you imagine?

Abraham Lincoln said:  “A lawyer’s time and advice are his stock in trade“.  Their income is based on two ‘tools’ used to serve their clients: their time and advice (knowledge). 

It seems many people don’t stop to consider how their real estate professional gets reimbursed for their time and knowledge.  Perhaps, because the client is on an hourly wage or salary, they assume agents must have a similar revenue basis?

Your real estate agent typically receives no reimbursement for their expenses (gas, time, advertising, time, promotion, time, etc.) until several days AFTER their client’s escrow closes.  If the sale does not close through him/her, the agent gets nothing for their ‘time and knowledge’.

Just imagine: At your job you don’t get paid  until you completed all of the tasks.  If there is no successful conclusion to your work, you get paid nothing. You might understand agent’s frustration when that happens to them.

Oh, and BUYERS, you typically pay nothing for your agent’s services – the seller does, through their contract with the listing agent. Make sure you have an experienced agent with a proven track record to represent you. They will “cost” you the same as a rookie agent will – zero.

Love Your Tat? Want to Remove It?

Occasionally, I help out at our high school and I am often asked, “Hey Mr. Walters, have any tats?”  When I say “no” they almost always ask “why not?”.  (My answers are for another post).  It is becoming more common for young people to get tattoos.

Ask people your close enough to if they wish they had not gotten their tat and some will admit they do.  Nationally, 23% of adults have at least one tat and 2 out of 10 wish they could get rid of them.  Angeolina Jolie may be one. See hers?

Well, tell those who wish to remove their “mistakes” that there is a way.  This article covers virtually all of the questions you can imagine: the process, the cost, the affects, etc.  It is really amazing.

Do you have one?  Like it?  No?  Well, here you go.

College Student: “Should I Buy or Rent?”

A college student posed this great question in Trulia: 

“I’m a college student looking to move to Sac this winter. Should i rent or buy? Property around Sac State is expensive…  I need some help on what i should do cause renting is more expensive then a mortgage would be”.

Here was my response:

I would buy if you can.
Why not email me these basic items and I will tell you how much of a loan you can qualify for and what your payment options are:
1. Gross, (before taxes) income year-to-date and for 2013;
2. Amount of cash you have for down payment & costs (including family gift $);
3. What is your minimum, monthly, required debt payment for all, unpaid card balances, car loans etc.;
4. Whether you have had any late charges, or collections.

I will email your results back along with a couple of outstanding, buyer-real estate agents contact info.

Same offer to anyone: you could send me the same info and I will provide you with the results listed above.

Webcam Sneak-a-Peek Prevention

By now you have heard that people can easily hack into your computer to watch you through your computer webcam, right? Yep, and I guess it is easy. The scary thing is you have no way of knowing they’re watching: no blue light comes on, nothing.  Take a look at this fun little video.

Well, here is a low-tech prevention solution:  You know those little poke-a-dot things from your 2 hole punch? Tape one of them across your camera eye on your lap top when you’re not using it. Bye bye peepers.

Have you been hacked?  What have you done to prevent peepers?

Papa Bragging Post

This is just too good to not post about.  Our granddaughter, Isabelle Bay, just took over all, #1 dance performer, in “Dance Masters America’s Grand National Finals” in Orlando, FL.

Isabelle has been accumulating Platinum and Gold awards over the last 3 years but this is the big one!  All dancers her age, all styles – the best.

Isabelle’s little sister, Miah Bay, was awarded her Black Belt in Karate last month!  This is in addition to her successes in baseball and soccer.  So Miah, is a champion in her own right.

These two girls receive so many trophies they are going to need a room addition just for all their awards.

The great thing about them is they are just regular kids who have chores, get academic awards, and love their mom & dad.  They also treat their papa like a king.

I need one of those bumper stickers about my grand kids.

 

Watch Out for the Winnemucca Whammy.

The good news is the legal speed limit in Nevada is 75 mph and 80 in some places. Unfortunately, with your cruse control set and the boredom of the wide open desert your reactions can get a little delayed.

Heading East on Hwy 80 we were enjoying good munchies, road-trip music and the A/C.  We had traveled through such exciting towns as Lovelock and Imlay – with no events.  So, when we approached the thriving meganopolis known as Winnemucca we were pretty much dialed in.  Another town to see before we blinked a 2nd time.  HOWEVER, the max speed limit dropped from 75 to 70, 60 and suddenly to 55 mph, all within a very short distance.  I had barely clicked out of the cruse control and began to coast toward the newest posted limit when out of nowhere (I mean nowhere)  I saw a cop car behind me with his lights on.

I should have recognized his ‘rookieness’ when he seemed puzzled by the simple question: “My wallet is in the trunk. Would you like me to get it out of there for you?  When I tried to reason with him about the short distance in down speeds he parroted back a canned line: “this is a construction zone near a metro area“.  Oh, please!  IT IS A SPEED TRAP.

After he’d been back in his new patrol car for a good 15 minutes, seriously, he finally came back to me holding this cool, miniature, gadget which did everything for him.  It looked expensive and I didn’t appreciate their speed trap to fund such goodies.

So, if you are heading East on Hwy 80 watch out for the Winnemucca Whammy.  You can do a lot with $261 – rather than provide toys for the cops.

Happy Birthday USA, 238 yrs. Young.

 

With the World Cup focus and among all of the flag showings, I still think Old Glory is the most awesome: bold, balanced, and beautiful.

 

On 9/12/2001 I posted our flag in front of my home.  I had always posted it on Flag Day, the 4th of Jul, Memorial Day and Pearl Harbor Day.  But I vowed to leave my flag up until the 9/11 bad guys were brought to justice. That time has long past and she’s still out there.  Actually, we’re on our 4th or 5th flag.  It has just become part of our home.

Aside from the shear beauty of our flag I love all of it’s symbolism and the ideals it represents.  Yes, the USA is not perfect.  We’re reminded of that all too often.  But you do have to ask yourself – ‘self, if the US is all that bad, why are so many people sacrificing so much to get here, often at the peril of their very lives?’

True, I do love travelling.  It seems that wherever we go we find something to like about that place: the beaches, the water, the native foods, the weather…But as awesome as these places are, “there’s no place like home“.  We’ve got it all AND, it’s for everyone, which is the greatest attribute our USofA offers: “…ONE nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all“.

And of all of the renditions of our National Anthem, Whitney Houston’s is hands down the best.  Give it a listen here.

What does our flag mean to you?