Sep
25

Should I Put My Property in a Living Trust?

Posted In: For Buyers, General Real Estate News
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(as reposted from the Abio blog…) We have trust issues. When legendary singer Aretha Franklin died recently, she didn’t leave a will or a trust for her estimated $80 million estate. No instructions about how to split her assets among her four children or deal with creditors and extended family members who might claim portions of her estate. That got us thinking. More than half of [...]
Sep
10

Who Should Vote for Prop 5, Property Tax Law

Posted In: Alameda County, Contra Costa County, General Real Estate News, Legal, Taxes
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(as reposted from the Abio blog) Proposition 5, a measure developed by the California Association of Realtors, is headed to the ballot Nov. 6, and advocates say it could ease not only the property tax burden on seniors, but also relieve the state’s housing crunch. Here’s what you need to know before you vote on Prop. 5, also known as the Property Tax Transfer Initiative: [...]
Jan
11

Tax Reform and Real Estate: Who Are the Winners and Losers?

Posted In: General Real Estate News
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It’s a new year filled with new laws – from the useful, to the quirky, to the expensive. Pot is legal now in California, public diaper-changing stations must be accessible to men as well as women, the state minimum wage rose $.50, and President Trump signed a major federal tax reform bill. For property buyers and sellers, we boiled down the 1,097-page federal “Tax Cuts and [...]
Jan
09

Buying a Home as a Real Estate Agent: Unsolicited Advice for Buyers and their Agents

Posted In: First Time Home Buyers, For Buyers, General Real Estate News, Our Sales, Success Stories
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I’ve been a real estate for 5 years and this past July my husband and I had the opportunity to buy a home for ourselves. We had been renting for the past 10 years partly because of neighborhood issues and partly because of the recession. After years of saving and some serious luck we were finally in the position to [...]
Apr
25

How Following Zillow’s “Best Time to List” Tool Could Hurt You

Posted In: For Sellers, General Real Estate News
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Making recent news in the world of real estate was an announcement by Zillow about a new tool for home sellers. The listing portal’s “Best Time to List” tool estimates how much the timing of when a property is listed will influence its sales price, based on the sales history of the property’s local market. “Sellers can use this information to [...]
Jan
13

What Kind of Market is THIS

Posted In: Alameda County, Berkeley, First Time Home Buyers, For Buyers, For Sellers, Foreclosures & Short Sales, General Real Estate News, Investing, Listings, Local Market Statistics
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Multiple offers, oh my!  No contingencies, oh my!  As long as you aren’t in Berkeley, Albany or Oakland, then it might be considered normal.  Normal is defined as a market where buyers and sellers have equal bargaining power.  Yah right, not here!  But all joking aside, even in these very competitive markets we are starting to see some normalcy.  Indeed [...]
Oct
19

Cost vs. Value Report 2016

Posted In: For Sellers, General Real Estate News, Green Living, Home Improvement, Home Maintenance, Investing
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The 2016 Cost vs. Value report is out.  YIPPEE! Now let me set the stage: each year, right about this time, a little reminder pops up on my computer, notifying me to “Look for Annual Cost vs. Value Report.”  Well, last week it popped up!  I immediately stopped writing the email I was forming and popped over to Remodeling to [...]
Oct
03

Prices comparing 2007 to 2016 are up, and down

Posted In: Alameda County, Contra Costa County, For Boomers, For Buyers, For Sellers, Foreclosures & Short Sales, General Real Estate News, Local Market Statistics
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Seven out of ten of the Bay Area counties have surpassed 2007 prices.  I am so surprised.  Surprised, I tell ya!  And here I thought that all counties had surpassed 2007 prices.  But I was wrong. Why do we compare today to 2007?  2007 was the height of the real estate cycle (Note: real estate cycles typically last 7-10 years). [...]
Sep
12

To Remove Contingencies, or Not to Remove?

Posted In: First Time Home Buyers, For Buyers, For Sellers, General Real Estate News, Local Market Statistics
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Should you remove your contingencies?  We get asked this question all of the time.  We cannot give you advice as to what you have to do, but we do want to demystify what this is all about. When a buyer submits an offer on a property they have an opportunity to include certain conditions within the contract that must be [...]
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