Your East Bay Homes Front Porch!

With all of this hot weather streaming across the country, it would be a great time to find some time to put your front porch to use again.  Get out of the house and take in the breeze.

Not every porch or front entryways are put to good use.  After the winter and rainy season, the porch may have taken a beating and needs some repair.  Sometimes people use their front porches for storage and this is certainly not a great sight for any house hunters.

There are a few key points that realtors talk about that will help you sell your house.  They are location, curb appeal and pricing.  Buyers consider these their highest influencing factors.  Why you ask?  Well, location is very important to most every buyer.  In today’s real estate market, pricing is very important to almost every buyer.  Curb appeal will get the buyers out of their cars and into your home to view it!

So it makes sense that your East Bay front porch should look its best.  A little maintenance might just be what the porch needs!  This doesn’t have to take weeks either or cost an arm and a leg to do.

It’s all about the tiny things you do.  A tired looking porch can be brightened up with some simple repairs, replacements and a little rearranging.

An easy way to start is by using a critical eye and take a look at your porch.  If you have been using the porch for storing things that could be put elsewhere, move them off the porch.  Replace your old worn out mats or carpets.  Try some new colorful ones.  Take a look at the lighting on your porch.  Try brightening up the porch with an inexpensive lighting system.  This can be accomplished using solar lights if you wish too!  This will create a brighter, safer entry way into your home.

Take a look at your door handles.  Are they tarnished or corroded?  It is hard to turn the handle to open the door?  Your East Bay home will not look well maintained if the door is beat up and the hardware looks wore.    If your home looks messy outside, the prospective home buyers will only see that this home in not well maintained and some won’t go any further.  Look at your home like it’s the first time.  Like you were buying it!

Try adding some appealing decorations.  Try to create symmetry which works well and is easy to create.  Symmetry gives a feeling of balance.  Try putting some potted plants on both sides of the walkway to the porch.  Place a decorative wreath or floral display on the front door.  Try putting a small water feature on the porch.  A small fountain can make the new buyers feel relaxed in your East Bay home.

Just remember, the front porch is the first thing a buyer will see.  Make sure it leaves a positive impression.  Then take the time to go outside and enjoy yourself sitting on your front porch.

So now that you are ready to sell your home or buy a new home, call me, Brad Gothberg, at (925) 648-5326. I have been a professional in the Real Estate business for the last 23 years. My qualifications include production of over $105 million in sales in the past 5 years. 


A Good Impression for Your East Bay Home!

ImageWant to make a good impression for that house hunter?  Here are some tips that will help you do just that when selling your East Bay Home

You definitely need to put your focus on curb appeal.  In order to make that first good impression, you need to focus on the outside of your East Bay home!  You should keep the grass mowed and watered well.  The trees should be trimmed and any overgrowth definitely needs to be cut back.  Put in some blooming flowers.  Make sure you store toys, bikes and garden tools out of sight.  Why not try painting your trim and the front door?  This is a quick cosmetic fix!  Make sure the walkway and porch are clean of clutter and swept.   

Another great tip is to clear out the clutter in your home.  Buyers won’t purchase a house that they can’t see!  If the house has overflowing closets, cluttered counter tops in the bathroom and kitchen, too much furniture or tons of family photos and collectibles, house hunters won’t be able to see your home!  If there is anything you don’t need or use, pack it away or donate it to a charitable organization.  If you need these items, put them in boxes and put the boxes in your garage or basement.  You could even rent some off-site storage. 

Make sure your East Bay home smells good.  A lot of people don’t have a good sense of smell but other people can be very sensitive to offensive odors.  Make sure your pets are bathed, keep the litter box clean, clean your carpets, dry clean or wash your draperies and make sure your garbage cans, ash trays and recycling bins are empty.  If there are areas in your home that are prone to smells, just place an open box of baking soda there.  You should also refrain from cooking strong smelling foods or fish.  These odors can stay if the home a while, especially if the windows are closed.  Use air fresheners and potpourri to make the house smell good!  Open up a few oranges or bake a pie so the house smells fresh!

Make sure you do some minor maintenance on your home.  Buyers will notice leaky faucets, broken windows, burned out bulbs, appliances that don’t work and cabinets that stick!  Before you put your East Bay home on the market, make these repairs. 

Use your imagination to introduce accessories into your home and make it attractive and comfortable!  Put your best dishes on the dining room table.  Put your nicest towels out in the bathroom.  Make sure the spare room is made up.  If you have a fireplace, put some logs in it!

Then when this is all finished, walk up to your home and pretend this is the first time you are seeing it!  Do you notice anything?  How do you feel?  Does the house look inviting?  Is it well maintained?  Would you want to purchase this house?  If you answered yes to these questions, then the house is ready to be put on the market!

So now that you are ready to sell your home, call me, Brad Gothberg, at (925) 648-5326. I have been a professional in the Real Estate business for the last 23 years. My qualifications include production of over $105 million in sales in the past 5 years. 


Packing Tips

You’ve sold your home and now it’s time to get ready to move into your new East Bay home!  Here are some tips that will help you get ready.

First, gather all your packing supplies before you begin the packing task.  Make sure all your packed boxes are not too heavy.  They should be no more than 50 pounds each to make it easy for lifting.  Put heavier items at the bottom of the box.  Stuff your pillowcases, scarves, socks and other small fabric items in the crevices and spaces in the boxes.

You should make sure that all the boxes can close up properly.  They need to be able to be sealed so the top is flat.  Over packing may result in damage to the contents of the boxes.  All small loose items need to be bagged or boxed up and sealed securely.  This needs to be done before you place them into the larger boxes.  You should label each box so you know what is in them and where they will need to go in your new East Bay Home.

If you need to move any liquids, you will need to transfer them into sealable containers, tape the lid down securely, and put them in a waterproof bag.  Seal the bag and put it into a box right-side up.  Mark the box with arrows and “This End Up”.  Make an inventory list of each box and list its contents.  This will help you if a box is missing and you need to make a claim with the mover.

Keep your clothing in the dresser drawers.  This makes it easier when packing and you won’t have to unpack your clothing.  For all the essentials you will need when you arrive, you should label the box “load last”, “unload first”.  This way everything you need when you arrive at your new East Bay Home will be available for you.

Make sure to keep all your important records with you.  Make sure you don’t move them with the rest of your items.  Take them with you!

Try to keep things in their proper place.  What does this mean?  When you pack the silverware, keep it in its tray.  Just place bubble wrap around the tray.  This will secure the contents and make things easier when you arrive at your new home.  Try to keep items from the same room together too.  The contents will be much easier to sort once you are in your new home.

Keep any tools you will need to assemble furniture in its own box and label the box clearly.  This will allow you to assemble your pieces quickly and easily without going through the boxes to find your tools.

Lastly, make sure the entire family is involved.  Make a task list and divide up the work so each person knows what they have to do.  This will allow the whole family to feel like part of this new adventure!

So now that you are ready to buy that new home, call me, Brad Gothberg, at (925) 648-5326. I have been a professional in the Real Estate business for the last 23 years. My qualifications include production of over $105 million in sales in the past 5 years. 



Tips for Buying an East Bay/Alamo House

ImageThere are some things you need to know and consider if you plan on buying a house.  What are they, you ask?  Well, first you need to be able to stay in the home for a few years.  Because of the closing costs and fees associated with buying a home, if you sell any sooner, you may lose money. 

Next, because you will need to secure a mortgage for the purchase of your home, you need to make sure your credit is in good shape.  A couple months before you start home hunting, get copies of your credit report.  Fix any problems you see and make sure everything is correct on them.

You should really purchase a home you can afford.  A good rule to follow is to buy a house that is about two and a half times your annual salary.  Take into consideration any type of monthly payments you need to make, such as alimony. 

Lenders will usually want 20% down for the East Bay home you want to purchase.  If you don’t have that, there are a lot of public and private lenders who will offer you a low interest mortgage and only require you to pay a 3% down payment.

Try to buy your home in a good school district.  Even if you don’t have children, when it comes time to sell, you will discover good school districts are on the top of prospective buyer’s wants.

Make sure you get an experienced professional agent.  They will be able to help you with strategies during the bidding process and will have your best interests in mind.  You can research online but nothing beats a really great realtor!

Before you start house hunting you should get pre-approved for your mortgage.  It will prevent you from looking at houses you can’t afford, and you will be in a good place when you find that Alamo home you want!  Pre-approval is normally based on your income, debt and credit history.

So now that you are ready to buy that new home, call me, Brad Gothberg, at (925) 648-5326. I have been a professional in the Real Estate business for the last 23 years. My qualifications include production of over $105 million in sales in the past 5 years. 

About Brad Gothberg


Brad Gothberg is a professional real estate agent with the knowledge and experience necessary to help his clients make informed decisions about their real estate goals. Home buyers and sellers alike believe in Brad so much that they often refer him to family and friends.

Brad’s knowledge was gained from his business degree from UC Berkeley and many years working in the real estate business. After college, Brad settled in Alamo, California and built a life – and a real estate business. He has used his business background, analytical thinking skills and caring, personalized approach to help buyers and sellers achieve their real estate goals for over 23 years. Even with sales totaling over $205 million, Brad takes time with each client to ensure personal attention in each transaction.

Although real estate is certainly a passion for Brad, some of his other interests include competitive swimming and community involvement. Brad has been a member of the Walnut Creek Swim Team for over 35 years and enjoys its competitive spirit. In fact, athleticism and competitiveness give Brad a bit of an edge – this drive to succeed helps him obtain the best positioning for his real estate clients.

Community involvement for Brad comes from being a devoted family man and a major supporter of the San Ramon Valley Unified School, where his daughter is a student. In addition, Brad avidly supports the Ronald McDonald House in San Francisco and assists in many of its community activities.

House Painting Tips

ImageEven though it is a major job to paint the entire outside of your East Bay home, it may not necessarily need an entire paint job. You can brighten up the appearance of your house and even extend the life of a complete paint job. How?   

First, you need to clean and prep the area you are going to paint. Next, you need to decide the type of paint you are going to use. Finally, apply the paint. A great time to paint is during late spring or early fall, on a dry day with not too much sun. You should inspect your home very thoroughly before painting. Here are some tips on dealing with different paint problems.

The cause of peeling paint is often due to painting over wet wood. If you can’t control the moisture, you should definitely use latex primer and latex paint. Dirty or glossy surfaces are another cause of peeling paint. In order to undo the damage, you need to loosen up all paint flakes. They should be scraped off with a wire brush, then sand the surface to smooth the sharp edges. Any bare spot should be primed before you start painting.

“Alligatoring” is when your surface looks like the alligator hides. Paint will shrink into individual islands, exposing the previous surface. Sometimes the paints might not be compatible. Other times, the second coat was applied before the first coat dried. You will need to scrape off the old paint, sand, prime and repaint the surface to get rid of the “alligatoring”.

Moisture and improper painting of your Danville home can cause the paint to rise from the surface and form blisters. To fix this, you will need to first scrape off the blisters. If there is dry wood behind the blisters, the blistering is due to moisture. After scraping off the blisters, if you see paint, then it is caused by painting with an oil base or alkyd-base coating in hot weather. The solvent is trapped in a bubble from the heat. 

 A series of slack, skin-like droops is caused by new paint that runs and sags. This happens when you are using a paint that is too thick and forms a surface film over the liquid paint below. Painting in cold weather can make the cold surface dry slow. To fix this, you will need to sand the wrinkled areas out smooth and remove the paint. Make sure the new paint has the right consistency and brush it out as you apply it when recoating. 

 If there is dampness and shade, you will get a moldy growth appearing on your Alamo home. If you paint over this, it will come right though the new paint. You should use either a commercial solution or chlorine bleach to kill the mildew before you paint.

Running Sags: Using paint brush incorrectly or too much paint on the brush will create a wavy surface. If this happens, after the paint is dry, sand and repaint the surface. Be sure to smooth out the new coat of paint to an even thickness.

If the paint has been tacky for a long time, this is a definite indication of an inferior paint. Applying poor quality paint too thick or on a very high humid day will cause it to stay tacky for a long, long time. Use good quality paint and you will see just how quickly it dries. 

When you are ready to buy or sell your home, call me. I have been a professional in the Real Estate business for the last 23 years. My qualifications include production of over $105 million in sales in the past 5 years.