How To Shop For Your First East Bay Home

If buying your first home in East Bay is in your future, there are a few things to consider prior to taking the big step of home ownership. Owning a home can be a very rewarding experience and the tax deductions that come along with it are a great perk, but you want to make sure you are ready to make such a large purchase.

1. Know Your Budget
When it comes to buying your new home, the first step is to determine just how much you can afford. You do not want to waste your time looking at homes that are out of your price range. There is nothing more discouraging than finding your perfect dream home–only to find out it is out of your price range.When determining your budget for buying a home, do not forget to include taxes, maintenance, utilities, insurance, and any homeowner association dues that may be needed.

2. How Long Will You Live in the Home?
There are quite a few upfront costs that you will incur when you buy your home. The longer you live in the home, the better your savings will be as you are spreading these upfront costs you paid out over a longer period of time. If you are only looking to live in the home for a few years, you will need to determine if the upfront costs you are paying will cost you more than if you would rent for those few years.

3. Obtain A Loan
Getting preapproved for your East Bay home loan will help make buying your first home an easier and more enjoyable experience. The mortgage lender you choose should be able to provide you with an estimate of how much you will need for closing costs so that they can be figured into your overall loan amount. Your down payment on the home will impact how much your total loan and monthly payments will be after closing. If you are able to put down 20% of the home purchase, it will allow you to not have to pay mortgage insurance. Be sure to shop around for the best loan rate and terms.

4.  Find a Realtor Who Knows the Market
Now that you have determined what you can afford, it is time to find a reliable Realtor® who is familiar with the market in your area. Your Realtor® should be able to provide you with the median home prices in your area.

5. Shop Around
What are your needs? Make a list of all the things you are looking for in your new home. Be realistic in the fact that you may not get everything you are looking for. Provide your Realtor® with your list and begin the process of looking at homes that are on the market.

Now is the perfect time to buy a home in East Bay. If you are ready to sell or buy a home,contact me by email or call me, Brad Gothberg, at (925) 648-5326. I have been a real estate professional for 23 years and my qualifications include the production of over $105 million in sales within the past 5 years.


Biweekly Payments on Your Home Will Save You Money

Over the life of the mortgage loan on your home, you will pay an exorbitant amount in interest. Consider taking advantage of biweekly payments on your home, and you will save money. Making biweekly payments on your home will reduce your total interest cost and reduce the term of your loan.

There may be 12 months in a year, but there are 26 total two-week periods. If you are making biweekly payments you are essentially making 13 payments per calendar year. If you are buying a new home in the Alamo area and begin taking advantage of biweekly mortgage payments from the start of your loan, you can reduce a 30-year fixed rate mortgage by nearly five years.

How Much Can You Save?

If you were to take out a $200,000 mortgage at a 5% interest rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage and make biweekly payments, you can save $34,000 in interest payments and reduce the term of your loan by nearly five years.

Many lenders are willing to collect payment from your account on a biweekly basis. If you choose to go that route, be sure to inquire with your lender to see if they charge a one-time setup fee. Be sure to check and see if your lender will allow you to pay off your loan early without incurring any fees. If making a biweekly payment is not an option for you but you are able to save throughout the year, making an extra payment each year will essentially yield you almost the same results.

Take advantage of low interest rates and save even more money on your Alamo home mortgage. If you are ready to sell or buy a home, contact me by email or call me, Brad Gothberg, at (925) 648-5326. I have been a real estate professional for 23 years, and my qualifications include the production of over $105 million in sales within the past 5 years.

New Rules For Buying Your Alamo Dream Home

The turn in the housing market has affected many aspects of Real Estate, including what buyers must do to secure their desired home. There are far more buyers than sellers, so competition is fierce.

If you’re in the market for a home in Alamo or the surrounding area, here are five new rules that could help you close the deal.

Forget Lowballing – Making an offer far below asking price can often prevent price negotiation and sometimes will kill the deal altogether. Smart sellers know there’s another person right behind you who might present a better offer. You’ll get better results by asking the seller for concessions such as help with closing costs or paying for needed repairs.

Get Pre-Approved – To show sellers you’re a serious buyer, get pre-approved before you look at even one home. This confirms how much house you can actually afford which makes potential sellers more confident that you can secure a mortgage in a tightened lending environment.

Consult an Expert – A qualified real estate agent can educate you on market conditions in your area including how long it takes for a home to sell. Transactions from the last three months will provide a clear idea of how things are and what to expect for your buying situation.

Expect Competition – Today’s market is a lesson in basic economics. The supply of homes is small while demand is large, so lots of buyers are bidding on the same homes, particularly short sales and foreclosures.  If you’re pre-approved you can often create an offer faster than those who are not.

Dig For Information – Find out all you can about that East Bay property before you make an offer.

  • Use a title company to uncover any arrears or liens on your desired home.
  • Make sure your own home inspector checks out the house.
  • Review a recent land survey or have your own done to verify property lines.
  • Ensure all required state disclosures have been made on the home.

Even in a tight housing market, it’s possible to hold the winning offer if you follow these new home buying rules. Every extra minute of work you put in will be worth it when you’re sitting in your dream home.

I will walk with you through every step of the real estate process. If you are ready to sell or buy a home, contact me by email or call me, Brad Gothberg, at (925) 648-5326. I have been a real estate professional for 23 years and my qualifications include the production of over $105 million in sales within the past 5 years. 

Some Great Tips for Your East Bay Home’s Open House!

When is the best time to have an open house for your East Bay Home? Sunday afternoon is Open House Day for most communities. It’s recommended that the open house last for at least two hours, although many agents like to schedule an open house from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. An open house should never be in conflict with holidays, community celebrations or special events like the Super Bowl. Check out the forecast and try to schedule your open house on a sunny day; cold, rainy days tend to keep potential buyers at home.

Host a broker preview about a week before the open house. Agents can give you valuable feedback about your home’s appearance and whether your asking price will meet buyer expectations.

To prepare your Alamo home for showing, move some of your furniture into storage. By moving at least one piece of furniture out of every room, the space will look larger and much more inviting to those happy house hunters.

Make sure to remove any items not included in the sale of your home. It’s better to remove an item than have to explain to a buyer that it is not for sale.

Two or three days before the event, clean your house from top to bottom. Vacuum dust and cobwebs, wipe down the window sills, and wash the windows inside and outside. Pay attention to small details when cleaning your Diablo home. Make sure surfaces, appliances and floors are gleaming. Clean and fluff the bedding, towels and rugs and touch up any spots on the walls. Sweep out the garage, clean the sidewalk and driveway, trim bushes and dead flowers, and mow the lawn.

Twenty four hours before your open house, open all the windows and air out your home. Give every room a final review; stand in the doorway and take a good look at every detail. Add color and a great floral fragrance by adding floral arrangements throughout your home.

Now you are ready for your open house! Reward yourself for a job well done by going out to dinner. You’ll have a great meal and you won’t have to clean up again before the big day!

If you are ready to sell or buy a home, call me, Brad Gothberg, at (925) 648-5326. I have been a real estate professional for 23 years. My qualifications include the production of over $105 million in sales within the past 5 years.