Secrets To Danville Homebuyer Budgeting

budgetIf buying a new family home in Danville is in your future, budgeting your finances to afford it is a must for many families. You may have to sacrifice a little, and stick to a strict budget to save for your new Danville home, but homeownership is within your reach. If you are currently renting a home in Danville, here are a few tips to what is needed to make your dream of homeownership a reality.
1.    Focus on your credit–When it comes to obtaining a home loan, your credit score plays a major role. A low score can prevent you from buying a home or qualifying for the best interest rate. Annually you should request a free credit report at AnnualCreditReport.com to check for accuracy. If you need to improve your credit score, you should start by paying off any past-due bills you have, and then continue to pay every bill on time. Next, work on reducing the balance on your accounts to less than 30% of the credit limit available on the account.

2.    Save up–You want to save up as much money as you can for a down payment on your new home. If you are able, set aside money each month into a savings account as if you were making a mortgage payment. Learn to budget your money, and stay on budget to build your savings. Many experts recommend setting up an automatic transfer of funds directly into a savings account through your bank or employer.

3.    Pay down debt–While you are increasing your savings, you also want to do your best to pay down your debt. Potential lenders want to see that you are able to manage your debt and that you can keep your credit-card balances low. If your current debt-to-income ratio is above 50%, you must focus on paying down debt before you should consider buying a home. Most lenders will only provide conventional loans with a 41% debt-to-income ratio.

4.    Research–Buying a home may be a few years in your future, but it is never too early to start thinking about what Realtor® you will use and talking with mortgage lenders about how much of a loan you can qualify for. A qualified Realtor® such as myself would be happy to help you with the process.

Now is the perfect time to buy a home in Danville. 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.

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Danville Home Prices Rise

U.S. single-family home prices rose for the sixth month in a row. The S&P/Case Sheller composite index of 20 metropolitan areas showed an increase of 0.4% in July which is up 4.6 percent over last year. This was the largest home-price increase seen year-after-year since July 2006. According to Trulia, the average listing price of a home for sale in Danville as of October 3rd, 2012 was $1,190,062.This is an increase of 2.5% compared to the week prior. The average price per square foot in Danville is $351 which is an increase of 10.7% over last year.

Nearly six years after the housing collapse, many economists believe that the housing market has finally turned the corner. The sale of previously occupied homes jumped to a high that we have not seen since May of 2010. The number of home re-sales and the breaking of ground on new properties rose for the month of August. David Blitzer, chairman of the index committee at Standard & Poor’s, said in a statement, “All in all, we are more optimistic about housing. Upbeat trends continue.” The trend in gains in the housing market is headed in the right direction, but there is still a long ways to go until a full recovery can be considered.

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.

Staging Your Danville Home? Avoid Doing These Things

With the economy struggling, many homeowners are doing what they can to hold onto as much equity in their home as possible. Many homeowners in Danville who are trying to sell their homes have chosen to try to stage it on their own in an effort to save money. If this is something you plan to do, consider these tips.

Living Room: Personal photos need to be kept to a minimum in the living room and throughout the home. Some homeowners have been known to display a frame with the manufacturer’s photo still inside. This is something you do not want to do. You want to remove any family photos, diplomas, or any other similar item. De-personalizing the room is essential. Replace personal items with decorative art.

Bedroom: Many staged homes present a throw across the end of the bed with a tea-for-two setting placed just right on top of the throw. Many experts will tell you that this idea is way overdone, and buyers know that you really do not live this way. Instead, go with a nice bedding set that accentuates the room. Include a long dresser, a chest of drawers, and two night stands at each side of the bed. If the room feels crowded with all the furniture, consider replacing the bed with a smaller one.

Bathroom: Do not over do the accents in this room. There is no need for bubbles in the tub and filled wine glasses sitting on the ledge. Do not decorate your toilet with a ribbon. It may sound silly but it has been done. Instead, buy a few new hand towels, remove any personal items, and replace your shower curtain with a new one.

Kitchen & Dining Room: If you want your home to stand out as being staged then a formal dining room set will do it. Less really is more here. Place a simple vase with flowers in the middle of the dining room table. Make sure your kitchen counters are clear of all clutter.

A home that is staged well will leave potential buyers with a feeling that it was not staged at all. A clean, de-personalized, clutter free home is what you want your home to look like when buyers view your home.

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.

What You Have To Gain By Refinancing Your Danville Home

Interest rates at historically low levels and new loan programs have opened up the doors for many Danville residents to refinance their homes. There are many reasons to consider refinancing your home loan beyond the benefit of lowering your monthly mortgage payment. Here is what you have to gain by refinancing your home mortgage:
Reduce Your Rate and Term ̶ Keep Your Current Payment

If you are in a position to maintain your current monthly mortgage payment at its current rate, consider reducing the term of your loan when you refinance. Rates continue to remain low, and this may provide you with the option of reducing your 30-year mortgage to a 20-year mortgage with the same monthly payment amount.

Extract Your Home Equity

Are you facing big expenses in your future ̶ medical expenses, college tuition, or a major family event? When you are refinancing your loan, consider borrowing a few extra dollars to help meet your future expenses while interest rates are low.

Dump the ARM

If your current loan is an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM), now is the time to refinance to a fixed-rate mortgage while rates are low.

Combine First and Second Mortgages

If you currently have two mortgages that when combined are less than 80% of the value of your home, consider taking a cash-out refinance to pay off your second loan. Keep in mind your monthly mortgage payment will increase as you will be paying more than just interest on the second mortgage. However, if the prime rate goes up in the years to come you will benefit.

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 five 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. 

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. 

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.