Home Prices Continue to Rise

U.S. home prices jumped 5 percent for the month of September when compared to this same period of time last year. This marks the largest year-over-year increase we have seen in six years according to a recent report released by CoreLogic. This is just more evidence that the housing market here in Diablo and across the nation is continuing to improve. The CoreLogic report is based off repeat sales of the same homes, and it tracks their price changes over a period of time.

On a month-to-month basis, home prices from August to September decreased by 0.3 percent. This was the first home price drop we have seen after six consecutive months of gains. CoreLogic believes that the decline can be attributed to the end of the summertime home-buying season.

Several reports recently released show that the housing market is continuing to improve. The Standard & Poor’s/Case Shiller 20-city index rose 2 percent in August compared to the same time last year. Some areas of the country experienced a lot higher home price increases over the last year. Home prices in Arizona jumped 18.7 percent over the last year, the highest increase seen. New home prices have also jumped in the last month to their highest annual pace in the last two-and-a-half years.

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.

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5 Reasons Why You Should Sell Your Diablo Home Now

Many home sellers feel that spring is the best time of year to place their homes up for sale when there is typically an increase in buyer demand. However, fall and winter both have their advantages when it comes to listing a home, as we are now seeing a decrease in homes on the market. Fall would be the perfect time to sell your Diablo home.

1.    Sincere Buyers – During the fall and winter, the home buyers out looking are sincere ones who are serious about buying. The number of homes on the market during this time of year tends to be dwindling. There is no need to wait till spring to list your Diablo home when there are buyers waiting to buy now.

2.    Competition – The housing supply drops this time of year. There is less competition during fall and winter when the housing market slows, and there are fewer homes for sale. Put your home up for sale during this time of year and let your house shine.

3.    Timelier Transition – The length of time it takes for your home to go from contract to close can take awhile. During springtime, banks are being inundated with both mortgage applications and loan refinances which can slow things down. During fall and winter, there are fewer applications making the mortgage process a little quicker.

4.    Moving on Up – If you are looking to buy a home that is larger and more expensive, now is the time to do it. Home prices are projected to be up by over 15% by the year 2016.  Take advantage of the still-low home prices we are seeing in 2012, and sell your home and move up now before home prices jump.

5.    Is It Time for a Change? – Determine why you feel the need to sell your home and purchase a new one. If it is to relocate, then you may not have a chance to wait to sell, but if it is for a change of pace, ask yourself if it is time.

Take advantage of less competition in the housing market and let your house stand out. 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.

Mortgage Rates in Diablo May Increase in the Near Future

Recently the Federal Housing Finance Agency, which is the regulatory body for both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, announced that another 10 basis point increase in guarantee fees (g-fee) will go into effect between November 1 and December 1, 2012. The increase in g-fees could lead to mortgage rates for home buyers in Diablo to jump in the near future. This is the second time g-fees have increased this year, with the last being in April.

The g-fee increase will result in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac charging lenders more to guarantee loans. The increase will result in about 40 to 50 basis points in price to the lender which, in turn, will be passed on to the home buyer. The increase you will see in interest rates will vary by lender and borrower. We could see rate increases by 0.125 to .5 percent in the very near future.

A .5 percent increase in mortgage rates could have a strong impact on what a borrower would pay on a monthly payment. For instance, if the rate would increase from 3.5 percent to 4.0 percent it would raise the rate on a $200,000 loan by $57 a month.

Take advantage of low interest rates and buy now before the rates go up. 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. 

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.