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.

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. 

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.