Selling Incentives to Help Motivate Home Buyers in East Bay

Home SoldIn today’s market, home buyers are looking for a deal. Here are some incentives as a home seller in East Bay you can consider to help get your home sold.

1. Pay the Points
Points are fees that lenders charge to finance a loan. Typically, one point is equal to one percent of the mortgage loan. Consider offering to pay the new home buyer’s points in an effort to secure an offer on your home.

2. Closing Costs
Closing costs are those costs that are incurred by escrow companies and lenders to process paperwork that is needed to close the sale of the home. As the current homeowner, offer to pay for the buyer’s closing costs by stating you are willing to pay up to a certain amount.

3. Pay for Inspections
Nearly all lenders will require a home inspection before a loan will be approved. Many times a buyer is the one paying the cost of the inspection. Offering to pay for the home inspection is an added incentive to spur buyers to buy your home.

4. Allowances
If your home is in need of a little updating and you do not have the finances to completely remodel, consider offering the buyer an allowance. The allowance is a credit given to the new homeowner to compensate for some areas of the home that need a little updating.

5. Paid Utilities
Taking on a new mortgage payment can be a lot for many new homeowners, and the added cost of utility bills can also add to the sting. Make it easier on the buyer and offer to pre-pay certain utilities for a certain length of time.

Weigh your options carefully when it comes to offering any added incentive. Many times selling incentives are just what an East Bay home needs to sell quickly. The housing market competition is increasing and an incentive as mentioned above will help your home stand out in the market. Choose an incentive that will fit in your budget.

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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Home Prices Rise for the Sixth Straight Month

Home  Prices Increase

Once again home prices are on the rise. For the sixth month in a row, home prices have continued to rise in America’s largest cities. Low home supply and increased demand is continuing to help the housing market. Now is the perfect time to buy a home in Blackhawk as home prices are continuing to rise.

The Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller home price index for the 20 largest metropolitan areas in the country rose 0.3% from August and 3.0% from September 2011. Not only was this the sixth consecutive month in a row for price increases, it is the fourth year in a row to see a year-over-year increase.

13 out of the 20 cities tracked by the report showed a gain over August of 2012, and 18 cities saw price increases when compared to year-over-year numbers. The city leading the way in the report was Phoenix, which was one of the cities hit hardest in the past housing market. Phoenix had a 1.1% gain from August and a large increase of 20.4% from year-over-year.

“With six months of consistently rising home prices, it is safe to say that we are now in the midst of a recovery in the housing market,” said David M. Blitzer, Chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices.

 

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 Interest Rates Reach Another All-Time Low in Alamo CA

Once again, mortgage rates have reached an all-time low here in Alamo CA and across the country. Freddie Mac, who does a weekly survey that tracks mortgage rates nationally, reported that a 30-year-fixed-rate mortgage dropped to 3.34 percent with an average .07 point for the week of November 15th. This is the lowest rate ever to be reported by Freddie Mac since they started tracking rates in 1971. During this same time period last year, we saw interest rates average at the 4 percent mark.
15-year fixed-rate mortgages also saw a decrease for the period ending November 15th. The average rate was 2.65 percent with an average 0.7 point, down from 2.69% the week prior. Last year, we saw a rate of 3.31 percent during this period of time.

Many economists are attributing the decrease in rates to higher consumer confidence and lower wholesale prices. Historically low mortgage rates make it the perfect time to buy a new home.

Take advantage of low interest rates and save even more money on your 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.

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.

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.

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. 

 

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. 

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.