Monthly Weather Report – October

No tricks this past month, only treats! While other teams might be haunted by the fall selling season, we’ve been spooktacularly successful! The main theme you’ll find this month (other than ghouls and gobblins) is that we’re working with multiple clients who are both sellers and buyers. Selling an existing home and then purchasing a new home can be a complicated process, but we’re smoothly guiding our clients to the finish line.

2508 Wilde Avenue, Pleasanton – Sold for $2,255,000

This wow house went pending after just 8 days and sold for $60,000 over list price! It was a record high sale for the neighborhood. Virtual Tour.

 

1517 Whispering Oaks Way, Pleasanton – Sold for $1,353,858

The buyers of 2508 Wilde Avenue were the sellers of this beautiful Walnut Hills home. This rarely available Carriage House model didn’t last long on the market. Virtual Tour.

 

3839 Antonini Way, Pleasanton – Sold for $2,740,000

Originally starting as a pocket listing, or off market listing, this gorgeous Ruby Hill Mediterranean inspired home now belongs to a happy family. Virtual Tour.

 

480 Montori Court, Pleasanton – Sold for $1,569,000

The sellers of this Ruby Hill home are the buyers of 3839 Antonini Way. In order to purchase Antonini, they needed to sell their home. We were able to not only sell their home, but have a 7 day close! Virtual Tour.

2425 Heritage Oaks Drive, Alamo – Pending

We’re representing the buyers of this home, who happen to be the sellers of 3839 Antonini Way. They had liked a few other properties, but this one has won them over. Offered at $2,395,000, the views go on for miles.

1121 Navalle Court, Pleasanton – Pending

Offered at $1,299,000, we’re representing the sellers of this Vintage Hills home. Located in a highly-sought-after neighborhood, it didn’t stay available on the market for long! Virtual Tour.

14 Arreba Street, Martinez – Pending

We’re representing the sellers of this adorable home. What started out as their starter home, turned into an updated charmer offered at $479,000. Virtual Tour.

 

1824 Ohlone Heights, Clayton – Pending

The sellers of 14 Arreba Street are purchasing this house, listed at $839,999. They wanted to make the upgrade from their cute single story to this completely updated Clayton home.

2245 Doccia Court – Pending

Offered at $1,800,000 we’re representing the sellers of this French Country inspired home. We worked hard to find the perfect buyers for this property. Now our clients will be able to rest easy in their new construction, Brentwood home. Virtual Tour.

We love being able to represent sellers and buyers, working to make their dreams come true!

Marketing and selling high-end Luxury Homes in the Tri Valley is what we do best, but on this real estate journey, it’s all about the people we meet on the way, connecting them to each other and the places they call HOME.

2842 W Ruby Hill Drive, Pleasanton

Gorgeous Custom Estate Home in Ruby Hill!

Open House Friday 10-1, Saturday/Sunday 1-4

Built in 2001, this gorgeous custom estate home sits on one of the 15 original premium lots at the prestigious gated Ruby Hill golf course community, just steps from the 8th hole of the Jack Nicklaus designed course. Luxurious amenities and custom features throughout, with a well designed floor plan and highly upgraded entertainer’s backyard. Top rated Pleasanton schools and proximity to Historic Downtown, award winning Livermore Valley Wineries, San Francisco, and Silicon Valley. Monthly dues of $215 include resort style HOA amenities.

Highlights of this home include striking Formal Entry with custom hand crafted front doors and column accents. Elegant Formal Living and Dining Rooms with hardwood flooring and wine closet with hand crafted doors, complementing the main entry doors. Gourmet Kitchen and Breakfast Nook feature distressed Alder cabinetry, granite counter tops and travertine backsplash, top of the line appliances, built-in coffee bar, oversized island with bar seating, walk-in pantry, and travertine tile flooring. Adjacent Family Room with fireplace and granite topped wet bar, distressed Alder cabinetry with media niche, and 50 gallon salt water fish tank. Luxurious Main Level Master Bedroom with coffered ceiling, slider to backyard, and pass-through to Executive Office. Master Bathroom features his & hers vanities, Jacuzzi tub, oversized stall shower, and large walk-in closet. Sun Room with Half Bathroom and Laundry Room with sink and storage round out the main floor. Upstairs features oversized Bonus Room (easily converted to additional Bedroom or second Master Bedroom Suite) and 3 generously sized Upstairs Bedrooms with 2 Full Bathrooms. Smart Home System with built-in speakers, Pella dual pane windows, crown molding, recessed lighting, ceiling fans, stone accented doorways and alcoves, multi-zone HVAC, central vacuum, and so much more! Highly upgraded, private Entertainer’s Backyard with 30′ x 25′ Outdoor Cabana with Kitchen, fireplace, and commercial grade heaters. Custom designed lower level temperature controlled Wine Cellar with 2100 bottle storage, hand carved imported door, and spacious tasting area. Pool and Spa, Fire-Pit, Sports Court, and Fenced Yard with Gated Access to Golf Course. Country club amenities (with membership) including social club and golf club.

Contact us for more information.

For club membership information click here.

Pleasanton is a wonderful place to live!

Marketing and selling high-end Luxury Homes in the Tri Valley is what we do best, but on this real estate journey, it’s all about the people we meet on the way, connecting them to each other and the places they call HOME.

Pleasanton Real Estate Agents

Who WOULDN’T want a shorter mortgage? Here’s how…

No one wants to spend longer making mortgage payments than they have to. The obvious way to pay off a mortgage faster is to get a shorter-term loan, like a 15-year instead of a 30-year. But on a $300,000 home purchase with 10 percent down, you’ll pay about $620 more per month on a 15-year loan than on a 30-year loan (including mortgage insurance), which might be too expensive for you.

So how do you fix your budget with a loan you can afford, yet still pay it off early if you have extra money? Here’s a look at four common approaches.

Refinance, then reinvest savings

It’s always prudent to evaluate refinancing when rates drop, but unless you refinance from a 30-year loan to a 15-year loan, refinancing doesn’t automatically shave years off your mortgage.

If you bought a home for $300,000 with 10 percent down five years ago, the rate on your 30-year fixed loan of $270,000 was about 4.875 percent, giving you a payment of $1,429 (plus mortgage insurance). With today’s refinance rates of about 3.625 percent on your remaining $247,494 balance, your new payment would be $1,129, saving you $300 per month.

It’s a huge savings, but you’re resetting your payoff clock from 25 years back to 30 years. However, if you take the extra step of applying the $300 savings toward your new loan each month, you’ll shave 9.5 years off your new mortgage, giving you a shorter term for the same budget.

Make biweekly payments

A biweekly payment plan is the simplest way to shorten your mortgage without a material budget increase. This plan shaves about four years off your mortgage by paying half your payment every other week.

Doing so means you’re making 26 biweekly payments per year, which is the equivalent of 13 monthly mortgage payments per year instead of 12. Your budget can usually absorb this because you’re simply chopping your mortgage payment in half and paying each half every other week.

Read more…

Low down payments AND loan security – a great combo…

Low down-payment mortgage options return

Except these home loans are safer

money zipper

New programs are starting to allow first-time homeowners back into the housing market, except this time, new regulation will help prevent the same type of lending that spurred the financial crisis. Per CNNMoney:

“It’s one of the things that’s inhibiting first-time homebuyers,” said Rob Chrane, president of Down Payment Resource. “There are a lot more people who can qualify for a home that don’t realize that they can.”

Two big factors that are playing in to the recent ease is the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s new down payment programs and the Federal Housing Administration’s reduction in mortgage insurance premiums.

In October, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac announced 97% loan-to-value offerings.

At the beginning of the year, the Obama Administration directed, via executive action, the FHA to reduce annual mortgage insurance premiums by 50 basis points, from 1.35% to 0.85%.

FHA monthly insurance premiums dropped dramatically at the beginning of 2015. The change, from 1.35% to only 0.85%, will make FHA loans a better choice for some borrowers after years of prohibitively high premiums, said Anthony Hsieh, chief executive officer of loanDepot, one of the largest FHA lenders in the country.

Read more…

Looks like it’s definitely time to buy!

Like a lot of people, Mark Stevenson has had it with rent prices.

His Walnut Creek, CA apartment complex raised the rent last year, and he recently learned that his 1-bedroom unit is headed up another $351, to $1,830 a month.

“Here’s my dilemma: Renew a 12-month rental lease complete with a 24 percent mugging, or buy a condo,” Stevenson said. “I’m looking to buy now.”

That could be a good financial bet, given the findings from Zillow’s latest Home Price Expectations Survey. A panel of more than 100 experts predicted:

  • U.S. home values will rise 4.4 percent in 2015, to a median value of $187,040.
  • Median U.S. home values will exceed their pre-recession peak of $196,400 by May 2017.
  • 51 percent expect rental affordability will not improve for at least two years.

Already, renting is half as affordable as buying, something Danville, CA broker Kevin Kieffer of Keller Williams Realty hears about all the time.

“‘My landlord is getting ready to hike the rent by $200, and I’ve got to buy:’ Since 2001, I haven’t heard that more consistently than I am now,” Kieffer said.

The issue is basic economics: Demand is outstripping supply.

“Vacancy rates on rental units in the fourth quarter were down to 7 percent, the lowest in more than 20 years,” said David W. Berson, chief economist for Nationwide Insurance.

The squeeze could continue for years, said Berson, who participated in the survey.

Rents will rise as millennials strike out on their own — but not all of them will rent. “If a larger share start to move toward [buying], the rent increase will not be quite as rapid,” he said.

The situation is worse in some places than in others.

In Dallas, for example, a renter making the median household income spends 27.7 percent of it on rent. In Chicago, it’s 31.5 percent; in New York, 40.5 percent and in Los Angeles, 47.9 percent.

More than half of the survey panelists who had an opinion said the market will correct the nation’s soaring rents, requiring no government intervention.

Read more…

The weather isn’t the only thing getting sunnier this spring!

Optimism Buoys National Housing Survey Results

Jann Swanson | Mortgage News Daily | Feb 9 2015 | link

Fannie Mae said today that its monthly National Housing Survey (NHS) portrayed increasing optimism as both employment and overall economic figures improved.  More respondents reported their own financial situations were improving and attitudes toward housing also brightened.

The share of respondents who said their household income is significantly higher than it was 12 months ago rose 4 percentage points to 29 percent, and the share expecting their personal financial situation to improve over the next year increased to 48 percent – both all-time survey highs.  At the same time the number of consumers who see this as a good time to buy a home rose 3 percentage points and those seeing it as a good time to sell rose 4 to scores of 67 and 44 respectively.  The latter number is an all-time survey high.

Read more…

Reverse Mortgage 101

CFPB: 3 tips when taking a reverse mortgage

How to protect families of reverse mortgage borrowerers

rocking chair

Reverse mortgages allow homeowners, 62, and older, to borrow against the accrued equity in their homes, but according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s latest report, they’ve received many complaints from consumers who have experienced problems with reverse mortgages.

Reverse mortgages typically can help some older homeowners meet financial needs in retirement, however it has a tendency to leave a tough situation for the borrowers family.

The CFPB looked at 1,200 reverse mortgage complaints received from when the bureau started taking complaints, on Dec. 1, 2011, and Dec. 31, 2014. Reverse mortgage complaints comprised about 1% of all mortgage complaints, by all ages, during this timeframe.

Although reverse mortgages are only available to people over the age of 62, only about 42% of the complaints were from consumers who described themselves as 62 or older. Instead most of the complaints were the younger spouses or family members of borrowers.

Due to the complaints that the CFPB has received, they outlined three things borrowers and their loved ones should do if they have a reverse mortgage.

Read more…

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