July 17, 2017

What Do You Need to Look for in a Moving Company?

Knowing what to look for in a moving company involves several factors.

 

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I recently had the opportunity to talk to with Tony Sandoval, the general manager of You Move Me, about what people should look for from a moving company.

What Tony explained first and foremost was to make sure that you are working with a company that is licensed, has the proper insurances, and follows the PUC laws for your specific state. 

Outside of just these things though, he mentioned that it’s also important to check a company’s reputation. Whether that means looking them up on the Better Business Bureau, Yelp, Homeadvisor, Angie’s List, or elsewhere, it is always a good idea to get a sense of what is being said about a company.

Tony’s company, You Move Me, has a five-star rating overall.  

Equally essential, he says, is knowing who you are working with. You Move Me doesn’t contract any work out. Their team is their team, so you can be sure that training and screening have been done internally and thoroughly.

 

You Move Me has a five-star rating throughout.

 

Tony himself is the first and last person who oversees the process when he works with people to help them move. 

Even in portions of the process that his team is responsible for, he is always there checking in to make sure that everything is going smoothly for them and for the client. 

Back on the subject of insurance, Tony also told me that you should always check a company’s liability insurance. This is especially true if you’re moving into a high-rise or an apartment. 

Not only does You Move Me have $2 million of liability insurance, they also have worker’s comp insurance and are otherwise covered in every aspect. 

To get in touch with You Move Me, you can visit YouMoveMe.com or call at 1-800-926-3900. 

If you have any additional questions you can also reach out to me by giving me a call or an email. I look forward to hearing from you, soon.

 

Posted in Buying a Home
June 14, 2017

4 Tips for Winning in a Multiple Offer Situation

What can you do as a buyer to get your offer accepted when there are multiple offers on the table? I’ve compiled a list of four tips.

 

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We are still experiencing a hot market right now in Silicon Valley, and many homes are getting multiple offers. These tips will help you make your offer as a buyer stand out in the crowd:

 

1. Choose an early close date. Sellers want a sure thing. They want to accept an offer and know that offer will close and the sooner that happens, the better. The less time there is to closing, the less time there is for something to happen that might jeopardize the sale, like losing a job or going through a divorce. If you’re getting financing, you have to make sure you give enough time for the loan process to be completed, so you’re probably looking at 25 to 30 days. If you’re paying cash, then you can shorten that period.  

 

2. Consider offering a rent-back agreement. This season can be difficult for some sellers. It may take some time for the sellers to find another house, or they were waiting for school or other kid’s programs to finish and need some time to get out of the house. Maybe they’re finishing up their new house 

 

If you can offer a rent-back to the sellers that allows them to stay in the property for a couple of weeks or even a couple of months, then that gives you a huge advantage over the other offers that don’t include that agreement.

 

Sellers want a sure thing.

 

3. Reduce or eliminate contingencies. In this market, we’re seeing a lot of the seller disclosures up front where you can view all the documents, including HOA documents, as well as some inspection reports, and possibly eliminate those contingencies up front. If they don’t have the inspections done up front, you can put in writing to the seller that if repairs are under a certain amount, you as the buyer won’t ask for the repairs and take the home as-is.

 

Sometimes these properties aren’t appraising with the purchase price, and something that you can do that sets your offer apart from others is offer to pay the difference if the property comes in at a certain amount (say, $10,000) under the contract price. This makes the seller feel more comfortable in accepting your offer over others that may not offer the same things.

 

4. Send a personal letter or video to the sellers. This is becoming more of a common practice, but when there are multiple offers on the table you can really separate yourself from the others by telling the sellers what you love about their home and letting them get to know you. 

 

We’ve even taken it a step further by offering the option to film a video that we can send to the seller. We can do it either at the property during a showing or back here at our office and give the seller the added bonus of seeing who you are as a buyer rather than just reading a letter or seeing one picture.

 

If you have any other questions about this topic or you’re looking to buy or sell a home, give us a call. We’d be happy to help!

 

Posted in Buying a Home
May 31, 2017

What’s Happening in the Silicon Valley Real Estate Market?

What is happening in our local real estate market? Let’s look at some of the leading indicators to find out.

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We’re here to give you the most updated information about what’s going on in the real estate market. 

The media often reports on the average sales price and the number of homes sold, but those are actually lagging indicators from months past. We look at the leading indicators to determine what’s happening in our current market. 

One of those indicators is the number of new homes on the market. In our area, that number has stayed the same year over year. However, we are down 3% from last month, so there are fewer homes coming on the market. 

Since there are fewer homes on the market, there are also fewer sales. Year over year, home sales are down 5.5%. What’s interesting is that month over month, home sales went up 28.7%, which means there are more homes going off the market.

 

We are in a seller’s market.

 

With fewer homes on the market, our inventory levels have dropped 17.2% from last year. Low inventory means we are in a seller’s market. 

So, how can you take advantage of the current market? 

If you are a seller, now is a great time to put your home on the market. The spring and summer market is a lot of fun, and you won’t face much competition due to the low inventory. 

As a buyer, it’s important that you work with an agent who knows how to navigate multiple offer situations. Your agent should have a proven strategy to get your offer accepted. 

If you have any questions about our current market or would like to learn more about buying or selling a home, just give us a call. We would be happy to help you!

 

Posted in Market Update
April 26, 2017

Superior Realty Partners' Third Annual Easter Egg Hunt & BBQ

We just finished up our third annual Easter Egg Hunt and BBQ! 

I’m so pleased and grateful for the way everything turned out. 

It was a great time for the surrounding community to get together and enjoy the beautiful weather.

 

Thank you to everyone that came out for this incredible event. 

I’d like to give special thanks to those that helped planning and organizing it,

and a special thanks to the giveaway sponsors. 

My company, Superior Realty Partners, sponsored the event and we are thrilled with the outcome.

 

We’re looking forward to another incredible year in 2018. 

We’d love to gain your continued support next spring as well!

Posted in Community Events
April 14, 2017

Why Professional Photography Is So Important When Selling a Home

Listing a home and using bad photos to showcase it online is a bad idea. Here’s why.

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Today, I want to start with a trivia question: Back in 1995, what percentage of homebuyers were searching for homes online?

Give up? The answer is 2%. Today, the percentage of homebuyers that search for homes online stands at 95%. 

Why is this statistic so important? The No. 1 thing people look for when they search for homes online is photos. Additionally, according to a recent study by the National Association of Realtors, the No. 1 thing sellers look for in a real estate agent is the ability to market and promote their home to potential buyers. Buyers are online looking for photos, and sellers want agents who can market their homes to those buyers. 

 


The No. 1 thing people look for when they search for homes online is photos.


 

If you’re a home seller, you need good photos of your home for buyers to see. It still amazes me how many homes come on the market that feature blurry, grainy, iPhone photos, and the seller wonders why that home sits on the market for so long. These phones have good cameras, but it’s not a professional camera that can showcase the property properly. 

Good photos make a person want to come see your home in person. Statistics show that professional photography helps homes sell faster and for more money. Adding aerial and/or drone photography can make them sell even faster. 

As we enter the spring market and inventory rises, you need to make sure you have an agent who knows how to get your home in front of buyers. Ask them how they plan on ensuring you will get the most money for your property after you put it on the market. 

I work under the assumption that you want the most money possible from your home sale. For our team, professional photography is just the tip of the iceberg. If you have a house you need to sell or you have any questions, feel free to give me a call. I’d be happy to help.

Click here to see ALL the professional photos of this beautiful home!

 

 

Posted in Selling Your Home
March 21, 2017

5 Things to Avoid When Preparing to Sell Your Home

If you’re preparing your home for the market, here are five things you should avoid doing to it.

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You often hear about what you should do to your home when preparing to sell it, but today I want to do the opposite and talk about what you shouldn’t do:

1. Add wallpaper. Unless you have a custom home or you have a custom designer for it, you should avoid wallpaper because that’s something that’s very specific to your tastes. When preparing your home for sale, you want it to appeal to the masses, so stick to things that are neutral. 

2. Add bold point colors. Again, you want to keep things neutral. Stay away from reds, blues, greens specifically.

3. Add lavish light fixtures. These are expensive, and you won’t get your return on investment for them. If you’re going to add a light fixture, stick to something simple that will appeal to more people.

 


Don’t automatically replace old carpet with new carpet—you have other options.


 

4. Replace carpet with more carpet. When a carpet is old or worn out, a lot of people automatically think to replace it with the exact same thing, but there are other options you should consider. For the same cost or very little money, you could upgrade that carpeting or install a different type of material, like a high-end laminate or entry-level engineered hardwood. 

5. Overspend on landscaping. You definitely want to do some work out front to increase the property’s curb appeal because that’s the first thing people see when they drive up to it, but don’t go overboard. The landscaping should look nice, but don’t overspend to the point where you won’t get your money back.

If you have any specific questions about your property or you’re thinking about selling in the spring and summer markets, please feel free to give us a call. We’re happy to help.

Posted in Selling Your Home
March 3, 2017

What Do Low Inventory and Rising Rates Mean for Our Market?

If you’ve thought about selling your home this year, now might be the time to do it, Here’s why. 

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What’s our market look like now that we’re into the beginning of March? I have some interesting news and a few numbers to share with you. 

The minutes from the Federal Reserve’s recent meeting just came out, and they’re still confident they can raise interest rates gradually and fairly soon. This article from Mortgage Professional America will give you a more in-depth look at this development.

 


If you’ve thought about selling your home this year, now might be the time to do it.


 

We’re currently experiencing very low inventory in Silicon Valley. In Morgan Hill, from February 2016 to February 2017, the level of inventory decreased by 38%. In Gilroy, the margin of decrease was 30%. In San Jose, it’s down almost 40%. 

This decrease in the number of homes available combined with the threat of the Fed raising rates has buyers scrambling to buy homes. If you thought about selling your home this year, now might be the best time to do it. If you wait until the spring or summer, you’ll not only face more competition from other sellers, but impending rate increases might drive a lot of potential buyers to a lower price point. 

If you want to know what your home is worth or you’re interested in putting it on the market, please don’t hesitate to give us a call or shoot me an email. We’d be happy to help you! 

 

Posted in Selling Your Home
Feb. 10, 2017

Don’t Believe These 2 Home Buying Myths

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There are two myths about buying a home that I want to go over with you today. First, though, I recently saw an interesting article on CNBC about David Bach, the best-selling author of “The Automatic Millionaire” that will help us disprove those two myths.

In the article (and in his book), Bach discusses the importance of buying a home. He specifically mentions millennials because they don’t prioritize purchasing a home. However, homeownership really works for everyone. Buying a home has a tremendous impact on your long-term wealth.

For example, homeowners in America are 38 times wealthier than renters. Bach says that renters can spend over $500,000 on rent over the years and, in the end, they own nothing. In the Silicon Valley, that number is closer to $1 million. Again, if you don’t buy a house, you have nothing to show for all of that money that you spent. If you buy a house with that same payment, you will be free and clear in 30 years.


You may be able to purchase a home right now and not even know it!

 

That is where these myths come into play. People either don’t think they have the credit to buy a home or they think they don’t have the down payment to buy a home.

However, just last year the average credit score to buy a home was 724. The average credit score required for an FHA loan was only 686. You don’t need perfect credit in order to qualify for a home purchase.

You also don’t need to put 20% down. In 2016, the average down payment was only 10%. For first-time homebuyers, the average down payment was only 6%!

What does this mean? Don’t believe the myths. You may be able to qualify for a home right now and you don’t even know it. There are home loans available that only require a 3 or 3 ½ % down payment, and even that can come from a family member as a gift. Even if you’re not ready now, we can help you lay out a plan for homeownership in the future.

If you have any questions or you are interested in buying a home, just give me a call or send me an email. I would be happy to help you on your path to homeownership!


 

Posted in Buying a Home
Jan. 27, 2017

What Is the True Cost of Waiting to Buy a Home?

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As you may recall, we recently did a video about predictions for the 2017 real estate market where we recommended that buyers buy their homes sooner rather than later due to rising interest rates. Today I want to go into more detail about this bit of advice so you can truly understand the cost of waiting to buy a home in 2017.

 

In the video above, I’ve prepared two slides that illustrate the real monetary difference of buying now versus waiting.

 

The first slide calculates the difference you would see in your monthly payment. At the current interest rate of 4.08%, a mortgage of $800,000 would result in a principal and interest payment of $3,856.31. If you wait until rates go up to 4.75%, which is predicted to happen by the first quarter of 2018, your principal and interest payment would increase to $4,298.37, which is a difference of $442.06 per month. If you stretch that payment out over 30 years, that’s a significant cost. 

 

 

 


The longer you wait to buy a home, the more you will have to pay for it.

 

The second slide tracks your overall purchasing power over time as rates increase. A 4% rate for an $800,000 mortgage would result in a monthly payment of $3,819. If rates rise to 4.5%, you’ll only be able to afford a house worth $760,000. And don’t forget that property values have gone up, so at that point, you might be looking at a completely different home in a completely different neighborhood. If rates rise as high as 4.75% or 5%, you’ll only be able to afford a house worth $740,000 or $720,000 instead of $800,000.

As you can see, waiting could make a huge difference in what you can afford. So, to reiterate, consider buying your home before interest rates and home values go up any higher. If you’re worried about not being able to qualify for a loan or not being able to afford a down payment, stay tuned for our next video where we will dispel some myths about mortgage loans. Who knows—you might be in better shape than you think.

 

If you have any questions or have a topic in mind you’d like to see us discuss, send me an email or give me a call. I’d be happy to help!

Posted in Buying a Home
Jan. 13, 2017

What’s In Store for Our Real Estate Market in 2017?

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As we enter the new year, what can you expect from our real estate market going forward in 2017?

 

As we all know, the Federal Reserve met and raised interest rates last December. Realistically, though, rates are still very close to where they started 2016 at. That’s the good news.

 

 

Another important thing that happened in that December meeting, though, was the Fed’s prediction that they will need to raise interest rates three more times this year instead of two like they initially thought. It’s a safe bet that they will end up between 4.5% and 5%.

 

 


The longer you wait to buy a home, the more you will have to pay for it.

 

What does that mean for you? If you’re looking to buy a house, it’s a good idea to do it sooner rather than later. While the appreciation of homes values will likely slow down somewhat, we still expect prices to continue to rise, overall. The longer you wait, the higher the rate you will have to pay for your home loan. Either you won’t be able to afford as big of a house as you planned, or you’ll have to pay more for a house of the same size.

 

If you have any questions or have a video topic in mind you’d like to see me discuss, don’t hesitate to give me a call or send me an email. I look forward to hearing from you!

Posted in Market Update