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buyer: Making an Offer: Behind the Scenes - 07/19/07 04:20 AM
"I believe we'll want to work with your clients," she said as I stood up from the conference table and extended her a firm handshake. Those were the code words I was looking for and I knew my Silicon Valley client would be a very happy woman in a few hours, especially since she paid less than her reservation price! There were two other offer packets in her hand, one had been faxed in, its sheets arranged haphazardly in a manila envelope. The other was presented earlier in the day, stapled into a standard company folder by that buyers agent. The (0 comments)
buyer: The Thought Process Behind Making an Offer on a Home - 06/29/07 03:43 AM
The words will sound like they make perfect sense: "If we make an offer, we should make it to win." Even though his eyes were scanning the path from the patio, through the living room into the kitchen, his expression was motionless as he finished his sentence. It was coming towards the day when offers --- we anticipated several --- would be presented to the seller. We'd already walked the home both during the work hours and at night, on a weekday and on a weekend, to see what the neighbors were like and experience what the character of this house was (0 comments)
buyer: The Inside of a Property Only Tells Half the Story - 05/30/07 04:31 AM
The model was open on this semi-clear Sunday and several families with their babies in tow were touring what was an exciting new opening in the area. There was a lot of buzz in the air and the rep definitely had his hands full that day. If you picked up the townhomes with a giant crane and put them on a blank sheet of paper, next to other similar properties in the area, you could probably justify the extra money — maybe not the whole $100K, but somewhere in that ballpark. After all, the fixtures were high-quality and there were upgrades (1 comments)
buyer: Making Your Transition to a New Home Easier Using Contracts - 05/25/07 02:01 AM
It really depends on the market. Sometimes they come in droves, other times you have to offer freshly-baked cookies. Sometimes you can't drive a block without seeing what you want, other times you have to fish for pocket listings. You may not be able to plan precisely when you'll sell your home or when you'll find the perfect place for you, but with preparation and knowledge of the tools at your disposal, you will be in a better position to negotiate: after all, one of the goals when managing a transaction for moving up to a larger home is to have (1 comments)
buyer: Preparation for Moving Up - 05/25/07 01:58 AM
"I love it," she said. Everything about their current home was serviceable, but from the granite island with inset burners in the kitchen to the Juliet balcony overlooking the main entryway, just walking through this Silicon Valley house made them feel more alive. We'd already done the calculations, gotten pre-qualified, and knew where the down payment was going to come from so the only thing left to consider was the offer itself. We headed back to the car and they glanced at each other, then glanced back at me and said, "Shouldn't this be harder?" It certainly could be, but we'd (0 comments)
buyer: Finding a Fit - 05/11/07 01:23 PM
How do you define what a great place to live is? I walked up and down the streets of this neighborhood carefully observing how they reacted to it. It's those details that are important. After all, there's a double-edged sword here early on in an agent-client relationship: most clients recognize the effort I put into a property tour, which I appreciate, but sometimes they'll pad what they think of an area because they don't want to say "bad things" about an effort. Searching for a great home is about refinement: here are a few things people look for. There are no (0 comments)
buyer: Emotions in Real Estate: From Fear to Elation - 04/26/07 04:12 AM
"It's yours!" About ten seconds after hanging up with the selling agent, I couldn't wait to deliver the news. This had been something he'd been waiting years for and today was the day. And after those two words, the only thing on the line was stunned silence! A combination of elation, shock and achievement. You could feel the excitement echoing through the airwaves but the quiet could have put out a candle. For all the number-crunching, research, and analysis I do to ensure my clients are making good financial and investment decisions, the one thing I never lose sight of for them (2 comments)
buyer: Silicon Valley Housing Market Update (April 2007) Continued - 04/16/07 02:35 AM
I mentioned in my Silicon Valley Housing Market Update - April 2007, that the recent 9.2% increase in single-family home prices year-over-year in Santa Clara County wasn't necessarily bad news for most buyers. Then I left a cliffhanger for Sunday. I've updated the article with the reasons why and where there are softer areas that Silicon Valley home buyers can look at. More… (0 comments)
buyer: Why Some Houses Don't Sell: A Buyer's Perspective - 04/07/07 02:01 AM
It was the right neighborhood near one of Silicon Valley's up-and-coming downtown areas. I paced the angular stairwell looking carefully at the stained hardwood while my client measured out the living room. "It's good," he said, sizing up the empty canvas beside the fireplace. I smiled and made a left into the downstairs guest room. Theoretically, he loved the place, from location to square-footage, to the deep auburn color of the hardwood floors. Then, out of nowhere he exclaimed, "What in the world [ed. he didn't use that word] am I supposed to do with the loft?!" Ah, the loft. We had talked (0 comments)
buyer: You Can Learn a Great Deal From a Rant - 03/26/07 09:18 PM
I sat in the office of another client, across from him and his dustless mahogany desk. I briefly peered out towards the Silicon Valley hills through the shades of the window behind him before he lifted his brow from thought. He muttered cautiously, "That's a good question…" and placed his chin on his hand in the universal position for "I don't have an answer for that yet." He wanted to tell me something but the way his eyes focused into the distance, you could see a little fear, as if to say, "People will think less of me for saying what (4 comments)
But by challenging the reasoning behind some widely-held notions and remembering that your personal requirements are the key real estate decision process, you can gain more confidence in any decision you choose to make. 1. You Should Treat Your Home Like an InvestmentYes, your home is an investment, but it's not your stock portfolio, college fund, or that rental property you own in Sun Valley. What you would do for an investment property is very different from what you do (0 comments)
buyer: How Home Buyers and Sellers Get Trapped in Straw Scams - 02/13/07 03:34 AM
Let's say that you've just gotten engaged and that you and your fiancee find your dream house. But since you're just getting started on the rest life, you can't get a reasonably-priced mortgage. Your parents have a pretty good credit score and a strong income, so you ask them to buy the house for you and then transfer ownership to you using a trust deed. You promise to pay them on the mortgage that you couldn't qualify for yourselves.
Your parents are acting as a "straw" through which you are getting ownership of a house. This scenario seems relatively innocent, (12 comments)
buyer: When Not to Buy a House - 02/06/07 09:54 PM
You've probably heard all the perks about buying a house and how it's the centerpiece of the American Dream. But the American Dream is less about possessing the house itself than the improvement you expect in your lifestyle when you own a home.
There are times when buying a house isn't the right way to go, particularly when the financial stress of keeping your home takes away from your enjoyment of it. Here are five times when you shouldn't buy a house. 1. You're uncertain about your job. Having a stable income is paramount in ensuring that your home doesn't turn (0 comments)
buyer: Lies, Damn Lies, and Mary Poppins? - 02/02/07 01:28 PM
I read the San Jose Mercury News article titled "Bay Area homes' price down 1.4% from a year ago" and pictured yet another heated discussion between the two propaganda crowds. You know, the ones who blindly say the sky is or isn't falling and the others who always carry around steel-reinforced umbrellas, not for protecting others, but to whack other people over the head with after they say, "I told you so." Clearly there's some middle ground. Data is open to interpretation, and just like you can turn Mary Poppins into a horror movie or The Ring into a love story, with a (0 comments)
buyer: Top Things to Know When Buying a Home - 02/02/07 02:49 AM
Buying the perfect home requires knowledge and preparation. CNNMoney.com has a surprisingly insightful list of top things you need to know when buying a house, but there are a couple adjustments that need to be made for Northern California. CNNMoney.com's #3. Debt vs. Income Housing affordability in the Bay Area is definitely challenging. The CNNMoney.com article notes a rule of thumb to buy a house that is priced at about 2.5 times your income, but because the numbers are so different in this area, the more important ratio is actually your debt-to-income ratio. Can you afford to payback your mortgage? CNNMoney.com's #5. School (0 comments)
buyer: "The Sky Is Falling!" and Other Fairy Tales - 02/01/07 03:14 AM
First some numbers: the Wall Street Journal reports that Silicon Valley added 30,000 new jobs last year and that unemployment in Silicon Valley dropped to 4%, down from a peak of 8% in 2002. The average salary here is up 4% from last year to $74,302 according to the same report. The challenge with the market for people looking to buy a Silicon Valley home is that it's historically been extremely expensive. Even before the insanity of 2005, Silicon Valley real estate prices have always been challenging.
Here are some articles from over the years: Silicon Valley Cost of Living: Expensive (0 comments)
2005 was the peak of this recent real estate boom and during that year a whopping 40% of all home sales were to investors or people buying vacation homes, according to David Lereah, chief economics for the National Association of Realtors. The dip in 2006 makes perfect sense because, as Lereah says, "A lot of those people have left the market." Impact on Silicon Valley: Look Around at the Central Valley The article mentions that analysts have predicted prices will continue to fall in "formerly red-hot markets" (0 comments)
buyer: Finding the Right Silicon Valley Public School - 01/24/07 02:06 AM
Choosing the right school for your children is such an important decision that it may help determine where you decide to live. It's not a simple choice, but with the right resources, you can be confident in your decision.
Standardized Test Scores. The California Department of Education measures the academic strength of public schools using the Academic Performance Index (API), a score between 200 and 1000. The goal is for all schools to score above 800. While higher scores are generally better, you need to take into account if there are teachers who "teach for the test" and schools that (0 comments)
buyer: Do We Really Need More Sites That Post House Listings? - 01/23/07 01:50 PM
I'm not an MLS apologist. I believe that information wants to be free and that agents should be good interpreters of information and not gatekeepers, but we're coming to a point where listing real estate is going to get much worse before it gets better. While Zillow.com made the big splash in allowing people to list their homes for sale, the Merc announces that HomeGain and HouseValues are joining the fray. HouseValues (which, in full disclosure, I hold an ever shrinking stock position in) will make it easier to post on Google classifieds and Oodle, while HomeGain will be facilitating listings to (4 comments)
buyer: How Much Should You Allocate as a Down Payment - 01/15/07 11:39 PM
Traditionally, people put 20% of the purchase price as a down payment when buying a home. You would pay this 20% upfront as a "cash" down payment through a cashiers check or by wiring money to the seller, and get a mortgage to pay them the remaining 80% of the price of the house. However, as a borrower, you have many more choices including some that provide you greater financial flexibility with greater risk, or more stability at higher cost. Continue Reading: How Much Should You Allocate as a Down Payment >>
Find out more at 1SiliconValley.com, the Silicon Valley Real (0 comments)
Disclaimer: ActiveRain Corp. does not necessarily endorse the real estate agents, loan officers and brokers listed on this site. These real estate profiles, blogs and blog entries are provided here as a courtesy to our visitors to help them make an informed decision when buying or selling a house. ActiveRain Corp. takes no responsibility for the content in these profiles, that are written by the members of this community.