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oakley: GREAT NEWS FOR FORGIVEN MORTGAGE DEBT, FOR SOME BORROWERS - 01/18/08 08:50 AM
President Bush signed into law the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act of 2007, which is designed to relieve the stress many current home owners/sellers are feeling at the prospects of owing taxes on the "Phantom Income" earned when their debt is forgiven. Whether through a foreclosure or a short sale, lenders usually end up forgiving the mortgage debt that was not repaid. Under previous tax codes, this unpaid loan amount was considered a "gain" to the borrower and thus taxable "Phantom Income" at the tax payer's ordinary income tax rate. The Debt Relief Act eliminates all or part of the tax consequences of (1 comments)
oakley: BUYING AN AUCTION BARGAIN - 12/07/07 03:45 PM
Prospective homeowners and investors are looking to snatch up bargains at auctions being held to sell lots of homes that have been foreclosed on by banks. As you drive around many towns, you'll see the ‘auction' signs directing you to homes that are up for auction and when you get to the homes, there will usually be additional information on when and where the auction will be held. Are there really bargains to be had? Sometimes. At the auctions I've attended, auction companies will auction anywhere from 1 or 2 homes to literally hundreds of homes over a couple of days. (0 comments)
oakley: THINKING OF DOWN-SIZING? - 11/09/07 11:03 AM
There are many reasons for wanting to buy a smaller home. The kids have moved out and 5 bedrooms are no longer needed. The current home or yard have become too much to clean & maintain. Baby-boomers are preparing for retirement. Regardless of why you are considering buying a smaller home, how should you approach this situation in the current market? It depends upon your timing, relative home prices and what home values are doing where you next wish to live. If you know you are going to sell & buy in the next year or two and the current value of (0 comments)
oakley: FAMILY BAILOUT PLAN – GOOD OR BAD IDEA? - 11/02/07 06:15 PM
Record numbers of home owners in East Contra Costa County, as well as the country, are struggling to make their monthly mortgage payments with most of them owing more than their homes are currently worth. Many of them are on the brink of not being able to make their payments and fall into the foreclosure process. I've had several owners ask me if they should ask relatives to help bail them out of their predicament. In most cases, the answer is no. In most cases owners would be throwing good money after bad and feeling even worse because now they owe (0 comments)
oakley: RELOCATION PACKAGES - 10/27/07 12:15 AM
Congratulations! You've been recognized for your talents as a valuable employee and offered a promotion within your company. You'll soon be tackling exciting new responsibilities. One of the first challenges is that your employer wants you across country in 2-3 weeks and you have a family, kids in school, pets, a home to sell, etc. Most employers realize that a job change which requires a move at the same time can be quite stressful. In order to make the transition as smooth and stress-free as possible, many employers offer relocation packages to their employees. These packages are designed to reduce many of (0 comments)
oakley: HOW SHOULD I LEAVE MY HOME? - 10/27/07 12:04 AM
Many sellers wonder what their responsibilities are when they turn over possession of the home they just sold to the new owners. How clean should the home be, where do they leave the keys and remotes, when do they turn off the power, etc. I feel the Golden Rule sets a terrific guideline here: "Leave the home as you would like to receive it if you were the new owners." Would you like to move in to find out that the water was already shut off, the carpets need cleaning before you bring your furniture in and there are bags of garbage (0 comments)
oakley: KEYS TO SELLING A VACANT HOME! - 09/27/07 03:20 PM
For many reasons, home sellers often find themselves in the position of selling a home that is vacant. Job changes, family emergencies, or simply buying another home prior to selling an existing home will result in the need to sell a vacant home. Homes that look like ‘model homes' typically sell more quickly, and for more money (even though the beautiful furnishings and décor are not staying with the home). Buyers easily envision themselves living with comparable surroundings, making the purchase decision easier as well. So what is the best way to sell a vacant home when the home will not (0 comments)
oakley: YOU TOO CAN HELP PREVENT THE SPREAD OF WEST NILE VIRUS! - 09/21/07 05:13 PM
A representative of the Contra Costa Mosquito & Vector Control District spoke at each of the local real estate agent tour meetings explaining how we as agents, as well as the general public, can help to prevent the spread of West Nile Virus. First a little background: West Nile Virus is a disease carried by birds and spread from bird to bird by infected mosquitoes. People, and other animals, can be infected as well by mosquitoes. Most people will never show symptoms or realize they were infected (1 in 150 infected people show symptoms according to the Mosquito & Vector Control District). In (0 comments)
oakley: HAVE A LOT OF CASH? BUY A FORECLOSURE! - 09/21/07 03:41 PM
One of the most common questions I am asked is "Can you really buy houses on the courthouse steps and how does it work?" Especially now, with all of the news of home owners losing their homes to foreclosure in record numbers, investors and home owners alike want to buy homes and make huge profits or pick up instant equity. If you go to the courthouse steps in Martinez any Monday through Friday at 10:00 am or 1:30 pm, you'll see that it is possible. The trustee sales are held at the top of the steps, just across the street from (1 comments)
oakley: The Art of Moving - 09/12/07 01:23 AM
Congratulations! You got the keys to your new home. You're very excited until reality hits: now you have to pack and move everything you own. The simplest way to move is to hire professional movers. They will come out, pack everything you did not pack (even your dirty dishes). They supply all of the packing materials, moving equipment, labor, vehicles and even insure everything they pack in the event of damage. They will load all of your possessions, transport them, and then unload them into the designated rooms of your new home. They will provide clients with a list of helpful hints (0 comments)
oakley: Signing on the Dotted Line - 09/04/07 04:16 PM
One of the final steps in buying a home is to sit down with the escrow officer at the title company and sign the paperwork. For sellers, it's a small hill of papers, while for buyers, it often seems a mind-boggling mountain of forms. It is important that buyers and sellers arrive at the signing prepared in several ways. Firstly, each person signing needs to bring approved photo identification, such as a state driver's license. The notary will need a copy, as well as a thumb print, as proof of who is signing. Secondly, each party should have an understanding of what their (0 comments)
oakley: REQUESTING REPAIRS ~ It's not a blank check to create a dream home! - 08/17/07 03:46 PM
Most of my buyers eventually ask me a great question (I've been fortunate to have so many wonderful & smart clients): "Once we've completed our inspections of the home we're buying, what are appropriate & reasonable repairs to request the sellers to complete?" My position, which I share with both sellers and buyers, is that it is reasonable to request repairs of any active water or pest damage (usually identified on the pest inspection report) and any safety related issues (faulty electrical wiring). It is also acceptable to request that structural or system defects are fixed if they were not obvious when (2 comments)
oakley: KNOW WHAT YOU ARE BUYING! - 08/17/07 03:16 PM
When buyers find a home that meets their needs, it's time to fully understand what they are buying. The sellers must disclose everything they know about the home and the buyers have the responsibility to inspect the home until they are completely comfortable with all aspects of the home they are buying. I always insist that my buyers have home and pest inspections completed at a minimum. If there's a pool, I always strongly suggest having it inspected as well. Based on the findings in these inspections and the buyer's desires, they may also have the roof, chimney or anything else they (0 comments)
oakley: FIRST TIME BUYERS ~ PREPARE A STONG OFFER! - 08/17/07 02:00 PM
I'm often asked by first time buyers, "How do we write an offer that a seller will accept?". It's a great question. In a buyer's market like we're experiencing today, that usually means the buyer wants to get the home for considerably less than asking price. A couple of years ago when multiple offers were common, the challenge was to simply be the winning bidder. Once my buyers identify a home to buy, I always begin by preparing my market analysis of the home's value. It is important to understand this value range, regardless of the asking price, so that my buyers (0 comments)
oakley: FIRST TIME BUYERS ~ USING THE INTERNET TO SEARCH FOR HOMES! - 08/17/07 12:28 PM
Finding the best home for your housing needs can be quite challenging. The key is receiving pertinent information in a timely manner. Last BLOG I discussed the benefits of using a real estate agent to monitor the available homes on your behalf. The Internet provides another timely method of staying on top of the real estate market. Local agent websites, such as mine at www.GlennsHomes.com, usually have two areas where you can search for homes. The first is the agent's ‘personal listings'. These are homes that the agent has listed for sale. Most of them will be on the Multiple Listing Service (1 comments)
oakley: FIRST TIME BUYERS ~ SEARCHING FOR HOMES - 07/20/07 12:48 PM
Over the past several postings I've laid out a game plan for first time home buyers which includes selecting a real estate agent & lender, determining what you can afford and identifying what you need in your home vs. what you want. So what is the best way to find a home? There are many ways to search for homes, and it is best to keep all options open because you never know how you will find the best home for you. There are two methods for identifying homes that greatly increase your chances of being the first to know when new (0 comments)
oakley: FIRST TIME BUYERS ~ NEED vs. WANT! - 07/13/07 12:50 PM
If money were no object, we'd all own our dream homes. Thankfully, life is not quite that easy. Most of us have to work up to the homes of our dreams, and we earn a level of self-appreciation for having done so. First time home buyers face the question of "What do I really need?" vs. "What do I want?" when looking for a home. Start by writing a brief description of your basic acceptable home. Then make a list of common home features such as: bedrooms, bathrooms, size, yard, garage, age, condition, living room, dining room, fireplace, pool, spa, stories, schools, (0 comments)
oakley: PRETENDING TO OWN A HOME MAKES ACTUAL OWNERSHIP EVEN EASIER! - 07/06/07 10:59 AM
When my wife Rene and I were first married one of our goals was to buy a home as quickly as possible. This was in the late 80's in San Jose, California and there were a few challenges in front of us. We had no money (we spent Rene's on the wedding & honeymoon and I had none), we had low wage jobs, interest rates were very high at around 10% and homes were appreciating quickly. On top of that, unlike recent years, you typically had to have a 10% down payment and funds to cover your closing costs in order (1 comments)
oakley: First Time Buyers – Your Loan – Part One! - 06/01/07 05:38 PM
You want to buy a home in Oakley with a minimum of 3 bedrooms and 1,200 square feet of living space on a lot of at least 5,000 square feet. As of the writing of this article, there are 231 homes that meet these parameters, the 15 least expensive of which are priced between $375,000 and $400,000. I would advise my first time buyers that they could expect to buy a suitable home for around $390,000. So the logical next questions are: How much cash do I need when I make an offer? What will my monthly payments be to own the (0 comments)
oakley: First Time Buyers – Is this good time to buy? - 05/31/07 06:40 PM
You'd like to buy a home, which can be a scary enough prospect if it's your first home. Then you ask yourself, is this a good time to buy? This is a great question, especially since local real estate prices have been settling downward over the past year plus. The answer, like so many answers, is it depends upon your situation. There are some clear cut cases where you should not buy a home right now. In my opinion, do not buy in Eastern Contra Costa County now if: You'll likely need to move in less than 2+ years. (job transfer, pregnant (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.