homes: RENOVATION IDEAS - 03/27/12 09:49 AM
Conventional wisdom, as it relates to houses, is often too much convention and not enough wisdom.
Every year, somebody publishes a list of which conventional home improvements will give you the best (or the worst) return on your remodeling investment.
Remodel a bathroom. Replace your siding. Don't build a swimming pool. Paint everything neutral colors.
Sit up straight. Get a haircut. Call your mother.
If return on investment (ROI) is why you bought a home, or why you're remodeling one, you can stop reading now. Because the rest of this article isn't for you.
Three, two, one ... still here?
You invest in … (0 comments)

homes: Disclosing Crime -- Form 17 - 03/24/12 03:22 AM
Disclosing Crime -- Form 17 "Crime" does not have its own category. It also does not come under "Are there any other material defects affecting the property that a buyer should know about?" It was not always that way. Stigma -- in some rare cases positive -- used to play a bigger role in disclosing components of value. For example, when Form 17 was first introduced as a voluntary form by the Puget Sound Multiple Listing Service (now the Northwest Multiple Listing Service), it included questions about any known "crimes of violence" on the property, and about suicide or death from … (0 comments)

homes: 5 Foreclosure Myths for 2012 - 03/17/12 04:33 AM
5 Foreclosure Myths for 2012
Beginning in 2007, foreclosures rocked the real estate world. Like an out-of-control freight train, they began decimating the market, peaking in 2009. Myths and rumors began propagating like mushrooms as consumers struggled to understand the new reality. Although many misconceptions have come and gone, we still encounter five myths on a regular basis.
 1. There is going to be a flood of new foreclosures to the market.
This rumor has appeared every year since 2008 and has been routinely debunked. However, recent announcements that the Feds reached a settlement over the robo-signing scandal have reignited speculation. The idea is … (3 comments)

homes: Signs of Housing Recovery!!! - 03/15/12 01:08 PM
Signs of Housing Recovery!!
The housing recovery is clearly here.. the recovery will be slow and (mostly) steady. Home by home, street by street…neighborhood by neighborhood. Expect the clearly and full recovery process to take 3-5 years.
More very encouraging news from the trusted folks at
Just the facts:
* The number of U.S. homes listed for sale fell 22 percent last month from a year earlier.
* Asking prices gained 6.8 percent due to increased demand.
* There were 1.78 million homes listed for sale in February with a median asking price of $188,000
* The median time … (5 comments)

homes: One Stop Mortgage Shopping Tips - 03/14/12 08:44 AM
=One Stop Mortgage Shopping Tips=
From the beginning, the basic promise of multi-lender, Internet-based sites was that they would provide one-stop shopping. 
I found that many sites are less than forthcoming, and even misleading, just like the humans they are supposed to replace. This doesn't mean you should avoid mortgage websites -- they remain the best game in town. But great care is required in selecting the site on which to shop.
You want to be able to shop effectively, which means that the price you ultimately lock is the lowest available from all the lenders on the site, for your … (1 comments)

homes: PROPOSITION 60 - 03/08/12 04:01 AM
On Nov. 4, 1986, the voters of California passed Proposition 60 to provide to qualified homeowners the transfer of the base-year value of their principal residence to a replacement dwelling located in the same county, under certain circumstances.
If you or your spouse that resides with you are age 55 or older, you may buy or construct a new home of equal or lesser value than your existing home and transfer the trended base value to your new property.
This is a one-time only benefit.  You must buy or complete construction of your … (0 comments)

homes: "Is it Harder to Shop Effectively for a Mortgage than for a Car?" - 03/07/12 09:57 AM
"Is it Harder to Shop Effectively for a Mortgage than for a Car?"
Shopping for a car is child's play compared to shopping for a mortgage.
Price features of mortgages must be verified: Price always depends on the features of the product or service being priced. These are easy to define on a car, consisting of the brand, model number, extras and accessories. A car buyer can specify these and obtain consistent price quotes from multiple dealers.
In contrast, the list of mortgage features that affect the price is long, and all features must be verified by the lender, which takes … (0 comments)

homes: Existing-home sales post third gain in 4 months - 02/26/12 02:20 PM
Existing-home sales post third gain in 4 months NAR: large-scale REO-to-rental program not needed
Increased demand from investors and first-time homebuyers helped boost existing-home sales in January -- the third increase in the past four months, the National Association of REALTORS® reported.
NAR said total existing-home sales -- including single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops -- were up 4.3 percent from December to January, to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.57 million.
While that's essentially unchanged from the same time a year ago, for-sale inventory was down 20.6 percent from a year ago, to 2.31 million homes, a 6.1-month supply … (0 comments)

homes: Understanding the Statement of Information - 02/12/12 08:20 PM


homes: Banks pay delinquent borrowers $35,000 to sell their homes - 02/10/12 03:43 PM
Banks Pay Delinquent Borrowers $35,000 to Sell Their Homes

In an effort to cut their losses, banks are paying some struggling homeowners as much as $35,000 to sell their homes before they end up in foreclosure.
The deals are aimed at incentivizing homeowners who owe more on their home than it is worth and who are seriously delinquent on their payments to sell their homes in a short sale.
In short sales, homes are sold for less than what is owed and the bank forgives the excess debt. Banks have been reluctant to approve such deals in the … (2 comments)

homes: How to Calculate Capital Gain - 02/05/12 05:46 AM
How to Calculate Capital Gain The real power of a tax deferred exchange is not just the tax savings — it is the tremendous increase in purchasing power generated by this tax savings! With the advantages of leverage, every dollar saved in taxes allows a real estate investor to purchase two to three times more real estate. Calculate Capital Gain - Analyze the Benefits of an Exchange Before You Sell   Compare the tax savings and additional purchasing power of an exchange vs. a taxable sale:
1. Calculate Net Adjusted Basis
Original Purchase Price ____________________
+ Improvements ____________________
- Depreciation … (0 comments)

homes: Life of a Title Search - 02/02/12 04:41 PM


homes: Components of a Listing Contract - 01/29/12 08:59 AM
Components of a Listing Contract Obviously the name of the seller and the property address will be included in the listing contract. There are many other things that are included, too, and you should be aware of them.
Price and Terms of Sale When setting the terms of sale, the main thing you are concerned with is the price. You should have a basic idea of what your home is worth by keeping track of other sales in the neighborhood. Plus, you have probably interviewed at least two real estate agents and they have given you their own ideas. Exercise great care … (1 comments)

homes: Tips For Sellers - 01/20/12 04:02 PM
TIPS FOR SELLERS Tips for preparing your home for sale CURB APPEAL – 50% of homebuyers make the decision to buy your house before they get inside – based on the neighborhood and how it looks from the street! A. Fertilize, water and mow grass B. Add mulch and new flowers to flower beds C. Paint the front door, add a new welcome mat and porch light CARPET – Install new medium-grade carpet (not carpet allowance) and benefit from the new carpet look and smell. Any neutral color will do, buyers aren’t that picky, as long as it’s a tasteful beige … (0 comments)

homes: TOP 5 REASONS TO BUY A HOME IN 2012 - 01/16/12 06:52 PM
  Top 5 Reasons to Buy a Home in 2012
This statement is still true more than 50 years later.  There are many reasons to take pride in homeownership such as:
·       Appreciation – Buying a home now (at the current rates) can almost ensure your home’s appreciation in the future.  Mortgage rates are near historic lows and home prices in many parts of the country are down.  This is the perfect recipe for home appreciation.  Additionally, many foreclosed homes are available for a fraction of the original cost.  This can translate to a higher profit if you decide to sell once the market … (1 comments)


Playing by the 5-year rule
*Source – Inman News

The lackluster housing market has many investors looking for bargain properties, sometimes in bunches. Buyers are getting more creative about funding their purchases, rethinking the role of real estate not only for their portfolios but also for their residences.

In a recent example, an older couple sold their home and purchased two Arizona golf-course condominiums with the proceeds -- one for their primary residence and another as a rental -- and still put some money in their pocket. What made … (1 comments)

homes: MORTGAGE TIPS - 01/12/12 05:11 PM


homes: CLIENT ESCROW TIPS - 01/06/12 06:29 PM


homes: Third Quarter 2011: Overall Mortgage Performance Stable; Delinquencies Remained Elevated - 12/30/11 10:23 AM

homes: WHAT'S NEW FOR TAXES 2012? THE GOOD AND BAD NEWS - 12/27/11 08:09 AM

Monique Fountaine, Broker & Notary (Century 21 M&M and Associates)

Monique Fountaine

Broker & Notary

Walnut Creek, CA

More about me…

Century 21 M&M and Associates

Address: 4691 Clayton Rd., Suite A, Concord, CA, 94521

Fax: (888) 828-0182

Mobile: (925) 698-1251

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