Selling 101: All About Home Staging

Home Staging Information

If you’ve been to an open house in the last decade, you’ve definitely heard someone ask “Is this home staged?” Or maybe it’s just the definitive “This must be staged!” But how well do you really understand what home staging is and why it may make a difference in the sale of your home?

What is Staging?

Quite simply, staging is preparing a home to go on the market. When you stage, you want to make the home as appealing as possible to as many prospective buyers as possible.  This helps a Seller to garner the highest possible price on their sale.Read More

Closing 101: Home Warranty – What It Is & Why You May Need It

What Is A Home WarrantyLet’s be honest, the home buying process can be completely overwhelming. There are so many aspects that go into it, and even more paperwork that needs to be done. Who wants to add one more thing to explore or another thing to sign? While wanting to be “done” can be a strong desire, be sure to make room in your process for one last important thing – a home warranty.

What Is A Home Warranty?

Read More

What Is Step-Up Basis?

Step Up BasisRecently, a good friend had her mother pass away suddenly. When I got the call, I reached out immediately, having been through a similar situation with my own parents. Aside from wanting to express my sympathy and support, I did also want to make sure my friend and her siblings were aware of an important tax ramification that my sister and I had learned about – that being the step-up basis.Read More

Is It The Right Time to Buy?

Is Now the Right Time to Buy?

One of the ever-present questions in real estate is “is now the right time to buy?” There are so many variables that people can look at. Some will confidently support “no” while others will champion “yes”. So how to make that decision on if it’s the right time to buy?  Ultimately, it’s a personal decision, but there are some sold financing points that are worth taking a look at in order to make a well-informed decision.Read More

Property Taxes 101: Props 13 / 60 / 90

Property Taxes Prop 13 60 90If you’ve ever lived in California or owned property here, you know there are some significant propositions that have been voted in over the years which greatly impact property taxes and ownership.  I remember as a kid when Prop 13 was on the ballot. While I wasn’t entirely sure what it meant, I did know that we were TOTALLY behind it and worked hard to get others to support it. All these years later, I understand why my parents wanted this proposition to pass, but I also see the impact that it’s had over 40 years on the state, the economy and the housing market.Read More

Day of Service – Be a Part of the Community

Day of Service San Carlos

This Sunday, September 23rd, is the annual Day of Service in San Carlos. This is a fantastic event where there are multiple opportunities for people to help out their neighbors and the community.  You can learn more about the volunteer opportunities at the Day of Service website.

Historically, community service was a regular part of people’s lives. Communities would regularly come together to help with beautification programs or building projects. To help a neighbor who might have fallen on hard times or to help the local school. As the world has gotten busier, and a bit more isolated by technology, the regularity of these programs has fallen off. But San Carlos, The City of Good Living, has been striving to bring back this “all for one” sense of community.Read More

Putting Together Your Basic Home Tool Kit

home tool kitEveryone who lives somewhere, needs a basic home tool kit.  Unless you live in a place with Schneider the Handyman, there are some things you’ll just have to do for yourself. Whether you own or rent, live someplace large or small, there will always be those moments when you just need some tools.  Now I’m not a handy person, but I have embraced the basic set of tools I’ve put together and am always grateful to have them. So if you don’t have your home tool kit yet, let’s get you started!Read More

Down Payment 101: Getting Creative With Savings

down payment ideasOne of the most daunting things to think about when considering buying a home is how you will afford the down payment.  Once you own a home, this usually becomes a non-issue as you use the equity from your existing home to help you. But when you’re going for your first home, this nut can be overwhelming.  This is especially true on the Peninsula, where “starter homes” can cost upwards of $1,000,000 – that means a 20% down deposit is $200,000. That’s a lot!

Don’t despair! In addition to mortgage programs that require less than 20% down, there are also many ways that you can bring in money to get you to your down payment amount much quicker than you ever imagined.  Let’s look at some of the more creative options:Read More

Closings 101: 5 Tips to Avoid Wire Fraud

real estate wire fraud

It’s sad to say, but there’s always someone out there looking to make a quick and easy buck.  There’s the “prince” from Nigeria, your “friends” who have gotten stranded in a foreign country and lost their wallet, even “grandchildren” calling their grandparents in despair needing cash.  All scams called wire fraud.

Thieves have even figured out how to have a big payday by scamming people during escrow closings, making off with thousands, or even hundreds of thousands, in down payment funds.  How often does this happen, you ask? In 2017, the FBI reported over $5.3B in wire fraud losses, with over 10% of that being in real estate alone.Read More