We Specialize In These East Bay Area Communities

Oakland - Hayward - San Leandro - Castro Valley - Dublin - Pleasanton
Livermore - San Ramon - Danville - Walnut Creek - Lafayette
Concord - Pleasant Hill - Martinez - Antioch - Pittsburg - Oakley
and surrounding areas

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How to prepare your home for the spring real estate market

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Want to buy an East Bay Home? Search all homes for sale

When it comes to real estate, spring starts in January.
You might already know spring is the hottest season in terms of home sales.
Home buyers come out in big numbers with a lot of pent up demand from the long winter months.
The numbers bear this out — homes sold in the spring sell 15 days faster and for about 2% more money than the average listing.
However, in order to make the most of the spring real estate rush, you have to start preparing now.
Today, I want to show you how to do that in four easy steps.
The first step is to find out what your home is worth.  
Pricing your home correctly from the start will mean it sells more quickly. And homes that sell more quickly tend to sell for more.
To get an idea of the value of your home, check out the calculator on my site that takes into account recent East Bay sales.
You can also give me a call at (510) 500-5428 and I’ll give you an even more accurate estimate based on the unique characteristics of your home.
The second step is to decide the right time to list.
March through May is the peak season — but this is a very broad range.
A home's listing is viewed five times more on its first day than even one week later, so it’s important to get this exactly right.  
In addition, the East Bay market has some quirks about the best time to list, depending on when you are hoping to close the sale.
If you’re thinking of selling, give me a call and I can give you specific recommendations for the perfect time to list your home.
Third, you'll want to maximize curb appeal.
The reason why is simple: 63% of home buyers will drop by a home they viewed and liked online.
Make sure you give them a good first impression by removing the lingering effects of winter.
Simple projects are often enough — pressure washing the outside, refreshing the landscaping, and cleaning the windows.
Occasionally, upgrades such as a paint job or roof repairs also make sense and can add thousands of dollars to the value of a home.
Finally, you have to prepare for the viewings.
Tidy up the inside of your home, declutter as much as possible, and start packing away non-essential things in anticipation of a sale.
And really, that’s it. By following these simple steps, you’ll be taking full advantage of the spring boom in the real estate market.
And if you need any advice — about pricing your home, about the best time to list, or about small projects that can bump up your sale price by 10% to 15% — just give me a call at (510) 500-5428. I'm here to help.

What Should You Know Before Getting a Home Loan?

We are answering all of your home loan questions today. Patricia Chavez is here to help us out.

Want to sell your East Bay Home? Get a FREE home value report
Want to buy an East Bay Home? Search all homes for sale

We are delighted to be joined today by Patricia Chavez of Pacific Funding Group. She is here to answer questions from some of our great viewers about home loans. 

The first question comes from Linda, who wants to know if it’s possible to use two different types of financing (VA and conventional) on one loan. Sorry to say, but that is not actually possible. When you are applying for a VA loan, the only other person allowed on the loan is a spouse. If you want to apply jointly, you have to be married or do it through a conventional loan.

Another question we got was about individual programs available for move-up buyers. While there aren’t specific programs for these buyers, there are a number of different options you have in how to proceed. You can sell your current home and use the proceeds for a down payment. You can also rent your current home and use the rental income to qualify for your application.

Now, which institution will give you the best access to a loan? In our experience, it’s less about the institution than it is about the lender themselves. If the lender doesn’t do everything they need to do correctly, it can cause delays in your transaction. This could ultimately lead to you not being able to purchase the home.

When you’re hiring someone to help you with your loan, make sure you trust them. That will ease a lot of the stress. Part of Patricia’s approach that I found so helpful when she helped me with a loan was that she tries to address any potential issues up front. That way, once your file is in the process of being underwritten, we can proceed as smoothly and painlessly as possible. 

If you have any questions for us, don’t hesitate to give us a call or send us an email. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

Answers to Your Home Financing Questions

We've received a lot of financial questions from first-time home buyers, so I brought in a financing expert to help me give some answers.

Want to sell your East Bay Home? Get a FREE home value report Want to buy an East Bay Home? Search all homes for sale

We've received a lot of financial questions from our viewers, so today I'm pleased to be joined by Patricia Chavez from Pacific Funding Group to help me answer some.

Who is actually considered a first-time home buyer? This is somebody who has not owned a property for three years or has rented a property for three years.

Are there down payment assistance programs? Yes, there are plenty of down payment assistance programs. Some do require you to be a first-time home buyer. There are also plans that will allow you to own a home already and still qualify for down payment assistance.

Do you have advice for first-time home buyers with low credit scores? For starters, first-time home buyer programs don't have high credit score requirements. The minimum score required is 640, which is not very high. If you're nowhere near 640, it all depends on why. In some instances, buyers who don't have established credit could open credit cards and, within a couple of months, be ready to buy. In other cases, we have potential buyers with a couple of dents in their credit, and in most cases, those credit problems can be fixed.

Hopefully, you find this information helpful if you're thinking about buying your first home. If you have questions about financing for Patricia, give her a call at 707-361-4228 or send her an email at pchavez@pfgbayarea.com.

If you have any questions about East Bay area real estate, give me a call or send me an email. I would be happy to help you!