The Worthwhile Investment of Real Estate

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Today we are excited to be talking with a very special guest, Joe Fairless. Joe is an experienced real estate investor who has built his wealth through real estate investments and he hosts a radio show, “The Best Real Estate Investing Advice Ever” where he offers his insight into the investment world of real estate. Joe knows and understands the importance of investing in real estate property, and he is here today to talk to us about why it’s such a great way to grow your money.

Generally speaking, investment property is a great way to diversify your portfolio of investments and offer many tax benefits as well. Paying down your mortgage payment each month builds equity and if you are renting your property out, the home can pay for itself in no time.

One easy way for someone to get started in real estate investment is by purchasing a 2-4 unit condo or townhome. You can live in one unit while renting the other out, effectively covering all your mortgage payment and even generating some positive cash flow based on what your rental rate is. Anytime you can be rent- or mortgage-free while also saving up money for your next purchase, you should do it.
Real estate investing isn’t as easy as buying a home, renting it out, and eventually buying another. It takes a lot of knowledge and discipline to be successful. When Joe was just starting to learn about investing in real estate, he dove deep into books like Investing for Dummies. It takes a lot of hard work to be as successful as Joe is, but if you have the right mindset and work ethic it can be lucrative.

We would like to thank Joe for taking time today to join us. If you have any questions about real estate investing or any other real estate related questions, give us a call or send us an email. We would love to speak with you!

Why Is Homeownership So Important?

According to the National Association of Realtors, most people don't understand the benefits of homeownership. Homeownership is very important, and there are three main reasons why.
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Why is homeownership so important? There are three main reasons.

  • Owning a home gives you the opportunity to build equity.
  • Homeownership gives you the opportunity to build family wealth.
  • You choose where you want to live.

According to the National Association of Realtors, most people don't understand that as homeowners you build wealth. As a renter, you don't invest in a property.

There are several programs for first-time home buyers and too much information to share in one video. Please give us a call or send us an email. We'll sit down with you and determine your options for homeownership. We look forward to hearing from you!

We went above and beyond for Yolanda!

What was your experience with the Spivey Daniel real estate group?
Oh my gosh, it was awesome! Right at the beginning, when I realized my property was worth more than I paid for it, I wanted to sell it yesterday. Pamela got everything done in like five days so we could have an open house that weekend. We had a termite inspection and all the stuff you want to do before you put your home on the market. She really went for it. Then, we had the open house and only left bidding open for two days and she worked tirelessly to prioritize the top ten offers. She really busted her butt for me because she knew I wanted to retire and be gone, so I have nothing but praise for her. Her guidance and her ability to evaluate the bids that came in. She knew how to look at them and get me the surest deal. I wanted to accept an offer with the surest percentage it would close - I didn't want the deal to fall apart before closing. Her expert advice was fantastic; I think I did phenomenally in the sale. I also want to mention that the way she put together the virtual tour and presented my home for sale was so eye-catching.

How Can We Solve Dilemmas During a Transaction?

There are so many things that can go wrong during a transaction. There are too many to discuss in one video, but today we are going to alert you to some of the most common problems we face during the course of a transaction.

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Whether you are buying or selling, a lot of things can happen to derail a transaction throughout the process. Today we are going to talk about a few of the most common problems we run into, so you know what to avoid when the time comes. Here are a few of the most common problems we run into:

  • Income verification failures- when what was stated on the application is not actually what the buyer is bringing in
  • Difficulty obtaining verification of rent (we run into this one a lot)
  • A surprise seller lien that we don’t know about until closing

These are just a few of the hundreds of things that can go wrong during the course of a real estate transaction. If you have any questions for us about this topic, or about real estate in general, give us a call or send us an email. We look forward to hearing from you!

How to Avoid Disaster During a Transaction

Today we have a story for you, and it's about how to protect yourself as a home buyer. One of our clients recently found a great home that they really wanted to purchase.

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Today I wanted to tell you about what happened to one of our buyer clients recently. They had been looking for a home for quite some time, but couldn't find one that suited their needs exactly.

Finally, they found a home and they fell in love with it. They liked it so much that they were actually willing to forgo a home inspection. We recommended that they get one, and we're happy they did because they discovered that the former owner had made a lot of his own repairs on the home, and they weren't up to par.

Sure enough, when the inspector came in he noticed all of the bad repairs the former owner had made. This caused our buyer to back out of the purchase, but we're happy we helped to prevent our buyer from making a terrible decision and not get a home inspection.

Home inspections are your only safety net as a buyer, and we recommend that you never purchase a home without one. Even new homes need inspections.

It's like buying a car without taking it out for a test drive. Why wouldn't you do that with your home?

If you have any further questions, please don't hesitate to reach out to us. We would be very happy to speak with you!

Why Are People Waiting to Buy Homes?

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One thing we know for certain about the real estate market is that it is never going to stay the same for long. Today we want to talk about an interesting trend we’ve noticed in real estate: millennials are waiting longer to purchase their first homes than their parents did.

The typical first-time buyer now rents for an average of 6 years before buying a home, which is up from 2.6 years in the early 1970’s, according to Zillow.

We came across this great video from CNBC. I will give you my three biggest takeaways from the video.

1. Down payments are a huge factor
Renters in today’s market are struggling to save for down payments and qualify for mortgages. Most first-time buyers still depend on personal savings for at least some of their down payments, but rising rental prices have complicated the task of socking away money for a down payment.

2. Rising rental rates are complicating things as well
 Rental rates are causing 46% of renters aged 25-34, to spend more than 40% of their incomes on rent, up from 30% a decade earlier.

3. Job security is important to millennial buyers
 The Money Source, a mortgage lender, examined applications from 5,404 millennial buyers and found that these buyers averaged nearly 4.5 years in their field of work and had held their current job for slightly more than three years. Those figures point to how critical career stability is to a younger generation.

Thanks for joining us today. Give us a call or send us an email if you have any questions. Talk to you soon!

How Can You Buy a Home with Under 3.5% Down?

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Today, we discuss whether you can purchase a home for less that 3.5% down.
Most people without much real estate experience think that they need to have 20% down in order to buy a home. This is a limiting belief that leads many to believe that they can't afford to purchase a home. In reality, the government offers a program that allows people to put only .5% down!
The program is called the CalHFA and it's really quite simple. It's for people who qualify for a home loan, but who don't have enough money for a large down payment. If you are able to show that you're in good financial standing, but for whatever reason don't have the cash on hand for a down payment, you might be eligible.
The credit score requirement for this kind of loan is around 645 FICO.If your score is less than that, we have a credit analyzer that will look at look at all your debts and determine which ones you can pay down. In other words, we would love help you get your score up in order to qualify for the loan.
Like any other purchase, there is a down payment requirement; in this case it's 3%. We help you with it, so all you're required to bring in is 0.5%. So, if you plan on buying a $300k home, you only have to bring $1,500 to the table. Be aware that you'll run into some additional fees in the form of closing costs, which could be as much as $6,000 on a $300k home. However, you may be able to negotiate to get the seller to pay for it or, if you have the savings for it, you can pay for it yourself.

The loan limits with the CalHFA are conforming up to $217,000. There are income limits as well, but as long as you don't make too much money,there is a good chance you are eligible if you don't go above the median home income for your household size. The wait period can usually get done within the normal 30-day period, but you can expect to be asked for a 35- to 40-day escrow period to work through any hiccups that might arise in the process.

Melvin Camarena is one of our preferred Lenders, and if you have any questions for him regarding the CalHFA, or about general lending information, you can reach him here - 

Melvin Alexander Camarena
Ph: 510-432-3374  
nmls# 306061
Hablo su idioma
 Stearns Lending, LLC

As always, if you have any questions or need real estate assistance of any kind, don't hesitate to reach out to us. We would love to hear from you!

Pamala Spivey and Terri Daniel

Pamala Spivey brings to the table more than eighteen years of experience in the real estate profession, having worked with buyers and sellers in a multitude of transactions and housing markets. She is the consummate professional, priding herself on years of self-development and mastery of her field.

Within both the National Association of REALTORS® and the Bay East Association of REALTORS®, she is known to have a particular aptitude for helping first-time home buyers. In addition to this reputation within her peer groups, Pamala is a Certified Down Payment Assistance Specialist, meaning that she can help her clients to obtain their down payments using government and city programs. Because she finds personal satisfaction in assisting new home buyers, Pamala often holds seminars geared toward potential buyers who are unaware of all of their home ownership options.

Having been a resident of the Eastbay area for twenty-five years, Pamala is intimately familiar with the area, and this familiarity also comes in handy when helping clients who are looking to relocate into the Eastbay area. She is the type of person who goes the distance and gets the job done in life, recently completing her third marathon. In business, she conducts herself on the precept that the client’s expectations should never® be simply met – they should be exceeded. When you’re working with Pamala, you can be sure that this sort of above-and-beyond service is the standard.

How to Organize Your Home Before a Showing

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I recently found a good video on HGTV that I thought would be helpful to you if you're preparing to sell your home. It's essential that when you show your home to buyers, it's clean, organized, and decluttered. You'll want to empty out your closets, or at the very least, get them organized.

One thing you can do to get organized is put up shoe hangers in your doors, and store everyday items inside them such as cleaning supplies, utensils, or anything else that you can fit in them.

Another way to cut down on clutter is to use labels, or pick up storage bins to keep items like cords or wires in.

A tip for organizing your closet is to divide your clothes into four different sections: hang, sell, donate, keep, and fold. Once you have something marked out for every category, you can then organize your closet in any way you see fit. Here's an extra tip: you can use belt hangers to hang your necklaces and other jewelry.

I just thought this video would be useful for organizing your home, whether you're selling or if you just want to tidy up a bit.

If you need any assistance with staging, decluttering, or selling, please don't hesitate to contact me!

Is a 203K Rehab Loan the Option for You?

Today, Elisa Flores joins us to discuss an incredible opportunity. The FHA 203K Loan is a great option for people looking to buy a fixer-upper.

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Today, Elisa Flores joins us to discuss the many features and benefits of a FHA 203K Rehab Loan.

The main feature of a 203K Loan is the ability to purchase the property in as-is condition. This means if there is work that needs to be done on the property, you can address those issues after closing. 

The down payment requirement for this loan is only 3.5%, like many other FHA loans. However, the way that down payment is calculated is a little different. Say you're buying a home for $300,000 and it needs $50,000 in work, the 3.5% down payment will be on the amount of $350,000. 

Interest rates are a little higher on the 203K, but usually within a quarter of a percent of regular FHA loans. To qualify for this loan, you'll have to submit your credit history, debt-to-income ratio, and proof of employment to a lender.

This loan is fantastic for people who are looking to buy an affordable property that needs some work. It's also great for people who simply want to renovate a home to fit their needs and make it their own! Whatever you decide to use it for, you'll find it incredibly helpful when making changes to your new home.

If you have any questions about this great loan option, you can reach Elisa at (510) 828-1080. As always, give us a call or shoot us an email with all of your real estate questions and concerns. We would love to hear from you! 

How we helped Kimberly buy a home by always being available

"It was a success! We bought a house. She was really approachable and accessible. I could ask her questions at any time of the day, and she would call with frequent updates. I really appreciated that. I wanted to go over some HOA documents face-to-face, and she was readily available."

How Do Home Warranties Work?

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Thanks for joining us again today. We are here with Caren Allison, who is joining us today to discuss home warranties. She is going to talk to us about what they are, why you need one, and what the benefits are of getting one done with her company, Fidelity National Home Warranty.

A home warranty is a one-year service contract that covers, repairs, or replaces many of the major mechanical systems or appliances within the main foundations of the home.

There are many benefits to having a home warranty. It is great peace of mind for the owner, who incurs a lot of expenses when buying a home. With just a service fee of $65, that's all it's going to take to get something fixed. The cost of a policy varies, but starts at around $275.

An added bonus if you are one of our clients, if you sign up for a home warranty with Caren and Fidelity National Home Warranty, you will get agent pricing on your home warranty!

We always love offering our clients a little extra, and this is just the latest way we are doing that. If you have any questions for us, feel free to give us a call or send us an email. We look forward to hearing from you!

Can an Investment in Commercial Real Estate Secure Your Future?

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We are very excited to have Michael Ahern with us today, who runs the commercial division for Berkshire Hathaway. He manages agents all over the area, and he can also help you if you're looking to invest in commercial real estate. 

Michael assists our clients by helping them to increase their incomes through investments in commercial real estate. He can help to plan out better retirements through investments in apartments, strip malls, and much more.

We want you to understand the benefits of owning investment properties, as it increases your cash flow and allows you to grow your income with very little effort. 

Michael only needs to know what you make and what your assets look like in order to start consulting with you on how you can grow your income.

If you're interested in speaking with him, please get into contact with us and we can put you in touch with him.

We hope that this has been helpful for you!

New Home Development May Be Your Best Option!

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Hey everyone, thanks for joining us. Today our topic is about new home development, and why that might be a good option for you.  Here are three reasons why:

1. You get to pick your own property in our current market, where there is a lot of competition for homes out there.

2. We would love for you to come in and see the different options available to you.

3. It's the easiest way in this current market to become a homeowner a lot faster.

If you have any questions for us, give our office a call. We would be glad to provide you with even more useful information about buying a home in our market.

How Soon Can You Purchase After a Short Sale or Foreclosure?

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Hey everyone, welcome back to our blog. Today we are going to answer the question, "How long does it take to purchase a home after a short sale or foreclosure?" We are here today with Diane Koizumi of Banc Home Loans, who is going to explain the process with us.

For most of you, if you walked into your normal banker down the street, it would take you at least few years to be able to secure a loan after a short sale or foreclosure. However, at Banc Home Loans, they are able to offer a loan to someone 1 day after a short sale or foreclosure. 

There are a few requirements you need to meet first. You have to be able to provide a 20% down payment, and have a credit score of 660. There is also a loan limit of $3.5 million, which is adequate for most people's needs. 

If you have any questions for Diane, feel free to give her a call at 925-548-4410. If you have any questions for us, feel free to give us a call or send us an email anytime. We look forward to speaking with you soon!

What's Happening with Alameda and Contra Costa County Real Estate


The summer is here, and buyers in our market are ready to purchase. If you are thinking about buying, there is going to be some stiff competition out there this summer, so we have some advice. 

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Welcome to our video blog. Today I'll be giving you an update on the latest trends in our local real estate market here in Alameda and Contra Costa County. Without further ado,  Here are the latest statistics for Alameda and Contra Costa County.

In Alameda County, the market is currently moving forward at a steady pace. In March, we saw 1140 new listings come on the market, and 731 closed transactions. Our market is currently experiencing high demand and low supply.

When we sat down to compare Jan-Mar of 2014 with Jan-Mar of 2015, we noticed some interesting trends, including a 12% increase in the average median price and a 16.5% increase in the average sale price.

For Contra Costa County in March, we saw 1269 new listings come on the market and 807 closed transactions. That market is currently experiencing a high demand and low supply.

As for the numbers for Contra Costa County from Jan-Mar 2014 for January-Mar of 2015, we saw a 1% increase in the average median price and a 7.5% increase in the average sales price.

We have a lot more pending homes right now than we did a year ago, which is always a great sign. If you are thinking of buying or selling, give us a call or send us an email and we will be in touch! Have a great day!