Archive for the 'Inspiration' Category
Last week, I received a call from an old client who purchased her home from me way back in 1984.
She still lives in that same house 27 years later……..
This is a woman who has worked 2 jobs most of her life…….nursing and in home care – hard work – tougher than I could do…..
On the phone, she told me she has lots of things on her mind that trouble her – partially real estate related but more family related and that she would like to sit down with me and talk about everything.
We met last Friday afternoon at my office and we talked for about an hour and half. It wasn’t about buying and selling real estate, it was about HER and her life.
She told me that she racked her brain trying to figure out who she could talk to - who she could trust – and then she thought of me.
All her friends and family were happy to give her advice, but they all had an agenda that wasn’t about her, it was about them…..
She told me that she always knew she could trust me – that I had her best interests at heart.
I can’t tell you how great that made me feel – I was on cloud 9 - this is what the RE business is all about for me – to be acknowledged as a trusted advisor and friend.
Real estate sales is about helping people – taking care of people – holding their hand when the need arose – handling their affairs even more carefully than I handle my own…..
I have never cared about being THE #1 AGENT rah rah rah……..it was about helping one person at a time…..
After 33 years in the local real estate market, I have a strong loyal clientele and I am thankful for that.
It is always a pleasure to help my clients, their friends, families, and associates in any way I can – the focus is on relationships and not transactions.
Mildred, THANK YOU. Your words mean the WORLD to me.
Last summer, I was chosen by Habitat for Humanity to be their exclusive buyer agent for Habitat’s Neighborhood Revitalization Program. Coldwell Banker and I donate the majority of any commissions earned on these purchases back to Habitat.
This Habitat program has been funded in part by contributions from the City of Menlo Park.
The City has considered buying properties in Belle Haven and doing the rehab work. Instead the City has made a wise decision IMHO in helping Habitat with their program. The bottom line is Habitat can do a better job doing what they always have done than the City that has no experience in these types of programs.
This will allow Habitat to continue their mission of restoring abandoned dilapidated homes to provide low cost affordable housing to deserving families.
For those unfamiliar with Habitat’s program, let me provide a little information.
Many folks seem to be in a large degree of despair about the economy and the housing market.
Yes, things are a little rough right now – but we are nowhere near “the end of civilization or the world as we know it”.
We need to keep things in perspective.
Here is some historical data that may help do that:
Dow Jones down 45%
Recession 1981 – 1982
Prime rate 18.87%
Dow Jones down 24%
Recession 1990 – -1991
653 failed banks and savings & loans (none in 2008 and 2009)
Dow Jones down 21%
The Great Depression 1929 – 1939
Dow Jones down 89%
We survived all of the above!
Here is some more data:
30% of all homes are owned free and clear
96.7% of all homes with a mortgage are current on their payments
Housing affordability the highest it has been in 20 years
Please understand I am NOT saying “happy days are here again” or that our economy is going to turn up in the next month but I believe the media is far too negative on our current economic situation. I believe we will work our way out of this and in the next year or so will see real improvement in the economy and real estate market.
I do believe the current time does present opportunities for people to get into the real estate market where this would have been impossible 3 years ago.
Habitat for Humanity just entered into contract to purchase a home in the Belle Haven area of Menlo Park.
With the price of bank foreclosure REOs being so low, Habitat has started a program to buy existing homes, rehab them with volunteer labor and turn them over to new owner occupants.
If you have any lender contacts that handle REOs, please let me know as it might be to everyone’s benefit to have some of these REO purchased by Habitat for sale to owner occupants as opposed to selling to investors. (At the present time, most REOs are purchased by investors.)
As the exclusive buyer agent for Habitat in San Mateo County, give me a call and let’s talk.
It is probably too early to tell but the market does seem to be picking up in the past few weeks.
Perhaps some of this is just the typical seasonal spring pick-up or perhaps prices have fallen far enough so that many buyers feel current prices represent good value.
I can tell you that I am working with two first-time buyers at the current time. Both are looking around $800,000 – one in Sunnyvale and Cupertino and one in Redwood City, San Carlos, or Belmont.
Generally I plan to show each buyer 5 or 6 homes every week but it seems typically around 2 of those homes sell by the time the buyer can take a look.
The next few weeks should be interesting.
Curtis Van Carter of the Napa Valley Address provides and the information and relevant links to answer the questions many folks are asking.
Curtis and my Sonoma colleague Pam Buda of Wine Country and Horses indicate there are lots of good buys in their areas right now though market activity appears to be picking up.
Maybe a good time to buy something as a rental right now for use as a second or retirement home in the near future????
I bought my rental and future retirement property at Waikoloa Beach Big Island Hawaii.
Available for rent right now – check it out!
Isn’t the sunshine wonderful? This is one of reasons why folks love the San Francisco Bay Area.
Here is all the info you want about this credit directly from the proverbial horse’s mouth – The California State Franchise Tax Board including how much of the money is left and how many applications they have received – 173 to date!
I recently represented a buyer on the purchase of a property in a nearby local community.
This property had been on the market for some time and my buyers’ intitial offer was significantly below list price.
When I arrived at the listing agent’s office, I was told that another offer had just come in.
I called my clients and we increased our offer slightly.
After I presented the revised offer, I was excused from the conference room and waited for the seller and his agent to discuss the offers. The listing agent came out and said “the other offer is higher but we have concerns about this buyers’ ability to perform financially – if your client will match the price, we will sell it to your client”.
I called my client and we decided to stick to our guns and not increase the price and to remain at our offer price.
I informed seller and listing agent.
After about an hour, I got another call from the seller agent and he told me seller would take even less from my buyer than the other buyer offered.
I discussed this with my client and my client agreed to raise their offer to the price suggested by seller agent – still below the other offer – and my client’s offer was accepted – at the price we decided going into the negotiation was going to be their top offer.
My clients are very happy with the purchase and felt they made a good buy.
By handling the negotiations properly and by knowing the realities of the current market – all gained after 31 years in the local real estate market, my client was able to make a very good buy at the price they wanted to pay BELOW another competing offer.
The $10,000 CA tax credit applies to NEW construction (never lived in properties) purchased as a primary residence.
There are several new condo/townhomes projects right now in Palo Alto and Los Altos and a soon to be released project in San Carlos.
Marrian Bennett Half Moon Bay Coldwell Banker has provided a list of new homes in the San Mateo Coastside area.
Please let me know if you want information on new homes on the Peninsula or have questions about recent tax credits approved by the US and the State of California.
In an earlier post, i wrote about a recently passed California State Franchise Tax Board $10,000 credit for the purchase of a NEW principal residence. This credit is available to all purchasers of a NEW house or condominium.
Kappy Mann from beautiful Truckee Lake Tahoe area (where I will be going for a week of skiing with my buddies next Monday) has obtained lots of wonderful detailed information that explains the entire process including what paperwork to file at close. Check it out. Thanks for the good information.
This credit as well as the $8,000 Federal Tax Credit will be one of the many topics I discuss in my up-coming First-Time Home Buyer Information and Opportunity meetup March 21, 2009.