Monday, August 21, 2006

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New Free Homebuying seminars

Read all about it...

We are EXCITED! Look of for dates for our upcoming FREE homebuyer seminar. It will be held at our Home base office at 841 blosssom hill Rd in San Jose. I am setting the dates. I will have them posted in the near future :) If your interested call me at 408.218.6317. We will be able to take most, if not all of the fear and confusion out of the homebuying equation! I will be
hosting the event and will be featuring professionals in the field of finance, escrow, and of course I will be giving a presentation on the pros and cons of buying vs. renting. I really feel that it is the responsiblilty of a successful individual to contribute their giftings, so needless to say I am excited about it! Please join me in breaking down the fear, and beginning the process.


Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Finally a vacation!

Finally a vacation!! Home prices in Bellinzona Switzerland similar to ours, Venice Italy small apt. approx 1000 sq ft about 1.2-1.5 M but that is on the island of Venice, and Paris France 1000 sq ft. 1 bed 1 bath for 440,00 Euro= about $562,000 US dollar. Home prices were high and in Switzerland and Venice where do you go for work? Traveling to Europe was wonderful, but I have to say I LOVE U.S.A ! Gas prices in Switzerland $9.00 a gallon, I thought we had it bad! 3 bags of groceries at the market= $200.oo, and you have to pay for the bags :( But all in all it went something like this

- 9 Trains-Zurick-Zurick Main-Random city in route to Bellinzona-Milan-Venice-Bellinzona-Milan-Paris
- 7 Planes-San Jose-Portland Oregon-L.A-Amsterdam-Zurick--from Paris-Scotland-New Jersey-San Francisco
- 3 Taxis-Paris France
- 3 Subway Trains-Paris France
- 2 Boats-Lugano-Isle de Brissago and Ascona
- 2 Cars-Bellinzona, Biasca, Lugano and Locarno
- 1 Bus-Paris
- 1 Tour Train-Lugan Paradise region
- 1 Tram-in Lugano-Paradise region
- 1 Scary 4x4 truck ride-To the swiss alps.-Ticino Region

We were in 15 cities total (counting the airport waiting) and 5 countries outside of the US.
Next destinations Isreal*Rome*Greece.


How the real estate market is changing

How the market is changing, marketing techniques that affect home sellers. Here is what I am seeing on the listing (selling) side. Because of the rise of inventory: Your home needs to be immacultely clean, decorated well or staged. It MUST be priced competitively, not over priced or priced with other competition, instead it should be slightly under for maximum exposure, and believe it or not multiple offers are still happening, but only with aggressively priced homes. Yard should be as nice as possible, both front and back. Home paint both inside and out should look fresh and clean. we are no longer in the days of the "AS IS" sale. If you can go as is, that is great, but the luxury of not doing your inspections and work as needed before hand are becoming a thing of the past.
MARKETING IS CRUTIAL! In today's market place marketing, including MLS, internet,virtual tours, multiple pictures on MLS, newspaper, open house, direct mail, networking and phone campaigns are a must. No option to opt out of commissions. Don't undercut your realtor's commission or the buying brokers commissions. During a buyers market, your realtor will need every ounce of finance to market and advertise your home, not to mention the painstaking negotiations. On the flip side offering less commission could minimize your showings, although this is not legal, when selling a home, this should not be left up to chance.
You wouldn't ask your doctor or dentist to take a pay break, why ask your realtor, the person your trusting one of your most valued possessions? Don't do it, you could limit yourself to working with a realtor that does not offer the service and skills that you need or simply does not have the keen negotiation skills that are imparitive in this process.
Be motivated, patient and realistic. Don't compare with last years market price, compare with todays market price. Compare your home pricing to something more current. This market has a tendancy to change overnight, be realistic with your expectations for price and terms. I make it a point to see everything on the market in a 1 mile raduis if possible, to target price and competition. You should too, so that price is agreed upon from the get go. If thinking about buying or selling lets me share my market experience and insight with you.

Bay area investors and home owners need to know the market

Bay area investors and home owners need to know the market: Heres a snapshot. I found out today that the new median home price in Santa Clara is $770K that is 9% higher than last year. Reported from Data Quick Systems.

Bay Area home sales continue to drop, prices reach new peak
July 19, 2006
La Jolla, CA.----Home sales in the Bay Area continued to slow last month as prices reached new highs. Prices increased at their slowest pace in more than three years, a real estate information service reported.

A total of 9,892 new and resale houses and condos were sold in the nine-county region last month. That was up 9.1 percent from 9,064 for May, and down 24.0 percent from 13,014 for June last year, according to DataQuick Information Systems.

While the year-over-year decline was the fifteenth in a row, last month's sales count was the highest since October last year when 10,508 homes were sold. The average June sales count since 1988 is 9,840.

"The market is definitely slowing but can only be considered "slow" when compared to the hot market of 2004 and 2005. In reality, today's market is pretty normal and balanced, right between the grim times of 1993 to 1995 and the frenzies of 1999 and 2004-2005. The Bay Area's market is reaching the end of a real estate cycle, it looks like prices could flatten out sometime this fall. What happens after that is anyone's guess," said Marshall Prentice, DataQuick president.

The median price paid for a Bay Area home was $644,000 last month, the third record in a row. That was up 2.1 percent from May's $631,000, and up 5.6 percent from $610,000 for June a year ago. Last month's year-over-year increase was the lowest since May 2003 when the $427,000 median was up 3.4 percent.

DataQuick, a subsidiary of Vancouver-based MacDonald Dettwiler and Associates, monitors real estate activity nationwide and provides information to consumers, educational institutions, public agencies, lending institutions, title companies and industry analysts.

The typical monthly mortgage payment that Bay Area buyers committed themselves to paying was $3,183 in June. That was up from $3,091 in May, and up from $2,651 for June a year ago. Adjusted for inflation, mortgage payments are 25 percent higher than they were at the peak of the prior cycle sixteen years ago.

Indicators of market distress are still largely absent. The use of adjustable-rate mortgages has decreased the last half year. Foreclosure rates are coming up from last year's low point, but are still below normal levels. Down payment sizes are stable and there have been no significant shifts in market mix, DataQuick reported.

Source: DataQuick Information Systems,
Why is the market in Santa Clara County different... To sum it up with one word I would have to say diversity. I often wonder why people would pay such a premium for homes in this area, then I think about why I love living in Silicon Valley. Here's what I came up with. Santa Clara county is made up of lots of surrounding suburbs, and surrounding cities. The interesting thing about that is, they are all different, they are all unique. The city is big, but if you get to know all of the surrounding suburbs, it gets smaller.You have Los Gatos, Monte Sereno, Saratoga, Almaden, Blossom Valley, Santa Teresa, Cambrian, Willow Glen, The Rose Garden, Downtown, Santa Clara, Evergreen, Alum Rock, and East Hills. I am sure I left a few out, that was just at the top of my mind. And every area has hot spots to boast about!
You can take a day trip and within a 1.5 hour drive you can visit some of the most prestigious areas in California. Down south in Santa Cruz, Monterey, Carmel, and Up north you can visit, San Francisco, Sonoma, Napa.To name a few.
The shopping here is paralleled to none. We have Santan Row (Pricey), Valley Fair Mall (Moderately Pricey), Westgate Shopping Center (Moderate), and Oakridge shopping center (Moderate). For the bargain basement shopper the city is filled with discount shopping stores galore, and even has a multiple swap meets.
For a cultural side of San Jose you will find beautiful Churches and museums ranging from Modern Art, Tech, and Egyptian among many others. I should mention every kind of resturaunt you can think of, from Steakhouse to Sushi Fusion, and of course a Starbucks at just about every corner.
For being a large Metropolitan city, for the most part the city is clean, very little griffiti, and the crime is fairly low.
Not being biased, some blue ribbon schools, lots of privates to choose from. Public schools need some work with academics and arts. Public transit is good. Public Libraries are good.
In closing I think San Jose is definitely the only place like it on EARTH! I believe that whether you believe it or not, being able to live, work and play in a city like this is truly a blessing and for many a dream come true.
Lisa Roman-Stagi