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Kathy and Michael Rain - The Rain Team

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Is It Your Time to Become a Coastal Home Owner?

by Kathy and Michael Rain - The Rain Team

There’s no magical number out there nor is there any formula for knowing if and when it’s time to buy that coastal home. You can ask any economist and they’ll tell you that in addition to your finances and the state of the market, there are way too many emotional factors to have one answer for the masses. You can, however, make sure that buying a home is an actual possibility for you at this time. Once you know you are financially ready, then you must ask yourself if you are emotionally ready. Is it what you really want?

As of September 2013, buying was 35% cheaper than renting in all 10 of the major metropolitan areas. No one, no matter how well-positioned they might be, has to buy a home. However, there are some very appealing arguments to homeownership. One emotion is the feeling of having “roots” or a sense of stability and pride. Plus, there’s the freedom to be creative and make improvements to your own home while increasing its financial value. Needing not to worry about incremental rent increases that might force a move can be a definite perk as well.

If you are still unsure with the age old battle of renting or buying, consider the following:

Do you have four to five years to invest?
If you know with some certainty that you can and want to stay in this area for at least four to five years, buying may make sense. Being so close to San Francisco and other Bay Area metro areas, gives our coastside communities a rather good appeal since it’s an easy commute.  

Do you know what you can comfortably afford?
Knowing what you can afford before you begin the house hunt is a key element in your decision. A basic rule of thumb is not to spend more than 20-25 percent of your pretax income on a house. That includes monthly mortgage, insurance payments and property tax. Keep in mind that you will want to make some adjustments to your new home and you don’t want to go into a house already stressed about expenses.

How knowledgeable are you about the home buying process?
Without the expertise of a Realtor® who knows the area, it’s easy to make mistakes in the home buying process. The Rain Team can guide you through the process in a clear and concise manner to help you understand and make your home buying decisions easier. Knowledge is power and we make sure you have both!

Can you balance your emotions with logic?
No matter how hard you try to keep emotions out of it, buying a home is an emotional process. Nor should you try to toss your feelings aside and make it only a rational-based process. Use those natural emotions to guide you to your core values, find that home that meets all your needs and appeals to your senses and when it’s time for the critical decisions or compromise, bring in your pure logic to help determine what is best for you in the long run.

First and foremost, take the time to consider your options, your pros and cons, and listen to your inner voice. If your core priorities and values are leading you to homeownership, be honest with yourself and others and make the resolve to do it.

If you have decided it’s your time to buy a coastside home, our goal is to guide you through the process from the beginning to the purchase of your new home and beyond. Contact us today via email or give us a call at (650) 888-6903.

Generational Trends Show Strong in 2014 for Coastside Home Sellers

by Kathy and Michael Rain - The Rain Team

When selling your coastal home, you may not think about the age of your buyer, but generational trends are shifting and it’s important to understand the trends. Such as, did you know that younger home buyers tend to view their home as an investment whereas older buyers tend to view their home as a match to their lifestyle?

According to a 2014 National Association of Realtors® study, millenials top out as the largest group of home buyers with 31% of recent home purchases. Millenials are those under the age of 34. Generation X buyers, born between 1965 and 1979, took the next largest market share at 30% while Boomers only accounted for 16%.

“Given that millennials are the largest generation in history after the baby boomers, it means there is a potential for strong underlying demand,” says Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. “Moreover, their aspiration and the long-term investment aspect to owning a home remain solid among young people.”

Another trend in current buyers are those known as boomerang buyers. These are the group of home owners that had to leave the housing market for financial reasons and have spent years rebuilding and saving and are now ready to enter the housing market once again. When LoanSafe.org members were polled, almost 80% of boomerang buyers were interested in buying again. In fact, 41% will be re-entering the housing market with better earnings this time around than during their previous purchase and 63% have a lower debt-to-ratio and, finally, 50% expect to make a down payment of at least 10%!

Coming out of the gate for 2014 is a higher seller confidence. Inventories of homes for sale have increased year over year, enforcing this confidence and supporting a strong, early start to the spring home-buying season. According to realtor.com®’s latest National Housing Trend Report, the median list price edged up 76% higher in February compared to year-ago levels.

According to Steve Berkowitz, CEO of Move Inc., “Overall, these figures indicate a continued reinforcement of steady gains and market stabilization that we’ve been watching since late last summer.” Steve continues, “seller confidence is the factor to watch as we head into the spring home-buying season, and these are very encouraging indicators—not only are more homes coming onto the market, but typically we don’t see a rise in asking prices this early into the year. This is the market these sellers have been waiting for.”

If you are looking to sell your coastal home, we’d love to hear how we can help you with your real estate goals. We can also offer you a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) of your home to advise you what it is worth. Contact us today via email or give us a call at (650) 888-6903.

The Rain Team offers unparalleled service to ALL clients in the San Mateo County, including areas such as Half Moon Bay, El Granada, Moss Beach, Montara, and Pacifica. Your complete satisfaction with our service and representation is our number one priority.

Coastal Home Buyers – Don’t Miss this Mortgage News

by Kathy and Michael Rain - The Rain Team

The change in leadership at the Federal Reserve, despite a good deal of news coverage, came about with surprisingly little drama to show for it. Janet Yellen took over the reins from Ben Bernanke back in January, and the Coastal real estate market hardly seemed to notice. Mortgage interest rates remained steady – until last week, that is.

As of the end of last week, most US home loan interest rates increased reaching a national average of 4.4% for 30-year fixed loans for the first time since January. At this time last year, that same loan enjoyed a national average of 3.57%. These increases are likely due at least in part to Janet Yellen’s announcement that the Fed may start increasing short-term interest rates as early as 2015.

The average rate for 15-year loans also climbed slightly to 3.42%, up from 3.32% a week earlier, and 2.76% a year ago. However, rates for hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages were mixed. The five-year ARM rose to 3.10% up from 3.02% a week earlier, while the one-year ARM fell to 2.44% from the previous week’s average of 2.49%.

At the end of 2013, the Fed announced that it would begin scaling back its bond-buying stimulus program that had helped offset real estate prices and kept affordability high while the real estate market stabilized. Since hitting record lows last year, mortgage interest rates have risen almost a full percentage point. Despite those averages, however, the most popular loans have remained under 4.5%.

What does this mean going forward? Bankrate.com’s Mortgage Rate Trend Index experts had mixed opinions – 30% predicted rate increases, 30% predicted rate decreases, and 40% thought rates would hold steady. What they have in common is the opinion that rates will not become volatile no matter which way they turn. A recent Realty Times article quoted Jim Sahnger, a mortgage planner with Schaffer Mortgage in Palm Beach, saying, “We don’t expect a strong surprise either way – in either jobs created or unemployment levels – and any rate volatility should ultimately settle down.”

MSN Real Estate had a great article this week about four unique mortgage trends, as reported by Michele Lerner of HSH.com, which will play out in 2014 and influence the direction of mortgage rates. It’s an interesting read to read in-depth on the 4 trends for 2014 which are:

  • Conforming loan rates are rising
  • ARMs are low and making a comeback
  • Fixed-rate jumbos priced lower than conforming loans
  • The Fed's influence over mortgage rates will wane

If you are aiming to buy a coastside home this summer, bear in mind that analysts are predicting for mortgage rates to increase throughout 2014. Why not take advantage of the best rates possible by looking for your new perfect coastal home now? Contact us today via email or give us a call at (650) 888-6903.

The Rain Team offers unparalleled service to ALL clients in the San Mateo County, including areas such as Half Moon Bay, El Granada, Moss Beach, Montara, and Pacifica. Your complete satisfaction with our service and representation is our number one priority.

Easy Home Staging Tips for Your Coastside Home

by Kathy and Michael Rain - The Rain Team

Before putting your Coastside home on the market this spring, make sure to properly stage your house. This means highlighting your home's strengths, downplaying the weaknesses and appealing to the most potential buyers possible.

Here are some home-staging tips to help get your home looking its best!

Say Goodbye to Clutter
Any Realtor® will tell you that the #1 thing to do to get your home prepared for listing is to say goodbye to the clutter. One of the major contributors to looking cluttered is the overabundance of furniture. Professional stagers will typically remove a large chunk of the furniture to help the house look bigger and spacious. You don’t have to reduce drastically, just take a good look at what you can temporarily live without to make your home look more spacious.

Another means of decluttering is to clean all your closets. This allows you to show off your storage space which ranks high on a buyer’s priority list and helps to sell homes.

Give Furniture a New Purpose
There’s no steadfast rule that says if you bought a specific piece of furniture, artwork or accessory for a certain room that it has to stay in that room. You have free reign to move that armchair into the master bedroom to create a small sitting area to show-off your great coastal views or reallocate those lamps you love to give another room new life and better lighting.

Repurpose a Room or Area
If you have a room or area in your home that currently serves as storage, repurpose it into something that will add to the value. Adding a nice writing desk to an empty nook can serve to give an office feel. If you have an open corner or small room, an addition of an armchair, small table and lamp can transform the room into a study or cozy reading area. If it’s currently an extra bedroom and you don't want to invest in a new bed, just get the frame, buy an inexpensive air mattress and dress it up with neutral-patterned bedding.

Don’t Be Afraid of Unique Grouping
Many believe that rooms feel larger if all the furniture is arranged against all the walls, this simply isn’t true. Instead, experiment with designing your space by floating furniture away from walls. Group sofas and chairs into cozy relaxed groups to make the space more user-friendly and to show the traffic flow throughout the room.

Use Lighting to Your Advantage
One of the things that make a staged home look so warm and inviting is the use of great lighting. Many of our homes don’t utilize lighting properly. This can be remedied by increasing the wattage in your lamps and fixtures. A general rule of thumb is 100 watts per each 50 feet. Also, make sure you have three types of lighting: ambient (general or overhead), task (pendant, under-cabinet or reading) and accent (table and wall).

There are many other ways to help stage your home, such as, painting adjacent rooms the same color, giving your rooms an updated look with neutral and appealing colors, use art to show off your space, and using the right accessories to make a room more inviting (without seeming cluttered).

Staging takes time and experience. If attempting to do it on your own makes you nervous, or you just don’t have the creative vision, Kathy Rain is an Accredited Staging Professional (ASP) with a unique gift of design. She will help you put the "best face" on your home. Kathy offers you a competitive edge in real estate and has experience in staging many homes on the coastside.

If you are looking to sell your coastal home, we’d love to hear how we can help you with your real estate goals. We can also offer you a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) of your home to advise you what it is worth. Contact us today via email or give us a call at (650) 888-6903.

Innovative Shopping Flourishes in Half Moon Bay

by Kathy and Michael Rain - The Rain Team

As many of you know, Half Moon Bay has some pretty interesting sites, adventurous things to do and even some unique shopping experiences for visitors and residents of the San Mateo Coast to enjoy; Oddyssea is no exception!

Oddyssea was established in February 2012 by Mike & Ellen Harding and was designed to be an interactive retail experience focused on science, nature, technology products and experiences. They are currently expanding into the vacant lot next door to become Oddyssea Outside.

In order to fully understand this unique and fun shopping experience, you really need to visit the shop yourself. They have hands-on products and projects that you won’t find anywhere else.

To make it a well-rounded experience, they have a team of local professionals that bring their own unique element to the store; Sabrina Muscat, resident artist; Wendy Davenport, jewelry artisan; Marie Salongcong, nature woman; Claire Fulmer, taxidermist/adventuress; and Angie Stevenson, biologist/retail intern.

One thing we love about our coastal communities is that there’s always something new to explore. If you are looking to buy a new home or sell your existing home, we’d love to hear how we can help you with your real estate goals. Contact us today via email or give us a call at (650) 888-6903.

The Rain Team offers unparalleled service to ALL clients in the San Mateo County, including areas such as Half Moon Bay, El Granada, Moss Beach, Montara, and Pacifica. Your complete satisfaction with our service and representation is our number one priority.

Spring Forward on Prepping Your Coastal Home for Summer

by Kathy and Michael Rain - The Rain Team

Living in a coastside community definitely has its perks. Beautiful views, the gorgeous sunsets, along with the smell and sound of the ocean are just a few perks we love about our coastal communities. However, homes near the sand and sea offer some unique challenges when tackling spring maintenance and have special needs each season to keep your home in good shape.

With spring upon us, it’s time to open up the house, do some spring cleaning and make sure your home can survive the test of another year.

Here are some tips to help you get started:

  • Air out the house when weather permits. If you currently live in Half Moon Bay, El Granada, Montara, or another coastal community, you know the need to deal swiftly and regularly with moisture problems. Our excess moisture can often lead to mold and mildew. Get the air circulating after a storm has passed.
  • Over time, salt air will corrode paint and metals and you may find rust marks on patio furniture and exterior walls. Now is a great time to clean and repaint your exterior furniture. Use a sealant to protect metals and wood.
  • If you have a wood deck, it will need extra care. Make sure the supporting timbers are secure and haven’t been affected by rot or water damage. Give the railings a good shake to make sure they are not loose. Has it been two years since a sealer has been applied? Time for another coat.
  • Check your door hardware. You may not be directly on the beach, but wind-blown sand can find its way into your locks and make opening the front door difficult. Spray some graphite lubricant into the keyholes.
  • Time for a check of safety equipment. Ensure that all smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors and fire extinguishers are in good working order.  Replace batteries in appropriate devices as needed, or at least twice each year 
  • Inspect window screens and storm doors for rips or tears. Repair or replace as necessary.

The Rain Team offers unparalleled service to ALL clients in the San Mateo County, including areas such as Half Moon Bay, El Granada, Moss Beach, Montara, and Pacifica. Your complete satisfaction with our service and representation is our number one priority.

If you are looking to buy a new home or sell your existing home, we’d love to hear how we can help you with your real estate goals. We can also offer you a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) of your home to advise you what it is worth. Contact us today via email or give us a call at (650) 888-6903.

Everyday Tips to Saving Water in Your Coastside Home

by Kathy and Michael Rain - The Rain Team

Last week, The Rain Team reviewed ways to update your coastal home to make it more water efficient in this time of drought. Besides spending money on improvements, which will help in your future sale, there are many everyday ways to be more conscience in your daily routines to cut down on water usage.

Here are just a few conservation tips to help our community reduce and save water:

Outdoors:

  • Water any outdoor lawns or shrubbery in the early morning rather than mid-day.
  • Instead of grabbing the hose to spray down the walk, deck or driveway, use a broom and sweep the dirt away
  • Now that spring is upon us, add fresh mulch or bark to landscaping or potted plants to retain the moisture
  • Cover your pool when not in use; an average sized pool can lose about 1,000 gallons of water per month when left uncovered!

Indoors:

  • Fill up the dishwasher before running its cleaning cycle
  • Stopper the sink when rinsing fresh fruits or vegetables
  • When cleaning fish tanks, recycle the dirty water by watering your houseplants with it; it’s rich in nitrogen and phosphorus.
  • When doing laundry, make sure to fill the washer to as close to a full load as possible.
  • Make sure the washing machine is set to the correct water level
  • Take quicker showers rather than filling up bath tubs for soaking.
  • Don’t leave the water running while brushing your teeth, cleansing your face or shaving

There are many other tips and ways to improve water usage courtesy of H2ouse.org. We all need to do our part to keep our communities running adequately.

If you are looking to buy a new home or sell your existing home, we’d love to hear how we can help you with your real estate goals. We can also offer you a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) of your home to advise you what it is worth. Contact us today via email or give us a call at (650) 888-6903.

The Rain Team offers unparalleled service to ALL clients in the San Mateo County, including areas such as Half Moon Bay, El Granada, Moss Beach, Montara, and Pacifica. Your complete satisfaction with our service and representation is our number one priority.

Now is the Time to Make Your Coastside Home Water Efficient

by Kathy and Michael Rain - The Rain Team

Whether you live in Half Moon Bay, El Granada, Montara, or another coastal community, we all know as residents what great communities these are to reside in. It’s important to make sure we are all doing our part to conserve water during this difficult time.

Mayor Brown has declared a Drought State of Emergency. In light of this, the Coastside County Water is asking all customers to voluntarily conserve water with a goal of at least a 10% reduction in water consumption system-wide. This means more than cutting back on showers and doing dishes, this means making your home more water efficient. **

To help avoid or delay mandatory water restrictions, here are some tips to becoming more water conservative. These tips will also help when it’s time to sell your San Mateo County Coast home since home buyers are looking for more efficient homes as we move into the future.

Investigate and Fix Leaks
 An easy and relatively inexpensive solution is to fix leaky toilets, faucets, showerheads and hosebibs. Toilets are a major source of wasted water due to leaks, and this type of leak is not always obvious. It is also worth having your irrigation systems and water treatment systems checked for leaks on an annual basis. SaveOurH2O has a great site to help you find and fix basic leaks throughout your home.


Make your Bathroom More Energy Efficient
By installing energy efficient tools such as low-flow shower heads and aerators on bathroom faucets, you can save over 5 gallons per day. If you want to invest a bit more money, a high-efficiency toilet saves 1.28 gallons per flush. Look for WaterSense labeled toilets which combine water efficiency and performance due to design advances. Investing in high-efficiency toilets now will not only help in this water shortage but potential home buyers will appreciate this feature being in place so that it’s not an expense to them to install when buying your home.

Step Up Water Efficiency in the Kitchen
The kitchen is a main source of activity in your home and daily water consumption is higher than you may realize. Installing aerators on the kitchen faucet can be a useful way to reduce flows to less than 1 gallon per minute. Investing in a water and energy-efficient dishwasher can save up to 8 gallons per load and can be a great selling point when it’s time to sell.

Rebates are available through all the water districts for many water-efficient appliances including WaterSense, high-efficiency toilets. Be sure to visit each of the websites to check on qualifying purchases to get your rebate. Half Moon Bay and El Granada are covered by Coastside County Water District; Montara and Moss Beach are MWSD; Pacifica is NCCWD.

Our water shortage is such an immediate major issue, we will be focused next week on bringing you some simple ways to cut out water in your everyday use by just altering your tasks and daily routines.

The Rain Team offers unparalleled service to ALL clients in the San Mateo County, including areas such as Half Moon Bay, El Granada, Moss Beach, Montara, and Pacifica. Your complete satisfaction with our service and representation is our number one priority.

If you are looking to buy a new home or sell your existing home, we’d love to hear how we can help you with your real estate goals. Contact us today via email or give us a call at (650) 888-6903.

**The information will be different from each water district including rebates, reduction requests and usage. Please check with your water district for specifics.

 

The Fred Eaglesmith Traveling Show

by Kathy and Michael Rain - The Rain Team

Club Fox, Redwood City, California

Have you been missing old style rock-n-roll?  Well this Saturday, Club Fox is pleased to welcome the alternative, country singer-songwriter, Fred Eaglesmith. You will be astounded at how he converts a country-themed genre, into a rock-n-roll show.  Eaglesmith will be landing in Redwood City for a one-night show, assuring audiences that the heart of rock-n-roll is still alive and well.

Fred Eaglesmith separates himself from other musicians in the industry, in that he is continuously performing just outside of the traditional box.  He pushes both the country, and rock-n-roll categorizations to their limits.  He steers clear of becoming too enveloped in the industry, maintaining an independent name for himself.  Eaglesmith does not want to be labeled as a country singer, or a rock-n-roll star.  He crosses both genres and has been performing and touring the world, for over thirty years.  He has been in the limelight, as a member of such bands as The Flying Squirrels, The Flathead Noodlers, and The Smokin’ Losers.

The songs that Fred Eaglesmith writes certainly reflect the alternative country genre, focusing on down and out characters, loss of love, and farming rural folks.  However, he prides himself on taking the country category and uniting it with a rock-n-roll twist.  Fred Eaglesmith’s most recent release is his 20th career album, titled Tambourine. It was recorded live, using an eight-track analogue console, resulting in the pure rock-n-roll sound reminiscent of the early days of rock.

Admission to attend the Fred Eaglesmith Traveling Show is $20.00 per person, if tickets are purchased in advance.  Admission is $23.00 per person if purchased the day of the show.  To purchase your tickets online, please click here.

This Saturday evening join your friends at Club Fox to indulge in the Fred Eaglesmith Traveling Show event. Fred Eaglesmith is prepared to provide you with an experience that will remind you of days gone by.  Combing his alternative country lyrics, with a rock-n-roll style, the Fred Eaglesmith Traveling Show is sure to delight lovers of both the country, and rock-n-roll categories.

Saturday February 22nd

8:30PM

For more information regarding this event, please click here.

Kathy and Michael Rain, REALTORS®
The Rain Team, Coldwell Banker Real Estate
CRS, GRI, SRES, Previews, ASP

Michael DRE#01125976 Kathy DRE#01169588
Email:
TheRainTeam@Coastal-RealEstate.com
Cell Phone: (650) 888-6903
Direct Phone: (650) 712-0411
Fax: (866) 396-0207

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Kathy and Michael Rain offer their real estate services for buyers, sellers, investors in the Half Moon Bay, El Granada, Moss Beach, Montara, Pacifica and San Mateo, California area.   

Photo courtesy of Eric Joling/commons.wikimedia.org.

Red Hot Sellers Market! The Only Thing Missing is Sellers!

by Kathy and Michael Rain - The Rain Team
 

The housing market in the Bay Area, has experienced a tremendous rebound.  Multiple offers are plentiful. Real estate is once again on a strong footing with rising home prices, strong demand from well-qualified buyers, historically attractive interest rates and declining foreclosures and short sales. The only thing that this market is missing to be firing on all cylinders: Sellers!

While some savvy homeowners have jumped into the market to take advantage of the strong upturn in home prices – in some cases 20% or more in the past year – far too many other potential sellers are missing out on this great window of opportunity to cash in on improved home values.

The supply of homes for sale has been extremely low over the past year, making this a hot seller’s market. The National Association of REALTORS® reported that total housing inventory nationwide fell 9.3 percent to 1.86 million existing homes for sale at the end of 2013. That’s just a 4.6-month supply at the current sales pace. For a point of reference, in 2010 it was nearly three times that level at a 12.1-month supply!

What does this mean for you as a homeowner?  If you act now to sell your home, you may be in the driver’s seat once again with so many anxious buyers and so few properties to choose from.  Buyers are showing a sense of urgency, perhaps out of concern that low mortgage interest rates could be heading higher before long. There’s no guarantee these conditions will last, now may be the best time to take advantage of a seller’s market.

Give us a call to help answer any of your questions on the next steps and whether selling is right for you.

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 139

Contact Information

Photo of The Rain Team Real Estate
The Rain Team
CA# 01169588 | CA# 01125976 | CA# 01908304
248 Main Street, Suite 200
Half Moon Bay CA 94019
Office: 650-712-0411
Direct: 650-888-6903
Fax: 866-396-0207

Kathy and Michael Rain of Coldwell Banker provides real estate services in the San Mateo County, California area including the surrounding communities: El Granda, Half Moon Bay, Montara, Moss Beach, Pacifica and San Mateo.  Search for homes in San Mateo County. We list and sell residential real estate, investment properties, vacant land, lots for sale in the
San Mateo County, California area.

Licensed in the State of California

Kathy Rain -  CA BRE# 01169588 | Michael Rain - CA BRE# 01125976 | Caldwell Banker - CA BRE# 01908304
Cell Phone: (650) 888-6903 * Direct Phone: (650) 712-0411 

San Mateo County Real Estate and Homes for Sale

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