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Kathy and Michael Rain - The Rain Team

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Why Fall May be a Good Time to Sell Your Home

by Kathy and Michael Rain - The Rain Team

The Bay Area housing market has been strong this year. There have been stories of crowded open houses, multiple offers on some listings, and even bidding wars on specific properties that push prices skyward. Now that fall has arrived, some homeowners may believe that they have missed their window of opportunity to sell and that they should wait until next spring. Don’t be fooled; this may actually be a very good time to sell your home.

A combination of continued demand from serious buyers, a lack of available inventory in many of our markets, ongoing relocations into the Bay Area, and a warm, cozy feeling from homes over the holidays all add up as good reasons for why autumn may be a better time to list a home than most people realize. Consider all of the following:

  • Continued demand from buyers. As anyone who’s followed the news this year knows, there have been more buyers than sellers for homes in the Bay Area. While the number of potential buyers at open houses may have dropped off in recent weeks—which is traditionally expected during the fall—there is still far more “traffic” than we usually see at this time of year.
  • “Serious buyers” in the market now. During the fall months, there tend to be fewer “lookers” than in the spring and summer, and more serious buyers. These are often people who must buy for specific reasons, such as employment relocation. As a result, they are more likely to act quickly when they find the right property.
  • A lack of available inventory. The number of listings has been relatively low all year compared to historical averages. The shortage of available inventory has helped to push prices higher in some areas. It is expected that this time of year there will be even fewer homes than the months preceding it, and that can mean less competition and more potential buyer attention for your listing.
  • Great natural “staging” this time of year. There’s a certain warm feeling that comes with being in a home during the holidays. Homes just feel friendlier and cozier with holiday decorations, the fireplace glowing in the living room, and special cookies baking in the oven. These holiday touches can help “stage” a home, giving it the very best possible look and feel to sell. Buyers who walk into a home during the holidays may have an easier time envisioning their family at happy gatherings there, too.

If you’re thinking about selling your home in the fall, there are a few things you should be doing. Start with improving your “curb appeal.” Clean up flowerbeds and rake any leaves on the lawn. Make sure weeds are pulled and shrubs are pruned. In the backyard, put away any summer items like pool toys. In general, keep things clean and neat.

Embrace the holiday season and use appropriate decor. Keep decorations in tune with the holiday that’s approaching. Doing so can help potential buyers see themselves and their families enjoying the same holidays in your home. But be careful not to overdo it.

It’s also important to price your home properly. Your REALTOR® can help you determine the appropriate price – based upon recent comparable home sales in your area and the anticipated inventory of available homes. Pricing your home correctly can increase the chances of getting a good offer faster.

Finally, it’s more important than ever to work with an experienced real estate professional. Look for an agent that has a solid track record in your community and can provide you with good advice on how best to prepare and market your home during the fall season.

While fall is not traditionally seen as the best time to sell a home, as explained above, there are a lot of advantages to listing your home now – especially at a time when others might shy away from selling. With a few simple steps, you just may find that selling your home this fall may be the best move you’ll ever make.

What San Mateo County residents need to know about the flu

by Kathy and Michael Rain - The Rain Team

Many think flu season is just around the corner, but the flu is getting an early start here in San Mateo County this year.  The best way to protect you and your family from getting the flu is to get vaccinated.  Contrary to what you may believe it is not too early to get vaccinated.  Getting the flu shot now will help ensure you are protected throughout the whole flu season.

Those most at risk are older adults, young adults, pregnant women, children, and those individuals who have underlying health conditions. However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that everyone older than six months of age get vaccinated.

Keep in mind it takes two full weeks after your vaccine to be completely protected from the flu.  Once you receive your vaccine it should last you a full year, so it very important to get a new one each year.

The flu vaccines are available at:

  • Local pharmacies
  • Your doctor’s office
  • Free local clinics

Flu Symptoms:

  • High fever
  • Bad cough
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue

Protecting Yourself

The best way to be protected from the flu is by obtaining a yearly vaccination.  On top of being vaccinated there are plenty of everyday precautions you can take to avoid spreading of the flu. Be sure to cover your nose and mouth when you cough. Wash your hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol based hand cleaner. Always avoid touching your eyes, mouth or nose. Do not go around others who are sick.

In other San Mateo County news, the 41st annual Pumpkin Festival was another great success. Be sure not to miss the San Mateo Harvest Festival at the San Mateo Events Center November 14th -16th. Be prepared for a weekend of non-stop holiday shopping, packed with entertainment for the whole family.

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.

Median Home Prices in California Reach Highest Levels Last Seen in 2007

by Kathy and Michael Rain - The Rain Team

Home sales may have slipped slowed in August after two solid months of increases, but median home prices soared. The latest report released by the California Association of Realtors (CAR) showed that median home prices increased to the highest number we have seen since 2007.

Median home sale prices in California increased by 3.3 percent over July from a median price of $464,750 to $480,280 in August.  Year-over-year home prices rose by 8.9 percent up from $441,010 in August of last year.  This marked the 30th consecutive month of median home prices increasing.

Single family residential median home prices in San Mateo County from January 03, 2014 to October 12, 2014 were $995,000, and the average sales price was $1,162,675. They spent on average 27 days on the market, and the total dollar volume of listings totaled $3,993,789,157. There were also a total of 3,345 sold listings during this period of time.

For the Coastal Cities of Pacifica, Montara, Moss Beach, El Granada and Half Moon Bay from January 03, 2014 to October 12, 2014 there were a total of 473 sales with an average price of $854,491, and median price of $751,000. On average these home spent a total of 42 days on the market.

“With more homeowners in a position to list their homes for sale following rising home prices, housing supply is improving across all price ranges as would-be sellers may be seeing this as an opportunity to list their homes for sale,” said CAR President Kevin Brown.

“While lower-than-expected interest rates are allowing more room for home prices to grow, the appreciation is also creating a housing affordability challenge for prospective home buyers and hindering them from taking advantage of the low rates.”

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.

Distressed Market in California Improves; Pending Home Sales Retreat

by Kathy and Michael Rain - The Rain Team

Rising home prices in California have contributed to a reduction in the number of distressed homes for sale, but housing affordability has slowed pending homes sales for the fifth straight month according to the August 2014 home sales report by the California Association of Realtors (C.A.R.).

In August, twenty-two of the 41 reporting counties in the state had a month-to-month decrease in distressed sales properties. San Mateo County was among one of the 19 counties on the report that recorded only single-digit distressed sales in August. In San Mateo County in August there was a total of 1% of single-family distressed sales, down from 2% in July and 3% in August of last year. This is great news for the housing market in San Mateo. The number of short sales across the state fell to 4.6% in August, reaching the lowest levels we have seen since February 2008. In comparison, in August 2013 distressed sales made up 10.2% of transactions. REO sales also fell in August to 4%, down slightly from 4.1% in July.

Pending home sales fell across the state In August compared to July with the Pending Home Sales Index falling 4.5% based on the number of signed contracts. The year-over-year decrease recorded was in line with the six-month average which was -8.9% between February 2014 and July 2014.

Throughout the state there was an increase in the number of active listings across all types of properties.  The Unsold Inventory Index of equity sales increased slightly from 3.9 months in July to 4.1 months in August.

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.

San Mateo County Residents Now Offered Rainwater Barrel Use Rebates

by Kathy and Michael Rain - The Rain Team

In an effort to encourage San Mateo County residents to conserve drinking water and to use other sources for landscaping residents will soon be eligible for up to a $100 rebate for choosing to install and use rainwater barrels. Earlier this month the City/County Association of Governments of San Mateo County Board of Directors (C/CAG) decided to give up to $25,000 to the Bay Area Water Supply and Conservation Agency in an effort to develop this pilot project.  These funds were already allotted as part of the budget for the countywide storm water program. Details of the program are still being worked out but it is anticipated that they will be available sometime in October.

“It’s just another one of our efforts to get the message out and now we also have the drought,” Executive Director Sandy Wong said.

The C/CAG will be offering up $50 rebates per rainwater barrel, and the water supply agencies that are participating in this program will match that dollar for dollar for a total of $100 or the cost of the barrel if it is less.  Most rain barrels cost on average $100, the rebates will essentially make them free to San Mateo County residents.

Residential properties in the county are eligible for up to two rain barrel rebates, and commercial properties are eligible for up to four rebates.  Purchase of the barrels must occur between now and June 30, 2015, and they must be maintained for three years after receiving the rebate.  Those receiving the rebate will be responsible for installing the barrels themselves with guidelines provided as part of the rebate application process. You will be required to show proof of purchase along with a photo after installation. The program is slated to run thru June 30, 2015 and at that time they will decide whether it should be extended.

Now is 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.

The Rain Team offers unparalleled service to ALL clients in the San Mateo County, including areas such as Half Moon BayEl GranadaMoss Beach, Montara, and PacificaYour complete satisfaction with our service and representation is our number one priority.

San Mateo County Named Among One of the Best Counties in California

by Kathy and Michael Rain - The Rain Team

Residents of San Mateo County take delight in the golden beauty the Northern California Coast has to offer. So, it comes as no surprise that a recent report from the real-estate site Movoto  that it was named the number two best county in California.

The term “best” can of course be very subjective, but there was a method that Movoto used to determine their rankings. The top counties in the state were determined using the 2010 Census data on unemployment rankings, the average commute time (the lower the better), percent of families below the poverty line, median household income, median home price, median rent, and high school graduation rate (the higher the number the better for all of these areas). 

San Mateo County is full of natural beauty, beaches, hiking trails, lighthouses, and wonderful architecture, these aesthetic items, mixed with the third lowest unemployment rate in the state, third in median household income and median home prices, low poverty statistics, and a high H.S. graduation rate, San Mateo easily reached the number 2 ranking making it the perfect place to live.

San Mateo County is also home to Half Moon Bay , which was recognized by Coastal Living as one of America’s happiest seaside towns.  This wonderful city is nestled between forested hills and some of the most gorgeous coastline in California.  Half Moon Bay began as a rural agriculture area and it continues to stay true to its roots.  Residents in the area are proud of their agriculture and floriculture center where you can find roadside stands selling locally grown fruit, vegetables, and herbs.

Here is the full list of the top counties in California:

  1. Marin County
  2. San Mateo County
  3. Santa Clara County
  4. San Luis Obispo County
  5. Ventura County
  6. Placer County
  7. Napa County (tie)
  8. Orange County (tie)
  9. Santa Barbara County
  10. San Francisco County

Come see for yourself what San Mateo County has to offer. Join in the celebration of the sun, sand and surf that defines life on the coast at Fog Fest in Pacifica this weekend September 27th and 28th. The event kicks off Saturday morning at 10am with the ever popular Discover Pacifica Parade and Marching Band Competition.  Admission to Fog Fest is free.

If you are looking to live in one of the top counties in the state then 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.

The Rain Team offers unparalleled service to ALL clients in the San Mateo County, including areas such as Half Moon BayEl GranadaMoss Beach,Montara, and PacificaYour complete satisfaction with our service and representation is our number one priority.

Keeping our Coastal Friends Safe with Email Safety

by Kathy and Michael Rain - The Rain Team

Recently one of our email addresses was compromised by a scammer who targeted Realtors and obtained our email signature to send out email spam for phishing. In today’s age, where email and websites are a mainstream way of doing business for many businesses, we think it’s important for all of us to become “Email Smart.”

Determining Real vs Spam
Email spam is unsolicited bulk mail, or junk mail. Some spam can include links, which may contain malware or lead you to phishing websites. Phishing is an attempt to acquire sensitive information about you, your company, and even financial information. Just some of this information may be usernames, passwords, credit card information among other information which can help them in the pursuit to gain even more information about you.

How to Spot a Phishing Email
When you do get an email, there are some basic tips on spotting whether they are real or just phishing:

  • The message contains poor spelling and grammar. Most companies have an extensive review process for emails before they are sent to customers or potential customers. Typically bad grammar and typos are giveaways they are not legitimate. And if they are, you don’t want to do business with a company displaying such unprofessionalism.
  • Never, ever under any circumstances send money based on an email. Even our friends accounts are susceptible to hacking and could have been compromised by a scammer. When in doubt, pick up the phone and call!
  • No reputable company will ask you for personal information such as usernames, passwords, credit card numbers or bank information via email.
  • We’re all professionals. Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!
  • If you receive an email claiming you won a contest or goods, beware! If it’s not something you know you entered or were expecting, it’s probably a scam.
  • Scammers are getting smarter all the time. If you get a business email that seems legit but is asking you for unrealistic requests or even one detail is out of place, question whether it is legitimately from that company.
  • If you receive an email from someone claiming to be a part of a government agency; IRS, FBI, local law enforcement, etc. do not take the bait. Typically our government does not use email as the first point of contact and trust us, if they are trying to get a hold of you they will do it in a more direct manner.
  • If you receive an email from a business associate or friend, check the contact information in the email and/or signature line. If something is suspicious, call them – do not email them back.
  • Follow your gut! If something just doesn’t look or feel right, ignore it!

We may not be able to stop all scammers, all the time. However, with some understanding of what to look for and to remember always to be cognizant of the emails you are opening, you can cut down on the chances of being scammed or phished.

We always try to look out for the best interests of our clients, friends and family. 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.

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.

Local Community Garden in Pacifica Honors 9/11

by Kathy and Michael Rain - The Rain Team

As we approach 9/11 this week and remember all the tragedy that was bestowed on our country that day, take a moment and visit Pacifica and the Rockaway Beach walk.

Our community in Pacifica has lovingly created and continuously tends to a garden to help us remember and honor those that lost their lives on 9/11/2001. This garden, along the Rockaway Beach walk, brings life and hope to all that visit with its flowers, plants, birdbaths, hummingbird feeders, and a beautiful large red/white/blue plaque with the names of the victims.

There will be a vigil held on 9/11/14 at 7pm, please join us. It’s close to the commemorative flag near the north parking lot. The south parking lot is at Rockaway Beach and you can walk the trail north for approximately a ½ mile.

If you cannot join us for the vigil, you can always visit this coastal gem any time. If you would like any further information, please contact us via email or give us a call at (650) 888-6903.

Don’t Miss Pacifica’s Fog Fest and Pre-Party!

by Kathy and Michael Rain - The Rain Team

It’s a few weeks away yet but it’s such a cool event ​​(both the pre-party & actual event), we want to make sure you put in on your calendar now so as not to miss … The Pacific Coast Fog Fest on September 27-28! This annual event traditionally falls on the last full weekend of September. Why you may ask? Because historically, the weather is unbeatable this time of year!

If you aren’t familiar with The Pacific Coast Fog Fest, it was created in 1986 to promote Pacifica and to celebrate our fantastic coast. This weekend event attracts visitors, celebrates our community and raises funds for the “Gift for Pacifica Fund” and other local community groups. We as a community strive to lessen our environmental footprint by moving toward zero waste.

This year the Fog Fest kicks off Saturday morning at 10am with the Discover Pacifica Parade and Marching Band Competition. If you haven’t heard our local marching bands, you’re missing out! Then stay and enjoy all the festivities including over 150 Arts & Crafts booths with one-of-a-kind art from locally and nationally known artisans, try some tasty food at the food and beverage booths, dance or sing-along to the musical entertainment, partake in the Family Fun Fest and all the other activities.

There’s 3 main stages for all the musical talent featured at this year’s Fog Fest. You can view the entire line-up to help plan your day and not miss your favorite local performers. If you have kids (or are just a big kid yourself), why not bring the whole family to the Fall Family Fun Fest on Sunday September 28. There’s a wide variety of games and activities to promote healthy family play and a sense of community.

Admission to The Pacific Coast Fog Fest (including the Fall Family Fun Fest) is always FREE. The fun starts at 10am and runs until 6pm along Palmetto Avenue in Pacifica.

Pre-Party Fandango: If you want to start the celebration early, join the fun at their Pre-Party Fandango a whole week early, on Saturday September 20, 2014 from 7pm – midnight at the Pacifica Moose Lodge. Come together with friends to enjoy great food, raffles, live music and costumed attire to relive the days of early historic times of Pacifica.

Join in the costume contest where 3 prizes will be awarded for anything depicting the early days of the coast; Spanish, Bootleggers, Cowboy, Farmer, Railroad Train Conductor – use your imagination!

This is an “over 21” event and tickets are $20 in advance and $25 after. Visit their website to view all the places you can buy tickets for the fun.

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.

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.

*Photo courtesy of Fog Fest Facebook page

Earthquake Safety for Your Coastal Home and Family

by Kathy and Michael Rain - The Rain Team

Unfortunately, this is typically a topic that comes up after the fact, but all of us in California are vulnerable to earthquakes. We were just reminded of that with the recent earthquake in the Napa area. We hope that all the residents affected are safe and only suffered minimal damage if any to their homes and property.

There are many things you can do to prepare your Coastal home in case of an earthquake. It’s also important for your family to be prepared with an earthquake preparedness plan, to review the proper safety procedures periodically and make sure young children understand.

This plan includes the following:

  • Make a safe designated meeting spot in the house where, if possible, the family can meet. This should be a place that is protected by sturdy furniture or interior structural walls.
  • Keep a stock of non-perishable foods, at least 3 gallons of water for each member of your family (including pets), an up-to-date first aid kit, a working battery-operated radio and flashlights with extra batteries, blankets and tools. You may also want to invest in some dust masks and goggles.
  • Know how to turn off your gas and water mains.
  • Be aware of placing trophies and other heavy items on high shelves or mounted to walls. Keep breakables in cabinets that can be locked.
  • Anchor tall furniture to the walls such as entertainment centers, dressers and bookshelves. (Not a bad idea if you have a small child that may climb, to keep furniture from toppling on them).
  • Designate a particular fireproof, locked cabinet to hold all flammable and combustible products like spray paints, gasoline, and other products. Never keep them near a heat-producing appliance.

No one can predict exactly when a quake will hit so be aware of your surroundings and if shaking does begin, take cover until you’re sure it’s safe and stay away from windows if possible.

To get your earthquake emergency kits ready, you can get them locally or online at Earth Shakes in Burlingame, Essential Packs, or even available most times at your local Costco Store.

We hope that it never happens but it’s important to make sure your home is as prepared as your family in the event of an earthquake. 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.

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.

*Photo Courtesy of Earth Shakes

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 167

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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