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Kathy and Michael Rain - The Rain Team

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Design Dilemmas

by Kathy and Michael Rain - The Rain Team

Smart Home Hacked

by Kathy and Michael Rain - The Rain Team

5 Things To Know About The Federal Reserve

by Kathy and Michael Rain - The Rain Team

By Andy Block
Mortgage Advisor and Personal Finance Advisor

The July Fed meeting concluded earlier this week and, as expected, the Federal Reserve cut target range lending rate to 2% - 2.25%.

As a refresher, "the Fed" refers to the Federal Open Market Committee, the monetary policy making body of the Federal Reserve System.
    

Here are five things to know about the Feds:

1.    The Fed does not control mortgage rates.

2.    The Fed sets the Fed Funds and Discount Rates. These are the costs for overnight loans from bank to bank or from the Fed to member banks.

3.    When the Fed cuts their rates, mortgage rates can actually rise. Lower Fed rates can be good for stocks, so investors often sell mortgage bonds to raise cash for stock investments. When bond prices fall, mortgage rates rise.

4.    Rates may already reflect Fed cuts. Investors regularly speculate and place their bets in anticipation of Fed action. This will move markets in advance of the news.

5.    Ready to act? Locking in a rate now may make sense. Depending on the particular scenario, even small rate changes can have a big impact.


Please Contact Andy Block with OPES Advisors For All Your Financial Needs ablock@opesadvisors.com

Motivated Millennials

by Kathy and Michael Rain - The Rain Team

Downsizing Pros and Cons

by Kathy and Michael Rain - The Rain Team

Once the kids have left home to start their new lives, many empty nesters are unsure whether they should sell their now too-large homes and downsize or stay in a home that will become harder and harder to take care of. Most boomers see the home as their most significant investment, so it’s no wonder they struggle with this decision. If you are in a similar situation, here are some factors to consider.

Pro: Reduced Upkeep, More Free Time. The larger the home, the more work needs to be done. Even minor improvements can take a lot of time and energy, especially if they require several trips to the hardware store or finding qualified professional help. Even if you have relatively few projects, a large home needs constant care inside and out, which can be physically demanding. A smaller home means less time spent on upkeep, which means more free time to do the things you actually enjoy, like taking a dance class or learning how to play golf.

Pro: Reduced Expenses. Unless you’re relocating to a high-cost area, moving to a smaller home usually brings significant savings. Depending on how much equity you have built up, you may be able to live mortgage-free. Smaller homes also cost less to heat and furnish. Depending on individual circumstances, you may even spend less on commuting and/or traveling. Feeling more financially secure has a myriad of benefits, including less stress and more freedom to enjoy yourself.

Pro: Improved Social Life. Many retirees envision a lifestyle that includes fun activities, spending time with new and old friends and enjoying local events. They move from large family homes to condos and from cold-weather areas to warm ones for this very reason. Before you move to a different city or state, be sure to hire a qualified real estate agent to help you find the spot that best suits your needs and budget. With careful planning, you could end up living near the ocean or waking up every day to a view of the mountains.

Con: Leaving Memories Behind. We all tend to become emotionally attached to the places we live in, and moving away can be traumatic. Downsizing also means saying goodbye to furniture and other objects that memories are attached to. Bringing a few of the most important items with you will make your new place feel more like home. Taking pictures of the house and any items you have to leave behind also helps, as does focusing on the new memories you’ll be making.

Con: Your Home May Have Depreciated. Real estate values fluctuate over time, and sometimes owners overestimate what their home is worth. Property values have risen in many locations, which means you could end up spending more to buy your next home, even if it’s smaller. You should not put your home up for sale until you have a professional determine its market value and what you can expect to get for it. You obviously don’t want to lose money in the transition.

Con: Less Space for Family Visits. A smaller residence will make accommodating guests more difficult, but an even more significant worry is housing grown children who are increasingly moving back home to save money. If you see this as a possibility, and you still want to downsize, look for a place with a spare bedroom or a finished basement.

Many factors need to be considered before deciding to downsize. If you feel overwhelmed, do not hesitate to contact a local Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage independent agent to help you sort through the pros and cons.

Staged Homes Sell Best

by Kathy and Michael Rain - The Rain Team

Market Report: San Mateo County Real Estate Report

by Kathy and Michael Rain - The Rain Team

Here is an updated Market Report summarizing recent real estate activity. Please keep in mind that the values represented are based on current, detailed information from the Regional Multiple Listing Service. If you need clarification on any of the figures or if you wish to take additional steps toward property ownership, please let us know. We are happy to help you.

Homeownership Has Its Benefits

by Kathy and Michael Rain - The Rain Team

5 Strange Things That Can Stop A Home From Ever Selling

by Kathy and Michael Rain - The Rain Team

By: Daniel Bortz

Listing agents, as the professionals who help prep a home for sale, are often tasked with telling home sellers why their house might not sell in its current condition. It's a tough job, but it sure beats saying nothing and then watching a home sit indefinitely.

While most corrective tweaks are small—say, a fresh coat of paint or a solid decluttering—sometimes the things that stop a home from selling take everyone by surprise. Here are a few that listing agents have dealt with, and the solutions that saved the day.

1. The 'green monster'

Seth Lejeune, real estate agent with Berkshire Hathaway in Collegeville, PA, coined this phrase to describe a "horrendously colored hunter-green carpet” in his home seller's living room. This home had already been listed once with another agent with no offers; Lejeune was quite sure this carpet was the culprit.

“So I told the seller to replace the carpet with something neutral,” Lejeune says. The seller "was surprised, but receptive. I explained the importance of first impressions, and he got it after a few minutes.”

Replacing the carpet cost only $1,500. “We got four showings within two weeks, and it was the fastest townhome sale of the year,” Lejeune says. In fact, the home buyers mentioned at settlement that they especially loved the living room.

Take-home lesson: Even simple cosmetic flaws, like an ugly shade of carpet, can make some home buyers run. Luckily swapping out carpet is an easy fix.

2. Too many pets

Seattle real estate agent Matt Parker recalls meeting with a landlord who was looking to sell his rental property. The problem? The home had been rented to, as Parker puts it, a couple of “pet enthusiasts.”

“They had about 30 injured birds, squirrels, dogs, cats, lizards, snakes, and dozens of fish in a 910-square-foot house,” he says.

The snakes were in cages and the fish were in bowls, of course, but the rest of the animals roamed free.

“You can imagine what the home smelled like, how stained the floors were, and how many ‘hidden treasure’ land mines there were throughout the house,” Parker says.

The carpet, flooring, subflooring, walls, and exposed wood throughout the house had been permeated with a foul odor, Parker says.

Parker told the home seller that his odds of selling were slim, unless it were a teardown. Thankfully, the seller accepted the news without much drama.

Take-home lesson: We love our furry friends, but that doesn't mean potential buyers want to see our pets (or any of their traces) when looking at a home they're thinking of buying. (Here are tips on how to sell a home with pets.)

3. Noisy neighbors

Homeowners value privacy, but, alas, they don’t always get it.

Courtney Poulos, a broker at ACME Real Estate in Los Angeles, experienced this firsthand with a client who was looking to sell a stylishly remodeled three-bedroom home. Unfortunately, the house “was right next to a large apartment complex,” Poulos says.

“When you were in the backyard, you felt that the occupants of the apartment complex were looking right down on you," she adds.

Poulos agreed to list the house, but remembers a couple of troublesome open houses. During one, a couple living in the apartment building out back “were fighting and you could see them and hear them from the backyard,” she says. At another open house, “one of the neighbors had his TV on so loud that we had to blast music of our own in the open house to try to cover it up."

The fix? “Since we were not getting the offers we wanted after the first couple of weeks, we built a 12-foot fence, incorporated canvas sun shades, installed twinkle lights, and made the outdoor space much more private,” Poulos adds.

The costs tallied up to $3,000, but it was a modest expense considering “this backyard solution ultimately helped sell the property.”

Take-home lesson: No one likes noisy neighbors, especially those who can see right in your house without effort. So, if your home is located adjacent to an apartment building or another home, you’ll want to take steps to provide yourself some privacy.

4. An underground oil tank

“I sold a home earlier this year that an investor had purchased through a foreclosure auction,” says Christopher Pagli, associate broker at William Raveis Legends Realty Group in Tarrytown, NY. But a presale inspection turned up some unwelcome news.

“There was a buried oil tank on the property,” Pagli says. “This came as a surprise, because the home was fueled by natural gas.”

Altogether the testing, removal, and backfill for the oil tank cost the seller about $8,000. The good news? Once the oil tank was removed, the home sold in three weeks.

Take-home lesson: Underground oil tanks are rare, but if you suspect your property has one, you’ll want to have the land tested by an inspector who specializes in oil tank location and decommissioning before putting your house on the market.

5. Mold

No word strikes fear into the hearts of home buyers and sellers more than mold.

“It is a four-letter word, and most definitely has been the issue of greatest magnitude for my home sellers," says Michael Edlen, a real estate agent in Pacific Palisades, CA.

One particularly bad experience sticks out: Before listing a house, Edlen spotted mold in a relatively small area of the garage, but that was just the start.

“[Mold] remediators found that the mold had gotten into the wall framing, so they had to open walls up behind and next to primary areas,” Edlen says. “By the time the work was done, it took two full months and nearly $60,000."

Fortunately, the sellers didn't freak out over the bill—or Edlen.

“One way or another, they would have had to deal with it—and better to fix it upfront than leaving it to later,” he explains.

Take-home lesson: Mold can put a homeowner’s health at risk, which explains why it’s one of the most common fears among home buyers. Make sure you check your house for mold and address any issues before listing it.

Homebuying Decision

by Kathy and Michael Rain - The Rain Team

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 426

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The Rain Team
CA# 01169588 | CA# 01125976 | CA# 01908304
248 Main Street, Suite 200
Half Moon Bay CA 94019
Michael: 650-888-6361
Kathy: 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 | Coldwell Banker - CA BRE# 01908304  

Email: therainteam@coastal-realestate.com
Cell Phone: (650) 888-6903 * Direct Phone: (650) 712-0411
San Mateo County Real Estate and Homes for Sale

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