Sunday, March 22, 2020

How to disinfect your house in these times of stress?

An important question nowadays: what is the best way to disinfect your home, as we all face these dire circumstances?

Christina Hoffman, content manager for HouseLogic, gives some useful tips on the matter, which I thought were worthy of showing on this blog.

From her article, a few things worth mentioning:

- The Center for Disease Control recommends a bleach solution for disinfecting high-touch surfaces
- Recipe:  for a quart of water, 4 teaspoons of bleach,
- bleach can grow too old, and loose its efficacy,
- bleach cannot be mixed with just anything:  just water,
- and something I didn't know: some disinfectants can make the virus(es) resistant.

Please stay safe and in good health, and most importantly, stay informed.

Warm regards,


My Home Valuation tool
Detailed, local trends etc...
Current mortgage rates   Time to refinance? Give me a call.

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Easy to Buy a Home in California?

How easy is it to buy a home in California?

According to an August 2019 Google poll that the California Association of Realtors conducted, this is the way it is perceived:

Click to see bigger

Actually, from my personal experience in different countries, it is really much easier to purchase and sell a home here.  It also takes a lot less time from start to finish.

Thanks for reading, call or text me for any question about the process.

My Home Valuation tool
Detailed, local trends etc...
Current mortgage rates   (low!)

Friday, January 24, 2020

Winter House Hunting Can Pay Off.

Winter House Hunting Can Pay Off.

Everyone knows the prime house-hunting seasons are spring and summer, when the grass is green, tree foliage is full and flowers are in full bloom. But that doesn’t mean you can’t land a hot deal during the winter. Here are a few reasons why shopping for a home in the winter might be a smart decision.

Less competition. While cooler temperatures in many areas may keep many people inside, if you decide to take the plunge, you won’t have to compete with as many buyers. That means less pressure to make a quick decision to avoid losing out on the home of your choice, and more time to check out additional properties, consider all of your options and negotiate with sellers.

Sellers are more motivated. Many people who put their home on the market during the colder months are anxious to sell it as fast as possible. Perhaps they’re relocating for a new job or need money for a down payment on another property. With fewer would-be buyers, sellers get less attention and fewer offers, making them more motivated to reduce the price and close the deal.

Quicker closing. Real estate agents, mortgage lenders and title companies have fewer clients in the winter, which can result in a swifter closing. And remember, you can always help speed up your home-buying process by knowing how much you can afford, getting pre-approved for a loan and having a good down payment ready.

Gain more insights. Viewing homes on cool, gray days puts properties in a different light – picture bare trees and no flowers – so if you love a property, imagine how wonderful it will look when colors are popping in the spring and summer. And unlike a sunny 75-degree day, you’ll be able to tell if a house is drafty, a sure sign of poor insulation.


Home Valuation tool
Current mortgage rates   - low.  It's a good time to buy now

Saturday, January 4, 2020

Total Student Debt Could Buy Every House on the Market ... Twice

According to a new study by, total student debt could buy every house on the market in the US.. twice!

Part of this interesting article by Kelsey Ramirez is below:

"Total student debt in the U.S. reached $1.5 trillion, a new all-time high, according to a new study by But what does that mean for the housing market?
The number $1.5 trillion sounds like a lot, but how much is it really when you break it down? Divided out, the average student loan borrower owes about $34,500, that’s $8,500 more than the typical down payment of $26,000, or an average 10% of the median home price of $260,000.
Put another way, $1.5 trillion is enough to buy every single home on the market in the U.S. Twice.
Let that sink in.

“Student debt has ballooned to an all-time high as the price of education continues to outpace wage growth, and this is holding back many potential buyers from being able to purchase a home,” Senior Economist George Ratiu said. “Student debt is already impacting borrowers’ ability to buy a home and education debt is expected to hamper consumers’ financial decisions for many years down the road.”

The Department of Education explained that because wage growth is stagnant compared to the rapidly rising costs of education, students are taking on more debt than ever before to cover their expenses. Since 1986, tuition at public universities has grown at four times the rate of wage growth."

See the link to the full article from Housing Wire.


Home Valuation tool
Current mortgage rates   - low.  It's a good time to buy now

Saturday, November 30, 2019

Married, But Name Not On Title? What Does It Mean?

Married, But Name Not On Title? What Does It Mean?

Here is another bit of real estate info in California provided by our own Cornerstone Title Company -thank you Kelly Vincelette ;-)

Does a person have ownership rights to a piece of property if they are married, but their name is not on title?
For a community property in California, it depends upon when and how their spouse acquired the property. The law asserts that all property purchased during the marriage, with income that was earned during the marriage, is community property. Both spouses own it equally, regardless of whose name is on the title deed - and while married buyers can purchase property on their own, using only their credit, income and assets to qualify for a loan, that property is deemed to be owned by both spouses jointly.

If the intention is that the property be owned only by the spouse who purchased it, then the other spouse would have to relinquish their rights to it by executing and recording both a quit claim deed and a Preliminary Change of Ownership form.

Any real estate that was owned by one spouse prior to marriage remains separate property - as is property that is inherited or gifted to one spouse. If the other spouse’s name is not on title for either of these reasons, then they neither have ownership rights nor would they be responsible for loan repayment or other liens placed on that property - even if it resulted in foreclosure.

Spouses may comingle their separate property into community property at any time, simply by transferring that property into both names jointly. Then both spouses are on title and both have equal rights and equal responsibility for it, just as they would if they had purchased it, taken on a mortgage loan for it together, and listed both of their names on title.

To know more about responsibilities and liability, do look at the whole article, and if you have a question that is specific to your own situation, do contact a licensed California Real Estate attorney.

This article is written by Barbara Pronin who is an award-winning writer based in Orange County, Calif. A former news editor with more than 30 years of experience in journalism and corporate communications, she has specialized in real estate topics for over a decade.

Some necessary disclaimer: this material is not intended to be relied upon as a statement of the law, and is not to be construed as legal, tax or investment advice.  You are encouraged to consult your legal, tax or investment professional for specific advice.  The material is meant for general illustration and/or informational purposes only.  Although the information has been gathered from sources believed to be reliable, no representation is made as to its accuracy. 

Thanks for reading!

Home Valuation tool
Current mortgage rates   - low!

Friday, November 15, 2019

Try And Try Again - A Home Buying Tale

Try and try again...

The market "has softened", or the market "has slowed down".  Or has it?

I was just hearing MarketPlace on NPR yesterday afternoon saying that the market was going to have a renewed jump in activity soon, with more multiple offers than we even had lately, due to lack of inventory and very low interest rates.  Whether this comes true or not, we will see.  But these stats below tell the tale of California home buyers and their successes, ...or delays during the 2nd quarter of this year.

Click to see larger

Truth be told, in the SF Bay Area, whether the market has slowed down or not depends a lot on the exact area, the type of property, the time of year and also... the asking price.
For instance for well-priced properties in Palo Alto, or towns with good schools, the activity is still quite brisk.  For smaller homes like condominiums in areas where there is more inventory (i.e. some areas in San Jose or Santa Clara, or Sunnyvale) prices have certainly come down from the highs of last year.  It is all a question of knowing the market.  A qualified buyer's agent is a must to make sense of all this, someone who carefully evaluates the home value and the recent sales before placing an offer, above or under asking price.  It will depend on the condition, the location, the local inventory for the particular home you are considering.

Questions? Call or text!
Thank you,

Home Valuation tool
Current mortgage rates   - low, with some volatility.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Property Inspection, Or Not?

Should you have a property inspection, or not?

Most people get a property inspection when they buy a property, whether they pay for it, or the sellers pay for it.  The inspection pretty much always finds stuff, and it is definitely better to know what needs attention before going ahead with the purchase.  In our region, the Bay Area of San Francisco, inspections are done ahead of time by the sellers in order to increase the chance to receive an offer that is "as is", without inspection contingencies.  Without a "pre-sale" property inspection, it is almost certain that a buyer would put a contingency in their offer to obtain an inspection, and that leaves the door open for a new round of negotiations later down the line.

Click on the picture to see larger.

In fact it is also good to have a property inspection on your house, even if you are not going to sell it.  Inspectors always find things to report, and it is better to know of a problem before it gets expensive to address.  Just like you do a medical physical check-up on your body regularly, it is a good idea to obtain a check-up on your house.
For professionals performing inspections just text/email me.  I can definitely help you with that, and help you sift through the results of the inspections to flag the most urgent problems to address.

Thank you for reading,

Home Valuation tool
Current mortgage rates   - low, with some volatility.

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Homeownership Has Its Benefits

Homeownership Has Its Benefits - Why do Californians want to own a home?  According to this California Association of Realtors June 2019 poll, these are some of the reasons, below:

click to see larger.

Questions regarding real estate?  Text/email me!


Home Valuation tool
Current mortgage rates   - low, with some volatility.