Congratulations Jose, Roxana & Sophie!!

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I blogged at the beginning of the year of getting a couple into a home in 3 days [see our “Motivated Buyers” post from January 8th 2015!!].  It was a very smooth process and great experience for all with a Super Star Team from the listing agent, sellers, to JVM Lending and wonderful clients.  We delayed closing by 5 days because Obama changed the law and reduced the Mortgage Insurance, since the lender is so pro-active, they called and asked if we could close a few days late to get a case number with the lower MI.

Home Sweet Home

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I asked the listing agent who had to get approval from the seller.  Everyone agreed, thus closing 5 days late, the buyer was able to save $200 a month!  This is the third buyer who has moved from the peninsula or the city for more affordable housing after having a child.

Closing the Deal 🙂

Lobosigning

 

~Kristin

Stylish Home on a Charming Corner Lot – Walk to Concord Bart

New Listing in Concord.  Brokers Tour  Tuesday 2/16 10:30 – 1:00 pm

Open House Sat & Sun 2/21 – 2/22   1-4 pm  Stop by and take a look – this one won’t last!

 

Timeless  Front Porch, updated kitchen & bath

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Open floor plan

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Pendant Lighting, stainless steel appliance, slate floor

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Drought friendly artificial turf, RV parking, vegetable garden

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The Beautiful Stinson Beach

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Though February brought us rain, I took off the Sunday before the Super Bowl and headed to Mt. Tam for a hike and ended the day at Stinson.  Even though I have lived in the Bay Area since 1990, I have never been to Stinson Beach, always opted for Muir Beach.  Well, you can’t beat a January winter in the Bay Area when you get 70 degree weather (warmer at the beach than Walnut Creek), bikini’s and a beautiful sunset!  Gotta love Northern California!  I will return, loved the beach town.

SB2

~Kristin

Top 10 Houzz Articles of 2014

If you are thinking about doing something to your home in 2015, here is a recap of the most popular articles on Houzz.  See  if any of these are something you are interested in!!

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Houzz Quiz: What’s Your Decorating Style?
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TOP 10 NOTABLE QUOTES FROM 2014

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A Yale University librarian released a list of the 10 most notable quotes of the year for 2014. The compilation is released each year as a supplement to “The Yale Book of Quotations,” originally published in 2006, and attempts to highlight comments that are famous, important or a reflection of the spirit of the times.  

Are there any you find offensive, funny or an indicator of more to come in 2015?  Would love to hear your comments.

10. (TIE) SEN. PAT ROBERTS

“Every time I get an opponent — I mean, every time I get a chance — I’m home.

— The Kansas Republican’s response to a question about whether he actually resides in the state, during a KCMO radio interview, July 3.

10. (TIE) HILLARY CLINTON

“Great nations need organizing principles, and ‘Don’t do stupid stuff’ is not an organizing principle.”

— From the former Secretary of State’s Atlantic Online interview, August 10.

10. (TIE) JOE BIDEN

“Isn’t it a bitch? I mean, … this vice president thing?”

— The U.S. Vice President’s response to student body vice president at Harvard College, October 2.

9. GWYNETH PALTROW AND CHRIS MARTIN

“We have always conducted our relationship privately, and we hope that as we consciously uncouple and coparent, we will be able to continue in the same manner.”

— Part of a statement on Paltrow’s website announcing the couple’s separation, March 25.

8. TOM PERKINS

“I would call attention to the parallels of fascist Nazi (Germany’s) war on its ‘one percent,’ namely its Jews, to the progressive war on the American one percent, namely the ‘rich.’ … I perceive a rising tide of hatred of the successful one percent.”

— From the venture capitalist’s letter to the editor, Wall Street Journal, January 24.

7. JODI ERNST

“I grew up castrating hogs on an Iowa farm, so when I come to Washington, I’ll know how to cut pork.”

— From the Iowa Senatorial candidate’s campaign advertisement quoted in National Journal, March 25.

6. HILLARY CLINTON

“We came out of the White House not only dead broke, but in debt.”

— From an ABC News interview, June 9.

5. DONALD STERLING

“It bothers me a lot that you want to broadcast that you’re associating with black people.”

— The Los Angeles Clippers owner’s remark to V. Stiviano on an audio recording quoted in Los Angeles Times, April 27

4. ADAM GLYN

“Mr. Commissioner, we found out by one phone call. You guys have a whole legal department. Can you explain that?”

— The TMZ reporter questioning NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on why the NFL had not been able to view video of the Ray Rice incident, at a news conference on September 19.

3. MICHAEL BROWN PROTESTERS

“Hands up! Don’t shoot!”

— Chant during demonstrations against the shooting death of Michael Brown, Ferguson, Mo., August .

2. BRIDGET ANNE KELLY

“Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee.”

— Part of an email sent by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s aide to David Wildstein, an official at the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey, quoted in The New York Times, January 9.

1. ERIC GARNER

“I can’t breathe!”

— Garner’s videotaped exclamation while being held by a policeman in New York, July 17.

~Kristin

The 15 Best County in the State for Livability – by Movoto Real Estate.

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The company used U.S. Census Bureau statistics covering a wide range of information to arrive at the rankings. The information was gathered in the following categories:

  • Unemployment rate (the lower the better)
  • Median household income (the higher the better)
  • Median rent (the higher the better, to indicate area’s desirability)
  • Median home price (the higher the better, to indicate desirability)
  • Percent of families below the poverty line (the lower the better)
  • High school graduation rate (the higher the better)
  • Average Commute Time (the lower the better)

Considering that high rents and home prices are included in the rankings, it’s not so bad to finish out of the Top 10.

The Top 10 of California’s 58 counties:

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)
7. Orange County (tie)
9. Santa Barbara County
10. San Francisco County

~Kristin

“Sometimes I’m terrified of my heart; of its constant hunger for whatever it is it wants. The way it stops and starts.” Edgar Allan Poe

Tax Code for the Sale of your Home – Just a Reminder

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The tax code allows individuals to exclude up to $250,000 in profit from the sale of their primary residence; $500,000 for married couples filing jointly. This means that homeowners do not have to pay tax on up to $250,000/$500,000 of the profit from the sale of their home, thus avoiding the capital gains tax.

To use the home sale exclusion, you have to meet certain ownership, use and timing qualifications. You must have owned the home for at least 2 of the last 5 years before the sale. You have to have lived in it as a primary residence for at least 2 out of the last 5 years, and you can’t use this exclusion if you’ve already taken it within 2 years.

Generally, if you sell your home due to circumstances involving divorce, change in employment, change in health or other unforeseen circumstances but don’t meet the ownership, use and timing qualifications, you may qualify for a reduced exclusion.

~Kristin

“The best people possess a feeling for beauty, the courage to take risks, the discipline to tell the truth, the capacity for sacrifice. Ironically, their virtues make them vulnerable; they are often wounded, sometimes destroyed.” Ernest Hemingway

New Listing! Chic Loft in Pleasant Hill

Living room

Touches of simple sophistication add style to a serene and spacious home. A perfect spot to entertain and a place to call your own.

Dinning room

Enjoy a quiet stroll along the pathway to the pool, will make you feel as if you are in a secluded park. Dog friendly and a commuters dream!

Picnic area

2 bedrooms & 2 Bathrooms

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Downstairs bath

Second Loft Bedroom

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Inside Wash & Dryer

Laundry

Check Out All of This Unit`s Great Features!!

  • 2 Bedrooms
  • Master Loft
  • Second Spacious Bedroom
  • 2 Bathrooms
  • 1190 Sq Ft
  • Vaulted Ceiling
  • Open Floor Plan
  • 2 Balconies
  • Private Walking Trail to Pool
  • Beautiful Picnic Area
  • 1 Car Garage + 1 Uncovered Parking Space
  • HOA $400/mo.
  • Great Commute Location
  • Close to Shops, DVC & Sun Valley Mall
  • Inside Washer & Dryer
  • Hidden Valley Elem/Diablo View/College Park

 

 

2015 Market Outlook – One Quick Perspective

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The housing market continues to recover and home values are predicted to continue to rise, but at a slower pace.

Zillow forecast calls for a 2.4 percent appreciation for 2015 for the nation, which is less than half the appreciation rate seen for 2014.

As we in the Bay Area know, our market operates a little differently than the rest of the country.  However, we too will most likely see a slower pace which will help bring more balance to the market, as more previously sidelined sellers decide to list their homes, and more buyers enter the market – particularly younger buyers. These buyers will find themselves with more leverage in the market, after years in which sellers largely held the upper hand in negotiations.

We tend to have multiple offers when the inventory is low.  Last year, the buyers were out in full force the first week of January and it took the sellers until March to get on the market for the “spring selling spree” whens buyers got a little relief from the 30% price increases they saw the first quarter.  From all indications, Kristin forecasts this year sellers will get a jump on listing sooner and it will create a more balanced real estate market.  Those who list in the first couple of weeks of January will most likely see the most offers and get to choose the strongest buyer.  Here is to 2015!

~Kristin

When observed calmly, all things have their fulfillment.”  Basho Matsuo

The Orchards

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At Oak Grove Blvd & Ygnacio Valley Road in the Shadelands Business Park. Safeway is finally building on their lot that has sat empty for so long – the last of what was once real orchards.  Safeway’s new store will replace its smaller Encina Grande location across the street, where Whole Foods will move in.

The Orchards will include a Stein Mart, Crunch Fitness & Petco along with specialty shops, restaurants, 200 units of senior housing, green space, play area and jogging trails.  This area has been languishing from a business perspective and the city has been trying to figure out how to reinvigorate it to be more like a Bishop Ranch.  The problem is the commute – there is no easy access from Bart, thus people have to drive so many of the business once housed in the Shadelands have moved.

Hall Equities Group will be transforming the building Contra Costa Times occupied in a Recreational Sports Facility and will become the regional go to place for youth basketball, soccer, lacrosse, etc. – this is sorely needed in our area as field space is a premium – now parents will be able to drop off the kids to warm up and walk over to grab a coffee or do their shopping.  It will be interesting to see if it attracts actual business vs. retail.
~Kristin
“Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beate.” G. K. Chesterton