JVM’s Bridge Loans – Buy Before You Sell; You Tell Me If It Is A Good Idea!

I came across another interesting JVM Lending blog recently, and I want to dive into it here. Jay Vorhees, owner/lender at JVM, wrote about the Best Bridge Loans in 2024 and how there is a shocking amount of demand for them. But first, some context:

Bridge loans are short-term loans that typically tap into the equity of a borrower’s departing residence to allow that borrower to buy a new home before they sell their departing residence (basically the solution to how one can buy before selling).

Here’s how they traditionally work: JVM has an investor who will lend up to 75% of the value of the departing residence, but without paying off the first mortgage. So, if their borrower has a $1 million home with a $500,000 mortgage, the JVM bridge investor will loan $250,000 of cash to the borrower (to get 75% combined loan-to-value ratio) – with no fees or payments due. But the investor will require the borrower to pay 2.4% of the sales price of the borrower’s departing residence when it sells (which still often works out to be much less than the fees associated with non-JVM bridge loans).

Coupling that with no payments makes bridge loans incredibly popular. Do note, though, that the investor will not pay off an existing first mortgage, meaning borrowers remain responsible for the payments associated with that first mortgage. And if the borrowers have tight debt ratios, this often prevents them from qualifying for a new mortgage to purchase another home before they sell the current home.

So, JVM now also offers an EasyPath Mortgage Program, meaning the investor charges borrowers $2,500 for a guarantee that they will buy the borrower’s departing residence. They don’t lend money at all. But their guarantee to buy the departing residence no matter what allows lenders to ignore ALL of the payments associated with that residence which, of course, makes it much easier for the borrower to qualify for a new home before selling the old home.

If borrowers then need cash to buy a new home, they can max out equity lines before they enter into an agreement to sell their home to JVM’s investor. The investor gives borrowers 120 days to sell their homes for top dollar themselves, and only steps in if the home does not sell. This option makes a lot of sense for sellers looking to buy up or buy in areas where there is limited inventory.

It gives sellers peace of mind that they can find a house, move into it, and then sell their home. There is a lot to consider, but it might be worth it for those who really need to move but don’t want to put their home on the market until they see something they want to buy. With such low inventory, your offer might not be the one that is accepted.

Just Sold: 1148 Fairlawn (Rossmoor)

Recently, I shared a listing for an exquisite unit in Rossmoor. Good news! That unit was recently sold and I have all the details here: after two competitive offers, 1148 Fairlawn #1 in Rossmoor was sold for $735,000. The new owners are getting a wonderful new home.

The unit is a San Franciscan model with a spacious floor plan. On top of that, the home has been updated, upgraded, and tastefully remodeled. A new kitchen, new carpet, and laminate flooring make for a visually stunning place to live. And that’s just the inside.

Outside, a small front patio with a gated garden offers a private place to relax and enjoy the nice California weather. Your designated carport is just steps away, and you can wander anywhere in the Rossmoor community and find something fun and exciting to do.

I am so happy to help another out of area trustee sell there parents home. Being out of the area can be stressful, my job is to make effortless and to consistently communicate as I am the ears and eyes for my clients. If you have any real estate needs in the East Bay or know someone that lives out of the area and needs to sell a family home, please reach out!

Comparing The Super Bowl Cities

San Francisco. Our backyard. Kansas City. A Midwest metropolis that many of us likely don’t know much about. The hometown 49ers face off against the defending champion Chiefs in this weekend’s Super Bowl. And Zillow broke it down in my kind of terms: comparing real estate in the two cities!

I was surprised to see that Kansas City actually has more EV charging stations than San Francisco, and almost the same amount of parks! And even though there is a massive difference in typical home value, Zillow actually ranks Kansas City as a much hotter housing market than San Francisco (18th, versus 30th for SF).

The article also delves into the runner-up cities (Baltimore, who lost to the Chiefs in the AFC Championship Game; and Detroit, who the Niners beat in the NFC Championship Game). It’s always amazing to see what $1 million can buy you in other major cities, versus our major city, but it’s well worth a read!

Now, do I think this matters for the Super Bowl itself? Of course not! The Chiefs are defending champions for a reason, but our Niners are stronger than ever. I’ll tell you what – regardless of the outcome, I’m pretty sure stars on both teams can afford to purchase a home in San Francisco, Kansas City, Baltimore, Detroit, or pretty much anywhere in the United States!

I hope you all enjoy the game this weekend and Go Niners!

A Delicious Detour: Eataly

I recently visited the San Jose location of Eataly, which has nine stores nationwide (this is the only Northern California location). Eatlay, as a concept, was only developed in 2002 and was designed to gather high-quality food at sustainable and reasonable prices under one roof.

Of course, the inspiration was Italian food! Oscar Farinetti wanted to celebrate Italian biodiversity and create an informal, natural, and simple place to eat, shop, and learn. The first location opened its doors in Torino, Italy in 2007 and has since expanded to more than 40 locations around the globe!

On the Eataly website, you can make direct orders on products, food, and more and even sign up for classes, events, and local deliveries!

We were in Santa Clara for a Tom Ferry event staying overnight, my hair dresser has raved about this place and I thought it would be a great opportunity to check it out and have dinner. I went with a couple of colleagues who were also going to the event, we were all impressed. This store is 3 levels with the top level encompassing 3 restaurants, and most of the grocery items. The second floor was dedicated to wine and the first floor entrance into the mall had gelato, coffee and pasteries to go or eat there. In September I was in Vegas and saw Eataly, but did not go in. If you ever want to get an Italian fix, this is the place to go. It is located in the Westfield Valley Fair Mall. A very high end mall part of Santana Row. I did think it was a bit pricey, but you have to consider everything is imported. Thus you get a taste of Italy without have to travel across the world.

Perks Of The Job: An Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony

Last year, I was asked by another agent in my office to write an offer for one of her clients because she had two clients who wanted to write on the same house. The buyers I helped out with were originally from Ethiopia. I am interested in other cultures, including their food and their celebrations, so it was fun getting to know them throughout the process.

When their offer was accepted, the other agent took everything back over. But during our conversations, I had asked them about Ethiopian food, their culture and they shared some cool information with me. When they closed on the home, they said they would invite both agents over when they do an Ethiopian dinner.

True to their word, I was surprised to get a group text in early December inviting many people over for lunch and an Ethiopian coffee ceremony. There were four other families with their children and many nationalities represented (including Indian, Asian, and Hispanic) all gathering to eat Ethiopian food.

It was absolutely delicious. There were a lot of vegetables like sauteed chard, something like a samosa, lentils, lamb, and chicken. The highlight of the lunch, however, was the coffee ceremony. They took raw coffee beans and roasted them over the stove. You have to shake the special pan they use constantly and it is very messy, with the skins of the beans starting to peel off as they roast.

I did a little research about Ethiopian coffee ceremonies afterward, and here is some interesting information I found: the ceremonies usually take place three times a day in most traditional Ethiopian households, and are a must whenever a guest calls. To be invited to a ceremony is a show of friendship and respect, things that are highly valued in Ethiopian culture.

It is considered the most important social occasion in some regions and the coffee is typically prepared by the host, who is usually a woman who leads the household; being the host and preparing the coffee is a high honor. The host performs all three phases in front of their guests: in the final phase, not one, but three rounds of coffee are served. The first round, which is the strongest, is called Abol. The second is called Tona. And the third, which is the weakest round, is called Baraka.

This is something I really love about being in real estate. On any given day, I can meet new clients and make new friends, just through my normal business dealings. I may never have had the opportunity to experience traditional Ethiopian cuisine or a coffee ceremony in another line of work. And I’m so glad I had that experience!

6 Home Trends For 2024

Zillow’s research team analyzed more than 300 design styles and home feature keywords in for-sale listing descriptions and compared them to a year ago to develop a prediction on six home trends for 2024. Here are the results:

1. Brutalism

Credit: Zillow

Brutalism interiors describe a rough surfaces and utilitarian feel, mixing materials like wood, iron, and brass with plants. In the 1950s, brutalism was commonplace, though homes then were definitely more stark and gloomy than this new wave.

2. Sensory gardens

Sensory gardens are designed to do exactly what they sound like: engage all five senses and help you connect with nature. Many think they have therapeutic benefits, which makes them an obvious fit for being in a personal space. Typically, you might find plants like lavender or water features like a trickling stream in a home’s sensory garden.

3. Cold plunge pools

Credit: Zillow

Hot tubs are so last year. I have seen my fair share of cold plunge pools going into homes in the last 12 months, and I agree with Zillow that this trend will remain hot (ironically). Cold plunges allegedly reduce inflammation and improve circulation, so it’s a big thing in home wellness spaces these days.

4. Pickleball courts

This will surprise nobody, given the pickleball fervor that has swept the nation! I have seen this in high demand, too (and would like one for my home, too, if I could!). More reasonably, home buyers are looking for neighborhoods with pickleball courts listed as a nearby amenity, much like they might have looked for tennis courts in the past.

5. Murano glass chandeliers

Credit: Zillow

Homebuyers are trying to add some big personality to their houses through unique decor choices. Murano glass chandeliers – named for where they are handcrafted (Murano, Italy) – have been around for centuries and their quirkiness and intracy are enticing homebuyers across the country.

6. Murals

Finally, hand-painted murals are speaking to homebuyers who want to make a statement in one or more rooms of their house. Murals can be super personalized to a home owner or their home and are a fun offshoot of typical wallpaper or paint.

My stager Ashley Provost has also shared some design trends for 2024. Wallpaper is making a come back, along with accent walls. Curved furniture and arches will also be in. Grey is out, natural wood floors are in. Then there is color – Pantone’s color of the year is Peach Fuzz – oh no … however I have heard blue is a hot color from our namesake BHG Magazine, but I am seeing a lot of fern/moss in clothings. Color is such a personal thing and hard to stay on trend because it seems to change every year, although grey stayed with us for a long while.

1148 Fairlawn #1 Rossmoor

Looking for a home in Rossmoor, a 55+ community? This is an exquisite end unit boasting a spacious open floor plan that is both inviting and relaxing. The unit is a San Franciscan model and perfectly situated for personal enjoyment and for entertaining guests. It is priced at $699,000.

Every portion of the unit has been updated and upgraded, from the tastefully remodeled kitchen to new carpets and laminate flooring throughout. An added bonus room awaits, perfect for your office retreat or a cozy den. In total, it is 2 beds, 1.5 baths, and 1,330 square feet; large, compared to most in this area!

Step outside and bask in the serenity of the front patio’s gated garden and just steps from your carport. Inside, modern convenience awaits with a full-sized washer and dryer, walk-in closet, tile entry, and both bathrooms. This is not just a house; it’s a home. An invitation to experience a life of luxury and leisure.

In the vibrant Rossmoor community, you’ll have the privilege of enjoying a wealth of amenities that cater to every interest and lifestyle. Dive into the refreshing pools, perfect your swing on the golf course, or indulge in a friendly game of bocce ball, pickleball, or tennis. There are clubs and interest groups aplenty in Rossmoor, too, ensuring that every passion and curiosity can find a home.

If this unit interests you or someone you know, give me a call! It won’t last long!

Communication Is Key!

I was referred to Aleena and Roger by a neighbor who was looking for a home a few years ago. Back then, we talked about neighborhoods and she really liked Parkmead. She ended up renting in a Parkmead home, then the owners decided to sell and she bought the home without it going on the market, so it was very nice that she thought of me when her friends started to look for a home.

Aleena and Roger really knew what they wanted in a home. They would search on their own and then call me if they found something that interested them. We wrote a couple of offers and they got a sense of the market and what was most important to them. A couple of weeks before Christmas, they found a home on Wedgewood in Pleasant Hill and decided to write an offer.

The home is on a quiet court with views of Mt. Diablo and Dinosaur Park right behind them with access to the park between their home and a neighbor’s house. There was an offer date of December 11, the contract was written up via phone conversations, emails, and electronic signatures while Aleena was traveling. The home was listed at $995,000 and they offered $957,000.

The home needed a little work and was a trustee sale. I wasn’t sure if there was interest from others and explained that if there were any higher offers, Aleena and Roger likely wouldn’t be considered (writing offers is a bit like poker; you never know if someone is bluffing about interest, or if you don’t have a great hand/a full price offer or higher, will somebody else have a better hand/offer. As it happened, with the holidays, the rates, and the work to the home that was needed, we were the only offer!

They countered us higher, but the buyers went up only $10,000, knowing we would be doing additional inspections. We found many issues and negotiated a $13,800 credit with their $967,000 offer. After we got into contract, we learned that there had been recent transfers of the trustee, and actually ran into the trustee while doing inspections. I asked about it and found the original trustee was no longer able to serve in that capacity, so the court appointed a trustee to complete the transaction.

In addition, we found out more about the house from the home inspector, who said when he did the original inspection, the home was so full of boxes and other stuff that he was unable to fully inspect the home. We had a closing date of December 28, with contingency removal on December 26. Additional inspections were ordered and was waiting for reports with pricing to ask for a credit, which I had told the listing agent would have a request for repairs by Friday December 22 (I got it to her that afternoon).

What I didn’t know was the court attorney had to sign off on everything and she left early afternoon on Friday and then had the week between Christmas and New Year’s off. Per the lender, we could not close past December 29. The buyers had movers organized and it became very stressful for all parties involved.

Everyone came through and we ended up closing on the 29th, in the future, if I ever have such a quick closing during the holidays, I will advise to expect delays, get more clarity from the lender what could happen if there are delays and make sure there is some wiggle room. I am now much more aware of other decision makers holidays such as an attorney who does not work realtor and lender hours. However, I believe both parties wanted to close before the end of the year so it all worked out. The lesson that keeps getting reinforced? Communication from all parties is key to a smooth process!

Happy New Year!

Okay, I know I’m a few days early. But I wanted to reflect on a great 2023 and look forward to what will, hopefully, be an even better 2024. To all my clients, friends, and followers I hope you have a wonderful New Year’s holiday and enter 2024 optimistic, grateful, and happy. The best is yet to come!

Happy Holidays

As snowflakes dance and lights twinkle, may your heart and home be aglow with the warmth of loved ones and the magic of the season. Cheers to a holiday filled with joy, wonder, and cherished moments.

Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, Happy Belated Chanukah, Happy Kwanzaa! Joy to the human race!