Here's how San Jose flood victims could get a property tax break
February 23, 2017

Business and home property owners in the flooded areas of San Jose may be eligible for temporary property tax relief, says County Assessor Larry Stone.

“I strongly encourage all property owners who suffered flood damage to their property to visit the assessor’s website to read about the calamity property tax relief program and download the claim form," Stone said in a press release. "They can also contact my office at (408) 299-5500.”

Under the calamity tax relief program, claims must be filed within 12 months from the date of damage and the loss must exceed $10,000 of current market value.

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Facebook commits $20 million for affordable housing, other assistance
December 2, 2016

Facebook, like other Silicon Valley tech firms, has a complicated relationship with low-income residents who fear job growth sparked by the tech industry is driving up housing prices and rents.

Now, the Menlo Park tech firm wants to friend some of its most vocal critics by committing $20 million over five years for affordable housing, job training and assistance for tenants at risk of losing their homes.

The unusual contribution is the largest it has committed to alleviate the housing crisis, a problem that has long pitted the tech elite against the region’s poorest residents. Facebook has teamed up with a coalition of East Palo Alto community groups and the governments of East Palo Alto and Menlo Park to form the Catalyst Housing Fund. The company calls the partnership “unprecedented.”

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Sereno Group Adds an Impressive and Sizable Collection of Talented Realtors in the First Half of 2016

The Company Continues Its Growth in Silicon Valley and Santa Cruz County

LOS GATOS, CA (PRWEB) August 19, 2016

Sereno Group announced the addition of over 30 talented Realtors across its offices in Silicon Valley and Santa Cruz County. Sereno Group new Realtor additions in the first half of 2016 included: Adam Andrus & Michelle Jordan Andrus, Alan & Ben Barbic, Anton Reimer, Ben Gammon, Bob Egan, Cat Westover, Ching Tse, Christina Bernasconi, Darren Kimura, David Long & Jackie Peters, Doris Vela, Greg Neal, Jennifer Liebthal, Jorge Alvarez, Julie Buress, Kendra Gaeta, Kevin Lu, Kim Bellotti, Lei Skov, Mark Thomas, Mary Bergen, Miriam Kornitz , Monica Niskanen, Monique Vandenberg, Nancy Freitas, Nick Locatelli, Roxy Laufer, Taylor Lambert, Thomas Peters, and Tinaz Sheerer.

In addition to the exceptional Realtor additions in the first half of 2016, Sereno Group eclipsed $1.3 Billion in sales volume with an impressive average sales price of $1.3 Million. Some additional notes about the first half of 2016: Sereno Group increased sales volume by almost 10% and increased closed units by nearly 9% year-over-year; while the overall market sales volume and closings have been down during the same period.

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Costs that can blindside new homeowners

Everyone knows buying a home is expensive -- the median sales price of a U.S. home was $278,800 in January, according the Census Bureau -- but there's much more to it than the cost of the house. No matter how much research you've done, it's hard to be totally prepared for every bill.

"It's definitely a challenge," said Eric Roberge, a certified financial planner in Boston and founder of Beyond Your Hammock. "That first-time homebuying, it's really an emotional experience -- you're coming into your own, you kind of feel successful ... you tend to just overlook certain things or say, 'I'm just going to get into the home and figure it out.'"

The overall cost goes beyond saving up for a down payment, finding a property to buy and getting a mortgage. (You'll need a good credit score to get the best deal on your interest rate too.

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"Be prepared was a good motto when Erin was a Girl Scout, and is still a great motto for our clients. This article talks about being prepared for homebuying costs. We can also guide you with homeselling costs. Be prepared." - Erin Benford, Realtor, MA, CRS

Why is housing inventory so low?

There has been a great deal of discussion regarding the consistently low housing inventory levels throughout the nation. Very little, however, has been written about the reasons why inventory levels are so low, especially following the economic disruption of 2008-2011.

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