Articles


Smart Home Tech

More builders are outfitting newly constructed homes with smart-home technology and buyers are willing to pay extra for it.

 


Family pets can have a significant influence when homebuyers are shopping


On average, prospective homebuyers visit 10 properties over 10 weeks until they find their new home. It turns out that one of the more prominent reasons a home search gets extended is furry and walks on four legs.

That’s right: if a house doesn’t pass “the pet test,” it’s out of the running.

The healthy economy that is spurring talk of a rate hike, however, isn’t permeating deeply into real estate.

A survey by Realtor.com found that 75 percent of pet-owning home buyers would pass up an otherwise-perfect home if they didn’t think it was a good fit for their animals.

That’s a significant percentage considering that finding the right property ranks as the most difficult step in home buying.

Eighty percent of the people surveyed owned pets. Of those:

  • 87 percent took their pets' needs into account when looking for a home.
  • Nearly 90 percent of pet-owning buyers said that their animals' needs were important or very important in their home-search process.
  • 90 percent of dog owners and 87 percent of cat owners said their pets' needs were important or very important during their home search. But reptiles (98 percent), horses (91 percent), and fish (87 percent) also factor into decision making.

So, what are some of the most important features for pet owners?

  • A large yard (45 percent)
  • Any outdoor space (36 percent)
  • A garage (33 percent)

Source: Ann Timoney, Financial Advisor and Mortgage Advisor
NMLS 233794 | CFP® - OPES Advisors
750 University Avenue Suite 275, Los Gatos, CA 95032
(408) 458-3504 Office | atimoney@opesadvisors.com


Making the Move

The average homeowner stays in their home for 10 years. Here are some telltale signs it's time to pack your bags and make the move.

 


Seller Slip-Ups

Selling a home isn't easy. Avoid these common slip-ups that can cause your home to linger on the market.

 


Mortgage Musts

Getting a mortgage may seem easy, but the truth is that there are a number of hoops to jump through and hurdles to cross before a mortgage lender will issue you a loan. Here are five essential steps that many buyers don't realize are needed for a mortgage.

 


American Dream Home

 


HOAs: Protecting Home Values

69 million Amercians live in 342,000 common-interest communities and the majority of owners say Homeowners Associations protect home values. Find out why.

 


Tackling the Remodel

The chief reasons homeowners undergo a remodel are because they desire better and newer amenities or they feel compelled to repair or replace old components in their homes. Here are some of the other reasons homeowners take on a remodel.

 


Popular Projects

58% of homeowners plan to spend money on home improvement projects this year. What are the most popular renovations?

 


The Truth about Lead-Based Paint Liability

If you're a California homeowner, you may have seen recent news that you will be held criminally liable if your home contains lead-based paint. This is not true and is simply a scare tactic being used by paint manufacturers that recently lost a court ruling. Find out the truth below.

 


Don't Fall Victim To Wire Fraud

Scammers are stealing down payments via wire fraud and getting more clever every day. Be sure you don't fall victim to wire fraud by following these 3 steps.

 


Prevent Wildfires

Mother Nature was not kind to California in 2017, with wildfires breaking out in all parts of the state, even during the non-traditional wildfire season. Fire officials sa that most homes that burn during a wildfire aren't ignited by dry brush, but instead by embers landing on the roof, through vents, or on decks and porches. Follow these tips to make your house more ignition resistant.

 


Here's how San Jose flood victims could get a property tax break

www.bizjournals.com
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.

Follow the link below to view the article.

http://www.bizjournals.com/sanjose/news/2017/02/23/san-jose-flood-victims-property-tax-break.html


Facebook commits $20 million for affordable housing, other assistance

www.mercurynews.com
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.”

Follow the link below to view the article.

http://www.mercurynews.com/2016/12/02/facebook-commits-20-million-for-affordable-housing-other-assistance/


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.

Follow the link below to view the article.

http://www.ssuchronicle.com/2016/08/19/sereno-group-adds-an-impressive-and-sizable-collection-of-talented-realtors-in-the-first-half-of-2016/


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.

Follow the link below to view the article.
www.cbsnews.com/media/costs-that-can-blindside-new-homeowners

"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.

Read full article...