More Single Women Own Homes

Women Buyers
Home Make It Your Sweet Home

According to a new analysis by Owners.com, the Midwest is attracting more single and unmarried women who are choosing to put down roots and buy a home. Cincinnati topped its list, followed by Kansas City, Kan., and Kansas City, Mo.

Phil Karp, senior manager of brokerage services at Owners.com says the following:  “There is a noticeable shift toward more single women entering the real estate market, particularly given lower unemployment rates, rising incomes, and the value placed on homeownership. Housing inventory remains low and costs are high throughout the country.”

How strong a force have single and unmarried women become in real estate? They have outpaced single and unmarried men in homeownership since 1981, according to data from the National Association of REALTORS®. In 2016, 17 percent of single and unmarried women were homeowners. That compares to only 7 percent of single and unmarried men who owned a home. NAR research indicates that these women place a high value on owning their own home near family and friends.

How was the analysis done? Owners.com studied 50 metro areas across the country, factoring in each city’s average home value, median income for women, annual crime rate, walkability and public transportation, and the price of dinner for two people. The study came up with the 20 best places for single women to purchase a house. The following are the results for California:

Sacramento-Roseville, Calif.: 15.2%

Los Angeles-Long Beach, Calif.: 13%

San Jose-San Francisco-Oakland, Calif.: 13.7%

If you are interested in buying your next home, please contact me as I have very helpful information as to 5% and 10% down loans with no mortgage insurance requirements. Call or text me at 650 483-4932.

Itz’ana Placencia Belize

Residences in Belize
Itz’ana Residences

As a Certified International Property Specialist (CIPS) I have access to many investment and retirement opportunities thoughout the globe. One such destination, is the Itz’ana Resort and Residences.

Itz’ana is located in the beach town of Placencia, Belize in the midst of world renowned snorkeling, diving and fishing.

According to the sales executives, all their waterfront villas and solar cottages have breathtaking views of the lagoon or beach and come fully-furnished by award-winning interior designer, Samuel Amoia. 76% of the villas are sold, and the rest are for sale. Ownership at Itz’ana provides exclusive luxury living, and remarkable investment returns, bringing a unique opportunity for passive income and turn-key personal enjoyment. The resort and residences also have a locavore restaurant, five-room spa and rum bar. The laid-back beach town offers access to the Belize Barrier Reef, prime waters for seasonally diving with whale sharks, which were recently deemed endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

According to an article in the New York Times, Placencia, Belize was chosen as one of the 52 places to go in 2017.

If you are interested, I can email you the master plan (everything with a red dot will show as under contract) with prices and floor plans for all villas. Included are 1 bedroom to 3 bedroom beach villas and 1 bedroom to 5 bedroom lagoon villas. I can schedule the call for you and give you additional how to offer information. Call me at (650) 483-4932 or rafaelcastrojr@gmail.com

Visit the picture gallery at: http://www.itzanabelize.com/gallery/

 

 

San Mateo County and Redwood City Home Sales

Redwood City Sales Stats
Home Sales Statistics

Here is the Single Family home sales statistics for Redwood City, July 2017. (Hold your breath):

New: 47.  Inventory: 34. Sold: 38.  Average Day on Market: 15.  Average Sales Price: $1,647,573. Med Sales Price: $1,627,500. Price per square foot: $905. Total Sales Volume: $62,607,777. Average home size: 1,828 square feet. Months of Inventory: 0.7.

Call/text me if you are curious on your home’s worth at 650 483-4932!!

Ugly Home Features Buyers Don’t Like

Ugly Features
Ugly Home Features Buyers Don’t Like

There are some ugly home features buyers don’t like, but are not too hard to fix if you are thinking of selling your home. According to a recent Realtor.com report, here they are:

Ugly kitchen cabinets

Most kitchens don’t require a full renovation. According to Remodeling magazine: “As long as the cabinets aren’t 20 or 30 years old, repainting and adding new handles is relatively cheap and can change the entire look of the room.” Refinishing an existing cabinet will cost about $1,400 to $3,500, according to HomeAdvisor, a home services marketplace.

Wallpaper

Wallpaper covering the rooms is something else buyers don’t like. But removing and hanging wallpaper is a relatively easy do-it-yourself job. Or, hiring a contractor for professional wallpaper installation costs about $500 per room, according to HomeAdvisor.

Tacky paint colors

How about pink or purple? Try to help buyers overlook distracting colorful walls. Have them imagine it painted a color to make the room even look larger, like gray or a cool blue. After all, paint tends to be an easy fix, either as a do-it-yourself job or done professionally. Professional painters typically cost from $380 to $790 for a 120-square foot room.

Carpet

Buyers sometimes focus on old or dirty carpeting. But a good cleaning can bring new life to worn carpet. Shampoo vacuums cost $90 to $200, a professional-grade carpet cleaner can cost $400, or you can rent one from a hardware store for about $25 to $30 per day. Professional carpet cleaning companies tend to charge a minimum of $75 to $109, according to CostHelper.com. For home purchasers who just can’t get past the carpet, they may want to budget for installing new carpet at about $2 to $5 per square foot for middle-grade carpet material, according to HomeAdvisor (often 1,200 square foot of new carpet will cost about $2,400 to $6,000).

These are some less expensive ideas to help you fix-up your home for buyers and get the most amount of money for your home. Want more? Email/Call or Text me at 650 483-4932 for many more ideas!

Are You a Super Dad?

Super Dads
What is a Super Dad? Are you one?

As a dad, mom or family member, how do traditional roles affect the way you see and buy real estate? What types of properties are you interested in?

I receive many phone calls on parents looking to purchase homes for their children, even if they are not of age yet. Please give me a call at 650 483-4932 on some ideas on what you can do now to better prepare for their future.

4 Things Your Home Inspector May Miss

home inspecting
          The Home Inspection

I like home inspectors, they do a nice job for my seller and buyer clients, and the reports they generate point out items to watch out for and may cost money to fix. According to a Realtor.com article, home inspectors have checklists that contain more than 1,600 features to evaluate. But some items require a specialist for a more thorough evaluation:

The Fireplace and Chimney

Inspectors often open and shut dampers to make sure they’re working properly. They may shine a flashlight up the chimney to look for any obstructions. But for anything further, buyers likely will need to hire a fireplace inspector to look for things like soot and creosote buildup, which are possible fire-starters. Those extra inspections could cost anywhere from $80 to $200.

Foundation Issues

A geotechnical or structural engineer may need to be brought in if a buyer has concerns about the ground underneath the home, such as whether any shifting, tilting, or sinkholes have caused damage. Professionals will test the soil for several potential problems. Basic testing likely will cost between $300 and $1,000, while more invasive testing can cost upwards of $5,000. Buyers on a budget might consult a free site called PlotScan, which reveals any history of sinkholes and other natural catastrophes in the vicinity of the home, to better understand whether they need further inspection help.

Well and Septic Systems

Although our area does not have many wells or septic systems, this can be an issue for some home buyers. Some home inspectors trained to evaluate septic systems may be willing to do an extra inspection for an added fee to test a home’s well water and septic system. Otherwise, buyers will have to hire a well inspector. These professionals will collect water samples to test in a lab for coliform, arsenic, and other harmful bacteria and chemicals. They’ll also make sure that seals, vents, and screens have been properly maintained and that the well and pump are producing enough water. That typically will cost about $250 for an inspection.

Roof

“We’ll go up on roofs if it’s safe,” says Frank Lesh, executive director of the American Society of Home Inspectors. “But if it’s raining or it’s too high, we’re not able to get to it.” A specialized roof inspection, which costs about $500 to $750, offers a closer look. Some roof inspectors will even do an initial consultation for free. Those who don’t go on the roof can sometimes conduct an infrared inspection to look for any temperature differences along the roof to see where heat or air conditioning might be escaping.

The Lesson: if you believe you need a better inspection in these 4 area, you are advised to take a better look through a specialist. Let me know if you are interested in buying or selling real estate and if you would like to know what to look for in a home inspection report.  650 483-4932.

Why Buy a House in the Summertime?

Summertime House Buying
Why Buy a House in the Summertime?

Why consider buying a house in the Summertime? According to Realtor.com, home prices peak from June to August, but there are advantages to buying during the market’s busiest season.

Some reasons why for the home price peak, are amount of inventory, interest rates and the local job market. There are more homes for sale in the summer than in the winter as well as sales of homes.

However, more inventory means more choices, making buyers “feel more confident in their search because additional properties hit the market every week,” says Sarah Lilly of Five Star Lakeshore Real Estate. “The large inventory offers significantly more opportunities for purchasers to identify specific floor plans, amenities, and locations.

Also, with more properties for sale, buyers may have more leverage in negotiating prices. Those who need to sell their current home to purchase another, may find it easier to do so in the summer months.

In any case, if you are currently in the market to purchase a property, but are getting out-bid time after time (and then seeing a “Pending” sign like the one above) , give me a call, as I have a strategy to make your offer stand out, and have a better chance at getting it accepted—650 483-4932–Rafael.

Beautiful Redwood City Home For Sale

For Sale
Just Listed in Redwood City

Very nice, updated home open this weekend. Saturday from 1 pm to 4 pm and Sunday from 9:30 am to 1:30 pm. Address: 1265 Edgewood Road, Redwood City, CA 94062.

Over 21,000 ft² of lot space, in a garden-like setting, ready for expansion and or pure enjoyment. The property shows a permitted 1 bedroom 1 bath In-Law unit ready for your finishing touches. Also, a large outdoor studio, currently housing the seller’s landscape business. Let your imagination find its use for you!

The home boasts three bedrooms + office that can easily be used as 4th bedroom, off the kitchen, as it is now, with the half bath. Oak hardwood floors and newer kitchen and dining room flow out to the beautiful backyard. Mature landscaping and well-kept grounds show the owners expertise in landscape design and creativity. Newer roof and brand new driveway with plenty of parking for your family and guests! Come by and see it yourself!

 

Make Your House Look Great!

Model Home
How to Make Your House a Model  

Want to make your house look like a Model Home? Try: Quartz counters, more windows, wider plank flooring and “Drop Zones”.

Want more ideas? Give me a call at (650) 483-4932 for what works and what isn’t working on ROI (Return on Investment)

 

 

 

 

For Foreign Buyers

Foreign Borrowers
Foreign Buyers

If you are a foreign (outside the United States) buyer, where can you get the money to buy in the United States?

Please let me know if you are thinking of buying real estate property, and I can give you some very good ideas on helping you accomplish your purchase goals. For example:

  • No history of US residency or US tax returns required
  • No FICO score or US credit history required (foreign credit history used)
  • Foreign assets allowed for down payment and reserves (once transferred to the US)
  • Work Visa program available with no US or foreign credit required

Let me direct you to the professionals that can make this happen for you by calling me at 650 483-4932.