Where International Buyers Come From

International Buyers
Where Do  International Buyers Come From?

As a home seller, one of your Realtor’s jobs is to get as many eyes on your house as possible.

What strategy does your real estate professional use to market outside the U.S.? What International organizations do they belong to? How will that make a difference when getting you the highest possible price in the least amount of time? Give me a call at 650 483-4932, and ask me those same questions.

Top 20 Markets March 2017

Top 20 Markets
Top 20 Performing Markets For March 2017

Realtor.com®’s economic data team identified the largest metro areas where homes are selling the fastest and garnering the most views.

California markets continue to dominate. Some new metros were added to this month’s list: Santa Cruz, Calif.; Fort Wayne, Ind.; and Grand Rapids and Ann Arbor, Mich.

Is time to sell, or wait a bit? Call me at 650 483-4932 to find out.

Resale Return On Investment: What Works?

Projects Worth Doing
Return On Investment

What projects should you consider doing, if you are thinking of selling your house? This list includes what you should and shouldn’t do.

If you would like a more detailed list, give me a call at 650 483-4932 or email me at rafaelcastrojr@gmail.com

Mal Pais Costa Rica $339,000 USD

Costa Rica
Mal Pais Costa Rica
Costa Rica Mal Pais
Views in Mal Pais

This 180 degree view hilltop lot is located in Mal Pais, just a short distance from the center of town and some of the best beaches in Costa Rica.

The property boasts ocean, beach and jungle views, along with great ocean breezes. This large and spacious lot is ideal for those looking to build a personal residence, vacation rental or even a small hospitality business, with its amazing views and plush jungle surroundings.

It boasts 9,650 square meters, which is about 2.3845 acres. It is close to surf, beaches, shops, and restaurants.

According to Wikipedia: “Malpais is a town in Puntarenas Province, Costa Rica which began as a fishing and cattle-farming village, and has become popular among surfers and adventure travelers around the world. Recently, Forbes Magazine voted the beaches of Malpais and neighboring Santa Teresa as ‘One of the ten most beautiful in the world.’ Malpais now is known for its incredible beauty, with white sand coves, rocky outcroppings, steep jungle-covered hills, and forests teeming with animals, birds, and insects. While Malpais is still a remote fishing village, it also is known for modern day luxuries. Many excellent hotels and luxury houses have been built in recent years, and there are many excellent restaurants, with cuisine from around the world.”

Give me a call today to see how this area can be your second or even first home at 650 483-4932.

Why You Won’t Buy a House

Qualifying for a loan
Loan For a House?

A Reason You Won’t Buy a House

One of the reasons you won’t buy a house is because you can’t come up with the 20% down needed for the down payment, right?

It’s true that having a bigger down payment cuts the overall costs associated with getting a mortgage loan: borrowers likely will have to pay higher costs over the life of the loan – including higher interest rates and usually mortgage insurance.

However, according to a National Association of Realtors profile report, for the past three years, the median down payment for first-time buyers has been 6 percent and 14 percent for repeat buyers. But, when consumers are asked about the down payment amount they need to buy, 87 percent of non-owners say that a down payment of 10 percent or more is necessary.

The Wall Street Journal also reports that some lenders are luring more home buyers back by waiving mortgage-related fees and even showing more acceptance of allowing down payments to be made by others, such as the borrower’s family members.

So, what does this mean for you? There are mortgage options available for creditworthy borrowers with manageable levels of debt and smaller down payments. If you are interested in buying your first home in 2017, you should do the following:

1) Review your finances,

2) Sit down with a lender to see how you can qualify for a mortgage, and

3) Call me at (650) 483-4932 to help me find your home!

rafaelcastrojr@gmail.com   650 483-4932

Why Own Coffee Farm Parcels in Panama?

Coffee Farm Parcel
Why Own a Coffee Farm?

There are benefits of owning agricultural real estate. With a rapidly growing global population and a steadily decreasing amount of arable land, ownership of a piece of real estate that produces a high-demand, non-perishable crop can be a winning combination.

I met with business directors for International Coffee Farms at a real estate event in Las Vegas recently and they gave me some really good information.  They live in Panama and grow an amazing Specialty Coffee (which I was able to try) , and explained to me their business model.

They can chose to sell their coffee to China, Europe, Australia or North America. Using the nearby Panama Canal adds to the efficient business process.

What they told me was, that If you love the idea of owning a coffee farm in Panama and see the benefits, you might not necessarily want to travel down there, learn a new language, do your own due diligence to identify the farms, negotiate the terms, set up a farm management company, run the farms, hire the crew, pay social security, build a mill, process, market and sell the coffee.

Using the ICFC, you don’t have to, since this is what they take care of!

Some facts of the coffee industry, International Coffee Farms and Panama:

  • There is land available, the team is built, the market is there and the product is proven – Coffee is a $90 billion industry worldwide and loved by many people.
  • Coffee is the 2nd most traded commodity in the world, only after OIL in dollar terms, and the consumption of high end specialty coffee is rapidly increasing.
  • The world is drinking more coffee, with demand likely to rise almost 25% in the next five years, according to the International Coffee Organization.

Please call me at 650 483-4932 or email me at rafaelcastrojr@gmail.com for more information on how to get started, and more information on the International Coffee Farms

Just Listed In San Francisco!

Nicely updated condo! Located in one of San Francisco’s fastest growing, up and coming neighborhoods. This is a 3 bedroom, with 1 full and 2 half baths. New exterior shingle siding and new backyard Redwood fence. The well thought out 2-level floor plan shows the  living, entertaining and kitchen space on the first floor and the top floor shows the master suite and 2 more bedrooms. Excellent natural lighting throughout the unit, with a storage shed, and a south facing private patio. Great location near the Dogpatch neighborhood, AT&T Park, Mission Bay, and near public transportation. This is an excellent opportunity to own in San Francisco!

Video Link: http://tour.obeo.com/theme1/?ID=1130449

Call me for a Tour today! 650 483-4932

Selling Your Home In The Winter

Selling in Winter Months
Selling Your Home in The Winter

Selling your home in the Winter season may actually be a good idea.

According to statistics, the Spring season is the best time since you have a better chance of selling for over asking (the list price) and getting into contract.

But, the second best season to list a home? That would be the Winter months. According to Redfin’s new report, Spring just nudges out the Winter season.

Spring listings received 18.7 percent above the asking price while Winter listings were close behind at 17.5 percent. Also 48 percent of homes listed in the Spring sold within 30 days and 46.2 percent of homes in the Winter sold within those same 30 days, not much of a difference!

Summary of the statistics:

  •     Spring: 18.7% sold above list price
  •     Winter: 17.5% sold above list price
  •     Summer: 15.1% sold above list price
  •     Fall: 14.7% sold above list price

Some reasons why listing your house in the Winter months are good:

Some sellers are waiting until the Spring season to list their home, but by then other seller listings are also on the market.

Your house will stand out better in the Winter months with less houses on the real estate market.

Buyers that are buying need to do so, regardless of the temperature outside. They may need to move immediately, for example, to re-locate for work.

The Winter months in the San Francisco Bay Area are not frigid like in other parts of the country as it can be back East, thus not affecting the real estate market as much.

Buyers without children or of school age may not need to be settled in their new home before the school year starts, thus can begin their search at anytime.

The perceived notion that buyers can get a better deal in the Winter months (somewhat) will bring out serious buyers.

If you have thought of selling or buying your home right now, give me a call at 650 483-4932. Also, call so I can send you my brochure “Selling Your Home in the Winter” which, by Redfin’s statistics, is certainly not a bad idea.

Improved Home Buying Affordability

Home Buying
Improved Home Buying Affordability

Improved home buying affordability can mean more Buyers will be searching and buying homes, most likely for the first time. Home Buyers can take advantage of historically low interest rates and any down payment assistance programs that may exist in their city of choice.

Call/Text/E-mail me on how I can help you achieve the goal of purchasing your home. Call me at 650 483-4932. E-mail: rafaelcastrojr@gmail.com.

Start a home search at: www.RafaelCastroJr.com.

There Is More Equity In Your Home

More money in your pocket
You Have More Equity In Your Home!

More homeowners have gained equity if you own a home on the San Francisco Peninsula, according to a new report released today.

CoreLogic® (NYSE: CLGX), a global property information, analytics and data-enabled solutions provider, just released an analysis showing that U.S. homeowners with mortgages (roughly 63 percent of all homeowners) saw their equity increase by a total of $227 billion in Q3 2016 compared with the previous quarter, an increase of 3.1 percent.

According to Frank Nothaft, the chief economist for Corelogic: “Home equity rose by $12,500 for the average homeowner over the last four quarters. There was wide geographic variation with homeowners in California, Oregon and Washington gaining an average of at least $25,000 in home equity wealth.”

The main cause of equity increase? Anand Nallathambi, president and CEO of CoreLogic: “Price appreciation is the main ingredient for home equity wealth creation, and home prices rose 5.8 percent in the year ending September 2016 according to the CoreLogic Home Price Index. Paydown of principal is the second key component of equity building. Many homeowners have refinanced into shorter-term loans, such as a 15-year loan, and  by doing so, they have significantly fewer mortgage payments and are able to build equity wealth faster.”

The metro level, with the cities that have the highest percentage of mortgaged properties with positive equity are:

  • San Francisco-Redwood City-South San Francisco, Calif.: 99.4%
  • Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, Texas: 98.5%
  • Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, Colo.: 98.4%
  • Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, Calif.: 96.9%

If you would like a copy of CoreLogic’s 3rd Quarter 2016 Equity Report, and/or what this means for you if you are thinking of Selling, send me an email to rafaelcastrojr@gmail.com or give me a call at 650 483-4932.