Selling a House? Buying a House?

Sell a Home
Selling or Buying a House?

At www.RafaelCastroJr.com you have at your fingertips a wide variety of tools available to help you with your buying or selling questions. You can:

  • Search for Your Dream Home
  • Find out “What is My Home Worth?” How much can I get for my home?
  • Get Pre-qualified with a leading bank. Not sure if you can qualify for a loan? Then find out how to GET STARTED to qualify for a loan—For FREE!
  • At the “Market Insider” you can find Housing Market Trends—Sold vs. Listed, Housing Inventory Trends, Crime, Weather, Restaurant, Pet Store, Shopping, Coffee Shops in your interested area and more.

Of course, Technology helps, but personalized service is what gets you the most for your hard-earned money. Call or text me at 650 483-4932 to set up a one-on-one real estate session.

Why Move Out of California?

Californians moving out of state
                                                                 Moving Out of California??

Why are Californians moving out of the state? CoreLogic, the analytic and financial services company, says that for every home buyer coming into California, another three are selling their homes, and moving out of the state. Separate reports released earlier this year by Beacon Economics, also noted that 625,000 more U.S. residents left California between 2007 and 2014 than moved into the state.

California’s housing market is one of the most expensive in the nation, with a median home price of $428,000 across the state. Selling prices have gone up 71% since 2011. Of the five priciest housing markets in the United States, four are in California, according to the latest data from NAR, the National Association of Realtors. Topping the list is in our own backyard, San Jose, with a median home price of $1 million.

Where are Californians moving to? Many are moving to Texas, Oregon, Nevada, Arizona and Washington. Favorite Baby Boomer choices are Nevada, Arizona, Idaho, Georgia, Texas or North Carolina where home prices are considerably lower. The homes being bought are generally bigger with larger land lots. Other attractions are lower commute times to work, lower utility bills in gas, electricity and garbage collection.

Have you thought of moving out of California? Call me at 650 483-4932 to find out what your choices are: What is my home is worth and can sell for? What can I get in another area? As a Certified International Property Specialist (CIPS), I can help you find the perfect home and get the most money on the sale of your home.

Can a Kitchen Remodel Bring You More Money?

kitchen remodel
Can a kitchen remodel get you more money?

Can a kitchen remodel bring you more money? For home owners who are putting their house on the market, they may want to take a closer look at their kitchen. It can become a deal-breaker for buyers.

Many buyers want an updated house, including the kitchen, and are not willing to buy and update later. Even for landlords looking to rent out their properties, this may also apply. Renovating the kitchen can make the home more appealing and allow it to command a greater rental price.

How much can a kitchen remodel cost?   Even a minor upgrade could cost upwards to $20,000. However, not all kitchen redesigns have to be expensive. A few strategic kitchen renovations can make your money stretch and still have a big impact, all for under $500.

For example, painting the cabinets white may make for a modern redo. The cost of the paint will be about $150 for the cost of the paint. Add in about $100 more for new cabinet hardware and the kitchen can take on a drastically different look for under $300.

A new backsplash may add more style to the kitchen space too. For example, a mosaic subway tile may add more of a modern twist. One company called SimpleMat can help do it yourselfers install a backsplash without the use of mortar too. The cost is about $170.

The lighting is important as well. Buyers love bright spaces so make sure there is ample light. Also, consider adding an LED undercabinet light to add a glow onto the kitchen cabinets. The cost is about $40.

For a really dated countertop, home owners may be best off spending the money to replace it. Quartz is especially on-trend nowadays. Painting the countertop is also an option. Rustoleum’s Counter Top Coating is about $40 for a tint-base.

Call or email me for many other ideas to get your home ready for sale, and what projects are worth taking on if you would like top dollar for your home. Email: rafaelcastrojr@gmail.com  Call me at (650) 483-4932.

4 Cultural Issues To Consider Before Moving Abroad

Cultural Issues When Moving Abroad
                                                   Cultural Issues When Moving Abroad

You may be considering moving to another country, either by yourself, your significant other, or your entire family. In this article, we will explore 4 cultural issues to consider before moving abroad and what you can do now. This will help you to make the transition to your new home a lot easier to deal with. We will consider other issues in coming articles.

In a recent poll commissioned by Barclays International Banking, questions were asked to expats or expatriates on the challenges of living abroad. They mentioned the most important issues measured by percentages on what they believed affected them the most.

The Cost of Living came in first at 28.16% of the vote. Some issues to take into account when looking to move overseas including employment, the cost of property and personal finances. But to these expats, the cost of living was a very important issue. Having sufficient money to live and have a social life is at the top of the list of issues.

What to do? Comparing some aspects of the proposed life in a new country and the present one will undoubtedly be less expensive, some more expensive. There are now many websites that will allow you to compare the cost of living in any two or more countries. Although doing this will not be precise in nature, it will allow you to get a very good idea on the more expensive costs regarding food, fuel and going out to dinner, for example. Let me know if you would like a list of international bank guides to help you with usual and unusual costs.

Loneliness came in second at 26.62%. What can cause loneliness? New surroundings, experiences and the type of employment opportunities can all be factors. Loneliness is true for either individuals or entire families in a new environment.

For example, a family with children moving abroad may experience problems. If there is a stay at home parent, the other parent may take the responsibility of taking care of them. If this is not currently being done, there will be a shock value to this new way of life. If it is difficult now looking after children, then it may become a bigger issue looking after children when moving abroad.

What to do? When expats tread on unfamiliar ground, they tend to stick to what is familiar. Doing so, many expatriates never make the transition from expat to compatriot. However, in order to get the most out of your expat experience, you need to break out of your comfort zone and try to immerse yourself in the local culture.

The process of making the transition from living like an expat to a more local life-style takes time. Loneliness can be dealt with as you get used to your new environment, culture and its embracement.

Cultural Differences were 13.99% an issue. Cultural differences usually include language, religion, political organization, and customs. One of the difficulties that many people have is dealing with the stereotypes of others. That means we have stereotypes of others as they have of us.

What to do? Preparing for life in a new culture starts out by educating yourself about the country you’re moving to. Do research by reading books, view YouTube videos, visit websites, any reputable resource that will help you “read into” the culture and give you insight on the way of life/culture of that country.

Relationship Problems came in as a concern at 10.75%. If you currently are experiencing some type of problem in your relationship, it most likely will not get better with a move, but may become more magnified by all the other “moving” issues you will experience. Leaving behind support friends, family and even professional counselors may strain your relationship even more.

What to Do? To be successful in a move, you will need to be sure that everyone involved is 100% sure that the move is being done for the right reasons and there will be flexibility and understanding by all. There needs to be a plan in place that is currently being worked on, that will continue long after the move to the new country. Don’t leave it to the last minute and then start working on it once you have moved.

In conclusion, we have considered 4 issues (79.52%) that were brought up by expatriates that were of high importance to them, the Cost of Living, Loneliness, Cultural Differences and Relationship Problems. We have briefly dealt with what to do now, to prepare yourself, and to make the transition from an expat to compatriot. Remember why you are even considering a move: a better lifestyle, better experiences for your family, less expensive cost of living. These are good reasons to prepare well now. We will consider other issues and explore other answers to be successful in future articles.

414 Cornish Way Belmont, CA 94002

Wow! The spring Real Estate season is here! Just listed a few days ago and currently Pending.

This gorgeous Sterling Down home had a lot to offer. Check this link, and take a virtual tour: http://property.obeo.com/170484/414-Cornish-Way-Belmont-CA-94002/1094816
Call me or email me today, and let me show you my 25 point marketing plan.

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Record Home Prices!

Why Record Home Prices?

Why, are home prices going through the proverbial roof? Home sales hit their highest pace in eight years and the median sales price has gone way up.

According to Lawrence Yun, cheif economist for the National Asociation of REALTORS, the strong sales activity is due to the improving economy and was also likely driven by
the recent rise in mortgage rates, with buyers hurrying to make deals in order to avoid the prospect of higher borrowing costs in the future.

However, on the affordability side, with the continuing rise in prices, resulting in a tight supply of residential properties for sale, is causing a decline in the
affordability of properties for many buyers.

recordhomepricesThe increase in new construction would help ease prices, however promoting new construction can mean local officials in cities would have to take the steps to do so.

If you have been thinking of selling your home and weighing the options to make your next purchase, please call me at 650 483-4932 or email me at rafaelcastrojr@gmail.com