Owning A Home Still The Best Investment

The results of a recent survey, conducted by the Pew Research Center on the benefits of owning a home, were unexpected due to the downturn in the housing market. 81% of the 2,142 respondents still believe that owning a home is the best long-term investment a person can make.


“Home ownership topped the list of long-term financial goals for Americans, according to the study; respondents rated home ownership, as well as living comfortably in retirement, more important than sending children to college or leaving offspring an inheritance.” Read the rest of this entry

San Ramon & Danville Brokers Tour April 7

35 Open Houses on broker’s tour this week – Alamo – San Ramon – Danville

The homes I previewed are:

Crow Canyon Country Club – 2 really nice properties:

  • 4 bedroom 2 bath Clearwater Golf Villa (detached) on a corner lot. View of the golf course. Nicely remodeled and well priced at $629,900
  • 4 bedroom 2.5  bath Single Family Detached home – Hillsborough model – backs to open space – has 3 car garage. Updated and remodeled at $749,000

A duet and golf villa in Blackhawk – both priced really well. The golf villa updated to perfection sold in one day. As Realtors we have  a sense Read the rest of this entry

San Ramon-Danville Brokers Tour March 23

There we 30 plus homes on the broker’s tour today. I made it to 10 homes as the trek was longer because of the rain – lots of rain and wind. In any event, I found some really good buys – especially for the first time home buyer.

I would say the best opportunity is a property located in Twin Creeks on Canyon Creek Dr. Unfortunately for the owners this is a short sale as they put a lot of money into remodeling for which they are unable to sell and recoup their money. Always a sad situation. Read the rest of this entry

How Long Must I Wait to Buy A Home After Short Sale, Foreclosure or Bankruptcy

It seems as the majority of people I interact with have gone through some sort of financial crisis ranging from losing their home to a short sale, foreclosure or bankruptcy – all due to the changing economy and in many cases loss of income.

Many of these same people have re-establish themselves and are now back on “their feet” as the saying goes and want to purchase a home. The question asked by many:

How long before I can buy a house again?

Here is an overview of some of the guidelines for obtaining a mortgage after either a short sale, foreclosure or bankruptcy: Read the rest of this entry

No More Walls Between the Kitchen & Family Room

Kitchen DesignBuyers today are all about functional space in their homes. They like open spaces – especially from the kitchen to the family room. If in the kitchen cooking they want to be part of what is happening with the kids in the family room or if entertaining being accessible to their guests.

Buyers Want Cozy, Connected Kitchens

The walls in kitchens started coming down in the 1980s and 1990s, Serra says. First to go were walls separating the kitchen from the dining room and now home owners are saying goodbye to walls between the kitchen and the living room. Kitchens also are being designed in a less utilitarian way with larger windows, fewer cabinets, and softer lighting according to Susan Serra a home designer in Huntington NY

Do I Have to Take Down Walls to Sell My House?

Here are some tips from designers around the country:

Install a kitchen island. Kitchen islands not only have functional benefits but also provide space for entertaining, informal dining, and extra storage. If your listing doesn’t have one, consider a portable island, which can range from a butcher block to a breakfast table with bar stools. “Just make sure that the style you choose is consistent with your existing decor in the kitchen and the size is appropriate,” says Ashley Whittenberger, founder and owner of Interiority Complex, a Texas–based staging and design company. She recommends at least 3 feet between the island and walls so there’s plenty of space to move around. If the kitchen island is large, add chairs to show it can serve as an extra gathering place.

Look for comfy chairs. Skip the typical wooden stools for an upholstered bar stool with a back, recommends Whittenberger. Switch out traditional chairs around the kitchen table for wing chairs, a love seat, or even an upholstered bench.

Soften the light. Use accent lights and sconces, usually associated with a hallway or den, Serra says. Numerous small lamps also will create a softer effect. Whittenberger suggests hanging a chandelier or light fixture over the kitchen island.

Add storage. Buyers are always drawn to extra storage. Add a standalone cabinet, cupboard, buffet, or wall shelving. Stage cabinets with craft supplies to show that the space can serve many purposes.

Display quality pieces. Take the artwork you may have once reserved for the living room and display it in the kitchen. Accessorize shelves with collectibles or books.

Make sure the basics are strong. “If the bones of the kitchen aren’t strong, fix those first,” Whittenberger says. “The condition of countertops, hardware, flooring, appliances, and cabinets aren’t going to be covered up by creating a cozy atmosphere.”

Source: Realtor.org Magazine

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