May 16, 2019

5 Ways to Kill a Real Estate Transaction

There are five things that homebuyers can do that will kill a transaction entirely? Find out what to avoid right here.

Buying a home? Click here to perform a full home search
Selling a home? Click here for a FREE Home Price Evaluation


Today I’ll share with you five homebuyer mistakes that can kill a transaction—if you want your deals to stay alive, avoid the following:


1. Changing jobs, getting fired, or quitting. When you get to the end of a real estate transaction, it’s important that you still be able to afford to buy the home. The banks don’t want to see a borrower at a new job out of fear that the employer or the borrower will have second thoughts.


2. Making big purchases. Don’t buy expensive things like a new car, boat, furniture, or appliances before your transaction has been closed. Your pre-approval is based on your debt-to-income ratio, and even making a small purchase could change your numbers. Wait until you get the keys to your new home before making these kinds of purchases.


3. Applying for a new credit card or any credit inquiries. If you’re shopping for a lender, it’s okay for them to pull your credit—those inquiries can be explained. But once you lock into a loan, you don’t want any other changes on your report.




Don’t buy expensive things like a new car, boat, furniture, or appliances before your transaction has been closed. 



4. Making large deposits into your bank accounts. All money in and out of your bank account needs to be verified and sourced for the last few months. You can’t take money from under your mattress and put it in your account to purchase a home. You need to be able to show exactly where that money came from because the bank needs to be sure that you didn’t borrow money from someplace that you now have an additional debt to.


5. Falling behind on payments. During the escrow process, it’s more important than ever to show the bank that you can and will make all your debt payments. Paying a bill late could be a red flag that could cause the lender to decline your loan at the last minute.


If you have any questions about the homebuying process or suggestions of topics we could cover in future posts, don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I look forward to speaking with you soon!


Posted in Home Buyer
May 2, 2019

4 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Fear a Housing Crash

Are whispers of a market crash to be believed? Experts say no, and here’s why.

Buying a home? Click here to perform a full home search
Selling a home? Click here for a FREE Home Price Evaluation


A lot of people have been talking about changes in the real estate market, and many believe we’re headed toward a crash. However, industry leaders don’t see a crash on the horizon, and there are four reasons why they think our market will stay strong:


1. We have fewer foreclosures. In 2006, foreclosures spiked to over 100%. When the foreclosure rate is high, sellers have to offer their homes at a large discount, which causes neighborhood home values to drop as well. We ended 2018 with foreclosures at historic lows.


2. Most homeowners have equity in their homes. 10 years ago, many homeowners converted a lot of their equity into cash-out refinances. Foreclosures rose and prices fell, and these people ended up with negative equity. This contributed to even more foreclosures. Nowadays, over 48% of homeowners have at least 50% equity in their homes, and they aren’t using equity at the same rate as in 2006.




We ended 2018 with foreclosures at historic lows.



3. Lending standards are tougher. Lending standards were almost nonexistent in 2006, contributing greatly to the crash. Now, people have to prove they can afford to pay for a mortgage.


4. Homes are more affordable. Although it’s still difficult for many Americans to buy a home, data shows that it’s more affordable to buy a home now than it was between 1985 and 2000. 


The market changes every day, but the key to success is in knowing how to navigate your own situation and area. If you have any questions or would like more information, feel free to reach out to me. I look forward to hearing from you soon.


Posted in Market Update
April 24, 2019

Knowing The 925 Features Polar Bear Rolled Ice Cream

On this episode of Knowing The 925 we visit

Polar Bear Rolled Ice Cream in Oakley




2581 Main St, Oakley, CA 94561


Keep looking out on our Knowing the 925 Facebook page or more awesome local businesses!


Posted in Community
April 19, 2019

If You Need Help With Your Home, Our Vendors Are Here for You

Need a great local company to give you a hand with your home needs? Look no further!

Buying a home? Click here to perform a full home search
Selling a home? Click here for a FREE Home Price Evaluation


Over my 20 years of working in the industry, I’ve helped buyers, sellers, investors, and renters with any and all of their real estate needs. In that time, my team and I have met some amazing vendors, and we’d be more than happy to share our list of them with you.


We want you to have access to the best of the best, so we make sure to continually update and refine our recommendations. These vendors—carpet cleaners, plumbers, tree trimmers, handymen, and many more—go out of their way to take great care of our clients.


Reach out to us if you’re looking for a great local company to help you with any and all of your home needs! If you have any other questions or need more information, feel free to contact us as well. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

Posted in Home Buyer, Home Seller
April 4, 2019

The 4 Things You Need to Know When Buying a Home in a Different State

Buying in a different state can be tricky. Here are a few tips to help make the process easier.

Buying a home? Click here to perform a full home search
Selling a home? Click here for a FREE Home Price Evaluation


Whether you're buying a home in a different county or a different state, it’s important to know what to expect. Here are the four things you should pay special attention to:


1. Know what your costs are. What’s customary for buyers to pay in the area you’re moving to? It can vary from county to county as well. You need to know what inspections, taxes, and other fees you’ll have to pay.


2. Be aware of local disclosure laws. In some states, sellers are required by law to tell you everything they know that’s wrong with the home. In other “buyer beware” states, the seller doesn’t have to disclose a thing and it’s your responsibility to vet the home via an inspection. This can make a huge difference in the amount of money you set aside for this step.




You want to hire a trustworthy, knowledgeable, and experienced Realtor.



3. Know the market. You will want to do your research so that you know if you’re buying a home in a buyer’s market or a seller’s market. When trying to decide what offer to write, you'll need to look at this. If homes are selling quickly and over asking price, you don’t want to make a lowball offer. On the other hand, you don’t want to leave money on the table by offering too much.


4. Find the right Realtor. We work with agents from all over the map and we have seen that there are good and bad agents out there. Buying a home is one of the most important purchases of your life, so you want to make sure the agent you hire is trustworthy, knowledgeable, and experienced.


If you have any questions for us or need help finding an agent in any state or county, don’t hesitate to reach out and give me a call or send me an email. I look forward to hearing from you soon.


Posted in Home Buyer
March 31, 2019

False Headlines? Let Us Explain

Media sources create headlines with a negative spin in order to get attention. Here are two recent examples:
1️⃣ CASH OUT REFIS ARE BACK - WILL HOMES BECOME ATM'S AGAIN? The real story: The headline is accurate - to a point!  It is true that the percentage of refinances in which the homeowner received cash has increased to levels that existed in 2006. However, the actual amount of equity homeowners "cashed-out" compared to a decade ago isn't close. The dollar amount cashed out last year was $63 billion.  That seems like a really large number until we compare it to 2006, when homeowners cashed out $321 billion. That is more than 5 times the current amount.  In 2006 people did use their homes as ATM's purchasing new cars, boats and vacations. Today, the cashed out equity is being used to consolidate debt, to start a new business, or to help with college tuition.

2️⃣ CONSUMER DEBT HITS $4 TRILLION. AMERICANS ARE DIVING DEEPER AND DEEPER INTO DEBT. The real story: The first part of the headline is accurate, but the second part couldn't be further from the truth. Total consumer debt is the highest it has ever been. That's because the population continues to grow, and so does the economy (prices and wages).
The important number is how that total debt ranks as a percentage of disposable personal income. That percentage is the lowest ever recorded! People are not "diving deeper and deeper into debt". The exact opposite is true. They have less debt now than ever before.

3️⃣ THE BOTTOM LINE: If you are thinking about buying or selling a home, it is important that you have a true professional handling your real estate needs. Someone who knows the truth about the current economy and its potential impact on the housing market. Let us show you the facts about our local market and help you decide what is best for you and your family!
call us at 925-584-1640, email us at

Posted in Home Buyer
March 28, 2019

How Long Have You Been Paying Rent?


We currently have 22 homes for rent (3 bedroom, 2 bath homes) that range in price from $2000 to $3300 a month. If you have been renting a home for the past 10 years you may have paid almost $400,000 in rent. Since 2012 Bay Area rent prices have increased 40-50% with no relief in sight.  Some people enjoy renting and not having the responsibility of home ownership.... but studies show that most renters are tired of rising prices and unstable living conditions with many landlords cashing out and selling rentals forcing tenants to scramble for a new home (always at the wrong times in their lives.)  Most people are unaware of what is need to qualify to purchase a home in today's real estate market:

🔸How much down payment do we need? Many buyers in California still think you need 10-20% down to purchase a home. We have loans for all types of buyers and some require zero down payment.

🔸Can I buy a home if my credit is bad? It will depend on how bad your credit is.... We have programs designed to help people with lower credit scores and strategies to help people raise their scores if they are below the qualifying numbers.

🔸What if I have student loan debt? We have a loan for you! Some loans overlook student loan debt and will not use that as a negative when running your qualification numbers.

KNOWLEDGE IS POWER! If you have any other questions, or if you want to know what we can do to help with your personal situation call us at 925-584-1640, or Email us at

We are excited to help you find your dream home and start saving you money!


Posted in Community, Home Buyer
March 21, 2019

3 Ways to Pay Off Your Home Faster

You can conquer your mortgage by paying just a little bit extra each month. Here’s how.

Buying a home? Click here to perform a full home search
Selling a home? Click here for a FREE Home Price Evaluation


By paying a little bit more on your mortgage each month, you can save thousands in interest and take years off the life of your loan. When you pay more on your monthly bill, you’ll need to specify that you want the extra to be applied toward your principal loan amount.


For these examples, let’s say you have a 30-year mortgage with 5% interest, and you pay $1,500 a month. If your own mortgage is higher, you can save even more when compared to these examples.




If you have other debts, however, it may be in your best interest to pay those off first.



Here are some ways to pay off your mortgage more quickly:


1. Pay an additional 1/12 payment each month. Divide your monthly mortgage payment by 12 and pay that much more each month. By doing so, you’ll make an extra month’s mortgage payment each year. In the example above, you’d pay $125 extra a month, shorten your mortgage by four years and eight months, and save $42,000 in interest.

2. Pay an additional $50 a month. If you don’t want to make an extra mortgage payment each year, paying a more manageable sum will still work wonders. By paying an extra $50 each month, you’ll shorten your mortgage by two years and save $21,000 in interest.

3. Make one-time, lump-sum payments when you can. If you get extra money from work bonuses or tax returns, you can pay it toward your principal to cut costs. Though this option is less predictable, it still saves you money over time. If you have other debts, however, it may be in your best interest to pay those off first with your bonus money.


If you won’t be staying in your home for more than five to 10 years, it may not make sense to pay extra toward your mortgage. Each situation is different, however, and if you’re wondering which strategy works best for you, reach out to us. We can put you in contact with a loan specialist and get you on the path to paying off your mortgage. In the meantime, we look forward to hearing from you soon.

Posted in Homeowner
March 20, 2019

Want to Increase Your Family Wealth? Here's How!


Everyone should realize that unless you are living somewhere rent-free, you are paying a mortgage – either yours or your landlord’s. Buying your own home provides you with a form of ‘forced savings’ that allows you to use your monthly housing costs to increase your family’s wealth.

Every month that you pay your mortgage, you are paying off a portion of the debt that you took on to purchase your home. Therefore, you own a little bit more of your home every month in the form of home equity. As your home’s value increases, you also gain home equity.

Every quarter, Pulsenomics surveys a nationwide panel of over 100 economists, real estate experts, and investment and market strategists. They are asked to project how residential home prices will appreciate over the next five years for their Home Price Expectation Survey (HPES).

The latest data from their Q1 2019 Survey revealed that home prices are expected to round out the year 4.3% higher than they were in January. For the next 5 years, home values will appreciate by an average of 3.21% a year.

This is great news for homeowners!

For example, let’s assume a young couple purchased and closed on a $250,000 home in January of this year. Simply through their home appreciating in value, those homeowners can build their home equity by over $40,000 over the next five years.

In many cases, home equity is a large portion of a family’s overall net worth.

Bottom Line

Whether it’s your first or your fifth, if your plan for this year includes buying a home, meet with a local real estate professional who can help you understand where prices are headed in your area.

Posted in Home Buyer
March 13, 2019

6 Tips for Successful Spring Cleaning

The flowers are blooming, the birds are serenading, and our house still feels like it's stuck with winter blues. Spring cleaning is a tradition that allows us to freshen up our homes and get a head start on the hectic seasons of spring and summer.

Clean Room-By-Room 

Approaching your house room-by-room is the most effective way to deep-clean your home at any time of the year, but especially in spring. Use room checklists as a springboard for deep-cleaning the areas of your home that really need extra attention. Feel free to skip items that have recently been cleaned and focus on the parts of your home that have been neglected all winter long.

Organize and Clear the Clutter 

One of the biggest parts of spring cleaning is getting rid of clutter that you don't need. Now is a good time to advantage of the natural spring urge to get rid of items that are weighing you down and begin fresh with a more streamlined lifestyle. A systematic four-step approach to identifying problems, analyzing reasons, determining solutions, and implementing remedies can be extremely productive at this time of year. Sorting your belongings into four categories—trash, give-away, store, or put-way—can also be effective as you begin the spring-cleaning process.

Now is a great time to plan a garage sale or to donate items to good causes. Cleaning will be a lot easier when the clutter is gone.

Get the Family Involved 

If you need a little help in your cleaning endeavors, get your family involved. Even the most unwilling helper can make a big difference in the workload. Don't worry: There are ways to deal with even the most reluctant helpers. This is actually a great time of year to get the entire family to work together. Try throwing on some music or establishing a family reward as an incentive to get the work done.

Tackle the Seasonal Chores 

There are some special chores that need to be done seasonally. We ignore them for most of the fall and winter, but now it is time to bite the bullet and get these things clean. Even though these chores only need to be done once or twice a year, they will help your home run look better and run smoothly. Outdoor chores like cleaning grills, patios, and windows can be a little intimidating, but there are some simple tricks that can keep the jobs manageable.

Keep Cleaning Products to a Minimum 

The cleaning aisles of our stores are stocked full of commercial products to help you clean, but the variety can be overwhelming. And dozens of cleaning products means dozens of cleaning products to clutter up your cabinets and closets.

Resist the temptation to buy all these cleaning supplies; the real champions of spring cleaning are more basic supplies, such as a good all-purpose cleaner and microfiber cloths. There are even homemade cleaners you can make that will save you money while protecting the environment.

Establish New Cleaning Habits 


A good, thorough spring cleaning that includes the whole house is a great time to establish new on-going cleaning habits, and it can also make the next spring cleaning a good deal easier. Simple 15-minute cleanup routines practiced every few days, each including a series of 1- to 2-minute chores, can make it remarkably easy to keep your home clean and tidy all year long.

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