Advice for Livermore Valley Home Sellers & Home Buyers!

home purchase offerHave you wanted to sell your Livermore Valley home but have been waiting for home prices to rise and equity to return? Have you wanted to buy a Livermore Valley home but have been busy saving up a down payment and paying down debt? No matter what has made you wait to accomplish your real estate goals in the Livermore Valley real estate market, now is the time to act!

As your Livermore Valley real estate agent, I want to update you on the latest market news for Livermore Valley home sellers and Livermore Valley homebuyers. Whether you’re one, or both, here are some tips from MSN Real Estate that I’ve summarized for you.

Livermore Valley Home Sellers:

  • Jump-start the process now! The sooner you sell, the better, before competition from other sellers and new homes starts increasing. Sellers usually don’t realize how long the process takes, so begin to clean, declutter, organize and stage your home now. Also, consider getting an inspection done before listing your home, so you know what needs upgrading or repairing. You could also visit a couple open houses to get ideas for staging your own home.
  • Work the market in your favor. With prices up and inventory low, the Livermore Valley real estate market is in your favor right now! You still have to work it intelligently, though. Work with a Livermore Valley real estate agent that is familiar with the market and what homes are selling for. Don’t just go with the agent that promises you the best price. He might be bluffing. If you’re getting the price you wanted, and then some, offer the buyer something in good faith, such as a fast move-in date.

Livermore Valley Home Buyers:

  • Be credit-ready! As soon as you’re ready to buy, you want to get preapproved for a mortgage. Many sellers will turn you away if you’re not, seeing you as an unserious or complicated buyer. Also, this will help pinpoint what you can afford, so you’re not wasting time going after homes out of your price range. Check your credit report, and if your credit score is below 620, work on paying off debt and raising that score.
  • Adjust your negotiating expectations. With inventory low and home prices high, lowball offers just aren’t going to cut it in this competitive market. There are a lot of eager buyers out there, trying to beat rising mortgage rates and prices, so if you really love a house, start with a great offer and respond to counteroffers quickly. You want to avoid a bidding war. Try to have a few houses in mind, in case you lose one to another buyer.

For more tips, either as a Livermore Valley home seller or a Livermore Valley homebuyer, check out the full list from MSN Real Estate.

When you’re ready to buy or sell, or you have questions, contact me! As your Livermore Valley real estate agent, I’m here when you need me!

John Kurtzer
Your Livermore Real Estate Expert
RE/MAX Accord

Livermore Real Estate
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How to Prepare Now For the Livermore Valley Home-Buying Process In 2014

laptop_work_browsingThe year is quickly coming to a close, with the holidays arriving next week and the New Year beginning the week after! Chances are you are going to cozy up with friends and family and celebrate this festive season. But come 2014, it’ll be a great time to buy a Livermore Valley home!

As your Livermore Valley real estate agent, I want to share how you can prepare for the home-buying process next year. There are plenty of steps you could take right now to ensure a smooth home purchase next year. Here’s a few:

  • Save up for a down payment. Rather than spend every last penny on holiday gifts, cut back this year. Do a grab bag or a secret Santa, where each person only buys for one other person. Or, decide that your gift this year will be buying a Livermore Valley home! That’ll be a great incentive to eat at home more often, brew your own coffee, watch old movies, take walks and find free events around Livermore Valley. The more money you save to put down on a house, the better mortgage rate you’ll receive!
  • Improve your credit score. Your credit score is the other half of the puzzle in receiving a mortgage loan. The higher your score, the better your chances are at getting accepted for a mortgage. Order a credit report now and check it for errors. If there are any, work toward fixing them. Pay down your credit card debt. Use the cards minimally and try to pay them off each month. Don’t open new cards or close existing cards. Don’t make any large purchases before buying your Livermore Valley home, and stay put in your current job.
  • Research the Livermore Valley real estate market. Now is a great time to see what homes are listing for and selling for in Livermore Valley, and how fast. This will give a good indication of how many Livermore Valley homebuyers are out shopping and what type of deals they’re getting. Because inventory is lower than usual, you have fewer options. However, this time of year, most Livermore Valley home sellers are looking for a quick sale, so you might have some negotiating power! It’s good to have an idea of what type of offers you’ll need to make ahead of time, so you’ll be prepared.
  • Find real estate professionals to work with. You’ll need a mortgage lender and you’ll need a real estate agent. I’ve got you covered on the agent end! As a Livermore Valley real estate agent, I have years of experience working here in Pleasanton, Livermore and Dublin. I can fill you in on the current state of the market and housing changes for the new year, and I can help you find homes in your price range and with the features you desire. I can point you in the right direction for other professionals that you’ll need to work with, too.

Contact me if you have any questions or when you’r ready to buy a Livermore Valley home. Have a wonderful holiday!

John Kurtzer
Your Livermore Real Estate Expert
RE/MAX Accord

Livermore Real Estate
View Livermore Listings
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Upcoming Events in Livermore Valley Wine Country!

winebottleWho said that the holiday season meant stress and chaos? Here in Livermore Valley, the holiday season also means plenty of events, activities and discount specials at our local vineyards and wineries. While you can fight the crowds at the grocery store this weekend and the department stores on Black Friday, as your Livermore Valley real estate agent, I suggest enjoying some wine instead.

Take a moment to savor the moment, support local business and socialize with Livermore Valley neighbors. Here are a few events to mark in your calendar in the next couple of weeks:

  • Do you know what types of wines should be served with Thanksgiving dinner? Visit the new tasting room at Cuda Ridge Wines this Saturday or Sunday, Nov. 23 or 24, for Salute to Harvest! You’ll get to pair wines with “Thanksgiving on a Crostini” by Smokey Jim. This will include turkey, stuffing and gravy with homemade cranberry sauce on the side. Wine tastings include merlot, cabernet franc, sab sauv, malbec or petit verdot. Enjoy live music while you sip and sample. Tasting flights cost $10.
  • If you don’t have time to cook Thanksgiving dinner, but would still like to enjoy it, order a take-home dinner from Wente Vineyards! There meal generously feeds six and features traditional holiday dishes with simple finishing instructions to follow at home. You can pick up at the Event Center at Wente Vineyard the day before Thanksgiving, but you must reserve ahead of time! The meal costs $249.
  • What better way to celebrate Black Friday than with wine? Steer clear of the stores and instead head to Murrieta’s Well in Livermore, CA! From 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Friday through Sunday, you can enjoy their special Holiday Preview Weekend. Purchase gift baskets and enjoy seasonal cheer while indulging in handcrafted blends.

There are also open houses and/or sales happening the day after Thanksgiving at Thomas Coyne Winery, McGrail Vineyards and Winery, and Las Positas Vineyards.

The next big Livermore Valley Wine Country event, which encompasses all participating wineries, is Holidays in the Vineyards Dec. 7 and 8. Mark your calendar for this wonderful event, which is right around the corner!

On these two days, you’re encouraged to bring unwrapped toys or monetary donations to your favorite winery. All donations will be given to the Pleasanton-Livermore Fire Association’s Toys for Tots program after the event. On these two days, you can enjoy arts and craft vendors, special wines, festive activities, Santa visits, carolers and so much more. Full details are available here.

Enjoy yourself around Livermore Valley this holiday season, and don’t let yourself get too stressed out! If you’d like to buy a Livermore Valley home or sell your Livermore Valley home as a holiday gift this year, contact me! As your Livermore Valley real estate agent, my schedule always has time for my clients.

John Kurtzer
Your Livermore Real Estate Expert
RE/MAX Accord

Livermore Real Estate
View Livermore Listings
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Tips for a Cross-Country Move to Livermore Valley, CA!

Moving BoxesNow that a good portion of the country is getting cold and snowy, it’s a great time to move to Livermore Valley, CA! The sun always shines in our warm climate, and the winters are always bearable. As your Livermore Valley real estate agent, I’d like to help you out with your long-distance move.

Moving can always be tricky, even if it’s just across town. But a cross-country move adds some more stress and complications if not done right. MSN Real Estate shared seven tips for cross-country movers that could really help Livermore Valley homebuyers out! I’ve summarized them here:

  • Give yourself time. Don’t wait until you close on your current home to start thinking about the move. Last-minute moves will only make the home-buying process that much more stressful, not to mention you might be left with all of your belongings and nowhere to go if you don’t give yourself time. MSN Real Estate recommends beginning preparations eight weeks before your moving date. (Check out our Free Relocation Package for more help!)
  • Choose a moving method. You can drive all of your belongings into Livermore Valley on your own, you could rent a moving truck, or you could hire a professional moving company. Decipher how much stuff you have and what is the most probable, cost-effective method. If you go the professional route, start rounding up estimates and reading reviews for different companies. Contact me for suggestions!
  • Invest in durable boxes. When it comes to all of your most precious belongings, you don’t want to skimp on the durability and quality of your boxes. Make some calls or drive around and see where you can score some free boxes. Usually manufacturing plants have boxes, along with grocery stores, liquor stores, banks and so on.
  • Pack tight. In the next eight weeks, decide what you need to take and what you can get rid of. This is a great time to declutter and downsize your belongings, such as kitchen gadgets, old electronics, magazines, books and old clothes. What you don’t need can be sold online or in a yard sale, which will help pay for moving costs!
  • Organize papers. Papers are one of the easiest things to misplace during a move, but some of your most important documents are on paper. Organize all of your important paperwork, such as birth certificates, marriage certificates and insurance policies, and then pack them together in labeled folders. Consider taking these with you rather than packing in a box.
  • Take inventory. If you have your items shipped or moved with professionals, you want to make sure to write down what is in each box. Take photographs of your valuables, so you can prove what condition they were in if anything happens to them. Label your boxes so you know what’s in them and where they go in your new Livermore Valley home.

Through the entire home-buying process and moving process, be sure to remain calm as much as possible. Enjoy the experience! You’re accomplishing the American dream in sunny Livermore Valley, what isn’t there to love? When you need assistance, contact me, your Livermore Valley real estate agent!

John Kurtzer
Your Livermore Real Estate Expert
RE/MAX Accord

Livermore Real Estate
View Livermore Listings
Visit My Website