SOLD: 995 Hopkins Way – Enjoy Casual Poolside Living!

995 Hopkins Way

Pleasanton, CA 94566
$1,360,000
MLS: 40666310
4 Bedrooms
3 Bathrooms

Welcome home to this stunning five bedroom, three bathroom property. You are sure to be impressed by the fully landscaped front and back yard with mature shrubs and trees. Upon entry, you will be greeted by a gracious living room which is highlighted by vaulted ceilings and a charming fireplace.The dining room has been enhanced by a stunning chandelier. French doors give direct access to the patio creating the ideal atmosphere for entertaining guests. Concoct your culinary masterpieces in the remodeled kitchen which boasts an eating area, center island, granite counter tops and a wall of windows overlooking the gorgeous backyard. A spacious family room designed for informal gatherings features a fireplace and a sliding glass door which leads out onto the patio.

Escape to the master bedroom suite which comes complete with vaulted ceilings, sitting area and a gas fireplace. Achieve serenity in the master bathroom, which comes fully equipped with a dual vanity, separate shower and a tub situated in front of a sizable window. The additional bedrooms are all spacious for residents and guests alike. Eliminate early morning traffic with two additional full bathrooms. Casual poolside living can be yours in this home with a dazzling swimming pool and lush backyard. You won’t want to leave this paradise! Located in Ventana Hills, don’t miss your opportunity to own this impressive home!

SOLD: 7393 Mines Road – Welcome to Paradise!

 

DSC_2830a7393 Mines Road

Livermore, CA 94550
$1,675,000
MLS: 40666082
5 Bedrooms
3.5 Bathrooms

Welcome to Paradise!  Nestled amongst the oaks in the foothills of Livermore on 4.5 acres, this beauty is a slice of heaven.  Entering through the foyer,  you will be hypnotized by all of the elegant details found throughout this home. The spacious living room comes complete with cathedral open beamed ceilings and walls of glass with gorgeous views that continues throughout the home and provides warmth and charm. The well thought out floor plan makes everyday living and entertaining a breeze.

Imagine creating delicious masterpieces for your guests in the kitchen that is outfitted with beautiful custom cabinetry for a luxurious feel, hardwood hickory flooring, granite counter tops, and stainless steel appliances.  A sizable center island as well as recessed lighting make this kitchen any aspiring chef’s dream. A breakfast area is just steps away and offers more stunning views and decorative cabinetry for serving your meals or storage.  You will be enthralled by the open family room that is enhanced with a brick fireplace and mantle.  To top it off, this room offers tranquil views of the Oak trees and hills!

Escape to your personal hideaway in the master bedroom suite with its own private bathroom, carpeting and spacious closet.  Four additional bedrooms and two and a half bathrooms can accommodate either residents or guests.  Experience outdoor living at its finest on your private covered patio where you will indulge in the views of the sizable backyard, and of course, the sparkling in-ground swimming pool.  Once you have experienced the views and copious amount of unbelievable features found throughout this home, you will not want to leave! From the approximately 1,000 square foot shop to the two stall barn, this home is just waiting for that sophisticated buyer. This gem is truly a must see!

SOLD: 1592 Roselli Drive – Custom Delight!

DSC_8898a1592 Roselli Drive
Livermore, CA 94550
$630,000
MLS:  40644239
3 Bedrooms
2 Bathrooms

Enjoy coming home to this beautiful haven in Liverpool! This home has been renovated with an abundance of updates including specialty flooring, crown molding, wainscoting and plantation shutters throughout. Stepping into the foyer, you are greeted by the family room boasting elements such as crown molding and upgraded lighting, sure to catch your eye. Beautiful upgraded kitchen, stainless steel appliances, new granite counter tops and a separate breakfast nook are sure to impress. For dining, show guests to the dining room where the open floor plan creates the ideal atmosphere for any special occasion.

At the day’s end, lounge in the living room open to the dining room. A brick fireplace is the center piece of the room and will produce an environment of rest and relaxation. Three bedrooms, including a sizable master suite, offer ample sleeping quarters for residents and guests alike. While the master bedroom is complete with an additional closet and contemporary wall colors, the attached master bathroom is equipped with a vanity with granite counter top and separate tile shower with sliding glass doors. The two additional bedrooms include spacious mirrored closets and windows for plenty of natural sunlight.

It will be easy to enjoy a quiet afternoon on your rear paver patio overlooking the landscaped backyard. This backyard affords a tranquil setting in which viewing nature will be pure joy and a negotiable small storage shed will provide a separate home office. Additional bonuses include: a newer roof, furnace, water heater and lighting fixtures and fans. Completely move-in ready, this could be the home you have been dreaming about!

 

Budget Deal Benefits California Short Sales!

While standing at the brink of the Fiscal Cliff, Congress struck a budget deal that includes a gem for California real estate. Namely, a one-year extension of the Mortgage Debt Relief Act of 2007. This will benefit distressed home sellers around the country, but it’s especially important to the health of our local real estate markets. Here’s why!

Without the Mortgage Debt Relief Act, the amount of forgiven mortgage debt in a short sale would be counted as taxable income by the IRS. Imagine having to sell your home due to a hardship, and then get a tax bill on the bank’s loss! It would be salt on the wound.

Many industry experts feared that if the Act expired, distressed home sellers would have no incentive to seek a short sale and would simply allow homes to foreclose. Any increase in as foreclosures would be unwelcome, as they are discounted on the market and drag down neighboring home values.

Short sales use fair market value in their transactions, and therefore preserve nearby home values. Short sales also keep the homeowner engaged in the process, preventing abandoned homes and blight. So, even if you aren’t a distressed homeowner, you should be cheering the extension of the Mortgage Debt Relief Act!

Even though California short sales were more numerous than foreclosures during 2012, we still had 102,000 foreclosures in the state from November 2011 to November 2012.  California completed more foreclosures in 2012 than any other state in the country. We have been able to achieve a measure of market recovery despite this number, thanks to the use of short sales and the overall improvement in our economy.

As your experienced Livermore real estate professional, I stay on top of the latest market news and statistics, and I’m happy to share this information with you. Meanwhile, if you’d like to find out the market value of your Livermore home, ask me for your free home evaluation!

Whether you are interested in selling your home in Livermore, Pleasanton or Dublin  or you just have a few questions, contact me! I will be glad to provide you with reliable, professional guidance!

John Kurtzer
Your Livermore Real Estate Expert
RE/MAX Accord

Livermore Real Estate
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7 Livermore Mortgage Qualifying Tips for 2013!

If you want to buy a Livermore home, you might be concerned about your ability to qualify for a mortgage. And with good reason! The stingy lending environment isn’t likely to change anytime soon, according to a recent article by the Wall Street Journal. Mortgage interest rates may be historically low, but mortgage underwriting is historically tight!

Fortunately, I have a few mortgage qualifying tips in my pocket that could help you get your loan approved. Keep in mind that while a mortgage pre-approval has value, it isn’t a loan guarantee. It doesn’t take much to blow your pre-approval out of the water prior to closing, and this is where some home buyers go wrong.  Here are 7 mortgage qualifying tips to help you!

1. If you have credit skeletons in the closet, disclose them up front at the time of application. Any bankruptcies, foreclosures, short sales, loan modifications, judgments, and so on should be declared by you. These may not show up in the “first pass” of your credit review, but mortgage underwriters will dig much deeper prior to closing.

2. If you claim a bundle of losses on your income tax return, this can work against your mortgage approval. You can’t refuse income to Uncle Sam without having consequences with Aunt Fannie Mae.  If your pre-approval was based on income that your tax returns can’t back up, you might still qualify for a mortgage using the lower income calculation. However, this may put you in a completely different price range of homes.

3. If you are a business owner or employee who receives some income in cash, you need to have a paper trail to support the earnings. Lenders won’t count funds if the sources cannot be proved. Incidents of mortgage fraud and other financial crimes have made mortgage underwriters nervous about cash. Document everything.

4. Avoid opening new lines of credit right before you apply for a mortgage, and especially during the home buying process. Any change to your credit profile can cause your mortgage underwriter to get edgy. Remember, unlike the “good ol’ days”, lenders are looking for reasons not to approve your mortgage.  Getting new credit, changing your credit score, and changing your debt-to-income ratios will open a can of worms.

5. Avoid changing jobs during the home buying process. Even if your new position pays more money, the lender will view it as a higher risk because of the short length of employment.

6. Be cooperative! If a lender asks you for more bank statements, more paycheck stubs, or other documentation, it’s better than getting a flat “no.” Lenders are looking for consistency in your character and financial behavior. Also, if you do not qualify for one type of mortgage they may review you for another. This means getting fresh paperwork and obtaining the most recent data possible.

7. Stay ahead of the game by pulling your own credit history and FICO score once a year. Visit annualcreditreport.com and MyFico.com to review your personal credit profile.

I hope these tips help you! I’ll also be happy to refer you to good mortgage lenders in Livermore who can answer your home financing questions.

Thinking of buying or selling a Livermore home? Let’s talk! I will share the latest market data for your neighborhood and help you find the best opportunities. Just contact me for the latest home sale details in Livermore, Pleasanton or Dublin. I’ll answer all of your questions, and provide you with expert guidance for success!

John Kurtzer
Your Livermore Real Estate Expert
RE/MAX Accord

Livermore Real Estate
View Livermore Listings
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Enjoy Holiday Events in Livermore, CA!

Is your inner Scrooge working overtime? Don’t worry, there’s still time to banish the bah-humbug! Take a look at these festive events happening in the Livermore area!

The Valley Dance Theatre presents The Nutcracker, December 8 through 16. Enjoy the grace and beauty of this timeless holiday story, memorable for both the elegant choreography and rich musical score. Seats are still available for several performances,  but you’ll want to get your tickets soon! Tickets are available at the Livermore Performing Arts Center.

The Firehouse Arts Center in Pleasanton presents acoustic musicians Eric Tingstad and Nancy Rumbel in a special holiday concert on December 15.  This Grammy-winning duo is known for their eclectic blend of instruments and song. Their home-grown American sound is complimented by a broad range of musical styles from around the world. Tickets are available through the online box office

Experience the Journey to Living Bethlehem in Livermore, December 13 through 17. This inter-faith, live-action production will take you back 2,000 years as 100 actors re-create the original Nativity scene. This free event begins at 6:30 p.m. and repeats every 30 minutes. The event is located by St. Michaels School at 345 Church Street.

There’s also time to experience Livermore wine tastings! You can go upper crust with the Riedel Wine Glass Presentation and Tasting on Thursday, December 20, and learn why the wine glass you choose affects the taste of your beverage. Your $75 ticket includes set of 4 premium wineglasses.

Or, for $5.00, you can party like there’s no tomorrow and enjoy the End of the World Port Wine Release on Friday, December 21.  Visit the Livermore Valley Wine Country website for full details!

Things are looking merry and bright in Livermore Valley! As a longtime Livermore resident and real estate professional, I’m proud to be a part of our community. If buying or selling a home is on your wish list, give me a call! I’ll share the latest market activity, and provide the expert guidance you need for success.

Wishing you all the best this holiday season,

John Kurtzer
Your Livermore Real Estate Expert
RE/MAX Accord

Livermore Real Estate
View Livermore Listings
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Home Prices Rise as Distressed Sales Fall in Livermore, CA!

Did you know that the current average listing price of a Livermore home is $1,068,938? The real estate market continues to charge ahead, with a list-to-sales ratio of 100.2%.

This means that the vast majority of  Livermore home sellers are getting their asking price, and then some! Home buyers in Livermore Valley aren’t just off the fence, they’re ripping out the posts.

We can credit some of the market activity to continued low mortgage interest rates, an improved employment picture, and a scarcity of homes on the market. But the reduction of distressed home inventory is the biggest story in California home sales.

The California Association of Realtors® reports that equity sales continue to gain market share statewide. Traditional home sales in California for October 2012 were 63.4% of the market. This is the highest level of equity sales since June 2008!

Distressed home sales, consisting of bank-owned property and short sales, represented 36.6% of the market.

Within the distressed sales, there is a ratio worth following between bank-owned homes and short sales. Bank-owned homes accounted for 11.8% of the distressed market in October 2012. Meanwhile, short sales accounted for 24.4% of the market and continue to gain ground as foreclosures shrink.

This matters because short sales are based on current market value, whereas foreclosures are usually discounted. Short sales are not as harmful to surrounding property values, and so watching this ratio trend in their favor is encouraging.

There are a few concerns on the horizon, including the much-publicized “fiscal cliff”, and the pending expiration of the Mortgage Debt Relief Act of 2007.  Industry trade groups are doing heavy lobbying to make sure the importance of a healthy housing market is not forgotten by lawmakers.

Meanwhile, our home market in Livermore Valley needs one more thing to sustain growth – namely, more homes for sale! Now is the time to make your home selling plans for 2013!  As your Livermore Valley real estate professional, I will provide you with a comparative market analysis and all the facts on recent home sales. I will also provide you with an expert marketing strategy to sell your home quickly and for the best possible price.

Contact me today for your home selling consultation in Livermore, Pleasanton or Dublin!

John Kurtzer
Your Livermore Real Estate Expert
RE/MAX Accord

Livermore Real Estate
View Livermore Listings
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Livermore Valley Welcomes the Holiday Season with Hometown Events!

Ready or not, the holiday season is upon us in Livermore Valley! And if you’re not ready, you can find your festive side by enjoying our hometown holiday events in Livermore, Pleasanton or Dublin! Here’s just a small sample to get you started:

November 29: Dublin’s 29th Annual Holiday Tree Lighting ceremony will take place from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.  There will be performances by the Children’s Choir and the Dublin High School Jazz Band. Refreshments served after the concerts. Rumor has it that Santa himself will be stopping by! Event held at the Dublin Civic Center.

December 1:  Holiday Faire in Dublin, 12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at the Heritage  Park & Museums.  Experience the Christmas of yesteryear by making crafts, shopping for hand-crafted gifts, and listening to carolers. Be there early so the kids can see St. Nick arrive by a horse-drawn, jingle-bell wagon at noon. Holiday-themed beverages and snacks available for purchase. No admission charge for entry, but there is a $5 wristband for participating in crafts and taking a wagon ride.

December 1: Pleasanton’s Hometown Holiday Parade and Tree Lighting Celebration begins at 5:00 p.m.  Get there early for a good viewing spot! The parade marches down main street with bands, floats, and classic cars and plenty of noise and cheer. I have it on good authority that Santa will be there, too.

December 1: Downtown Livermore hosts the 17th Annual Holiday Sights & Sounds Parade and Tree Lighting. Parade beings at 6:00 p.m. and will route along First Street, between M Street and McLeod Street.  Tree lighting follows the parade. Santa will find a way to be here, despite his tough itinerary this time of year.

If you still need help finding your holiday spirit after all this, try the spirits at our Livermore Valley wineries! The Holidays in the Vineyards event takes place December 1 & 2 at wineries throughout Livermore Valley. Tasting rooms will feature arts and crafts, carolers, holiday activities, and special wines for the season.

Things are looking merry and bright in Livermore Valley! As a longtime Livermore Valley resident and real estate professional, I’m proud to be a part of our community. If buying or selling a home is on your wish list, give me a call! I’ll share the latest market activity with  you, and give you the expert guidance you need for success.

Wishing you all the best this holiday season,

John Kurtzer
Your Livermore Real Estate Expert
RE/MAX Accord

Livermore Real Estate
View Livermore Listings
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Low Inventory of Homes for Sale Challenges California Market

Livermore Valley home sellers, take note: we have more buyers than homes! The 2012 Annual Market Survey, conducted by the California Association of Realtors®, shows that low home inventory is an issue throughout the state.  The situation continues to feed bidding wars among California home buyers, with 57% of home sales attracting multiple offers during 2012.

If you’re a home seller in Livermore Valley, this is a happy problem!  However, real estate professionals statewide are concerned that  a prolonged lack of supply could affect the pace of the housing recovery. It’s no secret that many sellers are holding out for higher prices. But if buyers give up before sellers see the price levels they want, nobody wins.

Understandably, there’s close attention being paid to home buyers! Here’s what the 2012 Market Survey says about California buyers:

  • 30% of home buyers paid cash.
  • 17% of home buyers were investors.
  • 40% of first-time home buyers are choosing bank-owned properties or short sales.
  • 35.8% of home buyers are first-time buyers, up from 34.2% a year ago.
  • 5.8% of buyers were from other countries, with China and Canada leading the group.

On the average, the days on market for a California home are half of what they were a year ago. 2012 traditional home sales have a median of 32 days on the market. Distressed properties are also moving faster, with short sales averaging 90 days on market during 2012, as opposed to 141 days a year ago.

To compare that to our local area, the days on market for homes in Alameda County are running about half of what they were a year ago; two months on the market instead of four.  There is great variety in the days on market throughout our county. What you find in Oakland is not necessarily true for Livermore, and so on.  While the survey is helpful, your best guidance will always come from local data – supplied by your local, experienced real estate professional! (Me!)

If you’re thinking of selling your Livermore Valley home in the upcoming months, it’s time to start making plans.  Let me show you the latest market data for your neighborhood! Please contact me for a comparative market analysis in Livermore, Pleasanton or Dublin. I’ll answer all of your questions, and provide you with expert marketing strategies to help you succeed!

John Kurtzer
Your Livermore Real Estate Expert
RE/MAX Accord

Livermore Real Estate
View Livermore Listings
Visit My Website

 

Economic Growth Will Help Livermore Home Values

A combination of new development, business growth and school expansions are underway in Livermore! Our local economy stands to benefit by the increase in jobs and disposable incomes. Our quality of life now includes more choices for shopping, dining and recreation, which in turn will attract new residents. We can reasonably expect that home demand in Livermore Valley will continue to rise!

The new Paragon Outlets in Livermore will bring an estimated $2 million in annual sales tax revenue to the city and about 2,800 new jobs to the area. Alameda County residents are likely to be more excited about the 130 new upscale stores, all promising big-name bargains.  A scene of gleeful pandemonium met Thursday’s grand opening, with traffic backing up for miles on I-580, and parking lots spilling over with cars.  Well, with up to 65% off normal retail prices, who can resist?

There’s good news in Livermore for health and fitness enthusiasts, too! 24-Hour Fitness will soon be opening a new “Super Sport Club” in Livermore. The new fitness center will span between 45,000 and 69,000 square feet – you’ll get exercise just walking through it. Amenities will include basketball courts, sauna and steam rooms, indoor pools, and the latest in cardio and strength-training equipment. Look for the opening around December 22 – just in time for those New Year resolutions.

Opening  in the future to less fanfare, but no less in importance, will be Charter School’s new athletic facility. The Livermore school invested $5 million in the purchase of 12.4 acres, located in the Tri-Valley Technology Park. The school intends to share the facility with the Livermore community.

All told, the trends in real estate development bode well for Livermore Valley home values! Buyer demand is already healthy in our area, and economic growth will continue to sustain it.

As your experienced real estate professional, I keep up with the trends that affect our markets. If you are thinking of buying or selling a home, now is the time to contact me!  I have the latest sales trends and new home listings for Livermore, Pleasanton and Dublin.  Let my experience in Livermore Valley real estate be your advantage!

John Kurtzer
Your Livermore Real Estate Expert
RE/MAX Accord

Livermore Real Estate
View Livermore Listings
Visit My Website