Just Listed: 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!

 

Home Buyer Motivation Revealed in Gallup Poll

Home buying pollMost real estate articles zero in on the financial benefits of home ownership. After all, buying a home is a big decision, and it makes sense to talk about mortgages, taxes, home prices and so on. Yet according to a recent Gallup Poll, home buying has as many psychological and emotional motives as financial ones.

Here are the top home buyer motivations expressed by the poll, along with my own thoughts:

Home ownership is an investment. Despite the loss of equity that happened during the housing bust, the long-term opportunity to build equity and come out ahead of the market still holds tremendous appeal.

Home ownership provides personal financial security. With fixed-rate mortgages below 4% for a 30-year loan, and below 3% for a 15-year loan, mortgage payments can be cheaper than rent, even with taxes and insurance factored in. And if you go with a 15-year loan, you could be mortgage free by the time your kids go to college, or before you retire.

Home ownership improves your credit. This is more than just an opinion. Whenever a creditor asks you if you own or rent your home, it’s because they use this data in evaluating your risk profile. Being a renter doesn’t mean you won’t get the credit you apply for, but it could influence the rate you are offered.

Home ownership provides a better family environment. Renting has uncertainties because of things like frequent changes of tenants, and changes in landlords or property managers. Changes in lease agreements, rental rates and tenant rules can be unsettling. Most apartments are also relatively small for the money, compared to what you could obtain when buying a home.

Home ownership is important to personal well-being. For many people, this comes down to having control over your living situation and being able to putter around the house. Want to pound nails in the wall? Go ahead. Tear out the carpet? Go for it. The intangible factors of home ownership, like personal freedom, privacy, and pride of ownership, are a large part of home buyer motivation.

The poll also revealed that many renters would rather be homeowners, but most are unable to buy a home due to bad credit, or a lack of funds, or because of frequent job transfers. Some 57% of renters cited financial reasons as their main obstacle to home ownership. Only about 13% of surveyed renters say that renting is a choice, made for convenience reasons or due to the downsizing of the household.

Are you ready to become a homeowner? Let me help you! I will refer you to trustworthy mortgage lenders, and I will help you find the ideal home for your needs and budget. Please feel welcome to contact me for the latest home listings in Livermore, Pleasanton or Dublin. I’ll answer all of your questions, and provide you with expert guidance!

John Kurtzer
Your Livermore Real Estate Expert
RE/MAX Accord

Livermore Real Estate
View Livermore Listings
Visit My Website

 

Livermore Population and Home Prices Increase

graphpegsThe more the merrier! Livermore’s population increased by 1.3% last year, according to an article in the Livermore Patch.  They report that the State Department of Finance counts our current population at  83,325. This is the second-highest growth rate in Alameda County. Dublin has the highest rate of population growth at 6.8%.

As a whole, Alameda County’s population grew by 1.2% to reach 1,548,681 residents. Our population growth is ahead of statewide trends. California’s rate of growth is 0.8%.

An increase in residents means increased demand for housing, and it’s no surprise that the cost of renting and buying a home is also going up. The average listing price of a Livermore home for sale was $701,998 as of last week.  In Dublin, the average listing price of homes for sale came in at $734,783.

Please keep in mind that this also represents some higher-end homes hitting the market, which pulls up dollar averages. We have a few more listings in the $600,000 to $1 million range. There are several excellent properties available in the $1 million-plus range, including large parcels with acreage. If you’ve ever wanted to start your own winery, now is your chance!

Overall, homes are spending less than 30 days on market, and our home inventory remains lean. Even without population growth factored in, demand is far ahead of supply, and home prices are poised to increase. It’s going to be a hot summer for real estate in Alameda County!

We can expect home sales to remain brisk in Livermore! Mortgage interest rates are excellent, and there are some beautiful homes on the market at very attractive prices. It’s a great time to buy a Livermore home, and thanks to limited home inventory, it’s an even better time to sell! My experience can help you make the most of today’s opportunities.

Thinking of buying or selling a Livermore home? I will be happy to help you, just give me a call!

John Kurtzer
Your Livermore Real Estate Expert
RE/MAX Accord

Livermore Real Estate
View Livermore Listings
Visit My Website

7 Reasons Not to Sell Your Livermore Home as a FSBO!

Livermore Home SalesLivermore home sellers are riding the wave of the market, as we continue to see price gains and multiple offers. As hoped, we are seeing more new listings arrive as more sellers attain equity. The challenge for home buyers is, the listings are going under contract about as fast as they come on the market!

Some homeowners feel so confident about the market, that they are tempted to try selling their home themselves! Of course, there are for-sale-by-owner services popping up again, trying to tell you how easy it is. These opportunists don’t really care if you sell your home or not, because they make money by charging you an up-front fee.

Here are some cold hard facts to consider before you try to sell on your own:

1. For-sale-by-owner (FSBO) home sale volumes have declined. In 1991, about 19% of the market nationwide consisted of FSBO’s. In 2012, only 9% of the market consisted of FSBO’s.

2. Nationally, the average selling price of a home listed through a real estate professional averaged $215,000. Comparable properties offered as FSBO’s averaged a selling price of only $174,900.

3. Home buyers prefer to work with real estate professionals. 89% of home buyers bought their home through a real estate professional.

4. Automated home value tools that you find online can be inaccurate by tens of thousands of dollars. They are a starting point for discussion, but these tools cannot factor in your home condition, amenities, curb appeal, and other details that a real estate professional includes in a comparative market analysis.  It doesn’t make much sense to worry about saving money on commission if you are shorting yourself on the home price.

5. Real estate professionals like myself don’t make a dime unless a deal gets closed. We don’t push people, however; we educate them, and help match up the right buyer for the right home.  All of the up-front expenses are covered, whether or not the home sells.

6. Think of all the first-time home buyers in the market – they represent nearly 40% of all buyers. FSBO sellers simply do not have the time, information or resources to assist first-time buyers. This effectively removes a good chunk of buyers from looking at FSBO homes.

7. Negotiation is an art, and real estate professionals are trained in it. It’s beneficial for all concerned to have an experienced professional involved.

Naturally, I could list more reasons not to go it alone, but you get the idea! I will also mention, though, that market conditions can vary widely from one neighborhood to another. Even similar houses on the same block can have material differences in value. Plus, the Livermore real estate market is always changing, and keeping up with it is truly a full-time career.

Let me tell you how I can sell your home for the best possible price! If you are thinking selling your home in Livermore, Pleasanton or Dublin , please contact me! My many years of experience in California real estate will be your competitive advantage!

John Kurtzer
Your Livermore Real Estate Expert
RE/MAX Accord

Livermore Real Estate
View Livermore Listings
Visit My Website

Get Ready to Get Moving in Livermore!

California home expensesWhether you are buying or selling a Livermore home, moving your household can be a challenge. Moving can be hard work, expensive, and stressful – and if that isn’t enough, moving fraud is a growing problem. Fortunately, there are ways to save yourself money and headaches if you are moving within California or across the country!

1. Get familiar with the American Moving & Storage Association. Their website has a wealth of information about preparing for a move. Members of the association adhere to a code of ethics and standards of professional practices.

2. Professional movers are regulated by the U.S. Department of Transportation. Visit protectyourmove.gov to find out how to screen your moving company and protect yourself against fraud.

3. The peak moving season is May through September. Don’t wait until the last minute to reserve your moving truck and storage units.

4. Consider using moving pods. The mobile storage unit is placed on your property for you to load. When you’re ready to go, the pod is loaded to the truck and transported by a professional driver to your new home. The pod is left at your new location for however long you specify, giving you plenty of time to unpack. If you are doing a multi-stage move, secured storage of your belongings is also available.

6. If you rent a truck, be sure to read the fine print carefully and look for fees that are piled on for extra miles, late return, re-fueling, ect. Don’t skimp on the truck size; making multiple trips with a smaller truck can be more expensive. Hand carts, furniture padding and cords may also cost extra.

7. Plastic, stackable moving containers make a great alternative to cardboard boxes. If you go with cardboard, avoid the temptation to see how much you can fit into the box or how high you can stack them. Cardboard isn’t always as tough as it looks – especially if you’re moving on a rainy day.

8. Verify if your move is tax deductible in advance of making your moving plans. If it is, document your expenses and keep receipts!

Ready to get moving? Let’s talk! I’m here to help you whenever you are buying or selling a home. I will share the latest market data for your neighborhood and help you make the most of today’s opportunities. Always feel welcome to contact me for real estate guidance in LivermorePleasanton or Dublin!

John Kurtzer
Your Livermore Real Estate Expert
RE/MAX Accord

Livermore Real Estate
View Livermore Listings
Visit My Website

The Art of the Purchase Offer on a Livermore Home

home purchase offerWe have some wonderful Livermore homes for sale that have just come on the market! Just in time for the springtime home buyers who are exploring the California real estate market.

There’s only one problem: we still have more buyers than homes for sale, especially in the entry-level price ranges.

Home buyer competition is a fact of the current market, and analysts expect that the California market will remain competitive for the balance of the year. In order for you to successfully buy a home, you will need to be fully prepared with your mortgage financing, and you will need to understand the art of the purchase offer.

I call it an “art” because two offers that are materially the same can be viewed differently by the seller, depending on the professionalism and tone of the offer. Here are some suggestions to help you get your offer on top of the stack!

1. Give prompt, courteous feedback after viewing the home. I will pass this on to the selling agent, and this will begin a rapport with the seller. However, if you intend to make an offer and the market is moving fast, don’t wait too long – compliments won’t hold the home.

2. Make sure to have a mortgage approval letter in hand. This certifies that your loan application has been processed, your income and credit verified, and your mortgage underwriting approved. A copy can be submitted with your purchase offer to prove you are qualified and ready to buy.

Note: the home will still need to meet appraisal guidelines, but in our current market, this isn’t quite the worry it used to be.

3. Your contingencies should be few. An offer that has too much red tape will be tossed out. Protect yourself, but make it easy for the seller to say “yes” to your offer.

4. Make your best offer first. In a competitive market, you may not get a “second round” of negotiation. Multiple offers have become more common – don’t assume you have the only deal on the table.

5. Work with an experienced real estate professional who will make sure your offer is complete and clear, and well-presented.

Naturally, before you make an offer, you’ll want to be familiar with the recent sales activity and price trends. I will share the latest home sale details for the neighborhoods that interest you, so you can be fully informed about market conditions. In the meantime, my website contains recent statistics to help you get started!

Let me help you find the ideal home for your needs and budget! Please feel welcome to contact me for the latest home sale details in Livermore, Pleasanton or Dublin. I will provide you with expert guidance for success!

John Kurtzer
Your Livermore Real Estate Expert
RE/MAX AccordLivermore Real Estate
View Livermore Listings
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Buyer Competition Boosts California Home Sales

They say competition is good for a free market economy. It’s certainly the case for Livermore real estate! Competition is heating up between first-time home buyers and the growing number of “boomerang buyers.”  How intense will it get? Let’s take a look at the facts!

According to industry surveys, first-time home buyers represented 34.5% of all home purchases during February 2013. Just a couple months prior, first-time buyers posted a four-year low in their market presence.  2013 has found first-time buyers returning to the market in growing numbers.

First-time buyers are still contending with real estate investors for homes in the most affordable price ranges. Investors claimed 34.5% of home purchases during February 2013, echoing the volume of first-time buyers.

To this mix, we now add the “boomerang buyers,” who are a force to be reckoned with.  The term “boomerang buyer” refers to a former homeowner who lost their property during the housing downturn, but who is now eligible to apply for a new mortgage. These types of buyers have completed their “penalty box” period, and so long as their credit score is good, they can start all over.

4.7 million people have lost homes to foreclosures or short sales since 2007, and industry analysts say that 70% of them will return to home ownership over the next several years! About 500,000 boomerang buyers will be eligible to return to the real estate market every year from now through 2016.

What’s more, most of these former homeowners want to own a home again. Per the USA article, this is being proven already, with boomerang buyers actively purchasing homes throughout California.

With home buyer numbers like these, home demand in California is likely to remain strong. Eventually, higher prices will draw out more home sellers and ease inventory pains. We will move towards a balanced market  once inventory improves. Until then, it’s every buyer for themselves!

Remember that the Livermore real estate market is always changing, and local market conditions will vary by each neighborhood. This is why nothing should be taken for granted when buying a Livermore home!

Are you ready to become a homeowner? Let me help you! I will refer you to reputable mortgage lenders in the area, and I can help you find the ideal home for your needs and budget. Please feel welcome to 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
Visit My Website

Livermore Home Sellers Enjoy Market Advantage

Livermore home salesAfter enduring a few years of declining home values and a tepid market, Livermore home sellers are back in the driver’s seat. Nor are they alone; shrinking home inventories have meant higher prices and faster sales nationwide.  A recent study by Redfin shows that California real estate leads the trend!

Just how fast it the market? Out of 19 major metropolitan areas studied, more than one-third of homes were sold in two weeks or less during February 2013.

This hot pace is still a step behind California! For example:.

In San Jose, 63.1% of home listings were sold within the first two weeks of hitting the market.

Not to be left out, San Francisco saw 56.8% of home listings sold within two weeks.

Next, we have Ventura at 52.6%,  Los Angeles at 51.3% and Inland Empire at 49.8%.

The scalding sales trends are attributed to a year-over-year decrease in inventory, which has fallen 32%  since February 2012. This has translated into an average home price increase of 13.2%, on a year-over-year basis for the 19 metros in the study.

Here in Livermore, home sales continue to steam up the statistics, with homes spending an average of only 17 days on market. We are just outside of the two-week timeframe seen in other fast-moving markets, but who’s going to complain?

Meanwhile, our average home sale price is up to $573,553. Livermore home sellers are enjoying their command of the market with a list-to-sales ratio of 101%, meaning that most sellers are getting their full asking price, and then some.

While the opportunities look bright for California home sellers in 2013, please remember that market conditions will vary from one neighborhood to another. If  you would like to find out the market value of your Livermore home, ask me for your free home evaluation!

If you are thinking selling your home in Livermore, Pleasanton or Dublin , please contact me for expert guidance! My many years of experience in California real estate will be your competitive advantage!

John Kurtzer
Your Livermore Real Estate Expert
RE/MAX Accord

Livermore Real Estate
View Livermore Listings
Visit My Website

 

Livermore Home Buyers and C.L.U.E. Reports

California home expensesOne of the expenses of home ownership that can surprise California home buyers is the cost of homeowner’s insurance. You might think that homeowner’s insurance policies in a given area would be similar in cost, but premiums from one home to another can be vastly different.

One reason is that homes with a history of prior insurance claims will have higher premiums than those with no claims. But as a Livermore home buyer, how would you know if the home you’re purchasing has an insurance claim history?

Enter the C.L.U.E. report. C.L.U.E. stands for the Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange, which is a national database used by the insurance industry. It provides a record of insurance claims made against a home. Even though a house changes ownership, the C.L.U.E. report assigns a risk factor to the home itself, based on location, type of structure, prior claim history, and so on.

When you apply for insurance, the C.L.U.E. report on the home is combined with the risk that you present as an individual – your credit history and public records are all part of the picture. You can improve your own record, but you can’t erase the rap sheet that a home may have with the insurance industry.

This is important to understand, because a home with a claim history could impact your premium costs, even if the claims have been settled and all repairs made.

Fortunately, there is the C.L.U.E.® Home Seller’s Disclosure Report. This report looks back 5 years. If there have been insurance claims made during that period, the report will list the date of loss, loss type, claim status, amount paid, policy type and insurance company name.

A clean C.L.U.E. report gives you some assurance that your premiums won’t be tied to claims that pre-dated your ownership. On the other hand, if the C.L.U.E. report shows recent claims, it could indicate that the home may have a high-risk location or bear other concerns.

One catch: only the property owners, or their insurance agent, can request the C.L.U.E. report. But you can ask for the C.L.U.E.® Home Seller’s Disclosure Report as part of your purchase contingencies! This report, used in tandem with a home inspection, could help protect your wallet!

As your Livermore real estate professional, I’m here to help you with your home buying questions! Please feel welcome to contact me for the newest home listings in Livermore, Pleasanton or Dublin! Let my experience in California real estate be your advantage!

John Kurtzer
Your Livermore Real Estate Expert
RE/MAX Accord

Livermore Real Estate
View Livermore Listings
Visit My Website

How the VantageScore Could Benefit Livermore Home Buyers

VantageScore FactsFICO has been the only game in town for credit scores during the past couple decades. Knowing your FICO score is akin to knowing your Social Security number – it’s become that important to our lives. FICO is proof of our financial existence.

Those without a FICO score have been left under-served by financial institutions – until recently. A few years ago, the “Big Three” credit reporting agencies – TransUnion, Equifax and Experian – got together and created their own credit scoring system to compete with FICO. It’s called VantageScore, and it’s gaining ground!

A recent CNN Money article says that 4 of the 5 largest mortgage lenders in the country are now using VantageScore in their lending decisions. This is good news for first-time home buyers and others who may have thinner credit profiles. Here’s why!

Unlike FICO,  VantageScore takes public records into consideration. VantageScore also considers monthly rent payment history and payment records of utility bills. It assigns a numerical value to this information and provides a credit score. This will help an estimated 30 million consumers who never had a FICO score because they never borrowed money.

VantageScore also treats collection accounts differently than FICO. Under VantageScore, you will not lose points for having a collection account on record, so long as the outstanding balance is zero.

And because VantageScore was created by the credit reporting agencies themselves, unlike FICO, which is an outside company, there is less variety in how payment behaviors are interpreted. VantageScore claims that most consumers see a “lift” in their credit score under their system.

There is one limitation in credit score accuracy that neither VantageScore or FICO can prevent: the fact that not all lenders report to all credit bureaus, or do so accurately. Your credit score, no matter what method produced it, will only be as good as the data supplied to the credit bureaus. This is why it remains important to check your credit report at least once a year.

You can learn more about VantageScore by viewing the offical website. FICO isn’t going to go away anytime soon, but VantageScore is making inroads with financial companies, credit card providers, mortgage lenders and auto loan companies. It pays to know something about it!

Looking for more information about buying a Livermore home? Let me help you! I will refer you to reputable mortgage lenders in the area, and I can help you find the ideal home for your needs and budget. Please feel welcome to contact me for the latest home sale details in Livermore, Pleasanton or Dublin. I’ll answer your questions, and provide expert guidance for your success!

John Kurtzer
Your Livermore Real Estate Expert
RE/MAX Accord

Livermore Real Estate
View Livermore Listings
Visit My Website