San Carlos – The City of Good Living – Just Got Easier to Find Parking

San Carlos – The City of Good Living – Just Got Easier to Find Parking

Very cool news from the City of San Carlos – they will be utilizing an app called Parker for smart phone users to find real-time available parking spots near their favorite restaurants and shops in San Carlos.  This should truly help us all find that one spot so we can jump out and enjoy food and fun in San Carlos.  For more information please visit the City of San Carlos website below.

I read this article at: http://www.cityofsancarlos.org/news/displaynews.asp?NewsID=1049&TargetID=21

And

http://www.cityofsancarlos.org/civica/press/display.asp?layout=1&Entry=657

Remember to follow our Blog at: https://therealestatebeat.wordpress.com/

Got Questions? – The Caton Team is here to help.  

Email Sabrina & Susan at:  Info@TheCatonTeam.com

Call us at: 650-568-5522  Office:  650-365-9200

Want Real Estate Info on the Go?  Download our FREE Real Estate App:  http://thecatonteam.com/mobileapp

Visit our Website at:   http://thecatonteam.com/

Visit us on Facebook:   http://www.facebook.com/pages/Sabrina-Susan-The-Caton-Team-Realtors/294970377834

Yelp us at: http://www.yelp.com/biz/the-caton-team-realtors-sabrina-caton-and-susan-caton-redwood-city

Or Yelp me:  http://www.yelp.com/user_details_thanx?userid=gpbsls-_RLpPiE9bv3Zygw

Connect with us professionally at LinkedIn:  http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=6588013&trk=tab_pro

Please enjoy my personal journey through homeownership at:

http://ajourneythroughhomeownership.wordpress.com

Thanks for reading – Sabrina

The Caton Team – Susan & Sabrina – A Family of Realtors

Sabrina BRE# 01413526 / Susan BRE #01238225 / Team BRE#70000218/ 01499008

San Mateo County Median Home Sale Price in January 2014 up 42.8% over January 2013

Now this put a smile on my face – great news for homeowners on the San Francisco Peninsula!!!!

San Mateo County Median Home Sales Price in January 2014 up to 42.8% over January 2013

In January 2014 the median sale price for a single family home in San Mateo County was $992,500 compared to the median sale price from January 2013 of $695,000. Year over year that’s a greater than 42% increase.

WOW – now that is great news – right from the source – MLSlistings.com

Curious what your home is worth in today’s market – contact The Caton Team – we would love to prepare a customized market analysis on your home and share its worth with you!

Thinking about selling?  Now is the time to start getting into gear – The Caton Team is here to help!  There is much to do before the For Sale sign even makes it to the lawn – and with our tried and true marketing plan, we can smooth out the process.  Let us know how we can help!

Remember to follow our Blog at: https://therealestatebeat.wordpress.com/

Got Questions? – The Caton Team is here to help.  

Email Sabrina & Susan at:  Info@TheCatonTeam.com

Call us at: 650-568-5522  Office:  650-365-9200

Want Real Estate Info on the Go?  Download our FREE Real Estate App:  http://thecatonteam.com/mobileapp

Visit our Website at:   http://thecatonteam.com/

Visit us on Facebook:   http://www.facebook.com/pages/Sabrina-Susan-The-Caton-Team-Realtors/294970377834

Yelp us at: http://www.yelp.com/biz/the-caton-team-realtors-sabrina-caton-and-susan-caton-redwood-city

Or Yelp me:  http://www.yelp.com/user_details_thanx?userid=gpbsls-_RLpPiE9bv3Zygw

Connect with us professionally at LinkedIn:  http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=6588013&trk=tab_pro

Please enjoy my personal journey through homeownership at:

http://ajourneythroughhomeownership.wordpress.com

Thanks for reading – Sabrina

The Caton Team – Susan & Sabrina – A Family of Realtors

Sabrina BRE# 01413526 / Susan BRE #01238225 / Team BRE#70000218/ 01499008

 

The Importance of the 1st Time Buyer

The Importance of the 1st Time Buyer

 

The first-time homebuyer is the cornerstone of the real estate market.  Without this highly motivated individual – there would be no real estate market.

Why you ask?  Growth and market recovery starts from the bottom.  And there is no better foundation to grow upon than the hopes and dreams of the first-time buyer.

This group of determined individuals fuels the market.   These people are the movers and the shakers of the world.  Why?  Because they have determination.

There is no greater want than the security of a home.  Home is where the heart is, because that is where your family lives.  That’s why I became a Realtor – I digress.

The first-time homebuyer faces the most challenges.  First – you gotta nail that great paying job so the saving can begin.  Those who truly want to own a home will start saving aggressively.  They will need money for the down payment, the closing costs, not to mention about 6 months of emergency funds the bank likes to call “reserves”.  The prospective first-time homebuyer may need to cut back on the dinners out, vacations, new cars, etc and start to squirrel away enough dough to make it happen.

God Bless the first-time homebuyer.

When someone can buy their first home, it is the first rung to financial security.  When people can buy their first home, the sellers, who now have earned equity since they bought it – well now they can sell and move forward in their real estate journey and buy their second place.  So on and so forth, as a dear friend and client would say.

I love working with the first-time homebuyer because of the passion behind their eyes.  So much to learn and see – it’s exciting to go on this journey together.

So all you potential first-time buyers out there – keep saving your money, cut some corners and live your “mortgage” budget – because 2014 is primed to be a wonderful year here on the peninsula.

Remember to follow our Blog at: https://therealestatebeat.wordpress.com/

Got Questions? – The Caton Team is here to help.  

Email Sabrina & Susan at:  Info@TheCatonTeam.com

Call us at: 650-568-5522  Office:  650-365-9200

Want Real Estate Info on the Go?  Download our FREE Real Estate App:  http://thecatonteam.com/mobileapp

Visit our Website at:   http://thecatonteam.com/

Visit us on Facebook:   http://www.facebook.com/pages/Sabrina-Susan-The-Caton-Team-Realtors/294970377834

Yelp us at: http://www.yelp.com/biz/the-caton-team-realtors-sabrina-caton-and-susan-caton-redwood-city

Or Yelp me:  http://www.yelp.com/user_details_thanx?userid=gpbsls-_RLpPiE9bv3Zygw

Connect with us professionally at LinkedIn:  http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=6588013&trk=tab_pro

Please enjoy my personal journey through homeownership at:

http://ajourneythroughhomeownership.wordpress.com

Thanks for reading – Sabrina

The Caton Team – Susan & Sabrina – A Family of Realtors

Sabrina BRE# 01413526 / Susan BRE #01238225 / Team BRE#70000218/ 01499008

 

List of Farmers’ Markets in San Mateo County

Who doesn’t love a good farmers’ market!  I used to think you had to wait till Sprint – till Susan found this schedule on the County of San Mateo website – so I had to share.  Please enjoy – and maybe we’ll see you there!

 

SATURDAY  
 
Coastside Farmers’ Market *** May – December
  Shoreline Station 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
  225 Cabrillo Hwy  
  Half Moon Bay  
     
Daly City Certified Farmers’ Market *** All Year
  Serramonte Shopping Center 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
  Serramonte Boulevard, behind Target  
  Daly City  
     
Millbrae Certified Farmers’ Market All Year
  200 Block of Broadway

between Victoria & La Cruz

Millbrae

8:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
     
San Mateo Certified Farmers’ Market *** All Year
  College of San Mateo

West Hillsdale & Campus Drive

San Mateo

9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
     
Redwood City Certified Farmers’ Market * April – November
  Winslow & Middlefield, near Broadway

Redwood City

8:00 a.m. – 12:00 Noon
     
South San Francisco Farmers’ Market *** May – October
  Orange Memorial Park

Tennis Drive between Orange Ave and N. Canal

9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
   
Foster City Charter Square Farmers’ Market All Year
  791 Beach Park Blvd

Foster City

9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
   
Web Ranch Certified Farmers Market Jan – Nov
  2720 Alpine Road 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
  Portola Valley  
     
SUNDAY  
 
The Fresh Market, Burlingame April – December
  Burlingame Avenue

between Park & Primrose Road

Burlingame

9:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
     
Belmont Certified Farmers’ Market *** All Year
  El Camino Real at O’Neill

Belmont

9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
   
Menlo Park Certified Farmers’ Market All Year
  Chestnut at Crane

Menlo Park

9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
   
West Coast Farmers’ Market at San Bruno June – Nov
  San Mateo Drive

between Jenevein and Sylvan Ave

San Bruno

10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
     
West Coast Farmers’ Market at Harbor Village All Year
  270 Capistrano Road, Suite 28

Half Moon Bay

10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
     
Woodside Farmers’ Market  April – October
  Woodside Elementary School

Woodside

12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
     
TUESDAY  
 
25th Avenue Certified Farmers’ Market *** May – October
  194 W 25th Avenue

San Mateo

4:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
     
Kaiser Hospital – South San Francisco ***  May – October
  1200 El Camino Real

South San Francisco

10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
   
WEDNESDAY  
 
Kaiser Hospital – Redwood City *** May – October
  Maple St @ Marshall St.

Redwood City

10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
     
Coastside Farmers’ Market *** May – December
  Rockaway Beach District

400 Old County Road

Pacifica

2:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
     
East Palo Alto Community Farmers’ Market *** April – December
  1798-A Bay Road

East Palo Alto

12:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
     
PJCC Farmers’ Market ** All Year
  800 Foster City Blvd

Foster City

9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m
     
Mountain Goat Farmers’ Market  
  17285 Skyline Blvd

(intersection of 84 & Skyline)

Woodside

March – October

3:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Nov – Dec

2:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

     
Web Ranch Certified Farmers Market Jan – Nov
  2720 Alpine Road 2:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
  Portola Valley  
     
THURSDAY  
 
Daly City Certified Farmers’ Market *** All Year
  Serramonte Shopping Center

Serramonte Boulevard, behind Target

Daly City

9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
     
San Carlos Certified Farmers’ Market May – September
  Laurel St. between Olive & Cherry

San Carlos

4:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
     
The Fresh Market – Burlingame April – September
  Burlingame Avenue

between Park & Primrose Road

Burlingame

4:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
     
Pescadero Grown *** May – November
  350 Stage Road

Pescadero

3:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
     
San Mateo County Employees Farmers’ Market June – Oct
  County Government Center

Redwood City

10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

(twice a month)

   
Portola Valley Farmers’ Market Apr – Oct
  765 Portola Road

Portola Valley

3:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
  Nov – Mar
  2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
   
Brisbane Community Farmers’ Market All Year
  11 Old County Road

Brisbane

3:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

 

For updated info please visit: http://www.co.sanmateo.ca.us/portal/site/cmo/menuitem.7592865717b71e7455f3cdc7917332a0/?vgnextoid=882374bfd76a0210VgnVCM1000001d37230aRCRD&vgnextfmt=subDivisionsDetails

Remember to follow our Blog at: https://therealestatebeat.wordpress.com/

Got Questions? – The Caton Team is here to help.  

Email Sabrina & Susan at:  Info@TheCatonTeam.com

Call us at: 650-568-5522  Office:  650-365-9200

Want Real Estate Info on the Go?  Download our FREE Real Estate App:  http://thecatonteam.com/mobileapp

Visit our Website at:   http://thecatonteam.com/

Visit us on Facebook:   http://www.facebook.com/pages/Sabrina-Susan-The-Caton-Team-Realtors/294970377834

Yelp us at: http://www.yelp.com/biz/the-caton-team-realtors-sabrina-caton-and-susan-caton-redwood-city

Or Yelp me:  http://www.yelp.com/user_details_thanx?userid=gpbsls-_RLpPiE9bv3Zygw

Connect with us professionally at LinkedIn:  http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=6588013&trk=tab_pro

Please enjoy my personal journey through homeownership at:

http://ajourneythroughhomeownership.wordpress.com

Thanks for reading – Sabrina

The Caton Team – Susan & Sabrina – A Family of Realtors

Sabrina BRE# 01413526 / Susan BRE #01238225 / Team BRE#70000218/ 01499008

 

3 Costly Cases of Hot Market Wishful Thinking – Fabulous Article

I truly enjoyed reading this blog because I’ve been faced with this challenge in my own Real Estate career.  It’s one of the hardest conversations to have.  Please enjoy – and I added my 2 cents in italics.

 

3 Costly Cases of Hot Market Wishful Thinking

 

“Oh, how I wish. . .” started no wise real estate decision ever. There’s a reason they call it real estate, folks. That’s because we’re dealing with the most tangible type of property around – land – and the buildings that, formally speaking, represent improvements to that land.

Attempting to apply fantasy-realm wishes to real-life, real land situations is never a setup for success. But when the market is hot and you have a goal or a timeline, engaging in wishful thinking is not just foolhardy – it can be costly.

As evidence, here are three common, costly cases of wishful thinking that tend to arise in areas where the market is hot, offers are plentiful and prices are rising. Consider these red flags and take heed in the event you find yourself engaging in any of them:

1. Wishing the house you’re seeing was in a different neighborhood. You’ve seen 2 dozens houses, and put in offers on a dozen. No dice. And your agent keeps pushing you to look in a lower price range, assuring you that you can find what you want. And then they show it to you: safe neighborhood, good school district, good commute to work, just the house you wanted, really – but not in the tony hills or hot downtown district you’ve been trying to get into.

Wishing that you could “pick the place up and set it back down” in your desired neighborhood will not make it so, no matter how many times you say it. The reality is that when you have been outbid a double-digit number of times, something about your approach is not working. You either have to downgrade your specs in terms of the property you seek, maybe looking for something smaller, a condo instead of a single-family home or something in less-pristine condition or you need to shift your location criteria – and that can mean a neighborhood change.

Part of the reason this wish is dangerous is that the white-hot markets in many towns are hyper-localized in the Most Desirable Neighborhood in Town. That’s where the competition among buyers and bidding wars are the most intense. If you’re not prepared to house hunt for homes quite a bit lower than your top dollar to set yourself up for success, or if there simply are no homes in that neighborhood listed below your top dollar, you might need to face the reality check that you simply can’t afford to buy there now.

Stop wishing the home you can afford were in a different neighborhood, because if it were, chances are good you wouldn’t be able to afford it, either! Understand that you’ll be able to level-up your neighborhoods as time goes on and you buy your next home – and the one after that – and don’t let your inflexibility paralyze your house hunt so long that prices all over town rise even more.

A friend once told me – if wishes were horses – we’d all be riding.  Don’t be the buyer on the horse.  Buying in the San Francisco Bay Area is one of the hardest markets to get in to and catch up with.  If you cannot buy where you thought you wanted to live – look around – we’re still in the Bay Area and as prices increase – it will increase across the board.  Talk with your Realtor to find the next up and coming area.

2. Hoping that perfect house gets no other offers, even though every other house you’ve bid on has had 54. There’s a fine line between wishing something were true and denying the reality of what actually is true. Facing reality, even when it’s painful or means you can’t have what you want, allows you to make your own action plan for getting the best possible results with the resources you have – or a plan for getting more resources, whichever route you choose to go.

As a buyer in a seller’s market, actually as a buyer in any type of market, it’s ultimately up to you and only you how much you offer on a home. Your mortgage broker can try to get you qualified as high as your income will allow, your agent can get you the comps and give you strategic advice on the average list price-to-sale price ratio, but you are the be-all and end-all decision-maker on offer price, and that’s as it should be.

But if you wield your weighty decision-making power to make lowball or at-asking offers in situations where you are virtually guaranteed to run into high levels of competition, that’s a poor use of your powers. Not only do you set yourself up for failure, you do so at the near-certain likelihood of adding to the demotivating, depressing, discouraging momentum of the times when you get overbid despite giving it your legitimate best efforts. That frustration often leads to analysis and calling a house hunting time-out. And that, in turn, often leads to buying at a time when prices are even higher, and getting ultimately even less home for your money.

I have heard this exact comment and was speechless for a moment.  You cannot wish away the competition.  And asking your Realtor to find a house no one is bidding on – is nuts.  Stop wasting your time and that of the professional you hired and own the fact that you want to buy a home and so does everyone else.  Instead of beating yourself and your Realtor up – think outside the box.  The Caton Team has several offer strategies to set your offer above the rest.  

3. Wishing prices weren’t going up so fast. Here’s the deal: when prices were flat or falling, buyers were (understandably) stressed at the prospect of buying a depreciating asset. Now that they’re ascending, it’s not at all uncommon to hear buyers bemoan that, too. The fact is, the moment escrow closes and your Facebook status changes from house hunter to home owner the fact that prices are rising, and fast, will shift in your mind’s eye from curse to blessing, quick-like.

Rising prices and a recovering market might be what emboldened you to buy, empowered you to sell a formerly underwater home, and certainly have been inextricably intertwined with the increase in jobs. If prices weren’t rising, many of these other things might not be materializing, either, and that wouldn’t be so great.

Wishing prices weren’t going up so fast contributes to a costly form of denial – denial of the reality that they are. This can cause buyers to persist in making lowball offers and wasting their precious time on homes they can’t compete for within in their budget range, all while their smart targets are appreciating rapidly – and that’s how people get priced out of the market, right under their noses.

Don’t let your home buyer dreams fall prey to this costly wish-based pitfall. Work with your agent to stay in the loop about how prices are trending throughout your house hunt, and use that knowledge to power your decision-making about what price range to house hunt in and what price to offer for target properties.

Prices rising means recovery is in full swing.  I totally agree with Tara, it was interesting to watch buyers hang on the fence instead of buying during the bust.  Homes were so cheap – low competition – and there was so much inventory.  But it was scary for some people.  Me, I was born and raised on this blessed peninsula – so I always knew we’d recover.  Jobs, culture, weather – all the factors are here.  So, if you want to buy a home, give your Realtor a call – don’t have one?  Call The Caton Team.  We’ll sit down and review your plans and help you come up with a path to attain your goals.  650-568-5522.  

ALL: What are your real estate wishes, and how do you ground yourself in reality?

Thank you Tara for another great read!

I read this article at: http://www.trulia.com/blog/taranelson/2013/11/3_costly_cases_of_hot_market_wishful_thinking

Remember to follow our Blog at: https://therealestatebeat.wordpress.com/

Got Questions? – The Caton Team is here to help.  

Email Sabrina & Susan at:  Info@TheCatonTeam.com

Call us at: 650-568-5522  Office:  650-365-9200

Want Real Estate Info on the Go?  Download our FREE Real Estate App:  http://thecatonteam.com/mobileapp

Visit our Website at:   http://thecatonteam.com/

Visit us on Facebook:   http://www.facebook.com/pages/Sabrina-Susan-The-Caton-Team-Realtors/294970377834

Yelp us at: http://www.yelp.com/biz/the-caton-team-realtors-sabrina-caton-and-susan-caton-redwood-city

Or Yelp me:  http://www.yelp.com/user_details_thanx?userid=gpbsls-_RLpPiE9bv3Zygw

Connect with us professionally at LinkedIn:  http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=6588013&trk=tab_pro

Please enjoy my personal journey through homeownership at:

http://ajourneythroughhomeownership.wordpress.com

Thanks for reading – Sabrina

The Caton Team – Susan & Sabrina – A Family of Realtors

Sabrina BRE# 01413526 / Susan BRE #01238225 / Team BRE#70000218/ 01499008

 

Ever had a Crush on a House?

Ever had a Crush on a House?

Realtor.com® Survey: Men, Women Dig on Digs Differently

So, you’ve got it bad for “the one” — you know, the one that keeps you awake at night fantasizing about the day when you can be together.

Wait a second. We aren’t talking about that one — we’re referring to a different kind of love affair: a “home crush.” If you’ve found yourself swooning over a house you just can’t get out of your head, you’re not alone.

In a new realtor.com® survey, 69 percent of the 1,000 people who responded said they have had a “home crush” – a home they liked so much that they were drawn back to looking at it more than once online or in person.

“We conducted the survey to see how searching for ‘the one’ in real estate correlates to searching for ‘the one’ in love, and we found that they are very similar,” said Barbara O’Connor, chief marketing officer at realtor.com®. “Buyers have to evaluate crushes based on turn-ons and turn-offs and whether the home is in their league, so they often find themselves spending a good amount of time checking out their crush online.”

But what do you do when you’re pining for that perfect dwelling? Just as in romance, men and women respond to their home crushes quite differently, the survey found. Women were more likely than men to have a crush on a home that was out of their league financially, while men moved from one home crush to another more frequently than women.

Men and women tend to fall for the same things when it comes to houses, though. Of those surveyed, 54 percent of women and 46 percent of men said they tended to fall in love with outdoor living spaces. Women also swooned for open floor plans and appliances and fixtures, while men’s hearts raced over a good garage and curb appeal.

“Whether it’s love or real estate, having a short list of deal breakers is critical for finding ‘the one’ to help buyers weed through the crushes to find the home of their dreams,” said Leslie Piper, consumer housing specialist at realtor.com®.

Majority of all surveyed consumers report having a home crush:

69 percent of those surveyed said they have had a house crush

31 percent said they have not had a crush on a house

Women are more likely to cultivate crushes on homes that are out of their league financially:

Of the women included in the survey…

41 percent revealed that their home crush is out of their price range

59 percent reported that their home crush is in their price range

 

Of the men included in the survey…

30 percent indicated their home crush is out of their price range

70 percent shared that their home crush is in their price range

 

I’ve had my share of home crushes – for myself and my client.  Have you?  Please share!

 

I read this article at: http://www.realtor.com/news/men-women-dig-on-digs-differently/?cid=EML301887&MID=2014_02_BoB_2013_ROLLOUT&RID=9851214#.Uvvp9Xl4wpE

Remember to follow our Blog at: https://therealestatebeat.wordpress.com/

Got Questions? – The Caton Team is here to help.  

Email Sabrina & Susan at:  Info@TheCatonTeam.com

Call us at: 650-568-5522  Office:  650-365-9200

Want Real Estate Info on the Go?  Download our FREE Real Estate App:  http://thecatonteam.com/mobileapp

Visit our Website at:   http://thecatonteam.com/

Visit us on Facebook:   http://www.facebook.com/pages/Sabrina-Susan-The-Caton-Team-Realtors/294970377834

Yelp us at: http://www.yelp.com/biz/the-caton-team-realtors-sabrina-caton-and-susan-caton-redwood-city

Or Yelp me:  http://www.yelp.com/user_details_thanx?userid=gpbsls-_RLpPiE9bv3Zygw

Connect with us professionally at LinkedIn:  http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=6588013&trk=tab_pro

Please enjoy my personal journey through homeownership at:

http://ajourneythroughhomeownership.wordpress.com

Thanks for reading – Sabrina

The Caton Team – Susan & Sabrina – A Family of Realtors

Sabrina BRE# 01413526 / Susan BRE #01238225 / Team BRE#70000218/ 01499008

 

Free Dirt in San Carlos – Actually it’s Free Compost!

Who says you can’t get anything for free these days?  San Carlos is giving away free compost to residents at the Shoreway Environmental Center at 333 Shoreway Road in San Carlos – courtesy of South Bay Recycling.  Simply visit Gate 1 with proof of residency and pick up your lush compost.  For more information and restrictions – please visit the City of San Carlos website below. 

I read this article at: http://www.cityofsancarlos.org/news/displaynews.asp?NewsID=943&TargetID=21

Remember to follow our Blog at: https://therealestatebeat.wordpress.com/

Got Questions? – The Caton Team is here to help.  

Email Sabrina & Susan at:  Info@TheCatonTeam.com

Call us at: 650-568-5522  Office:  650-365-9200

Want Real Estate Info on the Go?  Download our FREE Real Estate App:  http://thecatonteam.com/mobileapp

Visit our Website at:   http://thecatonteam.com/

Visit us on Facebook:   http://www.facebook.com/pages/Sabrina-Susan-The-Caton-Team-Realtors/294970377834

Yelp us at: http://www.yelp.com/biz/the-caton-team-realtors-sabrina-caton-and-susan-caton-redwood-city

Or Yelp me:  http://www.yelp.com/user_details_thanx?userid=gpbsls-_RLpPiE9bv3Zygw

Connect with us professionally at LinkedIn:  http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=6588013&trk=tab_pro

Please enjoy my personal journey through homeownership at:

http://ajourneythroughhomeownership.wordpress.com

Thanks for reading – Sabrina

The Caton Team – Susan & Sabrina – A Family of Realtors

Sabrina BRE# 01413526 / Susan BRE #01238225 / Team BRE#70000218/ 01499008

 

Cost Vs. Value – What should I do to my home to improve its value?

Cost Vs. Value – What should I do to my home to improve its value?

One of my favorite questions as a Realtor revolves around fixing up the house.  There are two ways to build equity in your home (equity is what your home is worth, minus the mortgage).  One – sit back and wait for the real estate market to rise.  (Which it is steadily going these days in the San Francisco Bay Area)  And two – fix up your house.

The second method can either make or break your investment.  Let’s go with ‘break’ first.  A homeowner can spend hundreds of thousands of dollars fixing up the wrong part of the house.  Or worse, remolding a place till it’s just ugly!  Unless you are living in your forever house, you want to be smart with your money by doing a smart remodel or addition.  That means picking finishes and fixtures that are contemporary and neutral.  I’ve seen one too many amazing kitchens and baths that fit the homeowner to a tee – only leaving potential buyers counting their pennies for the demolition.

The first remodel that comes to mind is the kitchen, then the bath; two fantastic ways to improve the value of your home if done right.  The pink grout to match the flamingo theme in the bathroom is not going to beg for the highest bidder.  So before you head to the hardware store – think three times, measure twice and cut once…

For more information and statistics surrounding home improvement and where you should invest your money – please visit the link below.  It’s a very interesting read.

I read this article at: For the San Francisco Bay Area visit http://www.remodeling.hw.net/cost-vs-value/2014/pacific/san-francisco-ca/

For national information please visit: http://www.remodeling.hw.net/cost-vs-value/2014/

Remember to follow our Blog at: https://therealestatebeat.wordpress.com/

Got Questions? – The Caton Team is here to help.  

Email Sabrina & Susan at:  Info@TheCatonTeam.com

Call us at: 650-568-5522  Office:  650-365-9200

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Please enjoy my personal journey through homeownership at:   And yes – you can walk through my own Kitchen & Bath remodel as well.

http://ajourneythroughhomeownership.wordpress.com

Thanks for reading – Sabrina

The Caton Team – Susan & Sabrina – A Family of Realtors

Sabrina BRE# 01413526 / Susan BRE #01238225 / Team BRE#70000218/ 01499008

 

5 Ways to Pick the Perfect Time to Sell – Great article I had to share

5 Ways to Pick the Perfect Time to Sell

I truly enjoy Tara at Trulia’s blog – please enjoy this article…

 

Smart sellers spend a whole lot of time and energy strategizing about how to sell their homes for top dollar. They factor in buyer demand, the competition, the job market, the mortgage market and their agent’s track record. And that doesn’t even account for all the time spent understand recent home sales in the area as an indicator of how local buyers will react to this listing.

Many a smart seller will also try to time their listing just right, too. And most often this looks like waiting until they feel buyers are sufficiently ready, willing, and able to pay a good price for the property. One timing consideration that sometimes gets short shrift is this: the calendar.

There’s a season for everything, as you might have heard. And recent Trulia data revealed some powerful geographically-specific seasonal trends in search activity for homes, adding proof to what agents have long known – the calendar portends various shifts in buyer activity, which sellers need to note. If you’re gearing up to list your home for sale, you should definitely take advantage of this interactive tool we’ve created to help you understand how these shifts play out in your area, and connect with your agent to discuss whether and how you might want to factor that into your home sale action plan.

But there are also a number of calendar-based factors you should just be thoughtful about as you put your plan for selling together. Here are a handful of calendars that should be – and stay – on every home seller’s radar screen:

1. The Academic Calendar. Families with school-aged children often find it less disruptive to house hunt in the late Spring/early Summer with the aim of moving in before school starts. Of course, we all know what they say about the best laid plans, so by no means should you let this stop you from listing your home at another time of year. Just know that demand for homes with convenient proximity to strong schools can uptick during the summer school break and around other times of year when kids are not in school.

2. The Tax Calendar. I cannot count the number of relatively unmotivated, looky-loo type buyers I’ve worked with over the years who got sudden, intense motivation from a massive, looming tax bill. For instance, many new professionals will seek to close escrow on homes between the time they graduate and the end of that same year, in an effort to deduct their closing costs and mortgage interest from their newly large incomes and avoid a big tax bill the following April. Similarly, just after tax time in April, a flood of newly motivated buyers come into the market, advised by their CPAs that the mortgage interest deduction is their best bet for not having to write as big a check to the IRS next year.

Fortunately for sellers, more buyers and more motivation means more demand and – all other things being equal – can translate into a faster sale at a higher price than at other times of the year.

3. The Weather Calendar. Many sellers who live in cold-weather climates are aware that wintry weather conditions can dramatically cut down on the numbers of buyers who are out viewing properties. This is why buyer searches for homes on Trulia peak earliest, in January, in warm-weather states like Hawaii and Florida – and not until after the Spring thaws in the Midwest, the South, the northeast and most of the West.

But what’s not as obvious is that the combination of what’s happening on the weather calendar and the specific features of your home can interact to impact your home’s prospects for sale – and its ultimate sale price. Behavioral economics researchers have found that homes with swimming pools sell for more in the summertime than they do in the winter. “When it is sweltering outside, a swimming pool just looks attractive. There’s an emotional connection because it reminds us of fun times we have in the summer,” said Jaren Pope, one of the study’s authors and an assistant professor of economics at Brigham Young University.

So, if you’re selling a home with ski slope access in the summer, you might want to paint the picture of a cozy, fun-filled winter by staging the place with ski gear and other items that help prospective buyers visualize how much fun they’ll have when winter comes. And vice versa -if you’re selling a pool house in the winter, consider making sure it is steamy and heated, if it has those features. Stage it with lounges, towels, lights – anything that showcases the pool to offset cold-weather buyer’s psychological tendency to discount the appeal of a pool in the winter.

4. The Holiday Calendar. During the holidays, many buyers simply prefer to spend their downtime celebrating with family and friends vs. house hunting, especially in locales where the winters are wet or cold. Our listing search data backs this up: nationwide, December is the slowest month of the year for home searches, and November is the second-slowest.

Does this mean the holidays are a bad time to have your house on the market? Not necessarily: some homes just show beautifully when all lit up and tastefully dressed up for the holidays. And the truth is that there is a hardy contingent of buyers motivated to close by year’s end for tax purposes, every year in every market. While buyers might be fewer in number, those who will brave rain, sleet and snow and forego holiday parties to house hunt can be some of the most motivated buyers of all.

5. The Gregorian Calendar (the regular old January through December calendar, that is). A survey just released by Fidelity Investments revealed that 54% of Americans said they typically consider setting New Year’s Resolutions related to their personal finances. This year, 26 percent of respondents said they are in a better financial situation today than last year (only 19 percent said so in 2012) and 28 percent say they are less in debt (vs. 25 percent in 2012).

Home buying tends to be a popular resolution among those with money on their minds at this time of year – and also among people looking forward to career promotions, developing their love and family relationships or relocating to a new home town.

 

I found this spot on – and if you are interested in more local information for the San Francisco Peninsula – we, The Caton Team – are happy to help.  Please call our email anytime.

 

I read this article at:  http://tips.truliablog.com/2014/01/5-ways-to-pick-the-perfect-time-to-sell/?ecampaign=cnews201402A&eurl=tips.truliablog.com%2F2014%2F01%2F5-ways-to-pick-the-perfect-time-to-sell%2F

Remember to follow our Blog at: https://therealestatebeat.wordpress.com/

Got Questions? – The Caton Team is here to help.  

Email Sabrina & Susan at:  Info@TheCatonTeam.com

Call us at: 650-568-5522  Office:  650-365-9200

Want Real Estate Info on the Go?  Download our FREE Real Estate App:  http://thecatonteam.com/mobileapp

Visit our Website at:   http://thecatonteam.com/

Visit us on Facebook:   http://www.facebook.com/pages/Sabrina-Susan-The-Caton-Team-Realtors/294970377834

Yelp us at: http://www.yelp.com/biz/the-caton-team-realtors-sabrina-caton-and-susan-caton-redwood-city

Or Yelp me:  http://www.yelp.com/user_details_thanx?userid=gpbsls-_RLpPiE9bv3Zygw

Connect with us professionally at LinkedIn:  http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=6588013&trk=tab_pro

Please enjoy my personal journey through homeownership at:

http://ajourneythroughhomeownership.wordpress.com

Thanks for reading – Sabrina

The Caton Team – Susan & Sabrina – A Family of Realtors

Sabrina BRE# 01413526 / Susan BRE #01238225 / Team BRE#70000218/ 01499008

 

New Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac mortgage rules to reduce buyer purchasing power

New Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac mortgage rules to reduce buyer purchasing power

A New Year’s gift from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac: higher mortgage rates!

Fannie and Freddie recently announced a 10-point increase in the guarantee fee paid by lenders for loan commitments, effective on mortgages with commitment dates on or after April 1, 2014. The fee isn’t directly charged to homebuyers, but you can bet lenders are going to pass the extra cost along in the form of higher interest rates.

Plans to increase Fannie and Freddie’s guarantee fees have been loosely imminent since 2012. Still, the implementation of higher fees comes at a bad time for California’s housing market, which is still reeling from:

▪ a mid-2013 hike in mortgage rates that continues to hold on; and
▪ too-high home prices, brought about by rampant speculation in 2013.

Of course, Fannie and Freddie’s reasons for raising fees is sensible: they want more money to offset the risk associated with their business of guaranteeing home loans (made all the riskier in the aftermath of the housing crash and following foreclosure crisis). More money means becoming independent of U.S. taxpayers sooner. But their timing is questionable.

Buyer purchasing power is at an all-time low as of December 2013. Homebuyers qualify for 10.4% less principal when purchasing a home with the same income compared to a year ago, due to higher mortgage rates alone.

This is not only bad news for homebuyers in 2014, but it’s just another headwind facing California’s slow, bumpy plateau housing recovery.

Congressman Mel Watt, who replaced Edward DeMarco as head of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) earlier this week, is pushing to delay the increases until later in the year. If he’s successful, he’ll kick the can down the road a ways – but it’s coming.

What can agents do with this news?

First, educate your homebuyer and seller clients about the coming rise in mortgage rates. Knowing that rates will rise in the coming year may give them a needed push to buy or list before the rate hikes arrives and reduces buyer purchasing power further.

Second, caution your homebuyer when the inevitable temptation to turn to adjustable rate mortgages (ARMs) arises. ARMs are not for everyone, though the low teaser rates they offer lure homebuyers to look past their drawbacks. Generally, buyer incomes cannot keep up once the teaser rate expires and the new ARM rate increases – and it’s just the beginning of the next 30-year cycle of climbing mortgage rates.

Interest Rates we cannot control – and it is frustrating to see our clients purchase power diminish with each increase. We are not kidding when we say the market is constantly changing. If you are on the fence about buying, come in and chat with us. The Caton Team is happy to answer questions and simply help you make the right decision. Because we cannot control interest rates increasing, or demand increasing, but you have control over your finances and the ability to work your dream into a reality.

I read this article at: http://journal.firsttuesday.us/new-fannie-maefreddie-mac-mortgage-rules-to-reduce-buyer-purchasing-power/31671/

Remember to follow our Blog at: https://therealestatebeat.wordpress.com/

Got Questions? – The Caton Team is here to help.

Email Sabrina & Susan at: Info@TheCatonTeam.com

Call us at: 650-568-5522 Office: 650-365-9200

Want Real Estate Info on the Go? Download our FREE Real Estate App: http://thecatonteam.com/mobileapp

Visit our Website at: http://thecatonteam.com/

Visit us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Sabrina-Susan-The-Caton-Team-Realtors/294970377834

Yelp us at: http://www.yelp.com/biz/the-caton-team-realtors-sabrina-caton-and-susan-caton-redwood-city

Or Yelp me: http://www.yelp.com/user_details_thanx?userid=gpbsls-_RLpPiE9bv3Zygw

Connect with us professionally at LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=6588013&trk=tab_pro

Please enjoy my personal journey through homeownership at:

http://ajourneythroughhomeownership.wordpress.com

Thanks for reading – Sabrina

The Caton Team – Susan & Sabrina – A Family of Realtors

Sabrina BRE# 01413526 / Susan BRE #01238225 / Team BRE#70000218/ 01499008