First-Time Home Buyer Workshop – Get to know the HEART – 5% Down Payment Loan Program for San Mateo County

* If you cannot attend the workshop, please do not hesitate to contact The Caton Team. We’d be more than happy to help you.*

Call | Text | Sabrina 650.799.4333 | Susan 650.796.0654

Email |   Info@TheCatonTeam.com

Are you a First-Time Home Buyer?  

Does saving 20% for the down-payment seem daunting?  

Does paying Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) frost your cookies?  

Then you need to learn about the HEART LOAN of San Mateo County and this workshop is a must!

Get to know the HEART San Mateo County Loan Program – on Wednesday October 30, 2019 at the San Carlos library. 

If you’re buying your first home in this market, you know how painfully hard it is to save for the 20% down-payment.  Must banks require 20% and anything less requires expensive and pointless Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI).  Well the HEART loan – Housing Endowment and Regional Trust of San Mateo is here to help.  They are offering 5% down with NO PMI.  You carry a 30 year, 80% 1st mortgage and a 15 year ,15% 2nd mortgage.  This loan covers single family homes, condos and townhomes anywhere in San Mateo County for a vaule up to $908,156.

The Caton Team has helped several families get into their first home with the HEART program through Meriwest. 

For more information – HEART and Meriwest are hosting a FREE loan workshop at the San Carlos library at 6pm on Wednesday October 30th.  Register Here

Buying and Selling Real Estate doesn’t have to be scary – contact The Caton Team at any time for more information.  We love what we do and would love to help you!

Call | Text | Sabrina 650.799.4333 | Susan 650.796.0654

Email |   Info@TheCatonTeam.com

For more information or to Register – click here. 

 

 

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Got Real Estate Questions?   The Caton Team is here to help.

We strive to be more than just Realtors – we are also your home resource. If you have any real estate questions, concerns, need a referral or some guidance – we are here for you. Contact us at your convenience – we are but a call, text or click away!

The Caton Team believes, in order to be successful in the San Fransisco | Peninsula | Bay Area | Silicon Valley Real Estate Market we have to think and act differently. We do this by positioning our clients in the strongest light, representing them with the utmost integrity, while strategically maneuvering through negotiations and contracts. Together we make dreams come true.  How can The Caton Team help you?

A mother and daughter-in-law team with over 35 years of combined, local Real Estate experience and knowledge – would’t you like The Caton Team to represent you? Let us know how we can be of service. Contact us any time.

Call | Text | Sabrina 650.799.4333 | Susan 650.796.0654

Email |   Info@TheCatonTeam.com

The Caton Team – Susan & Sabrina
A Family of Realtors
Effective. Efficient. Responsive.
What can we do for you?

The Caton Team Testimonials | The Caton Team Blog – The Real Estate Beat | TheCatonTeam.com | Facebook | Instagram | HomeSnap | Pintrest | LinkedIN Sabrina | LinkedIN Susan

Want Real Estate Info on the Go?  Download our FREE Real Estate App:  Mobile Real Estate by The Caton Team

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices – Drysdale Properties

DRE # |Sabrina 01413526 | Susan 01238225 | Team 70000218 |Office 01499008

The Caton Team does not receive compensation for any posts.  Information is deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Third party information not verified.


 

For Sale – 2600 Belmont Canyon Road, Belmont

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For Sale – 2600 Belmont Canyon Road, Belmont

Built in 1973, this home features 4 beds, 3 full baths and one half bath with 2860 sf of Living Space on a 8102 sf Lot.

WOW – and the views!  The open beam, vaulted ceilings really makes the  open kitchen, living, dining room combo spacious.  The wall of glass brings the beautiful views and the outdoors in, making a cozy day by the fire even better.  Updated kitchen with light colored maple cabinets, granite counters, stainless steel appliances, dishwasher and gas oven range make cooking at home a breeze.  A tastefully updated baths with a spa touch, a fun master bath with check tiles and the deck runs the length of the home and connects  3 of the bedrooms to the deck with sliding glass doors bringing light into each space.  But wait – there is a downstairs ADU unit – perfect for multi generational living or some extra income.  The downstairs units has a kitchenette, fireplace, eating area and separate entrance.  Large garage and a full basement for storage round out this lovely home.  Breathtaking views, open floor plan, skylights,

For more info and photos visit : 2600 Belmont Canyon Road, Belmont

For a private showing contact The Caton Team

Call | Text | Sabrina 650.799.4333 | Susan 650.796.0654

Email |   Info@TheCatonTeam.com

Got Real Estate Questions?   The Caton Team is here to help.

We strive to be more than just Realtors – we are also your home resource. If you have any real estate questions, concerns, need a referral or some guidance – we are here for you. Contact us at your convenience – we are but a call, text or click away!

The Caton Team believes, in order to be successful in the San Fransisco | Peninsula | Bay Area | Silicon Valley Real Estate Market we have to think and act differently. We do this by positioning our clients in the strongest light, representing them with the utmost integrity, while strategically maneuvering through negotiations and contracts. Together we make dreams come true.  How can The Caton Team help you?

A mother and daughter-in-law team with over 35 years of combined, local Real Estate experience and knowledge – would’t you like The Caton Team to represent you? Let us know how we can be of service. Contact us any time.

Call | Text | Sabrina 650.799.4333 | Susan 650.796.0654

Email |   Info@TheCatonTeam.com

The Caton Team – Susan & Sabrina
A Family of Realtors
Effective. Efficient. Responsive.
What can we do for you?

The Caton Team Testimonials | The Caton Team Blog – The Real Estate Beat | TheCatonTeam.com | Facebook | Instagram | HomeSnap | Pintrest | LinkedIN Sabrina | LinkedIN Susan

Want Real Estate Info on the Go?  Download our FREE Real Estate App:  Mobile Real Estate by The Caton Team

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices – Drysdale Properties

DRE # |Sabrina 01413526 | Susan 01238225 | Team 70000218 |Office 01499008

The Caton Team does not receive compensation for any posts.  Information is deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Third party information not verified.

Looking to Rent a Home in San Carlos?

Available Aug 1, 2019

2220 Howard Avenue, San Carlos, CA 94070

3 Bedrooms | 2 baths | 1530 SF Single Family Home | 5401 SF Lot

Clean, bright and sunny. Spanish style home located in a desirable section of San Carlos. Single floor open plan, charming 3 bed 2 bath home with some updates yet retaining original character. Close to shops on Laurel Street and beyond, park and recreation facilities, hardwood floors, gas fireplace, extra large master bedroom with double closets, spacious secluded backyard with deck seating. Prefer no pets.

For further details, photos and PRICE visit 2220 Howard Avenue, San Carlos, CA 94070

For a private showing please contact The Caton Team

Call | Text | Sabrina 650.799.4333  |  Email  Info@TheCatonTeam.com

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Got Real Estate Questions?   The Caton Team is here to help.

We strive to be more than just Realtors – we are also your home resource. If you have any real estate questions, concerns, need a referral or some guidance – we are here for you. Contact us at your convenience – we are but a call, text or click away!

The Caton Team believes, in order to be successful in the San Fransisco | Peninsula | Bay Area | Silicon Valley Real Estate Market we have to think and act differently. We do this by positioning our clients in the strongest light, representing them with the utmost integrity, while strategically maneuvering through negotiations and contracts. Together we make dreams come true.

A mother and daughter-in-law team with over 35 years of combined, local Real Estate experience and knowledge – would’t you like The Caton Team to represent you? Let us know how we can be of service. Contact us any time.

Call | Text | Sabrina 650.799.4333 | Susan 650.796.0654

Email |   Info@TheCatonTeam.com

The Caton Team – Susan & Sabrina
A Family of Realtors
Effective. Efficient. Responsive.
What can we do for you?

The Caton Team Testimonials | The Caton Team Blog – The Real Estate Beat | TheCatonTeam.com | Facebook | Instagram | HomeSnap | Pintrest | LinkedIN Sabrina | LinkedIN Susan

Want Real Estate Info on the Go?  Download our FREE Real Estate App:  Mobile Real Estate by The Caton Team

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices – Drysdale Properties

DRE # |Sabrina 01413526 | Susan 01238225 | Team 70000218 |Office 01499008

Thank you Max Reinhardt and Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Drysdale Properties for letting us share your listing.  MLS# ml81762722

The Caton Team does not receive compensation for any posts.  Information is deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Third party information not verified.


 

Wonderful Opportunity Near Downtown San Carlos

1432 San Carlos Avenue #3, San Carlos | Condo | 2 Bedrooms | 2.5 Baths | 1080 SF

Let’s be honest here, the best part of San Carlos (aside from great schools and community) is our downtown on Laurel Street.  So many amazing restaurants, wine tastings, hang-outs and dessert spots – great for familes and friends. (Side note – check out my blog Real Eats for some great local recs!)  

So living within walking distance of Laurel Street is ideal – which makes owning Real Estate close to downtown even more appealing.  What if I told you it was across the street from the City Hall Park?  

Allow me to introduce you to 1432 San Carlos Ave Unit 3 – a match made in heaven.  Currently for sale – this condo features 2 master suites on the upper level.  Main level features living room / dining room with fireplace, guest bath and kitchen with high-end appliances.  A tasteful home with updated flooring, INSIDE LAUNDRY and two assigned parking spots.  This property is worth seeing in person, then heading downtown for some delicious fare – any excuse to be in San Carlos – The City of Good Living.

Contact The Caton Team for a private showing.

Call | Text | Sabrina 650.799.4333 | Susan 650.796.0654

Email |   Info@TheCatonTeam.com

For further details and PRICE visit 1432 San Carlos Avenue #3, San Carlos

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Got Real Estate Questions?   The Caton Team is here to help.

We strive to be more than just Realtors – we are also your home resource. If you have any real estate questions, concerns, need a referral or some guidance – we are here for you. Contact us at your convenience – we are but a call, text or click away!

The Caton Team believes, in order to be successful in the San Fransisco | Peninsula | Bay Area | Silicon Valley Real Estate Market we have to think and act differently. We do this by positioning our clients in the strongest light, representing them with the utmost integrity, while strategically maneuvering through negotiations and contracts. Together we make dreams come true.

A mother and daughter-in-law team with over 35 years of combined, local Real Estate experience and knowledge – would’t you like The Caton Team to represent you? Let us know how we can be of service. Contact us any time.

Call | Text | Sabrina 650.799.4333 | Susan 650.796.0654

Email |   Info@TheCatonTeam.com

The Caton Team – Susan & Sabrina
A Family of Realtors
Effective. Efficient. Responsive.
What can we do for you?

The Caton Team Testimonials | The Caton Team Blog – The Real Estate Beat | TheCatonTeam.com | Facebook | Instagram | HomeSnap | Pintrest | LinkedIN Sabrina | LinkedIN Susan

Want Real Estate Info on the Go?  Download our FREE Real Estate App:  Mobile Real Estate by The Caton Team

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices – Drysdale Properties

DRE # |Sabrina 01413526 | Susan 01238225 | Team 70000218 |Office 01499008

Thank you Barbara Breen and Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, Drysdale Properties for allowing us to share this listing.  MLS ML81762048

The Caton Team does not receive compensation for any posts.  Information is deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Third party information not verified.


 

Helping Kids Prepare to Move

Happy June!  School is out.  Escrows are closing.  People are moving.  This morning I heard on the news that people would rather go to jail than move.  I burst out laughing – I know what they mean.  I see it every day in my career – no one likes packing and moving.  I remeber my last move, which I packed by myself (next time I’m hiring someone). By the time I got to packing my kitchen – I was at my wits end.  I think I broke down in tears over a mound of pots and pans – right after I banged them together in dispair.  I laugh now – but looking back – I can relate to the sentiment.  So today – I thought I would share these articles about moving.  One is dedicated to the kids – the young and young at heart and the other a great moving to-do list.

 

Mindful Moving – Helping Kids Prepare to Move

Moving can be an overwhelming process. When you move with children, regardless of their age, it can be a challenge to stay mindful of the impact on you and your kids. Leaving their old home for a new one, saying goodbye to friends, and disrupting their regular routine is stressful and difficult to handle.

You may not be able to completely eliminate the challenges of moving with kids, but there are ways to minimize the stress that can help ease the process for them. In this first part of our Mindful Moving guide, you’ll find tips about involving your children, visiting the new neighborhood, and packing a moving-day bag.

1. Involve Children in Decisions When You Can

  • Have them help you narrow down the homes you’re considering by house hunting together. If it’s practical, take your children to see prospective houses with you. If you’re searching online, bookmark your favorites so your kids can have a look-see.
  • When you’ve found a house, ask them to map out their new bedroom. If old enough they can draw a floorplan with cut-outs of their bedroom furniture that they can move around, and let them choose a new paint color. Create a mood board with colors and favorite pics of bedrooms on a sheet of construction paper.
  • Ask for their input on, for example, their top three choices for new wall color or new carpet in the family room.
  • Let the kids pack a few of their own moving boxes with their special items to be unpacked first, like their favorite stuffed animal or Nintendo game. Explain that it may take a week or two for all of the moving boxes to be unpacked, so they should keep everything that they want close by in their “special” box. They can even customize the moving box labels with their names, and for younger kids, let them decorate their boxes with stickers—they’ll love it!

2. Visit the New Neighborhood Together

Sometimes, circumstances or distance makes it difficult to visit the new neighborhood with your kids before moving day. But if you can, plan a visit that includes taking a walking tour of your new neighborhood, the downtown area, and their new school.

Before you visit, buy a copy of the local newspaper or its online site to find out what kids-oriented activities are happening during your visit. A visit to the local sports field or recreation center or library may help get them excited about their new town.

3. Pack a Moving-Day Bag

As a surprise, pack a special bag for each child with snacks, games, and toys. Maybe even mementoes like pics of their old home, friends, and school as keepsakes. Bring it in the car (or plane) with you to help them focus on positive memories rather than leaving their old home.

Once you’ve arrived at your new home, let your child unpack their special bag and set out a few personal items in their new room and make sure you have that floorplan ready of their room so the movers know exactly where to put everything.

Especially with young kids, minimizing change is essential. Try to keep things familiar by maintaining the same morning and bedtime routines, and maintaining family traditions like Tuesday taco nights or Saturday family movie nights. You won’t be able to keep everything the same, but the little pieces you preserve in the transition can make a world of difference.

 

MOVING TO DO LIST

Moving To-Do List

Moving to a new home can be exciting as well as stressful with so much to do and remember. Use this checklist to get all your ducks in a row and make your move as smooth as possible.

2 Months Prior:

  • Get organized. Keep all the items related to the move, such as receipts, quotes, and insurance documents in one area such as a drawer or binder.
  • Know the rules. If you are moving because of a work transfer and are receiving a relocation budget, understand your company’s moving policies and rules to limit non-covered costs.
  • Research. Compare at least three moving companies, noting price, availability, and included items vs. extras. Request an on-site estimate when available for a more accurate quote.
  • Document damage. When moving a long distance where you’ll be relying mostly on the movers, document any noticeable furniture damage with photos. Discuss what coverage the movers have in case damage occurs during the move.
  • Inventory. Make a list of your valuable items. Note any items that will require special packing or extra insurance coverage and make arrangements accordingly.
  • Separate. Sort items into four or five piles: keep, donate, recycle and toss. If you have enough items that you’re getting rid of to justify a garage sale, make a fifth pile for selling.
  • Transfer records. If you have kids in school, go to their school and arrange for their records to be transferred to their new school district.

1 Month Prior:

  • Hire. Now that you’ve researched movers, it’s time to hire. Make arrangements for other things that will need to be moved, such as cars if you do not have enough drivers to transport them to your new home.
  • Stock up. Purchase packing supplies such as tape, boxes, labels, and moving paper.
  • Sell. If you’re going to have a garage sale, now would be the time to do it.
  • Inspect. Make sure all inspections are being done on your new home and arrange to fix any problems that arise before moving in. If your new home comes with any systems that may not fall into a standard home inspection, such as a built-in surround-sound or high-tech pool equipment, arrange for a specialist to inspect these items before you take ownership of the home.
  • Take measurements. Measure rooms in your new home, if possible, to start creating your new furniture layout. You’ll also want to measure door openings to ensure furniture will fit through, or start getting creative.
  • Get a head start. Start packing things that you won’t need in the next month, such as seasonal items, spare closets, and basement or attic items.
  • Label. Clearly label each box with the room it should go to for an easier moving day. Keep anything you’ll need right away in a separate box and make sure it is easily identifiable.
  • Make a plan. Create a packing plan, ensuring everyone in the family knows their job. Plan the order in which you will pack up each room and when it needs to be completed by.
  • Make another plan. Create a plan for your family and the movers of what will go where in your new home. Most movers will only place furniture once and will not rearrange if you do not like where you originally told them it should go, so plan carefully.
  • Request time off. Depending on your job, it is a good time to ask for a few days off from work to ensure you have ample time to pack, move, and unpack.

2 Weeks Prior:

  • Confirm. Confirm all the details of your move with the movers, such as date, time, and expectations of what special items you may have, such as a piano or pool table.
  • Change your address. Forward your address through the USPS to start the day of your move.
  • Utilities. Make the arrangements to disconnect or transfer your current services and utilities, such as cable, internet, phone, water, gas, and electric. Arrange for service to be connected at your new home.
  • Make a list. Take a few moments and write down everyone who has your address so that you can notify them of your move. Along with your family and friends, this list should include bank accounts, credit cards, investment accounts, doctors, cell phone provider, tax forms, voter registration, and of course the DMV.
  • Clean. Clean any areas that you’ve already packed. Plan to clean the rest of your old home, or make arrangements to have it professionally cleaned. If the previous tenants of your new home haven’t do so already, you may want to arrange for your new home to be cleaned and painted before your arrival.
  • Financial arrangements. If you are moving to an area that will require you to switch banks, make sure any outstanding checks you’ve written have been cashed. If you have a safety deposit box, remember to clean it out.

1 Week Prior:

  • Pack, pack, pack. This is when the bulk of your packing should be done. All of your drawers, cabinets and closets should be mostly cleared, leaving only essentials out. The kitchen usually takes the longest since it is full of delicate dishes and glasses, so you’ll want to get this done early. Remember to clearly label any boxes with breakables with “fragile”. For an easier move, pack all dishware and use paper plates and plastic silverware. Plan to eat out a lot or order takeout during this last week in your home.
  • Dispose of hazards. Don’t move with hazardous or potentially messy materials such as paint, oil, and weed killers. Drain fuel out of mowers, ATVs, dirt bikes, and discard propane tanks from grills.
  • Arrange payment. Most movers will require a credit or debit card to hold the appointment date. If you would prefer to pay by cash, money order or check, ensure the mover is expecting that so that your card doesn’t get accidentally charged. Also, you’ll want to plan for a tip the day of the move. Typically, a good tip is 10-15% of the total cost of the move, which is usually about $20-25 cash tip per mover for an easy move, all the way up to $100 for a particularly long or difficult job.
  • Pack a survival kit. Pack a bag with items you will need during the move and immediately when you arrive at your new home. These items should include toilet paper, a few dishes, glasses and silverware, toiletries, towels, and a change of clothes. If you’re moving long distance, prepare for the scenario that your items may take a few days to arrive.
  • Pack a cooler. One of the last things people think about on moving day is eating and drinking, but you, your family, and the movers will undoubtedly get thirsty and hungry. Plan ahead and pack a cooler with bottled water, snacks and a few sandwiches for moving day.
  • Clean. If you don’t have a professional cleaner coming in, you’ll want to do the bulk of your home cleaning a few days before the move. Thoroughly clean windows, floors and carpets, counters, appliances, bathrooms, cabinets and closets.

Moving Day

  • Double-check. Double-check everything you’ve scheduled to happen on moving day is going to go according to plan. Confirm arrival times with the movers, house cleaners, and utility people such as cable and gas. If you don’t already have the keys to your new home, check when you can pick them up. Ask when your utilities will be shut off at your old home and turned on in your new one.
  • Contact information. Make sure each of your movers have your contact information, exact moving address, and maps if needed. Keep the mover’s direct number with you in case you need to call them during the move.
  • Paperwork. In the hustle and bustle of moving day, it may be tempting to sign something without reading it first. Read all paperwork the movers ask you to sign carefully, including the Bill of Lading, waivers, and any inventory list they provide.
  • Extra packing material. Keep a few boxes and a roll of tape handy for any miscellaneous items you come across.
  • Direct. If you’re too busy during moving day to be present in your new home, designate someone else in your family to be there the whole time the movers are there to tell them where to put boxes and furniture. It may be a good idea to lay out plastic across any carpet to prevent stains.
  • Final walk-through. Do one last walk-through in your old home to make sure you haven’t overlooked anything, opening every drawer, cabinet and closet. Keep a few cleaning supplies with you, like all-purpose cleaner, paper towels, and a vacuum for a last minute touch up.
  • Cash. Be sure to have enough cash on hand for the move for tip, and a little extra for food and last minute items.

After Unpacking

  • Safety first. Make sure you have all necessary safety precautions in place in your new home. Locate and test fire extinguishers and detectors, change the locks, and change the alarm code – if there is one.
  • Check your list. Compare your inventory list of what you packed to what you unpacked to ensure everything made the move. If you notice any damage to your furniture or other items, compare it to the photos you originally took and contact the moving company if necessary.
  • Update. Refer to your list that you created of everyone who needs your change of address and update them.
  • Deposit refund. If you’re moving from a rental, make sure you follow-up with your previous landlord about your security deposit and when you can expect it back. Some moving companies also require a moving deposit to hold an appointment. Make sure you’ve gotten that returned or know when you can expect it.
  • Repairs. Complete quick repairs that need to be done, including changing light bulbs, fixing light switches, touching up paint, etc.
  • Sit back, relax, and enjoy. You’ve earned it. Take a load off and enjoy your new home!

 

I read this article at: FirstAm Home Warranty

Got Real Estate Questions?   The Caton Team is here to help.

We strive to be more than just Realtors – we are also your home resource. If you have any real estate questions, concerns, need a referral or some guidance – we are here for you. Contact us at your convenience – we are but a call, text or click away!

The Caton Team believes, in order to be successful in the San Fransisco | Peninsula | Bay Area | Silicon Valley Real Estate Market we have to think and act differently. We do this by positioning our clients in the strongest light, representing them with the utmost integrity, while strategically maneuvering through negotiations and contracts. Together we make dreams come true.

A mother and daughter-in-law team with over 35 years of combined, local Real Estate experience and knowledge – would’t you like The Caton Team to represent you? Let us know how we can be of service. Contact us any time.

Call | Text | Sabrina 650.799.4333 | Susan 650.796.0654

Email |   Info@TheCatonTeam.com

 

The Caton Team – Susan & Sabrina
A Family of Realtors
Effective. Efficient. Responsive.
What can we do for you?

The Caton Team Testimonials | The Caton Team Blog – The Real Estate Beat | TheCatonTeam.com | Facebook | Instagram | HomeSnap | Pintrest | LinkedIN Sabrina | LinkedIN Susan

Want Real Estate Info on the Go?  Download our FREE Real Estate App:  Mobile Real Estate by The Caton Team

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices – Drysdale Properties

DRE # |Sabrina 01413526 | Susan 01238225 | Team 70000218 |Office 01499008

The Caton Team does not receive compensation for any posts.  Information is deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Third party information not verified.

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Talk of the Town – The Bay Area Real Estate Market

A reflection by Sabrina Caton | Janurary 8, 2018

 

With all the talk about the Bay Area Housing Market – it’s hard to decipher the message.  Are we crashing?  Is the boom over?  Do I buy now?  Or wait?  What if I need to sell?  What should I do? 

There are great questions and as The Caton Team firmly believes, each client has a unique situation and set of needs – so what “they” should do is all relative.  That’s why we offer a free, no strings attached consultation to help determine what is best for you.  So please do not hesitate to reach out to us should you have any Real Estate questions.  Email: Info@TheCatonTeam.com

 

The Real Estate market, much like the stock market, is made up of people.  In Real Estate those people are Buyers and Sellers, Investors and Renters and the market is very much a mirror to what those people are thinking and doing.

Because the Real Estate market is made up of people, it changes as our habits do – often reflected as seasonal change.  I’ve been a full time Realtor for the past 15 years, Susan over 20, and if there is one thing we Realtors get used to — is the cyclical change of our market.  It is so steadfast, many check out during the slow months because they know, come Spring and Summer – that’s when the action happens.  But is this realistic?  To just buy and sell for two seasons?  NO – it’s not – because life happens everyday! 

People buy and sell homes for various reason – aside from the investment standpoint.  People buy a larger home when they find out their pregnant, or a couple gets married and combines their space and their assets.  People sell homes when they get a new job out of state, or the house they have is too big or too small for their current lifestyle.  My point is, people buy and sell homes for more reasons that I can state – and those events happen every day.  It’s part of life – so why do we over analysis and stress ourselves out with the cycle?  Why do we try to time the market when no one has a crystal ball?

Real Estate has always and will always be a long term investment.  Quick and high gains are unrealistic and truthfully – unstable.  Couple that with the rise in interest rates over 2018 that directly impacted each Buyers purchase power.  Throw in changes to the stock market and everyone is going to err on the side of  caution.  Which is wise.   So is investing in Real Estate – as a long term venture.  It is a solid investment – especially because we all need a place to live.  Making NOW a great time to buy, while prices are soft and demand is low.  Get in today – at today’s rates (under 5% last I checked) then hold onto your investment.  You’ll be happy you did – because over time – Real Estate value will always rise simply becuase they’re just not making land anymore. 

 

So what dictates price?  Buyers dictate price – even during the frenzy.  It is a Buyer who decides – ‘this is the house I want and this is how much I am willing to pay for it’.  Come Spring, said Buyer may have lost out on a few houses and slowly that Buyer becomes more aggressive in order to be the winning bid.  The frenzy is created by the same source who can tame it – the Buyer.  So come Summer, those Spring Buyers who lost out on home after home, start sweetening the pot and overbidding.  Whether a Buyer wants to overbid or not – write a few offers that get rejected and a Buyer will find out what it takes to become an Owner.  Each market is different and requires a different strategy.  Right now that Sellers market is in the past.  For the first time in ages – we’re in a Buyers Market.

Th moment I see Halloween candy on display, I know the slowdown is coming – change is near.

What gets me is – why are Buyers doing this to themselves when they don’t have to?  My personal business philosophy is – to be successful in Real Estate we have to think and act differently.  That means doing whatever it takes to have my clients home or offer stand out from the crowd.  To change it up and be the first to do so. 

Which brings me to today – January 2019.  The media is spewing a Real Estate crash when in reality – our hyper-paced market is simply – returning to normal – not crashing.  Normal. 

It wasn’t normal for homes to sell in less than one week.  It wasn’t normal for a Buyer to have one chance to see a home before an offer date pushed them to move faster.  It wasn’t normal for offers to line up after one open house.  It wasn’t normal and it wasn’t practical.

Today, for the first time in what feels like ages, we have inventory.  Meaning, there are several homes on the market, at several price points.  With lower demand, offer dates are no longer pressing the urgency to make a decision and Buyers have a bit more of that much needed time.  Remember, Real Estate is one of the largest investments in our lives – so it is important to take time and make the right decision.  This type of market allows for that.  Making the Winter Market a great time to buy!

 

The flip side – it may feel like the market is crashing if you’re selling your home this season.  What drives up prices is the volume of qualified Buyers wanting to buy versus the volume of homes for sale.  For the past several years we’ve had high demand and low volume – thus further escalating prices.  Each Fall people turn from houses to holidays and demand wanes. 

What is hard to consider – the $100,000 gains seen during the Spring Market isn’t going to happen if only one Buyer is on the house hunt during Winter.  So Sellers are seeing $100,000+ price reductions and feeling like the market is crashing from under them – when in reality it is just returning to normal.  In other words, demand has changed, and it doesn’t take an additional $100,000 to be the winning bid.  (Which always makes me wonder why Buyers don’t take the bull by the horns and change things up!  I’ve had the best success with my Buying clients over the Fall and Winter because they were the only people putting in the time!  Anyway – I digress.) 

For Sellers it is a hard transition.  When Realtors look at the market we cannot determine the future but we can map out the past.  Fall/Winter Sellers may have higher expectations because they are looking at Spring/Summer sales data that was indicative of that market – on that particular day and that day has passed.  Today is a whole new reality.  The Real Estate Market is a living, breathing entity.  Like the people in it – the market can turn on a dime without any notice.  So how does one navigate these uncharted waters?

Easy… be realistic, timely and see the big picture.  Each Seller is in a unique situation so the answer isn’t cut and dry.  I do believe in being in the “here and now”, being aware of the market change and adjusting the strategy.  Often times waiting out the market is not the best solution.  Sometimes it is.  Sometimes renting a home out is a bad idea when you consider wear and tear.  Though a great tenant is better than a vacant home that seems to age while alone. It’s a lot to weigh so it’s best to be open and flexible.  The Caton Team strives for the best result regardless of market conditions and happy to sit down and work through the challenges with you.

 

Bay Area Real Estate started to slowed down in September on ’18.  Buyers had grown tired with the insane pace of the Spring/Summer market and it showed.  Add the fire and smoke in the Fall, deterring many people from even venturing outside.  Each market is different.  Last year in 2017 – our 4th Quarter was one of the most robust ever!  2018 an entirely different story.  So how does one survive a changing market in 2019?  Move with it.

If you’re Buying you’ve seen homes sitting on the market, some have had price reductions some have not.  Don’t just sit there.  If you like a home contact your Realtor and have them contact the Sellers Realtor.  Communication is key in this business.  If you’re a serious Home Buyer – you need to get offline and in front of a Realtor.  We’re here to work with you and help you figure out these challenges.  Remember, Real Estate is not a twisting of the arm but a meeting of the minds.  Yes, Buyers determine price – but we can’t walk in with 1996 prices.  Offers need to be realistic and doable.  A Seller isn’t going to take an outlandish low offer just because – nor is a buyer going to overbid.  Real Estate is finding that middle ground where all parties can obtain their goals and walk away – happy.

If you’re selling – and don’t have the luxury of waiting till Spring to sell – get on the market now.  Move accordingly.  Make sure you are priced right – knowing there won’t be multiple offers driving up the value.  In Realtor lingo we say – don’t chase the market down.  Meaning, if the market is in flux, you don’t want to sit online forever, you’ve got to adjust with the times.  Markets move up and down from day to day, month to month, year over year.  The key to being successful is moving with that market and keeping in line with your goals and budget.  Don’t hold out for a price that doesn’t exist in the current market climate.  Review your goals and timeline, be open and honest with your Realtor about your needs and wants and work together to achieve the goal.  Flexibility is key. 

Each market is different, each neighborhood is different and each client is different.  I could go on and on but the bottom line is this – Buying and Selling Real Estate happens in real time.  Today.  The future is untold and the past is just a graph.  If you want to own a home, get out there and look – open your eyes to the possibilities.  If you need to sell your home, get the home show ready, price it right and work with your Realtor because together we can do anything. 

 

The Caton Team loves helping people obtain their Real Estate goals – contact us anytime with any questions – we’re here for you.

Thanks for reading!

-Sabrina

 

Got Real Estate Questions?   The Caton Team is here to help.

We strive to be more than just Realtors – we are also your home resource. If you have any real estate questions, concerns, need a referral or some guidance – we are here for you. Contact us at your convenience – we are but a call, text or click away!

The Caton Team believes, in order to be successful in the San Fransisco | Peninsula | Bay Area | Silicon Valley Real Estate Market we have to think and act differently. We do this by positioning our clients in the strongest light, representing them with the utmost integrity, while strategically maneuvering through negotiations and contracts. Together we make dreams come true.

A mother and daughter-in-law team with over 35 years of combined, local Real Estate experience and knowledge – would’t you like The Caton Team to represent you? Let us know how we can be of service. Contact us any time.

Email Sabrina & Susan at: Info@TheCatonTeam.com

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

The Caton Team – Susan & Sabrina
A Family of Realtors
Effective. Efficient. Responsive.
What can we do for you?

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Thanks for reading – Sabrina

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices – Drysdale Properties

Sabrina DRE# 01413526 / Susan DRE #01238225 / Team DRE# 70000218/ Office DRE #01499008

The Caton Team does not receive compensation for any posts.  Information is deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Third party information not verified.

Wire Fraud

If you’ve heard the news – you’re aware of the wire transfer fraud during real estate transactions. Scary stuff. Please take note that Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, Drysdale Properties and The Caton Team have taken precautions to protect our clients. Preferably using cashiers checks in lieu of a wires to be frank. We’ve also taken precautions with email. If you prefer please email us at sabrina.caton@bhhsdrysdale.com.

Thank You,

The Caton Team

Susan & Sabrina – A Family of Realtors

DRE 01499008 | 70000218 | 01413526 | 01238225

Your Property Tax Bill is due November, 1, 2018

Property Tax Due

Just a friendly reminder that the 1st Installment of your Property Tax Bill is Due on November 1 – delinquent December 10.

For more information visit:

San Mateo County

http://www.smcare.org/default.asp

Santa Clara County

https://www.sccgov.org/sites/dtac/Pages/default.aspx

San Francisco County

http://sftreasurer.org

 

The Caton Team strives to be more than just Realtors – we are also your resource. If you have any real estate questions, concerns, need a referral or some guidance – we are here. Contact us at your convenience.  Info@TheCatonTeam.com

The Caton Team

A Family of Realtors

With over 35 years of combined, local, Silicon Valley Real Estate experience – What can The Caton Team do for YOU?

The Caton Team Blog – The Real Estate Beat

The Caton Team Website

How to Buy While Selling Real Estate

 

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:  Mobile Real Estate by The Caton Team

Visit us at:  Our Blog * TheCatonTeam.com * Facebook *Yelp Us * My Yelp * Instagram * HomeSnap* Pintrest * LinkedIN Sabrina * LinkedIN Susan

Thanks for reading – Sabrina

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

Effective. Efficient. Responsive.  What Can The Caton Team Do For You?

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices – Drysdale Properties

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

The Caton Team does not receive compensation for any posts.  Information is deemed reliable but not guaranteed.

How to Sell and Buy Real Estate in Today’s Market

Are you a Move Up Buyer in Silicon Valley?   Then you know how hard it is to take that goal and realize it.  It is much harder to sell and buy today than ever before!

If you’re a Buyer in the Silicon Valley – then you are well aware of how competitive it is to get a house in this market.  A Buyer may have started off with big dreams, the want list, the wish list and then quickly condensed the list to one thing – I want a house – any house in the Bay Area.

It’s that nuts.

Why?

The Bay Area has limited space to build.  Land is the gold of Real Estate, without land you cannot build more homes.  So if you want to own a home around here – get ready for the bidding wars.

But if you’re a Buyer with a home to Sell first – then you’re really up for a challenge.  

Seller EXPECTATIONS

If you’re a Seller these days – you have some expectations.  With multiple Buyers for each home – a Buyer pretty much has to do the following to be a candidate:

  • OFFER OVER LIST PRICE – sometimes even more than the Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) warrants.  This can be frightening and can setup a Buyer for some surprises*.  The Caton Team always prepares a CMA and gauges market activity to help a Buyer determine their right price.
  • WAIVE ALL CONTINGENCIES – These days a Buyer cannot ask for repairs, or request time to sell their current home .  If a Buyer wants to be a contender – they must come in Non-Contingent and ready to close.  Let me re-phrase that.  A Buyer must write THIER best offer and if that includes a contingency – the Buyer must do what is best for them.  Just know – if there is a contingency – generally that offer goes to the bottom of the stack because in this market, the Seller has plenty of offers to choose from and does NOT have to accept a Contingent Offer – no matter how cute the letter is.  (Note, in cooler markets Buyers have more leverage and will have the opportunity for Sellers to accept contingencies.  It’s just not that market today.)
  • PROOF OF FUNDS – A Buyer MUST HAVE ALL their down payment, closing costs and reserve monies ready from DAY 1!  Not only for their bank loan approval – Buyers need proof of funds just to write a contending offer!  To be frank, sometimes a great offer is beat out by an offer with “better” proof of funds – IE – money in the bank.
    • Each Seller and their Realtor will REQUIRE Proof of Funds to be submitted WITH the Offer.  Meaning your Realtor needs recent copies of all your bank statements to be provided in your Offer Package to show money for the downpayment, closing costs and reserves.  You would too if you were in the Seller seat.  Our job as Realtors is to protect OUR Clients best interests.  Meaning, while reviewing offers, not only does The Caton Team call each lender to verify loan strength – we also want to see Proof of Funds totaling at minimum the monies for said deal AND reserve funds which are healthy and liquid to ensure –  if things go awry – there are funds to close on time.  In other words, the strongest reserves has an impact on what is considered the “Best” offer.  It is not always price that equates as “Best”.  (Curious why?  – Ask us anytime – it is another blog post.)
      • An example of a Buyer surprise* is when the appraised value is lower than the offer price.  The Buyer may need to pay the difference between the appraised value and offer price because there are NO Contingencies – a Buyer must perform or quit.  Quitting on a Non-Contingent Offer means the Buyer could forge all or a portion of their good faith deposit – which is 3% of the total purchase price.  Note – each case is different and this is just an example.  Bottom line – selling Real Estate is serious business and being prepared is the first step.

There are several more items that make the perfect Offer Package – so if you’re curious – contact The Caton Team.

Ok, so now you have an idea of what it takes to buy a home around here.  Now what do you do if you have a home to sell first?  Bear with me on this – it is the hottest topic in Real Estate today.

HOW TO SELL THEN BUY

If you’re lucky enough to already be a Silicon Valley homeowner – congratulations!  You’re ahead of the game.  Right?  Unless you need more space and want to move up.  The Caton Team has met many clients who opted to add onto their existing homes.  Great!  Unless that is not an option.  Then we are back to square one – How does a Buyer sell then buy in this market?  

As I stated above in Seller Expectations, the “requirements” for contention can feel like a tall order.  If your down payment funds are tied up in the equity of your home – you have several options but only a few are viable in this market.  

DREAM OPTION

Rich Aunt Sally gifts you the money you need for the purchase of the home.  Thank you Aunt Sally.  But what if we don’t have rich relatives?

SELL FIRST OPTION

This is the cut and dry option.  Sell the home.  Close Escrow.  Move out and into a short term rental or with relatives.  Bank the  proceeds of the sale – aka: the downpayment and enjoy the Home Buying Experience at your own pace knowing you can A) Prove your Funds and B) Go in Non Contingent. 

Oh – Did I mention this option is also terrifying?  A Seller feels as if they are loosing their only piece of California – the “what if we don’t get the next one” can be frightening.  That’s why this option that is often chosen last.  Next up…

SELL FIRST WITH RENT-BACK OPTION

Similar to the first scenario – except instead of moving out at Close of Escrow – the Seller is granted Rent Back to live in the home for an agreed timeframe and cost, then move out – whether or not the Seller has acquired their next purchase.  The advantage to this is the Closing – the Seller has the proceeds in the bank and can write a non-contingent offer on their next home.  The down side – it is a short term solution – if the Seller doesn’t find their next home within the time frame – they will have to move out when the tenancy is over no matter what.  

OBTAIN AN OFFER TO PURCHASE

This option is often the first step – the proverbial toe in the water.  We, as your Realtors will try to find a Buyer willing to do the following:

  • Offer to Purchase the home with an Extended Close of Escrow, giving the Seller time to acquire their next property then quickly close on one then the other – a Domino closing effect.  The downside, their proceeds are not in the bank; therefore the Proof of Funds will be short AND even if the Seller writes a Non-Contingent Offer – we as Realtors know – it isn’t over until it’s over.  In other words, when comparing offers – the one with less strings attached wins.  Even Non-Contingent Offers in this scenario are not as strong as Buyers ready, willing and able to close on time.  IE:  Don’t have to close one house before they can close on the other.  Confusing right?  

That’s why inevitably, if a Client truly needs more space and cannot add on – they often are forced to sell first, rent then buy because this market is too competitive to request contingencies from the seller.  – Please don’t shoot the messenger – 

THE LONG ROAD

Now here’s my idea – but it takes a few years and you truly need to ask your CPA.  The idea is – the Seller moves out into.  (Where?  That is not part of my scenario.)  The Seller then converts their personal residence into a rental – renting it out for a minimum of 2 years.  (I cannot give tax advice, so please verify with your CPA).  After those two years, the Seller sells their home as a 1031 exchange, then buys their next home – as another investment.  The caveat – the Seller cannot move into their new home until it’s been rented for at least 2 years. Again run this by your CPA as tax laws change and I am not a CPA.  Anyway, this is the long term approach.  The good news, especially if you’re buying in the same community, even if prices rise – hopefully so will the value of your current investment.  Anyway, can you tell I have several clients in the same boat?  This blog post was really just me organizing my thoughts then I figured – why don’t I just share this – if I can help someone make a better decision for their future – then I did my job today.  

THINGS TO CONSIDER

Right now – the forecast is Interest Rates will rise.  This can diminish a Buyer’s buying power.  As the interest rates rise the amount of the loan reduces.  To remedy this – a Buyer will need to bring in more monies towards the downpayment.  Easy, if we have Aunt Sally on speed dial.

The Caton Team cannot forecast the future but we have endured all sorts of markets.  We always worry about our Buyers waiting themselves out of the market and in this still inclining market – that can happen faster than you think.  Ask us anytime – we’re in the trenches, we know what homes are selling for before the internet gets wind.  It’s wild out there but we’ve got you covered.  Susan and I have over 35 years combined, local real estate experience.  We represent our clients with integrity.  Our offer packages stand out and often times just the edge a Buyer needs in this market.  Our Seller Package is successful, our negotiating is skilled, kind and focused.  We pride ourselves in being effective, efficient and responsive.

Real Estate is multi faceted and this blog is just the tip of the iceberg.  Each family has a unique set of needs.  We value the sit down time to get to know what you need whether buying or selling a home in the Bay Area. 

What Can The Caton Team Do For You?

Thank you for reading and forgiving my typos,

Sabrina

 

I wrote this…

Got Questions – The Caton Team is here to help.

The Caton Team strives to be more than just Realtors – we are also your home resource. If you have any real estate questions, concerns, need a referral or some guidance – we are here. Contact us at your convenience – we are but a call, text or click away!

Email Sabrina & Susan at: Info@TheCatonTeam.com

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

The Caton Team – Susan & Sabrina
A Family of Realtors
Effective. Efficient. Responsive.
What can we do for you?

The Caton Team Testimonials

The Caton Team Blog – The Real Estate Beat

The Caton Team Website

The Caton Team Advantage

How to Buy While Selling Real Estate

Want Real Estate Info on the Go?  Download our FREE Real Estate App:  Mobile Real Estate by The Caton Team

Visit us at:  Our Blog * TheCatonTeam.com * Facebook *Yelp Us * My Yelp * Instagram * HomeSnap* Pintrest * LinkedIN Sabrina * LinkedIN Susan

 

Thanks for reading – Sabrina

 

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices – Drysdale Properties

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

The Caton Team does not receive compensation for any posts.  Information is deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Third party information not verified.

There Goes the Neighborhood! 7 Landscaping Decisions Sure to Make the Neighbors Mad

 

Your neighbors couldn’t care less about what you keep on the mantel above your fireplace. And they wouldn’t expect you to check with them before you pick out new paint for your bathroom.

Your yard, however, is a very different matter.

Yes, the exterior of your house is still your property. Technically—unless you live in a prohibitive homeowners association—you can do what you like. But everyone else can see it … which will mean they care.

A lot.

“What upsets neighbors the most isn’t interpersonal,” explains Cassy Aoyagi, president of FormLA Landscaping, a high-end, sustainable landscaping firm in Los Angeles. “It’s property decisions that affect the neighborhood.”

Here are some of the landscaping decisions that are sure to give your neighbors something to complain about—possibly for years to come.

1. Gravelscaping

In an attempt to save water, some people transform their front yard or garden into a rockscape. It’s a well-intentioned gesture, but if “Lots of rocks, hold the grass” doesn’t fit your natural climate, these dry landscapes can become a heated neighborhood topic—literally.

“Here in Los Angeles, gravelscaping can amplify heat throughout the city and increase run-off, making neighboring properties less comfortable,” Aoyagi says.

Since rocks don’t absorb water, a gravelscaped yard sheds extra water. That means that your rockscape could even put your neighborhood at risk of flooding in high-water years, Aoyagi notes. Do you really want to be that neighbor?

2. Taking down trees

Blame it on the Lorax. Or Shel Silverstein’s tear-jerking picture book “The Giving Tree.” If you try to chop down a mature tree on your property, your neighbors Will. Be. Aghast.

“Trees cool properties and neighborhoods. They increase property values, not just for homeowners, but for their neighbors and communities,” Aoyagi says. “People simply grow very attached to them.”

3. Playing fast and loose with water

If you live in an area that’s fighting drought, maybe you shouldn’t put in, say, a koi pond or some other elaborate water feature.

“You definitely don’t want to be seen watering the sidewalk,” Aoyagi adds.

Even if you aren’t reenacting “Waterworld,” beware of the vibes your yard is giving off. Neighbors will scrutinize that oh-so-green grass and could jump to conclusions.

“Even a lush lawn can have people rolling their eyes, if it isn’t a lawn alternative with smart irrigation,” she says.

4. Using leaf blowers

Leaf blowers are the quickest way you’ll get to know your neighbors—but not in the “Hey, let’s be friends” type of way.

No, every time you fire up a leaf blower, you’re launching a sensory assault on your neighbors. That’s no understatement: The most powerful models can create noise levels as high as an ear-piercing 112 decibels. Studies have even shown that the effects of that kind of noise can cause hypertension and heart disease.

And it isn’t just the aggressive, brain-rattling noise that’s bothersome.

“One blower pollutes (as much as) a freeway full of cars, and blows pollen and pollutants from the ground into the air, aggravating asthma and allergies,” Aoyagi points out.

5. Letting your landscape grow wild

Can’t tell a hydrangea from a hibiscus? (And don’t care?) Does spending a weekend pruning trees sound like your own personal hell?

If you live in a rural area with large properties, no one may notice if you give up on your yard. But if you’re in a residential development, your neighbors will seethe at record speed.

“One unkempt, overflowing trash bin can bring rats,” Aoyagi notes. “A neighbor’s rundown garden can also decrease the appraised value of a home.”

Bottom line: “Whatever you have, stay on top of it,” she says.

6. Going overboard with the holiday decorations

You know what we’re talking about: amazingly bright lights that shine into nearby homes. Music your neighbors can hear while they’re home—with the doors closed. And maybe that realistic reproduction of the creepy clown from “It” cracks you up, but isn’t such a hit with the young kids next door.

And don’t forget the nightly crawl of traffic that over-the-top displays bring.

“If your decorations attract a steady procession of admirers, make sure you have a plan to keep (them) from making your neighbors’ lawns look like someone pulled a ‘trick’ on them,” advises Jennifer Susanne Sommers, a luxury real estate specialist for Nestler Poletto Sotheby’s International Realty in Boca Raton, FL.

Plus, all that traffic can make it hard to get in and out of the neighborhood—and that certainly won’t endear you to your neighbors either, Sommers adds.

7. Planting the wrong shrubs

Forget the aesthetics for a sec. The landscaping you select can be not only an eyesore, but potentially hazardous—to neighborhood pets, at least.

Case in point: oleander, a plant that’s popular in the South and Southwest.

“It flowers beautifully, but it can be a danger to pets if they eat the leaves,” cautions David Meek, a real estate agent with Keller Williams Arizona Realty in Scottsdale, AZ.

Oleander contains a cardiac toxin, he explains, and fewer than 20 ingested leaves would be lethal to an animal the size of a horse.

Throw up a few hedges of oleander—especially in areas where HOAs urge residents not to—and you’ll have some unhappy neighbors to deal with.

Curious what your thoughts are!

Got Questions – The Caton Team is here to help. We are but a call or click away!

The Caton Team is comprised of Susan and Sabrina Caton – a mother/daughter in law team.  We are full time, local Realtors with over 25 years of combined Real Estate experience.  How can The Caton Team help you?

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Thanks for reading – Sabrina

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

Effective. Efficient. Responsive.  What Can The Caton Team Do For You?

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices – Drysdale Properties

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

The Caton Team does not receive compensation for any posts and the information is deemed reliable but not guaranteed.