Report: DOJ Pushing to Charge Individuals for Roles in Mortgage Meltdown

This is a hot topic –  I thought I would repost this article.  I don’t have an answer but I am curious as to you, my readers opinions.  Please comment or email me!

 

Report: DOJ Pushing to Charge Individuals for Roles in Mortgage Meltdown

Author: Tory Barringer

 

Attorney General Eric Holder has given U.S. attorneys across the country 90 days to judge whether or not they want to bring cases against specific individuals for their alleged roles in 2008’s mortgage crisis, according to reports.

Speaking at a National Press Club event on Tuesday, Holder said federal prosecutors who have previously brought charges against firms for selling toxic mortgage-backed securities will be given an opportunity to investigate individual employees for potential charges, Reuters reported.

Holder reportedly told the assembled press that prosecutors will have 90 days to report back on “whether they think they are going to successfully bring criminal or civil cases against those individuals.”

The announcement marks a policy shift for Holder, whose department has taken criticism from consumers and politicians with its failure to go after bank executives and some institutions following the crash. In early 2013, he famously remarked at a Senate committee hearing that the size of some institutions makes it difficult to prosecute them without impacting the economy.

He walked those comments back later, saying, “If we find a bank or financial institution that has done something wrong, if we can prove it beyond a reasonable doubt, those cases will be brought.”

The timing of the attorney general’s announcement is also bound to raise questions: With Holder on his way out, the ultimate decision to prosecute would be made by his replacement, who right now is slated to be Loretta Lynch.

“Once again, it appears as though the Administration is looking to bully the mortgage banks, or should I say bankers, instead of restoring faith and confidence into the mortgage banking system,” said Ed Delgado, President and CEO of the Five Star Institute.  “Despite hundreds of billions paid in fines and penalties, it’s not enough.   Today’s announcement from U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to seek action against mortgage bankers, just as he is about to leave office, is nothing more than one last attempt to impugn and embarrass an already beleaguered industry.

“Now names and people’s lives have to be destroyed, but to what end? To satisfy what agenda? It begs the question: will a single family benefit from this action? Will a foreclosure be reversed? Or has the matter of seeking justice become politicized to the point, where unless a mortgage executives name and face appear on the cover of the New York Times, charged with some criminal act, there simply will be no measure of satisfaction in the eyes of the government.  It’s a shame that taxpayer money is being spent to further a cause without a means to an end.”

A message left with the department’s Office of Public Affairs was not immediately returned.

 

I read this article at: http://dsnews.com/news/02-17-2015/report-doj-pushing-charge-individuals-roles-mortgage-meltdown

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

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Please enjoy my personal journey through homeownership at:

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Thanks for reading – Sabrina

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

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices – Drysdale Properties

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

 

 

 

The Signs Look Good…

Consumers’ Positive Financial Attitudes a Good Sign for Housing

 

By Katie Penote

 

WASHINGTON, DC – Consumer optimism toward the housing market gained some momentum last month following a dip in December, likely getting a boost from their increasingly positive financial outlook, according to results from Fannie Mae’s January 2015 National Housing Survey™. The share of respondents who said their household income is significantly higher than it was 12 months ago rose 4 percentage points to 29 percent, and the share expecting their personal financial situation to improve over the next year increased to 48 percent – both all-time survey highs. After dropping in December, the share who said it is a good time to buy a home increased 3 percentage points to 67 percent, and the share saying they would buy rather than rent if they were to move jumped 5 percentage points to 66 percent, marking the first increase since September 2014.

“Consumers are as positive about their personal finances at the start of 2015 as they have been since we launched the National Housing Survey in 2010, and this optimism seems to be spilling over into housing market attitudes,” said Doug Duncan, senior vice president and chief economist at Fannie Mae. “Consumers are more optimistic about the environment both for buying and for selling a home today, and the share who plan to own on their next move has jumped back up, reversing a three-month trend toward renting. These results are in line with lender optimism about future growth in their mortgage origination business, as shown in our Mortgage Lender Sentiment Survey™. Overall, these are good signs to start off 2015 and are consistent with our expectation that strengthening employment and economic activity will boost the speed of the housing recovery.”

SURVEY HIGHLIGHTS

Homeownership and Renting

  • The average 12-month home price change expectation rose to 2.5 percent.
  • The share of respondents who say home prices will go up in the next 12 months rose to 49 percent. The share who say home prices will go down remained constant at 8 percent.
  • The share of respondents who say mortgage rates will go up in the next 12 months decreased by 3 percentage points to 45 percent.
  • Those who say it is a good time to buy a house increased to 67 percent. Those who say it is a good time to sell increased to 44 percent—tying an all-time survey high.
  • The average 12-month rental price change expectation decreased to 3.6 percent.
  • The percentage of respondents who expect home rental prices to go up in the next 12 months fell slightly to 52 percent.
  • The share of respondents who think it would be easy to get a home mortgage today fell to 50 percent, while the share saying it would be difficult to get a mortgage rose 3 percentage points to 47 percent.
  • The share who say they would buy if they were going to move rose to 66 percent, while the share who would rent decreased 5 percentage points to 29 percent.

The Economy and Household Finances

  • The share of respondents who say the economy is on the right track increased by 3 percentage points to 44 percent.
  • The percentage of respondents who expect their personal financial situation to get better over the next 12 months increased to 48 percent—an all-time survey high.
  • The share of respondents who say their household income is significantly higher than it was 12 months ago rose 4 percentage points to 29 percent—an all-time survey high.
  • The share of respondents who say their household expenses are significantly higher than they were 12 months increased to 35 percent.

The most detailed consumer attitudinal survey of its kind, Fannie Mae’s National Housing Survey™ polled 1,000 Americans via live telephone interview to assess their attitudes toward owning and renting a home, home and rental price changes, homeownership distress, the economy, household finances, and overall consumer confidence. Homeowners and renters are asked more than 100 questions used to track attitudinal shifts (findings are compared to the same survey conducted monthly beginning June 2010). To reflect the growing share of households with a cell phone but no landline, the National Housing Survey has increased its cell phone dialing rate to 60 percent as of October 2014. For more information, please see the Technical Notes. Fannie Mae conducts this survey and shares monthly and quarterly results so that we may help industry partners and market participants target our collective efforts to stabilize the housing market in the near-term, and provide support in the future.

For detailed findings from the January 2015 survey, as well as technical notes on survey methodology and questions asked of respondents associated with each monthly indicator, please visit the Fannie Mae Monthly National Housing Survey page on fanniemae.com. Also available on the site are in-depth topic analyses, which provide a detailed assessment of combined data results from three monthly studies. The January 2015 National Housing Survey was conducted between January 1, 2015 and January 22, 2015. Most of the data collection occurred during the first two weeks of this period. Interviews were conducted by Penn Schoen Berland, in coordination with Fannie Mae.

 

Opinions, analyses, estimates, forecasts, and other views of Fannie Mae’s Economic & Strategic Research (ESR) Group included in these materials should not be construed as indicating Fannie Mae’s business prospects or expected results, are based on a number of assumptions, and are subject to change without notice. How this information affects Fannie Mae will depend on many factors. Although the ESR Group bases its opinions, analyses, estimates, forecasts, and other views on information it considers reliable, it does not guarantee that the information provided in these materials is accurate, current, or suitable for any particular purpose. Changes in the assumptions or the information underlying these views could produce materially different results. The analyses, opinions, estimates, forecasts, and other views published by the ESR Group represent the views of that group as of the date indicated and do not necessarily represent the views of Fannie Mae or its management.

 

Fannie Mae enables people to buy, refinance, or rent homes.

Visit us at: http://www.fanniemae.com/progress.

 

I read this article at: http://www.fanniemae.com/portal/about-us/media/corporate-news/2015/6217.html

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

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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

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices – Drysdale Properties

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

 

Home Sales Off to a Bumpy Start in 2015

Home Sales Off to a Bumpy Start in 2015

DAILY REAL ESTATE NEWS |

Existing-home sales dropped in January to the lowest rate in nine months, according to the National Association of REALTORS®’ latest housing report. All regions across the country saw declines in sales in January, with the Northeast and West posting the largest losses.

Still, the pace of sales was higher than a year ago – at a 4.82 million seasonally adjusted annual rate remains up 3.2 percent compared to a year ago.

“January housing data can be volatile because of seasonal influences, but low housing supply and the ongoing rise in home prices above the pace of inflation appeared to slow sales, despite interest rates remaining near historic lows,” says Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. “REALTORS® are reporting that low rates are attracting potential buyers, but the lack of new and affordable listings is leading some to delay decisions.”

5 Stats to Gauge the Market

Here’s a closer look at where the housing market stands, based on NAR’s existing-home sales report for January.

  1. Inventory: Total housing inventory at the end of January rose 0.5 percent to 1.87 million existing homes available but sale. Unsold inventory is at a 4.7-month supply at the current sales pace.
  2. Home prices: The median existing-home price for all housing types was $199,600 – 6.2 percent above year ago levels. “Although sales cooled in January, home prices continued solid year-over-year growth,” Yun notes. “The labor market and economy are markedly improved compared to a year ago, which supports stronger buyer demand. The big test for housing will be the impact on affordability once rates rise.”
  3. Distressed sales: Foreclosures and short sales comprised 11 percent of sales in January, down 15 percent from a year ago. Broken out, 8 percent of sales in January were from foreclosures and 3 percent were short sales. The average discount that a foreclosure sold at was 15 percent below market value, while short sales were discounted, on average, 12 percent.
  4. Days on the market: Properties tended to stay on the market slightly longer in January – 69 days compared to 66 days in December. Short sales remained on the market the longest at a median of 128 days, while foreclosures tended to sell in 63 days. Overall, 30 percent of homes sold in January were on the market for less than a month.
  5. Cash sales: All-cash sales made up 27 percent of transactions in January, down from 33 percent a year ago. Individual investors, who account for the bulk of cash sales, purchased 17 percent of homes in January, below the 20 percent in January 2014.

Regional Breakdown

Here’s a closer look at existing-home sales in January across the country:

  • Northeast: existing-home sales dropped 6 percent to an annual rate of 630,000. Sales are 3.3 percent above a year ago. Median price: $247,800, up 2.7 percent from a year ago
  • Midwest: existing-home sales fell 2.7 percent to an annual level of 1.08 million in January. Sales are still 0.9 percent above January 2014 levels. Median price: $151,300, up 8.2 percent from a year ago
  • South: existing-home sales dropped 4.6 percent to an annual rate of 2.07 million in January, but are still 5.6 percent above year ago levels. Median price: $171,900, up 7.4 percent from a year ago
  • West: existing-home sales fell 7.1 percent to an annual rate of 1.04 million in January, but are still 1 percent above a year ago. Median price: $291,800, up 7.2 percent from a year ago.

 

Allow me to add my 2 cents.  On the San Francisco Peninsula – we are experience a HUGE demand for housing.  We actually are having a housing shortage with the volume of people who work on the peninsula and expect to live on the peninsula.  As a result we have seen rental prices soar through the roof!  I can’t even believe I used to rent a two bedroom apartment in 1996 for under $1000 in SAN CARLOS!  Now – a 2 bedroom apartment is going for close to $2500-$3500 A MONTH!  And the East Bay is rapidly capturing our displaced employees – have you seen the bridges these days during commute hours?  Redwood City is one of the few communities that has actually built housing and they are going for a premium.  So if you want to call San Mateo or Santa Clara County home – it’s best you start saving your money and get into the market sooner than later.  The Caton Team is here to help you every step of the way.  Call or email me anytime.

Sabrina

650.568.5522 or sabrina_caton@yahoo.com

I read this article at: http://realtormag.realtor.org/daily-news/2015/02/24/home-sales-bumpy-start-in-2015?om_rid=AACmlZ&om_mid=_BU7P7wB8-lmizw&om_ntype=RMODaily

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

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

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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

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices – Drysdale Properties

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

 

Why Homebuyers Need to Act Now

Wow – the article below really stuck a chord with me  – as I just heard one of my buyers “wants to wait”.  I cringe when I hear that – because in my 11 years in this business, and Susan’s 16 years – “waiting” has got our clients no where!

Well, let me rephrase that – those who were able to get back into the market after stepping out – ended up spending more money on less house.  Point Blank – end of story.  I kid you not.  Some of them are still looking and it isn’t getting any easier.  Now maybe the few would couldn’t buy before the financial crises did great “waiting” by buying afterwards – but those folks are far and few between and those days are long behind us.  We have exceeded our pre-bust prices – by far!  And with the way our market has fully recovered, with amazing demand we have for housing on the San Francisco Peninsula and the lack of inventory – waiting means paying more money for less house.  And in some cases not even a house – but a condo or townhouse – or nothing at all.

There is a phrase in Real Estate we use.  Don’t wait and buy real estate – buy real estate and wait!  Once you own your home, you will gain equity as the market continues to climb.  Now I know so many buyers, myself included, that would like to see prices come down a bit – for affordability factors.  However, that’s not likely to happen here on the San Francisco Peninsula.  Do you know how many new office spaces are being built or planed to be built here?  I do.  And it is a lot.  And where are these people going to live?  If you want to rent a place these days – get ready to fork over at least $2000 for a one bedroom apartment if not a studio!  And why waste a good $2000 on rent when a person could easily afford a mortgage payment and actually earn some equity so that you can buy a larger house down the road.

The first home you buy will never be perfect, nice enough, or big enough.  But buy investing in a home – since we all need to live somewhere – a buyer will earn equity that will in turn get them into a better home down the road.  In the long run, you earn more money buying and holding real estate than the stock market or that saving account.

It breaks my heart to hear when person looses steam while trying to buy a home.  Our Bay Area real estate market is very competitive.  Always has, always will.  However, The Caton Team knows how to maneuver through it and have had great success with our buyers who take our sage advice, consider the facts, review our numbers and give it their all.

If you have questions regarding buying or selling – we are here to help – call or email me any time.

Sabrina

650-568-5522

sabrina_Caton@yahoo.com

 

Now for the article…

 

Why Homebuyers Need to Act Now

 

DAILY REAL ESTATE NEWS

 

Home buyers need to move fast if they want to spend less, notes Jonathan Smoke, chief economist at realtor.com® in commentary at the site.

“Delayed purchases will only result in higher monthly mortgage payments as prices and rates rise,” Smoke writes. Realtor.com® is forecasting that affordability may decline as much as 10 percent over the year.

The Federal Reserve continues to remind the financial markets that it plans to raise its target federal funds rate this year, which will cause mortgage rates to rise. Many economists are predicting 30-year fixed-rate mortgages to average near 5 percent by the end of the year.

For now, mortgage rates are near historical lows for homebuyers and home owners who can take advantage. Freddie Mac reported last week that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.66 percent (last year at this time it averaged 4.32 percent), and 15-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 2.98 percent (a year ago, it averaged 3.40 percent).

“Right now, the Fed is using the word ‘patient’ to describe its approach to picking the time to raise the target rate,” Smoke notes. “However, when the Fed ‘loses patience,’ rates will go up at least 20 to 40 basis points in anticipation of the target rate officially going up. … So, buyers beware: The clock on these low mortgage rates may be ticking.”

Source: “2015: Buy Now, Before the Fed’s Patience Ends,” realtor.com® (Jan. 30, 2015)

 

I read this article at: http://realtormag.realtor.org/daily-news/2015/02/04/why-homebuyers-need-act-now?om_rid=AACmlZ&om_mid=_BU0pLgB8-LaaY2&om_ntype=RMODaily

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

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 OUR NEW INSTAGRAM PAGE: http://instagram.com/thecatonteam

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

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices – Drysdale Properties

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

 

 

7 Smart Strategies for Kitchen Remodeling

7 Smart Strategies for Kitchen Remodeling

By: John Riha

Follow these 7 strategies to get the most financial gain on your kitchen remodel.

And if done right, a kitchen remodel can recoup much of its cost. Kitchen remodels in the $50,000 to $60,000 range recoup about 69% of the initial project cost when the home is sold.

A minor kitchen remodel of about $18,500 does even better, returning more than 75% of your investment, according to the most recent Cost vs. Value data from Remodeling magazine.

To maximize your return on investment, follow these 7 strategies to keep you on budget and help you make smart choices.

1. Plan, Plan, Plan

Planning your kitchen remodel should take more time than the actual construction. If you plan well, the amount of time you’re inconvenienced by construction mayhem will be minimized. Plus, you’re more likely to stay on budget.

 How much time should you spend planning? The National Kitchen and Bath Association recommends at least six months. That way, you won’t be tempted to change your mind during construction and create change orders, which will inflate construction costs and hurt your return on investment. 

Some tips on planning:

Study your existing kitchen: How wide is the doorway into your kitchen? It’s a common mistake many homeowners make: Buying the extra-large fridge only to find they can’t get it in the doorway. To avoid mistakes like this, create a drawing of your kitchen with measurements for doorways, walkways, counters, etc. And don’t forget height, too.

Think about traffic patterns: Work aisles should be a minimum of 42 inches wide and at least 48 inches wide for households with multiple cooks.

Design with ergonomics in mind: Drawers or pull-out shelves in base cabinets; counter heights that can adjust up or down; a wall oven instead of a range: These are all features that make a kitchen accessible to everyone — and a pleasure to work in.

Related: Test Your Ergonomic Design Knowledge

Plan for the unforeseeable: Even if you’ve planned down to the number of nails you’ll need in your remodel, expect the unexpected. Build in a little leeway for completing the remodel. Want it done by Thanksgiving? Then plan to be done before Halloween.

Choose all your fixtures and materials before starting: Contractors will be able to make more accurate bids, and you’ll lessen the risk of delays because of back orders.

Don’t be afraid to seek help: A professional designer can simplify your kitchen remodel. Pros help make style decisions, foresee potential problems, and schedule contractors. Expect fees around $50 to $150 per hour, or 5% to 15% of the total cost of the project.

More tips on planning a kitchen remodel:

Keep the same footprint
Get real about appliances
Don’t underestimate the power of lighting
Be quality-conscious
Add storage, not space
Communicate clearly with your remodelers

2. Keep the Same Footprint

Nothing will drive up the cost of a remodel faster than changing the location of plumbing pipes and electrical outlets, and knocking down walls. This is usually where unforeseen problems occur.

So if possible, keep appliances, water fixtures, and walls in the same location. 

Not only will you save on demolition and reconstruction costs, you’ll cut the amount of dust and debris your project generates.

More tips on planning a kitchen remodel:

Plan, plan, plan
Get real about appliances
Don’t underestimate the power of lighting
Be quality-conscious
Add storage, not space
Communicate clearly with your remodelers

3. Get Real About Appliances

It’s easy to get carried away when planning your new kitchen. A six-burner commercial-grade range and luxury-brand refrigerator may make eye-catching centerpieces, but they may not fit your cooking needs or lifestyle.

Appliances are essentially tools used to cook and store food. Your kitchen remodel shouldn’t be about the tools, but the design and functionality of the entire kitchen.

So unless you’re an exceptional cook who cooks a lot, concentrate your dollars on long-term features that add value, such as cabinets and flooring. 

Then choose appliances made by trusted brands that have high marks in online reviews and Consumer Reports.

More tips on planning a kitchen remodel:

Plan, plan, plan
Keep the same footprint
Don’t underestimate the power of lighting
Be quality-conscious
Add storage, not space
Communicate clearly with your remodelers

4. Don’t Underestimate the Power of Lighting

Lighting can make a world of difference in a kitchen. It can make it look larger and brighter. And it will help you work safely and efficiently. You should have two different types of lighting in your kitchen:
 
Task Lighting: Under-cabinet lighting should be on your must-do list, since cabinets create such dark work areas. And since you’re remodeling, there won’t be a better time to hard-wire your lights. (Here’s more about under-cabinet lights.) Plan for at least two fixtures per task area to eliminate shadows. Pendant lights are good for islands and other counters without low cabinets. Recessed lights and track lights work well over sinks and general prep areas with no cabinets overhead.

Ambient lighting: Flush-mounted ceiling fixtures, wall sconces, and track lights create overall lighting in your kitchen. Include dimmer switches to control intensity and mood.

Related: How to Choose the Best Bulb for the Job

More tips on planning a kitchen remodel:

Plan, plan, plan
Keep the same footprint
Get real about appliances
Be quality-conscious
Add storage, not space
Communicate clearly with your remodelers

5. Be Quality-Conscious

Functionality and durability should be top priorities during kitchen remodeling. Resist low-quality bargains, and choose products that combine low maintenance with long warranty periods. Solid-surface countertops, for instance, may cost a little more, but with the proper care, they’ll look great for a long time.

And if you’re planning on moving soon, products with substantial warranties are a selling advantage.

Related:

Kitchen Remodeling Decisions You’ll Never Regret

White: The Savvy and Chic Kitchen Color Choice

More tips on planning a kitchen remodel:

Plan, plan, plan
Keep the same footprint
Get real about appliances
Don’t underestimate the power of lighting
Add storage, not space
Communicate clearly with your remodelers

6. Add Storage, Not Space

Storage will never go out of style, but if you’re sticking with the same footprint, here are a couple of ideas to add more: 

Install cabinets that reach the ceiling: They may cost more — and you might need a stepladder — but you’ll gain valuable storage space for Christmas platters and other once-a-year items. In addition, you won’t have to dust cabinet tops.

Hang it up: Mount small shelving units on unused wall areas and inside cabinet doors; hang stock pots and large skillets on a ceiling-mounted rack; and add hooks to the backs of closet doors for aprons, brooms, and mops.

Related: Storage Options that Pack More Space in Your Kitchen

More tips on planning a kitchen remodel:

Plan, plan, plan
Keep the same footprint
Get real about appliances
Don’t underestimate the power of lighting
Be quality-conscious
Communicate clearly with your remodelers

7. Communicate Clearly With Your Remodelers

Establishing a good rapport with your project manager or construction team is essential for staying on budget. To keep the sweetness in your project:

Drop by the project during work hours: Your presence broadcasts your commitment to quality.

Establish a communication routine: Hang a message board on site where you and the project manager can leave daily communiqués. Give your email address and cell phone number to subs and team leaders.

Set house rules: Be clear about smoking, boom box noise levels, available bathrooms, and appropriate parking.

Be kind: Offer refreshments (a little hospitality can go a long way), give praise when warranted, and resist pestering them with conversation, jokes, and questions when they are working. They’ll work better when refreshed and allowed to concentrate on work.

Hope this helped you – please share your experiences!

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/

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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

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:   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