Santa Rosa, CA Real Estate News

By Rick Costa, FHA/VA/USDA expert
(Primary Residential Mortgage Inc. NMLS 3094)
Late last week, H.U.D.  unveiled a new set of guidelines under the FHA loan program for  borrowers adversely impacted by economic downturn of the last five years. The "Back To Work" program is geared towards borrowers who can substantiate that,  their inability to make their  mortgage payments, (that  ultimately led to foreclosure or pre-foreclosure sale, deed-in-lieu, etc.) , was caused by an economic event, may now be eligible after 12 months for an FHA loan. For the purposes of this program, an "Economic Event" is defined as "any occurrence beyond the borrower’s control that results in loss of employment, loss of income, or a combination of both, which causes a reduction in the borrower’s household income of twenty (20) percent or more for a period of at least six (6) months. There ...
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By Rick Costa, FHA/VA/USDA expert
(Primary Residential Mortgage Inc. NMLS 3094)
Then number of home sales in California for the month of July,  surged 17% over June with 48,000+ existing homes changing hands. The July sales figure were the highest for any July since 66,929 homes sold in July 2005! The median price paid for a home in California in July was $363,000, 3.1 percent above the June median of $352,000 and up 29.2 percent from 12 months earlier when the median was $281,000. July marked the 17th consecutive month in which the median price rose on an annual basis. The highest median in the state was recorded in March, April, and May of 2007 at $484,000, The post-peak trough was $221,000 in April 2009. According to the most recent data from the California Association of Realtors, the median sales price for homes in Mendocino County was $242,860 for June 2013....
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By Romy Campbell, REALTOR
(Pacific Union International)
  What does "Time is of the Essence" mean when buying or selling a home in Sonoma County?   You may have noticed the phrase "time is of the essence" on one or more real estate forms. But what does it mean?   It means that deadlines must be met – or else. Or else what?   That depends upon the contract clause. If your agreement says you must complete an inspection by a set date and you don't do it, it means you've accepted the house as is. If the agreement says you must let the seller know about items of concern within a set number of days after an inspection, it means that you have only that many days to back out of the contract or re-negotiate based on the inspection.   The same is true for other contingencies. They must be removed by the specified date or the contingency evaporates.   ...
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By Dave Roberts
(Healdsburg Sotheby's International Realty)
Yesterday was pool cleanup day for our small HOA in Santa Rosa. A happy group of volunteers helped with everything from pruning overgrown rosemary to general cleanup. With a pool opening scheduled for May 1 and the water temperature already approaching 80 degrees, everyone was in cheerful spirits. Our most amazing volunteer was Lena, our 90 something champion baker who cranks out wonderful pies on short notice for almost any occasion...or no special occasion. She just loves making pies. Lena has a family gathering coming soon and she enjoys having the club house and pool area sparkling for her large brood of kids, grandkids, great grandkids, etc., so she feels like she should help with the once a year cleanup. Lena spent a good chunk of the morning cleaning the chairs and tables of thei...
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By Romy Campbell, REALTOR
(Pacific Union International)
Whether you're buying or selling a home here in Sonoma County, pets and real estate simply don't mix. If you're selling a house, the best thing to do is take your pets with you when you vacate for showings. If that's not possible, they need to be contained in a kennel or a kennel cage. Why? Three reasons. Some prospective buyers are deathly afraid of dogs and cats. If your pet is loose in the house, they won't come in. And truthfully, you shouldn't want them to. Most dogs believe it's their duty to protect their home and family. That means even the friendliest dog might decide to take a bite out of an "intruder." The liability is such that even if the buyers want to go in, the agent might refuse to allow it. The second reason is that "pet people" will focus on the pet instead of the hou...
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By Romy Campbell, REALTOR
(Pacific Union International)
  Silence is Golden When Buying or Selling a Home in Santa Rosa, Sonoma County   Do you wonder why Santa Rosa real estate agents recommend that sellers be absent when their home is shown?   There are two good reasons: The first is that buyers will naturally feel more at ease, and will look more thoroughly when the seller isn't hovering nearby. When the seller is there, they'll hesitate to open closet doors, turn on the faucets, or linger long enough to sit down and absorb how the house "feels." The second is that sellers can inadvertently give away their negotiating power. Buyers' agents want to avoid conversations between buyer and seller (or buyer and seller's agent) for the same reason. A seemingly innocent question, such as "Why are you moving?" can lead to answers that reveal your ...
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By Mike Young, FHA 203k Consultant 916-758-1809
(203kOnLine.com, covering the USA)
The FannieMae HomeStyle loan program is very much like the FHA 203k loan guarantee program in the way it works. It is a loan that includes the purchase money and money to make the repairs on a fixer all in one low interest loan. That way the investor has the money to complete the job for sure. It is sitting in the bank and can't be misused on another project and it can be tempting to try from time to time especially for the novice investor. This works so much like the FHA 203k loan program that we, as 203k consultants, can do the work write up for this program as well. Once we determine the "scope of work" with the investor's assistance of course, that becomes the work that must be done as the appraiser will then appraise the property "as repaired" and come up with a value. That lets th...
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By Cynthia Larsen, Independent Broker In Sonoma County, CA
FREE admission: Charles M. Schulz Museum - Nov 18 2012 - Santa Rosa CA Are you a Peanuts fan? You almost have to be if you are a resident of Santa Rosa CA, where hundreds of Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Lucy and Woodstock statues are on display. Tourists arrive here from all over the world, wanting to see where Peanut's creator, Charles M. "Sparky" Schulz, lived and wrote his comic strips. In honor of Mr. Schulz's birthday, the Charles M. Schulz museum will open its doors to the public for FREE on Sunday, Nov 18 2012. This will be a great day (it's supposed to be raining!) to enjoy the following current exhibits: Name dropping: Faithful Peanuts readers would love it when Sparky would include sports personalities, politicians, authors, actors and scientists in his comic strip. This exhibit has...
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By John Souerbry, Homes, Land & Investments
(Cordon Real Estate)
Sonoma County luxury homes and estates offer beautiful settings and a great value in Wine Country.  There are currently 17 Sonoma County properties on the market with an asking price over $4,000,000 (same as last week). Here are the Sonoma County Top 10 luxury homes and estates offered for sale as of October 24, 2012.  Visit our Wine Country MLS Search page and enter the property address to view the MLS listing for each property.  Contact me if you have any questions or if I may assist with your search of Sonoma County luxury homes, land and estates.  john@jsrealproperty.com   Top 10 Sonoma County Luxury Homes and Estates City List Price Bed/Bath Sq. Feet Acres Location Calistoga $35,000,000 3/3.5 9,700 500 10500 Franz Valley Rd Santa Rosa $10,750,000 4/2.5 Note 1 428 5525 Bennett Valle...
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By Doug Lyons, Realtor - Selling Homes in Sonoma County, CA
(Vanguard Properties, BRE License #01888718)
Santa Rosa California Real Estate Market Report Whether you are considering selling or purchasing a home, knowing what's happening within the local market right now is absolutely essential. Here are some key market statistics for all single family residences sold in the city of Santa Rosa, California during the month of September 2012.  All transactions that closed and recorded between September 1, 2012 through September 30, 2012 would be captured in these market statistics.  I've pulled September 2011 figures to compare them against and the swing is dramatic. Santa Rosa California Homes Sold 2012 Homes Sold (Sept 2012) = 165 Single Family Residences 2011 Homes Sold (Sept 2011) = 149 SFR 11% increase over same period in 2011 Median Home Statistics 2012 - 3 bed / 2 bath / 1612 sq ft 2011...
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By Linda D. Pufford, ASPM, Marin/Sonoma Home Stager
(Stage with Divine Style - Home Staging)
"Home Staging in the most Beautiful Setting" We had the opportunity to stage one of the most awesome homes in the most beautiful setting.  Surrounded by the trickling sound of running water and gorgeous trees we found ourselves (even after we finished staging this home) not wanting to leave.  After a sigh as we were locking the door and returning to our cars we decided we would go to the nearby Polo Club just a few short blocks away and have lunch as we watched the Polo Players playing an excited game of Polo. Here are a few pictures of this serene setting that tugged at our hearts for a few hours as we staged this beautiful home.  Look for more photos to follow.             "You never get a second chance...  to make a Great First Impression!"   Linda D. Pufford, ASPM With Divine Style ...
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By Cynthia Larsen, Independent Broker In Sonoma County, CA
  Have you ever been in an on-going dispute with a neighbor? Do you think you could ever get so fed up it would prompt you to rent a jackhammer and take matters into your own hands? A property owner in Santa Rosa CA did just that, and in the end it paid off. When I opened the local newspaper and saw a photo of a carport with a fence running through it, I had to jump into my car to take a look for myself. As the newspaper reported, a home owner had encroached upon his neighbors property nearly 50 years ago and there had been an ongoing dispute ever since. When the home went into foreclosure and was briefly owned by Bank of America, the wronged home owner decided to let every potential buyer know that the carport had been built 4 feet over his property line. The buyer got the message lou...
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By Linda D. Pufford, ASPM, Marin/Sonoma Home Stager
(Stage with Divine Style - Home Staging)
"Home Staging Tips ~ Advice For Sellers" When preparing your home for sale don't forget the 5 C's.  Curb Appeal ~ This one factor alone can help get potential clients in the door of your home.  Your front and backyard are an extension of your home and  can make or break a client feeling comfortable about stepping into the inside of your home. Clean ~ Once a potential buyer walks into your home it is important that they see a clean and well maintained home.  A fresh coat of paint often is an easy way to freshen up your home and also one of the least expensive ways to give your home an up-to-date look. Clutter-Free ~ Showing off as much square footage as possible is key to making a home feel roomy and larger than if there is to much clutter everywhere. Color ~ Keep the color in your home ...
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By Mike Higgins and Paula Lewis
(Century 21 Valley of the Moon)
Our current inventory shows 29 homes for sale in Oakmont. For the previous week, we had one new listing, five escrows opened and five escrows closed. For a complete list of all the homes currently for sale in our MLS system, please click on the link below: View Listings For details on any of these homes for sale in Oakmont, please click on Search by MLS Number and select "Sonoma" from the "Choose a County" dropdown box, then enter the MLS number at the bottom of the search screen. Note: This is a live link, so any additions or changes to these listings will be reflected within 30 minutes or less. For more information on the community of Oakmont, please click on Oakmont California.
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By Lynn Tardibuono, Sun Pacific Mortgage and Real Estate
(Sun Pacific Mortgage and Real Estate)
Sonoma County stats: Here’s the raw data. In April 715 houses went into contract to purchase, up from March’s 647 homes in contract to purchase. This number has been increasing steadily over the past several months and will hopefully continue to rise! Check out this graph to see the info for yourself: Chart - http://winecountryandhorses.com/files/2012/05/Screen-Shot-2012-05-01-at-5.40.04-PM.png If you haven’t thought about it, now may be the perfect time for you to invest in or purchase real estate. Now is the time while it’s still considered to be a buyer’s market. Prices are low, interest rates are rock bottom and value is starting to improve. Give me a call today!   Lynn Tardibuono – Flipper Chick- Real Estate Agent and Co-Owner of Sun Pacific Mortgage and Real Estate.  Serving Sonom...
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By Lynn Tardibuono, Sun Pacific Mortgage and Real Estate
(Sun Pacific Mortgage and Real Estate)
These are some good market updates from professionals in the respective industries: “If activity is sustained near present levels, existing-home sales will see their best performance in five years. Based on all the factors in the current market, that’s what we’re expecting with sales rising seven to ten percent in 2012” ~ Lawrence Yun (NAR Chief Economist)   “Stabilizing in the U.S. housing fundamentals is creating an attractive investment opportunity. Many of the ingredients are in place for continued improvement in housing” ~ Goldman Sachs Group   “Hard Money loans are increasing in popularity due to their being reasonable with today’s Buyers and Borrowers.  Below is a Hard Money Purchase Scenario and the Hard Money Loan Program for the Buyer:    Buyers are selling their home on a sh...
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By Lynn Tardibuono, Sun Pacific Mortgage and Real Estate
(Sun Pacific Mortgage and Real Estate)
Current Uses For Hard Money   Here are some Scenarios that depict the most recent and popular uses for Hard Money:   Scenario 1:  You have loanable equity in your property, whether it’s residential, commercial or land, and want to borrow against it.  Loanable equity means the amount you can borrow that exceeds what you already owe not to exceed 70% of the value of the property.  You usually cannot borrow 100% of the value.  You’ve tried your favorite bank, your favorite savings and loan, your favorite credit union, your favorite mortgage broker and gone on line and applied on several sites for a loan.  It’s been no, no, no, no, no and no in that order.           Scenario 2:  You have 30% or more down - from whatever source - and want to buy a home as your primary residence.  Your credit...
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By Lynn Tardibuono, Sun Pacific Mortgage and Real Estate
(Sun Pacific Mortgage and Real Estate)
Sorting Through the Social Media Can O' Worms Some Great Useful New Stuff! Anyone else out there totally bombarded with social media? I always make sure I’m as up-to-date as reasonably possible on the latest and greatest in social media, social networking and marketing. I found this interesting list of media I hadn’t heard of yet and thought I’d share. Many of you are already building and revolutionizing your identity online, gaining followers and fans, building referral lists and databases and all from a computer. However, here is the next layer of social media ‘stuff’ you should be in on. Realbird: This is a tool you can use that’s in conjunction to your Facebook, because of course all these things must connect to something else! This mobile tool helps you make more creative business ...
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By Lynn Tardibuono, Sun Pacific Mortgage and Real Estate
(Sun Pacific Mortgage and Real Estate)
Sonoma County Statistics Update See how this local area is doing All of you out there in Sonoma County who are still doubtful that the market is in fact ‘in recovery’, take a look at these statistics! I refer to Trulia quite frequently to give me accurate updates on the market trends through statistics. Numbers and data is what I’m looking for and Trulia delivers a great report. Take a look at what the stats say about the market local to Northern California: “The median sales price for homes in Santa Rosa, CA for Mar 12 to May 12 was $270,000. This represents an increase of 6%, or $15,217, compared to the prior quarter. The average listing price for Santa Rosa homes for sale on Trulia was $587,807 for the week ending May 30, which represents an increase of 0.2%, or $1,378, compared to t...
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By Lynn Tardibuono, Sun Pacific Mortgage and Real Estate
(Sun Pacific Mortgage and Real Estate)
Stats on Facebook and Pinterest See all the numbers for yourself! I don’t know about you, but I use social media every virtually every day. Whether I’m updating a listing on Trulia or Zillow and then alerting Facebook, or I’m blogging on ActiveRain or LinkedIn, I’m constantly in contact with social media and free advertising websites. After a while of doing this, however, I start to feel like sometimes I’m just putting information out there “to the universe of cyber world”. It’s always good to touch bases with reality and see how many people actually are viewing these websites. So here are some reassuring stats I came across about Facebook and Pinterest that peaked my interest. Facebook: Has 845 million active users. Accounts for one out of every five pageviews on the internet worldwide...
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