Walnut Creek, CA Real Estate News

By Matt Irvin, Experience & Dedication
(Century 21 MM)
Walnut Creek Community Information Welcome to the city of Walnut Creek, located in a beautiful part of California just miles east of the East Bay Region of the San Francisco Bay area. Uniquely, our area here is rich in resources, and gorgeous open space. In addition to the overall convenience factor, top-rated schools and parks, and desirable neighborhoods, Walnut Creek also offers a vibrant performing arts center and downtown atmosphere.Let’s talk about Downtown! A vital part of the community, downtown Walnut Creek is packed full of life, laughter, get togethers with friends and loved ones, delicious food options, and offers shopping resources for residents and visitors. Service providers, shops, restaurants, and entertainment venues primarily make up this area of town. And a huge part...
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By Matt Irvin, Experience & Dedication
(Century 21 MM)
When is the right time to hire a property management company? 2017 is still new to us, but it is here and happening so let’s dive in strong! Happy New Year and happy investing to you in 2017. If you are a real estate investor, it is important to know current information of property management companies, pros and cons. Most importantly, you need to know when to take that step in your business. So, let’s talk about that.This may be one of the biggest decisions you make as an investor and landlord, and it can be the best help you need or the worst decision at the time. We want you to have a positive experience with investing in real estate in every aspect that comes with the territory. If you are a small investor and are capable of handling everything yourself, it may save you money. Often...
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By Matt Irvin, Experience & Dedication
(Century 21 MM)
Tips for Financing Your Investment Property 2017 is literally right around the corner. Do have a resolution to invest in the New Year, in Contra Costa County? 2017 is your time to shine and make your dreams and aspirations come true in the real estate market. Interest rates are remaining low and the investment market is booming in demand. To ensure you are ready, here are some tips to prepare for financing your investment property.The Down-payment This is a very important factor to consider when investing. Securing this 20-25% down-payment helps insure you to get a traditional loan, and possibly even a better interest rate.Is Your Credit Score Ready? This may sound like a given, however, it is important to go over before headed to the loan officer. A higher credit score makes you a desi...
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By Laura Cerrano, Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher
(Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island)
Looking for a tasty treat while visiting Walnut Creek in California? Look not further then at A Sweet Affair Bakery. This little gem is family owned and operated. It was first established by Terry Babcock in 1984 and now run by his two daughters, Sarah and Jennifer. What keeps this bakery unique from most? They bake everything from scratch using no preservatives, palm oil or lard.  You will not be disappointed with this old time bakery flavor and charm. The homemade bread is amazing and if you need more then just cup cakes, the sandwiches are also amazing!
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By Matt Irvin, Experience & Dedication
(Century 21 MM)
Walnut Creek Chamber of Commerce Welcome to the Walnut Creek Chamber of Commerce! If you are a business professional, large or small, the benefits await. The chamber of commerce has so much to offer local businesses. They provide the business community with support, advocacy, education, and networking. As a business professional, it is great to have a backing, a community in your corner for resources and support all year long. That is the exact goal of the chamber. The not only advocate for the business community, but aim to promote a healthy business climate in the community. This type of professional relations really fosters and enhances the community as a whole.What else does the chamber offer? The chamber has programs, committees, conferences, festivals, and social events throughout...
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By Matt Irvin, Experience & Dedication
(Century 21 MM)
Walnut Creek, California Walnut Creek is a large and important city in Contra Costa County, California that is essentially located in the East Bay region of the San Francisco Bay area. Neighboring cities such as Oakland are easily accessible and the area serves as a junction and hub for I-680 and SR-24 which take you to the Oakland and San Francisco Bay areas. Its location is also ideal due to the accessibility to a vital public transportation system known as BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit).BART has continued to expand making it super convenient to get to surrounding areas like the Oakland International Airport, the San Francisco International Airport and the San Francisco Bay Bridge which is big on tourism. This is a huge metro system, the fifth busiest, combining a carrying capacity of ...
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By Matt Irvin, Experience & Dedication
(Century 21 MM)
Contra Costa County, California Contra Costa County is a large county located in California, primarily suburban and includes large cities such as Walnut Creek, Richmond, Concord, Martinez, and LaFayette. There are 19 active cities in this region which each have their own sub-communities. Martinez holds the county seat, and Concord is the largest city of them all. Contra Costa County is located on the Northern portion of the Eastern San Francisco Bay region, considered Northern California. In 2010, the population was 1,049,025 and continues to grow. The area is full of resources!Walnut Creek has a booming arts and recreation department which oversees the Aquatics, the Bedford Gallery, the Boundary Oak Golf Course, the Center for Community Arts, the Lesher Center for Arts, the Public Art ...
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By Matt Irvin, Experience & Dedication
(Century 21 MM)
Multi-Family- Looking Ahead to 2017 2016 has been a good year with interest rates and benefits for real estate investors especially when using 1031 exchanges to your investing benefits. Multi-family housing has become in demand because it is a great way to invest in real estate by having more tenants under one roof, to name one benefit. In fact, the past few years have been favorable for the multifamily market. With single family construction down the last few years, developers have turned to apartments for work. And now, investors are also catching up to the opportunities to invest in multi-family units.But what will 2017 bring, now that 2016 is nearing an end? Will the next year remain the same, increase, or decrease as it relates to multifamily investors? Remember when construction w...
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By Matt Irvin, Experience & Dedication
(Century 21 MM)
Buying Small Apartments The bigger the deal, the bigger the risks are. Therefore, starting small with buying small apartment complexes may be the best option for you. The benefits for a new investor are great. You can get a loan easier, or participate in a 1031 exchange as we like to talk about in this blog. Also, there will be a profit on a lower scale of investment expense. It is known that as an investor, buying apartments and multi-family buildings is the best way to go. Mainly because you have all of your tenants under one roof and you can even hire a property management company for a better deal. Pros of having a property management company are that you typically pay a percentage off the whole and they take care of everything else as a liaison would. If you hired a property manage...
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By Matt Irvin, Experience & Dedication
(Century 21 MM)
Rules and Exceptions to 1031 Exchanges Recently, we have been blogging about general information and benefits of participating in 1031 exchanges as an investor. It can sometimes be heavy information although a fairly simple concept, and a great opportunity in your real estate endeavors. Now, it is time to break down the rules and exceptions to 1031 exchanges.As a brief introduction, 1031 is simply the IRS code which allows for a tax deferred property exchange. You are exchanging one property for another which is equally qualified to delay capital gains taxes, within a specific time frame. The equity received from the sale of your relinquished property must be used to buy the replacement property.There are 3 main rules to focus on. 1. Time Limit of your replacement property Once you have...
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By Valerie Crowell, Broker Associate
(Keller Williams)
The Bay Area housing market this summer was actually quite slow compared to previous years. Summer months are typically booming for the housing market so this was most definitely not what people, especially those working in real estate had anticipated, especially with such a solid Fall and Spring. For the Bay Area specifically, affordability concerns are what kept a lid on sales. Homebuyers have been fatigued by the past few years of bidding wars, no contingency offers and overpaying for properties. This has been the reality lately and buyers decided to take a step back and re-evaluate the market, especially with the elections around the corner. With that all being said, since Summer ended and we entered the Fall housing market, things have finally taken a more positive turn. And even w...
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By Matt Irvin, Experience & Dedication
(Century 21 MM)
1031 Exchanges- Why the time is NOW There is no doubt about it, the time is now to learn more about and participate in 1031 exchanges. A 1031 exchange is an excellent use of the tax system, in the form of a deferment that has made many investors very successful. 2016 is becoming known as the best year to get involved in using 1031 exchanges.As an introduction for new readers, you will most likely want a clear definition in what a 1031 exchange is. 1031 is simply the IRS code which allows for an exchange to take place while deferring the capital gains taxes when the property is sold so long as another similar property is purchased using the profit gained from that sale. Sounds complicated but it is commonly used, and makes a lot of sense for investors. Saving yourself from the taxes is n...
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By Matt Irvin, Experience & Dedication
(Century 21 MM)
Grow Your Wealth- Invest in Real Estate, Contra Costa County, CAIt is a commonly known fact that investing in real estate is a great way to grow your wealth. Some even say it’s the best way. But the kind of investing that you are doing is the key factor. Homeowners see purchasing their home as an investment; which is a loose definition of the term. It may be an investment in your future; however, it will not pay you back. In fact, it will cost you continuously. Therefore, if you are looking to invest, go for multi-family housing!Multi-Family Continues to Be Great: An important factor to look at is the economy and generations. Baby boomers are on their way into retirement, and there are a lot of them! Multi-family apartments are a great opportunity for this particular community of people...
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By Chris Freck, EstaR Mortgage, A Bilingual Brokerage
(EstaR Mortgage)
Rent Payments Can Really Add Up!No matter how much you pay in rent, you might be surprised what it adds up to over the years. Investing your money is a wiser financial choice. With the current home prices and mortgage rates, this is an excellent time to look into buying your own home in Walnut Creek , California.Common Concerns of Renters and Homeowners - Advantages and ConsiderationsBUYINGProperty builds equityResponsible for maintenanceTax deductible mortgage interest*Responsible for property taxesFree to change decor and landscapingResponsible for hazard insuranceNot dependent on landlord to maintain propertyRENTINGLandlord is responsiblefor maintenanceNo equity gainsLandlord is responsible forproperty taxesRent payments are not tax deductiblePossibility of evictionNo control over re...
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By Jayne Combs NMLS#222444, Sr. Mortgage Consultant
(Preferred Rate Partnered with American Pacific Mortgage #1850)
It's been 3 months since TRID came into effect.  How has your experience been thus far?  How has it affected your closings?
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By Matt Irvin, Experience & Dedication
(Century 21 MM)
Real estate investment is key to diversification.  What does that mean?  Stocks and bonds are what people typically think of when it comes to a financial portfolio.  But to truly diversify, you should consider investing in real estate.Real Estate Investment = Diversification of AssetsYour company offers a 401k with matching funds up to 3%.  What do you do?  You take it, of course.  You'd be silly to turn down free money, right?  But, as the saying goes, you don't want to put all your eggs in one basket.  The key to a strong financial portfolio is to diversify.  Mutual funds can be helpful to those who are just dipping their toes into the financial pool.  Another good area to consider is real estate investment.You own your own home.  That's great.  Home prices are on the rise.  For examp...
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By Matt Irvin, Experience & Dedication
(Century 21 MM)
The Federal Reserve is the United States' central banking system.  They are the ones that have kept interest rates low since the financial crisis of 2008.  This is where lenders look to when they determine base interest rates.  The latest jobs report last month was better than expected.  Many financial experts believe that this may indicate a possible rate hike at the Fed's next meeting in December.  You might be wondering what a Federal rate hike means for East Bay Buyers.  Let me break it down for you.What a Federal Rate Hike Means for East Bay BuyersAdjustable-rate mortgages will most likely be the first ones hit by an increase.  These are the ones that react the quickest to any rate changes.  Fixed-rate mortgages take a little more time.  This is true whether you purchase a new home...
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By Matt Irvin, Experience & Dedication
(Century 21 MM)
Many companies offer a "Know Your Numbers" campaign as part of their health care package.  Employees get a quick check of their blood pressure, heart rate, cholesterol and glucose levels.  This helps you get a picture of what your general health looks like at that moment.  Then you know where you need to tweak or completely change to make your numbers better.  Consider this your "Know Your Numbers - Real Estate Edition".Know Your Numbers - Real Estate EditionCredit Score - The very first part of the Know Your Numbers - Real Estate Edition is to know your credit score.  Lenders use this to help determine your interest rate.  To qualify for the best interest rates, your score needs be at least 720.  However, there are several plans in place that you could benefit from if your score is low...
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By Matt Irvin, Experience & Dedication
(Century 21 MM)
Financial activist and author Robert Kiyosaki has stated that "real estate investing, even on a very small scale, remains a tried and true means of building an individual's cash flow".  You've decided that you want to start building your real estate portfolio.  You've bought a nice piece of property in the East Bay that you would like to rent out.  When it comes to the question of handling business directly with your renter or having a property management company take care of it, why hire a property management company?Why Hire a Property Management Company?Why hire a property management company?  Nowadays, most people have pretty hectic lives.  Between work, kids and significant others, we all run ourselves ragged.  Investing in real estate is also an investment in our future.  But it c...
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By Matt Irvin, Experience & Dedication
(Century 21 MM)
Have you picked up your pumpkin yet for Halloween?  Its not too late.  October 31st is still nine days away.  East Bay pumpkin patches have everything you need to make your jack-o-lantern the best it's ever been.  There are several different patches to choose from.  And each offers so much more than picking pumpkins to get you in the holiday mood.East Bay Pumpkin PatchesWhere: Clayton Valley Pumpkin Farm (1060 Pine, Clayton, CA) When: Now through October 31st 9am to 8pm Cost: Free admission, fee for activities Contact: Clayton Valley Pumpkin Farm (925) 672-5198 or via emailBefore you go searching for just the right pumpkin for your Halloween decor, make your way through the giant straw tunnel in the Plumpkin Playground.  Join the duck races at the Little Carver's Barnyard.  Try your han...
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