Walnut Creek, CA Real Estate News

By Matt Irvin, Experience & Dedication
(Century 21 MM)
I went to the 2008 Emerald Bowl at San Francisco's AT&T Park, what a blast. I watched the OSU Beavers beat the Maryland Terps and felt proud to be a class of "92" Beaver.  The Beavers VS. The Turtles, anyway after attending the bowl luncheon the previous day a few  classmates and myself traveled to the stadium and joined the festivities at pier 48 then followed the orange and black crowd into the stadium.  It was great seeing the beavs play well. The Stadium was dominated with the Beaver Nation, we've come a long way.
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By Matt Irvin, Experience & Dedication
(Century 21 MM)
After doing a search on google I found a great musician with the same name as mine.  I wonder if we are related? I like his ability to produce the music all himself, it seems he uses some type of recording machine, very creative and you can see the talent. Whats funny is I do have relatives from Australia on my fathers side. Apparently the roots go back to England. Anyway I have followed Matts progress through the last year or so and he has created this video on youtube. 
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By Matt Irvin, Experience & Dedication
(Century 21 MM)
If your interested in free Contra Costa County MLS information please visit my website at www.mattirvin.comWalnut Creek is a largely affluent suburb several miles east of Oakland in Contra Costa County, California, USA, in the East Bay region of the San Francisco Bay Area. While not as large as neighboring Concord, Walnut Creek serves as the business and entertainment hub for the neighboring cities within central Contra Costa County (due in part to its location at the junction of the highways from Sacramento and San Jose (I-680) and San Francisco/Oakland (SR-24). As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 64,296.Neighborhoods:DowntownLakewoodLarkey ParkNorthgateParkmeadRossmoorWalnut HeightsYgnacio Valley  Version 1.2, November 2002 Copyright (C) 2000,2001,2002 Free Softw...
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By Terrylynn Fisher, HAFA Certified, EcoBroker, CRS, CSP Realtor, Etc.
(Dudum Real Estate Group - BuyStageSell.com)
So what does the homeowner really want to know when they ask a stager: How many homes have you staged? (A number means you must be good, right? Are you competent?) How long have you been home staging? (Are you any good at what you do? Are you competent?) What kind of furniture do you have? (It is the furniture that makes the staging, right? And, oh by the way, are you competent?) In my“what do sellers really mean when they say” blog, I made mention of the fact that sometimes we often answer the questions sellers ask, not what they really want to know. They really want to know if you are competent. You show you are competent with your Presentation, Portfolio, References and Image. Miriam Webster’s definition of competent is: Competent – 1: proper or rightly pertinent, 2: having requisite...
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By Nate Ellis, "Mr Danke Schoen"
(HomeWay.tv - Keller Williams Realty East Bay 925-337-8489)
Get up to $65,000 to help you buy your first home in Walnut Creek, Contra Costa County, California.Summary:  The City of Walnut Creek offers First Time Home Buyer's Down Payment Assistance equal to 17% of the purchase price to a maximum of $65,000.  The assistance is a 0% interest loan bound with an equity share clause.  To be eligible for the assistance you must live or work in the incorporated areas of Walnut Creek and meet the income guideline restrictions, 110% of median income, based on the number of persons living in home.Special financing may also be available, including additional Down Payment Assistance and Below Market Interest Rates.  Restrictions Apply.To see if you are eligible for assistance contact Nate Ellis.Or Call 888-808-NATE (6283)Click Here to download the official ...
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By Meridith Zomalt
(Intero Real Estate Services - Tice Valley Office)
Rossmoor is a nationally recognized and award winning 55+ active adult community located in the picturesque 2,200-acre Tice Valley area of Walnut Creek, California. Rossmoor is surrounded by acres of open space, and is only two miles from downtown Walnut Creek, and 25 miles from downtown San Francisco.Development of the community began in 1963, and today, there are approximately 6,700 residential units that include cooperatives, condominiums and single-family homes.  Forty percent of the units are garden-style duplexes to four-plexes, and the remaining are either mid-to-high-rise, and one area of individual single-family homes. Rossmoor has something for everyone. Residential units currently range in price from $120,000 for cooperatives to nearly $2 million for single family homes. At l...
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Most of us like to save a dollar and many, like myself, do not like paying retail for anything if we can help it. (See Paying Retail is for suckers)  So for those of you who, like me, enjoy keeping money in your pocket here are links to three cool sites that feature money saving coupon's for all kinds of things.  I also have a Christmas gift for you: A Staples, in store, on phone, or online, $20 off of $100 dollars or more spent.  I think I'm going to print this one out and head to my Walnut Creek Staples right now!Happy Savings!!!Staples CouponSlickDeals.netDealNews.comDealmein.net 
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By CCRIM Contra Costa Realtors in Motion
(Contra Costa Realtors in Motion)
Congratulations to our Newly Elected Board for 2008President - Lynda Dimond, Keller Williams Vice President - Nate Ellis, Residential Pacific Mortgage Treasurer - Margalit Ir, Bank of America Secretary - Kathy Monthei, Diablo Realty Sgt. at Arms - Jim Marshall, Fleury's Floor Coverings And a special Thanks to Mike Handlin, Coldwell Banker for running the Tour Desk. Contra Costa Realtors in Motion is a Realtor marketing group in the San Francisco, California East Bay.  CCRIM provides a forum for REALTORS to present their properties for sale to a group of 240-270 industry professionals. The meeting coincides with the areas Broker's Tour which is held on Tuesdays.  CCRIM also has a group Caravan Tour that you must sign up for separately from the Broker's Open.  Members of CCRIM car pool to...
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By Nate Ellis, "Mr Danke Schoen"
(HomeWay.tv - Keller Williams Realty East Bay 925-337-8489)
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By Terrylynn Fisher, HAFA Certified, EcoBroker, CRS, CSP Realtor, Etc.
(Dudum Real Estate Group - BuyStageSell.com)
 CONTRA COSTA TIMESMisconception #1 - Giving a credit for a perceived defect or improvement is the same as having it done... "We'll give a credit for the ...stained carpet, paint, landscaping, roof, etc."As a consumer, when buying a car that needs new tires, do you feel you should pay the same price as if it had new tires?   Would you be willing to pay more for the convenience of not having to have the tires put on yourself?  Interesting thing to think about, probably you'd want to be able to drive away in the new car, new tires and good condition and not have to take time off work, drive straight to the shop to get the new tires, etc.  Right?  And worse, when negotiating, you might have doubts that if the tires are in need of replacement, perhaps the people selling the car didn't take ...
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By Terrylynn Fisher, HAFA Certified, EcoBroker, CRS, CSP Realtor, Etc.
(Dudum Real Estate Group - BuyStageSell.com)
Recently a Realtor I know told me they have had people ask them if staging was just a way of manipulating the buyer to want something that wasn’t what it appeared to be? Are Realtors tricking buyers into buying homes they may not want? Are we deceiving people about a home’s condition? Does staging really benefit buyers and sellers? Here is what your Realtor and Stager Teams recommend and believe should occur in preparing a home and staging a home for sale that adds benefit and value to both buyer and seller. A home that has been inspected (if the roof leaks or plumbing leaks they should be addressed before going on the market and/or inspections) A home that has been updated with repairs in mind. Take updated flooring for instance. You don’t have to tear out the beautiful tile floor to r...
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By Terry Osburn, Broker Associate
(BHHS|Drysdale Properties)
Due to the overwhelming need to assist homeowners in presenting their homes as short sales to their lenders, Catherine Myers( http://www.DiabloValley.net  )and I are working together to hopefully assist homeowners in distress to minimize the damage to their credit. Our blog http://contracostashortsales.wordpress.com/ has some valuable information and links for those seeking some guidance.We are starting to see the banks cooperate more in doing short sales. We make NO guarantees. We are NOT attorneys. We encourage you to check with your lender first, seek legal counsel as well as check with your tax advisor before proceeding with a short sale. There is tax implications in both short sales and foreclosures.If you have a hardship such as divorce, medical issues, loss of job etc you will ne...
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By Moisés "Moe" Pagán
This week I attended Real Estate Marketing Expo 2007 in Sacramento.  I am always searching for continuing education to up my game and keep my skills keen to better market my clients properties in Walnut Creek and the surrounds.  This particular presentation by Max Pigman was dedicated to showing the current technology and how this can be used to better market for your clients.  Some really good nuggets in there that I will be able to use immediately to more effectively market my clients properties to the larger public.   What I did not expect was being introduced to one really cool piece of technology by Microsoft called "Surface".  It previewed in May of 2007, but somehow I missed it and I think some of you out there may have also.  This needs to be seen to be believed but basically it...
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By Owen Hennefer
(Ionways)
As I mentioned in previous blog posts, the Chamber is a great opportunity to meet people that have the same desire to help people. These like minded people provide professional services that allow clients to have a positive experience hiring business professionals. First and foremost is that the client receives the utmost respect as well as meeting the respect of business colleagues. Yesterday I had the opportunity to meet a like minded professional Steven J. Mehlman. Mr. Mehlman and Marc L. Terbeek established Mehlman TerBeek LLP, a full-service law firm based in Walnut Creek, California in October of 2002. Mr. Mehlman and his firm offer a complete package backed by 24+ years experience. Visit Mr. Mehlman & his team at Mehlman TerBeek LLP. They can provide services to a wide range of c...
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By Mike Mueller
(Tech and Social Media Consultant)
Yesterday I detailed how subprime loans are chopped, diced and sold into various segments to investors.  I think it was pretty clear but just in case here's a refresher course (YT Video) from CNBC: LINK   The important take away is that the company that you think might own the mortgage is in fact only the servicer of the mortgage.  The actual loan has been split into five different pools with any number of different investors buying portions of those pools.  There is no ONE owner to modify the loan. BACK TO ARNOLD'S Although it's hard to find the actual details of "the deal", here's what I can determine for Arnold's plan to be effective... The Lender will have to have NOT sold the loan.  This does happen.  Portfolio lenders have a better chance of keeping their loans, but none of the 4 ...
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By Terrylynn Fisher, HAFA Certified, EcoBroker, CRS, CSP Realtor, Etc.
(Dudum Real Estate Group - BuyStageSell.com)
A story I tell often is about a stager that worked with me for about a year before she moved...drat...She was good about being on time, good about how to handle the clients if and when I wasn't around.  She listened to me when I gave her the rundown on their situation and was always sensitive to what I briefed her of their challenges, etc. ie, divorce, sick kids, or just strapped for money.  BUT the one thing that really solidified our relationship and made her an invaluable part of my team was the Sunday when she was driving home from church and just "stopped by" to check on a staging we had done a couple days before, because she knew I was having an open house that Sunday in about an hour and wanted to be sure it was just right.  That's not the end of the story.  She went into the hou...
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 Along the way in my career, especially with the advent of the internet, I have had people question me about the validity of even having a real estate consultant along side you when you purchase or sell a house in Walnut Creek and the surrounding areas.  Let's look at what Zillow and Expedia founder, Rich Barton said at a recent National Association of Realtors technology session on Wednesday when he was assuring realtors that his company is an ally, not an enemy: "A valued, trusted consultant is absolutely fundamental to the process. I would not do a transaction myself without an adviser, and I don't know many people who would," He goes onto say: "Real estate transactions are more complex than booking a trip (reference to Expedia and how it changed the travel business), and "for the va...
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By Terrylynn Fisher, HAFA Certified, EcoBroker, CRS, CSP Realtor, Etc.
(Dudum Real Estate Group - BuyStageSell.com)
Staging your home to sell - Manipulation? Trickery? Deceit?  What do Buyers and Sellers get from a "Staged Home"?Recently I have had people ask me if staging was just a way of manipulating the buyer to want something that wasn't what it appeared to be?  Are we tricking buyers into buying homes they may not want?  Are we deceiving people about a home's condition?  WOW!  Such a pure and simple concept turned ugly?  Or does staging really benefit buyers and sellers?   Here is what the Realtors who believe in staging recommend and believe should occur in preparing a home and staging a home for sale that adds benefit and value to both buyer and seller.  -A home that has been inspected (if the roof leaks or plumbing leaks you'll know)-A home that has been updated with repairs in mind.  You do...
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By Terrylynn Fisher, HAFA Certified, EcoBroker, CRS, CSP Realtor, Etc.
(Dudum Real Estate Group - BuyStageSell.com)
went to a barbeque in 2002 and was talking real estate with someone who had been renting nearby for about 15 years.  He planned to buy a home but wanted to wait until prices dropped because they surely couldn't go any higher. We talked about renting vs. buying and the equity building and write off advantages of owning real estate. We discussed that paying rent pays off the landlord's mortgage.  We discussed the risk of owning stock vs. real estate and that you can't live in your stock like you can in real estate or write off your taxes and mortgage interest.  He said he would think about it and call me when the bottom dropped out of the real estate market as, in his opinion, it surely would. A year later in 2003 we met again at the same annual barbeque and we talked about it again.  Wha...
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By Terry Osburn, Broker Associate
(BHHS|Drysdale Properties)
We have heard from many agents Buyers are waiting until after the first of the year to make their purchase.They are trying to time their purchase when the market is at the bottom. This could backfire greatly.When the market bottoms out , Buyers will lose some clout. You will not have Sellers willing to pay closing costs and accept low offers. Interest rates may or may not be where they are today, most likely they will stay low for a bit but if you present your offer to have the seller pay your closings costs and buy down a point you will save greatly. In fact, you would save more on your mortgage vs waiting for the house to drop down another $20,000 or so.With the inventory so great, Buyers can pretty much pick and choose their location , home and price. Unlike a few years back.If you a...
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