827 San Simeon Drive, Concord
Sold For: 685,000
3 Bedrooms | 2 Bathrooms | 1,266 Square Feet | 6,100 Lot SqFt
Welcome to this absolutely charming single story home, situated in an ideal community with fabulous curb appeal. Elegance and comfort combine to make it the perfect setting for entertaining or relaxing. The kitchen has been updated with quartz countertops, white subway tile backsplash & stainless steel appliances. The formal dining room overlooks the beautiful backyard for effortless indoor to outdoor living. All three bedrooms feature original hardwood floors and spacious closets with built in organizers and updated lighting. The relaxing master suite features a barn door leading to the master bath which includes a rainfall shower, white herringbone subway tile shower walls, and ceramic gray and white floor tiles. Additional features include: dual pane windows throughout, an attached two car garage & RV/boat parking. This home is located just minutes from the fabulous neighborhood pool, shopping, restaurants, access to BART & the 680 freeway. Welcome home!
1 Tyler Court, Danville
Sold For: $1,734,000
5 Bedrooms | 4.5 Bathrooms | 3,655 Square Feet | .51 Acres
Located in the heart of Danville, this beautiful newer construction home boasts a well-designed floor plan with an inviting formal living/dining room encompassing soaring ceilings, gas fireplace and an abundance of natural light. Open kitchen/family room combo with additional fireplace has beautiful crown molding, baseboards and recessed lighting. Kitchen features a large island, white cabinets, granite counters, gas range, stainless steel appliances, pantry and ample storage. Spacious master suite is located on the first floor with double sinks, stall shower, jetted tub and walk in closet. Upstairs includes an oversized loft area and a large guest suite with three additional bedrooms and three full bathrooms. Several custom upgrades by sellers include shutters throughout, professionally landscaped front and backyard, outdoor speakers, nest, restoration hardware fixtures, and extra garage storage. Minutes to freeway, downtown Danville, Mt Diablo, and award-winning schools.
1890 Ashdale Drive, Concord
Sold For: $550,000
3 bedrooms | 1 bathroom | 1,091 square feet
Welcome to this charming single story home in the sought after neighborhood of Monte Gardens. This three bedroom home features extensive updates throughout including laminate and wood floors, a gorgeous kitchen offering quartz countertops, gas range and custom cabinetry with built in organizers. The dual pane windows throughout the home provide an abundance of natural light and the large closets in the bedrooms allow for ample storage. The living room has recessed lighting and built in surround sound speakers as well as an open concept family room, dining room, kitchen. The backyard is an entertainer’s dream with the gorgeous custom deck which includes a covered patio area with overhead fan, built in BBQ, outdoor fireplace and large flat backyard. Additional features include: upgraded baseboards, custom cabinetry and work bench in the garage.
Looking to buy a home? Here are five essential tips for making the process as smooth as possible.
Get your finances in order.
Start by getting a full picture of your credit. Obtain copies of your credit report. Make sure the facts are correct, and fix any problems you find. Next, find a suitable lender and get pre-approved for a loan. This will put you in a better position to make a serious offer when you do find the right house.
Find a house you can afford.
As with engagement rings, there’s a general rule of thumb when it comes to buying a home: two-and-a-half times your annual salary. There are also a number of tools and calculators online that can help you understand how your income, debt, and expenses affect what you can afford. Don’t forget, too, that there are lots of considerations beyond the sticker price, including property taxes, energy costs, etc.
Hire a professional.
While the Internet gives buyers unprecedented access to home listings and resources, many aspects of the buying process require a level of expertise you can’t pick up from surfing the web. That’s why you’re better off using a professional agent than going it alone. If possible, recruit an exclusive buyer agent, who will have your interests at heart and can help you with strategies during the bidding process.
Do your homework.
Before making a bid, do some research to determine the state of the market at large. Is it more favorable for sellers or buyers? Next, look at sales trends of similar homes in the area or neighborhood. Look at prices for the last few months. Come up with an asking price that’s competitive, but also realistic. Otherwise, you may end up ticking off your seller.
Think long term.
Obviously, you shouldn’t buy unless you’re sure you’ll be staying put for at least a few years. Beyond that, you should buy in a neighborhood with good schools. Whether you have children or not, this will have an impact on your new home’s resale value down the line. When it comes to the house itself, you should hire your own home inspector, who can point out potential problems that could require costly repairs in the future.
Moving from a small town or suburb to a large city can be an intimidating proposition. Here are a few tips to help make your move as painless as possible.
Research before you move. It’s important to understand the culture you’re joining. Do research online and find out about school systems, neighborhoods, parking, weather, public transportation, and laws that are native to that area. If you can, visit a city before moving and connect with someone who’s lived there before.
Have a plan. There are a lot of steps to go through before you start packing the moving truck. Find housing before you leave, or at least know where you’ll stay while you look for a home. Never sign a lease on an apartment that you haven’t seen. If you can’t get there, find a friend or an employer to check for you. Have a job waiting for you, or if that’s not possible, know what you’ll do for money in the first few weeks of living there. Try to line up things like driver’s licenses, car insurance, renter’s insurance, and parking passes ahead of time as well.
Get involved. Meeting people in a big city can be daunting. Don’t expect the neighbors to knock your door down with a casserole when you arrive: city life is often too noisy and hectic. Take the initiative. If there are things you liked to do in your town, find ways to do those things in the city. Try new things. Volunteer. Big cities offer so many opportunities to engage other people, so find what you like.
Mind your wallet. City life is expensive. Everything costs more: food, insurance, clothes, rent. There are also a lot more ways to get ripped off, whether legally or criminally. Be careful how you spend, and know where your money is going.
As the events of the last few years in the real estate industry show, people forget about the tremendous financial responsibility of purchasing a home at their peril. Here are a few tips for dealing with the dollar signs so that you can take down that “for sale” sign on your new home.
Get pre-approved. Sub-primes may be history, but you’ll probably still be shown homes you can’t actually afford. By getting pre-approved as a buyer, you can save yourself the grief of looking at houses you can’t afford. You can also put yourself in a better position to make a serious offer when you do find the right house. Unlike pre-qualification, which is based on a cursory review of your finances, pre-approval from a lender is based on your actual income, debt and credit history. By doing a thorough analysis of your actual spending power, you’ll be less likely to get in over your head.
Choose your mortgage carefully.Used to be the emphasis when it came to mortgages was on paying them off as soon as possible. Today, the debt the average person will accumulate due to credit cards, student loans, etc. means it’s better to opt for the 30-year mortgage instead of the 15-year. This way, you have a lower monthly payment, with the option of paying an additional principal when money is good. Additionally, when picking a mortgage, you usually have the option of paying additional points (a portion of the interest that you pay at closing) in exchange for a lower interest rate. If you plan to stay in the house for a long time—and given the current real estate market, you should—taking the points will save you money.
Do your homework before bidding. Before you make an offer on a home, do some research on the sales trends of similar homes in the neighborhood with sites like Zillow. Consider especially sales of similar homes in the last three months. For instance, if homes have recently sold for 5 percent less than the asking price, your opening bid should probably be about 8 to 10 percent lower than what the seller is asking.
Selling your home doesn′t just mean hiring a realtor to stick a sign out front. There are a lot of preparations you should make to ensure you get the best offer possible in the shortest time.
Repair. Just because you’ve gotten used to the cracks in the walls and the rattles in the radiators doesn’t mean a buyer will too. If you have hardwood floors that need refinishing, be sure to get it done—hardwood is a huge selling point. Buyers like to snoop around, so be sure to fix any sticky doors or drawers as well. Finally, don’t forget to address any issues with the exterior—fences, shingles, sidewalks, etc. After all, without curb appeal, some buyers may never get to see the inside.
Neutralize. You want buyers to see themselves in your home. If your living room has lime green shag, wood-paneled walls, and all your collectibles and personal photographs, this will be much harder for them to do. Try replacing any bold color choices in your floors and walls with something more neutral—beiges, tans, and whites. Repainting and reflooring will make everything look fresh and new, and help prospective buyers imagine all the possibilities.
Stage. Once your house is clean and updated, it’s time to play dress up. Home stagers can add small details and décor touches that will bring out the possibilities in the various spaces in your home: lamps, mirrors, throw rugs and pillows, flowers, decorative soaps and towels, patio furniture. Home staging can be particularly useful if your home is especially old or if the exterior looks dated. Think of it as a little mascara and rouge—if it’s done right, you notice the beauty, not the makeup.
Home values are generally increasing at an annual rate of 4 to 5 percent, above the inflation rate, according to recent housing reports. That is good news for current homeowners watching their property values increase. But it means potential home buyers must come up with a larger down payment. Especially millennials who have been living with parents, have better job prospects and wages, and are thinking of moving out on their own. With mortgage rates still low and predicted to increase in 2016, this may be the year to plan on becoming homeowners before missing out.
Homeownership is one of the biggest financial decisions you make. The six tips from Michigan State University Extension for 2016 are:
- Affordability: Start considering your realistic price range. Your decision must include understanding the overall cost of the home plus the mortgage payment. Learn more at “Can I afford to buy a home? The Your Home Loan Toolkit has useful information and worksheets to use to do the math.
- Credit: Your credit score will also affect the type of loanfor which you qualify. Most prime lenders look for a credit score of 640 or higher to get better interest rates. Buyers with lower credit ratings should look at FHA (government insured loans), USDA Rural Development loans, and Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSDHA) loans, which are specific programs for low-income or first time homebuyers.
- Down Payment Assistance: Almost all mortgage loans now require a down payment. You may qualify for help with these funds. Talk to a loan officer or check out qualifications through FHA, USDA Rural Development, MSHDA lenders listed in the Credit bullet point above. Habitat for Humanity, and Individual Development Accounts (IDAs) may be additional resources.
- New Disclosure Forms: Residential mortgage loan applicants will see a new look in the disclosures because of a rule issued by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) in late 2015. The “Loan Estimate” explains the costs and terms of the proposed loan in one form instead of the two previously required, and a “Closing Disclosure” summarizes the key terms of the final loan contract in one document in place of two.
- Estimate home value: Online sites offer free estimates of home values, such as Trulia and House Values. Look in the geographic areas and neighborhoods you are considering.
- Underserved areas: Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have a duty to serve very low, low, and moderate income families in three specified underserved markets: manufactured homes, affordable housing preservation, and rural housing. More guidelines from the Federal Housing Financing Agency will be coming.
Another good idea is completion of a certified home buyer education course before the loan closing. This education actually is required by some mortgage programs. Local housing counseling agencies who offer this education may be aware of federal and state funding opportunities as well as down payment assistance programs. The pre-purchase education courses may be free or low cost. Visit MI Money Health, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Office of Housing Counseling to find your local housing counseling agency or look up your state online.
Be prepared for the home purchase process in 2016. Making financial decisions takes time, patience, and discipline. Many resources are available to assist you.
Article originally found on:http://msue.anr.msu.edu/news/six_tips_to_living_th…
Interested in buying a piece of real estate? Many real estate investors and first-time homeowners seem to focus on the style and functionality of their potential purchase, thinking that these aspects help to increase the property’s value. They seem to have forgotten the popular adage, “location, location, location.”
The truth is, the physical structure deprecates as time goes on, it is the land that increase in value. This is very important to note because buying a home is a huge purchase, one of the biggest in most people’s lives. If you don’t look at your investment from all angles and understand everything that drives the value of your home, you can limit your opportunity to increase your wealth.
Land appreciates in value because, as the population grows, the demand for it grows and it’s in limited supply. When you focus on the land underneath the structure, this can help you find more efficient investments that will give you the best return for your money.
It’s not to say that the appearance of the home doesn’t increase the value of the property, but it’s impact is less that you may think. When you understand how location and future estimates of land value will influence property return you can then make better investment decisions.
Here are some considerations of the top things that determine a home’s value to ponder before you purchase your next home:
1. Smaller and/or less attractive home can provide you with more bang for your buck: This is because all homes in a neighborhood, no matter the size or aesthetics, appreciate by approximately the same amount every year
2. Your location within your neighborhood will affect the value of your land: Because they get less traffic and the implied increase in safety for children, homes in cul-de-sacs are more in demand than others with more traffic.
3. The average age of your neighbors can tell you how much your property will appreciate: For instance, neighborhoods with older homeowners are less in demand for home-buyers with children.
4. Future prospects of development can change your property’s value: You must be aware of both the present state of local amenities as well as the future prospects for governmental and commercial development in the area. Both of these factors will influence whether your land will appreciate or depreciate.
An effective real estate investor looks past the physical attributes and the style of prospective purchases and, instead, focuses on the land appreciation potential. So, in order to be successful, you must overlook the more beautiful homes for a great location that provides opportunities for improvement that will increase the value of the land.
(Article originally found on: http://alberto.realtytimes.com/advicefromagents1/i…)
Additional Photos: Video Tour
Listed for: $559,000
Spacious three bedroom two and half bathroom END unit townhouse located in beautiful Countrywood. This townhouse features a large family room, light and bright kitchen, oversized master bedroom with two closets, great entertaining back patio and is conveniently located close to great shopping, numerous restaurants, and easy freeway and BART access.
* Spacious family room with gas fireplace, newer carpet and
* Large front porch entry with room for patio table
* Light and bright kitchen with solid surface countertops, room for
eat-in area and ample cabinet space
* Downstairs half bathroom
* Large master suite with two closets, newer stall shower
* Good size spare bedrooms with plenty of closet space
* Backyard patio with two separate entrances is great for
* Newer HVAC System (2014)
* Inside laundry
* Large detached garage with plenty of storage
* HOA is $298/month
Great HOA amenities including pool, green belt area, and Club House.