Available Spring 2015!

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Hill_and_Third_Available_Soon

No Money, No Honey and the Ideal Suitor

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"He Said, She Said"

“He Said, She Said”

In the aftermath of Valentine’s Day, when you love someone, you’ve got to have the goods!

Let’s be honest, folks. He or she who has the means to secure what he or she wants is most likely to succeed. So goes life. We see this starting on the playground, then in grade school, then in our adolescence and most notably, in life now, every single solitary day.

When in search of a home to buy, supply and demand come heavily into play. The strongest buyer will almost always beat out the contenders. How does this work?

First, the buyer has to be able to afford the property much the same way a suitor has to be able to afford pursuit of the “desirable one”. Stamina is sometimes necessary to keep up the chase, or in other words, to continue the search of the right home to buy.

Second, show the goods! The buyer must be able to prove that he or she can “seal the deal”. This means not just the engagement of getting into contract to purchase, but ultimately the sealing of the deal, the “marriage” and commitment of securing the property, so-to-speak.

Third, be willing to compromise and reach common ground. Negotiate fairly. (Come on, all married couples do this! Same concept applies in a courtship of securing property.)

Finally, don’t be a jerk during the contract AKA “engagement” period unless you want to get dumped! Warnings are to be expected among the betrothed, but it can get to the point that a buyer or a seller doesn’t perform according to the terms of the contract. If the offenses are serious enough, look forward to that proverbial Dear John letter and prepare to go separate ways.

Note: Have a stellar agent representing you! They are an extension of you, so make sure to choose wisely…

She Was TOPLESS!

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It’s amazing what a little sunshine will do for a spirit…my ride today even went topless, here in mid-February believe it or not.

Our carefully garaged 1997 500 SL rarely sees the light of day, but since my FJ is at the body shop, she got to stretch her legs today.  On my way to a lunch meeting, there went the top, quick as pushing a button, and let the sunshine in!

Don’t we live in a great place?!?

Play Ball!

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If you are a baseball fan, you are in luck:  it is time to play ball!  Within minutes of us here in Hayward, you can see professional baseball played by arguably two of the best teams in baseball.  I love baseball…almost as much as I love football.  So, occasionally I will hop on BART for the 12 minute ride or brave the freeway to go to an Oakland A’s game.  I really don’t know why people gripe about the A’s park…for baseball, it works just fine and remains affordable for those of us who still have to buy our own tickets rather than getting them from a corporate sponsor.  We can actually see the field lights from our house here in downtown Hayward…and see the fireworks on nights that feature them after the game.  Very cool.

The “other” team across the Bay is pretty good, too (LOL).  It is a bit more of a trip (32 minutes on BART, plus walk/bus/train time to the stadium), but you can’t beat AT&T Park for a great time…great food, great people watching and oh yeah, great baseball.  So, ‘BATTER UP” let’s get this show on the road and get the hot dogs ready!

For a free magnet that features both the A’s and Giant’s full regular schedule, give us a call here at Realty World Neighbors and we will drop one in the mail to you….or better yet, stop by our office for a visit and we will give you one!

Baseball.Schedule.2015

Client Testimonial

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SOLDphotoRealty World Neighbors–May and Jones Group Client Testimonial
(2014)   Ten years ago when my father passed away, my sisters and I decided to sell his home.  Anna May was referred to us by a trusted friend.  We engaged her services and she turned a difficult process into a seemingly simple manner.  It went quickly and without problems.

Recently my mother passed away and when we decided to sell her condominium, we immediately thought of Anna.  As in the past, Anna brought her professionalism, kindness, experience and good humor to guide us through the process.  Anna was able to look at the Condo and help us make decisions on how to prepare the unit either by ourselves or through her vast array of contacts.

Anna was able to explain all the paperwork and legalities in a clear, simple manner.  When deciding on a price to set for the condominium, she was able to show us all of the local comparable properties and explain how our unit compared and why she recommended a target price.  Very straight forward and logical.  She has been selling homes in the area for at least the 10 years that we have known her and given her performance, I anticipate she will be around a lot longer.

Aside from her work as a REALTOR, she has been an extremely active community member supporting local causes (including dogs in need) and participating in local politics to ensure that her neighborhood is well taken care of. I am deeply grateful to Anna for all that she has done for us in selling our homes and I wholeheartedly recommend her to you.
Sincerely,
Bob White
“We certainly appreciate the kind words in your client testimonial and getting return business from happy clients!  Thanks, Bob, for hiring us again to assist you!  It was our pleasure to help you”.
—-Anna May and Greg Jones

Available Soon

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Available Soon in Hayward offered by Realty World Neighbors–May and Jones Group

Available Soon Flier JPG. jpg

Huntwood Hottie Exposed!

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Huntwood Hottie Exposed!  This corner townhome has premier light due to its corner nature and facing sunset skies. Complete with a 2-car garage, this towering and no doubt popular beauty is straight across from abundant guest parking for suitors and other guests. She has great bones, wonderful lines, and has been maintained well, inside and out.  Garden Walk is an Olson Company community known for its easy access to the Hayward-San Mateo Bridge, California State University East Bay (Hayward) and is only minutes from downtown’s restaurants, coffee shops farmers market and nightlife. Now you know!

This Huntwood Hottie will be available soon. CLICK HERE for property flier.best exterior

Domestic Partnerships in California

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domestic partnership

I don’t know about you, but I love being married. I say phooey to the half-a–ed domestic partnership bit. Commit, or go away!

Welcome Lucy Muir (Gallegos)!

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Welcome Lucy Muir (Gallegos)!

Realty World Neighbors, The May & Jones Group, is excited to announce the addition of Lucy Muir (Gallegos) to our brokerage.  Lucy Muir (Gallegos) is an experienced agent who joined our brokerage this month. She is fluent in Spanish and can provide stellar service to our diverse community, where she both lives and works.  Lucy is shown here at the reception held in her honor as a welcome addition to our company. Stop by and visit her when you’re in the neighborhood!

Lucy Muir (Gallegos) can be reached by phone at 510-881-1234 or by emailing Lucy@RealtyWorldNeighbors.com.

 

CLICK HERE for more information about her.IMG_1192[1]

Lucy Muir (Gallegos) shown here in our Conference Room

Realty World Neighbors sponsors LNY event table!

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LNY 2015

 

We’re excited to participate as a sponsor at the Rotary Club of F.U.N. Sunset’s Lunar New year dinner!

Every so often we invite our Clients to be our guests at these events as a “thank you” for their business.

This year I have the honor of emceeing the event again. There will be a contest for Best Dragon Lady and for the men this year, a Best Goatee contest.

So, for those of you wondering why on earth Greg has facial hair again, it’s in recognition of this upcoming event.

NOTE: Please pardon his in-between week when he let it grow but didn’t trim it. I had to be more articulate about what I wanted, i.e. “Iron Man, please, NOT caveman!”

For tickets to this F.U.N event, visit www.FUNRotary.com.

Tired of Hearing It…

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baby boomers reality

I’m married to an old fart.

Not just any old fart. A real, live, vibrant, ambitious old fart.

So when he talks about retirement and moving to a quieter place, I get irritated.

Why? It’s because I’m nowhere near retirement. In fact, I sense that as I get closer to what’s considered “retirement age”, I will likely be bored with the typical things I believe “retired” people do.

I’m sure my readers will correct me, but when I think of retired people, I think of my grandparents.

Grandmothers, in particular. Both grandmothers, as they aged, “entertained” me with stories of woe and all the ailments they bragged about. When it got to the point of another retired person also joining in on the conversation, it became a competition for who had the worse ailment and who stuck it out in the hospital the longest.

Naturally, the only way I could endure the conversation was if it put myself in a meditative state, where my mind was calm and at rest,  when I forced myself to be thankful for my health and youth.

Then I think again. I can’t stand the traffic or the lack of manners of people these days. I love staying at home, avoiding crowds and stinky, rude people.

Maybe there’s something to retirement, or at the very least, being married to a retired person. (As long as he doesn’t pester me to also retire.) We can golf, travel, take up hobbies…

… wait a minute. I’m getting annoyed again, this time with myself.

I love my work. I love the real estate business and our Clients. I love the community in which I live and work and wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. I love our home and our dogs and I also, surprisingly, love the fact that my husband won’t really “retire”.

I’d miss him.

 

Celebrating Black Life, History and Culture!

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blacklifeCome see a Black History Month exhibit highlighting civic responsibility, social consciousness and the history of local African American churches.

Presented by Palma Ceia Baptist Church and the Eden Rose Chapter of The Links, Inc.

CLICK HERE for more information about the Hayward Area Historical Society’s Community Gallery.

(Realty World neighbors gladly promotes this event in honor of our Buyer Client Karen S. who’s one of the event organizers!)

 

Adding Fur to Make a House a Home

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2014 SantaCon group photo croppedIn December of 2012, 2013 and 2014, a group of animal-loving volunteers organized SantaCon Hayward events to raise money for sponsored adoptions at the Hayward Animal Shelter. Realty World Neighbors sponsored the event, and we as the owners of the business have taken part in organizing the events due to our passion for animal rescue and highlighting the best of what our downtown has to offer. In my personal experience having animal companions, I’m less of a slob at home due to the need to keep things picked up off the floor so the dogs don’t get to them. I also keep food put away and refrain from letting the dishes pile up in the sink that would entice the dogs to counter-surf. The Hayward Animal Shelter has nearly $4,000 put aside for sponsored adoptions. What does this mean? This means that adoptions fees are waived for qualified homes! Please keep in mind that the animal shelter staff is very careful about who adopts the animals. They make every effort to ensure the animals will be in a safe, secure home with an adopter who will take proper care of the pet. What does THIS mean? This mean that if you’re a whack-job, no adoption for you! CLICK HERE for the SantaCon Hayward Facebook page where you’ll see our favorite featured animals… P.S. That’s me with the long blonde hair in the middle of the photo.

Lunar New Year Dinner in Fremont!

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In honor of the Year of the Goat, this fundraiser will feature a “Best Goatee Contest” for the gentlemen and a “Best Dragon Lady Contest” for the ladies! The proceeds of this fun event will support the Rotary Club of F.U.N. Sunset’s charitable efforts, including my favorite, the Hayward Animal Shelter. CLICK HERE to buy tickets!
LNY 2015

Why Infrastructure is Important

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infrastructure 

[in-fruh-struhk-cher]

the fundamental facilities and systems serving a country, city, or area, as

transportation and communication systems, power plants and schools

Nothing in life is free. In the United States, we enjoy clean, running water, toilets that flush, trash removed from our waste bins, lights that turn on instantly, fire that ignites for our stoves and heaters instantly. We enjoy roads without potholes, freeways that are paved, bridges that take us over the water and schools that educate the nation’s children. Did I also mention toilets that flush? In many of the newer communities in the United States, we enjoy a scene devoid of utility wires like the ones you see in this photo.

On a recent trip to Southeast Asia, the scenes were much the same in every poor country we visited; utility wires haphazardly curled around strangling the air surrounding them. Along with bringing my own toilet paper into public restrooms, I felt so thankful for living in the United States that I lost track of which country’s funky infrastructure this photo captured. Next time we complain about how much things cost, let’s remember that we are in a much better place than most of the world.

CLICK HERE for information on home prices in Cambodia.

CLICK HERE for information on home prices in Vietnam.

The two links above are slightly outdated but you get the idea…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Vietnam or Cambodia?

Don’t Make Yourself a Victim!

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safetyfirst

I always marvel at folks who get mad when their cars gets broken into and their laptop or other valuable item is stolen from it. My first question’s always, “Why on earth would you leave  a valuable item in your vehicle?”

Of course, it’s easy to be critical of others. I had my iPhone stolen in Singapore while going through customs last month. I KNOW it was stolen! It had to be! There’s no way that I could be such a bozo that I’d leave my iPhone out in plain view for someone to lift it! Or, was I indeed a bozo?

Over the weekend, I proclaimed my supposed security superiority to my good friends over dinner. They reminded me that when we all traveled together to Mexico recently, I left my iPhone on the airplane and had to jump through hoops to get it back.

The illustration here will guide you to how best you can keep your home safer when it’s time to put it on the market. This is a guideline only. The bottom line is that we should always use our best judgement possible when it comes to the safety and security of our home, belongings and loved ones…

We Negotiated for First-Time Buyers…

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… nearly $40,000 below the list price with a $3,500 credit toward theirrowena photo closing costs!

This home needed a bit of work that the City mandated. Since we understand the bureaucratic process, we were able to negotiate for our buyers to enjoy a price break on the home.

Funny tidbit: The purchase contract called for ALL appliances to be included, and when we did a final walk-through, the refrigerator and stove were gone!

Not to worry. We made sure the problem was taken care of in such a way that made everyone happy.

A good way to start the year!

The Bane of My Existence: A Short Sale

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"He Said, She Said"

“He Said, She Said”

The “What”, the “How” and the “Why” of a Short Sale

The “What”

A short sale simply means that the homeowner will come up short when they sell their home compared to what they owe their lender. The property won’t sell for enough money to pay off the lender in full after all the closing costs are taken into consideration. “Short sale”  does not necessarily mean that it will be a short and easy process. There are also tax and legal ramifications of a short sale, so read this post with several grains of salt as you seek proper legal and tax counsel.

The “How”

There’s a reason my business partner/husband won’t work on our company’s short sale transactions. He HATES unpredictability and irrationality when it comes to a short sale lender’s need to request documents time after time after time, even after we’ve already sent the requested items multiple times. The start of whether or not a short sale will work depends on the true financial hardship of the sellers. We’ve known many folks who were fully employed with plenty of money in the bank who’ve desired and pursued a short sale. However, short sale lenders, for the most part, won’t necessarily automatically grant a short sale to borrowers who aren’t enduring a documented financial hardship.

In our experience, if a homeowner isn’t experiencing what the lender considers a legitimate hardship, the borrowers will have to be willing to ruin their credit by stopping their mortgage payments in order for the lender to pay attention to the fact that they’re no longer getting a dime out of the homeowners. (The analogy I’ll refer to here is  the neglected teenager who strives for attention by “acting up”.)

The “Why”

We’ve turned down plenty of short sale listing opportunities in recent years. Why do we NOT take on certain short sale transactions? First of all, we need to feel good about what we’re doing in our lives and in our work. It gives us great pleasure to assist a struggling homeowner if we see there to be a legitimate need. We’ve turned down plenty of short sale transactions over the years because the homeowners simply “didn’t want to keep paying their mortgage” on a house that dipped dramatically in value.

My own home dipped in value dramatically for a period of time, and I could have pursued a short sale, no doubt. However, I made a commitment when I secured the loan and was too proud to stop making payments or even pay later. Pride comes before a fall, it has been said. Now, the home has increased in value again almost to what is was when purchased 10 years ago, and I’m glad we hung in there.

The Bottom Line

Short sale lenders look at their bottom line and weigh the benefits of granting a short sale vs. foreclosing on a home. The best of the best short sale lender we’ve worked with are the smaller, community banks/lenders. Fremont Bank and Bank of the West have been among the best and most responsive, in our opinion. Well, in my opinion. Greg won’t touch short sales…

Feng Shui: “Wealth and Prosperity”

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fengshuichart

Ba-gua courtesy of Ruthchaya of Cherry Creek Mortgage

During the rainy weather is the best time to just stay home and take care of the house. This is what I did over the last several days. The cleaning and de-cluttering resulted in a box for the Salvation Army of kitchen wares and clothes, a full trash bin, a full recycling bin in addition to a half-full green bin full of dying orchid plants with leaves and roots and soggy bark that I know I’ll never be able to revive.

The focus on all three levels of our home was on the “Wealth & Prosperity” (W&P) section of the feng shui “ba-gua”, which is what we call the layout shown here. What I did was make room for W&P by getting rid of stuff that serves no purpose in our lives but can be used in someone else’s life. So, in a sense, we “shared the wealth” to make room for more.

On the top level of our house, the W&P section is where our bathroom shower is located. I took the time to deep clean the tile walls and tile ceiling of the shower enclosure and will replace the fading clear shower curtain with a new one soon. Also, I found some areas between the tiles that need to be re-grouted, so I put that on the Wish List for the bathroom, which I know my Caveman will handle.

  • Intended Result: Re-grout to keep the W&P “in” the home rather than allow it to leak through. The clean/cleared space will allow W&P in!

On the main level, the kitchen is located in the W&P section. What I did there has me floating on air, mentally! I organized the spice rack, cleared out and organized the baking cabinet,  recycled yukky plastic bowls, etc. and also went through multiple cabinets in that kitchen and said bye-bye to a bunch of pot and pans we don’t need. I also replaced the “junk food” cabinet with cereal to subconsciously train myself out of wanting the junk and preferring healthy cereals instead. (Gotta try!) Also, I replaced the soap dispenser and put a cover over the resulting hole. The hot water dispenser is leaking, so we’ll work on having that removed or repaired.

  • Intended Result: Stop the leak from the hot water dispenser, which is indicative of allowing W&P to slip through. The broken soap dispenser was removed to allow space for W&P.

On the bottom level is where what we call the “kids room” is located. This is the room where the bunk bed, chest of drawers and desk that I had since I was a kid is located. It’s also where we store “extra stuff”, like bedding, extra bows and wrapping paper, etc. I took the time to de-clutter this room and donated the wrapping and packaging material, some of which was brand new/never been opened!

  • Intended Result: Allow more W&P into the home as a result of donating the additional items we don’t use.

We had our home feng shui’d in December of 2010, a few months after we were married. The feng shui consultant said we’d experience a shift immediately. Indeed we did! I look back and laugh about this now, but the hubby and I fought for three full days after the feng shui was completed. Let’s see what happens in these next few days due to the changes in the “wealth” section of our home…

 

VA Buyers Ready NOW!

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photo (10)

Meet Kassie and Michel, a U.S. Veteran! They’re on the hunt for their first home using Michel’s VA loan benefit. The ideal home would be as follows:

  • 3 bedrooms
  • 2 bathrooms
  • enough space and privacy for the in-laws to move in
  • easy access to 880 / 238
  • under $400,000
  • dog-friendly home a plus

Contact us at 510-886-ANNA (2662) or 510-886-GREG (4734) if you or someone you know would like to sell to this nice family!

Their loan is being handled by Trinna Sycip of Wells Fargo. Trinna has successfully assisted our VA Buyer Clients in the past.

Realty World Neighbors is a proud supporter of AMVets Post 911, a local organization open for membership to all U.S. Veterans.