Archive for April, 2011

Crime and Property Values

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Crime and the perception of increased criminal activity has a significant impact on the quality of our lives in many ways.  If folks feel unsafe, they don’t want to frequent a particular city, area, neighborhood or street.  Fear of crime and actual crime are two different things, but both impact the desirability of locating your home or business in a community.  As an area declines, a vicious cycle of deterioration begins, perpetuating an undesirable pattern of decline. 

Local law enforcement works hard to stem criminal activity, but they need our help.  I happen to live in a very involved neighborhood, one where neighbors look out for each other and aren’t afraid to call the Police Department about unusual activities or concerns that may be or may develop into criminal activity.  This partnership helps keep our neighborhood safe and makes our neighborhood a desirable place to live.  It follows that our home values are higher than many other neighborhoods.  Every neighborhood can help keep themselves safe by letting local law enforcement know what’s going on in their neck of the woods.  

Police can’t be on every corner, but we as residents ARE on every corner, so let’s help them help us by being the eyes, ears and feet of the community!  You will be helping make your neighborhood and community safer, and helping your property values along the way! 

How can you help? 

  • Start a neighborhood watch group in your neighborhood
  • Let your local dispatch center know about unusual activities in your neighborhood
  • Start a neighborhood association
  • Put together an email list for your neighbors to communicate quickly about issues
  • Contact your City about what they have to offer your neighborhood to make it safer!

It’s up to each of us to make where we live, work and play safer for us all!

Soft Launch: Fremont

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A “soft launch” means that it’s not quite ready yet but it will be soon!

This 4-bedroom, 2-bath, 1556 sq ft home with hardwood floors in Fremont’s Morrison Meadows neighborhood will be available on June 7th.

Open House Saturday June 11th from 1-4 p.m. Stay tuned for more photos and details!

Greg Jones Moderates Panel of Police Chiefs

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Pricing Luxury Homes

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TfZPkEOHoVE

Who Wears the Pants Around Here?

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"He Said" From the Cave, "She Said" From the Throne

Today the husband-slash-business partner and I went to file our taxes.

Lo and behold, my name was there first on the top line.

Whoa! Sensitive to the man being the man, I said that I’d like it better if his name was at the top. Our tax preparer said that my name was automatically printed that way since I am an existing customer.

I paused. Then I decided to make a joke of it.

She Said: “Well, maybe it means that I wear the pants in our household!”

He Said: (Well, actually, he didn’t say anything. He just gave me that “you’re-a-pest” look.)

She Said: (pushing the envelope) “Don’t you think it’s funny that my name is on top?”

He Said: “I don’t think it’s funny at all. We both know who’s in charge.”

This is when our tax lady said that she can change it, no problem.

He Said: “No, we both know who wears the pants. I’m not concerned about it. Save paper.”

Well, he is right. I sure don’t want a pansy for a husband. We did ask our tax lady to change it for next year…

Trust vs. Probate: “That’s None of Your Business!”

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Last week we were reminded that if we croak, our estate would be subject to probate if we don’t have our assets in a trust, specifically outlining where we want our worldly possessions and money to go.

Plus, by having a trust, our issues remain PRIVATE, whereas probate is PUBLIC. Probate is also more expensive, shaving off 10-20% of the estate.

A few years ago I put together a will and bought a cemetery plot. Now that I’m newly married, I better change my will!

The Lender Says “NO, YOU CAN’T!”

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We’ve heard President Barack Obama say “Yes we can!”

Not for this scenario! A lender who does FHA loans told me about a conversation he had with a potential borrower a couple weeks ago. Here is what he reported to me:

“After a lot of digging, the bottom line of their situation was made clear.
 
“Husband owned a home and lost it through foreclosure. He also filed a BK chapter 7 in his name only thinking this would allow the wife to purchase a home on her own.
 
“Because California is a community property state, the FHA considers his actions against her even if she was not directly involved.  She’s an owner, even if her name was not on the loan, so technically she did lose her home through foreclosure. The issue applies in either type of loan, conventional or FHA.”

After a more candid conversation on the phone with him, he mentioned that the couple owned the home together and subsequently refinanced in his name only, then lost it in the foreclosure.

Lenders are more strict when it comes to what are considered “strategic refinancing” or “strategic defaults” or “strategic foreclosures”.

They’re wising up, folks!

(Info provided by Luis C. Munoz. Visit his site at www.luiscmunoz.com.)

San Francisco – East Bay Connectors

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We work a lot with folks who move from San Francisco to the east bay.

Just last week, our 30-something professional buyer who works in the financial district of San Francisco closed escrow on this lovely home in a quiet Concord neighborhood.

The virtue? One of many is that his monthly mortgage payment plus the taxes, insurance and PMI is LESS than what they were paying in San Francisco rent!

Plus, he has the Iron Horse Trail in Concord with unbeatable weather for his biking adventures.

Remember, Greg and I assist with moves from SF to the east bay. Call us!

  • Anna: 415-407-6603 / 510-886-ANNA
  • Greg: 925-787-7786 / 510-886-GREG

Loan for this Concord home arranged by: Ted Hua of PNC Mortgage, 415-699-4433, Ted.Hua@pncmortgage.com