Rolling Stones! Al & Andy are at it again…!

AlAndAndy

“We know Anna May and Greg Jones and their brokerage, Realty World Neighbors, because of their involvement in the Prospect Hill Neighborhood Association, their efforts to help maintain the neighborhood’s open space and other projects.

“Our decision to appoint Anna and Greg as co-listing agents (and later as our buyers’ agents) arose because they work on a number of issues and we were impressed by their efforts and contributions. We have found that people who work well when they volunteer also do well professionally.

“Frequent communications kept us informed of progress over the transactions for which we hired Anna & Greg to assist in the Historic Prospect Hill neighborhood. We appreciated Anna & Greg’s attention and time to email, call or text as the sales progressed.

“As sellers, we appreciated the well-coordinated marketing plan for our unique home in the historic Prospect Hill neighborhood. They knew how to price it for the prevailing market conditions, how to promote it to the right groups and took care of all the paper work expeditiously. There were no errors, no last-minute deliveries or problems from the time we listed until the sale closed. We subsequently hired Anna & Greg to list and sell another home for us and we experienced the same high level of competency in that transaction too.

“We were extremely impressed by their knowledge of the market, pricing and their ability to get the word out about our home through their networks, professional organizations and advertising. They were very professional, competent and knowledgeable about real estate in the area.

“We’re delighted to now be in a larger Prospect Hill home and were able to purchase this home in part due to the negotiation skills of Anna and Greg. They negotiated on our behalf for the sellers to pay for repairs before we moved in. We would definitely hire Anna May and Greg Jones again and recommend them to others.”

-Al Parso & Andy York, Historic Prospect Hill Neighborhood residents

Shedding San Francisco in Favor of SoCal


747-28th Ave., San Francisco

“Anna is perhaps one of the most genuine realtors in the industry. While some realtors might tell you what you want to hear, she tells you what you need to hear. She really knows the industry in and out. After briefly meeting Anna back in 2008 (during the downturn in the real estate market) I knew that I wanted her as my agent during my recent sale. From the start, her and her partner Greg provided me with a very accurate analysis of my home with intelligent recommendations. She is very thorough and throughout the whole process, she always kept me updated of necessary repairs, inspections and legal matters that need addressing – and she was always there to handle it.

What I really admire about her is her ability to handle every situation diplomatically and in a professional manner, that is something worth noting in today’s industry where there is almost an endless supply of realtors. She is able to keep the focus on the main goal of getting things done in a timely manner even when unexpected situations come up. And most of all, she cares. At the end day, there may be some realtors who see a transaction just a sale, but Anna realizes that for some (as in my case) that it was not just a home, but the home I grew up in. throughout the entire process she had great respect for that and always kept that in mind during the sale of the house.”

C.L-W.

From One Hill to Another: Hayward to Castro Valley

Hayward property sold, then Castro Valley home purchased

“Anna and her team were very professional from the onset. Before we even listed our house we were presented all the comps in our surrounding area. We had the opportunity to carefully look at the information and make the best decision for our family. Her team advising on staging our house along with the professional photos helped us attain the selling price we were looking for. Anna May at Realty World truly sets the benchmark for Real Estate Companies. The next time we want to sell our house we’ll be calling Anna May. 

“Thank you,

“Carlos Pantoja”

A Family Affair: Hayward to Redwood City

Sold for $1,200,000

Sold for $1,200,000 in Redwood City

“Greg Jones and Realty World (Neighbors) far exceeded our expectations. Greg updated us at every stage of our sale. We were never left to doubt what had happened THE flier in JPEG Rollin_on_Prospectand what to expect in coming days. His contacts removed much of the anxiety related to the selling of my Mother’s home. I will not hesitate to recommend the services of Realty World (Neighbors).” 

-Ilse and Larry Rollin

 

“Greg Jones is an incredible real estate professional. He was instrumental in making our real estate transaction possible. Even meeting with us pro bono to go through the complexities and options available to us. With our son, we were buying a piece of property held in trust, by a family member. Greg represented both the buyers and seller and, without his expertise and his ability to keep us all informed and on track, our son’s new house might never have become a reality. In addition to representing all parties in this endeavor, he was also the agent for the sale of our son’s present home; which was to be used in part for the down payment. Greg did an amazing job of both selling our son’s home (6 days of the market) and closing in record time; which in turn allowed for the closure of this deal weeks ahead of schedule. We would definitely recommend both Greg and his associates at Realty World Neighbors for your real estate needs.”

-Bruce and Dottress R., Redwood City, CA

“I could not be happier with the quality of service Anna & Greg provided, very professional, great knowledge, and very respectful to our needs. We were on a tight timeline to sell our house, and Anna & Greg made it happen without any issues. I would highly recommend Anna & Greg to anyone needing help selling or buying a home!!”

-Eric Rollin

Shedding the Excess: Scaling down the portfolio

Saint Helena“We are very pleased with the service Anna provided. Excellent and professional in every way. We had tried Sale-by-owner and at least another agent and had really unsatisfactory results (none). We signed on with her and within 15 day we had multiple offers and sold it. We closed on an offer of 14k over asking price. It happened so suddenly we found ourselves still reading the HOA news letter a week after the sale- LOL. She provided personal customer service that is hard to come by. She payed special attention to details and all flowed smoothly like clock work. Her hard work made our experience care free and stress free. Thank you Anna May!”

Ignacio & Alicia Lucero

Over the Hill: Hayward to Arnold

Call Ave.“We’ve known Anna and Greg socially for many years, but when we decided to sell our Hayward home after 22 years, we thought, well how about professionally. We’ve been guided by them for seven months in the process of readying our home for sale, and putting it ‘on the market’. Anna and Greg were amazing….we had several minor bumps along the road, but they helped us through. Commitment is actually Anna’s middle name; don’t let the Laveria fool you. Her firm Realty World Neighbors is dedicated, and their work product is superior. Although we’re leaving Hayward after 40+ years, we’ll be back in the area frequently, and we look forward to seeing our friends in the real estate office.”

-Linda & Steve Bristow, community activists

Crossing the Bridge: Hayward to San Mateo

“Anna May did a great job selling our rental property. When I first met her, IVentnor Ct. found her to be very personable. After choosing her as our realtor she went to work quickly. She is very knowledgeable and responsive. When she says she’s going to do something, she does it very soon. She’s always ready to answer questions and let you know what the next steps will be. Selling a property can be very stressful. We were very happy to have Anna May as our realtor. I highly recommend her!”

-Susan I. Choi, Retired Financial Services Supervisor (local municipality)

(from Alameda County to San Mateo County)

Working for Buyers: The Representation Agreement

Brown eyed rufusAll of us get our butts out of bed in the morning for different reasons. For us, it’s this pesky dog. Rufus the Dufus whines and cries and whimpers at the crack of dawn until we let him out to go potty. He is an annoying little 50 lb.-creature, but he gets us out of bed. It’s hard to be mad at him once our sleepiness subsides.

What gets us into the office is something entirely different. Our Clients have an expectation that we be at the top of our game when it comes to representing them. There is a big difference between a “Buyer Client” and a mere “buyer customer”. We ONLY advocate for the interests of Buyer Clients after they’ve formally retained our services to do so. We’d rather avoid working on behalf of buyers for weeks or months, putting aside our evenings and weekends and family time only to (argh!) have a buyer suddenly decide to have their newly licensed cousin represent them, for example.

Part of formal buyer representation includes an “Exclusive Buyer Representation Agreement”. This document outlines what the buyer and agent parties can expect of each other and what documentation is required to get started.  We take representation of Buyer Clients as seriously as we take our representation of Seller Clients. Here are a few of the benefits of formal buyer representation:

  • We’ve built a reputation among fellow agents in our market area for having rock-solid buyers. Our Exclusive Buyer Clients benefit from this by having their offers submitted by us be taken more seriously, especially in multiple offer situations which are common in our area. This means we have compiled a complete Buyer Package before we show even one property to a buyer.
  • Exclusive Buyer Representation ensures our Clients that they are our first priority. Evenings and weekends, for example, are reserved for Clients first and foremost.
  • Many of our Clients are high profile, very busy individuals. We take the time to preview properties for Exclusive Buyer Clients and record walk-thrus and report to them whether or not a property is even worth seeing.
  • We attend weekday real estate marketing meetings where we broadcast what our Exclusive Buyer Clients seek, and often learn about upcoming listings long before they hit the market.
  • We send out monthly real estate e-newsletters to broadcast to our databases what our Exclusive Buyer Clients want, and through this medium, we also learn about properties that will be available before they hit the market.
  • If our Exclusive Buyer Clients MUST move into a specific neighborhood, we’ll knock on doors and send mailers out to ask those neighborhood property owners if they have interest in selling rather than wait around for something to come available.

Right now, our Exclusive Buyer Clients include a recovering peninsula dweller buyer, the newly engaged couple, the seller of this gorgeous home who’s buying in the San Ramon area to be close to family, and also the family of a US veteran who’s seeking an affordable home in the East Bay.

We’re darn good at what we do, so there are certain steps we take before we use our talents, expertise, network and experience to advocate and help protect a Client’s interests. There are only 24 hours in a day, after all…

 

Say Yes First, Then We’ll See

Image-wedding and engagement ring 200

In addition to the Exclusive Buyer Clients we have who jump in head first or take their time to make a decision, we also have those who are “perpetually engaged”.

One such Exclusive Buyer Client of ours has been “engaged” for quite a while and for a number of reasons, has not sealed the deal.

Being “engaged” in a real estate transaction means that a proposal has been offered and accepted. The engagement is sometimes dragged on and on for many months while one or both parties work on some issues.

Sound familiar, all you serial monogamists?

Making the Case for Stairs

 

dogs on our stairs
(This is not a photo from a scary movie. These are our dogs Piglet & Rufus. If you can’t tell who is who, then you have no sense of humor.)

 

I don’t know about any of you, but I like tight buns. I like having them too, which is why I love living in a three-story house.

We have many clients who love stairs. They feel as if they’re on top of the world when their homes are up high. I remember shortly after moving in to our home, I sat in the hot tub located on the lower deck of my home with my mom. It was dark outside and the house was lit from within. I looked up at the three levels of my home and said, “Mom, I feel rich.”

I’ve also had dreams of living in a home with many levels and the higher up I climbed, the less “stuff” each space had. I’ve also had dreams of a vast “basement”-type area with what appeared to be hordes of space and so much potential for improvement.

Although I sometimes get winded going up the stairs when hauling up the laundry, I am grateful for the opportunity to do so. I know that walking up stairs helps me to keep my muscles strong and adds to my overall health.

So, how about a nice home with a built-in opportunity for a healthy daily work-out?

Homes Available Soon!

porch sunset view
26630 Call Ave. in the Hayward hills

4160 Perkins Ct., Fremont: 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, 2-car garage, 1811 sq ft (AVAILABLE SEPTEMBER 2016)

26630 Call Ave., Hayward hills: 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, 2-car garage, 2300+ sq ft (AVAILABLE SEPTEMBER 12th)

Call Anna May: 510-886-ANNA (2662) or Greg Jones: 510-886-GREG (4734)

California suburbs growing fast as many are priced out of cities, data show

Source: Los Angeles Times, May 2, 2016

Suburban areas on the outskirts of the red-hot Los Angeles and San Francisco areas grew especially fast last year, state officials reported Monday.

San Joaquin County, home to Stockton, grew faster than any other, up 1.3% to 733,000 people. The area has become increasingly popular for people fleeing astronomical San Francisco Bay Area housing prices while remaining within commuting distance.

San Joaquin was followed by Yolo, Riverside and Santa Clara counties.

The fastest-growing city was Vernon, which grew a whopping 72% thanks to a new housing development that brought its population to 210.

Among cities with at least 30,000 people, the fastest-growing were concentrated primarily in the Inland Empire and Orange County: Porterville, Eastvale, Lake Forest, Beaumont and Lake Elsinore.

The number of new housing units in California declined last year for the first time since the start of the economic recovery, due mostly to wildfires that scorched more than 2,000 homes.

California’s housing supply rose by 67,110 units last year, compared with an increase of 69,435 units in 2014. Demographers at the California Department of Finance say the number of new units would have been about equal to the year before if the destructive wildfires in Lake and Calaveras counties had not hit.

Of the new units created, just over half were multi-family dwellings such as apartments and condominiums. Los Angeles, the state’s largest city, saw the most growth in housing, with 12,224 new units. It was followed by San Francisco with nearly 2,900, San Jose with just over 2,000 and San Diego with about 1,750.

The housing hit came as California’s population grew to 39.1 million last year, an increase of 348,000 people, just under 1%.

Most of the state’s 482 cities saw population gains, but 44 cities shrank and one — tiny Tehama, population 431 — was unchanged.

Meet Phil! Does he look pouty?

Here’s “Phil”! This 12-year old sweetheart’s mom is selling their long-time home at 2828 Eastman Avenue in Oakland‘s Allendale district.

Phil
Phil, 12, is not included

When the sale closes, Realty World Neighbors will make a donation in Phil’s honor to Bad Rap, where he was trained when he was a youngster…

A home is not a home without a dog!

 

The Calm Before the Storm

photo of paintersA lot of prep work goes into preparing a home for sale. This home has been in the same family since 1977. Many memories have spun their stories over the years of growing up and raising a family here. It is now time for new memories and we’re working on making sure the home is clean and comfortable for the new owners.

Shown here are Todd Worsfold and his crew member preparing the home for sale.

Stay tuned for more details! May 2016 is when this home will be available. You’ll LOVE the new colors chosen, I’m sure!

Receiving Thanks

IMG_2575[1]We have the best Seller Clients ever! This lovely plant was brought in by our Seller Client Arutha as she was on her way out of town and off to her new life in Las Vegas.

We were able to entice her to let us take her to coffee at Hippies Brew first before she left town. Hippies Brew has Jimi Hendrix painted on the wall. Arutha is a DJ who appreciates good music, so we thought it was a good fit to share a farewell brew.

Sometimes we meet people who retain our services to do a job for them, and if they weren’t leaving town, we’d love to cultivate a friendship with them. Arutha is one such lady with a wonderful sense of humor.

If you need a DJ in Las Vegas, we’ll connect you with her!

The Zalamea Family

Zalamea family photoDo you know of anyone who might have a home to sell to this lovely family? Meet the Zalameas!

They’d love a 4-bedroom home with at least one bedroom and full bathroom on the main level.

Contact us if you or someone you know has a home that might be of interest to Ed and Mary Ann for their family!

San Francisco Home Available Soon!

747-28th Ave., San Francisco
747-28th Ave., San Francisco

This San Francisco home in the Richmond district will be available soon, in May of 2016. The services of Sterling Sites have been retained for professional staging and Color Touch; Painting Professionals for Fine Homes will be painting the interior and exterior of the property.

Story about this house:

Several years ago, in 2008, I met with the owner of this San Francisco property to assess its market value. He was mulling over whether to sell it or rent it out. I recall advising that he should consider hanging on to it unless he absolutely has to sell. The market was down at that time and I felt that he could do better if he waited.

Fast-forward 8 years later: I just secured the exclusive right to list and sell this property. He remembered me from 2008 and probably appreciated that I wasn’t trying to just “get the listing”, even though listing and selling homes is what I do for a living.

In life, it is important to do the right thing. Never be greedy or pushy. Do, say and live your life with the best interests of others at heart.

Remember the law of attraction! We attract what we are. I am blessed to be surrounded by incredible people. It is a life by design, not by accident.

 

 

Out of the Closet

Greg Jones during our remodel
Greg Jones during our own remodel

Here’s a real dialog that took place last month:

Homeowner’s question:

Good Afternoon;

So, I have a question on a remodel we are finalizing the plans for. We are working with an architect. Just to refresh your memories; our home is approx. 1200 sq.ft. with 3 small bedrooms and one remodeled bathroom and a remodeled kitchen we finished last year.
We are doing two things; enlarging our bedroom by adding a bathroom that will use the current closet plus a few feet into the bedroom, and add  8 ft. on the side that faces the front yard. That side will have a door that opens to a walled patio.
The second project is an addition; a 16 x 11 dining room off the back of the house.
We are currently submitting our plans to a structural engineer. We have shown our preliminary ideas to the planning dept. and (were given) the go a head to proceed to the next steps.
We have a couple of questions. The expanded bedroom will need closets, since the current one will become the new bathroom, and our contractor says that for a bedroom to be called a bedroom it has to have built-in closets. Is this true? We are trying to figure out how best to add closet space and are wondering if modular free standing closets are a reasonable idea, or if we should build in closets as part of the wall. Do either choice effect the value of our home?
We are also wondering if investing $80-100K in these two projects makes financial sense, given the fact that so far, our neighborhood is still looking like a blue collar area, though most of the Cal Trans rental properties have been purchased, rehabbed and put back on the market in the $500K plus price range over this last year.
Our own cash investment in our home has been very small; we paid $185k two years ago, and the down payment was paid by the CalTrans Stipend. We re-financed a year after purchase and pulled some of the new equity out to remodel the kitchen.
Our thinking is, since we paid so little for the house (really below market at the time) we have a lot of “head room” in which to invest for improvements, without exceeding our equity.
So… in your opinion, does it make sense to invest $100k plus (needs major hardscaping and landscaping when the building is complete) if we plan on being here at least 5 years?

We love the land our house is on;  a huge backyard that borders Hayward regional park trails in the canyon below, and that feels very private and almost rural.

So, those are our questions.

Thanks,
L.

My answer:

Yes, you should have a built-in closet so that the room is considered a “bedroom”. This does affect the home’s marketability should you decide to eventually sell. When we remodeled our house in San Francisco years ago, we knocked out a bedroom closet to enlarge the bathroom. The market was so hot that we got a chunk of money for the home in addition to enjoying a gorgeous remodeled bathroom, but we could no longer tout that room without a closet as a “bedroom” anymore but instead, a “den”.
It does make sense to invest $100,000 if your enjoyment of the home over that five year period of time is worth the $20,000 per year or roughly $1,666 per month. Only you can decide this. There really is no price one can put on enjoying one’s home.
In any case, nobody knows what the market will be like in 5 years should you decide to sell or refinance, so it is impossible to say definitively whether or not it’s “worth it” financially.
I’m being careful with my answers so as not to mislead you while still being honest.
Hope this helps!
Anna May