Seller’s Market Returns Full Force

Check this out.  It is a seller’s market for the first time since 2007.  Buyers beware.  Prices in the Hayward market are up 34% year over year.  While prices have not fully recovered, the increase may start freeing up inventory.  My read is that it will take another 12 months to get values up to where folks are willing to start selling.  Of course those who are selling need another place to buy, and the extremely low inventory is keeping people in place for the moment.  In the meantime, we might well see another year of double digit increases.

Real Estate: The Beauty Makes the Beast More Attractive

"Ultramodel Paulina Porizkova #1"
Recently in jest, I posted a line on Facebook about how amazed I am that pretty ladies often end up with goofy-looking guys. Let’s be honest. When you see this, don’t you wonder what makes the guy so special?
Take Ric Ocasek and Paulina Porizkova, for example. Anyone in my generation know who they are?
You’re probably wondering what this whole concept of having a beautiful woman on the arm of a goofy-guy has to do with real estate.
Imagine an ugly house. A REALLY ugly house. Then imagine a BEAUTIFUL house. A REALLY BEAUTIFUL house.
Now ask this question: Does the ugly house make the beautiful house look worse or does the beautiful house make the ugly house more tolerable?
A recent article in the New York Times goes into the effect that a down-trodden property has on a whole neighborhood. All it takes is one lousy-looking house to drag down the entire neighborhood’s image. Similarly, a too-beautiful house makes you wonder what the heck the homeowners were thinking when they over-improved a home surrounded by a sea of ugly ducklings.
Hopefully reading this post will motivate you to clean up your yards, trim the trees, pick up the dog poop left behind by yours or someone else’s canine, clear off the neighborhood juvenile’s WASH ME imprint on your car’s windows, etc. Getting involved in your neighborhood association helps too and so does knowing what the local ordinances are that help protect you from being the bad guy when neighbors need to be pushed to clean up their act.

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How important is it to you to live in a neighborhood where people know each other and look out for each other?  Is this just a old fashioned notion or an ideal that is alive and well?
Do you remember Mrs. Kravitz on the television show “Bewitched”?  Probably not the ideal, but I bet they didn’t have any burglaries in that neighborhood!

Being Sensitive to a Real Estate Client’s Loss

Last year a majority of our client relations were a result of the loss of a loved one in the client’s family. These situations require a great deal of sensitivity and compassion for the family members often left with a plethora of confusing documents, bank accounts, debt, tax and property issues to handle. Adding to the stress of losing a loved one, there can be strained instances of sibling rivalry and hurdles to navigate that wouldn’t exist if there were no money or assets involved.
We’ve run into numerous situations that require care above and beyond the emotions involved with a client’s loss of a loved one in conjunction with the gain of property and other assets. We’ve had tenants of inherited property get sticky with moving out and mention of security deposits without proof of existence, we’ve had a church and a monastery on title that nobody knew about, we’ve had clients’ emotional ties to their childhood home that slowed down the will or desire to sell a property and we’ve had a short sale property that was left to a friend of the deceased to sell. The list goes on and on…
We’ve also witnessed the love between family members who trust their siblings to make the right decision on behalf of the estate. The family members work together to help choose a new owner of their childhood home. In these cases, it is usually a family with children that the heirs prefer selling the home to due to the warm memories of their own childhoods growing up in the home. Though important, money is often not the primary motivating factor in cases like these.
Being patient with what a client is experiencing is only part of the job and is often the most important part. It is very rewarding to be able to help people navigate through a difficult time in life.  I know what it’s like to lose someone suddenly. My father was hit head-on in a car collision in 2000 and I will never forget the kindness people showed to me in the aftermath of that incident. Although there was no real estate property left to me or my siblings, the experience of loss has helped me with my job today.
On the lighter side, my mother who is still alive and kicking said she’d leave me everything when she departs from this life. She jokes that all she has to leave behind is a sense of humor and a big heart — and that is all I need…

Believe / Achieve Artist Reception!

Reception on Friday, February 8, 5:30-7:30 pm

Elizabeth Hack & Tomyé have also displayed their beautiful artwork in our downtown real estate office!

John O’Lague Galleria Presents: Believe / Achieve

by Diablo / Alameda Branch of the National League of Pen Women
February 1, 2013 Through March 30, 2013
at the John O’Lague Galleria
Hayward City Hall, 777 B St. Hayward, CA 94541
Hours: Monday – Friday, 9 am – 5 pm