Archive for September, 2011

Household Safety Tips :Extension Cords

September 27, 2011 Leave a comment

1) Use extension cords only on a temporary basis.
2) Replace cracked or worn cords.
3) When disconnecting cords, pull the plug, not the cord.
4) Teach children not to play with cords or outlets.
5) Use only three-wire extension cords.
6) Never remove round or u-shaped prong.
7) Insert plugs fully – no part of the prongs exposed.
8) Never use cord while coiled or looped.
9) Do not overload the cord.


What Not to do Before Buying a Home!

September 20, 2011 Leave a comment

A lender will examine your debt-to-income ratio to qualify you for a mortgage. Debt-to-income ratio is the percentage of your gross monthly income, before taxes, that is reserved to pay down debt. If you’re serious about buying a home avoid these common mistakes that will compromise the amount of your approved loan:

1. No new debt! Delay large purchases, this includes jewelry, vacations, appliances and especially vehicles. Hold off on buying a new vehicle, as a sizable monthly car payment can push the debt-to-income percentage over what lenders feel is a safe limit, and you may be denied the loan or have to settle for a smaller loan.
2. Do not co-sign on a loan for anyone else. Although you will not be making the payment, the lender still views this as your debt.
3. Don’t move money around. A lender will require you to supply bank statements for all your accounts during recent months. Any large deposits or withdrawals will be red flags to the lender, and may slow or inhibit the escrow. Changing banks is also inadvisable. Remember, the simpler your finances are, the better.
4. Avoid changing jobs. When you change jobs, it can be difficult for lenders to predict future earnings. Any major career changes, such as corporate employee to self-employed, should also be delayed. Remember, the lender will look two years back and average your income. Anything that will make that process difficult is a bad idea.
For more tips on the home buying process, please contact me.

What to look for when hiring a conractor

September 15, 2011 Leave a comment

Whether you are doing a total renovation or simple upgrades, choosing the right contractor is an important decision. See our five tips below before you hire a contractor.

References – Consult the Better Business Bureau and your state’s consumer protection agency. Ideally, your contractor should have a solid reputation, is licensed and registered, has insurance (liability; worker’s comp) valid credentials and no disciplinary history.
Get bids – Once you’ve narrowed down the field of competent contractors, get bids from each candidate. Be wary of extremely low estimates.
Big picture – Remember you’re going to be spending a lot of time with the contractor you hire, so make sure you feel comfortable with their personality, background, methods, and communication skills.
Dotted line – Every project should have a detailed contract. Deadlines, project description, materials used, even the payment schedule should be listed.
Not so fast – Don’t pay a contractor more than 30% upfront. Make payments in increments that coincide with portion completion. Full payment should only be given when the project is complete.

Summer Landscaping Tips

September 15, 2011 Leave a comment

Landscaping has the potential to drastically enhance the curb appeal of your home, whether the purpose is to attract potential buyers or simply for you to enjoy. When landscaping your property, strive for a balance of flowering trees and/or shrubs throughout spring and summer, fall foliage in autumn and good structure in winter. Summer is the ideal time to highlight your the outdoor space with color, so check out our tips to make the most of the season.
1. Consult your local nursery to select plants that your yard can sustain. Conditions necessary for growth, such as shade or direct sun must be considered.
2. Remember to test your irrigation system; often maintenance is required after the winter season.
3. Select a variety of plants with seasons in mind. Evergreens will provide year-round foliage, structure in the winter and even frame your property for privacy. Deciduous and perennial plants add bits of color in the warmer seasons, but only bloom for so long. 4. Incorporate annuals into the landscape to supplement continuous color.
5. Remember to plant with maintenance in mind, some plants require consistent pruning or watering.

How to remodel with potential buyers in mind

September 15, 2011 Leave a comment

When you are remodeling your home it is important to strike a balance between your needs, the needs of future potential buyers. According to Remodel Magazine’s Cost vs. Value Report, homeowners can typically expect to recoup over 70 percent of what they pay for a minor kitchen remodel. Focus on the basics, like cabinet resurfacing, counter tops, and flooring but stay away from pricey hand-painted tiles or built-in espresso machines. Remember, bold or unique product selections such as orange cabinets or red countertops will likely alienate future buyers, so stick to neutral themes.

Do your research to determine what remodels yield the highest return on your investment. When selecting an area to remodel be conscious of your neighborhood. Remember, your location is a large indicator of the price you can expect from future buyers, so if you do indulge in high-ticket items, enjoy them, but don’t expect a large return on your splurge. Currently, the remodels with the highest returns are: entryway doors, garage doors, finished basements or attics, and vinyl siding.

Past 3 months Santa Clara county Active, Pending and closed sales data

September 13, 2011 Leave a comment

Below are the last three months data for Active, Pending and Sold listing.

Month Active/Pending, Number of Closed Sales,
Jun 4878 1713
Jul 5502 1477
Aug 6773 1858

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