Wednesday, October 18, 2023

7 Strategies for Selling your Home

Selling a home can seem like a daunting process, but with the right strategies, you can maximize your chances of a once in a life time profitable sale. Here are seven strategies to help you sell your home:


 1. Pricing your Home right: Have your trusted agent (me) do a comparative market analysis (CMA) to determine the fair market value of your home. A comparative market analysis involves assessing recent sales of similar properties in your area. Some homes are currently staying on the market due to overpricing in a changing rate environment. 

 2. Improve curb appeal: First impressions matter. Enhance your home's curb appeal by maintaining the front yard, painting the front door, and fixing any exterior issues. Landscaping, fresh paint, and small investments in exterior improvements can make your home more attractive to buyers.

 3. Stage your home: Consider staging your home to make it more appealing to potential buyers. Staging involves arranging furniture, decor, and lighting to showcase the home's best features. Neutral colors and minimalistic designs often work best to appeal to a wide range of tastes. Did you know that homes stage sell about 80% faster than homes not staged?

 4. Professional photography: Invest in high-quality professional photography to showcase your home online. Many buyers start their search on the internet, and attractive photos can make a significant difference in the amount of views your property gets.

 5. Marketing and exposure: Utilize online real estate platforms, social media, and traditional marketing methods to reach a broader audience. Consider creating a dedicated website or virtual tour to showcase your property. *Our brokerage offers each listing their own property website for example so people across the world can view your property.

6. Make necessary repairs and upgrades: Address any major issues and undertake cost-effective upgrades that can increase the appeal of your home, such as fixing leaks, updating fixtures, or applying a fresh coat of paint. In a balance market, not a sellers market this will save sellers equity, because if the repairs aren't taken care of buyers can use the repairs as a method of concessions.

7. Work with a hungry but trust worthy real estate agent: hiring a real estate agent can be invaluable in navigating the selling process. Hiring an agent that treats your property and profitability as if it's their own make all the difference. A realtor will be able to provide insights into local market trends, assist with pricing, handle negotiations, and help with paperwork and legal requirements.

7 Strategies for Saving towards Homeownership

Saving up to purchase a home can be a significant financial goal. Here are seven strategies to help you achieve that goal:

1. Set a Clear Budget: Define your budget and determine how much you need to save for a down payment, closing costs, and other related expenses. Having a clear target will help you stay motivated and focused. On your free time stay focused by watching financial guru's such as Dave Ramsey.

2. Create a Dedicated Savings Account: Open a separate savings account specifically for your home purchase fund. This separation will make it easier to track your progress and avoid spending the money on other expenses that may come up.

3. Establish a Monthly Savings Goal: Based off what you currently making calculate how much money you need to save each month to reach your down payment target. This will ensure consistent progress towards your goal. For example if you make $4,000 each month, a goal of saving 15% or $600 will give you an estimate timeline. 

4. Cut Unnecessary Expenses: Review your monthly expenses and identify areas where you can cut back. Consider reducing discretionary spending on dining out, entertainment, or other non-essential items. This is a big one for me and my lady, we love to eat out and have a great time but we've been encouraging each other to cut back. 

5. Increase Your Income: Look for opportunities to boost your income, such as taking on a part-time job, freelancing, or selling items you no longer need. Any additional income can accelerate your savings rate. Asset such as home are much more obtainable when one has more more margin in their life. Income-expenses= margin.

6. Automate Savings: Set up automatic transfers from your checking account to your dedicated savings account on the day you receive your paycheck. This "pay yourself first" approach ensures you save before spending. One should keep this in mind for there ROTH IRA and 401k's as well.

7. Explore Down Payment Assistance Programs: Consistently check in with your trusted Realtor to stay informed about down payment assistance programs and help towards closing costs. 

Remember that saving for a home is a long-term commitment, and it may take time to reach your goal. Stay disciplined and be patient, and consider consulting with a financial advisor or realtor to ensure you're making the most of your savings and investments.

Monday, June 26, 2023

Galt, California: History, Real Estate & Fun Facts

Located just 15 miles south of Elk Grove California lies the city of Galt. A growing agricultural town with a long history dating back to it’s inception in 1869. At the time when Galt was formed it had a population of around 100 people. At the time Galt's trading industries consisted of Post office and access to a train. 

The next 20 years of Galt’s development consisted of churches being founded. By 1908 Galt had a population of about 1,000 people and roads had began to replace dirt roads. By 1911 Galt High school was established and by 1912 Galt’s chamber of commerce has been created. As of 2020 Galt boast a population of 25,527 people and that number is set grow exponentially with many housing subdivision being built (Galt Chamber of Commerce). 

I personally have family who have recently purchased a New Construction home in the city of Galt. The city of Galt has nine subdivision being created in the year 2023 alone! Subdivision such as residential homes, condominiums and townhomes. 

Galt’s housing market (median sales price) has increased month over month from $477,743 to $550,000. The city seen a 15% increase month over month with 18 sales total. Although there’s been a 15% in median sales price, the appreciation does not mean every home in every neighborhood appreciated that much. This time last year Galt’s median sales price was $635,539. Year over year the median sales price is down 13% for the city of Galt (Sacramento Association of Realtors). 

Galt is a growing economy that offers eateries such as Brewster's Bar & Grill, El Rodeo and Velvet Grill & Creamery. The city of Galt also has a Brewery that I've yet to check out! The name of this place is called River Rock Brewery. 

Since the inception of Galt high school in 1912, they've added 2 more high schools and an adult school. As far as elementary schools there's seven to choose from (Lake canyon, Marengo Ranch, River Oaks, etc).

If your looking to have some fun in Galt you can look forward to a Saturday market from March-November from 9am-2pm (located at 4th street I’m Downtown Galt). The city also has activities such Movies in the park (Veterans Field) and Concerts (Veterans Field).

Until next time! 

Saturday, June 17, 2023

How can Women increase their chances of living to 100?

Hey, if your a Women and your looking to improve your health and increase your chances of living to 100 years old this blog is for you!

The good news for women is that they are and have been living longer than their counter parts (men) by by about 5 years according to the Center of Disease Control. Women in other mammal besides humans are also out living their counter parts. For example, a study was done amongst lioness who have been found to out live male lions by 50% (Zlatic Hoke,VOA). Some believe this to be because male lions spend more time and resources towards sexual reproduction which may lead to a trade off a shorter life span. Other factor point to biological differences. Males have higher testosterone which can increase the likely hood of smoking, excessive drinking and life ending acts. Enough about MEN!

Women didn't out live men prior to the 19th century, now across the world women do. One of the reason women have increased their living standards is because of medical innovations. According to an article written "Our World Data", women suffered heavily prior to the 19th century from infectious diseases. On a biological level women tend to have more "Subcutaneous Fat" in comparison to men who have more "Viceral Fat", which is fat surrounding organs. Fat surrounding organ is often correlated with cardiovascular disease (Our World Data, 2020). 

So lady's here's some tips for you to continue to thrive and may your habits positively affect us all :)

  1. Balanced and Nutritious Diet: A well-rounded diet consisting of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats is crucial. It provides essential nutrients, antioxidants, and helps maintain a healthy weight. Include a variety of foods to ensure you're getting all the necessary nutrients.
  2. Regular Exercise: Engaging in regular physical activity has numerous benefits. It helps maintain a healthy weight, improves cardiovascular health, strengthens bones, boosts mood, and reduces the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and certain cancers. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise per week, along with strength training exercises.
  3. Stress Management: Chronic stress can have detrimental effects on health. Find healthy ways to manage stress such as practicing relaxation techniques (e.g., deep breathing, meditation, yoga), engaging in hobbies, spending time with loved ones, or seeking professional help if needed.
  4. Sufficient Sleep: Adequate sleep is crucial for overall health and well-being. Aim for 7-9 hours of quality sleep each night. Create a relaxing bedtime routine, maintain a comfortable sleep environment, and prioritize sleep as an important part of your daily routine.
  5. Regular Health Check-ups: Schedule regular visits with your healthcare provider for check-ups, screenings, and preventive care. This includes screenings for breast and cervical cancer, bone density assessments, cholesterol checks, blood pressure monitoring, and vaccinations.
  6. Avoidance of Harmful Habits: Limit or avoid harmful habits such as smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, and illicit drug use. These habits can significantly increase the risk of various health problems and decrease life expectancy.
  7. Social Connections: Maintain strong social connections and cultivate positive relationships with family, friends, and the community. Strong social support has been linked to better mental health, reduced stress, and improved overall well-being.
  8. Mental and Emotional Well-being: Pay attention to your mental and emotional health. Practice self-care, engage in activities that bring you joy and fulfillment, seek therapy or counseling if needed, and prioritize your overall well-being.
  9. Sun Protection: Protect your skin from harmful UV rays by wearing sunscreen, protective clothing, and hats. Avoid excessive sun exposure, especially during peak hours.
  10. Positive Mindset and Gratitude: Cultivate a positive mindset, practice gratitude, and focus on the present moment. Positive thinking and gratitude have been associated with better mental and physical health outcomes.

Wednesday, June 7, 2023

How can men INCREASE their chances to living to 100?

Wouldn't it be great to be able to live until your 90? Or maybe even to 100 years old? How about 110? Over time humans have increased their life expectancy through innovation and learning about what fuels our body. One of my favorite books the Rational Optimist speaks about how life as we know has continued to become progressive human beings. According to the CDC the average male lives to about 73 years old, trailing women who have a longer life expectancy by about 5%. Below lies a few action steps for men to live longer and healthier lives.

There are several lifestyle factors that can potentially contribute to increased life expectancy in men. While individual circumstances and genetics play a role, here are some general tips that may help improve overall health and longevity:

  1. Maintain a Healthy Diet: Follow a balanced and nutritious diet that includes a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats. Men should be consuming over 30-38 grams fiber. Increasing fiber is a major key to keeping things moving regularly. Limit the intake of processed foods, sugary drinks, and excessive amounts of salt and saturated fats. Did you know that individuals with higher income consume less processed foods, and have a healthier diet?

  2. Engage in Regular Physical Activity: Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity exercise per week. Incorporate strength training exercises to improve muscle strength and bone density. Regular physical activity can help maintain a healthy weight, reduce the risk of chronic diseases, and enhance overall well-being. I believe our bodies function best when regularly put in motion.

  3. Don't Smoke or Quit Smoking: Smoking is a significant risk factor for numerous health conditions, including heart disease, cancer, and respiratory problems. Quitting smoking or avoiding it altogether can have a positive impact on health and potentially increase life expectancy.

  4. Limit Alcohol Consumption: Excessive alcohol consumption can lead to various health problems, including liver disease, heart disease, and certain cancers. It is advised to limit alcohol intake and drink in moderation, if at all.

  5. Maintain a Healthy Weight: Strive to maintain a healthy body weight by balancing calorie intake with physical activity. Excess weight, especially around the waistline, increases the risk of various health issues such as heart disease, diabetes, and certain cancers.

  6. Manage Stress: Chronic stress can have negative effects on health. Find healthy ways to manage stress, such as practicing relaxation techniques, engaging in hobbies, spending time with loved ones, or seeking professional help if needed. Yoga is a activity that helps me manage my stress while allowing me to engage in physical activity.

  7. Get Regular Health Check-ups: Schedule regular check-ups with your healthcare provider to monitor your overall health and address any potential concerns or risk factors. Early detection and treatment of health conditions can significantly impact longevity. Scheduling regular check up have been amazing for me. I've been able to compare changes in my HDL levels which is good cholesterol vs. LDL level which is the bad type of cholesterol. Definitely get your blood drawn to notice any red flags with your health.

  8. Practice Safe Behaviors: Use protective measures to reduce the risk of accidents, such as wearing seatbelts in vehicles, using protective gear during sports activities, and practicing safe sex to minimize the risk of sexually transmitted infections.

  9. Prioritize Mental Health: Pay attention to your mental well-being and seek support if needed. Addressing mental health concerns, practicing self-care, and maintaining social connections can positively influence overall health and longevity.

I hope you've found these suggestion helpful. Please consult with you doctor or health professional to reach your desired goal. Thank you!

Feel free to comment your thoughts below.

Monday, June 5, 2023

NEW HVAC SYSTEM: Facts and Four tips to consider when upgrading your Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning

Yes! or Most likely?

HVAC stands for Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning. Homeowners who plan to sell their home often consider if they should replace their old AC unit to increase their property value. On average a new AC unit will increase a homes appreciation by $2,500-$3,000. The cost of installing a new air conditioning system can be up to $10,000. So, one can estimate about a 20-30% ROI from upgrading their system. The location of the property matters. Summers in Sacramento are hot! I'm sure the demand for well operating Air conditoners are essential to a homeowners overall comfort.

Installing a new HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) system can potentially increase a home's value, but to what degree can vary depending on several factors. 

Here are a few considerations:
1. Buyer Appeal: A new HVAC system can enhance the overall appeal of a home to potential buyers (as a Realtor an old Air conditioner screams less maintained) . Upgraded heating and cooling systems are often seen as desirable features, especially if they are energy-efficient and offer improved comfort and indoor air quality. This can make the home more attractive and potentially increase its market value.

 2. Energy Efficiency: Energy-efficient HVAC systems can contribute to lower utility bills and reduced energy consumption. Buyers may be willing to pay a premium for a home with a newer, energy-efficient system due to the long-term cost savings associated with lower energy bills. Energy-efficient systems may also be more environmentally friendly, which can be an added selling point.

 3. Condition and Maintenance: Older HVAC systems may be less reliable and require more frequent repairs and maintenance. By installing a new system, you eliminate potential buyer concerns about the age and condition of the HVAC system. This can provide peace of mind to buyers and potentially increase the perceived value of the home.

4. Local Market Factors: The impact of a new HVAC system on home value can also depend on the specific real estate market. In some areas, buyers may consider a functional HVAC system as a basic expectation rather than a significant selling point. In other markets where climate control is particularly important, a new system may be more influential in the home's value.

It's important to note that the return on investment (ROI) for a new HVAC system may not always be a dollar-for-dollar increase in home value. The exact value added will depend on factors such as the cost of the system, the local market conditions, and the preferences of potential buyers in the area. To assess the potential impact on home value, it may be beneficial to consult with local real estate professionals who have knowledge of the market dynamics in your specific area.

Wednesday, September 7, 2022

My thoughts on Bank of America First Time Homebuyer 0% Down Program

Bank of America has launched a program geared to helping minorities get into Homeownership. The Community Affordable Loan Solution will be introduced in Black and Hispanic neighborhoods such as Miami, Los Angeles, Dallas, and Charlotte. Bank of America does plan to extend this program across the nation. However, I'm sure this depends on the selected cities not performing in a disastrous way. 
This program will allow First-time homebuyers to enter Homeownership with 0% downno closing cost, and no mortgage insurance. Buyers can own their home and still enjoy no mortgage (the same benefits that folks who put 20% down on a home enjoy) makes this an intriguing program. Mortgage insurance comes out to about (1.25-1.75%) of the loan's balance and is commonly paid as part of the homeowner's monthly mortgage.

An innovative way this program works for lower-income communities is that it will be determined by the following: timely rentutility billsphone, and auto insurance to qualify, instead of the traditional way, which allows high credit holders to receive the best rates. Bank of America and HUD require occupants to go through a Homebuyer Certification course before the applicant submits their loan.
Is Bank of America 0% down a good deal for future Homeowners?
This is a great question; like all great questions, there are many ways to look at it. Here's what we know, the cheapest way to get into a home requires 3% down (not accounting for CalHFA loans which give borrowers loans and grants for their down payments/closing cost). So on the average home in California, a modest home can be sold for around $450,000, equating to $13,500. The great news about putting money down as a down payment is that this immediately allows the buyer to have equity in the home, making it an asset. Once the buyer has the down payment, they also should account for a closing cost of around 2.5% of the total home price. In the example of a home for sale at $450,000, the closing cost would be $11,250. In the example above, the first-time homeowner would have to pay $24,750 plus other fees to acquire their first home. 

I believe if a buyer has a stable job and wants to own instead of renting, this can be a solid option. Rent increases at the end of most leases. At least the new homeowner will have autonomy and the opportunity to gain EQUITYPlease let me know your thoughts about Bank of America's new program. Thank you for stopping by.


Sunday, June 5, 2022

How to Avoid Capital Gains Tax

 Capital gains tax occurs when an owner of Real Estate sells their property for a gain. The owner will be subject to a 15% tax on their profit. For example: James buys a property for $250,000, after five years James investment property is up for sale for $400,000. In that five years James paid his mortgage down to $200,000. James now has about $200,000 of profit (before fees); if James chooses not to use a 1031 exchange with his investment property he would pay about $30,000 in Capital Gains Tax.

The process of the 1031 exchange begins before the sale of a investment property. Tax code 1031 allows for owner to roll over their profits from the sale of their real estate over to their next property, delaying payment of Capital gains. As an investor capital can be the difference between taking advantage of the next opportunity or not.

An investor has 45 days from the close of escrow of their last property to identify (3) homes to report to the Exchange company. The person using the 1031 exchange will need to close on a replacement property within 180 days from the close of their prior home. 

The 200% Rule: An investor can identify up to three properties that shouldn't add up to more than 2x the sale of their personal property. For example: Tonya recently sold her property for $200,000, she can identify three properties up to $400,000 and report them to the exchange company. If he closes on any of those three properties with 180 days, he can delay paying Capital Gains. 

I hope you've enjoyed this post, feel free to comment below. For anyone interested in being connected to an exchange company comment or message me. 


Monday, May 9, 2022

CalHFA: Forgivable Down Payment Assistance

What is CalHFA and how are they an advocate for first time homebuyers? 

Califonia Housing Finance Agency was created in 1975 and was created to meet the housing needs of people with low to moderate income. CalHFA offers a number of programs their latest offering maybe just what your looking for. 

Have you heard the latest from CalHFA? Their new program offers a 10% forgivable loan, interest free for first time homebuyers. In the Greater Sacramento area this can equate up to $50,000 that a buyer would be able to capitalize on. (CalHFA)

Lets point out a couple Qualifying Factors:

Recipients must be "first time homeowners", not literally, just not on anyone's title within the last year. 

Income Restrictions and lower DTI to use this product is that the persons income must be 80% or less than the areas median income. Future homeowners using this product should expect stricter DTI (Debt to income) requirements compared to FHA guidelines. (JVM Blog)

Purchase Price restriction? Future home owners shouldn't expect to pay over $550,000.

Borrower beware? The 10% down payment is forgivable but the loan cannot be refinanced, so if rates happen to drop lower borrowers will not be able take advantage of the lower rate. Nor shall they expect to sell the home in the first five years. 

In my opinion this CalHFA opportunity will assist many First time homeowners and it can rightfully be considered as free money towards a home. Having First time homeowers remain in a community for five years, could have a positive impact on the communities themselves. Most likely impacting communities that are most affordable to First time homeowners. One thing forsure is that this will make the housing market more competitive helping a generation of first time homebuyers reach their goal. 

If your interested in acquiring a home anywhere in California please let me know. 

Thank you,


Wednesday, May 4, 2022

Latest Economic Outlook; Rates rise

Are you looking to stay ahead of the economic changes ahead? In this blog I will cover key points taken away from the Federal Reserve. The Federal Open Market Committee increased rates by .50%

What does this mean and why is this important? Financing instruments such as credit cards, car loans and other loan products will cost more to carry. On top of the recent rate hikes, the Federal reserve is expected to hike rates even higher in the near future. My suggestion is to eliminate debt as soon as possible if you'd like to avoid "a leaky purse". (Richest Man in Babylon)

The Federal reserve reported that import and exports will likely lessen in the future. To my understanding this will only add to the supply chain slowing down. I wonder to what extent products like gas, vehicles and cost of materials will be affected? 

Why is this important? Lower supply can often lead to items costing more. Other economic news shows that jobs have increased towards 1.7 million. Wages are reported to be rising fast and the price consumer index (consumption) is up 5%. The good news is we are living in a time period where unemployment is near a 50 year low.

Thank you for checking out my latest blog post. Feel free to comment below and add value to the post. 


Monday, April 11, 2022

Laminate vs. Vinyl Planks

In residential homes common flooring options are laminate and vinyl planks. Laminate flooring has been around since the 70's. The core layer of laminate is made up of High density fiber board. Popular laminate flooring brands are (Pergo, Shaw, Mohawk, Armstrong and Tarkett). 

Vinyl Planks have been around since 1926, and is made up of Poly Chloride or PVC. Vinyl planks were made in America and was first created in Akron Ohio. Popular producers are Life Proof, Shaw Flooring, Mohawk and Cali. The thickness of the top layer will determine which setting is best for the Vinly plank. For example residential homes will need 12 Mil or thicker, and commercial spaces will need 28 mil or thicker. 

Lamite Flooring is made up of wood fiber, however Vinyl is plastic. Laminate flooring is less expensive and is thicker than Vinyl. Due to laminate flooring being thicker it can feel better standing on it compared to Vinyl. The price per Sqft for Laminate flooring is $2.69, as oppose to $3.29 for Vinyl. When applying laminate flooring it should be expected to sit for 48 hours to acclimate to the homes temperature.

To determine which grade of laminate is best for application a home supplier may reference what's called a  'AC rating'. For example, AC1 is best used for bedroom and guest rooms. AC2 moderate traffic, living room and dining rooms. AC3 should be used for heavy traffic such as entry way and AC4 light commercial traffic such as offices and cafes (Belinda Carr).

Luxury Vinly is more scratch proof then Laminate. Laminate flooring is best used with dry mop and Vinly can be used wet or dry. The durability of Laminate and Vinyl is 10-20 years. 

Do you prefer Laminate flooring or Vinyl planks?

Granite vs. Quartz Counter tops

Granite and Quartz are a common attraction amongst home buyers in today time. In my experience as a buyers agent a Kitchen has a huge impact on the buyers overall happiness with the home. In this blog post I will evaluate both Granite and Quartz counters. 

Granite can be identified by way of it's patterns. Granite is a igneous rock that is formed from Magna (think of lava). Granite comes from India, China, Brazil and Italy. Thanks to advancement in technology and Machines Granite is only a quarter of the price it once was in the 70's. 

Darker shades of Granite are commonly known as Ubatuba, Saint Cecilia, Blue pal and Black Galaxy. Granite is known to be more Pourous (Porous: having minute spaces or holes through which liquid or air may pass) because of the pourous attribute to granite wine can stain Granite. Five common ways Granite is commonly finished Bush Hammered, Flamed, Polished, Shot Blasted, Semi Blasted and Honed. Granite is known to be more heat resistant then Quartz. Granite price per sqft. is $60-200. Granite is more denser than Quartz; at 2.7-2.8 gm/cm3. However Quartz is less dense at 2.65 gm/cm3. Granite is Heat Resistant and Quartz isn't. 

Light Color Granite are known as Dallas White, White Ice, White Picasso and River White

Quartz is the second most adundant mineral in the Earths crust. Pure Quarts is translucent and impurities in Quartz will lead to color. The stone is grinded into fine powder, and mixed with resin powder to make Quartz Counter tops. Quartz is a man made product; however Quartzite is a natural stone that is more expensive. Companies that mass produce Quartz are Cambria and Cesarstone. Quartz Counter tops have less patterns compared to Granite Counter tops. Quartz counter top are uniform and lighter in color. 

Popular Quartz counter tops are Calacatta Nuvo, White Attica, Gray Legoon and Oceana. Quartz Finishes are Satin, Matte and High Gloss. Due to Quartz demand it has brought the price of granite down. Neither granite or quartz are scratch proof. 

Will you choose Granite or Quartz for your next home?