≡ Menu

125 S. San Tomas Aquino Construction Project

IMG_0087-IMG_0089The construction project on the corner of S. San Tomas Aquino Rd. and Bucknall Rd. began last week as I am sure anyone who lives in that area is aware of … actually demolition of the commercial buildings that were there began.  This is approved to be a 25 unit townhome style complex with unit sizes ranging from 1,500 to 2,200 square feet.

2013 Halloween Coloring Contest Winners

'13 Halloween Contest copyA big thanks to all the kids who entered our coloring contest!!  Everyone did such a wonderful job!  We are always so impressed with the talent and work the kids put into these.  We had lots of fun personally delivering all of the winners their prizes and meeting those that were home.  It is very gratifying to see how excited all of the children get.

We have been doing these contests for over 15 years now so we have seen many children grow up until they reach our cutoff age of 10.  We were happy to see a lot of new faces this year.

If you click on the picture it will direct you to the link of all of the winning contests.  No names are on these so if you have problems remembering which one is yours feel free to send me an email and I can email you your contest.

We hope you had a wonderful Halloween and look forward to seeing you next year!

Phil & Stella

Enter our 2013 Halloween Coloring Contest!!

Prizes for all age groups up to 10 years old.  Please submit your entries by October 28th, 2013.  Thanks!!'13 Halloween Contest copy

hacienda1This project is slated to begin the Spring / Summer of 2014 and will include the following improvements:

  • Provide well defined vehicle, bicycle and parking lanes.
  • Install corner bulb outs, accessibility ramps and separated sidewalks.
  • Install new LED street lights.
  • Provide continuous sidewalk and bicycle lanes.
  • Install bio-filtration areas.
  • Street trees in parking lane.
  • Diverse plantings.
  • Certified Green Roads and Bay Friendly.

You can check out all of the details here and also great presentation.

Government Shutdown Effects On Real Estate

In a nutshell, as long as the shutdown doesn’t continue on for too long, it shouldn’t affect things too much.  Each governmental agency, including the ones that affect housing have contingency plans so that business can continue.  These contingency plans should allow for Real Estate transactions to continue although there may be some delays.  If the shutdown continues to drag out, there will be harsher effects on the housing industry and I will keep you posted.

The following contingency plans have been set up in order to keep housing sales moving:

  • The IRS has suspended operations so income verification can’t be done.  Most lender’s are allowing closing contingent to subsequent verification.
  • The Social Security Administration has suspended most functions so social security number verification can’t be done now.  Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are allowing closings contingent on subsequent verification as are most banks.

If the shutdown continues, this could have an obvious adverse effect on housing as people lose confidence and start feeling the wider adverse economic effects to the whole economy.

Let’s hope our representatives come to an agreement sooner rather than later as everyone get’s nervous when there is uncertainty.

banks copyMost would be purchasers have found it much more onerous to obtain a loan to purchase a house in the wake of the financial downturn.  There has been increased scrutiny to both the qualification and documentation requirements.  There are many different situations that can arise that banks routinely question forcing buyers to scramble to substantiate.

Starting in 2014 there will be new loan requirements making the process of obtaining a loan even more difficult.  The main requirement will be that a buyers’ debt to income ratio will not be allowed to exceed 43%.  In addition, many more expenses will be included towards the total debt including student loans, most fees and points related a home purchase, and property taxes.  Lenders who improvise to try and push the boundaries will come under increased scrutiny with tighter documentation rules as well.

Groups that will find it most difficult will be:

  • First time homebuyers, especially those with student debt.
  • Those who have lost jobs or had gaps in employment.
  • Those obtaining jumbo loans as the loan limits will be reduced.  Currently mortgages under $625,500 are federally backed so if you take out a larger loan, the rates go up and qualification gets stricter.
  • Small business owners or independent contractors who’s income fluctuates.
  • Retirees because of smaller income.

So if you are planning on purchasing a home and fall into one of these categories, it might be a good idea to think about pushing up the home purchase decision.  It would at least be a good idea to speak with a knowledgeable, trusted lender.

Weekly Campbell / W. San Jose Market Update

New listings and sales for the week of 9/20/13 – 9/27/13:

campbell update copy

Open houses this weekend:campbell open houses 9:27:13

Top 10 Banks Rejecting The Most Mortgages

If you plan on buying a home in Silicon Valley, make sure to get pre-approved very early on in the process!!  I can’t stress this enough, even if you are very well qualified with plenty of money to put down.  Banks have very strict requirements because of the housing bust and the subsequent fallout.  These requirements can be very onerous and it is a good idea to have time to remedy any potential requirement before you have found your dream house.  Also, interest rates, down payments, reserve requirements, etc. can be much different than you thought if you were basing your information on what you see on the internet.

Buying a home in Silicon Valley can be a tricky process, it is  very important to use a trusted lender  – your Realtor should be able to provide one.  You will be working closely with your lender throughout the offer and escrow process and you need a competent professional who can navigate you through the process.

All banks have different approval guidelines and therefore have different rejection rates.  I always suggest working with a mortgage broker who will have access to many different banks depending on your situation.  If you get rejected by one bank, it doesn’t hurt to try another .. good luck!

One more thing is that I have found that a lot of people like to get started on the internet and get pre-approved that way.  It has been my experience that this can both give misleading information and possibly hurt the chances of your offer getting approved because there isn’t a local point of contact.  The listing agent wants to make sure that there won’t be any issues with closing.  If there isn’t a local person to work with and a challenge in the loan process arises, then there is more of a likelihood that the loan may get rejected.

Here are the top 10 banks rejecting mortgage applications in 2012:

Bank Rejection Rate
Wells Fargo 21.2%
JP Morgan Chase 33.6%
Bank of America 25.6%
U.S. Bank 17.2%
Branch Banking and Trust Co. 15.6%
 Flagstar  13.2%
 Citibank  14.3%
 Quicken Loans  17.3%
 SunTrust Mortgage  11%
PHH Mortgage 11.5%

Proposition 90 – Riverside County Newly Added

Ordinarily under Proposition 13, the value of a home for property tax purposes is re-assessed to market level whenever a change in ownership takes place. This usually results in higher property taxes for the homebuyer.

In November 1988, the state’s voters approved Proposition 90, which is designed to induce greater turnover of homes owned by senior citizens. The measure provides anyone over the age of 55 with relief from Proposition 13 by allowing them to move from one county to another without undergoing a change in their basic property taxes.

Proposition 90 is a “local-option” law; each county has the option of participating. If a county has adopted a Proposition 90 ordinance, it accepts transfers of property tax base assessments from other California counties. If the county that the homeowner is moving from does not have a Proposition 90 ordinance, this does not affect the eligibility of the homeowner.  Homeowners seeking to transfer their property tax base assessment must verify that the county to which they are moving has a Proposition 90 ordinance.

The counties that have adopted Proposition 90 are:

  1. Alameda
  2. El Dorado
  3. Los Angeles
  4. Orange
  5. San Diego
  6. San Mateo
  7. Santa Clara
  8. Ventura
  9. Riverside (effective Sept. 19, 2013)

4 Reasons To Sell Now Rather Than Wait For Spring

  1. Fed just announced last week that they will continue buying bonds which will keep interest rates low for the near term.  This will entice buyers to get a home now before things change and the rates do go up.  In fact, we just met with some buyers this weekend who thought they missed the boat as interest rates rose from about 3.5% to 4.5% over the past month but decided they better jump in now before the Fed changes their direction.
  2. As inventory drops because fewer seller’s choose not to sell in the Fall and Winter, there is less inventory for buyers to choose from – and the inventory is still historically low! (see chart)
  3. There are still many more buyers than homes for sale as referenced in the fact that we are still experiencing multiple offers across the board.
  4. San Jose rents topped the list of fastest increases in rental rates to an average of $2,128 per month.  As more and more renters get frustrated not being able to rent a home they choose to purchase.