Best Smart Home Tech at CES

From robot dogs to a $5,000 massage chair, the Consumer Electronics Show featured some cool George Jetson-y smart home tech that is becoming all the rage. Check out this video of some of the best and brightest for your home at CES this year. Sign me up for a laundry folding machine! Which invention would make your life easier?

 

comp-logo

Nicole Emanuel Real Estate

Coldwell Banker

(408) 410-2060

nicole.emanuel@cbnorcal.com

www.realestatebynicole.com

Advertisements

Down Payment – 10 Things to Know Before Buying a Home

For many Americans, coming up with a down payment for their first home can be a major roadblock—and quite often the reason for renting, rather than owning a home.

A down payment is the difference between the home’s purchase price and its mortgage amount. This percentage of the sale price must be paid up-front and can vary by lender, location, and loan program. A higher down payment generally translates into lower loan interest rate requirements.

Typically, a down payment comes from personal cash savings, but it can also be a gift that is not to be repaid, or a borrowed amount secured by assets.

While conventional loan down payments may be close to 20% of the sale price, government loans typically have lower down payment requirements. This allows potential homebuyers who normally cannot meet down-payment requirements an opportunity to qualify for a mortgage. Keep in mind that down payments that are less than 20% of the sale price typically require mortgage insurance payments.

10 things to know before buying a home

  • Before you start looking for a home, get pre-qualified for a loan. This will help you determine how much home you can afford and will give you an advantage over buyers who do not have their financing setup in advance.

 

  • If you have marginal or bad credit, consult your lender. You may be able to qualify for a loan depending on how long ago and what reason(s) caused the bad credit.

 

  • You will need a down payment. Down-payment requirements vary depending on the type of loan.

 

  • You will need funds for closing costs. Closing costs are charges for services related to the closing of your real estate transaction. They include, but are not limited to: Escrow fees, title policy issuance fees, mortgage insurance fees, fire, flood, and homeowners insurance, county recorder fees, and loan origination fees. Consult your lender for an actual estimate of these costs.

 

  • Some loans have “points” and some do not. A point is a loan origination fee equivalent to 1% of the loan amount. Together with the interest rate, they constitute the yield on your loan for the lender.

 

  • Mortgage rates can be fixed or adjustable. Which one is right for you depends on whether mortgage rates are at a high or a low point when you purchase, and on how long you plan to live in the home.

 

  • There are two main types of loan categories. Conventional mortgage loans are available with fixed or adjustable interest rates. Government loans include FHA fixed and adjustable rate mortgage loans, and VA fixed rate mortgage loans.

 

  • If you are a low-to-moderate-income homebuyer, there are special programs designed to help you. These loans are available through private lenders, as well as local and state housing agencies.

 

  • You may have to pay mortgage insurance. Mortgage insurance protects the lender from potential loss if you should default on your mortgage loan payment. Mortgage insurance is always required on FHA mortgage loans.

 

  • Many organizations offer home loan counseling to prospective homebuyers. They will cover home selection, REALTOR® services, lenders, loan programs, homeownership responsibilities, saving for a down-payment, and other important pieces of information.

comp-logo

Nicole Emanuel Real Estate

Coldwell Banker

(408) 410-2060

nicole.emanuel@cbnorcal.com

www.realestatebynicole.com

South Bay Local Events for January

Do you have the holiday hangover blues? While we are sad the holidays are gone for the next 361 days we are excited to share a list of some great events going on around the South Bay in January. Lots of fun things to do including family friendly events, music, sporting events and theater. Hope you get out and enjoy some of these events this month!

January 3 – January 7
Artist-Image-Figure-Skating-963e5d5e6a.jpg2018 Prudential US Figure Skating Championships
SAP Center, San Jose
http://www.sapcenter.com/events/detail/2018-prudential-us-figure-skating-championships

January 4 – 7
svas_gallery_06.jpgSilicon Valley International Auto Show
San Jose Convention Center
http://www.svautoshow.com

January 6
Logo-hero@2x.pngSesame Street Live! Let’s Party!
City National Civic Center, San Jose
https://sanjosetheaters.org/event/sesame-street-live-san-jose-2018/

January 9, January 14, January 21
mock-up-event_harlem2018_0.jpgHarlem Globetrotters
SAP Center San Jose
https://www.ticketmaster.com/harlem-globetrotters-sap-center-at-san-jose-san-jose-ca/venueartist/229393/806223

January 13
cad18842-8acd-44a4-9837-18204e171ccb_27271_CUSTOM.jpg
San Jose Sharks v. Arizona Coyotes
SAP Center San Jose
https://www1.ticketmaster.com/san-jose-sharks-vs-arizona-coyotes-san-jose-california-01-13-2018/event/1C0052D6ABAF3079#efeat4212

January 13
EnglebertHumperdinck.jpgEngelbert Humperdinck
San Jose Civic Auditorium
https://www.ticketmaster.com/engelbert-humperdinck-city-national-civic-san-jose-ca/venueartist/229461/742499

January 20CrabFeed-660x430-sRGB-V4.2-10323a9bf3.jpgMountain Winery Annual Crab Feed
The Mountain Winery, Saratoga
http://www.mountainwinery.com/events/detail/crab-feed-4

January 20, January 21
Avatar2015-2016-200px.jpgSymphony Silicon Valley Schumann’s Cello Concert
San Jose Center for the Performing Arts
http://symphonysiliconvalley.org

January 20
cad18842-8acd-44a4-9837-18204e171ccb_27271_CUSTOM.jpgSan Jose Sharks vs. Pittsburgh Penguins
SAP Center
https://www.ticketmaster.com/San-Jose-Sharks-tickets/artist/806018

January 21
c9a17cc1-3c32-44a0-a4a4-f10f199f377a_19181_CUSTOM.jpgBill Maher Live
Flint Center, Cupertino
https://www1.ticketmaster.com/bill-maher-cupertino-california-01-21-2018/event/1C00535ABAD486C7?artistid=821441&majorcatid=10002&minorcatid=51&tm_link=venue_msg-1_1C00535ABAD486C7#efeat4212

January 23 – January 27
rent-1.jpgRENT
San Jose Center for the Performing Arts
https://sanjosetheaters.org/event/rent-broadway-san-jose-2018/?instance_id=9323

January 23
20150629_114738_sharks25logo.jpgSan Jose Sharks vs. Winnipeg Jets
SAP Center
https://www.ticketmaster.com/San-Jose-Sharks-tickets/artist/806018

January 25
cad18842-8acd-44a4-9837-18204e171ccb_27271_CUSTOM.jpgSan Jose Sharks vs. New York Rangers
SAP Center
https://www.ticketmaster.com/San-Jose-Sharks-tickets/artist/806018

comp-logo

Nicole Emanuel Real Estate
Coldwell Banker
(408) 410-2060
www.realestatebynicole.com
nicole.emanuel@cbnorcal.com
BRE# 01899594

Your Holiday Event Guide for the Bay Area!

If you are like us during the holidays, we attempt to take the little ones to all the fun events around the Bay Area during the month of December. We’ve composed a list of some of the best so you can get out and enjoy the season! If you think there are any other events that should make this list, let us know!

South Bay

Christmas in the Park

o.jpg

Running now until January 7, this yearly event draws thousands of visitors every year and features holiday lights displays, musical perfermances, free visits with Santa, carnival rides and even an ice skating rink! Entrance is free and rides and skating are paid.Located in the Plaza de Cesar Chavez, Downtown San Jose. www.christmasinthepark.com

Fantasy of Lights 

20111122__ssar11226.jpg

Take the drive to Los Gatos to check out the annual fantasy of Lights event which features a 1.5 mile drive around Vasona Park with huge holiday light displays – some even set to music! Open December 5 – 30 (closed December 25). $20 per vehicle must be purchased in advance.Located at 333 Blossom Hill road, Los Gatos, CA 95030 https://www.sccgov.org/sites/parks/fol/Pages/AnnualFoL.aspx

Winterfest 

sjm-pizarro-1220.jpg

For the love of all things Winter, head to Great America in Santa Clara for ice skating, rides, a visit to Santa’s workshop, nightly tree-lighting, themed character performances and light displays. Takes place weekends in December. Located at 4701 Great America Parkway, Santa Clara www.cagreatamerica.com

San Francisco & The Peninsula 

Union Square 

TreeLightingMacysHorz-425.jpgCheck out the beautiful lit Macy’s tree in the heart of union square while you sip hot chocolate  and visit the decked out stores! Be sure to sit with Santa while you are there and enjoy some ice skating. Don’t forget to head into the Westin St. Francis to view their festive Sugar Castles.Located at Union Square, San Francisco www.visitunionsquaresf.com

The Great Dickens Christmas Fair 

df_logo-1.png

MirroringVictorian London, this holiday fair features music, theater, characters and charming shops overflowing with hand-made holiday treasures. Even roasted chestnuts and festive themed holiday food. Runs December 16 and 17th.Located at Cow Palace Exhibition Halls – 2500 Geneva Avenue, Daly City www.dickensfair.com

A Charlie Brown Christmas – LIVE 

charlie-1000x575.jpg

Your favorite characters dance and sing to bring A Charlie Brown Christmas to life! Snoopy, Charlie Brown and the whole peanuts gang will be there while the San Francisco Symphony performs Vince Guaraldi’s timeless music. Come early and enjoy a family-friendly reception featuring a host of activities to keep kids entertained. Runs December 21 – 24. Located at Davies Symphony Hall – 201 Van Ness Avenue, San Francisco. www.sfsymphony.org

EastBay
Fairy Winterland 

NW-EP-Main4.jpgChildren fairyland transforms into a holiday wonderland with holiday stories, crafts, lights displays, a nightly parade and a celebration of all cultures – Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Las Posadas, Diwali and Chinese New Year. Runs December 15 – 23 Located at 699 Bellevue Avenue, Oakland www.failryland.org

Zoo Lights at the Oakland Zoo 
EVNHeader-ZLights17.jpgCheck out some holiday light displays, light shows, candy cane ride theme area and a nighttime train through the zoo all while checking out some of the animals at night! Runs December 1-31 (closed December 24/25) Located at 97777 Golf Links Road, Oakland www.oaklandzoo.org

comp-logo

Nicole Emanuel Real Estate

Coldwell Banker

(408) 410-2060

nicole.emanuel@cbnorcal.com

http://www.realestatebynicole.com

BRE# 01899594

Pantone Has Chosen a Color of the Year…and You’re Going to Love It!

24852669_1554410947937761_549085081274139869_n

Drum roll please….and the pantone color of the year for 2018 is officially Ultra Violet! Looks like they have chosen a fun and funky color for your new home decor or fashion trends. When looking at staging homes for sale, a pop of color such a ultra violet in a pillow or a chair can make a home feel more modern and provide a bit of fun.

Here’s an excerpt from the Pantone website (www.pantone.com) on why they chose this color this year.

“Complex and contemplative, Ultra Violet suggests the mysteries of the cosmos, the intrigue of what lies ahead, and the discoveries beyond where we are now. The vast and limitless night sky is symbolic of what is possible and continues to inspire the desire to pursue a world beyond our own.

Enigmatic purples have also long been symbolic of counterculture, unconventionality, and artistic brilliance. Musical icons Prince, David Bowie, and Jimi Hendrix brought shades of Ultra Violet to the forefront of western pop culture as personal expressions of individuality. Nuanced and full of emotion, the depth of PANTONE 18-3838 Ultra Violet symbolizes experimentation and non-conformity, spurring individuals to imagine their unique mark on the world, and push boundaries through creative outlets.

Historically, there has been a mystical or spiritual quality attached to Ultra Violet. The color is often associated with mindfulness practices, which offer a higher ground to those seeking refuge from today’s over-stimulated world. The use of purple-toned lighting in meditation spaces and other gathering places energizes the communities that gather there and inspire connection.”

Will you be using ultra violet in your home decor this year?

comp-logo

Nicole Emanuel Real Estate

Coldwell Banker

(408) 410-2060

nicole.emanuel@cbnorcal.com

http://www.realestatebynicole.com

BRE 01899594

 

Home Inspections – Specialists You May Want to Check Out

While most folks settle for a home inspection, pest (termite) inspection and possibly a roof inspection, there are a myriad of specialists you can hire to investigate just about anything home-related when you are purchasing a home. The California Association of Realtors put together this short list of the most popular, but some common inspections we see  also include:

Pool & Spa – If the home has a pool and spa, its a must to get it inspected. This is often an overlooked item and failing pool pumps and heaters can be very expensive.

Arborist – Does the home have a huge tree in the front yard? Is one of the trees looking overgrown? Sometimes, it makes sense to call an arborist to make sure the trees on the property are healthy and not in danger of falling limbs or needing to be uprooted (all of which can be rather costly).

Contractors – Are you considering doing some renovating to a home after purchase? Its smart to have a contractor walk the home before you purchase to ensure you can do all the items you want. Sometimes structural modifications might not work or will be very expensive due to the placement of load-bearing walls and foundations so its something you might want to know up front if you are planning on adding on to a home or re-arranging.

Specialist-Wanted-hi-res

comp-logo

Nicole Emanuel Real Estate

Coldwell Banker

(408) 410-2060

nicole.emanuel@cbnorcal.com

http://www.realestatebynicole.com

Winter is Coming! Top 10 Winter Energy Saving Tips

Winterize-HomeWhether you’re able to make a big investment into cutting your energy costs or just looking for a few free and simple ways to save money, here are 10 helpful tips for keeping your energy bills down this winter. 

NO COST

1. Set your thermostat to 68 degrees. Your heating system will operate less and use less energy. By turning it down an additional five degrees at night, you could save up to $70 on energy costs each year.

2. Set your water heater to 120 degrees. Your water heater won’t have to work as hard if it’s set to a lower temperature. In fact, each time you lower it 10 degrees, you’ll save 3-5% on water heating costs.

3. Open window coverings on south-facing windows. This will help warm your house during the day. At night, cover all windows to help keep the heat in. 4. Use cold water when washing clothes. Washing clothes in cold water could save you around $40 a year with an electric water heater and $30 with a gas water heater.

Some Cost

5. Replace your furnace filter regularly. Dirty filters reduce air flow, making your equipment work harder. Replace your furnace filter monthly (unless it is a high efficiency filter) during the heating season to reduce heating costs by up to 5% or $35 a year.

6. Install water-efficient showerheads and faucets. 1.8 gallon-a-minute showerheads can reduce your hot water consumption by as much as 10% and save $20 a year. 7. Switch to compact florescent light (CFL) bulbs. They cost a little more but you’ll save about $40 over the life of just one bulb.

8. Weatherize your home. You’ll save up to 10% on heating and cooling costs! Seal holes to the outside by

Larger Investment

9. Insulate your home. By adding insulation to the attic, unfinished basement walls and crawlspaces, you could save 20% on heating and cooling costs. You may need to consult a contractor before taking on this project and I’d be happy to provide you with a referral.

10. Purchase energy efficient appliances. Remember, items like refrigerators, washers, dryers, furnaces, TVs and computers have two price tags – purchase price and lifetime energy costs. Energy efficient appliances can save you up to $75 a year while helping save the environment.

It’s shaping up to be a chilly winter this year. I hope you find these tips helpful in keeping your home warm, while keeping your energy bills low. Feel free to contact me with any questions you have about buying or selling a home this winter.

comp-logo

Nicole Emanuel Real Estate – Coldwell Banker

(408) 410-2060

nicole.emanuel@cbnorcal.com

www.realestatebynicole.com