New tax Bill Proposes Elimination of Certain Tax Deductions for California Homeowners – How Will It Affect You?

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Nicole Emanuel Real Estate – Coldwell Banker

(408) 410-2060

nicole.emanuel@cbnorcal.com

http://www.realestatebynicole.com

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Bay Area 4th of July Event Schedule

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If you are looking to check out some awesome fireworks displays or fun 4th of July events this holiday, look no further. We have compiled a list of the top events around the South Bay – click on any of the links to take you to the website for more information on each event. Wishing you a fun and safe independence day!

Cupertino 

Children’s parade begins at 10 a.m. at Memorial Park. Pancake breakfast, flag raising, live entertainment, children’s carnaval and food! Monday, July 4, 2016. 7a.m. – 5p.m. Memorial Park Amphitheatre and Blackberry Farm. Cupertino, CA. (408) 777-3120.

Gilroy High School

City of Gilroy’s Annual Fireworks! – Fireworks at approximately 9:15 p.m. Monday, July 4 2016. 750 W 10th St, Gilroy, CA 95020.

Milpitas Sports Center Complex

“Red, White and Boom” Concert and Fireworks Show

The “Waving the Red, White & Blue” Pool Party event starts at 1 p.m. in the Milpitas Sports Center. Individuals will able to purchase food, enjoy music, games, and fun for $ 3 per person. As for the “Red, White & Boom” concert, the show starts at 7 p.m. with the doors opening at 6 p.m. Fireworks begin at 9:15 p.m. with admission being $3 per person ( 2 years and older). Monday, July 4, 2016. 1325 E. Calaveras Blvd. For more information please call (408)586-3210.

Morgan Hill Outdoor Sports Center

Freedom Fest – Patriotic singing, parade, entertainment and fireworks on the green at around 9:30 p.m. Monday, July 4, 2016. 16500 Condit Rd, Morgan Hill, CA.

Mountain View – Shoreline Amphitheatre 

4th of July Fireworks Spectacular With San Francisco Symphony – “A Night At The Movies” with music from Inside Out, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, E.T., Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone, Raider of the Lost Ark and more on July 4th, 2016, Monday at 8:00 p.m. Shoreline Amphitheatre. (650)967-4040.

San Jose, The Alameda Avenue

Rose, White, and Blue Parade – Enjoy a family holiday filled with history, patriotism and roses! Live music, arts and crafts booths, antique cars and a picnic on the Alameda. Monday, July 4, 2016. Parade starts 10 a.m. at Lincoln High School parking lot at 555 Dana Avenue. If you want to participate in the parade applications are required for vehicles, walking groups, musical groups, marching units, floats and equestrian units. Applications must be submitted by June 14. Festival located at The Alameda between Hanchett and Hester Ave. For more information please call (408)436-8581.

Discovery Meadow, Downtown San Jose

New Century of Service – Enjoy this free, family-friendly event with a fireworks show at approximately 9:30p.m. after dusk with free Symphony Summer Pops music at 5:30 p.m. Monday, July 4, 2016. Discovery Meadow. 180 Woz Way, San Jose, CA 95110.

Santa Clara’s Central Park

4th of July All-City Picnic and Fireworks Extravaganza – Celebrate 4th of July with an all-city picnic and fireworks at 9:30pm! Beginning at 12p.m., relax and enjoy live entertainment, good food, carnival games, face painting, dancing and a flag dedication from the Mayor. Central Park, 909 Kiely Boulevard, Santa Clara.(408) 615-3140.

Santa Clara – Great America 

Make sure to turn your head to the skies high above California’s Great America as we present our fireworks extravaganza to celebrate our great nation! Located at the Redwood Amphitheater inside the park. Fireworks after dusk.

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Boosting Your Home’s Curb Appeal

What would buyers see if they drove up to your home? Go ahead, take a look. Stand outside your home and try to look at it through a buyer’s eyes. First impressions are lasting impressions. If buyers see paint peeling, a crack in a window or an unkempt yard, they are apt to speculate that there are other, more substantial things wrong with the home.

That first impression, or curb appeal, can make the difference in the amount of money a buyers is willing to offer on a home listed for sale.

Here are some suggestions to enhance the curb appeal of your home to get ready for sale or even just to spruce things up a bit this summer: 

  • Mow the lawn, clean up and yard and prune shrubs and trees 
  • Scrub or paint the front porch and door. Sometimes an interesting pop of color on the door can really modernize the look of an older homea-little-front-door-love-curb-appeal-doors-painting.jpg
  • Check the porch or deck and hand railings to ensure they are secure 
  • Wash the windows, make them sparkle!! 
  • If you have time time and money, paint the exterior of the home. Try to stick to more neutral palates as some bright colors can be an immediate turn off for some buyers. Add color by painting the door a different color, instead. Exterior-before-after.jpg
  • Pick up and put away toys and bikes, outdoor bins are also great for storing these items 
  • Check that the lawn furniture is in good shape or, if not, store it away 
  • Add charm to the front and backyard by adding flower pots and planting fresh plants 

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  • Repair and paint the fence, if needed 
  • Repair the roof, gutters, and downspouts if needed 

These improvements are essential before a home sale and could mean an increase in sales price.  Feel free to call or email and let me know if I can answer any questions for you or make suggestions on how to improve your homes curb appeal!

 

Why Now May Be the Right Time to Downsize Your Home

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For many people, their house may be their biggest asset. But it also can be their biggest expense. That’s true whether they’re planning for retirement or even if they already are in retirement. So it’s no wonder that many homeowners begin to think about selling their home and moving into a smaller one as they approach their golden years.

Downsizing your home doesn’t have to mean downsizing your lifestyle. Homes have steadily expanded over the years with the average home now more than 2,600 square feet in the U.S. according to Census data – 60% larger than it was 40 years ago when families were bigger! So there is plenty of room to downsize without cramping your style.

But downsizing doesn’t necessarily mean moving to a smaller home. It can also mean moving to a less expensive residence that’s the same size. Something as simple as moving from a top, reputable school district to a district that is not highly rated may lower the cost of a house. And if you do not have school age children, the quality of the school district may not be that important to you.

If you’ve been kicking around the idea of cashing in on your home’s equity and moving into a smaller property, there are a number of reasons why it may be the best move you can make right now:

  • The housing market in our area has rebounded quite nicely from the recession with the value of many homes climbing in recent years. Cashing in on some of that equity appreciation may help provide retirement income and extend the life of your nest egg. For more information on the propriety of such a move, please first consult with your financial advisor.

  • A smaller home may mean a smaller mortgage payment each month if you are still paying off an existing loan. Or it might mean paying off your mortgage entirely and being debt free on your new home. Additionally, downsizing may lower your property taxes, energy costs, property insurance and ongoing maintenance and repair expenses depending upon the choices you make.

  • According to the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College (CRR), housing costs (including utilities, taxes and upkeep), represent one of the biggest expenses for a retired couple – 30 percent of expenses for a couple aged 65-74. That’s money that can be spent on other things in retirement.

  • For example, CRR estimates that a couple downsizing from a $375,000 home to a $250,000 home may be able to cut their annual expenses and increase their annual income from savings by a combined $7,260. CRR provides a calculator that may enable you to determine your own savings here. As always, it’s a good idea to consult with your financial advisor before making any decisions.

  • Some homeowners are reluctant to trade a house for a condominium or town house because of concerns regarding the financial impact of homeowners’ association fees. While such fees can change one’s monthly budget, keep in mind that you may be paying similar expenses as a homeowner in the form of maintenance and upkeep costs.

  • While a smaller home may mean less space, it could also mean less time and aggravation spent on keeping up a big house. Without all the work that goes into keeping up a bigger home, you may actually find a lot more time to enjoy traveling, hanging out with friends, picking up new hobbies and, generally, having more fun!

  • Moving from a suburban home to an apartment or condo building in a downtown area with amenities on site may open up a whole new world for retirees. Those who have made the switch often find that they now can enjoy more trips to the theater, nightclubs, restaurants, shopping, as well as taking advantage of fitness centers and other on-sight activities.

According to the Wall Street Journal, it can pay to downsize sooner rather than later for those approaching retirement or already retired. The financial benefits can add up over time. Additionally, as we get older, moving gets harder thus it may make a lot of sense to move now rather than waiting.

If I can help answer any of your questions about downsizing, please give me a call or e-mail me today. I’d be happy to discuss the pros and cons of making a move and help you decide if downsizing is right for you.

Top 10 Turkey Tips

Roast Turkey and StuffingWhether you’re tackling a Thanksgiving turkey for the first or hundredth time, these top 10 tips will ensure your big bird is the best it can be this holiday!

1. Thawing a frozen turkey requires patience and the safest method is to thaw it in the refrigerator. Be sure to plan ahead — it takes approximately three days for a 20 pound turkey to fully defrost.

2. For crisper skin, unwrap the turkey the day before roasting and leave it uncovered in the refrigerator overnight.

3. Cooking times will differ depending on whether your bird was purchased fresh or frozen. Plan on 20 minutes per pound in a 350 degree oven for a defrosted turkey, and 10 to 15 minutes per pound for a fresh turkey.

4. A turkey will cook more evenly if it is not densely stuffed. Consider adding flavor by loosely filling the cavity with aromatic vegetables (carrots, celery, onion or garlic work nicely) or by carefully tucking fresh herbs underneath the breast skin. For the stuffing lovers, cook the dressing in a casserole dish on the side.

5. For even roasting, truss your turkey.

6. Before roasting, coat the outside of the turkey with vegetable or olive oil, season with salt and pepper and tightly cover the breast with aluminum foil to prevent over-browning (it will be removed in step 7).

7. Don’t be a peeping tom (no pun intended)! Once you get the turkey in the oven, resist the temptation to open the oven door and admire your handiwork. When the oven temperature fluctuates, you’re only increasing the likelihood of a dry bird. About 45 minutes before you think the turkey is done, remove the foil from the breast to allow it to brown.

8. Remove the turkey from the oven when the deepest spot between the leg and the breast reads 180 degrees on an instant-read thermometer. Check the internal temperature of the stuffing as well – it should be at least 165 degrees.

9. Tent the bird with foil and let rest for about 15 minutes before carving. If you need more time to make gravy, heat up side dishes, etc. You can let the turkey set for up to an hour without losing too much heat.

10. Remember to carve your turkey with a very sharp or electric knife.

Recent Mercury News Article Shows its a Great Time for Buyers!

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Check out this recent article in the Mercury News which discusses the recent trends in the Bay Areal real estate market. (Bay Area Homes Sales Below Average, Price Growth Slows). While its hard to say whether its a seasonal phenomenon or a market trend in the Bay Area, anecdotally, we have been seeing home sales slow down for the past few months. What we do know is the slow down has created an opportunity for many buyers in the market to purchase without all the competition. If you are considering a purchase, now is the time while other buyers are taking a break for the holidays!

Tips for Selling Your Home in the Fall

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Summer has ended, the weather is cooling, leaves are changing and, you may be surprised to learn, homebuyers are out in force. Autumn is a popular time for corporations to relocate associates – creating a pool of buyers who need to make quick decisions about housing. They’re serious about purchasing and, with fewer houses on the market this time of year, your house may soon be getting more attention. What can you do to make sure your home sells before all the leaves fall off the trees? Here are a few helpful tips:

Highlight the location. Bring the benefits of your location front and center. Establish a list of perks that your property offers, such as proximity to public transportation, schools, shopping, recreation or entertainment.

Use the season for curb appeal. Autumn is one of the most beautiful times of year and by using that to your advantage, your home can stand out from others in the neighborhood. Leaves turning shades of crimson and gold can add extra appeal, but be sure they don’t get out of hand. Keep trees and shrubs properly groomed and pick up fallen leaves before they suffocate your front lawn. Add pumpkins, gourds or a fall display to your front porch to invite in potential buyers.

Stage your home. Buyers need to be able to envision themselves living in your home before they will consider buying it. You can help them by de cluttering, de-personalizing and thoroughly cleaning the entire house. Brighten your rooms by bringing the outside indoors with vases or displays of twigs, leaves or acorns from your yard.

Get everything in tip-top shape. Your buyer will most likely hire an inspector before closing, so pay close attention to elements around the home that are important in the fall. For example, make sure gutters are cleared of fallen leaves and that fireplaces are in working order.

Know your home. Access to real estate information on the Internet means that buyers are walking into your home more educated than ever. Take the time to review homes similar to yours on real estate websites like http://www.californiamoves.com or http://www.realtor.com. I can also let you know of the conditions and price ranges of other homes for sale in your area. This will allow us to better negotiate with potential buyers. Despite what you may have heard, this time of year offers plenty of opportunity to sell your home. By taking a few simple steps to make sure you and your house are ready to hit the market, you can better prepare yourself for what is to come. After all, the more welcoming your home is to possible buyers, the more welcoming it will be to offers.

Be sure to work with a professional realtor to ensure that you get top dollar for your home! Give me a call at (408) 410-2060 today to discuss your needs further!