New Cupertino Area Listing Features Top Schools for Under $1 million!

Well maintained & spacious!

This wonderful 4 bedroom, 2.5 bath townhome features 1,598 square feet of living space with upgraded kitchen, bamboo floors, built-in storage, view of park-like setting off the patio and newer roof by the Homeowners Association. Walking distance to award-winning Cupertino Schools: Dilworth Elementary (API 991 , Miller Middle (API 981) & Lynbrook High School (API 943). Don’t miss this one, it will go fast!Offered at $828,000.

 

Contact me for more information (408) 410-2060 or nicole.culbertson@cbnorcal.com!

 

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Reality Check: Shortage of Homes for Sale in the Bay Area Creating a Great Opportunity for Sellers

This months Reality Check focuses on the shortage of homes for sale in the Bay Area. Inventory is down over 62% from last year meaning multiple offers everywhere. If you are thinking of selling now is a great time. Conversely, if you are thinking of buying it may be time to consider a purchase before interest rates increase along with home prices. (Click on the link below to view this report)

Reality Check: Shortage of Homes for Sale in the Bay Area Creating a Great Opportunity for Sellers

 

 

Real Estate Bidding Wars are Back – The Wall Street Journal

Real Estate Bidding Wars Are Back – Check out this video on the state of the real estate market. We are seeing multiple offers everywhere. Hopefully  as we enter the summer months we will see more inventory hitting the market which is good news for frustrated buyers.

5 Steps to Prepare for Your New Home Purchase

ImageWhen making the decision to purchase your first (or second, or third) home, its always a good idea to prepare so you can set realistic expectations to avoid frustration and wasted time. Check out this article which highlights the “Five Steps to Prepare for the Home-Buying Process.”

The steps include:

1) Check Your Credit Score

2) Figure out a Real Budget

3) Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage

4) Determine if Homeownership Makes Sense

5) Set Realistic Expectations

$26 billion Foreclosure Settlement Could Mean Relief for Underwater Homeowners

If you are underwater on your home or were foreclosed upon between 2008 and 2011 there could be some relief coming your way according to an article from CNNMoney today. Federal and state officials have agreed to a $26 billion settlement of potential state charges of home seizures made without required paperwork and improper foreclosure practices based on robosigning by the five largest lenders in the country – Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase, Citigroup, Wells Fargo and Ally Financial.

About $17 billion will be used to reduce the principal for underwater homeowners and could mean a reduction for as many as 1 million people. While this is a start, the average reduction would be about $17,000, so might not go a long way in assisting those upside down on their mortgages. In addition, about 750,000 homeowners who are current on their mortgages will be able to refinance their loans to take advantage of the current record-low interest rates. About $1.5 billion will also go to homeowners foreclosed upon between 2008 and 2011 and who meet other criteria. They will be eligible to receive $2,000 for charges of robosigning.

Negotiations are underway to expand the current settlement to nine other servicers, potentially expanding the settlement to $30 billion.

It is important to note that even though a homeowner may accept settlement from the bank, it does not inhibit their ability to file criminal prosecution charges against the bank.

Tips for Hiring a Contractor

With the deluge of out of work contractors, there may be many offering their services to you that may not be as skilled as you might think in your specific project area. Here is a helpful article from the Mercury News today on how to effectively weed through contractors when remodeling or improving your home to find the best person for the job.

If you are unsure where to start with referrals, feel free to contact me today to locate construction specialists in your area.

Great Reasons to Own a Home

“A man complained that [on] his way home to dinner he had every day to pass through that long field of his neighbor’s.  I advised him to buy it, and it would never seem long again.”     -Ralph Waldo Emerson

Ownership of real estate can provide a place to truly call your own as well as a way to provide a good neighborhood for your kids to grow up in, and freedom from the whims of your landlord. Yet some of the biggest advantages of owning a home are less romantic and more practical – in fact, there are wonderful financial advantages to owning a home:

  • Tax Deductibility You can deduct the cost of your mortgage loan interest from your state and federal income taxes. Since interest generally will account for most of your payment during the first half of your mortgage, the savings can be significant. Some of your costs at the time of closing (including prepaid mortgage interest) can be taken as deductions on that year’s income tax return, and points paid up front at the time of closing represent additional mortgage interest and may be taken as a deduction. In addition, you can deduct all of the property taxes you pay as well.
  • Appreciation Potential Real estate is considered a good long-term investment because it usually appreciates in value especially given where values are in some markets today. The effects of borrowing potential can also increase as the value of the home appreciates.
  • Capital Gains Exclusion When it’s time to sell your home the amount of capital gains you have to pay is reduced. A homeowner can exclude up to $500,000 per couple if married and filing jointly, or $250,000 if single or filing separately for homes that have been the taxpayer’s principal residence for the previous two years.
  • Capital Gain Treatment Congress allows preferential tax treatment on gains from capital assets held for more than one year. This would be important for a homeowner who has gains in excess of the allowable exclusion.
  • Personal Enjoyment Pride of ownership is a valid reason for wanting to own a home as well. You can personalize your home while enjoying the financial benefits!

If you are considering purchasing your first home, I would love to speak with you further to help evaluate your current situation.