Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Yesterday (12-29-09) the monthly Case-Shiller report came out. It continues to show a slight improvement in the housing market--both nationally and locally. Discussing housing prices, it noted continuing slight increases in average sale prices in most of the nation. Of particular note for local buyers, the increases were most pronounced in two metropolitan areas: San Francisco and Phoenix. For all of you folks trying to decide whether this is a good time to jump into the Marin housing market, the answer is yes. Given the upward trend in values, coupled with the lowest interest rates in a few years (thirty year fixed below 5%), the opportunity is an excellent one whether you are looking for a home to live in, or just looking at investment property. Even with the upward price move, actual prices are still dramatically below their level of just 1-2 years ago. What more could you want? Low prices and lower interest rates! Give us a call: (415) 380-2133; or email us at: .

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


For those of

you thinking of buying real estate, there is NO time like NOW!! I know the economy is still in peril and unemployment is in double digits. BUT, if you are financially secure, and thinking of buying a new home, or some investment property, the facts of the market are strongly in favor of a move as soon as possible!

First, due in large part to the foreclosure situation and the mortgage crisis, housing prices have fallen far from their 2006 peaks. The national median price is now down to $178,000, which means, folks, that not only is THAT price down, but there are a lot of homes in good condition priced below that figure.

Second, mortgage interest rates are way down. Rates for 30 year fixed rate loans are below 5%!

Finally, if you need additional reasons to buy, the so-called "first time Buyer" credit was extended into the spring. You even don't have to be a 1st time buyer in some cases. Check your accountant. Then, start looking, get a loan and buy!! I guarantee that no matter how slow any recovery may turn out to be, prices won't stay this low by the end of 2010.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

A quick note on the so-called "First Time" Buyer's Credit as we head toward the end of this year and the start of a new one: The credit has been extended by Congress until April 30, 2010. Additionally, the maximum income limits for buyers who use the credit have been increased by about $55,000 for married couples to a new level of $225,000.

In addition to this, if you already own a home, you're still able to take advantage of the credit, though for a slightly smaller amount. If you've lived in your home for at least five of the most recent eight years, you can get up to $6500 of the credit for your purchase.

Call your accountant for details--and CALL YOUR REALTOR!! There's no time like the present to move up or in or both!

Happy Holidays,

Peter & Jane

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Down Payment Help:
Many cities in the Bay Area have loan programs to help with down payments for first time moderate income buyers.Included are: Oakland, San Francisco and San Jose. Check with city hall in each case. Separately, there is a program called: Mortgage Credit Certificate, that is run at city and county levels. It converts part of your mortgage interest tax deduction into a direct tax credit through the original lender of the mortgage.Do a web search of your city or county and the words "mortgage credit certificate".

Good luck.