Blog

Timing the Market

Most of us want to buy and sell in the smartest manner possible.  Nobody really wants to sell a home ‘at the bottom’ of the market or buy a home ‘at the top’ of a market.  Much energy is expended trying to determine if the market is going up, headed down, or moving sideways. Whether […]

Suburban Property Pitfalls

Many home buyers like the idea of living in the ‘country’ rather than an urban neighborhood.  In the Fresno/Clovis/Madera market area there is ‘country’ living available in all directions with often an extremely short drive from the city.  Sharon and I have lived ‘out of town’ in a country suburb for ~28 years.  I have […]

Should You Buy a Rental Home?

Have you ever considered buying a rental home?  Perhaps the current low prices and interest rates have led you to consider picking up another home or two and renting them out.  And of course everyone knows that rental properties provide impressive tax benefits.  But is it for you?  Allow me to provide a quick summary […]

Keep Your AC System Healthy

With the high summer temperatures of the Central Valley, it is important to keep your AC system in good shape.  During the hot season, it can sometimes take days to get a qualified technician to your home for a repair.  Follow these simple tips to keep your AC system healthy and your home comfortable. 1) […]

Credit Repair: What Is In Your Score?

There is much confusion and mystery surrounding credit scores.  Today we will discuss what exactly effects your FICO score and how much importance is assigned to the different areas that make up your score. In our last blog entry, we discussed the credit rating system and the importance of getting copies of your credit reports […]

Credit Repair 101: Where to Start?

This nation, especially the younger generation, is facing a crisis of ‘bad credit’.  Without good credit, it can be impossible to buy a home or at the very least, be much more expensive.  Auto loans and affordable consumer credit can also be difficult to attain.  In addition to lending problems, a bad credit score can […]

Finding that ‘Dream Home’

Often when working with buyers, there is much discussion of their ‘dream home’ and all that it should include.  Many assume that it not only exists, but that it is waiting for their offer and that fate will somehow bring them together. Sadly, this sentiment is simply wrong.  It is frequently a challenge to gently […]

Condos & Home Owner Associations: The Good, Bad & The Ugly

Have you ever considered living in a gated community, planned unit development (yes, we call them PUDs), or a condo?  They are increasingly popular, but are not for everyone. There are many similarities with a traditional single family home, but also significant differences.  Buyers need to carefully consider how those differences will effect their enjoyment […]

Buyers: What About Short Sales?

Since about one third of all active unsold listings in the Fresno/Clovis Multiple Listing Service are Short Sale listings, what are the advantages and disadvantages for buyers?  First, please read my other posts in the Short Sale category so that you fully understand exactly what a Short Sale listing is and what it is not. […]

Short Sales & Asking Price

I frequently get calls and emails asking about a home for sale that my clients find on the internet that just seem ‘too good to be true’.  These are invariably Short Sale listings and it is important for buyers to understand just what the asking price means for such homes.  As in most areas of […]

Sellers: Why Attempt a Short Sale?

When a seller owes more in mortgage debt than their home is currently worth, and is not able to continue making their payments, one option is to attempt a Short Sale.  Often, due to financial problems, it is the only option other than foreclosure.  There are two major advantages for the seller to pursue a […]

What is a Short Sale?

Over 25% of the active (unsold) listings in the Fresno/Clovis Multiple Listing Service are “Short Sale” listings.  This is the largest percentage of this type I have ever witnessed.  Sadly, “Short Sale” listings are rarely disclosed as such in the marketing material the MLS makes available for public view.  This gives many potential buyers an […]

Marijuana and Mellow Neighbors

While showing a home this week, we discovered a rather large ‘professional’ marijuana farm across the back fence of the property.  The neighbor immediately behind this vacant home had created an impressively secure environment to grow dozens of very large pot plants.  Many were as tall as me.  The entire back yard perimeter fencing was […]

Foreclosure Surprises

After my last blog entry about foreclosures, I’ve been asked about ‘surprises’ I have found in foreclosure listings.  Just how bad can it be?  Well, let me tell you… At this house we just closed this week, there was the usual boarded up windows (due to broken glass from past break-ins) and trash scattered throughout […]

Buying Foreclosures: The Wild Wild West of Real Estate

Closed another foreclosure purchase for a client today and am once again amazed at how ‘crazy’ the entire process has become.  The usual and customary standards and practices in our industry just often don’t apply.  I have purchased several foreclosures for myself (and remodeled them as rentals) and have helped a number of clients through […]

Out of Town Agents

I am always amazed when an agent from out of the area attempts to work this market.  Have had a number of my listings sold by out-of-towners and I always welcome their offers and gladly cooperate with them, but they leave me scratching my head. Had an agent from hundreds of miles away call me […]

Home Inspection Pitfalls

The buyer of one of my listings had his ‘professional home inspection’ recently.  For those that haven’t purchased a home in the last decade or two, it is now standard for the buyer to hire a contractor or other professional to thoroughly inspect the home during the inspection contingency period in order to better determine […]

Red Flag Appraisal

I promised a few ‘horror stories’ about appraisals.  Here is a very recent one: Met an appraiser recently at one of my listings, and knew rather quickly we would have a problem.  I’ve been doing this for years, have sold hundreds of homes and have met many, many appraisers, but this was the worst I’ve […]

Agents

Here is a thought:  no matter how intense negotiations get, let’s all be adults and maintain a professional and respectful attitude.  It is frustrating when agents personalize issues and feel they must create a win/lose scenario.  Real estate should not be win/lose.  Should always be win/win. We all know agents in town that we want […]

Introduction

One of the great things about this new website is the ability to finally do a blog.  My goal is to write regularly about the Real Estate industry from an inside perspective.  I will always protect the privacy of my clients and will never breach confidentiality, but will attempt to share what often does not […]

Appraisal Introduction

One of the key functions of a good Realtor is meeting appraisers at our listings.   Our responsibility is to give them access and information so that they may arrive at an accurate appraised value.  This is a critical part of the process since the lender must be satisfied that the contract price is not inflated […]