Fresno, CA Real Estate News

By Stephanie Greenberg, Fresno Homes For Sale
(Lion Real Estate)
When it comes to doing a home improvement you have to look at it two ways.  The first way is “How long do I plan on living in this home?  How long am I going to use or enjoy the improvement I am potentially going to make to my home?  What is the value of the improvement to you that you put into the house?”  For instance if you’re going to put in a pool, are you going to get one seasonal year of use out of it or are you gong to be able to enjoy it for a long time?   The second thing is to ask, “How soon am I going to be selling my home?  Am I going to get the value out of it when I sell the home?”  So many people make the wrong improvements that end up costing them thousands and thousands of dollars.  There are different improvements to make based on those two questions and the answers ...
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By Linda Thompson
(Selling By Design-Staging)
  Can a home sell for $14,000 more than its first offer? It can, and has in Fresno CA, due to the wise decision of a smart real estate agent and the sellers. They chose to have  Selling By Design-Staging stage their home which resulted in a  quick and profitable sale. The home received a full price offer the day after it had been staged. Here is an excerpt from an email I received from the agent regarding the referral service, who recommended Selling By Design-Staging, and the subsequent staging and sale of the home. "My listing  was not selling despite the seller moving out. They had cleaned, and I had four open houses. It was a small house and looked REALLY tiny when empty so people thought there was no room for furniture. I clicked on the link from Home Care recommending :linda@selli...
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By Stephanie Greenberg, Fresno Homes For Sale
(Lion Real Estate)
I am watching House Hunters and they are looking in Morristown NJ and they have looked at over 100 houses so far and still have not made a decision.  I love working with buyers, escpecially first time home buyers, but if you have to look at over 100 homes in Fresno, CA befor making an offer, I don't think that I can help you.  I pride myself in learning your likes and dislikes after viewing a few homes and doing a buyer interview.   When meeting with your Realtor for the first time you should go over your wants and needs lists.  View a map in areas that you would consider living, including school districts if that is important.  Number of beds/baths, backyard features, etc.  You may have to take a two car garage instead of three to get everything else on your wish list but that is the g...
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By Stephanie Greenberg, Fresno Homes For Sale
(Lion Real Estate)
It's a Wonderful Life - Yes it is!   Every year I watch this class Chirstmas movie and every year I get something new out of it.  This year I really concentrated on the building and loan.  How awesome that there was a place that you could save money just to buy a house and when you had your down payment you got your house.  There were not credit scores, debt to income ratios, conditions, appraisals, etc to deal with.  At least in my mind there was not.   People I believe are still good and will come together in a crisis.  Love the life you live and make the most of it.   Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!  
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As a professional home stager, I visit the mls on a regular basis to see what's out there on the market. Many times the main living areas look nice and maybe even professionally done. Then the photo tour goes to the leftover rooms, the spare or the "no one knows what to do with" room. Here the visual impact falls apart. Some of these rooms are used as storage for mismatched furniture, or worse anything that the owners don't know where else to put. A room might be used a guest room, but the old bedding and again, the mismatched or outdated furniture gives a bland unappealing vibe. The main living areas may have been painted recently, but alas these poor "step-rooms" still sport the original builder grade paint. These unstaged rooms can kill the good feelings that the potential buyers had...
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By Stephanie Greenberg, Fresno Homes For Sale
(Lion Real Estate)
My phone rang this morning at 7:45 as I was getting my son ready for school so I decided to send it to voicemail.  The caller did not leave a message but called back at 8:30 and I answered.  It was a buyer who was interested in seeing my listing in Fresno, CA today.  I set an appointment with her and she asked to see a few more.  It is a cold foggy day here and I thought I would work from home and stay in my sweats all day with my hair up and no makeup, you know a lazy day.  Well, I decided not to by lazy and complain about having to get ready and go out in the late afternoon.  I met the most delightful couple who saw all four homes I showed them and are making an offer on my listing!!! I guess I will have to remember to get up, suit up and show up every day as you never know when your ...
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By Stephanie Greenberg, Fresno Homes For Sale
(Lion Real Estate)
What Are Loan Conditions in Fresno CA?   So you are pre-approved for a loan to buy a house, congratulations!  We write an offer and it is accepted and we open up escrow.  I forward your executed purchase contract to your loan officer, they set a meeting with you, ask you to bring in updated pay stubs, bank statements and whatever else is needed to submit the file to underwriting.   Then you get a call saying "Your loan has been approved"  Here are the loan conditions.  You say, "What Loan Conditions?"  Loan Conditions could be as simple as providing an updated pay stub, documentation of a deposit, or a letter of explaination on a late payment. I have seen my buyers face loan conditions of 1 or 2 to up to 61!  The one with 61 was ridiculous.  The conditions called were absured and we end...
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By Stephanie Greenberg, Fresno Homes For Sale
(Lion Real Estate)
    What do I need for a Short Sale Package I get this question a lot from sellers who are selling their home as a short sale in Fresno, CA.  Here is a list of what I give to my sellers to gather to start the short sale process. ·         Hardship Letter:  The hardship letter should state the reason for the financial hardship and what you have tried to overcome it.  Also state why you believe you will encounter this hardship into the future.  Make sure it is signed. ·         3rd Party Authorization:  This is a form that allows a 3rd party that is not on the mortgage loan (usually a Realtor or Attorney) to speak to the sellers mortgage company about the terms of the loan and negotiate directly with them.  Have your Realtor check to see if your mortgage company has their own form they pr...
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By Stephanie Greenberg, Fresno Homes For Sale
(Lion Real Estate)
A Season for Sharing in Fire Safety Each year fires occurring during the holiday season claim the lives of over 400 people, injure 1,650 more, and cause over $990 million in damage. According to the United States Fire Administration (USFA), there are simple life-saving steps you can take to ensure a safe and happy holiday. By following some of the outlined precautionary tips, individuals can greatly reduce their chances of becoming a holiday fire casualty. Preventing Christmas Tree Fires Christmas Tree Fire Hazards - Movie segments demonstrating how fast a live Christmas tree can become fully engulfed in flames. Special fire safety precautions need to be taken when keeping a live tree in the house. A burning tree can rapidly fill a room with fire and deadly gases. Selecting a Tree for ...
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By Regina P. Brown, M.B.A., Broker, Instructor
(MBA Broker Consultants)
Friends and business associates, we are so thankful for you and your friendship throughout the year.  Keep having an "attitude of gratitude" and you will reap many blessings in your family, your career, and your ministry. God bless you richly and abundantly, may His mercies overflow into your life!
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By Stephanie Greenberg, Fresno Homes For Sale
(Lion Real Estate)
Here is an oldie but a goodie!   Here's my Top Ten Favorite Tax Jokes & Quotes, courtesy of the rich and famous:       #10 -- Mark Twain   The only difference between a tax man and a taxidermist is that the taxidermist leaves the skin.       #9 -- Arthur Godfrey   I am proud to be paying taxes in the United States. The only thing is I could be just as proud for half of the money.       #8 -- John S. Coleman   The point to remember is that what the government gives it must first take away.       #7 -- Herman Wouk   Income tax returns are the most imaginative fiction being written today.       #6 -- Winston Churchill   There is no such thing as a good tax.       #5 -- Albert Einstein   The hardest thing in the world to understand is the income tax.       #4 -- Robert A. Heinlein   Be wary...
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By Stephanie Greenberg, Fresno Homes For Sale
(Lion Real Estate)
  Cleaning Tips to Solve Any Crisis in Fresno CA       Tackle any household disaster — including stained carpets, gunky kitchen appliances, cluttered rooms, and more — with easy cleaning tips from Heloise.   By Heloise       Bathroom Rings: Clean with cheap shampoo and a long-handle scrub brush. Vinegar also removes rings, but never use on marble or granite bathtubs.       Shower Curtain Scum: Put plastic shower curtains and liners in the washing machine, and add a bath towel for scrubbing action, along with your regular amount of detergent. Pop them in the dryer for several minutes or hang to dry.       Bathtub Stains: Put 1/4 cup powdered dishwasher detergent in a glass measuring cup, and add enough water to make a paste; stir with a nonmetal utensil then apply to the stain, scrub lig...
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By Stephanie Greenberg, Fresno Homes For Sale
(Lion Real Estate)
The Most Expensive Home On The Market in Fresno CA is currently listed at $2,524,000!  It is in the heart of NorthWest Fresno featuring 5 beds and 5 baths with 8300 square living feet and on almost one acre.  It sure is a beauty!  It even has it's own guest house complete with kitchen, bedroom and laundry. Travertine, marble, granite, rock, brick and glass tile adorn this home.  And some people thought we didn't have homes like this in Fresno!  Come see what you can buy in Fresno for much less.  
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By Stephanie Greenberg, Fresno Homes For Sale
(Lion Real Estate)
  I thought I would share one of my favorite poems that gave my life meaning when our youngest son was diagnosed with Autism as the poem can relate to our lives in today's Real Estate Market.  The market here in Fresno, CA surely is not like a trip to Italy or Holland and I am sure you all have stories of your trip to Holland as well.  So the next time you are asked to list that short sale or offer on the REO, think of this poem.  Enjoy. Welcome to Holland c1987 by Emily Perl Kingsley. All rights reserved I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability - to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It's like this...... When you're going to have a baby, it's like planning a fabulous vacat...
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By Stephanie Greenberg, Fresno Homes For Sale
(Lion Real Estate)
The Importance of Doing Your Final Walk Through in Fresno CA.   I received a call from a friend who is a past client yesterday who is also a plumber.  He got called out to a call to do some plumbing work for a homeowner who recently purchased a home and when she received the keys and went to her new house she found it had been burglarized.  Appliances and carpet stolen, plumbing trashed and stolen.  Lots of property damage due to the plumbing pipes.   My friend asked if there was any other insurance to cover this other than her homeowners?  I asked him if she did a final walk through.  The answer was no.  I asked him if she contacted her agent.  She said she left lots of messages for him and he will not return her call.   My friend told her, I wish I would have known you before, if  you...
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By Stephanie Greenberg, Fresno Homes For Sale
(Lion Real Estate)
  What is a (HAFA) Short Sale?   I get asked this question a lot, so thought I would share some information on what the term HAFA means.   The U.S. Treasury Department created the Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives Program (HAFA) for mortgage lenders to establish a short sale process and deed-in-lieu of foreclosure policies, procedures and forms for homeowners.   A short sale is a real estate transaction in which the proceeds from the sale of the property will fall "short" of paying off the loan amount. The lender decides that a "short" pay off is better than foreclosing on the homeowner.  The “short” in short sale does not apply to the length of time the transaction will take.   A "Deed in Lieu" of foreclosure is a legal process in which a homeowner gives all interest in a proper...
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By Stephanie Greenberg, Fresno Homes For Sale
(Lion Real Estate)
  Fresno, CA Do-It-Yourself Home Security Check: 5 Essential Steps       Conduct a do-it-yourself home security check by walking around your house to assess what needs to be done to reduce the risk of a break-in.   1. Keep your home well-maintained on the outside.   Burglars want an easy target. Stand on the street outside your house and ask yourself: Does my property look neglected, hidden, or uninhabited? A front door or walkway that’s obscured by shrubbery offers crooks the perfect cover they need while they break a door or window. To improve security, trim shrubs away from windows and widen front walks.   2. Install motion detector lights.   All sides of your house should be well-lit with motion-activated lighting, not just the front. Simple motion-activated floodlights cost less th...
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By Stephanie Greenberg, Fresno Homes For Sale
(Lion Real Estate)
FRESNO The 90th Annual Veteran's Day Parade: This long-standing and historical Veterans Day tradition continues. Join in honoring our armed forces at the largest Veterans Day Parade in the U.S. The West Coast Largest Veterans Day Parade, a long-standing and historical tradition, which originated in the City of Fresno by the American Legion Fresno Post 4 in 1919, is honoring the returning World War I soldiers. The 2009 Veterans Day Parade will be host this year to the 10,000 veterans and individuals participating in the parade. 26 marching bands, floats, military vehicles and military units. The Veterans Day Parade will start on Wednesday November 11, 2009. The Fresno Veterans Day parade will start at 10:30 AM with the opening ceremonies in front of Fresno City Hall. The Veterans Day Par...
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By Stephanie Greenberg, Fresno Homes For Sale
(Lion Real Estate)
I recently attended an all day event put on by our company and an agent who does alot of short sales got up to speak and she said something that was key, "Check your attitude at the door when listing a short sale".  What that means is that you are there to assist a homeowner with their hardship.  I know we do not look down on them, but getting excited about a listing is really not the right attitude either.   I went out on a listing appointment a few weeks ago.  The sellers are older and retired, earning not much these days and the house is just too big and a burden.  They had alot of questions for me on should they just let the house foreclose or should they attempt the short sale.  I answered al their questions, and left letting them know whichever way they chose would be fine with me...
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By Regina P. Brown, M.B.A., Broker, Instructor
(MBA Broker Consultants)
Okay, so the big banks admit they may not have conducted all of their foreclosures correctly... and now homeowners who were victims of unfair foreclosures can call and lodge a complaint at 1-888-952-9105. According to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal by By Alan Zibel and Nick Timiraos: Bank regulators and the mortgage industry have launched a complaint process to reach out to more than 4 million homeowners to find and compensate any who were harmed by deficiencies in banks’ foreclosure operations. Bank regulators in April ordered 14 large mortgage servicing firms to fix problems in their foreclosure-handling processes. The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and Federal Reserve required these companies to hire independent consultants to fix those problems. The industry ...
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