Pleasant Hill, CA Real Estate News

By Johnny Huang, Insurance and Real Estate Broker
For my clients asking me why should they buy instead of renting...RENTING.....When the lease is up you can choose to move.You do not gain or build any equity.Less work in maintaining a rental home or apartment.In most cases, smaller amount of initial "up front" cash.You will never gain or build equity in an apartment.Limited ability to personalize your living space.No tax advantage to renting.  Your landlord gets all the allowable tax breaks.BUYING.....If you want to move, the house must be sold.Equity may go up, down or remain stagnant. Work needs to be done by you or paid for by you.May be a large initial investment. However, you can borrow this initial investment and pay it back with appreciation build up.Over time, the mortgage balance decreases and equity increases, even if the val...
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By Mike Mueller
(Tech and Social Media Consultant)
This is the 8th of 17 entries I've written for the "Mortgage Creative Writing Challenge".  The traditional Japanese Haiku format follows the syllable pattern of 5 - 7 - 5.  The writer might bring in a word or concept (kiga) that evokes memories of a particular season.  The last line is usually in sharp contrast (caesura) to the body of the poem. I chose to backdrop each poem with a traditional Japanese watercolor or photograph.  Some in contrast, others not. To the Haiku purist the following might not be proper in the strict sense.  Your latitude is appreciated. Mortgage Haiku # 8   Why 17?  It is the total number of syllables in a Haiku, no other reason.Why separate them?  Each one should be read and engaged individually.  You can find my whole series here:  Mortgage Haiku  
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By Norma and Don Flaskerud
(Re/Max Today)
March is well upon us. Daffodils are blooming, fields of mustard provide color in the country, and the question is will the real estate market bloom as well?Reporting from the trenches in Pleasant Hill, California I have observed sales have picked up. Buyer's are bargain hunting and finding some really, really good deals out there! One man's loss is another man's gain; a truism today. One person loses the house to foreclosure and the bank DUMPS the price to get it sold! No emotions; it is all about getting that home out of their inventory. And good deals abound in those situations. The side result? Normal home owner's who would sell to get a bigger home or a different neighborhood are mostly not. With prices down 20% they hate to take the hit on their home sale. Of course the answer to ...
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By Jason Wheeler, JasonWheeler.biz
(JasonWheeler.biz)
Do Down Payment Assistance Programs exist? Loan agents will know more about this than I could ever put in a few sentences, but a true DAP is like Nehemiah where they “gift” the borrower all the down payment funds in return for charging the seller a fee. These work almost exclusively with FHA loans. However, DAP’s are often lumped in with “community 2nd” types of programs, whereby various cities and counties across the US offer a wide range of products that are virtually impossible to track from a corporate stand point, since they “run in and out of money” all year long. Here in California, for example, one of the most popular is the CHDAP which is a CHFA 3% “silent 2nd” that works out very well for the borrower. Or the ACCESS purchase money 2nd program, which is administered by the Nati...
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By Jason Wheeler, JasonWheeler.biz
(JasonWheeler.biz)
Do Fed chairmen always say, “"the FOMC...will act in a timely manner as needed to support growth and to provide adequate insurance against downside risks."? When wouldn’t this be the case? Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke signaled the U.S. central bank is prepared to lower interest rates again even amid signs of accelerating inflation. Bernanke's remarks may reinforce investors' expectations that the central bank will lower interest rates further to help a faltering economy. Durable Goods fell 5.3%, New Home Sales fell last month to the lowest level since 1995 in spite of price declines. The odds favor another 50 basis point cut in overnight rates at the March 18th FOMC meeting. What is the market up to today? GDP came out – unrevised at +.6% for the 4th quarter. That, and the J...
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Pleasant Hill Recreation is offering a Home Buyer Education class, presented by Angela Martinez and Wendy Cutrufelli to teach you: How each type of purchase - Auction, Short-Sale or Foreclosure - differs The Pros and Cons of each for you as a buyer How to use the current Buyers Market to Buy a Home Under Market Value This class will be valuable whether you are a first-time buyer, a move-up buyer or are contemplating the purchase of investment property. Thursday, March 20, 20087:00 - 9:00 pmPleasant Hill Community Center(Off Taylor Blvd and Pleasant Hill Rd) Fee:  $14 Resident / $29 non-Resident 925-676-5200 or www.pleasanthillrec.com  
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By Angela Martinez
(Windermere Diablo Realty)
Are you thinking of buying a home in today's real estate market?  Did you know that in East Contra Costa County nearly 80% of the homes listed for sale are listed as a "Short Sale" or "REO/Bank-Owned?"  Did you know that nearly 50% of the homes in Concord and Martinez are listed as a "Short Sale" or REO/Bank Owned?Are looking to buy a home under $550,000?  If so, chances are that you will come across a Short Sale, Foreclosure, REO/ Bank-Owned or Auction Property.Auction, Short Sale, Foreclosure and Bank-Owned Properties are common terms uses to describe homes for sale in the current market.  The Pleasant Hill Community Center is offering an education class specifically for the home buyer.You will learn:How each type of home for sale differs.The pros and cons of buying each.The impact of...
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By Jason Wheeler, JasonWheeler.biz
(JasonWheeler.biz)
As time passes, more and more critics of the conforming loan level changes are voicing their opinions. As everyone, and their brother, knows, the conforming loan limit will temporarily rise to 125% of an MSA’s median price with a cap of $729,750 and a floor of $417K, retroactive to loans originated on or after July 1, 2007 through December 31, 2008. This will aid liquidity in the jumbo market, but the help will be temporary, and critics say it will only perpetuate the problem of asset-overvaluation in parts of this country. Upon expiration, analysts feel that there will be another round of dislocation in markets highly exposed to jumbo mortgages. Critics also say that the plan is largely aimed at stabilizing coastal markets – the same markets that have appreciated more than others, part...
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By Jason Wheeler, JasonWheeler.biz
(JasonWheeler.biz)
Beware if you depend on your HELOC! Many banks are freezing HELOCs across the board because of the declining market conditions. I would recommend fully drawing what equity that is available to you and put it to work. A great investment would be in Tax Lien Certificates. If you or anyone you know would want more information on Tax Lien Certificates let me know. They are a relatively safe place to put your equity and can yield up to 30% www.JasonWheelersLoans.com & Real Estate Investing Education
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By Jason Wheeler, JasonWheeler.biz
(JasonWheeler.biz)
Something doesn’t quite fit. Can the economy really support higher rates when retailers like The Sharper Image and Lillian Vernon have declared bankruptcy? Or a city here in the San Francisco Bay Area (Vallejo) makes the headlines for being near bankruptcy? Thus the belief that although there will be blips up, the general trend in rates is lower – at least US Government-backed rates. As housing prices continue to decline, food and energy prices continue to rise, and as consumer confidence continues to wane, look for more retailers’ profits to decline after a mediocre Christmas season. The University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index fell to a 16-year low last week. And the ability of borrowers to qualify, use their HELOC’s, or borrow in general has declined, while at the same time in...
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Pleasant Hill Real Estate and Area  Monday, February 18, 2008Hot New Lisitng!  Where can I get a good deal, you ask? Wherever you can find a realistic home seller; someone who is not emotional about their price, someone who is objective about the market and what it takes to sell. Here is one of those homes. http://www.321strand.com/ The owner, may he rest in peace, was an immaculate person who took such care with his home. The kitchen is original 1948 and looks as good as a new kitchen! If vintage mid-century is your thing, if art deco attracts you, if beautifully colored tile work grabs you, this home is a must see! On top of that it offers a large workshop with a tiny utility room that used to be a dark room. Plus a two car garage. Two bedrooms, two full baths, hardwood floors. Last, ...
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By Johnny Huang, Insurance and Real Estate Broker
Yes, I'm talking about the wonderful earthquakes we have here in beautiful California.I'm not a scientist so I'm not going to explain how earthquakes work, but I can tell you from the usgs.gov site that earthquakes are actually a daily event. Most are too small to feel and some give a bit of a jolt.I wasn't here for the Loma Prieta quake, but I've seen pictures of the damage it did. It was wide scale and fairly costly. Why am I writing about earthquakes? Because I think that too few homeowners think about the necessary steps to prepare and protect themselves in the event of an earthquake.Did you know that your homeowners insurance DOES NOT cover earthquake? Check with your agent. In California, it is mandatory to offer earthquake insurance if you purchase a homeowners policy (or dwellin...
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By Johnny Huang, Insurance and Real Estate Broker
After living here for almost 2 years, I've come to appreciate the serenity that this City has to offer. I used to live in Pittsburg, just north from here and it was a different world. I'm not bashing Pittsburg at all, it's a great area for first time home buyers. However, if anyone would choose to move up, Pleasant Hill has my two thumbs up!First, the downtown area boasts a variety of shops and restaurants. Where I live, I can walk there for dinner, movie, and coffee!Second, Sunvalley Mall. The only Mall in the area. Many Great Shops and restaurants nearby.Third, Pleasant Hill City Softball League. I know alot of cities have their own league, but I like our city league because I personally play in it. Their Park and Rec system is wonderful and helpful. They even have a dog park for your...
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By Jason Wheeler, JasonWheeler.biz
(JasonWheeler.biz)
Last week my computer crashed! This is always a pain and never convienient. However I would like to take my hat off to a local Computer Sales and Service store right here in Pleasant Hill. The customer service is top notch with very competitive pricing for all service. I've tried using other services like Best Buy and some other big service providers and nothing compares. If you are local in the Contra Costa Area you need to check them out! www.JasonWheelersLoans.com & Real Estate Investing Education
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By Kym Hough, Staged to Sell East Bay - Danville, CA
(www.Staged-to-Sell )
Beautifully remodeled, rare, large townhome. 4 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, custom kitchen cabinets with granite counters, new stainless steel appliances, new hardwood floors, updated baths with granite countertops, new redwood deck. Too many upgrades to list! (Over $60,000 in upgrades). Close to BART, freeway, shopping & dining. Staged by Professional Home Staging Company Staged to Sell.For more information please contact Robert Crosby of Crosby & Associates Direct: (510) 410-5599           Robert@CrosbyAssociatesRealty.com   
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By Jason Wheeler, JasonWheeler.biz
(JasonWheeler.biz)
Many of us have noticed that Countrywide's stock price is down 20% this morning, into the $6 range. The price is down based on rumors of a credit downgrade and possible bankruptcy filing. An business partner of mine, who works for a large investment bank, wrote to me and said, “Investors are literally buying thousands upon thousands of puts to bet on its demise - keep in mind every thousand puts is equivalent to 100K shares of stock - I have seen about 100K puts change hands myself - that's 10 million shares.” As I have said in the past, although few of us really like and enjoy working with Countrywide, they are indeed the “canary in the coal mine” for our industry, always trading #1 & #2 with Wells Fargo, and one must wonder if CFC does have to go Chapter 11, what are the implications?...
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By Jason Wheeler, JasonWheeler.biz
(JasonWheeler.biz)
The pace of defaults on privately insured mortgages soared almost 35%, reaching the highest level since the data was first collected in 2001, according to data from MCIC, PMI, AIG, Old Republic, and Triad. The association said 61,300 insured borrowers were at least 60 days late on payments in November. That's up 35% from a year earlier and up 3% from October. The number had not exceeded 60,000 since data was first collected in 2001. Policy-wise, due to tougher underwriting guidelines, the number of policies issued in November totaled 153,865, up 67% from a year earlier, the association said. For the first nine months of 2007, the number of policies issued rose 42%. I've found this very sad, although I am one to take advantage of the foreclosures in the market as an investor I was lookin...
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By Jason Wheeler, JasonWheeler.biz
(JasonWheeler.biz)
As a Director with the Pleasant Hill Chamber of Commerce I would like to inform the community of some great networking events! If you are a small business owner in Pleasant Hill you need to come meet some of our community members. I'ts a great way to create relationships and meet local business owners. New Member Orientation 3:30 PM to 5:00 PM New Member Orientation 233 Gregory Lane PH, CA 94523 3:30pm - 5:00pm RSVP TO: Ingrid 687-0700 Single Day Event Mixer @ Senior Center 5:30 PM to 7:30 PM January 2008 Mixer @ Senior Center 233 Gregory Lan PH, CA 5:30pm to 7:30pm RSVP TO: Ingrid @ 925-687-0700 Single Day Event www.JasonWheelersLoans.com & Real Estate Investing Education
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By Jason Wheeler, JasonWheeler.biz
(JasonWheeler.biz)
Grand Opening & Ribbon Cutting @ Take Shape 4 Life 5:15 PM Join Us for a Grand Opening/Ribbon Cutting @ "Take Shape for Life" 2395 Pleasant Hill Road, 2nd Floor Pleasant Hill, CA 94523 Questions: Barbara Kelly @ 925-200-2371 Join us in Pleasant Hill on Monday along with the Pleasant Hill Chamber Of Commerce Network and get to know new business contacts with us! Jason Wheeler is Director to the Pleasant Hill Chamber and looks forward to seeing you at this event! www.JasonWheelersLoans.com & Real Estate Investing Education
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By Jason Wheeler, JasonWheeler.biz
(JasonWheeler.biz)
More and more consumers are now able to afford the home they want in Pleasant Hill. Prices all throughout Contra Costa County are the most affordable they have been in years. Many consumers would like to buy a home but do not know where to start. First you need to get a referral to a competent Mortgage Broker in your area. You should always work with a Mortgage Broker and Consultant as a good one will give the highest level of service while presenting the widest variety of loan programs and rates. You should also get a referral to a great Realtor in your area. One that is able to negotiate a purchase within your price range. Your Broker and Realtor should be able to work together to achieve a smooth closing. Always remember that EVERYTHING in Real Estate is negotiable and if you don't a...
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