READ: 5 Things That Affect Home Values You May Not Have Considered

Front Door Painted BrownSome of the features that increase property values are obvious: a remodeled bathroom, a modern kitchen, or a sought-after neighborhood. Here are a few features you may not have realized can affect property values:

1. The neighbors: Not every neighborhood or community has an HOA that can keep the neighbors from going overboard with decorations, painting their home an less-than-desirable color or neglecting to care for their home or yard. Homes in or adjacent to crazy neighbors can potentially be undervalued.

2. Trendy groceries and coffee: Recent statistics suggest that if your home is a short walk from popular grocery stores like Whole Foods or coffee chains like Starbucks, it can actually appreciate faster than the national average.

3. Mature trees: A big beautiful tree in the front yard is enviable, and it’s not something that can be easily added to any home. Plus, the shade they offer can add to energy efficiency in the summer. Homes with mature trees tend to get a little boost in value.

4. Parking: This isn’t too much of an issue if you live in the suburbs or in a rural area, but residents in denser cities or in communities with town homes or condos can have real problems with parking, and homeowners might need to rent a spot just to guarantee a place to park each night. That’s why having guaranteed parking in urban areas will raise property values.

5. The front entrance: First impressions matter to buyers—many will cross a home off their list within 10 seconds of stepping through the front door. An appealing front door, a friendly entryway, and a functioning doorbell are all necessities for getting top dollar.


REGISTER NOW: The Savvy Seniors Living Seminar Series consists of 90-minute monthly educational seminars presented at the Lafayette Library Community Hall, 3491 Mt Diablo Blvd in Lafayette, CA. Adults 55+, seniors, and caregivers are invited to attend to learn the actual facts about issues related to home ownership and post-retirement downsizing in the S.F. Bay Area. This series of candid conversations and expert panel discussions about the unique and often complex issues facing long-time homeowners is moderated by Dayna Wilson, Seniors Real Estate Specialist® [SRES]® of Keller Williams Realty-East Bay, who has a team that provides comprehensive “senior friendly” transition services related to downsizing, late-life relocation, and (55+) senior living solutions. To view the complete 2018 Savvy Seniors Living Seminars Schedule and to register, visit


August is HOT-Sizzling weather and housing market

August is HOT-Sizzling weather and housing market make it my favorite month of the year! When not focused on real estate, for me summer-time equals fun-time! Want ideas? Canoe the Russian River, take a hot-air balloon ride in Napa, wine taste in Livermore, hike Mount Diablo, raft the American River, walk around Angel Island, shop at a Farmer’s Market, fish Lafayette Reservoir, see a movie under the stars at Heather Farms.  One of my favorite things to do is attend outdoor concerts. I plan to check out the Thursday evening performances at the renovated Broadway Plaza.
Hot Air balloon ride equals summer fun

In August take a hot air balloon ride over the Napa Valley

In the meantime, here the most recent housing statistical recap, by city:
Single-Family Townhouse-Condo
Activity Active Pending Closed YTD Closed Active Pending Closed YTD Closed
Alamo 4800 31 24 28 107 1 1 3
Blackhawk 4600 15 11 14 65 1 6
Clayton 5900 17 14 13 54 2 1 3 11
Concord 5701 126 110 120 520 44 27 30 160
Clyde 5702 1 0 0
Danville 4500 100 66 80 289 23 18 10 80
Diablo 4700 2 4 8 1
Lafayette 5100 30 23 36 132 5 1 1 6
Martinez 5601 69 56 42 195 13 16 18 65
Pacheco 5602 1 8 1 2 1 4
Moraga/Canyon 5200 8 7 17 62 4 8 6 37
Orinda 5300 42 31 29 99 1 1 0
Pleasant Hill 5400 39 33 30 139 16 12 8 53
Rossmoor 5000 1 1 48 38 45 255
San Ramon 4400 106 73 86 333 46 34 29 142
Walnut Creek 4900 64 55 64 269 43 48 44 219

Hot Housing Market in August

Please contact me for specific information about your unique neighborhood or for valuation of your home’s current value.
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July 2016: What Savvy Sellers Need to Know

Real Estate Building SignJuly is Sizzling Hot! Home sellers are in an advantageous position this summer, with demand high and the strongest sales in almost ten years. Planning to list your home in the coming weeks? Get the most for your house before the season’s past by giving the buyer as much information about your home as possible. Why? Every home buyer wants to know all the details about a home they’re considering writing an offer on. I recommend clients make as much pertinent information available upfront and online as possible.  Being an open book can help you get the most amount of money for your home in the least amount of time.

This information may include:

  • How old is the roof, HVAC, hot water heater, appliances?
  • What is included in the list price? (Appliances, ceiling fans, lighting, shed, washer, dryer, swing set, fountain, window treatments, etc.)
  • What are the home’s annual costs? (Electric, municipal water, gas and electic, lawn care, pool maintenance, etc.)
  • How old is the wiring? Is it up to code? Was an addition or modification done with permits?
  • If the property has a well, is it operational and has the water been tested?
  • Are there any outstanding liens on the property? Taxes been paid?
  • What are the homeowners association fees? What amenities are included and what is covered by HOA?
  • Has a home, pest, chimney, sewer lateral or roof inspection been completed in the past 30-60 days?

Providing these answers up front not only meets prospective buyers on their terms, but could lead to an offer sooner than later. As I’ve shared in past blog posts, I recommend sellers consider getting pre-sale inspections completed prior to their homes hitting the market. This puts sellers in the driver’s seat and allows them to price their home accordingly.

Boomers Inheriting Mom’s Home – Rent vs Sell?

Baby Boomers call when Mom and Dad has to move out of the long-held family home. The adult children are challenged with the decision of whether to sell or rent out the house. There are many things to consider and I suggest beginning with asking yourself the following questions… sell home photo

  • What condition is the home and property in?
  • Does it need repairs or improvements before leasing? Before selling?
  • Do you want to be a landlord? Willing to pay taxes, insurance, repairs, gardener, utilities, etc. out of mo rent payment? What cash on cash return do you need?
  • Do you want to hire property management co to handle maintenance./ tenant complaints, vetting new tenants? (Typically charge approx. 10% of payment)
  • Do you need a monthly income stream?
  • Are you ready to pay 2 mortgages when there is a vacancy?
  • Do you need a lump sum that can pay for mom’s care and be investing in something that will bring a greater return to the trust?

I give market data and home value, discuss trends around the Greater Walnut Creek and Lamorinda areas, as well as and absorption rates. This year could be the perfect storm as far as selling at the peak. You can sell as-is and not do anything to the property or we can discuss what it would take to get top dollar. Your realtor is not licensed to offer tax nor legal advice, and I recommend seeking the guidance from a trusted attorney and/or CPA to understand all the legal and tax ramifications, as each situation is unique. Let me know how I can help?

Your Seniors Real Estate Specialist & Downsizing Diva!

Photo by jessicafm

Contra Costa County, Ca Real Estate Market-2016 Predictions


Welcome to another New Year! Now for my Contra Costa County, Ca Real Estate Market-2016 Predictions!

Looking back on 2015, the Contra Costa County, Ca Real Estate Market saw closed sales increase by 3% year over year with increased average home prices up in every city. Lafayette, Ca. saw the greatest increase YOY of almost 12%! My thoughts for 2016 … (predictions are impossible, as my crystal ball has been in the shop for a tune up!) 

Contra Costa County, Ca Real Estate Market-2016 Predictions

Contra Costa County, Ca Real Estate Market-2016 Predictions

Home demand is based on household formation, and with the rapid job and income growth, coupled with a lack of inventory and not enough new housing being built, prices will continue to rise. Interest rates will increase, but at a slow pace, staying in the 4% range. Housing affordability will still be a challenge for many millennials that are putting too much of their paycheck into rent and not enough into savings for a down payment. 

It’s almost impossible to share a county wide forecast, as real estate has been and always will be hyper-local. Our area is made up of mini-markets which vary by zip code and even school boundaries. Macroeconomic factors also impact each city differently. I believe prices in CoCo County will increase between 2%-5% in the coming year. Appreciation will slow, but continue to be in the positive range. This will fuel home owners who have been waiting for the peak to finally sell their homes.

My thought: job growth will continue to grow but more slowly, inventory will grow (slightly) and interest rates will increase. Days on market (DOM): anything over 6 month inventory is considered a buyers’ market and with less than 1 month in our area, sellers are still perfectly positioned to sell their home to net the most amount of money. My advice to those still on the fence, if you wait for the peak you will already have missed it. Real estate is cyclical, with its ups and downs…just like the New Year’s Eve ball in Times Square.


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