SURVEY: Bigger House vs. Bigger Yard

Elegant Backyard in northern CA

Here in beautiful Contra Costa County we enjoy glorious weather most of the year. Outdoor living is becoming just as important as the indoors, according to a recent Taylor Morrison survey. Survey results found home buyers crave green space and more than half say they’d be willing to sacrifice living s/f  for a bigger yard.

The most important exterior features is distance from existing neighbors. Buyers of all ages believe breathing room is key, even beating curb appeal elements such as driveway, paint color and roofing finishes. Features such as outdoor ‘living rooms,’ retractable floor to ceiling glass walls, matching tiled flooring are helping to create today’s more outdoor-oriented homes. Interest in the great outdoors is stronger among women. The survey also shows having more yard is a consistent desire among parents and non-parents alike, as well as across generations.

So, when remodeling, you will want to keep this in mind. The next owner will appreciate it and possibly pay more for your property!


DAYNA WILSON: As a real estate agent I have been working with homebuyers and sellers throughout the East Bay communities of Layfayette, Moraga, Orinda and Walnut Creek since 2009. As a Certified Senior Housing Professional (CSHP) , I have special knowledge about everything from reverse mortgages to the importance of universal design. I can tap into my network and put you in touch with my team of qualified home inspectors, movers, attorneys, CPAs, organizers and other experts. I have all the resources and knowledge to simplify the transaction and eliminate the anxiety of selling your home.

Call me today to talk about your real estate concerns. I’m here to listen: 925.788.6582

Buying a Fixer-Upper – 5 Facts to Consider

Fixer Upper House That Needs a Lot of WorkMost buyers are lured by the low asking prices and the opportunity to buy a property they can afford in a good neighborhood, school district or with a larger lot to expand. However, it’s often less costly to buy the more expensive house.

Here are some reasons why:

#1 Fundamental repairs to foundation, structure, plumbing, electrical, roof, etc.can be huge ticket items. These issues need to be addressed first. Meanwhile buyers are really dreaming about on the granite counters, designer paint colors and creating their spa bathroom retreat with all the luxury bells and whistles they see on HGTV.

#2 I work with excellent contractors who really know the costs of remodeling; however, even so they cannot predict all unforeseen ‘surprises.’ Unanticipated costs of 10%-25% are more the norm than the exception. For instance, states a middle-of-the-road bathroom remodel runs from $100-$200 per sf. An average kitchen costs approx. $60,000. and HGTV estimates a gourmet kitchen over $80,000. Buyer frankly can run out of money.

#3 Yes, there is the FHA 203K loan. But, there are specific time lines, approvals, appraisal required to utilize this loan program. mortgage company guidelines restrict how much money a buyer qualifies to receive. Also, good contractors are busy in summer making it hard to coordinate the FHA required estimates and deadlines.

#4 Fixers tend to be older homes. And with older homes come potential health and safety risks such as lead based paint or asbestos. Remediation can be costly and your contractors must have the appropriate EPA certification.

#5 Sellers would often rather find a buyer using all cash that can close quickly with no contingencies rather than working with a 203K loan scenario.

After major renovations are complete buyers will have a custom home, exactly to their liking and tastes, but it won’t come cheap. And, I always caution clients about over improving. An option to consider might be a more ‘cosmetic’ fixer as old appliances, fixtures, faucets, wallpaper, shag carpet and linoleum are easier and cheaper to renovate!

Ready to go “bargain” hunting?

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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Dayna Wilson Quoted in May 2016 California Real Estate Magazine

Generation Showdown: Dayna Wilson Quoted in May 2016 California Real Estate Magazine

Dayna Quoted in May 2016 California Real Estate Magazine

Dayna Quoted in
May 2016 California Real Estate Magazine

I’m getting known as the “Downsizing Diva” here in the Diablo Valley area of the S.F. East Bay. And, I suppose for good reason. The majority of my business in the last five years has come from working with Boomers and their aging loved ones. At first, I was worried that millennial home buyers would shy away from wanting me to represent them in their efforts. However, the opposite has occurred and I’m now working with more millennials than ever before. You see, both sets of clients need extra TLC. They need to feel comfortable and confident that they are doing the right thing regarding their home, both in the short and long term. They want expert, honest advice. And, someone they can trust.

I attract Baby Boomers by word of mouth, past clients and hosting seminars. We have frank discussions about downsizing the long-held family home that may have become a financial, physical or emotional burden. My objective is to free the boomer from the stress and time that caring for a large home entails and give them back that time and energy to focus on things that bring them joy.

Millennials’ top competition for housing might come from their parents. I was asked to comment on my views of working with downsizing Baby Boomers and the First-Time Millennial buyers and how they are different from one another in how they communicate, their financing and housing preferences. I am cued in to what economists say is a critical component to the California housing market. I’ve learned more about generational styles by seeking additional training in serving the over 50 population.

Whether you are a first-time home buyer, Boomer or Senior ask Dayna Wilson Real Estate Team how we can help make your dreams a reality!



Just so ya know…
Freddie Mac recently released its U.S. Economic and Housing Market Outlook for March, highlighting some of the positive tailwinds at the start of the spring homebuying season. Tailwinds...

Expect 2015 to be the best year for home sales and new home construction since 2007, when total home sales were about 5.8 million for the year.

Improved job prospects have started to drive those aged 25-34 back to the labor force, with 76.8 percent employed as of last month, up from 75.9 percent last year.

Expect rising rents at or above inflation in 2015 to push more would-be homeowners into the market. Rents increased an average of 3.6 percent in 2014 and nearly 11 percent over the last three years.

Due to some recent upward pressure on Treasury bond yields, the 2015 forecast for the average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was increased slightly to at 4.0 percent for the year.

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