Functionality – Important Factor When Buying A Home

Focus On Functionality When Buying Your Home

webheader readyYou have to live somewhere. For most of us, the choice is simply functional — we all need food, clothing, and shelter, but we also want our homes to function well for our needs and preferences.

Functionality begins with making a good decision, based on your requirements and what you can afford. Whether you rent or buy, you decide which home to choose based on affordability, availability and functionality.

Renting is a great option for the short term, when you’re building your savings and may have another move or two before settling down to a home of your own. The functions of renting are independence, affordability, and mobility. As your life matures, you may become more interested in homebuying because your ideas of functionality may change. Continue reading

Gift As Down Payment Option


Using Gift Money For Down Payments
To take advantage of low interest rates while home prices climb higher and higher, some homebuyers need help accumulating enough money for a down-payment. To satisfy secondary market loan package purchasers such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and insurers like the Federal Housing Authority, lenders have strict rules about where down-payment money originates.

Lenders prefer that borrowers supply their own down-payment funds. It shows they have “skin in the game” and that they are good with money and can meet their financial goals. But thanks to the Great Recession and the slow road back to recovery, many homebuyers are turning to their parents, grandparents and other family or friends for help. Continue reading

Cheapest & Most Expensive Homes In Tracy CA

webheader readyToday’s Cheapest 3 bedroom and 2 full bath home for sale in Tracy is listed for $289,000. this home is 936 in Sq. ft. and situated on a 5650 Sq. ft. lot.

The most expensive home for sale in Tracy is a unique property situated right next to water with 3 bedrooms, 2 bath, 2700 Sq. ft. in size with many out buildings on a 5.16 acre lot. Listing price: $1,500,000.


Tracy CA Real Estate Trends- August 2015

anrealestatenewsSummer is the main season of the Real Estate market here in Tracy. With fall season starting in just a few weeks, conditions for selling and buying homes in and around Tracy is still in full swing, no signs of slowing any time soon. Inventory of available homes for sale have increased slightly, interest rates of home loans are holding steady in a low range still. Home prices are holding steady, increasing slightly in a slower but steady pace. Continue reading

Real Estate Trends – Tracy CA, June 2015


Tracy home sales are at full speed with summer lurking just around the corner. Prices are climbing at a slow but steady pace. Inventory of available homes is still low, while interest rates on home loans are holding steady and in a low range. New home constructions are a good part of the market, new subdivisions are popping up on several different locations, offering a wide variety of homes in prices, sizes and elevations.

Continue reading

CMA – Compareable Market Analysis


What Sellers Should Know About CMAs

Whether you are buying or selling a home, your real estate professional can give you a snapshot of the local market known as the competitive or comparative market analysis or CMA. These are convenient reports that help sellers choose a listing price and buyers to make competitive offers on a given home.

CMAs are generated from multiple listing service software and vary greatly depending on the search fields that are input by the real estate professional. Each quantifier makes the search increasingly specific – type of home (detached vs. attached), zip code, number of bedrooms, baths and living areas, square footage, and numerous other search criteria. Continue reading

How to Prepare Yourself for Offers

3 Key Pre-Offer Home Seller Actions

welcometulipsSellers who wait until they’re faced with a buyer’s offer to purchase before initiating three key actions, may be forcing themselves to make too many decisions at once and too quickly.

Most of us are nervous about decision making. Many lack confidence in their ability. Yet, sellers will be faced with quickly making multiple financial, legal, and lifestyle decisions when a buyer’s offer is presented to them. Continue reading

Strategies for Home Buyers

gardenhouse2Five Smart Homebuyer Strategies

TheNational Association of REALTORS® has announced that there’s a housing supply shortage. Homes are selling quickly and home prices are starting to inch up again. It’s becoming a seller’s market in many areas.

Any time the market changes, it’s time to change strategies. During a buyer’s market, buyers have the upper hand and can make more demands to sellers over their homes’ price and condition. During a sellers’ market, buyers concede the upper hand to sellers and are more willing to accept higher prices and terms.

When homes are in short supply, buyers don’t have the luxury of taking their time, teasing sellers with lowball offers, demanding that every little thing be fixed, and shopping for homes with multiple real estate agents. Do these five steps instead.

Make a good first impression. Not only do you need to impress sellers, you need to impress real estate agents. Hire one agent and let him or her profile your needs to the marketplace. Be specific about your must-haves so you don’t waste your agent’s and your time viewing homes that lack what you want most. When you find the home you want, send the seller a letter along with your offer outlining why you love the home.

Get preapproved by a lender. Not only will you know how much home you can buy, you’ll be ready to make an offer quickly. Your real estate agent can include the fact that you’re financially preapproved by your lender in with the offer, which will carry weight with the seller.

Shop within your price range. In a seller’s market, it’s wise to shop for homes within or slightly below your price range. This will give you more room to make full-price offers or above in case the home you want is in a bidding war with other buyers. You’ll be able to pay your own closing costs. Trying to buy a home out of your reach during a seller’s market will only cause you and your agent frustration.

Be flexible. No home is perfect. To get more home for your money, you might shop for an older home that needs renovation. Try to look past ugly wallpaper and stained carpet and visualize the home with more attractive finishes. You may be able to get more living space in an established neighborhood than with a newer home that is priced higher for similar square footage.

Be ready. Be ready to see a new listing at a moment’s notice. Be ready to make an offer when you believe this is the right home for your household. Once a seller has accepted your offer, proceed as if you’re in a normal market. Set a reasonable closing date that accommodates the seller as much as possible. Confirm the offer with your lender. Schedule the inspections you’ll need and don’t nitpick the seller over small things.

Whether you’re in a buyer’s market or a seller’s market, you should feel good about the home you choose, the deal you make, and the courteous way you treated all parties to the transaction.

Written by Blanche Evans

Wondering About the Value of Your Home? — Call, text or email Eva today to find out! 209-914-0683, Or visit

Tips to Eliminate Odors in Your home

Quickly Eliminate Unwanted Odors and Keep Them Away

A survey by the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) discovered that more than 80 percent of homeowners make a direct correlation between the cleanliness of their floors and their family’s health. However, the organization notes that a major part of preventing airborne contaminants and keeping your home healthy is odor removal. We might remember to take off our shoes or mop during the weekly cleaning routine, but we often overlook other odors in our closets, laundry and even the ones coming from pets. Here are some quick and easy ways to eliminate odors and help keep them away.

Just add lemon

Adding some lemon can go a long way in eliminating odors from a fish dinner or a funky garbage disposal. Whip up a concoction like the one the professional chefs use after cooking a particularly smelly dinner. The recipe from This Old House: boil two cups of water; add three tablespoons of baking soda and a lemon peel.

Now use the rest of that lemon as a natural disinfectant. Dilute with water and clean stains from your countertops and cutting boards while killing germs at the same time. When you’re done boiling the lemon peel, throw it and any leftover rind down the drain while it’s running along with cold water to clear the smell from your funky garbage disposal.

Give your pet a scent makeover

You might be sniffing out bad odors to your curtains and carpeting, but your pets could be the offending culprits. Fortunately it’s entirely possible to deodorize your pets. Give your pet a regular bath and scrub out their dishes and litter boxes by soaking it with a half inch of vinegar. In a pinch, sprinkle fur with baking soda, rub through and brush it out. They’ll love the attention and smell better too.

Add fresh flowers

Fresh flowers are an eye-catching way to eliminate odor from your home while giving it a style boost. While the arrangement might not have time to completely eliminate unwanted odors in your kitchen or living room, it can mask the smell in the meantime. Flowers are also great when guests are coming over and you’re pressed for time. If you’re the type who keeps fresh arrangements around the house on a regular basis, this part should be pretty easy; however, for many of us, stopping for fresh flowers several times a week is inconvenient when you’ve already got a full schedule. In this case, check out an online flower retailer and have them delivered.

Remove the flowers before they start dropping leaves and turning the water putrid. Pull off any remaining leaves that look healthy and let them dry on a clean countertop. To help eliminate lurking odors in your sock drawer or linen closet, turn the dried flowers into a satchet.

Douse with vinegar

It’s tempting to leave expired food in the fridge and deal with it tomorrow. Instead, immediately throw out any expired or spoiled food. To eliminate germs and odors, wipe down your fridge walls and shelves with white vinegar. To keep new odors at bay, open a box of baking soda and add a pretty dish of lemon slices to keep your fridge smelling fresh.

Before you throw out your old gym clothes or smelly towels, Lifehacker says all you have to do is add vinegar to your wash. Wash the offending laundry in hot water and add two cups of white vinegar without adding detergent. Then wash for a second time with your regular laundry soap.

Sprinkle coffee grounds

Don’t spend a fortune on store-bought odor-eliminators. Instead, fill a few shallow bowls with fresh coffee grounds and shut the door to the room. Let sit overnight.

Coffee grounds can also be canned and put in a footlocker or trunk to get rid of particularly awful odors after a sweaty basketball game or day of fishing. If you need to deodorize something specific like old shoes, place in a bag with coffee grounds and seal tightly. Let it sit a few days and open, launder in vinegar and enjoy the fresh scent.

Written by Realty Times Staff

Wondering About the Value of Your Home? — Call, text or email Eva today to find out! 209-914-0683, Or visit

Things to Consider Before Writing an Offer


How to Make A Purchase Offer On A Home

You’re ready to make an offer on the home of your dreams. But before you do, make sure you’re really ready. Ask yourself and your household members if this is the home for the next five or so years. Make sure everyone is on board with commitments to make it work, from putting off the dream vacation to putting in the elbow grease to clean, paint and do the yard work.

Have your real estate agent pull up the most recent sold comparables (CMA) within a reasonable radius of the home, so you can compare the home with other similar homes in terms of location, size, features, and amenities.

Next, consider the most current market conditions, so you can choose the right offer strategy.

In a buyer’s market, discounts are common because there are fewer buyers, more properties for sale, and home prices are soft or falling so offers under list price are common.

In a seller’s market, homes sell quickly for full price or higher because there are plenty of buyers and few homes for sale.

Whether you are in a buyer’s market or a seller’s market, your goal is to buy the home at a fair price. If you were the seller, what is the lowest possible price you’d accept?

To show the seller you’re serious, include a copy of your lender’s pre-approval letter, along with a cover letter summarizing your strengths as a buyer in terms of creditworthiness, flexibility in closing, and why you love this home. Include a copy of the comparables you used to show why your offer is a fair price for the property.

If the seller’s home is offered at a reasonable price, don’t waste time. Pay asking price or close to it. A home priced to sell will sell quickly and you’ll lose it if you mess around.

Offering too little for a property is risky. If the seller feels insulted by your offer, you’ve lost the opportunity to negotiate. On the other hand, some sellers are simply unrealistic about their home’s value. Maybe your offer will be their wake-up call. The seller will probably respond with a face-saving still-high offer, but at least they’re negotiating with you.

If your offer is conditional, such as your need to sell another home before closing on the seller’s, you’ll have to find a way to sweeten the deal, such as a full-price offer. Few sellers will accept a discount and a contingency.

Your real estate professional will help you draft the offer with a price, estimated closing date and terms, including earnest money (a guarantee that you’ll perform as a buyer in good faith,) final approval by your lender and your right to have an inspection. Your earnest money check will be forwarded to the escrow agent when your offer is accepted.

You’ll have a brief period to get your home inspections completed. Your home inspector will go through the home with you and point out the condition and potential lifespan of all systems and appliances. You should only renegotiate when a problem wasn’t obvious before, or when a system is found to be unsafe or not functioning.

Once you and the seller have agreed to terms, your offer is now a binding contract and you’re on your way to owning a home! anundercontract

Written by Blanche Evans

Wondering About the Value of Your Home? — Call, text or email Eva today to find out! 209-914-0683, Or visit