473 Florence Drive Lafayette

Posted by on Mar 26, 2014 in $750,000 - $1,000,000, 1,500 - 2,000 Square Feet, Featured, Home Selling, Single-Family, Three Bedroom | Comments Off on 473 Florence Drive Lafayette

473 Florence Drive Lafayette

Beautiful rancher next to open trails and community park. Great neighborhood with the finest schools around. The home is perfectly situated on a corner lot with mature foliage surrounding it. Updated kitchen & bath, h/w floors throughout, dual pane windows, crown molding throughout. a must see....

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More Than 4 Million First-Time Buyers Want to Enter the Housing Market in 2014!

Posted by on Mar 14, 2014 in Home Buyers | Comments Off on More Than 4 Million First-Time Buyers Want to Enter the Housing Market in 2014!

  Millions of current renters nationwide aspire to buy a home in the next year, according to the inaugural edition of the Zillow Housing Confidence Index (ZHCI), suggesting strong demand among potential first-time homebuyers if market conditions are favorable. But existing headwinds, including tight inventory, rising mortgage interest rates and growing affordability problems in a handful of areas, may make it difficult for potential buyers to follow through on those aspirations as the market enters the busy spring home shopping season. In 19 of the 20 large metro areas surveyed, more than 5 percent of all residents indicated they wanted to buy a home in the next year. Among current renters, homeownership aspirations were particularly strong, with about 10 percent of all renters nationwide saying they would like to buy within the next 12 months. The vast majority of these respondents also said they were confident or somewhat confident they could afford homeownership now. If all renters that indicated they wanted to buy actually did purchase a home in the next year, it would represent more than 4.2 million first-time home sales, more than double the roughly 2.1 million first-time homebuyers in 2013. Homeownership aspirations among current renters were the highest in Miami, Atlanta and Las Vegas, three metro areas that were among the hardest-hit by the housing recession, according to the Zillow Homeownership Aspirations Index (ZHAI), a component of the broader ZHCI. Mortgage interest rates are also on the rise, currently standing at about 4.2 percent nationally, according to the Zillow Mortgage Marketplace, well above 2013 lows of roughly 3.3 percent. “For the housing market to continue its recovery, it is critical that homes are both available and remain affordable to meet the strong demand these survey results are predicting, particularly from first-time homebuyers,” said Zillow® Chief Economist Dr. Stan Humphries. “This data shows that the dream of homeownership remains very much alive and well, even in those areas that were hardest hit. But these aspirations must also contend with the current reality, and in many areas, conditions remain difficult for buyers. The market is moving toward more balance between buyers and sellers, but it is a slow and uneven process.” The Zillow Housing Confidence Index, sponsored by Zillow, Inc. and developed by Pulsenomics LLC, is measured on a 0 to 100 scale, with readings above 50 indicating positive sentiment. The overall ZHCI for the U.S. stood at 63.7 at the start of the year. Of the 20 metro areas surveyed, 11 had individual confidence levels higher than the U.S. as a whole. The overall U.S. ZHAI among all households, which measures consumers’ plans to buy and their attitudes toward the social value of homeownership, stood at 62.4. Source: ZillowPublished with permission from RISMedia....

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Rate Trends since 1972

Posted by on Mar 13, 2014 in Interest Rates | Comments Off on Rate Trends since 1972

  Your rate is better than you think....

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Learning the Difference between Mold Contractors

Posted by on Mar 12, 2014 in Homeownership | Comments Off on Learning the Difference between Mold Contractors

  Mold removal in a home or business is an expense that most property owners do not plan for. However, when toxic mold spores infest a residential or commercial building due to excessive moisture, flooding, sewage backup, or any other water damage, remediation is necessary to prevent harmful health risks to occupants of the property as well as preventing deadly structural damages to the building itself. Due to the inherent health risks, mold remediation is part of an industry that is heavily protected by third-party governing bodies like the Institute of Inspection Cleaning Certification (IICRC) as well as the United Sates Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and OSHA. Hiring a mold removal contractor is a process in which property owners must exercise extreme precaution before choosing the right company for the job. Finding the right contractor means more than finding the best bargain price for services. Residential and commercial mold remediation requires certified technicians and project managers to carefully map out a scope of work while completing the service with precision and caution. Knowing the difference between mold contractors who follow these strict guidelines as opposed to the general restoration companies who may potentially cut corners to save time and money can save property owners a lot of time, money, resources, and property damage. First and foremost, proper containment must be set up in order to ensure the safety of the property’s inhabitants as well as to prevent the spread of the toxic fungus to other areas of the home or business. Setting up suitable containment can only be learned via certification courses offered by third-party governing bodies of the restoration industry like the IICRC. Without utilizing proper training techniques or adhering to the IICRC’s S520 Guidelines for Mold Remediation, home and business owners risk their health as well as the structural integrity of their infested property. Another detail that highlights the difference between mold contractors and general contractors only attempting to remove mold is the use of chemicals and cleaning agents that should not be utilized when dealing with the eradication of toxic mold. The EPA and OSHA have devised a precise list of safe and eco-friendly cleaning agents that should be used during mold remediation. Many of these cleaning agents are deemed safe enough to use in hospitals and schools around the U.S. If a general contractor is unaware of the IICRC Guidelines and practices, it is likely that harsh, unapproved chemicals may be used during the mitigation process. Source: SI RestorationPublished with permission from RISMedia....

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Real Estate Cycles as of March 2014

Posted by on Mar 12, 2014 in Housing Statistics | Comments Off on Real Estate Cycles as of March 2014

Remember, the real estate market is a matter of neighborhoods and houses. No two are the same. For complete information on a particular neighborhood or property, call me. P.S. The FHA requires all condo projects to be re-certified before they will make a loan. To find out if the condo project you’re interested in is eligible, go here: The real estate market is very hard to generalize. It is a market made up of many micro markets. For complete information on a particular neighborhood or property, call me. If I can help you devise a strategy, call or click the buying or selling link in the menu to the left. Monthly Statistics Complete monthly sales statistics for Contra Costa County are below. Monthly graphs are available for each city in the county. February Sales Statistics (Single-family Homes) Prices Units Change from last year Change from last month Median Average Sold DOM SP/LP Median Average Sold Median Average Sold County $480,000 $607,286 487 36 101.0% 17.1% 13.0% 6.8% 13.5% 6.7% 10.4% Alamo $1,200,000 $1,301,608 13 55 98.5% -13.2% -5.6% 8.3% -14.7% -6.7% 116.7% Antioch $315,000 $320,881 47 47 100.0% 12.5% 18.4% -17.5% 8.3% 7.4% -34.7% Bay Point $247,500 $247,500 2 215 119.6% 20.4% -2.3% -71.4% 3.1% -4.0% -60.0% Blackhawk $1,269,900 $1,566,100 9 26 97.4% -2.9% 16.9% 125.0% -41.2% -27.5% 350.0% Brentwood $430,000 $432,343 49 42 99.4% -1.6% -12.9% 28.9% 7.5% 0.9% -9.3% Clayton $630,750 $652,813 8 30 100.3% 1.3% 10.2% 33.3% 2.1% 10.0% 60.0% Concord $430,000 $449,185 56 25 101.5% 16.2% 18.2% 19.1% 2.4% -1.6% 21.7% Danville $979,000 $1,090,663 31 23 101.5% 17.2% 23.4% 6.9% 0.7% 7.6% 19.2% Discovery Bay $431,750 $540,875 12 91 95.2% 11.3% 11.3% -7.7% -6.5% 7.6% -25.0% El Cerrito $597,500 $602,802 14 23 108.3% 4.7% 4.7% 75.0% -12.8% 250.0% 250.0% El Sobrante $400,000 $444,333 6 24 108.4% 49.0% 65.5% 200.0% 24.6% 48.5% 50.0% Hercules $480,000 $480,000 3 12 102.2% 15.7% 21.2% -40.0% 1.1% 2.1% 0.0% Kensington $810,000 $1,145,000 3 31 98.9% n/a n/a n/a 40.9% 40.9% 50.0% Lafayette $1,265,500 $1,433,200 10 89 100.0% 8.7% 0.9% 100.0% -7.3% -3.9% -9.1% Martinez $510,000 $480,663 27 43 100.4% 41.7% 18.1% 35.0% -6.6% -18.3% 22.7% Moraga $985,000 $1,090,000 3 35 102.0% -13.8% -13.4% -50.0% -2.0% 11.9% -40.0% Oakley $329,500 $353,002 28 43 100.0% 19.8% 21.2% 64.7% 0.5% 6.2% 64.7% Orinda $975,000 $999,583 12 29 103.3% 6.1% -6.2% 20.0% -30.9% -29.4% 140.0% Pinole $475,000 $473,600 5 17 103.7% 62.4% 55.9% 25.0% 21.0% 15.9% 25.0% Pittsburg $305,000 $323,887 23 35 100.7% 27.1% 28.3% 21.1% 1.7% 3.8% 35.3% Pleasant Hill $670,500 $658,849 14 40 100.4% 28.3% 23.4% 16.7% 2.2% 5.7% -30.0% Richmond $313,500 $326,704 33 35 103.0% 25.4% 20.9% 13.8% 8.1% 6.1% 13.8% Rodeo $390,000 $372,714 7 25 100.7% n/a n/a n/a 12.2% 17.7% 16.7% San Ramon $925,500 $875,503 36 18 102.9% 15.0% 0.7% 71.4% 12.5% -8.4% 50.0% Walnut Creek $822,500 $878,958 24 19 101.4% 16.7% 10.0% -25.0% -2.5% -2.1% -4.0%   February Sales Statistics (Condos/Townhomes) Prices Units Change from last year Change from last month Median Average Sold DOM SP/LP Median Average Sold Median Average Sold County $365,000 $378,570 147 27 100.9% 3.5% 1.0% 18.5% 3.5% 1.0% 18.5% Antioch $107,000 $114,817 3 21 98.0% 15.7% -3.1% -50.0% 15.7% -3.1% -50.0% Concord $190,000 $184,083 12 18 102.6% -9.5% -27.2% -29.4% -9.5% -27.2% -29.4% Danville $560,500 $583,400 10 41 102.2% 12.1% 16.0% 11.1% 12.1%...

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How to Find a Qualified Window Installer

Posted by on Mar 12, 2014 in Homeownership | Comments Off on How to Find a Qualified Window Installer

  If you’re thinking about replacing the windows in your home, make sure to invest as much time in finding a qualified window installer as you do in selecting the right windows for your house. Locating a qualified window installer in your area may be easier than you think. Along with the traditional ways of locating installers, such as the Yellow Pages and searching businesses online, here are some fast and easy recommendations from the experts at Simonton Windows to help you find the best installers in your area: Tip #1 – Go to a window manufacturer’s website to see if they have a preferred installer program. Many window manufacturers require contractors to go through classes and training sessions to make sure they understand the specifics of proper window installation. Once they achieve a preferred installer status, these professionals are then promoted on the company’s website in a geographic breakdown, so it’s easy for you to locate an installer that meets the company’s criteria in your area. Tip #2 – If you’re purchasing your windows through a major home improvement center, such as The Home Depot, they will have an installer program. You can hire your installers through the home center at the same time that you order your windows. Tip #3 – Ask your local lumberyards, distribution centers and building product dealerships for recommendations on quality window installers in your area. Tip #4 – Visit a website like, Home Advisor or Angie’s List. Let them match you up with installers in your specific geographic area to receive installation quotes. Tip #5 – Ask family, friends and colleagues for recommendations of installers they’ve used in the past. Select those whose services have been stand-out top quality with your friends. Source: Published with permission from RISMedia....

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Valuable Fraud Prevention Tips for Homebuyers and Homeowners

Posted by on Mar 12, 2014 in Home Buyers, Homeownership | Comments Off on Valuable Fraud Prevention Tips for Homebuyers and Homeowners

  March is Fraud Prevention Month. Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) has consistently been a leader in the fight against mortgage fraud and offers the following tips to protect yourself from becoming a victim of mortgage fraud. Misrepresentation of Information Mortgage fraud occurs when someone deliberately misrepresents information in order to obtain mortgage financing that would not have been granted if the truth had been known. This can include: • Misstating one’s position or inflating one’s income or length of service at their job; • Misstating employment status (ie. salaried/full time versus contract, part time, hourly or commission-based or self-employed); • Misrepresenting the amount and/or source of the down payment; • Purchasing a rental property and misrepresenting it as owner-occupied; • Not disclosing existing mortgage and/or debt obligations; • Misrepresenting property details or omitting information in order to inflate the property value; • Adding co-borrowers who will not be residing in the home and do not intend to take responsibility for the mortgage. Another common form of fraud is when a con artist convinces someone with good credit to act as a “straw buyer.” A straw buyer is someone who agrees to put his or her name on a mortgage application on behalf of another person. In return for their participation, straw buyers may be offered cash or promised high returns when the property is sold. Often, straw buyers are deceived into believing that they will not be responsible for the mortgage payments. Consequences of Misrepresentation Borrowers who misrepresent information and straw buyers who allow a property to be purchased in their name are committing mortgage fraud and will be responsible for any financial shortfall in the event of default. They may also be held criminally responsible for their misrepresentation. Reporting Fraud  If you suspect that you or someone you know has been the victim of mortgage fraud, please contact your local police department. Source: CAAMPPublished with permission from RISMedia....

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Freshen your Closet this Spring with These Tips

Posted by on Mar 12, 2014 in Homeownership | Comments Off on Freshen your Closet this Spring with These Tips

    Spring is the perfect time to give your home a fresh start, and one of the best places to begin is with your clothes closets. Admit it: There are items lurking there that haven’t seen the light of day in a very long time. Follow these tips from the cleaning experts at The Maids to rejuvenate your wardrobe and your storage spaces. 1. It’s time to be ruthless and save only the items that you are excited to own and wear. Alternately, follow the one-year rule (or the two-year rule if you are a softie) and get rid of everything you haven’t worn in that time period. The only exemptions should be for garments that hold special meaning for you. Gently worn items can be sold or donated to charitable organizations. Or, gather friends together for a clothing swap. 2. Some people might prefer to take everything out of the closet to begin the cleaning process. But if that sounds overwhelming, plan to break up the cleaning task over a few days. Sort out shoes one day, pants and skirts on another, and so on until you have examined everything. Launder any items that need it. 3. Organize the space in a way that makes sense to you. For instance, place warm-weather clothing on one side and cool-weather items on the other. Place like items together: all pants in one area, all jackets in another. Or you can group items by color. 4. Use containers to extend your space. See-through boxes are perfect for scarves, belts and jewelry. Hat boxes and old suitcases add personality to the space. 5. Vacuum or mop the floor; use a disinfectant to wipe down metal shelves and handles; and line drawers with paper. 6. If your closet is still full when you are finished cleaning, promise yourself that nothing new will go in until something old comes out.Published with permission from RISMedia....

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Hansen/Massi Testimonial

Posted by on Jan 14, 2014 in Blog, Client Stories | Comments Off on Hansen/Massi Testimonial

We have bought and sold 6 homes with Darryll, I guess that makes him our “Go-To” realtor in the Walnut Creek area. He is very easy to work with and is diligent with keeping in touch on e-mail, text message and phone. Darryll understands the in’s and out’s of property in the area be it the blistering condo market in downtown Walnut Creek, the older 50’s style homes in Pleasant Hill, the quaint bungalows in Lafayette or the country style mansions in Northgate. When it comes to the home selling experience, Darryll knows how to stage a home to gain top dollar. Be it from the realtor tour to spending all day Sunday showing our home to potential buyers. He is very connected and knows many of the realtors in the area and makes the selling/buying process very smooth. Plus, the mortgage broker he recommends is top-notch and knowledgeable on mortgage related questions. We always recommend Darryll with any property sales in the 680 Corridor. Nick & Beth...

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Greenfield Testimonial

Posted by on Jan 14, 2014 in Blog, Client Stories | Comments Off on Greenfield Testimonial

We were very particular about the house we wanted to buy; it took three years to find it, but Darryll was very patient and helpful during the process. He was able to point out needed repairs, estimated damage, urgency, timeline, and cost for such repairs for many houses we viewed (and by many, I mean probably about a hundred.) Furthermore, he had a network of established contacts in the departments of home improvements, inspections, mortgage brokers, etc. It was nice to hear from the other people we worked with that they enjoyed working with Darryll. We did, too. John & Lindsey Greenfield...

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