To arm or alarm?

Posted In: First Time Home Buyers, For Buyers, For Sellers, Home Maintenance
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One of the worst things about showing a house is when there is an alarm on it. Sure, the listing agent does their best to explain to you how to deactivate it, but that doesn’t always help when your heart rate is shooting through the roof and all you can hear is the “beep…beep…beep.” At one house, neither the client [...]

Don’t let those credit bureaus exploit you!

Posted In: Economy, General Real Estate News
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Here are some facts about credit bureau’s: 1. Credit bureaus sell elads to banks and mortgage companies 2. Pricate information divulged includes address, phone number, and credit score 3. Banks pay $25 – $100 per lead 4. No legislation exists yet to prevent bureaus from selling leads 5. Onslaught of unsolicited marketing as soon as the loan application si submitted [...]

Ode to February

Posted In: Good ol' Fashion Humor, Local Market Statistics, Mortgage & Finance
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Goodbye February, Hello Mayor! 1. Unbelievable. Did you know that some 14 percent of all Americans have more than 10 credit cards? This according to a recent study conducted by Experian Consumer Direct, a leading provider of online direct-to-consumer credit reports, scores and monitoring products. When will all of this crash the economy? 2. Phew! Mortgage rates eased back down [...]

Chicken and Waffles?

Posted In: Good Eats, Neighborhood Businesses, Oakland
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Many of you who know me know that I love food! If you are looking for a taste of retro East Oakland, look no further. Today I had lunch with some clients at Merritt Bakery in Oakland. I have had their cakes, but never actually sat down at the restaurant. The hostess, who called me “hon,” immediately looked at us [...]

An offer I can’t refuse

Posted In: For Buyers, For Sellers, Good ol' Fashion Humor
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Why are garage sales called “garage sales” yet they rarely take place in the garage? I recently came across an advertisement for a garage sale that said “What would you pay for this?” No item came with a price tag attached to it; buyer’s were the one who decided how much to pay for it. There was no haggling or [...]

Marketing for the new generation

Posted In: Listings, Web/Tech
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Give me your best marketing pitch and tell me why it works. I’ve had to get a little creative with my listings. It seems every listing agent has a website (www.123Main.com) for their listings these days, and some even have a virtual tour. But in this here “Information Age” my clients want more. Something different. Something that “tells it like [...]

Where will the market go in 2007?

Posted In: Economy, Local Market Statistics
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This just in…California, on average, will post a decline in appreciation. It was bound to happen: what goes up, must come down. But just how far down are we talking? It depends on who you ask. The California Association of Realtors believe the median home price in California will decline 2% to $550,000 in 2007 compared with $561,000 for 2006; [...]