The spring buying season has begun. A variety of signs point to the underlying strength that should support national real estate sales gains in the upcoming months of March through June.
A surprisingly strong pace of new-home sales last month has boosted hopes. Nationally, sales of new homes rebounded to the fastest rate in more than five years. Sales of new homes rose 9.6% in January. It was the fastest pace since July of 2008.
Locally, we’re still dealing with low inventory and high demand. The East Bay seems to have buyers quickly scooping up homes as soon as they go on the market.
With anxious buyers and attractive mortgage rates, real estate seems poised for another great Spring! If you'd like to keep track of the market in your neighborhood, you can sign up for free automatic abbreviated reports anytime. Just log onto http://open.apr.com/Community-Information, then follow the instructions on the left side of the screen. If you have any questions, you can contact me directly and I will set it up for you. You can also view more in-depth reports for your specific neighborhood anytime you'd like.
As always, if you want to further evaluate your options, contact me anytime: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Articles and Advice
Tax Tips for Homeowners
By: Jeannette Brown
A huge benefit of homeownership is a variety of tax deductions that you should be aware of before you file your returns with the Internal Revenue Service. It’s important to consider each home tax deduction and credit you are entitled to, as well as avoid common tax-filing errors.
By: Jeannette Brown
By: Heather Skylar
A: There are several ways to easily cut back on water usage. The obvious ones, as you mentioned, are turning off your automatic sprinklers during the winter months, watering once every 5 days. And if you just shave a couple of minutes off of your shower, the EPA says you can save up to 700 gallons per month.
A few less obvious water-savers include:
-Displace Water in your toilet tank. Put a plastic bottle or bag weighted with pebbles and filled with water into your toilet tank. Displacing water in this manner allows you to use less water with each flush, saving between 5 and 10 gallons per day.
-Check for Leaks. To check your toilet for leaks, put dye tablets or food coloring into the tank. If color appears in the bowl without flushing, there's a leak that should be repaired. To check showers and faucets for leaks, read your water meter before and after a two-hour period during which no water is being used. If the meter does not read exactly the same, you probably have a leak. Fixing a leaky toilet saves up to 400 gallons of water per month, while fixing a leaky faucet can save up to 225 gallons per month. You may also want to check your sprinkler system for leaks.
If you really want to cut back on your water use, consider installing water-saving shower heads or flow restrictors and high efficiency toilets. Planting native, drought-resistant plants can also be a huge help.
SOLD! Beautiful 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom single-level home in Burton Valley! Updated with great yard, including a patio, lawn and vegetable gardens. Offered at $1,039,000.
6 Linda Vista
Families going through foreclosure have to make very hard decisions, and sometimes are no longer able to care for their pets. Dogs and cats often end up in public shelters– racing the clock as they hope for adoption. That’s where Tony La Russa’s Animal Rescue Foundation, or ARF, comes in. The ARF team rescues pets who are about to run out of time in these shelters, provides care and comfort, and then finally matches them with the perfect owners.
Sweet little Saison is a year old, and some sort of hound mix. She's smart and athletic, but a little shy in loud situations. She will be up for whatever outdoor activities you'd like to try, but also likes to sit with her favorite people inside. ARF doesn’t know if she has ever been around kids.
To find out more about Saison or any of the other ARF pets looking for a home, click on the link below.
St. Patrick's Day Parade and Festival
Saturday, March 15, 11:30am
Civic Center Plaza, San Francisco
Ready for a pint of Guinness? Come join the St. Patrick’s Day Party in front of City Hall in San Francisco, listen to traditional Irish music and enjoy the parade! Click on the link below for more information.
Many of you know that I have a passion for good wine. I’ve even grown grapes and made my own. I’ve also belonged to a wine group for about 20 years. Every month we get together for a blind tasting and then rank the wines we try.
Click here for this month’s tasting…