Designations Create Distinctions: Up Your Competencies, Up Your Results

The market is changing and there is no better time to level up than NOW. I have long been a fan of using vetted expertise and dedicated educational distinctions to stand out, rather than silly marketing gimmicks. The Coastal Credentials Cruise taking place in 2019 is designed to help other business-oriented agents do the same.

Please join my quick chat with Sandy below and gain a glimpse into how you can up your competencies and up your results – this time in a unique opportunity to earn TWO designations while at sea. The education, the vacation, the views and the networking will drive your career in the New Year. You can’t move forward by looking back (and we all know you aren’t headed that way), so let’s look forward to standing out together!

 

See you at sea!

Bobbi

Bobbi Decker, SRES®, CIPS®
Broker Associate, Today Sotheby’s International Realty
Bobbi Decker & Associates
BRE 00607999
e. bobbi@bobbidecker.com
p. 650.346.5352
w. www.bobbidecker.com

Bobbi Decker & Associates fully supports the principles of the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Opportunity Act. For more information, please visit: http://portal.hud.gov/

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Monday Market Update: Mortgages – Debt & Denials Oh My

did you knowWhile affordability continues to be a challenge amidst rising rates, the latest data reveals that over 30% of mortgage denials have one common culprit: debt. According to data collected under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act and analyzed by CoreLogic, only about 1 in 10 mortgage applications was denied in 2017.

The #1 reason for these denials was NOT poor credit (an oft-considered primary denial reason), but an unacceptable debt-to-income (DTI) ratio. Credit history is a distant second when it comes to mortgage application denials, and this is not a response to changing underwriting guidelines. It is in fact a reflection of the current challenges that individuals face: “the fact that home prices have risen much faster than wage growth” (Jann Swanson, Mortgage News Daily) Furthermore, it’s a reminder to future homeowners and move-up buyers to effectively manage and mitigate as much non-home related debt as possible. You cannot change the rate environment, the lending guidelines or the trend of affordability – but you can create your own priorities within it.

Please let us know if you’d like to speak with a trusted home lending professional in our network about your own DTI situation and how the changing real estate environment will impact that analysis in the present and future.

Resource Used: “Debt-to-Income” Now Biggest Player in Mortgage Denials

All my best,

Bobbi

Bobbi Decker, SRES®, CIPS®
Broker Associate, Today Sotheby’s International Realty
Bobbi Decker & Associates
BRE 00607999
e. bobbi@bobbidecker.com
p. 650.346.5352
w. www.bobbidecker.com

Bobbi Decker & Associates fully supports the principles of the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Opportunity Act. For more information, please visit: http://portal.hud.gov/

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Senior Spotlight: A Granny Unit For All Ages?

Care

A granny unit. A mother-in-law suite. A multi-generational dwelling. A casita. An ohana house. You have heard all of these terms and they all refer to an ADU (Accessory Dwelling Unit) – a small dwelling on the same property as a single-family home. An ADU may be attached to the main house or simply reside on the same property. They typically include a full bedroom and bath and may also have a sitting area or kitchenette. In this week’s Senior Spotlight, we wanted to share how ADU’s can benefit not only aging parents, but homeowners too.

If you think you are hearing more and more about granny units in the news – you are right. Specifically, here in Silicon Valley, a large number of municipalities have changed their ADU requirements – making them more attainable to build and more practical for use. Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties updated their Secondary Unit Ordinances in 2017, and the City of San Jose further eased requirements this past summer. Given the affordable housing crisis, the desire for aging loved ones to stay near family and inventory issues in general, ADU’s have attracted a lot of attention lately.

So, you are thinking of adding a secondary unit to care for a loved one… but aren’t sure if it’s a short-term solution or a truly worthwhile long-term investment? Consider these often-overlooked advantages and complementary uses for that oft-labeled granny unit:

| A home office

| Guest quarters

|Young adult residence as the kids come back from college

| Short-or-long term rental/apartment as permitted by your local regulations

As you can see, ADU’s can be so much more than a granny unit and can even serve as an additional source of income when not needed by a loved one. With multi-generational; living on the rise, ADU’s are also an attractive sales feature in home and appeal to a wide variety of buyers who haven’t found other homes that suit their needs.

The short story is if you are considering adding on for mom – you may actually be investing in your family’s financial future too! Looking out for your loved ones today and tomorrow can be a true win.

If adding a secondary unit feels to be too daunting of task, consider selling and buying a home with one already included. With home prices moderating, this may be a great time to use that equity to achieve what fits your family for the years to come.

Resource Used: What Is a Mother-in-Law Suite? A Smart Feature—Even If Mom Isn’t Moving In

All my best,

Bobbi

Bobbi Decker, SRES®, CIPS®

Broker Associate, Today Sotheby’s International Realty

Bobbi Decker & Associates

BRE 00607999

bobbi@bobbidecker.com

650.346.5352

www.bobbidecker.com

Bobbi Decker & Associates fully supports the principles of the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Opportunity Act. For more information, please visit: http://portal.hud.gov/

 

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Designations Create Distinctions: Get Out Your Sunglasses…

Summer may be over – but that’s NO reason to put those sunglasses away. 2019 has never looked brighter as we present an event that is a cruise, an education AND a vacation all in one!

Find your shades and join this quick chat with Bobbi & Sandy about our upcoming Coastal Credentials Cruise which combines everything you want with everything that your career needs!

 

We can set ourselves apart by learning together… so contact Bobbi & Sandy today!

All our best,

Bobbi & Buddy & Sandy too!

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Monday Market Update: De-Cluttering Don’ts (3 Things You Might Miss!)

sleeveSpring isn’t the only season that inspires people to clean and organize their homes; fall is often when I see my clients get re-organized and refreshed as they prepare for holiday guests and gifts, or even selling their homes (yes, it CAN be a great time!)! While there are tons of resources and amazing moving companies who can help you downsize and de-clutter with ease – there are some basic tips to keep you grounded.

While much of clearing out and cleaning up is about what to do first – this week I wanted to share 3 things you may not want to do at all! Inspired by a recent read on Realtor.com titled ‘Hang On! 6 Things People Later Regret Decluttering From Their Homes’, here are three things to think about twice before you toss.

#1: Silly Snapshots.

Does anyone else remember the days where people took photos and printed them – instead of just posting them to social media? Yes, they were not perfect and our eyes were often red. Sometimes the angles were a little crazy or the edges were cut off. And they were most certainly unfiltered unlike our iPhone pics of today. These are the photos you will be most tempted to toss, the ones that aren’t perfect or professional. But these are moments you will never get back – and your grandkids may not care if your eyes were red or your shoes didn’t show. Think twice about photos of poor quality – the quantity of love in them may be immeasurable!

#2: Things You Love That Don’t Fit.

Sometimes you want to make space SO bad that you’ll do anything to have less. But too often we hear stories where people were amidst a huge life transition and in the frustration of making it all fit… gave away items they loved and couldn’t get back. If you adore that artwork from your great grandmother and don’t have the wall space today – see if a relative can save it for the future. Don’t get so desperate that you lose sight of what you love.

#3: Stuff You’re Too Young To Appreciate – Now.

Sure that high school yearbook seems useless in your 20’s (you talk to all those people on Facebook anyway!). Or maybe that copy of your first paycheck seems so passé’ now that you’ve graduated college. But these ‘little’ things will hold big meaning as your friends age or become ill, or as you talk to your grandkids about their first job. If your 65-year old self would get a kick out of the item – you may want to reconsider kicking it to the curb.

Let me know if you need a great de-cluttering or downsizing resource! Happy organizing!

Bobbi

Bobbi Decker, SRES®, CIPS®

Broker Associate, Today Sotheby’s International Realty

Bobbi Decker & Associates

BRE 00607999

bobbi@bobbidecker.com

650.346.5352

www.bobbidecker.com

Bobbi Decker & Associates fully supports the principles of the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Opportunity Act. For more information, please visit: http://portal.hud.gov/

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Senior Spotlight: The Power Of A Password

handsThe only thing worse than dealing with the loss of a spouse is having to mitigate your grief with the loss of their passwords. It sounds so silly, but it is unfortunately so true in today’s world where everything must be unlocked with a magical word that has 17 characters, 3 special characters, 1 uppercase letter and no spaces. As I was reading an article on AARP about author Leslie Milk and how the challenges of technology and unanswered questions magnified the death of her spouse, I compiled 5 must-do’s to help ensure this does not happen to you.

#1: Manage Email Security Questions.

Many spouses share a family email, but often one person is responsible for the technical aspects of the account. Make sure that whomever you designate to handle your estate also has the answers to the security questions for your email account. It’s so easy to take for granted the loss of the opportunity to answer that ‘secret question’ that may grant access to the insurmountable and valuable data held in a personal email account.

#2: Access Asset Info Before You Have To.

Consider an asset access fire drill. Could you find you bank account numbers, property deeds, insurance policies and investment records in both hard and soft copy today? Do you know how you hold title on your home? None of these items are ideal to think about – but these questions are far better asked when you have someone to guide you through the answers.

#3: Update Your Will With Your Life.

Have your children gotten married? Have you purchased a vacation home? Opened a new bank account? Life changes but often our estate planning does not follow suit. Make sure you update your will with any assets that have been added to your portfolio since the document’s initial creation. Note that in many cases accounts without beneficiaries will go into probate… ouch!

#4: Find Out If You Are The Credit Card User Or Owner.

Using a credit card and owning the account are two different roles. Being an authorized user for the credit card does not mean you can keep the account open in the event that the credit card owner passes away. You may wish to open your own credit card ahead of time, determine how to become a co-owner of the card or simply be aware of how your credit card account access will change after your spouse passes.

# Assign A Social Media Legacy Contact.

It’s a strange world we live in when your digital presence can outlive your physical one. But it is a reality that you may wish to address so your legacy lives on as you wish. Facebook now allows users to assign a ‘Legacy Contact’ to look after your account once it is memorialized. That person may respond to friend requests, update your profile picture and cover photo, write a final message on your wall or request the removal of your account. Note that every social network has it’s own rules for the death of an account user. We will cover them in greater detail in a later post, but until then you may find THIS resource helpful.

We hope that today’s blog has opened your eyes and brought some clarity as to what role passwords play in your financial, social and emotional well-being. Please be sure to speak with your estate planning professionals, tax advisor and legal counsel to create a plan that protects your family legacy and prevents unnecessary stress.

All my best,

Bobbi

Bobbi Decker, SRES®, CIPS®
Broker Associate, Today Sotheby’s International Realty
Bobbi Decker & Associates
BRE 00607999
e. bobbi@bobbidecker.com
p. 650.346.5352
w. www.bobbidecker.com

Bobbi Decker & Associates fully supports the principles of the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Opportunity Act. For more information, please visit: http://portal.hud.gov/

Posted in Living Longer, Living Better, Senior Spotlight | Leave a comment

Designations Create Distinctions: What Can 7 Days At Sea Do For You?

Is anyone else missing summer already? Would you love something to drive you personally and professionally as you motivate yourself for 2019? Do you struggle with balancing industry education with networking opportunities and still running your business? Would you love for your career to be about more quality and quantity in both transactions and connections?

We get it, and we know that that in our industry, nothing is more valuable than our time and nothing is more coveted than our ability to thrive in changing economic climates. That’s why I could not be more pleased to share that in just 7 days at sea, you can meaningfully change the course and network of your career for a lifetime.

Take a peek at the quick (less than 3 minutes!) video below to gain an insightful overview of the course costs, cabin options, departure point, cruise stops and all that you will accomplish in just 7 days on our Coastal Credentials Cruise in collaboration with SAMCAR University!

(If you have any trouble viewing the video below, please click HERE.

Secure your cabin reservation today with just a $100 deposit and book your classes here!

See you at sea,

Buddy & Bobbi

Bobbi Buddy Big Numbers

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Monday Market Update: Off-The-Grid Living Trends 2018

confidenceIt may sound strange to be writing to you from the heart of Silicon Valley and talking to you about off-the-grid lifestyles. But the reasons, technologies and implications for this growing real estate trend are more than noteworthy – so let’s get started!

First of all, there are different social views on living off the grid – but for the purposes of real estate, our main focus is to simply acknowledge that there are different reasons that drive this movement. For some homeowners, living off the grid is means of survival in the event of an emergency or natural disaster, especially in a remote location far from assistance. There are also instances where a dream property is located far from public utilities, and it is cost prohibitive to put a home on the grid. For others, it is a choice to create a state of self-sustainability from public utilities as a form of separating oneself from a system deemed oppressive (the most extreme and minority view according to Off Grid World). Some approaches opt to ‘rough’ it and forego modern technologies all-together – though that also means not accessing the full range of energy innovations available. For many people, living off the grid is a means of living a more sustainable and renewable lifestyle ~ with a focus on balancing what you give back to the earth and what you take.

In 2010, the Solar Energy Industries Association reports that only 138,000 US homes had solar power – compared to the 2 million homes that will have it by the end of 2018. Even better… the price of residential solar systems has dropped about 70% since 2008 – making it a more accessible and attainable choice.

Examples Of Off-The-Grid Trends

| Solar roof panels (the most common homeowner adoption)

| UV filters that sterilize rainwater for drinking and bathing

| Wind turbines

| Computer-automated systems that combine power into a battery bank from multiple energy sources

| Composting toilets (turn waste into safe, odor-free fertilizer)

| Passive solar features: double-paned, south-facing glass walls & acid-stained concrete floors to manage sunlight and harness warmth, as well as butterfly-shaped roofs that collect rainwater for home use

Implications of Off-The-Grid Living

| Homeowners wishing to build second or vacation homes can now consider more remote and secluded areas previously overlooked

| Increased industry growth and job creation in the areas of solar & wind energy, computer automation & management of related systems, water filtration technology, solar-powered back-up systems & hybrid models, battery bank efficiencies and more!

| Growth in ecotourism and investor interest in off-the-grid luxury rentals

| Greater peace of mind with regards to survivability in natural disasters

| Long-term utility cost savings

| Bringing more families back to nature as they become in tune to how rainwater, sunlight and energy usage cycle into everyday tasks such as doing dishes, taking a shower or running the dryer

Learn More:

The Homes Where Families Go Off the Grid

Living Off The Grid: What Does It Mean?

Living off the Grid: What Is It and 3 Realistic Options to Start Now

I hope you’ve enjoyed this glimpse into the why’s, how’s and what could be’s of off-the-grid living! Perhaps you’ve even been inspired to look into one or more trends in your current or next home…?!

All my best,

Bobbi

Bobbi Decker, SRES®, CIPS®
Broker Associate, Today Sotheby’s International Realty
Bobbi Decker & Associates
BRE 00607999
e. bobbi@bobbidecker.com
p. 650.346.5352
w. www.bobbidecker.com

Bobbi Decker & Associates fully supports the principles of the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Opportunity Act. For more information, please visit: http://portal.hud.gov/

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Senior Spotlight: Fall Prevention Awareness Week

CareWhile the season of fall has officially started – the impact of a fall is one with repercussions that can last a lifetime. As we end a week known statewide as Fall Prevention Awareness Week (September 22-28), our team here at Bobbi Decker Real Estate is dedicated to preventing as many falls as possible. According to StopFalls.Org: “Falls can take a serious toll on older adults’ quality of life and independence. Among older adults, falls are the leading cause of injury deaths, unintentional injuries, and hospital admissions for trauma.”

The message of the fall prevention mission is NOT fear – but that falls are preventable when health care professionals, senior service providers, communities and families work together to minimize fall risk.

Here are the top 6 ways to reduce the risk of falls for a loved one in your life:

#1: Ask the doctor how medication side effects and interactions can impact fall risk – including vision, balance and fatigue.

#2: Ensure that assistive devices designed to prevent falls are used to maximum benefit. Anyone with an assistive device such as a cane, walker or wheelchair should be sized for fit and appropriate support AND trained in proper use of the device.

#3: Conduct a home safety assessment to determine if pathways are clear, lighting is sufficient, surfaces are even, bathroom supports are present and installed correctly and that every stair & stairway has handrails. This list is a mere start and there are Senior Move Managers (ask about the NASMM@Home program!) and many related professionals who can assist with the planning of safely aging in place!

#4: Consider outdoor safety in fall prevention planning – including how weather footwear, travel and the amount of daylight influence your ambulatory safety.

#5: This is a tough but critical one to be aware of: 86,000 fall injuries each year involve cats and dogs. I am the biggest dog lover known to man BUT still advocate safety first. Be aware of the hazard that water spills, food bowls and stray toys can cause, and monitor your pet’s behavior on walks, with guests and in new places (surprises are not a furry friend’s best friend!).

#6: Ask a medical and fitness professional about exercises that are appropriate to increase strength, balance and agility – which can drastically reduce fall risk and mitigate injury.

For more information and resources via print material and video – please visit http://stopfalls.org/news-events/fall-prevention-awareness-week/.  Please know that none of our suggestions are intended to sound authoritative or infringe upon one’s lifestyle. The goal of this information is to empower our aging population with knowledge to remain healthy and happy as long as possible!  You matter to us and we are not afraid to show it!

All our best,

Bobbi & Team

Bobbi Decker, SRES®, CIPS®
Broker Associate, Today Sotheby’s International Realty
Bobbi Decker & Associates
BRE 00607999
e. bobbi@bobbidecker.com
p. 650.346.5352
w. www.bobbidecker.com

Bobbi Decker & Associates fully supports the principles of the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Opportunity Act. For more information, please visit: http://portal.hud.gov/

Posted in Living Longer, Living Better, Senior Spotlight | Leave a comment

Designations Create Distinctions: 7 Reasons To Join Our 7-Night Cruise (In Pictures!)

We know that if you have not already booked your reservation for the Coastal Credentials Cruise that you are thinking about it. You could review our past blogs with facts and features of the cruise – or you could take a quick glimpse at the pictures below!

This week we are pleased to present 7 reasons to join our 7-night cruise… all in photos!

#1: Gain TWO Designations of Distinction. 

2 Desig rsps

#2: Keep Your Business In Motion On Deck. 

Work

#3: Make Valued Connections Every Day From All Around The World. 

Networking

#4: Balance The Mental Growth With The Physical Stamina Via Sport Courts. 

Sports

#5: Grow Your Culinary Experiences Along With Your Professional Contacts. 

eat

#6: Experience The Magic That Happens Beyond The Real Estate World. 😉 

Magic

#7: See What Is Possible When Our Dynamic Industry Joins Together Aboard One Dynamic Ship. 

 

Performer

Register TODAY! 

Can’t wait to see you on-board!

Bobbi & Buddy

Bobbi Buddy Big Numbers

 

 

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