Monday Market Update: 3 Home Improvement Trends To Try Now

Bold ExteriorWhether you are staying or selling, chances are there are always items on your home wish list! After all, the best part of making a house a home is making it yours, right? This week, I scoured some of my favorite sources to bring you the latest tips and trends on home refreshes indoors and out. I’d love to hear which you love and what your plans are for 2019!

#1: BOLD EXTERIORS

Well, this will be no surprise to viewers of the infamous ‘Fixer Upper’, but Joanna Gaines is getting credit for the latest trend in exterior paint colors: deep and bold hues. That’s right – the days of neutral exteriors are drifting away as homeowners welcome deep teal tones, dark grays, rich browns and intense blues. Front doors continue to remain a stylish accent color which complement (bot not detract) from those eye-catching exteriors. Want some ideas to make your house stand out in all the right ways?! Check out ‘5 Trends in Exterior Home Colors’ from our friends at realtor.com.

#2: VIBRANT ENTRYWAYS

If you love color – the good news is that you don’t have to leave those vibrant hues on the porch! Elegant entryways are now designed to impress with flowery and foliage-filled prints and hues, patterned area rugs and chic art and accent pieces. If you are looking for entryways that make a true statement beyond simply ‘welcome’, look no further than ‘30 Vibrant Foyers We Love’ from HGTV!

#3: KITCHENS, BACKSPLASHES & WALLS – OH MY

With all of this talk about color – the one place where it isn’t as popular today is in the kitchen! A recent Houzz study reveals that freshly renovated kitchens most commonly feature white backsplashes and gray walls, or vice versa. White quartz counters, gray marble backsplashes and clean white walls are common picks for those updating their cooking space. In addition, stainless steel appliances remain the most popular pick for new appliances, but black stainless finishes are gaining ground in the New Year. Get inspired by crisp, clean kitchens in ‘What’s Popular for Kitchen Counters, Backsplashes and Walls’ on Houzz.

I can’t wait to try some of these strategies in my own home sweet home and in the homes that I prepare for sale! Stay tuned… the best is yet to come!

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: More Boomers Working – Because They Want To!

rejectionA new study reveals that Boomers are not ready to leave the workforce – and guess what?! It has little to do with finances. While the majority of those born between 1946 and 1964 report that they are financially prepared for retirement (according to Harris Poll), many are opting to extend their careers, transition to part-time work or re-enter the workforce altogether. In addition, 1/3 of respondents opted to delay retirement past their initially planned age (of 66 on average) due to feeling knowledgeable, confident and valued in the office.

Interestingly, many respondents who could financially retire are choosing to remain in the workforce, while those who want to retire and cannot relayed feelings of being ‘frustrated, overwhelmed and old’ (according to MarketWatch). Some elderly workers reported a need to continue working to pay for living expenses, medical costs and aiding their own elderly parents or children.

The natural conclusion to draw from this is the power of choice – being able to retire certainly seems to impact how happy one is with being content to continue working. Boomers who feel there may be no light at the end of the tunnel report experiencing higher feelings of frustration and discontent. While choosing when and where to retire is a very personal choice, it appears to be a most pleasant life transition when it is in fact a choice.

The benefits of delaying retirement have been called a smart move by researchers at Stanford University, George Mason University, Cornerstone Research and Financial Engines and Boston University. According to these sources, “…postponing retirement for six months alone can equate to saving an additional 1% over 30 years”, plus many companies are offering policy incentives via matching 401K programs.

Whether you decide to delay retirement by choice or need to wait a bit by unplanned chance – you are not alone. Retirees fall on both sides of the spectrum when it comes to feeling financially or emotionally prepared – or both or neither! While I myself love what I do and don’t plan to retire soon… I work with hopeful and current retirees virtually every day to maximize their quality of life and overall well-being by helping them weigh their options. If you’d like to consider downsizing, up-sizing or moving closer to loved ones, I am more than happy to help you create a path to get you right where you want and need to be! You don’t have to wait to retire to start creating the life chapter you want next, and your housing choices might even help you get there!

Resource Used: Retirement? Boomers aren’t ready yet

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/

EHO

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Designations Create Distinctions: Is Your Passion On This List?!

learning smallOn the outside, real estate is often about glitz and glamour, dreams coming true, homes coming to life and lives being changed. But that brings me to exactly what is on the inside… individuals and families from different walks of life seeking different goals and different ways to get there. And that is the beauty of distinctions – we can set ourselves apart by gaining advanced knowledge & expertise in the areas that will benefit our own clients in the ways they need it the most!

You likely know about my passion for seniors and may have already taken or signed up for my next SRES® course… but how can you continue to help your other clients?

Let me give you an idea – or two – or more! Below I have listed just a few other courses and areas of real estate that I am truly passionate about! As a certified course instructor for all of the courses below (and more!), I encourage you to expand your foundation and meet others who share your own passions and values. If I can bring you and your colleagues one of these high-value courses to your office or local real estate association – please do not hesitate to reach out!

| SENIOR REAL ESTATE SPECIALIST (SRES®): Seniors Real Estate Specialists® or SRES® designees are REALTORS® qualified to address the needs of home buyers and sellers age 50+. Learn more HERE. 

| AT HOME WITH DIVERSITY (AHWD®): This NAR certification program is designed to present a picture of the changing face of the real estate industry. Since 1998, the At Home With Diversity program has prepared over 20,000 REALTORS® to work effectively with and within today’s increasingly diverse pool of homebuyers. Learn more HERE.

| RESORT & SECOND HOME PROPERTY SPECIALIST (RSPS®):Resort and Second-Home Property Specialist (RSPS) is a REALTOR® certification for specialists in buying and selling resort and second home properties. Learn more HERE. 

| CERTIFIED INTERNATIONAL PROPERTY SPECIALIST (CIPS®): Global real estate opportunities are everywhere. People move to the U.S. from other countries every day and foreign-born individuals residing in the U.S. move to new markets. Americans in your current market may look to invest in property overseas. No matter which audience you cater to, the CIPS designation will provide you with the knowledge, research, network and tools to globalize and expand your business. Learn more HERE. 

| ACCREDITED BUYERS REPRESENTATIVE (ABR®): The Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABR®) designation is designed for real estate buyer’s agents who focus on working directly with buyer-clients. Learn more HERE. 

| SELLER REPRESENTATIVE SPECIALIST (SRS®):  The Seller Representative Specialist (SRS) designation is the premier credential in seller representation.  It is designed to elevate professional standards and enhance personal performance. Learn more HERE.

| BUILDING WEALTH REPRESENTING INVESTORS AND BECOME ONE YOURSELF: This course will cover the fundamentals of real estate investment that practitioners need to know to expand their business services. The one-day course looks at how practitioners can adapt core real estate skills and learn new skills to serve clients who want to invest in single family homes, condos, townhomes, and small multifamily properties. You will learn how to work with investors as they goal set, plan, evaluate, and acquire properties as well as manage them. You will also learn how to “walk the talk” and become a real estate investor yourself. Learn more HERE.

Do you see your passion above?! Let’s talk about building you the strongest foundation we can to benefit your business AND your clients!

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/
EHO

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Monday Market Update: Purchase Applications Hit 9-Year High

home prices

If you thought it was going to be a boring year for real estate – I am sorry to disappoint you! Just last week, National Mortgage News reported that purchase applications surged – and not just a little. Borrowers applications for home loans increased 13.5% from the previous week, likely in response to unexpected and favorable rates as of late. That caused the seasonally adjusted purchase index to reach its highest level since April of 2010! That’s right… buyers are back to levels we have not seen in over 8 years.

This is great news for sellers who were worried that they missed their window of opportunity last spring. While slower price gains and rising rates had many sellers taking a pause, the vast majority of long-term homeowners have earned substantial equity and now have buyers literally chomping at the bit (before rates change again).

While the Calculated Risk Blog has reported statewide inventory increases of over 30% year-over-year, the most desirable areas in Silicon Valley are still in demand. Plus, there is much an experienced agent can do to make your home truly stand out from the competition (just ask me how!).

In short – market opportunity knocks for both buyers and sellers. Equity might be gaining at a moderated pace, but values are still delivering a great ROI for many sellers. Plus, borrowers are now hoping to maximize their purchasing power given the current rate environment.  Please don’t hesitate to reach out to chat about the timing, strategy and action plan that is best for you and your goals.

Resources Used:

California Existing Homes [Inventory Up 31%]

Purchase Mortgage Applications Rise To Nine-Year High

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/

EHO

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Senior Spotlight: Ground Floor Luxury Living

If you know me, then you know that I believe retirement means doing MORE of what you love and doing it in-style! It also means recognizing the limits that are inevitable with aging – and respecting them to keep our minds and bodies safe. That blend of elegance and style is exactly what makes my listing at 919 Shoreline Drive so perfect for retirees! You can downsize without giving up anything – and while gaining a ton! As a ground floor residence with no stairs – this contemporary, inner lagoon oasis boasts two bedrooms, two baths, gleaming hardwood floors, crown molding, a fabulous state-of-the-art kitchen and THREE patios. Located in the renowned Harbortown community, you can enjoy the clubhouse, 3 pools (one open year-round!) spa, sauna, tennis courts and garden.

Imagine home ownership with less maintenance than a single-family home, more amenities than many resorts and the safety of single story living. It’s the luxury lifestyle you deserve with the convenience you crave… and I would love for you to see it for yourself.

Explore 919 Shoreline Drive this weekend (January 19th & 20th), open Saturday 2-4pm and Sunday 1-pm. Offered at $1,094,000. I’ve included a few photos below, please view the full gallery at: http://www.919shoreline.com/

919 Blog

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Designations Create Distinctions: Why Working Together Matters

business meetingWelcome back to the Bobbi Decker Blog: Designations Create Distinctions Series! By now, most of you know that every Tuesday, I dedicate this edition of my blog to the agents, brokers, like-minded peers and fellow industry advocates who share in my passion for standing out.

With an estimated 2 million active real estate licensed professionals in the US, and a market that is changing constantly on global and local levels, my mission is to build a group of the most dedicated, educated, ethical and collaborative agents who serve clients like few others can. I call this ‘banding together to stand out’ – and it’s what I honestly believe the future of real estate entails. Hundreds of students have joined my classes in that spirit – and I’d like to invite you to join us!

Technology has time and time again changed the way we do business – but not the why. Real estate is and will continue to be a service-first business in which we are not just the messenger of information (people use Zillow for that!) – but the experience-based guide, the steadfast champion and ultimate analyst (there are no apps for that!). Relationships matter when people are making the biggest investment of their lives, and not just among homeowners and agents – but among agents themselves.

Of the 2 million agents in the nation, approximately 1.3 million belong to the National Association of Realtors®. Yet only 1,165 of those members also belong to local associations. Sadly, the spirit of collaboration is often lost in the fear that working together means someone wins business and someone loses.

But isn’t there enough to go around? Isn’t your dedication to homeownership something that should be echoed and not stifled? Isn’t your footprint unique no matter what agent shoes you wear?Think of a designation as added support to what is already uniquely YOU. Wearing different footwear for different outfits is much like holding different designations for the various markets you serve. It’s a firm foundation (sole so to speak!) for the ground you are already walking. And the better those shoes fit… the farther you will go!

Yes, the above analogy simplifies my message a bit – but I believe thriving in our industry is dependent on surrounding yourself with like-minded peers (the banding together part!) and standing out (getting distinctions that help you emerge from those who do 1 transaction a year or who don’t value target market expertise).  A huge component of every distinction you earn is access to a network of peers who hold that distinction too – people all over the country who offer their support and ideas in marketing to and meeting the needs of the shared population that you have chosen to serve. I always say that we are better together – and defining who we want to help most and how is an ideal first step!

Earning designations does not pigeonhole your areas of expertise, it adds branches to your tree! That tree then becomes part of an orchard… one that I believe produces results that aren’t possible in isolation. My first course of the year is the one I get asked for the most… the Senior Real Estate Specialist Designation (SRES®)! Learn more and join me in March by registering HERE! Earlybird registration ends February 25th.

Is this your year to ground your career in education & ground your mind in collaboration?! If so – let me know how I can help!

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/

EHO

 

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Monday Market Update: Spring Seller Prep Starts Now (5 Steps)

KeysWith rain falling in the Bay Area and the holidays barely behind us – it  might seem like spring is SO far away! But in reality, the spring real estate market is just around the corner. Across the industry, the spring market actually starts in February/March – and that means that home preparations and strategies are now underway for serious sellers. Here are 5 things to keep in mind if you are thinking of selling in 2019…

#1: Later Is Not Always Better. The ‘wait and see’ phenomena keeps many potential sellers on the fence for years. We know that rates are rising and that home prices are moderating – why not capitalize on that ROI now and do it sooner rather than later. Waiting to see what other homes on the market do also means you could be listing your home against more competition! Stand out by being first at the gate  – buyers who want to get in before rates rise further will thank you – with offers.

#2: Don’t Assume You Need To Renovate. The great thing about Silicon Valley is the big ideas… which means that many homeowners come in with plans of their own. Do not wait to sell until you have updated every room in the house; you might be discouraged to find that many buyers want to come in and personalize anyway!

#3: Don’t Assume You Have To Go It Alone. I can assure you that I understand that selling a home is a lot of work – but that’s my job and not yours! Helping assess what needs to be moved and stored, connecting you with professional move managers (and downsizing pros!) and preparing the home for sale is a true team effort. And the agent is the quarterback!

#4: Do Consider Curb Appeal And Staging. Most buyers determine whether or not they will even consider a home based on how it looks when they drive by or view it online. There are some easy ways to get all the attention your home needs and deserves without breaking the bank or your back. There are many quotes out there about being the energy you want to attract – the same goes for your home! Good vibes only, right?!

#5: Set Yourself Up For Success. Ask your agent what to expect in terms of days on market and pricing strategies and returns today. While it is still possible to get an over-asking offer (or a few!) and a pretty great return on your investment, it’s not fair to yourself to compare your home sale to that of a neighbor 8-14 months ago. Remind yourself the only rewards that matter are yours! If you can still get the price you want and end up where you want to be, I urge you not to get tied up in what could have happened if you sold last year.

Last but not least… please remember that any reputable agent will provide an honest and complimentary home valuation – with no obligation. Any agent who tries to refer you to a third party for a paid valuation, tells you to get an online guess-timate or who makes you feel guilty if you decide not to sell is NOT looking out for you. Make sure that you gather all of the information you can from a local, active, full-time real estate professional. Commitment is a verb – not a noun in my book! 😉

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: Burglary Prevention

Did you know that a burglary takes place approximately every 18 seconds in the US according to SafeWise? In addition, SecurAlert reports that elderly are the second most likely targets of burglary due to their likelihood of having prescription medications – a hot commodity in the criminal community. Throw in the fact that most burglaries occur during daylight hours (when retirees may be home or returning from errands!) and you will see why this topic is an important focus for this week’s Senior Spotlight.

Please review the infographic below from the California Association of Realtors in partnership with RIS Media’s Housecall to gain a few tidbits on how to become a less attractive target for a home invasion.

Burglars-Begone-hi-res

In addition, please note that:

| Burglars tend to avoid homes with security systems (so if you don’t have one – it could be the best investment you make in 2019!).

| The master bedroom is often the first place that burglars look – so avoid leaving valuables, medications and electronics in these often-targeted areas.

| Crimes against the elderly are often under-reported due to increased rates of dementia and embarrassment. If you know that an elderly loved one or neighbor has experienced a loss, ask if they need assistance in reporting the crime, making an insurance claim or taking preventative steps to keep them safer in the future.

Resources Used: Burglars BegoneCrime Information and Statistics10 Surprising Home Burglary Stats and Facts

 

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Designations Create Distinctions: Why The Coastal Credentials Cruise Is NOT Just For Locals!

Happy New Year! This is the first official Designations Create Distinctions blog of 2019 and I want to thank you in advance for taking the time to stop by! While many of my students and colleagues are right here with me in Silicon Valley, I’d like to take a moment to thank and acknowledge the greater real estate community from around the nation and the globe that visits this special edition of our blog too. My own passion for international travel and global real estate is just one of the many reasons that I am SO excited about our upcoming Coastal Credentials Cruise ~ and why so many professionals from outside the Bay Area are excited too! It’s a time and a place where we can join together to learn, to connect, to plan and to add to what we can offer our clients.

If you are from outside of California and you have been thinking about joining this dynamic, educational and collaborative cruise – take a moment to see why leaving from San Francisco (and maybe adding a few days to your Nor Cal stay) can do for your personal and professional mindset! In the video below, Buddy & Al reveal just a few benefits that are unique and relevant to our real estate community outside of Silicon Valley.

 

View the complete cruise itinerary, register for courses and find out how to book your cabin HERE! 

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/

EHO

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Monday Market Update: No More Misconceptions

It’s a new year AND a new market! While prices are normalizing and rates are projected to rise again – there is still a lot of good news out there! Today’s blog is a reminder not to get sidelined when looking at the bigger picture. While much of this data applies to buyers – it’s relevant to sellers too as they assess their short and long-term goals and who will be looking at their home as well.

RATES. Mortgage News Daily reported that today’s most prevalent rates include 4.5% for a 30-year fixed. If you can recall the double digit rates of the 80’s – this is not bad news. Heck… it’s not even 5%. Put everything you hear in perspective. First of all, rates are NOT as bad as they have been for many generations before us. Second, CNBC re-visited the strategy of using funds to buy down points (and maybe even getting a tax deduction for it – ask your tax professional). The moral of the story is that accurate information plus a well-planned strategy will virtually always get you where you want and need to be.

VALUES. At year end, many of the news sources we reviewed estimated an annual, nationwide gain of 3% price appreciation for homes. That may be a smaller gain than we have seen before – but it is far from a loss and likely a conservative estimate for Silicon Valley. Be sure to contact an active, full-time, local real estate professional for an accurate price estimation of your home in it’s current condition before you decide to make a move or not.

BE GONE BUYER MYTHS. Many of the myths in the market today are related to buyers, through no fault of their own. Online searches and media reports tend to perpetuate inaccurate data – which often scares buyers away before they can even make an informed and timely decision. Review the myths below and be sure to reach out if you need advice from a trusted mortgage lender or experienced real estate agent!

sidelined small

Much like 2018… many of the myths and misconceptions of the market are now behind us. Now the question is what are you gong to do with what you know… and how can I help?!

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/

EHO

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