JUST ANNOUNCED: Lunch & Learn: Offshore REALTOR® Immersion Course

Our dedication to global real estate is here to stay… and NOT just because we love to travel (though it is an added bonus!). Here’s why: 9 million Americans reside overseas, and approximately 700,000 of them are receiving social security benefits offshore (according to the U.S. Social Security Administration, as reported by Forbes). The implications for your own clients, your business strategy and possibly even your own retirement are huge, and we have a complimentary event to help you explore international real estate for investment, retirement and vacation!

Join us & our special guests next month for an overview of the “10 Most Affordable Places to Retire Offshore in 2019” and discuss the specific concerns of owning property and living abroad. You’ll also get a sneak preview of a 2020 Caribbean travel opportunity!

Lunch included • FREE • RSVP Required

LUNCH SPONSORED BY Winnie Ho (NMLS 410054), Premier Mortgage Consultant, HSBC Bank

Immersion Course

RSVP Today! 

All our best,

Bobbi & Buddy

Bobbi Buddy Big Numbers

EHO

 

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Monday Market Update: 5 Reasons to Love L-Shaped Kitchen Islands

Whether you are talking Hawaiian islands or the kitchen variety… we are pretty sure they can never be to big, too ostentatious or too fun! But ‘tis also true that the word fun literally lies within ‘fun’ctional… so this week we are talking about the 5 fun & functional facets of the L-shaped kitchen island!

homeowner dreamsIf you watch the “Property Brothers” on HGTV, you know that the most recent episode featured Keith & Thiago and their desire for the ultimate kitchen island. They actually wanted an island that could seat 20 people… and while that wasn’t quote possible, Drew & Scott did maximize the seating they could offer with an L-shaped kitchen island. That inspired us to create just for you this list of 5 things that this shape island can do that others can only dream of, so here goes!

#1: The L-shaped kitchen island is the ideal way to maximize storage and seating. Large islands that are rectangular or square often lose usable space by offering countertop square footage so far in the middle… no one can reach!

#2: L-shaped islands are ideal for small and medium-sized kitchens. The most common layout is one solid kitchen wall for fixed appliances and cabinets, and then the L-shaped island which offers additional storage, food prep space and seating (did someone say breakfast bar)?

#3: The L-shaped kitchen island also creates the ideal pass-through space from the kitchen to the dining area or family room on the other side. The extension of the ‘L’ also invites guests to join in the conversation during meal prep and is great for serving appetizers on.

#4: Put the ‘L’ to work by making it part of the critical kitchen work triangle (the refrigerator, stove and sink). Many kitchen islands these days are plumbed to offer a sink within them and a breakfast bar on the opposite side. (Other times, the island is home to the stove and oven to create more storage in other areas of the kitchen.)

#5: L-shaped islands are not only functional within the kitchen itself, but as part of an open floor plan. Open concept designs can create confusion between where varying spaces begin and end, but an island is a non-wall way to separate the kitchen from dining or living areas, while still retaining the open look and feel that makes open concepts so desirable.

Check out this gallery on Houzz for some great L-shaped islands that offer wine storage, book shelves and more!

Resources Used:

The Property Brothers Ask: Has This Hot Kitchen Feature Gotten Just Too Huge?

A Guide to 6 Kitchen Island Styles

L-Shaped Kitchen Design

PROS AND CONS OF AN L-SHAPED ISLAND

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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Senior Spotlight: More Solutions For Single Retirees

Cat w-notepad

Last month, we touched on a Baby Boomer topic that we felt had been vastly overlooked – solo agers. You may have heard of the ‘Golden Girls’ model, or read about how retirement homes are addressing the needs of solo agers who want to live alongside their friends. This week, we wanted to expand upon the emerging realization that not everyone has a spouse to age with or wants to live completely alone.

The growing solution is having a housemate – which can provide companionship, mutual care and even a lower cost of living. The Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University reports that by 2035, the number of households headed by renters aged 65 and older is excepted to soar 85%. The associated ‘cottage industry’ is one which matches Baby Boomers with roommates who meet their physical and social needs. Yes, you guessed it – there are now websites which match older adults with who they want and need in a housemate!

Silvernest claims to be ‘creating the next generation of roommates’. This homesharing service allows individuals to build a profile, find a roommate and build an agreement!

Roommates4Boomers is a roommate matching site for women aged 50 and over. This format allows existing homeowners to find someone to rent out space to, or helps guide you toward shared housing solutions if you need a place to live.

There is even a non-profit homesharing program in Vermont called Home Share Now (that will no doubt serve as a model to other states soon!), which matches people with a room to share with those seeking affordable housing via the way of matching mutually beneficial relationships.

While we have not personally worked with any of the programs above, we can tell you that we expect to see more of their type as the needs of our growing number of Baby Boomers are addressed. With 10,000 people per day turning age 65, there truly is no one size fits all solution to aging. But there will hopefully be a number of customizable solutions that pool resources, mitigate health risks, improve financial and social well-being and create harmony across generations. If that is the future of aging… I am looking forward to it!

Resource Used: Housemate Wanted. Must Lift Heavy Objects

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

Hey Agents… Which Of These 8 Courses Would You Like To See At Your Local Association?

Can you believe it is already March?! While we are all amidst our highly-regarded busy season, the truth is that we are all busy all year, right? Even if we don’t see each other every day, week or month – I want you to know that I see you! I see you hustling and doing the very best for each and every one of your clients. I see you when we are working on a transaction together, fundraising for a local association together or crossing paths in that crazy world of social media. But one of my favorite times to see you is in the classroom! That room full of energy where our passions join forces and our strengths come together is something I truly look forward to.

Whether you share that love of education or just have had a strong inclination to grow your business in one the areas below, I’d love to be of assistance! If you’d like to see one, two or all of the courses below offered at your local real estate association – I’d be honored if you’d ask them. Feel free to pass along my forward my contact information, email me and I can send you a flyer to forward or ask me to reach out on your behalf!

course info snip

In addition to the advantages received in conjunction with each designation/certification itself, I am also pleased to offer my students the following benefits:

| Enrollment in my agent-specific email newsletter which provides content you can use and share with your network to grow your business

| FREE video services: Share with your prospects about the value of the designation you have received and how you can use it to benefit them! (Filmed during course breaks or on the last class day)

| Custom professional development courses tailored to the needs of your needs, your market and your areas of interest

Thank you so very much for your time and consideration! Please let me know if I can support you and your professional goals in any other way. Hope to catch-up with you soon!

SAVE THE DATE: My next CIPS course will be offered in June…!

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: Tech IPO’s Projected To Create Thousands Of Buyers By Year-End

excitement

Can you believe that March is halfway over? Now that our clocks have sprung forward, and the sunshine has too… it’s time for a little update on what to expect as 2019 marches forward! At the end of last month, DocuSign headquarters hosted an event titled “Tech IPOs Effect on Bay Area Real Estate”. Gizmodo describes the data drop as “a series of shocking numbers about what to expect as San Francisco’s rich prepare to get so much richer”. By the end of 2019, San Francisco Bay Area ‘heavyweights’ such as Lyft, Uber, Palantir, Pinterest, Airbnb, Slack, Postmates, and Instacart are expected to IPO with a result in the multi-billion mark.

The potential effect on local real estate?

| Multiple studies indicate that the IPO’s mentioned above could push real estate prices higher… again (just when things have started to moderate!)

| A potential of 211 tech buyers in the market for property $10+ million range, plus thousands more buyers in the $1 million minimum range (ya know… median Bay Area home prices)

| Continued price increases within the Nema luxury housing model (an investor who builds ridiculously expensive luxury housing walking distance to tech headquarters in San Francisco and sells to ‘engineers who readily pay whatever it takes to avoid public transportation’)

| According to Zumper CEO Anthemos Georgidas (real estate start-up), “If you look at the liquidity about to come to market with these IPOs, and then you look at how few buildings coming to market that would actually bring inventory. It’s basic supply and demand. It makes no sense to think anything will get cheaper.”

In short… buyers – please don’t wait for prices to drop if you can purchase today. Competing against a flood of newly wealthy tech buyers in a market still well below normal inventory levels will not bode well for your confidence or your wallet. And sellers… guess what? Your window of opportunity to maximize your ROI has not passed! Depending on your goals, your desired process and timeline – you have options today and tomorrow!

Resource Used: Upcoming Tech IPOs Will Mint Hundreds of Overnight Millionaires and Silicon Valley Vultures Are Licking Their Chops

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

Posted in Monday Market Updates | Leave a comment

Senior Spotlight: Meet 90 Year-Old Instagram Star Helen

senior selfie

It’s an undisputed fact that certain age groups favor certain social media platforms. Facebook is known to be used by those mid-thirties and older, while Instagram is oft-favored by millennials and younger. Yet high school students are known to prefer Snapchat. But there are times in life when it is all about breaking all the rules… and we happen to think you should do what speaks to YOU – any day at any age. That is why we are in awe of Helen Ruth Elam Van Winkle.

At age 90, Helen is a retired factory worker in Kentucky who is also known as @baddiewinkle. That’s her Instagram name… as her 3.8 million followers know. As a vibrant fashion trendsetter and ‘all-around provocateur’, she was recently featured at an AARP-sponsored panel at South by Southwest as one of the most popular and inspiring 50-plus social media figures.

Her message has something in it for everyone:  “Have a good time in your life. Spend time with your children, your grandchildren and your great-grandchildren, because they can teach you a lot. When I got into the Instagram business, I didn’t know a thing, but now I learn something new every single day.”

While Helen may be a famed exception to the social media trends… we see nothing wrong with breaking all the rules, especially if it makes you happy! Not every older adult uses social media every day, but AARP Chief Communications and Marketing Officer Martha Boudreau reports that 100 million people aged 50 and older use social media at least once a month (that’s 73%!). Boudreau believes that it’s all about “harnessing the power of platforms to talk about our life stories.”

While not every one of us is destined for IG fame… we can and should use social media if and how it makes us happy! Whether to keep up with loved ones, inspire others with your life story, give great tips about a hobby or just relate to someone – there is great power in the connectivity of social platforms. You don’t have to be a world renowned influencer to influence someone in an immeasurable way – and you certainly don’t need to follow any ‘rules’ about who should use what social space. Many people tell me the best thing about aging is not caring so much about what other people think – and I am definitely starting to agree!

Resource Used: How to Be a Social Influencer, No Matter Your Age

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 A Month, Here’s Why…

“March is a month of expectation.” ~ Emily Dickinson

March can be a lot of pressure, or as I like to call it – motivation. It is the last month of quarter one, which often means it is regarded as a time when we gauge our personal and professional success. It is also the verge of the true spring season, and the commencement of the real estate spring selling season.

In this pivotal time of year, I could not be more honored and proud of those agents who are using this window of opportunity as just that… a chance to be bigger and better in mind and spirit than ever before! March has already brought forth some NEW course graduates – thank you to everyone who completed my ‘Building Wealth Representing Investors and Becoming One Yourself’ last week at OBAR, what a blast!

And this week… I cannot wait to meet my newest SRES® prospective designees at SAMCAR® on Wednesday & Thursday (it’s not too late to join us!).

And if you are ready to take your career to the next level and you would love to attend a complimentary Lunch & Learn, I have just the event for you! Please join Buddy Saupe and I on March 27th for a Ready – Smart – Go! Professional Development Course; these two topics are a motivational and educational must for any real estate professional! ReadySmartGo_20190327 (002)

Whatever you are expecting this March, I am here to help you make it happen! And you know what I say about expectations… don’t stop when you reach them, make it a mission to exceed them! 

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: Why Buyers Buy (Top 5)

There is no ONE reason to buy a home, right? It really is the perfect storm so to speak of timing, location, affordability and the like. But we all know that some factors are more important than others.. and this week we are sharing what 5 factors rank highest for buyers in California according to our friends at CAR®! 

BUYERS: As you review the factors below… do they sound familiar?! We find that each buyer applies a little different weight to each factor – because every lifestyle is as different as the home that we each seek.

SELLERS: As you consider who may buy your home and why, does any of the below data surprise you? While the media is quick to point out rates as a real estate make or break, in reality – it’s not the #1 reason why people buy a home or not. A truly qualified and well-guided buyer is unlikely to throw away the benefits of home ownership over an eighth or quarter point rate increase. While it may impact their down payment strategy or loan type, it may not lessen their commitment to the American Dream.

Homebuying-Decisions-hi-res

Extra Credit: What made you pull the trigger in buying your first home?! Shoot me an email at bobbi@bobbidecker.com and I’ll tell you what motivated me into the market myself… ;).

Resource Used: Homebuying Decisions

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

 

Posted in Monday Market Updates | Leave a comment

Senior Spotlight: Home Trends For Active Seniors

Boomer Trends

Just because 76 million Baby Boomers are aging and beginning to enjoy retirement – does not mean that they are ready to slow down! According to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), Baby Boomers are a more active aging generation than those of the past past; what they want in their homes and lifestyles is a reflection of such.

The NAHB reports that home builders and remodelers are seeing  the features below oft-requested by Boomers… do any of these come as a surprise to you?

Home Offices: It’s true – many Baby Boomers are choosing to work past 65, and whether as a second career or part-time work from home gig, a home office offers more flexibility and a much shorter commute. 😉

Media Centers/Tech Rooms: Smart homes are NOT just for millennials. The NAHB reports that many tech-savvy boomers desire top-of-the-line surround sound, central control systems for all media and remote-control lighting and security.

Wider Doors & Hallways: Those choosing to age in place for as long as they can often invest in upgrades that make a home wheelchair accessible, before they need it. Why wait until a fall occurs when you can plan ahead and have one less worry for the future? (This is also a wise choice when downsizing to a single-level home; why not add accessibility to your wish list before you move-in!)

Better Lighting: Aging eyes can often benefit from more light, not to mention the wonders that sunlight does for the soul. Builders are deliberately adding larger windows, under-cabinet lighting and additional fixtures and switches for safety purposes.

The First-Floor Bedroom & Bathroom: Did you know that compared to 10 years ago when less than 25% of new homes had master suites, that figure has risen to over 40%? This increases the chance for new construction to act as a lifelong home and appeal to buyers of all ages.

Flex Space: Builders are seeing newer homes and existing residences benefit from flex spaces, which can be used for a child’s room, guest bedroom hobby area, library or caregiver room. The most versatile flex spaces allow for privacy, have their own bath and are large enough to accommodate diverse and changing needs.

While many of the specifications above are designed to support aging in place, keep in mind that these features may be desirable in your next residence, even if it is not your last one. Your needs from 50-70 may be different than your needs from 70-90. Take one decade at a time and make the most of where you are at and what you wish to achieve while you are there.

Resource Used: Housing Trends for Baby Boomers

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

 

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

Designations Create Distinctions: Meet My Newest Sellers Representative Specialist Designees

If you want to see what seller commitment looks like… THIS is the blog post for you! I could not be more pleased to present my newest, most dedicated and accomplished graduates of the Sellers Representative Designation… earned at OBAR on February 20th and 21st! Congratulations to you all on two days of hard work, authenticated commitment and knowledge sharing. We are always better together… especially when it means an increased commitment to what out sellers want, need and deserve.

If you’d love for me to bring the SRS® designation opportunity to your local association, please don’t hesitate to reach out today!

OBAR 1

OBAR 2

To join one of my other upcoming courses, please check out the links below!

March 6th: Build Wealth Representing Investors and Becoming One Yourself | 8:30 am – 4:30 pm | OBAR | Register TODAY 

March 13th & 14th: Senior Real Estate Specialists (SRES) Designation Course | 8:30am – 5:30pm (Both Days) | SAMCAR | Register NOW 

March 27th: Professional Development Lunch & Learn | 10:30am-1pm | SAMCAR | FREE (Space Is Limited) 

Thank you, thank you, thank you to my peers, colleagues and students who continue to inspire me year after year both personally and professionally. Your trust in my value as an instructor and your wholeheartedness in serving your clients is inspiring to me in more ways than you know.

Hugs,

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

 

Posted in Designations Create Distinctions | Leave a comment