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The Power of Partnership



Today, we wanted to let you know about some great things that are happening in our business. Frank Herman has joined us here at Keller Williams in Los Gatos!


I've known Frank for a number of years. He's a very accomplished Realtor. Frank's an expert in investment real estate, and I'm an expert in marketing and negotiation. We looked at our two businesses and thought we could serve both of our clients at a higher level by teaming up.

You'll hear from both Frank and I in the coming months. This is only the beginning! We'll give you the latest real estate information through our video blog. If you have any questions, give us a call or send us an email. We look forward to hearing from you.

What Is the Best Time of Year to Sell Your Home?




With real estate prices peaking, many of you who are considering selling your home or moving up into a bigger one are asking “When is the best time to sell my home?” The answer to the question may surprise you.

If you’ve been waiting until the spring to list your home, you are going to want to take a look at these numbers. Redfin, the largest online real estate brokerage in the country, compiled two year’s worth of data across 19 metro markets and here is what the data says. Homes that are listed during the winter are:

  • 9% more likely to sell
  • Sell in an average of one week faster
  • Sell for 1.2% more money





This is contrary to conventional wisdom, which says that listing your home in the spring is the best time because of all the buyers that are out looking at that time of year. While it’s true that there aren’t as many buyers during the winter, the buyers that do shop in the winter are often more motivated and serious. 


The buyers out looking this time of year are what we call “life event buyers.” They are people that are buying because of job relocations, deaths in the family, or the birth of a new child, among other reasons. These are people who need to buy, as opposed to most buyers during the spring and summer months who just want to buy. If you can be flexible with your timing, listing around this time of year can be of great advantage to you. 



If you’re considering selling in 2016, you may want to consider advancing your timeline to take advantage of this prime time in the market. Interest rates are also going to rise this year, which may put a dampening effect on prices.

If you would like us to evaluate your personal situation, please reach out to us. We would be happy to do a complimentary consultation, as well as an equity analysis to see how much money you have in your property that you can take on to whatever your next chapter may be. 

If you have any other questions, don’t hesitate to give us a call. We will be right here, ready to help you create a better life through real estate.

Three Things to Keep in Mind When Selecting a Mover




Today, Scott Cramer from Ace Relocation joins us to discuss three things to look for when selecting a moving company.

  1. Pay attention to the mover's reputation. Do your research. Read customer reviews, and make sure everyone that you allow into your home is on the up and up.
  2. Make sure the company has workers' compensation insurance.This ensures that if someone gets injured on the job, the company will not sue the homeowners.
  3. The mover should care. You want them to care for the home and the goods they are moving.

With Ace Relocation, the home itself will be protected by rug and hardwood floor covers, and everything will be wrapped appropriately. Anything that's breakable will be covered first with cardboard, then pad-wrapped, and then shrink-wrapped.

That's why we recommend Scott Cramer and Ace Relocation to all of our clients. Ace Relocation is a great moving company. To contact Scott, call (408) 605-7412 or email SCramer@AceRelocation.com.

As always, if you have any questions for us, give us a call or send us an email. We'd be happy to help you.

Our Marketing Techniques Are Making Headlines



Recently, I was featured in an article by Stefanos Chen of The Wall Street Journal about how tech-savvy agents are teaming up with data companies.

The article briefly touches on how my state-of-the-art marketing appeals to luxury buyers:

"He chose Mr. Jennings instead of two local agents because Mr. Jennings had promising leads on Chinese buyers, and offered drone photography."

If you want to check out the whole article, you can find it here. It's a fascinating read! 

If you want to learn more about my one-of-a-kind marketing strategies, I would love to chat. Give me a call or shoot me an email at any time. I would love to hear from you! 

Click here to view all homes for sale on the MLS. 

Click here to access off-market properties for sale. It currently features over 100 properties not available on the MLS, including builders, developers, investors and private parties who are open to offers. 

Contact us today to start your home search, we'd love to help.

Google & Apple Pushing Home Prices Higher




Today, I want to discuss how Google and Apple will push home prices higher this year and beyond.

The #1 drive of home appreciation is job growth. The precursor of job growth is the leasing of commercial office space; when big companies plan to hire more people, the first thing they do is go out and find more space. Recently, I spoke with Phil Maloney, the nation's top commercial leasing broker, and he shared some interesting facts:
  • Google has recently acquired 5 million square feet of new office space
  • Apple added 100,000 square feet of new office space per week in 2014
  • There will be a rough total of 10 million square feet of office space that will house 50,000-60,000 workers
To put these numbers in perspective: last year, Silicon Valley as a whole created around 42,000 jobs. With Google and Apple looking to add up to 60,000 new jobs in the coming years, these two giants alone are going to create more than the whole area did in 2014! With Silicon Valley thriving, you can expect to see a strong economy that will continue to create jobs, which will effectively push up both wages and the price of property!

If you're a buyer, the sooner you act, the better. The price and payment of the home you want are only going to rise. If you're a seller, it's important to realize that rising prices will hit a ceiling; we're in a seller's market right now, so there's no better time to get top dollar for your home! Give us a call or shoot us a quick email if you have any additional questions about how Google and Apple will push home prices higher in the years to come. We would love to hear from you!

As always, we'll be right here, ready to help you create a better life through real estate!  

2015 Real Estate Forecast



Welcome back, everyone. Today we are going to give you our 2015 market forecast. This information will be very useful to you as the year goes on, especially if you're thinking about buying or selling. In order to know about where we are going, it's important to know where we have been. Here are some of the numbers from 2014, split into 5 important categories:

Sales
Sales in Silicon Valley peaked back in 2012, when we sold over 18,000 homes. In 2014, we sold a little over 16,500 homes. While the number is going down, it's still a healthy figure, based on our inventory.

Inventory
Back in 2010, we had 5 months of inventory, and that was the closest we've been to a balanced market. Since then, we have been on a decline, and we now only have about 1.5 months of inventory available, putting us in a hot seller's market. 


Median Price
The median home price has skyrocketed in the last few years. In 2010, the average home cost around $450,000, but with steady appreciation, including an increase of 19% between 2012 and 2013, the average price is now near $725,000. This appreciation can't be sustained for much longer, however.

Interest Rates
Mortgage interest rates are around 4% right now, but are projected to be near 5% by the end of 2015.

Affordability

Affordability has decreased substantially over the last few years. In 2013, 50% of people could afford homes. That figure has dropped to 20% so far in 2015. 

So what do these numbers mean for 2015? Here are our predictions for what will happen this year:

  • We expect sales to increase, by about 2%.
  • Home prices are going to appreciate, but by just about 6%.
  • Interest rates will rise to near 5% .
  • Affordability is going to continue to decrease.

If you have been considering making a move, 2015 is the year to do it. With such low inventory, you'll be able to sell your home quickly and for top dollar. If you are buying, home prices and interest rates are expected to rise, so the home you may qualify for now could be a whole lot nicer than the one you would qualify for in a few months

If you have any questions for us, be sure to give us a call or send us an email. We look forward to hearing from you!

One Real Estate Mistake That Can Cost You a Fortune



Is Your Family Protected?
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In the real estate world, those with the most knowledge are usually the most successful. Today we are delighted to be joined by Rich Dayton, a certified specialist in real estate trust planning and probate law, to talk about a simple mistake that homeowners make without realizing it, a mistake that could end up costing you tens of thousands of dollars. 

So, what is this mistake? Well, according to Rich, 90% of people in our country do not have any form of estate plan in place and that can be a very serious problem for them. If you don't have something like a living trust, power of attorney, or health care directive setup, you can be subject to probate. Probate is based on the gross value of a property. With the average price of a property in Silicon Valley at about $1 million, your probate could run up to $50,000.

If you have a plan in place with the help of a professional like Rich, it's a fraction of the cost of the risk you are exposing yourself to without one. It also helps your family in case of untimely death, and takes any extra worrying out for them.

One other problem that many people have has to do with a revocable living trust. Many times, people fail to fund the real estate, with the title of the property in the name of the trustees rather than in their individual names. 

Another thing to watch out for is exposing your property through refinancing. Most mortgage companies require you to take the property out of your trust, put it in your name, and if you don't take the action to affirmatively put it back in, you've exposed that property to probate again. 

If you want to avoid these problems, give Rich a call. He can also offer you a complimentary consultation, click the link in the video to sign up!