Archive for August, 2011

The question I am asked most often is when should I sell? Or when should I buy? And will the market go down even further. I will address the first and second questions now. The last question about the market is up in the air. Our Nation’s economy is downgraded and I will research what that means to the real estate market.
Equity sellers, those homeowners that owe less on their mortgage than what the home is worth, are in a good position. They can take the equity and put a down payment on a larger home. As an agent, I always felt the equity could be split between:

    A primary residence
    An investment property

A lot of homeowners object to an investment property because of the risk of tenants destroying the property. There is insurance to cover damages and property management firms to properly screen prospective tenants. The property management firm handles the middle-of-the-night calls and coordinates all ongoing maintenance. A quick call to an accountant can go over the financial benefits of buying an investment property.
What if I have a potential foreclosure or short sale?
In previous blog posts, I mentioned there are several programs that can provide move out assistance called Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives program (HAFA). The credit implications are lessened with a short sale. The time frame to buy another property is lessened with a short sale opposed to a foreclosure/strategic default/deed-in-lieu.
A Realtor can negotiate with buyers and the bank to obtain a favorable deal for all involved. There are plenty of buyers searching for a home. Many are using FHA and VA financing that require low to no down payment. The caveat is buying a home in move-in ready condition with minimal repairs.

I hope this encourages you to sell if you have been waiting for a definitive answer.

Talk to you soon. Leona Greenlow-Turner


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New price for 1205 Hargrove St, Antioch, Ca 95209 $130,000

Regular Sale. This is a great home that is ready for your FHA and VA buyers.

Talk to you soon. Leona Greenlow-Turner

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What is a blighted home? It’s the home that has overgrown landscaping, broken windows, in general poor condition, used for vagrancy, and most likely abandoned. There are few instances where people live in the home and cannot clean up the lot or make any major repairs. In the latter case, the fire department makes periodic inspections of the properties and they will issue citations to make repairs or maintain landscaping. These citations require the changes outlined to made and if not a fine will be assessed. Many times the fine becomes a lien on the property which requires payment upon transfer or refinance.
What do you do if there is a blighted home in your neighborhood? A blighted home may have any or all of the following:

    Overgrown landscaping front and/or rear
    Deteriorating and unsafe buildings
    Inadequate sewers and street lighting
    Vacant, uninhabitable commercial space
    Dilapidated, overcrowded and unsafe housing
    Unsafe or unsanitary buildings
    Illegally dumped trash

These conditions, and others, are a drain on the community and a hindrance to business investment. The Oakland Housing Code and the Oakland Planning Code help the City fight blight. Code enforcement can force private owners to clean up, repair or tear down blighted property.

To report blight on private property, call (510) 238-3381.
To report blight on public property, call (510) 615-5566 or e-mail PWACallCenter@oaklandnet.com.

If you witness illegal dumping on public property, help us by reporting the incident. Each year, the City of Oakland spends thousands of dollars to haul away tons of trash from the public right-of-way. We need your help to address this problem.

Foreclosed homes and residential buildings are likely targets for blight. To minimize the impact of vacant foreclosed property, the City requires owners, mortgagers or trustees to register these properties and monitor and maintain them. Learn more about the Vacant Building Registration Program, by calling (510) 238-3891.

If you are a property owner who has received a code compliance violation, call (510) 238-3381 to address cleanup. If your violation isn’t addressed within the allotted time, you may face cleanup fees and fines. Unpaid fines and fees will result in a lien on your property.
More information can be found on the City of Oakland website: http://bit.ly/qCYHd5

Talk to you soon. Leona Greenlow-Turner

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Presenting 1205 Hargrove St. Antioch, CA 95209

Great home in Garrow Estates section of Antioch (North). New carpet. New Paint. One owner since built. Large yard with no back neighbors. Move-in ready. Walking distance to park. Short drive to Costco and other shopping areas.

About Garrow Estates
Zips in Garrow Estates: 94509
Median Property Tax: $1,516.22 – #43 in Antioch
Highest: $8,501 – #38 in Antioch
Total Taxes: $547K – #26 in Antioch
Median Sale Price: $136,000
Number of properties: 387
(0 condos/387 single-family homes)
% For Sale: 0.78%


Talk to you soon. Leona Greenlow-Turner

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To paraphrase Margo Channing (“All About Eve”): Fasten your seatbelts, it’s going to be a bumpy ride!
Where is all of this going? Not just job cuts from HSBC but also Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs, and Morgan Stanley. Where does this leave our stock portfolios and retirement? We really need to watch our pennies and save a little more. I have said it repeatedly, no economic recovery without jobs. Cutting executive salaries will only put a bandage on a broken arm. America needs jobs. Someone out there has a solution, will the real “answer-person” (not the weekly talking head) please stand up.

As a Realtor, I know my market niche is pretty secure for the next 5 years or so. That’s a good thing for my bank account but at what cost? My next blog topic will discuss the National Association of Realtors (NAR) aggressive push to cut the Mortgage Interest Tax Deduction.
HSBC is the latest bank to announce job cuts amid regulatory uncertainty and global economic weakness. Credit Suisse said last week that it planned to eliminate 2,000 positions, or 4 percent of its jobs. Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley are also reducing their head counts.
Read full article in New York Times: http://nyti.ms/onz6Em
Talk to you soon. Leona Greenlow-Turner

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There’s a $300-million redevelopment project coming to Jack London Square on Oakland’s Embarcadero fun for all. If I were a buyer, I would try to get a condo surrounding this area: more shops, restaurants, state of the art movie theatre, and jobs, jobs, jobs. I remember when Jack London was the cool place to go. There was an AppleBees, TGI Fridays, Tony Romas, Ben and Jerry’s, and my favorite, Barnes and Noble. The project (also referred to as Jack London Square Phase II) is a private-public collaboration among Jack London Square Partners, the Port of Oakland and the City of Oakland.

Some of the new changes include:

  • A daily fresh market of fruits, vegetables, meats, seafood, pasta, cheeses and baked goods
  • Waterfront restaurants and quick cafés
  • A professional cooking school
  • A chef’s hall of fame
  • Specialty retail shops
  • An exposition of California food and wine companies and producers, and agricultural products

Part of a Larger Redevelopment Project

The California Harvest Hall is just one of a series of improvements planned for Jack London Square. Other projects envisioned include a conference center hotel and spa; restoration of the building at 66 Franklin to its original 1926 façade and construction of a new office building; a state-of-the-art movie theatre complex, additional destination restaurants and parking facilities. The project also will continue and expand the Bay Trail through the square.

Hey Oakland, I would like to see more than just a new Ross Store in East Oakland. Just a thought.

Read the full article: http://bit.ly/og5bXx

Talk to you soon. Leona Greenlow-Turner

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As long as I have lived in the bay, there have been Bay Meadows and Golden Gate Fields Racetracks. I have never gone to either location but if I ever wanted to they were available. Bay Meadows Race Track was torn down about 3 years ago; now on the chopping block is Golden Gate Fields. From what I’ve heard, the racing will be moved to the Alameda County Fairgrounds. Does anyone have a confirmation on this? It’s such a shame to get rid of Golden Gate Fields.


See Article below:

Golden Gate Fields: The Canadian owner of the 140-acre horse track, MI Development, has been trying to develop land adjacent to the track for years. The company will offer the land, which straddles Berkeley and Albany, to Lawrence Berkeley Lab. If the lab selects the site for its short-list, the company will consider tearing down the racetrack and moving horseracing related jobs to another northern California site, according to Dennis Mills, vice-chairman of MI Development.

Read the rest of the article: http://bit.ly/qpWQNg

Talk to you soon. Leona Greenlow-Turner


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