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A few more stores will be added to FootHill Square Shopping Center. On the horizon are several new stores: Ross Dress4Less, Foods Co (the Ralph’s/Kroger grocery chain), Anna’s Linens and Subway Restaurant. Initially, I knew about Ross and Subway. Foods Co is a wonderful addition to the FootHill Square redevelopment model. There is ample parking and the mall is easily accessible from I-580 freeway.

To buy homes surrounding FootHill Square, click here.

Driving past Foothill Square has been heart breaking FootHill Square has been a commercial ghost town for a number of years. Albertson’s closed and that eliminated a large grocery chain for many residents in the hills and the San Leandro border. After losing Albertson’s, Walgreens closed its doors. Pizza Hut and Churches Chicken followed suit and closed their retail locations.

Many of the current stores are scattered in the shopping mall have moved to one side to start the construction of Ross Dress For Less. Ross Dress For Less is speculated for the end of summer 2012.

Home values should increase with the addition of new stores attracting more revenue and positive interest in the community. I’m also looking forward to increased job growth in Oakland. Let’s patronize these new stores in FootHill Square and bring revenue back to Oakland. Foothill Square is located at 10700 Foothill Oakland, CA 94605.

Talk to you soon. Leona Greenlow-Turner (510) 712-6537 Leona@LeonaTurner.com

See listings in your area at: www.ISellSanLeandroHomes.com

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What is going on in the current market?

I’ve noticed more and more how qualified buyers are looking for homes to buy and there are NO HOMES OUT THERE. Are sellers holding back on selling waiting for a better market price? New listings are needed right away. Now, is a good time to sell because in many communities buyers are bidding well over market. I guess you didn’t read what I wrote: “bidding over market.”

Contact me for a free market analysis.

A recent report in the Oakland Tribune made mention, on the front page, about how many homes are being over bid be as many as 20+ offers. Summer is coming and more buyers are ready to make a move to a new home. The school year is coming to a close and families are on the hunt for homes. Interest rates are on their way up again and this is the best time to place your home in a hot market. Get your home ready for the summer buying season.

Talk to you soon. Leona Greenlow-Turner (510) 712-6537 Leona@LeonaTurner.com

See listings in your area at: www.ISellSanLeandroHomes.com

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The deadline has passed to enroll your child in some of Oakland’s top elementary schools. This blog will discuss top public elementary schools; no charters schools were included in this list. Charter schools will be discussed in a future blog.

Here are the current rankings of Top Oakland Elementary Schools:

School Name Location

API Score

Rank

Montclair 1757 Mountain Blvd.

Oakland, CA 94611

967

10

Hillcrest 30 Marguerite Dr.

Oakland, CA 94618

964

10

Thornhill 5880 Thornhill Dr.

Oakland, CA 94611

956

10

Lincoln 225 11th St.

Oakland, CA 94607

953

10

Anthony Chabot 6686 Chabot Rd.

Oakland, CA 94618

941

10

Crocker Highlands 525 Midcrest Rd.

Oakland, CA 94610

922

10

Redwood Heights 4401 39th Ave.

Oakland, CA 94619

913

9

Cleveland 745 Cleveland St.

Oakland, CA 94606

911

9

Peralta 460 63rd St.

Oakland, CA 94609

910

10

Joaquin Miller 5525 Ascot Dr.

Oakland, CA 94611

897

9

Rankings from www.GreatSchools.com 2012

Sellers, remember if your home is near one of these top elementary schools, you’re in a great position to put your home on the market now. Families are looking during the summer months and may be willing to pay over asking for these desired areas. Contact me for a free market analysis of your home, (510) 712-6537.

If your school is not on this list and you love the school FIGHT FOR YOUR SCHOOL. Join the PTA. Get involved with everything going on at the school. Don’t be a wallflower waiting for others to take action. Ghandi said “Be the change you want to see in the world.”

Looking to buy near these schools?  Contact me.

Note: To parents of new kindergartners, now is a good time to make sure your child knows the basics:

  • Say the alphabet
  • Count to 20
  • Identify their colors
  • Spell their name
  • Sit quietly for increasing periods of time

Read to your babies every single day.

Talk to you soon. Leona Greenlow-Turner (510) 712-6537 Leona@LeonaTurner.com

See listings in your area at: www.ISellSanLeandroHomes.com

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Can you believe Brian Moynihan, the Chief Executive Officer of Bank of America, has higher pay this year? After all the turmoil Bank of America has caused in the past few years, they are going to raise the CEO’s pay? On top of the mortgage crisis, they have asked customers to pay $5 to access our own money via debit card. They rescinded the $5 fee but added higher fees to check orders, overdraft and wire fees. One of these added charges will hit us in one way or another in our banking history.

Now, Mr. Moynihan has pocketed almost $1.8 million as his compensation package. How many jobs can be saved with $1,000,000? If you don’t know, the President of the United States does not earn $1,800,000 for running our 50 States and the District of Columbia. I believe the President’s salary is in the neighborhood of $750,000. What should big bank executives do when faced with a large salary while others are suffering?

I worked for a start-up once and when faced with closing the company while waiting for additional financing, everyone took a pay cut to minimum wage for two weeks. At that time, minimum wage was $6.00 per hour. Everyone took the cut from the CEO to the receptionist. Can I verify this? No, but the pay cut to minimum wage was the communication given to employees.

Such a drastic cut is a bit outlandish for a large company like Bank of America. What we must consider is how much will laid off employees make per hour on unemployment? If they get full unemployment pay at $450 per week, that equals $11.25 per hour. There’s really isn’t much more to say. Make it a great weekend.

Talk to you soon. Leona Greenlow-Turner (510) 712-6537 Leona@LeonaTurner.com

See listings in your area at: www.ISellSanLeandroHomes.com

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The rain is finally making an appearance in the Bay Area. March and April are slated to be the rainiest months of the year. I’m glad for the rain. I also want you to understand how the rain can make you aware of problems with a leaky roof and a cracked foundation. Many homes in the Bay Area are over 100 years old. As I examine properties on a daily basis, many homes are not maintained to keep up with the forces of nature.

I was in Berkeley, CA this week and the homes on Grizzly Peak were one medium-sized earthquake away from total collapse. For those of you that don’t know about the Grizzly Peak/Cragmont section of Berkeley, the streets are primarily on a hillside with breathtaking views of the San Francisco Bay. I’ve had hillside listings where there were definite cracks in the foundation and driveway. Cracks in your driveway are a clear sign of foundation issues.

Rainstorms present a good opportunity to check your homes for leaks. Rain is a big factor in homes sliding off hillsides ,if they are not maintained properly. The maintenance of your home affects your neighbors as well. With significant foundation problems, your home can slide. It may slide into the home next door or into the street. Can you imagine a home in the middle of your street?

The rainy season, believe it or not, is a great time for home-buyers to check out property. Cracks and leaks are clear during and right after heavy rains. Make sure when you are listing or buying a home to watch out for leaks and foundation problems. Money spent on repairs now can save a lot of pain later.

Contact me for a free market analysis of your home.

Talk to you soon. Leona Greenlow-Turner (510) 712-6537 Leona@LeonaTurner.com

See listings in your area at: www.ISellSanLeandroHomes.com

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In the last two years, only 838,000 homeowners have used the HARP program. As a result, HARP has been accused of missing the mark.

On October 24, 2011, there was a major announcement made about changes to the HARP program. The biggest change is that some homeowners who are significantly underwater (over 125% loan to value) can now qualify for the program.

Here are some answers to commonly asked questions about the new revamped HARP program (HARP 2.0):

What Is HARP?

HARP was started in April 2009. The government calls it Home Affordable Refinance Program.

In order to be eligible for the HARP refinance program:

  1. Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac must back your loan.
  2. Your current mortgage must have a securitization date      prior to June 1, 2009.

If you meet these two criteria, you may be HARP-eligible. If your mortgage is FHA, USDA or a jumbo mortgage, you are not HARP-eligible.

How do I know if Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac holds the mortgage? You can use lookup tools on the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac websites.

If Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac holds the mortgage, is the borrower automatically eligible for the Home Affordable Refinance Program? No. There are a number of criteria. Having your mortgage held by Fannie or Freddie is just the beginning.

What if neither Fannie Mae nor Freddie Mac has a record of the mortgage? If neither Fannie nor Freddie has record of the mortgage, the borrower is not eligible for this refinance program.

Is a borrower eligible for the Home Affordable Refinance Program if s/he is behind on the mortgage payments? No. You must be current on your mortgage to refinance through this program.

Will the Home Affordable Refinance Program help borrowers to avoid foreclosure? No. The Home Affordable Refinance Program is not designed to delay, or stop, foreclosures. It’s meant to give homeowners who are current on their mortgages, and who have lost home equity, a chance to refinance at today’s low mortgage rates.

What are the minimum requirements to be eligible for HARP? First, the home loan must have been paid on time for the last 6 months, and at least 11 of the most recent 12 months. Second, your mortgage must have been sold to Fannie or Freddie prior to June 1, 2009. Lastly, you may not have used the HARP program before: only one HARP refinance per mortgage is allowed.

Is there a loan-to-value restriction for HARP? No, there is no loan-to-value restriction. All homes (regardless of equity) are eligible for the HARP program—just as long as the borrower and the loan meet all of the other criteria.

What’s the biggest mortgage you can obtain with a HARP refinance? HARP refinances are limited to your area’s conforming loan limits. In most cities, the conforming loan limit is $417,000. However, in San Diego County, the current confirming loan limit for a single-family home is $546,250.

If a borrower in unemployed, will s/he eligible for HARP? No. Income verification is required for the HARP refinance program.

Is there a minimum credit score to use the HARP program? No. There is no minimum credit score requirement with the HARP refinance program. However, you must qualify for the mortgage based on traditional underwriting standards.

While this program will open up opportunities for responsible borrowers who are significantly underwater, it is definitely not a salvation for most of those sellers participating in short sales. So, before short sale sellers get super excited about the refinance, make sure that they understand the scope of the program.

Reference to article:http://bit.ly/x2jsPZ

Talk to you soon. Leona Greenlow-Turner.

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Coming Soon:

30-Unit Apartment Building
$42,000 Monthly Income
Please email me, Leona@LeonaTurner.com, for details and availability and pricing.

Talk to you soon. Leona Greenlow-Turner

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