WHY HOME SALES DROPPED IN MARCH……

25 Apr

HOUSEDROP

If you’ve been following housing market news this year, you may have been surprised by the latest home sales numbers to come out this week.  Sales of existing homes stalled at 4.92 million, dropping 0.6% in March from February.

With the recent market recovery of 2013 and the anticipation of a hot spring real estate market, many people are wondering what is going on?

THE PROBLEM IS LACK OF HOMES.   There’s plenty of demand from buyers, but just not enough to choose from on the market.   Most areas are experiencing multiple bids, and many buyers are waiting daily for new homes to come up for sale.

Some sellers are also being affected as well.   Sellers are seeing how difficult it is to find a home right now and they are not confident that if they sell their home they will be able to find a new one to move into.

Despite the decline in March sales from February, home sales were still 10.3% higher than the same month a year ago, marking the 21st consecutive month of year-over-year increases. That’s good news, and a good indicator of how the market is trending in the big picture.

Demand is still strong, according to the National Association of Realtors, which reported buyer traffic is 25% above a year ago. But the drop in available homes has put upward pressure on prices. And some buyers are getting frustrated and priced out.

SELLERS:  If you didn’t have enough equity to sell your home last year, you may be able to sell now.  Talk to a Realtor today and take advantage of the recent up turn in pricing and the current surplus of buyers.  Find out if you have enough equity in your home to make the move you have been waiting for.

BUYERS:  It is very important to have a Realtor send you homes daily as they come on the market.  If you are looking to buy a home right now you will have to be fast and be prepared for the current conditions.  Your local Realtor will help you navigate today’s market.

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Intero Real Estate Services

  • Discovery Bay
  • 925-634-1111
  • Brentwood Office
  • 925-634-1116
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SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 15th – BE IN DISCOVERY BAY!

14 Sep

The day will start off with A GIANT OPEN HOUSE (The Discovery Bay Home Tour) with a chance to win a flat screen TV, a trip to Napa and more.  Along with the home tour you can also enjoy a FREE concert, a car show, and a motorcycle run, and Boardwalk day.

Discovery Bay Home Tour:   The 2nd annual Discovery Bay Home Tour will start and finish at the Boardwalk Grill Marina parking lot and will have a variety of open homes to tour throughout the community – on deep water, lakes, and in the Country Club.  The tour opens at 11am and will stay open until 3:30pm.  Start at the Discovery Bay Marina, enjoy some music activities for the whole family, get your map of the homes and then see the homes currently available in every part of Discovery Bay.  Make sure you enter to win some of the great prizes up for grab!

Free Concert by the Bay!   The Discovery Bay Lions Club will be hosting another great free concert at the end of the YachtHarbor. Bring your lawn chairs and grab your spot early for this popular evening, featuring three hours of great live music and fun for the entire family. The free concert starts at 4:30 PM. Food, beer and wine will be available, with 100% of proceeds going directly back into our community where it is needed most.

 Car Show at the Marina!   The Discovery Bay Lions annual car show is a popular event, and is open to all makes and models of cars and trucks. This show is getting larger and receiving more attention every year. Prizes will be awarded for Best of Show (selected by the Show committee), Hottest Hot Rod (selected by the ECC Fire Department), and Most Likely to Get A Ticket (selected by the Sheriff’s Department). The show runs 10am – 3:30pm.

 Motorcycle Poker Run:    The annual DB Lions Motorcycle Poker Run will start from the Boardwalk Grill, then make a few quick stops heading into the Sierra Foothills. Breakfast and lunch is included in the registration fee.

 Marina Boardwalk Day!: The Discovery Bay Marina Boardwalk will host a new line-up of local artists and vendors, along with wine tasting and new things to see and do, at this month’s Boardwalk Day. Boardwalk merchants will feature some spectacular sidewalk specials.

Don’t miss this one day only event that has something for everyone! 

Over 25 vendors, food, music, jumpy houses for the kids. 

Bring your family and friends to this FREE event

…and you might be the one that walks away with some great prizes!

 

TIGHT INVENTORY, RISING PRICES AND BIDDING WARS

23 Aug

The housing recovery is well under way, although the peak summer sales season seems to be fading. A report from Realtor.com last week showed an overall drop in inventory at the national level, which has contributed to rising prices in several markets across the country.
 
Housing inventory fell 19% in July to 1.87 million homes from 1.89 million the previous month, Realtor.com reported. The decline in inventory comes from a sharp drop in bank-owned foreclosures and other distressed properties, as well as many sellers who are likely holding back because they’d have to sell at a loss or owe more on their mortgages than their homes are worth.
 
While the recovery appears to be going full steam, the impact is actually creating a housing boom-like feel for those buyers at the lower end of the market. This is because the low inventory can’t keep up with demand, and therefore is creating multiple-bid situations, which are driving up prices.
 
Inventories were down in all but two of the markets Realtor.com tracks: Shreveport, La., and Philadelphia. Oakland, Calif., led the nation with the largest decline in inventory, which was down 59.3% from last year. Other cities that had at least a 40% decline in listings from a year ago were Riverside-San Bernardino, Stockton, San Francisco, San Jose, Bakersfield and Fresno – all in California – and Seattle.
 
What do you do as a buyer who’s up against multiple bids for every home you’re interested in buying? There are four rules of the road here:
 
Make your offer as solid as possible. Be sure to research recent nearby sales of homes similar to the one you’re making an offer on. Work with an agent who’s helped buyers buy homes in the area in recent months. They’ll have insight into current buying competition.
 
Get prequalified for a loan. Sellers will be more interested in talking to buyers they know will pull through with a loan. Show them by visiting a lender or mortgage professional before you start house hunting. Get prequalified for a loan and your offer will be much stronger.
 
Have as much downpayment and closing cash as you can. This is common sense, but worth noting. A higher downpayment these days will get you a much better loan and also will likely put you at the front of the bidding line above buyers with less cash on hand.
 
Be patient. You may not get the first house you fight for. It’s OK. Inventory may be tight, but there is a whole population of sellers out there who’ve been waiting to sell. They’re watching the market and will come around, creating more homes to choose from.
 
It seems counterintuitive to discuss the beginnings of what is expected to be a long housing recovery and multiple bids in the same article, but it’s reality in some markets across the nation.
 
CONTACT A REALTOR FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT YOUR AREA!

  • Intero Real Estate Services – Discovery Bay
  • 925-634-1111
  • Intero Real Estate Services – Brentwood
  • 925-634-1116

THE BRENTWOOD CORN FEST HAS MOVED!

13 Jul

The 2012 Brentwood CornFest will be held on Friday, July 13 through Sunday, July 15.  This year’s event will take place at Brentwood Blvd (Highway 4) and Technology Way. 

The festival draws over 40,000 attendees in one weekend and events include:
Spectacular Friday night fireworks show
Breaking the Guinness World Record for Most People Husking Corn (Saturday Only)
Two stages of music with continuous live entertainment
Children’s fun area with jump houses and games
Carnival attractions for all ages
More than 200 vendors
Lots of great tasty food vendors, local grown corn plus a micro beer and wine garden
Information Alley showcasing some of the best local businesses
With shaded tents to keep everyone cool from the hot sun, CornFest promises to be loads of fun for everyone.

Corn Activities:

Break the Guinness World Record for Most People Husking Corn at One Time
Sat. July 14 at 1pm in front of East Stage
Corn Eating Contest
Sat. July 14 at 12:30pm and 3:30 pm in front of West Stage
Sun. July 15 at 1pm in front of West Stage
Corn Recipe Contest – Judging
Sun. July 14 at 1pm
 
ENTERTAINMENT:

FRIDAY, JULY 13
East Stage:
4:00pm – 7:00pm – CARAVANSERAI (The Santana Tribute)
7:30pm – 9:30 pm — PUBLIC EYE
9:40pm — JESSICA CAYLYN (National Anthem)
9:40pm – 10:00pm — FIREWORKS
West Stage:
4:30pm – 6:30pm — JEFF WATSON BAND (four piece, blues)
7:00pm – 9:30pm — THE BOYS OF SUMMER (Tribute to Eagles and Don Henley)
SATURDAY, JULY 14
East Stage:
11:00am – 1: 00pm — THE CITATIONS
1:30pm –- 3:30pm — CHEATING DAYLIGHT
4:00pm — 5:30pm — THE GROOVE KINGS Classic Rock & R&B)
6:00pm – 7:30pm — AC/DSHE (Female tribute To AC/DC)
8:00pm — NATALIE JORDAN (National Anthem)
8:30pm – 10:00pm — PABLO CRUISE

West Stage:
10:30am – 12:30pm – BIERNACKI & THE ILLUSION
1:00pm – 3:00pm – DAWG LIPPS
3:30pm – 5:30pm -– RODEO HOUSE (Country)
6:00pm – 7:30pm — SOUTHERN COMFORT (A Strong Shot Of Southern Hits)
8:00pm – 10:00 pm – BRIEFCASE FULL OF BLUES (Blues Bros.)
SUNDAY, JULY 15
East Stage:
10:30am – 12:30pm — BAYOU BOYS (Cajun/ Zydeco)
1:00pm — 3:00pm — BRAATA (Female-Fronted Reggae)
4:00pm — 6:00pm — MALO (Latin Old School Rock)
West Stage:
11:00am – 1:00pm — RUCKATAN (Latin Rock)
1:30pm – 4:00pm — BANDA 110 & Hispanic Horsemen/Music
4:00pm — 6:00pm — BUMP CITY (Trib. Tower Of Power)

DON’T MISS THIS YEARS BRENTWOOD CORNFEST!

THE FOURTH OF JULY COMES EARLY THIS YEAR

3 Jul

The Hilton 4th of July fireworks will come early this year.

For those of you who don’t know….every year the Hilton family has a huge firework show set off a barge in the middle of the delta water. Some boats show up over a week in advance to get the perfect spot before the 5,000 boats show up to enjoy the show. Boats line up to enjoy a huge party followed by an amazing firework show. With the boats lined up around the barge to watch it is as if the fireworks are falling right on top of everyone and the sound echoes over the water making it an unbelievable show.

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The show will be held on July 3rd at Mandeville Tip on the Delta.

*for those who can’t make the Delta party, Antioch and Stockton have firework shows the night of the 4th.

DON’T MISS THE FAIR!

25 May

It is that time of year again….the sun is out and it is time for summer fun.  Don’t forget about all the fun the County Fair brings to town.  Most fair’s have hours of fun at little to no charge.  You can enjoy a day in the sun and depending on which fair you attend you can see live animals, carnival rides, booths, music, and entertainment.

I found the dates for some of the local fair’s you might be interested in.  Check on line for your local fair information.

ALAMEDA COUNTY FAIR –  June 20 – July 8

CONCTRA COSTA COUNTY FAIRGROUNDS – Antioch, CA – May 31 – June 3

MARIN COUNTY FAIR – San Rafael, CA – June 30 – July 4

NAPA COUNTY FAIR – Calistoga, CA – June 29 – July 4

SACRAMENTO COUNTY FAIR – Sacramento, CA – May 24 – May 28

See you at the Fair!

SKIP THE DORM, BUY YOUR KID A HOME

16 May

Prices in many real estate markets may be close to bottoming out….we hope.  So the old adage about buying low may be something to consider if you have a kid who will soon be heading off to college.  The idea is to buy a condo or small home for the kid to live in while attending school.  That way, you’ll avoid paying huge dorm room or apartment prices with no hope of any profit.  And….if you buy a small home with some extra space, you can rent it out to your kid’s friends and offset some of the ownership costs.

Lots of parents have made good money by following this strategy for the four or five years their kids spent in college and then selling the home after graduation.  Of course, the longer you can hold onto the property, the better the odds of cashing out for a profit.  The other key factor to consider is the tax benefits.  Here’s what you need to know…..

DEDUCTING COLLEGE HOME OWNERSHIP EXPENSES:

The tax rules generally prevent you from deducting losses incurred from owning and renting out a residence that’s used more than a little bit by you or a member of your immediate family.  However, a favorable exception applies when you rent at market rates to a family member who uses the property as his or her principal home.  In this case, you can deduct tax losses from the rental activity (subject to the passive loss rules, which I’ll explain later).  This beneficial loophole is open for you if you buy a condo and rent it out to your college-going child (and roomies, if any) at market rates.

You can deduct the mortgage interest and real-estate taxes.  If you pay mortgage points, you can amortize them over the term of the loan.  You can also write off all the other operating expenses -like utilities, insurance, association fees, repairs and maintenance, and so forth.  As a bonus, you can depreciate the cost of the building (not the land) over 27.5 years, even while it is (we hope) increasing in value.

So where will your poverty-stricken son or daughter get the money to pay you market rent for the home?  The same place he or she would get the cash to pay for a dorm room.  In other words, from you!  You can give your kid up to $13,000 annually without any adverse federal tax consequences.  If you’re married, you and your spouse can together give up to $26,000.  Your child can use that money to write you monthly rent checks.  Just make sure he or she actually sends the checks and make sure they say they are for rent.  Also, it’s best if you open up a separate checking account to handle the rental income and expenses.  Taking these simple steps will help keep the IRS off your back if you ever get audited.

PASSIVE LOSS RULES MAY POSTPONE TAX LOSSES:

If the home throws off annual tax losses (which it probably will after counting depreciation deductions), the passive activity loss (PAL) rules generally apply.  The fundamental PAL concept goes like this:  you can only deduct passive losses to the extent you have passive income from other sources -like positive taxable income from other rental properties you own or gains from selling them.  fortunately, a special exception says you can deduct up to $25,000 of annual passive losses from rental real estate provided (1) your annual adjusted gross income (before the real estate loss) is under $100,000 and (2)you “actively participate” in the rental activity.  Active participation means being energetic enough to at least make management decisions like approving tenants, signing leases, and authorizing repairs.  You don’t have top mop the floor or snake out the drains.

If you qualify for this exception, you won’t need any passive income from other sources to claim a deductible rental loss of up to $25,000 annually (your loss probably won’t be that big). Unfortunately, however, if your adjusted gross income (AGI) is between $100,000 and $150,000, the special exception gets proportionately phased out.  So at AGI of $125,000, you can deduct no more than $12,500 of passive rental real estate losses each year (half the normal $25,000 maximum).  If your AGI exceeds $150,000 and you have no passive income, you can’t currently deduct any rental real estate losses.  However, any disallowed losses are carried forward to future tax years, and you’ll be able to deduct them when you sell the home.  All in all, this is not a bad tax outcome.

FAVORABLE TAX RULES WHEN YOU SELL:

When you sell rental real estate that you’ve owned for over a year, the profit (the difference between sales proceeds and the tax basis of the property after subtracting depreciation) is long-term capital gain.  However, part of the gain (the amount equal to your cumulative depreciation write-offs) can be taxed at a maximum federal rate of 25%.  The rest of the gain will be taxed at a maximum federal rate of no more that 15% under the current rules (which I hope will be extended to post 2012 years)

Remember those carryover passive losses that we talked about earlier? You get to use them to offset any gain from selling the home.

*Information provided is for reference only, consult your tax advisor for information on your person situation, different states and counties have different rules.

 Provided by Intero Real Estate Services, Discovery Bay & Downtown Brentwood
925-634-1111 or 925-634-1116

ANNUAL “LAKE” LIGHTED BOAT PARADE

21 Nov

WILLOW LAKE ANNUAL LIGHTED BOAT PARADE AROUND THE LAKE

5:00 pm, Saturday, December 17th, 2011

The boats line up at Lower Willow Lake between Marlin Court and Sail Court.  The route will go clockwise around the lake and will go through all bays.  All boats are welcome and the parade goes on rain or shine!

RSVP: By Dec. 10th. to Karl Ogden at karlogden@sbcglobal.net to register and receive information for the parade participants after party.

SUPPORT THE TRADITION AND HOST A PARTY.  LET THOSE WHO DECORATE THEIR BOATS KNOW WE LOVE TO SEE THEM.  SHOW YOUR SUPPORT!

If  you have any questions please contact either

Karl Ogden at karlogden@sbcglobal.net  (510) 825-3753

Shannon Marlin at deltadogs@comcast.net  (925) 437-5641

Information provided by: Intero Real Estate Services

 

INTERO HOLIDAY MARKETING PROGRAM

18 Nov

With the Holiday’s here already, many sellers take their homes off the market, or decide not to put their homes on the market until after the first of the year.  Intero Real Estate Services allows you to take advantage of the Holiday Selling season without all the hassles of having your home up for sale.

BENEFITS OF SELLING DURING THE HOLIDAY SEASON:

  • Holiday buyers are very serious, committed and focused.
  • Some people have extra days off work allowing them more time to shop for new homes
  • Over the holidays there are fewer homes available, therefore supply and demand works in your favor.
  • Homes are seasonally radiant during the decorative holiday period.
  • Interest rates are traditional the lowest during the holidays.

FEATURES OF THE HOLIDAY MARKETING PROGRAM

  • No “For Sale” signs in your yard.
  • No advertising that identifies the home or address.
  • No lock box.
  • No home phone number in the MLS for other Realtors to call.
  • No flyers in your home and no inside-the-home display information.
  • No open house for the public or Realtor tour.
  • All showings are by appointment and only to qualified buyers.

The Intero Holiday Marketing Program is designed to capitalize on selling to serious home buyers who are shopping over the holidays while at the same time preserving the privacy and dignity of home sellers.  Don’t be scared to have your home on the market during the holidays, just make sure you pick the right Real Estate Agent!

INTERO REAL ESTATE SERVICES

TRICK – OR – TREAT AT INTERO

27 Oct

Monday October 31st is the annual trick-or-treat for the kids at the old shopping center on Discovery Bay Blvd.  Kids will leave the Discovery Bay Elementary School and All Gods Children School and walk to the shopping center around 10am.  Bring your children dressed in costume and follow the kids through the offices to collect candy.

Please make sure to stop by the Intero Real Estate office and say HI!

We look forward to seeing everyone!

BOOVILLE

21 Oct

Today, Friday October 21st Discovery Bay Elementary School will host its annual Booville event.

4:30pm  –  8:00pm

Discovery Bay Elementary School

1900 Willow Lake Road

$10 for children’s wristband  –  $5 for adults

 

September 17th – Discovery Bay

15 Sep

THIS SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 17TH

YOU CAN FIND SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE

IN DISCOVERY BAY

11:00am – 5:00pm – FREE DISCOVERY BAY HOME TOUR

  • Event starts at the Shopping Center……on the corner of Discovery Bay Blvd. and Riverlake Rd.
  • Food, Vendors, DJ Music, Games, Entertainment, KKIQ Radio, Home Tour, Drawing and prizes, etc.

5:00pm – 10:00pm –  FREE Lions Club Concert on the Bay

  • At the Discovery Bay Yacht Harbor/Marina

10:00am – 3:30pm – Discovery Bay Lions Club hosts a Car Show

  • At the Discovery Bay Marina

Community bazaar/Flea Market

  • At Discovery Bay School on Willow Lake Road

9:00pm – 1:30am – Jimmy Hats Performs

  • At the Wild Idol

Information provided by:

 

DISCOVERY BAY HOME TOUR – Saturday, September 17

12 Sep

This Saturday, September 17th from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm

INAUGURAL DISCOVERY BAY HOME TOUR

Event starts at the Shopping Center……

on the corner of Discovery Bay Blvd. and Riverlake Rd.

  • 11:00-5:00   Food, Vendors, DJ Music, Games, Entertainment, KKIQ Radio, etc.
  • 11:30-4:00   Home Tour
  •            4:30   Drawing for Prizes (big screen tv, ipad, etc.)
  •  3:00-5:00    Music
  •  5:00-10:00  Lions Club Concert on the Bay—at the Marina

Come to enjoy the music and booths!  If you would like to be entered into the drawing you can join the open house event.  Many homes will be held open to view all that Discovery Bay has to offer.  Visit two homes in each category (Country Club, Deep Water Homes, Off Water Homes, and Gated Community Homes), get your card stamped and you will be eligible to win great prices.

This is a great opportunity for Discovery Bay residences as well as visitors from other areas to experience all that Discovery Bay has to offer.  Invite your family and friends to enjoy all that Discovery Bay has to offer.

Discovery Bay—a placewhere families live and have fun together.

Sponsored by: Fremont Bank, Envoy Mortgage, Coldwell Banker, Intero Real Estate Services, WR Properties, Marples & Associates Realtor, Realty World, Sasville Properties, Pacific Funding Group

LIVE WHERE YOU PLAY……DISCOVERY BAY

Information provided by:

OAKLEY ALMOND FESTIVAL

9 Sep

This weekend is the Oakley Almond Festival – September 9th, 10th & 11th.  This is Oakley’s biggest event of the year celebrates it’s 22nd year of celebrating the almond.

Highlights include:

  • $2 Friday Night Concert & Carnival
  • 9AM Sat. morning parade east down Cypress Rd. ends at O’Hara Park.
  • Two Stages for Music
  • Car Show
  • Diaper Derby
  • Cooking Contest
  • Arts & Crafts
  • Petting Zoo, play area & games for the kid
Friday, September 9, 2011
Carnival Only – No Vendors     5:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Saturday, September 10, 2011
10:00 am – 10:00 pm
Sunday, September 11, 2011 
10:00 am – 5:00 pm
General Admission- $6.00
Children Under 5 and Seniors Free.
For more information visit oakleychamber.com or call (925) 625-1035
Information provided by:
  • Intero Real Estate Services – Discovery Bay
  • 925-634-1111
  • Intero Real Estate Services – Brentwood
  • 925-634-1116

SAVE THE DATE

9 Sep

Mark your calendars next Saturday, September 17 Discovery Bay will be hosting a huge community event.

YOU WON’T WANT TO MISS IT!

More information to follow.

  • Information provided by:
  • Intero Real Estate Services – Discovery Bay
  • 925-634-1111
  • Intero Real Estate Services – Brentwood
  • 925-634-1116

FRIDAY NIGHT THE BASES ARE LOADED

26 Aug

Friday September 26, 2011  Square One returns to Bases Loaded Restaurant & Bar.  The party begins at 9pm and continues until 1am.  Come out to hear some great, highly danceable, classic rock from one of the most popular bands in the area.

Bases Loaded Restaurant and Bar

400 G Street

Antioch, CA

Information provided by Intero Real Estate Services

BUYING IS CHEAPER THAN RENTING IN MOST U.S. CITIES

16 Aug

Home prices have taken such a beating and demand for rental units has increased so much that it’s now cheaper to buy than to rent in most major U.S. cities.

According to real estate web site Trulia, buying was cheaper than renting in 88% of the country’s 50 largest cities in July.  In just 12% of the cities renting was cheaper.  In addition to a decline in home prices, rock-bottom interest rates have added a lot of weight to the buy side of the scale.  With the addition of all the factors as well as the tax perks of home ownership, it certainly is a buyer’s market.

In most cases if you plan on staying a while, and have some cash for a down payment, you’re better off buying in most places.

It is important to consult a Realtor to go over your specific information…

the factors that will be evaluated are:

  • How long you plan to stay:  If you’re not keeping the home for several years, transactional costs of buying and selling can wipe out any buying edge.
  • Do you have cash for closing:  Some fees can be paid by the selling end of the transaction, but you need to have enough money to pay your down payment and some purchasing fees.  Your Realtor and Lender will help determine how much money you will need to purchase a home.
  • Can you cover all the homeownership costs:  It’s not just the mortgage:  Don’t forget about property taxes, insurance, heat, utilities and regular maintenance.
  • Can you claim the tax advantage of homeownership:  Mortgage interest is deductible and can shave a lot off tax bills.  It is important to check with your tax advisor to determine how much benefit you may gain.

You may not know if you are ready to purchase a home…..Is your credit score high enough? Do you make enough money to qualify? Do you have enough money for a down payment? etc…  FREE advice on what you can do to purchase a home is available at your local Real Estate Office.

Information provided by:

AUGUST 2nd 70’S TRIBUTE AND FOOD

2 Aug

Tuesday August 2nd the Orwood Resort presents TACO TUESDAY and THE BILLY MARTINI BAND.

DJ Suzzette will get the party started at 5:30pm

The Billy Martini Band begins at 7:00pm

All ages are welcome and from 5-7pm kids under 11 years old get a FREE taco.

Wear your 70’s clothes and come to Orwood Resort to join in the fun!

Information provided by:

PRE-QUALIFIED vs. PRE-APPROVED

1 Aug

In todays market it is important to have good preparation of all aspects of buying a home.  Understanding some simple terms and what they mean to you, and the seller when you are purchasing a home is very important.

You need to know the difference in being pre-qualified for a mortgage and being pre-approved for a home loan.  Misusing these terms can mean acceptance or denial of an offer.

Pre-Qualified
Getting pre-qualified is the initial step  in the mortgage process, and it’s generally fairly simple. You supply a bank or  lender with your overall financial picture, including your debt, income and assets.   After evaluating this information, a lender can give you an idea of the mortgage  amount for which you qualify. Pre-qualification can be done over the phone or on  the internet, and there is usually no cost involved. Loan pre-qualification does not include an analysis of your credit report or an in-depth look at your ability to purchase a  home.

The initial pre-qualification step allows you to  discuss any goals or needs you may have regarding your mortgage with your  lender. At this point, a lender can explain your various mortgage options and  recommend the type that might be best suited to your situation.

Because it’s a quick  procedure, and based only on the information you provide to the lender, your  pre-qualified amount is not a sure thing; it’s just the amount for which you  might expect to be approved. For this reason, a pre-qualified buyer doesn’t  carry the same weight as a pre-approved buyer who has been more thoroughly  investigated.

Pre-Approved
Getting pre-approved is the next step, and  it tends to be much more involved. You’ll complete an official mortgage  application, and then supply the lender  with the necessary documentation to perform an extensive check on your financial background and current credit rating.  From this,  the lender can tell you the specific mortgage amount for which you are approved.  You’ll also have a better idea of the  interest rate you will be charged on the loan and, in some cases, you might be  able to lock-in a specific rate.  With  pre-approval, you will receive a conditional commitment in writing for an exact  loan amount, allowing you to look for a home at or below that price level.  Obviously, this puts you at an advantage when dealing with a potential seller,  as he or she will know you’re one step closer to obtaining an actual mortgage.

The other advantage of completing both of these steps –  pre-qualification and pre-approval – before you start to look for a  home is that you’ll know in advance how much you can afford. This way, you don’t  waste time with guessing or looking at properties that are beyond your means.  Getting pre-approved for a mortgage also enables you to move quickly when you  find the perfect place. When you make an offer, it won’t be contingent on  obtaining financing, which can save you valuable time. In a competitive market,  this lets the seller know that your offer is serious – and could prevent you  from losing out to another potential buyer who already has financing arranged.

Last Word

If you are interested in purchasing a new home, we can help you find a mortgage lender to help you get Pre-qualified and Pre-approved.

Information provided by Intero Real Estate Services

TASTE OF THE DELTA

15 Jul

The California Delta Chamber is hosting a….

Taste of the Delta Fundraiser

Saturday, July 16  1:00 – 4:00pm

Windmill Cove Resort and Marina – Come by car or boat

(15 minutes East on Hwy 4 from Discovery Bay)

The California Delta Chamber & Visitor’s Bureau created this fundraiser to showcase Wineries and Restaurants in the California Delta region. They invite local wineries and restaurants  to participate in this event and bring a selection of their products to taste.

They also invite members of the California Delta Chambers to purchase booth space to offer a selection of their arts, crafts, jewelry, etc.   There will be a Live and Silent Auction.

The Taste of The Delta provides participants with an opportunity to showcase their products to the Delta community.   It’s a fun way to spend an afternoon on the Delta.  Dress is casual.

All for $25 (advanced ticket sales) or $35 at the door (includes glass & plate)!

Note:  If coming by boat, make dock reservations in advance 209-948-6995

Go to www.windmillcove.com for more information.

Information provided by Intero Real Estate Services

SUMMER CONCERT SERIES IN BRENTWOOD

13 Jul

The Streets of Brentwood is hosting

A Summer Concert Series

Concerts:  6:30 – 8:30 p.m.

July 15 . . . The Michael Paul Band (Country)
July 22 . . . Strange Brew (Classic Rock/Blues from 60’s through 80’s)
July 29 . . . JD and Company (Cover Band — hits from 30’s to the present)
August 5 . . . Jessica Caylyn Band (Country)
August 12 . . . The Floorshakers (11-piece Funk/Soul/Rock ‘n roll)

Bring the family and enjoy some great FREE music

Information provided by Intero Real Estate Services

CIRCUS VARGAS IS IN DUBLIN

13 Jul

Circus Vargas is back with a brand new show for 2011!  This exciting edition of Circus Vargas takes the audience on an artistic journey, encompassing the cultures of the world, elegantly achieved through a series of circus vignettes depicting the experiences, memories and vision of a traveling circus performer.  Join us on a captivating jaunt across the globe, as seen through the eyes of the talented aerialists and acrobats featured in this magnificent presentation, who bring with them, their interpretation of the art of circus, needing no translation, transcending all language, age and cultural barriers, and making Circus Vargas the magnificent circus it is today!

Arrive Early for the Preview Show!  Prior to every show, Host & Hostess Jon & Laura Weiss welcome the audience and invite the children (of all ages) into center ring for a tutorial of what life is like under the Big Top! Join the fun with Jon as he guides everyone on a crash course in circus skills such as juggling, feather balancing and hula-hooping!

Ticket Pricing:

Bleachers Adult $25, Child $15 – Arena Adult $35, Child $25 – Ringside Adult $50, Child $40

Remaining show times are:

July 13th 7:30pm

July 14th 7:30pm

July 15th 8:00pm

July 16th 2:00pm, 5:00pm, 8:00pm

July 17th 3:30pm, 7:30pm

July 18th 6:30pm

Get more information and purchase tickets on-line at: www.circusvargas.com

Information provided by Intero Real Estate Services

BAY AREA WINERY WEDDING FAIRE

12 Jul

Hannah Nicole Vineyards in Brentwood is hosting a wedding affair

Saturday, July 16th

4:00pm to 8:00pm 

Models will portray sample ceremonies and receptions, ranging in style from casual and rustic to lavish and elegant.  Hannah Nicole’s award-winning wines will be paired with hors d’oeuvres as each guest enjoys the festivities.  Florists, bakers, photographers, DJs, beverage caterers and musicians will demonstrate what brides and grooms can expect if they engage Hannah Nicole to be their wedding venue.

The event is Free and is suitable for people 21 years of age and older.  For more information call 925-240-9463

Information provided by Intero Real Estate Services

BEST HOUSING AFFORDABILITY CONDITIONS IN 40 YEARS

8 Jul

There has been a lot of gloomy news about the nation’s housing market in recent months, and even farther back. But there is good news:

First, many people in their 20’s and 30’s are now finding that properties in some areas have come down in value to the point where they can buy their first home. Housing prices, especially on the lower end, may soon begin to rise quickly, argue some economists, and that the correction in house prices and the low level of home building is really the cure for the housing industry’s problems. Overall, around the nation, the amount that buyers spend on housing as a percentage of their income has declined – good news for many. In fact, 2011 is expected to achieve the highest affordability condition in 40 years, especially compared to renting, which is becoming more expensive.

The number of new houses being built has fallen, actually helping to stabilize prices since supply and demand need to come into balance. That’s where the poor housing starts data can be helpful. While it’s true that homebuilders are suffering, the last thing the housing market needs right now is an explosion of new home construction. The slower the pace of new home building, the faster the imbalance between supply and demand should be corrected.

Lastly, interest rates continue to hover around historical lows. Check with your agent for an up-to-date quote, since rates change every day, but borrowers with good credit can obtain a 30-yr fixed rate mortgage in the low-to-mid 4% range. This is great rate, and lower than five or ten years ago.

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2011 BRENTWOOD CORNFEST – -AT A NEW LOCATION- – JULY 8, 9, & 10th

6 Jul

The 2011 Brentwood Cornfest is this weekend.  The location has been changed to the corner of Brentwood Blvd and Sand Creek Road.  The change in location will better accommodate the size of the venue as well as all of the parking issues from previous years.

Friday July 8 (3 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.)

Saturday July 9 (10:30 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.)

Sunday July 10 (10:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.) 

Brentwood Blvd and Sand Creek Road

38 acres with an additional 20 acres for parking

  • Friday night fireworks show
  • Two stages of music with continuous live entertainment. Special musical guests include AC/Dshe, Great White, Public Eye & Cream Of Clapton
  • Children’s fun area with petting zoo, jump houses and games
  • Carnival attractions with the nation’s largest ferris wheel
  • Classic car show
  • More than 300 arts and crafts vendors
  • Lots of great tasty food vendors, local grown corn plus a micro beer and wine garden
  • Information alley showcasing some of the best local businesses

$10 general admission – $5 youth and seniors – Kids 5 and under are free

$5 on site parking

FOURTH OF JULY FIREWORKS

1 Jul

It is getting a little harder to find Fourth of July Fireworks.  Many cities are cutting back on the extra expense of fireworks.  This year there will be no firework shows in Livermore or Antioch.  You will be able to see fireworks at a couple of places around the Delta.

Saturday, July 2nd:  Freedom High School in Oakley

Monday, July 4th:  Stockton waterfront / Ports Stadium

Monday, July 4th:  The Hilton’s Fireworks at Mandeville Tip

Friday, July 8th:  Brentwood Cornfest

HAPPY 4th OF JULY!

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IS IT A GOOD TIME TO REFINANCE?

28 Jun

Despite all the doom-and-gloom reporting, not every homeowner in the U.S. has negative equity right now. And with interest rates still hovering near record lows, those with equity are likely asking themselves whether it’s a good time to refinance. Well, is it? Let’s take a look:

Average interest rates on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages fell to 4.51% a week ago (according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s latest survey), the lowest level since last fall.

The average outstanding home loan carries an interest rate of about 6% (Freddie Mac’s Chief Economist Frank Nothaft told The New York Times last week).

So if you took advantage of low rates last fall or in 2009, you probably won’t see much savings by refinancing now. But if you haven’t yet refinanced since 2008, you might want to check in and see what kind of savings refinancing might afford you.

Cashing out: What’s enough equity?

Refinancing used to almost always mean the owner was taking some cash out in the process. That’s because values had climbed pretty steadily (and steeply in many areas) for several years in a row – so most homeowners could afford to cash out to maybe send their kid to college, work on a new addition to the house or remodel. But today, the story is much different.

Even if you have equity, it may not have climbed enough for cashing out to make sense. In fact, the NYT reports that some owners are even putting cash in to up the equity on their homes.

So what’s enough equity by today’s standards? Times have changed and 20% is once again a magic number. Many lenders aren’t even going to allow you to cash out if it means dipping below that.

Refinance options for the equity starved….. OK, but what if  you have less than that? Can you still refinance to take advantage of low rates?

The good news is that there are some programs out there that may make this possible. If you have little or no equity, you can ask your lender about the Home Affordable Refinance Program. If you have an FHA loan, you can check out FHA Streamline Finance, which may make sense for you.

So even if your equity is pretty low, there are options. Point is, with rates this low, it’s a good time to sit down and discuss whether refinancing would improve your loan situation. We all know that rates are fleeting and what’s here today may be gone tomorrow.

As a Realtor we can help you find a lender that can help you make the best decision for you!

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PADDLE FOR FAME – JUNE 25th

23 Jun

Paddle for Fame!  Saturday, June 25th

At the Discovery Bay Marina

Join thousands of participants at the 5th Annual Discovery Bay Paddle for Fame World Record Attempt, Business Showcase, and Free Concert, at the Discovery Bay Marina.  If you can paddle it, it counts.

11:00 Gathering starts

1:00  skydivers and fly-over photo to establish world record will start

1:30  offical fly-over

11:00 – 3:00 Chamber of Commerce Business Showcase, delicious BBQ, beer, and wine

1:30 Free Concert on the green starts

Help set a new World Records and stay for the fun!

Information provided by:

FREE CONCERT ON THE BAY

17 Jun

The Discovery Bay Lions Club will be hosting another FREE concert

Sat. June 18

5:00-8:30

At The Discovery Bay Yacht Harbor.

Back by popular demand “The Floorshakers” will be performing.  They are a high energy 11 piece band providing funk, soul and rock-n-roll.

Beer, Wine, Hot Dogs, Soda and Water will be sold and the Boardwalk Grill will have great BBQ food at this event.

The Lions Club is on mission to raise money to support our many community needs, so they will not be allowing any outside food, drinks or coolers inside the lawn area where the band will be performing. Please plan on eating and drinking at the Yacht Harbor so you can support the Lions club and your community. Last year, over 600 people attended each concert so be sure to grab your friends, blankets, lawn chairs and get there early to claim your spot on the lawn.

After the concert, stop in at the Boardwalk Grill where they will have a DJ and plenty more music.

We hope you and all your friends will help support the Lions Club and your community by coming down to the Yacht Harbor on Sat. June 18.  For more information go to www.discoverybaylions.com

Information provided by:

MORTGAGE RATES HIT 2011 LOW

15 Jun

According to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s Weekly Applications Survey, the average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages fell to 4.54 percent last week from  4.69 percent two weeks before.  This is the lowest 30-year contract rate since November 19, 2010.   The drop in rates fueled an increase in both the Purchase and the Refinance Index.

Contact us for information about your specific situation!

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GOING TO THE FAIR ?

14 Jun

CONTRA COSTA COUNTY FAIR  June 2 – 5

1201 West 10th St.

Antioch, CA  94509

www.countracostafair.com

ALAMEDA COUNTY FAIR – June 22 – July 10

4501 Pleasanton Ave

Pleasanton, CA

www.alamedacountyfair.com

SAN JOAQUIN COUNTY FAIR  –  June 15 – 19

1658 South Airport Way

Stockton, CA  95206

www.sanjoaquinfair.com

MARIN COUNTY FAIR  –  Jun 30 – July 4

10 Avenue of the Flags

San Rafael, CA  94903

www.marinfair.org

SAN MATEO COUNTY FAIR  –  June 11 – 19

1346 Saratoga Ave

San Mateo, CA  94403

www.sanmateocountyfair.com

SONOMA COUNTY FAIR – July 27 – Aug 14

1350 Bennet Valley Rd

Santa Rosa, CA 95404

www.sonomacountyfair.com

SOLANO COUNTY FAIR  –  Aug 3 – 7

900 Fairgrounds Dr.

Vallejo, CA  94589

www.scfair.com

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10 WAYS TO PREPARE FOR HOMEOWNERSHIP

1 Jun

1. Decide what you can afford. Generally, you can afford a home equal in value to between two and three times your gross income.

2. Develop your home wish list. Then, prioritize the features on your list.

3. Select where you want to live.  Compile a list of three or four neighborhoods you’d like to live in, taking into account items such as schools, recreational facilities, area expansion plans, and safety.

4. Start saving. Do you have enough money saved to qualify for a mortgage and cover your down payment?  Ideally, you should have 20 percent of the purchase price saved as a down payment. Also, don’t forget to factor in closing costs. Closing costs — including taxes, attorney’s fee, and transfer fees — average between 2 and 7 percent of the home price.

5. Get your credit in order. Obtain a copy of your credit report to make sure it is accurate and to correct any
errors immediately. A credit report provides a history of your credit, bad debts, and any late payments.
6. Determine your mortgage qualifications. How large of mortgage do you qualify for? Also, explore different loan options — such as 30-year or 15-year fixed mortgages or ARMs — and decide what’s best for you.

7. Get pre approved. Organize all the documentation a lender will need to pre approve you for a loan. You might need
W-2 forms, copies of at least one pay stub, account numbers, and copies of two to four months of bank or credit union statements.

8. Weigh other sources of help with a down payment. Do you qualify for any special mortgage or down payment assistance
programs? Check with your state and local government on down payment assistance programs for first-time buyers. Or, if you have an IRA account, you can use the money you’ve saved to buy your fist home without paying a penalty for early withdrawal.

9. Calculate the costs of homeownership. This should include property taxes, insurance, maintenance and utilities, and
association fees, if applicable.

10. Contact an Intero Real Estate Agent.  Find an experienced REALTOR® who can help guide you through the process.

BLUES, BREWS, & BBQ’S at The Street Of Brentwood

26 May

The Brentwood Police Activities League will be holding a FREE Event this weekend.

May 27 (5pm-8pm)  May 28 (11am-8pm)  May 29 (11am-8pm)

Located at The Streets of Brentwood on Sand Creek Rd & Hwy 4 Bypass

Included in  the weekend of activities is the “Bad to the Bone” car show on Saturday and  Sunday. Live music starting Friday at 5pm and running all weekend long. Saturday  is our sanctioned KCBS & CBBQA BBQ event featuring Pork, Ribs, Brisket and  Chicken. On Sunday is a Back-yard BBQ event featuring Chicken, Ribs and  Tri-Tip.  Our professional cooks will be competing for a prize package of  over $7000.Come out and taste the Great BBQ & cast  your Vote for the People’s Choice Awards at 12:00 pm  Saturday.

BLUES, BREWS, & BBQ’S MUSIC  SCHEDULE   

Friday:   5/27

5:00 – Heritage H.S. Jazz  Band
7:00 – The Remnantz

Saturday:  5/28

6th Annual Liberty H.S.  POPS Concert
10:15 – Liberty Jazz Band
11:00 – Liberty  Jazz Ensemble
12:15 – Liberty Concert Band
12:50 – Liberty Symphonic Band
1:00 – Sara Luci singing the National Anthem
2:00 – Brentwood Community  Band
3:30 – Brentwood Blues Band
4:30 – Car Show & BBQ  Awards
5:30 – Brentwood Blues Band
7:00 – The  Citations

Sunday:   5/29

11:00 – Sam One Band
1:00 – Blues To Go  Band
3:00 – Biernacki & The  Illusions
4;45 – Car Show & BBQ Awards
5:00 – The Kevin Moore Band
7:00 – Dawglips

Free activities for the kids Saturday and  Sunday
Pinewood Derby races – Hosted by Diablo Sunrise Boy  Scouts
Box Car races – Sponsored by Rave Motion Pictures
& Brentwood  PostalAnnex
Outdoor Bowling – Sponsored by Harvest Park Bowl

-Live music all 3 days

-Sanctioned Kansas City BBQ Society Contest:  Contestants competing for State Championships

-Come taste BBQ & cast your vote for the People’s Choice Awards: Saturday at 12:30

-Car Show Saturday & Sunday

-Great vendors all 3 days

-Kids Area:

  • Free Pinewood Derby (Sat & Sun)
  • BMX Demo by BBC Street Team (Sat)
  • Karate Demos by Verrett’s (Sun)
  • Box Car Races and Bowling

LOTS OF FUN FOR EVERYONE!

For more information www.palbbq.net

Information provided by:

KNOW YOUR MARKET BEFORE YOU SELL

25 May

Want to know the best strategy for selling a house regardless of how the economy is doing?  Know your market.

Part of knowing your market is knowing where your market is – where it ends and begins, because your market is not your city, your state or your region. Your market is your neighborhood. It’s your school district. It’s even your street and block.

Real estate agents know this, of course. But homeowners also need to have a grasp on this. If you’re out there thinking of selling your house or thinking about the prospect of relocating later this year, next year or even the year after, you need to grasp what constitutes your market, what kinds of homes are in it and what other things affect its value like schools and crime.

How do you get to know your market?

Get local with news. Start doing web searches about the schools in your neighborhood and crime (if it exists). This will help you understand the desirability factor of your home’s location. Things change – just because your schools were the best in the state when you bought your home six years ago, doesn’t mean they are today.

Become a casual web surfer. Check out current for-sale listings for your neighborhood. Track any trends you see such as average time it takes to sell, price reductions, number of bank-owned homes for sale. This will help you to get a sense of how fast things are moving and what kind of supply and demand dynamic is happening near your home.

Take a leisurely stroll through some open houses next Sunday. Sure, you may aggravate the real estate agent who’s trying to get the house sold, but you’ll get a sense of what’s out there. What kinds of houses does your home compete against? What kinds of upgrades do they have that yours doesn’t? What price ranges are you seeing for homes similar to yours?

Whether you’re getting ready to sell soon or not, I think it’s important for all homeowners to really understand their home’s value in current conditions. As we’ve seen these last few years, times change and values are not always predictable.

Understanding your home’s value is key to getting your house sold. Staying on top of trends on your street is the only way to prepare yourself for pricing right.

Information provided by:

BARN BOUTIQUE & FLEA MARKET – May 21

20 May

May 21, 2011  8:00am – 4:00pm the Mariner’s Church will host their annual Barn Boutique & Flea Market

The event is FREE admission and is open to the public.

1619 Bixler Rd

Brentwood, CA  94513

Many vendors including Jewelry, purses, leather goods, books, art, hand made items, clothing, food and local produce.  Flea market items include antiques, clothing, tools, furniture and many pre-owned treasures.

For more information contact the Mariners Church or go to www.marinerschurchdb.com

Information provided by:

WHAT DOES A TITLE COMPANY DO?

18 May

A title insurance policy protects a real estate owner or lender against any loss or damage they might experience because of liens, encumbrances, or defects in the title to said property, or the incorrectness of the related search.

Title insurance protects against claims from various defects such as another person claiming an ownership interest, improperly recorded, fraud, forgery, liens, encroachments, easements and other items that are specified in the actual policy.

After the escrow officer or lender opens the title order, they begin a search of the public records including the County Recorder, Federal and State Agencies, and County and City Offices.  A Preliminary Report is issued to the customer for review and approval.  All closing documents are recorded upon escrow’s instruction.  When recording has been confirmed, demands are paid, funds are disbursed, and the actual title policy is typed and sent to the insured.

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MAY 21 – DISCOVERY BAY MARINA

17 May

This year the Discovery Bay Marina will host a Boardwalk Day and Used Boat Show on May 21st from 11:00am to 3:00pm.  Enjoy a live concert, wine tasting, used boats, marine vendors, art and jewelry vendors, and more.

Come out to support your local community!

information provided by:

RETIREE STRUGGLE . . . . . Asset Liquidation or Mortgage Payoff?

13 May

Baby boomers approaching retirement with a mortgage balance and financial assets are faced with the question of whether or not they should liquidate assets to pay off the mortgage.

With income declining at retirement, the mortgage payment becomes more of a strain. Yet liquidating assets to repay the mortgage reduces the income being generated by the assets, and leaves the borrower with less to liquidate later on when needs may be even greater. We don’t know how much money we will need to support our lifestyle in retirement because we don’t know how long we will live, and not everyone can accumulate more wealth than we can possibly outlive.

 The case for paying down, or off, the mortgage for seniors often revolves around the fact that their mortgage rate is greater than their rate of return on their assets. Basically they earn less on their money than they pay on their mortgage: paying off a 5% mortgage with money earning 2% makes sense. If you’re a senior and your rate is more than 5% and you haven’t refinanced in the last 2 to 3 years, you will want to check current rates – you’ll be surprised.  It makes good sense to refinance your mortgage to a lower rate rather than pay it off if the senior either needs the income from their assets to live on. If mortgage repayment earns the higher return before-tax, it also earns the higher return after-tax. If income on the alternative investment is not taxable, however, returns should be compared after-tax. Again it is important you sit down with either your Lendor or CPA or financial planner to figure out what is best for you and your family.

We can help you find the right person to answer all your questions!

Information provided by:

SEUSSVILLE CARNIVAL MAY 13

12 May

This Friday, May 13, Timber Point Elementary School will hold a SEUSSVILLE CARNIVAL.  5:00pm – 8:00pm.  $7.00 per wristband, pre-sale, $10.00 writsband on the day of the event.

This is a Dr. Seuss themed event with jumpies, hair glitz, food, and game booths.  (hair glitz, food and picture booth paid separate with cash)

For more information contact Timber Point Elementary School or Kim at Kimboos@comcast.net 

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ONXY BAR AND GRILL IS NOW OPEN

10 May

Brentwood has a new restaurant that is making waves.  The Onyx Bar and Grill located at 8900 Brentwood Blvd Ste C next to Ace Hardware.

The new owners, a husband and wife team, have over 40 years of combined experience in the food industry and they are striving to bring customers a home style feel in Brentwood.  They will be running many special nights and special menus so be sure to check it out.

The ambiance is warm and friendly, the food is expertly prepared, and the price point is median with a family friendly environment!

For more information you can contact Onxy at 925-684-7250 or visit their website at www.onyxbarandgrill.com

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CASH IS KING…..People are Investing in Real Estate!

6 May

According to the National Association of Realtors, after a slow February, existing home sales increased 3.7% in March (but were down 6.3% from March a year ago).  Nationally home sales has shown a huge increase in buyers who are purchasing homes with all cash. 

A large percentage of the cash sales were to investors.  Although many investors are taking advantage of the opportunities available in the housing market right now, a portion of these sales to investors will be coming back into the market at some point.  These homes will likely be flips and will add more inventory to the market down the road.

While the housing market is working to recover on a national level, many outside factors play into home sales stats:

  • Rising gas prices
  • The national deficit (and prospect of further budget cuts)
  • Proposals to further restrict mortgage lending

These are all things that could trip up a full housing recovery – or continue to prolong it.  Real estate is local and as such, some markets are doing well while others aren’t.

The fact that there are so many cash deals happening right now tells us that investors still have confidence in Real Estate…. and we can show you why you should too.

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HAPPY CINCO DE MAYO

5 May

The fifth of May (Cinco de Mayo in Spanish) is a national holiday in Mexico, although the day is celebrated on a larger scale in the U.S.  This day is often confused with Mexican Independence Day which is celebrated on September 16th.  Cinco de Mayo is actually the anniversary of the battle of Pueblo that took place between the Mexicans and the French on May 5, 1862.   

It all started with a credit default in 1861, and after years of struggle Mexico was bankrupt.  That year, President Benito Juarez “issued a moratorium in which all foreign debt payments would be suspended for a brief period of two years, with the promise that after this period, payments would resume.”  The French, weren’t interested in waiting around, so they invaded Mexico to retrieve their payments and tried to take over the country. 

The Battle of Puebla was a victory of a small Mexican Army (led by Gen. Ignacio Zaragoza) of 4,500 soldiers over the French invasion of a well-armed, professional army (led by Napoleon III) of 8,000 soldiers.  The battle lasted for 4 hours and marked a turning point in Mexican national pride. 

Although the battle of Puebla slowed the French, they returned with 30,000 troops the following year and captured Puebla.  The victory of Puebla amounted to little from a military sense, it nevertheless meant a great deal to Mexico in terms of pride and hope.

The Mexican community celebrates more than 365 festivals each year.  Cinco de Mayo is only one of them.

MONTE CARLO NIGHT – May 21st

4 May

The Discovery Bay Lions Club will be hosting Monte Carlo Night on May 21st at St. Anne’s Church in Byron.

  • 5:00-6:00pm Cocktails
  • 6:00-7:00pm Dinner (chicken, tri-tip, pasta, salad and rolls)
  • 7:00-10:30pm Gaming (17 tables including blackjack, roulette, craps and Texas Hold’em tournament)

Tickets on sale now for $35 which includes dinner and $50 worth of gaming chips.

Purchase tickets on-line at www.discoverybaylions.com or contact Kris at 408-828-9511 or Jim at 925-698-1590

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WHY REAL ESTATE INVESTING MAKES MORE SENSE THAN EVER

3 May

Statistics show that investing in real estate and owning rental property is still one of the best ways to invest, even in our current market conditions.  The fact is now is the best time to purchase investment property for most people.

 Having investment property is not for everyone…….It could be labor intensive, and it’s not very liquid.  Holding onto the property will most likely give you greater return.  This is why you are more likely to “make” more money purchasing investment property than you may be able to “make” in other investment vehicles.

During the current market conditions, most homes have dropped in value.  In California we have many people loosing their homes and moving into rentals.  With the increase of these, home sales have dropped and our rental market is high.  investors can take advantage of this and put extra cash in their pocket.

Lets look at an example of a home currently on the market.  I found a home for $150,000 it is a 3 Bedroom + loft/office, 2 1/2 Bathroom, 1595sqft, 2 car garage, close to schools and shopping, move-in ready home in a nice neighborhood.  This would be a perfect investment home.

  • $160,000 purchase price (including closing costs, negotiated price and closing costs – estimated)
  • $30,000 down payment (may be less than 20% depending on the type of loan)
  • $1,300.00 a month estimated mortgage, taxes & insurance (depends on loan and interest rate)
  • $1,600.00 a month is the amount this home can currently be rented
  • $300.00 profit each month 

With these numbers it will take you 100 months to make back your down payment, but don’t forget the other values owning rental property brings.  Each year you own the home you will receive an extra income tax deduction.  The hope is that you can make just a little money each month and hold onto the home until the market values go up and you can sell the home for a much larger profit.  A few years ago investors would purchase investment property and have a negative cash flow each month, that is not usually the case today.

These are rough numbers and every situation is different.  It is important that you talk to a Realtor to see what your numbers might look like.

 

CONTACT US TO LOOK AT YOUR SITUATION AND SEE IF BUYING AN INVESTMENT HOME IS A SMART DECISION FOR YOU!

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Discovery Bay Boat Parade, April 16

28 Mar

On April 16th, the Discovery Bay Yacht Club will have their Opening Day Parade.  The boats will be decorated with a theme of “Make a Wish – Make it Special.”

The boats will start at Lighthouse Bay at 1:00pm and wind through several bays and are scheduled to reach the Discovery Bay Yacht Harbor around 3-4:00pm. 

The map is the current route for this years parade…..BUT prior to the Parade each bay will be inspected to make sure it is safe to navigate through the bay and that weeds are not a problem.  Route may change.  The homes that will be effected from viewing the parade will be notified. 

For more information contact Pat Anderson at Pat4411@gmail.com or 925-216-4411

Information Provided By:

  • Intero Real Estate Services – Discovery Bay
  • 925-634-1111
  • Intero Real Estate Services – Brentwood
  • 925-634-1116

HOME REMODELING AND OUR PETS

23 Feb

While we’re deciding whether or not to initiate that big home remodeling project, we think about many things…cost, timeframe, and inconvenience.  Many times we forget about the safety and happiness of our pets during a home renovation.  Our pets cannot protect themselves the way we can, so we must remember to look out for them.

It will definitely make a difference if you are doing the remodel yourself or having outside contractors do the job.  If you are not going to board your animals during a remodel it is important to remember to take care of and protect them during the process.

Many pets are uncomfortable when strangers are in the home and some pets become very protective and territorial of their family.  Along with the fear of a stranger in the home, they will no doubt be making some noises that might frighten your animals.

It is a good idea to restrict the pet from the area of your home that will be remodeled well before construction begins.  If the construction will be in your pet normal feeding area, begin training them to look for their food in another place in advance.

Once construction begins make sure to seal off the construction area so your pet will not be able to enter it and risk injury. A pet can be injured by stepping on sharp objects or by accidentally causing construction materials to fall. The safest thing for your pet is to ensure that it cannot enter the construction area.  Alert your contractor and the workers if your pet will be on the premises during the remodel. Particularly if your pet tends to be curious or territorial, they will then know they need to be careful about leaving anything around that could harm your pet.

Make sure that doors and windows will not be exposed for long periods of time.  While they are open your pet will need to be secured to prevent wondering.

If you expect workers to access the backyard you may want to restrict your pets access to the yard.  The pet will then need to be walked throughout the day.

Ensure that the workers remove or elevate all electrical wires, nails, staples, tacks or anything sharp.  Remind the workers to fully clean all areas at the end of each day and stabilize all loose items to avoid falling or choking.

Be mindful of your pets and help provide a “safe haven” for them during the renovations.  If your pet has a decreased appetite, urinary issues, hair loss, chewing or barking issues, or any unusual behavior, consult your vet immediately.

HAPPY PRESIDENT’S DAY

21 Feb

Today is Presidents Day, and we would like to share a list of quotes from our presidents:

  1. George Washington (1789-1797) Associate with men of good quality if you esteem your own reputation; for it is better to be alone than in bad company.
  2. John Adams (1797-1801) If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.
  3. Thomas Jefferson(1801-1809) Do you want to know who you are? Don’t ask. Act! Action will delineate and define you.
  4. James Madison (1809-1817) If men were angels, no government would be necessary
  5. James Monroe (1817-1825) A little flattery will support a man through great fatigue.
  6. John Quincy Adams (1825-1829) All men profess honesty as long as they can. To believe all men honest would be folly. To believe none so is something worse
  7. Andrew Jackson (1829-1837) Take time to deliberate; but when the time for action arrives, stop thinking and go in.
  8. Martin Van Buren (1837-1841) It is easier to do a job right than to explain why you didn’t.
  9. William Henry Harrison (1841) I believe that all the measures of the Government are directed to the purpose of making the rich richer and the poor poorer
  10. John Tyler (1841-1845) Pens are most dangerous tools, more sharp by odds Than swords, and cut more keen than whips or rods
  11. James Polk (1845-1849) I am heartily rejoiced that my term is so near its close. I will soon cease to be a servant and will become a sovereign.
  12. Zachary Taylor (1849-1850) I have always done my duty.  I am ready to die.  My only regret is for the friends I leave behind me.
  13. Millard Fillmore (1850-1853) It is not strange… to mistake change for progress
  14. Franklin Pierce (1853-1857) Frequently the more trifling the subject, the more animated and protracted the discussion
  15. James Buchanan (1857-1861) The ballot box is the surest arbiter of disputes among free men.
  16. Abraham Lincoln (1861-1865) Things may come to those who wait…but only the things left by those who hustle.
  17. Andrew Johnson (1865-1869) Honest conviction is my courage; the Constitution is my guide
  18. Ulysses S. Grant (1869-1877) I know only two tunes: one of them is ‘Yankee Doodle’, and the other one isn’t
  19. Rutherford Hayes (1877-1881) He serves his party best who serves his country best
  20. James Garfield (1881)  If hard work is not another name for talent, it is the best possible substitute for it 
  21. Chester Arthur (1881-1885) I may be president of the United States, but my private life is nobody’s damned business
  22. Grover Cleveland (1885-1889) A truly American sentiment recognizes the dignity of labor and the fact that honor lies in honest toil
  23. Benjamin Harrison (1889-1893) Great lives never go out; they go on.
  24. Grover Cleveland ( 1893-1897) Officeholders are the agents of the people, not their masters
  25. William McKinley (1897-1901) Expositions are the timekeepers of progress
  26. Theodore Roosevelt (1901-1909) Speak softly and carry a big stick.
  27. William Taft (1909-1913) A government is for the benefit of all the people
  28. Woodrow Wilson (1913-1921) A conservative is a man who just sits and thinks, mostly sits
  29. Warren Harding (1921-1923) The success of our popular government rests wholly upon the correct interpretation of the deliberate, intelligent, dependable popular will of America
  30. Calvin Coolidge (1923-1929) The chief business of the American people is business
  31. Herbert Hoover ( 1929-1933) Older men declare war. But it is the youth that must fight and die
  32. Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1933-1945) Be sincere; be brief; be seated.
  33. Harry Truman (1945-1953) It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit
  34. Dwight Eisenhower (1953-1961) Neither a wise man nor a brave man lies down on the tracks of history to wait for the train of the future to run over him
  35. John F Kennedy (1961-1963) As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.
  36. Lyndon Johnson (1963-1969) If one morning I walked on top of the water across the Potomac River, the headline that afternoon would read “President Can’t Swim”
  37. Richard Nixon (1969-1974) The finest steel has to go through the hottest fire
  38. Gerald Ford (1974-1977) A government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take from you everything you have
  39. Jimmy Carter (1977-1981) We should live our lives as though Christ were coming this afternoon
  40. Ronald Reagan (1981-1989) Politics is supposed to be the second oldest profession. I have come to realize that it bears a very close resemblance to the first
  41. George Bush (1989-1993) Think about every problem, every challenge, we face. The solution to each starts with education
  42. Bill Clinton (1993-2001) There is nothing wrong with America that cannot be cured by what is right with America
  43. George Bush (2001-2009) America will never seek a permission slip to defend the security of our people.
  44. Barack Obama (2009-) Focusing your life solely on making a buck shows a certain poverty of ambition. It asks too little of yourself. … Because it’s only when you hitch your wagon to something larger than yourself that you realize your true potential

HAPPY PRESIDENT’S DAY!

UNDER CONSTRUCTION

10 Feb

Construction is under way on Discovery Bay’s  “WATER” park

Ravenswood Park is located at Cullen Dr. and Bronte Dr.  This park has been known to the locals as Pirate Park because of its pirate ship shaped play structure.  The park has been home to a pirate playground, barbeques, picnic tables, benches and a large grass field.

The park is under construction to become Discovery Bay’s first “Splash Pad” water play area.  The Splash Pad will include a thirty foot diameter Splash Zone, and an additional five foot perimeter splash free zone.  Water fountains will be emitted from ground level sprays, triggered by an activator so a child has to be there to turn it on, creating water tunnels, fountains, and a variety of different water formations, all set to a timer.  The new park is scheduled to be completed in March.

Discovery Bay offers homes with water in our backyards…… and now we will have water at our park!

 

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SUPER BOWL FACTS

6 Feb

SUPER BOWL XLV

Super Bowl XLV will be this Sunday February 6 2011.  The NFC champion Green Bay Packers will play against the AFC Champion Pittsburgh Steelers will meet in Arlington, Texas’ Cowboy Stadium. 

The game is scheduled for kick off by 6:25 EST.  Christina Aguilera will sing the National Anthem and The Black Eyed Peas perform in the halftime show.

The official show will be on the FOX television network at 6:00 pm on the East Coast; 5:00pm Central; 4:00 pm Mountain; 3:00 pm Pacific Time.  The pre-game show usually starts about four hours before the Super Bowl.

FUN FACTS

Super Bowl I

  • Super Bowl I (originally named AFL-NFL World Championship Game) was played on January 15, 1967 at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, CA
  • The National Football League(NFL) champion Green Bay Packers (14-2) played the American Football League (AFL) champion Kansas City Chiefs (12-2-1).
  • The Green Bay ended up winning 35 to 10.  The Packers quarterback Bart Starr, who completed 16 of 23 passes for 250 yards and two touchdowns, with 1 interception, was named Super Bowl MVP. 
  • The first Super Bowl was simulcast on both NBC and CBS and was the only Super Bowl to be broadcast on two networks at the same time.
  • A 30 second commercial cost $42,000 on both networks.
  • The game footage from the first ever Super Bowl don’t actually exist.  Both networks taped over their footage of the Super Bowl and only bits and pieces of the footage of the game do exist.

Super Bowl XXXV Fun Facts

  • Total Game Time – 60 Minutes
  • Total Commerical Time – 30 Minutes
  • Las Vegas Point Spread – AFC’s Baltimore Ravens +3 
  • This will be the first Super Bowl without Cheerleaders.
  • $400 million is the estimated amount of money that the game will bring to the Dallas area.
  • $2.8 million is the cost for a 30-second advertisement during the game.  Super Bowl I the same commercial cost $42,000
  • 151.6 million people are expected to watch a part of the game.
  • 325.5 million gallons of beer will be drank on Super Bowl Sunday 
  • 8 Million Pounds of Guacomole Consumed on Super Bowl Sunday 
  • 14,500 tons of Chips Consumed on Super Bowl Sunday 
  • 6% of people will call in sick Monday after Super Bowl 
  • This is the first time the Super Bowl is being held in Arlington, but the second time the game has been played in Texas.  Super Bowl XXXVIII was played in Houston when the New England Patriots beat the Carolina Panthers, 32-29.
  • This is the eighth Super Bowl for the Steelers and the fifth one for the Packers. The Steelers are 6-1 in their previous seven games while the Packers are 3-1. With 13 combined Super Bowl appearances, Pittsburgh and Green Bay have played in just under 15% of every game.
  • The eighth appearance by the Steelers ties them with the Dallas Cowboys for most all-time. The Packers fifth appearance moves them into a tie for fifth-best behind only the Cowboys, Steelers, Patriots and Broncos.
  • The Las Vegas point spread is AFC’s Baltimore Ravens +3.  The biggest pre-game spread was 18.5 points in Super Bowl XXIX. The San Francisco 49ers covered that to beat the San Diego Chargers, 49-26.

NEVER PLAYED IN THE SUPER BOWL

  • Only four active franchises have never appeared in a Super Bowl: Cleveland Browns, Detroit Lions, Houston Texans and Jacksonville Jaguars.
  • The Browns have come the closest. They’ve reached the conference title game five times and came the closest to winning in 1986 but lost to the Denver Broncos. In fact, of their five trips to the conference championship, they’ve lost three times to the Broncos.
  • The Jaguars were just a game away in both 1999 and 1996 but came up short in each.
  • The Lions is the only team in the NFC to never attend a Super Bowl.  However, they won the NFL championship in 1935, 1952, 1953, 1957 prior to the existence of the Super Bowl.  They made it to the conference championship only once in 1991 but were blown out by the Washington Redskins.
  •  The Texans have never reached the playoffs.

MISC FACTS

  • The Super Bowl is measured in Roman numerals because a football season runs the span over two calendar years. The year the season began in 2010 and ends in 2011.
  • More drivers are involved in alcohol-related accidents on Super Bowl Sunday than any other day of the year (except St. Patrick’s Day), according to the Insurance Information Institute.
  • Over 700,000 footballs are produced annually for official NFL use and 72 of them are used for the Super Bowl.
  • Super Bowl fans spend more than $50 million on food during the 4 days prior to the super bowl.
  • Super Bowl Sunday is the biggest winter grilling day of the year
  • 7 is the most touchdowns caught in the Super Bowl – wide receiver Jerry Rice over three separate competitions.
  • 7 is the most amount of losses by any team in the Super Bowl – The Los Angeles Rams.
  • 6 Super Bowl wins by the Pittsburgh Steelers is the highest number of victories by any team. The Steelers are in this Sunday’s game.
  • Charles Haley is the only player to have played in 5 winning games (San Francisco 49ers and Dallas Cowboys)
  • Joe Montana has the most Super Bowl MVP’s with 3.  Montana also holds the record for most consecutive completions in a Super Bowl with 13.
  • The Buffalo Bills is the only team to make four consecutive Super Bowl appearances 1990, 1991, 1992, and 1993, yet they have never won a Super Bowl title. Prior to the establishment of the Super Bowl, the Cleveland Browns made six consecutive appearances in NFL Championship games.
  • Over half of all the MVP titles have gone to a team quarterback
  • Don Shula Coach of the Baltimore Colts and Miami Dolphins has served as the head coach in more Super Bowls than any other coach – 6.
  • Chuck Noll of the Pittsburgh Steelers has coached the most Super Bowl wins – 4.
  • Roger Staubach of the Dallas Cowboys holds the title for most career fumbles in a Super Bowl.
  • The youngest coach to win a Super Bowl was Jon Gruden at the age of 39 when he coached the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to a victory over the Oakland Raiders.
  • The oldest coach to win a Super Bowl was Dick Vermeil at the age of 63 when he coached the St. Louis Rams to a victory over the Tennessee Titans
  • In Super Bowl 6 the Miami Dolphins only scored 3 points in their loss to the Dallas Cowboys, which is the fewest amount of points to be scored in a game in NFL history.
  • The Buffalo Bills, Denver Broncos, and Minnesota Vikings have each lost four times at the Super Bowl.  The Buffalo Bills once lost four-straight times.
  • The NFL pays for 150 rings to be given to the winner of the Super Bowl (players, coaches, and staff,) and the league pays up to $5,000 for each ring.  If the rings cost more than $5,000 the team will pay the difference.
  • The first rings were given to the Green Bay Packers who won Super Bowl II in 1967 and were made by Jostens.
  • Super Bowl rings can be re-sold for $10,000 to $25,000 depending on who wore it. 
  • The losing Super Bowl team also receive 150 rings and the league will spend half the cost on the “loser team” rings.
  • Even with three games tied in the final minute, fans have never yet seen a Super Bowl overtime.

Who will win this year?  Will we have any half time bloopers?  What commercials will be the most talked about Monday morning?  Will any new records or statistics be met?  Can we have our first ever Super Bowl go into overtime?  and why are there no Cheerleaders this year? 

Grab a beer, pass the dip and get ready for the biggest game of the year……

ARE YOU READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL?

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2011 – THE YEAR OF THE RABBIT

3 Feb

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

According to the Chinese Zodiac, the year of 2011 is the Year of the Golden Rabbit, which begins on February 3rd 2011 and ends on January 22, 2012.  Chinese New Year starts with a New Moon on the first day of the new year and ends on a full moon 15 days later.  The 15th day of the new year is called the Lantern Festival, which is celebrated at night with lantern displays and a feast.  The Rabbit is a lucky sign!  After last years ferocious year of the Tiger, everyone is excited about the luck of the Rabbit.

Some “fun facts” that we found about the Chinese New Year:

 

The politically correct term is now Lunar New Year, as opposed to Chinese New Year since many Asian cultures other than China’s observe the lunar calendar.

The Chinese year is based on the cycles of the moon so the New Year falls on a different date each year.

The Chinese calendar dates back to 2600 B.C. and it is the oldest known calendar.

A complete Chinese calendar cycle takes 60 years.

According to superstition you must clean your house thoroughly to sweep away misfortune and make way for good luck and fortune in the coming year.  The old year and its spirits are banished by sweeping the floors before New Year’s Day.  (Don’t sweep on New Year’s Day itself – you’ll sweep away the New Year fortune)

Shooting fireworks on New Year’s Eve scares away the old year, and households open up windows and doors at midnight as exits for the old year.

At New Year, special emphasis is placed on food:

  • FAMILY REUNION:  Whole Chicken
  • FERTILITY:  Eggs
  • HAPPINESS:  Dried Bean Curd
  • HAPPINESS AND MARRIAGE:  Chicken
  • LONG LIFE:  Chinese Garlic Chives, Noodles, Peanuts
  • LUCK:  Tangerines
  • PROSPERITY:  Fish, served whole
  • WEALTH:  Bamboo Shoots, Black Moss Seaweed, Egg Rolls, Oranges

During the Chinese New Year Festival only married couples give “Ang Pow”s,  (red envelopes) containing money to buy holiday treats, to their kids or relatives of their younger generations instead of giving presents. 

The money in the red envelopes always totals up to an even number amount.  (odd numbered usually is associated with funeral money.)

The money should never add up to anything with the number 4 in it, because 4 in Chinese sounds like the word death.

Red is considered a lucky color in China.  At one time wedding dresses were red.

The color white symbolized death and misfortune.

The Zodiac calender traditionally begins with the sign of the Rat.

  • RAT (1924-1936-1948-1960-1972-1984-1996-2008)  Forthright, tenacious, intense, meticulous, charismatic, sensitive, intellectual, industrious, charming, eloquent, sociable, artistic, and shrewd. Can be manipulative, vindictive, self-destructive, mendacious, venal, obstinate, critical, over-ambitious, ruthless, intolerant, and scheming.
  • OX (1925-1937-1949-1961-1973-1985-1997-2009)  Dependable, ambitious, calm, methodical, born leader, patient, hardworking, conventional, steady, modest, logical, resolute, tenacious. Can be stubborn, dogmatic, hot-tempered, narrow-minded, materialistic, rigid, demanding.
  • TIGER (1926-1938-1950-1962-1974-1986-1998-2010)  Unpredictable, rebellious, colorful, powerful, passionate, daring, impulsive, vigorous, stimulating, sincere, affectionate, humanitarian, generous. Can be restless, reckless, impatient, quick-tempered, obstinate, selfish, aggressive, moody
  • RABBIT (1927-1939-1951-1963-1975-1987-1999-2011)  Gracious, good friend, kind, sensitive, soft-spoken, amiable, elegant, reserved, cautious, artistic, thorough, tender, self-assured, shy, astute, compassionate, lucky, flexible. Can be moody, detached, superficial, self-indulgent, opportunistic, stubborn.
  • DRAGON (1928-1940-1952-1964-1976-1988-2000-2012)  Magnanimous, stately, vigorous, strong, self-assured, proud, noble, direct, dignified, eccentric, intellectual, fiery, passionate, decisive, pioneering, artistic, generous, loyal. Can be tactless, arrogant, imperious, tyrannical, demanding, intolerant, dogmatic, violent, impetuous, brash.
  • SNAKE (1929-1941-1953-1965-1977-1989-2001-2013)  Deep thinker, wise, mystic, graceful, soft-spoken, sensual, creative, prudent, shrewd, elegant, cautious, responsible, calm, strong, constant, purposeful. Can be loner, bad communicator, possessive, hedonistic, self-doubting, distrustful, mendacious, suffocating, cold
  • HORSE (1930-1942-1954-1966-1978-1990-2002-2014)   Cheerful, popular, quick-witted, changeable, earthy, perceptive, talkative, agile, magnetic, intelligent, astute, flexible, open-minded. Can be fickle, arrogant, childish, anxious, rude, gullible, stubborn.
  • SHEEP (1931-1943-1955-1967-1979-1991-2003-2015)  Righteous, sincere, sympathetic, mild-mannered, shy, artistic, creative, gentle, compassionate, understanding, mothering, peaceful, generous, seeks security. Can be moody, indecisive, over-passive, worrier, pessimistic, over-sensitive, complainer, weak-willed.
  • MONKEY (1932-1944-1956-1968-1980-1992-2004-2016)   Inventor, motivator, improviser, quick-witted, inquisitive, flexible, innovative, problem solver, self-assured, sociable, artistic, polite, dignified, competitive, objective, factual, intellectual. Can be egotistical, vain, arrogant, selfish, reckless, snobbish, deceptive, manipulative, cunning, jealous, suspicious.
  • ROOSTER (1933-1945-1957-1969-1981-1993-2005-2017)  Acute, neat, meticulous, organized, self-assured, decisive, conservative, critical, perfectionist, alert, zealous, practical, scientific, responsible. Can be over zealous and critical, puritanical, egotistical, abrasive, proud, opinionated, given to empty bravado
  • DOG (1934-1946-1958-1970-1982-1994-2006-2018)   Honest, intelligent, straightforward, loyal, sense of justice and fair play, attractive, amicable, unpretentious, sociable, open-minded, idealistic, moralistic, practical, affectionate, sensitive, easy going. Can be cynical, lazy, cold, judgmental, pessimistic, worrier, stubborn, quarrelsome.
  • PIG (1935-1947-1959-1971-1983-1995-2007-2019)   Honest, gallant, sturdy, sociable, peace-loving, patient, loyal, hard-working, trusting, sincere, calm, understanding, thoughtful, scrupulous, passionate, intelligent. Can be naïve, over-reliant, self-indulgent, gullible, fatalistic, materialistic

The year of your birth is not the only factor that goes into the chinese astrology.  Your animal year makes up a portion of your astrology but it is then mixed with your internal sign and other personal elements.

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