Tag Archives: CA

Elk Grove Accepts the Cool California Challenge

Joins City-to-City Competition to Reduce Energy Consumption
Joins City-to-City Competition to Reduce Energy Consumption

Elk Grove, CA – Help our hometown earn new bragging rights and save energy by registering to participate in the CoolCalifornia Challenge.

Elk Grove could be California’s coolest city this year. It is one of 22 cities participating in the 2015-16 CoolCalifornia Challenge, a city-to-city competition encouraging residents and communities to work together to achieve California’s energy reduction and climate change goals. Other participating cities includeClaremont, San Mateo, Buellton, Indio, Burlingame, Long Beach, San Carlos, Lynwood, Martinez, South Pasadena, Redwood City, Huntington Beach, San Pablo, Benicia, Corte Madera, Mill Valley, Sausalito, El Cerrito, Fairfax, Larkspur, and Richmond. The CoolCalifornia Challenge runs through March 30, 2016.

The Challenge, organized by Energy Upgrade California, engages households in participating cities throughout the state to reduce their energy and water use at home as well as reduce their transportation emissions.

Help Elk Grove earn the title of “Coolest California City” and a portion of the $150,000 in prize money to support local sustainability efforts.  You can join the Challenge by following these 3 simple steps:

  1. Register at www.CAChallenge.org; and
  2. Create a MyEnergyUpgrade plan; and
  3. Log your energy use each month during the Challenge (electricity, natural gas, vehicle gasoline) and share energy, transportation and water conservation efforts and activities to gain points for our city.

The city with the highest number of total points by March 30, 2016 will be crowned the winner. Participants can earn points, tracked through online software, if their home or vehicle energy use is below the baseline average in their city. Extra points are earned by participants that re-set their “personal best” for home energy and vehicle fuel consumption from a previous month. And bonus points are earned by signing up for the Challenge, filling out a MyEnergyUpgrade plan, uploading a photo, inviting friends to join the Challenge, sharing energy and water saving tips on social media pages, and committing to do an energy and water saving action and writing a review of that action.

Register today at www.CAChallenge.org. For more information on the City’s participation in the CoolCalifornia Challenge contact Mona Schmidt at (916) 478-3633 or mschmidt@elkgrovecity.org.

Homeownership Still a Great Investment

(Courtesy of

Homeownership Still a Great Investment | Keeping Current Matters

Four recent news articles confirmed that most Americans still see real estate as a great long term investment. The Gallup organization polled the American people and discovered that they believe that real estate is a better long term investment than stocks/mutual funds, gold, savings or bonds:

Americans: Real Estate is Best Long Term Investment | Keeping Current Matters

A second survey was done by Edelman Berland which showed that:

Importance of Real Estate to Long-Term Investing | Keeping Current Matters

At the same time, Tim Rood, chairman of the business advisory firm The Collingwood Group, explained that real estate is:

“…one of the last legitimate wealth creation opportunities…The leveraged return if you put down 10 percent on a house, the trajectory of appreciation lately is you’re going to get your money back inside of a year and then after that 5 to 10 percent appreciation rates. It’s phenomenal.”

Bottom Line

Real estate continues to be a sensational long term investment. If you need help with any of your real estate needs, contact a local real estate professional and discuss the opportunities available in today’s market.

Home Sales Rebound for the Holidays, Inventory Shrinks

Sales volume rebounded for December, increasing 21.5% to 1,313 single family home sales. This is nearly an identical rebound from the 21.4% drop from October to November (1,375 sales down to 1,081 sales). This marks an increase in sales after four months of consecutive decline. Equity sale dominate the market, accounting for 87.5% of all sales (1,145 units). The remainder of sales comprised of 80 Short Sales (6.1%) and REO sales (6.7%). For the month, REO sales increased 26.4%, short sales decreased 1.6% and conventional sales decreased 1.4%.

Of the 1,313 sales this month, 202 used cash financing, 661 used conventional (mortgage‐backed) financing, 318 used FHA (Federal Housing Administration), 100 used VA (Veteran’s Affairs) and 32 used Other* types of financing. The average DOM (days on market) for homes sold this month was 41, while the Median DOM was 26. These numbers represent the days between the initial listing of the home as “active” and the day it goes “pending.” Breaking down the Days On Market, there were 709 listings that sold between 1 – 30 days, 287 listings that sold between 31 – 60 days, 160 between 61 – 90 days, 81 between 91 – 120 days and 76 sold after being on the market for over 120 days. See comparison of sales volume for 2013 and 2014 below.

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The month‐to‐month median sales price increased 1.1% from $265,000 to $268,000. The current level is 7.2% above the $250,000 median sales price of December 2013. The current figure is up 67.5% from the January 2012 low of $160,000. When compared to the all‐time high ($392,750/Aug. ’08), the current figure is down 31.7%.n
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Active Listing Inventory in Sacramento County decreased for the month, down 19.2% to 2,427 (from 3,002 listings). Compared year‐to‐year, the current number is up (32.2%) from the 2,836 units of December 2013. Following this drop, the current months of inventory decreased 35.7 % to 1.8 months.

MLS Statistics for December 2014

I Don’t Need An Agent, I Can Do This On My Own and Save Some Money

Elk Grove Real Estate Short Sale Agent – How to Really Save Money

It’s the age old adage, “they just want your money”. And so, time and time again, many people spend countless hours plotting and scheming to try to avoid calling a professional to handle whatever ails them in an effort to save some money. But more often than not, whether it’s the plumber, mechanic, or real estate agent, the sad irony is, eventually the call will need to be made.

Here is the reality, you can’t do it all. And you should not have a problem throwing some money at someone who can do it for you — and do it well.

Are there dishonest people out there who have no intention of providing you great service or have no desire to help you fix your problem? The answer is a resounding yes. However, there are also a number of honest professionals with great integrity who are gifted at what they do and earnestly desire to help provide a solution to your problem.

As it pertains to real estate, adding insult to injury, I have seen, and been a party to, agents who minimize their services and reduce their commission or value just to get a deal done or a listing in hand.

However, any real estate agent worth their weight will, again, have their full fee thrown at them in an instant if they are providing the client with what they deserve — efficiency, great communication, good customer service, and a deep understanding and knowledge of what needs to occur in the transaction. If an agent is all those things, as my grandma used to say “baby, you can write your own ticket”.

Case in point, I recently was involved in a transaction where the seller, before she hired me, tried for years to sell the home on her own because she wanted to “save some money”. In the process of saving some money, she intentionally neglected to pay the property taxes so that she was not paying out more money on the property than the other owners who would also get a piece of the pie when the home sold. However, she failed to consider the penalties and interest that would continue to accrue over the years. In addition, now the county was ready to foreclose on her home due to unpaid property taxes. How’s that for saving some money?

There was no magic bullet when I listed the home and it sold in a matter of days to a cash buyer thousands above list price. The market is hot, and I’m diligent…that’s the magic.

Here’s another example of “savings”:

A Seller’s Internet Inquiry (Q): My husband and I have been purchasing a house from private seller (lease to buy) and it is coming very close to the end of the contract what is involved in transferring the property to our daughters name. Are there taxes or county fees we must pay?

My Response (A): I won’t wallow in what you should have done. The details of your transaction really don’t matter at this point.

Truth is, I cannot advise you. As a REALTOR, I abide by the State of CA DRE laws and regs and am bound contractually to the terms and conditions which were created and ascribed according to the California Association of REALTORs and can be backed up by a slew of real estate attorneys on their payroll. If you had a question which fell under any of those terms, a REALTOR could advise you all day. And as an extra bonus, we would also have the legal power behind us to back you up.

When people opt to go outside of a traditional real estate transaction, ungoverned and unpoliced, they are taking a risk.

Your lease to buy agreement, if you have questions, should probably be reviewed with a real estate attorney, a title company, and a full-time real estate agent. It may not be too late to get the right entities involved.

It’s not worth it in the long run to try to save a little money. If you end up in court, you’ll end up paying way more than you tried to save.”

That’s really all there is to it. You don’t have to try to be captain-save-a-dollar when your real goal should be to have it done right. Let someone help you who knows what they are doing so that you can really save some money.

Hope that helps.