San Francisco Home Inspector News and Real Estate

ARM Rates

Fri, 03/22/2013 - 10:03
ARM Rates IndexThis WeekLast WeekYear Ago6-month CD0.420.430.516-month T-bill0.1150.1200.1451-month Libor0.200.200.246-month Libor0.450.460.741-year TCMS0.150.170.185-year TCMS0.820.770.87IndexThis WeekLast MonthYear AgoWSJ Prime Rate3.253.253.25Federal Discount Rate0.750.750.7511th District Cost of Funds0.9621.0711.224Source:, 11th District, Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco; latest figure is for February and changes on the last working day of every month.

Homeowners associations: The pros and cons

Fri, 03/22/2013 - 10:03
Homeowners associations: The pros and cons What are the benefits and drawbacks of joining a homeowners association? Homeowners associations can be either wonderful or painful, depending your personality and experience. Do enough reading on the topic and you'll immerse yourself in the various legal issues, possible abuses of authority and financial risk for the owners. Management companies The most important thing to remember is that you at one point legally agreed to live by the pre-existing covenants, conditions and restrictions (CC&Rs) as part of your purchase or rental agreement. Communal living is just that:

U.S. rate on mortgage rises to 3.63 percent

Fri, 03/22/2013 - 10:03
U.S. rate on mortgage rises to 3.63 percent Associated Press Copyright 2013 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Published 3:47 pm, Friday, March 15, 2013 WASHINGTON - The average U.S. rate on the 30-year fixed mortgage rose this week to its highest level in seven months but remains near historic lows. Low mortgage rates have helped support the gradually recovering housing market. Freddie Mac said Thursday that the average rate for the 30-year fixed loan rose to 3.63 percent from 3.52 percent last week. The average rate on the 15-year fixed mortgage rose to 2.79 percent, up from 2.76 percent last week.

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Fri, 03/22/2013 - 10:03

Restored craftsman homes share lot in Larkspur

Fri, 03/22/2013 - 10:03
Restored craftsman homes share lot in Larkspur "The homes didn't even have a foundation, so they raised them and built one before adding new electrical systems and plumbing," said Sue Pence of Coldwell Banker. Being able to save some of the original materials, such as the beams in the ceilings, helped preserve the historic atmosphere of the homes, Pence said. Set on the higher portion of the sloping lot, the four-bedroom home offers views of San Rafael Bay and surrounding hills. The kitchens, which were designed by Christine and Co., feature marble and stainless steel appliances. Though the homes are move-in ready, the two-bedroom residence still offers some flexibility and customization options for its future occupants, with its 700-square-foot attic. The homes share a four-car parking pad with a scenic view of the surrounding area.

Just Approved: Shut out by other lenders, owner negotiates better rate

Thu, 03/21/2013 - 09:54
Just Approved: Shut out by other lenders, owner negotiates better rate Banducci's client was a sole proprietor with a long-standing business and good credit who had completely remodeled his building, including updating systems to meet current green and seismic building standards. Another issue, also common to self-employed business owners, is that the client had personal guarantees on credit accounts that were primarily used for the business; these business lines and their payments were listed on the client's personal credit report. Being both a mortgage broker and a mortgage banker, Banducci had a number of potential sources for funding the client's loan and found a lender who would exclude the business credit line payments from the client's personal expenses shown on his credit report with proof the business was making the payments. [...] the lender also allowed the use of cash balances in the business bank account to count toward reserve requirements since the client held 100 percent ownership of the business.

Landlord must provide accounting of deposit refund

Thu, 03/21/2013 - 09:54
Landlord must provide accounting of deposit refund Landlord must provide accounting of deposit refund An important part of the procedure established by that statute is the requirement that the landlord provide an accounting of the security deposit to the former tenant within 21 days after the tenant has vacated. If more than $125 was deducted for cleaning or repairs, that accounting should have included receipts and invoices for any repair and cleaning work that was being charged against your deposit.

Bay Area home prices up 24.6% over 2012

Thu, 03/21/2013 - 09:54
Bay Area home prices up 24.6% over 2012 In the latest sign of a rebounding real estate market, eager buyers vying for a limited pool of properties pushed Bay Area median home prices 24.6 percent higher in February compared with last year, according to a real estate report released Thursday. "Drum-tight inventory, lower (interest) rates than most people alive have ever seen, and in some areas record levels of investor purchases (created) an unusual environment," said Andrew LePage, analyst at San Diego's DataQuick, which produced the report. [...] there's been a shift in psychology in the past year with people switching from fearing prices might fall more, to fearing they will go up, so they want to buy now. "The San Francisco Bay Area is the hottest market in the country right now," said Errol Samuelson, president of, the online marketplace for the National Association of Realtors. The same dearth of inventory that amped up prices caused the volume of sales to slump 6.1 percent compared with a year earlier. Return of bidding warsRealtors around the area report that tight inventories are spurring ferocious bidding wars over properties - a phenomenon that holds true at all price points. At a different point on the scale, Annie Brown, an agent with ZipRealty in the East Bay, recently took an investor client to tour a $399,000 four-bedroom tract home in Dublin. Kiesha Stephens, a listing specialist with Redfin, is preparing a two-bedroom Nob Hill condo - a remodeled unit that retains its early 1900s character, including stained glass windows, wood wainscoting and two fireplaces - to hit the market next week for $799,000, a relative bargain in that neighborhood. Fewer distress salesDataQuick said that changes in the market mix, such as fewer bargain-priced distress sales and more high-end homes, account for about half of the median's increase.

U.S. foreclosures down nearly 30 percent

Tue, 03/19/2013 - 09:56
U.S. foreclosures down nearly 30 percent Spotlight On Residential Real Estate Market Data provided by Bloomberg News Home repossessions in the U.S. plunged 29 percent last month from a year earlier to the lowest level since 2007 amid increased efforts by state lawmakers and courts to delay property seizures, according to RealtyTrac. California lawTotal filings have fallen for 29 straight months on an annual basis, and home seizures have dropped for 27 of the past 28 months, following a coordinated legal probe by U.S. states into faulty mortgage processing, according to RealtyTrac. The delaying effects of legislation in California and other states was evident in the prevalence of repossessions of homes with "well-aged, bad loans" originated from 2005 to 2007, which represent 65 percent of all mortgages in the foreclosure process nationwide, Blomquist said.