San Francisco Home Inspector News and Real Estate

Sound Off: How long should my escrow last?

Wed, 05/29/2013 - 10:49
Sound Off: How long should my escrow last? [...] the Realtor forwards the purchase agreement to the lender, and the appraisal is ordered and all documentation requested by the lender is being provided by the buyer. If a buyer has purchased a condo, they will receive a large packet of homeowners association documents, which are composed of minutes from monthly meetings, reserve studies, the budget and more. [...] at the end of the escrow period, the bank will fund the mortgage, and escrow and title will properly account for all funds, and record the purchase documents.

Colonial in Piedmont offers abundance of French doors, large yard

Wed, 05/29/2013 - 10:49
Colonial in Piedmont offers abundance of French doors, large yard Featuring hand-painted murals, abundant gallery space and a layout inspiring large gatherings, 61 King Ave. in Piedmont has been a place Dayna and John Ziegler have been proud to call home for the last decade. Finished in 1943 by Clarence Tantau, the Monterey Colonial still has many of its original finishes, including the grand staircase and several sets of French doors that open to the backyard. The four-bedroom home has four full baths and three partial baths, a design that makes it ideal for large families, Dayna Ziegler said. The kitchen is home to a banana-colored Spanish marble countertop that warms the stainless steel finishes of the stove and exhaust hood. When you have a lot of people over you can open up the French doors and get air flow in, and make it so people can easily go inside and out. With wood-paneled walls, a fireplace and a hidden wet bar, the library serves as an ideal location to hang art and discuss its history. Features: 4 bedroom, four-bathroom (with three partial baths), Monterey Colonial design, private well, multiple French doors to create an open flow

Just Approved: 80-10-10 loan helps buyer avoid mortgage insurance

Wed, 05/29/2013 - 10:49
Just Approved: 80-10-10 loan helps buyer avoid mortgage insurance Just Approved: 80-10-10 loan helps buyer avoid mortgage insurance Andruss found a way around having his client pay mortgage insurance by enrolling him in an 80-10-10 program, in which the first mortgage is for 80 percent of the purchase price, a second loan for 10 percent is made and the client puts down the remaining 10 percent of the purchase price. The loan for 10 percent of the purchase price came with a rate of 5.25 percent, and Andruss estimates his client saved $360 a month by not having to pay mortgage insurance on a single 90 percent loan. Though it was a first-time buyer who reaped the benefit of the 80-10-10 program in this case, Andruss said it can be appealing to many types of buyers.

Piedmont Colonial with lush landscaping

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 10:00
Piedmont Colonial with lush landscaping The bedroom level is accessed by a grand staircase, and the rooms overlook a lush landscape dotted by rose bushes and other mature plantings. The formal dining room is illuminated by large windows, while the living and family rooms are warmed by fireplaces. The backyard, which includes a recently installed outdoor fireplace and grill area, as well as hardwood patio next to the level grass pad.

Landsdowne: Redefining Bay Area Living in San Mateo

Fri, 05/24/2013 - 14:20
Landsdowne: Redefining Bay Area Living in San Mateo Normal 0 false false false MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 New homes in San Mateo are scarce enough. But it’s even rarer to find homes that put everything together for you like Landsdowne: a fantastic location, an intelligently-designed master-plan community, a town square with shops and restaurants, public transportation, walkability and green living. Those are just a few of the benefits that have already created remarkable excitement and interest among Bay Meadow’s new homebuyers.

Pacific Heights condo filled with light

Fri, 05/24/2013 - 14:20
Pacific Heights condo filled with light Soapstone countertops, stainless steel appliances and tile backsplashes decorate the modern kitchen, while eight skylights and windows on all four sides help illuminate the penthouse. An office, laundry room and leased independent garage parking come with the condominium, which is set inside a brick and wood building on a tree-lined block. The private deck, which overlooks Pacific Heights and is accessible from the dining room and living room.

Just Approved: Couple avoids mortgage insurance despite spotty credit

Fri, 05/24/2013 - 14:20
Just Approved: Couple avoids mortgage insurance despite spotty credit First Loan: $285,000. Parrott used a special loan program allowing his clients to purchase with a 5 percent down payment and no mortgage insurance, even though one of the clients had credit problems. The program has the added advantages of the homes being exclusively available to owner occupying purchasers three weeks before non-owner occupant investors may make offers and no appraisal is required, saving $400 to $500 on the closing costs. Eventually a home they wanted that was part of the Fannie Mae program came on the market and they were able to get their offer accepted, with the seller paying a 3 percent credit for closing costs.

Oakland Hills home offers views, spaciousness

Fri, 05/24/2013 - 14:20
Oakland Hills home offers views, spaciousness The couple also updated the flooring, swapping out parquet for cherry hardwood in the public rooms and hallways to play off the black pine and cypress trees around the home. [...] they intend to open a second location in Sonoma, Susy Martes said. Because of Daniel Martes' experience in the kitchen, the home features a thoughtfully designed kitchen. A deep sink provides a convenient place to fill pots and wash vegetables, while the industrial refrigerator can hold an abundance of produce and protein. Since her husband likes to demonstrate his cooking while with friends, Susy Martes said, the stove top is elevated on an island so people can sit around it as he cooks. More than anything he wanted a good prep area with lots of counter space. Besides aesthetic touches, the one-level mid-century home also features functional finishes like fully insulated ceilings and walls.

Data Point

Fri, 05/24/2013 - 14:20
Data Point $595,167 The average sale price of homes in Pacifica during the first week of April Source: Sentinel Media Services

Rate on 30-year mortgage rises to 3.51 percent

Fri, 05/24/2013 - 14:20
Rate on 30-year mortgage rises to 3.51 percent Associated Press Copyright 2013 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Published 3:16 pm, Friday, May 17, 2013 Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac says the average rate for the 30-year loan increased to 3.51 percent from 3.42 percent last week. Home sales and construction are up from a year ago, and prices are rising in most U.S. markets.

Price Point: $1.499 million

Fri, 05/24/2013 - 14:20
Price Point: $1.499 million Floor-to-ceiling custom doors open to a large dining room and living room overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge, Lafayette Park and Russian Hill in this Pacific Heights condominium. A wood-paneled ceiling is featured in the open living room and the condominium includes one-car parking, a storage cage and additional storage unit.

Price Point: $1.398 million

Fri, 05/24/2013 - 14:20
Price Point: $1.398 million This four-bedroom, three-bathroom home has more than 2,100 square feet of living space on a .32-acre lot. The eat-in kitchen has granite countertops and stainless steel appliances, while the master suite has abundant closet space and a marble bath with glass shower. Beyond the foyer is an open living room and dining room with a brick fireplace and hardwood floors. Outside, flagstone patios and large decks are integrated into the landscape surrounding the two-level home. Listing agent: Dan Gilmartin, (650) 348-2020, dan@thegilmartins.com 3033 Canyon Road Beds: 4 Baths: 3 Square footage: 2,100

Presented By:

Fri, 05/24/2013 - 14:20

Is old tenant responsible for rent if new tenant doesn't work out?

Fri, 05/24/2013 - 14:20
Is old tenant responsible for rent if new tenant doesn't work out? A couple of months after my wife and I signed a one-year lease to rent a home, we found a condo for sale, and to our surprise, our purchase offer was accepted. The fact that the landlord's relationship with the successor tenant failed, either a week later or a year later, does not reinstate your obligation to pay further rent under your prior lease. If your landlord is still holding a portion of your security deposit to compensate for rent lost after the date the new tenant signed a lease, you should demand its refund.

Sound Off: How do I find a home inspector?

Fri, 05/24/2013 - 14:20
Sound Off: How do I find a home inspector? Call a few real estate agents and ask who they like to and why they like using a particular inspector. A home inspector can break down the components of the house and really educate your buyers about building techniques and how the plumbing, electrical, and mechanical systems of the house operate. When our home inspectors are asked to do a pre-sale inspection, it is our hope that this concise information is helpful to buyers who need to decide in this era of "Multiple-Offer Madness" whether they will bid on the property.

Latest offers

Fri, 05/24/2013 - 14:20
Latest offers A snapshot of what lenders serving the Bay Area are offering. BankCityConventional 30-yr fixed (%) PointsBank of AmericaSan Francisco3.5001.445Provident Credit UnionBelmont3.6250San Francisco Federal Credit UnionSan Francisco3.6250Source: Sentinel Media Services, rates taken May 14, 2013 Source: Sentinel Media Services, rates taken May 14, 2013

ARM Rates

Fri, 05/24/2013 - 14:20
ARM Rates IndexThis WeekLast WeekYear Ago6-month CD0.430.420.306-month T-bill0.0800.750.1451-month Libor0.200.200.246-month Libor0.430.430.731-year TCMS0.110.110.185-year TCMS0.760.680.82IndexThis WeekLast MonthYear AgoWSJ Prime Rate3.253.253.25Federal Discount Rate0.750.750.7511th District Cost of Funds0.9670.9991.163Source: bankrate.com, 11th District, Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco; latest figure is for April and changes on the last working day of every month. Source: bankrate.com, 11th District, Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco; latest figure is for April and changes on the last working day of every month.

'Urban village' Bay Meadows takes shape

Fri, 05/24/2013 - 14:20
'Urban village' Bay Meadows takes shape First residential development to be completed in the summer Located minutes from San Mateo's Caltrain stop, the community will offer residents a convenient way to avoid the freeways yet still reach San Francisco and surrounding areas. [...] potential buyers have flocked to the welcome center to submit applications and see the development, she said. TRI Pointe Homes joined the project in 2012 and is constructing Canterbury, a neighborhood with 76 town homes, two courtyards and multiple paths that wind through the area and connecting to nearby jogging trails. The community is set on public streets, and the parks will be maintained by the city, but residents will be required to pay a master homeowner's fee to Bay Meadows, as well as a homeowner's fee for the individual development they live in, Thacher said. With the cost of gas continuing to increase and gridlock typical in parts of the Bay Area, Thacher said one of Bay Meadows' most intriguing aspects is the proximity to public transportation and local stores.

Large, updated Moraga home on tree-filled lot

Fri, 05/24/2013 - 14:20
Large, updated Moraga home on tree-filled lot The recently updated kitchen has granite countertops and stainless steel appliances, while the adjacent breakfast nook is warmed with natural light. A fireplace with stone surround decorates the living room, which also includes a built-in desk and French doors leading to a pool and outdoor kitchen. The master suite, which includes a fireplace and sitting area, with a jetted tub, stall shower and dual vanities in the bathroom.

Russian Hill condo has patio, bay views

Thu, 05/23/2013 - 14:19
Russian Hill condo has patio, bay views Renovated in 2008, this three-bedroom Russian Hill condominium includes a terrace, patio and garden, as well as sweeping views of San Francisco Bay. The kitchen includes a center island, detailed tile work and gas appliances, while the dining area includes a wine refrigerator and overlooks the water. The unit comes with a game room, office and laundry room, as well as parking for one car, and its master bathroom has a free-standing tub, stall shower and private water closet.