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Keith Parrett's Blog

By Keith Parrett | Agent in Brentwood, CA
  • OPEN HOUSE 7/20 from 12-3pm - 4170 Sandmound Blvd, Oakley, CA

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Oakley, Home Selling in Oakley, Investment Properties in Oakley  |  July 19, 2013 5:04 PM  |  566 views  |  No comments

    OPEN HOUSE

  • 8 Tips for Finding Your New Home

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Brentwood, Home Selling in Brentwood, Investment Properties in Brentwood  |  April 2, 2013 1:38 PM  |  536 views  |  No comments

    A solid game plan can help you narrow your homebuying search to find the best home for you.

    House hunting is just like any other shopping expedition. If you identify exactly what you want and do some research, you’ll zoom in on the home you want at the best price. These eight tips will guide you through a smart homebuying process.

    1. Know thyself

    Understand the type of home that suits your personality. Do you prefer a new or existing home? A ranch or a multistory home? If you’re leaning toward a fixer-upper, are you truly handy, or will you need to budget for contractors?

    2. Research before you look

    List the features you most want in a home and identify which are necessities and which are extras. Identify three to four neighborhoods you’d like to live in based on commute time, schools, recreation, crime, and price. Then hop onto REALTOR.com (http://REALTOR.com) to get a feel for the homes available in your price range in your favorite neighborhoods. Use the results to prioritize your wants and needs so you can add in and weed out properties from the inventory you’d like to view.

    3. Get your finances in order

    Generally, lenders say you can afford a home priced two to three times your gross income. Create a budget so you know how much you’re comfortable spending each month on housing. Don’t wait until you’ve found a home and made an offer to investigate financing.

    Gather your financial records and meet with a lender to get a prequalification letter spelling out how much you’re eligible to borrow. The lender won’t necessarily consider the extra fees you’ll pay when you purchase or your plans to begin a family or purchase a new car, so shop in a price range you’re comfortable with. Also, presenting an offer contingent on financing will make your bid less attractive to sellers.

    4. Set a moving timeline

    Do you have blemishes on your credit that will take time to clear up? If you already own, have you sold your current home? If not, you’ll need to factor in the time needed to sell. If you rent, when is your lease up? Do you expect interest rates to jump anytime soon? All these factors will affect your buying, closing, and moving timelines.

    5. Think long term

    Your future plans may dictate the type of home you’ll buy. Are you looking for a starter house with plans to move up in a few years, or do you hope to stay in the home for five to 10 years? With a starter, you may need to adjust your expectations. If you plan to nest, be sure your priority list helps you identify a home you’ll still love years from now.

    6. Work with a REALTOR®

    Ask people you trust for referrals to a real estate professional they trust. Interview agents to determine which have expertise in the neighborhoods and type of homes you’re interested in. Because homebuying triggers many emotions, consider whether an agent’s style meshes with your personality.

    Also ask if the agent specializes in buyer representation. Unlike listing agents, whose first duty is to the seller, buyers’ reps work only for you even though they’re typically paid by the seller. Finally, check whether agents are REALTORS®, which means they’re members of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®. NAR has been a champion of homeownership rights for more than a century.

    7. Be realistic

    It’s OK to be picky about the home and neighborhood you want, but don’t be close-minded, unrealistic, or blinded by minor imperfections. If you insist on living in a cul-de-sac, you may miss out on great homes on streets that are just as quiet and secluded.

    On the flip side, don’t be so swayed by a “wow” feature that you forget about other issues-like noise levels-that can have a big impact on your quality of life. Use your priority list to evaluate each property, remembering there’s no such thing as the perfect home.

    8. Limit the opinions you solicit

    It’s natural to seek reassurance when making a big financial decision. But you know that saying about too many cooks in the kitchen. If you need a second opinion, select one or two people. But remain true to your list of wants and needs so the final decision is based on criteria you’ve identified as important.

    More from HouseLogic

    HOAs: What You Need to Know About Rules (http://www.houselogic.com/articles/hoas-what-you-need-to-know-about-rules/)

    A Financial Plan for Your Home (http://www.houselogic.com/articles/a-financial-plan-for-your-home/)

    When It Pays to Do It Yourself (http://www.houselogic.com/articles/when-it-pays-to-do-it-yourself/)

    G.M. Filisko is an attorney and award-winning writer who has found happiness in a brownstone in a historic Chicago neighborhood. A frequent contributor to many national publications including Bankrate.com, REALTOR® Magazine, and the American Bar Association Journal, she specializes in real estate, business, personal finance, and legal topics.   Article From BuyAndSell.HouseLogic.com
    By: G. M. Filisko
    Published: February 10, 2010

    Have a Great day,
    Keith Parrett
    Realtor/CDPE –
    Realty World
    (925) 580-4650
    License No: 01714500
    If you, a friend or family member need Real Estate assistance, please feel free to contact me anytime.  Your referrals are the greatest compliment I can receive!

     
    Visit houselogic.com for more articles like this. Reprinted from HouseLogic with permission of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®
    Copyright 2013.  All rights reserved.

  • Need to Modify Your Home for Medical Reasons? 2012 is the Year to Do It

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Antioch, Foreclosure in Antioch, Investment Properties in Antioch  |  April 17, 2012 12:27 PM  |  655 views  |  1 comment

    With tax deduction limits coming for 2013, medically related home upgrades are a smart project this year.

    What a difference year makes.
    For the 2012 tax year, you can take a tax deduction on medically necessary home improvements (http://www.houselogic.com/home-advice/tax-deductions/medical-tax-deductions-h... – like installing a wheelchair ramp and other projects that make life easier for an ill or injured family member – if you:
    •Itemize deductions

    •Spend more than 7.5% of your adjusted gross income on the upgrades (10% of AGI if you’re subject to alternative minimum tax).

    Starting in 2013, if you’re under age 65, you can’t take the tax deduction on medical expenses until you spend 10% of your AGI. But if you’re 65 or older in 2013, you can stick with the 7.5% AGI tax deduction threshold through the end of 2016.
    The rules for tax deductions on medical home improvements are tricky:
    1. Start with what it costs to modify your home.
    2. Subtract the value the upgrades add to your home.
    3. What’s leftover is your tax deduction – if you meet your AGI threshold.
    How it works
    Say you’re 45 years old and spend $20,000 to put a bathroom on the first floor of your home because your husband can’t climb stairs anymore. Your AGI is $100,000. A REALTOR® says the bathroom adds $10,000 to the value of your house.
    1. Start with the cost of the improvements: $20,000
    2. Subtract your added home value: $10,000
    3. Of that $10,000 difference, you can only take a deduction for expenses that exceed 7.5% of your AGI or $7,500.
    So if you itemize, you can take a $2,500 deduction for the 2012 tax year. Wait until 2013 and you get no deduction because your threshold rises to 10%. If you’re over age 65, though, you can claim a $2,500 deduction.
    Tip: Doing all your improvements in a single year will help you meet the AGI threshold.
    Some of the improvements that you can claim a tax deduction for, according to IRS Publication 502 (http://www.irs.gov/publications/p502/index.html), “Medical and Dental Expenses”:
    •Entrance ramps for your home

    •Grading the yard before building a ramp, or to make it easier to get in your home

    •Widening exterior or interior doorways

    •Widening or removing hallways

    •Installing railings, support bars, or other bathroom improvements

    •Lowering or modifying kitchen cabinets and equipment

    •Moving or modifying electrical outlets and fixtures

    •Installing porch lifts and other forms of lifts (but elevators generally add value to the house)

    •Modifying fire alarms, smoke detectors, and other warning systems

    •Modifying stairways

    •Adding handrails or grab bars anywhere (whether or not in bathrooms)

    •Changing door knobs

    •Upkeep of medically necessary upgrades, like elevators, and operating costs

    •Lead-based paint removal if your child has lead poisoning

    •Renovating an existing bathroom to make it handicap accessible or adding a new accessible bath

    Will the tax change encourage you to make necessary changes this year?

    Have a Great day,

    Keith Parrett
    Realtor/CDPE

    Realty World Pigati and Russell
    Direct: (925) 580-4650
    Efax: (866) 404-4934
    Email: keith@keithparrett.com

    www.keithparrett.com

    License No: 01714500

    If you, a friend or family member need Real Estate assistance, please feel free to contact me anytime. Your referrals are the greatest compliment I can receive!

    Article From HouseLogic.com

    By: Dona DeZube
    Published: April 10, 2012
    Visit houselogic.com for more articles like this. Reprinted from HouseLogic with permission of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®
    Copyright 2012. All rights reserved.

  • Just Sold: Short Sale 2290 Montecito Pl, Brentwood Ca 94513

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Brentwood, Home Selling in Brentwood, Investment Properties in Brentwood  |  April 4, 2012 3:25 PM  |  325 views  |  No comments

    Brentwood Home in the Shadow Lakes area.

    Keith Parrett
    Realtor/CDPE
    Realty World Pigati and Russell
    Direct: (925) 580-4650
    Email: keith@keithparrett.com
    www.keithparrett.com
    License No: 01714500

    If you, a friend or family member need Real Estate assistance, please feel free to contact me anytime. Your referrals are the greatest compliment I can receive!

 
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