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El Cerrito : Real Estate Advice

  • All40
  • Local Info4
  • Home Buying9
  • Home Selling2
  • Market Conditions2

Activity 34
Sat Apr 22, 2017
Amy Seng asked:
We're considering putting an offer on a home in a seismic hazard zone (El Cerrito hills). We had the home inspected by a structural engineer who says it is in pretty good shape in terms…
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Thu Oct 29, 2015
Kendelloo answered:
I personally moved out of an apartment for that reason alone. I was told that I had to get "renters" insurance and list them as the beneficiary. I refused and they gave a 30 day notice and I gladly moved. Seems illegal if you ask me. The owners of the building have insurance on that property covering the dwelling itself, and the properties contents inside ie...appliances, etc... but NOT your (the renter's) personal affects. My renters insurance only cover my personal affects if damaged by fire or water etc...and or in some cases theft. Seems like one can end up in a legal twist if something was to happen and they list the management company or property owners as sole recipient of insurance. Many states don't offer as separate liability policy for renters...just depends on what state you reside in. ... more
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Tue Mar 24, 2015
Catherine Krueger answered:
Hi Graniterootsmedia,

I live in El Cerrito and love it. I am also a realtor specializing in the residential real estate market of El Cerrito AND the current chair of the Crime Prevention Committee with the city of El Cerrito.
Check out what our chief of police had to say about El Cerrito.

Also you can always check

I personally am happy to be living in El Cerrito and feel safe walking around and letting my kids walk around.

Good luck,

Catherine Krueger
Marvin Gardens Real Estate
... more
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Sun Feb 22, 2015
Anna M Brocco answered:
When it comes to any safety/crime related issues, it's always best to contact the local authorities with all your questions, hear all there is to hear firsthand. If unfamiliar with the area(s) do revisit more than once and at different times of day, possibly chat with locals/neighbors. Real estate professionals are prohibited from steering, enticing a buyer to purchase/rent, or not, in specific neighborhoods.
... more
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Sat Feb 21, 2015
Roger Grubb answered:
No way!! Selling together will limit the pool of potential buyers. Commercial moves more slowly than residential and I'm sure you would rather get them sold sooner rather than later.

Smart Realtors will take both listings, obviously individually as a residential and commercial listings due to separate Assessors Parcel Numbers, and market as selling separately
AND as a package deal. This way you tap into both pools of potential buyers doubling your chances of maximizing your return on investment.

Also, commercial Realtors use additional resources to market Commercial Real Estate. One such resource is Loopnet, the #1 resource for listing commercial properties nation wide. Of course I would list your property for you on Loopnet as well as on our regional multiple listing services. ;-)

I'm happy to share all I know on more creative ways to maximize your ROI. You, or anyone else, may call or email me anytime. I am here to serve you. ;-)
Roger Grubb
Security Pacific Real Estate Brokerage
BRE License# 01845823
... more
0 votes 4 answers Share Flag
Tue Feb 17, 2015
There are companies that will do that for you for about $75. Look up "natural hazards report" on Google about 10 companies will show up
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Fri Jan 30, 2015
Catherine Krueger answered:
Hi Ali,

I understand that you don't want to use a realtor and Craigslist and Zillows are fine tools to advertise your lot. Builders (if you can find them) are good sources. Putting big signs on your lot and having all relevant paperwork for a potential buyer is really a plus
An agent will do all that for you along with advertising in their MLS for a bigger pool of potential buyers. So depending on how fast you want to sell and for how much reaching out to a Realtor should be in your best interest.. and the commission you will be paying will be minimal compared to the work you have to do yourself.
Best of luck,

Catherine Krueger
CalBRE 01271748
Marvin Gardens Real Estate
... more
0 votes 7 answers Share Flag
Thu Jan 22, 2015
Ali Qureshi answered:
It is a scam!! I have heard the same in other parts of the bay. They would advertise the rent really low and say that we are out of country send the deposit via fedex...
0 votes 5 answers Share Flag
Sun Nov 30, 2014
Christopher Pagli answered:
When sites like this get bigger and bigger they make it harder to call someone with a question. The easiest way to get a hold of someone by phone is to pretend you want to spend money and then the contact numbers magically appear in this sections. Try calling 1-877-776-9521 and tell them you need customer support. ... more
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Wed Sep 10, 2014
Robert Chomentowski answered:
The best way to compare rent vs. buy is to first look at average rents for a similar property vs. your mortgage + taxes + insurance (PITI) on a purchase. Two major factors to look at when buying are: 1. Loan principle pay down and 2. Tax write-off of mortgage interest and property taxes. These two factors are often overlooked buy renters in a rent vs. buy. For example, on a $600k purchase with 20% down at say a 4% 30 yr fixed rate, your monthly principle pay down on the loan would be over $700/mo (and principle pay down goes up every month as the you pay down the loan, more of your payment goes towards principle). After 5 years you would pay down $45,851 of the loan principle. When renting you do not get any "principle pay down", the entire payment goes to the landlord and you are left after 5 years of renting with no equity. So make sure you count the principle pay down. The tax write off savings can be significant too. So tax savings + principle pay down can be an extra $1,000+/mo in your pocket vs. renting.

With renting of course, you do not have an maintenance or repairs. If you buy a older house that needs updating, you could be looking at significant maintenance and upgrade costs vs. renting you have none. Also with renting you have a lot of flexibility to move quickly and if you don't like a neighborhood or job changes, it's much easier to move.

Also with buying you fix your payment for 30 years. With renting, rent will keep going up over time.

One nice thing I liked personally about buying is the ability to remodel a property to your tastes. I got tired of renting properties with outdated kitchens, floors and bathrooms that I could not upgrade to my tastes.
... more
1 vote 10 answers Share Flag
Tue Jun 3, 2014
Dorothy Coakley answered:
Two lots in our hillside community sold in 2004 having been on the market for the first time in 50 years. The consortium that built these "spec" houses alienated the surrounding neighbors by building houses that blocked views, maxed their available footage and were not architecturally suited to the hillside. The result? Both houses are now rented as neither attracted buyers. Morale: Do your due diligence, work with the community *and* try to blend your new home into our mid-century view houses. If so, you'll meet with success. ... more
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Tue Feb 19, 2013
derbyzack.pz answered:
Does El Cerrito have a rent increase cap? My rent will increase almost 20%. How can this be legal? Thank you!

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Tue Sep 25, 2012
Darrell A. Caraway Architect answered:
In building, the hillside homes are three to four times more expensive than building on a flat lot.
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Tue Sep 25, 2012
Darrell A. Caraway Architect answered:
Its a quiet hilly fairly inaccessible side path mostly built out if you ask me. I really like the area around the golf course and have done some super modern houses there, near the top of the hill, lots of mature trees. Views are great. Its hillside living though. You use your brakes a lot. I have good hillside experience doing renovations as long as you stay away from the slide. ... more
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Tue Sep 25, 2012
Darrell A. Caraway Architect answered:
Prices are varied according to view, neighboring properties, age of building, style of grounds and landscape, if it is on the golf course, for instance, we always added a hundred thousand or two. ... more
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Tue Sep 25, 2012
Darrell A. Caraway Architect answered:
This is out of date (above) , but currently you need about 1/3 of the cost of a project to get a loan for the balance, fixed, at 3% or even lower. If a qualified person like you mention is willing to co sign to get you started there is nothing wrong with that. As an Architect, as well, I would suggest doing the plans so it fits into a specific budget or the project will not be feasible, loan or otherwise. Do you want to have a set of plans that does this? Or what would you do, buy a used house and live in it? That is a possibility, but if you can afford to buy you can certainly afford to build, is my point, so why would you do that? ... more
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Tue Sep 25, 2012
Darrell A. Caraway Architect answered:
2 thousand or a little more. Why don't you build a new house if you can afford that you can afford a new house? If you use an Architect and do it on budget you can get a house of your own for 1/3 that. I do that for people. I even did that for myself. ... more
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