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Home Buying in 94536 : Real Estate Advice

  • All78
  • Local Info2
  • Home Buying44
  • Home Selling2
  • Market Conditions1

Activity 44
Thu Mar 9, 2017
Brendandiamond123 answered:
Mostly banker false type because commitment is not ok. so many people is not satisfied from banker person.
0 votes 13 answers Share Flag
Mon Oct 17, 2016
Sam answered:
How badly is the house on Gilbert Ave near Shinn affected by rail tracks?

-What all trains use this tracks?
-What are the train times?
-Do they blow horn?
0 votes 7 answers Share Flag
Sun Mar 27, 2016
Susie Kay answered:
I agree with Arpad below, do you have this agreement in writing?
1 vote 5 answers Share Flag
Sat Oct 31, 2015
John C. Smith asked:
I find this site extremely frustrating for the following reasons:

1) When I click on a house in map view it opens up in the same page, making me have to re-query the search to come back…
0 votes 0 Answers Share Flag
Thu Jun 12, 2014
Claudia Muller answered:
Over $417k is considered a High Balance conventional mortgage.
The interest rate will be slightly higher than the $417k traditional conventional mortgage.
Both mortgages are sold to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
Jumbo loans (in the Bay Area) are loans in excess of $625k.
These loans are sold to various investors that do exclude Fannie and Freddie.
Thelse loans do not always have higher interest rates. There are some lenders who offer very agresive pricing for these loans.
Where Jumbo loans differ from conventional is in the underwriting process:

-jumbo loans require manual underwriting
-lower debt ratios allowed 43% vs. 45%
-6 months of PITI must remain in accounts when close
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0 votes 12 answers Share Flag
Mon Feb 24, 2014
Zambendorf answered:
The "cost approach" is not appropriate for insurance purposes.
This is an estimate of the cost to build new, but insurance estimate needs to be cost to rebuild.
Rebuilding is more expensive.

Fannie Mae allows the lender to use the cost approach as a metric for setting the minimum insurance requirement for selling the loan into the secondary market. That doesn't mean it would be an insurance limit adequate to rebuild after a total loss or to protect the policyholder from a coinsurance penalty.

If an insurance agent asked for the "cost approach" number off the appraisal rather than use the software they've been provided by the carriers, I'd look for a new agent.
They're either not well trained, or deliberately trying to win your business by getting the lowest (initial) quote with an artificially low replacement cost value.

Check the value yourself at accucoverage[dot]com, e2value, or 360-value. These are all insurance based estimated tools. If an agent does it for you, review the inputs in detail; the system generated assumptions may not match your home.

Google "reconstruction" "new construction" insurance and "replacement cost" and you should find more details on the issue.
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0 votes 5 answers Share Flag
Sat Sep 7, 2013
The Medford Team answered:

Q: I am looking for a 3Bed 2Bath town home or single family and found that the rates in Cabrillo are cheaper compared to rest of Fremont. I just wanted to know what is the reason behind it.
A: There are a few reasons:
i) First, in Fremont, neighborhood values are primarily driven by school API scores. Cabrillo has typically had some of the lower scores in Fremont.
ii) Second, homes in Cabrillo are relatively small compared to many other parts of Fremont. As an example, in lower Cabrillo, the average sq/ft size is 1,368 sq/ft. In contrast, in Brookvale, located just across Fremont Blvd, it jumps to an average of 1,736 sq/ft.
iii) Third is the age of the homes and their configuration: while neighborhoods like Brookvale and Northgate were built in the mid 70’s, classic Cabrillo homes originated in the mid 50’s.

Q: Is it a safe neighborhood?
A: This is a tough question for Realtors – while we’d love to be able to give you our opinion, we can’t. Overall, Realtors are prohibited by law from telling you whether or not any specific neighborhood is safe. It’s called “steering” and we are prohibited by our code of ethics and federal law from providing such information. Here are a couple posts that explain more:

NO STEERING ALLOWED: 3 Important Facts To Know As A Buyer

Don’t Get ‘Steered’ in the Wrong Direction

However, we CAN tell you where to go to get information. In your case, for crime statistics, go to the following sites:

Q: How is the re-sale value and rental potential in this area?
A: Excellent. Because of Fremont’s overall reputation, there is a market for every segment of housing Fremont. The current DOM (Days on the Market) is VERY low in Cabrillo – a sign that when homes hit the market, they are quickly snatched up. The same is true for rental values: while you might not get as high as neighborhoods close by with higher API scores, you will still get an excellent return.

Let me know if you have any additional questions.
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0 votes 7 answers Share Flag
Sat Mar 30, 2013
Zack King answered:
Are you only interested in Northern CA because you may be able to find a better investment opportunity in the Fresno/Bakersfield area. The market really took off during the bubble and than crashed hard. It is starting to pick back up again now and there may be good opportunities there.

Zack King
Keller Williams Estates Calabasas
(818) 825-7388
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0 votes 6 answers Share Flag
Sun Mar 17, 2013
Dorene Slavitz answered:
Dear Busy,
We can give you advice on home buying,selling and investments but we are not trained or licensed in other fields. As much as we would like to help,Realtors have gotten into trouble this way.
You need to talk to the hazard disclosure company or a professional in Earthquake Engineering or Geology to get a thorough and accurate answer.
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0 votes 4 answers Share Flag
Fri Dec 21, 2012
John Dutra answered:
There is no doubt about it. If a city inspector comes out to your home, they will not only require you to have permits on the craft room, but may find other issues as well while they are there.

Knowing that it is not permitted, they most likely will have you open up walls to certify plumbing and/or electrical and then could look at building codes not only the room, but as it may apply in other areas of the home as well. They could possiblyt ask that the room be taken down.

My advice would be to tell them to buy the property As-Is and then look at having it inspected after the fact.
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0 votes 14 answers Share Flag
Fri Dec 21, 2012
Kawain Payne answered:
Helloo Clark,

First months rent and a security deposit is all you should be asked to pay. Perhaps your landlord is not aware of this.

Best of luck to you!

Kawain Payne, Realtor ... more
0 votes 8 answers Share Flag
Wed Nov 28, 2012
Claudia Muller answered:
I always suggest that you go to the MGIC website and take the first time homebuyer's course (about 30 minutes) to spell out the specifics of these closing costs.
Costs cannot be waived, per se, as they are hard costs. IE: title insurance, escrow fees, etc.
The fees cannot be waived, but you can have your contract written where the seller credits you cash for closing costs or you may set your interest rate at a level where the lender can credit you for closing costs.
Your lender and or real estate agent should give you an estimate of closing costs and options on how to pay for those.
I see that you are in Fremont. I am located there, as well. If you would like more information you may contact me at You may email me your estimated purchase price and estimated down payment and I will send you a Fee Worksheet that shows different interest rates and ways to cover closing costs.
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0 votes 8 answers Share Flag
Wed Nov 21, 2012
Claudia Muller answered:
From the lender's point of view:

The appraiser must consider all the current closed transaction in the area. If there are no comparables, the appraiser must expand his search as close as possible in location to the subject property and as close as possible in age, structure, etc.

The market situation is considered during the appraisal, but the MOST weight is put on the closed sales transactions.

Just had one in Union City come in $20k low.....and there had been 5 offers.

It is not clear if your offer was accepted or not, so going into further detail could be erroneous here.
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0 votes 9 answers Share Flag
Thu Sep 27, 2012
Maria Cipollone answered:
Why are you going alone in the search of your dream home? Hiring a professional real estate agent is one of the first steps you should consider. A real estate agent have many resources to assist you in the buying process, can help you to negotiate the best price, can help you to understand the different financing available and identified qualify lenders. A realtor can help you in the selection process by providing realistic information about homes and neighborhoods. You will save time and money if you decide to hire a buyer's agent.

Best of Luck,

Maria E. Cipollone
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0 votes 9 answers Share Flag
Thu Aug 16, 2012
Charo Bhatt answered:
Hello Fremont Buyer,

You may have bought a home in Ardenwood area, a Tavena new phase of Ardenwood homes already.
Simple one suggestion; check the school district. Some of the Ardenwood new homes don't fall into
Ardenwood schools. I have sold new homes in this neighborhood to many of my clients, and they
seem to be happy there. New homes, less maintenance, desirable neighborhood by Dumbarton bridge, good Fremont schools more over prices are affordable.

Good luck to you,

Charo Bhatt
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0 votes 1 answer Share Flag
Sat May 12, 2012
Jason Huang answered:
Sun Jul 17, 2011
The Medford Team answered:
In 1989, the Loma Prieta earthquake rocked the Bay Area. The epicenter of the quake was in Forest of Nisene Marks State Park in Santa Cruz County, an unpopulated area in the Santa Cruz Mountains approximately 2–3 miles (3–5 km) north of unincorporated Aptos and approximately 10 mi (16 km) northeast of Santa Cruz.

That’s approximately 70 miles away from the most serious damage in the Bay Area – the Marina area of San Francisco and the Cypress Freeway Viaduct section of I-880 in Oakland.

Here’s the bottom line: if there is a significant quake on the Hayward fault – which runs from Fremont northeast up through Richmond and into the bay, you can pretty much guarantee it will seriously affect locales at least 70 miles away. If you draw a circle on a map using the center of the fault (San Leandro) as the center of the circle and go out a radius of 70 miles … it will impact THE ENTIRE BAY AREA, not just Fremont.

Click below for a map of the Hayward Fault:

If you are concerned about fault activity on the Hayward Fault, you need to be looking to buy somewhere outside that 70 mile radius. And, since this is California, that will more than likely put you inside the radius of another fault.

As quakes continue to roll through the Bay Area, California building codes continue to change to increase the likelihood of homes safely surviving a large temblor. Homes built within the last 30-40 years have had upgraded earthquake-resistant building codes factored into their design. The newer the home, the better the codes. I stood in the hallway of my 1978–era Fremont area home during the Loma Prieta quake, felt the entire house move up and down and watched all the doors open and shut, open and shut until the shaking subsided. When I checked my home after the earth stopped moving, there was no measureable damage of any kind.

California is working hard to beat the effects earthquakes have on properties, especially in light of the most recent events in Haiti and Japan. Stockton, California is home to a research facility that is actively testing and designing buildings on an ongoing basis to improve a property’s ability to survive a significant seismic event. They have a large 2-story quake simulator used to test various designs and codes. Everything learned there goes into the statewide Universal Building Code to ensure that all new homes built in California have the best protection possible.

Click below for info about the Tyrell Gilb Research Laboratory, Stockton, CA:

Click below for info about California’s Universal Building Codes:

As a final note, it’s estimated that less than 10% of Fremont residents own earthquake insurance.
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2 votes 6 answers Share Flag
Wed Apr 13, 2011
Jennifer Ratcliff answered:
You are correct. Generally for a purchase offer (which does vary state to state slightly) you are required to sign and provide: (some depending out how detailed the agent wants to have the contract be with the offer)
1. The Purchase and Sale Agreement
2. A buyer's rep agreement
3. Preapproval letter from your lender
4. Disclaimer
5. Confirmation of agency
6. Home Inspection form
7. Earnest money check
8. Residential property discosure or residential property exemtion

Required in some cases may be:
1. VA/FHA loan addendum
2. Lead based paint addendum
3. Septic Permit

Some agents may wait until the offer has been accepted before having all these done.

Hope this helps
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2 votes 13 answers Share Flag
Tue Nov 2, 2010
Michael Mullin answered:
John makes some good points from a lending perspective and I have similar concerns - I don't think you'll add much value (from a lending perspective) by making the improvements you are talking about because it's entirely unlikely that there are comparable sales with similar multiple dwellings on one legal parcel.

I once had a borrower in Elk Grove who wanted to build his dream "man cave" above his garage. He was going to spend $50k to build this room, including bathroom facilities. He was sorely disappointed to learn that because no one in his subdivision had the same great idea he was likely to get just about zero value increase for his new addition.

A local real estate agent can help you with the resale value and I'd highly recommend talking to one or two about your plans before you spend any money. Then I'd talk to a lender to make sure that your plans will allow for a future buyer to be able to finance everything. If they can't get a loan it's going to be hard to sell no matter how nice the addition is.
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0 votes 5 answers Share Flag
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