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Home Buying in Petaluma : Real Estate Advice

  • All127
  • Local Info22
  • Home Buying39
  • Home Selling0
  • Market Conditions7

Activity 44
Danny Ponder, Real Estate Pro in Sacramento, CA
Thu Oct 20, 2016
Danny Ponder answered:
Yes, Fannie Mae HomeReady is a great product for this. let me know if I can assist.
0 votes 2 answers Share Flag
dondressel, Other/Just Looking in Santa Rosa, CA
Wed May 11, 2016
dondressel answered:
0 votes 9 answers Share Flag
Alysse Musgr…, Real Estate Pro in Coppell, TX
Sat Mar 19, 2016
Alysse Musgrave answered:
Buying a home that is close to the freeway is a huge issue! Find another house.

Don't Let Them Make a Monkey Out of You! Follow the links below.

Alysse Musgrave
Consumer Advocate
Exclusive Buyer Agent

Best selling author of Buying a Home: Don't Let Them Make a Monkey Out of You! US, Texas, and Spanish versions available.
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Cindy Davis, Real Estate Pro in San Diego, CA
Fri Dec 25, 2015
Cindy Davis answered:
If it's too good to be true; it's too good to be true. Check it out on different sites, particularly which is far more accurate. If needed, call a local Realtor to check the situation out. ... more
0 votes 1 answer Share Flag
Claudia Mull…, Real Estate Pro in Fremont, CA
Thu Jan 8, 2015
Claudia Muller answered:
From a lender:
Your credit score can be as low as 620.
The better your score, the better interest rate.
You want to take 40% of your gross monthly income, back out your monthly revolving debts, car payments and student loans.
Take that final number and that will be your house payment.
In today's market a payment of $2500 is about a $450k mortgage.
I can run these numbers for you. Just drop me an email.
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0 votes 6 answers Share Flag
Claudia Mull…, Real Estate Pro in Fremont, CA
Thu Jan 8, 2015
Claudia Muller answered:
Hi Bruce! From a lender, the property must be CLOSED and part of the public record to be included as a comparible sale for an appraisal.
As a courtesy, they should have explained that to you. ... more
0 votes 2 answers Share Flag
Randall Ortiz, Real Estate Pro in Sacramento, CA
Mon Mar 31, 2014
Randall Ortiz answered:
A local realtor can set that up for you. Let me know if you still need help with that.
0 votes 5 answers Share Flag
Jen Birmingh…, Real Estate Pro in Petaluma, CA
Sun Feb 16, 2014
Jen Birmingham answered:
Hi Janice,
As you can see from the great info Peg provided, Petaluma has so much to offer for families with young children and it is an outstanding place to raise a family. As a transplant from San Francisco ten years ago, the major piece that has really helped this town feel like home to me was joining the Petaluma Mothers' Club

When my husband and I moved here, I knew very little about the town and my nearest friends were in Santa Rosa and San Francisco. Shortly after having our daughter in 2008, I joined the club. Going to my very first playgroup felt a little bit like psyching myself up for the first day at a new school but I'm so glad I took that step.

That first day, I met some really amazing women with babies very close in age to my daughter. And almost every week since then, until our kids started Kindergarten last Summer, our playgroup met at peoples houses, parks, playgrounds and coffee shops around town. My closest girlfriends in town came from that group. Our husbands are now very close friends and my daughter has friends she hangs out with regularly whom she has known since she was 6 months old. It's pretty amazing how this group has impacted our lives.

The really wonderful thing is that now, I get to do this all over again with my son, who is 9 months old. I now am getting to know another great group of moms and their kids in his Babies of 2013 playgroup. We meet weekly but also have special family weekend activities to get the working moms and dads involved. It's a lot of fun. If you'd like more specifics, feel free to give me a call. I'd love to chat and hope to see you at one of our get togethers.

Beyond just the playgroups, the club offers many resources, community discounts and support for moms from pregnancy through the child's age of 5. I recommend joining before you get here. I can't say enough wonderful things about this club. It has greatly enhanced my Petaluma experience in so many ways.

You're going to love this town!

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0 votes 3 answers Share Flag
Gary Swale, Real Estate Pro in Petaluma, CA
Wed Feb 5, 2014
Gary Swale answered:
I think a few visits to your desired area, internet searches of demographics, and connecting with a local Realtor is your best strategy. Do your research and do it right the first time.
1 vote 3 answers Share Flag
Marilyn Coff…, Real Estate Pro in Petaluma, CA
Thu Jan 9, 2014
Marilyn Coffin answered:
The taxes reflected in the tax rolls and also in many of the Natural Hazard Reports reflect the taxes for the entire Park. Since some MBH's are liscensed and not on the tax rolls at all there is no information, ie. parcel numbers, lot number, that reflect taxable property. The spaces are rented not owned so the park as a whole shows up with the only tax info.
For any tax info check with the title company as there is either a yearly liscense fee or if a newer manufactured home in a park there will be yearly taxes and the title company can compute it for.
Hope that Helps.
Marilyn Coffin
Coldwell Banker
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0 votes 4 answers Share Flag
Terry Bell, Real Estate Pro in Santa Rosa, CA
Mon Nov 11, 2013
Terry Bell answered:
Looking for country property? As I lived on 80 acres and had a manufactured home built on top of a mountain, I can tell you a lot about my experiences! Buying country property is an involved process and finding the right place that will meet your current needs, as well as the needs for any future expansion require close attention knowing what you are purchasing. Best, Terry
Terry Bell, Realtor
CPS Real Estate
Sonoma County, CA
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0 votes 3 answers Share Flag
David Poulsen, Real Estate Pro in San Francisco, CA
Mon Nov 11, 2013
David Poulsen answered:
Hi Mechelle,
Instead of a lease purchase, which many Sellers are afraid to do, how about looking for a Seller to offer Seller financing? This would be a case where the Seller acts as the bank and carries the loan. A lot of time this is a better way to go for both parties. I work with a few Sellers who are willing to do this. Please contact me at 707-328-1889 to find out about these properties.
David Poulsen
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0 votes 3 answers Share Flag
EMERALDEYEZ5…, Home Buyer in Petaluma, CA
Fri Oct 11, 2013
EMERALDEYEZ504 answered:
Jan Frost, Real Estate Pro in Petaluma, CA
Wed Oct 2, 2013
Jan Frost answered:
Hi Sara,
Bank owned homes can often take a little longer because of all of the "behind the scenes" paper work
that is involved - but they are well worth the wait in my opinion. Often these big banks are open to negotiating price after your inspections are complete also. They want to get these homes off their books -
Patience is a virtue in this market regardless of the type of sale that you are involved in.
I am here to help if you have more specific questions-
Jan Frost 707 775-2238
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0 votes 8 answers Share Flag
Scott Lawson, Real Estate Pro in Petaluma, CA
Thu Sep 26, 2013
Scott Lawson answered:
When shopping for a mortgage, you really should be shopping for a professional. People frequently get rate obsessive and end up hiring the best story, but get a big surprise when it's time for the mortgage company to deliver. you hear mortgage "horror stories" everywhere, and this is because the consumer forgot to find a qualified professional--they instead bought a "lowest rate" story--one that was probably more fiction than real.

Here's a good rule of thumb--walk into a local large bank and check their rate boards. Next, go to and check the national rate on a 30 year fixed. Now you will have a good feel for what is fair. Now start looking for a loan originator with a good reputation. Yelp is a good place to start. Call a few and see how they compare to the national rate, and to each other. Now you are making an informed decision. You will find that the independent mortgage broker (that works on the wholesale side) will always beat the national average rate, and will be far more experienced than individuals working at a local bank.

You wouldn't hire the lowest priced cardiologist if you needed surgery--the same applies to what will likely be the largest financial transaction you will ever make. Find a seasoned professional...
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0 votes 8 answers Share Flag
Michael  Ari…, Real Estate Pro in Petaluma, CA
Sat Sep 14, 2013
Michael Arieta answered:
Robert Spino…, Real Estate Pro in Mill Valley, CA
Tue Sep 10, 2013
Robert Spinosa answered:

I think the answers below have already addressed the main question. I just wanted to add that most lenders will permit up to 60 days of rent back in a purchase situation. Trulia answers get found in searches all the time, so I just want this vital piece of info to be associated with this thread as well.

Best of luck,

Rob Spinosa
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0 votes 7 answers Share Flag
Jen Birmingh…, Real Estate Pro in Petaluma, CA
Sun Sep 8, 2013
Jen Birmingham answered:
The MLS search criteria would be "2-4 family". It is difficult for you to find comps for this type of property on public home search sites because 1.) their interface is geared more towards the single family buyer and 2.) properties such as this are few and far between in Petaluma.

There are many factors which impact appraised value and a comp does not necessarily need to be an exact replica of the property in question in order to be usable. This is where a Realtor is very useful in the pricing process. We can look at a 2- unit comp in the neighborhood, evaluate the many differences and come up with a number that makes sense based on the market. In a rudimentary search, I have found 2 great comps in that neighborhood to give me a really good idea of value. Appraisers will usually look back up to 6 months but in a dramatically shifting market, the timeframe can be much shorter.

Please keep in mind that this one just came back on the market and had a price reduction. With all three units currently occupied and generating income, I can say that it will be scooped up rather quickly, so whatever you choose to do, I recommend getting pre-approved today and writing as soon as you can.

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1 vote 2 answers Share Flag
Bill  Maier, Real Estate Pro in Half Moon Bay, CA
Sat Aug 31, 2013
Bill Maier answered:

USDA loans are designated by zip code, not property type, as one might conclude. For example, the Windsor area is eligible for USDA loans, including track homes within the city limits. Call me if you would to know what other areas in Sonoma County are eligible for this loan program: 763-0662.

Thank you,

Bill Maier
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Michael Sals…, Real Estate Pro in Petaluma, CA
Mon Aug 5, 2013
Michael Salser answered:
Congratulations to your Aunt for entering into a contract to buy a new home. It is not the easiest thing to do in Petaluma these days! The conversion would not be included in the "official" square footage if it was not permitted. Be aware that if it is unpermitted and your aunt wants to get it permitted, it must meet CURRENT building codes, even though it may have met code when built. That would include electrical work, (outlets, lights, etc.) heating and cooling, and any plumbing that may be there. Sellers are required to disclose what they KNOW. Perhaps they don't know when it was built, by whom, when or how. I have seen older homes in certain neighborhoods with houses that appear to have been built with many interior configuration options, without affecting the exterior look. What neighborhood is your aunt's soon to be home located?

And why isn't her agent answering this question for you?
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