Realtor Dale Warfel

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Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Real Estate acronyms – Dale Warfel explains

“If you find yourself stumbling over weird acronyms in a real estate listing, don't be alarmed”, says San Jose realtor Dale Warfel. There is method to the madness of this shorthand (which is mostly adopted by sellers to save money in advertising charges).

Here are some abbreviations and the meaning of each, taken from a recent newspaper classified section:
* assum. fin. -- assumable financing
* dk -- deck
* gar -- garage (garden is usually abbreviated "gard")
* expansion pot'l -- may be extra space on the lot, or possibly vertical potential for a top floor or room addition. Verify actual potential by checking local zoning restrictions prior to purchase.
* fab pentrm -- fabulous pentroom, a room on top, underneath the roof, that sometimes has views
* FDR -- formal dining room (not the former president)
* frplc, fplc, FP -- fireplace
* grmet kit -- gourmet kitchen
* HDW, HWF, Hdwd -- hardwood floors
* hi ceils -- high ceilings
* In-law potential -- potential for a separate apartment. Sometimes, local zoning codes restrict rentals of such units so be sure the conversion is legal first.
* large E-2 plan -- this is one of several floor plans available in a specific building
* lsd pkg. -- leased parking area, may come with an additional cost
* lo dues -- find out just how low these homeowner's dues are, and in comparison to what?
* nr bst schls -- near the best schools
* pvt -- private
* pwdr rm -- powder room, or half-bath
* upr- upper floor
* vw, vu, vws, vus -- view(s)
* Wow! -- better check this one out.
Resources:* "Real Estate's Ambiguous Language You Oughtta Understand," Glennon H. Neubauer, Ethos Group Publishing, Diamond Bar, CA; 1993.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

The pros and cons of adding on or buying a new house

San Jose Realtor Dale warfel has this tip for buyers:

Before making a choice between adding on to an existing home or buying a larger one, consider these questions:

* How much money is available, either from cash reserves or through a home improvement loan, to remodel your current house?
* How much additional space is required? Would the foundation support a second floor or does the lot have room to expand on the ground level?
* What do local zoning and building ordinances permit?
* How much equity already exists in the property?
* Are there affordable properties for sale that would satisfy your changing housing needs?

Ultimately, the decision should be based on individual needs, the extent of work involved and what will add the most value.

For more information, check out "The Do-able Renewable Home," a free booklet available from the American Association of Retired Persons, Fulfillment Department, 601 E St., N.W., Washington, DC 20049; (202) 434-2277

Choosing between buying and renting

Here’s a tip for home buyers from Dale Warfel – if you’re confused about what is best renting or buying.

Home ownership offers tax benefits as well as the freedom to make decisions about your home. An advantage of renting is not worrying about maintenance and other financial obligations associated with owning property.

There also are a number of economic considerations. Unlike renters, home owners who secure a fixed-rate loan can lock in their monthly housing costs and make prudent investment plans knowing these expenses will not increase substantially.

Home ownership is a highly leveraged investment that can yield substantial profit on a nominal front-end investment. However, such returns depend on home-price appreciation.

"For some people, owning a home is a great feeling," writes Mitchell A. Levy in his book, "Home Ownership: The American Myth," Myth Breakers Press, Cupertino, Calif.; 1993.

"It does, however, have a price. Besides the maintenance headache, the amount of after-tax money paid to the lender is usually greater than the amount of money otherwise paid in rent," Levy concludes.

As for evaluating the risk associated with home ownership, David T. Schumacher and Erik Page Bucy write in their book "The Buy & Hold Real Estate Strategy," John Wiley & Sons, New York; 1992, that "good property located in growth areas should be regarded as an investment as opposed to a speculation or gamble."

The authors recommend that prospective buyers spend a few months investigating a community. Many people make the mistake of buying in the wrong area.

"Just because certain properties are high-priced doesn't necessarily mean they have some inherent advantage," the authors write. "One property may cost more than another today, but will it still be worth more down the line?"

Monday, September 18, 2006

Do condos have to be made accessible to the disabled?

Dale Warfel is a San Jose realtor specializing in homes and properties in Almaden Valley and Willow Glen. Here is some info. from him on condos for the disabled.

The 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act does not require strictly residential apartments and single-family homes to be made accessible. But all new construction of public accommodations or commercial projects (such as a government building or a shopping mall) must be accessible. New multi-family construction also falls into this category.

In all states, the Federal Fair Housing Act provides protection against discrimination for people with physical or mental disabilities. Discrimination includes the refusal to make reasonable modifications to buildings that aren't accessible to the disabled.

Two educational brochures, "Housing Rights" and "Discrimination is Against the Law," are available through the Department of Fair Employment and Housing by calling (800) 884-1684.

Are condominiums risky to buy – Dale answers

Dale is a San Jose realtor specializing in homes and properties in Almaden Valley and Willow Glen. Listen to his views on the risk in buying condos.

While condos never had the kind of appreciation experienced by single-family homes in the go-go 1980s, most ultimately have not lost value, say some experts. And with high prices in many urban markets and more single home buyers in the market than ever before, the market for condos is strong.

As with any home purchase, you should do your homework about the neighborhood or development before you buy. In the case of condominiums, it is important to read the past six months of homeowners association minutes to see how effective the board is and to learn about any possibly detracting issues (such as protracted litigation with the developer).

The condominium community has worked hard in the last few years to overcome image problems brought on by disputes and lawsuits. Associations are becoming more sophisticated about property management and taking steps to prevent legal problems and disputes.

Other resources:
* Community Associations Institute, 1630 Duke St., Alexandria, VA 22314; (703) 548-8600.
* "The Condominium Bluebook," Branden E. Bickel, B&B Publications, San Francisco, CA; 1993.

Choosing between condos and single-family homes – Dale warfel

Here is a tip for buyers from Dale warfel, on choosing between condos and single family homes. Dale is a San Jose realtor specializing in homes and properties in Almaden Valley and Willow Glen.

Using appreciation as a measure, condominiums in some areas have been as profitable an investment as single-family homes in the past five years. And in some markets, condos appreciated even more, according to some experts.

While single-family homes have been the preferred investment by home buyers, changing demographics are helping make condos more popular, especially among single home buyers, empty nesters and first-time buyers in high-priced markets.

Also, the condominium community has worked hard in the last few years to overcome image problems brought on by homeowners association and developer disputes as well as all too frequent construction-defect litigation.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

What contingencies should be put in an offer - a tip for sellers from Dale warfel

Here is a tip from Dale Warfel, a San Jose realtor who specializes in properties in Almaden valley and Willow Glen.

Most offers include two standard contingencies: a financing contingency, which makes the sale dependent on the buyers' ability to obtain a loan commitment from a lender, and an inspection contingency, which allows buyers to have professionals inspect the property to their satisfaction.

A buyer could forfeit his or her deposit under certain circumstances, such as backing out of the deal for a reason not stipulated in the contract.

The purchase contract must include the seller’s responsibilities, such things as passing clear title, maintaining the property in its present condition until closing and making any agreed-upon repairs to the property.

Tip for sellers from Dale warfel - What is the best time to sell your house?

There is no "best" time to sell per se. Selling a house depends on supply, demand and other economic factors. But the time of year in which you choose to sell can make a difference both in the amount of time it takes to sell your home and in the ultimate selling price.

Weather conditions are less of a consideration in more temperate climates, but most of the time, the real estate market picks up as early as February, with the strongest selling season usually lasting through May and June.

With the onset of summer, the market slows. July is often the slowest month for
real estate sales due to a strong spring market putting possible upward pressure on interest rates. Also, many prospective home buyers and their agents take vacations during mid-summer.

Following the summer slowdown, real estate sales activity tends to pick up for a second, although less vigorous, fall market, which usually lasts into November when the market slows again as buyers and sellers turn their attention to the holidays.

If this makes you wonder if you should take your home off the market for the holidays, consider the advice of veteran agents: You are always more likely to
sell your house if it is available to show to prospective buyers continuously.

The difference between market value and appraised value - Dale Warfel explains

The appraised value of a house is a certified appraiser's opinion of the worth of a home at a given point in time. Lenders require appraisals as part of the loan application process; fees range from $200 to $300.

Market value is what price the house will bring at a given point in time. A comparative market analysis is an informal estimate of market value, based on
sales of comparable properties, performed by a real estate agent or broker. Either an appraisal or a comparative market analysis is the most accurate way to determine what your home is worth.

Is a low offer a good idea - Tip for sellers from Dale Warfel

While your low offer in a normal market might be rejected immediately, in a buyer's market a motivated seller will either accept or make a counteroffer.

Full-price offers or above are more likely to be accepted by the seller. But there are other considerations involved:
* Is the offer contingent upon anything, such as the sale of the buyer's current house? If so, a low offer, even at full price, may not be as attractive as an offer without that condition.
* Is the offer made on the house as is, or does the buyer want the seller to make some repairs or lower the price instead?
* Is the offer all cash, meaning the buyer has waived the financing contingency? If so, then an offer at less than the asking price may be more attractive to the seller than a full-price offer with a financing contingency.

How is the price of your home set – Tips for sellers from Dale warfel

It's very important to price your home according to current market conditions. Because the real estate market is continually changing, and market fluctuations have an effect on property values, it's imperative to select your list price based on the most recent comparable sales in your neighborhood.

A so-called comparative market analysis provides the background data upon which to base your list-price decision. When you prepare to sell and are interviewing agents, study each agent's comparable sales report (the data should be no more than three months old).

If all agents agree on a price range for your home, go with the consensus. Watch out for an agent whose opinion of value is considerably higher than the others.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Dale Warfel – an excellent realtor

Dale Warfel is a realtor who has years of real estate experience and specializes in homes in Almaden Valley and Willow Glen communities of San Jose.

Here's what one satisfied customer has to say about Dale:

Dale's services were invaluable in selling our house quickly and at the price we wanted. Dale'sexperience guided us through his sales strategy. He identified the most likely potential buyers for our area, the price range that would generate the most interest, and tailored his marketing campaign towards that demographic. He helped coordinate everything, from inspections to staging, and helped make the whole experience less daunting. He walked the neighborhood, talked to neighbors, and passed out flyers for the upcoming open house to generate a lot of buzz and publicity for our house. Dale's technical background came in handy as he utilized it in his marketing campaign. He marketed the house on the Internet listings and his websites, with a virtual tour. On top of that, he made our house a "Talking House", where people could listen about the house on a radio station broadcast! Being in Silicon Valley, we feel this technical marketing gave our home even more exposure and an edge over all the other houses for sale in the area that did not have the same marketing. We got multiple bids, even before the first open house. The bid that we accepted was over $70K above asking price! We'd like to thank Dale for his patience and hard work during our first house-selling experience. He is truly a remarkable real estate agent!
- Ngoc Dang & Family

Whether you’re a buyer or seller, for homes in San Jose, especially in the communities of Almaden Valley and Willow Glen get in touch with realtor Dale Warfel.

Buyer Tips from Dale Warfel - Stable Monthly Housing Costs

Here's a tip from Dale Warfel, a realtor who specializes in properties in Almaden Valley and Willow Glen communities in Santa Clara county, CA.

When you rent a place to live, you can certainly expect your rent to increase each year – or even more often. If you get a fixed rate mortgage when you buy a home, you have the same monthly payment amount for thirty years. Even if you get an adjustable rate mortgage, your payment will stay within a certain range for the entire life of the mortgage – and interest rates aren’t as volatile now as they were in the late seventies and early eighties.

Imagine how much rent might be ten, fifteen, or even thirty years from now? Which makes more sense?

For your real estate needs in San Jose, particularly in Almaden Valley and Willow Glen, do contact Dale Warfel.