Realtor Dale Warfel

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Friday, January 26, 2007

Is Renting Smart When the Home Won't Sell?

Home owners who can’t sell their homes for what they think they're worth might find that renting buys them enough time for the market to rise.

But whether renting makes sense depends on various factors. Here are three questions to consider:

1. Do they need the cash? Sellers who can qualify for another mortgage without selling their current property are good candidates to be landlords. Lenders usually count 75 percent of the rent payments as income as long as the home owner finds a renter who will sign at least a one-year lease.

2. Can they rent the property for enough money? Major expense will include the cost of the mortgage, taxes, insurance, and repair bills. The cost of advertising and vetting tenants or of hiring a property manager can add another 10 percent of the rental cost or more.

3. Will they still meet tax exclusion requirements? Sellers who lived in a home for two years out of the previous five can exclude $250,000 of profit if they are single or $500,000 if they file jointly. If renting the property will preclude that, it may not be a good deal.

New Home Trend: Underground Garages

Builders increasingly are including underground garages in their single-family projects, giving home owners more space for extra rooms, back yards, or swimming pools. For example, the underground garage built by Jim Moore of Urban Innovations even features a turntable, which spins the car around so that it does not have to be backed out of the driveway.

Local builders note that purchasing a separate lot in order to expand living space costs more than underground construction.

Steve Melman, economic studies director of the National Association of Home Builders, says tandem parking bays — where one vehicle is parked in front of, rather than next to another — and other parking alternatives are gaining popularity in markets where land costs are on the rise.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Almaden Valley schools and hospitals

Almaden Valley (often just called Almaden) is a neighborhood of about 37,000 in the south of San Jose, California. The neighborhood is east of Cambrian Park, west of Santa Teresa, and south of Coleman Ave. It is named after the New Almaden Mines, which are themselves named after the mercury mine in Almadén, Spain

As part of the Silicon Valley, the main industry in the neighborhood is now high technology research and development; IBM's Almaden Research Center is located there. The neighborhood is primarily upper-middle class, with homes owned by local professionals, scientists, and Silicon Valley executives. The school district here is very good. Some of the good schools in Almaden Valley are:

Leland High School

Bret Harte Middle School

Castillero Middle School

Los Alamitos Elementary School

Guadalupe Elementary School

Simonds Elementary School

There are many hospitals of good repute. The Almaden Valley is home to a large pool of trained doctors and physicians. The have very good healthcare infrastructure and are vital to maintaining the long term health of the population in the area. The Almaden Valley healthcare facilities also include specialized treatment for the specific care areas. Some of the healthcare facilities in Almaden valley are:

Good Samaritan Regional Cancer Health Services & Facilities

Sub-Acute Saratoga Hospital Community & Social Services, Hospitals, Adult Care, Assisted Living & Retirement

Empress Care Center Community & Social Services, Hospitals, Adult Care, Assisted Living & Retirement

Mountain View Health Care Center Community & Social Services, Hospitals, Adult Care, Assisted Living & Retirement

Thursday, January 11, 2007

5 Tips for Selling a House in Foul Weather

Selling a home during the cold-weather months can be a challenge. Here are some tips for handling a sale in the dark winter months:
  • Don’t wait for spring. Point out to sellers that postponing can be the wrong choice when it means they must continue to pay the mortgage, insurance, and utility bills.
  • Get rid of the holiday decorations. Holiday decor says to buyers that you aren’t prepared to move out so they can move in. It clutters and detracts from the home.
  • Clean and light. Render the place dust-free and if necessary paint the walls with a light color. Linen tones are often the best.
  • Be creative. For example, you could display poster-size photos of the home’s garden in full bloom near the windows.
  • Be realistic. No amount of creative marketing can overcome an overly steep price tag.

Law Encourages Koreans to Buy U.S. Real Estate

Here is an interesting piece of news from

Worldwide, Koreans could spend at least $4 billion on overseas homes in 2007 as a result of the changes made by the Korean government last year that allow Korean individuals to make as much as $1 million in foreign investments, analysts say.

Koreans are expected to invest nearly $2 billion in U.S. residential property, up from $1.27 billion the year earlier, says Brian Shaffer of the International Real Estate Trade Organization.

Much of the money will likely be directed to U.S. cities with large Korean populations, including San Francisco, New York, and Atlanta, to take advantage of lower home prices stemming from the weakening U.S. housing market.

Observers say the lion's share of the money will be invested in Los Angeles, which has one of the world's largest Korean populations outside the Asian nation.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Almaden Valley Schools

One of the most attractive residential areas of Silicon Valley, the South San Jose community of Almaden is distinguished by nice hillside views and "one of the most gorgeous landscapes in America”. It also has numerous good schools in the neighborhood, making it an attractive option for families with kids to considering moving in here.

Some of the schools in Almaden are:

Bret Harte Middle School
7050 Bret Harte Dr, San Jose, CA 95120; Tel. 408.535.6270

Castillero Middle School
6384 Leyland Park Dr, San Jose, CA 95120; Tel. 408.535.6385

Graystone Elementary School
6982 Shearwater Dr, San Jose, CA 95120; Tel. 408.535.6317

Leland High School
6677 Camden Ave, San Jose, CA 95120; Tel. 408.535.6290

Los Alamitos Elementary School
6130 Silberman Dr, San Jose, CA 95120; Tel. 408.535.6297

Pioneer High School
1290 Blossom Hill Rd, San Jose, CA 95118; Tel. 408.535.6310

Simonds Elementary School
6515 Grapevine Way, San Jose, CA 95120; Tel. 408.535.6251

Williams Elementary School
1150 Rajkovich Way, San Jose, CA 95120; Tel. 408.535.6196

For information on properties in this community, contact realtor Dale Warfel who specializes in properties in this community.