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tracy california real estate

Posts Tagged ‘tracy california real estate’

Evaluating the Schools in Your New Neighborhood

Wednesday, April 28th, 2010

If your family includes kids and you’re thinking about moving to a new area, the schools are be among your first considerations. Does the neighborhood have good schools? Are the teachers and staff well-equipped to teach your children? Is there a good PTA that addresses the concerns of parents? These are pertinent questions you might need to look into before you commit to a decision on a new home.

Graduation Rate

Especially for families that have children who are in high school, the school’s graduation percentage may have a bearing on the decision. Schools that do not have good graduation rates have a bad reputation are categorically coming up short in their most basic job. For this reason, many parents want to live in neighborhoods where the high schools have a good graduation percentage that shows a dedication to a good education.

Standardized Test Scores

When you are checking out an area’s schools, one of the primary things to look into is the overall test score rankings. While these are not the only thing you should consider in judging the quality of a school, as some parents appear to believe, they can be a good indicator of how good the teachers are at the overall charter of providing their students a relevant education. Some high schools may even disclose the average ACT or SAT scores achieved by their students to be an indication of their competitive success rate.

Per Capita Expenditures

Some websites will disclose how much a school district budgets and spends to educate each student each year. This is the amount they provide to ensure that each student has everything they need for success in their academic career. The per-capita figure includes teacher salary, books, supplies and other equipment and classroom materials that are involved in the education process.

Location

Finding a neighborhood in which schools are located close by is the ideal situation for parents with young children. When your home is situated close to the schools, you can walk with your small children to and from school each day. If you have a busy schedule, your kids can walk to and from school by themselves as they get older. It’s a terrific way for them (and you!) to get fresh air and good exercise besides.

Ratio of Students to Teachers

How many students there are for each teacher is often thought of as playing a big role in the successful outcome of the education process. The national average is between 16 and 17 students for each classroom, though as school districts are experiencing budget pressures that may be on the increase. In a school that goes over those numbers by too much of a margin, your child may not get the individualized attention they need if and when it is needed.

Enrichment Activities and Clubs

Have you looked into whether the schools in your new home’s district offer extracurricular activities? Do the schools have interesting groups and enrichment classes that will keep your young students involved in learning? This could be a major factor when you are making a decision about a new area to live.

Schools are one of the biggest factors of your decision when you are deciding on a new home. You want to find a place where your kids are comfortable and a place where you feel comfortable as well. By carefully researching schools in the different areas where you’re considering a next home, you can find the best place for you and your entire family in one spot.

If you ever want to check out Longmont CO real estate for sale, it’s easy to Search Colorado real estate at Automated Homefinder.


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Appraised Value: The Ups & Downs Of How Much A House Is Worth

Monday, April 26th, 2010

Appraised Value: The Ups & Downs Of How Much A House Is Worth

Author: Trent

Determining Fair Market Value is an eternal struggle and major balancing act. That’s because buyers want a house to appraise on the low side—to keep the purchase price down. While sellers want the same house to appraise on the high side—to make the sale price higher. And then you’ve got the owners of the house—who also want the appraisal to be on the low side, in order to keep the property taxes down.

So with all these different agendas and points of view, how is the fair market value of a real estate property actually determined?

Once a year, your county sends all area homeowners official notices that put a dollar value on their property. And property taxes are based on those dollar values. But before those notices get sent out, a long, detailed process usually takes place. First, the land is valued as if it’s vacant—an empty lot, in other words. Then any improvements are described and measured. Improvements consist of the house and any other structures, pools, sheds, garages, and so forth. Next, most counties check the Marshall Valuation Service Cost Guide. It’s a standardized nationwide guide for determining the value of the cost per square foot to build a building that fits the description of the improved property. Next, if the house isn’t brand new, the replacement cost is considered, as well as depreciation; the year the house was constructed and the condition of the property are factors here. Appraisers then must take the critical step of comparing the value of the house with recent selling prices of similar homes in the neighborhood. At this point, the appraisal might stand “as is”—or it might be adjusted upward or downward.

Market Value is a theory, in other words—not an unchanging fact.

In a perfect world, you have to have willing buyer and a willing seller. Neither is under duress. Both are in a position to maximize gain and are trying to do this. But in the real world, things are rarely that simple and equally balanced. Which is why people feel differently about the appraisal value of a house. It really depends how strong their position is as a buyer or seller.

Does the local economy come into it at all? You bet it does.

Ask a successful Realtor about that! He or she will tell you they’ve noticed that the fast-growing economird are attracting people from other areas who consider real estate here a bargain. That helps fuel increases in property values.

How about your schoold district, the look of other houses near you, and walkability? Yes to all. Understand you houses pluses to different buyers and make sure you let everyone know about them.

So—now you know where that Grand Total comes from.

You’re armed with the information you need to make a better house-buying decision. For instance, you can understand how two virtually identical houses that are in two different neighborhoods could be very far apart in price and appraised value. And why your choice of the right house in the right neighborhood could be worth a not-so-small fortune to you right now—and years down the road.

Bank of America Corp. Cutting More Loan Balances

Wednesday, March 24th, 2010

In an attempt to avoid more foreclosures, the Bank of America Corporation said it will be offering more borrowers reductions in their mortgage-loan balances.

This move enhances an agreement Bank of America reached 18 months ago with state attorney generals and is the mortgage industry’s boldest move yet in addressing the dilemma facing millions of homeowners across the country who owe more on their house than it’s currently worth.

The relief is available only to those Bank of America customers who are at least 60 days overdue on payments, whose loan balance is at least 120% of the estimated home value, can prove a financial hardship is preventing them from affording payments. The bank is estimating that 45,000 customers will qualify for the program.

Reductions of as much as 30% in loan principal will be offered to struggling borrowers who have subprime or so-called option adjustable-rate mortgages, known as option ARMs. (Option ARMs, no longer available, allow borrowers to start with minimal monthly payments and face steep increases later.) Also included will be certain loans that have a fixed interest rate for the first two years before starting to adjust annually.

…banks are finding that many deeply underwater borrowers aren’t willing to keep making even reduced payments because they believe they have little hope of ever having equity in their homes and would be better off renting and perhaps buying a cheaper home later. The Bank of America program is aimed to give such borrowers more hope by reducing their loan balances to current estimated home values.

Full Article Bank of America to Cut More Loan Balances By James R. Hagerty, Wall Street Journal


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Four Family Members Charged In $16 Million Real Estate Fraud Conspiracy

Wednesday, March 10th, 2010

The Orange County, CA District Attorney’s office has announced they have charged four family members –
including a mother and her two daughters – in a conspiracy to commit more than 16 million dollars worth of
real estate fraud by forging documents and buying homes using straw buyers*.

If convicted, each of the four defendants could be facing as much as 19 to 40 years in prison.

Here’s what we know about each defendant, and the charges being brought against them:

Sushama Devi Lohia, 71, Newport Beach
Felony charges include 13 counts of conspiracy to commit a crime, 19 counts of forgery, 6 counts of identity theft and 4 counts of recording false and forged instrument and other charges. She is the mother of defendants Supriti Soni and Suniti Shah.

Supriti Soni, 49, Corona del Mar
Felony charges include eight counts of conspiracy to commit a crime, 10 counts of forgery and other charges. In addition, prosecutors are seeking a stiffer sentence for her, if she’s convicted, because she was imprisoned in 2003 for perjury.

Suniti Shah, 48, Newport Beach
Felony charges include five counts of conspiracy to commit a crime, nine counts of forgery, six felony counts of identity theft, four counts of recording a false and forged instrument and other charges.

Dinesh Valjeebhai Shah, 60, Newport Beach
Felony charges include two counts of conspiracy to commit a crime, four counts of forgery, four counts of
identity theft, four counts of recording a false and forged instrument and other charges. He is Suniti Shah’s
husband.

According to prosecutors, the alleged scheme happened like this:

-Between June 2006 and October 2009, Lohia, Soni, Suniti Shah and Dinesh Shah obtained 54 fraudulent loans on 29 properties in Orange County through the use of straw buyers’ credit.

-The four defendants then fabricated loan applications to reflect significantly higher incomes for the straw
buyers, supplying altered bank statements to reflect the higher incomes, falsifying employer information on
loan documents and forging the names and signatures of straw buyers on various deeds and loan documents.

-They used the personal and credit information of the straw buyers to complete the fraudulent documents used in obtaining loans, as well as took fraudulent loans under their own names.

-The 54 loans were all approved by then-Washington Mutual Bank.

[source]

It’s scary out there – and in desperate times, people make desperate decisions.

Always play it safe by being cautious when meeting with a new Realtor or Lender, and ask all the questions you can think of – even if you think they’re silly or will make you look stupid.

Scammers feed off ignorance and fear, so be sure to gather all the information you can before making any
choice of this magnitude.

Remember to go with your gut. If what your hearing sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

*A straw buyer is a person who uses or allows their credit to be used for the purchase of a property they never intend to use or control. Straw buyers can also be used to purchase non-owner occupied properties by being paid simply for the use of their credit. [source]


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Accentuate The Little Things When Selling Your Home

Monday, November 16th, 2009

As a general rule, it’s a good idea not to sweat the small stuff. But when it comes to selling your house, the small stuff is exactly what you need to focus on.

  • The front door greets the prospect. Make sure it is fresh, clean, and paint the trim.
  • Keep the front lawn trimmed and edged, and the yard free of garbage. Reseed the lawn and fertilize if necessary, weed the gardens, and add mulch. Deep green grass makes a lasting impression. In winter, be sure snow and ice is removed from walks and steps.
  • Faded walls and worn woodwork reduce appeal, freshen things up with neutral paints or wallpaper.
  • Open draperies and curtains and let the prospect see how cheerful your home can be.
  • Make sure all the appliances work properly and are sparkling clean. If any faucets drip, fix them – dripping water discolors sinks and suggests faulty plumbing.
  • Repairs can make a big difference. Loose knobs, sticking doors and windows, warped cabinet drawers and other minor flaws detract from home value. Have them fixed.
  • Keep stairways clear. Avoid cluttered appearances and possible injuries.
  • Pack excess linens and clothing to make closets look bigger. Neat, well-ordered closets show the space is ample.
  • Bathrooms help sell homes. Check and repair grout in bathtubs and showers. Make this room sparkle.
  • Arrange bedrooms neatly. Remove excess furniture. Use attractive bedspreads and fresh looking window coverings.

It’s important to price your house correctly and market it right, but it’s the little things that will leave the lasting impression.

prepare your home for sale