Real Estate Information Archive


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Pumpkin Carving Tips

by The Barringer Team

Pumpkin Carving Tips: Want To Be A Master Carver?google map to real pro systems

1. Good carving starts with the right pumpkin. Choose one that is fresh (with a sturdy stem and no bruises) and that has a flat bottom (so it won't roll).
2. Cut out the lid — a boning knife works best. Cut on an angle (not straight up and down), so the lid won't drop inside the pumpkin when you replace it.
3. Remove the pulp. You can buy a special "claw," but an ice cream scoop will do. Thin the inner wall of the "face" area to 1 1/4-inch thick, so it will be easier to pierce the shell.
4. When you're ready to carve the features, hold the pumpkin in your lap so it's gazing up at you. Don't cut on a slant; clean up-and-down slices look best. To make intricate designs, try using a small saw. Pumpkin Masters makes a pumpkin-carving kit with two saws, a poker, a drill, and 16 nifty patterns ($6.95 to $10.95; at mass merchandisers or
5. Make a tongue out of a discarded piece of pumpkin shell.
6. Keep your pumpkin fresh. Spread petroleum jelly on the cut edges to seal in moisture. If your pumpkin still shrivels a few days later, revive it with a facedown soak in cold water for up to eight hours.
7. If you like to leave the lid on while the candle is lit, create a chimney. First, leave the lid on for a few minutes while the candle burns, then make a small hole where the lid has blackened.
8. Sprinkle a little cinnamon inside the lid. When you light the candle, your jack-o'-lantern will smell like a pumpkin pie.

The Only ZERO Down Available

by The Barringer Team

Recently Nicole a buyers Agent on our Team brought to my attention the USDA Rural Development Housing & Community Program.

This Program is the only Zero Down program available to 1st time buyers in our area. We know which areas are eligible and the income requirements ect... so just contact us and we will get the ball rolling. The program is primarily used to help low-income individuals or households purchase homes in rural areas. click on link below you will be surprised at how much money you can make and still be eligible for this program.

Should I refinance into a 15 yr mortgage

by The Barringer Team

If you qualify now may be a very good time to do this.  I have several clients who are refinancing from a 30 year mortgage into a 15 year mortgage and with their lower principal and the lower interest rates their payments are not that far apart- and the house will be paid off much earlier.  Be aware though, its easy to get excited about refinancing but if you have started to pay down significant equity on your mortgage then it might not be the best for you as you start paying interest all over again.  Also, if you plan on selling your home in the next 12-24 months it might not make sense either as it can take that long to cover all the costs of the refinance.

As an example for a $250,000 mortgage at 6% the payment (principal and interest) is $1,811 but at 3.5% on a 15 year mortgage its $2,099.  So for a difference of about $300 per month the home is paid off 15 years earlier and in half the time! 

Be sure to check with your financial advisor or CPA to see if refinancing now is the best thing for you to do, and also give us a call for a lender referral, we'd be happy to pass along the lender we work with.

At the Shelter

by The Barringer Team
At the Shelter
Glenn Moore/Our Town
Glenn Moore/Our Town
Maya is a 4-year-old female golden retriever-basset hound mix available for adoption at the Tracy Animal Shelter. The shelter also has many cats and kittens and seeks donations of food and toys for the animals.

The Tracy Animal Shelter, 370 Arbor Road, is open from noon to 5:30 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday. For information: 831-6364.

New California Laws for 2011

by The Barringer Team

The recent end of the 2009-10 legislative session has brought the end of short sale deficiency judgments for first loans, and other new laws affecting REALTORS® and their clients. 

  • No Short Sale Deficiencies: Starting January 1, 2011, a seller's first trust deed lender cannot obtain a deficiency judgment against the seller after a short sale.  Providing written consent to a short sale shall obligate the first trust deed lender to accept the sales proceeds as full payment and discharge of the remaining amount owed on the loan.  This law applies to first trust deeds secured by one-to-four residential units, but does not limit the lender from seeking damages for fraud or waste by the borrower.  Senate Bill 931.  Governor Schwarzenegger vetoed Senate Bill 1178, our sponsored bill, which would have extended California's anti-deficiency protection to refinance loans.
  • Energy Audit in Home Inspection Report: Beginning January 1, 2011, a home inspection and inspection report may, upon a client's request, include an audit of the energy efficiency of a home, according to the standards of the Home Energy Rating Systems (HERS).  REALTORS® are also strongly encouraged to give the newly released HERS booklet to residential buyers, because doing so provides a valuable shield from liability.  Delivery of the booklet will be deemed to be adequate to inform the buyer about the statewide HERS program.  Assembly Bill 1809 and California Civil Code section 2079.10.
  • Restriction on Adverse Possession Claim: Effective January 1, 2011, a claim for adverse possession requires, among other things, certified records of the county tax collector showing that all state, county, or municipal taxes have been timely paid for the five-year period the property has been occupied and claimed.  Existing law merely requires proof that taxes have been paid for the five-year period, not certified proof of timely payments.  Assembly Bill 1684.
  • Enforcement of MLO Requirements: Effective January 1, 2011, anyone acting as a mortgage loan originator (MLO) without an MLO license endorsement will be guilty of a crime punishable by six months imprisonment, plus a $20,000 fine.  Furthermore, a broker cannot employ or compensate a real estate licensee for MLO activities unless that licensee has a license endorsement.  This law has also given the Department of Real Estate (DRE) the authority to deny or revoke a MLO license endorsement or take other action.  This law also amends the MLO requirements for finance lenders and residential mortgage lenders under the Department of Corporation.  Senate Bill 1137.
  • Post-Foreclosure Protection for Tenants: Commencing January 1, 2011, a notice to terminate a residential tenant who remains after a foreclosure sale must generally include a statutory notice of the tenant's rights.  This requirement, which sunsets on January 1, 2013, applies to an immediate successor-in-interest for one year after a foreclosure sale.  The tenant's rights must be on a separate cover sheet or, for a 90-day termination, incorporated into the notice to terminate.  Another provision of this bill protects a residential tenant's credit by generally prohibiting the court clerk from revealing unlawful detainer court records unless the plaintiff prevails at trial.  Senate Bill 1149.
  • Tenant Protection for Domestic Violence Victims: Starting January 1, 2011, a residential landlord cannot terminate or fail to renew a tenancy based on domestic violence against the tenant or tenant's household members as specified.  This law applies if the person restrained from contact with the tenant by court order or named in a police report is not also a tenant of the same dwelling unit.  If the protected tenant subsequently allows the person restrained to visit the property, or the landlord reasonably believes the person restrained poses a physical threat to others or to quiet possession by other tenants, the landlord may serve a three-day notice to correct or quit.  To further ensure safe housing for domestic violence victims, this law also requires that, for leases entered into after January 1, 2011, a landlord changes the exterior locks of a protected tenant's dwelling unit within 24 hours after the tenant provides a written request and supporting court or police documentation as specified.  Senate Bill 782.
  • Protections Against Real Estate Fraud: Effective January 1, 2011, new laws protecting consumers from real estate fraud include, without limitation, the following: (1) Expanding the foreclosure consultant law to include someone who performs a forensic audit of a residential mortgage loan (Assembly Bill 2325); (2) Requiring any mailed solicitation that offers to provide a copy of an owner's grant deed or other title records for a fee to include a prominent statutory disclosure that the copy service is not associated with any governmental agency and that the homeowner can obtain such records from the county recorder (Assembly Bill 1373); and (3) Increasing the criminal punishment for renting out a residential dwelling without the owner's consent from six months imprisonment plus a $1,000 fine, to one year imprisonment, plus a $2,500 fine (Assembly Bill 1800).
  • Other Laws: Some of the other laws that may interest REALTORS® include, but are not limited to, revisions to the mechanics' lien law (Senate Bill 189); clarification that the prohibition against discrimination of tenants based on source of income pertains to lawful and verifiable income (Senate Bill 1252); extension of the CalVet Home Loan program to include 2-to-4 residential units (Assembly Bill 2087); and lien enforcement by a municipal utility district for a tenant's delinquent charges (Senate Bill 1035).

Pre-Approval with REOs.

by The Barringer Team

Pre-approval with the bank who owns the home:
When making an offer on a REO home it is to your advantage to be pre-approved with the bank that owns the home. When making an offer on a home having a pre-approval letter from the bank who owns the home will increase your chances of beating a competing offer from a buyer with the same offer or even slightly higher without.

The problem with getting pre-approved once you see the house you like is that it takes time for the approval process, about 3-5 days average. So it is best to get cross qualified with a few of the different major banks in your area before hand. The advantage is that you will be able to get preference with any bank which you qualify with. Also you will be able to shop the different banks to get your best terms and rate. Since most of the listing are either Wells Fargo or Homesteps and Homepath, or fannie and freddie. I recommend to buyers to get qualified with all three. Most of the smaller banks also prefer to at least see a known institutional lender. I recommend starting with Wells Fargo, then go from there.

Different websites which list homes by bank:

All of the different banks who sell homes as foreclosures have their own websites which list the homes they own. Below is a list of the different websites banks have set up to preview their homes. Its a good idea to check out what homes are available for the bank you are planning on doing business with.


October Podcast

by The Barringer Team

Click on the link below or above to hear this months Podcast. It has excellent tips on how to take advantage of this market.

California Land Rush of 2010?

by The Barringer Team

Actually, that’s a land rush: Oklahoma, 1889

There has been a lot of news about the strong agricultural sales in California or around the world for that matter. The ag land has been holding its value and has been more stable then any other market. It makes sense too. Land is a finite commodity. It's something you can touch, feel, see, visit. And investors know its a safe bet that as long as there are more people in the world there is a need for more food as well as fuel.

Which is why in California, investors from other countries collectively boosted their holdings 2.5% from February 2007 to February 2009 to 1.08 million acres - about 5% of the state's total farmland. For example, Optima Fund Management, a New York fund, plans to acquire about 10,000 acres of Arizona farmland and California vineyards by year's end.

Why are they not investing in their own countries? Well I really dont know enough to say but my guess is cheaper land in other countries like Brazil and Africa, where profits can be maximized. But the stability of the government is very important to big investment funds as well.

New home builders are also buying land since April of this year in California and Arizonia we have seen a huge increase. David Smith From AHI blog predicts this is a indecator of the bottom of the market:  

Foreclosures are an ultimate lagging indicator, and any damn fool can predict the past.  When it comes to drops, my leading indicator is lawyers deciding to invest, and when it comes to rises, a very good leading indicator is the price of development land, as revealed in this Wall Street Journal article.

Why land is the leading indicator is easy to deduce: property takes time to develop, and land value is a residual; land is worth the net after cost, risk allowance, and profit.  Further, because land produces no yield and has minimal holding costs, nearly all of its value is represented by the future residual expectation, making the price of development land volatile – hence a sensitive indicator that responds to marketplace flickers.

Investors seeing farmland as safer bet than stocks By P.J. Huffstutter, Los Angeles Times

In California, investors from countries including Spain, Switzerland, China, Egypt and Iran collectively boosted their holdings 2.5% from February 2007 to February 2009 to 1.08 million acres — about 5% of the state's total farmland.

Investors also understand that land is a finite commodity. The amount of arable land worldwide is dwindling, while the world’s population is forecast to jump to more than 9 billion by 2050 from 6.9 billion today. That has water-strapped countries eager to establish secure food supplies and bolster biofuel production. Fast-growing economies such as China are stepping up food imports to feed a burgeoning middle class.
"Could we see the '80s all over again? Absolutely," said agricultural economist Michael Swanson, of Wells Fargo's Agricultural Industries Group. "The combination of high crop prices and ultra-low interest rates has farmers bidding historically high prices. It will end very badly for some of them."

The market appears strong for Almond orchards. Check out what the Ag agents for Century 21 M&M are saying:
Agricultural Real Estate Sales Growing Stronger.

The price of open land often is determined by the availability of irrigation water.  Titus said property in a water district is typically valued from $12,000 to $15,000.  Property with a history of having good source of well water is priced from $3,500 to $6,500.

Looking into the local market:
In rural Tracy, there are 12 available lots listed under agricultural. The price range is 119K-6.6m. The average days on the market is 189. The Smallest lot available is a 4 acre lot on Larch road. The Largest is 1040 acres of farm land on Kasson rd. Its hard to tell the market in Tracy. In the last year there have been only 2 sales. One acre on lammers for 39K(seems like a good deal) and 147 acres for $1,661,000.

Click on this link to see all 12 properties.
(the link will only be active for 30 days from this post)
So now might be the time to start considering selling the family farm property and wait for the wall street investor to come in and throw down the big money. Seems they are in the game now.

"I don't think so" ?

Displaying blog entries 1-8 of 8




Contact Information

The Barringer Team
Century 21 M&M and Associates
912 W 11th Street
Tracy CA 95376
Fax: 209-229-7426
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