Merry Christmas – 2019

A Visit from St. Nicholas

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all thro’ the house,

Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,

In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,

While visions of sugar plums danc’d in their heads,

And Mama in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,

Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap —

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,

I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.

Away to the window I flew like a flash,

Tore open the shutters, and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the new fallen snow,

Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below;

When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,

But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny rein-deer,

With a little old driver, so lively and quick,

I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.

More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,

And he whistled, and shouted, and call’d them by name:

“Now! Dasher, now! Dancer, now! Prancer, and Vixen,

“On! Comet, on! Cupid, on! Dunder and Blixem;

“To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!

“Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!”

As dry leaves before the wild hurricane fly,

When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky;

So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,

With the sleigh full of Toys — and St. Nicholas too:

And then in a twinkling, I heard on the roof

The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.

As I drew in my head, and was turning around,

Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound:

He was dress’d all in fur, from his head to his foot,

And his clothes were all tarnish’d with ashes and soot;

A bundle of toys was flung on his back,

And he look’d like a peddler just opening his pack:

His eyes — how they twinkled! his dimples how merry,

His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry;

His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow.

And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow;

The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,

And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath.

He had a broad face, and a little round belly

That shook when he laugh’d, like a bowl full of jelly:

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,

And I laugh’d when I saw him in spite of myself;

A wink of his eye and a twist of his head

Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,

And fill’d all the stockings; then turn’d with a jerk,

And laying his finger aside of his nose

And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose.

He sprung to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,

And away they all flew, like the down of a thistle:

But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight —

‘Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night.’

Clement Clarke Moore

Have you checked out the neighborhood?

EXP Realty of California Inc.Chuck Barberini Real Estate

This is the post that went out in my e-mail blast this week and it one that I really like. It is so simple, but in all my years of selling homes, it is not something that I even considered. When you consider that the purchasing of your home is the largest purchase that most people will make in their life, why not check it out first. In one of the articles that I read, the buyers asked the agent if they could rent the house that they were looking to purchase for a week, after all, the house is vacant. Because of the nature of the housing market that we have in the Bay Area, there are still multiple offers on houses, so the chances of sellers allowing buyer to rent their house for a week is highly unlikely. But there is a contingency period to do your inspections, why not check out an Air BNB in the neighborhood during that week. Check out the neighborhood at night, see what the streets are like, check out the noise level. See what your commute will be like what the walk to school will be. It’s a great thought and something that I will mention to my buyers in the future. Check out my e-mail post and let me know what you think.

Drive Before you Buy

Have you checked out the neighborhood?

You wouldn’t pick out shoes before choosing an outfit, right? Or buy car accessories without first deciding if you want a truck or a sedan?

Well, house hunting should be treated the same way.

You shouldn’t search for a dream home without vetting neighborhoods or experiencing the new area for yourself.

If the area doesn’t meet your needs, the property may not provide a dream scenario. So how do you make sure you’ve found the right neighborhood? Keep these details in mind:

Cost of Living
Are the property taxes and HOA fees trending upward? Are there mostly trendy boutiques and high-end businesses in the area, or does it have a good mix of local and national retailers?

Planned commercial development could affect the long-term affordability of the area. However, having more access to retailers and entertainment could enhance your lifestyle.

Commutes and Social Life
How close do you want to be to the friends and family you visit the most? How far are you willing to drive to get to the restaurants, theaters or stores that you frequent?

It’s understandable to prioritize your work commute, but keep in mind the other places you visit on a daily or weekly basis.

Long-Term Goals
How does the community fit into your future goals? Are there good schools, parks or sports leagues for your family?

A thriving community adds to your quality of life. And it’s a good sign for future home values.

Want to try before you buy? Where possible, consider renting a unit in the area for a few days through a short-term rental site. Experiencing the neighborhood like a resident can help you to decide if it fits your current and future needs.

Are you looking for a new home? Get in touch if you’d like to see a neighborhood report.

#ChuckBarberiniRealEstate

Helpful Links:

  1. Today’s Mortgage Rates
  2. EXP Realty – The Agent Owned – Cloud Based Company
  3. Probate Property Specialist
  4. Search for Homes
  5. Tax Deferred System
  6. Real Estate 4 Life
  7. Property Management
  8. Captain Charlie

4 Steps to Prepare for Home Ownership

Buying a home is a big undertaking. From finding the right property and negotiating to sorting out the legal details and moving in, there are dozens of important steps along the way. And for many first-time buyers, it can seem overwhelming. 

Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to make the process easier, even if you’re still in the planning phase. If you know buying a home is on the horizon, you’ll want to tackle these tasks before you get too far into your search:

1. Get preapproved for your mortgage. 
Research lenders, choose your mortgage company and apply for preapproval. This will give you an idea of what you can afford so we can point you toward homes in the right price range. 

2. Give your budget a test run. 
Once you have a rough estimate of what your monthly payment will be, give that budget a trial run. Are you still able to afford all your monthly bills and expenses? If not, let’s have a chat with your lender to see what the monthly payment could look like if we target a lower price point.  

3. Start saving. 
It’s never too early to start saving up for your down payment and closing costs. Cutting out unnecessary spending and setting up automatic deductions from your paychecks are two easy ways to give your savings a boost.

4. Create a wish list. 
What do you want in your future home? Jot down your must-haves concerning size,location and features. You can also include some deal breakers to help guide you in your search. Are you looking to buy your first home soon? With the right help, the process will be less overwhelming. Reach out today for step-by-step guidance or a referral to a trusted lender in our area.

Make sure you get the most for your money and don’t make first-timer mistakes.

Buying a house for the first time can be a daunting task. With so many places and situations that can cost you money or even happiness, it’s something to approach with caution and while being informed.

In my book, I’ll show you everything you need to know to cause the process to go as smoothly as possible, without any mistakes. You’ll learn about programs for people buying for the first time, the best ways to get a loan, common mistakes to avoid and much, much more. Don’t let a couple of simple errors cost you thousands and thousands of dollars.

Claim your free book now and start preparing to make one of the biggest decisions of your life.

Claim Your Free Book Now:

#ChuckBarberini #CharlieBarberini #GoPhoenixPM #ChuckBarberiniRealEstate

#ChuckBarberiniRealEstate

Helpful Links:

  1. Today’s Mortgage Rates
  2. EXP Realty – The Agent Owned – Cloud Based Company
  3. Probate Property Specialist
  4. Search for Homes
  5. Tax Deferred System
  6. Real Estate 4 Life
  7. Property Management
  8. Captain Charlie


You can compete with all-cash offers

Chuck Barberini

Chuck Barberini Real Estate | EXP Realty

You can compete with all-cash offers. Here’s how;

In today’s hot market, bidding wars have become the norm. With many out-of-state buyers and property investors looking for a great deal, all-cash offers are also becoming common.

A cash offer can seem tempting for sellers since it offers the possibility of a faster closing. But despite this perk, cash buyers don’t always win. Many times, they make low offers or demand costly extras, both of which will mean lost cash for the seller.

Want to boost your chances of getting the home you want when competing with cash buyers? Here are some things to consider:

  1. Include a preapproval letter. Get your financial documents in order, find a mortgage lender and get preapproved. Additionally, a note from your lender stating that you’re a well-qualified buyer can go a long way.
  2. Work with a fast-moving lender. Average closing times vary significantly from lender to lender. Choosing one known for fast transactions shows sellers that you’re willing to move at their pace. Get in touch if you’d like a referral to a trusted lender.
  3. Offer more earnest money or a bigger down payment. More money down means you’re serious about purchasing their home, which gives sellers more confidence in your offer.
  4. Make an appropriate offer. We’ll discuss local comps to assess the home’s value, allowing you to make a solid bid right off the bat. Low offers are likely to be dismissed without a second glance.

Are you planning to purchase a new home soon? Get in touch today to discuss the right strategy for your home search.

Thank you for reading my newsletter. I look forward to connecting with you soon.

Helpful Links:

Order a Copy of my Probate book today.

#ChuckBarberiniRealEstate

Can you own your dream house with student debt?

EXP Real Estate – Chuck Barberini Real Estate

Can you own your dream house with student debt?

Did you know you can buy your dream home while paying off student loan debt?

It’s true and even quite common. While student loans are factored into your debt-to-income ratio, they shouldn’t prevent you from becoming a homeowner.

And fortunately, there are many programs and options available to prospective buyers, some you may not be familiar with. Here are four ways people with student loans achieve their homeownership goals:

  1. Co-buying With Friends or Family
    Purchasing a home with a roommate, significant other or sibling allows you to combine multiple incomes to qualify for a better mortgage rate. This can help lower your monthly payment and make home maintenance more affordable.
  2. Receiving Financial Gifts From Family 
    You can also accept gift money from your parents, grandparents or other family members to put toward your home purchase. Some loan programs have a cap on how much gift money can be used, so make sure you know the limits first.
  3. Choosing Low (or No) Down Payment Loans 
    There are many low down payment options, including FHA, HomeReady and Home Possible loans. For loans with no down payment, VA loans may be available to veterans and military members as well as USDA loans for those purchasing in rural areas.
  4. Using Assistance Programs 
    Down payment assistance programs can cover some or all of your down payment costs if you qualify. These programs vary by location, so talk with a lender to learn about potential options.

Working on your credit can also help you buy a home. Pay your credit card bills on time every month, aim to pay down your debts and never let an account go into collections. It also helps to get preapproved for a mortgage so you know how much you qualify for.

If you’re ready to make home ownership a reality or would like a referral to a trusted lender, get in touch today.

Thank you for reading my newsletter. I look forward to connecting with you soon.

Helpful Links:

Should you purchase your dream house first? – Chuck Barberini Real Estate

EXP Realty of California Inc. – Chuck Barberini Real Estate

Should you purchase your dream house first?

Gone are the days when a three-bedroom, two-bath starter home was the norm for first-time home buyers. Today, many buyers are skipping that stage altogether and going straight for their dream homes. They’re buying bigger, more expensive properties with upgraded features, and they plan to live there for the long haul.

Not sure which type of property you should look for? Here are a few things to consider:

Why are you buying?
Are you mainly looking for a way to lower your monthly living expenses, or do you want a place to raise your kids and put down roots? Do you want this to be your only purchase, or are you willing to go through the process again in a few years?

What’s your budget?
Can you buy your dream home with what you can currently afford, or would that stretch your budget too far? It’s crucial to consider how much you’ll need to save for a down payment and how large of a loan you can qualify for. Your credit score and the expected interest rate will also play a factor.

How long do you plan to stay? 
Do you plan to be in the area for a long time or is there a chance you’ll need to move for your career, family or another reason down the line?

Is the market favorable?
What is the current housing inventory, and will you be competing with other buyers? Favorable market conditions mean you’ll get more house for your money, making it an ideal time to purchase a forever home.

Get in touch today if you’re ready to buy a new home. If you’re unsure about a starter home or forever home for your family, we can discuss what options are available to meet your needs and long-term goals.

Thank you for reading my newsletter. I look forward to connecting with you soon.

Helpful Links:

Hire an Agent – Chuck Barberini Real Estate

EXP Real Estate – BR Real Estate Group – Chuck Barberini Real Estate

https://www.barberinico.com/

Building your house? How an agent can help.

Hire an Agent When Building a House

Many homebuyers think they don’t need to hire an agent when building a new home. After all, you’re buying directly from the builder and they already have contractors, lenders and inspectors. Why should someone else be brought into the mix?

The truth is, buying any home without an agent can be a costly mistake. It can mean paying more than you should, missed opportunities for upgrades, contract errors that aren’t in your favor or a delayed closing.

Thinking of buying a new construction home? Here are three reasons to have an agent on your side before visiting the sales office:

  1. Expert Negotiation:While their advertising would have you believe otherwise, builder’s prices aren’t always set in stone. Agents are skilled negotiators who can likely get the price dropped slightly or have a few upgrades thrown in.
  2. Preferred Vendors:Your builder might have an affiliate mortgage lender or title company, but chances are they aren’t going to offer the best deal. It’s important to shop around, and what’s better than a vendor your agent already knows and trusts?
  3. Guidance and Support: The homebuying process can be complicated, with lots of twists, turns and steps along the way. When buying new construction, you also have design reviews, electrical work and other construction needs. An agent can guide you through all of these, making sure your purchase stays on track, on time and on budget from start to finish.

It’s important to note that while you may be working with an agent or representative from the builder, they may not have your best interests at heart. Enlisting your own trusted agent can give you an advocate from the very first meeting to closing day.

Are you interested in buying a new construction home? Get in touch today for more info about builders in the area.

Helpful Links:

Chuck Barberini Real Estate

Chuck Barberini Real Estate – Tiny Houses

EXP Real Estate – BR Real Estate Group – Chuck Barberini Real Estate – Tiny Houses

Do you have the biggest housing trend of the year?

Could you use a detached living space?

Today’s homeowners and homebuyers love detached living spaces. These small stand-alone structures located on the property come with all sorts of benefits — from added room for storage and recreation to extra income.

They’re also easy and affordable to design and install. Starting at around $9,600, this additional square footage can deliver serious bang for your buck, as detached areas can serve as:

Private Rental Space: You can offer the unit on a vacation rental site or lease it to a full-time tenant to bring in some extra income year-round.

Individual Living Quarters: These separate units are perfect for multigenerational families. They can be used by college kids home for summer or elderly parents who need assistance but want privacy. They’re also ideal guest rooms for family and friends coming to visit.

Quiet Home Office: Private, quiet and separated from all the hustle and bustle of the main house, detached units make highly functional home offices for the self-employed entrepreneur or side hustler.

Creative or Leisure Room: Need somewhere to escape and relax? These units are your solution. Personalize them with an art studio, a cozy reading nook, a yoga space or whatever else helps you wind down.

Fun Kids’ Playroom: Give the kids a space of their own with a toy-filled playroom in the backyard. They’re perfect for late-night slumber parties and playing video games with friends.

If you’re interested in building a detached living space on your property, get in touch today for recommendations for local contractors and designers. Remember to also look into any municipal or HOA restrictions, as you may need permits before starting your build-out.

Want to learn more about the market’s latest real estate trends and how your house compares? Get in touch today.

Get a free copy of my book today. Learn the secrets of Selling Real Estate.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Chuck Barberini Real Estate – Staycation

Chuck Barberini | BR Real Estate Group | EXP Realty
REALTOR®

Planning an exciting trip? Maybe a relaxing staycation is more your style. Either way, find out how you could get $500 to put toward your plans.

Don’t delay — you only have two weeks.

Learn More

 

 

 

Selling your house?

Get my Free Book today.

Loaded with great tips and suggestions.

 

 

 

 

 

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What is my home worth?

Get a CMA Today…

Helpful Links:

Chuck Barberini | BR Real Estate Group | EXP Realty
REALTOR®
chuck@chuckbarberini.com
1415 Oakland Blvd.
Suite 101
Walnut Creek, CA 94596
Phone: (925) 963-6606
CalBRE 01324660

 

 

 

 

The Ultimate Moving Check List – Chuck Barberini Real Estate

The Ultimate Moving Check List

4 Things to Put on Your Moving Checklist

Moving can be hectic. With dozens of to-dos, a tight timeline and a growing pile of boxes, it’s easy to get frazzled and let things fall through the cracks. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

Get organized now by making a checklist to work from. Set deadlines for the most critical tasks like hiring movers, renting a storage unit and turning on your new utilities. Aside from packing up room by room, make sure your list has these often forgotten items, too:

Forward Your Mail: The post office makes it very easy to ensure your mail gets routed to the right place, at least for the first year after your move. Just head to a local branch or go online to update your address with the date you’ll be moving, and your mail will automatically forward.

Measure and Decide: Take a measuring tape to your new home and jot down the measurements of each wall and nook. What furniture and decor will fit in your new space? What won’t? It’s better to make decisions about what to donate or sell before moving day.

Refill Prescriptions: It may take a bit to get your prescriptions forwarded to a new pharmacy and even longer for you to find the time to pick them up. If possible, get your prescriptions refilled ahead of time from your current pharmacy.

Back Up Your Electronics: Back up your computer and phone to the cloud, and make sure you’ve uploaded all your photos and documents somewhere safe. In the event something happens to your devices during the move, a backup will get you up and running faster.

Are you ready to make a move? Whether you’re considering selling your current home or thinking of finding a new one, get in touch today for help and resources to guide you through the process.

@ChuckBarberini

@EXP Realty

@Charlie_Barberini

@RealEstate4Life