All Blog Entries by Mark Fleckles

Found 30 blog entries published by Mark Fleckles.

The U.S. unemployment rate is at a 50-year low, and consumer confidence remains high. In fact, the University of Michigan’s latest Surveys of Consumers found that Americans have their most positive personal finance outlook since 2003.[1]

However, if you follow national news, you’ve probably heard speculation that we could be headed toward a recession. Global trade tensions and a slow down in the GDP growth rate have sparked volatility in the stock market, leading to economic uncertainty.

Given these differing signals, you may be wondering: How has the U.S. housing market been impacted? Where is it headed? And more importantly … what does it mean for me?

MORTGAGE RATES ARE NEAR HISTORIC LOWS

In August, Freddie Mac reported that the average

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In our “bigger is better” culture, there’s an expectation that each home should be larger and grander than the last. But life changes like divorce, kids leaving for college, or even the simple act of growing older can prompt us to find a smaller home that better suits our shifting needs and lifestyle.

In fact, the advantages of downsizing are being increasingly recognized. A “tiny house movement” has gained passionate advocates who appreciate the benefits of living simply at any age and stage of life. Not only does a smaller home typically cost less, it also takes less time and effort to maintain. [1]

Whatever your reasons are for downsizing, the process can seem overwhelming. That’s why we’ve outlined five steps to guide you on your journey.

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Most new homeowners have something about their property that they want to change. And as family needs and design trends shift over time, many will eventually choose to remodel. Some homeowners make updates to their property before listing it to maximize their potential sales revenue. 

Whatever your reasons are for taking on a home improvement project, it’s wise to consider how the money you invest will impact your home’s value.

We’ve taken a look at six popular home renovations and identified those that—on average—have the best and worst returns on investment. So before you lift a hammer or hire a contractor, take a look at this list and see if your remodeling efforts will reward you when it comes time to sell.

RENOVATIONS THAT PAY OFF

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Welcome to Laurel Lane!

This light and airy townhouse in the heart of Oakland’s Laurel District is just steps to neighborhood shops, cafes, and restaurants including Sequoia Diner, Communite Table, and Everett & Jones BBQ.

Featuring an open floor plan with excellent indoor/outdoor flow, this 2-story end-unit only shares one wall with its neighbors. Sliding glass doors from the kitchen and living room lead out to the gated, fully fenced, wrap-around private yard with cheerful landscaping and sunny patio. Upstairs are 2 master suites and in-unit washer/dryer. The 2nd bedroom is perfect for guests or possibly a roommate. Fresh paint throughout, brand new carpeting upstairs, and updated kitchen appliances make this townhouse move-in

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Thanks to Marie Kondo and her hit Netflix series “Tidying Up,” home organization is a hot topic right now. Marie encourages her viewers to minimize their possessions and keep only those items that “spark joy.”

With spring in full bloom, now is the perfect time to do some spring cleaning and add organizational systems to your own home. Not only will you clear out clutter, your efforts can actually increase the value of your home.

Ready to give it a try? Here are six home organization ideas that will “spark joy” for you and your property value.

1. Boost Bathroom Storage Capacity

When was the last time you cleaned out your bathroom cupboards? If it’s been awhile, remove everything and take a look at each item. Toss any old or expired

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If you’re thinking about buying a home, you’ve probably received your share of advice from family and friends. Add to that the constant stream of TV shows, news segments, and social media posts that over-simplify the home buying process for easy entertainment.

With so much information to sift through, it can be tough to distinguish fact from fiction. That’s why we’re revealing the truth behind some of the most common home buyer myths and misconceptions.

Buying a home is a big decision, but it doesn’t have to be a scary one. If you arm yourself with knowledge and a qualified team of support professionals, you’ll be well equipped to make the right choices for your family and financial future.

DON’T FALL FOR THESE COMMON HOME BUYER MYTHS

Myth

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Set back on a beautiful and wide tree lined street, this move-in ready Broadmoor Tudor will steal your heart.

The light filled 2 level home has a spacious master bedroom with separate walk-in closet and sitting area. The living room with lovely Batchelder tiled fireplace leads to a formal dining room. There is an updated kitchen with ample storage and stainless-steel appliances plus washer and dryer. Wonderfully maintained hardwood floors throughout!

Upstairs you will find two good sized bedrooms and an updated full bathroom. The fourth bedroom located on the ground floor is ideal as an office or guest room. There is plenty of storage throughout the home.

But don’t forget the outdoors! The front yard is well maintained and

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Discover What Buyers Will Pay in Today’s Market

It’s easy to look up how much money you have in your savings account or the real-time value of your stock investments. But determining the dollar value of a home is trickier.

As a seller, knowing your home’s worth helps you price it correctly when you put it up for sale. If you price it too high, it may sit on the market. But price it too low and you may be losing out on a good chunk of money (nobody wants that!). For buyers, it’s important to know a home’s worth before you make an offer. You want your offer to be competitive, but you don’t want to overpay for the property.

Even if you’re not a buyer or seller right now, as a current homeowner you might just be curious about the value of your

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If you’re a current homeowner, or in the market to buy, you’re probably curious about the latest trends in home design. 

Sellers who make strategic updates before listing a property can generate increased interest from buyers and, in some cases, a premium selling price. And buyers should consider which features of a home will need updating immediately (or in the near future) so they can factor renovation costs into their overall budget.

Even if you have no immediate plans to buy or sell, we advise our clients to be thoughtful about the colors, materials, and finishes they select when planning a remodel. Making over-personalized or unpopular design choices could hurt a home’s value when it does come time to sell. And selecting out-of-style or

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Congratulations to my client on the sale of this delightful mid-century condo at the highly desirable 1 Kelton Court. Steps to award-winning Piedmont Avenue shops and restaurants including Piedmont Grocery, Fenton's Creamery, and Commis.

I listed and sold this home after only 10 days on the market with multiple offers and over the asking price!

Contact me today at 510-967-6169 to find out how I can provide the same high level of service and outstanding results for you!

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