New Years Resolutions for Your Home -PART TWO

If you missed the first post, check it out here.

Kids are back in school, work has resumed, and life is in full swing. 2017 can be just like every other year where you resolve to make changes and then lose steam a few weeks or months in, OR you can take the necessary steps to set yourself up for success. Having a plan, set goals and defined timeframes is a surefire way to stick with these resolutions. The benefits of a healthy, efficient home far outweigh the initial time investment it takes to implement them. Read below to find five more resolutions as they pertain to your home:


Eat Healthier

You are what you eat! In your diet and in your home. Think of gas or electric as the food you eat. It gives you energy to do the things you need, and want, to do. Energy consumption in the home is something we can control through some simple efforts.

  • Fan/space heater in one room instead of heating/cooling entire home
  • Make sure your home doesn’t allow heat to escape
  • Adjust thermostat seasonally
  • Plug entertainment devices into a power-strip and turn it on and off
  • Investigate if gas or electric is most cost-effective for you

The debate of gas versus electric is as long lasting as it is long winded. In order to know which option is best for you, take note of the rates for each in your area. This information should be easily accessible on your bill, or on the provider’s website. Once you have all the information you can re-evaluate your appliances and heating


Drink Less. 

Laying off the libations is great for your waistline and your wallet! In your home, especially in California, consuming less water is a necessity. We all know the typical tricks, like reducing shower time, turning off the tap while you brush your teeth and lather your hands, but what can you do to reduce water use in your home?

  • Check for leaks, and fix them promptly
  • Switch to timed watering systems in your yard
  • Reduce lawn space, or better yet, switch to dryscapes
  • Update fixtures. Switching to low-flow toilets or aerated faucets can potentially off rebates as well!


Exercise More

Do you have an entire Pinterest board dedicated to “Someday I’ll do This….” but you haven’t done any of it? Exercise your DIY muscle! Why not tackle one of those projects? Repurpose that old outdated furniture. Move it into a new space. Transition your backyard from pile of stuff to haven of rest. You live in California, take advantage of it! There are so many resources, YouTube tutorials, How-To books, and guides to give you step-by-step of any project! is a great place to gain inspiration on larger projects, while Pinterest can give you thousands of ideas from quick and inexpensive to huge and costly. You get to take on whatever you want AND you get to benefit from your handiwork! Hop to it!


Family Time

Time is our most precious resource and the only thing can never get more of. Setting a space within your home for family time can be as simple as designating a movie night where family members rotate picking the film, or setting a game closet that kiddos can easily access. Other fun ways to enjoy your home with those you love are:

  • Plant an Herb garden
  • Invite the kids (or significant other) to help you cook
  • Tackle a house project together
  • Makeover the kids bedroom as a family, rework the furniture and it can feel like a new space!
  • Plant a family tree!
  • Install a swing
  • Build a sandbox


Reduce Stress

In our homes, just as in our personal lives, many things contribute to added stress. Your heater and air conditioner may have it’s work cut out for it if you’re not taking care to insulate your home properly. Checking window and door seals can be a quick and inexpensive way to keep your home at a comfortable temperature. If you have the ability to update old windows, or take on larger, more expensive projects– think about spraying insulation into existing walls. Not only will it help the comfort of the space, but it serves as a noise barrier as well. Local energy companies will often do free in home analysis’ providing you with suggestions on how to cut costs, usage, and how to maximize heating and cooling efforts.

Other items in your home that may not be standing up to the stress of regular wear and tear are flooring, fixtures, appliances and lighting. Changing out one of all of these can provide you an updated look, energy-efficiency and potential cost savings in the long run.


Understanding your home is the first step in knowing which areas need a little extra love. Implementing these resolutions could allow you to be prepared if you take the leap of listing your home, if it sells faster than you anticipate, or if you decide to purchase. Having your life organized, being educated and prepared will make the moving process far easier to handle. I am always available as a resource and am happy to answer any questions, refer you to resources, or help to navigate your next step toward homeownership. I look forward to finding your first home, an additional income property, or your forever home. Give me a call (831) 801-8206 or shoot me an email at and let’s resolve to make a move in 2017!


Cheers to the New Year!


The hottest 20 housing markets to watch this spring

Buyers should expect substantial competition

sold sign

The early look analysis of March housing data from suggests a surge in demand to Jonathan Smoke, chief economist.

Despite a 2% growth in inventory month over month, the median age of inventory continues to be down, with a 13% drop month over month.

Additionally, Smoke notes, median list prices are rising faster, now at $220,000 nationally up 3% month over month and 11% year over year.

“It’s still a seller’s market,” Smoke said. “ data shows that supply is not keeping pace with surging demand.  We expect rising prices to persuade those who may be on the fence about listing their homes to do so in the coming months, leading to closer parity between supply and demand.”

Looking at March data and website traffic, Smoke determined the 20 hottest markets in the country, based on the number of listing views relative to the number of listings.

“We are now firmly in the time of the year when peak demand and peak inventory levels typically occur, through spring and early summer,” Smoke said. “Buyers should expect substantial competition, especially in the hottest markets, and for affordably priced homes within most markets.”

He says that these markets should see particularly healthy activity in the coming months as home buying season kicks into gear.

  1. Waco, TX
  2. New Orleans-Metairie, LA
  3. Ann Arbor, MI
  4. Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO
  5. Santa Rosa, CA
  6. Fort Wayne, IN
  7. Vallejo-Fairfield, CA
  8. San Diego-Carlsbad, CA
  9. Columbus, OH
  10. Detroit-Warren-Dearborn, MI
  11. Manchester-Nashua, NH
  12. Boston-Cambridge-Newton, MA-NH
  13. Austin-Round Rock, TX
  14. Boulder, CO
  15. Springfield, IL
  16. Charleston, WV
  17. Pittsburgh, PA
  18. Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL
  19. College Station-Bryan, TX
  20. Lansing-East Lansing, MI

Bay Area Cost vs. Value 2015

Thinking about remodeling your home but do not know if you will get value from it?  Want to know where to start? Find out the average cost of a project done in the San Jose area and see if it worth the expense.

Cost Versus Value for San Jose-page-009

Entry door replacement, garage addition, and minor kitchen remodel should be homeowners primary focus to remodel or make some improvements due to the rate of return.  Enjoy the changes to your new home now and reap the benefits when you sell your home.

City data for 36 projects, including:

  • City Job Costs
  • City Resale Value
  • City Cost Recouped
  • City/Region Comparison
  • City/National Comparison

Click on the link for more information Cost Versus Value for San Jose

If you need a list of local professionals, please contact real estate agent Kristen Jurevich who has many resources to help with any need.  If you would like a Realtors professional opinion on home value, staging, or ways to maximize your investment, Kristen Jurevich can help any homeowner in the Silicon Valley.

JUST RELEASED: Bay Area Counties MLS Stats for January

San Benito, Monterey, Santa Cruz, Santa Clara, and San Mateo Counties all increased in inventory from the end of 2014 through the first month of January in 2015.  The average sales price in San Benito decreased 10% but Santa Cruz had the highest percentage decrease of 18%.  San Mateo and Santa Clara average price increased 6-7% even with residential inventory increasing 13%.  Buyers are still demanding on living in those counties and will gladly pay the price increase.   The average home stays on the market for a little more than a month before putting a JUST SOLD sign in the yard. If a home is on the market in San Jose, then it will most likely sell FAST. Great news for sellers, especially if you have a 50 year old home with no upgrades.  No worries, an investor or International buyer will gladly take it off your hands.

What can you expect with the real estate market in South County and Hollister? It surely follows the leader….Silicon Valley.  New construction are popping up in almost all vacant lots.  Permits have greatly increased across the board in 2013 compared to the earlier years.  Now buyers can expect to have a brand new home at a fraction of the Bay Area cost.

In general, don’t wait to buy a home.  The Bay Area housing is holding strong, unlike the rest of the United States.  Buyers will pay for the wonderful weather and easy access to work.  Local MLS stats show that things are looking good for real estate.  Where do you fall?

More great MLS Listing facts and reference, click here.

Data supplied is for MLSListings Inc five reported counties: Monterey, San Benito, San Mateo, Santa Clara and Santa Cruz. MLSListings data is tabulated the third of every month to the third of the following month; primarily to account for late corrections and additions by agents. These updates are often not included in most market reports. The Market Indicators Report reflects the most current information on the date the report is generated. A complete report for numbers indicated in summary can be found at in the Media Center. Further media inquiry: please contact

1031 Exchange: Buy now or you may pay for it later

Tax deferred exchanges are at an all-time high and continued momentum is expected. This growth continues from 2014 and is fueled by rising real estate values, higher tax rates and lower interest rates. With the recent threat of elimination or limitation of 1031 Exchanges in last year’s tax reform proposals, many investors are motivated to take advantage of their tax deferral opportunities now.

2015 promises to be another strong year for 1031 Exchanges as investors and owners seek ways to defer their taxes. Section 1031 of the tax code allows real estate investors to sell a property, defer the tax, and reinvest the proceeds into a replacement investment. Tax deferred exchanges are a popular investment tool which greatly enhances purchasing power and encourages taxpayers to continually invest in real estate.

If you want to know more about 1031 basics or brush up on more complex 1031 strategies to take advantage of tax deferral, please visit our website for in depth information or join us for one of our complimentary webinars below.  Contact Kristen Jurevich, Bay Area real estate agent with Intero Real Estate Services a Berkshire Hathaway Affiliate, to make a purchase in the San Benito, Santa Clara, Monterey, or Santa Cruz area.

Exchange Topics

The Basics
Exchange Process
Safety & Security
Exchange Types
Advanced Topics

Frequently Asked Questions


Contact Sarah for more information

Sarah Malone, CES®
Assistant Vice President
Senior Exchange Officer

(831) 264-5515 Phone

Can You Handle That Fixer-Upper?

Learn from homeowners who bought into major renovation projects to see if one is right for you


8.3 Million Homeowners Will Soon See the Light

By Gino Blefari, President & CEO, Intero Real Estate Services, Inc.

Here’s a bit of fantastic news in the housing market: 8.3 million homeowners are about to resurface from the doldrums of negative equity.

Given the abysmal situation with lack of homes for sale in many markets nationwide, the takeaway from this news is that we could be looking at a lot more inventory becoming available by the beginning of 2015.

We hope.

According to RealtyTrac, 8.3 million homeowners, or about 18% of homeowners with mortgages, will gain enough equity to sell their homes in the next 15 months without resorting to short sales.

As you likely know from reading this column each week, millions of homeowners in the U.S. have essentially been “stuck” in their homes, waiting for the market to rebound and lift their home values from negative equity – the situation in which the owner owes more on their mortgage than the current market value of the home.

This hasn’t helped the inventory problem at all. In fact, it’s contributed too much of it.

RealtyTrac says in its September report that the 8.3 million homeowners have anywhere from 10% negative equity to 10% positive equity. They count the latter homeowners because even though these homeowners have equity, they don’t have enough to cover the costs of selling and therefore aren’t in the market.

This is great news for sure. But to keep the situation in context, we have to also remember the huge population of homeowners who have more than 25% negative equity. RealtyTrac says this population includes about 10.7 million homes, or about 23% of properties with a mortgage.

Their situation is more dire. And RealtyTrac’s data follows much of what Zillow announced a couple of weeks back. While the situation certainly is improving, there is still a segment of homeowners who aren’t likely to rise from their situation any time in the near future, if at all.

We’ve seen some pretty wild increases in home values this year, and many don’t expect those increases to continue at the current pace.

What’s a homeowner to do? As you know, there are a few options. Some homeowners will choose to foreclose and simply walk away and deal with the financial consequences. Others will simply stay in their homes as long as they’re able to afford the mortgage.

Either way, negative equity appears to be the tumor that will remain in tact in the market for years to come. It shouldn’t stop the market from improving as a whole, but it’s a reality of personal finances that could eventually catch up – mainly when thinking about available homes for sale.