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Bay Area is now the most expensive place to build

According to a recent report by the British consulting firm Turner & Townsend, the Bay Area has just topped the list of most expensive metros in the world for construction. Yes, you read that correctly – in the entire WORLD. Many of us in real estate have noticed this for months. The shortage of available contractors has created higher bids, longer turn times and less reliable work. And with the Bay Area economy expanding at a rapid pace, I think we’ll have this new found title for quite some time. You can read the full article here and read Turner & Townsend’s report here.

It’s Swell to be WELL

DID YOU KNOW?  Is WELL certification the next LEED certification? A LEED certified building became a marketing status symbol about 10 years ago indicating a heightened awareness of green building features. Now, DELOS, the wellness building developer will be offering WELL-certification for both residential and commercial buildings. It has already handled 1,555 projects totaling 314 million square feet in 48 countries. The office certification process starts with Delos assigning a concierge, who guides the customer through the more than 200 elements Delos uses to evaluate a space, including the proximity of workstations to windows, easy access to drinking water and the size of the plates in the cafeteria (10″ or smaller discourages overeating). Then an independent reviewer comes in with a suitcase full of sensors that measure air, water and sound quality.  LEED, which has certified 76,800 projects since its inception in 2000 charges $13,000 to evaluate a new 100,000-square-foot property. In a recent study, a third of building owners said that going green added more than 10% to their properties’ value. (FORBES)

Mad for Marble

Marble seems to be all the rage these days.  It’s popping up in remodels everywhere and has secured a spot on almost every 2019 design trends list.  It is taking over countertops, floors, walls.  And although it’s beautiful, let’s just hope this one doesn’t get taken too far.

Better Together

DID YOU KNOW? Those who believe in the concept of oneness – that all things are connected and interdependent – are more satisfied with their lives than people who don’t share this belief. (American Psychological Society)

“More than ever before in human history, we share a common destiny. We can master it only if we face it together.”

– Kofi Annan


Talkin’ Real Estate with Ryan Scott

I had the pleasure of doing my second radio program with KGO’s Ryan Scott a couple of weeks ago. Ryan and I have a shared love of real estate which makes these shows a lot of fun to record.   We started out talking about the pending IPOs and how they might affect our market, digressed rather quickly. I think the stories behind the sales are always more interesting, don’t you?

You can listen to the spot here. Enjoy!

Increase the Value of Your Home – On Our Dime!

Many of our sellers worry about the up-front fees involved in getting their home ready for sale. Fortunately, Compass came up with an exclusive program to overcome this obstacle.  The Compass Concierge program is the latest in a suite of services designed to prepare your home for the market. From deep-cleaning to cosmetic improvements, we will work together to assess opportunities to elevate your home’s value.

How It Works:

  • Our team will develop a tailored project plan with suggested home improvements and updates to prepare your home for the market.
  • You will contract directly with home improvement service providers.
  • Compass Concierge will pay the associated cost for home improvement work performed subject to your agreements with home service providers.
  • At the closing of the property, Compass Concierge will collect a fee that covers the cost of the work performed.

Services Include:

  • Staging
  • Deep Cleaning
  • Cosmetic renovations
  • Decluttering
  • Landscaping
  • Painting
  • Custom Closets

Key Eligibility Criteria:

  • The program is available to all sellers with an exclusive Listing Agreement with Compass.
  • Prospective sellers interested in participating in the Compass Concierge program must review and execute the Compass Concierge Service Agreement outlining the program services.

Payment for Services:

  • Invoices should be sent to your Compass Agent for payment by Compass.
  • When your property closes during the term of the Listing Agreement, Compass Concierge will issue an invoice reflecting the total cost of services rendered.
  • Payment for the program services will be collected using your preferred payment method at the earlier of (a) the actual closing of the property or (b) the one-year anniversary of your participation in the program.
  • In the event that your property does not sell or the Listing Agreement is terminated for any or no reason (including the property going off market), Compass Concierge will collect any actual costs incurred by the home improvement work performed (within 15 days).

Interested in the program? Call or email me to discuss in more detail.

Taxes Are Almost Due

The dreaded April 15th deadline is almost upon us.  For those of you who have already completed your tax returns, Congratulations!!  You are on top of things and must be relieved.  As for the rest of us who wait until the last minute, take a deep breath.  Here are a few links to help explain all the new tax changes.

https://turbotax.intuit.com/tax-tips/irs-tax-return/2017-tax-reform-legislation-what-you-should-know/L96aFuPhc

https://www.moneytips.com/top-15-tax-deductions-for-the-self-employed

A WIN for Electric Cars!

DID YOU KNOW? In a symbolic first, electric cars outsold fossil fuel cars in Norway last month. 58.4% of new cars sold in the country in March were battery-powered, a historical high. Norway’s Parliament has voted to require that all new cars sold in the country be electric by 2025. (Marketwatch)  Let’s hope other countries start following Norway’s eco-friendly lead.  Yes, we are looking at you, America!

Tightening FHA Loans

DID YOU KNOW? The FHA told lenders this month it would begin flagging more loans as high risk. Those mortgages, many of which are extended to borrowers with low credit scores and high loan payments relative to their incomes, will now go through a more rigorous manual underwriting process. The FHA tries to boost homeownership by insuring loans to borrowers with less-than-stellar credit, lessening the risk for lenders. The agency is worried that lenders are making loans to borrowers who can’t repay, leading to a spike in defaults that strains the agency’s reserves. (Marketwatch)