Can Millennials Find the American Dream?

With a shrinking middle class and with median incomes decreasing, is it still possible for Millennials to find their way to the American Dream. Well, obviously, it comes down to what your definition of American Dream is but, if it’s the traditional kind of working for yourself and having the ability and means to buy a home for yourself, let’s look at some facts.

The item to note, in my opinion, is the lack of jobs for such a large group of Americans. You may have a great education but may be having a difficult time finding a job. I don’t think there is any doubt as to why so many young folks want to live in urban areas. It’s lots of fun and there are JOBS!

Once you’re fortunate to find a job, paying down those student loans is, or should be, your main priority. I was lucky enough to have a smaller student loan balance after school after going to state universities in New York during a time when school wasn’t nearly as expensive as it is today. That said, paying off those loans was my main priority and, once I did, it opened up other opportunities.

If you’re interested in starting a family, well, just take a look at the statistic above. As you can see, this study estimates that it will cost around $250K to raise one child from birth to 18 years. To me, that seems a bit low but it all comes down to where you live I suppose. Just a word of advice from this old man: Don’t rush on this step. There’s plenty of time to raise a child or two after 30 years old. In fact, if you and your partner can, perhaps waiting longer to do this would be advantageous as you build your reserves, etc.

Millennials are a very important segment of our population and needed to be treated so. They are the leaders and future leaders of this country and they need our support. I hope they find a more fruitful life than we have left them so far. With their intelligence and forward thinking spirit, I’m sure they’ll find a way to great prosperity in no time.

Contact Gabriel for a consultation to buy or sell a home in San Francisco or Oakland. He can be reached at gabriel@climbsf.com or 415-562-6999.

www.AtHomeSF.com

@TheDapperAgent

Hiring the “Right” Contractor is a Big Deal

We’ve heard a million horror stories of people who’ve hired and used the wrong contractor over the years. The time frame went weeks or even months longer than agreed upon. Budgets were doubled or tripled after all was said and done.

Don’t get the wrong idea though. Not all contractors are bad or untrustworthy. In fact, the contractors on my “team” are outstanding professionals and truly good people. Those are the people you want to work with and those are the kinds of people you will find who include the items mentioned in this very important “check list” of items you should be referring to when selecting the right contractor for your needs.

Read these points very carefully. They are all so important starting with multiple assessments and bids on price and timeline. Terms can be drastically different between contractors so get at least two if not three or more. You do this with doctors and other professionals so why would you skip this step when it comes to your home or your investment property?

I would like to suggest one more item to add to this list: Renderings! In my opinion, a good/great contractor with be able to recommend the right materials based on your needs and also provide you with a full rendering presentation of what the project will look like when it’s complete. Do not move forward until you’ve seen these and approved them! Taking a contractors word for it that ‘It’s going to look great!’ is not good enough.

My clients come to me asking for referrals and I’m happy to suggest various resources for their needs. Trust your Realtor to also do the same. Part of being a successful Realtor is having a “team” of various professionals that we’ve built trusting relationships with. Your Realtor can do a lot more for you than just fill out forms to buy or sell a property.

Contact Gabriel to buy or sell your home in San Francisco or Oakland.

gabriel@climbsf.com | 415-562-6999

www.AtHomeSF.com

@TheDapperAgent

What’s Important to the LGBT Community? Looks like Home Ownership is…

It is no question that a large segment of our residents in San Francisco are part of the LGBT community. They are a powerful force and I am honored to call many of these fine folks my dear friends. Many of my friends are home owners or look to purchase a home in the near future.

Lets take a look at some of the items that are most important to the LGBT Community when it comes to the Real Estate conversation.

Safe neighborhoods seem to be paramount in the research. Also, having access to parks is important as many same-sex couples I know that aren’t having human children call their animals their kids. Taking dogs out to the park is fun and also a lot better than doing their “doggie business” in the street. Of course, this is probably one of many reasons why a park is important but it’s something that stands out as a very San Francisco lifestyle element.

In the “Working with a Realtor” sector, it seems obvious that folks would want to work with someone who is open and willing to work with the LGBT community. Discrimination of any kind is cause for concern and a Realtor is held to the highest standard with regard to this topic. Fewer LGBT-identified folks cared if their agent was also within this distinction which says a lot about trusting who you’re working with and holding you accountable for your level of expertise as apposed to who you sleep with.

Here’s to helping EVERYONE in their pursuit of owning a home in San Francisco and EVERYWHERE!

Contact Gabriel to buy or sell your home in San Francisco.

gabriel@climbsf.com | 415-562-6999

www.AtHomeSF.com

@TheDapperAgent

The “Boom” is coming! Are you ready?

As we reach the final stretch to this event, a quick reminder of who is speaking and why it is so important for anyone involved in the real estate business in or around the Bay Area to be there. We look forward to seeing you on Friday for this incredible panel discussion and a fun and celebratory reception at the SF Jazz Center!

The “Building Boom” series came about 2 years ago when the SFAR’s Member Education committee concluded that it was imperative that the real estate community in San Francisco and the Bay Area stayed current on what was being built, where it was being built, who the players where and how it effected us as real estate professionals as well as our clients. We asked other key organizations in our community like The Women’s Council of RealtorsCREAAAREAA, and YPN for help in creating the areas’ best event for our members and the Building Boom was born.

This session will mark our 3rd semi-annual event and it’s the greatest one yet. We have some of the areas greatest experts in real estate sales, development, city planning, economics, and the real estate press. And, for the first time, we are offering seats to those who are non-members of SFAR (San Francisco Association of Realtors) and our affiliate associations.

The event will be followed by a reception to celebrate with friends, make new connections, and discuss your ideas and thoughts about real estate in our great city.

We are looking forward to seeing you at this incredible event! Mark your calendar and Register Here to book tickets today.

Contact Gabriel Rojas about buying or selling your Bay Area property at gabriel@climbsf.com or by phone at 415-562-6999.

www.AtHomeSF.com | @TheDapperAgent

#DapperAgent

Hey, Homebuyers! Do you know your credit score?

 It’s that time of the year again. Yup, even in places like San Francisco, we can experience a peak in home sales during the Summer. If you’re one of those homebuyers looking right now, knowing your credit score not only builds confidence but also makes applying for your home loan that much easier. Once that pre-approval letter is in-hand there’s no stopping us!

Let’s take a close look at the chart below. Is it possible that 54% out of the prospective home buyers in this study really don’t know their credit score?!?! Seriously? You really shouldn’t be considering a home purchase without this information. With more difficult standards in the loan qualification process these days, this is really one of the very first things you’ll need to find out.

Finding out is pretty simply these days. There are services like CreditKarma.com and FreeCreditReport.com (a paid service). I find that FreeCreditReport.com is more accurate than others but that is just MY experience. I’ve found that Credit Karma leans to the high side pretty significantly. I’ve also found that when using the credit scoring systems on my credit card account that include them.

Look at the numbers on the bottom of this graph. Only 28% of people polled say that they’re keeping their credit card balances low. Please keep in mind that about 35% of your credit score is effected by this factor. I’ve heard that keeping it under 30% of the max limit is the criteria. I do half of that and keep mine under 15% almost all the time. I also pay off all debt in full each month.

One factor that I do like to see when getting close to applying for a home loan is the low number of people applying for or opening a new credit card. This also goes for things like auto loans and retail store cards. I would always advise a client to avoid doing this until close of escrow. Any changes like this during the loan process and before you close can be a sure way to lose the home of your dreams. Do not do this while you’re applying or already in the loan process, please!

A couple months ago, I blogged about 6 Myths of Credit Scores. Take a look at the following link to read that article too. It’s quite helpful.

Credit Card Myths

Contact Gabriel about buying or selling your Bay Area property at gabriel@climbsf.com or by phone at 415-562-6999.

www.AtHomeSF.com | @TheDapperAgent

#DapperAgent

Is Staging a Home Important? Absolutely!

As a busy listing agent in one of the hottest markets in the world, I discuss the importance of staging with my sellers all the time. Some resist thinking that the cost isn’t worth it. This couldn’t be further from the truth. It is proven that staging costs come back to you at, typically, 5 times or more when it’s time to review offers. It may be possible to get away with not staging outside of major metropolitan areas but in a place like San Francisco, it is imperative that potential buyers envision themselves living in a home when they come to your open house and see you listing online. This one step can keep you from leaving thousands of dollars on the table. Important decision? You bet!

Staging your home can also help you to de-clutter your home and utilize furniture that is appropriately sized and up-to-date with current trends that potential buyers can connect to. Have you ever gone to a home and seen a sofa the size of an aircraft carrier in a tiny living room? I have. It takes over the room and simply doesn’t work. It makes the room seem smaller than it is and will most definitely turn buyers off.

Take a look at this graph that shows the highlights and benefits of staging and also shows the ranking of rooms to stage for more effect.

To list your home and for more helpful information about staging and selling your property, contact Gabriel at gabriel@climbsf.com or at 415-562-6999.

www.AtHomeSF.com

Do Millennials Prefer the Burbs over the City?

When I first saw this information my immediate reaction was one of disbelief. I mean in a place like San Francisco you see so many young people; Millennials. The idea that this group of people would prefer to live in the suburbs and in rural areas versus the city just seemed silly. Then, I took a moment to reflect about this. Why would this be happening?

Well, it turns out that a lot of the Millennial group is looking for larger space and, for some, a more simplistic way of life. They want places with more bedrooms and a larger amount of space to call home. Maybe they’re planning on a family or would like a separate room for an office and a guest room for friends and family to visit. Let us not forget that the price of real estate in places like San Francisco and the Bay Area are hitting all-time highs and many Millennials may just not be ready for the high price tags associated with buying here.

Whatever the reason, Millennials, according to CAR and the National Association of Home Builders, are changing their minds about city living and choosing to live elsewhere.

Any thoughts on the matter?

Gabriel Rojas is a top-producing Realtor in San Francisco and Oakland. He can be reached at gabriel@climbsf.com or 415-562-6999.

www.AtHomeSF.com

It’s my honor to serve!

Now well into January of this new year, I want to send out a very sincere thank you to all of you who encouraged and supported me during my journey that led to my serving on the Board of Directors at the San Francisco Association of REALTORS® in 2015. With our first meeting completed, I understand, more than ever, the importance and the responsibility of this role and feel more gratitude than ever before.

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Thank you for bestowing this honor upon me and enabling me to help the real estate community and the citizens of San Francisco and those effected by this amazing organization.

A special thank you must go out to my team and family at Climb Real Estate Group, my fellow members of SFAR who encouraged me to run and who voted for me, my fellow members who were also appointed to the Board, and to Patrick Barber, our new SFAR president. You’re an amazing asset to our Association, Patrick!

Thank you! It’s an honor and a privilege to serve.

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Tech Savvy Home Buyers

The world is now full of Tech-Savvy buyers.

Check out these statistics on how buyers are using technology. 89% of home buyers are currently using online resources during the home buying process and 71% are using online resources to submit documents to their lenders!

Tech-Smart Buyers

What can your Realtor do for you?

Your Realtor not only negotiates on your behalf, they do a whole lot more. See the various ways that a Realtor can shape your next transaction and potentially save you a lot of money. Knowledge is key!

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Climb Real Estate Group San Francisco Association of REALTORS®CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®

How do young people perceive home ownership?

Young Renters’ Optimism to Buy.

Take a look at these stats and see the views that young people have about buying and why. It’s good to see that people are still investing in their future using real estate as a vehicle.

Young Optimism

Defining the “Real Estate Crush”

The “Real Estate Crush”. How it is seen by both men and woman. What kind of “crush” have you had on a home?

Real Estate Crushes

Visual Aid provided by C.A.R.

Attitudes About Home Prices Now and In The Future

Sellers are, indeed, feeling good about home prices and their rising values. Take a look at this graph to see how people are feeling about the future of home values.

Home Prices - May 2014

It’s truly amazing to see the shift in the market and in the attitudes of the citizens of this country over the last two plus years. In San Francisco and the Bay Area things are red hot with no signs of slowing down. I hope that the rest of the country can say the same thing soon.