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

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

NAR Conference 2014

I’m excited! Why, you ask? Well, last year, I attended my very first NAR Conference that was held in my home city of San Francisco. I had only been in the business about two years at this time but I was highly encouraged by some senior agents to go if I could. Because it was in the city that I live I couldn’t resist. I spent the money and went. Little did I know my life would change so much and in such a great way.

The conference was a bit overwhelming at first. Not because of the amount of people in attendence or from navigating through the Mascone Center (our convention center here in SF) but because of all of the choices afforded to me with regards to seminars, panels, and cool products I found on the various “floors” of the convention. I was able to listen to some truly brilliant people at the conference give to me their views and opinions about the industry. I heard trade secrets, if you will, and ended up purchasing some great books and some great software systems for my business that have helped to double my business in the last year. Granted, San Francisco’s market kind of helps with that, but the info and tools I got from going have truly shaped the way I work.

What I’m trying to get at here is that after this event I vowed to never miss this conference again as long as I could afford to go or didn’t have a major conflict. (Friend & Family, please don’t invite me to a birthday, anniversary, wedding, etc during this time of the year, please!) This year is very exciting for me. As you’re well aware, the conference is in New Orleans. NOLA. The Big Easy. It’s a city I’ve never been to before but have always wanted to go to. I’ve decided to not only attend the conference but to also add a few extra days so I can eat, drink, sightsee, and shoot photography, a huge passion of mine.

I can’t wait for this trip! I’m hoping that I see familiar faces from the industry and hopefully some folks that I had the privilege of meeting in San Francisco last year.

Safe travels and see you there!

Official Link to the event: http://www.realtor.org/convention.nsf/

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®

NAR Conference 2013

So far, it’s been an exceptional meeting of the minds here in San Francisco where I am fortunate enough to call home. If you haven’t stopped by, make it a point to do so. Tonight, we are privileged to have The Honorable Hillary Rodham Clinton presenting our Keynote Address.
Photo: Lea Suzuki, The Chronicle
21,000 real estate professionals visit the NAR convention in San Francisco this week.
See the full article here: http://www.sfgate.com/realestate/article/Realtors-meet-in-S-F-celebrate-strong-market-4968962.php