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Author Archives: Shelly Roberson

About Shelly Roberson

Shelly Roberson has 25 years of experience; 600+ closed transactions; UC Berkeley grad; Shelly has worked in the same Palo Alto office for 23 years; She brings a wealth of skill, experience and professionalism; Shelly is incredibly detail oriented and a savvy negotiator.

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California Top Real Estate Trends for 2015

California Top Real Estate Trends for 2015

AA RE Trends 2015 1Housing Recovery Gains Momentum

The economy in 2015 continued to improve complete with existing home sales hitting nine-year highs due to job growth, rising consumer confidence, and low interest rates.  Individual micro markets vary from zip code to zip code and consistent year over year gains are everywhere, but there may be flattening on the horizon with the potential for interest rate increases in 2016 along with buyers wanting to take a breather and wait for another pullback in prices.

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Ready to Renovate? See The 2015 Trends in Home Remodeling

Ready to Renovate? See The 2015 Trends in Home Remodeling

I spend every year remodeling or remaking 12 to 25 bathrooms and 5 to 10 kitchens for my clients in preparation of getting their homes ready to sell.  The process is incredibly rewarding for both me and my clients and each year brings new and creative ideas to our work.  Not only is your home the biggest investment you’ll probably ever make, it’s also your oasis and the space in which you live, love, and entertain.  From a financial and quality-of-life perspective, it simply makes sense to keep your home updated and on-trend.  If 2015 is your year to renovate or redecorate, read on for the latest trends in home remodeling to transform your space.

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Palo Alto’s Real Estate, Businesses and Top-Rate Education Attract People Nationally and Internationally

Palo Alto’s Real Estate, Businesses and Top-Rate Education Attract People Nationally and Internationally

Californians have known forever that Palo Alto is a world-class city. This status was cemented in 2015 when one renowned study named the city one of the top 100 best places to live on the planet. Palo Alto is the beating heart of the Silicon Valley with legendary companies like Facebook, Tesla, and HP launched here. Palo Alto attracts not only movers and shakers but innovative thinkers, thanks to the world-renowned Stanford University. The city’s educated populace, amazing arts presence with Bing Concert Hall, world-class cuisine such as Evvia and Tamarine, state-of-the-art bike paths and commuter rail options are just a few reasons homes for sale in Palo Alto get snatched up in record time. Palo Alto real estate is limited but the desire to live here is decidedly unlimited!

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Is Spring the Best Time to Buy a Palo Alto Home?

Is Spring the Best Time to Buy a Palo Alto Home?

The world of real estate is an exciting and confusing place filled with sage advice for home buyers and sellers. You may have heard plenty of recommendations on when to buy, when to sell, whether you should stage, and other helpful tips to get your home sold fast; however, it may be difficult to tell what will actually work.  If you own a home in Old Palo Alto or want to buy in Professorville when is the best time to act? Some Palo Alto real estate agents may tell you spring is the best time to sell your home, but is one particular season really the best?

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In My Opinion – Pocket Listings Don’t Help Home Sellers

In My Opinion – Pocket Listings Don’t Help Home Sellers

Do You Want To Shoot Yourself In The Foot?  Sell Your Home Off-Market Or Don’t Expose It To The Multiple Listing Service With An Open House – That Will Do The Trick Every Single Time – Guaranteed!

No matter what you call it, “off-market, private, or pocket listings” are on the rise again as sellers are somehow being persuaded again to keep their properties off of the Multiple Listing Service and out of the stream of commerce during this “red-hot” real estate market.  The typical “song-and-dance” they are told is that by keeping their property listing ‘private’ their privacy will not be invaded by troops of public gawkers walking through their homes, and that they will not have to hassle with signs, lock-boxes, and agents showing their property, etc.  Whatever the rationale that is being sold to sellers it is unfortunate because they are actually unknowingly leaving large percentages of potential profits on the table.

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How Many Offers Will I Get On My House?

How Many Offers Will I Get On My House?

I can’t remember a listing where my client didn’t ask me, “[H]ow many offers will I get on my house?  It’s a crystal ball question, but usually the answer is – “we will probably get several if we price it correctly.”

The juggernaut seller’s market continues to march forward like a rapid moving lava flow covering the entire landscape in its path.  Needless to say this market condition is confounding to buyers looking to get a piece of Silicon Valley real estate and claim their stake for their families.  Low inventory combined with the high-tech industry seemingly on fire continues to keep prices moving higher and higher.  There are many qualified buyers in every price range and it is difficult to be successful when there is such great competition.

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Attention Downsizing Baby Boomers – Sell Your House, Protect All Your Equity, and Pay NO Capital Gains Taxes with this Simple Strategy Using Tools Congress Gave Us

Attention Downsizing Baby Boomers – Sell Your House, Protect All Your Equity, and Pay NO Capital Gains Taxes with this Simple Strategy Using Tools Congress Gave Us

Many of my parent’s friends who have fortunately accumulated significant equity in their homes over the last several decades are faced with a dilemma of downsizing into a smaller home because they can no longer conveniently or adequately take care of their properties.  Importantly, many of them desire a simpler-smaller property, usually all single-level, accessible and easy to maintain.  The problem exists because if they sell their home with substantial equity they face significant capital gains exposure even with the IRC Section 121 exclusion in place.

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Cost Value Ratio 2015 – What Are The Best Improvements Sellers Can Make To Improve Return-On-Investment?

Cost Value Ratio 2015 – What Are The Best Improvements Sellers Can Make To Improve Return-On-Investment?

Last year I wrote an article on “Cost-Value Ratio” or more appropriately what improvements are the best return-on-investment for homeowners or sellers – see link right here –  http://shellyrobersonrealtor.com/home-improvements-critical-now-more-than-ever/.  Home improvements are critical for sellers and buyers alike, but are sellers getting the right advice? Consistently I see mistakes by sellers, usually at the advice of their realtors.  Here is some factual evidence that sellers can use, despite their realtor’s advice, which have real data to back up the recommendation.

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New California Real Estate Laws for 2015

New California Real Estate Laws for 2015

Here is a quick recap of the new 2015 real estate laws effecting owners, residents, real estate agents, and brokers.  How these laws effect you, your business interests, your family, landlords, and tenants vary greatly depending on your individual circumstances, but please read and make yourself aware of the basics.  For detailed analysis or any questions don’t hesitate to give me a call 1-650-464-3797 or send me an email to sroberson@apr.com.

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Mountain View Weighs Increased Developer Fees – What Else?

Mountain View Weighs Increased Developer Fees – What Else?

How Should Cities Deal With Developers And Affordable Housing Proponents?

How do cities in tech-rich Silicon Valley curb skyrocketing housing costs while at the same time appease developers to build more affordable housing units?  In the city where Google Inc. resides the conundrum of housing is a bubbling caldron between residents, developers, and city staff.  The peninsula, where Mountain View is located, is experiencing a rapidly growing workforce that incorporates both high-earning educated professionals and a sub-set of low earning individuals to supply the service industry that is growing right along with the population.  The peninsula housing stock and developable land is the carrot which keeps getting more expensive by the day.  Cities like Mountain View are considering ways to improve the situation for its future residents, but faces business realities which do not bode well for people looking for affordable housing.

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Planned-Community Zoning Is On Table In Palo Alto

Planned-Community Zoning Is On Table In Palo Alto

The Palo Alto City Council will consider whether or not, and how, to change or adjust land-use designation process within city limits.  The Council will begin Monday October 6 to look at modifying the city’s somewhat difficult planned-community zoning, which was paused due to a citizen referendum.  The current zoning which has been in place since the early 1950s gives developers options to seek exceptions to current development rules in turn for public benefits that are negotiated on a case-by-case basis. Previous public benefits include everything from public common plazas, retail stores, sculptures, and affordable residential units.

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West San Jose’s Country Lane Neighborhood Is No Longer A Hidden Treasure

West San Jose’s Country Lane Neighborhood Is No Longer A Hidden Treasure

Previously known as Gubserville1 during the 1880-90’s West San Jose’s Country Lane Neighborhood is rapidly becoming one of the most sought-after neighborhoods in the West Valley for several varying reasons.  First of all it is bordered with well-defined boundaries and has a centrally located amazing elementary school which kids and families can walk to (Saratoga Avenue on the east, Doyle Road on the north, Lawrence Expressway on the west and Graves Avenue on the south).

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Portola Valley Ranch – The Peninsula’s Hidden Gem

Portola Valley Ranch – The Peninsula’s Hidden Gem

Amazingly Distinctive Custom Homes Are Still Undervalued Amidst Market Chaos

Developed in the 1970s Portola Valley Ranch (PV Ranch), a planned community of approximately 205 homes located in Portola Valley off Alpine Road, is truly a hidden gem of a development which offers so much for so little on a comparative basis.  Portola Valley Ranch community was designed to allow the natural landscape remain the main focus of the development.  The emphasis and importance of living in harmony with nature has always been the priority with the design and implementation of this amazing neighborhood. 

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How To Avoid The Big Housing Crunch Awaiting Many Baby Boomers

There Are Dire Predictions For Baby Boomers But It Can Be Overcome With Planning

Those American Baby Boomers born between 1946 and 1964 are facing some pretty serious issues in the foreseeable future none of which are as daunting as the cost of housing in their retirement years.  Notwithstanding the estimated costs of $220,000 a couple will need in retirement for health care costs housing costs will dwarf that number as most experts believe that boomers will be forced to spend in excess of 30% of their monthly incomes supporting their abodes.  The struggle is just beginning because housing costs, both for ownership and for rentals, is skyrocketing throughout the country.

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Palo Alto’s Comprehensive Plan Delays Prompt Zoning Changes – The Value Of Your Real Estate At Stake

Palo Alto’s Comprehensive Plan Delays Prompt Zoning Changes – The Value Of Your Real Estate At Stake

Citizens Should Get Involved To Help Mold The Future Of Palo Alto Growth

The massive overhaul to Palo Alto’s Comprehensive Plan is not expected to be completed for a couple more years, but several city council members would like to implement zoning changes right away because of all the development that is currently occurring and is on the drawing board.

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Paying Off Your Mortgage Early Might Not Be the Investment You Think It Is

Paying Off Your Mortgage Early Might Not Be the Investment You Think It Is

There are Better Investments Available Instead of Paying Down Your Mortgage

Mortgage is Latin for “dead-deed.”  Black’s Law Dictionary defines mortgage as an interest in land created by written instrument providing security for the performance of a duty or the payment of a debt.  Mortgagees are the banks who lend money secured by real property and mortgagors are the borrowers who are obligated to repay the mortgagees for possession and title of the real property. 

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What Are Hard Money Loans And Why Aren’t They For Everyone?

What Are Hard Money Loans And Why Aren’t They For Everyone?

 

Importantly, hard money loans are not for first time home buyers.  Hard money loans are typically loans of “last resort” for borrowers who can’t find a conventional loan to accomplish the debt bridge between the down payment and the purchase price of real estate.  Hard money loans have sharply higher interest rates and usually are expensive to originate – much greater than traditional real estate financing.  Hard money loans are often used to bridge financing between undeveloped land and construction or to take advantage of a great deal that has to close quicker than they could get traditional financing.

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Your Investment Properties And Your Personal Assets Are Exposed To Litigation If You Haven’t Properly Protected Them

Your Investment Properties And Your Personal Assets Are Exposed To Litigation If You Haven’t Properly Protected Them

Why Forming an Entity to Protect Your Private Wealth From Your Investment Property Liabilities is Critical in Today’s Litigious Real Estate Environment

Do you believe that an investment or rental property insurance policy is enough protection for you and your personal wealth in the event of an accident or other catastrophe to your tenants?  If you are not sure or have not even thought about this then its time – right now.  The parade of horribles that can occur which could result in a serious injury, a permanently paralyzed tenant, or a wrongful death is not that far-fetched.

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What Are Real Estate Investment Trusts All About – And Why They Might Be For You

What Are Real Estate Investment Trusts All About – And Why They Might Be For You

Investing In A REIT Is Participating In The Commercial Real Estate Investment World Without Actually Buying

Real Estate Investment Trusts or “REITs” are companies or corporations or other entities that owns, and most commonly operates a portfolio or income-producing real estate or real estate-related assets.  REITs are designed for individual investors to earn portions or shares or fractions of the income produced through commercial real estate ownership.  The beauty of which is the investor is not required to actually go out and purchase the commercial real estate themselves as others have already done that. REITs come in all categories and may include office buildings, shopping malls, resorts, apartments, self-storage facilities, hotels, warehouses, and mortgages or bundled mortgage loans.

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How To Grow Your Nest Egg By Thinking Outside The Box

How To Grow Your Nest Egg By Thinking Outside The Box

In Your Retirement Quest Put Real Estate Investments In Your IRA And Watch It Grow

Over the years I have had many clients ask me if it was possible to put real estate investments inside of their IRAs.  The answer is “Yes” but the IRA has to be specific and has to not have certain restrictions.  Thinking outside the traditional investment box can reap many rewards for you and your family.  Here are some IRA basics and some ideas for getting real estate investments inside of your IRA.

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