March 10 2020

March Realtor of the Month: Joe Frazzano

by Erin

March Realtor of the Month Joe Frazzano

Our March realtor of the month is Joe Frazzano, listing specialist of The Frazzano Team and our Real Estate Market Expert for Dublin, CA.

 

Joe Frazzano entered the real estate industry in 1988 and has consistently been a leader in Real Estate ever since. Joe has sold well over 1000 homes since beginning his Real Estate journey in 1988. In the year 2000, Joe joined Re/Max Accord and during that time obtained his Certified Residential Specialist designation which only 5 percent of Realtors ever actually obtain. Joe Frazzano has earned several awards over the years. He has been a top 1% nationally recognized agent and has been a Rockcliff Realtors Presidents Club Top Agent, Diamond Club Winner, and Chairman Club winner.  After selling an average of 60-100 homes per year from 1993-1998, Joe earned the N. California "Salesperson of the Year" MAME award. Joe has also worked with one of the largest homebuilders in the United States, KB Homes as their Resale Homes Director.

 

Joe Frazzano is very well versed in the real estate industry and understands the value of owning real estate and his team continues to maintain an extremely high percentage of satisfied customers. Contact Joe and The Frazzano Team as you continue on your journey to find yourself a brand new home in San Francisco

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December 6 2019

How to Save Money for a Down Payment on Your New Home

by racheal

Piggy Bank

One of the biggest accomplishments to make is finally signing on the dotted line for the purchase of your very first home, but how exactly do you get to that point? Although it may be everyone’s dream to purchase property in some shape or form, it may not be everyone’s reality. Purchasing a home can cost more money than you can gather in between your couch. You may need to use a few more tactics in order to reach your financial goals. Here are a few helpful ways to help you to curb impulse buys and be intentional about saving up for one of the biggest purchases you’ll probably ever make in your life without having to starve yourself.

 

Figure out how much house you can actually afford

 

Before beginning the process of saving funds for your future new home, it’s best to plan out not only how much you are willing to spend on a home, but more importantly how much you can actually afford. Have a seat and tally up your monthly earned income as well as your monthly expenses to see how much room you have to groove. This way, you’ll have the ability to figure out just how much you can save and how often in order to reach your down payment goal while still living very comfortably. Ramen noodles are a great option for a college student, but not so much for a family looking for a starter home.

 

Look into down payment assistance

 

There are options out there that can save you even more money on the purchase of your new home. If you are a first time home buyer, you are more than likely to qualify for assistance with your down payment. There is also assistance for those with low to middle income and veterans as well. This might mean a little more paperwork and a lot more research, but it also means less money out of your pocket for that dream home of yours.

 

Check your credit

 

Your credit score, as well as your credit history, are pretty important factors when it comes to making a home purchase. The better your credit score, the more likely you are to get approved for a loan and the more options you will have. Keep your credit score in check while doing these things and you’ll be on your way to owning your home soon.

 

• Pay your bills on time

• Use less of your available credit

• Do not open any new credit accounts

• Maintain a mix of credit amounts

 

Open up a separate savings account

 

One huge mistake potential home buyers make is keeping their funds for their down payment in the same savings account meant for other funds, like vacations, or vehicle emergencies. Open a new account specifically for the purchase of your home so that expenses do not get mixed up. 

 

Another good idea is to open an account with another financial institution so that you are not tempted to touch the money you’ve worked so hard to save. The act of borrowing from the account will be much harder to do when the funds are housed in a completely different bank.

 

Set up an automatic transfer to your savings account

 

Make the hard work of saving funds a little easier with automatic transfers through your bank. You can schedule however much you’d like and however often you need in order to meet your goal and can almost forget about it. 

 

Take advantage of your raises

 

For those of you that receive raises from your employer, it would be very beneficial to take the extra money that you receive and place it into your down payment savings account. Many people use the extra funds to buy more rather than to save for more. 

 

Remove credit card numbers from your favorite online shopping websites

 

Spending money unnecessarily can be a difficult habit to break and make it much harder to save. One great suggestion is to remove your saved credit card numbers from your favorite online shopping websites. This will make it less convenient to spend and more convenient to save.

 

Spending money online is much easier these days. You can easily spend hundreds of dollars from the comfort of your home with just a few clicks. Just thinking about having to get out of bed to grab your credit card may help deter you from making those unnecessary purchases as often, which will save you a ton in the long run.

 

Wait a little longer before making a purchase.

 

Another tip that will be helpful when saving is to wait before you make a purchase. Maybe give yourself a few days or even a full week after getting receiving your paycheck to spend money other than bills. Ask yourself the question: Do I really need this? An even better question to ask is this: Did I need this yesterday? That question can be mind-blowing when you realize there was no actual need for the item at all. You can also take the amount of money that you would have spent and place it into your savings account, whether it’s a fast-food meal or a new pair of shoes. 

 

Minimize vacation spending for a year

 

Save hundreds and even thousands of dollars by skipping out on the elaborate vacations for an entire year. This doesn’t mean that you can’t have a little fun with your family. There are plenty of low-cost ways to have a mini-vacay right in your backyard. Choose more affordable options like driving instead of flying to your destinations. Select a location that is a little bit closer to home and make it a family road trip. Sign up for promotional deals to receive discounts for your experience at hotels, amusement parks, and more.

 

Pick up a side job or ask for overtime

 

To help you reach your goal a little faster, ask to work a few extra hours of overtime. If that is simply not an option for you, you can also make use of food delivery apps like Uber Eats and Postmates, or pick up and deliver groceries using Instacart. You can also use Uber or Lyft to offer rides or offer rides for the extra cash. If you have a skill that you’re great at, use it to make a few dollars. You can sell handmade jewelry, baked goods, or even offer resume editing services to go toward your savings goal and pay down your debt.

 

With a little bit of elbow grease and a lot of patience, you’ll be on your way to homeownership in no time! 

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October 4 2019

Move-In Ready: Great Customer Service Becomes Self-Service

by Erin

Self Service Sales Center Kiosk

Self-Service Technology moves home shoppers quickly and efficiently toward critical information and increased engagement.

 

By Zoe Miller

 

Customer service should be all about the customer, but only that person truly knows his or her needs and goals, mood and interests, preferred pace and overall schedule. The buyer’s journey in residential real estate (the largest consumer industry) is the most consequential, so it stands to reason this is when customers would demand the most convenience and control.

 

Enter self-service technology (SST), a solution that helps customers or prospects serve themselves. If you’ve used an ATM or self-checkout at a grocery store, you’ve used this kind of technology. Self-service technology has become a key element of the home buying process as buyers grow more comfortable with it. Whether online or in a sales center, SST empowers the customer by delivering the right information in the right way at the right time. 

 

Convenience, Control & Connection

 

Convenience is always a top priority for new home shoppers who find themselves with countless questions in need of timely answers. Just as smart home technology has been the latest trend for convenience, self-service technology helps prospective home buyers by providing fast and concise information. Questions that may have once required a phone call or even a face-to-face meeting can now be answered through a self-service solution, available 24/7. 

 

More than anything else, homebuyers seek a value-unique experience—a level of service that will inspire not just sales, but enthusiastic referrals. Online resources should be replete with impactful visuals and an easy-to-understand user experience. Interactive kiosks and even the use of virtual reality technology belong front and center in a sales center so home shoppers can easily find them. Reduced friction and maximum convenience and engagement are highly valued by home shoppers.

 

Customized Over Customary 

 

It’s important for home builders to understand that communication doesn’t have to equal conversation or even human interaction. Interaction typically follows waiting in line or on the phone or for an appointment time—and that’s rarely convenient. An easy-to-navigate and engaging self-service experience will go a long way toward buyer satisfaction. 

 

Home shoppers also value personalization and customization—information that's tailored to their specific situation. When SST automation is used to create a customized experience with targeted follow-ups regarding time frames or product tips, people don’t forget. 

 

What’s worse than a problem? The frustration over not knowing how to resolve it. Home shoppers and home builders alike benefit when SST can solve problems and answer questions. An interactive two-way setup with results, feedback, and proposed resolution boosts the customer experience. Specific home shopping questions that can be addressed with SST range from pricing, availability and construction schedules to elevations, floor plans, and other details.

Zoe Miller Headshot

It all adds up to value-unique—a level of customer service that's actionable and personable.

 

 

— Zoe Miller is a principal at Computer Presentation Systems in the Sacramento, California area. The 25+-year veteran of the home building industry sets the company’s development strategies and oversees its daily operations.

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July 24 2019

Five Tips for Upgrading Your Home When You’re on a Budget

by racheal

kitchen with island

We all fantasize about upgrading our home - but, the thought of overspending almost always turns our dream into a nightmare. According to today’s home improvement shows, the only way around spending a small fortune on DIY home upgrades is to dedicate a minimum of 40 hours a week to DIY projects. Most of us have been scared into thinking that we simply don’t have the time or the money to take on meaningful home improvement projects. However, there are many easy ways to upgrade your home when you’re on a budget! The following five tips will help you turn your house into your dream home and save money and time while doing it.

 

Add a tile backsplash to your bathroom or kitchen.  

 

A tile backsplash makes for a gorgeous statement piece - but they’re expensive and require professional installation, right? Nope! Thanks to products like Smart Tile, you can add a professional-looking tile backsplash to your kitchen or bathroom in minutes. Smart Tiles are adhesive sheets that come in many colors and designs and feature an adhesive backing that allows you to quickly install a jaw-dropping tile backsplash without any experience or expertise. 

 

Give your kitchen cabinets a makeover.

 

Cabinets define the look and feel of a kitchen, so a simple cabinet makeover will completely transform your kitchen and make it look brand new. Instead of replacing your cabinets, here are a few cheap and easy cabinet upgrades to give your kitchen a custom look:

 

• Add task lighting or up-lighting with light strips

• Add etched glass door inserts

• Replace the old hardware with modern (or vintage) pulls and handles

• Install crown molding to the top of the cabinets

• Remove the cabinet doors completely

• Apply a fresh coat of paint

 

Apply fresh caulk in the bathroom.

 

Facing old, deteriorating caulk in a bathroom is a terrible experience for homeowners everywhere. Over time, your floor begins to look grimy, as the once-white caulk becomes brown and flakes away to leave space for mold and mildew. Thankfully, it is cheap and simple to apply a fresh layer of caulk in order to refresh the look of your bathroom.  

 

3D Wall Panels

Add texture to your walls with 3D peel-and-stick wall panels. 

 

Instead of hanging a painting, use adhesive 3D wall panels to add a unique statement to any wall. The trendy panels come in various designs and will breathe life into any room. Plus, the simple peel-and-stick design allows you to apply them or remove them in a single afternoon without damaging your walls.

 

Renew worn-out floors with paint. 

 

An easy way to bring personality back into a room is to paint your wood and vinyl floors. Use your favorite paint colors to create a large checkered pattern or keep it simple with a single color that will balance out your walls - either way, using floor paint is a great way to refresh dull floorboards and impress guests.

 

Your home holds a great deal of value in your life - aside from an investment, your home acts as a sanctuary for you and your loved ones to live, love, laugh, cry, and grow. With the significance of your home as both an asset and as the place you and your family lay your heads, it is important that you continuously make upgrades to your house. Many people believe that money is what stands in the way of upgrading to their dream home, however, there are numerous ways to renovate your home on a budget. So, if you want to make some serious home renovations, but don’t want to spend a fortune, use this list of the best ways to upgrade your home on a budget.

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January 18 2019

4 Major Mistakes to avoid when buying home

by Erin

woman with keys in hand

Without doing your research, it may seem like the only major step in the home buying process is to find the home of your dreams.  There is so much more to the journey of becoming a new homeowner and it can be easy to make a few mistakes along the way.  Here are 4 major mistakes to avoid when purchasing your first home.  

 

1. Emptying your savings 

You’ve worked hard for your money and worked even harder to save every dime for the ultimate goal of one day purchasing a new home.  Where would your finances be if every penny went into your new home purchase and you were forced to begin the process of saving all over again?

 

Be sure to save enough money to cover both the expected and unexpected costs of buying your first home.  This will include your down payment, closing costs, moving expenses, and cost of possible repairs. Don’t rush the process of buying a home if you are not ready financially.  Take your time to become financially prepared and save as much as you can. This is a lifetime investment.  You should be able to have a little breathing room when it’s all said and done.  Who wants to eat Top Ramen in their brand new gourmet kitchen?

 

2. Not taking advantage of first-time home buyer programs

First time home buyer programs can provide you with so much knowledge prior to going through the home buying process.  It is very beneficial to spearhead the process head first with as much knowledge as possible. Make sure to take all of the necessary steps to ensure that you are fully equipped to proceed in the home buying process and take advantage of the free recourses that are available to you.

 

3. Thinking a home inspection is not needed

Some buyers want to save a few dollars by not having an official home inspection completed prior to purchasing which in turn puts them in a position where they are actually spending much more than they initially expected. 

Real estate agents see this type of thing happening more often than not.  In today’s climate, many home buyers are more interested in closing in on a home before someone else does.

Avoid falling through a rabbit hole of ongoing repairs because you were blindsided by a nice paint job.  Be sure to include the price of a professional home inspector into your home buying budget so that there are no surprises or hiccups on your journey to becoming a homeowner.  Think about it.  You’ll have to get an inspector either way, so why not start off right. 

 

4. Making decisions based on your emotions

 

House hunting can be a very joyous experience. You can easily fall in love with that claw foot bathtub in the master bathroom or the stainless steel appliances in the gourmet kitchen.  Leading with your emotions rather than common sense and your budget in mind can place you in a difficult position when making wise decisions.  The home may seem perfect at first glance, but there may be underlying issues that may come up down the line that you may not be prepared for. When making decisions based on how you feel rather than what you know, you may find yourself trying to make your budget fit the house rather than the house fit the budget.   You can put yourself in a bind when spending more money than you can actually afford.  Try your best not to allow your emotion to guide these important decisions. 

 

All and all, be mindful of each step you take during your home buying journey.  Be prepared and gain the knowledge it takes to make smart moves when closing the deal on the home of your dreams. 

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September 26 2017

New Homes Directory Realtor of the Month: Chandler Crouch

by Kelley

Chandler Crouch

As the founder and broker of Chandler Crouch Realtors, Chandler Crouch has used his platform to positively change the lives of thousands throughout the Dallas/ Fort Worth area. After 15 years in the Real Estate industry, his success is attributed to hard work and his dedication to helping people. “As a company, we’re constantly looking for ways to serve locally. We seek to serve local businesses, local charities and the local community,” says Chandler. Chandler Crouch is a long-time mentor with Big Brother’s Big Sister’s, he helped raise funds so a local school could add a track to their campus, and he led the charge that helped over 3200 homeowners reduce their property taxes by protesting tax valuations. All for free! Chandler’s passionate efforts have been featured on Texas local news stations as well as published on Inman News.

When Chandler is not saving the world, one person at a time, he spends his free time with his wife Meghan, also a broker with Chandler Crouch Realtors, and their three children.  As a family, they’re involved in their church and they also enjoy eating together at locally owned restaurants. Some of Chandler’s favorite Dallas restaurants include World Blend Coffee and Devivo Brothers. Chandler says, “I eat out a lot. I find locally owned places with good quality and it’s fun discovering new places and enjoying that with family and friends.

Chandler is committed to helping home buyers find the perfect Dallas home for each phase of their life. As the New Homes Directory Fort Worth and Keller Real Estate Market Expert, Chandler shares his professional insights and market trends so that buyers can make confident and informed investments. "We don't measure our success by how many agents or listings we have. For us, true success comes from helping each person we work with confidently move into the next chapter of their life knowing they got the best deal they could while helping them enjoy the process.”

New Homes Directory applauds Chandler Crouch Realtors for their commitment to serving others and we are happy to have Chandler Crouch as a Real Estate Market Expert.

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April 4 2016

Five Steps to Get Your Home Ready To Be Sold

by racheal

Tips for Selling Your Home

Unless you are a Realtor, no one breezes through the home selling process, especially if it’s your first home sale. To help out, we provided some real estate basics to get your home ready for the real estate market.

Less is More
Moving can be the best way to get organized. Clutter in your home can make rooms appear smaller than they are. Make sure you remove all unnecessary clutter so your home looks open. Use this time to clean out unused items, and I don’t mean just hide the clutter in your closets. Buyers WILL look inside your closets and you want them to appear large and great space for storage. Create two piles, one for things you want to take with you to your new home and another pile for donation or trash. Getting rid of unwanted items before you place your home on the market will also make packing an ease.

Organize Home Owner Documents
While you are getting your home organized, it’s a great time to find and set aside all paperwork needed for both the sale of your current home and what you will need for the loan of your new home.
Buyers may ask for warranties, mortgage documents, HOA documents and the name and numbers of your utility companies. For a list of documents needed for your new home loan, check out HomeLoanHelpCenter.com. Keep all the documents organized together for quick reference during the selling process.

Find a Real Estate Agent
Don’t just pick the first real estate agent you come across. Ask your friends and family for referrals, do some research and set up interviews. You want to make sure you pick a realtor who you feel is going to work hard for your best interest. Here are a few questions you should ask a realtor during the interview:

What's your experience?

How do you plan to market the listing?

Do you represent both sides of the transaction?

Do you work with buyers in this price range?

What are your sales figures?

Stage your Home
Ok, so your home is organized and clean, you have all your home documents in order and you signed up with a realtor. What is next? Schedule a home walk-through with your realtor before you place your home on the market. The realtor will point out areas that could use a little help, such as how to make your living room look bigger or how to make your outdated bathroom seem modern and updated. Most of the time just rearranging furniture and a fresh coat of paint can make for a huge difference and can help you reduce the amount of time your home is on the market. Make sure your realtor does not take the listing photos until your home is staged.

Be Patient
You may get tired of constantly signing documents, making repairs on a home you will soon not own and making sure your home is always clean and ready to be shown, but the reward is worth the effort. Keep in mind, this is just temporary and soon you will get the offer you have been waiting for. And most importantly once your home is sold, then you can start to look for your dream home.

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