Where to Donate Your Professional Clothes!

Where to Donate Your Professional Clothes!

Just recently I came to the sad realization that me feet, had in fact, grown.  A whole size.  Add to that a horrible bike accident and recovery – let’s just say comfort is now the number one factor when buying new, larger shoes.

Standing to my knees in shoeboxes of high heels one size too small I didn’t know the best place to donate them so I reached out to my Facebook friends.  Thank you Karen for the Urban League.  Currently located in Sacramento – here is their website:  http://nul.iamempowered.com

Thank you fellow NDB tiger, Aaron for Dress for Success, https://www.dressforsuccess.org, and Wardrobe http://wardrobe.org.

Dress for Success is having an event this Month –  Tuesday, July 25th from 1-4pm at 500 Sutter Street, Suite #218 in San Francisco.  Details can be found here: https://sanfrancisco.dressforsuccess.org/get-involved/donate/  They have a few dates in August too!

I found this article by Closet Factory about donating clothes and have shared it below.  It always feels good to help those in need.  Susan and I have cleared out our closets and are excited to donate our clothes to women in need.  We know – nothing makes you feel better than a pair of great looking and feeling shoes.

Pay it forward,

Sabrina & Susan

The Caton Team – A Family of Realtors

Declutter Your Closet: The Best Charities for Donated Clothing

When you declutter your closet, which should be at the top of your list of things to do when considering buying a custom closet, it can be hard to decide what to do with the items you’re parting with. Donating it to charity is the logical response, however, many Americans have thought twice about donating their used clothing after hearing news reports state that a large portion of their donations are shipped to third world countries and sold for a profit. Naturally, people are torn between wanting to help the less fortunate and knowing big business is profiting from their donations.

However, donating your decluttered closet items to charity is still a good idea. It certainly is a better alternative to throwing your once precious possessions in the trash. The trick is to choose a charity that directly distributes your clothing to people in need or if you donate to an organization that sells clothing, make sure that a large percentage of their profits goes directly to charity. Below is a list of organizations that donate clothing directly to people in need. If these charities don’t have a chapter located near you, don’t give up. Chances are, you have a local organization that is doing similar work, so all you need is a little research to make sure your donations go to a good home.

Dress for Success: With national affiliates all over the U.S., this is the perfect place to take all your work clothes and shoes that you no longer wear. Their philosophy is to promote self-confidence and economic independence for disadvantaged women by providing professional attire, mentor support and career development training. The organization distributes your donations to disadvantaged women who need business outfits for job interviews.

Career Gear: This charity does for men what Dress for Success does for women. They provide professional clothing, mentoring and life-skills to help low income men get the clothing and toiletries they need for job interviews. There are several locations on the East Coast and in various parts of the Southern U.S.

Cinderella Project: Here’s where you can take all those old bridesmaid dresses you’ll never wear again. This New York state based organization takes donated formal dresses and gives them to teenage girls who can’t afford to buy a prom dress. There are similar sister projects like this such as The Princess Project in California. Check your local community listings to see if you have a local organization that does the same thing.

Big Brother Big Sister Foundation: This foundation accepts any type of clothing in good condition and all donations go to the foundation’s resale stores. 100% of the proceeds benefit the charity which pairs adult mentors with at-risk kids. You can even schedule a pickup online and they will come get your donation.

Vietnam Veterans of America:
This national non-profit provides support and services for all military veterans returning home after serving and aid for homeless and disabled vets. They accept all types of clothing, shoes and accessories in good condition for children and adults.  Then they sell the donated items in their resale shops with the proceeds going directly to the VVA. They will also come and pick up your donation, which you can schedule online.

As you can see, there are many places to find good homes for the clothing you no longer have a use for. Decluttering your wardrobe closet not only helps you feel good but it can also help others feel better about their lives. Go to our Closet Factory blog for more tips on how to live a life free of clutter.

This was a fun blog – thank you for your help friends – let’s pay it forward.  -Sabrina

I read this article at: https://www.closetfactory.com/blog/declutter-your-closet-the-best-charities-for-donated-clothing/

Remember to follow our Blog for the local real estate beat, a pulse on the San Francisco Peninsula at: https://therealestatebeat.wordpress.com

Got Questions? – The Caton Team is here to help.  

Email Sabrina & Susan at:  Info@TheCatonTeam.com

Call us at: 650-568-5522  Office: 650-365-9200

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Please enjoy my personal journey through homeownership at:

http://ajourneythroughhomeownership.wordpress.com

Thanks for reading – Sabrina

The Caton Team – Susan & Sabrina – A Family of Realtors

Effective. Efficient. Responsive.  What Can The Caton Team Do For You?

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices – Drysdale Properties

Sabrina BRE# 01413526 / Susan BRE #01238225 / Team BRE# 70000218/ Office BRE #01499008

One in Three Recent Homebuyers Made an Offer Sight-Unseen

When I came across this article – it stopped me in my tracks.  Would you buy a home sight unseen?

One in Three Recent Homebuyers Made an Offer Sight-Unseen—Up from Nearly One in Five a Year Ago

Written by Rachel Musiker on June 28, 2017

Yet many would be hesitant to move to a place where people have different political views; more than half of Arab, Asian and Latino respondents said immigration orders influenced their moving plans.

In May 2017, Redfin commissioned a survey of 3,350 U.S. residents in 11 metropolitan areas who in the past year bought or sold a home, attempted to do so or plan to do so soon. The purpose of the survey was to better understand the perspectives and experiences of people who were recently in the market to buy or sell a home, and to reveal trends over the past two years since we began commissioning similar surveys.

Following are six major findings:

1) Thirty-three percent of people who bought a home in the last year made an offer without first seeing the home in person. That’s up from 19 percent a year ago.

2) Affordable housing was the most prevalent economic concern, cited by 40 percent of buyers; 21 percent said rising prices led them to search in more affordable metro areas.

3) Forty-one percent of buyers would be hesitant to move to a place where people have different political views from their own.

4) Orders restricting immigration influenced the buying and selling plans of 52 percent of Arab, Asian and Latino respondents; 45 percent of minority buyers felt that sellers and their agents may have been less eager to work with them because of their race.

5) Buyers remain resilient amid the prospect of rising mortgage rates. Just 5 percent said they’d cancel their plans if rates surpass 5 percent.

6) Fifty-one percent of buyers and 46 percent of sellers saved money on real estate commissions.

“Millennials are already starting to set trends in the real estate industry,” said Redfin chief economist Nela Richardson. “They are three times more likely than Baby Boomers to make an offer sight-unseen, and they’re more likely than older buyers and sellers to negotiate commission savings. Despite their tech-savvy confidence, politics are seeping into Millennials’ decisions about where to live; nearly half cited hesitations about moving to a place where their neighbors wouldn’t share their views.”

1. More buyers made offers on homes sight-unseen.

One-third of people who bought a home in the last year said they made an offer on a home without first seeing it in person. That’s up from 19 percent last year and from 21 percent two years ago. Millennials were even more likely to have made an offer sight-unseen, with 41 percent saying they had done so, compared with 30 percent of Gen-Xers and 12 percent of Baby Boomers.

The abundance of photos–including interactive 3D photography like Redfin 3D Walkthrough that lets people virtually walk through Redfin listings–and other information available online about homes for sale helps buyers feel comfortable bidding on a home they haven’t set foot in. But the strong prevalence of sight-unseen bids this year is likely due in great part to the record-fast speed of today’s highly competitive housing market. The typical home that sold in May went under contract in just 37 days, a week faster than homes were selling a year ago and the fastest pace on record since at least 2010 when Redfin began keeping track.

This statistic shocked me.  I know virtual tours can help sell homes, I truly didn’t expect them to replace walking through homes.  However, my buying clients work so hard and such long hours I can see how hard it is for them to see a home during daylight and sometimes waiting till the open house is too late.

2. Buyers’ most common economic concern was affordable housing; one in five said rising home prices caused them to search in another metro area.

Affordable housing was the economic concern most commonly cited by people who bought or tried to buy in the last year, with 40 percent selecting that issue, followed by the income gap between the rich and the poor (38%) and the federal budget deficit (27%). Low on the list of concerns were the trade deficit (13%) and restrictive immigration policies (15%).

With affordable housing a frequent concern, rising home prices drove more than one in five (21%) people who bought or tried to buy a home last year to search for homes in another metro area where homes were more affordable. When asked how high home prices affected their search, buyers were more likely to say only that they searched in more affordable neighborhoods (32%), searched farther outside the city center (26%) or that they considered smaller homes (23%) or fixer-uppers (22%).

3. Many buyers reported hesitations about moving to a place where most people have political views different from their own.

Despite the fact that so many people were relocating for affordability and even making offers on homes they hadn’t seen, many buyers were wary about moving to a place where their neighbors were likely to vote for an opposing candidate. Forty-one percent of people who bought or tried to buy a home in the last year said they would have hesitations about moving to a place where most of the residents do not share their political views. This is largely unchanged from December. Like in the December survey, Millennials were more likely than their elders to be hesitant about this, with 46 percent indicating they had some or significant hesitation, compared with 29 percent of Baby Boomers.

If this trend continues, it would put our neighborhoods at risk of becoming more politically segregated, which could have implications for the electoral map. Redfin recently began reporting on U.S. migration patterns using data on where its website users were searching for homes, and from where they were searching. One of the most salient migration trends in the first quarter was movement from expensive metros like Los Angeles and the Bay Area in the blue state of California to more affordable metros in red states like Texas, Georgia and Arizona. Redfin analysts are conducting further research to reconcile the migration trends seen in its user data with this survey finding and to predict whether these migration patterns could ultimately play a role in future election outcomes.

4. More than half of Arab, Asian and Latino respondents said recent immigration orders influenced their buying or selling plans; 45 percent of all minority respondents thought sellers or agents may have treated them differently because of their race.

Forty-one percent of all respondents indicated that their home-buying or selling plans were affected by the recent executive orders on immigration and visa holder policies, with 6 percent saying they cancelled their home-buying plans indefinitely, and another 12 percent saying they took a step back from homebuying and plan to re-enter the housing market when there is more certainty. Nine percent said they were less likely to sell because of the orders’ possible effects on buyers in their area. The uncertainty also caused 13 percent to sell their home, worried about the possible effect the orders could have on their job or their ability to stay in the country. Meanwhile, 14 percent of respondents said they are more likely to buy, saying the restrictions would improve job prospects and the economy in their area.

Respondents who identified themselves as East Asian American, South Asian American, Arab American or Latino were more likely to have been affected, with more than half (52%) saying the orders influenced their plans, including 9 percent who cancelled their buying plans indefinitely, 16 percent who took a step back from homebuying, 20 percent who were selling because of the uncertainty and 10 percent who said they were less likely to sell because of the orders’ effects on buyers. Thirteen percent among this group said they were more likely to buy because they believe the restrictions will improve their job prospects and the economy in their area.

Redfin agents from many parts of the country reported that when the orders were first introduced at the beginning of the year, several of their buying customers who are originally from other countries backed out of the market due to the uncertainty of their ability to stay in this country long term. However, these departures were most often characterized as temporary, with affected buyers typically saying they were going to wait and see what would happen. In recent weeks, agents have reported that some of these customers have returned to the market, while other buyers have not. A Redfin agent in the Chicago area said this week that two of her buying customers in the country on H1B visas who had backed out of the market at the beginning of the year both recently returned to the market after finding out they’d be able to remain in the country for at least a few more years. Both are now under contract. She also reported that she just listed and sold a home for customers who were not able to renew their H1B visas.

Meanwhile, there was a slight drop in the prevalence of the perception of discrimination among minority homebuyers from December to May. In May, 45 percent of minority respondents who bought or tried to buy a home in the last year said they felt that sellers or their agents may have been less eager to work with them because of their ethnicity or race. That’s down from 49 percent in December, when still nearly half of minority respondents reported they may have been treated differently. The portion of self-identified white respondents who said they may have been discriminated against was largely unchanged from December (28%) to May (29%).

5. Few buyers will stop their search if mortgage rates top 5 percent.

Mortgage rates are expected to rise due to the Federal Reserve’s June 14 announcement that it would raise its benchmark interest rate. We don’t expect to see much of a reaction in the market.

The survey asked people who said they were still looking for a home to buy and/or plan to buy one in the next 12 months about the effect a mortgage rate hike above 5 percent would have on their home-buying plans.

A quarter said it would have no impact, while nearly as many (23%) said they would increase their urgency to buy before rates went up further. Twenty-nine percent said they would slow down their search and see if rates came back down; 18 percent said their urgency wouldn’t change, but they would look in other areas or buy a smaller home. Just 5 percent said they would cancel their home-buying plans altogether.

These results are similar to the breakdown of responses collected from buyers who were asked a similar question in December about how they would react if mortgage rates rose above 4 percent.

6. Half of buyers and sellers saved on real estate fees.

Just over half (51%) of buyers (excluding all those who worked with a Redfin agent) received savings from their agent in the form of a commission refund, a closing-cost contribution or another type of savings. That’s up from 49 percent in December and from 46 percent a year ago. Millennials were the most likely to receive savings, with 59 percent indicating they did, compared to 47 percent of Gen-Xers and 29 percent of Baby Boomers.

Sellers are not far behind. The portion of all (non-Redfin) sellers who successfully negotiated their listing agent’s commission to a lower price rose to 46 percent in May, up from 44 percent in December and 39 percent a year ago. Millennials were also the most likely generation of sellers to have negotiated their listing agent’s commission down, with 63 percent getting a discount, compared to 44 percent of Gen-Xers and 16 percent of Baby Boomers.

This follows a decades-long trend toward declining commissions, according to Real Trends, which reports that the national average real estate commission was 5.12 percent in 2016, down from 5.26 percent in 2015, and from more than 6 percent in the early 90s.

Consumers are likely paying less for real estate brokerage services in part because of the increasing prevalence of companies like Redfin that offer lower-cost alternatives to the traditional real estate model. In 2016, real estate tech companies received more funding than ever before, meaning the options for new, alternative and money-saving ways to buy and sell homes have never been more abundant, and the choices for consumers are likely to grow. Millennials’ expanding role in the housing market–paired with their increased tendency to save on fees–will likely drive a shift in the real estate industry toward these tech-reliant, non-traditional brokerage models.

Affordability continues to shape American communities and the real estate industry

As Millennials continue to enter the housing market, they are likely to drive changes in the way neighborhoods in our cities across the country look and feel, as well as in the way most people buy and sell homes. We now know that issues surrounding affordability and inequality drove major change in our government. The results of this survey reveal how these issues are affecting the way that segments of people are spreading themselves out geographically–with some people driven to new communities in search of affordable homes, others avoiding places where the neighbors would disagree with their politics and still others holding off on putting down roots due to the uncertainty of their future status in this country. If these trends continue, our cities will become less diverse. More inclusionary local zoning policies and builder incentives to create more affordable housing within desirable neighborhoods and near job centers would make these places more accessible to and welcoming of people of all racial, social and economic backgrounds. By enabling more different types of people to live comfortably in the same great neighborhoods, we may begin to narrow the gaps between these diverse groups that, joined together, are the essence of American society.

WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON BUYING A HOME SIGHT UNSEEN?

I read this article at: https://www.redfin.com/blog/2017/06/one-in-three-recent-homebuyers-made-an-offer-sight-unseen-up-from-one-in-five-a-year-ago.html?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=1001830_Blogs&utm_source=strongmail

Remember to follow our Blog for the local real estate beat, a pulse on the San Francisco Peninsula at: https://therealestatebeat.wordpress.com

Got Questions? – The Caton Team is here to help.  

Email Sabrina & Susan at:  Info@TheCatonTeam.com

Call us at: 650-568-5522  Office: 650-365-9200

Want Real Estate Info on the Go?  Download our FREE Real Estate App:  http://thecatonteam.com/mobileapp

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Connect with us professionally at LinkedInhttps://www.linkedin.com/in/sabrinawendtcaton

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Please enjoy my personal journey through homeownership at:

http://ajourneythroughhomeownership.wordpress.com

Thanks for reading – Sabrina

The Caton Team – Susan & Sabrina – A Family of Realtors

Effective. Efficient. Responsive.  What Can The Caton Team Do For You?

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices – Drysdale Properties

Sabrina BRE# 01413526 / Susan BRE #01238225 / Team BRE# 70000218/ Office BRE #01499008

The 10 U.S. Cities With the Fastest-Growing Suburbs

The 10 U.S. Cities With the Fastest-Growing Suburbs

By Yuqing Pan

Ever since the modern American suburb sprouted like kudzu in the post-WWII era, we’ve found ourselves in a love-hate relationship of epic proportions.

Love: Owning your own slice of the dream—a home with a front and back yard, far from urban crime, crowds, squalor, and substandard schools. Hate: Leaving behind the thrill and culture of the city and settling into a tragically unhip, homogenized milieu, skewered in all its soul-crushing glory by everyone from Updike to “Stepford Wives” to “Mad Men.”

But here’s the thing: We can’t quit them.

Even the most die-hard urbanites often wake up to realize they crave more space and better public schools at a lower price—while hopefully remaining within commuting distance of the jobs, restaurants, and indie music joints of the Big City.  In some of the nation’s top metro areas, the suburbs are growing faster than the city proper.

And now with an aging millennial generation, and growing interest from minorities, suburban communities are getting a fresh influx of transplants seeking affordable, family-friendly living. From 2010 to 2017, households in the suburbs grew 7.9% nationally, compared with 6.6% growth in urban areas, according to a realtor.com® analysis of Nielsen population data.

“Most high-growth urban areas just don’t have enough land, so prices are higher and homeownership is typically lower,” says Jonathan Smoke, our chief economist. “It’s tempting to live in a walkable urban neighborhood … but the costs make it hard to afford, especially  for large or growing families.”

To pinpoint which suburbs are growing the fastest, our data team looked at where the number of households, home listings, list prices, and demand for homes are growing the fastest for every ZIP code in the 50 largest metro areas—our research portal has a more in-depth analysis of each metro. What did the data reveal?

It turns out America’s most sought-after suburban neighborhoods are often the exurbs of its fastest-expanding metros—places where those white picket-fenced homes often offer a way more affordable option.

  1. Denver, CO

Median urban home price: $544,000

Hottest suburban neighborhood: Northeast Denver (ZIP code: 80239)

Median price in Northeast Denver: $270,000

Suburban savings (moving from the city to the suburbs): 50%

The suburb known as Northeast Denver burst onto our radar with the opening of the surprisingly cool Stanley Marketplace—a chic, food-centric neighborhood center with restaurants, beer halls, and a yoga studio. It’s helping turn the former industrial neighborhood into the next hot spot.

The proof is in the prices. The median home price in the neighborhood jumped 27% last year—making Northeast Denver the fastest-growing suburban neighborhood in our analysis. (That sure makes sense, given that the city of Denver is also growing at a breakneck pace.)

“The Marketplace is one of the things really joining the top 1 percenters and the bottom 10 percenters here,” says Jessica Jiang, a real estate agent with Re/Max Momentum.

Lifelong Northeast Denver resident Jascon Willis, 37, an  oil industry consultant, is witnessing the changes with some apprehension.

“It’s growing,” says Willis, who hopes longtime residents won’t be displaced. “It’s an area in transition.”

Fun fact: Bordering Northeast Denver is the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge, inhabited by 330 species, including coyotes, black-footed ferrets, and bison.

  1. Dallas, TX

Median urban home price: $501,500

Hottest suburban neighborhood: Wylie (ZIP code: 75098)

Median price in Wylie: $369,000

Suburban savings: 26%

For folks who work in central Dallas but want to retreat to suburban security each night, Wylie is turning out to be just the place.

Named one of the safest cities in the U.S. by the website Neighborhood Scout, it’s home to a mix of young families as well as established professionals, with many first-time homeowners. The median home list price in Wylie currently sits at $352,000, around $100,000 above the national median—but hey, safety’s worth it, right?

With buyers eager for homes, new residential construction is booming. In fact, overall economic growth in the area has exerted pressure on the local labor market for more college-educated workers.To that end, the city worked with Collin College to sponsor a large new campus in Wylie, scheduled to open in 2020,

Fun fact: Sorry, the place was NOT named after Wile E. Coyote—the guy who supplied its moniker was railroad engineer Col. William D. Wylie, who helped pave the way for the trains that brought prosperity to Wylie in the 1880s.

  1. San Francisco, CA

Median urban home price: $1,144,000

Hottest suburban neighborhood: Dublin (ZIP code: 94568)

Median price in Dublin: $890,000

Suburban savings: 22%

Just over the hill from Oakland, and nestled in a region referred to as the Tri-Valley Area, Dublin represents a rare pocket of (relative) affordability in the exorbitant San Francisco Bay Area.

Not only do the homes have friendlier prices, but the city’s schools are at the top of the class, too. In fact, seven of them are rated 10 out of 10 on Greatschools.org.

We’re not saying it’s cheap—buyers will still need to pull down a Bay Area salary to buy a home here—but the number of households in this family-friendly ZIP grew 25.6% from 2010 to 2017.

According to Nielsen data, half the housing stock in Dublin has been built since 2000. Much of the city’s growth can be traced to the addition of a Bay Area Rapid Transit station, which opened in the late ‘90s, directly connecting commuters to the metro Bay Area.

To keep pace with rapid growth, the city broke ground last year on a 189-acre community that could build up to 1,995 residential units over the next seven years.

Fun fact: In 2011, the Discovery Channel show “MythBusters” misfired a homemade cannonball and hit a Dublin home during filming. We’re not quite sure what myth it was trying to bust, but Dec. 6 was thereafter named “Victory in the Battle for Dublin.”

  1. Austin, TX

Median urban home price: $494,500

Hottest suburban neighborhood: Daffan (ZIP code: 78724)

Median price in Daffan: $348,000

Suburban savings: 30%

The suburban neighborhood of Daffan may not seem to have much in common with its hip, young city neighbor to the west. In fact, if the hood is known at all, it’s probably as the home to the Decker Creek Power Station. But that’s already starting to change.

Daffan is seeing an influx of new residents who are being priced out of the city as home and rent prices continue to rise sharply. New developments of single-family homes are going up, and suburbanites are moving right in.

And why not? What Austinites may not know is that the neighborhood is also home to the family-friendly Austin Rodeo, Fair and Stock Show as well as the Travis County Exposition Center. The latter hosts everything from rodeos to Kenny Rogers concerts.

Fun fact: The nearly 1,300-acre Walter E. Long Lake, which runs through Daffan, is the ideal place to spend an afternoon catching hybrid striped bass and catfish. Kenny Rogers tunes are optional.

  1. Tampa, FL

Median urban home price: $350,000

Hottest suburban neighborhood: Palm River–Clair Mel (ZIP code: 33619)

Median price in Palm River–Clair Mel: $134,000

Suburban savings: 62%

Last year, we named Tampa the No.1 city where Americans are moving, due to its winning combo of cheap housing and a strong job market. But plenty of area residents don’t want to actually live within the sleepy city’s limits. So instead, they’re heading for the ‘burbs.

Palm River–Clair Mel is becoming ever more popular with cash-strapped families looking for a safe and affordable home. It’s not a cultural mecca, however.

“Most of it is strip malls and residential real estate,” says Kenneth Stillwell, a real estate agent at Spin Real Estate, who specializes in buying homes in foreclosures, fixing them up, and then selling them as rental properties to investors. But “you have a lot of three-bedroom, two-bath homes and four-bedroom, two-bath homes” for a good price, he says.

Fun fact: Palm River–Clair Mel and nearby Progressive Village area were this metro’s first planned low-income housing suburbs.

  1. Orlando, FL

Median urban home price: $278,500

Hottest suburban neighborhood: Vista East (ZIP code: 32829)

Median price in Vista East: $231,500

Suburban savings: 17%

There are plenty of reasons to love Orlando. But one thing residents aren’t so fond of are the quickly rising home prices.

And that’s why they’re moving out to newer neighborhoods on the outskirts of the city, like Vista East, which are still comparatively affordable, and just a half-hour from the soon-to-be-Shamu-free SeaWorld.

“It’s very family-oriented. It has a community pool, a community playground, and it’s very well taken care of,” says Orlando-area Realtor® Jodi Nielsen of Re/Max Select. And it’s growing. “Everywhere you can see construction companies clearing the area and breaking ground.”

Fun fact: Orlando has 100 lakes, many of which are the result of sinkholes.

  1. Miami, FL

Median urban home price: $470,500

Hottest suburban neighborhood: Cutler Bay (ZIP code: 33189)

Median price in Cutler Bay: $290,000

Suburban savings: 38%

Floridians who love living on the water—and want to do it relatively affordably—seem to increasingly be discovering Cutler Bay. The small town, right on Biscayne Bay, is between Miami and North Key Largo, just 45 minutes from either destination.

“It’s far enough away to have that small-town feel,” says Realtor Marcos Fullana of Choice One Real Estate in Cutler Bay. “But it’s close to the beaches and downtown [Miami].”

The best part? “It’s affordable,” he says. “You’re going to get more square feet for your money than if you get closer to downtown Miami.”

Fun fact: Incorporated only in 2006, Cutler Bay is the youngest city in Florida.

  1. San Jose, CA

Median urban home price: $1,149,500

Hottest suburban neighborhood: Milpitas (ZIP code: 95035)

Median price in Milpitas: $850,000

Suburban savings: 26%

For years, the city of Milpitas has been notorious for a noxious and pernicious odor that residents claim originates in the landfills of San Jose, just to the south. The smell even inspired a couple of Twitter accounts (@MilpitasStinks and @MilpitasOdor). But perhaps the acrid air is a small sacrifice to pay for affordable housing in the San Francisco Bay Area?

After all, with top-ranked schools and easy access to most of Silicon Valley, Milpitas is an attractive location for tech professionals with families. Perhaps that’s why the number of households in the city grew 15.5% from 2010 to 2017.

As with Dublin, mass transit will likely play a vital role in Milpitas’ growth. A new BART station set to open in 2017 will link the city with the rest of the Bay Area.

With BART in mind, city officials recently approved a new mixed-use development of condos and retail spaces that they expect will eventually catalyze into something resembling a downtown.

Fun fact: From 1953 to 1983, Milpitas was home to Ford Motors’ primary manufacturing site in Northern California. Today, that site is the Great Mall of the Bay Area, a sprawling indoor mall whose 1.4 million square foot of retail space is anchored by a ginormous Burlington Coat Factory.

  1. Nashville, TN

Median urban home price: $422,000

Hottest suburban neighborhood: Williamsburg in Murfreesboro (ZIP code: 37129)

Median price in Northwest Murfreesboro: $295,000

Suburban savings: 30%

We already know Nashville is cool. But now that’s spilling over into Murfreesboro, 33 miles southwest of Nashville. It’s the 13th fastest-growing city in the U.S., according to U.S. Census data.

In northwest Murfreesboro, neighborhoods like Williamsburg and White Haven have seen a huge influx of eager home buyers. Younger buyers can still get a home for under $250,000 if they’re lucky, says Realtor Brian Copeland with Village Real Estate Services.

Another plus is the presence of two major hospitals—St. Thomas Rutherford Hospital and TriStar StoneCrest Medical Center—right in the heart of Williamsburg/White Haven, providing hundreds of jobs.

Fun fact: Murfreesboro celebrates Uncle Dave Macon Day every July, when people honor the first superstar of the Grand Ole Opry with competitions for old-time music and dancing.

  1. Raleigh, NC

Median urban home price: $418,000

Hottest suburban neighborhood: Apex (ZIP code: 27502)

Median price in Apex: $429,000

Suburban savings: Sorry, you have to pay a 3% premium. Apex is just that awesome.

In case you somehow missed it, Raleigh has become a magnet for millennials on the East Coast, benefiting from a booming job market.

That’s because the metro is home to Research Triangle Park, an area that’s home to more than 200 technology companies, including IBM and Cisco, and top-notch schools like Duke University.

And the hottest neighborhood is Apex. It’s so sought-after that it was rated the best place to live by Money Magazine in 2015.

Along with some of the state’s best schools, the community also boasts some serious small-town charm. Maybe there’s really something to that “peak of good living” town slogan after all.

Fun fact: Apex was a tobacco farming town in the early 1900s, when farmers discovered that its land produced excellent tobacco crops.

 

I read this article at: http://www.realtor.com/news/trends/cities-with-the-hottest-suburban-neighborhood/?identityID=9851214&MID=2017_0217_WeeklyNL&RID=353497822&cid=eml-2017-0217-WeeklyNL-blog_1_suburbanneighborhoods-blogs_trends

Remember to follow our Blog for the local real estate beat, a pulse on the San Francisco Peninsula at: https://therealestatebeat.wordpress.com

Got Questions? – The Caton Team is here to help.  

Email Sabrina & Susan at: Info@TheCatonTeam.com

Call us at: 650-568-5522 Office: 650-365-9200

Want Real Estate Info on the Go? Download our FREE Real Estate App:  http://thecatonteam.com/mobileapp

HomeSnaphttp://www.homesnap.com/Sabrina-Caton

Visit our Website at:   http://thecatonteam.com/

Visit our INSTAGRAM page: http://instagram.com/thecatonteam

PINTREST: https://www.pinterest.com/thecatonteam/

Visit us on FACEBOOK:   http://www.facebook.com/pages/Sabrina-Susan-The-Caton-Team-Realtors/294970377834

YELP us at: http://www.yelp.com/biz/the-caton-team-realtors-sabrina-caton-and-susan-caton-redwood-city

Or YELP me: http://www.yelp.com/user_details_thanx?userid=gpbsls-_RLpPiE9bv3Zygw

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/TheCatonTeam

Connect with us professionally at LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sabrinawendtcaton

https://www.linkedin.com/in/susancatonrealtor

Please enjoy my personal journey through homeownership at:

http://ajourneythroughhomeownership.wordpress.com

Thanks for reading – Sabrina

The Caton Team – Susan & Sabrina – A Family of Realtors

Effective. Efficient. Responsive.  What Can The Caton Team Do For You?

 

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices – Drysdale Properties

Sabrina BRE# 01413526 / Susan BRE #01238225 / Team BRE# 70000218/ Office BRE #01499008

 

What Makes a Good Mortgage Applicant

Came across this article and felt it was timely – being in the summer swing Real Estate Market…  

What Makes a Good Mortgage Applicant

Lenders use specific criteria to determine whether applicants qualify for a mortgage and what the terms of the loan should be. The Motley Fool highlights several metrics lenders value the most when it comes to approving borrowers for a loan.

How does your client’s income compare to the amount they want to borrow?

Many lenders believe housing costs—which also include property taxes and homeowners insurance—should be less than 28 percent of a person’s income. Lenders may allow borrowers with less debt to take on larger mortgages.

What is your client’s debt load?

Many lenders consider the maximum debt-to-income ratio to be between 36 percent and 43 percent. Lenders expect total debts—which include the cost of the mortgage, other housing expenses, and unpaid debts—not to exceed that percentage. Otherwise, a borrower may not get approved for a loan.

Does your client have good credit?

Lenders will look at your client’s credit score to determine whether they’re a responsible borrower. People with credit scores higher than 740 often get the most favorable mortgage terms. A credit score below 620, on the other hand, could result in the denial of a mortgage. Some subprime lenders may be willing to lend to a borrower at a higher interest rate. But your clients might be better off taking steps to improve their credit and qualify for a more favorable loan, experts say.

What’s your client’s employment situation?

Borrowers who have been employed for only a short time at their most recent job or who have a history of changing jobs frequently may be a red flag for lenders. Many want to see two years of steady income on a borrower’s financial record.

believe Home Ownership is key to long term financial health.  We all need a place to live and fixing that cost over the long term is so important.  Saving for the downpayment is a journey I too am going on.  Maintaining a healthy credit score, cutting down costs and increasing saving each much is part of my regular diet – so I wanted to take a moment and share this article since it was short and concise.  If you are considering a purchase, The Caton Team is happy to sit down with you and map out the way.  Contact us any time – Info@TheCatonTeam.com

– Sabrina 

I read this article at: http://realtormag.realtor.org/daily-news/2017/06/14/what-makes-good-mortgage-applicant?tp=i-H43-Bb-Eg-32lY-1p-EHi7-1c-31VF-kLfrQ&om_rid=725620%20&Om_ntype=RMOdaily&om_mid=910

Remember to follow our Blog for the local real estate beat, a pulse on the San Francisco Peninsula at: https://therealestatebeat.wordpress.com

Got Questions? – The Caton Team is here to help.  

Email Sabrina & Susan at:  Info@TheCatonTeam.com

Call us at: 650-568-5522  Office: 650-365-9200

Want Real Estate Info on the Go?  Download our FREE Real Estate App:  http://thecatonteam.com/mobileapp

HomeSnaphttp://www.homesnap.com/Sabrina-Caton

Visit our Website at:   http://thecatonteam.com/

Visit our INSTAGRAM page:  http://instagram.com/thecatonteam

PINTREST: https://www.pinterest.com/thecatonteam/

Visit us on FACEBOOK:   http://www.facebook.com/pages/Sabrina-Susan-The-Caton-Team-Realtors/294970377834

YELP us at: http://www.yelp.com/biz/the-caton-team-realtors-sabrina-caton-and-susan-caton-redwood-city

Or YELP me:  http://www.yelp.com/user_details_thanx?userid=gpbsls-_RLpPiE9bv3Zygw

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/TheCatonTeam

Connect with us professionally at LinkedInhttps://www.linkedin.com/in/sabrinawendtcaton

https://www.linkedin.com/in/susancatonrealtor

Please enjoy my personal journey through homeownership at:

http://ajourneythroughhomeownership.wordpress.com

Thanks for reading – Sabrina

The Caton Team – Susan & Sabrina – A Family of Realtors

Effective. Efficient. Responsive.  What Can The Caton Team Do For You?

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices – Drysdale Properties

Sabrina BRE# 01413526 / Susan BRE #01238225 / Team BRE# 70000218/ Office BRE #01499008

Local Farmers Markets – San Mateo County – 2017

San Mateo County Farmers Markets 2017
 

Belmont
Year-round: Sun 10:00am-2:00pm
El Camino Real and O’Neill Ave

Brisbane
Year-round: Thur 2:30-6:30pm
11 Old County Road

Daly City
Year-round: Thur & Sat 9:00am-1:00pm
Serramonte Shopping Center

Foster City
Year-Round: Sat. 9:00am-1:00pm
Sun. 2:30pm-6:30pm
791 Beach Park Blvd.

Menlo Park
Year-round: Sun. 9:00am-1:00pm
1050 Chestnut St.

Millbrae
Year-round: Sat. 8:00am-1:00pm
200 Broadway, Millbrae

Redwood City
Multiple Venues and Times – see link

San Mateo
Year-round: Sat. 9:00am-1:00pm
College of San Mateo

San Carlos
Year-round: Sun. 10:00am-2:00pm
700 Block Laurel Street

 

 

The Caton Team is comprised of Susan and Sabrina Caton – a mother/daughter in law team.  We are full time, local Realtors with over 25 years of combined Real Estate experience.  How can The Caton Team help you?

Remember to follow our Blog for the local real estate beat, a pulse on the San Francisco Peninsula at: https://therealestatebeat.wordpress.com

Got Questions? – The Caton Team is here to help.  

Email Sabrina & Susan at:  Info@TheCatonTeam.com

Call us at: 650-568-5522  Office: 650-365-9200

Want Real Estate Info on the Go?  Download our FREE Real Estate App:  http://thecatonteam.com/mobileapp

HomeSnaphttp://www.homesnap.com/Sabrina-Caton

Visit our Website at:   http://thecatonteam.com/

Visit our INSTAGRAM page:  http://instagram.com/thecatonteam

PINTREST: https://www.pinterest.com/thecatonteam/

Visit us on FACEBOOK:   http://www.facebook.com/pages/Sabrina-Susan-The-Caton-Team-Realtors/294970377834

YELP us at: http://www.yelp.com/biz/the-caton-team-realtors-sabrina-caton-and-susan-caton-redwood-city

Or YELP me:  http://www.yelp.com/user_details_thanx?userid=gpbsls-_RLpPiE9bv3Zygw

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/TheCatonTeam

Connect with us professionally at LinkedInhttps://www.linkedin.com/in/sabrinawendtcaton

https://www.linkedin.com/in/susancatonrealtor

Please enjoy my personal journey through homeownership at:

http://ajourneythroughhomeownership.wordpress.com

Thanks for reading – Sabrina

The Caton Team – Susan & Sabrina – A Family of Realtors

Effective. Efficient. Responsive.  What Can The Caton Team Do For You?

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices – Drysdale Properties

Sabrina BRE# 01413526 / Susan BRE #01238225 / Team BRE# 70000218/ Office BRE #01499008

Taking a Vow for a Wedding or a New Home?

Taking a Vow for a Wedding or a New Home?

Getting married and buying a home are two milestones that couples often try to achieve at the same time. But the finances involved in both of those feats can be daunting. The average wedding costs reached a record high in 2016: $35,329. That is about the equivalent of a 20 percent down payment on a $175,000 home.

“There are some people that can do both at the same time, but for most, you have to choose one [goal] and delay the other by a year or two,” says Pamela Capalad, a certified financial planner and founder of Brunch & Budget in Brooklyn, N.Y.

Some couples in wedding prep mode are setting up a gift registry asking for down payment assistance to help in their home purchase instead of filling their registry with traditional house gifts. Cash registries for a home or other major ticket purchases, such as a home renovation or car, are growing more popular as the average ages for brides and grooms increase, says Kristen Maxwell Cooper, executive editor of The Knot. (For example, some couples are using online sites like Deposit a Gift to set up a down payment cash registry.)

“They already have a lot of the stuff you would add to a traditional registry,” Cooper says. “Ultimately they want to make sure that if their friends and family want to give them a gift—and of course, they do—that it’s something useful.”

After all, saving enough for a wedding alone can really add up. Nearly half of couples recently surveyed say they ended up spending more than they intended on their wedding, according to The Knot.

Further, a wedding that overlaps with a home purchase can actually jeopardize closing, in some cases too. Wedding-related debt could damage a person’s credit score.

“Your mortgage qualification is going to be largely based on your income, and your credit,” says Keith Gumbinger, vice president at mortgage site HSH.com. “The last thing you want to do is disturb your credit in any way.”

For Silicon Valley buyers this is a true dilemma.  I loved my wedding and it was a magical day – my advise.  Be frugal at the wedding and add more to that downpayment.  Just make sure you have a great photographer!

I read this article at: http://realtormag.realtor.org/daily-news/2017/03/20/taking-vow-for-wedding-or-new-home?om_rid=AACmlZ&om_mid=_BY0Co2B9Zsr5UW&om_ntype=RMODaily

Remember to follow our Blog for the local real estate beat, a pulse on the San Francisco Peninsula at: https://therealestatebeat.wordpress.com

Got Questions? – The Caton Team is here to help.  

Email Sabrina & Susan at: Info@TheCatonTeam.com

Call us at: 650-568-5522 Office: 650-365-9200

Want Real Estate Info on the Go? Download our FREE Real Estate App:  http://thecatonteam.com/mobileapp

HomeSnaphttp://www.homesnap.com/Sabrina-Caton

Visit our Website at:   http://thecatonteam.com/

Visit our INSTAGRAM page: http://instagram.com/thecatonteam

PINTREST: https://www.pinterest.com/thecatonteam/

Visit us on FACEBOOK:   http://www.facebook.com/pages/Sabrina-Susan-The-Caton-Team-Realtors/294970377834

YELP us at: http://www.yelp.com/biz/the-caton-team-realtors-sabrina-caton-and-susan-caton-redwood-city

Or YELP me: http://www.yelp.com/user_details_thanx?userid=gpbsls-_RLpPiE9bv3Zygw

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/TheCatonTeam

Connect with us professionally at LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sabrinawendtcaton

https://www.linkedin.com/in/susancatonrealtor

Please enjoy my personal journey through homeownership at:

http://ajourneythroughhomeownership.wordpress.com

Thanks for reading – Sabrina

The Caton Team – Susan & Sabrina – A Family of Realtors

Effective. Efficient. Responsive.  What Can The Caton Team Do For You?

 

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices – Drysdale Properties

Sabrina BRE# 01413526 / Susan BRE #01238225 / Team BRE# 70000218/ Office BRE #01499008

 

Thank you Ashley!

The Caton Team loves what we do.  But when we hear our clients say thank you and take the time to write a testimonial – well that’s the icing on the cake.

 

Thank you Ashely – your words made our day!

 

“Sabrina and Susan of Berkshire Hathaway, were the perfect real estate agents for me. As a first-time buyer, I had very little knowledge of how the process of purchasing a home actually worked. They are friendly, approachable, patient, strategic and persistent. Sabrina maintained great communication throughout the entire experience. They always got back to me quickly and they were willing to meet or discuss potential condos that I selected as potential buys. She even recommended a lending agent in the area, which I ended up using. Without them edging me along, I’m fairly certain I would have given up, thinking this whole “buying a house” ordeal was not for me. It’s simply too difficult for a working person to complete on their own.

Now that I have purchased my condo, I’m happy to see that Sabrina is still involved. She has collected my new keys and mail, answered my escrow questions and will do the final walk through. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend or use them again.”

– Ashley

 

 

 

 

Remember to follow our Blog for the local real estate beat, a pulse on the San Francisco Peninsula at: https://therealestatebeat.wordpress.com

Got Questions? – The Caton Team is here to help.  

Email Sabrina & Susan at: Info@TheCatonTeam.com

Call us at: 650-568-5522 Office: 650-365-9200

Want Real Estate Info on the Go? Download our FREE Real Estate App:  http://thecatonteam.com/mobileapp

HomeSnaphttp://www.homesnap.com/Sabrina-Caton

Visit our Website at:   http://thecatonteam.com/

Visit our INSTAGRAM page: http://instagram.com/thecatonteam

PINTREST: https://www.pinterest.com/thecatonteam/

Visit us on FACEBOOK:   http://www.facebook.com/pages/Sabrina-Susan-The-Caton-Team-Realtors/294970377834

YELP us at: http://www.yelp.com/biz/the-caton-team-realtors-sabrina-caton-and-susan-caton-redwood-city

Or YELP me: http://www.yelp.com/user_details_thanx?userid=gpbsls-_RLpPiE9bv3Zygw

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/TheCatonTeam

Connect with us professionally at LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sabrinawendtcaton

https://www.linkedin.com/in/susancatonrealtor

Please enjoy my personal journey through homeownership at:

http://ajourneythroughhomeownership.wordpress.com

Thanks for reading – Sabrina

The Caton Team – Susan & Sabrina – A Family of Realtors

Effective. Efficient. Responsive.  What Can The Caton Team Do For You?

 

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices – Drysdale Properties

Sabrina BRE# 01413526 / Susan BRE #01238225 / Team BRE# 70000218/ Office BRE #01499008