• Peace of Mind Is a Well-Stocked Earthquake-Preparedness Kit

    6 October, 2017

    Peace of Mind Is a Well-Stocked Earthquake-Preparedness Kit

    When was the last time you refreshed the supplies in your earthquake-preparedness kit? What? You don’t have one? In one of the most active earthquake zones in the world? You’re not alone, of course. It’s a fact of life that we all do a better job of reacting to natural disasters than planning for them. But it’s another fact of life, safety experts say, that...

  • September U.S. Jobs Report Offers Continued Optimism Despite Conflicting Numbers

    6 October, 2017

    September U.S. Jobs Report Offers Continued Optimism Despite Conflicting Numbers

    While U.S. employment numbers fell for the first time in seven years, the decline was anticipated due to the notable impacts of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, which disrupted work and typical hiring trends in much of the South and Southeast. The leisure and hospitality industries the suffered most from the hurricanes’ impacts, losing 111,000 jobs. The net effects of the two hurricanes are anticipated to...

  • Most of the 20 Best Places to Retire in California Are in the Bay Area

    5 October, 2017

    Most of the 20 Best Places to Retire in California Are in the Bay Area

    Fourteen of the 20 California cities ranked as the most retirement-friendly are located in the Bay Area. Los Gatos, Saratoga, and Campbell all rank in the top five for best places to retire in California. California’s mild climate, diversity, and natural beauty make it an attractive place to retire, but the state has a higher cost of living than other popular retirement destinations like Florida...

  • Homebuyers Remain Upbeat, Surveys Say

    4 October, 2017

    Homebuyers Remain Upbeat, Surveys Say

    Two separate polls found that more than 70 percent of Americans think that now is a good time to buy a home. Sixty-four percent of homeowners think that prices have risen over the past year, and more than half expect price appreciation into next spring. Millennials are willing to make extra effort to close a home purchase, including putting down more earnest money, writing letters...

  • What Is the Down Payment Sweet Spot?

    3 October, 2017

    What Is the Down Payment Sweet Spot?

    Fifty-three percent of respondents to a recent survey said that 10 percent is the ideal down payment size. Nationwide, the average down payment was 7.3 percent in the second quarter. Homebuyers in San Jose and San Francisco made down payments of more than 20 percent, the highest in the country. More than half of American homebuyers would prefer to put down less than 20 percent,...

  • Real Estate Roundup: San Jose Is Now America’s Hottest Housing Market

    2 October, 2017

    Real Estate Roundup: San Jose Is Now America’s Hottest Housing Market

    Here’s a look at recent news of interest to homebuyers, home sellers, and the home-curious. SAN JOSE OVERTAKES VALLEJO AS THE NATION’S MOST IN-DEMAND REAL ESTATE MARKET Rising prices, a brisk pace of sales, and declining inventory characterize the U.S. housing market as fall begins, with three Bay Area cities again ranking as the nation’s most sought-after places to call home. Realtor.com’s latest monthly list...

  • Kitchen Renovations Offer Homeowners the Largest Returns

    29 September, 2017

    Kitchen Renovations Offer Homeowners the Largest Returns

    Nationwide, a complete kitchen renovation nets a return on investment of 62 percent when a home is sold. In the San Francisco and San Jose metropolitan areas, kitchen remodels return more than 100 percent of their costs at the time of sale. Kitchen overhauls and upgrades are the two home-renovation projects that appeal most to prospective homebuyers. Homeowners who are tackling a few remodeling jobs...

  • Bay Area Pending Home Sales Nearing Year-Long Slide

    28 September, 2017

    Bay Area Pending Home Sales Nearing Year-Long Slide

    U.S. pending home sales dropped by 2.6 percent in August from one year ago. California pending home sales declined by 3.5 percent year over year. In the nine-county Bay Area, pending home sales decreased by 11.6 percent from last August, the 11th straight month of annual declines Pending home sales declined nationwide, in California, and in the Bay Area in August, once again the result...

  • The Bay Area’s Economy Grew at the Strongest Rate in the Nation in 2016

    27 September, 2017

    The Bay Area’s Economy Grew at the Strongest Rate in the Nation in 2016

    At 5.2 percent, the Bay Area’s¹ gross domestic product (GDP) grew at the fastest rate in the nation and among California metropolitan areas in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis Gross Domestic Product by Metropolitan Area 2017. The Bay Area’s GDP grew three times faster than the national rate of 1.5 percent and twice as fast as the state rate of 2.9...