san ramon real estate: New FHA Condo Guidelines Are Here - 12/01/09 04:52 PM
FHA has just issued a new Mortgagee Letter spelling out the new guidelines on condominiums. They are as follows:SPOT APPROVALS: Due to the volatility of the condo market, FHA will allow spot approvals until February 1, 2010.CURRENTLY APPROVED CONDOS: All currently approved projects stay on the list with these future requirements.Projects approved before October 1, 2008 will require recertification on or before December 7, 2010.Projects approved between 10-1-08 through 12-7-09 will have to be recertified within 2 yrs from the date of placement on the approved list. This will be the case on all projects approved going forward.FHA CONCENTRATION: This is … (0 comments)

san ramon real estate: Tax Credit Extention Update - 10/24/09 04:47 PM
NAR is stepping up pressure on Congress to extend the $8,000 home buyer tax credit. Their strategy includes a nation-wide call-for-action which more than 450,000 REALTORS® have answered by either calling or emailing their elected officials. NAR is also placing ads in Washington D.C. newspapers and on the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Washington Post and Google websites. 
Finally, NAR officials are meeting directly with congressional leaders. Earlier this week NARs First VP Ron Phipps testified in front of the Senate Banking Committee about the impact the Tax Credit has had on home buying activity in 2009.  You can read Mr. Phipps testimony by … (4 comments)

san ramon real estate: NAR Clears the Air on Energy Act - 07/03/09 05:35 PM
On Friday, June 26 the House passed HR 2454, the American Clean Energy and Security Act. Thanks to NAR's efforts an energy efficiency labeling program will be limited to new construction only. The legislation also includes incentives for homeowners to make their properties more energy efficient. 
Media coverage of this legislation has raised questions about how it will impact real estate transactions.  NAR staff has prepared a one-page analysis of the bill which you can read by clicking here. You can also read a "Myths vs. Facts" document by clicking here.
While the House has passed HR 2454 it's unlikely the Senate will … (0 comments)

san ramon real estate: How Much Water Do You Use? - 05/25/09 04:07 PM
Use these green tips for keeping your landscaping (and watering) on the eco-friendly side!Just one leaky faucet or spigot can waste approximately 2,000 gallons of water each year. Repair or replace old or damaged fixtures indoors or outdoors. If you suspect a leak, try this method to help you verify the problem: check the water meter before and after a two-hour period when no water is being used. If the meter does not read exactly the same, you probably have a leak.Research the various shading strategies that will work best in your regional climate and your microclimate. To block solar heat … (2 comments)

san ramon real estate: Happy 90th Birthday Dad.... - 05/25/09 03:52 PM
 

Today my father turns 90 as we celebrate Memorial Day.  He is a World War II veteran and proud of it as he served in Europe from 1941 thru 1945. 
He was a good dad growing up teaching us the values of right and wrong, treating others as we would like to be treated and being the best you can be.                                               
So today we celebrate him as well as Memorial Day.  His goal is to live to be 100 years young and maybe he might make it with that attitude.
Happy Birthday Dad!
 
Considering Moving to the East … (1 comments)

san ramon real estate: So How Do I Get a Larger Tax Refund? - 04/04/09 09:56 PM

No one ever wants to pay more taxes than necessary, but this year it's even more important to save every penny you can. Here are some tips that can help you get a larger refund:

Property Tax Deduction for Non-Itemizers: Before 2008, only people who itemized their deductions could deduct property taxes. For 2008, individuals who do not itemize can deduct up to $1,000 of property tax on a joint return or $500 on a single return.

Driving Deductions: The IRS increased the cents-per-mile deduction for business-related driving expenses from 50.5 cents to 58.5 cents from July … (0 comments)

san ramon real estate: C.A.R. Launches Mortgage Protection Program - 04/04/09 09:41 PM
Considering Moving to the East Bay?    ~   Do you want to Buy or Sell a home?     
 Do you have clients with needs in the East Bay?     

Search East Bay Area Properties   

Visit my website at http://pamwinterbauer.com
(2 comments)

san ramon real estate: Federal Budget Proposals Preserve Mortgage Interest Deduction - 04/04/09 09:26 PM
On Monday, March 30, NAR announced that budget resolutions passed by both the House and Senate do not include any changes to to the Mortgage Interest Deduction. Earlier this year, President Obama had suggested modifying the Mortgage Interest Deduction as a way to generate additional tax revenue to pay for health care programs. According to NAR, this suggestion was essentially ignored by both the House and Senate. 
Considering Moving to San Ramon or the East Bay?    ~   Do you want to Buy or Sell a home?     
 Do you have clients with needs in the East Bay?     

Search East Bay Area Properties   

Visit … (1 comments)

san ramon real estate: Homeowner Affordability and Stability Plan - 03/07/09 08:14 PM
On Wednesday, March 4, the U.S. Treasury Department announced refinance and mortgage modification guidelines as part of the new "Making Home Affordable" program. 
Home Affordable Refinance program: This foreclosure prevention program is aimed at homeowners who have mortgages held by either Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac who are unable to refinance because their homes have lost value. The new Treasury guidelines are designed to make refinancing easier by using information that lenders may already have about borrowers and easing some appraisal requirements. Home Affordable Modification program: The Treasury Department worked with banking regulators, FHA, VA and other federal agencies to create standards … (0 comments)

san ramon real estate: Highlights of some new tax changes for 2009 - 02/18/09 01:40 PM
I had the opportunity to breakdown some of the new tax law changes that may have an effect for 2009.  As always, please consult with you CPA or accountant for advise.
Plug-in Electric Vehicle Credit ~ For vehicles bought after February 17, 2009 and before January 1, 2012, a 10% nonrefundable credit is available for low-speed vehicles, motorcycles, and three-wheeled vehicles that meet certain criteria. 
Unemployment compensation ~ Unemployment compensation for 2009 only, will be tax free up to $2,400. 
One Time Payment to Retirees ~ Retirees, disabled individuals and Social Security beneficiaries and SSI recipients can receive a one time payment … (3 comments)

san ramon real estate: Appliance Overload - 02/09/09 05:52 PM

When shopping for new appliances, remember that looks aren't everything. Features, capacity and energy-efficiency are important factors as well. 

Before buying a new appliance, keep track of your appliance usage for one week. For example, note the number and size of your laundry loads, what items you reach for most often in your refrigerator or what meals you cook on the stove. This will help you determine what features will be most beneficial. Also include a list of problem areas, which will help you choose a new appliance that offers better solutions.


For a variety of … (4 comments)

san ramon real estate: Happy New Years to all ................. - 01/01/09 07:10 PM
Happy New Years to all my Active Rain friends and I wish you all a fabulous 2009!

Considering Moving to the East Bay?    ~   Do you want to Buy or Sell a home?     
 Do you have clients with needs in the East Bay?     

Search East Bay Area Properties   

Visit my website at http://pamwinterbauer.com
(4 comments)

san ramon real estate: Year End Housekeeping - 12/06/08 06:50 PM
As we approach the end of the year December can be one of the busiest times of the year. There is decorating for the holidays, shopping for the kids, traveling to see the relatives and enjoying the festivities, this month can fly by like no other. Be sure to take a few minutes to make sure your financial house is in order before you wrap up the year. Here are a few tip I recently received from my lender.
Review your Benefits.  If your company has "open enrollment" for benefits make sure you review all of the options available.  Many of our … (1 comments)

san ramon real estate: Save Money ~ Green Energy Tips for Winter - 12/05/08 04:10 PM
Adjust your thermostat  ~  Lowering the temperature in your home by just one degree in the winter can save you three percent on your heating bill. Make it automatic by investing in a programmable thermostat (about $30).
Embrace the cold cycle ~  Washing your clothes in cold water not only preserves their color and shape - it also cuts your energy use by 50%. Dissolve powdered detergent with a blast of hot water, then switch to cold water for the rest of the cycle.
Pull the plug  ~  Did you know your cell phone charger uses energy when its plugged in, even … (4 comments)

san ramon real estate: The Making of a Gingerbread House - 11/29/08 10:42 PM

Well today's a first for me and a three year old.  The memorable  Gingerbread House! 
It took four generations of women to construct this one and I must say the eldest of the four was certainly trained and tacked this project with a vengance.  The little one ending up taking a nap and joining us to put the finishing touches on the home.
As to me, I have never make one in my lifetime or watched one constructed. 
This was certainly a great way to start the holiday season and participate in a family event.
Happy Holidays to alll!
Considering … (3 comments)

san ramon real estate: Protect Your Credit During the Holiday Season - 11/22/08 11:18 PM
With the economy slowing and holidays just around the corner, many consumers may be looking to credit cards to help them get through the heavy shopping season. While that may be a good short-term solution, you want to make sure you don't overlook the long-term impact on your credit rating. After all, the actions you take today could hang over your head for years to come--and may make it tough for you to get the home loan or car loan you want in the future.
To help you make sure you manage your credit cards--and your credit score--during the upcoming holiday … (2 comments)

san ramon real estate: HUD Releases New RESPA Rules - 11/21/08 11:57 PM
Late last week, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) released the long-awaited revisions to the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act regulations. Among the changes are expanded Good Faith Estimate (GFE) and requirements and HUD-1 statement.
One change that would have required agents to read a script to their clients at the time of closing was scrapped in favor of a new page that compares the estimated closing costs from the the GFE to the final terms as presented on the HUD-1 Settlement Statement. HUD claims these changes will make it easier for consumers to understand the details of a real estate … (7 comments)

san ramon real estate: Fannie and Freddie to Suspend Foreclosure Sales - 11/21/08 11:54 PM
On Thursday, both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac issued press releases stating they would suspend the eviction of occupants and the sale of properties financed with mortgages in foreclosure until January 2009. 
According to Fannie Mae, the halt in foreclosure sales is to allow its mortgage modification program, scheduled to launch on Dec. 15, to take effect. The program is designed to create work-out options for borrowers who are in default. Suspension of foreclosure sales activity will begin Nov. 26 and end Jan. 9, 2009.
For more information on the Fannie Mae policy, please click here.
For more information about the Freddie Mac decision, click … (1 comments)

san ramon real estate: Tips for Finding a Job in Tough Markets - 11/21/08 11:27 PM
Finding a job during tough economic times doesn't have to be tough...if you know which strategies work. Here are some tips for beating the odds:
Take Networking to the Next Level: Networking is always a great job strategy, but in the current economic climate, you need to go a step beyond letting your contacts know you are looking for a job, since many other people may be doing the same thing. Instead, develop a compelling business idea for your field or the field you would like to enter. Then, when you call or email your contacts, let them know you are … (0 comments)

san ramon real estate: To Help Stay Healthy, Start Following These Quick Tips Now - 11/21/08 11:22 PM

With Thanksgiving fast approaching, fall is in full swing. And that means we'll soon be gathering with family and friends to share the joy of the holiday season. But instead of just passing mashed potatoes and stuffing at the dinner table, we may also be passing around something else... the dreaded cold and flu that comes with the winter season. And the cost during that season is nothing to sneeze at! Did you know that Americans spend approximately $4 billion on over the counter cold and flu remedies? That's not even factoring in how much time and productivity is lost … (0 comments)