Renting a House vs Buying A Home

buy vs. rentPurchasing a home is one of the main financial decisions that most adults are called upon to make. The costs of buying are varied and complex and it’s important to consider the pros and cons of renting and buying before making your decision.

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The Move Up Buyer

Move Up Buyer Villa PropertiesWith the California housing market in recovery, many homeowners have enjoyed seeing their home appreciate in value. As a result, many of people, especially first-time home owners, become a move-up buyer and purchasing a larger home. There are number of reasons why a homeowner becomes a move-up buyer, including:

  • The home has become too small because the family size has increase.
  • Desire to move from a starter home and upgrade to a larger, nicer and more expensive home.
  • The home does not have the desired amenities, such as a large backyard, swimming pool or family room.

Since you will be both selling and buying a home, talk to an experienced real estate broker to find out what the process entails, how you should prepare yourself and potential pitfalls.

Obtain information on current market conditions so that you can develop a strategy to determine if you should sell first or buy and then sell. You should also get data on the price of comparable homes–both for the one you intend to sell and the larger house you would like to purchase.

Selling a Home in a Seller’s Market

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3 Tips to Making a Good Home Impression

What's your home's Curb Appeal WorthThe term first impression is usually used to refer to people we first meet and where we instantly create a mental image of them.   The image we create of the person is either favorable or slightly lacking until we get to know them better.  The same applies to homes.  If you are looking to buy or sell a home, the home also has the potential to make either a favorable or slightly lacking first impression, as well.

A home’s first impression is often referred to as “Curb Appeal”.  Curb Appeal is defined as “the general attractiveness of a house from the street or sidewalk”. It is a term that most people probably only consider when selling their home. While that’s a very important time, it’s good for us to remember that Curb Appeal is something we should pay attention to all the time. Proper maintenance and upkeep of our homes is an important factor that affects the entire neighborhood. [Read more…]

VA Loans – Why Veterans love them, and why Realtors should too!

VA Loans - Villa Properties

We reached out to Mark Wharton from Vintage Mortgage Group in Pleasanton to better understand VA Loans.  Here is what Mark had to say:

A lot of Realtors have little experience with VA loans, and what they don’t know they are often afraid of.  Most agents are receptive once I explain the loan process. [Read more…]

Sincerely, Home Buyer – Hand Write a Letter to Accompany Your Home Offer

Sincerely, Home Buyer – Hand Write a Letter to Accompany Your Home Offer
In today’s market, simply providing a higher offer on your potential new home may no longer be enough.  It’s vitally important to understand that there is a personal side to this business transaction, which in some cases can override a seller’s need for the highest price. It’s important to make a connection with the seller and let them know why you are the perfect person to be the next owner of their family home. A great way to do that is to write a letter to the seller. Just like wearing your best suit for your dream job, you’ll want to ensure you write the best words to land your potential dream home. [Read more…]

High Rental Rates Attract Home Buyers in the San Ramon Valley

High Rental Rates Attract Home Buyers in the San Ramon Valley

© Stuart Miles –

Any family looking to relocate to the San Ramon Valley may face a bit of shock as the rental prices for single family homes continue to be in favor of the landlord.

The San Ramon Valley continues to be a popular place to raise a family.  Its vicinity to popular vacation destinations and working hubs such as San Francisco and Silicon Valley make the areas surrounding San Ramon and Danville very attractive.  With its excellent schools, bountiful parks, quaint restaurants, retail outlets, and miles of beautiful trails, the San Ramon Valley tends to command a higher price tag. [Read more…]

San Ramon Valley Events – February 2014

It’s February, and that means that Valentine’s Day is just a few days away. I used to think that Valentine’s Day was just for couples to do something fun and take a moment to appreciate each other. I still believe that part is true, but now that I am a family man with two daughters, I have come to view this day as an opportunity to share your love with more than just your sweetheart. To me it’s about taking that time and making that effort to show all of our loved ones how much we care about them and appreciate having them in our lives. It’s the people around us who care for us, and love us that make this life great. Don’t forget to take the time on Valentine’s day, or any other day for that matter, to share your appreciation with the ones you love. [Read more…]

New Year, New Home Trends: Present Market Analysis for Homes in San Ramon

Real Estate Marketing Trends for Homes in San Ramon for 2014

With the start of a new year, many homeowners and those looking to purchase a home are watching with interest the current trends of the housing market in San Ramon compared to last year.  The news is positive for many sellers, as home trends are showing an increase in not only the price per square foot for homes in San Ramon, but also an increase in the price of median home sales.

At the beginning of January 2014, the average price per square foot for a home in San Ramon was $371 according to reports by Trulia.  This shows a 23.3% increase compared to the same period and the same geographical location last year.  Median home sales prices from October 13-January 14, 2013 averaged $745,000, an increase of $93,000 compared to similar homes a year ago. [Read more…]

San Ramon Valley Events – January 2014

Happy New Year!

Believe it or not 2014 is here and the days are already ticking away. There are lots of great events coming up this month, so make sure you take some time to do something fun. If you have an event you would like to have us include please let me know and I will be sure to add it in. I wish you a very happy and prosperous new year and I hope to see you at a community event soon!

Interested in receiving this by email?  Sign up here for the San Ramon Valley Events email list.Hope to see you at a community event soon!

Mike Continillo
Villa Properties [Read more…]

Preparing to Sell Your San Ramon Home in Winter

Preparing to Sell Your San Ramon Home in WinterThe chilly nights encompassing San Ramon as of late remind us that we are in the throes of winter.  This news is great for skiers and lovers of the cold, but creates a bit of anxiety for those having to put their home on the market during the colder months.

Ideally, February through May is the best time to list your home, but the reality is that people have to move at all times of the year and can’t wait for spring. [Read more…]

The Time Couldn’t Be Better to Sell

Sell San Ramon Home

Is now a time to sell?  In the past, the answer to this question has often been contingent on a variety of factors; this is not one of those times.  In short, now is most definitely the time to sell.  In fact, it has been years since we have had such a strong seller’s market.

So what’s so special about now?  The largest single factor is that there is a shortage of homes on the market in the Bay Area.  The old simple rule of supply and demand is being well demonstrated. It’s interesting to note that this trend is holding true in many other areas of the country as well. [Read more…]

Q&A with San Ramon Real Estate Broker – Mike Continillo

San Ramon Real Estate Broker Mike ContinilloSan Ramon Real Estate Broker – Mike Continillo

Mike Continillo is a San Ramon Real Estate Broker and co-owner of Villa Properties.  To provide a better perspective of the San Ramon and the San Ramon Real Estate market, we asked Mike a few questions:

Why you decided to open up a location in San Ramon?

I was born and raised in The San Ramon Valley, so I know what a great place this is to live. I moved away for a few years, but have returned back with my family, and I am very happy to be back home.

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Things to Consider When Choosing a San Ramon Real Estate Agent

San Ramon Real Estate Agent

Choosing the right San Ramon Real Estate Agent:


When it comes time to find a San Ramon real estate agent and get down to buying or selling a home, there are certainly quite a few things to consider. After all, your home is typically your largest and most important investment – not to mention the place where you spend most of your time! Because of that, it’s critical that you make it a point to make a wise decision with your home and what you choose when it comes to picking a real estate agent.

But with real estate agents, how can you tell the good from the bad? And what can you do to pick one that will work for you? Here are just a few major ideas to work with when it comes to picking the best real estate agent for your needs:

Their Experience

First and foremost, experience matters! If it didn’t, after all, you could pick any old person to be an agent – but that’s just not the case. Pick an agent based on their experience and background, as they can parlay that experience into working for you when it comes to getting a good deal and a good price for your home, and a great experience for your real estate event.  Don’t forget to review their realtor testimonials.

Their Familiarity With Your Neighborhood

Is your real estate agent familiar with your neighborhood? Do they know what is going on and what is happening with your neighborhood, and home values and prices in the area? A good agent will fully understand the neighborhood, and realize how to get the most out of your home in due time – make sure that you have an agent who can fully understand this, and pull up what needs to be pulled up when it comes to applicable numbers and trends in your community.

Is There a Relationship?

When you work with a San Ramon real estate agent, you may be spending quite a bit of time with this person showing your house off, preparing it for sale, and seeing other homes in the area. For that reason, it’s critical that you have a relationship with that person, and a full and complete friendship with them that gets off on the right foot. If you don’t like your real estate agent, it may be more difficult to find common ground with them – make it a point to find and build a relationship with a realtor that you can trust and enjoy being around!

Are Your Goals In Alignment?

Finally, are your goals in alignment? Do they know your price point, the amount of sale you’d like to make, and your eventual goals for both buying and selling? If the agent’s goal is to sell as quickly as possible for the first offer, and you want to sell for the highest price even if it takes a longer amount of time, your goals may clash and you may not be in alignment. Make sure that any good real estate agent is on the same page as you are to ensure a good experience when it comes to choosing a real estate agent for your needs!

Looking for a San Ramon Real Estate Agent?  Villa Properties can help.  Email us today or call (925)519-0794  for a free comparative market analysis to help you understand the real value of your current home.

Time to Sell Your San Ramon Home? A few things to consider first:

sell your san ramon home

How do you know if it is the right time to sell your San Ramon home?

So you’ve finally made the decision, and you think you are ready to sell your San Ramon home. That’s great – congratulations! That being said, though, there are a few things that you need to consider before you can sell the home and make the move, and there are a few important things you have to take into account to make sure you are ready to sell your home. Let’s review:

How much is your current home worth?

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