Wednesday, December 28, 2011


If you’re considering repainting your home in the New Year, look to the great outdoors for inspiration. The color experts at the Paint Quality Institute (PQI) say paint color trends for 2012 will draw upon the natural colors in the American landscape, such as native plants, flowers, rocks and minerals, and the ocean.

Blues will continue to be popular in 2012, says Debbie Zimmer, color expert at PQI. Whether choosing sparkling sea-glass blue or colonial blue-gray, blues are suitable for all living spaces because they are a soothing color that everyone seems to love.

Greens, from sage to forest green, allow homeowners to bring part of the outside world inside. Dining rooms and kitchens are natural spots for different shades of “in-vogue” green, but the color works well in family rooms and bedrooms too.

Violet, inspired by the majestic purple mountains in the West, brings a harmonious combination of patriotic blue and red to the home’s interior.

Violet can add punch to any room when used as an accent color or be the dominant color in a bedroom.

Also new for 2012 is patterned paint, which can be the focal point in a room, or provide a subtle, textural backdrop to fine furnishings and artwork. For a sleek, stylish look, try classic black and white, which is popular in kitchen designs. Home exteriors are also moving to a more monochromatic palette in 2012. For example, shutters will be painted a shade or two darker than the siding.

Despite the new colors and trends for 2012, Zimmer says one thing will remain the same. “Top quality 100 percent acrylic latex paint will provide the best performance and the best value to budget-conscious homeowners,” she says.

We have a great painting company as part of our team, Greg Giesen with Giesen Painting. He has done fabulous work for us at fair prices. We hope you would consider using him as our preferred referral painter. Greg can be reached at (415) 456-0146.

Friday, December 23, 2011

The Goal of Homeownership

Homeownership is a goal for many, whether they are aspiring first-time homebuyers, in the market for a second home or have their sights on an investment property. Whichever your goal, here is some information to help you along the way.

First-Time Homeownership:
81% of homeowners and 67% of renters polled feel that homeownership is the best investment they can make. In addition to having a place of your own, homeownership allows you to build equity.

Investment Property: Many people purchase investment properties with the intention of augmenting their incomes with the proceeds from rent. These properties may round out a growing investment portfolio or provide a second income to owners.

Vacation Home: If you’ve always dreamed of having a vacation home, you may be in luck. Home prices in many vacation hot spots have fallen. While buying property is a good long-term investment, the potential return isn’t the primary reason for buying a second home. Nearly 80% of second-home buyers purchased their home to live in and enjoy, not in hopes of making a substantial profit from investment.

34% of vacation home buyers
plan to use the property as a
primary residence in the future
and the average buyer will hold
onto the property for 13 years.

Source: Wall Street Journal, July 23, 2011

Tuesday, December 6, 2011


Most home buyers begin their search for a new home on the Internet and then contact a REALTOR® to assist them, according to the 2011 National Association of REALTORS® Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers. Homebuyers use a wide variety of resources to search for a home: 88 percent use the Internet, 87 percent work with a real estate agent, 55 percent follow up on yard signs, 45 percent attend open houses and 30 percent browse newspaper ads.

Four out of 10 homebuyers say they first learned about the home they eventually bought from the Internet while 35 percent learned about it from a real estate agent, 11 percent from a yard sign or open house, and 6 percent from a friend or family member.

Neighborhood quality is the most important factor in choosing where to live, cited by 67 percent of buyers followed by the neighborhood’s proximity to jobs (49 percent), overall affordability (45 percent), and convenience to family and friends (39 percent). Neighborhood design, convenience to shopping, schools, and area amenities and entertainment are also important, while commuting costs continue to factor into buyers’ choice of location, according to the survey.

Despite the difficulties in the housing market in recent years, most buyers still believe in the long-term value of homeownership. Nearly eight out of 10 homebuyers say their home is a good investment, and 45 percent believe it’s a better value than owning stocks.