Real Estate Information Archive


Displaying blog entries 1-7 of 7

Inspections For Termites

by Samia S. Morgan

In most states a termite inspection is a necessary requirement in the home sale process. If a home has termites, they can create significant damage and even destroy a home if left untreated.

In most cases if  evidence of termites is seen, there’s a good chance the infestation is already quite advanced.

If you are a homeowner and have any concerns about termites in home, the best course of action is to locate a pest control or termite inspection to confirm any problems.. Of course, pest inspections are an important part of the overall inspection process, so make sure you hire an expert in the field:

  1. Check out online or yellow page listings under Pest Control for a licensed, bonded inspector. Your real estate agent can also be helpful in location a company for you.
  2. Request estimates for the inspection cost and compare rates.
  3. Make sure that you get a copy of the inspection report and course of action needed before signing any contract papers.

As mentioned above, most states require a clear pest control if you are buying or selling a home. The inspector looks for termite infestation as well as other pest infestation, plumbing leaks, obvious roof leaks, dry rot and water damage. Make sure that all areas of the home are accessible for the inspector. Try to stick with companies that do inspection and treatment only – and leave any wood repair to carpenters or contractors.


Independence Day In The Bay Area

by Samia S. Morgan

Everyone is gearing up to spend time with family and friends this 4th of July, so grab your flags and head to one of the many events being held in the Bay area this year!

Party at Pier 39

Pier 39/Beach Street & The Embarcardero,San Francisco, July 4th  Times:  3:00 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. Cost:  Free  Info:  Beginning at 3:00:  free live band performances in the Pier 39 Entrance Plaza

3:00 - 5:00:  Mustache Harbor concert (music)

6:00 - 9:30:  Tainted Love concert performance (80's music hits)

9:30:  Over the bay -- City of San Francisco's fireworks show

All day:  Street performers; marionettes; face painting. Free admission.

Fourth of July Waterfront Festival

Pier 39, The Cannery, Beach Street, The Embarcadero & Fisherman's Wharf

Festivities at The Cannery begins at 11:00 a.m. at Courtyard Stage

Face painting:  11:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Live music through 8:00 p.m.

Crissy Field

603 Mason Street, San Francisco, CA

Cost:  Free

9:00 p.m. -- Fireworks show

Info:  Get there early.  Very popular place to view fireworks.  Crowded!


4th of July Fireworks Cruise

Pier 39 Marine Terminal, The Embarcadero at Beach Street, San Francisco, CA

(415) 705-8200

8:15 p.m.:  Non-Alcoholic cruise sets sail from Pier 39

Cost:  Adults - $52;  Child age 5-11 - $42  Family Package:  $162 (2 adults and 2 children)

Tickets available online at or at box office at Pier 39.  Boarding begins 30 minutes prior to departure.



Better Business Bureau - Job Related Scams

by Samia S. Morgan

Interview by Samia Morgan, Broker/Owner Samia Realty Group with Gene O'Neal, President of the Golden Gate Better Business Bureau. Gene discusses the current Job Related scams.

Mortgage Rates Remain At Record Lows

by Samia S. Morgan

Even with a sluggish real estate market, there is good news for homebuyers. Mortgage rates are and have remained steady and are still at a record low.

Qualified buyers can find rates as low as 4.375% for a 30-year fixed FHA loan. 15-year fixed FHA loans are being obtained at 4.5% with zero origination fee. 5/1 ARM FHA rates are at 3.5%

On a daily basis, researches over 2 dozen wholesale lenders' rate sheets for brokers. They locate the most accurate and lowest rates available to those borrowers who are qualified.

The recent drop in stocks have caused the mortgage-backed securities prices to increase which push the mortgage rates down. Most of this is due to investors moving towards safer investments such as bonds.

If you are doing your research on the best rates available,  check out Google's mortgage results to compare available rates from various lenders. 


A $10,000 Reminder

by Andy Block - Mortgage Advisor

Recently I’ve had a lot of questions about the California tax credit, so I thought I’d send along this reminder for you to forward to your clients as appropriate.

Beginning May 1, new California legislation took effect that provides a tax credit up to $10,000 to residents who buy their first home or a newly constructed home.

This legislation has allocated $200 million to fund tax credits for qualified home purchases; $100 million is for buyers of new, unoccupied homes and the other $100 million is for first time buyers of existing homes.

The tax credits are available to home buyers on a first-come, first-served basis. This is an incentive for buyers to act now (as a reminder, the $100 million allocated for last year’s new home buyer program was depleted in just four months).

A notable feature of this year's legislation is that buyers of newly constructed homes may choose to reserve a tax credit prior to the close of escrow. This will become important as California nears the $100 million cap for homes that may not close escrow before the cap is reached. Buyers that are applying for the First-Time Buyer Credit (purchasing existing homes) will not be able to reserve the tax credit before escrow closes. Details about how to reserve the tax credit can be found here.

Below are some highlights of the new tax credit program:

•    Buyers of existing homes must close escrow between May 1, 2010 and December 31, 2010.
•    Buyers of new homes can reserve their credit by entering into an enforceable contract between May 1, 2010 and December 31, 2010. They must file the proper paperwork with the tax board and close escrow by August 1, 2011.
•    First-time home buyers are eligible whether they buy a newly built or an existing home.
•    Current homeowners looking to trade up must buy a newly built home in order to receive the tax credit.
•    If a taxpayer qualifies for both tax credits, the law specifies that that the New Home Credit be applied (only one tax credit is allowed per taxpayer).
•    The tax credit is worth up to 5% of the purchase price of the home, or $10K, whichever is less.
•    The credit will be allocated evenly over three years. If a buyer qualifies for the full $10,000 tax credit, they’ll get up to $3,333 per year. They will need to consult with their CPA for details and eligibility as related to their specific situation.
•    The buyer cannot be a dependent and the home purchased cannot belong to a relative.
•    The buyer is required to live in the home for at least two years or forfeit the credit (i.e., repay it to the state).

Please contact me to discuss your clients' specific mortgage or financial strategies.

Andy Block - Mortgage Advisor & Financial Advisor
Opes Advisors

Email Me

Direct: 650.931.0605
Fax: 650.931.0601

License #01096311
400 S. El Camino Real
Suite 250
San Mateo, CA 94402
Fax 650.931.0601

Opes Advisors is licensed as a registered investment advisor with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and is licensed as a Residential Mortgage Lender by the CA Dept of Real Estate.

Author and Business are endorsed by Samia Realty Group
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Eventhough the official start of Summer is a few weeks away, homeowners all over the Bay area are already in the midst of home projects and lawn care. Below are some tips to help you get your home in tip top summer shape.

  1. Lawn tools and care – make sure your lawnmower and other lawn and garden tools are in good working order. Its a good idea to have a tune up and your blade sharpened. Adding fresh oil and fuel is also a good idea. Consider colored flowers and plants that will provide color in small spaces or on patios if you have limited garden space.
  2. Clean up patio furniture and your outdoor grill, wash your windows and tidy up walkways. Now is the perfect time to create an outdoor living area for your family and friends. String lights or simple lanterns can also be affordable ways to add nice interest to your porch or patio. If you have a pool, make sure your filter systems and pumps are clean and ready to operate at full steam.
  3. Treat for pests – find a reputable pest control company to do a general treatment for summertime bugs like spiders and mosquitoes; invest in citronella candles and family friendly bug spray.
  4. Have your AC system serviced – it’s a good idea to have a semi-annual checkup before the real heat of summer puts pressure on your HVAC system.
  5. Make sure your home is energy efficient – check weather stripping and window seals and make sure that none of that cool air inside is escaping outside; keep your temperatures moderate in the house so that your systems don’t go into overdrive during the hottest part of the day.

Enjoy the treats of long summer days – both indoor and outdoor comforts and pleasures. Summer always goes fast!



Dealing With Loan Denials

by Samia S. Morgan

Obtaining financing for a new home can be a challenge in this difficult economy. Many mortgage lenders have tightened their requirements. However, it is important for homebuyers to realize that it isn't always the lenders fault. Of course they would like potential customers to assume that they will be approved but the loan industry is a very risky one right now and they have to protect their assets. 

Many potential homebuyers are finding that their application has been denied, so if you have been denied recently or in the past for a loan, it's time to take control of the situation. Educate yourself, ask questions and do your research to help change that NO answer to a YES answer! Here, to help you out are some suggestions.

  • Consider a co-signer if your income simply is not high enough to qualify for the actual loan. The co-signer's income can possibly be considered as an amount towards your loan regardless if the person is living with you or helping you pay the actual bill. In many cases, the cosigner might also be able to compensate for your low credit. It is important however to understand that there are risks for your cosigner and if you default on your mortgage, the lender can actually in turn go after your cosigner for the full amount!
  • Wait it out.  Sometimes the best advice you can get, especially if the conditions in the housing market is slow or the economy is bad, is to simply wait. Oftentimes when conditions improve in the economy, the lenders will be more willing to let you "borrow" the money for your loan. While you are waiting, you can take this time to work on your credit score. While you are waiting, home prices could also drop!
  • Consider a less expensive property. We all want what we want, but you might have a better chance of being approved if you switch to a less expensive option. For example, if you wanted a house, but you cannot wait and you cannot qualify for the loan, you might consider switching to a smaller home or to a town home instead. Later on down the line when your financial situation improves, then you can trade up the property and move to the location and home you really want to.
  • Apply with a different lender. The world is full of lenders, if you don't like what one says or you get denied - try someone else! However, if every single lender you go to denies you, you should become aware that it is for a reason - in fact, if they all list the same reason then you will know what you need to fix.  Use common sense and stay away from predatory lenders. We have heard some pretty scary stories about these places - so just don't do it. You could literally be signing your life away.

Keep in mind that if you are denied, keep trying and work on your credit and then in a few months try again! With a little time, patience and understanding, you could be able to turn the situation around to your favor!


Displaying blog entries 1-7 of 7




Contact Information

Photo of Samia S. Morgan, Inc. Real Estate
Samia S. Morgan, Inc.
dba Samia Realty Group
BRE# 00967165
San Mateo CA 94403