Real Estate Information

San Mateo County Real Estate

Samia S. Morgan


Displaying blog entries 1511-1520 of 1537

San Francisco Bay Area Resources - Part 1 - Community & Government

by Samia S. Morgan

Here are just a few of the many Internet links that make up the online world of San Francisco Bay Area. I invite you to explore our community and learn more about the history and culture of our beautiful area.

City of San Carlos-The City of Good Living
Welcome to Redwood City
Welcome to Belmont, California
Welcome to the City of San Mateo
San Mateo Chamber Of Commerce
South County Fire Authority
San Carlos Police Department
Menlo Park
Palo Alto
Portola Valley
Los Altos

If you have any questions or suggestions of other links you would like to see here, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Top 10 Packing Tips

by Samia S. Morgan
When you decide to make a move to a new home there are a number of things to take care of including the dreaded packing. Not many people enjoy this process, but it can be a lot less stressful if you are organized and make a plan.


Here are a few tips to get you started.


  1. Plan ahead and budget for the move. Will you be moving yourself or will you require the assistance of a moving company? If you are planning to use a moving company it’s a good idea to price this out ahead of time.


  1. Make sure you have plenty of the following: strong packing boxes (more than you think you will need), markers and tags to label boxes, rolls of packing tape, bubble wrap for fragile items, packing paper, scissors and a knife for opening boxes.


  1. Pack room-to-room keeping similar items together.


  1. Use smaller boxes for heavier items so it is easier to lift.


  1. You can use towels, linens and curtains to line the bottom and sides of boxes with fragile items. All fragile items should be individually wrapped. Clearly mark these boxes FRAGILE.


  1. Make sure that any opened boxes or jars are tightly sealed before packing them.


  1. Use colorful tags to identify the contents of the box and which room it will be taken to in your new home.


  1. Pack any rugs last so that they will be the first thing unpacked and placed in the home.


  1. Make a master list of all household items and personal belongings.


  1. Finally pack a box with all the essentials and mark it “Open Me First”. This box may contain items such as: a few basic tools (flashlight, pocket knife, masking tape, light bulbs), bathroom essentials (toilet paper, soap, shampoo, toothbrushes & paste, hand towel), Kitchen items (paper towels, coffee maker & filter, paper plates, cups, utensils, pet food, trash bags).


Planning ahead will make all the difference to an overwhelming move. Do your research and make a plan.

Selling Your Home During the Holiday Season

by Samia S. Morgan

Are you trying to sell your home during the holiday season or will you take it off the market until after the New Year?


Some people will argue that leaving it on the market over the holidays is a perfect way to weed out the “looky-loos” from the more serious buyers. Others think that leaving your home on the market during the holiday’s make you appear desperate to sell.


Discuss the pros and cons of both arguments with your Realtor® to decide what would be best for you and your home. In the event that you both feel it is in your best interest to leave your home on the market over the holidays, below are a few tips to consider when it comes to holiday decorating.


As most of us like to decorate our homes with lights, Christmas trees, and holiday scents during the Christmas season, this doesn’t always work well with properly staging your home for potential buyers. Keep the following in mind:


  • Curb appeal is still important. Try not to “over decorate” your front yard. A few lights on the house should be sufficient. You want your front yard to be inviting, not cluttered.


  • Interior decorations should be kept to minimum. You don’t want to take away from the many features of the home, by covering them up with decorations.


  • If you are use to having a beautiful large Christmas tree in your front window, you might want to consider scaling down the size of the tree or possibly getting rid of it all together and use festive table centerpieces in stead. A tree can take away from the real focus of the room and make the room appear smaller.


  • Wrapped present should not be left out. Keep them stored away so as not to add any additional clutter to the room.


  • Instead of having holiday scented candles and incense throughout your home before a showing, why not create some natural holiday scents with fresh baking and a simmering apple cider. The baking and the cider can be left out with napkins and cups as a treat for potential buyers viewing your home.



If you would like more information regarding selling your home during the holidays, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Fending Off Foreclosure - What Are Your Options?

by Samia S. Morgan

It is no secret that foreclosures have increased drastically this year as a result of the subprime lending disaster and a lot of people are wondering if they will be next. For many homeowners there may be options, if they know what to look for and where to look.


In the event that you find yourself struggling to make your mortgage payments, and you fear foreclosure may be in your future, the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) has suggested a few possible alternatives. These options to fend off foreclosure include:

  • Repayment Plan
  • Reinstatement
  • Forbearance
  • Loan Modification

The Federal Trade Commission wants people to know that these alternatives may not work for everyone especially if you are already three or four mortgage payments behind.

For more information regarding the above alternatives visit the NFCC's Homeowners Crisis Resource Center website. They can also assist you in locating a certified housing counselor to explore your options in an effort to fend off foreclosure.


Happy Thanksgiving - Turkey Park Trot V

by Samia S. Morgan

Why not kick start your Thanksgiving celebrations with a brisk 5K walk or run in the fifth annual Turkey Beach Trot. Due to recent events involving the oil spill, the Turkey Beach Trot will now be held at the Golden Gate Park. 

Turkey Beach Trot V
Golden Gate Park, San Francisco
Thanksgiving Day - November 22, 2007

Location:   Polo Field, South Side
(Middle Drive & Metson Road)
Start Time #1:  Kids Gobbler Chase - 8:15 AM
Start Time #2
:  Turkey Park Trot - 8:30 AM
:  5K Run & Walk

For more information visit Turkey Beach Trot.

Wishing you and your families a Safe and
Happy Thanksgiving.

Get The Best Deal When Selling Your Home - A Must Read

by Samia S. Morgan

If you or someone you know is moving to the San Francisco Bay Area, then this book is a must read!

My co-authors - Ira Serkes, Pete Sabine and Ken Deshaies as well as myself offer you valuable information on how to get the best deal when selling your home and how to save thousands of dollars in the process.

For more information how to purchase my book, Get the Best Deal When Selling Your Home - San Francisco, Bay Area Edition, please feel free to comment or contact me.

What You Should Now About Pricing Your Home To Sell

by Samia S. Morgan

The seller sets the price of the home, but ultimately the buyer determines the value. My job is to supply you with facts about what has sold recently and what is for sale now to help you make a decision.

The common pricing objections frequently heard from sellers, really have no relationship to value. Some of the most common ones are: "Another Agent said it was worth more.", "Our home is nicer than those houses.", and "People always offer less than asking price.” Others include "We can always come down on our price.", "We have to get that much out of our home.", "My neighbor was able to get his price.", "Let's try it at our price for a month or so.", "The buyers can always make an offer.", or "We paid more than that for our home."

to proper pricing include incompetent Agents who will accept a listing at any price the seller puts on it. Sometimes neighbors will lead the seller to believe they got more for their home than they did.

Inflationary times
can cause prices to go up rapidly because of economic factors. While recessionary times will cause prices to go down because of adverse economic conditions.

Fear of making a mistake in pricing
which could lead to losing a significant portion of their equity.


Loss of perspective due to the seller being emotionally involved and not necessarily thinking objectively. . A property is worth a value independent of the motivations or needs of the owner.

can cause a myriad of problems in selling a home in a pre-determined period of time. It can reduce sales associate’s activity as well as reduce advertising response from both agents and prospective buyers. Other missed opportunities of overpricing include losing interested buyers, attracting the wrong prospects, eliminating offers, and even helps sell the competing properties by making them look like a bargain.

When a buyer is enticed to pay too much for a home, overpricing can cause appraisal problems. There must be comparable sales to justify the price. Lenders want to protect their investment in case they have to foreclose. Overpricing initially extends market time no matter how important the reasons.

Houses sell quickly and usually for the most money when they are priced properly in the beginning. Things that don't affect value include your original cost, or the cost to re-build the home today. Your investment in the improvements does not indicate a market value either; they may improve the marketability but not necessarily the price.

Personal attachment and sentiment make a house a home but they don't determine value. As difficult as it may be, personal feelings must be separated to arrive at a fair market value.

REALTORS® have buyers waiting who have seen what is currently on the market and are waiting for something new to be listed. Most activity will take place in the first 3-4 weeks of a listing. The excitement of a new property on the market will create an urgency for both buyers and agents to see it as quickly as possible. In many instances the home will receive its highest and best offers during this time.

After that initial period, the only people to look at it will be new buyers in the marketplace. Careful consideration must be given to positioning the home properly in the first few weeks of the marketing.

The purest definition of value is what a willing buyer will pay from a willing seller without any undue forces involved. There are different values for specific purposes such as insurance, taxes, or to determine a sales price.
An appraisal will use two basic approaches to value. The cost approach considers what it will cost to rebuild the home today and depreciate it for its age and condition. However, the more popular approach is market value. This looks at homes similar to the subject that has sold recently.

Knowing that past performance is important to establishing value, supply and demand of the current homes on the market also play a factor. Many homeowners find it helpful to look at the similar homes currently for sale before putting a price on their home.

15 Things Every Buyer Should Know Before Purchasing

by Samia S. Morgan

Buying a new home is a big decision and it is important to educate yourself and weigh all your options regarding a home purchase. Below is a list of the top 15 things you should keep in mind before purchasing your next home.

  1. Property taxes and qualified home interest are deductible on an individual's federal income tax return.


  1. Many times, a home is the largest asset an individual has and is considered one of the safest investments available.


  1. A homeowner can exclude up to $500,000 of capital gain if married, filing jointly or up to $250,000 if single or filing separately. The home must have been the taxpayer's principal residence for the previous two years.


  1. A portion of each amortized mortgage payment goes to principal which is an investment.


  1. A home is one of the few investments that you can enjoy by living in it.


  1. The majority of the time a REALTOR® can show you any home whether it is listed with a company, a builder, or even a For Sale by Owner.


  1. Working through a REALTOR® to purchase a For Sale by Owner can be very advantageous because someone can be looking out for your best interests.


  1. A real estate professional who can provide you financial information with a computer will give you a distinct advantage in making the right decisions.


  1. A pre-approval program will actually approve you for a specific loan amount subject to the property. This will give you confidence and should help in negotiating with the seller.


  1. Your real estate professional can provide you with a list of items you'll need to make a loan application so you'll be ready when the time comes.


  1. The right to conduct a property inspection, included in your sales contract, will give you the ability to negotiate with the seller before spending money to have a professional inspect the property.


  1. A Home Protection Plan can provide coverage for selected items such as central heat and air conditioning, interior plumbing, built-in appliances, pool equipment, and other things. If the seller is not providing this coverage, you can purchase it yourself.


  1. Ask the real estate professional for a list of buyers that he or she has helped. Call several names to verify that you'll receive good service.


  1. Ask the real estate professional if they are familiar with the neighborhoods you want to live in. Ask how many homes they have sold there in the past year.


  1. Ask the real estate professional who he or she is representing in the transaction.

For more information regarding purchasing or selling a home, please do not hestiate to contact me.

Halloween Fun Fest - Downtown San Mateo

by Samia S. Morgan

Come join the many activities in the US Bank parking lot for Halloween Fun Fest presented by Smalltown. Throw on your Halloween costume and partake in an ghoulish good time with games, music and plenty of activities.


  • Pumpkin Patch
  • Pumpkin Decorating
  • Face Painting
  • Jump Houses
  • Costume Pageant
  • and more...

When: Saturday, October 27th

Time: 11:00 am to 2:00 pm

Where: 3rd and San Mateo Drive

For more information visit the Downtown San Mateo Association website.


Home Inspections Part II - What Does The Home Inspector Look For?

by Samia S. Morgan

In this second installment of Home Inspections you will learn of the types of things your Home Inspector will look for when preparing your home inspection report. Your Home Inspector will perform a “visual” inspection to determine the condition of your home. To better understand what may be included in your report the Home Inspector will look at the following areas of your home.


  • Foundation and Framing
  • Roofing and Flashing
  • Gutters and Drainage
  • Siding
  • Decks and/or Porches
  • Driveways and Sidewalks
  • Doors and Windows
  • Stairs and Railings
  • Ceilings and Walls
  • Electrical
  • Plumbing
  • Heating and A/C
  • Ventilation
  • Attics
  • Basement
  • Garage

Don't forget to check out Home Inspections Part I to learn how to interview a potential Home Inspector.

Displaying blog entries 1511-1520 of 1537




Contact Information

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