IPM RES 2020

www.indiaparentmagazine.org • Real Estate Special • 2020

Bridging Communities Since 1994

Frances Bosacci Corina Colby

Ann Wilkins


Valerie Aliwarga


Kevin Pickett

Shelly Lynch

Michelle Kennedy

Ben Zoller

Jennifer Alfaro

Mani Singh

Kathy Yazalina

Monica Timms

Stephanie Ahlberg

Helen Chong

Miranda Junowicz

Terel Beppu

Daniela Haaland

Kathy McKenzie

Jim Minkey

San Mateo

San Mateo: a fantastic place to live and work!

Find Value in a Hot Market with Frances and Corina

cially in San Mateo and Redwood City, charter schools with their own unique and innovative approaches offer desirable alternatives. Simi- larly there are a multitude of remarkable pri- vate schools with varying specialties from Pre-school through High School all over San Mateo County. Another extraordinary fact about living in San Mateo County is the myriad of readily ac- cessible, outstanding hospitals, clinics and sen- ior services available to residents. Also, the proximity of most downtowns to train stations, while providing plenty of other public trans- portation choices makes moving in and out of San Mateo county quite easy, be it traveling to San Francisco or to San Jose. The county also hosts the largest, busiest international airport in the San Francisco Bay Area bringing the rest of the world closer. Let us show you the way "Home"! We will guide you every step of the way to gain special- ized knowledge of the different neighborhoods within each Peninsula city, so as to find what is best suited for YOU and your needs.

For the last 30+ years we’ve had the good fortune of living in San Mateo County, one of the most geographically diverse areas of North- ern California. This county has an array of beautiful bayside, hill side, mountain and ocean side cities and towns that continue to marvel us residents, and visitors alike. San Mateo County is a fantastic place to live and work, a mid-point destination between the job centers of Silicon Valley and San Francisco. A plethora of exciting job industries, including hospitality, financial and medical services, biotechnology, high technology, data science, and social media provide abundant career op- portunities. The various Peninsula and coastal cities have vibrant downtowns with parks, shopping, theaters and restaurants. You can enjoy a multitude of recreational activities, raise a family and be part of thriving, demo- graphically diverse communities. The mild cli- mate allows for all year access to the outdoors and city amenities. Of utmost importance to families when buying a home is the character of the school system in which a property is located. Many of the Peninsula towns such as Millbrae, Hillsbor- ough, Burlingame, Foster City, Belmont, San Carlos and Menlo Park offer award winning public schools with high rankings and excel- lent academic and extra-curricular programs. Other than conventional school choices, espe-

Frances P. Boscacci Corina Colby-Panko

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money away every month. Being a homeowner allows you to use your monthly payment as a way to save money, it’s like paying yourself! When I moved to the Bay from Wash- ington DC, I found a house I was really interested in but de- cided that the cost was too steep and that I should wait for a downturn. I would have almost doubled my money had I bought that place and sold it in today’s market! You can’t time the market you need to find the house you want and make the jump. Once you decide that you are ready to purchase, you will find that talking to an agent can open your eyes to much more of a house then you thought possible. I did not think I would ever qualify for a loan high enough to purchase a house in this market but was lucky enough to connect with a very helpful Real Estate agent that helped me though the qualification process, obtain pre-approval and ultimately purchase a home. I am so grateful for the help that agent pro- vided for me and am excited to pass the gift of home owner- ship on. My goal is to help you drive up to your dream home every day, not drive by to take a look. If that’s your goal too, let’s talk!

Deciding between renting and purchasing a home is dif- ficult. Before purchasing my first house I spent years debat- ing with myself (and then with my partner) the desire to have a place of my own with the high cost of making that happen. I did not do much actual research beyond just “browsing” on residential web sites and making assump- tions on what I could afford. I had a cycle of finding a house I liked on the web, using the mortgage calculator that comes on the site and comparing what I could afford monthly with howmuch the calculator said it would cost me. I would then give up in disgust for several months until I started browsing again and the cycle would repeat. I honestly felt like I was stuck being a renter forever. However, you aren’t. I can help you navigate the best path for your future, because, not only have I faced, and over-come, this situation myself but have helped others make the decision that best suits their own goals. Quite honestly, I was not really sold on the need to pur- chase a house. I had a vague notion that paying rent every month was not really doing me any financial favors and every place I rented I had grand designs for modifying into something that would work better for me. But I never un- derstood what I do. Now, owning a home is so much more than having an ability to hang a picture wherever you want or have a pet without hiding it. Owning a house is key to building wealth. Renting a house is basically throwing

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A cross the United States, communities are faced with the challenge of providing the housing needed to maintain affordability and accommodate future growth. In Silicon Valley, where real estate sale and rental prices are particularly high, the demand for flexible housing options has never been more urgent. The solution to the Bay Area housing crisis is, quite literally, in our backyards. Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) - also known as guest houses, in-law suites or granny units - are separate homes either attached or detached from the main house on a residential prop- erty, with their own kitchen, bathroom and one or more bed- rooms. On January 1, 2020, new laws went into effect statewide that streamlined the permitting and construction of ADUs in California. The new law allows for an 800 square foot ADU on almost any size lot, and requires the city to approve permits within 60 days of application. ADUs can be used as additional personal space, or rented out by the month or the year. Size, setbacks and parking re- quirements were rolled back to make the approval process much more simple. If you are a homeowner, buyer or a renter considering a move or a home purchase in Silicon Valley, here are some of the key benefits to consider. Existing homeowners can make their homes work better for them. An ADU can offer affordable, convenient housing for aging parents or college-age kids, an alternative to expensive assisted living options or college dorms. Some homeowners are designing ADUs that are best suited to their own elderly lifestyle, and ced- ing the main house to their younger generation. Families can stay close by, but still maintain privacy with separate homes. Alternatively, an ADU can be rented out and provide a source of reliable income and help to maintaining stability in an economic slowdown or during times of personal financial chal- lenge. By exploring these alternatives strategically, homeowners can meet both their long and short term needs, and enjoy their home more fully than ever before. ADUs are making property more affordable for new home- buyers A recent survey found that 70% of millennials in the Bay Pic: courtesy studio-shed.com

Area who want to buy a home have not done so because they can’t afford to buy. Even with impressive salaries, many Bay Area families simply can’t afford the home they want. An ADU gives real estate buyers the opportunity to focus their search not only on finding a great home, but also an in- come-generating investment. Mortgage lenders may consider rental income from an existing or planned ADU as part of the financing plan for a new buyer, thus affording them a higher borrowing limit. For many renters, this might just provide the path to owning their own home. Savvy homebuyers are already calculating the feasibility of an ADU as a key component in deciding which home is the best value for their investment and the best fit for their needs. ADUs speak to the lifestyle choices of millennial buyers. For many millennials, ADUs are a moral choice as much as

a practical one. Social con- sciousness and the value they place in a sharing economy can conflict with the notion of occu- pying large, energy inefficient properties and commuting long distances to work. Infill devel- opment – building more hous- ing on under-used parcels within existing urban areas that are already largely developed – is a cost-effective, traffic-reduc- ing and community-building

solution to temper years of urban sprawl. ADUs are better, cheaper and faster to realize than ever be- fore. The tiny house movement over the last decade has fueled a market of builders selling reasonably-priced, pre-fabricated homes, making ADUs more affordable than ever. Colorado- based Studio Shed is churning out stylish and customizable ADU kits in as little as 4-6 months, with installation an addi- tional 3-4 weeks. A 1000 square-foot ADU can cost as little as $250,000 including permits, foundation and construction. What’s more, specialized low-income housing lenders are offer- ing mortgages to finance the construction of ADUs, with the goal of increasing the housing supply. Rented out long-term at $2-3000/month, the return on investment is immediately clear. As a real estate agent serving Palo Alto, Los Altos and the surrounding peninsula communities, I am excited about the op- portunity ADUs present for all of us. For many, they are proving to be an integral part of securing the peace of mind and enjoy- ment that makes a house feel like a home.

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Mani Singh

GIVES YOU THE REAL ESTATE ADVISORY YOU NEED Whether you’re a first-time home buyer or a seasoned investor, there are many factors to ensure you’re making the right decision about your pur- chase. If you have ample questions about the process, you are not alone. That said, we checked in with Coldwell Banker’s Mani Singh Bhachu to get his expert opinion on your need-to-know- questions in reference to buying real estate here on the Peninsula and South Bay. What are the top three questions buyers should ask about a home they’re interested in? Mani recommends asking the following questions: • Have there ever been any floods or water damage in the home? protect you from the unknown. Hiring a professional inspec- tor is important to identify any red flags and any unreported issues that could pose a problem down the road. “It is com- mon for sellers to provide disclosures such as home inspec- tion and pest reports on the home. These should be carefully reviewed and scrutinized. Some notes may seem foreign, but the key is not to be shy. When in doubt, ask your realtor or better yet, the inspector who performed the inspection! When should I speak to a lender? “Excellent question, I think right away” says Mani. “What you don’t want to do is find a house first. Even though that might seem to make the most sense to you. Buy- ing a home is a massive decision. No one will know your fi- nancial situation better than yourself”. Your lender will delve into your financials and perform a risk ratio to give you a rough idea of your monthly mortgage based off your income and savings. From this you can see if you are finan- cially capable of ascertaining a loan over a long period. Everyone wants to buy a home, but you also want to sleep peacefully at night. You need to be 100% sure with your com- fort levels financially before buying a home!!” Is the Bay Area real estate a good investment?

• Have there been any major improvements or repairs to the home and if so, were professionals used and do you have the proper permitting? • What is the age of the mechanical systems? What are your best tips to help a buyer negotiate the best price? “Use a realtor,” says Mani. “A realtor has access to a wealth of information and has the proper skill set to help you make an informed decision to protect your best interests and negotiate the best price." How can a buyer make their offer stand out? “Every situation is different and as such, every offer will be unique,” says Mani. “Your realtor is there to guide you and gauge how to best con- struct your offer to suit the negotiation at hand. This is a very relationship led industry. Your real- tor will know your story, build a rapport with the other realtors involved and be able to present you in the best light possible." “Being fully underwrit- ten by a favored lender goes a long way in putting you in a position of strength as a credible buyer.” How can a buyer get a comprehensive overview of the home’s history? “Working with a profes-

“Absolutely. The Bay Area remains a solid market for homebuyers with strong job growth, a young workforce, and a long-term sustainable local economy. This coupled with low interest rates is still a good time for homebuyers to pur- chase real estate”. To rent or to buy? “It makes a lot of sense to own real estate finan- cially.” “With a fixed mortgage payment, a portion of the payment is paying the loan down each month, thereby building equity for your future.” Homeowners can also deduct mortgage interest and property taxes when they file their tax re- turns. And above all you treat your home as an investment especially as property prices appreci- ate over time. You also have advantage of customiz- ing and upgrading the property over time because you own it!”

For more information on the home buying process Mani Singh can be reached at (650)888-0098 or emailed at mani.singhsf@gmail.com.

sional realtor will enable you to have access to comprehen- sive history and reports of the home” says Mani. “A re- altor will utilize propri- etary search tools to help

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HiddenVilla Farm Located in Los Altos Hills, visi- tors of Hidden Villa are able to hike a variety of difficulties, from steep trails to easy flat trail, such as the one mile-long Creek Trail. Or take a walk through the farm and interact with the animals, sign up to volunteer, or have a picnic at many designated pic- nic bench areas.Farming and gardening courses are also of- fered. 26870 Moody Rd, Los Altos Hills Redwood Grove Na ture Preserve This locals’ favorite features sev- eral spur trails, observation decks, and picnic tables. Wan- der the central boardwalk and hillside trail that follows Adobe Creek through a grove of red- woods transplanted from Santa Cruz. Dog Friendly. 482 Univer- Geared for the whole family, park goers find an expansive playground, BBQ facilities, boc- ce ball court, children's play- ground, picnic areas, tennis & volleyball court, and restrooms. 615 Cuesta Dr, Mountain View sity Ave., Los Altos Cuesta Park

The Great Outdoors Just Outside Your Door One of the major draws for buying a home in the Bay Area is our wonderful weather. With average temperatures hovering around 60°F, it is no wonder outdoor activities are part of many families daily activities. Being within close proximity to where those activ ities take place is equally important when choosing a place to call home. Living in Los Altos, Los Altos Hills and Mountain View, you will find a multitude of parks, playgrounds and trail access right outside you door! Los Altos and Los Altos His

With over 90 miles of roads and trails, Los Altos and Los Altos Hills can be explored on foot, horseback, and bike. Downtown

Los Altos has excellent cof feeshops and restaurants for packing a picnic to enjoy at the nearby Redwood Grove Nature Preserve or take on a trek to one of the many peaks up in the hills by Hidden Villa Farm. Mountain View

Tech companies like Google, Intuit, and LinkedIn have put down roots in the vibrant and diverse city of Mountain View. There is a strong sense of community felt in the many distinct neighborhood parks, such as Cuesta Park. Pedestrian

friendly neighborhoods with treelined streets, walking distance to downtown and easy access to freeways make this an ideal location for active lifestyles. For a neighborhood-specific analysis of homes for sale and further questions, contact Daniela Haaland with Golden Gate Sotheby’s International Realty, d.haaland@ggsir.com    

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Foster City, Redwood Shores


F or many reasons, and some of them are because of bad real estate agent behavior, lots of people see the job agents do as simply a commodity than can easily be done by anyone or by your- self provided you read the right blogs or online recourses. It’s also true that dis- count real estate brokerages have dimin- ished the value of real estate agents so buyers and sellers will use their services. I think, especially in this area, that buying or selling a home is undoubtedly the biggest financial decision that you’ll ever make. To me it’s unimaginable to trust that process to someone sent via an 800 number through a do it yourself website. Imagine looking for a dentist, doctor or at- torney and their initial pitch to you is their nice website and an offer to give you a big rebate to use them? I don’t think that cre- ates much confidence in their compe- tence….and certainly not to handle the biggest financial decision of my life.

I think the value of an experienced agent is incredibly important. I’ve done this for 30 years. I’m skilled at it. I have long relationships with competent lenders, inspectors, contractors and espe- cially other productive agents that clearly benefit my clients. My experience makes the process of buying or selling a home easier and far less stressful. It’s also worth mentioning that this is a highly litigious process if you don’t know what you’re doing. Each and every transaction has an abundance of traps if you don’t know what you’re doing. Quite often I think of myself as the pilot on a white water raft excursion. I knowwhere the rocks are and where the river gets more dangerous. I’ve been down this river hundreds of times; I’m familiar with its potential dangers. Yes, you need a real estate agent. The more experienced and competent the better it is FOR YOU.

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Foster City, Redwood Shores

“After 30 years in this business, I’ve discovered that the main thing people want in a realtor is someone with integrity who keeps their best interests in mind. They want a realtor who will keep them informed of the progress of their transactions, who’s accessible, who has knowledge of the market place and returns phone calls with prompt answers to their questions. I do all of these things.”

DRE# 01073312 jim@jimminkey.com (650) 576 - 1732 www.thefostercityblog.com Realtor ® Jim Minkey

Each office is independently owned and operated.

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