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Sometimes sellers sabotage their home sales.

Usually it’s because they are doing things unintentionally that are making it hard, if not impossible, to sell their home in a reasonable time frame and for top dollar.

And sometimes seller do not do the things they ought to do that would facilitate a sale. 

Here are some examples of how home sales may get sabotaged:

PRICING – this is probably the biggest offender. No matter how nice the home looks, and no matter how much marketing is done, if the price is too high the market will reject you. You wouldn’t overpay for something you see in a store that you know you can get elsewhere for less money, or if you feel it costs more than it’s worth, would you? Neither will today’s buyers! And with the Internet they are pretty savvy about today’s pricing, as is their real estate agent.


AVAILABILITY TO SHOW – limited showing times and days, and requiring extensive notice for an appointment make your home tough to show.


INTERIOR AND EXTERIOR CONDITION – if your lifestyle tends to result in a lot of personal stuff laying around, or your home just does not look inviting inside (need for paint, need for repairs, dirty carpets, etc.), it might make buyers want to run the other direction. This is also true if there is deferred maintenance. Buyers will start subtracting dollars from a potential offer, and will become concerned that there is a lot of deferred maintenance to take care of.


CURB APPEAL – does your home encourage buyers to want to see the inside or does it make them decide to keep on driving? Is the yard a mess? Bushes and grass not trimmed? Junk all over the yard? Will buyers see it as a place that will require a lot of elbow grease in order to make it presentable? Would they be ashamed to be the new owners?


These examples of sabotage send a message to buyers, perhaps unknowingly, that selling may not be your objective.


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When you’re getting ready to list your home, it’s of the utmost importance to ensure you are showing it in the best light. Taking time to highlight its strengths and fix up some of its possible weaknesses can make a big difference in how fast it sells. Here are our top five recommended repairs to make before selling your home.

Repaint walls.

Giving your home a fresh coat of paint is one of the most cost-effective ways to spruce it up, and generally, it can be a do-it-yourself project. Make sure cover any walls with scratches and chips and consider updating any accent walls with a more neutral coat.

Repair floors.

Hardwood floors are a very desirable feature in a home, so you want to ensure they look their best by fixing scratches or dull areas. If your carpet is worn or stained, consider replacing them. And don’t forget the tile in your kitchen or bathrooms. Re-grouting can go a long way in making dingy tile work look brand new!

Refresh the landscaping.

Show buyers your home is the full package by dressing up the outside as well as the in. Clean walkways and driveways, plant seasonal flowers and plants, trim hedges and trees, install outdoor décor pieces and fill in mulch and gravel.

Fix your fixtures.

Leaky faucet? Rusted drains? Loose drawer handle? Making these small fixes can make a big difference to potential buyers with detailed-orientated minds. Improve your kitchen. An outdated kitchen can be a real eyesore in a home. Updating cabinetry, repairing or replacing countertops, and installing new faucets and sinks may be worth the investment.


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Posted on October 14, 2019 at 12:22 AM
Carlos Camargo | Posted in Home Care & Maintenance, Investment Property, Newsletter-CFC |



The Housing Price-to-Income Ratio is an interesting and important measurement of housing valuation and affordability.

When purchasing an asset – whether it is a company through an acquisition or a home, there are two primary decisions to be made:

Investment Decision: What is the value of this asset that is being purchased? In an acquisition, this measurement can be made by using the “price-to-earnings”, or P/E ratio. This is how much is paid for each dollar of earnings generated by the asset. The higher the P/E ratio, the more expensive the asset. The value paid may be deemed reasonable if the asset’s value in the future is expected to rise more rapidly than assets with a lower P/E ratio.

Financing Decision: How will the purchase of this asset be financed? For an acquisition, it may be new equity through issuance of stock or it may involve debt. Measurements may include years to payback based upon cash flows or earnings contribution after financing costs.

For the “investment decision” for a home purchase, the P/E ratio depicts the number of years of family or household income that will be invested to purchase a home. A high Housing Price-to-Income Ratio may depict a housing market that home prices are expected to continue to grow rapidly or it may indicate a housing market that is over-valued. For the “financing decision”, the prospective homeowner will measure the percentage of the financing costs are to the family’s income.

Similarly, from an affordability perspective, the more years of family or household income that one must invest to purchase a home indicates lesser affordability. In this case, the family or homeowner must divert more of their income to paying for the home rather than saving or investing in other assets (e.g., 401k, investment portfolio, etc.).

Below are various charts that show the Price-to-Income Ratio for metropolitan areas across the U.S. The average for the U.S. is 3.7X. That is, it median purchase price of a home consumes 3.7 times the median family income. The U.S. average is shaded in dark blue. The green shaded bars represent markets where the average Price-to-Income Ratio is below the U.S. average. The red shaded bars represent markets where the average Price-to-Income Ratio exceeds the U.S. average.

Posted on October 12, 2019 at 6:24 PM
Carlos Camargo | Posted in Buying a House, Credit & Home Finance, First-time Buyer, Glossary of Housing & RE Terms |



Have you discovered mold in your home? A couple of small spots on your shower tiles, grout, or caulk are quickly and easily removed with household cleaning products.

But what if you spot a larger patch on a bathroom wall? Or inside a sink cabinet? Or under a basement window?

It’s essential to act quickly because this unsightly fungus can rapidly multiply in favorable conditions and create an unhealthy environment for you and your family.

Since mold thrives in moisture, the first step is finding and eliminating the source of water (a leaking pipe, for example) and drying out the area. Next, get ready to remove the mold that has already taken hold.

DIY Mold Remediation

Can you get rid of mold on your own? Yes.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends that homeowners independently resolve their mold problems if the affected area is less than three feet by three feet.

First, however, take steps to protect yourself:

  1. Cover up – Mold is a skin irritant, so shield as much of your skin as possible.
  2. Wear rubber gloves – They’ll protect your hands from mold and harsh cleaning agents. If you’re using detergent and water, regular household gloves are fine. For stronger cleaning solutions, it’s better to use neoprene, nitrile, or natural rubber gloves that extend halfway up your arm.
  3. Use a heavy-duty respirator – Avoid inhaling mold spores that might damage your lungs. The EPA recommends an N-95 respirator, which typically costs $12 to $25.
  4. Wear goggles – Select a pair that does not have ventilation holes, so airborne mold spores can’t reach your eyes.

Next, prepare your cleaning solution(s).

You have many options. Some products work best on hard surfaces, while others do a better job of penetrating porous materials. You can also make your own by mixing various chemicals (like bleach, vinegar, borax, ammonia, and others) with water.

Don’t mix chemicals together! Some combinations, like bleach and ammonia, cause toxic fumes and are extremely dangerous.

If your cleaning solution contains bleach or other disinfectants, be sure your work area is well ventilated.

Next Steps

Once you’ve prepared yourself and gathered your supplies, it’s time to get that mold out of your house!

Work with a sponge or a brush to scrub it off hard, solid surfaces. Unfortunately, mold can stain, so you may not be able to eliminate all discolorations.

Do not paint or caulk over the mold. However, once the mold is eliminated and the area is thoroughly dry, you can seal wood surfaces with an oil-based primer like KILZ then use a latex paint containing a mildewcide to prevent future mold growth.

Porous materials, including fabric, carpet, and ceiling tiles, may need to be discarded if you aren’t able to thoroughly remove the mold.

Know Your Limitations

Some mold problems demand professional attention. You may want to hire a mold remediation contractor if:

  • the area is larger than 10 square feet
  • the mold has caused structural damage, or
  • you can’t reach and clean sections where mold is growing

Prevent Future Problems

Keep your home dry and quickly correct any water problems. It only takes 24 to 48 hours for mold to gain a grip.

Watch for new leaks from the roof, pipes, or basement window wells. Bathrooms and kitchens are also prime spots. Keep an eye on leaks from sinks, toilets, showers, and tubs.

Reduce humidity levels in any damp areas within your home (like a basement). Dehumidifiers lower humidity levels while exhaust fans can improve ventilation. If you don’t have exhaust fans in your kitchen or bathrooms, consider installing them.



Posted on October 10, 2019 at 10:16 PM
Carlos Camargo | Posted in Home Care & Maintenance, Investment Property, Selling a House |



I’ve assembled my clients’ favorite buyer documents in one easy-to-read download, making this the Perfect Buyer’s Packet.
This buyer’s packet includes:
  • The Buyer’s Questionnaire,
  • Real Estate Terminology,
  • Benefits of Home Ownership,
  • The House Hunting Checklist, and
  • The Home Buyer’s Roadmap.


Why you should choose me to be your Buyer’s Agent?  www.carlosfcamargo.net
For most families, choosing a new home is the biggest financial decision they will ever make. There are many complicated decisions involved in choosing your new home. To protect your interests and assure that you make the best possible decisions, it’s important that you have an agent on your side who is an expert in the local real estate market.

As your agent, my focus is on getting you the best possible home at the best possible price. I will work hard not only in finding you potential new homes to see, but also in keeping you informed of everything that takes place. As your agent and a top expert in the local market, I’ll negotiate the best prices and terms for you and answer all of your questions as they arise. I’ll be representing you, not the seller. This assures that my experience and expertise in the local market will be used in your best interests during the negotiation process.

As your agent, I will:

@ Assure that you see all the properties in the area that meet your criteria. Not just those listed on the local MLS, but also many un-listed properties that I find through my local contacts and affiliations.

@ Guide you through the entire process, from finding homes to look at, to getting the best financing.

@ Make sure you don’t pay too much for your new home. As a real estate expert in this area, I help people negotiate and make home purchase decisions every day. I can help you avoid costly mistakes.

@ Answer all of your questions about the local market area. Not just about homes for sale, but about schools, market trends, neighborhoods, the local economy and more.

Let me help you find your dream home and assure your best interests are protected throughout the entire process. Feel free to call or e-mail me with any questions you may have at any time. Fill out this form and I’ll get back to you right away.

Looking to buy a home this year? I can help? Email me at Carlos.Camargo@BHGhome.com

Posted on October 10, 2019 at 7:03 PM
Carlos Camargo | Posted in Buying a House, First-time Buyer, Real Estate Market Update |


Kitchens, Candles and Children & Pets:

Smokey Bear famously said, “Only YOU can prevent forest fires.” But what about fires closer to home? What steps can you take to reduce risks to yourself, your loved ones, and your property? Fire prevention starts with awareness. Here are three home fire hazards that may be lurking in your home, along with safety tips to prevent them.


1. Kitchens

Your kitchen has all the ingredients for preparing your favorite foods. It also contains all the ingredients for forming and feeding a house fire.

The U.S. Fire Administration says cooking is the leading cause of all residential building fires and injuries. Keep your family safe by observing a few kitchen fire safety guidelines.

  • Never leave cooking food unattended.
  • Be sure to power off all heating devices before leaving the kitchen.
  • Keep hot pads, dish towels, paper towels, packaging materials, and other combustibles away from heat sources.
  • Since grease is combustible, be sure to clean your oven and burners regularly to prevent build-ups.
  • If a grease fire starts, smother it with a large lid, salt, or baking soda. Never use water (which will spread the fire) or substances like flour (which is combustible).
  • Store a fire extinguisher in a visible, easily accessed location and know how to use it.

Surprisingly, households using electric ranges have a higher risk of cooking fires than those using gas ranges.


2. Candles

Candles may provide soft lighting, romantic ambiance, and pleasant scents. They’re also a potential fire risk.

To reduce danger, follow these safety guidelines:

  • Trade open-flame candles for battery-operated “simulated” candles.
  • Don’t leave candles unattended and never use them as a night light.
  • Place them on stable, heat-resistant surfaces.
  • Keep candles away from flammable items, including drapes, linens, magazines, and decorations.
  • Avoid setting candles where drafty air currents (from vents, open windows, or ceiling fans) might push a flame toward flammable items.
  • Place candles out of the reach of children and pets.

3. Children and Pets

The youngest and furriest members of your family also pose a fire risk. The National Fire Protection Association says that roughly 7,100 home fires a year are caused by children playing with fire. Start teaching children fire safety at an early age.

Pets can also unintentionally trigger deadly blazes.

Children and pets are often curious. Keep them away from stoves and countertops where they may accidentally ignite, knock over, or bump into cooking equipment. Additionally:

  • If you have a fireplace, add a screen that will hold children and pets at a safe distance.
  • Store matches and lighters out of reach.
  • Install plugs over any unused outlets.
  • Check cords for damage. Frayed cables can generate fire-starting sparks.
  • Maintain safe distances between children and space heaters, candles, and lamps. This is especially important if children are carrying blankets or stuffed animals. Ditto for pets (and their beds).
  • Don’t use glass water bowls on a wooden porch. At the right angle, rays of sunlight can be magnified intensely enough to start a fire.

Other Safety Recommendations

In addition to the suggestions above, consider implementing these general fire safety tips:

  • Read manufacturer recommendations and make sure your space heaters aren’t dangerously close to flammable materials.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher on every floor (not just in the kitchen) and ensure everyone knows how to use it.
  • Make sure every room in your home has a functioning smoke detector.

Home Buying Resources | ABR

Posted on October 3, 2019 at 10:35 PM
Carlos Camargo | Posted in Home Care & Maintenance |

Monthly Real Estate Statistical Update (October 2019)

Monthly Real Estate Statistical Update (October 2019)
+ California homes sales volume to continue down
+ The yield spread forecasts the next recession
+ Active agents & brokers decline

Posted on September 30, 2019 at 11:10 PM
Carlos Camargo | Posted in N.A.R. - C.A.R. Update, Newsletter-CFC, Real Estate Market Update |



A fire-resistant landscape isn’t necessarily the same thing as a well-maintained yard. This type of landscape uses fire-resistant plants that are strategically planted to resist the spread of fire to your home. Fire resistant plants are great in California because they are often drought tolerant, too.

The good news is, you don’t need a lot of money to make your landscape fire resistant. And you will find that a fire-resistant landscape can increase your property value and conserve water while beautifying your home.


Choose Fire-Resistant Plants and Materials

  • Create fire-resistant zones with stone walls, patios, decks and roadways.
  • Use rock, mulch, flower beds and gardens as ground cover for bare spaces and as effective firebreaks.
  • There are no “fire-proof” plants. Select high-moisture plants that grow close to the ground and have a low sap or resin content.
  • Choose fire-retardant plant species that resist ignition such as rockrose, ice plant and aloe.
  • Select fire-resistant shrubs such as hedging roses, bush honeysuckles, currant, cotoneaster, sumac and shrub apples.
  • Plant hardwood, maple, poplar and cherry trees that are less flammable than pine, fir and other conifers.

Check your local nursery, landscape contractor or county’s UC Cooperative Extension service for advice on fire-resistant plants that are suited for your area.





French Lavender

FRENCH LAVENDER is a fire resistant plant that thrives in dry growing conditions. This low-key plant will add beauty to your defensible space landscape.

Red Monkey Flower

The fire resistant RED MONKEY FLOWER yields beautiful bright red blossoms. This evergreen shrub is also drought tolerant and a California native species.

California Fuchsia

The deer resistant CALIFORNIA FUCHSIA has bright orange-red funnel-shaped flowers. This perennial is fire safe and needs little to no water once established.


SAGE is a low maintenance plant that provides fire resistance while being drought tolerant.

California Lilac

The CALIFORNIA LILAC is the name of this colorful shrub. This fire resistant plant is drought tolerant and is covered with small pink and purple flowers when in bloom.

Society Garlic

This common landscape plant is a smart choice, the SOCIETY GARLIC is fire safe and grows in drought prone regions.

Ornamental Strawberry

The ORNAMENTAL STRAWBERRY is a great ground cover plant. This fire resistant plan can be used to give a lush look to your landscape.

Yellow Ice Plant

The YELLOW ICE PLANT is a very low-growing ground cover with succulent, green foliage. This succulent requires very little watering and is fire safe.


The COREOPSIS PLANT is popular due to its tolerance to a wide variety of soil types, Its fire safe, making it the perfect addition to your landscape.

California Red Bud

The CALIFORNIA REDBUD is the name of this colorful shrub. The fire resistant plant is drought tolerant and is covered with small pink and purple flowers when in bloom.


Posted on September 23, 2019 at 12:50 AM
Carlos Camargo | Posted in Home Care & Maintenance, Investment Property |

Statewide Rent Control and Just Cause Eviction Bill Approved by the California Legislature

Statewide Rent Control and Just Cause Eviction Bill Approved by the California Legislature
The California Legislature recently approved Assembly Bill 1482 — a statewide rent control and just cause eviction bill. Although not yet law, Governor Newsome is expected to sign the bill. Some of its major provisions include:
  • Rent Cap. A cap on annual rent increases set at 5% plus inflation, up to a maximum of 10% per year.This cap applies retroactively to all rent increases since March 15, 2019.Any rent increases initiated on or after that date will count toward the rent cap, and if over the maximum, will have to be rolled back effective January 1, 2020.
  • Just Cause. A prohibition on evictions without “just cause.”Landlords can no longer terminate month-to-month tenancies at will and may now only evict tenants for one of 15 specific reasons. The permissible reasons are divided into two categories: “at fault” and “no fault.”
    • “At fault” termination is generally allowed when tenants have breached their lease and does not require the payment of relocation assistance. “At fault” reasons include non-payment of rent, nuisance, criminal activity, refusal to allow entry, and breach of a material term of the lease.
    • “No fault” termination is allowed even when the tenant has not breached the lease and will require the landlord to pay one month’s rent in relocation assistance. “No fault” reasons include an owner or family member intending to occupy the property, withdrawal from the rental market, substantial remodeling and compliance with a government order to vacate the property,
  • Exemptions. The bill’s just cause eviction provisions only protect tenants who have been in possession for a year or more.  Certain types of housing are exempt including:
  • Single family homes and condos if:
    • Tenants have received notice of the exemption and,
    • The owner is not a REIT, corporation, or LLC owned wholly or in part by a corporation
  • Homes built within the last 15 years
  • Owner-occupied duplexes
  • Owner-occupied single-family homes where two or fewer rooms are rented out (exempt from just cause but not rent cap)
  • Government assisted housing

Posted on September 20, 2019 at 3:32 PM
Carlos Camargo | Posted in Fair Housing, Investment Property, N.A.R. - C.A.R. Update, Real Estate Market Update |


Traditionally, spring is considered peak season in the Bay Area real estate market. Families with school-aged children find it less disruptive to move over the summer. Spring is also a time when people are eager to get outside and properties usually look their best.
On the flip side, however, there are a number of good reasons for homebuyers to hold off until fall:

1. Sellers are Motivated

If they weren’t, they’d probably hold off until spring, since April is the best month to sell a home. By fall, sellers who were “testing the waters” with a listing in prime selling season are either eliminated or are now serious sellers.

These motivated sellers often want to get things settled before the end of the year, completing their own move before the holidays. Living “in limbo” for several months can be exhausting and provides another motivating factor.

The longer a house has been on the market, the more likely a seller is willing to negotiate on everything from price, to closing costs, to move-in dates.

2. There are Fewer Buyers

Potential buyers with children are less likely to be in the market once school has started. Other autumn buyers may become hampered by inclement weather, shorter daylight hours, and holiday demands. If you are flexible, less competition in the fall can pay off for you!

3. Lower Home Prices

October may be the best month to buy a home. After reviewing 32 million sales of single family homes over a 15-year period, RealtyTrac found that properties that went under contract in the month of October sold for an average of 2.6 percent below estimated full market value.

While pointing out that specific results vary by location, RealtyTrac found that October also had more “best days” to buy than any other month in the year. Among the top 10 best days to buy, all but two were in the last quarter of the year:

4. The Focus is On You

During prime selling months, everyone involved in real estate transactions tends to be swamped. In fall, however, real estate agents, lenders, inspectors, title companies, moving companies, etc., experience a lighter schedule, giving them more time and energy to focus on helping you. In general, their response time will be improved and your experience may be less stressful and more snag-free.

5. Tax Advantages

Even if you close on the last day of the year, you can apply the property taxes you paid and any interest or points (pre-paid interest to lower interest rates) on a home purchase to offset your income for that entire calendar year. This could be a significant advantage when April rolls around.

Consult with your tax or financial planning professional to determine how to leverage the timing details and other aspects of your purchase to your benefit.

6. Needed Changes and Upgrades May be Cheaper

If you are purchasing a house that needs new carpet, paint, appliances or other upgrades, buying in the fall may save you money beyond the purchase price of the home. Many of these items are at their lowest prices in the fall. According to Consumer Reports, September is the best time to buy paint and carpeting and the best time to purchase major appliances is November and December.

With careful negotiation, you may be able to get price concessions from the seller on cosmetic issues like worn carpeting, faded wall paint, or outdated appliances that exceed the cost of the upgrades, saving money on the cost of the house and getting brand new paint, carpet and/or appliances at the same time!

Additionally, September is the best time to get deals on snow blowers as well as outdoor plants, shrubs, flowers, and trees. September and October are the best time to buy lawn mowers and tractors. The savings can really add up, leaving you with a bit more cash to cover other expenses.

The Best Time To Buy Varies By Location

Remember that the advantages of buying in the fall may be diminished in certain markets. For instance, in Florida where I grew up, you may find yourself competing with “snowbirds” looking to purchase in the area, making fall months less of a buyer’s market than in northern locations.

Posted on September 19, 2019 at 9:56 PM
Carlos Camargo | Posted in Buying a House, First-time Buyer, Real Estate Market Update |

Six Easy Ways to Spruce Up Your Home’s Exterior Just in Time for Fall

Ways to Spruce Up Your Home’s Exterior

When you want to make your home look great, it’s time to focus on curb appeal. With a variety of ways, you can update the look of your home on a modest or limited budget. Whether you are selling your home and want to make it more attractive to buyers, or you simply want to improve the look of your property, focus on curb appeal. With the right doors, lighting, and shrubbery, learn how you can change the look of your home with the right improvements.

1. Change the Front Door

A new front door is going to give your home a fresh look and improve your overall curb appeal. Take the time to research the style of front door that will work best for your home and find a front door that will work for you.

2. Replace Old Windows

Old, tired looking windows can make your home look disheveled. When you want to improve your curb appeal, invest in new windows for your entryway and the front of your home. In addition, you will make your home more energy efficient once new windows are installed.

3. Renew Your Lighting Scheme

Good lighting makes a big difference in the curb appeal of your home. Look at your home at night with the current lighting turned on. If your entryway doesn’t have a clear, lit path up to your front door, it’s time to make changes to your lighting scheme. Replace porch lighting or any other old lighting fixtures to make your home brighter at night.

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4. Invest in New Garage Doors

Your garage doors make a bigger overall impact on the look of your home than you may realize. If you have faded garage doors that are difficult to open, your home may appear run down or dated. Keeping your garage doors up to date tells potential home buyers you take care of your home.

5. Install New House Numbers and a Mailbox

Make your home your own by installing new house numbers and a new mailbox on your home. These are two small changes that will give your home a polished look. Check out some of the new LED lit house numbers so that you can see the number of your house, even in the dark. Small accessories will provide the finished look you want when you are focused on the curb appeal of your home.

6. Focus on Landscaping

The final way to make the front of your home look great is to focus on the landscaping. Pull out any tired or weak looking shrubbery and invest in new plantings. Get any trees that are diseased or out of shape pruned appropriately. Focus on perennial gardens to give the front of your home some color during the warm weather months. Keep the front of your home neat and trimmed to boost the curb appeal of your house.

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Your home’s exterior appearance is the first thing people notice. There’s nothing better than a great first impression! What’s the first thing a potential homebuyer will notice about your house? The great view from the master bedroom? Your beautiful kitchen? If your house’s front exterior is lacking appropriate “curb appeal” it’s unlikely that buyers will even make it through the front door.
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Posted on September 15, 2019 at 9:49 PM
Carlos Camargo | Posted in Home Care & Maintenance, Selling a House |