1635976943342574 UA-72458003-1 google-site-verification=bpkXPmzUUBtm0pA_hz68HRCFRNqdIA9eF18eNT7U93w Why Fodor's Travel Says The 'Best Traces of Hip-Hop Culture Are Found Everywhere in Oakland' https://youtu.be/aTsDXAtfXdI

Six Reasons to Own a Home – www.carlosfcamargo.net

Six Reasons to Own a Home – www.carlosfcamargo.net1. #HAPPINESSThe feeling of owning your own home is unmatched. You can fix it up, make it your own, get a dog, or plant a tree if you want. Doesn't that sound exciting!2. #TAXSAVINGSThe government rewards homeowners by providing excellent tax benefits. The interest paid on your mortgage and other home-related expenses can generally be deducted from your income.3. #APPRECIATIONHome values have a well-documented history of going up over time. This increase becomes equity you can benefit from when you refinance or sell.4. #EQUITYRenting has often been compared to paying 100% interest, but when you own a home and a mortgage is in place, a portion of your payment goes toward the principal balance on your loan. This builds your equity and acts as a savings account.5. #ROOTSPeople who own rather than rent stay in their homes 4 times longer. This provides an opportunity to get to know your neighbors and connect with your local community.6. #EDUCATIONResearch shows children of homeowners earn higher test scores and graduate at a higher percentage than those of renters.Conclusion:If you want stability, a sound investment, and a big yearly tax break consider buying property. www.carlosfcamargo.netWhy I should be your #REALTOR® ww.carlosfcamargo.NET#SFBayArea #contracostacounty #alamedacounty #Realtor #HouseExpert #NewHome #housing #BHGRE #CarlosFCamargoPhD #RealEstate #NoPlaceLikeHome_EastBay #Homeowners #downpayment #homebuyer

Posted by Carlos Fernando Camargo on Monday, December 2, 2019


The feeling of owning your own home is unmatched. You can fix it up, make it your own, get a dog, or plant a tree if you want. Doesn’t that sound exciting!


The government rewards homeowners by providing excellent tax benefits. The interest paid on your mortgage and other home-related expenses can generally be deducted from your income.


Home values have a well-documented history of going up over time. This increase becomes equity you can benefit from when you refinance or sell.


Renting has often been compared to paying 100% interest, but when you own a home and a mortgage is in place, a portion of your payment goes toward the principal balance on your loan. This builds your equity and acts as a savings account.


People who own rather than rent stay in their homes 4 times longer. This provides an opportunity to get to know your neighbors and connect with your local community.


Research shows children of homeowners earn higher test scores and graduate at a higher percentage than those of renters.

Conclusion: If you want stability, a sound investment, and a big yearly tax break consider buying property. www.carlosfcamargo.net

Why I should be your #REALTOR® ww.carlosfcamargo.NET

#SFBayArea #contracostacounty #alamedacounty #Realtor #HouseExpert #NewHome #housing #BHGRE #CarlosFCamargoPhD #RealEstate #NoPlaceLikeHome_EastBay #Homeowners #downpayment #homebuyer

Posted on December 2, 2019 at 3:21 PM
Carlos Camargo | Posted in Buying a House, Credit & Home Finance, First-time Buyer, Investment Property |

Top 5 Reasons You Should Become a Homeowner

There are a number of low down payment alternatives Available to help buyers get into a home sooner. Down payment assistance programs offer loans, typically with a low interest rate. Some of them aimed specifically at helping both first-time buyers and low- to moderate-income buyers get into a home. Mortgage credit certificates allow an increase in income by obtaining a tax credit for a specified percentage of mortgage interest. Grants and gifts may be offered by state and federal governments, non-profit organizations, or the local community. For more information, visit downpayment.car.org

Posted on December 1, 2019 at 9:38 PM
Carlos Camargo | Posted in Real Estate Market Update |

SMARTmoves Newsletter | DECEMBER 2019 | VOLUME 3 | ISSUE 12

SMARTmoves | DECEMBER 2019 | VOLUME 3 | ISSUE 12

+ Easy Holiday Home Improvement Projects

+ Home Tip: Let Your Oven Breathe

+ The Lowdown on Mysterious Mistletoe

+ Super (Simple) Peppermint Bark

Why I should be your REALTOR® www.carlosfcamargo.com

#SFBayArea #contracostacounty #alamedacounty #Realtor #HouseExpert #NewHome #housing #BHGRE #CarlosFCamargoPhD #RealEstate #NoPlaceLikeHome_EastBay

Posted on December 1, 2019 at 12:44 AM
Carlos Camargo | Posted in Holiday Greetings, Home Care & Maintenance, Newsletter-CFC |

DISPELLING REFINANCING MYTHS: Reasons to Refinance your Mortgage

“Refinancing” is a scary word for many people, but that shouldn’t be the case for you. For many homeowners, refinancing can not only lower your monthly payments and help with your monthly budget, but it can save you thousands of dollars in the long run.


For years now, we’ve been hearing that interest rates will be on the rise, and although there have been some small increases, you’re still in a great position to drastically lower your interest rate. The general rule is if your mortgage interest rate is more than one percent above the current market rate, you should consider refinancing.


Don’t brush off refinancing just because it seems like a long and daunting process. An informational call with a lender to see how rates compare will only take a few minutes. There are also some programs for streamlining the application process. And besides, isn’t the amount of money you could save worth the time and effort?


Seeing your Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM) increase after the introductory period can be incredibly stressful and place a squeeze on your budget. Many people assume they’re stuck, but ARMs can be refinanced, just like fixed-rate mortgages. You can even switch to a shorter term fixed-rate mortgage, such as 15 or 23 years. The longer you’re planning to stay in the home, the more sense it makes to look into refinancing.


Reasons to Refinance your Mortgage



Posted on November 26, 2019 at 6:25 PM
Carlos Camargo | Posted in Credit & Home Finance, Credit & Home Finance, Glossary of Housing & RE Terms, Home Care & Maintenance, Investment Property |

LEAVE IT BE? Or, What to do with all those leaves in the back and front yard?


For many homeowners, fall ushers in one unavoidable dilemma: What should I do with the leaves in my yard?

The answer depends on many factors, including: 

  • Your community – Do you live in an area that offers curbside leaf collection services? Or, are you governed by a Homeowners’ Association that stipulates fall clean-up requirements?
  • Personal preferences – Do you take pride in keeping your yard neat and tidy? Or, would you rather compromise on appearances and create an environmentally-friendly oasis?
  • Your neighbors – Will leaves from your yard impact the family next door, or vice versa?

All these considerations, plus others, make fall leaf clean-up a surprisingly complicated chore for homeowners.



Reasons To Keep Your Leaves

If you have some leeway in deciding if your leaves will stay or go, consider these reasons for letting them hang around.

1. Leaves in Landfills

According to the most recent Environmental Protection Agency estimates (2015), U.S. municipalities collect over 34.7 million tons of leaves, brush, and grass clippings each year. Over two-thirds of those yard trimmings (21.3 million tons) are composted. The remainder is sent to landfills, along with solid waste.


Environmental experts say that leaves in landfills take up valuable space and contribute to the production of the greenhouse gas methane when the leaves decompose along with other organic materials.


2. Free Fertilizer and Mulch

Leaves that decompose in your yard can add valuable nutrients to your soil, lawn, and plantings. The leaves will break down faster if they’re chopped into smaller pieces, using a lawn mower’s mulching feature, for example.

Larger leaves left in perennial borders and garden beds can act as a weed deterrent and help protect plants and bulbs from extreme winter freezes.


3. Bugs, Butterflies, and Birds

Many beneficial insects rely on leaf litter as a safe hiding spot for laying their eggs. If you remove the leaves, you may, for example, see fewer butterflies in your yard next summer. 

Since birds rely on insect larvae to feed themselves and their babies in the spring, so you may also negatively affect the local bird population.

Clean-up Options

Leaf clean-up doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing proposition. Options include:

  • Use a mulching lawnmower to break down significant accumulations of leaves on your grass. You may need to repeat the process. 
  • Rake your leaves into your beds and borders, then wait until spring to clean them up.
  • Add leaves to a compost pile, either raking by hand or using your lawnmower’s bagging attachment.

Of course, hand-powered tools are a more environmentally-friendly choice than gas-powered equipment, so you may prefer to use a rake instead of a lawnmower or leaf blower.


Neighborly Considerations

Perhaps you’re convinced that it’s time to postpone or stop removing your leaves. But what if your neighbor puts a lot of time and effort into keeping their yard leaf-free?

Fall weather often includes strong, windy days, rapidly relocating leaves from one yard to the next. 

If you’ve mulched your leaves, they’ll probably sit tight. However, if you’ve collected larger leaves in spots amidst your plantings, try lightly watering them into these spaces. They’ll be less likely to take flight.

Posted on November 22, 2019 at 12:08 AM
Carlos Camargo | Posted in Home Care & Maintenance, Investment Property |

smartmoves Newsletter| NOVEMBER 2019 |VOLUME 3 | ISSUE 11 

smartmoves Newsletter| NOVEMBER 2019 |VOLUME 3 | ISSUE 11 
+ Your Guide to a Stress-Free Thanksgiving
​ ​+ Homeowner Tip: Don’t Ignore Your Garage Door
​ ​+ Avoid a Thanksgiving Plumbing Emergency Visit
​ ​​​+ The Perfect Apple Crumble

​☎️ Call or 📱Text (510) 798-5016 | DRE# 01988431
​🦸‍♂️ I CAN HELP! | 🌐 www.carlosfcamargo.NET

#BHGRE #CarlosFCamargoPhD #RealEstate #RealEstateAgent #RealEstateBroker #RealEstateLife #NoPlaceLikeHome_EastBay #OaklandCA #Realtor #RealEstateForSale #RealEstateExpert #Broker #HomeForSale #HouseForSale #PropertyForSale #home #HouseExpert #HomeOwner #Realogy #MilitaryRewards #bhgreliancepartners #military #families #valoans

Posted on November 6, 2019 at 10:55 PM
Carlos Camargo | Posted in Holiday Greetings, Home Care & Maintenance, Newsletter-CFC |

Homeownership Has Its Benefits

10 Benefits of Owning Your Own Home

Homeownership is a rite of passage many of us dream of. Owning a home means putting down roots and having a space that is truly yours. It’s a significant moment of your life when you finally own a home.

But owning a home can be daunting because of the responsibilities and obligations that come with it, combined with the initial process it takes to get there. When done properly, though, buying and owning a home is a process that limits your financial risk, increases your investment power, and saves you tons of money over the long term—and it can even save you money immediately.


Renting has little to no ROI. Renters don’t have to worry about maintaining a residence or paying the mortgage. But if you’ve been renting long term, chances are you’re already performing home maintenance on some level and you’re at your landlord’s mercy when it comes to major repairs. And when it comes to paying the mortgage, there are many advantages over rental payments, which don’t provide any return on investment beyond securing a place to live through the end of the month or lease.


How much is rent actually costing you? Consider the amount one pays over a 10-year period. A $2500/month rental payment adds up quickly to a whopping $300,000 over 10 years, when the same amount of money could have gone toward reducing 1/3 of the debt on a 30-year home mortgage by essentially making the payments to yourself instead of a landlord. Wow!

Here are 9 more benefits to owning your own home:

1. Homeownership is an investment. Unlike a car and many other purchases that decrease in value, a home is a purchase that appreciates over time. While each local market has its own unique factors, the national median home price goes up each year, even in times of recession. As you pay your mortgage each month, your debt amount goes down, while the value of your home continues to rise. This creates the buying and reinvestment power better known as equity.


2. Gain equity. When it comes to homeownership, investment and equity are directly related. As you make mortgage payments each month, part of the payment goes toward the interest, while the rest pays down the principal balance. Equity can be better defined as the part of the principal balance you’ve already paid, or the percentage of your home you already own. Paying the principal is like depositing money in the bank, because that money becomes available for reinvestment in the home itself or a new home.


3. Take advantage of tax benefits. The federal government encourages homeownership (which in turn encourages economic growth) by offering tax incentives for homeowners. The biggest one is the option to deduct interest from mortgage payments on your income tax return, especially at the start of a mortgage when most of the payment is applied to the interest. Payments on private mortgage insurance (PMI) and certain home-related purchases also qualify for tax benefits.


4. Stabilize your housing costs. A fixed-rate mortgage means you’ll have the same mortgage payment for the term of the loan (usually 30 years), while monthly rental payments will continue to climb. And even adjustable-rate mortgages (ARM) have a fixed cap on them. Homeownership also stabilizes other home-related expenses like utilities and gives you more control over your ability to make investments in your property that keep those expenses down.


5. Gain control over your living space. Renting doesn’t usually come with a lot of options for modifying your living space to better suit your needs. Renters with changing needs must also deal with changing residences. Homeownership means you can make improvements to your home, and home improvements usually lead to increased home value, both financially and in daily home life. The power of equity can give homeowners the extra financing they need to reinvest in their homes when cash funds aren’t an option.


6. Increase your own sustainability. Homeownership can help you create a sustainable future in many different ways. Long-term renters lack sustainability because a high percentage of their income usually goes toward housing expenses that are constantly increasing. Locking yourself into a mortgage payment helps level out living expenses, so when income goes up it can be budgeted elsewhere. Paying off a mortgage allows homeowners a long-term plan to significantly reduce their living expenses as they move toward a retirement budget.


7. Stop moving. Homeownership increases sustainability and stability. Moving from rental to rental is a major inconvenience and a financial and emotional burden. Renting can mean that you never really know where you’ll be living next or what your expenses will be. Staying in the same home allows a financial and emotional investment in both your living space and your community.


8. Social benefits. Staying put for longer periods of time also creates social benefits that range from friendships with neighbors to community involvement and consistent educational opportunities for children.


9. Use your investment to make another investment. The equity that comes from paying a mortgage is what allows many individuals and families to make future investments in the same home, a higher-valued home, or second home. A home equity line of credit helps homeowners use the part of their home that’s already paid off to obtain financing for investments apart from the home itself, such as purchasing a boat or RV.

Homeownership comes with a bevy of benefits; these are only a handful. What other benefits have you experienced with homeownership? What makes you want to own your own home?


Posted on October 29, 2019 at 3:19 AM
Carlos Camargo | Posted in Buying a House, Fair Housing, First-time Buyer, Investment Property, Newsletter-CFC, Real Estate Market Update |


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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No alt text provided for this image

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 |