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

NAR Real Estate Forecast Summit: 2020 Consensus Forecast

2020 Consensus Economic & Real Estate Forecast

Fourteen economic and housing market experts were asked to give their housing market forecast for 2020 and 2021.

These economists predicted a 29% probability of a recession in 2020 with forecasted Gross Domestic Product growth of 2.0% in 2020 and 1.9% in 2021. The group expects an annual unemployment rate of 3.7% next year with a small rise to 3.9% in 2021.


When asked if the Federal Open Market Committee will change the federal funds rate in 2020, 69% of the economists said they expect no change, while 31% expect the committee will lower the rate next year.


Infographic: 2019 NAR Real Estate Summit Consensus Forecast


The average annual 30-year fixed mortgage rates of 3.8% and 4.0% are expected for 2020 and 2021, respectively. Annual median home prices are forecasted to increase by 3.6% in 2020 and by 3.5% in 2021.


“Real estate is on firm ground with little chance of price declines,” said NAR’s Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. “However, in order for the market to be healthier, more supply is needed to assure home prices as well as rents do not consistently outgrow income gains.”


Apartment rents are expected to rise 3.8% and 3.6%, respectively, in 2020 and 2021. According to the group of economists, annual commercial real estate prices will climb 3.6% in 2020 and 3.4% in 2021.


“Residential and commercial real estate investment remains attractive as we approach the start of a new decade,” said NAR President Vince Malta, broker at Malta & Co., Inc., in San Francisco, CA. “Increased home building can serve as a stimulator for the overall economy, and we strongly encourage more homes to be built as buyer demand remains strong.”

Top 10 #Outperforming #Markets#Metro Areas NAR Expects Home Price Appreciation to Outpace in the Next 3 to 5 Years. http://ow.ly/ffgT50xxS0b #NARForecastSummit

NAR identified the top 10 metro areas based on a myriad of factors, including domestic migration, #housing #affordability for new residents, consistent job growth relative to the national average, population age structure, attractiveness for retirees and #home #price #appreciation, among other variables.

“Potential #buyers in these 10 markets will find conditions especially favorable to purchase a home going into the next decade,” said NAR President Vince Malta, broker at Malta & Co., Inc., in San Francisco, CA. “The #dream of #owning a home appears even more attainable for those who move to or are currently living in these markets.”

Strong job growth is one factor driving up prices in these markets, with payroll #employment rising about 2.5% annually in the last three years, higher than the national rate of 1.6%. In Ogden, Las Vegas, Dallas, and Raleigh, job growth rose nearly 3%.1

Movers flock to these markets at higher rates than the average of the 100 largest U.S. metro areas. In Colorado Springs, recent movers accounted for 21% of the total population, followed by Fort Collins at 17% and Las Vegas at 16%.


#CarlosFCamargoPhD, #REALTOR® DRE #01988431 | www.carlosfcamargo.net
#GDP #wagegrowth #income #mortgagerates #homeprices #multifamily #apartments #rents #BHGReliancePartners
Posted on December 12, 2019 at 4:39 PM
Carlos Camargo | Category: Credit & Home Finance, Credit & Home Finance, Investment Property, Real Estate Market Update

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 | Category: Buying a House, Credit & Home Finance, First-time Buyer, Investment Property

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 | Category: Credit & Home Finance, Credit & Home Finance, Glossary of Housing & RE Terms, Home Care & Maintenance, Investment Property



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 | Category: Home Care & Maintenance, Investment Property, Selling a House

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.

No alt text provided for this image

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.

No alt text provided for this image


No alt text provided for this image



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.
No alt text provided for this image
No alt text provided for this image
Posted on September 15, 2019 at 9:49 PM
Carlos Camargo | Category: Home Care & Maintenance, Selling a House

Five things you get when you work with me as your listing agent


When you have made the decision to sell your home an experienced Real Estate professional can save you both time and money.
I can help you:
– Navigate the whole ordeal with a smile & sense of humor
– Choose the right time to list your house or condo
– Determine the value and set the price of your home
– Prepare a marketing plan
– Increase curb appeal and make your home more marketable
– Arrange showings of your property
– Explain and negotiate Offers
When you are ready to sell, contact me and we can begin the process.
As your REALTOR®, my job is to get the best price the market will provide, in the shortest period of time and to have the sale completed successfully for my clients.
I will provide my Sellers all the research & comparative sales information they need to understand the true market value of the biggest single investment they may have.
To do my job of Marketing and Advertising your property to as many Buyers and Agents as possible. From a Virtual Tour on the the Multiple Listing Service and the Internet. Full colored and professionally finished Feature Sheets. Delivering For Sale notice flyers through-out the immediate neighbourhood and holding both Agent and Public Open Houses.
To always be ready to meet prospective buyers and give them my personal attention.
To help you prepare your home for showing.
I will explain all the legalese of the Documents you will be dealing with and will be signing so that you will understand why we have them.
Explain how an Offer Presentation works and what to expect from other Agents and their clients.
To take the stress and strain out of the entire process of selling your property to its final and successful completion.
🏠 Visit: www.carlosfcamargo.net | Call: 510.798.5016
#BHGRE #CarlosFCamargoPhD #RealEstate #RealEstateAgent #RealEstateBroker #RealEstateLife #NoPlaceLikeHome_EastBay #OaklandCA #Realtor #RealEstateForSale #RealEstateExpert #Broker #HomeForSale #HouseForSale #PropertyForSale #realestatemarket #HouseHunting #ExpectBetter #BHGRealEstate #bayarea #BHGReliancePartners #contracostacounty #alamedacounty #reliancepartnersbhgre #RealEstateLifeStyle #RealEstateTips #successtips #home #HomeDecor #HomeDesign
Posted on August 31, 2019 at 3:54 PM
Carlos Camargo | Category: Selling a House

1st Half of 2019 – California Housing Affordability

2019-Q2 CA Housing Affordability – https://lnkd.in/eE2k2_J

The percentage of home buyers who could afford to purchase a median-priced, existing single-family home in California in second-quarter 2019 dipped to 30% from 32% in the first quarter of 2019 but was up from 26% in the second quarter a year ago, according to C.A.R.’s Traditional Housing Affordability Index (HAI). California’s housing affordability index hit a peak of 56 percent in the second quarter of 2012.

C.A.R.’s HAI measures the percentage of all households that can afford to purchase a median-priced, single-family home in California. C.A.R. also reports affordability indices for regions and select counties within the state. The index is considered the most fundamental measure of housing well-being for home buyers in the state.

A minimum annual income of $122,960 was needed to qualify for the purchase of a $608,660 statewide median-priced, existing single-family home in the second quarter of 2019. The monthly payment, including taxes and insurance on a 30-year, fixed-rate loan, would be $3,070, assuming a 20% down payment and an effective composite interest rate of 4.17%. composite interest rate was 4.62% in first-quarter 2019 and 4.70% 2Q-19

🏠 Visit: www.carlosfcamargo.net | Call: 510.798.5016

#BHGRE #CarlosFCamargoPhD #RealEstate #RealEstateAgent#RealEstateBroker #RealEstateLife #NoPlaceLikeHome_EastBay#OaklandCA #Realtor

Posted on August 30, 2019 at 9:10 PM
Carlos Camargo | Category: Buying a House, Credit & Home Finance, Español - Comprar Vivienda, First-time Buyer, N.A.R. - C.A.R. Update, Real Estate Market Update



Does your kitchen make you feel like you’re stepping into a time warp? Are you sick of the way it looks and the way it makes you feel? Are you avoiding your decades-old kitchen and opting to eat out more?

It’s time to make some changes. Here are seven easy ways to update the look of your kitchen so you’ll enjoy spending time cooking and eating—even if you are on a budget!


1. Let There Be Light

A welcoming kitchen is a light and bright kitchen. No one wants to prepare food, cook, or eat in a cave. So let the sunshine in!

Remove heavy or dark window treatments and go with light, white and bright colors. Or consider “naked” kitchen windows.

Add more light with inexpensive under-counter strips and led lighting on open shelves to help brighten your workspace. Easy-to-install plug-in pendant lights or track lighting are budget-friendly options for illuminating cabinets and countertops.

If you have an overhead light fixture or recessed can lighting, ramp up the wattage of bulbs, because “soft lighting” doesn’t cut it in the kitchen.


2. Clear the Clutter

Few things make a kitchen look as dated as crowded countertops and random clutter. Open surfaces will give your kitchen a user-friendly and inviting appearance.

If a plethora of small appliances is creating clutter, determine which ones you use daily and put the rest away, to be pulled out only when needed.

Eliminate any kitchen utensils you haven’t used in the last six months, either tossing or storing them.

To prevent your everyday utensils from using up valuable counter space, install a hanging bar or wall-mounted canisters. Magnetic strips, used alone or built into wall-mounted utensil racks, will help keep your favorite knives in easy reach.

Find other ways to use vertical space to help keep surfaces clear. For example, cookbooks stored on countertops should be moved to a cabinet or on a wall shelf.


3. Clean

Clearing out kitchen clutter will also make it easier to clean! Kitchens are notorious for accumulating a dingy layer of grease and smoke on the walls, cabinets, and ceilings, which makes everything appear duller.

Start with your windows. Kitchen windows get dirty faster than windows in any other room. Plus, clean windows will bring more sunlight into your kitchen.

Scrub and polish any pans that are on display—along with any other metal surfaces—to take advantage of metal’s light-reflecting properties.

If you have gas or electric burners with worn or stained drip pans, replace them. Make your cooktop sparkle!

Cleaning under appliances and refrigerator coils will make your kitchen look and smell better, while also helping your appliances last longer, saving significant money in the long term!


4. Paint

Paint is the fastest way to give a kitchen a facelift! It’s also an easy DIY, budget-conscious way to make a major, visible change in a short amount of time.

Lighter cabinet colors reflect more light, keep your kitchen looking modern, and offer a clean, fresh background for kitchen activities.

If you have wood cabinets and want to lighten them without paint, consider refinishing with a light stain or a pickled effect.

If you think white-on-white styles are boring, consider going white, but adding a small punch of color or texture for a wow-inducing effect.  


5. Adding That Pop of Color

Accent color effects can be achieved with paint, tile, or other textured materials.

For example, your sleek white cabinets may look great with a backsplash using colored tile, metal, wood, glass, or stone for a custom and decidedly modern twist to a lighter kitchen.

Or, you may prefer breaking up all-white cabinets by using a darker color on an island or a peninsula of lower cabinets. Another option is to paint one wall for a more intense pop of color.

For a cohesive, polished effect, carry your accent color across the room in a couple of other places—perhaps a rug, or pendant lighting, or a large framed print.


6. Update Your Hardware

Old cabinet pulls and hinges can make an entire kitchen look tired and dated.

Most older kitchens will benefit from updated hardware. However, it’s especially important to replace knobs, pulls, and hinges if you’re going to the trouble of refinishing or painting your cabinets.

Go with a modern hardware style or fill the holes and install “push-to-open” hardware that will provide sleek, unbroken lines while eliminating the need for pulls and knobs!


7. Modernize Your Upper Cabinets and Pantry Door

In addition to painting and refinishing, there are other ways to update the appearance of upper cabinets.

For example, consider removing some doors and painting the cabinet interiors to match the wall for a built-in open style that “disappears” into the wall while showcasing the items stored on the shelves.

Or, replace as few as two cabinet doors with clear or frosted glass. Add LED strips to create dramatic backlighting

Consider replacing a standard, hinged pantry door with a modern, sliding door made of frosted glass or a wooden barn-door style.


When you have more time than money, a kitchen facelift is still well within your reach. It just requires a little cash and lots of creative ideas!

Posted on July 25, 2019 at 10:26 PM
Carlos Camargo | Category: Home Care & Maintenance, Selling a House



You’ve found a house you’d like to purchase, and you’re ready to make an offer. It’s time to take a closer look at the purchase contract—perhaps the most important legal document for real estate transactions—and decide how you want to modify its terms, including adding various contingencies.


Contingencies? Yes, it’s an uncommon word. The real estate industry is filled with unfamiliar terminology. A contingency refers to particular provisions in a standard purchase contract. If the condition isn’t met, you’re allowed to back out of the purchase, without penalty.


Contingencies are a good thing, in terms of protecting buyers. They can also backfire if you insist on too many contingencies or are competing with less demanding buyers.


Here are several key points to keep in mind.


1. Know the market.

In a seller’s market (when there aren’t many properties in a specific price range or a particular geographic area for sale), contingencies will encourage sellers to find a more accommodating buyer.

In fact, in a strong seller’s market, some buyers severely limit their contingencies and offer more than the seller’s asking price, potentially triggering a bidding war.

In a buyer’s market (when there are more properties for sale than there are interested buyers), sellers are more likely to accept buyer contingencies.

Don’t know what market your area is experiencing right now? That’s okay. Your Accredited Buyer’s Representative specializes in staying current on that information for your local market. Just ask!


2. Understand which contingencies are common (and which aren’t).

Your buyer’s representative can also provide the best advice on which contingencies are appropriate and commonly accepted in your market. Every area operates under different standards and conventions.  

A few examples:

  • Home inspection – If something is seriously wrong with a house, you’ll want to know before you buy, not after the closing, when it’s too late to address the issue with the seller. Inspections are primarily designed to evaluate the structural and mechanical condition of a property, although specific conventions vary by market. Inspections may also check for mold, radon, pests, lead, septic systems, or other specific concerns. A home inspection (at the buyer’s expense) is a highly recommended contingency clause.


  • Attorney review – The seller, the buyer, or both may request a certain number of days to have their attorney(s) review the contract for sale and the closing documents.


  • Mortgage financing approval – Smart buyers secure a pre-approval letter from their lender before submitting an offer. However, your mortgage financing could still fail to reach final approval due to findings in the property inspection, a too-low appraisal, or a final review of your financial situation.


  • Approval of homeowner association (HOA) documents – If you are buying a property governed by an HOA, you can request these documents before making an offer to ensure the HOA is on solid financial ground. Alternately, this can be a contingency item.


  • Early occupancy (with payment of rent) or furniture move in – If your timeframe requires a critical move-in deadline, such as the start of a school year, you may want to stipulate this as a contingency.


  • Appraised value – The appraisal may come in lower than your offer, in which case an appraisal contingency can provide an option to attempt to renegotiate the selling price. Also, note that lenders can reject your mortgage application if an appraisal comes in too low.


  • Home warranty – A buyer may make the sale contingent on their ability to secure a home warranty on the property. Be aware that some home warranties require a home inspection before purchase to prove that a warranty claim is not a pre-existing condition.


  • Sale of a current home – This contingency requires the seller to agree to delay closing until you’ve found a buyer for your current home. It’s a tall request, especially in a seller’s market. If the contingency includes a “bump” clause or “kick out” clause, the seller can continue marketing their home in hopes of finding another buyer.


3. Watch those dates!

If your contract includes deadlines related to contingencies, be sure to monitor them carefully. Your buyer’s rep will help you stay on top of these too.

Dates matter, since even a one-day lapse could put you in jeopardy of non-performance of your contractual obligations, potentially resulting in the cancelation of your purchase contract and loss of your earnest money.

Add any critical deadlines to whatever calendar system you rely upon, as well as alerts a couple of days before the deadline hits.



“Buyer’s offer has no contingencies.” This phrase has become increasingly common in the Bay Area’s competitive real estate market, where buyers are looking for every advantage to stand out from the crowd. Whether you are the buyer or seller, it is important to know what contingencies are and where to find them in your contract.

In this three-part series, I will explain the typical real estate contingencies and help you identify them in your California real estate contract.

What Are Contingencies in Real Estate?

A contingency is a condition that must be fulfilled before the sale of a home can close. In California, these conditions are typically found in the buyer’s offer. The most common form we use to write an offer is California Association of Realtors (C.A.R.) Form RPA-CA.

Real estate contingencies typically fall under three major categories: appraisal, home inspection and mortgage approval. Think of these contingencies as a buyer’s and seller’s safety net. If a home does not appraise at a certain value, if an inspection reveals a major problem, or if the buyer cannot obtain adequate financing, the parties can back out of the contract without penalty.

In addition to specifying contingencies, your contract will set specific deadlines. For example, the buyer will have 17 days to complete inspections (see below). It will also state when and how notice of cancellation must be given and received.

California’s Inspection Contingency: 14(B)(1)

home_cutawayIn California, the default inspection contingency gives the buyer a little more than two (2) weeks – 17 days – to complete all inspections.

C.A.R. Form RPA-CA, section 14(B)(1) reads:

BUYER HAS: 17 (or ___) Days After Acceptance, unless otherwise agreed in writing, to: (i) complete all Buyer Investigations; review all disclosures, reports, lease documents to be assumed by Buyer pursuant to paragraph 10A and other applicable information, which Buyer receives from Seller; and approve all matters affecting the Property; and (ii) Deliver to Seller Signed Copies of Statutory and Lead Disclosures and other disclosures Delivered by Seller in accordance with paragraph 10A.

During this 17-day contingency period (or the timeframe agreed to between the parties), the buyer typically hires independent inspectors to look at the home’s roof, foundation, structure (termites, mold, etc), and any other areas of the home the buyer sees fit. Contact your real estate agent for referrals to trusted inspection professionals.

If any major problems are found, a buyer may then ask the seller to make repairs or may request a monetary credit for repairs at closing – see section 14(B)(2). The seller, however, has no obligation to respond to either request.

Lifting The Buyer’s Inspection Contingency

After the agreed upon inspection period has passed, the seller must request that buyer lift their inspection contingency. If seller does not obtain a contingency removal, buyer’s inspection period remains in effect, “based on a remaining contingency.” See 14(B)(4). This means that technically buyer’s inspection contingency can remain in effect all the way through the deal — meaning buyer can back out and recover any earnest money deposited with escrow.

Sellers, your agent will likely send a “Notice of Buyer to Perform” (NBP) requesting that buyer either remove the contingency or back out of the contract. This will allow you to move on to other back-up offers if buyer fails to adhere to the agreed-upon inspection timeline.

Should I Write a No-Contingency Offer?

Well, that depends. Has your seller already had a professional inspection completed? What did the inspection reveal? Was the foundation adequately inspected? What about the roof? How old is the home? What updates have been recently done by the seller? Were permits obtained for any structural work?

I have represented Bay Area buyers who successfully wrote offers with no contingencies and I have represented buyers whose succesful offers included more contingencies than are typical. No home is the same and I think your offer should reflect your comfort with the home’s condition, your ability to obtain financing (or pay cash), and your overall risk tolerance.

I recommend that buyers do as much due diligence as possible before writing an offer. There is no substitute for being 100% confident in your offer before it is sent on to the seller. This will set the tone for a smooth transaction all the way to the closing table.


Posted on June 27, 2019 at 10:49 PM
Carlos Camargo | Category: Buying a House, Credit & Home Finance, Credit & Home Finance, First-time Buyer


So you are planning your upcoming spring cleaning blitz? Great! How hard could it be?

You head to the store to purchase a few cleaning supplies, but quickly become overwhelmed.

How many products could there possibly be? A bunch! Many of them rely on perfumes and harsh chemicals to clean and cover odors. Some are “green,” some are “all natural,” some say they are safe for babies, some emphasize the ingredients they do NOT contain.

On the other hand, the internet (and Pinterest, in particular) is overflowing with DIY cleaning supplies and recipes. Some work, some don’t. And some mixtures can be dangerous or deadly!

Cleaning shouldn’t be so complicated. Here are a few basic supplies and recipes to keep on hand, using natural ingredients that work!

First, when making your own cleaning products, here are a few general need-to-knows:

  1. Home cleaning recipes rely on components that are either acids or bases. When combined, acids and bases cancel each other out. Pick one or the other, but don’t mix them.
  2. Mixing bleach with vinegar or ammonia creates highly toxic chlorine gases.
  3. Mixing bleach with hydrogen peroxide can cause an explosion!
  4. Borax is an excellent cleaner, but it’s also toxic. Keep it away from children, pets, and absent-minded adults.
  5. Any acid can etch the surface of any kind of stone (marble, granite, etc.).

Common Components

If you want to start making your own cleaning products, stock up on these basic supplies:

Weak Acids

White vinegar (acetic acid) – If you can handle the smell (which won’t last too long), this is a great all-purpose cleaner! Do not, however, use apple cider vinegar for cleaning purposes.

Lemon juice (citric acid) – If you don’t like the smell of vinegar, substitute lemon juice.

Alkaline Bases

Baking soda – More often used in kitchen recipes, baking soda is a relatively safe and gentle alkaline base.

Borax – Remember, this is a toxic substance.

Bleach – Does not play well with others. Mix it with nothing other than water to avoid toxic gasses and explosions.


How To Use Them

Dealing with Limescale

If you live in a hard-water area, you’re all too familiar with the white, alkaline crust that forms on anything exposed to hot water. Here are a few natural ways to eliminate limescale.


  • Coffee makers. Mix 3 cups water and 1 cup white vinegar. Run this through your coffee maker, followed by a cycle of clean water. You may have to repeat these cycles a few times. Don’t leave vinegar-water sitting overnight in the water tank, as this might harm your device.


  • Faucets and knobs. Soak cloths or paper towels with white vinegar, wrap them around the affected areas, and leave them in place for an hour. Then, remove the cloths and wipe clean. If you prefer, use lemon juice instead of vinegar. Another option is to mix a baking soda cleaning paste (1 part water to 3 parts soda). Apply the paste to the faucets, let it sit for an hour, then wipe clean.


  • Toilets. Pour at least a cup of white vinegar into the bowl and let it soak for an hour. Spray vinegar-water under the rim too. (Equal parts vinegar and water.) Once the time is up, scrub with a toilet brush. Do not leave this mixture sit overnight, since any acid, including a mild one like vinegar, can etch porcelain. Note that you can prevent limescale buildup by spraying your toilet with vinegar-water every day or two. Vinegar is safe for septic systems too.


  • Showerhead. To remove limescale from shower heads, pour white vinegar into a food storage bag and attach the bag to the showerhead with a rubber band. Let the showerhead soak for an hour. Rinse and scrub with a brush. Repeat if necessary.


Freshen a Stinky Dishwasher

  • Remove any food debris from the trap.
  • Pour a cup of white vinegar inside the tub and run it through a hot water cycle.
  • If the door seals have mold or dirt, scrub them with a paste of borax and water using an old toothbrush to get down into the crevices. Rinse and wipe clean with a soft cloth.


De-Stink Your Washing Machine

  • Using a vinegar-water solution, spray and wipe everything down.
  • Clean the seals with soap and water and an old toothbrush or use a borax-water paste if you discover discoloration, mold, or mildew.
  • Remove dispensers and wash them with soap and water or run them through your dishwasher with a cup of white vinegar.
  • If you have an older top-loading machine, you’ll want to clean its lint trap. (Check your owner’s manual if you aren’t sure how to find it.)
  • Add 2-3 cups of white vinegar to the drum and run it (with no clothes and no soap) on a hot water cycle.
  • Prevent the stink by leaving the door open when not in use. This is especially important on front-loading machines with water-tight seals.


Remove Hard Water from Glass Shower Doors

  • Spray vinegar or lemon juice on the glass, let it sit for a few minutes, then scrub thoroughly. If the stain is stubborn, you can use eraser-type sponges to help get the glass clean. Remember: Don’t let any acid sit on glass surfaces for more than a few minutes and be sure to rinse thoroughly!
  • Don’t be tempted to use abrasive powders on your glass. Initially, it may look great. However, you’re also creating small scratches that give future stains a foothold, making it harder and harder to clean.
  • Preventing water stains is the best option. Use a squeegee or a microfiber cloth to dry the glass (and the tile) and reduce the hard work of removing spots later.

Mold on Grout

You can use any of the methods below, but DO NOT combine them. These products should not be used together.


  • White grout and bleach. Full strength bleach is an effective cleaner on moldy grout that isn’t colored. Keep the room well ventilated and use gloves, a mask, and eye protection. Use a stiff bristle brush to apply the bleach and scrub the grout. Work in small sections and take breaks, leaving the bathroom. After scrubbing, let it sit for 30 minutes and rinse thoroughly.


  • Colored grout and white vinegar. Spray full strength vinegar on the grout, let it sit for 30 minutes, then gently scrub with a bristle brush. Re-spray the grout, let it sit another 30 minutes, then rinse well with warm water. Repeat, if necessary.


  • Any color grout and baking soda. A baking soda paste, using just enough water to make it spreadable, will help lift mold and mildew. Spread the paste on your grout, wait 10-15 minutes, then scrub the mold/mildew with a brush. Rinse with warm water and repeat, if needed.
Posted on April 4, 2019 at 10:21 PM
Carlos Camargo | Category: Home Care & Maintenance, Selling a House