Nicely upgraded home in Castro Valley

Castro Valley Beauty!

Beautifully updated and maintained 2 bedroom / 1 bath detached home. Updates throughout include: Hardwood Floors, Updated Kitchen, Stainless Steel appliances, Gas Range, Jacuzzi Tub in bathroom, Lifetime Guaranteed Roof. Kitchen has a lot of natural light. Quiet street. Low maintenance backyard. Separate Living Room and Family Room. Plenty of off street parking. Detached Garage. Great location to SF, Oakland and the South Bay.

Highly rated schools. A must see! Contact Jim Hitcher at (925) 785-8364 for showing information.
20170414_131518 20170414_131529 20170414_131601


TransUnion And Equifax Have Been Fined $23 Million For Deceiving Customers Over Credit Scores

Over the years I have received many statements from clients telling me what their credit scores are. In return I would have to explain to them that there are different credit scoring models created for different industries. Yep, the auto industry has a different credit criteria as the housing industry and the same goes for the credit card world. The same is true for the “Free” credit reporting scores the public may get. Now we get news the Credit Reporting Agencies have been lying to us!  The full article is in the link below.

So what I would like to impress upon people is that while the Free credit reports people receive will give them an indication of their credit score, it will not give us the actual score that the mortgage company will use because they have their own model.

Here’s some additional information regarding the different credit scoring models.


Know About All the Different Credit Scoring Models


Median home price of detached homes in the Tri-Valley and San Ramon Valley cities as of January 2016:
Livermore    $720,000
Pleasanton   $1,027,500
Dublin          $845,000
San Ramon $965,000
Danville       $1,190,000


For more information on all East Bay cities go to East Bay Housing Stats.



Mortgage Rates continue to fall

Mortgage rates have reached a low not since the later part of 2014. Opportunity for homebuyers to lock in a historically good rate for the long term. Home prices will move higher over the long term. There could be some ebb and flow, but taking advantage of mortgage rates at this level for the long term is an opportunity for those that are thinking of purchasing a home.

The Fed raised the Federal Funds Rate…Now What?

They did it! They finally raised the Federal Funds rate. Now they have a the ability to reduce rates in the future should they feel they need to due to economic conditions. But what has happened in the last month since they raised the Federal Funds rate? Some people will be noticing increases in their HELOC interest rate soon, others will see it in their first mortgage either in a couple of months if they are on a monthly adjustable rate or sometime this year if their mortgage rate adjusts once a year.

However, there is GOOD NEWS! The average FNMA Fixed Rate mortgage rate has dropped since the Federal Funds rate was raised in December. So for now, mortgage rates are still great for the home buyer to buy and the homeowner to refinance. The FED says they will raise again and they probably will, but they will do it with a sharp eye on the Economy and of course the Stock Market, which has not fared so well since the hike.

What Happens when the FED raises their Federal Funds Rate?

A quick informational video of what will happen when the Federal reserve finally raises the Federal Funds rate. Will it happen tomorrow??

What happens when the fed raises rates.

I’m on record of saying they will not increase the Federal Funds Rate this year so I am maintaining my opinion, but I must say this is the first time this year that I have actual thoughts that they just may raise the Fed Funds rate tomorrow. If they don’t, it may be difficult to do it in December at the end of the 4th quarter.

Downsizing – Some things to consider

When retirement is here there are some considerations that need to be thought about. Here’s an article, How downsizing can save your retirement, that touches upon some of those items.

Another tool that can tremendously assist your plans in retirement is a Reverse Mortgage.

Give me a call to discuss the possibilities and how it can help you. Whether you want to use it to buy a new home, or just to make it more affordable to stay in the same home you’ve been in for years, we can help.

Difficult decision for retirees

Retirement brings many changes. Your calendar and schedule is far different than they ever were before. It can also bring a lifestyle change when it comes to your home and the affordability of it. A couple of the most common things that affect retirees, and their home, is the affordability of their home and determining if the home they lived in for 20 or 30 years is still right for their needs.

Many retirees also discover that much of their assets are tied up in their home and accessing those funds, which can help them through retirement, are now inaccessible. REVERSE MORTGAGES are a solution for many that find themselves in this position.

I can tell you having recently assisted a client get into a reverse mortgage it has been a life changing moment for her.

Reverse Mortgages can help in many ways. They can help you create better cash flow for things that are important to you. However, more importantly, they can help you stay in your current home by eliminating your current monthly mortgage payment or they can even help you purchase a new home without having a mortgage payment! And all of this can be done with a very minimal qualifying process. In addition, to eliminating your mortgage payment, it can be arranged for you to actually receive a monthly cash disbursement from your home.

Understandably it may not be right for everyone, but it can be a useful tool for people that need to access the equity in their home to maintain the lifestyle they would like to have in retirement.  If you would like to know more about the program and how we can make it work for you, please click on the tab above for “Reverse Mortgages.” Please contact me if you would like to further investigate this life changing tool for the retired.


Have to share….

This is what makes my job gratifying. Satisfied clients that understand that getting into a house isn’t always easy but stayed the course and are in their new home. I have to thank John for his patience and confidence that we would get through it. Here’s his testimonial:

“I would not have been able to buy this home without Jim’s help. While touring properties, he gave his honest opinion and pointed out things (which could impact the value of the property) which I would have missed. Jim helped get my offer accepted, which I thought was going to be the hardest part, in this sellers market. But while in contract, I hit several roadblocks such as the appraisal coming in much lower than expected, my first lender not being able to convince me that he could get the paperwork done in time for the full condo loan approval (and my having to change lenders). Being in a new construction community meant requiring several additional documents to get the condo loan fully approved and this involved a long, laborious process. Jim helped me deal with these issues such as appealing the first appraisal by writing a strong report with pictures and comps to justify our case. When I decided that I wanted to change lenders he personally reached out to her and explained that we were already in contract and running out of time. Even after changing lenders, Jim had to run to different people (builder, hoa and even the city of San Ramon etc. ) to help the lender get whatever was needed for a full approval and ultimately for me to secure the property. He also had the hard job of keeping the seller convinced that we would pull through. My case was unique because I had excellent credit, but was still struggling to get financing. We spoke over the phone almost every day and kept in constant communication as we progressed through this and Jim kept me at ease. Overall, for this transaction, Jim truly went above and beyond, worked really hard and pulled all the stops to help me secure this property. I would not have been able to secure this property without his help and I am lucky to have had Jim as my agent. I would strongly recommend him and would not hesitate to work with him in the future. “

John M. – High Tech industry

Mortgages rates continue to fall!

Great news again for homeowners and potential home buyers. The yield on the Benchmark  10 year bond has now fallen to 1.73%. 30 year bond is at 2.30%. This is a new all time low.

Conversation by some experts were that the yield could fall further and even as a low as 1%. While I am not so sure about falling to 1.0% I do believe that the ability for the FED to increase short term interest rates is difficult and won’t happen this year. Even though they say they will do so mid year to 3rd quarter. For the time being, mortgage rates are getting back to all time lows and this will only keep values in the home market to increase. Not as much in the last couple of years because that was a snap back effect. But at a more normalized rate.

Having a payment based on a 3.75% interest rate for the very long term will become something that lifestyles are made around.