Enter to win the SandyKayHomes DATE NIGHT raffle

Need a night out from the kids? Answer a few questions which will NEVER be shared with anyone else and your name will go into our DATE NIGHT raffle : dinner for 2 and a romantic movie or a $60 check. Have fun with the quiz and there are no right answers! Erin and I will post the raffle result on you tube and send you an email regarding the winner.

young couple having romantic dinner together in a restaurant

Rock bottom Interest Rates are gone …sink or swim?

We are done with low interest rates. Did you know that ALL CASH real estate purchases are up in the last year to 50% in some sectors of the bay area real estate market?


Read why here

Can you afford to own a home?

I’m not talking about mortgage payment here or PITI/ principal, interest taxes and insurance.

I am talking about the other benefits of home ownership and why owning a home changes your pocket book for the better. The  Bureau of Statistics  had some good points.  Read more here…

What they don’t talk about is that home ownership keeps you home because its where you want to me.  Your gas costs, you entertain at home because you are proud of it so restaurant bills go down and the insecurity of having to move from a rental you want to be settled in disappears. Security is what keeps us young and happy.



Why buy a retirement home when you’re working?

Deciding to buy a retirement home while you are still working is a decision that is based on a long term projection of your future income and plans. Here are some of the reasons to buy your final retirement home now.
1. You will more easily be able to qualify for the loan while you have a steady income
2. You can enjoy the home as a vacation home
3. You can vacation rent the home and get a tax deduction and income while you are not using it. Financing the home as a second home and not an investment property has potential financing and tax advantages
4. Interest rates are at an all time low
5. Good development locations are being purchased as our population grows so there are more opportunities now before the baby boomers retire
6. Building costs: materials, labor and permits are increasing not decreasing
7. You are tired of the stock market
Read more…

Should I Buy or Sell in 2013?


Make wise decisions regarding your most important investment: Your home.

Follow these basic 5 rules if you are thinking of buying or selling:

  1. Create a clear financial picture of your ability to buy or continue to live in your home based on income and cost of living increases.
  2. “Carpe Diem:” If your dream home is now affordable or your quality of life will change with a new home; don’t be afraid to lose money on your present home and its sale. The market is not coming back to 2007.
  3. Preserve your credit. Better to short sell and save then hang on and hope.
  4. Choose a home to suit your life style: Decide when to buy or sell based on predicted changes in finances or family size.
  5. Call Sandy Kay, a good realtor – it’s free: She will guide you by providing options for what and when to buy or sell. By asking questions and listening to your needs and desires, she will maximize your dollars by suggesting homes or giving you remodeling tips. She will guide you to the best financial advisers and can provide bank negotiation skills. She is an expert in assessing your home values today or retrospectively. Visit Schools page and get a future snapshot of future value in the bay area.

What do top Realtors expect for 2012:

Hear people say what a good realtor can do:

Call today to find out whether you should be buying or selling in 2012:

Sandy Kay
408 202 0608

Cheaper to Buy than Rent?

In case you are on the fence regarding purchasing a home here are some things to help in your decision:
1. Interest rates are at historic lows with FHA financing in full swing
2. Rents are at historic highs
3. There are an amazing number of statistical benefits to home ownership like improved health and stability for growing families.
Look at this calculator to compare renting vs buying in San Jose

Rent costs in the San Jose area definitely higher than what is stated in their stats and the tax savings on incomes over 100K with owning are understated. From my own experience I rented one of my units in 2 hours on Craigs list at a 10% increase compared to two weeks two years ago.
In general it is important to buy in an upswing area — check out our school maps to find those areas or ask us about what is critical to buyers without children and their investments.

In order to buy you need to save and have good credit. Give me a call to discuss how to improvev your credit score if you know that needs help. 408 202 0608

Best time to buy is now if your income is below 200K

Congress voted to restore the $729,750 jumbo loan limit and return the maximum cap for FHA loans. The higher loan limits make homes more accessible to hard working families with the American dream. Read more…
That’s great news for middle-class borrowers whose combined income may be below $200,000 even if  the spouse leaves the work force to have children. Is there risk with a higher mortgage- sure there is just like there has always been. However if a borrower buyer doesn’t make an effort to improve their living situation they won’t move forward. Risks can be taken while you are young – I have bought homes three times and each time I am broke after I finish. Each time I have recovered and am now feeling quite secure. Don’t look back and wonder why you never found  a place. Don’t overbuy but buy.


You have to ask yourself are you the kind of person that sees the glass half empty or half full. Those who willing to work hard see it as half full – they are out getting more water!Is your glass half full

Find Bank Owned Homes

Without a doubt the number of REO’s on the market are going to increase through in 2016 as shadow inventory  comes to the market. Market Report REOIdeally banks would rent back to underwater homeowners who can no longer afford their payment thereby improving the flow of dispossessed homeowners. One home affordable program set up by Wiel Brien has exactly that idea only rents don’t match prices in the Bay area and holding on to a asset which is losing money is not an ideal solution for investors. They have never been able to get a foot hold in this area which is its own private Idaho.

Buying a REO (bank owned property) may be a bargain but only if you have cash. Banks that lost are not interested in dealing with the time to deal with loans – they just want their assets gone for the most part.   REO’s are sometimes in good condition and other times are remodel nightmares. Each asset holder and REO agent comes with their own lack of interest in responding to property inquiries and they may hold 40 or 50 properties making it impossible to know the condition of the property. The paperwork required to even get an offer reviewed can be so cumbersome that being the early bird and offering early is no advantage. Incomplete submissions may be ignored regardless of merit. Furthermore since the asset holder did not live in the property, they have fewer disclosure requirements making the adage “buyer beware” a reality that only an experienced real estate agent can take on. In order to negotiate a successful REO purchase you still need to understand value and more than ever need to have a good real estate agent. If you want more tips on how to navigate REO purchases contact Sandy Kay.

Weather Changin’ on the Economic Front

Weather is changing again and it isn’t just about Halloween.

Its fall, no doubt about that with the last few chillier  nights. Not sure what happened to the summer at all this year between some blazing days and drying plants. People are painting their lawns — no kidding — thats a new one on me.  But it  was a great year , even as good as 2014. Sales were brisk and a lot of people I know found jobs, got settled, got moved or just decided retirement was a thing of the past.

So what about the market? The general economic forecast is not all Halloween candy. In general I am seeing regular price reductions in formerly hotter areas. Inventory is down and buyers are holding back like they do every year at this time. The banks are getting a handle on short sales which means they are converting them to bank owned properties as sellers try to use that system to avoid selling their home at all.

Says Lynn Franco, Director of The Conference Board Consumer Research Center said : “Consumer confidence is now back to levels last seen during the 2008-2009 recession. Consumer expectations, which had improved in September, gave back all of the gain and then some, as concerns about business conditions, the labor market and income prospects increased.  The Present Situation Index posted its sixth consecutive monthly decline, as pessimism about the current economic environment continues to grow.”

Banks have responded to the national changes

On Aug. 9, the U.S. Department of the Treasury released Supplemental Directive 11-08: Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives Program (HAFA) – Policy Update effective Oct. 15.
These policy enhancements will affect borrowers as follows by clarifying program criteria and rules
  • An FAQ clearly defines program criteria and rules. Borrowers can access the information from the Home Loan Assistance website   at bankofamerica.com/homeloanhelp by:
    1. Navigating to the Next Steps section or selecting Frequently Asked Questions from the Additional Support area.
    2. Look for the “If my mortgage is not owned by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac…” question and select Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives Policies

Property and borrowers will have some increased options regarding being  considered for loan modification.Individuals relocating from homes that are upside down will have some increased options. Wells Fargo made claims in a recent seminar that they would take a more personal approach and look at homeowners that were more than 30 days late on their mortgage payments.

Regarding Fannie Mae/ Freddie Mac loans, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA)  will broaden the scope of the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) by removing the current 125 percent loan-to-value cap for fixed-rate mortgages.  Other program enhancements include, among other things, reducing certain fees, eliminating the need for a new property appraisal if the FHFA has a reliable automated valuation model (AVM) estimate, and extending HARP until the end of 2013.  New federal guidelines for the HARP changes should be released to mortgage lenders and servicers by November 15.

More information is available at FHFA.

So what does that mean for YOU?  It’s not over.  As Jet Li said in the Forbidden City when his student runs down a list of future horrors and what if’s   “Remember to breath.”

…and prepare.

  1. take a a close look at your income, expenses and future expenses
  2. look at your needs vs your wish list
  3. make your move after you have made your best guess about your own situation

If your family has grown and you need more room or a better school, be willing to accept less for your home in order to buy more in the current market. Make up your loss with a gain on your purchase. I’ll help you develop a strategy for your home that maximizes the dollars you will get.

If your future expenses are high enough such that your mortgage and house expenses will eat you out of house and home consider downsizing or renting for awhile until you can save or make plans and save your credit.

For a in depth discussion on your spreadsheet for your home and your future try calling a free resource: your realtor. With my lender at First Funding we can help you to plan your remodel to sell your home looking its best in the spring for as few dollars as possible and discuss Prop 60 and 90 which would allow you to move within Santa Clara to a smaller home and take your tax base with you. Check out my website in the schools section to start looking for the best schools to move to for the most affordable price.

So enjoy the witches and goblins in your neighborhood. They aren’t any more real then they have ever been. Take a walk, don’t eat candy with transfats and welcome home , we live in a great place.