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NextHome Lifestyles Makes America’s Best Real Estate Professionals List

The Brad Gill Team was Named to REAL Trends + Tom Ferry America’s Best Real Estate Professionals in San Jose.

The Brad Gill Team of NextHome Lifestyles was named one of America’s most productive sales associates as a part of REAL Trends + Tom Ferry America’s Best Real Estate Professionals, a ranking report produced by REAL Trends and Tom Ferry International. His team is now a member of the “America’s Best Real Estate Agents,” and ranked number 452 for the state of California. 

REAL Trends America’s Best Real Estate Professionals ranks over 14,500 residential real estate professionals solely based on their excellence in real estate sales during calendar year 2019. All production numbers are independently verified by a third party to ensure accuracy and report integrity. This group of highly successful real estate sales agents represents the top 1 percent of all real estate practitioners in the United States.

“Congratulations to The Brad Gill Team who made the America’s Best list,” says Tom Ferry, owner and founder of Tom Ferry International. “I have the pleasure of working with successful real estate professionals day in and day out, and I know all the hard work, late nights, and huge effort that goes into achieving such incredible results,” says Ferry. “There are multiple ways to become successful in real estate. Yet, despite the differences, the real estate professionals on this list have one thing in common—they are simply the best. Congratulations to all recipients of this prestigious recognition.”

 

The America’s Best are ranked in twelve categories:
By Transactions 
Agent-owned brokerages by Transaction Sides

Individuals by Transaction Sides

Teams, Small (2-5 licensed members) by Transaction Sides

Teams, Medium (6-10) by Transaction Sides

Teams, Large (11+) by Transaction Sides

Team-owned brokerages by Transaction Sides


By Volume 

Agent-owned brokerages by Volume 

Individuals by Volume 

Teams, Small (2-5) by Volume 

Teams, Medium (6-10) by Volume 

Teams, Large (11+) by Volume 

Team-owned brokerages by Volume


To qualify for inclusion, an individual agent must have closed at least 50 transaction sides or $20 million in sales volume in 2019. For real estate agent teams, the minimum is 75 transaction sides or $30 million in closed sales volume. 

“Those individual agents and teams who make up the 2020 America’s Best Real Estate Professionals represent only about 1.5% of all Realtors® in the country yet account for over 10% of the closed transactions, and more than 16% of all the sales volume closed last year,” says Murray. “To say that The Brad Gill Team are exceptional sales professionals is an understatement. To attain this level of sales is extraordinary.”

“I’m pleased and honored to be ranked on this ranking of the country’s top residential real estate agents,” says Brad Gill. “It represents the time and effort that we put into each client that we serve and how much work it takes to build a successful real estate career. The level of sales it takes to qualify makes it a special recognition.”

Information on those receiving this recognition can be found online at https://www.realtrends.com/rankings/americas-best.

 

METHODOLOGY

REAL Trends + Tom Ferry America’s Best Real Estate Professionals honors America’s finest real estate agents and their companies and is compiled and analyzed by REAL Trends.

The rankings are compiled based on surveys from virtually every nationally branded network, many state and local associations of Realtors®, MLSs, all applicants from past years’ rankings, and the 900 largest brokerage firms in the United States. Verification from an independent source is required for all submissions. In addition, REAL Trends senior staff reviews every submission for completeness and accuracy.

About The REAL Trends + Tom Ferry The Thousand

The REAL Trends + Tom Ferry America’s Best Real Estate Professionals ranking report is sponsored jointly by REAL Trends and Tom Ferry International. REAL Trends America’s Best honors America’s elite real estate agents and their companies and is compiled and analyzed by REAL Trends.

REAL Trends is a leading source of analysis and information for the residential real estate brokerage industry. Tom Ferry International is a nationwide real estate business and life coaching and training company. 

 

 

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NextHome Raises Funds to Support Canine Companions

Founded in 1975, Canine Companions for Independence® (CCI) is a non-profit organization that enhances the lives of people with disabilities by providing highly trained assistance dogs and ongoing support to ensure quality partnerships.

The assistance dogs Canine Companions for Independence® breed, raise and train aren’t just the ears, hands and legs of their human partners. They’re also goodwill ambassadors and often, their best friends. They open up new opportunities and new possibilities and spread incredible joy. CCI unites people with dogs in a powerful program that leads to greater independence and confidence.

$50,000—that’s what it takes to raise, train and place a CCI assistance dog as well as provide the graduate team a lifetime of care and support. Yet Canine Companions provides assistance dogs to the recipients absolutely free of charge.

In 2019, NextHome raised over $35,000 toward this outstanding organization. We’re looking to go one step further in 2020! Let’s raise another $50,000 to fund the development of even more assistance dogs that will increase independence for children, adults and veterans with disabilities.

With your help, we can give independence and give a dog a job.

The Future of Real Estate

NextHome is a progressive real estate franchise that provides consumer-centric branding and innovative technology. Our mission is to enrich lives by helping people find their next home.

Selecting Canine Companions for Independence as our national charity partner was a thorough process, yet the easiest decision to make. NextHome’s core values align perfectly with Canine Companions’ goal to help members of communities across the country live more independent lives by matching them with highly trained assistance dogs.

“As a firm believer in investing in your own team and giving back to local communities, it made perfect sense to associate NextHome with an organization that is equally dedicated to society by delivering the greatest resources to individuals in need,” said Chief Executive Officer James Dwiggins.

NextHome is encouraging its members, friends, families and supporters to help raise funds to support the mission of Canine Companions for Independence. Donations will allow Canine Companions to continue to provide expertly trained assistance dogs and follow-up services free of charge to adults, children and veterans.

Please help us reach our goal of raising an additional $50,000 to support Canine Companions for Independence. Donate today!

 

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Is your home fire ready?

The geography and weather in California make it a state threatened by wildfires. As wildfires continue to increase each year, Cal Fire encourages residents to plan, and prepare.

According to Cal Fire, property owners and residents in areas most at risk should maintain defensible space and prepare homes against flying embers.

“Flying embers from a wildfire can destroy homes up to a mile away. Taking the necessary measures to harden (prepare) your home can help increase its chance of survival when wildfires strike,” said Cal Fire officials.

Cal Fire also recommends fire-resistant landscaping. This type of landscape can prevent the spread of a fire to your home.

“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,” said Cal Fire officials.

Residents should be prepared for possible evacuations in the event of a wildfire. Be sure to have a plan on what to take and where to go. Fire officials recommend having a sturdy pair of shoes and a flashlight near your bed in case of a sudden evacuation at night.

 

Keep these six “P’s” ready in case immediate evacuation is required:

-People and pets

-Papers, phone numbers, and important documents

-Prescriptions, vitamins, and eyeglasses

-Pictures and irreplaceable memorabilia

-Personal computer hard drive and disks

-”Plastic” (credit cards, ATM cards) and cash

 

Residents should put together emergency supply kits long before a wildfire occurs. The supply kit should be easy to grab if you have to evacuate quickly.

 

Cal Fire Emergency Supply Kit Checklist:

-Face masks or coverings

-Three-day supply of non-perishable food and three gallons of water per person

-Map marked with at least two evacuation routes.

Click here for full supply checklist: https://www.ready.gov/kit

 

Cal Fire officials said evacuation plans will be different this year due to COVID-19. If you need to evacuate and plan on staying with friends or family members, ask first if they have symptoms of COVID-19. Be sure to check with hotels, motels and campgrounds to find out if they are open.

For more information on how to prepare for wildfires visit: https://www.readyforwildfire.org/

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How residents can prepare for power outages

Pacific Gas and Electric is asking residents to prepare to be without electricity. Due to the increased wildfire threats our state faces, PG&E said they’re expanding efforts to reduce wildfire risks by conducting Public Safety Power Shutoffs (PSPS). 

“A PSPS could mean that you might be without power for several days, even if you do not live in a high fire-threat area. Losing power will undoubtedly bring challenges, but by preparing in advance you can reduce the stress and anxiety of a PSPS,” said PG&E officials.

Some California residents received text messages from PG&E informing them that their power could be shut off between the hours of 3-10 p.m. on Aug. 17-20. PG&E said the outages typically last one to two hours.

 

Take these steps before a PSPS

-Prepare an emergency supply kit, include flashlights, first aid supplies, food, water and cash. 

-Fully charge your cell phone.

-Create a safety plan for your family, including pets.

 

Take these steps during an outage

-Leave a lamp on to alert you when the power returns. 

-A refrigerator will keep food cold for about four hours and a full freezer will keep its temperature for roughly 48 hours. Use coolers with ice to keep food cold. 

 
For more information on how to prepare for a PSPS and what to do during an outage, visit PG&E’s website: https://www.pge.com/en_US/safety/emergency-preparedness/natural-disaster/wildfires/outage-readiness.page 

May 2020 – Market Update

  May 2020 Welcome to May! The weather is improving across the city of San Jose, and thankfully, so is the fight against COVID-19. But what about our housing market? Are home prices up or down? Is anyone buying or selling real estate while also sheltering in place?   As you know, the coronavirus pandemic […]

Staying Safe While Buying or Selling Real Estate During COVID-19

It’s obvious that buying or selling real estate during any crisis is not an optimal scenario. Unfortunately, there will most likely be some that may not have the luxury of being able to postpone the sale or purchase of real estate until the current pandemic disappears. This post is for you, to help provide critical information meant to keep you safe as well as provide some level of expectation as to how you may be able to navigate the already complex process of buying or selling real estate under the pressure of a worldwide pandemic.

At NextHome Lifestyles, our goal has always been to guide our clients through the home buying and selling process with professional courtesy and expert local knowledge, and given current circumstances, our commitment has never been stronger. So, if you feel that you may be one of the few faced with the challenge of buying or selling real estate in the coming months then we want to make sure you’re aware of exactly what that commitment looks like, and how we are implementing best practices and critical protocols to keep you safe.

If you aren’t already aware, as of March 31, 2020, real estate services in Santa Clara County have been considered as an “essential business” under the most recent Health Order. Although this means that we can still assist in the purchase and sale of real estate, this does not mean that things are back to business as usual. It’s clear that we all have a social responsibility to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, and as local residents and business owners ourselves we are very serious about keeping our communities safe. So, effective immediately we have implemented all the recommended guidelines provided by our local, state and federal government, as well as by the CDC.

But first, before we get into the logistics of how real estate may be conducted under the current shelter in place mandate, the most important message we can promote is the importance of discussing your situation and goals with your real estate professional in order to determine whether you can or should postpone your move. Although real estate services are now considered as an “essential” service under the new health order and “shelter in place” mandate, all unnecessary real estate activities are still strictly discouraged. This means you won’t be seeing any public open houses, availability to schedule private tours will also be extremely limited, and affiliated service providers will also be limited in their capacity to support your transaction.

For your convenience, we’re available to walk you through these considerations virtually through video-conferencing in order to have an open and candid conversation about your options, as well as provide details on how we are committed to keeping you safe if you are unable to avoid postponing your real estate transaction. Additionally, here’s a quick list of the most common questions that we receive during these virtual appointments and the information we are sharing (which may change as things continue to develop over the coming weeks):

Are people still buying and selling homes? Quick answer is “yes,” but with new protocols and limitations meant to keep everyone safe as well as slow the possible spread of COVID-19. Again, please contact us so that we can walk you through all the latest developments as well as thoroughly discuss the potential impact on your upcoming or impending transaction.

How has the process of buying and selling a home changed since the pandemic started? Many businesses are now closed or operating on a very limited basis including real estate affiliated services such as home inspection companies, lenders, appraisers, home stagers, movers, etc. which make it challenging to facilitate any transaction. Plus, new safety protocols place additional limitations on our ability to serve our clients so now virtual showings and video conferencing will make up the majority, if not the entirety, of the transaction in order to limit potential face-to-face meetings or in-person property tours.

How are we handling our appointments? All appointments are conducted by video conferencing technology, whether you are more comfortable with FaceTime or Zoom, we’re available to meet you face-to-digital-face online. We’re taking any and all appointments, no matter what your scenario, or your questions…we are here for you and available to provide some clarity in very uncertain times.

How can we tour properties while sheltering in place? While we’d love to take you on tours of homes in-person it’s just not that practical under current conditions…everyone is doing their part to slow the spread and protect our communities, and at the moment touring homes is not necessarily “essential” under our current health mandate. Therefore, we have adopted technologies that will be able to accommodate showings by video conferencing for any home you’re interested in viewing. And, if it’s one of our listings we’ll have a digital 3-dimensional rendering available for you to move through at your own pace, or we can even schedule a time to guide you through a virtual showing over video conference in order to provide more detailed information and answer questions about the property.

Can we visit a home in-person before making an offer? All in-person showings now involve the risk of potential exposure to multiple other parties. So, depending upon your circumstances, as well as those of the property you’re interested in making an offer, this may or may not be appropriate. If you deem it is appropriate, then we will only be able to show you homes in which the seller has already moved out, and only with 2 guests of the same household at any particular time.

If you’re inquiring with our agents to take you on an in-person property tour we will require the additional items before we’re able to accommodate your requests:

  • Pre-approval letter
  • Proof of Funds for your down payment or letter from your Lender verifying your down payment
  • Completed Homebuyer Questionnaire Form
  • Completed “Property Entry Advisory & Declaration” form for each home you tour

What safety protocols are being put into place if we have to visit a property in-person? Keep in mind that any unnecessary exposure can also create unnecessary exposure for others that may also be touring a property, so you should expect to follow specific social distancing protocols and CDC guidelines. These now include the following:

  • If you’re feeling sick, please stay home
  • Only 2-people from the same household may tour any property at the same with the company of your real estate agent
  • Showings will be limited in time to maximum 30-minutes
  • A hand washing station or access to hand sanitizer will be available
  • Shoe covers will be provided
  • You’ll be asked to keep your hands to yourself, refrain from operating any light switches, and to not open doors, cabinets or drawers

Please note, we will not be providing you with face masks or gloves. While our goal is to limit any undue exposure within our community, we must also do our part to ensure that as much protective equipment as possible is available to our health professionals.

If I have to list my home, how will you handle showings? First, if you’re occupying your home then we will need to delay any in-person showings until after you have moved out. But, we can still accommodate virtual showings…if you are choosing to stay in your home during the sale then we will use our technology and marketing skills to craft immersive marketing materials including 3-dimensional digital models, high definition narrated video tours, and of course beautiful photography. We can also schedule video conferencing appointments in which we can digitally tour prospective buyers through your home while answering all their questions and keeping everyone safe.

If your home is vacant then in-person property showings are allowable but only for pre-approved buyers that follow the strict social distancing protocols required under the current SIP mandate. In summary, only 2-guests from the same household plus an agent will be allowed in your property at any given time. We also follow CDC guidelines for slowing the spread and will be providing hand sanitizer, handwashing stations, shoe covers and more.

If I have my home on the market for sale, should I withdraw it? If a home seller is serious about selling, then our advice to you is to stay the course. Although buyer interest will differ depending on your price range and location, overall we’re still experiencing a market in which our available inventory remains extremely limited which favors home sellers. Plus, modern technology allows for extremely thorough virtual tours so even though in-person showings will be drastically reduced, or discouraged altogether, with mortgage rates at all-time lows there will most assuredly be plenty of buyers who will be taking advantage to leverage their buying power and making offers solely based on virtual presentations.

5 Powerful Reasons to Own Instead of Rent

Owning a home has great financial benefits.

In a recent research paper, Homeownership and the American Dream, Laurie S. Goodman and Christopher Mayer of the Urban Land Institute explained:

“Homeownership appears to help borrowers accumulate housing and nonhousing wealth in a variety of ways, with tax advantages, greater financial flexibility due to secured borrowing, built-in ‘default’ savings with mortgage amortization and nominally fixed payments, and the potential to lower home maintenance costs through sweat equity.”

Let’s breakdown 5 major financial benefits of homeownership:

1. Housing is typically the one leveraged investment available

Homeownership allows households to amplify any appreciation on the value of their homes by a leverage factor. A 20% down payment results in a leverage factor of five, meaning every percentage point rise in the value of your home is a 5% return on your equity. If you put down 10%, your leverage factor is 10.

Example: Let’s assume you purchased a $300,000 home and put down $60,000 (20%). If the house appreciates by $30,000, that is only a 10% increase in value but a 50% increase in equity.

2. You’re paying for housing whether you own or rent

Some argue that renting eliminates the cost of property taxes and home repairs. Every potential renter must realize that all the expenses the landlord incurs (property taxes, repairs, insurance, etc.) are baked into the rent payment already – along with a profit margin!!

3. Owning is usually a form of “forced savings”

Studies have shown that homeowners have a net worth that is 44X greater than that of a renter. As a matter of fact, it was recently estimated that a family buying an average priced home this past January could build more than $42,000 in family wealth over the next five years.

4. Owning is a hedge against inflation

House values and rents tend to go up at or higher than the rate of inflation. When you own, your home’s value will protect you from that inflation.

5. There are still substantial tax benefits to owning

We know that the new tax reform bill puts limits on some deductions on certain homes. However, in the research paper referenced above, the authors explain:

“…the mortgage interest deduction is not the main source of these gains; even if it were removed, homeowners would continue to benefit from a lack of taxation of imputed rent and capital gains.”

Bottom Line

From a financial standpoint, owning a home has always been and will always be better than renting.

San Jose Market Update – Sept 2019

It’s September…school’s back in session and summer is over. And, if you’re thinking about buying or selling a home this fall then be sure to review our insights below as we discuss current market trends as well as what to expect over the next several months.

Let’s start off discussing what’s been top-of-mind lately, like how an impending recession may lead to another housing crisis likened to what we saw in 2008. Well, let’s take this opportunity to dispel these fears.

Although a slowdown in the economy in 2020 is being predicted, this time around housing will not be the cause of the slowdown, and more likely, home values will actually continue to trend upward.  In fact, home values actually increased in three (3) out of the last five (5) recessions, and decreased by less than 2% in the fourth (4th).

The main reason we saw a major housing crash during the last recession in 2008 was from the mortgage meltdown and the subsequent housing market crash that caused it.

For more information about this topic, check out my recent video “Does a Looming Recession Equate to a Housing Crisis?

Looking at national housing prices, if a major housing crash were on the horizon, wouldn’t you expect to see prices falling from last year?

Well, we’re actually seeing good growth across the US as August reported that home prices grew 4.99% nationally compared to last year. Drilling down closer to home, in the Pacific Region of the country, our year-over-year home price appreciation reported to be 4.4%; and even closer to home, Statewide for California we saw a little less price growth with a 4.2% increase.

With these positive numbers, so far it appears that our economy is still strong enough to support growing homeownership rates. And, looking forward, even in the eyes of a slowing economy, the national housing market is actually expected to gain 5.2% appreciation through next year, with California expected to see as much as an 8.2% increase in prices year-over-year.

What’s causing all the positive price growth?

Well, the Federal Reserve is actively combating our recession woes by continuing to ease interest rates which are helping long-term mortgage rates stay low, even recently hitting historic lows not seen since 2016. This is great news as lower mortgage rates help increase purchase power and affordability, something which Bay Area residents can really celebrate.

Now let’s look at the current supply and demand here in San Jose, and compare against last month and last year.

Total ACTIVE inventory was down again for the month of August with 1,126 TOTAL homes available for sale, a decline of 8% from July, but up 1.5% from the same time last year. And, the number of New Listings, which provide us a glimpse into rising or declining listing activity, was also just slightly down by 2.5% from July coming in at 777, but down over 13% from the same time last year…

Now for Buyer Demand…with mortgage rates at or near historic lows, we’d hope to see demand stabilizing. And, with August reporting a slight decline of 2% from last month with 676 Total Closed Sales, and a total of 627 homes receiving a contract, also slightly down from last month, I think we are seeing just that. Plus, Freddie Mac’s Chief Economist recently reported that Homebuyers flocked to lenders in August with purchase applications, which were up 15 percent from a year ago.

So, as long as pending sales, which are being driven by lower rates and softening housing prices, continue to keep up with new listings, we should continue to see a very stable and balanced market.

Median Days that a property is on the market before receiving a contract was 19 days for August, up slightly from the month before, but overall, anything less than 30-days is still a great market. And, the Median Sales-to-List-Price ratio, which compares the sales price received for a home versus its asking price, was slightly down for August compared to last month, reporting at 100.2%…so, on average, homes are still expected to sell for slightly more than the listing price.

Our Median Sales Price this month is continuing on a slight downward trend, dipping to $949,500, down 5% from last month, and down 7.5% from our peak earlier this year in June.

But, our prices are still up 2% from the beginning of the year.

So, have we reached a price-plateau…maybe? The Median Sales Price has been holding pretty steady since last fall.

So, what are these market trends telling us?

The best indicator of what to expect comes from looking at the current month’s worth of supply which measures how quickly new listings are absorbed by the current level of buyer demand, which for August was just under 2.0 months.

As you may recall, anything under 6-months worth of supply is considered a seller’s market.

Although it may not exactly feel like a seller’s market around the Bay Area, as home sellers have unbelievably become accustomed to homes selling at 10-15% above their asking prices within days of being listed, that’s because we’re finally settling into a more balanced market.

So, for anyone looking to sell this Fall, conditions are still in your favor but you must adjust your expectations as the market is not as crazy as it was…your home must be priced appropriately if you wish to generate the interest levels necessary to sell quickly and at a good price.

Market changes always seem to insight fear since things stop behaving exactly how they have been. And with all the negative headlines predicting a looming recession, it’s no wonder why many homebuyers are sitting on the sideline waiting to see what happens.

Well, this is a wake-up call to all homebuyers…don’t miss the opportunity to lock in a very low housing payment and a very reasonable price. The market hasn’t looked this good for first-time homebuyers and move-up buyers in a long time.

So, if you’re still considering a move into your first home or your next home, and you haven’t updated your pre-approval in a few months, it’s a great time to find out how these low rates have improved your purchase power.

What Is the Probability That Home Values Sink?

With the current uncertainty about the economy triggered by a potential trade war, some people are waiting to purchase their first home or move-up to their dream house because they think or hope home prices will drop over the next few years. However, the experts disagree with this perspective.

Here is a table showing the predicted levels of appreciation from six major housing sources:What Is the Probability That Home Values Sink?| MyKCMAs we can see, every source believes home prices will continue to appreciate (albeit at lower levels than we have seen over the last several years). But, not one source is calling for residential real estate values to depreciate.

Additionally, ARCH Mortgage Insurance Company in their current Housing and Mortgage Market Review revealed their latest ARCH Risk Index, which estimates the probability of home prices being lower in two years. There was not one state that even had a moderate probability of home prices lowering. In fact, 34 of the 50 states had a minimal probability.What Is the Probability That Home Values Sink?| MyKCM

Bottom Line

Those waiting for prices to fall before purchasing a home should realize that the probability of that happening anytime soon is very low. With mortgage rates already at near historic lows, now may be the time to act.

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What’s the Latest on Interest Rates?

Mortgage rates have fallen by over a full percentage point since Q4 of 2018, settling at near-historic lows. This is big news for buyers looking to get more for their money in the current housing market.

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According to Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey,

the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) rate averaged 3.60 percent, the lowest it has been since November 2016.

Sam Khater, Chief Economist at Freddie Mac, notes how this is great news for homebuyers. He states,

“…consumer sentiment remains buoyed by a strong labor market and low rates that will continue to drive home sales into the fall.”

As a potential buyer, the best thing you can do is work with a trusted advisor who can help you keep a close eye on how the market is changing. Relying on current expert advice is more important than ever when it comes to making a confident and informed decision for you and your family.

Bottom Line

Even a small increase (or decrease) in interest rates can impact your monthly housing cost. If buying a home is on your short list of goals to achieve, let’s get together to determine your best move.