Mac McCarthy

How Bay Area Real Estate Can Save You Gas!

     In this ever changing real estate market buyers are looking for value and validation of price.  Fortunately, the real estate on the San Francisco Peninsula may provide one the best values in terms of gas savings.  Everyone knows about hybrids and fuel efficient cars, but how about the value in driving shorter distances.  Regardless of where you are located on the peninsula you can be assured of being in close proximity to San Francisco, San Jose, the beach, the ball park, multiple international airports, and let’s not forget the beautiful Napa Valley wine country. With the price of gas climbing by the day, it’s becoming increasingly important to become more conservative in our travels.  My suggestion for any perspective buyer is to map the areas in which you travel most, before making your next purchase.
The days where folks drive 100-200 miles per day to get to work and home are becoming passé. There has never been a better time to purchase now than in the last 12-13 years in terms of value and the cost of money.

David Tapper

Can I buy a home that is not for sale/not on the market?

I was asked recently if it”s possible to purchase a home that”s not on the market, or prior to it going on the market. Sure it is, as long as you and the seller can agree on the price and terms. Agreeing on the price is the easy thing, but who is going to pay for the closing costs, transfer fees, licensed inspectors, etc? Knowing the language in the contract is very important. You also need to determine if you want Liquidated Damages, and or Arbitration clauses included.

I would strongly advise you to have a Realtor who knows the area to help represent you. I”ve been asked if it”s better to use a Real Estate Professional over a Real Estate Attorney? While pokies online both know the legal aspects of the contract, using a Realtor would be more advantageous because the Realtor is the one who knows the inventory, floor plans, and comps in the area.

It”s one thing to look at the comps and compare the prices, square footage, as well as the lot size, it”s another to have seen these properties and walked thru them to determine if the home had functional floor plans.

Finally, the person who represents you should have strong negotiation skills.

Good luck! If you have any real estate questions that you need answered, feel free to call or write.

Mac McCarthy

What is the difference between a short sale and a bank owned property?

This is a very common question I am asked at every open house.  To answer the question very simply, a short sale is owned by private owners who owe the bank more than their house is worth on the open market and a bank owned property or REO (Real Estate Owned…By Lender) is owned directly by the bank.  Now what does this all mean to the buyer?  In general, a short sale involves much more waiting and is affected by more variables.  First of all, the short sale departments of these banks and lenders are very busy right now and unfortunately are having trouble keeping up with their rising work load.  They also still must deal with owners on record who may live in the home, may still be paying a payment, and in most cases aren’t happy that they are losing their home.  On the flip side a bank owned property is vacant and directly owned by the bank.  Being that the bank does not want to be responsible for the property while it’s vacant, they will usually price the home more aggressively.  The bank will also usually respond to an offer within 5 business days, while short sale response can and in most cases take months.


David Tapper

Prospective Home Buyers – Passive/Aggressive Approach

The smartest way to buy a home is what I call the “passive/aggressive approach”

Get pre-approved from the bank before looking for a home. It doesn’t cost you anything and the reason is twofold. The first is that you need to know exactly what you can afford up front, not how much you can get a loan for, but what the payments will be. Treat this like a business and take the emotion out of it. Emotion will always cost you money. Make sure you can handle the payment.

The second reason is that you want to have as much leverage as possible when making an offer and being pre-approved makes your offer almost the same as cash. If you are not pre-approved, the seller and their agent won’t take your offer seriously.


Then be patient! You need to take your time and see as many homes as possible. View them on the internet as well as going to as many open houses as possible.


Once you see the home you want, it’s time to be aggressive. When you see a good buy, everyone else usually sees the same thing.


Hire a Realtor who has good negotiating skills and is well respected. Make sure he/she will not make you feel like you have to make an offer. This is the biggest transaction of your life. You don’t need any more pressure than there already is.


Feel free to write or call with any Real Estate questions you may have.


 David “Tap” Tapper

David Tapper

What is 1031 Tax Exchange?

What is a 1031 Tax Exchange?
A 1031 Tax Exchange is a tax-deferred incentive provided by the Internal Revenue System (IRS). It allows an owner of an investment property to sell the property for a similar or “like-kind” for no gain or loss.
For example: If you own a 12 unit apartment building in San Mateo that is sold at 2.25 million dollars. With the money gained say you purchase 3 single family homes purchased at $ 750,000 that you intend to lease individually. No capital gains or losses would be recognized.
With a knowledgeable accountant and a 1031 Tax Exchange Specialist like myself, this type of tax-deferred incentive can be a very valuable tool to be used in your real estate investments.
*Please view our disclaimer and verify this information with a licensed accountant/CPA