I enjoy giving my clients tips and tricks about the real estate transaction and keeping everyone in the local know.  Check out my video blog?

Dec. 12, 2017

ABCs of Real Estate by Zillow

Posted in Tips and Tricks
Aug. 28, 2017

Interactive 3d Tour + Seller Interview: 3318 Cottingham Ct, Walnut Creek CA 94598-4013

Nestled into a cul-de-sac, walking distance from schools, you'll find a home you'll never have to leave.  There's room to grow and time to play.  Pool, hot tub, dog run, side yard large enough to park your boat or RV.  Northgate High and Foothill Middle are close enough to not have to buy your kiddo a car. :) Not to mention Mt. Diablo walking/hiking and equestrian trails.  San Francisco commute from BART is about 38 minutes.  This one won't last... 

An Interview with The Seller: 3318 Cottingham Ct, Walnut Creek CA 94598-4013

Active status and more info: http://www.elizabethrusso.com/property/40794938

5 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, 3,043 sq ft home, 11,000 sq ft property

How come you're moving?

Our baby birds have flown the coop and bought a home of their own, we retired, and we're ready to hit the open road and see the rest of the United States. 

Tell us 3 features you love most about your home?

  1. My favorite feature of the home is the size of the rooms, that there are two stories and the house is large. This provides the ability to have many things going on in the home at one time without disturbing each other.
  2. The family room has been especially nice with high schoolers able to have a feeling of separate space with parents actually immediately nearby.
  3. I also love the wood in the house. It attracted me when I first saw it. 

3 besties about the location of your home?

  1. The house is in a great school attendance area with Northgate High School. The academic performance of the school is high, the extracurricular offerings have been wonderful. There is a culture of success at the school and it is available in many different forms for those with differing interests. The wonderful school is within walking distance of the house. The walk is safe.
  2. There are many, varied commercial and food establishments nearby. Much new commercial has been built at Ygnacio Ave and Oak Grove Blvd. It is also great to see the older and original  shopping continue to be successful; securing new tenants when there are departures and investing in the stores structure and maintenance.
  3. Transportation to work centers is good, especially with BART. There are efficient and regular buses, and you can successfully commute to San Francisco from the house.

Tell us about any upgrades or updates you've done?

  • We bought the house without window coverings except in the family room. We added the window draperies in the dinning & living room. 
  • Rebuilt the furnace in 2014.
  • Replaced downstairs vinyl floors in the common bathroom, kitchen, wet bar and laundry room in 2015.
  • Replaced built in oven and range-top in 2016.
  • Replaced the swimming pool two stage pump and the associated booster pump in 2016.
  • Replaced lighting in family room, 5th bedroom master bedroom and master bathroom, dining room and laundry room in 2017.
  • Painted parts or all of interior of home, 4 bedrooms, dining room, downstairs bathroom and shared spaces, entry, steps, lading and hallway in 2017.
  • Secured a pest report and hired contractor to remedy and documents work. We cleared all outstanding items on the report. 
  • Painted all exterior woods on the house 2017.

Schools per http://demo.mdusd.org/schoolfinder:

  • Elementary School: Walnut Acres Elementary 
  • Middle School: Foothill Middle
  • High School: Northgate High 

Tell us about your utility costs?

Electric Provider: PG&E
Average bill: $350
Winter bill: $465
Summer bill: 330
Gas Provider: PG&E
Average bill: $40
Winter bill: $180
Summer bill: $12

Tell us about your house or give us a a room-by-room description?

Floor Plan: Living room, dining room, bathroom, kitchen, separate family room, and one bedroom on first floor.  The second floor has the master suite has a master bathroom, three additional bedrooms and a common bathroom on second floor.

Kitchen: Large with built in oven and dishwasher. Jenn-Aire range-top and separate cooking grill arranged under brick arch work with original charm. Expansive counter space. Lots of cabinet storage and pantry cupboard.Large, sunny breakfast eating area for 6 persons.  The kitchen overlooks the pool.

Living Room:  Very large living room accommodates our piano. Custom draperies. Pleasant formal setting.

Master Bedroom Suite:  Large master bedroom suite with lots of closets and double vanity plus a master bathroom, Buyers have option to open double sliding doors to 5th bedroom and create a truly larger than expected master suite with office or Library. Also master suite has walk in shoe closet.

Outside Features: Pool and extensive yard. Yard includes basketball sports court, large swimming pool patio with outdoor lighting.  Roses garden area and concealed pet run. Yard has shed and an automated sprinkler system. Stucco exterior, two story, three car garage.  Fireproof concrete tile roofing.
Posted in Listings
June 24, 2017

Common Credit Misconceptions by Michael Miller

Common Credit Misconceptions

Happy Saturday!  I wanted to share a short list of common client misconceptions that I have dealt with this year.  It seems that clients are more informed these days, but not always accurately.  Are you waiting for their credit score to improve before you buy?  Make sure you talk to me about the fastest way to get a credit score up using legal and ethical means.  It doesn’t happen overnight, but it doesn’t take more than a month in most cases!       

Here are the biggest myths of credit scores and credit repair.    

Myth # 1: Disputing a credit report is easy - any consumer can do it themselves. Restoring your own credit is like representing yourself in court; it is possible, but you have to be willing to invest the time to learn the processes, assume the risks of inexperience and realize that it will probably take you much longer. And you will be considerably less effective than a professional.    

Myth # 2: The credit bureau allows me to submit my 100-word explanation. Creditors will read my statement and take it into consideration.  No known creditors consider the information submitted in your statement. This statement only verifies some of the negative items on your report. The 100-word explanation should never be added, and it should be the first thing deleted from your credit file.    

Myth # 3: I can create a totally new credit file by getting a federal tax ID number or changing a few numbers on my social security number.  This fraudulent scheme has proven to be complex, difficult and illegal. Lying on a credit application is a criminal offense.    

Myth # 4: Closing an account will help your score.  If you have been responsible with credit in the past, the chances are that you are likely to continue to be responsible in the future. After all, that is the basic principle behind credit scoring. It rewards behaviors that show moderate and responsible use of credit over time, because those habits are likely to continue. The score also punishes behavior that's not responsible, such as applying for a lot of credit you don't need. Many people with high credit scores find that one of the few marks against them in their reason codes is the number of credit accounts listed on their reports. When they go to get their credit scores, they're told that one of the reasons their score isn't even higher is that they have "too many open accounts." Many then erroneously assume they can fix this problem by closing accounts. But after you've opened the accounts, the damage has been already done.    

Myth #5: You don't have to use credit to have a high score.  Unfortunately, there are some people who are so suspicious of credit that they advise giving up credit cards and living on a cash-only basis. They acknowledge that most people need mortgages and auto loans, but they feel the best way to impress a lender is by living a credit-free lifestyle. This is unfortunate, because it is just plain wrong. The credit scoring formula is designed to judge how well you handle credit over time. If you have no credit, or you don't at least occasionally use the credit you have, the formula won't have enough information to generate a score for you.    

Your Partner in SUCCESS!             

Michael Miller | Branch Manager | NMLS# 248381 | Email: MMiller@PRMG.NET | Office:   925-208-0340 ext. 3001 | Paramount Residential Mortgage Group, Inc.

Paramount Residential Mortgage Group, Inc.  PRMG

Posted in Tips and Tricks
March 28, 2017

Is Danville, CA, a Good Place to Live? [Realtor’s Review]

Across the nation, families are attracted to homes in suburban neighborhoods. These days, however, just being suburban doesn’t necessarily mean a place is a great neighborhood to lay down roots. Danville, CA, however, is a very attractive location for people of all ages to call home.

Danville offers a range of amenities, from its small-town way of life to its access to fantastic nearby big-city amenities. If you’re wondering whether this might be the place for you, explore the neighborhood of Danville, the local amenities, attractions, and the answer to the question, “Is Danville, CA, a good place to live?”

Small Town Living

Ask anyone what it’s like living in Danville, CA, and they’ll tell you it’s a small town feel with big city amenities. This is a community who enjoys the best of all worlds. They have a quiet, small-town way of life that allows you to relax and take it slow after a busy work day.

Close-Knit, Welcoming Community

Of course, hand-in-hand with small town living comes a welcoming and close-knit community where everyone knows everyone else. Living in Danville means friendly neighbors who watch out for one another’s well-being, and where character and personality go a long way. People in Danville are happy to welcome new residents, and they take care of each other.

Danville is the Place for Families

Danville is among the best places to live in California if you’re looking to raise a family. In fact, most of the population of this area are between the ages of five and seventeen years old! Not only will your kids have a lot of others their age with whom to spend time, the range of families in the area mean it’s a very safe place as well. There are great local schools and the crime rate is far below the U.S. average.

Tons of Outdoor Parks and Recreation

Another great feature of this neighborhood is the sheer number of parks and outdoor recreational facilities available to residents. From the historic walking tour available of downtown, to the wealth of community parks, the Dog Park, Mount Diablo, and tons of sports fields, picnic areas and trails for biking or hiking, you’ll never be at a loss for something to do outside.

Easy Access to All the Local Attractions

As if all of the great arts, culture, shopping and fine dining right in the neighborhood aren’t enough, Danville also offers easy access to local big city amenities and nightlife. It’s just minutes away from both Alamo, CA and San Ramon, CA right on interstate 680.

It’s hard to beat living in an area that offers you a nice, quiet and historic place to relax, while being so close to exciting nightlife and all of the entertainment, amenities and opportunities offered by the local city.

Put simply, Danville, CA, is not just a good place to live — it’s a great one. If you’re looking to find the best place for your family, there’s no time like the present to start your search. Elizabeth Russo is an expert Realtor in Danville California, who has years of experience helping people find the home of their dreams. Give a call today to start your search for a new home!


When buying or selling a home, contact Elizabeth Russo, an experienced Danville Realtor.

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Posted in Tips and Tricks
March 21, 2017

Why Do Buyers Love Cul-de-Sac Homes for Sale in Martinez?

Cul-de-sac is a French term which literally means “bottom of the sack.” It’s named so for its shape—it’s essentially a dead-end street that instead of simply ending, has a sort of roundabout, just like the bottom of a full bag. Rather than being a true dead-end, it allows ease of entry and exit, as well as a lot of benefits for those looking to buy a new home.

Many home buyers, especially those with families, love homes that reside in these out-of-the-way areas for the many advantages they offer, from quiet living to great lots. In fact, they demand these specific kinds of homes, and may need help finding the best one for their needs. Explore all the reasons why buyers are in love with cul-de-sac homes for sale in Martinez CA, and why a knowledgeable realtor can get you the best deal.

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Posted in Tips and Tricks
March 14, 2017

5 Tips for House Hunting in Walnut Creek California

House Hunting in Walnut Creek CaliforniaBuying a new luxury home should be a fun and exciting time. Unfortunately for many people, it’s also horribly stressful. It doesn’t have to be, however; you can enjoy the search for your next luxury property if you approach it in the right way. After all, this is the time when you get to visit tons of gorgeous homes and pick the very best one that suits all your needs!

It never hurts, however, to have a little expert help in your corner. Read these five tips for luxury house hunting in Walnut Creek California, and turn the stressful search into an exciting journey towards home ownership!

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Posted in Tips and Tricks
March 7, 2017

Traditional vs Virtual Home Staging: Which Works Best?

Virtual home stagingStaging your home, quite simply, is making it look its best to attract the most potential buyers and help land you top dollar for the sale. It’s common wisdom that staging your home properly is key to selling your house quickly and for the best money possible. However, with the information age there are more ways to stage a house than ever before. These can be broken down into two broad categories: traditional staging and virtual staging.

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Posted in Tips and Tricks
Feb. 28, 2017

5 Anti-Theft Tips when Selling a Home in Martinez CA

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Following some basic safety tips can help to add a little piece of mind and protect you against burglary during showings of the property. Explore some important anti-theft tips when selling a home in Martinez CA to keep your property and possessions safe from unscrupulous visitors.

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Posted in Tips and Tricks
Feb. 21, 2017

Ultimate Guide: Home Purchase Timeline for Buyers

Home Purchasing Process and Timeframe for BuyersBuying a home in today’s market is tough. You want both to be picky and get the home you want, and to have as stress-free and efficient a process as possible. It’s important to have a bit of information to get it right from the very beginning. Explore an ultimate guide to a home purchase timeline for the real estate buyer so you can be sure to avoid serious and costly mistakes in the process.

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Posted in Tips and Tricks
Feb. 14, 2017

Purchasing Walnut Creek Luxury Homes [3 Expert Tips]

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It’s not a process that’s easily navigated by a novice trying to buy a luxury property for the first time, and expert help can go a great distance in getting you through. With that in mind, let’s explore three tips offered by expert realtors and investors for purchasing Walnut Creek luxury homes and walking away with the house of your dreams.

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Posted in Tips and Tricks