5 of the most family friendly, unique parks in San Francisco

The sights and sounds, the history and the things to do. There are so many reasons why raising a family in San Francisco is special. There will be big days, like the first day of school and prom, but there will also be the quieter moments, like a picnic at the park. San Francisco is home to an array of unique and fun green, open spaces. Here’s a list of five family friendly gems.   Mountain Lake Park Perfect for the toddler, the recently renovated Mountain Lake Park features a self-contained area for the smallest of children. Sitting just south of the Presidio, it’s perfect for big kids, too. They can climb stairs, walls and make their way down a slide and repeat the process. The most exciting element may be the great rope climbing area, which rewards its high-climbers with sweeping views of Mountain Lake.   Hilltop Park Children who like to move on wheels will love Hilltop Park, which is known for its impressive 70-foot sundial and skatepark. In addition to the area to roam by skateboard, Hilltop Park’s recent renovations transformed the park’s base with a merry-go-around, rubberized flooring and adventurous playground. Of course, there’s plenty of benches for parents who may need an occasional breather. The park still features its large cement slide, too.   Mission Playground and Pool In the heart of the Mission area, this park has two primary play areas with water and climbing features. It’s the perfect place to cool off (it’s the only outdoor public pool in San Francisco), but there’s more than just splash and climb. Tennis courts, a basketball court and a black-top soccer pitch are also available if children want to partake in […]

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After years of growth, Bay Area home prices fall

For the first time in several years, home prices in the San Francisco Bay Area have fallen. This spring, the median price of a home in the Bay Area was $830,000, down 0.1 percent from the same time a year ago, breaking an 83-month streak of consecutive price gains. Leading up to this downshift in prices, the market went through a steady shrinking of price gains over several months. It was just about a year ago in May and June that prices reached the largest ever median sales price of $875,000. The market is also bearing a slowdown in home sales and an increase in inventory, which began about a year ago. Since last March, home sales are down 15 percent. These market realities are providing new opportunities for potential homeowners who had been priced out or turned off by ever-growing prices. In addition, mortgage rates have been on a slow downward trend assisting in home affordability. While conditions are more favorable than they were a year ago, homebuyers still need a strategic approach to home-buying in the Bay Area. That is because this is part of the typical real estate cycle when windows of opportunity for home buyers open up. A pre-approval through our Keys on Time* and SecureLock** programs helps boost a buyer’s standing in the market. The Keys on Time Program is a fully underwritten preliminary pre-approval that hands mortgage seekers the confidence to enter the market because they’ll know how much home they can afford. This program also removes any doubt about the strength of their qualifications for a potential seller. Here are some program highlights: It is fully underwritten. It allows buyers to waive the loan contingency, boosting the appeal […]

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Inventory is up across the San Francisco metro area

Buying a home in the Bay Area may be getting slightly easier. The frantic pace of Bay Area home sales have slowed a bit and may mean potential buyers see more homes for sale and potentially enjoy lower prices. That’s the latest word out of desirable areas, including San Jose, where home availability has increased by 43 percent. Elsewhere in the greater San Francisco metro area, inventory is up by 25 percent this year, according to a study by Zillow. It wasn’t too long ago that inventory tightened, and competition soared, leaving would-be buyers in real estate limbo. That’s no longer the case. The sudden shift toward a more buyer-friendly market provides a greater window of opportunity. And while buying a home in the Bay Area is still competitive, it may be more attainable than in recent years with good preparation and a strong mortgage partner. Jumbo Loans remain indispensable for the Bay Area home buyers. The availability of Jumbo Loans with various financing options to meet all buyers’ qualifications have grown substantially. With a Jumbo Loan, buyers also enjoy the flexibility of opting for a fixed rate or an adjustable rate and various options for qualifying. If you haven’t been pre-qualified in a while it’s worth a conversation with your Guarantee Mortgage loan officer to explore the options. The time may be now for individuals and families yearning to buy a home in the Bay Area. Guarantee Mortgage offers MANY options besides Jumbo Loans, including VA Loans which have qualification enhancements for our Veterans! These favorable conditions help buyers, especially with the backing of Guarantee Mortgage’s knowledge of the area and unique financing programs. *The views, articles, postings and other information listed on this […]

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As we enter 2019, Bay Area real estate prices are Moderating

Home sales across the Bay Area’s nine counties dropped in 2018, and that isn’t the only change we are seeing in the market. Homes are staying available longer with 51 days being the average timeframe a house is on the market, compared to 21 days earlier in 2018. Price cuts provide further evidence of a real estate market that may be easing up slightly on buyers heading into 2019. While the changing landscape can entice buyers eager to take advantage of the lower prices, the truth remains: The market remains competitive. Borrowers can get an upper hand by getting pre-approved for a home loan first. If you get pre-approved utilizing our exclusive Keys on Time Program, you can shop for homes confidently because your financing is complete with a fully underwritten preliminary pre-approval. This will give you an idea of how much you can afford in the market, which will help you narrow down your search. In addition, a seller would likely view your offer with a favorable eye should you face competition from other bidders. A financing pre-approval takes the questions out of your qualifications as a buyer, gets your offer to the front of the line and increases your chances of closing the loan on time. Our Keys on Time program delivers the following: A pre-approval that is fully underwritten. An opportunity to waive the loan contingency when an offer is put in (because a complete pre-approval has occurred), which will make the offer more appealing. More confidence for the seller when it comes to closing on, or prior to the escrow close date, and that delays won’t happen. Plus, if you combine the Keys on Time program with our SecureLock program then […]

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Three predictions for the 2019 Bay Area Real Estate market

Posted: 12/07/2018 As we approach the New Year, there are some changes on the horizon for the Bay Area real estate market. Quick sales, tight inventory and skyrocketing prices may no longer be the norm in 2019. Here are three predictions for the Bay Area real estate market to watch out for. Fewer Buyers Record-high prices and sales – hallmarks of the booming real estate market in the Bay Area – are slowing down. This new reality, however, isn’t generating more buyers. Other conditions forecasted for 2019 could further hinder new buyers. According to the California Association of Realtors, rising interest rates and the lack of affordable housing are just some of the ingredients in its forecast. Since prices remain high, many future homebuyers are having a difficult time entering the market, a trend that’s likely to continue into the New Year. Slight Price Increase A slowed-down housing market doesn’t necessarily mean lower prices. In fact, real estate experts are forecasting home prices to go up by 3 percent in 2019. Should the economy continue an upward trajectory, that could also be a factor. Such a price increase would still be smaller than what we have seen over the last couple of years, however. Downturn in Sales Prices are still increasing, albeit at a slower pace. This trend, however, may not result in more sales in 2019. Already, homes are taking longer to sell and not reaching the stratospheric prices common in the market earlier this year. After years of high-octane growth, the market is finally appearing to cool off. The cool-off, however, is likely not enough to immediately bring in more buyers, lower prices or interest rates. Since the economy remains strong and buying […]

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