We’re Off to the Races

April 27 will be a busy day in Sacramento for My Broker Donates. Our non-profit partner, WEAVE, a providWalter in heels from behinder of crisis intervention services for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault is having their fundraiser, Walk a Mile in Her Shoes. Capitol Mall will be swarmed by more than 700 men who will walk, run, and hobble the one-mile course while wearing high heels. Look for our very own Walter Helm, MBD’s Sacramento Regional Director, who plans on running the entire course with his service dog in training. Enter to win one of six Starbucks Gift Cards to be given away at the My Broker Donates booth. Race starts at one o’clock.

 

Up early that day? Run a few laps at the ever popular Race for the Stars, a fund raiser for the San Juan Education Foundation. Proceeds go to support the many supplemental programs that help make the San Juan School district, with its 40,000 students, so very successful. First race starts at 8 am at the Rio Americano High School track. My Broker Donates will be there so stop by and enter to win one of six Starbucks gift cards.

 

Let the Band Play On

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My Broker Donates welcomes our newest non-profit partner: San Juan Education Foundation. Providing a child with the tools for success not only develops a strong workforce, it contributes to the strength and safety of our community. Their passionate parents and business leaders help provide all students with an excellent education that enables them to be competitive in the challenging workplace of the future.

The goal of SJEF’s grassroots support is to provide the catalyst for increasing numbers of teachers to innovate and improve the educational experience. Community investment in San Juan education benefits not only their students, but the community itself. As a district-wide foundation with a focus on science, technology, arts, and reading, the Foundation can leverage, target and maximize a large pool of resources, often from outside our San Juan community. This creates a greater impact compared to individual schools working alone.

As a strong, high-achieving community, they are not satisfied with the status quo in their schools. SJEF cannot depend on government funding alone to provide the high caliber educational opportunities their students need and they demand. They believe it is critically important to enrich the classroom experience and offer support to teachers who want to be creative, innovative and challenge students.

By providing funds for teacher-driven learning projects where public funding falls short, the foundation rewards initiative and creativity and helps ensure that children are not denied critical learning opportunities.

When you buy or sell a home using a trusted agent from My Broker Donates, not only will you get the best agent in the business, but My Broker Donates will make a sizable donation to San Juan Education Foundation at closing. And, of course, our agent matching service will cost you nothing. We are honored to have been chosen to partner with SJEF.

Safe Harbor from the Storm

weavecolorlargeWhere do you go when you are out of options? When domestic violence or sexual assault come crushing down, who do you call? Our new partner, WEAVE, provides an array of services to women, men and children in the greater Sacramento region on an emergency basis, and also works as part of the Rescue & Restore Coalition to support victims of human trafficking.

Their goal is to build a stronger community and healthy families and their mission to build a community that does not tolerate domestic violence and sexual assault and provides survivors with the support they need to be safe and thrive.

WEAVE woman

Crisis intervention services are only part of the solution. Prevention and Education are critical in improving how our community responds to violence. WEAVE is committed to breaking the cycle of violence by educating the community to better understand the issues of domestic violence and sexual assault.

When you buy or sell a home using one of our trusted agents, not only will you get the best agent in the business, but MBD will make a sizable donation to WEAVE at closing. And, of course, our agent matching service will cost you nothing. We are honored to have been chosen to partner with WEAVE.

Employees’ Relocating? Feed the Hungry at the Same Time

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My Broker Donates is pleased to announce our new non-profit partnership with Yolo Food Bank.

 

Yolo Food Bank distributes nearly 3 million pounds of food and grocery items annually to children, seniors, families, and individuals in need of food assistance through a network of 60 non-profit partner agencies. Their goal is to provide healthy food for Yolo County residents in need.

 

There are more than 35,000 individuals in Yolo County who experience food insecurity, and Yolo Food Bank is here to help. Their innovative programs help feed people every day.

 

Yolo Food Bank partners with local farmers to source, obtain, and distribute locally-grown fruits and vegetables. Fresh produce represents more than one quarter of the annual inventory.  In addition, they work closely with growers and packers located throughout the region and state of California to ensure a consistent variety of fresh produce.  Through their programs, Yolo Food Bank has prioritized the distribution of fresh fruits and vegetables to children, seniors, and families.

 

When you use the My Broker Donates program and select Yolo Food Bank to receive your donation, you directly help hundreds of hungry people every day.

 

Where are the first time buyers?

first time dream

In a real estate market that is still very much struggling to recover from mortgage derivatives crash of 2008, new buyers are staying away in droves. According to one report -

First-time buyers accounted for 26 percent of purchases in January, down from 27 percent in December and 30 percent in January 2013. This is the lowest market share for first-time buyers since NAR began monthly measurement in October 2008; normally, they should be closer to 40 percent.” Source: National Association of Realtors®

A number of factors may be in play here. Young adults are burdened by loans they took out to pay for their education. Often considered the bedrock of the housing market, first-timers are not stepping up to fill the void left as speculators cool off. The trend has alarmed some housing experts, who suspect that student loan debt is partly to blame. That debt has tripled from a decade earlier, to more than $1 trillion, while wages for young college graduates have dropped.

 

In areas affected by the tech boom, like San Francisco, Seattle and Manhattan, first-timers are being priced out of the market. Some estimates suggest that young people would need to save for ten years or more to come up with the down payment.

 

When there was a healthy middle class, relatives often would pony up the down payment or otherwise help their children buy that first home or condo. As the middle class shrinks, however, fewer dollars are available for such bighearted gestures.

 

First-timers have always provided the stimulus to generate market activity. They buy the smaller, lower priced homes, allowing those sellers to move up to the next level, whose owners themselves buy bigger and better homes. This chain reaction creates jobs for everyone associated with housing, stimulating the economy and creating prosperity. Without a strong cadre of new buyers, the economic recovery will continue to sputter along.

 

There is hope. Sen Elizabeth Warren has a plan. And student loan forgiveness programs are out there, if you know where to look. Here is a handy guide.

My Broker Donates Welcomes Eskaton Foundation

Eskaton Foundation-LogoA big WELCOME to our new nonprofit Partner, Eskaton Foundation. Eskaton is a community-based organization serving seniors. They serve all seniors, whether they are living in one of the thirty Eskaton Senior Living facilities throughout northern California, residing in affordable housing, or choosing to age in their own homes. Eskaton Foundation provides life changing improvements in the lives of their seniors clients.

From the Foundation website:

Eskaton box

My Broker Donates is pleased to provide just-the-right agent whenever their residents, staff or supporters make a real estate transaction.

 

 

Are the Rich Meaner?

greedy guyThe richer you are, the less likely that you will empathize with those less fortunate, according to researcher Daniel Goleman, a psychologist, and the author of “Emotional Intelligence”. In a piece in the NYTimes, Goleman says,

A growing body of recent research shows that people with the most social power pay scant attention to those with little such power. This tuning out has been observed, for instance, with strangers in a mere five-minute get-acquainted session, where the more powerful person shows fewer signals of paying attention, like nodding or laughing. Higher-status people are also more likely to express disregard, through facial expressions, and are more likely to take over the conversation and interrupt or look past the other speaker.

Makes you wonder if someone who starts out as a community organizer, say, and then becomes powerful and wealthy, if that person may lose touch with the plight of those he once served. Further,

Social distance makes it all the easier to focus on small differences between groups and to put a negative spin on the ways of others and a positive spin on our own.

If Goleman is correct, the growing inequality and shifting class structure in America bodes ill for many of us. According to Former President Jimmy Carter, in Oakland at a Habitat for Humanity construction site, when he occupied the White House,

“The disparity between rich people and poor people in America has increased dramatically since when we started,” he said. “The middle class has become more like poor people than they were 30 years ago. So I don’t think it’s getting any better.”

There may be hidden benefit for the non-rich. People tend to rely on their network of family and friends when they have fewer resources. When you need a ride home from the airport, do you call a cab or a friend?

As we do so often, in the end we turn to Oprah: “Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.” 

A Family Affair

The email was very clear: We’ve found an agent that we like, but my sister said we should contact your company anyway.

Siblings had inherited a house in central California and wanted to sell. As sometimes happens with families, they were not all on the same page. The one thing that they all agreed on was the importance of getting the most money from the sale, especially since it would be split four ways. Ted, their friendly neighborhood Realtor® was happy to help, but one sister had heard that My Broker Donates would research the agents in their community and make recommendations based on current sales and agent production, data not available to the public.

When I with spoke with Sylvia, the contact person, she said that they were coming to MBD as a formality – Ted, the agent on the scene, had met with them and seemed quite adequate to the task. I suggested that I do some research and we compare a couple of veteran local agents from my search with their current favorite. A side-by-side comparison. What did they have to lose?

The results surprised her. Both of our agents had very strong sales histories representing sellers in her area, compared with a weak showing from Ted. After interviewing all the agents, they chose, Roxanne, also my personal favorite.

Roxanne helped them stage and price the house. Multiple offers boosted the price, and Roxanne helped her sellers navigate the offer and escrow process to a happy conclusion. Sylvia told me that they were sure they received many thousands more by using the MBD agent. And it resulted in a big donation to their local public radio station in their names, but at no cost to them.

Thinking of selling? Already know an agent? We will recommend an agent, show you the statistics, and then you decide. We think you will make the MBD choice. Call or text us right now: 415-300-0432

Shopping for a Professional?

We were chatting with medical professionals the other day, and someone said, what if people chose their doctors the same way they choose their Realtors?

professionals

We came up with a multiple choice scenario:

A family member becomes quite ill, and needs an operation. You need to find the doctor most likely to bring a successful outcome. So you:

A. Drive to the nearest hospital and choose a doctor at random to perform the procedure;

B. Ask friends at a dinner party if they know a good doctor;

C. Search the internet for a doctor who advertises her expertise in that area of medicine.

Of course, the answer is None of the Above – you would reach out to your professional network for candidates, check bona fides, consult the doctors’ peers and then interview. Because the decision you make is critical, perhaps even a matter of life or death. And, most important, the data are there to help you choose.

The Realtor you choose directly affects the outcome of your transaction. Okay, no one is in mortal danger, but your decision directly bears on your family’s financial and emotional well being. If selling, you want the agent with the best market cred, to bring you the most money from the sale. A a buyer, you want someone with a proven track record in your market area, who is able to show homes as soon as they are ready for market.

Unfortunately, the data you need to make these decisions are not available to the public. That’s where MBD comes in. As insiders, we have the agent production data to narrow the field to the best of the best. Then we check license and get peer input before matching the agents with our clients. We believe that people want transparency, especially when selecting a representative for a major financial transaction. When you think about it, why do it any other way?

There are several ways to contact My Broker Donates. Visit our website; email: info@MyBrokerDonates.com or call toll-free: 888-623-2823.

Even Snowden Can’t Find a Home

Snowden2He had the cooperation of Hong Kong and Russia, and three South American governments. But still he had to spend a month camped out next to the borscht stand at Sheremetyevo.

We’re not saying that we can make life easier for Snowden, but if you find the home selling or buying process frustrating, My Broker Donates can help.  We know buying and selling homes often is much more of a struggle than it needs to be. The key is having the right agent relationship, and that’s where we come in.

Many sellers don’t get as much as they should for their homes. Word of mouth or a friend in the business just doesn’t cut it anymore. As a Seller, if you’d like to get the right price for your home, My Broker Donates will deliver proven professionals who know your neighborhood and market.

Some of the best homes get sold before they make it to market. If you’re not getting a chance to see and get to bid on that “just-right” house, talk to My Broker Donates.

We’re happy that Mr. Snowdon finally found his condo in the Ukraine. And we hope when it’s time for you to make your move, you’ll call us to match you with that just-right agent. You can count on us to make sure you’re not feeling stranded in the Terminal.

Call or text us at 415-300-0432 or email: info@MyBrokerDonates.com