Category Archives: Uncategorized

Yay! More Yelp reviews!


David Zabarte at Keller Williams

I would love to talk to some more folks who are either thinking about selling their home and are wondering if it is possible do accomplish a move-up in this down market, or any buyer looking to purchase a home now and is ready to take advantage of the record low interest rates.  I have helped a bunch of clients get through some tough sales, and I can certainly fill you in on what obstacles are out there and to navigate with the best approach for this current real estate market! Don’t wait! I will even meet up with you at your favorite coffee spot and buy you a cup of coffee if you’d like to meet me in person first in a “neutral” environment so to speak.

I got ANOTHER stellar review of my services on Yelp.com — LOVE that site!

Here is the review of a client I helped move to Pleasant Hill from their
Concord home:
“My family and I finally decided to move last year. We had lined up a realtor who came highly recommended from a family member, but we immediately realized it just didn’t “feel right”. So we decided to keep looking.

I had met David about a month prior through a mutual friend, and learned that he was a realtor. Since we didn’t love our current guy, we decided to meet with David, and see if we’d fit.

The first thing we noticed was that he is 100% passionate about the buying and selling of real estate. We sat around our kitchen table for 3 hours getting a much needed education. My wife and I knew immediately that David was the guy.

He guided us through every step of the way, and made the process as painless as possible, and even though they say there are ALWAYS roadblocks, and unexpected ‘gotchas’ with selling and buying a house, it all went incredibly smooth.

We’re so happy to be in our new home, in our new town, but should we ever decide to move again, we’ll absolutely use David. I would recommend him to anyone.

Thanks David!” — Tom L.
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Tom… you are a true gentleman and I’m proud to have you living in my town!

I love Yelp.com! New review from Steve M.

I love it when a client takes the effort to post a review of my services. I work hard to protect my clients and to make the buying and selling process as comfortable as possible which is sometimes quite challenging… getting even a little bit of public validation is always great for an ego stroke. Here is the latest review posted by a client on Yelp:

“I use multiple Realtor’s throughout the Bay Area, and I am extremely happy to add Mr. Z. to the top of my list. His skills and work ethic made my last sale completely effortless. He was precise on all aspects of the property, and his attention to detail throughout the sale was spot on! I look forward to more dealings with David” — Steve M.

I Managed to Move My Website to a New Server!

GOOD JOB DAVID! [patting self on back]

So… not sure how many people can relate with how challenging technology can be to an independent business person when things like webservers and databases need to be relocated, but let me assure you… it is definitely not my favorite thing to have to do when there are about a million other time sensitive things that are all happening at once. My homepage is at www.davidzabarte.com is now looking a little different. I made some cuts to some technologies that needed weeding out, and I have set myself up for adding more features down the line, and I think that my blog is now all set to be able to upgrade with WordPress as it continues to get better and better. SWEET!

Some perspective on the credit crunch

I just received an e-mail from my friend Andy Scott who is on the front lines in the mortgage industry. He is unusually gifted when it comes to putting into words a clear picture of how the mechanics of our economic system functions in regards to lending and the current climate of our monetary system. His message which I post below should give you something to consider regarding why it is difficult still to get financing. I encourage you to e-mail Andy and request to receive his newsletter which is quite enlightening!  (E-mail him at: andy@peregrinelending.com)

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Good afternoon,

Well, after many weeks without seeing my newsletter, it’s finally back.  During the course of the last couple of weeks, many things have changed in the market place….however, much of what we hear on the news is incorrectly reported.  I will begin with last week’s economic data.  Jobless claims were up and the stock market was down – both of which hit numbers that we haven’t seen in excess of a decade.  Rates for home loans continue to hover near 40 year lows and FHA is making a push for the higher loan limits ($729,000), with the benchmark 30 year fixed conforming loan being around 5%.

President Obama has implemented the “Making Home Affordable” program which is intended to help up to 9 million homeowners who have been struggling to stay on top of their payments….there is so much information to wade through that it will take several days to decipher the information and a few weeks or months to see if this program will yield any positive results.  I mention this because in 2007 and 2008, the push was for loan modifications that the government had authorized and it sounded like a wonderful lifeline for many struggling homeowners.  In reality, it only helped a small fraction of homeowners who met the strict criteria that the non-profit organizations had to work with from the lenders.  I wouldn’t hold my breath that this new program will save everyone and get things on track right away – but we can always hope that all this money that we’ve borrowed from ourselves will be utilized properly as well as truly help to mitigate our losses so that we can begin to rebuild our economy.

There is one thing that hasn’t made the headline news that will actually have more impact on our economy than nearly all of the stimulus packages (which are merely a band-aid), and that is the Mark to Market laws.  At the end of this week and I’m sure into next week, the Senate Finance Committee and the House of Financial Services will be meeting with top policy makers to figure out how to repeal (temporarily) or at the least modify this law.  Why is this important?  At this time, the bank are sitting on more cash than they ever have in the history of the banking industry.  Then why is it so difficult to get a loan?  Because the banks are required to keep a certain amount of reserves and assets on their books in order to maintain their charters.  When a bank can’t determine how to value a loan on their books, they have to supplement that asset with cash to cover the amount of the original terms.  An easier way to look at it is like this:  Imagine you are a bank and you’ve given someone a home loan for $500,000 back in 2004.  As the bank, you see this as a good loan – the client hasn’t defaulted on the loan, they are still making payments for a $500K loan, and as far as you (the bank) are concerned….it’s a $500,000 asset that is performing well.  Now, throw in the Mark to Market rule.  The house that you loaned the $500K on has now devalued to $300,000 – well, according to the mark to market rule, you have to show that loan as only being worth $300K (even though it’s still performing like a $500K asset) and then you have to supplement the difference of $200K with cash.  The problem is, the banks have to continuously keep re-evaluating their portfolio and can’t determine a fixed price to reflect a value to their assets, so they are hording the cash – as it has a set value.  If we can get this rule repealed or modified so that the banks and investors can peg a value to their assets, we would see an influx of cash hit the streets and loosen up this credit freeze that we currently have in the market place.  I’ve taken steps to write to both Sen. Barbara Boxer and House Rep. Nancy Pelosi about the Mark to Market rule and that it needs modification.  If what I wrote here makes sense to you, please contact your representatives and ask them for their support in modifying or repealing this antiquated rule.

I will keep you posted with latest information about the “Making Home Affordable” program and how it will impact you.

One last thing, when will we see a bottom to this market?  I always get a kick out of this question, because once the news reports a bottom, we’ve already hit it and now we are rising again.  If you have thought about refinancing into a fix product (which is a great idea in light of the current economic climate), buying a new home, or of buying an investment property….now is a fantastic time to buy.  I am getting a client a 30 year fixed rate on an investment property at 5.125%!!!  He is paying a small fee to the bank for that rate, but it’s unheard of to get a rate on investment financing that is that low.  Call me now or email me if you would like to explore your options.

Have a great week,

Andy

Ah…Road Rage… A Shining Example Of Human Interaction

I just got back to my home office after meeting some clients out in Brentwood to look at a very nice bank owned home (there is some serious house for the money out that way) and was on my way back taking the Highway 4 Bypass (a 55 mph road.) when I saw ahead of me a car swerve into the shoulder and pull in front of the car that it had been following. Now at first glance when you see a car swerve in such a fashion you think… wow I wonder if something is in the road or… maybe that car is experiencing tire blow out, or ya know, the like; however as a got closer and saw that the car which was passed up had come to a stop, I thought there may have been some sort of collision ahead or some type of traffic jam. OH BOY, not in the least — it was in fact an altercation between the two drivers! I watched as the guy who had made such a stellar effort to get in front of the car he was apparently chasing get out of his car (and the funny thing is his car had a gigantic Christian cross w/dove of peace in the center of it as a decal on the back of his car window) and start to advance toward the other driver. This person didn’t bother to get out of the car, but rather accelerated around the would be attacker and his car and was off. Chase continuing, the huge Christian (I’m just making assumptions based on the giant cross on the car) – this guy was like 6’5″ and burly – then quickly got back into his car and was off again. Now we come to the red light which has them both come to a stop, and the burly Christian (I can’t make any assumptions as to the other guy since I neither saw his physical form get out of the vehicle – nor did he have any distinguishing decals on his car) once again got out of his vehicle of peace, and once again made advancement toward the object of his rage resulting in the vehicle bolting straight through a red light and on down the road not to be seen again by anyone.

Wow… this whole display really had been swimming in my head. I am always amazed at some of the human behavior that I see out there. Had this big man who from what I can tell did most of the antagonizing not have a rather large symbol of peace and understanding very professionally installed onto his back window, I might not have stewed on this for more than a minute at most — probably attributing it to someone having a bad day. I think because there was such a an obvious hypocrisy of message to behavior from the one guy it made me really upset. I think it is great that we have our beliefs and our pride, and I’m sure the burly Christian has his side to tell, but when I see this type of behavior it really makes me wonder about people. Well… it sure feels good to vent that and get this out of my system — shame on those who are blatantly hypocritical! Boo/Hiss on you (hypocrits… not readers!!!)

Hands Free Goes Into Effect Tomorrow

Please take note:

The new HANDSFREE cell phone law will go into effect at12:01 am on July 1st in California, and will be statewide. This law applies to all drivers regardless of age. Visitors from out of state will be subject to this law as well. There will be no grace period and a citation for this infraction does not require any other violation, so be aware! This is one of those “laws” that seems like it might be a good idea, and on the surface looks to address a problem of distracted driving, but just know that once a law like this is passed… the next thing to be a violation could be eating the car, or perhaps driving with children. I am unconvinced that simply forcing people to use both hands to drive is going to fix the problem of poor awareness while driving. I think that there are plenty of people who currently drive while talking on the phone, or eating while driving, or smacking their kids while driving, who will be no more or less distracted by whatever it is they are doing because of this law, while the folks who are unable to focus their attention on what they should be doing… in this case driving the car, will still be equally dangerous to the rest of us. I guess I am just jaded by the senseless people I sometime see driving (uh… reading a book on the freeway for instance… hello?) that I feel a law like this hands-free is just another excuse to chip away at civil liberties. Regardless of my opinion on the matter… the law will affect all of us so just be prepared.