Here's the Latest...

OpenHouseOpen Houses
Sunday, April 27th
from 1 to 4 P.M.

29285 Nantucket Way

29267 Whalebone Way

29270 Whalebone Way

Click open house image for information.

Positive Signs of Housing Recovery Crop Up Heading into Spring Home-buying Season

Despite recent month-to-month volatility in the housing market, the majority of the Fannie Mae National Housing Survey indicators on consumer attitudes have continued to move in a positive direction during the past year, which may portend a pickup in home buying and selling activity this spring.

 According to Fannie Mae’s March 2014 National Housing Survey results, the share of survey respondents who say it is a good time to sell a home climbed to 38 percent last month, compared to 26 percent at the same time last year. Additionally, the share who believe it would be easy to get a mortgage today increased to 52 percent, compared to 47 a year ago, and tying the all-time survey high.
Highlights from the survey include:

  • The average 12-month home price change expectation decreased from last month, to 2.7 percent.
  • The share of respondents who say home prices will go up in the next 12 months decreased slightly to 48 percent, while the share who say home prices will go down decreased to 5 percent, an all-time survey low.
  • The share of respondents who say mortgage rates will go up in the next 12 months decreased to 54 percent, and those who said they will go down fell to 3 percent, tying the all-time survey low.
  • The share who say they would buy if they were going to move increased 2 percentage points to 68 percent.

More info







Housing Update: Relief for underwater sellers extended?

April 7, 2014 -- Important housing update: The Senate Finance Committee has passed a two year extension of tax relief for home owners who have had mortgage debt forgiven by a lender as part of a short sale, loan modification or foreclosure. This bill would be retroactive to January 1st, 2014, when the law expired.

The tax relief provision expired at the end of last year, and unless both the United States Senate and House of Representatives approve the extension, homeowners may have to pay tax on the forgiven debt.   Click here for the rest of the story.

Senate Delays Flood Insurance Rate Increase:

floodOn Thursday, Jan 30, the Senate passed the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act which calls for a four-year delay on rate increases.According to NAR the Senate action will stop rate increases triggered by the sale of a property. The bill still needs to be approved by the House of Representatives. NAR reports there is strong support in the house for the measure.

While not at the same risk level as other areas in the United States, there are still many properties in central Alameda County located in flood plains and subject to flood insurance requirements.

For more information about the Senate action, click here.

An Astonishing Share of Homebuyers Are Paying All Cash Source: NPR


There are concerns about the long-term recovery of the housing market due to the high share of buyers paying with all cash.

Overall, all-cash purchases accounted for 42.1 percent of all U.S. residential sales in December, according to a new report from RealtyTrac, a company that collects and analyzes housing data. Institutional investors have bought up many homes with cash, and average buyers remain constrained by unusually tight lending standards.

Making sense of the story

  • Daren Blomquist, vice president of RealtyTrac, commented that the number of all-cash buyers is a “red flag,” stating, "It's like we put the fate of the housing market in the hands of the wealthy few.”
  • All-cash purchases accounted for 42.1 percent of all U.S. residential sales in December, up from a revised 38.1 percent in November, and up from 18.0 percent in December 2012.
  • States where all-cash sales accounted for more than 50 percent of all residential sales in December included Florida (62.5 percent), Wisconsin (59.8 percent), Alabama (55.7 percent), South Carolina (51.3 percent), and Georgia (51.3 percent).
  • For all of 2013, 29.1 percent of U.S. residential sales were all-cash purchases, but the percentage trended substantially higher in the second half of the year. The 29.1 percent in 2013 was up from 19.4 percent in 2012 and 20.6 percent in 2011.
  • Institutional investor purchases accounted for 7.9 percent of all U.S. residential sales in December, up from 7.2 percent the previous month and up from 7.8 percent in December 2012.
  • For all of 2013, institutional investor purchases accounted for 7.3 percent of all U.S. residential property purchases, up from 5.8 percent in 2012 and 5.1 percent in 2011.

 cool thing - improvements that pay you back

Mortgage Debt Relief in 2014

Recently California tax regulations were modified to not treat mortgage debt forgiven in a short sale as taxable income. California tax laws now conform with federal tax laws when it comes to short sales.

While this is good news for home owners who went through a short sale in 2013, the federal mortgage debt forgiveness policy is set to expire on Jan 1, 2014. This means that home owners who have a short sale next year may have to report any forgiven mortgage debt as taxable income when filing their 2014 taxes.

On Nov 19, NAR reported on the status of two bills that could extend mortgage forgiveness tax relief into 2014.  According to NAR, while Congress adjourned before taking action on this issue it appears that an extension could happen next year.  They further reported that any action taken would, most likely, apply to all transactions that occur in 2014.

Benefits of Real Estate Investment vs. Stocks and BondsAs the economic recovery continues to build, Americans are again able to consume and invest; and with recent reports from the U.S. Census...READ MORE >

cool thing - Buyer_optimism_way_up

Rebound Continues: Housing Markets Back to Normal in 52 Metros

Housing markets in 52 out of the approximately 350 metro areas nationwide have now returned to or exceeded their pre-recessionary levels...READ MORE >


cool thing - top_5_reasons_for_buying

couple with financial counselorLoan Mod Program Extended:  

A federal program that makes it easier for homeowners to modify their mortgages, which was to end in August, has been extended into 2015.

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) is an alternative for homeowners facing foreclosure. It allows eligible homeowners who are at least 90 days late on their mortgage payments to reduce their payment amount.  For more information, please click here.


Loan underwriters make 'absurd' demands in effort to verify data

bird on mans shoulderDid you hear about the loan underwriter who demanded a letter from the borrower's doctor stating the borrower had been healed and his illness would not come back? How about the underwriter who wanted a verification of employment from the borrower who listed her occupation as "homemaker"?   Click here for the whole story on ridiculous demands and don't be surprised if it happens to you.

Keep Your Home California Principal Reduction Program  more info

The latest cool thing about the California housing market...RippleEffectReprinted with permission of the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS(R)

Joanne L. Gardiner, Broker, e-PRO Realtor®, Notary Public

Welcome to the San Francisco Bay Area… Known for its moderate climate and bridges crisscrossing the bay, it's a wonderful place to call home. Do you have a question about real estate or manufactured homes?  

Tell me what's on your mind by sending me a note on our contact form. Click here.

 For more than 40 years I have delivered results buyers and sellers love.  It would be my honor to do the same for you whether you're buying or selling in the San Francisco East Bay.  

 You may find it interesting to see what other clients have to say about my service:  Client Testimonials.

I hope to hear from you soon.  Feel free to call me on my cell phone. 

 Thank you,
Joanne L. Gardiner, Broker, e-PRO Realtor®
Cell phone: 510-589-4794


Why call Joanne?

  • Listens to her clients

  • Produces results buyers and sellers love

  • More than 40 years experience

  • Top producer, even in the toughest years​


e-PRO banner

Serving San Francisco Bay Area Buyers and Sellers for more than 40 years.

Bureau* of Real Estate Brokers License Number: 00822285
Department of Housing and Community Development Occupational License Number:  SP1178511

Advantage Realty

3205 Whipple Road - Union City, CA 94587

Office: 510-429-4800 or Cell Phone: 510-589-4794   

We serve the greater bay area: Joanne Gardiner and Advanage Realty serve the greater San Francisco Bay Area with an emphasis on the East Bay.  Our location near the bay, San Mateo Bridge, and Interstate 880 enables us to easily serve most of Alameda Country, parts of Contra Costa County, and parts of San Mateo County. Our primary service areas in Alameda County include:  Hayward, Union City, Fremont, Castro Valley, San Leandro, San Lorenzo, Dublin, Livermore, Newark, Niles, Oakland, Pleasanton,  and Sunol.  In Contra Costa County we serve:  Danville and San Ramon.  In San Mateo County we serve:  Burlingame, Foster City, Palo Alto, and San Mateo.  

The types of real estate in which we specialize are:  Single family homes, duets, condominiums, townhomes, garden homes, PUDs, manufactured homes, mobile homes, and small residential income properties from duplexes up to complexes with 10 units.

The primary zip codes for the areas we serve are:  94540, 94544, 94545, 94541, 94542, 94543, 94540, 94557, 94587, 94536, 94537, 94538, 94539, 94555, 94560, 94577, 94578, 94579, 94546, 94552, 94583, 94582, 94566, 94588, 94506, 94526, 94568, 94611, 94610, 94602, 94618, 94619, 94605, 94501, 94502, 94404, 94010, 94301, 94302, 94303, 94304, 94306, 94309

Proud to be a Realtor

ARM Homes - Dream Homes - Meticuously remodeled manufactured homes by master craftsmenOur sister company ARM Homes specializes in manufactured homes: New customized manufactured homes and meticulously rebuilt manufactured homes by master craftsmen.  ARM Homes also purchases select homes for all cash in as-in condition.  Please visit the ARM Homes web site for more information:


* California Bureau of Real Estate (CalBRE) is the same as the Department of Real Estate.  The name was changed July 1, 2013.