What’s it like to buy a house, really?

If you follow my blog, you will find out…My wife and I have decided that this is the year to buy our own house. We love the neighborhood that we live in, but we’ve been renting and rather than continuing to pay for our landlord’s retirement, we’re ready to invest in our own. Like many home buyers today, we are going to need help from our family. We’ve worked hard over the past couple of years to pay down as much debt as possible (except for student loans…yup, I feel your pain) and now we’re ready.

I’ve also decided to share my journey with you so that – if you’re teetering on the fence of buying a home – you can learn from my mistakes and experiences. Like I advise many of my own clients, I will be talking to a number of different lenders. I will also be looking at a number of different scenarios: conventional, FHA, 203k fha rehab (there’s a particular property that I have in mind for this one).

It’s daunting and exciting. I don’t know if we can afford to buy the type of home we want but we’re gonna give it the old college try.

I will be talking to two lenders this week: Toni Hicks with Travis Credit Union & Dave Anderson over at Homestreet bank. Ironically, Toni use to work for David but chose to jump ship. They are two of my favorite people and I’m looking forward to seeing how they can help me. One of my reasons for working with Homestreet is because they are one of the few lenders that can do a 203k rehab loan.

I decided to reach to Toni because I’ve always wanted to work with her and I bank at Travis CU. They have some first time home buyer programs that I want to explore, as does the City of American Canyon. My wife is a teacher at Bethel so we’ll be looking into some programs through the California Teachers Association

It should be an interesting ride and I look forward to having you along on my journey.

Don’t make these home buying mistakes…

Buying a home isn’t easy. In fact it can be hard work. But don’t miss out on your dream home because of a few mistaken assumptions.

I read a survey a couple of years ago – it said that over 60% of first time home buyers have buyer’s remorse. It’s important to me that this doesn’t happen to you. As we begin to transition over into a more normalized market there isn’t the same pressures on buyers that there have been over the past few years. Take your time and find the right home, rather than a convenient one.

It’s been a while…

…and a lot has changed in the American Canyon Real Estate Market. Without a doubt the market has shifted from a hot sellers market to a more normalized market. We aren’t quite in a buyer’s market just quite yet, but we certainly headed there.

As of Sunday, there were 26 homes on the market. Last December there was only 15. Quite an astounding increase in inventory – this is a good thing. I predicted earlier this fall that the inventory would continue to increase and that sellers would need to start working harder. You can’t just throw a sign up in the yard and expect the buyers to come flocking. Good news is that home prices are slightly higher then last year at this time with the average sales price in the low $500,000’s.

Higher interest rates (hovering around 5%) and higher home prices mean slightly fewer buyers…and they are more discerning. They are taking their time to find the right home, rather than just any home. Staging is more important than ever now. I don’t mean that you necessarily have to go out and get all new furniture. I do mean that you have to de-clutter, de-personalize and clean.

As a buyer the good news is that you have a lot to choose from. The right home is out there to make your own. There are a lot of beautiful homes on the market right now and they seem to be lingering and there is a great opportunity to get them at below market…510 Chaucer, listed by Marcia Hadeler with Coldwell Banker and offered at $529,000 is one such home.

4 beds, 3 baths, 2003±sf – court location at the end of Chaucer; large back yard. Full bed and bathroom downstairs. My wife loves this home.

I will be honest though…right now my heart is set on 416 Bettona Way listed by good friend Nelia Medeiros and her partner Loreto Stribling with Eagle Vines. It’s currently listed at $657,000 and is a huge steal. Homes in that area were going for $680,000’s earlier this year. This is what I mean about the market softening. It’s been on for a over a month. Had it come on this past spring it would have garnered multiple offers and been off in a week.

4 bed, 3 bath, over 3100sf – this home has a fantastic flow.

If you have any questions about the real estate market I’d love to hear from you. Call me at (707) 853-0797 or email:

Open House Alert – 712 Daniels Ave

I will be holding open 712 Daniels Ave in Vallejo today from 1-3pm


Exclusively listed by Richard Peterson and offered at $350,000

Awesome opportunity for an investor or first time home buyer! Two blocks from the water, parks and schools. Near the ferry, Mare Island, 37 & I-80. Spacious kitchen and family room with a formal dining/living room combo.

712 Daniels Ave, Vallejo – Just Listed

Quaint, 4 bed & 2 bath town home close to Mare Island and the Ferry Building. Boasting over 1500±sf, this 2 story condo has it all. Spacious kitchen opening up into one of two living areas. There is a large, combined formal living and dining room off to the left as you walk through the door. Creep up the stairs to 4, ample-size rooms with a master suite off to your right. This home is perfect for the first time home buyer.

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There will be an open house on Sunday from 1 – 3pm.

Open House Alert – 93 Crawford Way

Hey, I will be holding open 93 Crawford Way in American Canyon today (Sunday August 26, 2018) from 1 – 4pm. I had the opportunity to preview it on Brokers Tour earlier this week and it is stunning. I’m particularly enamored with the back yard – it has it’s own greenhouse and is large enough for entertaining.

93 Crawford Front

Gorgeous engineered wood floors, newer carpet and tile. It’s got this fantastic front yard garden – You can be sure that I will be taking pictures of that this afternoon. Listed at $545,000 by Kasama Lee from our office. I hope to see you there!

Other homes open this Sunday:

102 Summerwood Dr – Listed by Dotty Hopkins with Keller Williams and offered at $659,000. This 4 bath, 4 bed home shows beautifully. It has an open floor plan and has a junior master suite down stairs. I highly encourage you to take a look.

25 Larkspur – Listed by Travis Behn with Eagle Vines and offered at $549,000. This really is a pretty neat home. It does need new carpet and new paint but it does have a new roof put on so there’s that. The home is a little bit dated but for the most part it really is move-in ready. I am a fan of yards and this one is large with plenty of room to make it your own. Open 1-4pm today.

2108 Elliott Drive – Listed by Joe Brasil with Coldwell Banker and offered at $539,000. This one is a flip but the seller did a really nice job. The home is turnkey. It backs up to Kimberly Park and is just blocks from the multi-use center. Open from 1-4pm today.

323 Los Altos – Listed by David Barker with Better Homes and Gardens and offered at $459,000. It’s a cute house that has been upgraded. A 1954 bungalow in the heart of Rancho del Mar. Open today from 1-3pm.

210 Carolyn Dr – Listed by Octavillo Maravilla with 3 Tree Realty and offered at $449,990. Major upgrades to the home including new roof and gutters, new electrical…these are some big-ticket items and this group does a really good job. Open today from 12 – 3pm.

702 Deerfield Dr – Listed by Deepal Karunaratne with Redfin and offered at $445,000. This is one of the lower prices for a single family detached home in the Canyon Creek subdivision and it’s probably a bit of a steal. This was on the market this past winter. It’s open today from 1-4pm.

15 Lena Drive – Listed by Carlos Cruz with Intero Real Estate and offered at $419,000.  Home has potential but there is also a bit of differed maintenance. At this price, however, that shouldn’t scare you off. Fantastic setting with a large back yard. Open today from 12 – 3pm.

Am Can Open Houses 8/18-8/19

Hey there folks, we only have a few open houses around town this weekend although we have quite a few new homes on the market. I’ve been talking to a few agents around town and they’re getting fewer – and lower – offers than they have been in the past. I will talk about that Monday morning in my new, weekly recap of the American Canyon housing market. For now, here’s what’s going on around town this weekend:

Saturday Open Houses

25 Larkspur Front

  • 25 Larkspur St (11am – 2pm) I really like this home. It has one bedroom downstairs and a huge back yard. It’s pretty much close to everything – just a couple of blocks to the community pool, the middle school and Donaldson Way Elementary. It was in contract earlier this spring but the buyer bailed. Since then, a new roof has been put on the property. I’ve spoken to the listing agent and the seller is motivated, even willing to consider unconventional offers.

Sunday Open Houses

  • 25 Larkspur will be open again from 11am – 2pm.

2108 Elliott Front

  • 2108 Elliott Drive (1 – 3pm) – This home looks stunning. I’ve known the listing agent on this one for a couple of years and he always has beautiful homes. It’s on the market at $539,000.

102 Summerwood

102 Summerwood Dr (1 – 3pm) – Last up for open houses this week. This home shows beautifully. It was on brokers tour yesterday and it was impressive. It’s listed at $659,000.

Build Your Dream Home

It’s really that simple. The more that you tell me what you want the better I can do to help you find the home that you’re looking for…unless it’s new construction in American Canyon. Then you have to wait a couple of years…maybe…if you’re lucky. That’s kind of a bummer for the 60% of of respondents to a CAR survey that said they wanted new construction.



AmCan Open Houses for 8/11-12

The Inventory in American Canyon is exploding, reaching heights that we haven’t seen in nearly five years. Here’s a recap of open houses in the City this weekend.


  • 35 Pienza Dr from 12-4pm: 4 bed, 2.5 bath, 2126± sf @ $590,000 (hosted by me!)
  • 114 Ford Dr from 1 – 4pm: 5 bed, 3 bath, 3368± sf @ $699,000 (ornate Italian furniture comes with the house!)
  • 11 Montevino Dr from 1 – 4pm: 4 bed, 2 bath, 2156± sf @ $575,000 (quirky layout but a fantastic backyard. Perfect for a person who works from home).
  • 128 Kimberly Dr from 1 – 3pm: 3 bed, 2 bath, 1024± sf @ $425,000 (again, quirky layout on a bit of a busy street but this a perfect home if you’re just trying to get your foot in the door).
  • 2525 Flosden Rd, Spc 127 from 1 – 4:30pm: 3 bed, 2 bath @ $180,000 (This is a mobile home).


  • 704 Westpark from 1 – 3pm: 4 bed, 2 bath, 1989± sf @ $559,000 (I’ve held this open and love the layout; this is one of the best homes in the Canyon Creek subdivision).
  • 25 Larkspur from 11am – 2pm: 4 bed, 3 bath, 1941± sf @ $549,000 (I’ll be honest, I don’t know why this one is still on the market. New roof – May, 2018 – and a YUGE backyard sits on a corner lot. It’s a little dated but I think that you can do wonders with this home. Check it out and tell Travis that Rich sent you!).
  • 323 Los Altos from 1 – 4pm: 3 bed, 1 bath, 1072± sf @ $459,000 (Typical Rancho del Mar bungalo. It’s been decently upgraded and the backyard has a lot of potential).
  • 128 Kimberly Dr from 1 -4pm
  • 35 Pienza Dr from 1 – 4pm (not hosted by me on Sunday…)
  • 228 Pinecreek Ln from 2 – 4pm (haven’t seen. Just came on this morning).