Not All Approvals Are Created Equal This Mortgage Option Can Be As Good As Cash Prospective homeowners in the Bay Area know the pain of competing with cash offers. Per Corelogic’s Home Price Index, home prices have reached pre-recession levels in most areas of the country. This leaves folks without the personal assets to compete with cash buyers in a tough spot. Therefore, it’s important prospective homeowners know the differences between the three basic “approval” statuses - prequalification, preapproval, and “underwritten preapproval” - most mortgage lenders offer potential homebuyers. For sake of comprehension, I like to explain the difference between each “approval” in terms of dating. A prequalification letter is like the first … [Read more...]

On the House

7 Home Improvements To Tackle Before You Move In You found the perfect home, so it’s not surprising that you want to move in as quickly as possible. However, there are some projects that are best done when the house is still empty. So, consider completing the following seven items before the moving trucks arrive. 1. Painting. A fresh coat of paint can instantly update a room, and it’s common to buy a home knowing you will need to paint several rooms or the entire house after the sale. However, painting is best done while every wall is accessible and there are no worries about getting paint on furniture or rugs. 2. Changing locks. Now is the time to change the locks on your new home to eliminate the risk of any former keyholders … [Read more...]

For Your Dental Health

Kidney Disease and Oral Health Kidneys perform extremely crucial functions in the body. They expel waste like urea, help produce red blood cells, regulate blood pressure and regulate calcium, phosphate and vitamin D in the body. Kidney disease often does not exhibit any symptoms until it is in the advanced stages. The dentist can help detect early warning signs by evaluating patients for high blood pressure and determining whether patients have a history of heart and kidney disease. If the early signs are present the patient can be referred to their physician as early treatment can reduce the likelihood of End Stage Renal Disease or (ESRD) from developing. Kidney disease is a progressively debilitating condition that leads to ESRD in … [Read more...]

Who’s Who In East County

Homelife Senior Care When it’s time to find in-home help, HomeLife Senior Care is a family-owned and award-winning agency that provides a wide range of exceptional personal and companion services. This accredited, state-licensed 24-hour home care agency has been serving East and Central Contra Costa County, Rio Vista, and Tracy since 2010. HomeLife values the importance of independence, and their passion is helping clients to remain at home and providing families with peace of mind. Owners Angela and Vinny DiNicola founded their business due to personal experience. Confronted with Dad’s failing health, they became acutely aware of the need for compassionate senior care. Like many seniors, his health was not poor enough to require a … [Read more...]

Law Office of Michael Primus

Rebuilding Credit Most people take good credit for granted, that is, until some life event changes things.  Financial adversity is never welcomed, but it is, nonetheless, a part of life. The notion of rebuilding credit assumes your underlying financial problems have been resolved leaving bad credit but not unpaid debt. The remaining question: how does one rebuild good credit? This article presents several tips. The first tip is to become an authorized user on a family member’s credit card. Of course, this needs to be a credit card that is being used and paid in a timely manner. An authorized user is not contractually liable for charges on the account and is not required to qualify but will get some credit report benefit when timely … [Read more...]

Who’s Been Snooped?

Let The Sunshine In! This weekend, the world will celebrate Memorial Day, but here in the farmlands, we add to that celebration with our delicious fresh picked ripe cherries. That being said, with a warm sun expected through the weekend, East Contra Costa County will expect over 100,000 visitors from surrounding counties to enjoy this annual tradition. Bummer is, the traffic is so unbelievable you can witness helicopters from local news stations filming above as you try to make your way across town. Still, that bright red cherry color stays fresh in your mind until you can pop one of those beauties in your mouth. Great time to look in on a local company who can bring memorable color into your home. Denise Rivera, a 20 year veteran … [Read more...]

Travel Time

The Cooks, The “Low Key” South Pacific The Cooks consist of 15 islands located in the heart of the Pacific, halfway between Hawaii and New Zealand. The main island, Rarotonga, with its large lagoon, is a continuous land mass, so you can easily explore different resorts, restaurants and attractions. The small airport is just a few minutes’ drive from most resorts. In fact, you are less than 30 minutes to any beach. So once you land, you’re there. On a budgeting note, the 10-hour non-stop flight from Los Angeles is frequently under $900. Cook Islanders use the New Zealand dollar, which exchanges at $1.40 to our dollar, good for the American visitor. Of course, the Cooks have the sun and sand and aqua waters you’ve always associated … [Read more...]

Amy’s Bright Advice

Print vs. Digital Advertising A study done in 2015 by the U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General (OIG) worked with Temple University’s Center for Neural Decision Making compared the reactions of readers when presented with either a digital or physical advertisement. They used various neuro-marketing techniques (such as eye tracking and biometric measurements) to gauge readers’ reactions. The following results of the study showed that print advertising was leaving more of a positive and lasting impression on the subjects: • Subjects spent longer reviewing physical media than digital • Printed media evoked higher emotional reactions • Physical media led to subjects having a great desire for the product • Subjects attached high … [Read more...]

Pick of the Vine

Walnut Creek Skin & Laser For years, Walnut Creek Skin & Laser has provided expert dermatology services to the community, specializing in medical conditions of the skin, hair, and nails. Consistently ranked highly among Northern California practitioners, they offer both medical and cosmetic treatments. Located in Brentwood and Walnut Creek, they help patients to become and stay healthy and greatly value their active role in enabling others to look and feel their absolute best. Should you develop or suspect a dermal medical condition, it’s important to consult an attentive dermatologist to evaluate and manage the ailment. The offices are equipped to facilitate with problems such as skin cancers, acne, benign growths, eczema, … [Read more...]

Law Offices of Joan Grimes

Do You Still Have an AB or ByPass Trust? Up until 2011, it was very common for estate planning attorneys to draft an AB or ByPass Trust for clients. The purpose of the AB/ByPass Trust was to create estate tax savings by keeping a deceased spouse’s property out of the estate of the surviving spouse. However in 2011, federal estate tax laws were changed dramatically to exempt most estates from paying any estate taxes. For 2016, the exemption for each person is $5.45 million. The amount will go up each year based on a “cost of living” increase. In addition, under the rule change called “Portability”, a surviving spouse may use any unused portion of a deceased spouse’s estate tax exemption upon filing a 706 tax return. For example, a … [Read more...]