Welcome Brandi Bankston!

Although we are busy with the Fall season, there’s a recent development that we can’t let go by without an announcement….we are excited to announce that Brandi Bankston has joined The Wilder Group as a Realtor Associate!

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Joining during our busy Fall real estate season, Brandi’s gotten a quick start. We are grateful to have her on the team as she has a background in customer service. She also isn’t new to real estate. She actually acquired her license 13 years ago, but shortly after put her real estate career mostly on hold when she took a full time position with UC Berkeley. Brandi was born and raised in Oakland and is a life long East Bay resident. She has two sons and is a proud and engaged St. Leo’s School parent.

We are happy to have her on board!

All the pretty houses...

This year has been very full between working with our great group of buyers and sellers and the exciting volunteer work that Farrah does with Realtors locally and at the state and national level. Although we haven’t posted much about it yet, we’ve been very active. Today, we had a quieter moment so we thought we would highlight some of our recent listings since they are great examples of how our relationships and networks are an integral part of our primarily referral-based business.

1460 34th Street.  We met the sellers last year when we were selling a similar home just a few doors down. After they reached out, we helped them rearrange their lovely furniture and art to ensure that the photos would shine. Attracted by the larger space, coolness of a loft and convenience of a townhome, four buyers made offers. Just a few weeks later, the home was officially sold. The sellers have moved to a home in the country and the new buyers are now enjoying this great location and fun space.

4141 Piedmont Ave. The seller originally reached out to us years ago but wasn’t quite ready to sell. We kept in touch and she let us know in early 2018 that she was ready. We helped the seller select paint colors and arranged for staging. The gorgeous photos and central location ensured that open houses were well attended.  Ultimately, the seller had four great offers to choose from.  The new owner works in the neighborhood and we are sure she will enjoy the short commute coupled with the excitement and delightful shops on Piedmont Avenue for years to come.

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3145 Middleton Street. While we were sad that our friends were only here for a short time, we were very excited to hear about their job opportunity. The space is generous and the sellers had great furniture and art. Before coming on to the market. We helped them make a few changes and additions, including some strategic painting techniques.  Multiple offers came in and the sellers, with help from their relocation company, selected one.  With a cross-country move complete, the new buyers will officially take title on Friday.

345 42nd Street is on the market now!  The Temescal Street Fair was this Sunday and being so close to Telegraph, we attracted a few visitors who had seen our signs at the festival. This sweet home has so much going for it…an unbeatable location, gorgeous original craftsman details and tons of space (4 beds and 3 baths!).   It has been a pleasure helping my friend’s family sell this special home.

So far, it’s been a great year! We have so much more to share and will post another update soon!

Note - click on each address for more photos and information.

 

 

Traveling to Washington D.C. with C.A.R.

This year, I’m very honored to be chairing the Federal Committee of the California Association of Realtors.  This committee engages with federal laws as they relate to California’s real estate industry and market.  Each year, Committee and C.A.R. leadership travel to Washington to meet with lawmakers and regulators.  This will be my second year traveling with this group.

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It’s been a highlight of my career to be able to meet with lawmakers to share stories and examples of how laws and policies created so far away impact our difficult housing market. This year, much of our advocacy focused on securing continued and better availability of safe and affordable home purchase loans and fighting policies that result in fewer affordable single family homes available for first time buyers.

Last year, one big focus was tax reform. Our concerns included possible tax increases for homeowners in high cost/tax states like California and the impact of reducing the tax incentives to purchase and own homes. Although California Realtors were very active in opposing some of the changes that stood to raise taxes on California homeowners, Congress ultimately approved The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.  

Here is a chart that compares the homeownership provisions of the new law to the previous one: Key Tax Code Changes for Homeowners

Even though it’s not always easy to take time to travel when there is so much work to do here, I feel that it’s critical that people making laws that impact homeownership have input from those of us working directly with home buyers and sellers. I grew up in a working and middle class community where the overwhelming majority of people owned their homes and I saw how empowering homeownership is. It’s really hard to see how difficult the Bay Area market is for millennials and first time buyers, particularly those who aren’t able to count on significant help from family. So many hard working, long-time residents are finding themselves priced out of homes anywhere near where they work. For these reasons, I’m committed to continuing to do what I can to help expand homeownership opportunities in my community.