A Bold Move: Pacific Union Names Selma Hepp VP of Business Intelligence

Selma HeppMark McLaughlin, CEO of Pacific Union, announced today another bold move within the residential real estate industry. Pacific Union names Selma Hepp VP of Business Intelligence to the newly created position of ‘Vice President, Business Intelligence’.  Selma joins Pacific Union from her position as Chief Economist for Trulia.

Prior to Trulia, Selma Hepp was Senior Economist for the California Association of Realtors and Economist for the National Association of Realtors, both trade organizations dedicated to the advancement of professionalism in real estate. Continue reading

2015 San Francisco Bay Area Real Estate Predictions

A look at 2014 and 2015 predictionsFirst off, what a year in real estate we had in the San Francisco Bay Area in 2014! A few of the highlights were; the continued decline in homes to purchase; the growing of off-market home sales; mortgage interest rates remained at record lows in spite of the Feds ending their purchase of mortgage backed securities; the continued appreciation of home values; the continued lack of new home construction which impacted the lower number of homes to sell. And, given all of these factors the value of the total of homes sold still exceeded 2013 totals! Job growth is the key indicator for any healthy real estate market. Continue reading

Cycle For Survival: Helping To Find Cancer Cures!

Join the battle with Jim!JOIN THE BATTLE WITH JIM WALBERG:  This year is Jim’s 14th anniversary! In 2001 he was diagnosed with Prostate cancer, and in 2004 he began another life and death battle, with UCSF Medical Center as his “home” for almost five months. Their medical professionals saved his life which has allowed him to live a life with manageable limitations. He is grateful for every day he has as a “cancer thriver”.

What Jim can still do is ride a spin bike. So, on February 21st in San Francisco at the Equinox Health Club, he and his Team will participate in the nationwide event that last year raised over $21 million for cancer research – 100% of the funds are donated for use on over 100 clinical trials and research studies. Continue reading

Carbon Monoxide Is The Silent Killer – A Tragic Story Shared

Symptoms of Co2 PoisoningA carbon monoxide detector is required for each home in California as of 2012. The only way this law is able to be enforced is when a home is sold. A detector must be present on each floor of the home by California law. It is ridiculous that every state in America doesn’t require a carbon monoxide detector in homes. My guess is you will agree with me after reading this story from our friend who lives in Virginia. Here is a shortened version of “Sally’s” story – not her real name. Continue reading

Leasing Solar Panel Home Systems – A Real-Life Warning

Following the sheepThose you who know me, know that I am a raving fan of anything each of us can do to protect and improve our environment. One of the tools available to all of us are solar panels for our roofs that subsidize our electrical energy needs and lowers our utility bills. However, the decision you make to either enter into a solar lease agreement or to actually purchase them can have significant future consequences when you sell your home. Continue reading

Jim Walberg of Pacific Union Honored with Extraordinary Philanthropist Award

John Brian Losh presenting the awardNo one ever seeks out an acknowledgment for their work in community service. I certainly did not. And, what a humbling honor to have Who’s Who In Luxury Real Estate select me to be their 2014 Extraordinary Philanthropist at their 19th Annual Fall conference in Boston several weeks ago where members from around the globe gathered to share best practices and expand their personal connections with the best of the best in luxury real estate.

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Local Knowledge / Global Reach: From San Francisco to a Paris Flat.

Jim & Ann Marie in ParisA phrase we use at The Bay Area Team is “Local Knowledge / Global Reach”. It is a simple and true statement we share with our clients every week. We know the world of real estate in the San Francisco Bay Area – Local. And, we know the world of real estate in Europe, Latin America, and more – Global Reach.

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San Francisco Bay Area Real Estate: Jobs and Population Growth Fueling Demand

Tech Industry is the driver.Where there is a vibrant job market there is a robust real estate market. The Bay Area is in the midst of an employment boom, and it is not based on smoke and mirrors as the dot.com era was. These are real companies with sales and profits, and lots of upside to all of them – Twitter, Google, LinkedIn, Apple, Genetec, Price Waterhouse and many many more.

The tech industry is the driver, but with this employment boom some of the largest Bay Area employers are city governments, health care, universities, etc. In fact, of the largest 25 employers in the Bay Area, 20 of them are infrastructure and service type entities. They must meet the demand for services of the population growth. And, the challenge of the 4% population growth in the last four years is that new home developers have not kept up with the housing demand. They have added less than 2% of new homes built during this same period, with the population growth out stripping new home sales by two to one. Continue reading

San Francisco Bay Sailing: 2014 Beer Can Races

San Francisco Bay Beer Can RacesIf you have ever wanted to sail on San Francisco Bay, the “beer can races” are the venues where you can get a ride. I think this type of Bay Area “regatta” is some of the most fun one can ever have on the Bay. The weather is typically some of the best sailing of the year, and you are not racing for anything but a beer and a BBQ afterwards at one of the Bay Area’s yacht clubs. Continue reading

Bay Area Summer Fun: Jim Walberg’s August Picks

Journey Tribute BandSummer just blew by us and all that is left is August. I promise there is still a lot of fun events awaiting all of us before Labor Day. Here are “Jim’s Picks” that will fill your calendar before Fall arrives. Let me know which ones you attend and if there are any others you would add to my list.

Blackhawk Plaza’s Friday Night Concert Series – August Lineup: It starts at 7pm and it is FREE. However, if you want a seat get their early. My favorite four bands are scheduled for August:  August 8 – ZOO STATION – U2 tribute band: August 15 – PRIDE & JOY – Timeless pop and soul: August 22 – EVOLUTION – Journey tribute band:   August 29 – TAINTED LOVE – Best of the 80’s Continue reading