Lee Sells and Speaks More...

Lee Ginsburg is an award-winning Realtor with 30 years experience in Peninsula residential real estate. With the utmost attention to detail, Lee delivers expert marketing, negotiating, and management of all financial matters. With a strong commitment to honesty, fairness and hard work, Lee has successfully helped first time home buyers, move up buyers and investors.

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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

South San Francisco Unified has the best Graduation rates in San Mateo County

Being in Real Estate I get requests to live in the best school district.  They look at the API scores (http://www.cde.ca.gov/nr/ne/yr12/yr12rel96.asp).
I am married to a school teacher for 35 years.  Parents cannot expect that living in a good school district to manufacture Stanford Graduates.  I believe teachers are important but parents and family are more important.  You must lead by example.  You go to work everyday, and they learn to go to school every day.  When your children come home you ask what they learned, review their homework assignments, talk to them about the day,  help them with their homework assignments, get help if they need help and you are involved.  This needs to be done at all ages.  Yes they way you approach the subject needs to change, but cannot be eliminated.
I just read in the San Jose Mercury News (http://www.mercurynews.com/bay-area-news/ci_22987359/california-graduation-rates-climb) that South San Francisco Unified School district had the highest graduation rate (94.1%) in all of San Mateo County.  It was almost the same as our southern neighbor Palo Alto (94.6%).  South San Francisco actually had a lower drop out rate (3.0%) than Palo Alto (4.7%)  Please feel free to view all the numbers of your choice at (http://dq.cde.ca.gov/dataquest/)  These are phenomenal numbers considering the fact you don’t have to pay a $1,000,000 for a home.  Homes in South San Francisco are in the $550,000- $800,000.  If you are interested in buying a home in South San Francisco give me a call at 877-Lee-Sells

San Mateo County Schools            Graduation Rate %             Drop Out Rate %
             Cabrillo Unified                                    85.2                                           9.1
             Jefferson Union High                         88.7                                           8.2
             La Honda Pescadero Unified           80.8                                           7.7
            San Mateo Union High                        90.3                                           6.6
             South San Francisco Unified            94.1                                          3.0              Countywide                                            83.3                                         11.0

    Several Years ago, I wrote about the Monte Verde Elementary School winning a grant from Google.  http://www.prucalvoices.com/2011/06/monte-verde-student-wins-doodle-for-google/

Visit my website for more info: www.LeeSellsMore.com

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Oh Where Oh Where Has All of the Inventory Gone???

The lack of available homes for sale along with the strong job market bringing lots of qualified buyers are driving prices up in San Mateo County.  Inventory of available homes is down substantially in San Mateo County as compared to a year ago.

I think this might be the new Real Estate environment for years to come.  I say that because the recession we just got out of has scared a lot of people.  It has made them be more conservative financially.  In my opinion that is a good thing for the long term.  Similar to when our parents or grandparents went through the depression. That thought stayed with them for a lifetime.  In the past people owning an $800,000 home would step up to a $1,200,000 home or the person with a $500,000 home to $800,000.  Yes people are working today in San Mateo County but they remember just a few years ago their job and home were in jeopardy.  When the thought of moving up to a larger home with larger payments comes up, it gets shut down very quickly.  People are staying put, they are comfortable, their home is good enough, they do not want to take the risk, they don’t want to live for their mortgage, and they want to save for that rainy day.  I think that thought will stay with us for quite a while.

Seniors used to be a good portion of sellers and that is decreasing.  Seniors are remaining in their own home longer, because they are healthier or by having live in assistance.  Some are choosing to rent it out rather than sell.

In the last few years when the economy was not as strong and homeowners were not able to make the payments, foreclosures and short sale made up 35-50% of local sales.  I am very happy to say that era is over, gone, finished. Our San Mateo County employment is very strong and with rising prices most people have equity in their homes and can make payments.

In summary we have lost three major home sellers: the move up seller, the senior, and the banks. I believe we have to adjust to a new Real Estate environment.  I do not see a major change in the forefront.  

To home sellers on the border line of selling or not selling, I suggest contacting your real estate agent for a value and then discussing with your options.


To home buyers facing multiple offers and all cash buyers; I say stay with it! Find a good agent that knows the area and the other agents.  Everyone wants a deal and today the deal is interest rates.  They are at their lowest point in the last 4- years.  Don’t pass it up. Home ownership is the first step to financial freedom. 

Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions relating to buying or selling in San Mateo County. 1-877-Lee-Sells.


Monday, January 21, 2013

South San Francisco Rejects Inspection Ordinance

South San Francisco Code Enforcement has been requiring inspections of homes at time of sale.

It originally began as inspections only for smoke detectors and water heaters.


It expanded into an inspection for building permits.  It was beyond health and safety concerns.

Due to an outpour of concern from Residents and the San Mateo County of Realtors, on Jan, 16 South San Francisco City Council voted to "Table" the issue of Point of Sale Inspections.  Mayor Pro Tem Karyl Matsumoto said the issue is "dead".

I thank you for your support in defeating this.

As of now the inspections are no longer required although if you would like I do believe the city will inspect your home at no charge if you request it.

For further information:



It is still required for South San Francisco Home Sellers to perform a sewer lateral inspection and to meet compliance prior to a home selling.




New Laws and Taxes for Home Owners and Investors for 2013

There is no change as of now to the Mortgage Interest Deduction!
Capital Gains rate remains at 15% for incomes up to $400,000 for single filers and $450,000 for joint filers. Over those limits capital gains tax increases to 20%.
As a single filer selling your primary residence you are still entitled to $250,000 of tax free gain and $500,000 for joint filers.
Estate Taxes are exempt from estate tax if the estate is valued less than $5,000,000 for single tax filers and $10,000,000 for joint filers. Above those limits the tax rate increased to 40% from 35%.
If a portion or all of your mortgage debt was cancelled relief is extended through Dec. 31, 2013.
3.8% tax on investment income begins now. It applies to home sales, interest, dividends, capital gains and net rents. This is a very complicated tax. If you are selling your primary residence you are still entitled to the $250,000/$500,000 tax free. This affects only those with $200,000 of AGI or $250,000 for joint filers.
Mortgage Insurance premiums remain deductible for tax filers making less than $110,000.
15 Year Straight-line cost recovery on leasehold improvements is extended through 2013.
Energy Efficiency Tax credits remains in force through 2013.
For any of the above Tax issues, I strongly recommend speaking with your tax advisor.
New Rental Property Laws
AB 1679 – Allows return of security deposits directly to a bank account designated by the tenant.
AB 1925-Limits tenant relocation costs in San Francisco to $275.00 per day.
SB 1055- Prohibits a landlord from requiring Electronic Funds Transfers as the only type of payment.
SB 1229-Prohibits a landlord who allows a pet to require that the pet be declawed.
SB 1191-Requires a property owner (1-4 units) who has received a notice of default to inform a prospective tenant.
SB 1953-Prohibits a Landlord from proceeding with an eviction if the above notice compliance has not been met.
AB 2521-Increases the threshold for tenants’ abandoned property from $300.00 to $700.000 before requiring a Landlord to take additional steps to dispose of the property.
AB 1186- Eliminates frivolous suits over Building ADA Accessibility.
AB 2610- Requires a 90-day notice on month to month tenancy on foreclosed property and requires that a lease be honored to the end of its term, unless sold to a buyer who will occupy the home (some other exclusions apply)
AB 1394- Requires before Jan. 1, 2016 a smoke alarm be installed in each bedroom. As of Jan. 1, 2013
Carbon Monoxide Detectors are required in all Single Family and Multi-family properties.
On January 16, the South San Francisco City Council unanimously rejected a proposed ordinance mandating private property inspections before the city would allow residents to sell their home.