Sereno Group Donates $20,000 to Leading Voluntary Health Organization in Alzheimer’s Care – The Alzheimer’s Organization

Sereno Group Donates $20,000 to Leading Voluntary Health Organization in Alzheimer’s Care – The Alzheimer’s Organization

LOS GATOS, CA – Sereno Group and its Los Gatos agents contributed 1% of their gross commissions to support Walk to End Alzheimer’s during the months of January through March 2017. Through 1% for Good campaign efforts, a check for $20,000 was presented to The Alzheimer’s Organization.

Alzheimer’s Disease is the fifth-leading cause of death in California, and the only cause of death among the top 10 in the United States that cannot be prevented, cured or even slowed. The Alzheimer’s Association is the leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer’s care, support and research. Every dollar raised through Walk to End Alzheimer’s will help make a difference in the lives of millions of Americans facing the disease today – including the more than 610,000 Californians with Alzheimer’s and their over 1.5 million caregivers – while advancing research towards prevention, treatment and ultimately, a cure.

Launched in 2012, the 1% for Good program is an office specific, agent driven, grassroots movement that donates to local non-profit, community-minded organizations. Sereno Group was honored as one of the top 50 philanthropic corporate organizations in Santa Clara County for 2016 by the Silicon Valley Business Journal. Sereno Group was recognized as a result of the efforts from its 1% for Good movement.

Sereno Group was joined on the top 50 list by prominent Silicon Valley corporations, such as: Cisco Systems, Intel, Sobrato Organization, PG&E, and Oracle. Out of the 50 organizations named by the Silicon Valley Business Journal, Sereno Group ranked 32nd.

“This recognition validates all of the great work our Realtors perform in the community and their collective generosity. It is also incredibly humbling to be honored by the Silicon Valley Business Journal once again for our charitable work,” said Chris Trapani, Founder and CEO of Sereno Group. “The 1% for Good movement is part of the ethos of Sereno Group and its agents which focuses on the community first. It is tremendously inspiring that our relatively smaller company with 330 Realtors would be sharing honors of giving alongside great organizations such as the San Jose Sharks, the Sobrato Organization, and Adobe.”

For more information about 1% for Good, please visit:

About Sereno Group

Open since July 1, 2006, Sereno Group Real Estate has quickly established itself as a market leader by continually attracting top producing agents in the Silicon Valley. During this time, Sereno Group has achieved the highest per agent productivity for residential real estate brokers in the counties it serves. In 2014, Sereno Group closed over $2.4 billion in sales with an average sales price of $1.1 million. The company’s 1% for Good charitable movement donated over $400,000 to local charities and community-minded organizations and Sereno Group was recognized as one of the top 50 most philanthropic corporations in the Bay Area. The company, which has been ranked the #1 Best Place to Work in the Bay Area for six years, now has eight offices located in Palo Alto, Los Altos, Saratoga, Los Gatos, Willow Glen, Santa Cruz, Westside Santa Cruz, and Aptos. The 350 agents of Sereno Group serve the Santa Clara, San Mateo and Santa Cruz Counties and points beyond. For more information, please visit:

Zephyr Real Estate-Marin Hosts Second Annual Spring Cleaning Event

Zephyr Real Estate-Marin Hosts Second Annual Spring Cleaning Event

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – Zephyr Real Estate’s Marin office held its second annual customer-appreciation Spring Cleaning event on Saturday, April 1, at Zephyr’s Bon Air Center location in Greenbrae. The event was listed as “rain or shine,” but the lovely spring weather seemed to inspire active participation from Zephyr’s clients.

InfoStor’s mobile document shredding service was on hand so that private documents could be eliminated safely, securely and sustainably, in compliance with State and Federal laws and regulations regarding the destruction of sensitive information. All shredded material is recycled according to AB939’s requirements (California’s Waste Reduction Act) for reuse.

Gently used clothing, household items, electronics (working or not) and books were donated to Goodwill – Bay Area, which was established in 1916, the third Goodwill in the country. Goodwill is an organization whose philosophy is to offer a hand up, not a handout. Items not accepted at Goodwill were given to Grange Box Hauling for removal.

This effort, hosted by the Zephyr-Marin0 agents and led by Jenn Pfeiffer, is offered annually to clients as a token of appreciation and as a community effort to benefit our environment and reduce our landfill.

In a recent article by blogger Lisa Joy Thompson, some of the benefits of spring cleaning are better health (less mildew and dust), longer-lasting appliances (less dust), and it just feels good to create a more efficient environment.

“We were delighted with the turnout for this event,” commented Jenn Pfeiffer. “Every bin was filled to capacity, and everyone left with a sense of pride for a job well done.

About Zephyr Real Estate

Founded in 1978, Zephyr Real Estate is San Francisco’s largest independent real estate firm with nearly $2.3 billion in gross sales and a current roster of more than 300 full-time agents. Zephyr’s highly-visited website has earned two web design awards, including the prestigious Interactive Media Award. Zephyr Real Estate is a member of the international relocation network, Leading Real Estate Companies of the World; the luxury real estate network, Who’s Who in Luxury Real Estate; global luxury affiliate, Mayfair International; and local luxury marketing association, the Luxury Marketing Council of San Francisco. Zephyr has six offices in San Francisco, a brand new office in Greenbrae, and two brokerage affiliates in Sonoma County, all strategically positioned to serve a large customer base throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. For more information, visit

Research reveals where in the UK it would take 27 years to save for a first home deposit

Research reveals where in the UK it would take 27 years to save for a first home deposit

It is well documented that saving a deposit for a first home in the UK can take years but now new research shows that prices are so high in some locations that it could take 27 years.

London has the highest average deposits overall in the country with 16 boroughs appearing in the top 20 locations requiring the biggest house deposits relative to average salaries, according to the figures from MoneySuperMarket.

Using data from the Land Registry and the Office of National Statistics (ONS), the research analysed average house prices and average salaries to work out the average required deposit needed to buy a house across 441 local authorities in the UK.

It found that Kensington and Chelsea is the most unaffordable place to live in the UK. House prices are on average £1.3million and an average salaried couple would need a 52% deposit of £688,772 before buying in the area. With the combined salary of a couple living in the borough averaging £147,918, people can expect to wait approximately 23 years before they’ve saved enough to buy a home.

Westminster and Camden are the next most unaffordable places, requiring deposits of £554,996 and £490,738 respectively. In Camden, where the average deposit figure is 56.6% that equates to saving for 27 years, the longest of any area in the UK.

Outside London, South Buckinghamshire, Chiltern and Elmbridge require deposits of over £200,000 and in 93 or 20% of local authority areas the average minimum deposit needed is greater than £50,000, and in 51 it’s over £100,000.

The analysis also revealed that in 75 local authorities, an average salaried couple would need to find more than a 20% deposit to buy an average priced house and in 39 local authorities a couple would need to save more than a 30% deposit. In total, there are 34 local authorities in which it will take prospective home owners 10 years to afford the minimum deposit needed to buy in their borough.

‘As house prices continue to rise, the dream of owning a home becomes harder and harder to reach for so many people,’ said Kevin Mountford, banking expert at MoneySuperMarket.

‘For those who want to take their first steps onto the ladder, reaching the minimum deposit levels required causes serious financial strain and, as our analysis highlights, many might be priced out of their desired area. Similarly, for those who already own their own home but are looking to take that next step up the ladder, the stretch could be a bigger burden than anticipated,’ he explained.

‘It is important to strike a balance when relocating and prospective buyers shouldn’t stretch themselves too far. For those who want to maximise their chances of securing their dream home in their dream area, paying off debts is the best way to start, as existing borrowing will be taken into account by a lender when it comes to applying for, or extending, a mortgage. Reducing the amount you spend each month could also help when it comes to boosting the amount a lender thinks you can afford to borrow,’ he pointed out.

On average UK home owners have earned enough to pay annual mortgage costs

On average UK home owners have earned enough to pay annual mortgage costs

Home owners in the UK have today earned enough on average to cover their mortgage payments for the rest of the year, according to calculations for what is known as mortgage freedom day.

The data from lender the Halifax shows that, based on the average annual mortgage repayment cost of £7,968 and the average net annual income of £26,810, earnings are sufficient to cover the annual cost of a mortgage.

But there is a wide variation in mortgage freedom days across the country. For home owners in Scotland it was 14 March in Northern Ireland the 15 March and then the North of England and Yorkshire and Humber the 25 March while owners in London have to wait until 27 June.

‘Our research is a simple way of comparing mortgage and rent payments, quite often the largest financial commitment people make, across the UK using average regional earnings,’ said Chris Gowland, Halifax mortgages director.

‘Whilst it excludes other living costs, the research highlights a divide between the North and the South, with those in the South having to wait longer to reach mortgage freedom than their counterparts in the North,’ he added.

At local authority district level, new borrowers in West Dunbartonshire, Scotland, reached mortgage freedom first on 26 February and seven of the 10 earliest mortgage freedom days this year took place in Scotland, including North Lanarkshire on 26 February, East Ayrshire 28 February and Renfrewshire 02 March.

With home owners in London having the longest to wait, it is those in Haringey that will wait even longer with their mortgage freedom day not until 06 September while in Brent it is 30 August and Camden 26 August.

Rental freedom day also varies across the country. Those in the North achieved rental freedom the first this year on 06 April, followed by Yorkshire and the Humber on 07 April and Scotland 13 April. Once again, Londoners have the longest to wait with tenants not achieving rental freedom until 29 July.

‘As our research confirms, homeownership is still cheaper than renting. Rental freedom day falls 17 days after mortgage freedom day, showing that, despite barriers to property ownership, home owners are still better off than renters,’ Gowland added.

More than half of would be first time buyers hopeful of getting on UK housing ladder

More than half of would be first time buyers hopeful of getting on UK housing ladder

Over half of aspiring first time buyers questioned in a UK survey said they are hopeful and confident about their chances of getting on the housing ladder.

Overall 57% of those looking to buy their first property are optimistic and the majority expect to be able to do so by 2021, according to the research by conveyance services firm My Home Move.

However, for older first time buyers, those aged over 23, some 90% revealed that their home ownership aspirations and childhood expectations no longer match up as they had hoped to be able to buy at a younger age.

When asked what age they thought they would be able to buy their first home when they were growing up the majority answered age 25 or 30. For those who are now in their late 30s, 40s, 50s and 60s, this means they are years and even decades older than they expected to be when they dreamed they would buy their first home as a child.

The firm suggests there is now a ‘missed generation’ of first time buyers. ‘For many people the idea of home ownership is still the thing they aspire to the most. It offers security and a sense of achievement but of those we surveyed, over a quarter expected to be home owners by the time they hit their mid-20s but the reality is very different,’ said Doug Crawford, chief executive officer of My Home Move.

‘Our findings showed that we have a missed generation of first time buyers, those who are now into the 30s, 40s, 50s and even 60s, who are still struggling to get on the property ladder. Having grown up in the 1970s and 1980s, when home ownership figures overtook that of renting for the first time, it’s not surprising that these children believed they too would be home owners in their 20s,’ he pointed out.

When questioned how they expected to afford their new home some 72% of aspiring first time buyers said they were saving for their deposits themselves, however they also expected to need additional support from friends, family and the Government.

Only, 6.2% of respondents believe the Bank of Mum and Dad would gift them enough money for a deposit, meaning they could apply for a mortgage without the need for further savings or support through the Government’s Help to Buy schemes.

A regional breakdown of the survey shows that those in London represented the highest proportion of would be first time buyers who were expecting to receive a gifted deposit that would be enough to secure them a mortgage at 15.7% while an additional 13% were expecting to have to top up their gift with additional savings, as property prices are rising.

In comparison, only 6.8% of aspiring home owners in Yorkshire and Humberside expected to be gifted money, with 3.4% believing that they would have to top up their gift with savings.

Overall the Government’s Help to Buy Equity Loan scheme was more popular than the newer Help to Buy ISA, with over 10% of aspirational first time buyers in London and the North East planning to buy their first home through the Equity Loan scheme.

‘In today’s market, with its continued lack of housing stock and high property prices, would be first time buyers have to take advantage of every revenue stream available to them. For many, years of hard saving are not enough to afford them their first home, having to be supplemented with gifted deposits and Government support,’ said Crawford.

Remortgaging activity increased strongly in the UK in March

Remortgaging activity increased strongly in the UK in March

Remortgaging activity in the UK increased in March, up to 21% of the valuations market from 15% in the same month in 2016 and buy to let remortgaging also rose, the latest data shows.

More landlords sought a remortgage with valuations in this sector up 3%, according to the figures from Connells Survey and Valuation with the firm suggesting they may be searching for additional fund due to tax changes.

However, first time buyer valuations decreased after a more active February than usual amid speculation that rising inflation may be having an impact on those seeking to get on the housing ladder.

The report suggests that as the inflation rate hits its highest level since September 2013, home owners have sought to off-set the rising cost of living and the growth in remortgaging has been driven by those eager to save money by cutting their monthly mortgage repayments.

Indeed, as a proportion of market activity, remortgaging has hit its highest level in March for five years.

‘For those struggling, remortgaging can offer tangible financial relief. With the low base rate and property values increasing 6.2% annually, many are seizing the opportunity to save through remortgaging at a lower loan to value ratio,’ said John Bagshaw, corporate services director of Connells Survey & Valuation.

He pointed out that this trend is supported by the latest figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders which show a 22% rise in the value of remortgage activity and Bagshaw predicts that if the current financial outlook continues there could be an ever greater number of home owners turning to remortgaging to cut costs.

He also believes that buy to let landlords are trying to recoup the loss of mortgage tax relief which is now being phased out over the next few years. ‘With market rents not yet rising, one of the few alternatives has been to remortgage. More landlords have taken this path in March, given the lower cost of borrowing and higher property values,’ he said.
He also explained that after the exceptional increases seen in January and February in first time buyer valuations, this market sector appears to be returning to equilibrium and the winter upswing in first time buyers now looks to have been a short term bounce.

‘Rising inflation will have hit aspiring home owners particularly hard. Many are finding it difficult to find spare income and save for a deposit,’ he added.

Home lending down sharply year on year on UK, but due to stamp duty rush in 2016

Home lending down sharply year on year on UK, but due to stamp duty rush in 2016

Gross mortgage lending in the UK reached £21.4 billion in March, up 19% from the previous month but 19% lower than a year ago, the latest data shows.

However, the Council of Mortgage Lenders pointed out that the sharp fall in year on year lending was expected as March last year saw significant rises in activity as borrowers rushed to beat the introduction of an extra 3% rate of stamp duty on additional homes.

Gross mortgage lending for the first quarter of 2017 was therefore an estimated £59.1 billion, down 4% decrease on the fourth quarter of last year and a 6% decrease on the £63 billion lent in the first quarter of 2016.

‘Mortgage lending appears to be in neutral gear. Our gross estimate for March is £21.4 billion and this is broadly in line with average monthly lending over the past year. Within this aggregate level, there has been a shift towards first time buyer and remortgage customers, away from home movers and buy to let landlords,’ said CML senior economist Mohammad Jamei.

‘We expect this profile to continue over the short term, as low mortgage rates encourage existing borrowers to remortgage and government schemes help first time buyers. We do not expect any marked effect from the General Election,’ he added.

But Mark Dyason, director of UK wide independent mortgage broker, Edinburgh Mortgage Advice, believes there is substantial pent up demand from first time buyers.

‘For so long landlords have held all the cards but with the various tax changes applied to buy to let first time buyers are firmly in the driving seat. With people increasingly wary of rate rises, remortgage levels also remain high. Inflationary pressure to come means the first rate rise in a long time may no longer be too far off,’ he said.

He thinks that Brexit related uncertainty continues to affect the market with would-be movers putting of any decision and also he does believe that the General Election could have an effect in terms of even more conservatism in the months ahead.

‘Dire supply levels are also damaging demand. There’s very little on the market and people aren’t in a hurry to buy homes they sense are languishing rather than electrifying. At the high end of the market there has been an influx of cash buyers over the past nine months given the weakness of the Pound. But with Sterling seemingly in bounce back mode, we may see this trend tail off,’ he explained.

‘The irony is that the overall neutral market may be good news for the consumer as lenders will miss their targets and so drop rates to make their products look more attractive,’ he added.

According to John Eastgate, sales and marketing director of OneSavings Bank, while mortgage activity may have dipped in the first quarter and the forthcoming election could add some complexity to the year, the last few years have demonstrated very clearly that the mortgage market can negotiate the even the trickiest political landscapes.

‘With interest rates looking set fair to stay low, relatively strong levels of demand will persist. However, long term constraints still provide a note of caution. Demand still outweighs supply, adding pressure to the purchase market. If we don’t see supply increase, then affordability stretch will remain the stumbling block for prospective buyers,’ he explained.

The coming months may tell an entirely different story for the housing market, according to John Goodall, chief executive officer of buy to let specialist Landbay. ‘Following the recent changes to buy to let tax relief and the introduction of tighter underwriting criteria, it is becoming even more complicated for aspiring home owners and landlords to access the finance they need,’ he said.

‘What we now need are some firm commitments from the government to tackle the housing crisis. Positive measures aimed at encouraging the development of high quality rented properties will target the lack of supply across both sales and lettings in the housing market,’ he added.

Henry Woodcock, principal mortgage consultant at IRESS, also believes that the outlook for gross lending doesn’t look rosy. ‘In addition to the snap general election announcement, which may result in people delaying significant financial commitments in the short term, there are also a few other factors at play that might dampen mortgage activity,’ he said.

‘Although unemployment remains low at under 5%, inflation is starting to eat into wage growth and is above the Government’s 2% inflation target. The recent Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) monthly survey shows that stock levels are at a new record low and the number of people interested in buying a property, and the number of sales, were also stagnant in March,’ he pointed out.

‘With the prospect of a rise in the Bank of England base rate, consumers may decide to delay buying that new home or changing mortgages until the economic picture is clearer,’ he concluded.

Clean Refurbed large 4 bedroom house with 2 WC available. 5mins walk to Southfields Tube or High St

Date available: 08 Apr 2017, Property type: House, Number of bedrooms: 4

Large modern clean 4 bedroom house. Newly refurbed in great modern condition.

Located on Whitlock Drive, SW19 6SJ ….a short 5mins walk from Southfields Tube or High Street. Max 15mins walk to Putney or Wimbledon. Amazing transport connections into Wimbledon, Earls Court. West End and London City.

Large 4 double bedrooms, super large living room with sofa suite and dining table, modern clean FF kitchen and clean large tiled bathroom with extra WC. Modern decor throughout, very clean house, neutral colours, new laminate floors. Furnished. Clean garden.

Fantastic house in an amazing location. 5mins walk to Southfields Tube/ High St.

Short walk to Wimbledon Park and Wimbledon Tennis grounds. Free parking.

Close to all local amenities, bars, cafes, restaurants, gym and food courts. Tesco, Sainsburys. Very trendy area. Around 10mins to Wimbledon, Putney or Wandsworth.

Fantastic house and location for working family, working professionals, students or sharers.

Rent £2200/ month

Call Khuram to arrange a viewing ……

1 bedroom flat in E 2A Blenheim Gardens, London, SW2 (1 bed)

Date available: 21 May 2017, Property type: Flat, Number of bedrooms: 1

– No Agent Fees
– Property Reference Number: 226378
Well presented, larger than average (550 sq ft) one bedroom flat located on a quiet side-street off Brixton Hill with easy access to all the great amenities of Brixton, including Brixton Village, Brockwell Park, and Brixton Academy. There are good transport links to central London via the Victoria Line or Bus to Bank in 30 minutes. Brixton station is approximately 10 – 15 minutes walk and there is also a frequent bus service to Brixton station just around the corner from the flat.
The flat has a large bright reception room with french doors opening onto a Juliet balcony leading to a good sized kitchen with dishwasher, large fridge freezer and washing machine. Also a bathroom with shower and bath.
It is a perfect flat for a young professional couple/single person. Also included is a gated off-street parking space.
Available to let from 21st May – unfurnished.
Viewings planned for Saturday 15th and 29th April – please contact to arrange.
Summary & Exclusions:
– Rent Amount: £1,400.00 per month (£323.08 per week)
– Deposit / Bond: £2,000.00
– 1 Bedrooms
– 1 Bathrooms
– Property comes unfurnished
– Available to move in from 21 May, 2017
– Minimum tenancy term is 12 months
– Maximum number of tenants is 2
– No DSS / Housing Benefit Applicants
– No Students
– No Pets, sorry
– No Smokers
– Not Suitable for Families / Children
– Bills not included
– Property has parking
– No Garden Access
– EPC Rating: C
If calling, please quote reference: 226378
You will not be charged any admin fees.
Referencing for tenants only costs £20 each, if requested by the landlord for this property.
** Contact today to book a viewing and have the landlord show you round! **
Request Details form responded to 24/7, with phone bookings available 9am-9pm, 7 days a week.
OpenRent Ref: 226378
Agent: OpenRent
Agent Ref: Reference_Number_226378