Category: Real Estate (Page 1 of 3)

Exclusive First Look

Don’t miss the opportunity to get an Exclusive First Look at this newest listing.

  • 144 S. 3rd St Unit 507, San Jose CA 95112
  • This Friday 05-03-2019 | 5:00pm to 7:00pm
  • Wine and Sushi

Spacious downtown San Jose condo, in the very desirable Paseo Plaza community. This one-bedroom unit on the 5th floor is a sought after floor plan in the community, the windows provides excellent views of the downtown San Jose skyline, condos in this location of the complex rarely comes up for sale. Upgraded kitchen in 2014 with glass tile backsplash and quartz countertops, upgraded LED lighting throughout, walk in closet with built in custom closet organizer. The upgrades plus recent interior paint, newly installed carpet, grout in entryway, kitchen and bathrooms brings a refreshed look and feel.

Walking distance to restaurants, SoFA (South of First Area) an arts, cultural, and entertainment district, coffee shops (Philz Coffee), theaters, Safeway, SJSU, MLK Library, Cal Train, SAP Center, and more. Access to, pool, hot tub, sauna, gym, secure lockers for packages, clubhouse lounge, and courtyards. All of this along with the future builds and proposed Google Village makes it a great opportunity to own here.

  • Listed Price $658,888
  • 1 bedroom | 1 bath
  • 1,023 Sqft
  • Built in 1997

Coming Soon!

Rare opportunity to live at the highly desired Paseo Plaza community! The spacious one-bedroom 5th-floor unit has been recently upgraded and has so much to offer its new owners, including fantastic views of the downtown San Jose skyline. The kitchen, upgraded in 2014, boasts eye-catching glass tile backsplash, quartz countertops, stainless steel appliances, and loads of cabinet space with pull-out kitchen shelves. Other upgrades include LED lighting throughout, fresh interior paint, newly installed carpet, and fresh grout in the entryway, kitchen, and bathroom. Adjacent to the bedroom is an enviable walk-in closet with custom built-in organization system. The community offers so many amenities such as a pool, hot tub, sauna, gym, clubhouse lounge, and secure lockers for deliveries. Paseo Plaza is located in the heart of downtown and is only a short stroll to many restaurants, SoFA, Philz and other coffee shops, bars, theatres, SJSU, SAP, CalTrain, and so much more. This unit won’t last long, so don’t delay in being able to call Paseo Plaza ‘home’.

$658,888 – 1 Bedroom / 1 Bath – 1,023 Sqft

To learn more connect with me @ 408.422.3000, email [email protected]

9 Ways to Share the Spirit of the 🎄Season🎄 —Starting From Home 🏡

The holiday season is upon us, and many of us have already begun to celebrate. From trimming trees to lighting candles, it’s the time of year to fill your homes (and hearts) with holiday joy.

But there’s no need to stop at your front door. Let the spirit of the season radiate outward from your house into your community. Some homeowners hang outdoor lights and decorations to help make the neighborhood “merry and bright.” But that’s not the only way to share the magic of the holidays with others.

Not sure where to start? Check out these 9 inspirational ideas for spreading cheer far and near!


You probably don’t have to look far to find someone who could benefit from a gift or kind gesture this time of year. Try one (or all) of these ideas for sharing the season with those closest to home.

1. Host a Holiday Party

Hosting a neighborhood holiday party is a great way to reconnect with old friends and welcome new families to the community. And it doesn’t necessarily require a huge investment of time or money. Plan a potluck dinner and ask your guests to bring a dish or drink to share. Or host a holiday cookie exchange and ask everyone to bring a couple dozen of their favorite cookie to swap with other guests. Hot cocoa and caroling is another great way to bring neighbors together to celebrate the season.

If you have a neighbor who you’ve been at odds with in the past, consider extending them an invitation, as well. It could be the perfect opportunity to make peace in the new year.

2. Help a Neighbor in Need

The holiday season is the perfect time too ffer help to a neighbor in need. Next time you head out to rake your leaves, take care of an elderly neighbor’s, as well. Or drop off dinner for a friend who is recovering from surgery.

If you know of someone in your community with a larger need, consider setting up a Care Calendar through a site like share the link with other neighbors who may be interested in helping, too.Users can sign up to run errands, cook a meal, babysit, wash laundry, clean the house, mow the lawn, or complete other household tasks depending on the individual’s needs. Even a small gesture of kindness can make someone’s holiday extra jolly.

3. Treat Your Mail and Package Carriers

Extend comfort and joy from your own front porch during your postal and package carriers’ busiest time of year.1While many of us love the convenience of shopping online for holiday gifts, the boom in e-commerce has exponentially increased the workload for our postal and package carriers, some of whom work up to 70 hours a week during the holiday season.2

You can help brighten their day by leaving a goody and note of gratitude in your mailbox or a basket of water and snacks by your front door. Attach a sign that says: “Thank you for working hard to deliver our holiday packages. Please take a treat to enjoy on your route!”


Surprise and delight those you encounter with a small act of kindness or a generous gesture. ‘Tis the season of giving, but the reaction you get in return may be the best gift of all!

4. Overtip

Don’t be a Grinch when it comes to tipping at the holidays. Your waiter, your Uber driver, and your hairdresser will all appreciate an extra-generous tip this time of year.

International etiquette expert SharonSchweitzer recommends that you start by setting a budget for holiday tips and prioritizing those you most want to thank.3 Place those who help you most frequently at the top of your list—such as your trusted housekeeper,nanny, or daycare provider. For those you regularly tip at the time service,consider frequency and length of the relationship to determine an appropriate amount.

Everyone could use a little extra cash around the holidays. If you can afford it, share a bit of your abundance with others.

5. Thank Those Who Don’t Get a Holiday

Santa isn’t the only one working on Christmas. Emergency workers, hospital staff, airline employees, toll booth attendants,movie theater staff, and many others will be working to make your holiday safe and bright.

Say “thank you” by bringing breakfast to the firehouse or police station on Christmas morning or by dropping off a tray of goodies for the hard-working hospital staff on New Year’s Eve. Keep a stash of treats or coffee-shop gift cards on hand to pass out to those you encounter working over the holidays. And, if appropriate, a generous tip is always appreciated!

6. Fill Stockings for the Homeless

Not everyone gets to go “home for the holidays.” You can bring a little cheer and comfort to a homeless person this year with a holiday care kit.

Pick up some inexpensive Christmas stockings from a craft store and fill them with a variety of useful items, such as:

  • Applesauce cup (and plastic spoon)
  • Baby wipes
  • Bandages
  • Bottled water
  • Beef jerky
  • Cereal or granola bar
  • Cheese or peanut butter crackers
  • Deodorant
  • Gloves
  • Lip balm
  • Lotion
  • Nail clippers
  • Socks
  • Tissues
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Tuna and crackers
  • Trail mix

As an added touch, include a sweet treat and a handwritten note wishing them a happy holiday. Hand the stockings out at a shelter or keep a stash in your car so you can offer one when you encounter someone in need.


Reach beyond your sphere by sending some holiday magic out into the community. Surprise a stranger with an anonymous gift that’s sure to make their holiday shine.

7. Offer Warmth on a Cold Day

As temperatures drop, some members of our community will be left out in the cold. Our local homeless population is especially vulnerable this time of year, but so are many families living in poverty. Health experts warn that a two-degree drop in body temperature can result in reduced heart rate, lack of coordination, and confusion, making it difficult for adults to work and children to learn.4

You can help by bringing your old but gently-used coats to a collection site. Leave a note in the pocket wishing the recipient a warm and happy holiday. Or tie a scarf around a tree and attach a sign that says: “I am not lost. If you need this to stay warm, please take it!”

Check with local homeless shelters to find out if they accept donations of old blankets. Well-worn blankets and towels can often be donated to an animal shelter to help keep four-legged friends warm this winter, as well.

8. Pay Off a Stranger’s Layaway

Some large retailers offer layaway options during the holidays so that shoppers can pay for their purchases a little at a time. Media stories often surface this time of year about anonymous donors who pay off a stranger’s layaway account to the surprise and delight of the recipient.

This is a great way to help a family that may not qualify for charitable assistance but is on a limited budget for holiday gifts. If you have a particular interest in helping kids, you can ask to payoff an account that consists primarily of children’s items.

You don’t have to drop a bundle to become a family’s “Secret Santa.” Ask the layaway attendant to search for accounts with balances that fit within your budget. To make a bigger impact, ask friends and family members if they want to pitch in to help, too.

9. Donate Toys to a Tot

One of the most popular ways to give back during the holidays is to participate in a toy drive. There are a number of great charities that collect toys for children of low-income families.

Before you shop, find out if the organization has a wish list of preferred items or guidelines for wrapping and labeling the gift. And check the drop-off deadline to ensure your gift will reach its intended recipient in time.

If you have children, involve them in the process of selecting and purchasing the gift so they can experience the joy of giving to those less fortunate, too.

One more easy way to support the community this year? Shop local! From locally-owned stores to service providers, please consider spending your holiday dollars here at home. We have an extensive network of local businesses and would love to recommend some of our favorites. Give us a call, and let us know how we can help!

Aloha Agent | Marlo Ibon                                                                                            [email protected]                                                                                                        DRE#01834583

P.S. If you have any real estate needs and what to understand how you can save time and money when buying or selling a home. Make an appointment to discover how.

Book an appointment today to learn how to save time and money on your next real estate needs.


  1. NASDAQ –
  2. The Kansas City Star –
  3. Huffington Post –
  4. One Warm Coat –

Have you thought about selling your home and are finding it difficult coming up with a sale price? Perhaps you may be thinking that you may make a mistake of listing the home lower than what it’s worth and leave money on the table?

A lot of homeowners in today’s real estate environment has had the same challenges in coming up with the correct pricing of their home. Because of the market correction and upcoming holidays those who are not prepared are seeing their homes on the market longer and not selling.

There are two types of sellers.

  1. Price Motivated Sellers – They want to only sell if they get a certain price. From my experience the price they want is always higher than what buyers will pay for their home. They have a place in mind to move to, but it’s not that urgent.
  2. Situation Motivated Sellers – They have to sell because of a possible life changing events and it would be great if they could get the highest price for their home. They are flexible and if needed they could also rent out their home if it doesn’t sell but they prefer not to.

If you are the situationally motivated seller than this information that will greatly help you to price your home correctly. Increasing your chances in getting your home sold quicker than that other similar homes in the area and for a higher price.

Because of the market adjusting and we’re rolling into the holidays, determining a listing price can become a lot more difficult. Basically what we’re seeing is prices adjusting lower than it was at the beginning of the year. And it varies depending on the neighborhood and location. On the average for the city of San Jose overall you’re seeing an estimated 10% downward price adjustment from May to Oct of this year. And with Holidays that will have an effect on how you price your home correctly.

The key things to keep in mind when pricing your home in today’s current market is:


  1. Look for similar homes in the that area sold within the last month and see how much they sold for and how long it took to sell.
    • By looking at similar homes that sold within the last month this will give you a true indicator of the current market in your area. If you choose to look at homes that sold 6 or more months ago your looking at a different market and that’s going to give you the incorrect price information.
    • To find similar sold homes for your area you can use on-line real estate sources such as, or a local real estate agent. If your in the San Jose, Silicon Valley area feel free to use this on-line resource Realscout.
  2. What is the current traffic of buyers and interest level from buyers in the area?
    • This information will help to determine how aggressive you have to be when pricing your home. For example… if you get a feel that the traffic is low and the interest level is low in the area then naturally to gain more traffic and interest you’ll have to aggressively price your home better than other homes for sale in the neighborhood.
    • Some of the ways to get this information is by visiting openhouses in the area to see the traffic coming in and also have a conversation with the agent there and ask what what the foot traffic and interest level is like for the area.
  3. What are the current homes that are for sale priced at and how long have they been on the market?
    • Seeking out this information will help validate the sale price you have in mind. In your area if you see a similar home and it’s priced in the range you were thinking of selling, but it has been on the market for many weeks that tells you the market for that price range is not selling and has already been tested. So logically you’ll have to adjust the price to match the current market expectations.
    • To find current for sale homes similar to yours in the area use on-line real estate resources such as, or a local real estate agent. If your in the San Jose, Silicon Valley area feel free to use this on-line resource Realscout.
  4. Any upcoming homes for sale in the area?
    • Another home coming on the market the same time you were thinking of putting your home for sale could lower your chances in getting the home sold quickly. If an area gets flooded with other homes for sale, then you’re dealing with competition from those homes and if they priced a lot more aggressively that can draw buyers away from your home.
    • A lot of agents now days like to put a coming soon sign a couple of weeks before a home officially goes on the market, so drive around your area to look for these signs and give the agent a call to find out when the home will go on market. Or if you know of a local agent or agents who does a fair amount of business in the area give them a call to find out if they have any homes coming on the market soon. Then if the time frames fall around the same time you were thinking of putting your home on the market you can now adjust your properties timeline to gain more exposure.
  5. What are the current interest’s rates and are there any signs of the rates going up?
    • Today’s home buyers are a lot more rate sensitive because of the increase in home prices and the increase of talks that rate are going to rise. This in turn has caused some homebuyers to sit on the fence a lot longer or altogether change their mind in becoming homeowners. As a seller that could mean less demand for your home which affects how you price your home correctly.
    • To get an idea on the current interest rates and the possibility of the rates rising a good source is a mortgage lender or on-line mortgage resources.

By gathering the information of the 5 key things, I just mentioned It’s going to give you a good idea on the trend for the area and how you should price your home to sell.

If you are located in the in San Jose, Silicon Valley area and are needing help in pricing your home contact me. I’m here to help.


Marlo Ibon | Aloha Agent


[email protected]


Have you heard that interest rates for home loans is rising? And because of that have you wondered as a home buyer how does that affect you when it comes to buying a home today?

My clients and friends that are looking for homes has had the same burning question. And so today I’ll be sharing with you how rising interest on home loans can affect your ability to buy a home.

Interest rates has been pretty steady since 2012 but now this year we are starting to see an uptick in the rates heading towards 5% and we haven’t seen rates in the 5% since 2010.

  • The Mortgage Bankers Association predicts it will rise to 4.8 percent by the end of 2018.
  • Freddie Mac expects it to average 4.6 percent for 2018 and jump to an average of 5.1 percent in 2019.
  • says the rate will average 4.6 percent and reach 5 percent by year-end.

So what’s up with rising interest rates and how does it affect home buyers?

As of Sept of last year rates went up from 3.81% to 4.63%. Now You may be thinking that doesn’t sound a lot and that’s the thought a lot of my clients had until I showed them what I’m about to share with you.

Since I’m in Silicon Valley the example I’m going to use is average sale price for the area.

  • 3 bedroom Single family home here in San Jose is around $1,000,000.

As you view below you will notice how a 1/4 increase in the interest rates can have an affect on buyers buying power, by lowering their approved purchase price amount.

Let’s assume in this example:

  • Approved Purchase Price $1,000,000
  • Rate 4.5%
  • Down Payment 20%
  • Loan Term 30yr fixed
  • Principal & Interest $4,053 a month

With a rate increase from 4.5% to 4.75% and keeping the down payment, P&I, and loan term the same the new approved purchase would be at $971,203 roughly a$28,000 less in buying power.

P&I $4,053 Down Payment 20% Term 30 yr fixed
Rate 4.50% 4.75% 5.00% 5.25%
Loan 80% LTV $800,000.00  $776,962.00  $754,999.00  $734,056.00
Purchase Price $1,000,000.00  $971,203.00  $943,749.00  $917,570.00

If you’re a buyer who has been waiting to buy and you don’t want to be priced out on purchasing a home in a neighborhood that you like. Now is the time to make a move and get serious before the window of opportunity passes you by.

If you are ready to buy and have any questions contact me: 408.422.300 or email [email protected]








Silver medal. Runner-up. Fall. These are all considered to be the second choice, but there are so many benefits to buying or selling a home in fall that we can’t help but push back on any thoughts that the season should be dismissed as subpar. After all, vanilla is the top-selling brand of ice cream, but does that make it better than other frozen treats? We think not! Consider these seven reasons to buy or sell this fall.


Reasons to Sell Your Home in the Fall


Spring may have higher demand, but it also comes with higher inventory. Your home listing in the fall means less “competition” for you and possibly a better offer. Make sure you have done a great job of addressing curb appeal, staging, and cleaning to help your home really shine.


Buyers who are shopping for a new home in the fall or even in the winter usually have a strong reason to do so. Their motivations could include a recent job transfer, a desire to have their kids in a new school prior to mid-year breaks (or, if it’s early enough in the season, before school starts), or wanting to celebrate the holidays in a new space.


With more families wanting and needing multi-generational living spaces (think of the sandwich generation with both teens and aging parents sharing a home), the search for a home could be a longer process, pushing the process beyond spring’s peak.


Reasons to Buy Your Home in the Fall


Often times, sellers will be encouraged to pull their home off the market for the winter holidays. This means inventory will drop and then surge again in the spring. Shopping for a home in the fall will allow you to see houses before the flood of showings after the holidays.


Sellers who keep their listings active in the fall usually have a motivating factor behind their decision, which can benefit you. While it isn’t fully a buyer’s market, because they likely have less showings, they may be more open to accepting your offer.


Buying a home in the fall has several time-sensitive benefits. Your first mortgage payment won’t likely hit until the new year, and you may celebrate the winter holidays in your new space. 


In an analysis of over 30 million home sales spanning 15 years, RealtyTrac(r), found that home buyers who purchased in October paid nearly 3% less than in other months. You can also get into your new home right in time for the end-of-year sales on appliances and electronics – bonus!


If summer was for home repairs and vacations and you are now ready to buy or sell, give me a call for a market analysis and information to get moving this fall!

How to Avoid the Top 8 Home Inspection Mistakes 🔍


It’s easy to get swept up in the excitement of buying a home. Once you’ve had an offer accepted on your dream house, you’ll probably be anxious to move in. However, before you make a significant financial commitment, it’s best to know exactly what you’re buying.

When you hire a home inspector, you get a professional, in-depth examination of the property’s structures and systems. It’s a worthwhile investment that can save you money in the long run, either by warning you away from a bad purchase or by providing a list of deficiencies you can use to negotiate with the sellers.

The inspector’s report will also list minor repairs that, if made, will help to maintain your home over the long term. Additionally, a good inspector can often predict the standard life expectancy of your roof, HVAC, and other big-ticket items so you can start planning for their eventual replacement.

However, many buyers make mistakes during the inspection process that cost them time and money and lead to unnecessary stress. Avoid these eight common buyer blunders to minimize your risk, protect your investment, and give yourself peace of mind and confidence in your new home purchase.


MISTAKE 1: Skip Your Own Inspection

Many buyers rely on their home inspector to point out issues with the property. However, by conducting your own visual assessment before you submit an offer, you can factor expected expenses into the offer price. Or, if you suspect major problems, you may choose to move on to a different property altogether.

Examine the walls and ceilings. Are there suspicious cracks, which could point to a foundation issue? Any discoloration? Yellow spots can indicate water damage, while black spots are typically mold. If there’s a basement, look for powdery white deposits along the walls and slab, which can result from water seepage.1

To assess the plumbing, start by turning on a bathroom sink or tub, then flushing the toilet. Check for a drop in water pressure or a gurgling sound coming from the pipes. You can also try running the water in sinks and tubs for several minutes to test for drainage issues. Peak underneath sinks to spot signs of leaks or drain pipes that go into the floor instead of the wall.1

Look for fogged or drafty windows, which may need replacing. Examine the roof for signs of cupped, curled, or cracked shingles. Check siding, decks, and other wooden structures for evidence of rot.

Overall, does the home appear to be well maintained? Unless it’s a highly-competitive seller’s market, consider the overall condition of the property BEFORE you submit an offer. Work with your real estate agent to factor in repairs and updates you know you’ll need to make when you determine your offer price.

 MISTAKE 2: Hire the Cheapest Inspector

We all love to save money, but not all inspectors are created equal. Before you hire one, do a little research.2 You may even want to start shopping for an inspector before you complete your home search. Inspection periods are typically short, so it never hurts to be prepared.

You can start by asking around for recommendations. Check with friends and family members, as well as your real estate agent. Then contact at least two or three inspectors so you can compare not only price but also levels of experience and service.

Ask about their background, years of experience, and the number of inspections they have completed. Verify their certifications and credentials, and make sure they carry the proper insurance.

Find out what is (and what isn’t) covered in the inspection and if they utilize the latest technology. Ask to see a sample report so you can compare the style and level of detail provided. Finally, make sure you feel confident in the inspector’s abilities and comfortable asking him/her questions.


 MISTAKE 3: Miss Attending the Inspection

Make every effort to be on-site during the inspection. Buyers who aren’t present during their inspection miss out on a great opportunity to gather valuable information about their new home.

If can attend the inspection, don’t spend all your time picking out paint colors or chatting with your new neighbors. Instead, use your time there to shadow the inspector. It’s the perfect chance to find out where everything is located, ask questions, and see first-hand what repairs and updates may be needed.3

Of course, if you do choose to tag along with your inspector, exercise good judgment. Don’t get in the way, become a distraction, or do anything to jeopardize your (or the inspector’s) safety.

If you can’t make it to the inspection, ask if you can schedule a time to meet in person or speak by phone to go over the report in detail. It will give you an opportunity to ask questions or request clarification about issues in the report you don’t fully understand.


MISTAKE 4: Skim Over the Report

Inspection reports can be long and tedious, and it can be tempting to skim over them. However, buyers who do this risk missing crucial information.

Instead, you should read over the report carefully, so you don’t miss anything significant. Now is the time to address any areas of concern. You have a limited window of time to request repairs or negotiate the selling price, so don’t squander it.

Your inspector may also flag some minor items that you wouldn’t typically expect a seller to fix. However, ignoring these small issues can sometimes lead to bigger problems down the road. Make sure you read everything in the report so you can take future action if needed.


MISTAKE 5: Avoid Asking Questions

Some buyers are too embarrassed to ask questions when there’s something in the inspection report they don’t understand. Afraid they might look foolish, they avoid asking questions and end up uninformed about important issues that could impact their home purchase.

The reality is, questions are expected. You hired your inspector for their professional expertise, so don’t be shy about tapping into it. For example, you might ask:

  • Would you get this issue fixed in your own home?
  • How urgent is it?
  • What could happen if I don’t fix it?
  • Is this a simple issue I could fix myself?
  • What type of professional should I call?
  • Can you estimate how much it would cost to make this repair?
  • How much longer would you expect this system/structure/appliance to last?
  • What maintenance steps would you recommend?

Don’t bother asking your inspector if you should buy the property, because he/she won’t be able to answer that question for you. Instead, use the information provided to make an informed decision. A skilled real estate agent can help you determine the best path.


MISTAKE 6: Expect a Perfect Report

Some buyers get scared off by a lengthy inspection report. But with around 1600 items on an inspector’s checklist, you shouldn’t be surprised if yours uncover a large number of deficiencies.4 The key is to understand which problems require simple fixes, and which ones will require extensive (and costly) repairs.

Your real estate agent can help you decide if and how to approach the sellers about making repairs or reducing the price. Whatever you do, try to focus on the major issues identified in the inspector’s report, and don’t expect the sellers to address every minor item on the list. They will be more receptive if they perceive your requests to be reasonable.


MISTAKE 7: Forgo Additional Testing

There are times when an agent or inspector will recommend bringing in a specialist to evaluate a potential issue.5 For example, they may suggest testing for mold or consulting with a roofing expert.

Some buyers get spooked by the possibility of a “red flag” and decide to jump ship. Or, in their haste to close or desire to save money, they choose to ignore the recommendation for additional testing altogether.

Don’t make these potentially costly mistakes. In some cases, the specialist will offer a free evaluation that takes minimal time to schedule. And if not, the small investment you make could provide you with peace of mind or save you a fortune in future repairs.


MISTAKE 8: Skip Re-inspection of Repairs

Most buyers request receipts to prove that repairs have been correctly completed. However, it’s always prudent to go a step further and have negotiated repairs re-evaluated by your inspector or another qualified professional, even if there’s an additional charge.6

While the majority of sellers are forthcoming, some will try to save money by cutting corners, hiring unlicensed technicians, or doing the work themselves. A re-inspection will help ensure the repairs are completed properly now, so you aren’t paying to redo them later.

To avoid having to go back to the sellers, be specific when requesting repairs. Identify the problem, how repairs should be completed, who should complete the work, and how the repairs will be verified.7

Some buyers prefer to avoid this step altogether by completing the work themselves. They either request that the seller fund the repairs or reduce the selling price accordingly. Whichever path you choose, protect yourself and your investment by ensuring the work is done properly.



A home inspection can reduce your risk and save you money over the long-term. But to maximize its effectiveness, it must be done properly. Avoid these eight common home inspection mistakes to safeguard your investment.

While these are some of the most common missteps, there are countless others that can trip up home buyers, cost them time and money, and cause undue stress. Fortunately, we have the skills and experience to help you avoid the potential pitfalls.

If you’re in the market to buy a home, we can help you navigate the inspection and all the other steps in the buying process … typically at no cost to you! Tap into our expertise to make the right decisions for your real estate purchase. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation!



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Marlo Ibon | Aloha Agent


ADU – Accessory Dwelling Units

Have you ever felt the need for more space in your home because you have multiple family members living with you or extended family members wanting to stay with you? Or you own a single family home as an investment and want to maximize the cash flow from the home.  An ADU (Accessory Dwelling Unit) is a great option to provide those benefits.

What is an ADU?

An Accessory Dwelling Units (ADU’s) is a secondary small dwelling located on the same property as a single family home. They are common known as in-law units or granny flats.

They could be

  • Attached
  • Detached from the main home.
  • Above a garage.
  • Converted garage.
  • In a basement or attic.

Because of the housing shortage and high rents throughout the state of California the state made changes to the law allowing more homeowners the opportunity to build an ADU. This can help to address the need for more affordable housing.

What are the benefits of an ADU to you?

  • A lot more affordable to build.
  • The flexibility to have extra living space for family members or out of town guests.
  • Allow senior parents to age in place, while they are near and maintain privacy.
  • It can be an additional source of income.
  • It can help to increase your property value.
  • Maximize your investment property and increase your cash flow.
  • Downsize – Live in the ADU unit while renting out the primary home.
  • Could be a great investment since the build costs to rental ratio is better.
  • Can help to ease the housing challenges in the area.

If you are located in the city of San Jose here is a quick guide for you.

San Jose ADU guidelines:
Item             Prior Regulation             Regulation
Effective July 27, 2018
Zoning District ADUs allowed in R-1, R-2, and PD (subject to R-1 standards) zoning districts, which are comprised of single-family residences. Additionally allow ADUs in R-M zoning districts, and in any Planned Development (PD) district where ADUs are not expressly prohibited. Development standards of the Municipal Code and of planned developments zones apply in call cases.
Minimum Lot Size 5,445 sf 3,000 sf
Minimum Setbacks from Rear and Side Property Lines 0 feet – Conversions 5 feet – New construction 0 feet – 1-story conversions 5 feet – New construction or for ADUs constructed above a garage or accessory structure.
Maximum Height Single story – 18 feet maximum No 2nd-story unit allowed Single story – 18 feet maximum
2nd-story allowed – 22 feet maximum*  *Either an ADU atop a garage or accessory structure or a two-story ADU.
Rear Yard Coverage Not including pools, not more than 40% of the rear yard may be covered. No change
Detached ADU Location Rear yard only, at least 6 feet away from primary dwelling, attached only to a detached garage. Rear yard only, at least 6 feet away from primary dwelling, attached to a detached garage or other existing accessory structure.
ADU Size
(in sf)

Lot Size (sf)

ADU Maximum Size (sf)

3,000 – 5,444

Not allowed

5,445 – 9,000


9,001 – 10,000


10,001 – Up


Lot Size (sf)

ADU Maximum Size (sf)

3,000 – 5,444


5,445 – 9,000


9,001 – 10,000


10,001 – Up


Number of Bedrooms Studio or 1 bedroom Under 800 sf: Studio or 1 bedroom allowed 800 sf and up: 2 bedrooms maximum allowed
Attached ADUMaximum Floor Area May not exceed 50% of the existing primary dwelling living area May not exceed 50% of the existing or proposed primary dwelling living area
Design Standards Match appearance, and match roof form and pitch Require visual compatibility with existing primary dwelling.
Parking requirements Parking configurations in conformance with State law

An ADU requires 1 space unless the property qualifies for an exemption under State law—see the Parking section of this webpage. If a garage has been converted, the main dwelling parking space must be replaced, as uncovered or in front or side setback areas. Parking spaces may be configured on-site per state law.

Reduction in required off-street parking spaces No more than one dwelling occupies the lot. (Section 20.90.220) No more than one dwelling, in conjunction with an ADU, occupies the lot.
Junior ADU Not allowed Removed from consideration; not part of the approved ordinance.
Front yard paving No more than 50% of the front setback may be paved with any impervious surface. (Section 20.30.440) No more than 50% of the front setback may be paved with any impervious or pervious surface.
ADU requirements for lots in Historic Resources Inventory Requires Single-Family House Permit Waive requirement for a Single-Family House Permit for detached ADU or for conversion of existing accessory structure with no exterior alterations.


Guides and Resources


Additional information


Aloha Agent | Marlo Ibon


Click here for the Real Estate Relocation Guide 7 Steps to a Seamless Move guide

Whatever your reasons are for relocating to a new area, the process can feel overwhelming.

Whether you’re moving across town or across the country, you’ll be changing more than your address. Besides a new house, you may also be searching for new jobs, schools, doctors, restaurants, stores, service providers and more.

Of course you’ll need to pack, make moving arrangements, and possibly sell your old home. With so much to do, you may be wondering: Where do I start?

 In this guide, we outline seven steps to help you get prepared, get organized, and get settled in your new community. Our hope is to alleviate the hassle of relocating—so you can focus on the exciting adventure ahead!


  1. Gather Information

If you’re unfamiliar with your new area, start by doing some research.1 Look for data on average housing prices, demographics, school rankings and crime statistics. Search for maps that illustrate local geography, landmarks, public transportation routes and major interstates. If you’re moving across the country, research climate and seasonal weather patterns.

Check out local newspapers and blogs for information on political issues and developments that could impact your new community. You may also want to search for online forums and Facebook Groups relevant to your new area. These can be a great place to find information, ask questions and just observe local attitudes and outlooks.

If you’re relocating for a job, find out if your new employer offers any relocation assistance. Many large corporations have a designated human resources professional to assist employees with relocation efforts, while others may contract this service out to a third party. Some employers will also cover all or a portion of your relocation and moving costs.

By gathering this information up front, you’ll be better prepared to make informed decisions down the road.

Let us know if you’d like assistance with your information gathering process. We have a wealth of knowledge about this area, and we keep a number of reports and statistics on file in our office. We would be happy to share information and answer any questions you may have.


  1. Identify Your Ideal Neighborhoods

Once you’ve sufficiently researched your new area, you can start to identify your ideal neighborhoods.

The first step is to prioritize your “needs” and “wants.” Consider factors such as budget; commute time; quality of schools; crime rate; walkability; access to public transportation; proximity to restaurants, shopping, and place of worship; and neighborhood vibe.

If possible, visit the area in person to get a feel for the community. If you’re comfortable, strike up conversations with local residents and ask about their experiences living in the area.

Still not sure which neighborhood is the best fit for you and your family? Contact a local real estate agent for expert assistance. It’s usually the most efficient and effective way to narrow down your options.

We provide neighborhood assessments and advice as a free service if you’re relocating to our area. Or, if you’re moving out of town, we can refer you to a local agent who can help.


  1. Find Your New Home (and Sell Your Old One)

Once you’ve narrowed down your list of preferred neighborhoods, it’s time to start looking for a home. If you haven’t already contacted a real estate agent, now is the time. They can search for current property listings that meet your needs, typically at no cost to you.

Create another list of “needs” and “wants,” but this time for your new home. Include your basic requirements for square footage, bedrooms and bathrooms, but also think about what other factors are important to you and your family. An updated kitchen? A large backyard? Double sinks in the master bathroom?

Narrow your list down to your top 10 and prioritize them in order of importance.2 This will give you a good starting point to begin your home search. Unless you have an unlimited budget, don’t expect to find a home with everything on your list. But having a prioritized list can help you (and your agent) understand which home features are the most important, and which ones you may be willing to sacrifice.

If you already own a home, you’ll also need to start the process of selling it or renting it out. A real estate agent can help you evaluate your options based on current market conditions. He or she can also give you an idea of how much equity you have in your current home so you know how much you can afford to spend on your new one.

Your agent can also advise you on how to time your sale and purchase. While some buyers are able to qualify for and cover the costs of two concurrent mortgages, many are not. There are a number of options available, and a skilled agent can help you determine the best course given your circumstances.

We would love to assist you if you have plans to buy or sell a home in our area. Please contact us to schedule a free consultation so we can discuss your unique needs and devise a custom plan to make your relocation as seamless as possible. If you’re relocating outside of our area, we can help you find a trusted agent in your new city.


  1. Prepare for Your Departure

While everyone considers packing a fundamental part of moving, we often overlook the emotional preparation that needs to take place. If you have children, this can be especially important. Communicate the move in an age-appropriate way, and if possible take them on a tour of your new home and neighborhood. This can alleviate some of the mystery and apprehension around the move.4

Allow yourself plenty of time to pack up your belongings. Before you start, gather supplies, including boxes, tape, tissue paper and bubble wrap. Begin with non-essentials—such as off-season clothes or holiday decorations—and sort items into four categories: take, trash, sell and donate/give away.5  

For tips on organizing visit:

To make the unpacking process easier, be sure to label the top and sides of boxes with helpful information, including contents, room, and any special instructions. Keep a master inventory list so you can refer back to it if something goes missing.

If you will be using a moving company, start researching and pricing your options. To ensure an accurate estimate of your final cost, it’s best to have them conduct an in-person walkthrough. Make sure you’re working with a reputable company, and avoid paying a large deposit before your belongings are delivered.6

If you plan to drive to your new home, map out the route. And, if necessary, make arrangements for overnight accommodations along the way. If driving is not a good option, you may need to have your vehicles transported and make travel arrangements for you, your family and your pets.

Lastly, if you will be leaving friends or family behind, schedule final get-togethers before your departure. The last days before moving can be incredibly hectic, so make sure you block off some time in advance for proper goodbyes.


Looking for a reputable moving company? We are happy to provide referrals, as well as recommendations on where to procure packing supplies in our area.


  1. Prepare for Your Arrival

To make your transition go smoothly, prepare for your arrival well before moving day. Depending on how long your belongings will take to arrive, you may need to arrange for temporary hotel accommodations. If you plan to move in directly, pack an “essentials box” with everything you’ll need for the first couple of nights in your new home, such as toiletries, toilet paper, towels, linens, pajamas, cell phone chargers, snacks, pet food and a change of clothes.7 This will keep you from searching through boxes after an exhausting day of moving.

Arrange in advance for your utilities to be turned on, especially essentials like water, electricity and gas. (And while you’re at it, schedule a shut-off date for your current utilities.) Update your address on all accounts and subscriptions and arrange to have your mail forwarded through the postal service. If you have children, register them for their new school or daycare and arrange for the transfer of any necessary records.

You may want to have the house professionally cleaned before moving in. And if you plan to remodel, paint or install new flooring, it’s easier to have it done before you bring in all of your belongings.8 However, it’s not always feasible without someone you trust locally who can supervise. Another option is to keep a portion of your things in storage while you complete some of these projects. 

If there are no window treatments, you may need to install some (or at least put up temporary privacy film), especially in bedrooms and bathrooms. And if appliances are missing, consider purchasing them ahead of time and arranging for delivery and installation shortly after you arrive. Just be sure to check measurements and installation instructions carefully so you aren’t stuck with an appliance that doesn’t fit or that requires costly modifications to your new home.

If you own a car, check the requirements for a driver’s license and vehicle registration in your new area and contact your insurance company to update your policy.8 If you will rely on public transportation, research options and schedules.

If you’re relocating to our area, we can help! We offer “VIP Relocation Assistance” to all of our buyer clients. Contact us for a list of preferred hotels, utility providers, housekeepers, contractors and more!


  1. Get Settled In Your New Home

While staring at an endless pile of boxes can feel daunting, you should take advantage of this opportunity to make a fresh start. By creating a plan ahead of time, you can ensure your new house is thoughtfully laid out and well organized.

If you followed our suggestion to pack an “essentials box” (see Step 5), you should have easy access to everything you’ll need to get you through the first couple of nights in your new home. This will allow you some breathing room to unpack your remaining items in a deliberate manner, instead of rushing through the process.7

If you have young children, consider unpacking their rooms first. Seeing their familiar items can help them establish a sense of comfort and normalcy during a confusing time. Then move on to any items you use on a daily basis.10

Pets can also get overwhelmed by a new, unfamiliar space. Let them adjust to a single room first, which should include their favorite toys, treats, food and water bowl, and a litter box for cats. Once they seem comfortable, you can gradually introduce them to other rooms in the home.11

As you unpack, make a list of items that need to be purchased so you’re not making multiple trips to the store. Also, start a list of needed repairs and installations. If you have a home warranty, find out what’s covered and the process for filing a service order.

Although you may be eager to get everything unpacked, it’s important to take occasional breaks. Have some fun, relax and explore your new hometown!

Need help with unpacking, organizing or decorating your new home? Contact us for a list of recommended professionals in our area. And when you’re ready to start exploring local “hot spots,” we’d love to fill you in on our favorite restaurants, stores, parks and other attractions!


  1. Get Involved In Your New Community

Studies show that moving can lead to feelings of loneliness and depression. People who have recently moved tend to be isolated socially, more stressed, and less likely to participate in exercise and hobbies. However, there are ways to combat these negative effects.12

First, get out and explore. In a 2016 study, recent movers were shown to spend less time on physical activities and more time on their computers, which has been proven to lead to feelings of depression and loneliness. Instead, get out of your house and investigate your new area. And if you travel by foot, you’ll gain the advantages of fresh air and exercise.12

Combat feelings of isolation by making an effort to meet people in your new community. Find a local interest group, take a class, join a place of worship or volunteer for a cause. Don’t wait for friends to come knocking on your door. Instead, go out and find them.

Finally, be a good neighbor. Make an effort to introduce yourself to your new neighbors, invite them over for coffee or dinner, and offer assistance when they need it. Once you’ve developed friendships and a support system within your new neighborhood, it will truly start to feel like home.

Want more ideas on how to get involved in your community? Contact us for a free copy of our report, “Welcome Home: 10 Tips to Turn Your Neighborhood Into a Hometown Haven.”



While moving is never easy, these seven steps offer an action plan to get you started on your new adventure. To avoid getting overwhelmed, focus on one step at a time. And don’t hesitate to ask for help!

In a 2015 study, 61 percent of participants ranked moving at the top of their stress list, above divorce and starting a new job.13 But with a little preparation—and the right team of professionals to assist you—it is possible to have a positive relocation experience.

We specialize in assisting home buyers and sellers with a seamless and “less-stress” relocation. Along with our referral network of movers, handymen, housekeepers, decorators, contractors and other service providers, we can help take the hassle and headache out of your upcoming move. Give us a call or message us to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation!

Click here for the Real Estate Relocation Guide 7 Steps to a Seamless Move guide


Marlo Ibon | Aloha Agent




  1. You Move Me –
  2. com –
  3. Livestrong –
  4. Parents Magazine –
  5. The Spruce –
  6. com –
  7. The Spruce –
  8. com –
  9. HGTV –
  10. com –
  11. ASPCA –
  12. Psychology Today –

The Daily Express –

My name is Marlo VP of EQ1 Real Estate and throughout the years I’ve had the opportunity to educate, consult and work with many home buyers to help them find and purchase their homes.

Have you just started the home buying process? or have been looking for months and have seen many homes but you’re finding it difficult when it comes to making a decision on which homes to place offers on? Does this resonate with you? In a market to where homes are selling quickly,  buyers don’t have the luxury to wait a couple of days to make a decision or else they’ll lose out on the home.

Because of the need to help my clients become successful homeowners. I’ve created a ranking system that anyone can use and it’s very simple and yet very effective in helping buyers to make a decision faster and with more confidence. The system is called the “Home Buyers Home Ranking” system or (HBHR). It’s uses a ranking system with the numbers from “1 to 5”. For example, a home that is ranked a “5” that would  be a home that has all the criteria a buyer is looking for, their “Dream Home”.

Below is a sample of the HBHR system that is shared with my clients during our home buyer’s consult:

Home Buyers Home Ranking system

  • 5 – Home meets 100% of your home buying criteria has everything in a home your wanting it’s your dream home. And you’re willing to pay substantial amount over the asking price.
  • 4 – Home meets 80% of your home buying criteria and you’re willing to pay a little over the asking price.
  • 3 – Home meets 60% of your home buying criteria and you’re willing to pay at asking price or just below.
  • 2- Home meets 40% of your buying criteria and you’re not interested in placing an offer.
  • 1- Home meet only 20% of your home buying criteria and you’re not interested in placing an offer.


The HBHR system is used by all my clients with great results saving them time and money. The best thing about this HBHR system is that you can tailor it to what you’re comfortable with when placing your offers.  I know once you start implementing the HBHR system into your home buying process you’ll see how helpful and effective it is.  So start now by putting together your personalized home buyers home ranking system and start seeing the difference it makes for you.

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