Contra Costa Bay Area Real Estate Blog

Jason Wheeler, Broker Associate and Realtor with Cal State Realty based in San Francisco East Bay, specializing in Pleasant Hill, Martinez, Concord, Clayton, Walnut Creek, San Ramon, Lafayette, Orinda, Alamo, and surrounding communities. 925-285-2172. Serving the Bay Area since 2003. Consistently top-rated within one of the largest brokerages in the country out of over 500 agents. Jason and his team make purchasing or selling your Bay Area home simple. Top rated on Google, Yelp, and several other sources, when you want to work with the best real estate expert in the Bay Area, call or text Jason Wheeler and get your questions answered.

100% FOCUSED on delivering the BEST in service, communication, and partnership when it comes to helping you buy your home in Pleasant Hill, Martinez, Concord, Walnut Creek, or Lafayette, California.

Call today 925-285-2172 | Contact

March 29, 2024

Most Common Problem for Bay Area Home Sellers Solved

Buy before you sell! We’ve solved some of the most challenging problems home sellers face in the California Bay Area.

PLEASANT HILL, California - (BUSINESS WIRE)- C2 Financial, a leading mortgage broker, is working with Calque to launch C2 Buy Before You Sell in the Bay Area. With this new program, C2 Financial enables individuals to leverage their home equity for a new purchase before selling their home. This unique approach provides convenience and benefits for house hunters who are homeowners to tap their current home equity to make same-as-cash offers on their next property.

“Working with a leading mortgage provider like C2 Financial lets us get more qualified buyers into their next home and open up inventory for the move-up buyer.”


Bay Area Brokerage in Pleasant Hill has released a new partnership program allowing homeowners to purchase a replacement property before selling their current departing residence.


"This is a game changer for Bay Area home sellers who need to buy a replacement home." says Jason Wheeler, C2 Financial Branch Manager and Broker Associate in Pleasant Hill.


One of the main challenges we see Bay Area sellers facing regularly is the ability to qualify to purchase a replacement property when selling their current primary home.


This could apply to you if you are looking to

  • Upgrade or purchase a move-up or "Dream" home
  • Downsize to a smaller home
  • Moving out of the area or out of state

Whether you’re moving out of the area, moving up to your dream home, or possibly downsizing, when you're selling your home and looking for a replacement property, it can be complicated for homeowners to qualify for a new home purchase before they’ve sold their current primary home.


Qualifying for a new mortgage on an upgraded property can take a lot of work, especially regarding your debt-income ratio, which can be severely affected by carrying your current primary mortgage debt.


Often, you will need to sell your current home to qualify for that next purchase. However, you may discover that purchasing an upgraded property could also be difficult if you have to write offers contingent upon selling your current home.


We've solved this problem for Bay Area home sellers.

Trade up Mortgage Released in the Bay Area


Using our exclusive buy-before-you-sell program could be pivotal in making the transition seamless.


With C2 Buy Before You Sell buyers can qualify for their next home without including their existing home or a new second lien on that home in their debt-to-income ratio, resulting in potentially better terms for their new loan. Furthermore, because Calque provides a binding backup contract on the borrower’s home, there is a date by which the house is guaranteed to sell.

“We decided to partner with Calque to offer a safer, better ‘buy before you sell’ solution for our customers,” said C2 Financial Founder and CEO David Temko. “Our mortgage expertise and the guaranteed backup offer from Calque empowers homebuyers to purchase their dream homes with much less stress.”

“This collaboration with C2 Financial is an ideal match for our company,” said Jeremy Foster, founder and chairman at Calque. “The ability to work with a leading mortgage provider like C2 Financial lets us get more qualified buyers into their next home and open up inventory for the move-up buyer.”

C2 Buy Before You Sell is an innovative home loan product partnership enabling homeowners to buy a new home before selling their current residence.


  • We use a new process that allows you to use the equity in your current home before you even list it on the market.
  • This simplifies and streamlines the home-buying process and reduces stress by empowering you to submit competitive, non-contingent offers that are like cash on new home prospects, buy and move into your new home before you sell your current one, and make repairs and prep your original house for sale after you have moved out so it always looks show-ready and sells for the best price.
  • Through our program, you can work with your preferred real estate agent, giving you peace of mind that you are getting a competitive sales price for your home. We aim to help you buy and sell your next home on your terms.


Buy Before You Sell HOW IT WORKS

Get pre-approved quickly and easily.


  • Ask about the Buy Before You Sell program, and we will send you a purchase price guarantee (PPG) within 3-5 business days.
  • Complete your pre-approval paperwork with a C2 Financial loan officer for your new home purchase
  • Note: If your home doesn't sell on the open market and closes within the time frame specified in the purchase price guarantee (usually 150 days in most markets), We will secure a contract to purchase it for the agreed-upon price.


Win your dream home with more bargaining power.


  • You can find your dream home with your preferred real estate agent.
  • Submit non-contingent offers that function like all-cash offers.
  • Once your offer is accepted, we'll finalize the underwriting process and give you the down payment for your new home.


Move and then prep your original home for sale.


  • Move into your new home!
  • Make repairs and stage your original home so it sells for maximum value.
  • Use the equity in your original home to make payments on that home so you’re only out-of-pocket for one mortgage.


Sell your original home and save.


  • You can sell your original home on the open market for the highest competitive price the free market could bare.
  • You can move forward with a conventional loan on your new home.
  • If your house hasn't sold within the timeframe specified in the PPG (up to 150 days in most markets), Our partners will purchase it for the original agreed-upon price.

Want more details to see if you qualify?


C2 Buy Before You Sell is more convenient, less stressful, and often cheaper than the traditional process.


Using C2 Buy Before You Sell, you will be able to:


  • Win with non-contingent offers that function like all-cash offers. Submit non-contingent offers on new home prospects, positioning you as a competitive buyer in today’s increasingly crowded real estate market. Notably, many real estate agents can leverage non-contingent offers to negotiate a lower purchase price.
  • Buy and move into your new home before you sell your original one. This allows you to avoid the stress of trying to time the sale of your original house with the purchase of your new home, submitting contingent offers, or moving into a short-term rental while you look for a new home.
  • Prep your original home for sale after you have moved out. This allows you to avoid the hassle of constantly cleaning and organizing your home to maintain show-readiness while living there. Furthermore, many clients choose to take advantage of the vacancy to make repairs and stage their original home so that it sells for maximum value.
  • You will likely experience cost savings. For a small fee, you can move forward with a conventional loan on your new home without incurring the costs of moving twice, short-term rentals, and/or private mortgage insurance.

Something like this is never a "one size fits all" situation.


Find out if the Buy Before You Sell Program could make sense for you. We'd love to explain the details. Call, text 925-285-2172 email.

Posted in selling my home
March 20, 2024

Bay Area Home Prices Still Going Up?

During today's Fed meeting, the Fed decided to keep interest rates unchanged, and they are following a higher-for-longer policy regarding mortgage rates.

Despite that, in the last month, they are home prices have seen a significant increase, and many homes are still selling considerably higher than their ass price.

Bay Area Home Priced Up 14% Since Last Month According to NBC

Check out our other education videos on YouTube

So what is the solution to this if you continue to wait, when rates market will be flooded with buyers and prices will likely go up if that does happen to raise interest rates later because they can’t get inflation under control or payments will still be more expensive.

If you want to buy, explore your down payment assistance options or low down payment options available when rates come down. Refinance that loan and enjoy fixed long-term savings.

You could be in the real estate market and enjoy these equity increases that homeowners already enjoy. Believe it or not, many homes for first-time home buyers in Contra cost below $600,000.

Questions? Call or Text 925-285-2172. If you know someone looking to make a move, let me know today. Your referrals are always appreciated! Experience matters!

Oct. 25, 2023

Bay Area Home Buyer Mortgage Affordability Calculators

We provide this home buyer affordability calculator to help Bay Area buyers plan for their home ownership goals in California.  We make them accessible so you can make the best-educated decisions with the most accurate information possible.

This affordability calculator is simple to use and quick. It will also give you a great idea of what you could expect to pay in closing costs on a typical home purchase transaction. Of course, you want to check with your lender and Realtor before locking in any closing cost scenario.

What I like about this calculator is that it allows you to work backward from what you’d like to pay monthly to help you determine what type of home price you could realistically afford.

Once you've determined a payment that may work for you, here are some other questions to ask yourself to see if you are ready to purchase in the Bay Area real estate market.

You can try it out for yourself.

Monthly Affordability Calculator

Bay Area Home Buyer Affordability Calculator

Access the Bay Area Home Affordability Calculator Here

You may be able to afford more than you think. Every second counts in the housing market when there's so much demand for a relatively low supply of homes.

What I like about this calculator is you can start with your desired monthly payment or start with what you already pay in rent. 

Based on that monthly payment, we will calculate how much home you would likely afford.

Once you've played with your figures and found a price point that works for your budget, you can search for homes in your price range right on the website's sidebar.

We are ready to help you call, text, or make an appointment.  We are always excited to help you get accurate answers to questions about your unique situation.


June 9, 2022

What Makes a Luxury Home in Contra Costa County?

Luxury real estate is defined differently across different markets, as property values, median resident income, and area development vary widely depending on the metro area.

For example, the Los Angeles area has a significantly higher top end of the market and a higher cutoff point for buyers to afford these properties compared to smaller markets like Oklahoma City.

“Luxury is the quality of the build, the location of a home, the magnitude of a property—but it is also very personal,” says Lisa Gild, an associate partner with Partners Trust.  She elaborates further here.

“To some, luxury is privacy with sweeping city views, and to others, it’s living on the ocean with a private beach. Some define ‘luxury’ as a smart home fully wired with every high-tech gadget, and others would interpret ‘luxury’ as an architecturally significant Mid-Century Modern home.”

Location quality, price, and amenities are what most look for when thinking of a Luxury Home.

Primary areas in Contra Costa County include but are not limited to Orinda, Alamo, Danville, and Lafayette.

Here at Cal State Realty Services, we have you in mind when you're looking for a Luxury home in the Contra Costa East Bay Area.

You can view all luxury homes for sale in Contra Costa County here.

March 2, 2022

Alhambra Valley Martinez California

Alhambra Valley Martinez CA

Alhambra Valley Martinez CA Spanish: [aˈlambɾa]) is a census-designated place in the Briones Hills of central Contra Costa County, California.

Alhambra Valley sits at an elevation of 525 feet (160 m).[2] The 2010 United States census reported that Alhambra Valley's population was 924. The Spanish name of the valley was Cañada del Hambre "Valley of Hunger"; it was adapted into English with obvious influence from "Alhambra".

Homes for Sale in Martinez Alhambra Valley

You may also like the number 1 App to search for Martinez Real Estate.

April 11, 2020

Bay Area Best Real Estate Property Search App

Bay Area Real Estate Search Application


We're excited to release our IOS application you can use for free.

If you're on your mobile device click the link above and try it now.

We'd love to hear what you think.

You can search for listings.

You can pinch to control the zoom of the map, which will narrow the search and the listings will adjust accordingly.

You have access to your favorites, searches, and account info.

Track markets and neighborhoods...

Best of all you won't have to deal with Ads and third party sites selling your personal information as a "Lead" the way Zillow, Redfin, Trulia and will.


Be one of the first to demo this homeowner tracking software.  We have just a few more BETA testing spots to give away for free.


Hope you enjoy and remember we're NEVER too busy for your referrals.

Jason Wheeler - 925-285-2172

Jan. 9, 2019

Pleasant Hill Zero Down Payment Home Loans

In the video below, I will give you an over the shoulder comparison for a real life scenario that we recently did for a client wanting to purchase a home, with limited funds for closing right here in Pleasant Hill California.

Review the 10 minute tutorial, and then get in touch with us and ask us any questions about getting started.

Watch This Ten Minute Loan Scenario Comparison for Pleasant Hill

Newest Pleasant Hill Homes for Sale Zero Down Payment Qualified

FHA Loans vs Zero Down Payment Pleasant Hill

FHA loans offer a 3.5% down payment minimum and are very flexible with Credit and income guidelines, tailored specifically for potential Pleasant Hill first time home buyers. 

The downside for FHA loans in Pleasant Hill, is that it comes with hefty government fees or "Mortgage Insurance" that are normally financed into the new mortgage. 

Home Ready and Home Possible.

These are two popular low down payment, conventional options offered by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac for potential borrowers that have a qualifying income.

These two programs are not necessarily for low income borrowers in Pleasant Hill, but they do have caps on how much household income you can use in order to qualify.

In the video above I compare home ready and home possible to FHA. 

Zero Down Payment Financing for Pleasant Hill

Next we will show you our exclusive zero down payment program.  Most lenders will not even bother to mention or show you. 

With this program, we can offer to finance both your required down payment, and usually all of your closing costs.  Many potential buyers in Pleasant Hill are surprised to find out that the payment option with very little or no money out of pocket is very palatable compared to the other more popular, low down payment options mentioned above.

Apply Here for Pleasant Hill Zero Down Payment Home Loan

Or call and ask anytime at 925-285-2172

Newest Pleasant Hill Homes for Sale Zero Down Payment Qualified

How To Schedule a Pleasant Hill Property Showing

How to best communicate on properties you like.

  1. Login to your account here (email and phone number)
  2. Download our MoveTo App if you are using an iPhone (this app is updated more frequently than Zillow and other popular consumer sites)
  3. Save any relevant searches you like? (I’ll save one for you based on what we’ve been looking at) Properties with Red Arrows were recently reduced and the seller may be very motivated.
  4. You will be notified when new homes come up or if there are any price reductions on homes you’ve been looking at.

On the site or in the app if you click “favorite” or “request showing” I will get notified automatically and put together comp reports and showing schedules for you.

This way we can be kept in the loop together on what you like in Pleasant Hill and are interested in with just one click without you having to email or call every time.

Oct. 3, 2018

Pleasant Hill Real Estate Trends Changing Directions?

Pleasant Hill

Pleasant Hill real estate trends have shifted over the last few months.

Review Pleasant Hill Report Here

These changes in cooling off are primarily due to mortgage interest rates continuing to rise and an influx of sellers trying to chase the prices from earlier in 2018.

In our last blog post, we illustrated how a key treasury note has spiked through a five-year resistance level, indicating the trend of rising rates will likely continue.

Bay Area Home Sales Were the Slowest for August in Seven Years as Activity Drops 10 Percent Year Over Year; Median Sale Price Declines Month to Month Again but was still Up 12 Percent Year Over Year New data released today by CoreLogic shows a total of 7,659 new and existing houses and condominiums were sold in Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, Santa Clara, San Francisco, San Mateo, Solano and Sonoma counties in August 2018. 

This number is up 1.8 percent month over month from 7,524 sales in July 2018,* and down 9.9 percent year over year from 8,504 sales in August 2017.

Year Over Year Change in Bay Area Real Estate Sales

Note that Contra Costa County sales are down 12.6% from the same month last year... 

Could this be a big red flag on a shift in the marketplace?

Monthly Updated statistics and market trends can be viewed here.

Bay Area Home Data

How Will New Real Estate Trends Affect Pleasant Hill Real Estate

While this newer trend is ultimately good news for frustrated buyers, years of steadily increasing prices mean that those hoping to buy a home will need to spend a more significant share of their income once they find one unless we see prices decrease.

At the same time, raised Mortgage interest rates will be increasing payments as they continue to go up.

Will Bay Area income continue to keep up with the home prices?

Nonetheless, those buyers daunted by low inventory and high prices have reason to be cautiously optimistic as parts of the housing market begin to ease.

If you've even been thinking of buying a home...

It is important that you get your questions answered.

NOW may not be a great time for you to buy.

Get your questions answered and review our free home buyers crash course below.

Pleasant Hill Home Buyer Crash Course

Oct. 2, 2018

Should I Still Buy a Home In Pleasant Hill With Mortgage Rates Trending Up?

Should you still buy a home in Pleasant Hill even when mortgage rates have been trending up consistently since July of 2016, and the local Pleasant Hill market has changed significantly in recent months?

In fact... Mortgage interest rates, as reported by Freddie Mac, have increased by close to a quarter of a percent over the last several weeks.

The FED is expected to raise rates at least once more in Q4 for 2018.

The ten year note continues to hang around the highest point since 2013


mortgage rates since 2013 pleasant hill california

Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, the Mortgage Bankers Association, and the National Association of Realtors are all calling for mortgage rates to rise another quarter of a percent by next year.

In addition to the predictions from the four major reporting agencies mentioned above, the Federal Open Market Committee recently voted “unanimously to approve a .25 percentage point increase in the primary credit rate to 2.75 percent.” 

Historically, an increase in the primary credit rate has translated to an overall jump in mortgage interest rates as well.

This has caused some purchasers to lament the fact that they may no longer be able to get a rate below 4%.

However, we must realize that current rates are still at historic lows.

Here is a chart showing the average mortgage interest rate over the last several decades:

Could you imagine if you had bought in the 1980s at today's prices?!?

That would be quite a payment!

bay area mortgage rates charts pleasant hill


In the four weeks ending on September 23, 22.9 percent of homes sold for more than their asking price, across the metros tracks. More than one-in-five sounds like a lot, but it represents a 2.6 percentage point decline compared to the same period last year when 25.5 percent of homes sold above their list price.

The share of homes that sold above list hasn’t been this low since 2016 and has been declining since its peak of 29 percent in June.

In fact in the Bay Area alone home sales tanked almost 10 percent last month according to CNBC.

Total home sales for the Bay Area fell nearly 10 percent compared with August 2017, according to CoreLogic.

Sales increased 1.8 percent compared with July, but the total volume was nearly 18 percent below the August average going back to 1988 and the lowest since August 2011.

Sales activity for the summer, June through August, was the slowest in seven years.


Though you may have missed the lowest mortgage rate ever offered, you can still get a better interest rate than your older brother or sister did ten years ago,

A lower rate than your parents did twenty years ago...

...and a better rate than your grandparents did forty years ago.

That being said it does not necessarily mean that you should buy your home right now!

Depending on your situation you may NOT be in the best position to buy.

I'm committed to giving you good honest Real Estate advise here on this blog...

Here's what I REALLY think about if NOW is a good time to buy in the bay area for 2018...


Nov. 2, 2017

Is Contra Costa Real Estate Topping Out?


Could bay area real estate be topping out?

Many say that it’s the time of year.

Buyers are frustrated and everybody is beginning to shift their focus to the holidays.

However it’s highly possible this could be a perfect storm for real estate values to have a significant traction.

Here’s 3 reasons why the Bay Area real estate market may be topping out

ONE: National Association of realtors report that homes pending for sale all over the country of slowed significantly nationwide.

Reports from the East Bay times confirms it’s even more serious in the bay area.

TWO: The feds policy to begin reducing its balance sheet basically means it’s going to aggressively start raising rates. Rates have already been raised several times this year and it’s expected but they will be a raised aggressively starting in December.

THREE: There’s a very real possibility due to the new tax proposal in Congress that the Mortgage Interest Tax Deduction along with other Real Estate write offs could be taken away from homeowners. This could cause some significant changes to home owners in high taxed states and could affect real estate values especially in California.

If the mortgage interest tax deduction is taken away on any level it will raise the overall costs of real estate ownership and could have an overnight impact on home values especially in wealthier areas.

One BIG reason it may NOT be topping out.

At the end of the day supply and demand are the biggest key indicators of an economic market... the only indicator I see that will hold this market up is the LACK OF INVENTORY on the Bay Area market.

In lieu of other heavily weighing factors until a catalyst occurs making people WANT to sell more homes this market could hold strong.

You can check the inventory in your area by clicking here.

Here’s the bottom line

If you’ve been tossing around the idea of selling it would be a good idea to contact your agent sooner than later

If you have any need to leverage equity in your home lower your interest rate or take cash out you may miss the boat on refinancing once the Fed starts to raise rates.

If you’re a potential buyer it’s highly likely all this will be a wash if real estate prices come down and rates go up they can possibly cancel each other out depending on the severity of both corrections.

We will have to wait and see I guess.

PS: A while ago I shared with you how I got rid of all of spam callers. I got some great feedback on that post so if you are constantly in undated with Robo calls go back and check it out

This week I wanted to get A little bit back to the market since there are several key indicators pointing to a cool down in the housing market that were recently released.

Let me know your thoughts or questions in the comments below.