Sign me up for the Free 7 day Buyer’s course

I want you to feel confident and know what to do.

Even if you have bought properties before, chances are you haven’t done it enough. It’s a great idea to have a refresher course.

I have a lot to say about finding the best deals and how to make this process easy and fun. There are also several things you need to know.

I’ll hand you all the important tips and tricks in this short buyer’s review course. You’ll get a coaching tip in your email everyday for a week. This helps break down the learning process and keeps it simple.

I lay out all my best secrets in this course. A week from now they could be your secrets, too, if you sign up now.

Yes! please sign up for my Free 7-day buyer’s email course.

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Sign me up for the Free 7 day Seller’s course

Anyone can sell real estate badly. Just hang a sign.

However, a lot of work goes into a top dollar listing. I have a step-by-step process and a marketing plan that I always use. Now I want to share it with you.

Every single product in the world has a marketing plan. The advertisers know the who, how, what and where of selling their product. They are experts, and they are methodical in how they work that plan.

You are going to sell your property for hundreds of thousands of dollars, or more. This may be the biggest sale of your life. With so much at stake, shouldn’t you have a marketing plan?

I have broken my process down into a week-long email course so you can slowly learn all the steps. If you want a quick, high-yielding sale I urge you to sign up for the course.

I am not going to lie, my marketing plan is intense. If we work together to sell your house, I will do the heavy lifting, but I will need your help to get the best possible price. This course will get you up to speed on what needs to be done, so we can work together as an unstoppable team.

When you sign up, you will receive a coaching email everyday for a week. This helps break down the learning process. I’m going to lay out all my best secrets, and a week from now you’ll know what they are if you sign up now.

Yes! please sign up for my Free 7-day seller’s email course.

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Download my FREE MLS App

Search the MLS anytime

You love this app. Unlike using Zillow or Trulia, you can directly search the MLS right from your phone! It is an easy and convenient way to become a master of the market you are looking to enter. When you have access to this kind of knowledge, you’ll have the confidence to spot the right deal when it comes.

There is a great mortgage calculator, and this app also lets you communicate directly with me and my team.

It is easy to get started.

You can download it here: My FREE MLS APP

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Download my FREE Mortgage App

Have a virtual mortgage consultant in your pocket

Now you can cover some of the biggest steps to buy or sell a property from your phone. I’ve got a that will slice through the confusion.

Of course, the best thing you can do for yourself is to call me (707) 812-1390. Mortgages are complex. I will personally take the time to walk you through the issues that are most important for you. I will also put you in touch with a mortgage professional to answer all your questions. You can focus on finding the property you love, or preparing your own property to sell, while experts handle the heavy lifting.

With this app you will always have a virtual consultant in your pocket. Here are just a few of the things you can do with the app:

  • Find the loan that’s best for you as you compare different rates and terms
  • Wipe out your uncertainty about the future because you’ll know how much your monthly payment will be
  • Feel confident about how much you can afford to spend on a property
  • Stay flexible if your situation changes, because your app will save all your calculations for future reference
And that’s not all. You’ll be able to take charge in conversations with a lender, because the app can instantly lookup the definitions and detailed explanations of real estate terms.

Finally, you’ll know what you’re doing when you speak to agents, brokers, home inspectors and other real estate professionals. The app gives you access to a virtual library of real estate articles full of tools, tips, and ideas for every stage of the process.

You can download it here: My FREE MORTGAGE APP

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Accounting and investing were never this fun and easy!

I am sorry to say that I learned about investing the hard way. When I finally got around to buying a copy of the Cashflow Board Game I already knew what I was doing. I wish I had taken the time to play it 25 years ago!

This game is designed to teach investing (something people are scared of) and accounting (something people are bored by), and make both of them fun and exciting. There are just a few basic concepts you need to understand, and the Cashflow Game is a fun way to learn how to be an investor.

This is the game designed by best-selling author Robert Kiyosaki, who wrote Rich Dad, Poor Dad and all the related books that came after. If you don’t have time to read the books, this game teaches you many of the important lessons that Robert Kiyosaki picked up from his “Rich Dad.”

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This isn’t going to be like Bingo.

The Cashflow Game has been called “Monopoly on Steroids” and “The Ultimate Investing Game.” We have a lot of laughs and good times when we host cashflow game night. There’s also quite a bit of passion, possibly even a bit too much. I’ve been in bar fights that were less intense.

We’ve been known to break chairs, and sometimes noses (really just pencils). But it’s well worth the danger.

The best way to learn is from experience. The Cashflow Game lets you make the typical mistakes that most investors go through. The game simulates 15-20 years of investing experience in just a few hours. Every turn is like a month of your life, with all the choices and tasks investors face. Most people who play can’t wait to come back.

If you are a first time investor, thinking about buying a fourplex and living in one of the units, this game is a must for you. If you want to have a better handle on your personal finances, this game is for you.

If you’d like to join us for the next Cashflow Game, just leave your contact info below, and mention the Cash Flow Game in the notes. Oh, and make sure you have insurance. Ha Ha.

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Books and Audiobooks I Recommend

I am often asked for recommendations for books and Audiobooks. I could probably list more than 100 great books and audiobooks. For the sake of keeping it short here is concise list. I have made a point to list the books which I think are great on audio.

Of course, if you’re ready to buy or sell property now, the best thing you can do for yourself is to call me +1(707) 812-1390. I’ll save you years of reading, and I can be your expert while you take the time to become an expert yourself.

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Building Wealth Books

Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki

This is a great place to start. Robert Kiyosaki has an amazing ability to lay out principles in a simple and fun narrative. This is a super simple and fast read. I would recommend starting with the audiobook.

Cashflow Quadrants by Robert Kiyosaki

This is the best sequel to Rich Dad, Poor Dad. If you loved Rich Dad, Poor Dad and you are ready to move on, this book is your next step. This book is more visual and I would recommend the paper book.

Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill

This is one of the all time classics. It was published in 1937 and has a writing style that is a bit old fashioned. If you liked the movie “The Secret,” this book was the inspiration. You might want to start with the audiobook version and then pick up a paper copy to really study it. However, you will want to study it. My copy is filled with underlines, highlighting and notes in the margins.

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Personal Achievement Books

Maximum Achievement by Brian Tracy

If I ever had to pick one book that has everything I ever found valuable regarding personal achievement, this is the one I would pick. My copy is filled with highlighting and underlining. If you want to grow as a person, yours will be too.

This among the first books Brian Tracy wrote. While still an easy read, it is exhaustive in its scope and scale. Personally, I think Brian Tracy gave away all his secrets in this book and all the others are just streamlined and watered-down versions. Frankly, any book by Brian Tracy is going to be great, but if you are looking for the one-stop shop, this is it.

The only thing bad I can say about this book is that the only audio version available is on cassette tape.

Master Strategies for Higher Achievement (audio book only) by Brian Tracy

This is a great audiobook. I would highly recommend it for everyone. I have listened to my copy more times than I can count.

Integrity by Henry Cloud

This is probably best as an audiobook. Henry Cloud has a wonderful narrative style and it is really great to listen to him. The book is inspiring and makes the point that most people miss, which is that integrity is not just about being honest. It is about being whole and complete.

Seven habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey

This is another great classic and probably another book where you will want to start with the audiobook and move on to the paper copy. Stephen Covey makes the case for value-based living.

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Real Estate Business and Investing Books

Real Estate Riches by Dolf de Roos

This is in the Rich Dad, Poor Dad series. However, it is written by an investor named Dolf de Roos. this is a great book for anyone who thinks they might want to start investing in property. There is no way I could explain it as easy and well as he does.

If you are thinking about starting to invest in real estate, do yourself a favor and read this book.

What Every Real Estate Investor Needs to Know About Cash Flow… And 36 Other Key Financial Measures by Frank Gallinelli

This book is a hands-on practical guide to understanding the numbers. It is easy enough to learn and well laid out, but it is also basically a college course. I would say it is an essential reference book for anyone who owns property.

A lot of landlords get buy with some pretty simple numbers. This book will tell you how to buy and exactly when to sell. It will help you understand how to maximize your profits. You may spend the next 10 years getting through the book, but you will be happy you have it on your shelf.

Every Landlord’s Tax Deduction Guide by Nolo

Let’s be honest, part of the reason we invest is that the tax advantages to owning real estate are amazing. You owe it to yourself to understand how this all works. I have never found a better book for explaining it than this one. It is a must have.

The California Landlord’s Law Book by Nolo

Landlord law is complex and mistakes can eat up your profits. The people at Nolo do a great job of laying out the laws and what to do about them.

Every Landlord’s Guide to Finding Great Tenants by Nolo

This is another simple guide, but I think it’s well worth owning. The business of property investing is a misnomer. It is not about managing the property, it is about managing the tenants. Therefore, one of the absolutely most important things you can do as a landlord is to find the tenants.

There is a lot of info here and I am happy to show you have to use it. If you’re ready to buy, sell or invest, the best thing you can do is to call me: (707) 812-1390 . I am committed to your success in real estate. I will be your mentor and expert while you take the time to become an expert yourself.

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Get me Pre-qualified

You can’t get pre-qualified too soon. Even if you are only considering buying a home, prequalification should be one of your first steps. As always, I will be here to help you. My job is to make it easy for you, and my goal is your success in real estate.

Here are some of the benefits of being pre-qualified:

  • The confidence of knowing what you can afford
  • Understanding what price range you will be shopping in
  • Time to fix any problems you find in your credit reports
  • A much better chance that an offer you make will be accepted
You can get pre-qualified by any lender or broker, but if you are working with me it is best to use people who I know we can rely on.

Paul Pisaro is a superb lender. He has been a part of my team for many deals over the course of several years. He will work hard for you. You can pre-qualify through Paul by visiting his page with the following link.

Pre-qualify now

If you would like to manage the entire process from your phone, you can also download my free mortgage app. You will be able to upload encrypted files, calculate your expenses in different situations, and take care of several important tasks from anywhere.

Download the app

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Top 10 Legal Mistakes Sellers Make

Accepting the highest offer without considering the buyer and the other terms of the contract.

It is great to get a high asking price, but you need to know that the person on the other end of the contract can and will complete the purchase.

There are a many ways this can play out, and you must be aware of the problems. For example, if a buyer has a small down payment, or they don’t really have the credit to get the loan, or maybe they don’t quite have the income to afford the mortgage. Even if they are offering more than anyone else, you are not likely to make more money on the deal. In the end you will probably have to drop your price or walk away from the deal altogether.

It is critical to look at every aspect of the offer and the buyer, and take a close look at your own needs. For example, if you are leaving town, and need to get the mortgage paid off so you can buy in another state, then you should be interested in selling for a fair market price to a highly qualified and motivated buyer.

Mishandling multiple offers and situations that involve multiple buyers.

There is a big difference between talking about selling your property and entering into a contract. Many people get confused when they are working with just one buyer. This is, in fact, why you have an agent. The legal ramifications of selling property are beyond the expertise of most people.

Most people only sell and buy a few times in their life. This is the reason the State of California requires real estate agents to have a license.

Improper handling of backup offers.

Backup offers can become binding contracts. Most of the trouble that sellers get into revolves around not understanding what is a contract and what is a not a contract. It is great to have a backup offer. It is also very important to structure that contract in a way which doesn’t harm you.

Entering into an agreement without getting substantial earnest money from the buyer.

When you enter into a purchase agreement with a buyer, you will be legally locked into a contract to sell. You may not be able to get out of the deal. You need to be very careful about getting into any contract where the buyer is not able to put up a sufficient earnest money deposit.

When you enter into a contract to sell, you are agreeing not to take any other offers. The buyer needs to prove they are serious, or you should avoid working with them. In many cases, their earnest money deposit is what keeps them honest and prevents them from manipulating you.

Failure to investigate the buyer’s ability to close before entering into an agreement.

You need to know that a buyer can close before you lock yourself into a contract that can drag on for a month or more, costing you lost money and lost time. This is one of the main reasons for a pre-qualification letter from a lender.

But it is not enough to just have a pre-qualification. It is often a very prudent step to look at the very same information a lender would need to see to create a pre-qualification.

For example, if the potential buyer is self-employed, you might want to verify their income by asking to see their tax returns and bank statements.

Many sellers require proof of funds. Especially if it is going to be a cash transaction, a seller will require bank or brokerage statements showing sufficient funds.

If a buyer is just moving to the area, you might want to ask for a letter showing her job offer and his or her first pay stub.

If you are unsure, a great way to handle the situation is to ask the buyer to prequalify with a lender you know and trust (or one your agent knows and trusts). This means that you will have an expert on your team vetting the buyer for you.

To be clear, you can’t require that a buyer uses your lender for their loan. But there is nothing to stop your lender from making the buyer a better deal than the one they had from their own lender.

In short, it is your job to know who you are doing business with. Any good agent should be sending info on the buyer with the offer, and your agent should be asking if anything important is missing. After you have vetted a buyer, if something just seems wrong, it is probably best to walk away.

Neglecting to disclose known material facts that have an effect on the value or desirability of the property.

If you know about something that “might” happen in the future in your area which could affect the value of the property and you don’t let the buyer know about it, you are asking for a lawsuit. When in doubt, disclose.

Not providing legally required disclosures to the buyer.

In California there are nearly 100 disclosures which are required by law, and a myriad of things which would additionally require disclosure.

Disclosure laws are a serious deal. If you fail to make the right disclosures in the right way at the right time, you could void the sale. Even if more than a year has gone by, you could end up being required to give back the money and take back the property.

Luckily, if you have a great agent, you also have an expert to help you through the process.

Failure to obtain the buyer’s written acknowledgement of disclosures.

Even if you have given every disclosure required by law, and you have done each and every one at exactly the right time and in exactly the right way, you don’t have the legal proof if you don’t have a signed acknowledgement of this.

A good agent will make the acknowledgement of the disclosures a contingency on the contract so that failure to acknowledge them would mean a legal way out of the contract.

Make sure you are protecting yourself and your interests.

Not considering whether to require the buyer to remove contingencies.

A good agent will want to protect you. They will always require that the buyer stipulate they will remove contingencies in a timely manner. If I receive an offer without timely contingency removal I might ask the other agent about it, but frankly I am close to recommending that my seller avoid working with the buyer under all circumstances.

There are enough people out there who are willing to buy property on fair and reasonable term. I don’t want my sellers to ever have to work with someone who may be trying to manipulate them.

Forgetting to exclude items from the sale that the seller wants to keep.

The distinction between personal property and real property is sometimes not as distinct as it might seem. This is often true in historic homes, which I specialize in.

I once saw a very beautiful stained glass orb which a homeowner had brought from a famous designer in England. The homeowner had attached it in a very artistic way to the ceiling of their kitchen. I was told that the stain glass orb was worth over $10,000.

However, due to the manner in which the orb was attached and placed, it would almost certainly become a part of the home and no longer personal property. In a sale the artwork would go “with” the house unless it was “excluded” in the contract.

There are many similar examples of personal property which become real property and therefore are sold as a part of the house.

For more tips on selling your property, please Sign Up my Free 7 day Seller’s email course. You will receive a coaching email everyday for a week. In this course I lay out all my secrets. There is a lot to learn.

If you are ready to learn how to sell your property so fast and at such a great price that your neighbors will think you cheated, you can learn more about your free course by clicking here.

Tell me more about the free 7 day seller’s course link to seller’s course page

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Top 10 Legal Mistakes Buyers Make

Making a weak offer. If you don’t write a strong offer to purchase, the seller may reject your offer or they may not respond at all.

If you write a weak offer, sometimes the seller thinks that you are trying to cheat them or steal from them. Once this happens, they will not want to deal with you at any price.

If your offer is disorganized or has troublesome terms, sellers may dismiss you as someone they just don’t want to deal with. Once people make these types of decisions, they justify the choice to themselves and you’ll probably never have the opportunity to give them a better offer.

Losing the property to another buyer who is more highly motivated. This most often happens because you didn’t make a strong offer.

Motivation is not only about price. Remember, a seller is looking for the winning horse. They want the best price they can get, but they also want a buyer who can and will close the deal. Each failed escrow could cost them months. If you are not willing to offer the most money, remember that a lot can be done to improve an offer by making better terms.

How you are perceived can also be important. I always include a cover letter in the offer which “talks up” my buyer. It just might be that the sellers are hoping the new owner will “love the house the way we do.”

Your letter, which describes exactly why you want the house, might be the deciding factor when the seller chooses between 3 offers that basically look the same.

Failure to include a confidentiality agreement. Without a confidentiality agreement, the seller doesn’t need to treat your offer as confidential.

As you can imagine, you lose a lot of bargaining power when a seller can disclose your offer to the next guy. At that point you will usually become a pawn in someone else’s game. It is just like playing cards. You need to keep your hand to yourself.

Not understanding when a contract becomes legally binding.

The expert dance of negotiating requires an exact understanding of when an offer becomes a contract, and how to keep it that way. If you have a seller tied up in a contract, they can’t sell to anyone else, even if they get a much higher offer the next day. They are locked in. This is important to understand, and it helps explain why sellers are so picky.

If you slip up and give a seller a legal way to opt out of the contract, they are free to take a different offer and you will lose all legal recourse.

Negotiating is a dance. You can push and you can pull, but if you don’t understand what is legally binding and what is just a friendly conversation, you will be in real trouble in no time flat.

Neglecting your due diligence. You shouldn’t enter into an agreement until you’ve checked title records, liens, and other issues. You need to be sure the seller will be able to close escrow on schedule.

You are going to have hundreds of thousands of dollars on the line. You should do everything you can to get the right deal. This is where having expert advice will be essential. You will need a team of pros. Any good real estate agent should hand that team to you on a silver platter.

But even with this team in place, you need to be involved and do your part. This is a big deal for you. Make sure you get it right.

Misunderstanding the legal implications of loan and inspection contingencies and other provisions in your contract.

In your purchase contract, your “contingencies” are your legal way out of the contract. Those contingencies are there to protect you. Your contract will contain deadlines for the release of those contingencies. Should you fail to abide by the contract, you could allow the seller a way to leave the contract and you would lose the deal.

Failing to obtain the seller’s disclosures.

In general the seller should be an expert in the property. They should know things that you will want to know. They are required to disclose any material fact. Even with this legal requirement, you would be surprised how many sellers try to get around their obligation.

You need to protect yourself, and you should have an agent that is able to be a bit of an attack dog when necessary.

Neglecting to conduct your own investigations and inspections as a buyer.

If all goes well, you are going to own the property. It is essential that you take a good look around. You need to see the good, the bad and the ugly.

I usually recommend that a buyer crawl under the house with the property inspector, and stands there as they take the electrical panel apart. Be prepared to get your hands dirty. If it makes you feel better, I will crawl down there too.

Not considering the full legal, tax, credit and other ramifications of home ownership–especially co-ownership

How you “take” title can have a huge impact on your finances for years. You are going to need an accountant to help you answer how you should take title.

Most accountants charge a few hundred dollars a year, and they will save you that much at the very least. Just as importantly, they will usually keep you out of trouble. An accountant can provide valuable advice concerning tax liability, and make sure you are filing all your tax information correctly to avoid trouble with the IRS administrative..

If you don’t already have an accountant, you need to find one.

Mishandling a claim for property defects that are discovered after close of escrow.

This is a legally complex issue, and another place where you will need expert help. You may want a lawyer so that you can understand the facts. However, it is probably best to start off with a friendly conversation. Most people with either be fair because they are honest, or fair because they are scared of what will happen next.

For more info about buying, please Sign Up for my Free 7 day Buyer’s email course. You will receive a coaching email everyday for a week. In this course I lay out all my secrets. If you are ready to learn, you can find out more by clicking here.

Tell me more about the Free 7 day Buyer’s course

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Checklist for First-Time Buyers

The shocking thing that 60{4a0b1dea5bf715a4aba123cfb8829d7dfb98db5e4bf893e443d6d65602013558} of first-time home buyers do when searching for their new home

It’s perfectly normal to feel overwhelmed. In fact, 60{4a0b1dea5bf715a4aba123cfb8829d7dfb98db5e4bf893e443d6d65602013558} of first-time home buyers are so unsure of what to do that they end up doing nothing!

I’m going to make it easy for you. I’ve broken the whole process down into 5 basic steps.

Many agents won’t get involved until you have done most of the work on your own. But I know from experience how easy it is to feel stuck, even at the first step. I will take you by the hand and walk you through the entire process. I am here to help you feel confident.

If you want you can , and we’ll get started. Or if you prefer, take the following steps:

Step 1. Get Specific

Get specific about what you want. I always advise starting off with a dream list. You have to start by giving yourself the freedom to dream. What do you want in your property? A view of the mountains? A guest bedroom? A kitchen with a pantry? Let your heart be free, and write it all down.

Next, get practical. write your a list of must-haves (two bedrooms, yard for your dog, etc.) You can rule out any listing that doesn’t have all of your must-haves.

Finally, do the nice-to-have things, such as a 2-car garage, space for a garden, or a rental unit for making extra cash.

It is very important to not think about having to settle or compromise! I know that at some point this is probably unavoidable. But please take my word for it, it is not the way you want to start. Start by giving yourself the freedom to dream.

Step 2. Get pre-approved

It usually surprises folks when I mention this as a first step. Pre-approval is one of the most important steps you can take, because it lets you know what you can afford. This is the step that clarifies where and how to begin your search.

Most sellers prefer an offer that comes with a pre-approval letter, because it virtually guarantees you can pay the price you offer. I can put you in touch with trusted lenders who will walk you through the process step by step.

Part of the “trick” of buying property is getting the right financing. There are a lot of options out there. You will need an expert to help guide you through financing and show you how the whole thing works. Trust me, you will feel a lot better when your mind is a ease.

It is also important to start the pre-approval process as soon as possible. This is where we find and fix the types of problems which could stop you from buying. Even if you are not going to buy for a year, I recommend you get pre-approved yesterday. You can’t do it too soon.

Step 3. Test drive the new locale

Explore the neighborhoods you are interested in. You’ll need to walk and drive around to get a feel for a neighborhood and decide whether you would truly like to live there. You are literally going to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars. You owe it to yourself to get out there and do your homework.

Go there on a Friday night, and early on a Tuesday morning. Start doing your shopping there! Take your spouse on a date to the local restaurant. Get a haircut. Talk to strangers, waiters, cashiers and bank tellers. Ask them what they like or dislike about the area.

Find out about the schools. Look for signs that the neighborhood is on an upswing, such as new restaurants and other consumer businesses opening up, high-priced houses in nearby neighborhoods, schools with improved test scores and other ratings.

Step 4. Understand the numbers (it is ok to get expert help)

Owning property will bring you significant tax savings. You need to understand how these will affect your wallet. The amazing truth is that the amount you can spend on a mortgage is going to be a lot more than you were able to spend on rent.

Everyone’s tax situation is unique. In general you should be able to spend about 33% more on a mortgage than you were spending on rent, and the tax savings will pay the difference. If you buy a multi-unit property, you may be able to have your tenants’ rent pay the mortgage for you.

If you are not sure where to start, it is a really great idea at this point to play the

Step 5. Start looking at properties

If you haven’t found an agent yet, you are missing out on expert help. When you are a first-time buyer, you will need to see a lot of properties and explore important questions like “should we buy a condo or single family house?”

You’re going to have a lot of questions, and that is completely normal. You will probably be a bit scared, and that is normal too. As you begin to get the answers you need, you will start to get really excited and confident in yourself and your ability to get what you want.

For more info about buying, please Sign Up for my Free 7 day Buyer’s email course. You will receive a coaching email everyday for a week. In this course I lay out all my secrets. If you are ready to learn, you can find out more by clicking here.

Tell me more about the free 7 day Buyer’s course

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Chris Jacobson Would Love To Hear From You

Chris Jacobson

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Chris Jacobson Would Love To Hear From You

Chris Jacobson

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