Jeffery Birkenseer | San Rafael Real Estate, Novato Real Estate, San Anselmo Real Estate


The lifetime warranty. We’ve all heard about the wonders of owning an item with a lifetime warranty, but few of us actually own such products. Well, few of us are aware of it anyway.

The home is where we pour most of our money into. It seems like things are constantly breaking and needing to be replaced or repaired. But few of us check to see if the item has a manufacturer’s warranty. Nor do we remember if we bought an extended warranty.

In this article, we’re going to give you some tips on how to take advantage of warranties you may not know that you have, and how to shop wisely for warrantied products in the future.

But first, we’ll impart some general warranty knowledge.

Understanding the warranty

A warranty is a written guarantee provided to the purchaser of an item that they will repair or replace the item if it isn’t functioning as intended.

In most cases, there are time limits and exceptions to a warranty. Manufacturers know that their products won’t really last forever, so they plan for the eventual breakdown of the product from wear and tear.

Similarly, manufacturers don’t want you to misuse the product and then ask for a replacement, so they list exceptions to their warranties. To find out if one of your household items is under warranty, you can often check the manufacturer’s website.

To ensure you’re eligible for a warranty or replacement, it’s often necessary to have a copy of your purchase receipt which shows where and when you bought the item.

We know--keeping track of receipts is an annoyance few of us want to participate in. So, an easier solution is to keep an app like Google Drive or Dropbox on your phone with a folder called “receipts” or “warranties.” Then, the next time you make a purchase, simply snap a photo of the receipt and keep in in your drive.

Extended warranty warning

Many retailers will pitch you an extended warranty when you buy a product. Some of them are worth it, but most of the time you’re better off foregoing these add-ons.

Oftentimes, products are already covered by a manufacturer warranty. And, in some cases, the cost of the item is so low that owning a protection plan isn’t worthwhile.

Warrantied items you may not know about

Now that you know how to keep track of your warranties, let’s talk about some important items that you may not know has a warranty.

  • Roofing. Roofs are expensive and don’t last forever. However, many manufacturers promise 20 years of good service from your shingles.

  • Vinyl siding. Another expensive exterior item, siding is often warrantied by common manufacturers, including several “limited lifetime warranties.”

  • Tupperware. If there’s one product on this list you’ve probably heard of, it’s Tupperware. They’ve been famous for their lifetime warranties for decades.

  • Pampered Chef. This company makes an array of kitchen related products. Many of their items come with lifetime warranties.

  • Craftsman. Their power tools are affordable and include a lifetime warranty.


627 Norris Canyon, San Ramon, CA 94583  

Residential
$625,000
Price
5
Total Rooms
2
Bedrooms
2
Baths
Clean, Airy & Convenient, this newly remodeled 2 Bdr/2 Ba turn key Condo is ready to move in! Great location w/in the Foothills complx, Ground level/End Unit/super easy access. Live in style!Light filled kitchen w/new quartz counters, tile & stainless steel appliances. Wonderful LR w/ gas FP & sunny deck. Nu paint, fixtures, hardware, Engineered hardwood floors & tiling.Thoughtful details make this an easy place to call home! This one Won't Last!




Ready to buy a house? It pays to be proactive, especially if you hope to streamline the process of acquiring a terrific residence at a budget-friendly price.

A superb house is likely to stir up interest from large groups of homebuyers. Fortunately, with a proactive approach, you can stay ahead of the homebuying competition and boost your chances of securing a wonderful house.

Ultimately, there are several best practices for proactive homebuyers, and these practices include:

1. Search for Homes Early and Often

The early bird catches the wom. Much in the same vein, a proactive homebuyer is better equipped than others to achieve his or her desired results.

Keep a close eye on the housing market – you'll be glad you did. If you monitor home listings in your city or town, you can quickly identify potential properties that you may want to buy.

In addition, evaluate housing market trends and patterns. With this housing market data in hand, you can differentiate between a buyer's and seller's market.

2. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage

Meet with several banks and lenders in your area. By doing so, you can explore a variety of mortgage options and select one that complements your finances.

There is no shortage of mortgage options at your disposal. For example, many homebuyers prefer a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage, which guarantees they will pay the same amount each month for the life of a mortgage. On the other hand, some homebuyers choose a 15-year adjustable-rate mortgage, which features lower upfront payments that gradually increase over time.

If you're uncertain about which mortgage option to select, there is no need to worry. Banks and credit unions employ friendly, knowledgeable mortgage professionals who can help you make an informed decision.

Perhaps best of all, meeting with mortgage professionals guarantees you can receive expert responses to your concerns and questions. These mortgage professionals will devote the necessary time and resources to assist you and make it simple for you to select a great mortgage.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

If you want to enter the housing market, there is no reason to wait. In fact, if you contact a real estate agent today, you can immediately launch a successful homebuying journey.

A real estate agent is dedicated to your homebuying success. He or she first will learn about your homebuying goals, ensuring you can start the homebuying journey on the right foot. Then, this housing market professional can help you narrow your search for your dream residence.

In most instances, a real estate agent will set up home showings, keep you up to date about new residences as they become available and help you submit home offers. This housing market professional also provides a one-of-a-kind homebuying resource. And if you ever have homebuying concerns or questions, a real estate agent is ready to respond to them.

Don't wait to kick off a homebuying journey. Instead, use the aforementioned tips, and you can become a proactive homebuyer.


If you’re hunting for a new home and have come across one that fits all of your requirements and more, it can seem like the only thing you can do is make an offer and wait.

However, your first choice could also be another buyer’s dream home. And, if a higher bid isn’t feasible, you have to find other ways to win over the seller. One way this can be achieved is through writing a letter to the owner of the home.

If you’re bidding on your dream home, writing a letter the the owner can be anxiety inducing. Choosing what to reveal and finding the right words can be scary, even for the most seasoned writer.

So, in this article we’re going to walk you through writing a letter to a seller to give you the best possible chance of winning the bid for a new home.

Tell them why you love their home

If you’ve fallen in love with certain aspects of the home, there’s a good chance the sellers did too. Be personal in your explanations. Rather than just say you love the location, mention that it is a perfect distance to walk to the playground with your children or pets. This will help buyers better understand you and your story.

If you have family who lives nearby, or if the home has features that can greatly improve the life of you, your family, or your pets, be sure to mention this in the letter as well.

Don’t press or plead, just be polite

It can seem desperate and off-putting to receive a letter pleading with you to sell your home to someone. So, when you’re writing your letter and you come to the end, simply thank the buyer for their time and for reading, compliment them once more, and wish them luck in their new home.

Revise and review

It can be tempting to send your letter immediately after writing it, especially if writing is you don’t like writing in general. However, it’s always a good idea to revise. I suggest writing your letter one night, then reading it again the next evening to give yourself time and distance from it--this way you’ll be reading it with fresh eyes and will be able to find any wording that sounds strange or confusing.

It’s also a good idea to run your writing through a free proofreader like Grammarly. And, finally, there is no substitute for having an editor. Ask one of your friends or family members to read the letter and give you feedback.

Stand out from the crowd

There are a few things you can include in your letter to set you apart from other potential buyers. Including a family photo will help the sellers put a face to the names you mention in the letter.

It can also be helpful to print and mail the letter, rather than sending it electronically. Since we so rarely receive a physical copy of a letter these days (unless it’s from a bill collector), it can be nice to receive something positive in the mail for a change.



This listing recently sold for $1,090,000.

5 Meadow, San Rafael, CA 94901  

Residential
$975,000
Price
$1,090,000
Sale Price
5
Bedrooms
3
Baths
Bret Harte charmer! Versatile floor plan. Gorgeous sun-filled yard w/ garden& mature redwood tree. Updates thruout incl kitchen, baths & dualpaned windows. Skylights allow natural light to flow in. Main house boasts 4 bdr&2 full baths w/ FP in main LR. Bonus family room. Also-detached 1bdr-1ba cottage. Garage w/ electric car charger. Near Bret Harte Park, 101 access, Richm Bridge, Bike paths, Lksp Ferry & dwntn SR. Welcome Home to 5 Meadow Ave!