We Specialize In These Area Communities

Upland - Glendora - Chino - Fontana - Claremont - Ontario
Rancho Cucamonga - San Dimas - San Bernardino

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Why You Can’t Trust Zillow’s Zestimates

Have you heard of Zillow’s Zestimate tool? The home value estimates they create aren’t as accurate as you might think.

As both a broker and an appraiser, I hear about Zillow’s Zestimate quite often. The Zestimate is an automated value model, which is really just a range of numbers. Zillow even provides a range of low to high prices, as well as an estimated midpoint. It’s really just a reflection of what has sold in your neighborhood in terms of price per square foot. There are many things that Zillow can’t account for though, like your home’s condition, view, or numerous other factors that affect its value. There are a lot of inaccuracies in public record data, which Zillow uses to evaluate homes.

To learn the true value of your home, you need to consult an expert local real estate agent.

In reality, the Zestimate is a marketing tool to drive users to Zillow.com so they can tell their advertisers, “Look how many unique visitors we had this month!” If you want to know the true value of your home, you need to consult an expert real estate agent who is local and has experience. Much more depth goes into the report of an appraiser when determining our opinion of a home’s market value. So don’t take Zillow too seriously. If you’d like to know what your home is worth, you’re thinking about selling it, or you’re thinking about buying a home, give me a call or send me an email today. I’d love to help you!

New Construction Buying Tips

Are you looking to buy a new home? Here are some things you should know before you start the process.

If you’ve been out there looking for a home lately, you already know how competitive the market is. There are few homes for sale right now due to the strong demand and low interest rates we are continuing to see. You may be tempted to walk into a home builder’s sale center, but it’s important to know that the agent you meet there is representing the buyer, not you. They won’t tell you about any construction defects or problems with the neighborhood because it’s not in the builder’s best interest. This is where a great buyer’s agent comes in. They know all the different developments, different builders, and which ones are good or bad. They can help you find the right development, too. It’s important to work with an agent who represents your interests, not the interests of the builders.

A buyer’s agent can assist you greatly.

One of our lender partners offers a program that will allow you to lock in your interest rate now and look for a new construction home for up to a year. We all know rates are going up this year, so why not reach out to us and lock in your rate now if you plan on buying anyway? If you have any questions for us or are in search of a new home, give us a call or send us an email. We would be glad to help in any way possible.

How the Internet Has Changed How Homes Are Sold

Selling a home in the current marketplace requires some updated methods. You need to make sure the agent selling your home has a complete marketing plan. Here’s why.

Selling a home in today’s marketplace is a little different than it was a few years ago. I’ll go over what you should focus on if you’re looking to list your home this year or in the future. Technology has changed the way people sell their homes. In the old days, people would simply stick a for sale sign in their yard and put their home on the MLS. However, because of technology and the internet, people now search for homes online. In fact, according to the National Association of Realtors, 92% of buyers begin their search online. That’s why now more than ever it’s important that you have a complete marketing plan in order to sell your home. First, you want to have a clear understanding of the market conditions. You’ll want to know what homes have sold, what the current inventory is, what’s in escrow, and also what homes haven’t sold.

Make sure your agent has a complete marketing plan and will spend the money necessary to implement that plan.

Once you have an accurate pricing for your home, you’ll want to tackle your marketing plan. This should include professional photography and video, a 3-D walkthrough, print media, and social media. So, when choosing an agent to sell your home, make sure that they have a complete marketing plan and that they’re going to spend the amount of money necessary to get your home the most exposure, the most qualified buyers, and the highest possible price. At the Mowery group, we have an entire team that will be able to handle all of your marketing needs as well as everything involved in the selling process. If you have any questions or would like to find out the value of your home, feel free to send me a text, shoot me an email, or give me a call. I look forward to hearing from you!

How Can Our Programs Help You Buy a Home?

If you are looking to buy a home, don’t let a low FICO score or lack of a down payment stop you. I’ll go over a few programs that can help you qualify for a loan.

It’s very possible you’re thinking about jumping into our real estate market in 2017. If you’re looking to buy, There are some programs that will help you with a down payment to get you into a new home. Most people dream of owning their own home, but some feel that if they don’t have the right credit score or a big enough down payment, they won’t qualify. However, if you want to purchase a home, there are many programs available to you to help you do so. Right now, our lenders have a program they are offering that would let you purchase a home with a FICO score as low as 580. They also have a financing program that wouldn’t require you to put any money down.

You don’t need a huge down payment to purchase a home.

Additionally, if you are a public school teacher that teaches any grade K-12, you can get 100% financing and up to $15,000 to cover closing costs. There are credit and income requirements associated with these programs, so if you have any questions about your ability to qualify for a home, please give me a call or shoot me an email. I look forward to getting you in touch with one of our lenders!

Individual Real Estate Agents vs. Real Estate Teams

There are many benefits to working with a real estate team over an individual agent. I will go over the top three benefits today.

There are many benefits to working with a real estate team versus an individual agent. I would like to share a few of those benefits with you today.

First of all, you get specialization. For example, if you are looking to buy a home, we have agents that only work with buyers. When they wake up in the morning, all they do is search for homes for you. They look at traditional sources, like the MLS, and also look into pocket listings that may not be available to you online. Buyer’s agents will also canvass neighborhoods that you’re interested in to find sellers that might not have listed yet.

We also have agents that specialize in listings. Listing agents wake up and work hard to sell your home. They optimize your home for search engines, make sure you get professional photographs of your home, and work with buyer’s agents to negotiate the best terms for you.

Real estate teams provide specialization.

The second benefit of working with a team is time. Everybody needs a day off now and then. If you work with an individual agent who takes the day off, you are adding time to your home search or home sale. By working with a team, if your agent takes the day off, someone else will be available to help you. That way, you get more one-on-one time to help you find the right home or sell your current one.

Finally, real estate teams have more resources. Our team has a dedicated marketing division that works with buyers and sellers full time. We also have a transaction coordinator and listing coordinator; they work to keep you informed throughout your transaction. The transaction coordinator and listing coordinator also create a more efficient real estate transaction.

If you have any other questions about working with a real estate team, give us a call or send us an email. My team and I would be happy to help you!

3 Major Mistakes Buyers Make

Buyers keep making the same mistakes over and over. Here are three things you should avoid doing if you’re in the market to buy a home.

Buyers tend to all make the same major mistakes when going through the home buying process. Here are the three biggest mistakes they make and how you can avoid making them yourself.

1. Refusing to confide in a trusted advisor. An agent is similar to an attorney in this transaction. They are representing you and acting on your behalf and in your best interest. They have a fiduciary obligation to you but many times, buyers withhold information from them because they are fearful of how they will be perceived, they believe they have all the answers, and they don’t believe the buyer’s agent is important. We often see buyers jumping around to work with different agents when looking at different properties, but we think it’s a better idea to find one agent you trust from the beginning and stick with them.

2. Altering their financial picture. Going out and making a big purchase before the close of escrow is a huge mistake. When you go out and purchase appliances or furniture on credit, it alters your debt-to-income ratio and could affect your FICO score as well. This could cause you to miss out on the home. Wait until the home closes to make these kinds of purchases.
3. Buying the wrong home. A lot of buyers don’t take the time to make a list of the things that are most important to them in a home. These could be things like the home’s proximity to your daycare or office, or what the neighborhood is like. It’s important to make that list beforehand so you can share it with your buyer’s agent and they can do their due diligence in ensuring the home you’re buying is everything you want it to be.

I hope this answers some of your questions.

I hope this answers some of your questions about buying a home. If you have any questions, give us a call or send us an email. We look forward to hearing from you.

All Signs Point to a Market Correction in the near Future

Below is a graph of the San Francisco Housing Affordability Index. This market area has been a good leading indicator of the overall health of the U.S. Housing Market, since it is located close to both China and Silicon Valley. Historically, once this index drops below 15%, a market correction soon followed. The California Association of Realtors indicated that the Traditional Housing Affordability Index for the 2nd Quarter of 2016 for San Francisco was 13%, Marin County was 18% and San Mateo was 14%.

If there is one thing I can predict for sure, it’s that market conditions are constantly changing. Historically, we can see that any time the housing affordability index fell below 15% for the San Francisco market a correction in housing prices soon followed.

The NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® affordability index measures whether or not a typical family could qualify for a mortgage loan on a typical home. A typical home is defined as the national median-priced, existing single-family home as calculated by NAR. The typical family is defined as one earning the median family income as reported by the U.S. Bureau of the Census. The prevailing mortgage interest rate is the effective rate on loans closed on existing homes from the Federal Housing Finance Board. These components are used to determine if the median income family can qualify for a mortgage on a typical home. Any significant increase in mortgage interest rates will have a severe negative impact on housing affordability.


The correction is already happening in other markets. In a recent CNBC article the Miami housing market the average sales price has fallen 7.5%.

Now, this prediction is based upon the current lending standards. If the government and banks loosened credit standards like they did in 2005 and 2006, they could fuel a further increase in the housing market. However, this is highly unlikely since the government is still paying for the last bailout.

If you are worried about losing your low property tax rate, you may be eligible to transfer your base year value to your new home using Proposition 60 or 90. Proposition 60 and 90 allows you to transfer your lower property tax rate to another property. Click here for more information. 

Why choose the Mowery Group?

Donald L. Mowery, II is a top producing Real Estate Broker and Certified Residential Appraiser, specializing in serving the Foothill Communities of Southern California for over 26 years.

Mr. Mowery has also completed retrospective and current market value appraisals, rental surveys, and reports related to the impact of damages to real property. He has authored numerous articles for newspapers and journals including the Inland Daily Bulletin, Redlands Daily Facts, and The 909 Magazine.

Regarding his real estate transactions, he has successfully completed multi-millions in sales of both residential and commercial transactions including short/distress sales and marital dissolution sales.