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8 Ways to Make Your Real Estate Agent ❤️ You

February 13, 2019

From: Lighter Side of Real Estate

With Valentine’s Day fast-approaching, there’s no denying love is in the air. Let’s think for a moment about the person who’s always there for you, helping to make your dreams come true. We’re talking about your real estate agent, of course.  ❤️

Just what does it take to make the agent who’s done so much for you swoon? There are plenty of ways to build a harmonious, lasting, and fulfilling relationship that will take you from starter home to happily ever after. 

Check out this list of things that’ll make your agent fall head over heels in love with you.

1. Refer your friends and family

Talking up your real estate agent to friends and family is the greatest gift you can give. Being a connector is a wonderful way to help your favorite agent build and grow their business. Go ahead, brag about how amazing your agent is; they’ll adore you for it.

2. Make sure your open house is pet-free

Barking dogs, loose hamsters, and roaming lizards are a huge turn-off to potential homebuyers. Securing your pets or taking them off-premises will mean the world to your agent, who probably has better things to do than herd your cats. 

3. Get pre-approved

Getting pre-approved for a mortgage means you’re a serious buyer, and if you find “the one” you’re good to go. Agents don’t have any time to waste. Knowing that you can come up with the funds at the closing is a weight off their minds. (It also means that you’re not just spending weekends looking at homes because you cancelled cable and can’t think of anything else to do.) 

4. You’ll show your home at a moment’s notice

Because no one can predict when a buyer might want to see a home, sellers who are open to a last-minute showing make an agent’s job that must easier. Letting interested parties take a tour when it’s convenient for them may just sell your home that much faster, which is a win for everyone.

5. Commit to keeping your home clean

Nothing makes a house shine quite like keeping it clean and uncluttered. Ensuring your place is “show ready”—from the moment it’s first listed until the closing—eliminates any worries your agent may feel as buyer agents and their clients come to view your house… and that peace of mind is priceless.

6. Up your curb appeal 

Recognizing that the front of the home is the first thing would-be buyers see, it’s crucial to keep the exterior well-maintained. Sellers who are on top of cutting the grass and raking the leaves make a great first impression—and as they say, you only have one chance to make a first impression.

7. Take your agent’s advice

Whether it’s about recommended staging, or an item that needs to be fixed before the home inspection, following the advice of your expert is beneficial for all parties. After all, you’ve hired a pro, so why not heed their wisdom and reap the rewards?

8. Leave a glowing review on social media or offer a testimonial

Again, sharing the love is a big part of helping your agent gain new clients. Offer to write a testimonial for their website, or share your experience on social media and let the world know you’re crazy about him or her.


 

Consider me your #1 resource for all things Real Estate!  I ❤️ working on behalf of my clients.  If I can be of assistance to you,  just send me an email or call 619-888-2117.

 I do appreciate testimonials on:
Social Media, Zillow, Yelp and Realtor.com

 

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Don’t Get Sidelined

February 7, 2019

Consider me your #1 resource for all things Real Estate! Household changing? Getting married (or divorced)? Time for a change of scenery or job relocation? Want to invest?

Just send me an email or call 619-888-2117 – I can help.

Crystal Ball – 2019 San Diego Housing Market Forecast

January 28, 2019

2018 HOUSING MARKET IN REVIEW

In California, in 2018, for the first time in four years, home sales ended at a lower level.  The economic forecast by the California Association of Realtors (C.A.R.) predicts that in 2019, single family home sales will decline approximately 3.3 percent.

In San Diego  home prices were consistently up in most markets in 2018 but at reduced levels compared to recent years. High demand for homes fueled price increases, but evidence is mounting that inventory will improve in 2019. This may apply some downward pressure on prices for home buyers. A fourth interest rate hike by the Federal Reserve in 2018 spooked the stock market to close out the year. The Fed has indicated that the number of rate increases in 2019 will be halved.

Closed Sales decreased 22.9 percent for Detached homes and 42.9 percent for Attached homes.

The Median Sales Price was up 5.8 percent to $725,000 for Detached homes but decreased 6.7 percent to $418,250 for Attached homes.

Days on Market increased 25.0 percent for Detached homes and 50.0 percent for Attached homes. Supply increased 43.8 percent for Detached homes and 100.0 percent for Attached homes.

Unemployment rates remained remarkably low again in 2018, and wages continued to improve for many U.S. households. It is generally good for all parties involved in real estate transactions when wages grow, but the percentage of increase, on average, has not kept pace with home price increases. This created an affordability crux in the second half of 2018. Housing affordability will remain an important storyline in 2019.

 

2019 HOUSING MARKET FORECAST

As mentioned in the 2018 recap above, C.A.R. has predicted a slower housing market in California in 2019.

Here are some of the indicators to watch for: 

Higher Interest Rates

While sales are projected to decline next year in California, the cause behind this trend will not be higher prices. According to the forecast, the median home price in California will increase only 3.1 percent to $593,450 in 2019, compared to a projected seven percent increase in 2018. C.A.R. estimates that home prices will temper in 2019, however interest rates could go up, which will compound housing affordability challenges. The C.A.R. forecast shows that in 2019, the average interest rate for a 30-year fixed home loan will increase to approximately 5.2%, against an average rate of 4.7% in 2018.

Drop in Existing Home Sales

Existing homes sales are predicted to decline in 2019. These estimates from C.A.R. mark a significant shift from the hot demand the housing market in California experienced in the past four years. That period witnessed consistent rise in demand and price gains driven by bidding wars. However, things have changed in 2018, and the declining trends are likely to continue in 2019.

Price Reduction Predicted

C.A.R.’s chief economist and senior VP, Leslie Appleton-Young said that the rise in home prices over the last few years occurred due to a shortage of housing supply. This trend shifted at the end of 2018 and although California is not yet fully a buyer’s market, the trends are pointing in that direction.

 

If you have questions about the market in your specific area, please email me or call 619-888-2117. 📲

Investing In a Green Home Will Pay Dividends In 2019

January 24, 2019

 

 

Article from: WindermereSeattle

As we step forward into 2019, eco-friendly “green homes” are more popular than ever. Upgrading your home’s sustainability improves quality of life for those residing in it, but it is also a savvy long-term investment. As green homes become more popular, properties boasting sustainable features have become increasingly desirable targets for home buyers. Whether designing a new home from scratch or preparing your current home for sale, accentuating a house with environmentally-friendly features can pay big dividends for everyone.

While the added value depends on the location of the home, its age, and whether it’s certified or not, three separate studies all found that newly constructed, Energy Star, or LEED-certified homes typically sell for about nine percent more than comparable, non-certified new homes. Plus, one of those studies discovered that existing homes retrofitted with green technologies, and certified as such, can command a whopping 30-percent sales-price boost.

There are dozens of eco-friendly features that can provide extra value for you as a seller. To name a few:

 

Cool roof

Cool roofs keep the houses they’re covering as much as 50 to 60 degrees cooler by reflecting the heat of the sun away from the interior, allowing the occupants to stay cooler and save on air-conditioning costs. The most common form is metal roofing. Other options include roof membranes and reflective asphalt shingles.

 

Fuel cells

Fuel cells may soon offer an all-new source of electricity that would allow you to completely disconnect your home from all other sources of electricity. About the size of a dishwasher, a fuel cell connects to your home’s natural gas line and electrochemically converts methane to electricity. One unit would pack more than enough energy to power your whole home.

For many years, fuel cells have been far too expensive or unreliable. But as technology has improved, so too has reliability. Companies like Home Power Solutions and Redbox Power Systems have increased the reliability of these fuel sources while reducing their size. Much like we’ve seen computers and cell phones shrink in size while improving reliability and power, fuel cells continue to be refined.

 

Wind turbine

A wind turbine (essentially a propeller spinning atop an 80- to 100-foot pole) collects kinetic energy from the wind and converts it to electricity for your home. And according to the Department of Energy, a small version can slash your electrical bill by 50 to 90 percent.

But before you get too excited, you need to know that the zoning laws in most urban areas don’t allow wind turbines. They’re too tall. The best prospects for this technology are homes located on at least an acre of land, well outside the city limits.

 

Green roof

Another way to keep the interior of your house cooler—and save on air-conditioning costs—is to replace your traditional roof with a layer of vegetation (typically hardy ground covers). This is more expensive than a cool roof and requires regular maintenance, but young, environmentally conscious homeowners are very attracted to the concept.

 

Hybrid heating

Combining a heat pump with a standard furnace to create what’s known as a “hybrid heating system” can save you somewhere between 15 and 35 percent on your heating and cooling bills.

Unlike a gas or oil furnace, a heat pump doesn’t use any fuel. Instead, the coils inside the unit absorb whatever heat exists naturally in the outside air, and distributes it via the same duct work used by your furnace. When the outside air temperature gets too cold for the heat pump to work, the system switches over to your traditional furnace.

 

Geothermal heating

Geothermal heating units are like heat pumps, except instead of absorbing heat from the outside air, they absorb the heat in the soil next to your house via coils buried in the ground. The coils can be buried horizontally or, if you don’t have a wide enough yard, they can be buried vertically. While the installation price of a geothermal system can be several times that of a hybrid, air-sourced system, the cost savings on your energy bills can cover the installation costs in five to 10 years.

 

Solar power

Solar panels capture light energy from the sun and convert it directly into electricity. Similarly to wind turbines, your geographical location may determine the feasibility of these installments. Even on cloudy days, however, solar panels typically produce 10-25% of their maximum energy output. For decades, you may have seen these panels sitting on sunny rooftops all across America. But it’s only recently that this energy-saving option has become truly affordable.

In 2010, installing a solar system on a typical mid-sized house would have set the homeowner back $30,000. But as of December 2018, the average cost after tax credits for solar panel installation was just $13,188! Plus, some companies are now offering to rent solar panels to homeowners (the company retains ownership of the panels and sells the homeowner access to the power at roughly 10 to 15 percent less than they would pay their local utility).

 

Solar water heaters

Rooftop solar panels can also be used to heat your home’s water. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that the average homeowner who makes this switch should see their water bills shrink by 50 to 80 percent.

 

Tax credits/rebates

Many of the innovative solutions summarized above come with big price tags attached. However, federal, state and local rebates/tax credits can often slash those expenses by as much as 50 percent. So before ruling any of these ideas out, take some time to see which incentives you may qualify for at dsireusa.org and the “tax incentives” pages at Energy.Gov.

 

Regardless of which option you choose, these technologies will help to conserve valuable resources and reduce your monthly utility expenses. Just as importantly, they will also add resale value that you can leverage whenever you decide it’s time to sell and move on to a new home.

Consider me your #1 resource for all things Real Estate! Household changing? Getting married (or divorced)? Time for a change of scenery or job relocation? Want to invest? Just send me an email or call 619-888-2117 – I can help.

How to Stage a House for Free: 7 Ideas That Don’t Cost a Dime

January 17, 2019

asbe/iStock

asbe/iStock

By: Whitney Coy, Realtor.com

One of the most common mistakes sellers make is assuming they need to sink a bunch of money into home staging. Some choose the expensive route—swapping out their furniture and art at the behest of a hired professional home stager—but that’s not the only way to impress potential buyers.

“Everyone needs to stage their home to sell it efficiently,” says Laura McHolm, co-founder of NorthStar Moving. “But you do not need to spend a lot of money to stage your home.”

Want to get your house in tiptop shape without spending a dime? Follow these home staging ideas that are 100% free.

1. Depersonalize

The first step to staging your home is getting rid of personal items such as photos, albums, handmade items, trophies, and mementos—even the kids’ artwork on the fridge.

“No family pictures,” says McHolm. “A buyer wants to be able to envision living in that house. It’s not your house anymore. It’s a house that will soon be their house. So get the ‘you’ out of your house.”

Removing your personal items isn’t easy—they’re the things that make your house feel like your home, but keep in mind that it’s only temporary. Pack them up and store them safely until you can find them all spots of honor in your new place.

2. Declutter

All that stuff littering the surfaces of your home has to go.

“Most surfaces should have between three to five items on them, because clutter is distracting both in photos and in person,” says property stylist Julie Chrissis, of Chrissis & Company Interiors. “You want buyers looking at the home, not the stuff.”

This means eliminating piles of mail and magazines, collections you have on display, knickknacks, and most other items that can easily be packed away.

3. Nix the extra storage

If you’ve been living in your current home for a while, you’ve probably come up with a lot of creative ways to store all of the items you’ve accumulated. But now that you’re hoping to sell, it’s time to get rid of them. Purge!

“Eliminate any plastic storage bins, over-door storage, above-cabinet storage, and extra racks in rooms,” says Chrissis. “This is important because buyers never want to think they will outgrow a home. A seller’s job is to show them there is plenty of storage space for them to grow into.”

Since all those stored items are already packed into bins and baskets, it should be simple enough to move them to a storage facility until you’ve moved.

4. Deep clean

Even if you consider yourself a neatnik, you’re probably going to need to do a little extra work to get your house ready for buyers.

“Take a critical eye to your home. Living somewhere daily reduces the things you notice that might be a problem, like dirty walls, scuffs and scrapes, leaks, or even odors you have become accustomed to,” says Marty Basher, home organization expert at ModularClosets.com. “Also, deep clean the kitchen and bathrooms. These areas of the home are generally the most cluttered and dirty. Both of those things will turn off willing buyers.”

It might help to ask a friend or family member to come by and help you find areas that need attention. Someone who doesn’t live in your house will be better able to look at your space through the eyes of a buyer.

5. Change the furniture layout

Maybe you’ve placed your couch at an odd angle to keep the sun out of your eyes during your midday nap, or your armchair is in the middle of the room so you can better see the TV. Those things are all fine for you—but not for buyers. Now it’s time to stage the room for optimal space and flow.

“Room layouts should be set up for photos first. It’s important that the photo not be of the back of a sofa, large chair, or other piece of furniture, as this makes the room look smaller because it blocks the view of part of the room,” says Chrissis. “The same goes for open houses and showings. If buyers see a room with furniture barriers, it makes the room seem smaller.”

6. Let there be light

Now that your home is clean and uncluttered, it’s time to brighten things up so buyers can actually see it.

“You want natural light and lamps with warm light—no swirly bulbs that look like office light,” says Chrissis. “We tell most of our clients to remove valances as they typically make a room darker and, in most markets, are a little out of fashion. Lamps are important, especially in winter months when there is less sun and sunset is earlier.”

7. Reduce your furniture

If your house is filled to the brim with furniture, it’s time to move some of it out.

“After the home is thoroughly cleaned out, keep only up-to-date furniture in excellent condition, and just a couple of accent pieces in each room,” suggests broker and interior designer Tory Keith of Natick, MA.

Not only does this go hand in hand with making things look less cluttered, but less furniture will also make the rooms look bigger.

Move unneeded pieces to the basement, garage, or a storage facility until you’re ready to move.

Consider me your #1 resource for all things Real Estate! Household changing? Getting married (or divorced)? Time for a change of scenery or job relocation? Want to invest? Just send me an email or call 619-888-2117 – I can help.

Buying a Home? 7 Unsettling Emotions You’ll Feel Before the Deal is Done

January 10, 2019

 

 

Article from: ClientDirect

Buying a home may be a financial transaction, but it’s a highly emotional one, too. And while there are highs—like the moments you know you’ve found The One or you get the keys to your new home—you may also go through periods of high anxiety or hopelessness before you close the deal.Ask any homeowner about their experiences buying a home, and you’ll hear a similar refrain: Purchasing property is utterly nerve-racking. With so many moving pieces, buying a home can feel like a high-stakes juggling act—only you don’t have time to practice.

Here are seven things only home buyers understand.

1. Online photos can be deceiving

Odds are good you’ll be spending a huge chunk of time looking at properties online, but listing photos can be misleading. Professional photographers and listing agents alike are capable of disguising flaws of all shapes and sizes. The only way to truly know what a house looks like is to see it in person.

2. Open houses are fun—until they’re not

Going to open houses gives you the opportunity to see properties without having to deal with the hassle of coordinating showings. However, it’s easy to get worn out. If you’re serious about buying a home, you’re attending open houses every weekend—which can get quite cumbersome, especially if you’d prefer to be out brunching with friends or attending Junior’s soccer matches. The important thing to remember is that your house hunt won’t last forever, in spite of how it may feel in the thick of things.

3. Buying a home can feel like a never-ending slog

Finding a great home—one that meets your needs and (hopefully) checks off a lot of your “wants”—takes time.  The lesson: You have to be patient, because it could take a while for you to find a house that you love.

4. Anxiously waiting to hear back on an offer

No one likes playing the waiting game after submitting an offer on a home but, unfortunately, this is simply part of the home-buying process. Whether or not you’re going up against other offers, the seller needs time to review each bid carefully. Furthermore, each state has its own legal contract that home buyers must use when making an offer on a property, and some jurisdictions require you to submit a mound of paperwork.

Once you’ve submitted an offer, though, the best thing you can do is wait. To minimize the pain though, we typically recommend home buyers attach an addendum stating that their offer expires in 24 hours. This is done for two reasons: It prevents the seller from being able to use your offer to shop around for a better one, and it gives you an exit strategy if you decide you want to walk away and look for another home.

5. Disclosures and home inspections? Terrifying

Unless you’re buying a brand-new house, the seller is required to provide you with property disclosures about the home’s condition. These documents can be a bit unsettling, as can a home inspection.

But don’t fret: These documents err on the side of too much detail, and often make a problem seem far worse than it really is. Make sure to talk them over with your real estate agent so you know what the repair work will truly entail.

6. The disappointment of not getting everything you want

If you’re buying a house, you’d better be prepared to negotiate. When you submit a lowball offer on a property, you should expect the seller to make a counteroffer. Both parties may have to make concessions in order to agree on a sales price.

A request for home repairs is another big point of contention. Home inspectors are trained to find every single flaw with a house, no matter how big or small. If the inspection reveals a major issue (e.g., a cracked foundation), that should absolutely be something you discuss with the sellers to see who will pay for repairs. However, you shouldn’t nickel-and-dime the sellers by asking them to fix every minor thing that’s wrong with the house; if you do, the deal could fall through.

Recommendation: include a home inspection contingency when making an offer on a property, unless the house is a short sale or it’s being sold as is, in which case you don’t typically have room to ask for repairs. A typical home inspection costs $300 to $500.

7. Getting a hand cramp at closing from signing all those forms

At settlement, home buyers sign a lot of paperwork to make the sale official—meaning your hand will definitely be sore by the time you’re finished writing your John Hancock on the last document. It’ll be worth it.

Consider me your #1 resource for all things Real Estate! Household changing? Getting married (or divorced)? Time for a change of scenery or job relocation? Want to invest? Just send me an email or call 619-888-2117 – I can help.

3675 8th Avenue – William S. Hebbard Original Home is a Golden Opportunity

December 21, 2018

This William S. Hebbard original is a golden opportunity! Located in the heart of Hillcrest, the Blankenburg Residence is rich with the craftsmanship of a master architect (recognized perhaps most for his work with Irving Gill on the Marston House) & the provenance of generations of the fascinating family that made it their home. Over $300K was spent in work on the property in the last 5 years
and new owners can continue the process to polish this gem & make it their own.

3675 8th Ave :: San Diego, CA 92103 :: $965,000
4 Bed – 2 Bath – EstSF : 2,660

Click to View Photos

 

 

 

Interested in this wonderful property on 8th Avenue, Hillcrest? Just send me an email or call 619-888-2117. I‘d be happy to tell you more about the property. 

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