Monday, January 28, 2019

Benefits of Being A Realtor For Almost Two Decades!

So, we had a bit of a catastrophe over the weekend....most of you already know.

But, that challenge was handled. Life is full of challenges, am I right?

So, you're thinking of selling your home & need a few items fixed or spruced up. Ask your Realtor, one that's been around a while likely knows a few people that can help you.

Got a leak in the roof, my neighbor did. Who'd he ask for a referral? His next door neighbor that happens to be a Realtor.

Our over the weekend issue was related to electrical. We got one of those in our back pocket too.

Plumber, yep, we know a good one that doesn't charge an arm & a leg.

Handyman, several. And, those, disappear often so we keep finding new ones.

I regularly have my past clients ask me about a particular service provider. And, if I don't have a good one at the time....the company I work with has great agents & someone will have a good referral.

Generally better than Yelp, AngiesList, or OMG....the Yellow Pages.....LOLOLOL

Friday, January 25, 2019

Marketing For The Season?

Yes, it's cold out ...... now. Yes, people are using their fireplaces .... now. But, be careful when putting your home for sale and doing a lot of 'focus' marketing. Be prepared to change it up if the season changes during the time it takes to get your home sold.

I found these in an article recently. The article was talking specifically about staging the fireplaces since it was cold outside and emphasize that this particular property has that coziness built right in!

We have a track in Valencia with this type of fireplace.

Yep, doggies, wood, & fireplace. Fab!

Trying to lighten up a dark fireplace surround.

Bringing color to a 'hole' in the wall.

I did focus on Christmas for a holiday listing once, but I was prepared for my photographer to re-shoot the house if it didn't sell quickly enough. If having Santa & Poinsettias on the front porch & door, being in the marketing materials, just didn't work anymore.

Look how well my photographer 'hid' the front porch Santa in this shot!

At any rate, just beware of the marketing your Realtor is suggesting. Make sure they are willing to redo marketing if the original suggestion is not timely any longer!

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

I Was Going To Blog About Fireplaces!

I had saved some photos with different ways to 'dress' up or focus on your fireplace since it's cold out right now in Southern California!

But, I admit, 
I got caught up in the live press release about the LAUSD strike negotiations.

My son is teaching in Los Angeles, so it's top in my mind of course.

We moved to Santa Clarita for the safety and the schools. Both children got good educations and went to public schools in Saugus.

Eldest moved away for college, then settled in LA area for the last few years. He went back to school and got his teaching credentials and is working for LAUSD....literally just started in the fall and ....boom.....on strike he goes.

But, I'm proud of that kid of mine!

When we moved to Valencia, we looked at 26 homes, if my memory serves me correctly. The one we ended up buying we had written in the offer that we must approve the local school as a contingency. Yep, we did that.

The school was great, teachers were great, support staff great. All seemed great. We did actually picket a principal once, but other than that our district seems fairly content.

Now, I have talked with some administrators & staff out here and out in LA....the kids these days are different. Right from Kindergarten, they are different.

So, the idea of LAUSD students being without support staff, nurses, in large can they safely learn like that, if learn at all?

Proud of all teachers that have worked in poor conditions, proud that you walked the line for your 'kids'. Let's face it, it's all for the kids. Good teachers = good students = good adults = good society.

Maybe next post will be about those fireplaces.......

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Incredible Interest Rates As Of January 17, 2019

I'm actually really surprised about interest rates. But nothing in Real Estate completely stuns me anymore! 17 years of helping people, one constant....Real Estate is always changing!

Every expert told me we'd be in the 6's this year....well, look below....with a 740 FICO....what killer rates we are still seeing.

Then, let's get in the car and find you a home!

  • 30-year fixed conventional 1st Mortgage with 20% down - 4.625% (4.684 APR). Loan amounts up to $484,350.00 = $2490.23
  • 15-year fixed conventional 1st Mortgage with 20% - 4.125% (4.227 APR). Loan amounts up to $484,350.00 = $3613.09
  • 5/1 ARM 1st Mortgage -  20% down - Fixed for 5 years and then becomes variable - 3.875% -  (3.895 APR) Loan amounts up to $3,000,000.00 = $14,107.11
  • 7/1 ARM 1st Mortgage - 20% Fixed for 7 years and then becomes variable - 4.000% - (4.009 APR) Loan amounts up to $3,000,000.00 = $14,322.46
  • 10/1 ARM 1st Mortgage - 20% Fixed for 10 years and then becomes variable - 4.125% - (4.135 APR) Loan amounts up to $3,000.,000.00 = $14,539.49
  • 30-year fixed 1st Mortgage FHA loan 3.50% down - 4.125% (5.521 APR). Loan amounts up to $484,350.00 = $2388.48 + $349.08 PMI = $2737.56
  • 30-year fixed 1st Mortgage VA loan 0% - 4.250% (4.308 APR). Loan amounts up to $484,350.00 = $2382.71
  • 30-year fixed 1st Mortgage Jumbo loan 20% down - 4.375% (4.386 APR). Loan amounts up to $3,000,000.00 = $14,978.56

Absolutely Freaking Incredible!!! 

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

How To Get Buyer & Seller to Agree?

There is so much negotiation that goes on in a Real Estate sale. From the moment a Buyer expresses interest to the day it closes escrow, there are several areas that must be agreed upon.

The first, of course, is the price. The Buyers agent provides their client with all the data about homes that have closed nearby that are similar to the one they are interested in. The Sellers agent provided those very same bits of info when they were first discussing list price.

Seller wants to get the most. Buyer wants to pay the least. If a buyer comes in ridiculously low, doubtful the Seller will accept. If the seller gets an offer that is pretty good, but not quite there, negotiation takes place.

So, they agree on a price. Then comes the appraisal and inspections. Both are to protect the buyer(s). Both can make seller(s) tense.

So, let's say the appraisal comes in low. Is the property over-priced? Did the appraiser use all the data accurately? Buyer & Seller must work through that difference in price. Many ways to make that happen.

Inspections show damage that was not apparent to the naked eye. Shows systems that aren't functioning correctly. Among many other things. Buyer wants to have seller fix, Seller says AS-IS.

I'm smirking while I type this! So, the answer to the subject line? Honestly? Depends on the motivation, and sometimes pride, of each side.

I have to bring my client back to the reason they are buying or selling the home. Is a thousand dollars in repairs worth canceling on their dream home when they've already spent close to a thousand dollars on appraisal and inspections? If they appraisal comes in 35k low? Walk off in a huff? Not if it's the home you need to sell to get to your next one. You figure out where the deficit is, how much you're willing to give.....both Seller & Buyer.

If my Seller is smart & motivated, they understand that a little bit of money now gets them to their next destination they desire. Buyers need to be educated a bit more it seems. And, with more inventory coming on the market, Sellers need to be ready to bend more than the most recent home sales market.

Keep in mind, it's not a battle, it's a discussion. A way to get both sides what they want. That's where your Realtor goes to bat for you. Makes a Win-Win situation happen for everybody. Gets the Buyer their new home, gets the Seller sold.

If you'd like to know some of my personalized techniques for negotiations, just ask. I'm happy to share with you my strategies.

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Get Ready For This Years New Design Trends!

Yes, Yes, Yes, I read a great Houzz article tonight and wanted to share with you!

For the full read, click here:

I saw so many things I wanted to grab pictures of but too many to search for! This one particular kitchen back splash, from the article, was worth the search. Probably the fave thing from them all!

That abstract back splash may be hard to keep clean, but oh, I think, it's soo cool!

This one, steel/glass interior doors...better photo in the article. 
I like it too, but maybe not that color steel?

32 different design trends. Kitchens, Bathrooms, Living/Dining. I was surprised to see the deep blue island back. It was in, then out, but it's coming back again!

Not so sure about all that wood on wood concept either. But, oh, LOVE, the kitchen fully open to the outside. I definitely want that in my next house.

Hope you click on the above link and scroll through every supposed trend for this year.

I can't wait to see some of them in your homes!

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Total Home Sales For Santa Clarita Valley 2018

We're just over a week into 2019! Wowza! Who thought we'd already have flying cars by now? Who thought the world would be so different?

Real Estate is a pretty constant though!

Santa Clarita had another healthy year....we genuinely always seem to. We are a lovely community!

I include Acton, Agua Dulce, Canyon Country, Saugus, Valencia, Newhall, Stevenson Ranch, Castaic, & Val Verde.

Total sales in 2018? 3726

Oh, golly no, I didn't sell all those homes myself!

I did help with quite a few though. We have over 1000 Realtors just in Santa Clarita. So there are a lot that helped get that number up there. 

In 2017 we closed 4277, which means 2018 was a little over 10% less than the year before. What do I attribute that to? Lack of inventory, change in interest rates.

For 2019 we will see continued growth of inventory! WAHHHHOOOOOOO!!!!! And, although interest rates crept back down again at the end of 2018, we are still expecting higher rates this year.

As always, your time to buy or sell a your time. No one can make the right decision but you. I can help guide you through the decision making process though. Don't hesitate to reach out to me for any questions you may have.

Friday, January 4, 2019

Beautification Things To Do In Preparation Of Selling Your Home?

I subscribe, and pay for, a service that sends me pre-written blog-type articles. I share the ones that I find worthy of sharing. I write my own, I YouTube as well.

Today I woke up thinking it was time to blog about home improvements to complete prior to selling. Lo & Behold, what do I find in my inbox this morning? One of my paid-for articles....yep, talking about Return on Investment for items completed prior to listing your home for sale.

(This Was From My Paid Article ~ Source HGTV)

Now, trust me on this, you absolutely do NOT have to do all those things to get the best price!!  But, let's face it...inventory is best be ready to do a bit of tweaking to your current home to appeal to as many buyers as possible.

I am going to let you in on a little secret.....ask me, your trusted Realtor, what you should do to prep your house for sale. Yep, I'm the one who should be telling you what to do, not some TV show, not an article you read from a Realtor in Ohio. Not Zillow, not Redfin, nope. No one but me should be telling you what you need to do to prep your house for sale.

Why you ask? Because I am the one that knows your local market. I'm the one that works with buyers and sellers all the time. I know what helps sell, and what doesn't.

My ultimate job is to net you the most amount of money on the sale of your home. If I think a fresh coat of paint is warranted, do it. If I think that green tile should be changed, do it. If I think that a new shower is not necessary, listen to me. Take out the grass & install turf?.....listen to my answer.

Two quick stories. Two listing appointments last year, both were given a laundry list of things to do prior to putting the home on the market. I did not get those listings. Other agents did. I can tell from photos on one that they did not follow my's still for sale. The other, I am close with the agent the seller selected & I know the seller did not follow my suggestions either. Three months after listed, seller took it off market.

The housing market is definitely changing. 2019 will be different from the last few years. Anyone thinking about selling their home? Really need to be on board with what an experienced Realtor tells you to do prior to listing for sale.....just sayin'.