Archive for the ‘Mary’s Comments’ Category

Safety Tips For Home Sellers

With or without a real estate agent, when you are selling your home you are exposed to a parade of strangers traipsing through your house. The vast majority of them are perfectly safe, honest people — and possibly home buyers. But security measures are necessary for the rare possibility that just one could see your home as an opportunity for crime.

Protecting your home, its valuables and yourself from harm should be a vital component of your marketing plan.

  • Once you list your home for sale, never leave a message on your answering machine informing callers that you are not home. Leave a message that says you are unavailable to answer the phone right now.
  • Never set an appointment with anyone to see your home unless you have their name and number and have called back to verify that number.
  • For security’s sake, before you conduct an open house, remember to remove keys, credit cards, jewelry, crystal, furs and other valuables from the home or lock them away during showings. Also remove prescription drugs. Some seemingly honest people wouldn’t mind getting their hands on a bottle of prescribed drugs.
  • Consider hiring a security guard, especially if you have many valuables you can’t remove.
  • Request that all visitors sign in a guest book or roster. You are giving away a lot of information about your house and you have a right to know who is getting that information.  Certainly some visitors will use a false name but at least they will be aware of the organized procedures and might think twice about victimizing you.
  • Never discuss your personal schedule or habits with potential buyers. Statements like “We are so near the work center, I can leave my home at 8:45 and arrive by 9,” tell potential criminals when you aren’t home. Likewise, don’t discuss issues involving your home security including deadlock bolt locks, security systems, alarms etc. Don’t divulge information on your flyer or other marketing tools that might breech security.
  • After an open house, check all the windows, doors and other entrances to make sure they are locked.

Capital Gains

 There are Capital Gains tax consequences for selling your personal residence before you have owned it for two years. Everyone should consult thier tax advisor before proceeding into any financial situation that could incur a tax but here are a few links with some information that may be helpful to anyone wondering what to consider before selling.

 There are short and long term investments and here is a short article to explain the difference:

http://www.googlerealestate.com/short-term-vs-long-term-capital-gains/

 If you should hold your primary residence for two years or over it is a different story. The next link will explain our current capital gains real estate tax laws. When I say current – We never know what our law makers might be up to!

http://taxes.about.com/od/taxplanning/qt/home_sale_tax.htm

The real estate market in Irvine and southern Orange County is improving. If you are considering placing your home on the market and would like to know what it is worth in today’s market,  just visit my web site IrvineVillages.com and complete a short home value  form with details about your home. I am also easy to reach via phone or text at 949-275-6544.  Looking forward to hearing from you.

Rear View Mirror

Rear View Mirrow

We all know hindsight is so much better than foresight.

A few years ago I wrote this paragraph:

Many potential home buyers, whether looking to purchase a home to live in or invest for the future, are already active in todays hard hit market. Others are still on the fence waiting to the market to bottom out!  Still, now is the best time to buy for the long term because there is a considerable inventory of homes to choose from at great prices. Much of our market is now priced at 2004 prices! Once the market is on the upward swing, there are very few desirable homes on the market that would be for sale at bargain prices! The market can change very quickly and most will not notice the change until it is well underway.

It is interesting to see where we are today! The market has been evolving over time but it is a slow process that most people will not notice. We are now at a time of very low inventory! Almost gone (at least for now!) are all the foreclosures and short sales that so permeated the market just a short time ago! Prices and interest rates are still good and will most likely stay that way through this year according to predictions. But there is so much less to choose from and competition has already begun to push prices up. Inflation follows recession!

 Don’t get caught looking in the rear view mirror! Many people were surprised by the recession and many will be surprised when the market passes them by again! If you have been waiting to purchase-now is the time.

If you are looking for purchase this spring it is a good time to get started!   Contact Mary or visit my web site to view available listings. I am here to help and look forward to hearing from you! Call direct or text 949-275-6544

Buy in the Spring!

Home buying and selling activity is typically hottest during the spring and summer months. Spring is right around the corner so here are a few great reasons why you should take advantage of the spring season to find your home and and make the move by summer.

1. More people choose to buy or sell during the spring and move by summer. You are more likely to find a home that suits your lifestyle and budget.

2. Easier on the kids Moving during the spring/summer season gives everyone more time to get adjusted to the new environment. The variety of summer programs available makes it easier for your children to meet future schoolmates. Kids are also playing outside more, which gives them lots of opportunities to make friends in their new neighborhood. Not to mention they’ll be able to start school in September and avoid the obvious new-kid syndrome.

3. More daylight This is a plus if you are buying or selling. It’s more appealing to show your house in the daylight- it will appear brighter and larger than at night. If you’re buying, you may have more flexibility to explore a home and schedule a professional inspection.

4.Flowers are in bloom Your curb appeal will be maximized by the lush and fragrant summer-blooming flowers. This also gives buyers a good idea of the amount of yard maintenance to expect to keep it looking beautiful.

Whether you’re buying your first home, or selling your current home and buying another, the spring is an ideal time to make YOUR move.

Reasons to Buy

No matter what the economy some of the same reasons apply to buy that exist any time. Right or wrong many people count on thier homes for a long term asset that can be leveraged for retirement or future financial needs. Here are some of those reason. 

Reasons Why You Should Stop Renting
1. Rents continue to rise
2. Having no economic security, not knowing how much your rent may go up in the next two to three years.
3. No tax benefits
4. No long term wealth accumulation

I have broken the homebuying process down to four steps.

  • Step One: Determine how much home you can afford. Speaking to a mortgage loan specialist to be pre-qualifed for your home loan is the most important ste! The price range of the homes you look at will depend on this.
  • Step Two:Getting Pre-Approved for a loan to purchase a home.After getting pre-qualified, the most important thing you can do is to go ahead with the loan process and get fully pre-approved before you decide or extend an offer on a home. This will give you advantages when you are in the negotiating process.
  • Step Three: Find your new Home! My Unique Buyers Service will assure you will see all the homes for sale that match what you are looking for and not just a few. With my Unique Buyers Profile Service you will receive (via e-mail) all available homes for sale by all companies. You can look at the pictures and details, drive by the neighborhood to see if you like it and then call me to schedule an appointment to view the homes. There is never any pressure to buy!
  • Step Four: Working with a your Professional Real Estate Broker Specialized Knowledge-After you find the home you want you will need someone who is knowledgeable on the purchase contract including buyer and seller obligations, time lines and who will prepare and present the offer to the seller -negotiating the terms and conditions in your best interest.

You can be assured you are in good hands with my years of experience and knowledge as a real estate professional. Vist my web site  for more articles and advice to help you along your home purchasing adventure!

Never Sell an Empty House!

Here are a few reasons to: Never Sell an Empty House!

 

People don’t buy houses-they buy homes: Buyers often are drawn to a warm feeling of home that furniture and accessories provide.

 

With no furniture there is no sense of size or purpose: Empty rooms are not inviting and hard to determine what size furniture will work within them. Also some rooms are difficult to know what the intended purpose for the room is. It can be a dining room or family room or den, etc? Only 10% of buyers can visualize the potential of a room.. If it is designated it at least gives the buyer the initial use and often will spur ideas of possibilities.

 

When rooms are empty buyers focus on negative: It is much easier to notice a not so perfect paint job or crack in the wall when the room is empty. There is simply nothing else to focus on!

 

Two mortgage payments are expensive! A vacant home typically takes twice as long to sell and usually sells for less! Don’t take this chance is staging a home is within your reach.

 

If you are planning on selling your home and would like a personal evaluation please give me a call at 949-275-6544 or email to schedule an appointment. Selling a home is stressful, but putting your best home forward can help alleviate some of the anxiety.

Time Your Home Sale!

Even in this time of uncertainty, when home values seem to be difficult to track, there is something to be said for timing your home sale! Spring brings renewed hope and has typically always been the best time to sell. This year holds promise for being a very good year! Here is how the seasons break down:

  • The best selling season is  Spring! The day after Super Bowl generally rings in Spring for the real estate sales market. Optimal time to find a home and move in by the end of the school year. This allows school age children additional time to settle into thier new homes and adapt before school begins.
  • Summer is the next best time. The hot summer months help sell homes with pools. The fall school year is definitely the motivator to find and secure a home before the new school year begins. 
  • By early fall many buyers have left the market. Often we will see a resurgence in October and November but generally from October through February is the best time to buy a home if you are looking for a bargain! Many homes will be reduced in this time period so don’t let this happen to you. 

Always sell based on supply and demand: When there are more buyers than homes for sale (sellers market), sellers are able to obtain better prices and terms; when there are more homes for sale than there are buyers, sellers may have to reduce their price and perhaps make other concessions to sell their home. Also, keep in mind that it is easier to sell in a low interest rate environment- which is what we are enjoying today-when more buyers can qualify for a home loan

Currently many neighborhoods have little to no inventory (competition?) and interest rates are historically low. The  economy and real estate market may still be struggling but these two factors are worth considering if you are thinking of making a move this year. The home buyer credit is also still in play until April so this will add to the demand through the next couple of months. 

This theme is sponsored by California along with Texas, Radio and corporate office contact address