Here is a selection of my recent posts:
Summer is in the air and that means that homebuyers are going to be paying just as much attention to the exterior of a home than the interior. Those shopping for a home want to envision their kids playing in the yard, their friends coming over for barbeques and the lazy Sunday afternoon laying on the lawn.
While people are inclined to bring in flowers, paint the deck and work on the curb appeal, often the lawn itself is neglected. The positives of a well-maintained grass yard are many and it’s important to get your grass in tip-top shape before showing your home.
When it comes to growing grass, consistent care is key and failure to invest in long-term turf care can open the window to any number of problems in your lawn.
It’s also important to give your grass the fertilizing lawn care and control treatments it needs based on the season. Lawn care for growing grass as we enter July has different needs than what is expected in late summer and fall. Read more
Home sellers are advised to create the illusion that everything is new and fresh in their homes, but when pets are involved, it’s not always easy to keep things clean and orderly.
The simplest solution for a pet owner who is selling a home is to relocate the pet to a friend’s or family member’s home or to pet daycare while the home is on the market. Keeping a pet in the backyard, the garage or in another room that you keep locked is insufficient, and is certainly not fair to the pet.
When a pet is in a home that buyers are coming to view, it could often scare away the people from even stepping foot into the house. Many people are worried about dogs or freaked out by birds, and then allergies can also come into play if cats or other animals are inside.
Owners may think of their pets as the gentlest creatures, but when strangers come into the home to look around, who knows what the animals are thinking? A dog that barks or jumps on people is never a good thing. Read more
When people enter your home they usually look down before up, so that first step is vital for attracting a homebuyer and making a great first impression. This is one reason why more people are installing hardwood floors in their homes.
Hardwood flooring enhances the look of any room and can create a classic ambiance that will beautify the interior design of your home. Residential real estate agents agree that homes with wood floors hold their value better, sell faster and fetch higher prices.
Last year, 99 percent of real estate agents responding to a national survey conducted by the National Wood Flooring Association agreed that homes with hardwood floors are easier to sell. The survey also found that 82 percent believe that homes with hardwood floors sell faster and 90 percent said they would sell for more money.
The American Hardwood Information Center adds that restoring hardwood flooring in the home is one of the best long-term investments to be made.
“Hardwood floors are environmentally friendly, forever fashionable, and will last for generations,” said Pembroke Jacobs, president of the Hardwood Manufacturers Association. “Plus, with an expected life span of up to 100 years for certain premium hardwood flooring, you can be assured that that the hardwood really is a one-time investment with a very long-term payoff.” Read more
A stressful part of putting your home on the market is trying to figure out what to fix and upgrade to get the very best price. An experienced agent will recommend projects to consider and ones to avoid. After all, just because you put money into a renovation project doesn’t mean you will recoup the money in a sale.
You may also want to consult Remodeling Magazine’s annual Cost vs. Value Report for a breakdown of typical returns on renovation projects large and small. The 24th annual edition published earlier this year contains input from some of the country’s top remodeling professionals and ranked 35 remodeling projects for highest returns.
In many cases, smaller-scale renovation projects recoup more of their initial cost than larger, pricier ones, according to the report. For example, a minor $20,000 kitchen upgrade returns 72.8% of renovation costs, but a more expensive $58,000 kitchen remodel only retains 68.7% of its value on resale. Read more
Let’s say that you inherited an old house in a distant location and want to put it on the market. You may not have the time, resources or energy to make it perfect and just want a quick sale.
Or, maybe you had renters at your property who did substantial damage and you don’t have the money to make necessary renovations.
Fear not. Just because the house needs work doesn’t mean you can’t sell it. Many homebuyers today are shopping for deals and want to see the potential in your home. In that case, leave brochures for new cabinets in the kitchen, color palates around the bedrooms and even create computerized images of what updates could look like.
In addition, secure bids from licensed contractors on necessary fixes and provide them to your potential buyers. People may overestimate the cost of a new roof, shower stall or drywall repair and fresh paint. Estimates will bring the home into clearer perspective.
Work with your real estate agent to make the home as presentable as possible for the least amount of money. Make a room or two inviting so you have the photos that will attract buyers to what you can call “a fixer upper.”
Of course, nothing is going to attract people more than a low price. Obviously, you will need to discount the sales price to gain an advantage over comparables in better condition.
A down-and-out house doesn’t mean you’re stuck. With small repairs, research and practical pricing, you can turn that “Ugly Betty” into a sale.
Prudential California Realty
Mark Hasha can be reached at (650) 799-0731. Prudential California Realty is an independently owned and operated member of BRER Affiliates, Inc
With April 15 rapidly approaching many are working hard to complete their taxes. For those who have recently bought or sold a home, there are a number of tax deductions that that may be available to them.
Real estate broker’s commissions, title insurance, legal fees, advertising costs, administrative costs, and inspection fees are all considered selling costs and may be used to reduce one’s taxable capital gain by the amount of the selling costs. That could result in a big savings depending on the final sale price.
Interest that is paid on a mortgage is also tax-deductible, within limits. A married couple filing jointly can deduct all their interest payments on a maximum of $1 million in mortgage debt secured by a first or second home.
Buyers may also be able to deduct some of the interest they paid on a home equity loan or similar line of credit.
One deduction that many buyers often overlook is points. Points or origination fees on a home loan that were paid during the purchase of a home are generally tax-deductible in full for the year in which they were paid.
Refinanced mortgage points are also deductible but only over the life of the loan – not all at once. Homeowners who refinance can immediately write off the balance of the old points and begin to amortize the new. Read more
Turn on any financial news program and at some point you’ll hear the experts extolling the virtues of diversification. Real estate, even through the market downturn, has long been considered a conservative, long-term strategy to growing wealth.
In fact, that very downturn has created a historic buying opportunity for potential homebuyers and investors alike. The combination of lower home prices across American and historically low mortgage rates, two essential factors that usually don’t trend in the same direction, have triggered a buyer’s market in many areas of the country. For real estate investors who want to rent their properties, this can make the difference in achieving positive cash flow sooner or right off the bat.
While some seasoned real estate investors make it look easy, to be successful, beginners should follow some basic principles. Read more
California’s Prop 90 allows a home owner in California to sell their home, buy a replacement property in a participating county, and move a lower prop 13 based tax value from their old home to the new county for the purpose of home tax assessment. It allows the adjusted base year value of the original (sold) property to be transferred to the newly purchased or constructed home if eligibility requirements are met.There are some restrictions like the claimant or claimant’s spouse must be at least 55 years of age. The replacement property must be your principal residence and must be eligible for the homeowners’ exemption.
Participating counties are Alameda, Orange, San Mateo, Ventura, Los Angeles, San Diego, Santa Clara and now, El Dorado County.
There are also purchase price restrictions on the new replacement property. Read more