How to Sell your Home FAST

Leave a comment

Need to sell your home in a hurry? By using these easy and inexpensive tips, Trulia.com says you can expect an offer in no time.

Get a storage unit

Anyone who tours your home is going to check out the storage spaces, which means that disorganized, overstuffed closets only serve as evidence that your home is lacking in that department. Opt instead for a storage unit to house the things you won’t need while your home is on the market. The general rule? Get rid of a third of your stuff. If you don’t use it every day, store it. This includes holiday decorations, baby gear, seasonal clothes and the bread maker you’ve never used. Bonus: If you choose a portable unit, it can be transported to your new home, making moving day a cinch.

Hire a professional to stage and photograph your home

A professional home stager sees your home from a buyer’s perspective—a good one understands how to highlight its strengths and soften its flaws. Your buyer’s first impression will be the listing photos, and studies show that homes with more than six listing photos online are twice as likely to be viewed by buyers. But not everyone wants their home staged (or has the money for it). Another option: Have a friend stand at the curb and walk through the house with fresh eyes to offer their perspective on decluttering, and then the agent can go through from a marketing standpoint.

Find the right real estate agent

Don’t hire a real estate agent just because they’re also a die-hard fan of your college football team or they’re from your hometown. What really matters? A track record of sales that proves they know how to sell your house fast. Are they familiar with the benefits (and negatives) of your neighborhood? Can they walk into your home and tell you precisely what buyers will love and hate? One way to be sure is to check the online client reviews and feedback on all of the agents you’re considering. You also should make sure your agent promotes their properties online. Make sure they hire a professional to take photos and includes a variety of photos on their site and social media.

Remove personalized items

Removing personal photographs or memorabilia will allow the prospective buyer to imagine themselves living in your house and make it easier to focus on the home’s highlighted features. In the same respect, don’t distract from the house itself with art, which could be unappealing to a buyer.

Make small upgrades

Don’t go overboard on major remodels. Chances are, you won’t get your money back. Instead, focus on small upgrades, particularly in the kitchen and bathroom, where you’re most likely to see a return on investment. A new sink and cabinet hardware in the kitchen, or light fixtures, shower curtains and hand towels in the bathroom, are inexpensive but can instantly transform your space. Rather than splurging $30,000 on a full kitchen remodel, get rid of your unmatched old appliances and spend $3,500 on a new stainless-steel appliance suite. Small upgrades can have a big impact.

Light it up

A dark or poorly lit home feels damp and depressing. Brighten it up by using natural and artificial light. Get the highest wattage light bulb for that light fixture, and it will instantly brighten up the room, and when you leave for showings, turn on the lights and open curtains and blinds. A fresh coat of paint also can brighten a room. A deep cleaning also will help brighten baseboards, windows, and light fixtures.

Amp up the curb appeal

Your home’s exterior is typically the first thing a buyer sees in person and on listing sites. If it doesn’t look good, a buyer won’t even consider looking at the interior shots. Tidy up your yard by trimming and shaping hedges, refreshing mulch and edging the lawn. Consider pressure-washing your house, walkways and driveway, or even adding a fresh coat of paint to your trim and shutters. Everything matters—even things as small as the brass on your front door. Polish the kick-plate and doorknob, and clean any cobwebs or bird droppings off your front porch. Flowers, particularly near the entryway, add a hint of color, making your home feel alive and inviting.

Sell at the right time

Spring and summer are typically known as the best time to sell your home. If you can wait until then to list, you should consider it. But be forewarned that increased inventory means spring and summer buyers can afford to be pickier—so make sure your home is in tip-top shape. You also need to price your house just right. Just because you want to sell for a certain amount doesn’t mean your home is worth your magic number. Do your own research about area comps, get listing price suggestions from a couple of agents and then listen to your agent when it comes to negotiating.

luxuryhomebuyers-240x170

Advertisements

2017 SCE HOUSING SURVEY FINDS INCREASED OPTIMISM ABOUT HOME PRICE GROWTH

Leave a comment

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York has released results from its February 2017 SCE Housing Survey, which provides information on consumers’ housing-related experiences and expectations. The survey, which is part of the broader Survey of Consumer Expectations, shows an increase in home price growth expectations, especially for growth during the next year. In addition, the majority of households continue to view housing as a good financial investment; expected changes in mortgage rates have slightly increased since last year’s survey; and renters’ perceived access to mortgage credit has continued to ease.

Here, the key findings from the February 2017 survey:

Home prices/rents

Average home price change expectations at both the one- and five-year horizons increased from 2016. For example, the mean one-year ahead expected change in home prices in 2017 was 5.1 percent, which is 1.8 percentage points higher than last year and the highest level since the inception of the survey in 2014. Five-year growth expectations also increased from last year, but remain at or below the levels in 2014 and 2015.

There was a drop in the perceived downside risk in home prices over both the one- and five-year horizons. At the one-year horizon, the average probability of home prices decreasing declined from 43 percent in 2016 to 37.5 percent.

Rent change expectations increased at both the 1- and 5-year horizons, by 0.8 and 0.5 percentage points, respectively.

Housing outlook

Attitudes toward housing continued to remain positive: 60.4 percent of all respondents think that buying property in their zip code is a very or somewhat good investment, and 12.7 percent think it is a bad investment. Although slightly less optimistic than respondents overall, most renters are also enthusiastic about buying property, with 55.9 percent viewing it as a good investment and 15.6 percent viewing it as a bad investment. Higher-income (annual income of $60,000 or more) and more educated (a bachelor’s degree or more) households continue to have a more optimistic outlook of housing compared to their counterparts.

The average probability of buying a home, conditional on moving within the next three years, was largely unchanged from 2016 at 63.6 percent. The average probability of moving during the next year declined slightly, from 19.2 percent to 17.8 percent.

Mortgage rates

On average, households perceive mortgage rates for themselves and nationally to have increased by about 40-50 basis points from 2016. This change is roughly in line with the increase in actual mortgage rates. Less-educated and lower-income households perceived larger increases.

Average expectations of future mortgage rates similarly increased for both the one- and three-year-ahead horizons. For example, the average year-ahead mortgage rate expectation was 5.6 percent, up from 5.2 percent in 2016. The average probability that mortgage rates will increase over the next year rose from 49.5 percent in 2016 to 52 percent; this is primarily driven by older respondents (ages 50 or older).

Owners

The average probability of mortgage refinancing over the next year declined to 10.2 percent, from 11.3 percent in 2016.

The average probability of investing at least $5,000 in the home over the one- and three-year horizons remained steady. The average probability for the one-year horizon stands at 32.4 percent; the corresponding value for the three-year horizon is at 46 percent.

Renters

Renters continue to perceive obtaining a mortgage (if they want to buy a home) as difficult, with 65 percent stating that it would be somewhat or very difficult to get a mortgage. However, renters are gradually beginning to perceive credit access as becoming easier. For instance, this year 20 percent of renters stated it would be somewhat or very easy for them to obtain a mortgage if they wanted to, compared to fewer than 15 percent in 2014 and 2015. These movements held across demographic groups, although they are less pronounced for older renters.

Renters continue to report a strong preference for owning homes. The share of renters who report preferring or strongly preferring to own instead of rent (if they had the financial resources to do so) stood at 72.3 percent, a slight decrease from 74.1 percent in 2016. Younger and less-educated respondents are particularly likely to express a strong preference for owning.esplanade

Test Drive a Home Before an Offer

Leave a comment

While that newly renovated home looks great in photos, what’s really behind that real estate listing could be too good to be true. When it comes to assessing a potential new home, the savvy buyer knows to relentlessly sleuth for any hidden problems. Like you would at a car dealership, test drive your potential future home for important features that easily go unnoticed. Here, Trulia.com explains how to make like a crime-scene detective and put your potential home to the test—before you submit an offer.

1. See what the neighbors are like

Before you step foot into a potential new place, drive by a few times. What’s the foot traffic like in the neighborhood? Do the strolling neighbors look more like young professionals or married couples with children? How much noise do the neighbors make? (Sneak in a Saturday night visit to get the full taste.) If you drive to work, test your morning and evening commutes and time how long it takes you.

2. Head out on a walking tour

Once you’ve examined the place by vehicle, it’s time to repeat on foot. See how long it takes you to get to the nearest coffee shop or restaurant, and make sure you love the local cuisine or cup of joe. (A walkability score considers only quantity, not quality, of amenities.) Scope out the nearest public transportation stations while gauging the condition of sidewalks and public plantings—a well-manicured neighborhood usually suggests stronger civic engagement.

3. Test out the plumbing

Don’t get seduced by the stand-up shower with the exposed copper pipes and wraparound glass doors—try it out yourself. How hard is the pressure? How quickly does the water heat? Test the bathroom and kitchen sinks while you’re at it. Water pressure shouldn’t be a deal breaker, but low pressure could indicate a damaging leak and more water problems (and expenses) down the road.

4. Open the windows

Even if it’s chilly, open a few windows, especially in the room that may be your future master bedroom. This is a good way to check if any windows are stuck, but also an opportunity to listen. Can you hear a lot of traffic or neighborly noise? Do your windows seem to bring in a lot of cross breezes, or do neighboring buildings block the airflow? When the windows are closed, can you feel drafts around the edge of the frames? Windows are crucial for the look and feel of your home.

5. Inspect the home’s natural lighting

If the open house happens on a cloudy day, schedule a follow-up visit when the sun is shining. See how the natural light flows through each room, especially high-traffic areas. If a room seems especially dark, consider whether the paint color is causing the problem. On the same note, you’ll want to see how dark the bedrooms can get. Close all the shades in all the bedrooms and see if the light still filters through; you might want to throw room-darkening shades onto your shopping list.

6. Keep your ears open for any unwanted noise

This is a biggie—condo sounds, in particular, can drive homeowners insane. Make multiple visits to a unit to catch surrounding neighbors when they’re home and making noise. If there are multiple condos for sale in the building, bring a friend and walk around upstairs or in the adjacent unit to see how noise travels. And be sure to ask if children live in the building; the pitter-patter of little feet is far less charming to those who live below them.
Once you’ve assessed noise levels, you should determine how sound travels within the home. Turn on the dryer to hear how loud it is. March around in the guest bedroom to determine how thick the walls are. If you’ll need to invest in sound insulation and throw rugs, it’s better to know now.

7. Scope out storage space

Some sellers clear their homes of all clutter, but many don’t. Rather than turn up your nose at an overstuffed bedroom closet, take out the tape measure and record some dimensions. The space may be larger than it seems; you can also take those measurements home and plan out a closet scheme online to see how much stuff it can really handle.

8. Don’t forget your marbles

Are those newly stained hardwood floors level? Bring a marble to find out. Discreetly place the marble on the hardwood floors: Does it stay put or start rolling? If the slope is especially steep, there might be a structural problem at play, but even a slightly uneven floor can become a bargaining chip.

South Bay’s Hottest Zip Codes

Leave a comment

Hermosa Beach | 90254

(Glenn Koenig / Los Angeles Times)

Median price per square foot: $967, +28.6%

Median price: $1,693,500, + 30.9%

Sales: 123, +7%

Strong demand, tight inventory, good schools and a view of the Pacific made Hermosa Beach a real estate standout in 2015. The small South Bay town also has something else going for it: It’s not Manhattan Beach.

Wealthy families priced out of increasingly ritzy Manhattan Beach — with its median price of $2.1 million — are looking to the next town over. But that’s pushing up values in a city that’s had more of a reputation as a younger party town, agents said.

Tech workers employed in Venice and Playa Vista are also buying in Hermosa, searching for schools with better reputations than those in the L.A. Unified School District, said Nick Peters, president of Engel & Volkers LA – South Bay

“A lot of people are moving here from Silicon Beach,” he said.Life's Great At The Beach

GIVING THE GIFT OF REAL ESTATE? KEEP AN EYE ON TAX RULES

Leave a comment

Instead of wasting money on Christmas presents no one uses, you may consider giving the gift of real estate. Although it may seem overly generous, if you are in a solid financial position, gifting a home may be a smart option. However, it is essential to keep tax rules in mind.
Purchasing a Home OutrightTo fill all preferences, it is recommended to choose a home after collaborating with the recipient. Instead of giving the house, accountants explain it is better to give money.When you give cash, you must remember two tax limits. Each year, you can give up to $14,000 tax-free. However, lifetime exemptions cannot exceed $5.45 million. Most individuals will never reach this limit, which means there are no tax implications, but the gifter must file a gift tax return.
Gift a Down Payment
Gifting cash for a down payment works in the same manner. However, this may cause problems during the mortgage process. Most times, it is necessary to submit a certified letter that explains the money is a gift.
Gift an Existing Home
Although your children may be interested in your family home, gifting it may not be smart. Down the road, when your children sell, they will have to pay expensive taxes.
If you still want to gift a home, there are other options:
Revocable Trust. This helps heirs avoid probate costs and allows you to gift your current home after you die.
Sell for a Low Price. The difference between your home’s value and the sale price follows your lifetime exemption, and the sale is tax-free.
Give Seller Financing. Instead of sending your children for a mortgage, you may consider offering seller financing.
When gifting a home, it is essential to watch your allowed exemptions. Besides these issues, it is a possible tax-free solution that helps family members retain a nice place to live.
Tags: gift, home buyers, home owner, real estate
« Pending Home Sales Post First Gain in Three Months10 Tips to save energy over the Holidays »

AMERICANS THINK HOMEOWNERSHIP IS A SOUND INVESTMENT

Leave a comment

If you are like a majority of Americans, you have faith in home buying and believe you can sell you home for at least the price you paid for it. Many Americans also believe now is a smart time to purchase a new home.
Over the last few years, the reasons behind these opinions have remained the same. You may want to build equity, strive for a safe living environment, and want freedom to select the neighborhood where you live.
Owning a home is a big part of the “American Dream,” which is thriving in many communities. Since 2013, the amount of renters who contemplate home buying has grown. Approximately 61 percent of renters describe home ownership as a top priority. A high number of these people would appreciate the opportunity to participate in pre-purchase counseling programs.
In recent years, attitudes toward real estate have improved. You may have noticed increased activity in the housing market and have lower concerns about foreclosed properties. However, certain obstacles remain, which may hamper your ability to buy a home. If you are like many individuals, you may lack the money for a down payment or are struggling with student loans. With improved market conditions, house prices have increased, and inventory has decreased.
On a high note, millennials under 35 years of age have an upbeat and positive opinion concerning America’s future. Their positive views may brush off onto the rest of the country and contribute to the continuing recovery of the housing market.

ART AND REAL ESTATE ARE THE NEW GOLD, SAYS BLACKROCK CEO

Leave a comment

alma didn't light me up

Gold has always been considered a safe investment. However, many moguls are replacing this precious metal with art and real estate. Laurence D. Finch, BlackRock CEO, explains as gold has become widely owned, it has lost its appeal. In fact, gold prices have dropped over one-third from their peak values in 2011.
To store value, many investors are turning to contemporary art and property. Obviously, fine paintings and sculptures are nicer to view than blocks of gold. Also, many elite class members find penthouses are more useful shelters than bland safety deposit boxes. Apartments in Vancouver, London, and Manhattan are especially popular.
The most important thing to note is how art and property compare to gold as investments. Results seem to depend on location. Even though gold prices have dropped 7 percent from last year, they are still up 179 percent over the last 10 years. According to the Knight Frank Luxury Investment Index, art value has increased 252 percent over the last 10 years. London real estate has seen an increase of 138 percent over the last decade. Unfortunately, New York real estate has not been as successful. Its value has only increased 67 percent over the same time period.
One thing that has skeptics worried is that art and real estate are less liquid than precious metal. During a market upswing, these new purchases seem to be smart investment choices. However, over the long term, they may be risky during times of crisis. Under most circumstances, individual needs will dictate what investment path is best.

Older Entries

%d bloggers like this: