Wednesday, September 7, 2016

5 Stops on Your Home-Buying Journey

This home shopping roadmap will lead you to your new front door.
Thinking about looking for a new home? Twenty years ago, your first step would have been pulling out the Sunday newspaper and making a list of open houses to attend.
Today, however, it’s likely you’ll spend weeks — maybe even months — looking at listings online or on your mobile device before you step foot in a listed home or talk to a real estate agent.
As you prepare to start home shopping, keep in mind that buying a home isn’t like buying a new car or a tablet. It may seem like all the information you need is available online or through real estate apps, but there’s more to a home purchase than simply comparing two products. It’s a huge investment, a personal and emotional process, and a transaction you’ll probably only make a few times in your life.
With that in mind, here are five stops you’ll make along your journey to a new home.

Explore, discover and dream

Viewing photos and reading listing descriptions online gives you a chance to dream, and imagine all of the things you would want in a house. In the comfort of your living room, you can get an idea what’s on the market, what pricing looks like in different towns, and how long homes typically take to sell — all without having to commit to a real estate agent.
This lack of commitment can be a comfort when you’re just starting your home search. It’s like the freedom of going into a store to look around without being bothered by the salesperson.

Check things out in person

Soon your research will lead you to an excellent house, a great deal, or both. You’ll be motivated to attend the open house or contact the listing agent to ask questions.
Actually stepping inside a house takes the search to the next level, but the first home you see probably isn’t the one you’ll buy. Most buyers see a dozen homes before they even make an offer. It’s part of the process.

Hook up with a good local agent

Clicking that “Contact Agent” button or showing up at an open house might lead you to the next step of the process: meeting a great real estate agent to have on your team.
Buyers don’t pay a fee to work with a buyers’ agent, and they rarely need to sign formally to work with an agent. Smart agents work for free until someone buys a house, all the while providing an incredible resource.
Don’t click with the first agent you encounter? Don’t feel obligated to stick with them. There will be others.
If your search is heating up before you connect with a great agent, start looking at agent reviews online or ask friends or family for a referral. Having a good local agent on your side makes all the difference for such an expensive and infrequent transaction. Be sure to ask plenty of questions as you’re getting to know a prospective agent.

Trust your gut

What many people don’t realize is that a real estate purchase is incredibly emotional. Sometimes your reaction to what you see online won’t jibe with what you feel when you tour a home.
Be open to letting your feelings and emotions spill out. You might feel remorse later if you don’t listen to your instincts.
Case in point: First-time buyers in Bedford, NY fell in love with a home with an incredible kitchen and views as far as the eye can see. The data online told them they should pay no more than 96 percent of the asking price, and they stuck to their guns.
The home sold at the asking price, and they kicked themselves months later when they were still looking for a home. In this case, the home was worth every last penny, and they missed out.

Dig in

Before long, you’ll find yourself looking at listings online every day, and on the open house circuit every week. At this stage, work closely with your agent to monitor new listings, and see as many homes as you can.
The more you see, the more you’ll learn the market. Eventually, your search will become laser-focused on one or two areas.
When the right home comes along, you’ll know it. But it takes some time digging in and learning the market to build up the confidence to get to this place.
The time and effort will all be worth it, however, when you walk through the door of your new home for the first time.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

For Sale - 11 Ramona Way in Tracy, CA

  •  Original Owner
  • Quiet Cul de Sac
  • Largest lot in Cabrillo Park - room for expansion
  • 1400 sf single story home
  • Open Concept Kitchen/Family Room
  • JennAir with grill/griddle
  • Fireplace never used
  • Hardwood flooring throughout
  • Dual Pane windows
  • Updated Heating/Air Conditioning piping
  • Covered Patio
  • Low Maintenance Back Yard

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Home Decor that Inspires Amore


Whether you celebrate with a night on the town or a cozy home-cooked dinner, Valentine’s Day is the perfect time of year to add a little ooh la la to your home. After all, it’s still cold out and getting dark early, so your rooms should look inviting to you and to any guests you may invite in.

Clearing the clutter and adding a few flowers are a given, but you can take it a step further with romantic touches throughout your home.

Wall Treatments
The wall treatment you choose can enhance your design choices in a way that no other single element can. Before you begin, think about the basics of the room — the quality of the light, the room’s proportions, any architectural features you want to emphasize or downplay, and the furniture and fabrics you plan to use.

Color, texture and trim all play a role in how your wall treatment works. Consider how you can use a range of surfaces, such as wallpaper or fabric panels, and hues via paint or plaster, to create depth, interest and charm in your space.

Finally, before deciding on any wall choice, factor in how it will look and work in conjunction with how the room is used. Soft shades in any hue will create romantic flow throughout your home.

How a room is lit affects the overall impression of the space. The ideal lighting scheme is natural light supplemented with ambient, task and accent lighting.

The combination of lighting and sunlight can completely change the feeling of a home. A balanced mix of the two sustains the warmth of a room while allowing you to create different moods. The right lighting can add drama and elegance.

Put every light you can on a dimmer to control the mood of your space. If you’re feeling extra romantic, add a crystal chandelier for a shimmering effect.

Take your time when shopping for furniture. It’s usually a large purchase, and one you will probably have for a considerable length of time.

If you are feeling challenged in your furniture quest, don’t hesitate to contact a design professional to assist your search. Learn what appeals to you personally. And don’t be afraid to mix and match different styles — that is what reflects your personal style and adds some romance, too.

A room with a blend of pieces that appeals to you is inherently more interesting than one that resembles a furniture showroom. But no matter what you choose, it’s important to find pieces that are comfortable, of good quality and will last.

Spa and steam
Since master bathrooms are often the largest bathrooms in the house, lots of options are available. Your master bath might include a walk-in closet or dressing area, a separate shower and a tub, plus a water closet. It might even sport enough space for exercise equipment, a sauna, spa or soaking tub and steam shower.

Master baths are places where you can splurge on materials and finishes. Because they don’t get as much wear and tear as family bathrooms, you can opt for features that require a little extra care. No matter which choices you make, the result should be both soothing and functional.

The key to a successful family room design is keeping comfort in mind — and nothing warms a room physically and mentally more than a fireplace. This is the space where you and your significant other settle in to read, play games, watch movies and unwind at the end of the day.

The fireplace — whether indoors or out — is a gathering place that embraces family and friends while exuding a relaxed style. So strike a match or flip the switch to let the ambiance begin.

What romantic additions have you made to your own space?

Thursday, April 17, 2014

10 Quick And Budget-Friendly Projects To Remake Your Space This Spring

Source: ~ Author: Michael Corbett
Most of the country is digging out from underneath snow and ice brought on by the tail end of winter, but no matter what climate you live in, your thoughts are likely turning to Spring! The first tastes of warmer weather also brings thoughts of spring cleaning and freshening up your home.

If you don’t have the time or money to do a lot of significant upgrades, but you want to give your home a fast and inexpensive face lift, here are 10 things you can do in one day or one weekend for under $200 dollars!

Save it, Sell It, Chuck it! This is my first step to give a home fast face lift. Decluttering is free and will only cost you time. Taking a close, hard look at what needs to really be in a room and what can go will change the entire look of a space. Less “stuff” will open up your existing space and give a “lift” faster than you can say “yard sale!” Yes, you might even MAKE money if any items you discard have resale value!

Tackle The Closets Fling open the doors to those stuffed clothes closets – and get organized. Start by getting rid of your mis-matched hangers. Stop by a place like Bed, Bath & Beyond or Home Goods and buy 100 matching hangers for cheap. They’ll look nicer and save you space, and you will be able to toss old unwanted fashions as your rehang each item. An inexpensive way to breathe new life into your closet and wardrobe.

Paint It Over An accent color wall or an interior room repaint will liven up a home. With little money and just a day or a weekend, your house can have new a new look and a new life. Be adventurous – it is the easiest renovation to “do-over” if you don’t like it!

Deep Clean Those Carpets If you have wall-to-wall carpet or large area rugs spread throughout your home, rent a carpet cleaner and give those carpets a deep clean. You can rent these at most local grocery or hardware stores. I invested the money up front and bought a good carpet shampooer for about $200, and I use it once a month – it is shocking how much extra dirt that machine pulls up each time. And if you have pets …this is one spring facelift you can’t live without!

Throw In Some Color Throw pillows are no brainers when it comes to creating a fresh new look on the cheap. Bring your living with you into the new season by throwing in some bright colors, and put the old pillows away for later. Store your other pillows away, and then swap them out whenever there is a change of season.

A Hotel Right in Your Own Home I’ll let you in on a luxury hotel secret: they dress their beds with white sheets, white pillow cases and crisp white duvet covers. It’s a standard for a reason – it’s fresh and light, and looks very high-end. You might cringe at the thought of how dirty all white can get, but it’s actually much easier to clean – throw it all in the wash with your other whites and some bleach and your are ready for a mini ‘five-star’ vacation in your own home.

Turn Down the Heat During this past season of wild temperature swings, your thermostat has been one of the most utilized devices in you home. It is time to give it a lift and an upgrade at the same time. The new breed of “smart” thermostats are fantastic. Venstar and Nest are two I love. They are easily programmable from both the control panel and directly from your mobile device too. Bonus – they look stylish and they save you money, too!

A Brand New Faucet Something new, shiny and functional will reinvigorate a tired kitchen counter! And it will add in some functionality as well. Those great goose neck or sprayers look fantastic and will cost you under $200.

Front Entrance Makeover A new bright color for the front door in a high gloss paint, a shiny kick-plate, new house numbers, new doormat – it will all make a big impression on the outside!
Outdoor Pop What spring face lift would be complete without some new spring flowers? Freshen up your curb appeal by planting pops of color and seasonally appropriate flowers that will look great for months to come.

Outdoor Pop What spring face lift would be complete without some new spring flowers? Freshen up your curb appeal by planting pops of color and seasonally appropriate flowers that will look great for months to come.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Spring Flowers Ideas for 2014

6 Seller Secrets For This Spring's Real Estate Market

6 seller secrets for this springs real estate market
Each year, it seems the housing market takes on a different tone – and whether it’s going to be a sellers’ market with inflated prices and bidding wars, or a buyers’ market with tons of choices and low prices – there’s no denying that the 2014 spring housing season is upon us. So what does it have in store? Well, if you’re thinking of listing your home, that’s an important question.

Here are 6 market insights that will give you a head start!

Right Now = A Great Time To Sell
The winter home selling season was crippled by the polar vortex, especially in the east and northeast, so there’s pent-up demand from buyers who’ve been waiting for better weather to brave the house hunt. Mortgage rates are still at historic lows, so buyers ARE poised to buy and ready to hit the streets.
Know Your Numbers: 60%
Sixty percent of all homes in 2014 will be bought and sold from May to August. Putting your home on the market at the beginning of the selling season will help your chances of snagging a winning offer before buyers turn their attention back to school starting in September.

Price It Right
Many metros in the country have seen double-digit price increases in the past year. But this last quarter, prices started to slow nationally – and pricing is a critical component to getting your house sold. With this fluctuating market, you need to look at comps of similar homes in your area, and recentcy matters: make sure you’re looking back no more than 60 days. The sale price of homes that sold recently paints a much better picture of what to expect than the price of homes that sold six months ago (or of homes that have yet to sell).

Bidding Wars Aren’t Back (Phew!)
Bidding wars were common in the summer of 2013, but we’re hearing less about them right now. So don’t bank on fielding two or three offers at once. There is, however, a good chance that you’ll still get the one that will be a win/win for both you and the buyer.

It Pays To Be Ahead Of The Curve
Trying to get a jump on the competition? Right now we’re on the cusp of prime selling and buying season, and if you list soon, you’ll have less competition than you would if you put your house on the market in May or June, when more homes will flood the market. Since it’s still early, your home can have its ‘moment in the spotlight’ more than it will when inventory increases – and the buyers who are braving the cold to house shop are clearly motivated.

Make It Pop Off The Computer (Or Smartphone) Screen!
In this new mobile era, a huge percentage of buyers use smart phones (and Trulia’s top-rated apps) to start their home search online. And that percentage is expected to rise this year as more buyers take advantage of easy access to the wealth of information online. Get in on this trend by making sure your home pops on those computer screens. Great homes with mediocre quality photos will be quickly discarded and ultimately get less showings. Sellers should insist that their agent take the time to beef up their online listing so the quality of the home jumps off the screen and gets buyers’ attention.