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Category Archive: ‘Tips, Advice & Links’

Additional Expenses of Homebuyers


Buying a house just gets you started – there are the other goodies too.  In the tony coastal regions, add a zero to these numbers!

http://www.mortgagenewsdaily.com/07132017_home_buying_behavior.asp

An excerpt:

Specifically what do home buyers purchase?

The biggest ticket item for new home buyers is sofas, spending an average of over $700, 60 percent more than spent by buyers of existing homes and 6.4 times more than spent by non-movers in a year.  There is also a large effect on purchases of living room (other than sofas), dining room, and kitchen furniture with new home buyers spending $687 on living room chairs/tables and another $345 on kitchen and dining room future, outspending existing home buyers 12 to 1 in both categories and non-buyers by 5 and 9 times respectively.

The differences in spending patterns are similarly large when comparing spending on window coverings. New home buyers spend 10 time more than existing home buyers and 4 times more than non-buyers.

The biggest outlay in the appliance budget of new home buyers are for laundry equipment, landscaping equipment and computer hardware/systems. They outspend both existing home buyers and non-buyers on all of these and on big-ticket items like refrigerators and televisions as well.

The high level of appliance spending may seem surprising given that many new homes come equipped with them.  However, she cites a survey by the Home Innovation Research Labs found that two-thirds of new homes built in 2015 came without laundry appliances and 36 percent had no installed refrigerator.

Also unexpected, new home buyers spend almost as much ($3,729) as existing homes buyers ($4,085) and outspend non-moving owners ($2,232) on property alterations and repairs, but they spend on quite different things.  Existing home buyers and non-movers spend more on various repairs and replacements and on kitchen/bathroom renovations and purchase and installation of new systems while new home owners spend on outside additions and alterations, including new driveways, walks, or fences.

The analysis further shows that home buyers don’t compensate for their higher level of spending by cutting back on other things like entertainment, travel, restaurants meals, etc. “This confirms that home buying indeed generates a wave of additional spending and activity not accounted for in the purchase price of the home alone,” NAHB says.

Posted by on Jul 13, 2017 in Jim's Take on the Market, Thinking of Buying?, Tips, Advice & Links | 0 comments

Hardwood-Floor Tips

If you have hardwood floors in your home, then you likely know the fear of ruining them.

Hardwood flooring can really take a home to a whole new level. It is so classy and sophisticated, yet also so homey and comfortable. They really are the perfect floors. That is, if you know how to take care of them.

You should absolutely never do these 10 things to your hardwood floors if you want to keep them looking spiffy.

While well-cared-for hardwood floors are gorgeous, there’s nothing more unattractive than scuffed-up planks. It’s easy to ignore your floors for a while, and then all of a sudden find them almost completely ruined. The worst part is that the more they get ruined, the harder and more expensive they will be to fix.

If you want to keep your hardwood floors looking nice, follow these 10 rules!

https://littlethings.com/never-do-to-hardwood-floors/

Posted by on Jun 19, 2017 in Jim's Take on the Market, Tips, Advice & Links | 0 comments

Kayla’s Trendy Tuesday

What Do You Put Under That Staircase?

Hello again blog readers!

Sometimes a home can lack enough square footage. Home owners start turning attics into bedrooms, windows turn into bookshelves, and the space under the staircase can become anything you want!

Today my Trendy Tuesday is about that dead space underneath your staircase. It can be such an awkward place and many people don’t know what to put there but in reality, you can turn it into something grand! Here are some options:

1. Home Office

With a few vertical shelves and a chair, you have your very own home office!

2. Reading Nook

A lot of people like a cozy spot to curl up with a good book. Why not put it under the stairs with a few throw pillows?

3. Wine Storage

Love to entertain but can’t find a place to put all those wine bottles? Under the stairs would be a great place to show off your nicest bottles! Maybe even add a wet bar!

4. Mini Library

For all you bookworms, here’s a great place to store those great novels. Depending on how big the staircase is, you could probably squeeze a few hundred books!

Here are some great examples on our Pinterest Page!

https://www.pinterest.com/klingerealty/under-the-staircase/

Save

Posted by on May 30, 2017 in About Kayla, Ideas/Solutions, Remodel Projects, Tips, Advice & Links, Trendy Tuesday | 2 comments

Food for Thought

Everyone loves Tony, and he is prolific at using social media to inspire people.  I respect what all three guys said below, and I’ll add: Do something!

LINK

For generations past, home ownership was a significant rite of passage that signaled stability, commitment, and, often, prosperity.

But, in this as in so many other cases, millennials are different.

As of 2015, adults under age 35 made up 19 percent of U.S. households but less than 10 percent of homeowners, according to a report released by Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies.

Entrepreneur and bestselling author Tony Robbins says that, while millennials might be missing out on the social upsides of home ownership, real estate is not the best investment they could be making.

“One of the weakest performers [is] your own personal real estate, because it doesn’t provide much income,” Robbins says. “It’s an inflation hedge. You do a little better than inflation, and you can have your own home, so there’s a psychological, emotional benefit.”

Instead, millennials in a position to buy property should be considering how to do so in a way that will provide them additional cash flow, he says.

“If you can own real estate, real estate with an income is the one [form of] real estate that’s more valuable,” says Robbins.

Opinions on the imperative of millennial home ownership vary.

Self-made millionaire Grant Cardone tells CNBC that home owners are forced to continue to spend unceasingly, and that he regrets buying a house at age 30.

“Unless you have 20 million bucks in the bank, in cash, you have no business buying a house,” says Cardone.

In personal finance classic “Rich Dad Poor Dad,” author Robert Kiyosaki notes that houses should be viewed as a liability, as opposed to an asset, and points out that it’s not a given that a home will appreciate in value.

“I am not saying don’t buy a house. What I am saying is that you should understand the difference between an asset and a liability,” Kiyosaki writes. “When I want a bigger house, I first buy assets that will generate the cash flow to pay for the house.”

Posted by on Mar 26, 2017 in Jim's Take on the Market, Thinking of Buying?, Tips, Advice & Links | 10 comments

Home Seller and Buyer Tips

Are you thinking of selling and/or buying this year?

Here are some ideas to hopefully give you an edge in conquering what usually ends up being the 1% to 2% difference between the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat!

Home Sellers

  1.  Our listing agreement suggests getting a home inspection prior to hitting the market. It’s a good idea; fix what’s wrong in advance, and then give buyers a copy to demonstrate your pride of ownership.
  2.  Know where you are going to move, and only hit the open market when you are 100% committed to selling. You might get an offer the first day!
  3.  Showing the house is inconvenient but necessary – the more you do it, the better your chances.  Be ready to show the house on the day it hits the open market – and expect dozens of lookers to visit in the first 7-10 days.
  4.  Do two things to make a great first impression; spruce up the curb appeal and insist on top-quality photos.
  5.  Be smart about price – make it attractive, and you’ll stand out.
  6.  Ask agents about bidding war strategies, and recent experiences.  Spreading out the offers on your coffee table and picking one isn’t a strategy.
  7.  Avoid gimmicks like range pricing or ‘coming soon’.  A clean, straight-forward approach is attractive to buyers.
  8.  Determine if a company brand name is a benefit or a crutch.
  9.  Real estate ‘teams’ means you get passed around. Make sure to identify who handles the buyer inquiries, and that they are top-notch sales people.
  10. The buyers you want to attract – the ones that pay too much – are represented by lousy agents who don’t know the difference.  Get Good Help – hire a listing agent who can carry any agent to the finish line.

Home Buyers

  1. See more houses in person.  You have to keep your chops up, because low inventory causes complacency.  If all you do is shop online, you’ll look for any reason NOT to buy, and stay home. But there are no perfect houses.
  2.  Start looking at least six months before your lease is up.
  3. There aren’t many rules, and every listing agent is different.  Work with an agent who has a track record getting buyers to the finish line.
  4.  Don’t expect much from sellers regarding repairs.
  5.  Be open to fixers. To get more comfortable, line up contractors in advance and ask for a sample quote so you know what to expect.
  6.  Expand the target zone, but buy in a great school district.
  7.  If affordability is an issue, compromise on size before location. You can always add on later.
  8.  Properly evaluate the negatives, and the appropriate discounts.
  9.  Know what to do in a bidding war.
  10.  Your agent should suggest an offer price, and a strategy behind it.

These are some basic, general tips, but the best thing you can do is to get an experienced agent on your side – someone who is closing at least one sale per month (check at zillow).

I am available, and would love to assist you! JtR

klingerealty@gmail.com

Posted by on Mar 22, 2017 in Jim's Take on the Market, Tips, Advice & Links | 0 comments

Zestimate Accuracy – Wack!

Did you notice that the zestimate wasn’t listed in the Real Estate Online Tools?

It is wackier than ever!

Last year, we saw the zestimate be hundreds of thousands of dollars too high on a custom home west of the I-5 in Leucadia – and once I inputted the listing on Zillow, their zestimate went higher:

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

They claim to always be improving their algorithms, but this new example is hard to explain.  On my latest listing in a very normal tract neighborhood in NE Carlsbad, I gave them the benefit of the doubt.  I just sold the exact same model for $810,000 in December, but maybe they are slow to update?  The zestimate of my new listing was $744,222:

But once I inputted the listing on Zillow last Friday, the zestimate zoomed to $851,243!

Does it mean that Zillow has finally jumped on the bandwagon and are supporting their Premier Agents with zestimates that come in around the list prices!!!  If their primary concern was placating their paying customers, the Premier Agents, this would be a good way to do it!

Here is today’s zestimate – back where we started, with 5s instead of 2s – how can it fluctuate up and down 14% over five days??

I guess when you look at a zestimate, you can only hope you are looking on the right day!  14% swings over 5 days? Could it be any more unpredictable?

Save

Posted by on Mar 20, 2017 in Jim's Take on the Market, Tips, Advice & Links, Zillow | 6 comments

Real Estate Online Tools

Eddie89 suggested another innovative website for home shoppers – a website that assigns a score to each house based on sound quality.  Scores are 1-100, and the higher the score, the quieter:

www.howloud.com

Other tools include:

Google Maps/Earth,

crimemapping.com

walkscore.com

city-data.com

Mello-Roos (need APN)

Supplemental Property Tax calculator (need APN)

and the closest Starbucks!

At city-data.com, you can search by zip code and find all the demographics you have ever imagined (though some of it is dated).

The more-analytical folks could draw up their own scorecard!

Posted by on Mar 20, 2017 in Jim's Take on the Market, Tips, Advice & Links | 1 comment