I’m not sure a buyer would pay more for a pet-friendly house, but they definitely wouldn’t pay any price for a house that was anti-pet (bad yard).
I’m not sure a buyer would pay more for a pet-friendly house, but they definitely wouldn’t pay any price for a house that was anti-pet (bad yard).
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!
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
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?
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:
Other tools include:
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!
Anyone who has looked at homes lately can attest to the surprising conditions in which people live. The lack of maintenance transcends all price points too.
But it’s nothing money won’t fix.
Buyers should surrender early on……and expect to spend at least $25,000 to $50,000 on any house they buy. It’s easier than trying to find the perfect house that doesn’t need anything.
But looking at houses then turns into a job of making lists of the repairs required. Is there a way to short-cut that process, and just use one simple gauge to know if the house could be a money pit?
When I enter a house, I still walk straight to the backyard first. It is there that you will find the items that are hard or impossible to fix; yard too small, road noise, neighbors looking in, over-sized pools, etc.
Once we’re past that test, and everyone is getting comfortable with the interior layout, I make my way to the place where you can find the most clues about the seller’s pride of ownership.
The Master Bath – a place where the sellers spend time every day. The most extreme conditions exist too – high use of hot and cold water, steam and mold conditions, multiple plumbing functions, venting, several appliances in use, laundry processing, etc. There’s a lot of action going on in the master bath!
With all the action, is somebody keeping up with repairs?
If any room is going to be well-maintained, it is the master bath. It’s not that big, and the moving parts are simple – a towel rack, a toilet-paper roller, lighting, fan, grout, window, sinks – easy stuff.
Plus, every guy wants to keep his wife happy – so if he is going to fix anything, it will be here.
No need to get into any personal items – just checking the hardware:
If you are in a hurry or tend to get caught up in the excitement of looking at houses, then just concentrate on what you see in the master bath.
If you check off every item above, then the rest of the house should be in good shape too. But if the sellers aren’t maintaining this room that has complex features but simple fixes – especially when on the market – then they probably haven’t done much to keep up the rest of the house either.
This can be overwhelming, and everyone puts it off as long as possible. Start early, and heave at will – note the last paragraph below.
What else can you do to avoid finding yourself forlorn in your late parents’ home, broken up about the breakfront that’s going begging? Some suggestions:
1. Start mobilizing while your parents are around. “Every single person, if their parents are still alive, needs to go back and collect the stories of their stuff,” says Kylen. “That will help sell the stuff.” Or it might help you decide to hold onto it. One of Kylen’s clients inherited a set of beautiful gold-trimmed teacups, saucers and plates. Her mother had told her she’d received them as a gift from the DuPonts because she had nursed for the legendary wealthy family. Turns out, the plates were made for the DuPonts. The client decided to keep them due to the fantastic story.
2. Give yourself plenty of time to find takers, if you can. “We tell people: The longer you have to sell something, the more money you’re going to make,” says Fultz. Of course, this could mean cluttering up your basement, attic or living room with tables, lamps and the like until you finally locate interested parties.
3. Do an online search to see whether there’s a market for your parents’ art, furniture, china or crystal. If there is, see if an auction house might be interested in trying to sell things for you on consignment. “It’s a little bit of a wing and a prayer,” says Buysse.
That’s true. But you might get lucky. I did. My sister and I were pleasantly surprised — no, flabbergasted — when the auctioneer we hired sold our parents’ enormous, turn-of-the-20th-century portrait of an unknown woman by an obscure painter to a Florida art dealer for a tidy sum. (We expected to get a dim sum, if anything.) Apparently, the Newcomb-Macklin frame was part of the attraction. Go figure. Our parents’ tabletop marble bust went bust at the auction, however, and now sits in my den, owing to the kindness of my wife.
4. Get the jewelry appraised. It’s possible that a necklace, ring or brooch has value and could be sold.
5. Look for a nearby consignment shop that might take some items. Or, perhaps, a liquidation firm.
6. See if someone locally could use what you inherited. “My dad had some tools that looked interesting. I live in Amish country and a farmer gave me $25 for them,” says Kylen. She also picked out five shelters and gave them a list of all the kitchen items she wound up with. “By the fifth one, everything was gone. That kind of thing makes your heart feel good,” Kylen says.
7. Download the free Rightsizing and Relocation Guide from the National Association of Senior Move Managers. This helpful booklet is on the group’s site.
8. But perhaps the best advice is: Prepare for disappointment. “For the first time in history of the world, two generations are downsizing simultaneously,” says Buysse, talking about the boomers’ parents (sometimes, the final downsizing) and the boomers themselves. “I have a 90-year-old parent who wants to give me stuff or, if she passes away, my siblings and I will have to clean up the house. And my siblings and I are 60 to 70 and we’re downsizing.”
This, it seems, is 21st-century life — and death. “I don’t think there is a future” for the possessions of our parents’ generation, says Eppel. “It’s a different world.”
With the rain we’ve been having, water is on the move! We see the evidence in concrete and block walls, where the water evaporates, and leaves a white powder behind:
A. Efflorescence is a condition where white (salt) deposits form on the surface of the masonry. The formation of salts is usually a sign of excessive amounts of moisture in the masonry. Salt deposits on the masonry surface may develop from:
B. These deposits are generally not harmful to the building, just unattractive. However, they should be washed from the surface as soon as possible. Some salt deposits are water-soluble for only a brief period after reaching the atmosphere. Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere eventually converts these salts into water-insoluble carbonates, which are impossible to remove without the use of acids.
More on removing it:
What can a home seller do to help make a sale?
Respond to an offer in less than 24 hours.
Here’s what happens if you don’t:
On the other hand, when a seller does respond quickly, it gives the buyer the impression that the seller cares, and wants to make a deal. Buyers respond more favorably to those!
I had buyers make an offer on Monday that was within 4% of the new list price (sellers raised their list price – our offer was $250,000 over their original list) and here we are on Friday with no answer.
In a different case this week, my buyers offered more than twice what the seller paid in 2002, and three days later it wasn’t good enough – the sellers had to have another $10,000. This is a house that has been on the market for 100 days with no offers.
In both cases, we were sick of waiting around, and even a more favorable response wouldn’t have gone over that well.
Listing agents are notorious for not preparing their sellers on how to respond to offers. You can predict the chances of a deal coming together purely by how quick the sellers respond. If they are adequately motivated and the listing agent has their act together, you will get a response within 24 hours.
If not, there probably wasn’t much of a chance of buying it anyway.
When it comes to selling, 67 percent of Realtors say animals have a moderate to major effect on selling a home. Approximately two-thirds of Realtors say that they advise animal owning sellers to always replace things in the home damaged by an animal, have the home cleaned to remove any animal scents and to take animals out of the home during an open house or showing.
Nearly half of all survey respondents, 52 percent, indicated that they had completed a home renovation project specifically to accommodate their animal. Of those who undertook projects, 23 percent built a fence around their yard, 12 percent added a dog door and 10 percent installed laminate flooring. Ninety-four percent of consumers indicated that they were satisfied with their renovation; 58 percent indicated they have a greater desire to be at home and 62 percent enjoy spending more time at home since completing their renovation.
You’ve torn out the old carpet and replaced the kitchen cabinets, and your renovation is almost complete. Before you put everything back together, consider including some high-tech features on your list of remodeling must-haves. Adding a few new smart devices is a cinch when you’re in the process of remodeling—why not make a little room in the budget for something that can make your life easier and help cut down on expenses overall?
Here are eight of the coolest smart devices to include in your home remodel.
1. Nest Cam
With its wide range of consumer-friendly smart products, Nest has made a big name for itself in the smart home industry—and this powerful little camera is one of the main reasons why. The Nest Cam records in crystal-clear 1080p resolution and streams 24/7, so you’ll never miss a thing. The Nest Cam Indoor also comes equipped with a speaker and a mic and will alert you if you’re not at home and it detects motion or conspicuous noises.
2. Philips Hue
Philips Hue LED lightbulbs are smart and energy-efficient, allowing you to control the lighting in your home while cutting energy costs. There are 16 million colors and a variety of smart controls to choose from, making your lighting system as subtle or dramatic as you’d like. Sync your lights with movies or music, set the ambience for concentration, or create a gentle morning lighting routine. With the Philips Hue Bridge, you can link up to 50 lights and other accessories, making a completely customizable lighting experience.
3. Vivint Doorbell Camera
Vivint’s sleek Doorbell Camera lets you see who’s at your door no matter where you are. With a 180-degree look at your porch and night-vision capabilities, you always have a clear view. The Vivint Sky app will send you a notification whenever someone rings the bell and allows you to turn the camera on and off and adjust your doorbell chime. You can also lock and unlock the door remotely, and speak to friends and strangers through the doorbell.
4. Chamberlain MyQ Garage Door Opener
The Chamberlain garage door opener connects to your home’s Wi-Fi network and allows you to open and close your garage door from anywhere. Chamberlain says it’s compatible with any garage door opener made after 1993: the only requirement is that it must include safety sensors at the bottom of the track. And prepare yourself—CNET called it a “smart-home gateway drug.”
5. August Smart Lock
August’s Smart Lock replaces the interior side of your deadbolt (so it doesn’t throw off the look from the outside), granting you the ability to lock and unlock your door with your smartphone. The Smart Lock doesn’t stop there, though. You can create virtual keys for your family and friends, granting them access as well. The August Home app will even auto-lock the door behind you and unlock the door for you as you approach—you don’t have to do a thing.
6. Nest Learning Thermostat
Nest’s Learning Thermostat learns your patterns as you use it—within a week it will adapt to your preferred temperatures and set itself to match your preferences. If you like your home cooler at night and warmer in the morning, for example, the Learning Thermostat will automatically adjust the temperature for you. It will also adjust to an energy-saving mode when you’re not home. The company says it can pay for itself in energy savings after just two years.
7. Samsung Family Hub Refrigerator
This Energy Star-rated refrigerator does things you never knew you wanted your fridge to do. For starters, every time you close the door, three cameras take pictures of the contents inside. You can then check what’s in your fridge from your phone, so you never have to wonder what you need from the store. If you’d rather not go to the store yourself, you can place an online order using Groceries by Mastercard, one of many included apps accessible right from the touchscreen on the door. You can also sync and display calendars and photos on the screen, leave notes, stream music—even watch TV.
8. Amazon Echo
The Amazon Echo is a 360-degree Bluetooth speaker featuring Alexa, Amazon’s voice-activated assistant. Alexa can stream music, tell you the weather, answer your questions, get traffic updates and sports scores—all the stuff you expect a voice assistant to do. The main reason it’s on this list, though, is that it can connect to a number of smart devices from other manufacturers, allowing you to control your lights, locks and thermostat with your voice.
These eight gadgets can add some serious value to your life and home. If you’re already remodeling, now’s the perfect time to try a few out and get a little taste of the future.