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Archive for November, 2012

Is keeping your home on the market during the Holidays a good idea for a seller? It all depends on a number of factors. The length of time the property has already been marketed is one important gauge. Homes and streets decorated with Holiday lights are attractive features that could be an incentive for buyers looking for a stable and friendly neighborhood.

A lot hinges on the amount of activity your home has had to that point. Properties that are not being shown prior to the Holidays will not magically heat up during that festive end of the year period. There’s only one reason why a property lacks prospect activity and that’s the price is not conducive to market conditions such as the location and or property condition.

There are many positives for families that keeps their home on the market this Holiday season. Number one and foremost, buyers are still actively out looking and buying homes because of the excellent mortgage rates. The other factor working in the sellers favor are the extremely low amount of competition from other properties on the market. Here are a few rational reasons to keep your home on the market.

a.) Buyers who look for a house during the Holidays are generally more serious, motivated, and have more time to look

b.) There are fewer homes on the market, therefore, less competition for your property
c.) Houses look their best decorated for the Holiday season and neighborhoods are more festive and attractive
d.) Potential buyers may want to take advantage of tax-deductible closing costs by completing the sale before year-end
e.) For buyers with children, purchasing a home and getting settled before school resumes in January id the next best alternative to moving during the summer months
f.) January is traditionally the month for many company transfers — and transferees can’t wait until spring to buy
g.) Although buyers are motivated during the Holidays, they usually are also very understanding. Sellers may still restrict showings during personal family events
h.) Buyers may accommodate an early closing with a rent back or extended occupancy allowing the seller to stay in the property until after the Holidays.
Even though this year has been substantially better overall for sellers and the Holidays hasn’t had a negative impact on the available surplus of buyers, each owner with a home on the market will have to make their own decision on keeping their home on the market for the Holidays. Please visit my website www.JohnnyBrooksHomes.com for helpful tips on buying or selling a home.

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There are many important components for any prospect searching for a home. One thing that most buyers are looking for is space. They want to know they’re going to have room for everything (and everyone) and they’re not going to grow out of their house too quickly. So here are some ways to make your house seem bigger than it really is. Get rid of clutter This is probably the most important secret to increasing the illusion of space. Remove items you don’t need from surfaces, particularly in the kitchen.

Keep shelves tidy and not stuffed with books and ornaments. Paint the walls Use white or neutral colors to make rooms appear light and spacious. Use tones of a neutral color such as brown or gray to avoid visual clutter and make your décor feel more harmonious. Consider off-site storage If you’re running out of room for your possessions, move some of them into a storage unit while your house is on the market.

Alternatively, have a yard sale to get rid of unwanted items — or donate them to charity. Otherwise, your house might look as if it’s not spacious enough for a family. Remove some furniture Potential buyers need to be able to walk around your house without bumping into chairs and tables. Put some furniture into storage until you move. Leave a path through your rooms that buyers can walk through.

Organize closets Make sure you’ve tidied your closets. Invest in an organizing system, if necessary. Remove clothing that you’re not likely to wear from your closets. Clean up the garage People want to know they can fit a car (or two) in the garage and still have room for storing their possessions. So clear out your garage and neatly organize everything that must stay in there. Mirrors and drapes Place mirrors in strategic places and remove fussy window treatments to enhance the illusion of space.

It’s important to view your home as if you are the buyer. Have family or trusted friends give a critical and honest assessment of your homes appearance. If all else fails, you can always hire a professional stager that can organize and stage the property prior to marketing. Staging has been proven over time to garner a higher price than homes that choose not to stage. Please visit my website www.JohnnyBrooksHomes.com for helpful tips on buying or selling a home, scan my informative blogs and easy access to view local area homes for sale in Davis, California and the surrounding communities.

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It wasn’t a coincidence that the real estate bubble burst and the downturn in the economy started at the same time. There’s certainly a correlation with the economical and housing recovery currently taking place. A healthy economy is dependent on a vibrant upswing in housing. More buyers are taking full advantage of the opportunities that exist, lower mortgage rates and a decrease in home prices. Sellers are benefiting from less competition from other sellers and the downward trend of the bank owned properties. Real Estate led us into the abyss and it will lead us out of the economical monstrosity of the last several years. Let’s look at a few points that can expedite our recovery.

Jobs, Jobs, Jobs- The unemployment rate is too high and a drop would put more prospective home buyers in a position to buy a home. In many communities there are numerous bids from buyers on any given property. More well-paying jobs would allow more buyers to hit the market and accelerate home prices.

Mortgage Rates- Interest rates have propped up the housing market over the last year. The historical low rates have been the saving grace for first time buyers and should be a spring-board to a full-blown recovery. Until housing can walk on its own two feet, rates should be systematically kept low.

Housing Inventory- Next to mortgage rates, the lack of inventory has helped escalate the frenzy this year. Banks are now offering loan modifications that have decreased the number of foreclosures that were so prevalent in prior years. Many owners have held off selling their home until the market completely turns. Low supply and high demand should be with us for the forseeable future.

Attainable Loans- We obviously do not want lenders blindly offering loans that created the housing bust, but there should be some sensibility when it comes to obtaining a home loan. Loans should be streamlined and less restrictive for buyers with good credit scores and a decent down payment. The overbearing conditions should seize. Rejecting good loans is not a good business practice.

This coming year will offer more of the same and be the next leg in our recovery. Real estate is getting it’s swagger back. Please visit my website at www.JohnnyBrooksHomes.com for helpful tips on buying or selling a home, scan my informative blogs and easy access to view local area homes for sale in Davis, California and the surrounding communities.

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Thinking about selling your home but worried about the competition? With the market making a positive recovery and the lack of inventory, plus historical low mortgage rates have made selling a home today a much more pleasant experience.

Whether you live in a cookie-cutter neighborhood where every home looks more or less the same or you simply need a few fresh ideas to help your home stand out from the rest for sale on the same street, use these simple tips to make it the best on the block.

Tackle Trouble Spots

Like every home, yours has a few trouble spots that you have probably learned to live with.

Unfortunately, time might make the heart grow fonder, but unfortunately it rarely helps sell a home.

Have an independent appraisal performed and pay special attention to needed repairs, deferred maintenance and any “ugly” areas.

Invest in fresh paint, plants and other quick fixes designed to enhance curb appeal.

Find a Focal Point

Make sure there is something memorable about your home from the moment prospective buyers see the front door until they leave.

Avoid candles, fresh flowers or other potential allergy or chemical sensitivity triggers and opt for neutral yet elegant décor or decorations instead.

Every room should capture attention while inviting visitors to explore.

Make It Theirs

Remember, attract – don’t detract. Clear clutter and make sure each room is open enough that buyers are able to envision their belongings in the room – not yours.

Neutral colors, natural lighting and a casual ambiance combined with simple yet inspiring plants, paintings or other props help create a “special spot” they will want to call home.

Price It Right

Buyers will often look at your house only if the price is right. It’s easy for them to compare the price of your house with the prices of others on the street, so it’s essential to make sure yours is priced competitively. This is still the most important ingredient when it comes to selling a home. You can make all of the improvements you want, but without that right price, the chances of success is slim.

Please visit my website at www.JohnnyBrooksHomes.com for helpful tips on buying or selling a home, scan my informative blogs, join my professional networks on LinkedIn and Twitter and easy access to view local area homes for sale in Davis, California and the surrounding communities.

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Thanks in part to changing demographics combined with the economic downturn, a major move to get back to the basics is a hot trend in today’s real estate market.

For those seeking maximum value at a minimum price, keep these essentials in mind.

Bigger Isn’t Better: Bigger spaces are associated with higher utility bills, increased property taxes, expensive insurance and even more maintenance concerns. Instead of picking the largest house you can afford, search for the one with the amenities that your family will truly use.

Good Neighbors in Great Hoods: Friends, family and wonderful neighborhoods are major attractions. In fact, research shows that homes located in top-rated school districts routinely fetch 10% or more than do similar-sized homes in less desirable districts. Family oriented neighborhoods with parks and other amenities are highly desirable, while empty-nesters can save thousands by searching for similar homes outside of popular school districts.

Fruit Trees and Gardening Are a Big Trend: Throughout the nation, high-maintenance lawns are giving way to eco-friendly (and budget-happy) gardens, fruit trees and other down-to-earth activities. Ask about HOA restrictions and the cost of water bills prior to buying with the intent of starting a garden.

Going Green Is Bigger Than Ever: From energy-efficient appliances to environmentally friendly building materials, green is not only “in” but bigger and better than ever. Save thousands of dollars by searching for homes that have already implemented upgrades like LED lighting and Energy Star appliances.

Entertaining: As the economic excess of recent years continues to drive down the market, people are interested in entertaining, exercising and even eating at home more. Focus on properties that support your interests and lifestyle for today and tomorrow. Remember, the average person remains in a home for seven years, so buy right to make sure that your next house truly feels like home.

One Story vs Two Story: History tells us families buy and sell a home every seven years. With the housing market crash came a different attitude with respect to the longevity in a home. Most families will now hold their home a bit longer than before in hopes of building back some of that loss equity. That will also mean an aging seller when the time comes to move on. This philosophy makes the one story property more desirable. Think longterm now and prevent the necessity of moving because those treks up and down stairs could be more difficult as we age. Please visit my website at www.JohnnyBrooksHomes.com for helpful tips on buying or selling a home and easy access to view local area homes for sale in Davis, California.

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In real estate there’s an optimum time for buying or selling a home. Normally early spring has been the idea time for selling and late fall and winter are actually the perfect time for buying. Occasionally families are not in a position to take advantage of the seasonal benefits for a number of reasons. A couple with kids in school are not going to purchase a home in November or December, regardless of the potential for negotiating a great deal with a seller. On the other side, a homeowner transferring to a new out-of-town job might be forced to sell out of season. Circumstances will determine the eventual decision of either party.

This year could toss out the seasonal theories that have historically been proven as truth. The low inventory of homes plus lowering interest rates have combined to make our current end of the year in real estate prosperous for both buyer and seller. With so few homes to bid on providing sellers with a tidy appreciation increases and buyers determined to take full advantage of mortgage rates have created a demand on the supply that have helped spur on our housing market.

Neither of these conditions are expected to change much in the coming year. Expect a limited supply of homes for sale for the forseeable future and mortgage rates straddling historical lows. Homeowners are more likely to hold their property as home prices stabilize or increase. Interest rates will be constrained by the fed, at least until the overall economy shows signs of life. There is pent-up demand for more properly priced homes by consumers that have lost out once or twice on other homes that received multiple offers.

What makes buying a home today so rewarding? Those mortgage rates that will save a buyer thousands of dollars over the life of the loan. The fact that home values have hit rock bottom and have started an upward trend in many communities throughout the country are incentive enough.

What makes selling a home today so beneficial? In some ways it almost feels like the old days ( minus the inflated prices), when homes hit the market and a flood of offers soon follow. Many buyers are being much more lenient in their demands because of the limited inventory. This is as good a time as any in the recent past to sell a home. Selling a property to buy a home today is a little stressful, but there are ways to assure you won’t be homeless. A rent back on your home or an extra long escrow can remove the stress. Please visit my website www.JohnnyBrooksHomes.com for helpful tips on buying or selling a home, scan my informative blogs and easy access to view local area homes for sale in Davis, California and the surrounding communities.

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Now that the local and national elections are over, we can put that in our rear-view mirror and move on. The real estate market is proof in the pudding that our economy is on the uptick throughout the country. Davis, California real estate certainly falls into that recovery category. A high percentage of towns and cities that were hit hardest by the market crash are now experiencing an increase in housing prices and home sales. Davis is unique for a number of reasons when you consider home prices are double that of our neighboring communities. We were somewhat insulated from the huge loss in appreciation that most locales went through.

The Davis housing market had actually started showing signs even before this year of some stability. From 2009-2011, property values and the number of homes sold were steady and stable. For 2012 the number of sold properties were up compared to 2011 by over 20%. During that same window, the property values slightly dropped by 5%. We should not be alarmed by the meager decrease in home prices, they can easily be explained. More investors and first time home buyers filtered back into the market. They make up a large segment of buyers and neither are looking at the more expensive home. This will naturally bring down the average sales prices.

Comparing numbers over the last two years will show why there is so much optimism among everyone involved with real estate. For the month of October this year we had 30 properties that sold, of those homes the average sales price was $527,070 and the average square footage was 2,177. During the same month in 2011, there were 19 homes sold with an average sales price of $419,242 and the square footage was 1,652. The higher sales price can be attributed to a larger amount of repeat buyers ( owners of homes prior) buying up and purchasing more expensive properties.

For the first 10 months of 2012, we have had 426 homes sold with an average sales price $452,274 and the square footage was 1,777. During the same period in 2011, there were 331 homes sold that averaged 1,817 square feet and sold for $477,321. We are teetering on a decent recovery, assuming interest rates stay respectable and home buyers and sellers regain confidence that our elected officials can create a full-blown economic recovery.

The Davis Water Advisory should be making a decision soon on a rate structure that hopefully will be the fairest way to bill its residents for water. The $116 million surface water project will be available for a March 2013 public vote on the project. Please visit my website www.JohnnyBrooksHomes.com for helpful tips on buying or selling a home, scan my informative blogs and easy access to view local area homes for sale in Davis, California and the surrounding communities.

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