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Archive for December, 2012

602 J StreetSome homeowners choose to spend thousands of dollars making major improvements prior to selling their home. the question that comes up during these renovations, will these improvements appease a prospective buyer. Maybe a change of direction might be a better solution.  Learn how to earn tidy profits when selling your home or investment property with these quick renovation and maintenance tips.

Color

Still living in sterile white walls? Does a boring beige and brown exterior greet potential buyers? Eliminate the institutional look and give your home a brand new appearance inside and out with a quality paint job.

Clean Air

The sense of smell is a powerful tool especially when it comes to selling a home. Pet odors, smoking or other unpleasant smells can dramatically alter the impression of the home. Deep clean carpet, air vents, upholstery, and drapes plus any other absorbent surface that collects odors. Make it a priority to change the air filter and consider using an enzymatic treatment for deep-set odors. Marketing companies use smell to sell everything from new cars to clothing; put the same tips to work when renovating by using fragrance to create the impression of quality, comfort, and cleanliness.

Clear Clutter

Visually a few well placed large objects of contrasting colors are more attractive than numerous small items. Use this knowledge to tackle objectionable areas and transform them into the center of attention both inside and outside the home.  Expand small rooms by adding a window that draws the eye outward or coordinate colors to give the impression of uniformity instead of clutter to make a small kitchen or bathroom look larger.

Carpet Fixes

Before spending big dollars on new carpets, consult with a specialist capable of repairing and restoring the rugs throughout the home. It is often possible to blend or repair burns, snags and stains to make the carpet look nearly as good as new.

Conserve

Invest in low-maintenance lawns, water-saving devices and energy-efficient appliances that will appeal to tenants and potential buyers alike. Green is in. Sometimes the smallest details can make the difference between a property selling or not. Don’t automatically assume those new amenities will attract a buyer more than a minor alteration might enhance your properties appeal. Please visit my website www.JohnnyBrooksHomes.com for helpful tips in 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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Sweet winter homeRunning an energy-efficient home this winter doesn’t necessarily entail buying expensive solar panels or wind generators. Neither does it mean you have to wear your outdoor clothes inside to stop you shivering! Here are 8 useful tips to consider before the cold blustery winter sets in.

Laundry: Wait until you have a full load of laundry and run the machine on cold. Detergents are available to clan clothes at low temperatures.

Dishes: Don’t pre-rinse your dishes as this wastes energy. And wait until the dishwasher is full before turning it on. If you have the time, use the air dry or no-heat dry settings so the dishes dry without using electricity.

Windows: In the winter during the day, open the blinds on south-facing windows to allow the sun to warm your home then close them in the evening to increase insulation. (In the summer, you can do the opposite to keep your home cool.)

Computers and TVs: Turn off your appliances when you are not using them. Even when they’re in standby mode they are still using electricity — it’s estimated 5% of household energy use is from appliances leaking away electricity. So turn them off at the wall.

Showers: While a long, hot shower is nice and relaxing, you can save a lot of money taking shorter showers and by installing energy-efficient shower heads that give you a good shower while reducing water use.

Space heaters: Surprisingly, space heaters are a lot cheaper than a central heating system. And don’t forget to turn them off when you’re out. Installing a programmable thermostat will also keep your heating bill low.

Furnace filter: Change the filter at the start of every season and then every month or two after because a dirty filter makes the furnace work harder and be less efficient.

Floors and drafts: If you’ve got hardwood floors, put down some rugs, particularly if you have wood floors above a cold basement. Make sure also that you’ve installed insulation such as weather-stripping at the bottom of doors. These are 8 simple solutions to save energy in your home. Please visit my website www.JohnnyBrooksHomes.com for helpful tips on buying or selling a home, scan my informative blogs, join my professional networks on Twitter or LinkedIn and easy access to view local area homes for sale in Davis, California and the surrounding communities.

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small_bankAre the insanely low mortgage rates here to stay? Will the increase in home prices have any impact on those rates? Mortgage rates have been the saving grace for not only the uptick in buyer demand, but also the hike in home values. Will this trend continue into 2013? Most estimations are that mortgage rates will straddle the historical lows that have been set in 2012. Here are a few factors that have been influenced by the low-interest rates.

Buyer Incentive: Buyers wasted no time in taking advantage of the tumbling mortgage rates. The seemingly weekly drop in rates brought on a flood of buyer activity that has continued through the latter stages of the year. The combination of settling home prices and bottom basement interest rates should be ever-present into the new year.

Seller Bonanza: Many homeowners have been hesitant to sell their home and compete against distressed properties and short sales. The limited inventory has been a blessing in disguise for the overall housing recovery. Home prices have spiked up in most parts of the country because of the short supply and high demand for homes. Many sellers that did take the plunge were rewarded handsomely with multiple offers that exceeded their asking price.

Supply And Demand: Housing is no different from any other product desired by consumers, just to a higher degree. Mortgage rates has created many opportunities for first-time home buyers, investors and repeat buyers that might not have purchased if rates were higher. The light inventory has helped stir the buying frenzy this year.

Consumer Confidence: Prospects have to feel confident with their own financial standing and the overall economic situation to contemplate pursuing a home during these tumultuous times. Interest rates have certainly helped insulate many of these concerns for both home sellers and buyers. The housing market in Davis, California has had a 22% increase in home sales this year compared to same period in 2011. Those numbers are indicative of the confidence consumers now feel.

Future Mortgage Rates: Most economist expect rates to hover near the historical lows at least through 2013. The housing supply will stay relatively flat at the same time, which will continue the housing recovery over the next year. Please visit my website www.JohnnyBrooksHomes.com for helpful tips on buying or selling a home, scan my informative blogs, join my professional networks on Twitter and LinkedIn and easy access to view local area homes for sale in Davis, California and the surrounding communities.

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untitledThe decision of whether to remodel an existing home or buy another one has become more difficult because of the price of real estate declining across much of the nation.

A few years ago, the benefits of remodeling were quite simple due to the cost savings. Today it isn’t as straightforward. With the slash in home prices, plus the drop in mortgage rates, more families are choosing to purchase a home instead of the remodel. That choice is not right for every consumer. Sometimes it’s better to deal with the known (current home) than the fear of the unknown ( replacement property).

The following are some things to think about when deciding whether to remodel or purchase a new property:

Lifestyle: Does your home continue to reflect your lifestyle? Experts agree the home should reflect anticipated lifestyle changes for the next five to seven years. If not, it might be a good idea to consider purchasing a new property.

Maintenance: Does your home require more maintenance and upkeep than desired, especially compared to newer homes? New homes offer the ability to “right size” the levels of yard work, repairs and other needs associated with home ownership.

Cost and Value: There are many factors that can weigh into the cost and value of a given property, including tax credits/write-offs, long-term appreciation, current level of depreciation, access to amenities, property taxes and insurance, utilities, maintenance, and much more. If you are not sure how to properly evaluate the true cost and value of your current property compared to a prospective property, ask your agent to provide estimates of principal, interest, taxes and insurance for comparable properties in the same neighborhood.

Community: Access and affiliation with friends, family and the local community are important when deciding whether or not to remodel or buy new, yet they are easily overlooked by many homeowners.

Depending upon the age of the neighborhood, it may be difficult or even impossible to find other properties in the immediate area. On the other hand, over time many communities experience a decline in desirability as crime rates, traffic and other problems start to creep in. There are many homeowners that will have to make a decision on the two options. Should we buy or should we remodel? 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 or the surrounding communities.

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Sweet winter homeDepending on the time of year, home buyers look at homes with a different perspective.  The Spring and Summer are the optimum times to market a home, whereas Winter has the opposite effect. Buyers are more inclined to shop for a home when the weather is mild.

Buyers searching for a new home will do well to remember how seasons are likely to impact real estate. Learn how to obtain the best price while making seasonal variations and weather trends work for you with these quick tips:

Always view homes in person. Although a picture may be worth a thousand words, there are times when a photo can actually lead you astray; overgrown bushes could be hiding a diamond in the rough, while a snow-laden landscape may not show the true beauty and charm of a potential property. Assuming all things are equal, take time to visit a property in person before making a final decision.

Shop during the “off” times. Motivated sellers may need a fast sale due to job transfers or other family situations; unfortunately, they aren’t always able to take advantage of perfect timing. Harsh weather, holidays and other “off” times often result in fewer people looking for properties. Offer fast closing times and other negotiation strategies for a win-win situation.

Purchase extra protection. Seasonal variations can give misleading inspection results if you aren’t careful. Always take the time to obtain a professional inspection and pay close attention to “off season” items. For example, in the middle of winter it’s easy to discover heating-related problems but don’t forget to have the HVAC system checked too. Other common seasonal culprits include pools, irrigation systems, fireplaces and windows. An appraisal is an inexpensive way to guard against seasonal real estate related problems.

Hesitation could be costly. All homes are not bought and sold in the Summer. Circumstances dictate when a buyer purchases a property. There are great opportunities regardless of the season. With home prices trending up and mortgage rates trending down makes now as good a time as any in the recent past to pursue a property. The lack of inventory has delayed many families from the American dream. Please visit my website www.JohnnyBrooksHomes.com for helpful tips on buying or selling a home, scan my informative blogs, join my professional networks on Twitter and LinkedIn and easy access to view local area homes for sale in Davis, California and the surrounding communities.

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starter_homeWhen a prospective home buyer begins the process of pursuing a home, there are many issues to consider. Lenders and realtors will urge you not to purchase new furniture or other home improvements before getting the keys to your home. This can effect your debt ratio and have a negative impact on your ability to close. Don’t put the cart before the horse. Here are some food for thought if you are now considering the american dream of buying a home.

Budgeting Basics for First-time Buyers Buying your first home is a lot of fun but there is more to it than meets the eye when it comes to budgeting. Most new home owners are financially savvy enough to calculate the mortgage, interest, taxes, and insurance payments; but tend to forget less obvious expenses. Here to help are a few budgeting basics for first time home buyers.

Moving Expenses: Truck rentals, time off of work and, of course, – gasoline … moving takes money whether you do it yourself or pay others to do it for you so plan accordingly. Maintenance: From lawn care to fixing a door knob, owning your own home involves maintenance. Few first time home buyers remember the expense of maintaining a yard until the neighbors start giving them dirty looks. Don’t be caught by surprise because this is one area where expenses can add up fast.

Set aside funds for a lawn service and pool maintenance, or plan to purchase the tools required to do it yourself, including lawnmowers, garden and hand tools plus other general maintenance items. Utilities & Communication:  New home buyers are frequently surprised by the cost of utilities since many apartments include basics like cable, trash, or water.  Set aside enough funds for deposits and the first payment for utilities, phone, cable and other necessities. Don’t forget to find out if your cell phone, cable, and other services are available in the new area — otherwise, you may be forced to break a contract to obtain services.

The joy of owning a home creates a variety of different feelings and emotions. Logic might be lost in the sense of pride of home ownership. It’s vital to have some capital for those surprises that are bound to happen. A roof leak during those heavy rains or an air conditioner that stops working as soon as triple digit weather sets in. Having a budget for first-time home buyers are critical and fundamentally sound. Please visit my website www.JohnnyBrooksHomes.com for helpful tips on buying or selling a home or to view local area homes for sale in Davis, California and the surrounding communities.

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