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Archive for January, 2013

WatertowWhat’s coming? The Woodland/Davis Surface Water Project. A foregone conclusion that we will have treated water pumped from the Sacramento River in unison with our neighbors to the north, which will replace both cities reliance on supposedly deteriorating well water. It’s certainly questionable if other viable options have been considered. Our water rates will now be some of the highest in the State of California. Regardless, treated water will be coming to Davis and Woodland.

What’s going? Merryhill School, a private school in South Davis serving students from pre kindergarten through 6th grade will be closing in the summer. Low enrollment plus the buildings lease coming to an end, precipitated the announcement. Davis is home to several other private schools including St. James School, the Davis Waldorf School, Grace Valley Christian Academy and Peregrine School.

Coming to a church near you. The Interfaith Rotating Winter Shelter of Davis (IRWS) is a community based-effort enabling member congregations to provide cold-weather shelter and hospitality on a rotating basis to persons who are homeless in the Davis community.The spirit of the program is to provide a bridge between those with shelter and those without. The goal is to provide shelter in the physical, emotional and spiritual sense of the word. To do so, the aim to serve, not to help nor fix. Helping implies that they put themselves above the person receiving the help, and fixing implies the other person is broken. Instead, they strive to see the wholeness in the other person, to trust and to collaborate with that wholeness. University Covenant Church will proudly participate for the period between February 17th through March 2nd. Visit their website ucov.com to sign up and participate.

What seems to be disappearing? The number of homes for sale in Davis. The lack of available inventory has created the long-awaited sellers market that local  homeowners have yearned for. Through the first month of 2013, many homes have come on the market and quickly corral an offer or three. There’s not enough properties on the market to satisfy the amount of prospective home buyers that now confidently want to buy. A message to Davis homeowners, “We need more inventory”. 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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fountainAs Davis residents anxiously await the ballots for the Measure I special election scheduled for March 5th, we should carefully consider both the good and bad features of the Woodland/Davis Water Surface Project. Early projections have Measure I passing handily with voters. It’s human nature and common sense to want the best water money can buy. Proponents of Measure I, certainly feel this project is necessary and cost-effective, whereas the opponents would suggest the proposal is unfair and too costly.

The $113 million project, which will pump treated water from the Sacramento River to Davis and Woodland to largely replace each city’s reliance on deteriorating well water supplies, needs a majority endorsement from the voting public in order for the measure to pass.

Let’s look at some of the valid concerns from the opposition or the Citizens for Clean, Reliable and Affordable Water. The cost will be astronomical. It’s estimated that single-family water bills will triple within 5 years, real numbers are not known, that number could increase. Not only is everything else in Davis costly, but our water bills will be among the most expensive water rates statewide. Might this create an environment where only the privileged or well to do can reside in our small town.

The question of fairness also has to be examined with Davis rate payers paying 30% more per gallon than our Woodland partners. Is this equitable and fair? Why was this discrepancy agreed upon in the first place? Why should my bill be more than my Woodland neighbors that gets water from the same source that Davis does?

Many would argue that our current water supply with the deep aquifer wells has improved our water quality in terms of hardness and we currently meet all projected water quality standards. Have citizens of Woodland and Davis, who will ultimately decide the fate of Measure I been given any less expensive alternatives for consideration? When this proposal is voted on and ultimately passes, there’s no turning back. We have to accept the good and the bad that surely comes with our vote.

Early polling has Measure I passing with well over 70% in agreement with the Surface Water Project. Even with the overwhelming support, there are still many concerns that each community should have. In order for the city to move ahead with the project, the city must pass higher water rates it needs in order to finance the capital infrastructure cost. Proposition 218 notices ( a state requirement) will be sent to property owners next week that will inform them of the rate increases. If more than half of the 16,000 property owners in Davis file a written protest, the increased rates are thrown out.

Accompanying each mail in ballot will be arguments and rebuttals for and against Measure I. Even though most minds are made up by now, everyone should weigh the consequences and look at both the pros and cons of this proposal before submitting their ballot. Please visit my website 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 and the surrounding communities.

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davis_californiaJust a few years ago the local Davis housing market was flooded with inventory and no buyers. How times have changed. Now we have an endless supply of buyers and few homes to purchase. The market has shifted and the lack of well-priced homes has turned what was just a couple of months ago a buyers market into a full-fledge sellers market.

We have a backlog of buyers just itching to take advantage of these historical low mortgage rates and the opportunity to buy a home before housing values start increasing. With fewer homes competing for buyers attention, now is the best time in a long time to list your home for sale. Prospective buyers are scurrying to the few open houses in mass numbers, in hopes this might be the diamond in the rough they’ve been looking for.

Spring is normally the optimum time to list and sell a home. With the decreased inventory, now might be more financially rewarding for a seller than waiting for spring or summer. If 2012 is an indication, where 52% more homes sold in Davis compared to 2011, then this year should be a boom for sellers and those lucky buyers that are able to secure a home.

We currently have a total of 47 homes for sale in Davis. This includes single family, attached properties and condos. Of those properties, only 4 homes are situated in Central Davis, 10 properties in North, another 8 in East Davis, 10 properties are available in West and South Davis has the highest inventory at 15. This is slightly more than a month supply of properties for sale. It was fairly common during the housing collapse to have a 6 month supply of homes on the market at any given time.

After years of being a drag, housing is set to give the economy a boost in 2013. “Housing is finally contributing to the economy’s growth instead of pulling it down,” Moody’s Analytics chief economist Mark Zandi says. The recovery is not just a local phenomenon, but a nationwide rebound from the dreary debacle of the last few years.

Even homeowners with a few minor flaws in their home should not delay listing their property, with hopes of making those repairs later and then listing in the spring or summer. As more homeowners start realizing this recovery is real and not temporary, they then become the competition that you can now avoid. 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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OpenHouse-wideWith the popularity of online photographs and virtual tours, some people are the opinion that an open house is a waste of time. This view-point usually comes from realtors that would prefer spending their weekends in other ways. Being a big advocate for open houses and the belief that open houses sells homes should make sellers think twice before discounting this time-tested strategy or listing their home with an agent that downplays the importance of open houses. Following are some pointers you need to know about hosting an open house.

Defining An Open House: Unlike an individual showing, an open house allows anyone to view the home, whether they currently work with an agent or not. It’s an excellent way to attract new buyers to the market or just beginning a search, those without an agent and even sporadic buyers who aren’t necessarily in the market but might share the information with family and friends.

Hosting An Open House: Hosting an open house is not for the novice. Real estate agents not only provide the marketing, scheduling and even security advice, but make sure the home is properly presented to prospective buyers who decide to drop in and see the home.

How Do Open Houses Sell A Home? An open house is often effective in helping to sell homes priced above the median average for a given location, especially when used in combination with the Multiple Listing Service and online listings. Using our local housing market as an example, approximately 50% of sellers used an open house with various degrees of success. Use an open house to showcase the property and the neighborhood. It’s one more way to help your house stand out from the crowd in a buyer’s market.

Uncommon Features: Without doubt, one of the most important reasons to hold an open house is to display a unique property or special features that are difficult to communicate or conceptualize. Sometimes it really is necessary to see a property to believe it, and an open house allows the buyer to fall in love at first sight by experiencing it firsthand.

Lasting Impression: Giving prospects a low pressure avenue to view a home, allows guest or buyers that luxury. No agent looking over your shoulder as you jaunt through a property is a huge benefit for the buyer and homeowner. Please visit my website 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 and the surrounding communities.

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nice-house-slcYou never get a second chance to make a first impression. This is especially true when it comes to selling a home. First impressions at house showings are everything;  regardless of the inventory on the real estate market, you need to make your home the one buyers just have to have – you must be the standout. Here are some ways you can do that.

Give your Realtor talking points – say what’s good about your home. Maybe it’s in a prime location with access to great schools and amenities, has a bustling nightlife, or enjoys a private, quiet setting – whatever you think is great about your home.

Show you care about your home – make it loved, and make it show.  Make sure that your house is sparkling clean for every showing and impeccably maintained.

Get rid of any trash and clutter – open up your home to make it feel more spacious and sell yourselves as conscientious homeowners passing down a family treasure.

Consider staging your home. Everything else being equal, properties that are staged will normally sell quicker and for a higher price. The end results far outweigh the initial cost of the staging.

Don’t let anything in or outside of your home be in disrepair – because you’ll give the impression that this is a home not worth caring about.

As maintenance goes, painting is your number one best property maintenance investment – it’s relatively cheap, covers neglected surfaces, and gives everything a fresh, clean topcoat.  There is just no better bang for your home improvement buck.

Cleaning your home for every showing is absolutely critical to selling it at a favorable price. In many cases, sellers only have one chance to make a lasting impression.

Get the necessary inspections that can make your home more sellable. Being able to supply buyers with termite, roof, heat and air, plus a whole house inspection puts your home on a different playing field than the competition. The peace of mind and the cost savings for the buyer is money well spent for the seller.

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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beautiful-kitchens-01A kitchen has always been the heartbeat of a home. The average family spends as much time in that space as any other room in the house. A kitchen makeover can also be a very expensive excursion. There are alternatives that can be done to enhance the appeal at a fraction of the cost that a complete remodel would command.

Cabinet Doors  Damaged or dirty cabinet doors are a big turn-off for buyers. But that’s easy to fix. Most cabinetry can be re-painted after cleaning it and applying a coat of primer. Just check that the materials can take paint or whether you need to give any special preparation to the doors first. Alternatively, you can just replace the doors.There are companies that provide doors to fit existing kitchen cabinets.

Hardware Another way to fix up cabinets is to replace the hardware, perhaps changing out-of-date fixtures for sleek, modern ones. This is a very cheap and easy way to update your kitchen. Sinks and faucets Try trading your faucets for more modern designs and replacing a damaged or very dirty sink. Appliances People love modern stainless steel appliances.

It could be a good investment to upgrade your appliances to the most modern designs to give your kitchen the ‘wow’ factor. Backsplash An easy way to update your kitchen is to replace the backsplash. Subway or mosaic tiles or a sheet of stainless steel are very popular right now, and this quick change can really lift the feel of the room. Tired linoleum floors will turn off buyers.

Try updating with tough laminate flooring or some tiles that tie into the rest of the kitchen. Paint Change the décor easily by repainting in fresh, modern, neutral colors. A coat of paint can be a very cheap way to refresh the look of your kitchen. Clutter Just by simply removing the clutter that accumulates on your countertops, you can freshen up your kitchen. Throw out things you don’t need; put away others you use only occasionally.

Nothing amplifies a homes worth like an adorable kitchen remodel. A complete update might not be the best decision monetarily. Seek out advice from family, friends or your realtor before making that decision. 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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better-homes-and-gardens-interior-space-plannerEvery homeowner desires top dollar for their home and there are certain requirements that need to be met before that goal can be accomplished. Most requirements are general knowledge and are part of the essentials that can garner peak value. There is one hidden gem that families are turning to that catches the eye of the buyer and that’s staging your home to sell.

Staging has become commonplace when selling a home, but with the recent downturn in the economy and continued sluggishness in the real estate market; staging is more important than ever.

Here are the top reasons why home-staging matters, and how you can make it work for you:

A picture is worth a thousand words: Over 80% of home buyers begin their search online, so the first impression of your home might be the last. Make sure your home looks its best.

Browsers spend more time looking at pretty pictures: Not only are buyers searching online, but they tend to spend more time viewing attractive properties than those without pictures or with “ugly” photos. Use plenty of photos to showcase your home or property.

Visualize their space, not your place: Staging becomes even more important when buyers visit in person. Properly performed home staging is essential to allowing prospective buyers to visualize the home as “their space” rather than trying to see through your clutter and belongings.  A home should be attractive yet neutral enough to allow buyers an opportunity to get a feel for how their own furniture and belonging would fit.

Not just another pretty picture: Professional staging goes beyond mere looks and even combines fragrance, tactile, lighting and other sensory input for a complete experience sure to delight potential buyers of any age and income. Staging does not have to cost a fortune to be effective, but does require experience for best results.

Staged homes get better offers: Data backs up the fact that when homes are staged, they are more likely to receive better offers and higher prices. A staged home gives a prospect a visual that enhances the appeal of a property. There’s not many improvements that will guarantee dollar for dollar return on the investment. Done properly, staging your home gives a family advantages over those properties that chose not to stage. Please visit my website 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 and the surrounding communities.

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