Archive for February, 2014

remodeled homeThe decision of whether to remodel an existing home or buy another one has become more difficult because the price of remodeling has become more expensive across many parts of the U.S.

A few years ago, the benefits of remodeling were quite simple due to the cost savings. Today it isn’t as straightforward.

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.

Scarcity of Inventory: There is no doubt that the lack of inventory has put many buyers on the fence when it comes to replacing their current property. On the other hand, property values are up, which gives owners more equity to put toward their replacement property. In most communities, it’s cheaper to add square footage than to buy it. Each of these factors have to be taken into consideration. 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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cartoon_house_1_Are there any sure-fire ways a seller can guarantee a top of the line price for their home? There are many factors that go into sellers obtaining a premium price. Number one and foremost and it’s been proven time and time again, choose a local real estate professional to properly market your home to its fullest potential. The in town realtor has many advantages and has built a reputation within the local real estate community that will encourage participation from agents that are working with buyers. When buyers agents see a local realtor representing a seller they feel more comfortable that the process will be handled well and in turn the buyer will also feel a level of security. More importantly, it’s been scientifically proven that local realtors obtain higher values on their listings than an agent from out-of-town.

In our current housing market with most homes flying off the shelf, pricing a home has never been more important. There are still many homes that have been on the market for many months. The sellers made a calculated mistake up front when they priced their property. Even with the lack of inventory, buyers are still very astute and know by working with a knowledgeable local realtor if a home is priced correctly. The best strategy in a seller’s market is to price below market value which generates more excitement and the possibilities of multiple offers that can often raise the eventual price above the sellers highest expectations.

Condition and price go hand-in-hand. You can’t get peak price with a fixer upper. Buyers might pay more for a home in a superb location, but to maximize value, the best maintained homes achieve top price. If finances are an issue, the cosmetic improvements such as paint and new flooring can make a world of difference. In today’s real estate, you should be able to get dollar-for-dollar value for major upgrades like kitchens and bathrooms.

Timing is also an important cog in achieving the optimum price. Expecting to get top value during the Christmas Holiday is not a well thought out plan. Properties are sold on supply and demand. The higher the demand, the better chance of receiving multiple bids. The current lack of inventory and the pent-up demand makes now an excellent time to achieve the ultimate goal of selling your home at maximum value. 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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major remodelIn my 20 years of working with buyers and sellers, there is one absolute that had not changed over that time. Everything else being equal, the better maintained homes sell quicker and for more value. It’s crystal clear that homes remodeled have advantages, but is it possible financially or might time restraints be in play. Making major alterations to a home can be expensive and time-consuming. Should we make these improvements or start marketing without is a dilemma facing many families today.

It is important to understand how the sales price for any house works. A  house has a maximum price – the price it would be worth if it was brand new.  That price is the ceiling so to say, and without remodeling it’s very unlikely  to sell for more. On the other hand if the house is not brand new than it will  sell for less than this theoretical ceiling price. In essence, instead of  thinking “How much more will a house sell for if it’s renovated” you should  think “How much less will it sell for because it’s not renovated.” This type of  thinking more closely resembles the thinking of a buyer, and allows you to put  yourself into buyer’s shoes and see from their perspective.

Now that you know how buyers think it should be easy to realize that the  buyers will pay less for a house that has “problems” or at least anything that  buyers perceive as problems. As such it’s not as much about if the house is  newly renovated or old, but rather do buyers see it as a negative or not? For  example, a five years old kitchen that is kept in a nice, clean condition is  unlikely to be seen as a problem even though it’s not bran new, yet a newly  painted siding might be seen as a huge negative if it’s been painted bright  orange – not everyone wants to buy an orange of a house.

A home remodel should be considered on an individual basis. What’s good for one family might not make sense to another. Will a remodel make a difference in the value? Absolutely. but with the lack of available inventory today, just getting your home on the market is just as important. 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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As The Real Estate Market Turns

waterfront_homes_for_sale_in_miamiAs we move into the start of what’s perceived the buying season, the real estate market has more questions than answers. Will housing continue the upward trend that existed throughout this year? Will increased mortgage rates have a negative impact on housing prices? Higher prices were the norm for nearly every section of the country. California, specifically Northern California were the leaders in the percentage of appreciation.

Using housing in Davis, California as an illustration, you could assume early indications are home prices are sky-rocketing and the inventory of homes for sale will stay at a low-level. You could also conclude the number of sold properties will taper off compared to 2013 numbers. As of Valentine Day, we have nineteen properties sold this year at an average sales price of $649,560. The price per square foot for these 19 homes was $285 and it took 42 days on the market per property.

No conclusions can be drawn or patterns formed in the first month and a half of any year, especially in real estate. Looking at the same period for 2013, there were thirty-three properties sold at an average sales price of $461,238 and a price per square foot of $254. These homes averaged 63 days on the market. Year-to-date in 2012 saw twenty-six total sales at an average price of $396,259. The price per square foot was $253. These properties averaged an astounding 144 days on the market.

If you examine these numbers closely, you could easily conclude that property values have exploded over the last couple of years. After the double-digit appreciation in home values for 2013, we have had over a 30% increase in home values year-to-date for 2014. To put more perspective into the situation, you would have to look at the immediate future and to do that, look no further than the pending sales.

We have thirty-two properties in pending status currently. Those homes have a pending price of $522,808 and a price per square foot of $311 with an average days on the market of 56 days. When these properties transfer into the sold status, they will drag the total sales price down significantly. All signs point toward a very productive and prospering housing market for 2014. Will we see the same type of improvements this year compared to last year, only time will tell. Please visit my website www.JohnnyBrooksHomes.com for helpful tips on buying or selling a home, scan my informative blogs and easy access to local area homes for sale in Davis, California and the surrounding communities.

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