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Author Archives: RE/MAX All-Pro

April Housing Report

 

March launched the home-buying season with post-recession records for increasing home sales and prices and decreasing inventory, according to this month’s RE/MAX National Housing Report that surveys 53 metro areas.
Find the complete report here.

9 Tips for Making Your Move Stress-Free

Buying a new home is exciting – and a big deal. If you’re searching for the perfect place, or you’ve already found it and are under contract, the next step in the process can feel more tedious: moving.

Moving can be stressful, a bit expensive and plenty chaotic. But with some planning, help from friends and a little organization, it doesn’t have to be as hectic as you imagine. Here are some tips to take the stress out of your move:

1. Make a plan of attack – Whether you’re moving across town or across the state lines, you’ll probably want to rent a truck. Do you have willing helpers to assist in the move, or will you need to hire some help? If you’re moving farther away, you’ll probably want professional help. Figure out what your moving needs are, and ask friends or your real estate agent for references to a trusted mover. Also, stock up on boxes, packing tape, permanent markers and packing peanuts/bubble wrap.

2. Prioritize your packing – As you start packing your current home up, designate a few boxes for each room that you’ll need quick access to. For example, you’ll want to keep personal toiletries, shower curtains and liners, a first-aid kit and other necessities easily accessible for the bathroom. Label these boxes “Open Now” so you know which boxes are filled with the essentials – and which ones can wait until later.

3. Don’t go it alone – Packing is a monumental task. Invite some friends or relatives over, buy some pizza and make it a packing party! Delegate the tasks you feel most comfortable entrusting others with, like packing up DVDs, books and other non-fragile items. A little help goes a long way to saving you some time – and sanity.

4. Don’t take it all – If you realize you have 10 boxes of clothes and you haven’t worn half of them in a few years, it’s time to part ways. Create three piles: a “keep” pile, a “sell” pile and a “donate” pile. If time permits, hold a moving sale to unload some of the items you don’t want anymore. Bonus: Selling items before you move gives you extra money that you can put toward moving expenses. Added bonus: You reduce the clutter.

5. Forward your mail – Believe it or not, people forget to do this all the time! It’s easy to change your address with the U.S. Postal Service. Simply visit the USPS website, and in a few steps you’re done!

6. Turn off your utilities – Check with your local utility providers, as well as other services (trash pickup, newspaper delivery, cable/Internet, phone), to inform them that you’re moving. They’ll need to know an exact date for your move so they can transition or cut off service. You don’t want to be billed for charges after you move!

7. Change your address everywhere else – Contact your bank, credit card companies, healthcare providers, schools, etc. to give them your new address. Although your mail will be forwarded, you still want to update your contact information as soon as possible to avoid missing important bills or letters.

8. Be flexible – Closing day can be unpredictable, and sometimes there are delays. If you’re scheduling movers or arranging for help, you might want to pick a day or two after closing to avoid a moving-day headache.

9. Consider hiring a professional house cleaner – Sellers don’t necessarily leave their homes in sparkling condition when they leave. If time and budget permit, hire a house cleaner to make your new home move-in ready. It’s one less thing for you to worry about!

Ready to search for a new home? A local RE/MAX agent can help you find your perfect fit.

6 Easy, Affordable Smart Home Features that Could Help you Sell your House Faster

Fresh paint on the walls, professional staging and an asking price that ends in 999 — when you’re selling your home, you’ll do whatever you can to help it stand out and sell faster. Because the National Association of Realtors is predicting modest growth for the 2017 real estate market, as a seller you want every edge you can get. And on the heels of the popular Consumer Electronics Show in January, perhaps that edge is a smarter home.

“Smart home features are designed to make homes more convenient, appealing, secure and energy-efficient — all of which are bonuses when you’re trying to sell a house,” says Geoff Lewis, president of RE/MAX, LLC. “Sellers who want to move their homes faster may benefit from adding smart features that make their properties more appealing to tech-minded buyers.”

According to IHS Markit and CNBC, 80 million smart home devices were delivered worldwide last year. That’s a 64 percent increase from 2015.

Here are six trending smart home features that might catch buyers’ attention and help sell your home faster:

Keyless/remote entry door locks

Have you ever left the house and worried that you left the front door unlocked? If your home is equipped with a keyless/remote entry door lock — available from multiple manufacturers — you can use an app on your smartphone to lock the door from wherever you are. Some manufacturers make versions that will also send a text or email to your phone when the door opens. Locks that can be programmed with multiple entry codes also allow you to see who comes and goes and when.

Smart lighting

From lighting automation that allows you to control lights remotely and wirelessly, to energy-efficient LED bulbs that can change color to match your mood and decor, lighting has come a long way. Some smart lights work in tandem with home automation systems to allow you to turn them on or off, or even dim them, from an app on a smartphone or tablet. Others require no communication hub and can be controlled directly from your mobile device. You can also put some smart bulbs on timers (using your wireless device), sync them with certain TV shows or movies, and integrate them with security cameras and thermostats.

DIY security systems

Don’t want to sign a contract or deal with complex security systems? Install-it-yourself security systems are affordable and offer security features like cameras, sensors, motion detectors and alarms or sirens, without the need for a security service to monitor them.

Smart appliances

The Internet of Things (IoT) — everyday objects that have network connectivity — includes a growing list of smart appliances. Many manufacturers are offering washers, dryers, refrigerators and other home appliances that can communicate with you — and each other — wirelessly. Many can be controlled remotely from your smartphone — so if you leave the house and can’t remember if you turned off the stove, you can check in and turn it off using your smartphone app.

While appliances aren’t always included in a home sale, they do make for interesting features that keep your home top of mind to buyers.

Smart plugs

One of the easiest, most affordable smart home upgrades you can make is to add smart plugs to your home. These Wi-Fi-enabled plugs fit existing outlets and can be controlled from a smartphone app. Plug anything into a smart plug, like lights or a television, and you can turn it on or off remotely, track energy consumption, or even create an on-off schedule.

Temperature controls

Programmable thermostats were just the beginning; today’s home temperature controls are even smarter. Like other smart home features, smart thermostats can be controlled remotely from your mobile device. You can program them to make automatic temperature adjustments and then use your smartphone to override the program like turning up the heat on a particularly cold day. Some smart thermostats learn from household behavior and adjust the temperature to meet your family’s needs and save energy, while others adjust based on the number of people in a room. And several can now be operated via voice-controlled virtual assistants.

“Many of these smart home features are surprisingly easy and affordable to install,” Lewis says. “Sellers who are open to the idea of investing a little money to possibly help get a speedier sale, may want to consider adding the smart features buyers will be looking for in 2017.”

If you’re thinking of selling your home, find more helpful information at www.remaxallpro.com.

March Housing Report

February home prices reached a new high as steady demand combined with record low inventory drove prices up, according to this month’s RE/MAX National Housing Report that surveys 53 metro areas.
Find the complete report here.

Career Night April 18th


There’s a reason RE/MAX attracts the most productive real estate professionals in the business. The network’s entrepreneur-based business model, along with RE/MAX education and support, means that agents are in business for themselves, but not by themselves. Find out what being part of the most productive and most trusted real estate network can do for your business.

Thinking about becoming a real estate agent? Learn how you can grow and achieve all you want in your life and career.
Read more… join.remaxallpro.com

Visualize yourself on a team of high achievers and winners!
Don’t miss out! Space is limited – register today!
661-945-9461
Or RSVP on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/1574960675867394/

5 Tips for Budgeting a Remodel

Planning to remodel?

While the total cost of your project will depend on its scope, materials and the fees of any professionals you hire, here are some suggestions for beginning to craft a renovation budget.

1. Determine where the money will come from

Will you use savings? Or will you take out a home equity loan? Once you determine your source of funding, determine how much you want to spend on the project – and stick to that limit.

2. Set your priorities

Before you pull out a calculator, clarify your reasons for renovating. Divide those reasons into “wants” and “needs.” For example, reconfiguring your bathroom so that your currently questionable electrical and plumbing will pass an inspection is a “need.” His-and-her water closets, a whirlpool tub and built-in towel heaters are “wants.” Setting priorities will help you make decisions as you move through the renovation process.

3. Step away from the computer

Visit show rooms, model homes and design stores in addition to checking out pictures online. Before investing in materials and appliances, be sure to see and feel them, or samples of them, in person.

4. DIY or contractor?

The biggest question to answer when creating your budget is deciding whether to do the work yourself, or to hire a contractor. Doing the work yourself is usually less expensive – unless, of course, something (costly) goes wrong. Using a contractor, however, can mean your project is completed to professional standards and usually in a shorter time frame. Be sure to calculate the value of your time (and your back and knees) and the inconvenience of having a bathroom or kitchen out of use during the project when deciding whether to opt for DIY or a pro.

5. Expect the unexpected

Whether you plan to do the work yourself or hire a contractor, add on an extra 15 to 20 percent of your total budget for unforeseen expenses. Added costs inevitably arise, especially if you’re dealing with an older home.

Want to know which home renovations could improve your resale value? Talk to a RE/MAX agent.

4 Things We Learned from RE/MAX in the 2017 TV Campaign

Today’s blog is written by Camp + King, the award-winning ad agency behind “The Sign of a RE/MAX Agent” campaign, launched in 2016. New ads in the campaign will begin airing this month.

4 Things We Learned from RE/MAX … and How it Influenced the 2017 TV Campaign

1. When buying or selling a house, everyone has opinions and advice.

Yet NAR research on Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends shows that younger buyers still want an agent to help them understand the process and negotiate better contract terms. Even in the internet-age, agents are still an essential part of the home-buying journey because they help separate knowledge from noise.

2. Every 30 seconds, a RE/MAX agent helps someone buy or sell a home.

Staggering, isn’t it? That means in the time it takes to brush your teeth, four homes were bought or sold by a RE/MAX agent. We thought it would be fun to dramatize this with a series of 15- and 30-second spots that show all the things you can do in the time it takes for a RE/MAX agent to buy or sell another home.

3. A house doesn’t exist in a vacuum.

The city, the neighborhood, the school, the street – all factor into finding the perfect home. Luckily, RE/MAX agents go above and beyond to help you find your little corner of the world. One of the commercials in this year’s campaign tells the story of an agent who checks all the boxes and finds the perfect place for her clients.

4. Surround yourself with great people and expect great results.

Since the advertising campaign represents the best-of-the-best agents, we had to get a best-of-the-best director to shoot it: Roman Coppola. That’s right – the Academy Award-nominated screenwriter (for “Moonrise Kingdom,” which he co-wrote with none other than Wes Anderson) and co-creator of the Golden Globe-winning “Mozart in the Jungle.” Not only was he a pleasure to work with, his attention to detail and dedication rivaled a RE/MAX agent’s.

Keep an eye out for the new round of RE/MAX ads airing during your favorite TV shows – or watch all of the ads on YouTube

RE/MAX All-Pro Community Outreach Scholarship

 

Applications can be picked up in person at RE/MAX All-Pro or download now :
2017 Scholarship Flyer | Application  : DUE April 14, 2017

Please note the following eligibility criteria for scholarships offered through the RE/MAX All-Pro Outreach:

• Must be a U.S. citizen or an eligible noncitizen
• Must be planning to attend an accredited educational institution
• Must reside in the Antelope Valley
• Must be attending a Participating High School
• Must have a minimum grade-point-average of 3.0 to be eligible
• Previous scholarship recipients are not eligible
• Scholarships must be claimed in the year they have been awarded
• Scholarship funds will be made payable to the school of your choice with proof of acceptance
• Children of RE/MAX All-Pro employees or associates are not eligible
• NO CHECKS WILL BE WRITTEN DIRECTLY TO A STUDENT/INDIVIDUAL

Read more »

February Housing Report

With the tug-of-war between rising home sales and shrinking inventory intensifying, January set records for the RE/MAX National Housing Report. Last month topped all other Januarys in the report’s nine-year history with the most sales, highest sales price and fewest days on market.
Find the complete report here.

6 Decisions to Make Before Your Home Search

 

In the market for a new home but have no idea where to start? There are several decisions you should begin to make before you even start your home search. By asking yourself the right questions, you can quickly pinpoint what you want – and can afford – in your next home.

1. What’s your budget? See how your finances stand up to the 28/36 rule, which lenders use to see what you can afford to pay each month. A financial adviser or your real estate agent also can help you crunch the numbers. Going through the mortgage pre-approval process lets you know how much lenders will allow you to borrow – plus it helps you show sellers that you have the funds to backup your offer.

2. What do you need in your new home? How many bedrooms or bathrooms do you need? What about a large kitchen, a home office or a playroom for the kids? How many cars need covered parking? It’s critically important to ensure the home you select meets your family and lifestyle needs.

3. Do you want a condo or single-family home? Condos come with much less maintenance. You typically won’t be shoveling snow in the winter or replacing the roof, but you’ll likely pay monthly association fees to cover services and repairs in the community. Houses, on the other hand, come with more privacy and freedom to customize. They also come with full responsibility for maintenance.

4. How do you feel about living under covenants? Depending on where you buy, you may have to pay homeowner association (HOA) fees in addition to your mortgage. There are benefits to HOAs, such as maintenance, community centers, and maybe even a pool or gym. But you also could be faced with more restrictive rules about the look of the outside of your home, down to the color of your front door, types of window coverings, and whether you can plant flowers in your yard.

5. What school district do you want to be near? Even if you don’t have children in the house, local schools will affect your property value. Prospective homebuyers tend to search with education in mind. Do your research on the schools in the areas you’d like to live in.

6. Should the home be move-in ready? Ask yourself how much elbow grease you’re willing to put into a home – or how much you’ll pay someone else to do the work. Fixer-upper homes can be great after the work is done, but you’ll want to figure out your renovation budget before you start your home search. A203k home-renovation loan might be the right resource for you. If you’re not ready for the extra financial commitment of rehabbing a home, or you can’t or don’t want to wait for remodeling projects to finish up, then a home that’s move-in ready might be right for you.

After considering all these factors, you’ll be ready to start the home search with a clearer picture of where you’re headed. When that time comes, let a RE/MAX agent guide you all the way there.