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Category Archives: antelope valley real estate - Page 2

5 Ways to Reconnect with Neighbors this Winter

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With winter’s short days and colder temps, you’re less likely to hang out outside and run into your neighbors. Gather the gang and catch up with these fun ideas for grown-up get togethers.

1. Bunco
It’s been around since the 1800s and never gone out of style. The game requires dice and no skill or strategy whatsoever—perfect for an evening of chatting with friends. Here are the rules.

2. Fondue Party
You provide the cheese and invite neighbors to bring things to dip. Dessert should, of course, be served with a chocolate fountain.

3. Eat on the Run
Coordinate a progressive dinner party with neighbors and enjoy each dish, and perhaps a new variety of wine, in a different home.

4. Put on Your Detective’s Cap
Host a murder mystery party. Download storylines and clues from the web or order a kit with costumes. It’s always a fun way to kill an evening.

5. Hit the Beach
A luau-themed party may be the closest you’ll get to a beach vacation this winter. Grass skirts, plastic leis, tropical drinks, hula tunes and a few rounds of limbo will help warm things up. Indoor tiki torches not recommended.

Love to entertain, but squeezed for space? Your Realtor can give you an idea of new home opportunities could broaden your party horizons. Find an agent to consult here.

January Housing Report

After two consecutive months with falling home sales, December roared back with 6.1% more sales than one year ago. On a month-over-month basis, December sales were much higher with an increase of 22.5% over November. In all of 2015, nine months saw home sales higher than the same month one year ago.
For more information about your local real estate market and what these trends mean for you, contact a local RE/MAX All-Pro agent.

The January 2016 Housing Report infograph can be found here.

Open House Showcase

Sunday, January 31, 11:30AM-3:30PM :
Join us for AV Home ToursRSVP on Facebook >

Find the home of your dreams… Let a RE/MAX agent guide you. Join us THIS SUNDAY at any of our AV Open House Showcase listings! 20 beautiful homes for sell in the AV.  See the full list here…

Read more »

December Housing Report

RE/MAX researches 53 major metropolitan markets and analyzes the data to get a pulse on the US housing market. Here are some highlights from this months report. To download the full report visit http://www.remax.com/c/about/newsroom. For more information about your local real estate market and what these trends mean for you, contact a local RE/MAX All-Pro agent.

November 2015 RE/MAX National Housing Report

RE/MAX researches 53 major metropolitan markets and analyzes the data to get a pulse on the US housing market. Here are some highlights from this months report. For more information about your local real estate market and what these trends mean for you, contact a local RE/MAX All-Pro agent.

Following the hottest summer selling season in years, October home sales cooled down 7.7% below sales in September, and 0.8% lower than October 2014. October and January were the only two months of the year that saw lower home sales than the same month last year. Click here to download the November 2015 Housing Report.

Books About Moving to Read to Your Kids

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Moving to a new home, a new neighborhood and a new school can be tough for kids. Luckily, a variety of children’s books are out there to help parents explain things, add some fun and hopefully alleviate fears.

Here are a few classics – and you can post your favorite children’s book titles about moving in the comments section below:

1. “Alexander, Who’s Not (Do You Hear Me? I Mean It!) Going to Move” by Judith Viorst
Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 1995
Poor Alexander. First, the kid had a Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. Now, his family is moving! Just like your kids, Alexander has to say goodbye to some special places and people, but with the help of his parents he learns to make the most of the situation.

2. “The Berenstain Bears’ Moving Day” by Stan and Jan Berenstain
Random House Books for Young Readers, 1981
Little Brother Bear’s pretty worried about moving, and more than a little scared. Kids can relate to his apprehension, and hopefully his positive change of view as moving day gets closer.

3. “A House for Hermit Crab” by Eric Carle
Aladdin Paperbacks, 1987
A little hermit crab has outgrown his shell and needs to find a bigger one – and new friends to help decorate it. This book will reassure kids that it will be easy to make new friends in their new town.

4. “Tigger’s Moving Day” by Kathleen W. Zoehfeld
Disney, 1999
Tigger needs a place with more bouncing room! His friends aren’t as close to his new house, but they still come and visit. A story to help kids understand they’ll still be able to hold on to old connections.

5. “Goodbye House” by Frank Asch
Moonbear Books, 1989
This book is a terrific way to talk about moving with preschoolers. After the moving van is packed, a little bear returns to say farewell to his old house, saying goodbye to everything, except, of course, the memories.

Other favorites include: “Big Dan’s Moving Van,” by Leslie McGuire, “Neville,” by Norton Juster, “The Moving House” by Mark Siegel, “I’m Not Moving, Mama” by Nancy White Carlstrom, and “The Leaving Morning,” by Angela Johnston.

Looking to a move to a neighborhood that’s great for kids (and parents)? Find a local RE/MAX agent who can help.

Deciding Between Multiple Offers

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What a splendid dilemma! You’ve received several offers on your property. Which one should you choose? It’s not always the highest one.

Here are just some of the areas your agent could ask you to pay particularly close attention to as you’re weighing the options.

1. Do the math.
This goes beyond simply calculating the dollar difference between the various offer prices. Before you do that, be sure to do all the math. Subtract things like closing costs, fees and potential repairs to determine the net proceeds of each offer.

2. Consider the financing.
Can the buyer provide proof from the bank that there are funds to back the offer? Your agent can help verify this – and help you understand the terms of the buyer’s financing.

3. Motivation.
Do the buyers have a baby-sitting parent in the neighborhood? A new job just around the corner? Buyers with extra motivation to purchase your home are less likely to press for concessions and more likely to work harder to close the deal. Some buyers even include a personal letter with their offer to explain why they want the home. These letters can be particularly helpful in multiple-offer situations.

4. Timeline.
Note the closing date each offer proposes. You’ll want a closing date that best meets your needs. You can always counter a closing date, too, if the best offer doesn’t quite meet your timeline.

Weighing the pros and cons of each offer can be tricky. An experienced agent can help you clarify, calculate and secure the very best deal for you. Find a local RE/MAX agent who can help.

4 Resources for First-Time Homebuyers

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Surveys show that first-time buyers aren’t aware of how much they need to save for a down payment. Many people believe that buying a home requires they put down at least 20 percent of the purchase price, but down payments aren’t as big of an obstacle as people think. For example, a loan through the Federal Housing Administration could require a down payment as low as 3.5 percent; Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have similarly low requirements.

If you qualify for a loan with a low down payment but still have trouble coming up with the cash, here are a few of the many programs out there that can help. Do some research to find out what’s available in your area.

1. Help getting down
The federal Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) gives community development block grants to states and local governments across the country to help revitalize certain areas. HUD’s HOME Investment Partnerships Program (HOME) is one such program. States often have their own programs for down payment assistance, too.

2. Opening up options for closing
The Federal National Mortgage Association, a.k.a. Fannie Mae, designed the HomePath Ready Buyer program to attract new homebuyers to the market. Through the program, qualifying first-time homebuyers can get assistance of up to 3 percent of closing costs after they pass an online homeownership course.

3. Making ownership less taxing
Some state governments provide first-time buyers with a tax credit to boost homeownership.

4. Helping heroes
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Home Loan Guaranty Service helps veterans or surviving spouses obtain better terms for their mortgage by guaranteeing a portion of the loan. Some VA mortgages require no down payment.

Check the National Council of State Housing Agencies for more opportunities available in your state.

Contact a local RE/MAX All Pro agent today.

3 Ways to Compete in a Bidding War

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After weeks (or even months) of searching for a home, you’ve finally found the perfect home. Unfortunately, you have excellent taste and there are five, 10, maybe even more offers on the table. If you’re caught in a bidding war, there’s more you can do than cross your fingers.

Here are 3 strategies that may help turn the odds of winning the war in your favor.

1. Help the seller out
Do whatever you can, within reason, to make the decision easier for the seller. This can include being flexible on the closing date to accommodate the seller’s moving plans. And although it’s not unusual for buyers to ask a seller to pay for a portion of their closing costs, now may not be the time to press your luck. If you’re able to cover your own closing costs and you don’t ask for seller assistance in your offer, you definitely could stand out. Also, the greater your down payment, the more secure a seller may feel that your mortgage financing will close with no problems. That’s not to say you can’t compete against someone who is offering a larger down payment; sellers will weigh various factors as they review offers with their agent. Overall, limiting your requests of the sellers and submitting your highest and best offer are the best approaches to being competitive.

2. Be prepared to act fast
Both you and your agent should be constantly monitoring homes for sale so you can evaluate potential homes as quickly as they’re posted. Research the properties as much as possible before your showings so you can be prepared to make an offer on the spot if the home is a good fit. Talk with your agent about adding an escalation clause into your offer that automatically increases your bid if other buyers come in. Finally, include a pre-approval letter from your lender stating that you qualify for a loan in the amount of your offer.

3. Don’t be shy
There isn’t always a lot of cash separating the top bid from the next closest contenders. For a seller with a strong emotional attachment to their home, an extra thousand dollars might mean less than passing their house along to the right buyer. Draft a letter describing why you fell in love with their house. Is it the perfect size for your growing family? Do you want to bring the backyard garden back to life? It just might give you the edge over the competition.

If you’re looking for advice tailored to your specific situation, a licensed buyer’s agent may be able to help. Contact a local RE/MAX All Pro agent today.

11 Tips for Selling a Vacant Home

2015-05-A-vacant-homeYou’ve moved to your new home but have yet to sell your former property. What should you do to ensure the safety and security of the vacant house?

1. Set the thermostat at no lower than 60 degrees to prevent frozen pipes. If necessary, your Realtor can turn up the heat the day before a showing, but not by much as sudden shifts in temperature can also damage pipes. If you have gas heat, check the level on your tank so it doesn’t run out.

2. Another tip to avoid frozen pipes: Leave faucets dripping ever so slightly.

3. Check the batteries on your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Some automatically send a signal to local authorities even if a home is empty.

4. Add a lock-bar in the pane of sliding windows for extra protection.

5. Install a timer on lights to give the appearance that the home is occupied.

6. Stop your mail and ask a neighbor to scoop up flyers, takeout menus or phonebooks that may accumulate on your porch.

7. Check your weather stripping for cracks or tears and replace worn-out strips. You’ll keep out mold-producing moisture and prevent critters from setting up shop.

8. Unplug any appliances. It saves energy and also prevents dangerous short circuits. Prop open freezer or fridge doors a crack to prevent potential mold buildup.

9. Let your neighbors know your home will be empty, and how they can reach you and your Realtor in case of an emergency or if things just don’t look right.

10. Clean the gutters. Clogs can cause water to pool and tear away from your home.

11. Arrange to have your yard mowed regularly and weeds tended to during warmer months.

The right agent can help minimize the time your home sits vacant. Find a RE/MAX All Pro agent here: www.remax.com/officeagentsearch/.