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Category Archives: housing

9 Ways to Make Guests Feel at Home for the Holidays

The holiday seasons means a flurry of activities and family time. Here are some easy ways to make sure you and your guests are comfortable through it all.

1. Sticky-roll the furniture. Have your pets been sneaking a nap on the couch when you’re not looking? Make sure to de-fur the furniture before anyone has to sleep on it.

2. Test your air mattresses for holes. There’s nothing worse than falling asleep on an air mattress and waking up on a deflated tarp on the floor.

3. Pile kids into one room. They’ll love feeling like they’re at a sleepover.

4. Gather all of your old phone chargers. It’s one of the easiest things for travelers to forget to pack. Have your old chargers on hand, and you may save a guest a trip to the store.

5. Make the Wi-Fi password readily accessible. An easy way to do this is to print out the internet information on a notecard for each guest room.

6. Designate a snack and beverage hub. To avoid people tripping over each other at the fridge and during crucial food-prep times, set up a station away from the kitchen – maybe in the study – where guests can grab coffee and a bagel (or the like!) at their leisure.

7. Stock all the bathrooms. Everyone will feel better having all the bathroom essentials on-hand, including towels and washcloths, common toiletries, toilet paper, and, of course, a toilet brush and plunger. No one wants to announce they need a plunger!

8. Let them pitch in. Most guests want to help out somehow. Have everyone pick a regular task they’re willing to be responsible for, like walking the dogs, taking out the trash, making breakfast or doing the dinner dishes.

9. Relax and enjoy yourself! Set the tone for your guests. Do your best to look past the chaos and make the most of the time with family and friends.

An extra bedroom, closet or bathroom can go a long way around the holidays. Is it time you had more space? Find a local RE/MAX agent here who can help you find the right place for you.

Should You Sell Your Home Or Rent It Out?

Sometimes, you decide exactly when you’d like to move. Other times, life swoops in and decides for you. Your company might transfer you, a family emergency might require relocation, or you might finally find the love of your life—three states over. Should you sell your house or hang on to it as a rental property? Here are 5 important considerations.

1. Are you gone for good?

Or do you need an exit strategy? If there’s a good chance you’ll return to your current home in a year or two, the money and time you spend selling your home and then buying a new one might make renting it out a smarter option.

2. How’s the rental market?

Look at online rental sites to see what properties in your neighborhood and in similar condition to yours are renting for. Are there a lot of listings? Think about what you might charge and what you might have to do to bring your property up to the market standard. You can then get an idea whether your potential rental income will cover your expenses.

3. Where’s the neighborhood heading?

A lot of factors feed into property values, from national trends to long-term construction plans. An agent can help you understand your property’s potential for appreciation and whether or not it might pay to hang onto it.

4. How much is the hassle of being a landlord worth?

Unless you pay for a property management company (about 10 percent of the rental income), dealing with issues, emergencies and uncooperative renters (sometimes all at once, often in the middle of the night) can be trying. Ask yourself if it’s worth the stress.

5. What are the tax implications?

Each situation is unique, so before you decide to rent out your home consider talking with a tax professional. They can help you figure out how much you can expect to pay in taxes on the rental income.

If you’re ready to sell, a RE/MAX All-Pro agent is ready to help. Find an experienced professional to work with – visit RemaxAllPro.com.

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.

Five Things to Know: Millennials and Home Buying

Millennials are now major players in the home buying arena, according to the recent Home Buyer and Generational Trends report released by the National Association of Realtors:

1. Millennials accounted for 35% of buyers in 2015. This is up from 32% in 2014, and is the third year in a row Millennials have composed the largest group of recent buyers.

2. In 2015, the number of Millennials purchasing in an urban or central city area decreased to 17% from 21% in 2014. Suburbia-phobe? Perhaps not.

3. They have help getting their foot in the door. Twenty-three percent of Millennials used a financial gift for (or toward) their down payment.

4. An online search was the first step for 56% of Millennials, whether they were looking for properties or searching for information about the home buying process.

5. Almost 90% worked with a Realtor to buy their home.

Are you a Millennial looking for your next home? Work with an agent prepared for the changing marketplace. Find one here.

Selling Your Home? 3 Ways to Help Kids Cope

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Here is what they might be thinking as you begin the home-selling process, and strategies to alleviate your child’s concerns.

1. “Who is this stranger invading our lives?”
Your listing agent will become a frequent presence in your home, and your child may see him or her as the catalyst of all the changes to come. Help form a positive relationship between your kids and your agent by getting everyone together over coffee (hot chocolate for the little ones) or dinner.

2. “Where did my stuff go?”
Staging a home often means prepacking some of a child’s favorite things. Involve kids in packing as much as possible. This gives them an idea of where their toys and clothes have gone rather than fearing they’ve disappeared forever. The personal favorites – a blanket, stuffed animal or even family photos – should be the last to go. It’s easy to store them under the bed during a showing. You can even have your child put them away so he or she will know exactly where they will be when you return from an outing.

3. “Why can’t we go home?”
Vacating a house for a showing can be disruptive to kids’ schedules. Take them somewhere special so they see it as a treat. A movie, the local bookstore or a special restaurant are all good options.

If possible, it may be a good idea to let your child accompany you on a showing so they understand what visitors are doing when you have to leave your house for a couple of hours. You can also ask your agent to set up a “mock” showing of your current home for your children.

RE/MAX agents are well known for their years of experience. An agent will have even more ideas on how to make the process of selling your home a positive experience for your child. Find one here: Find My Agent

6 Questions to Ask on a Home Tour

2015-7-6-questionsThanks to the Internet and your Realtor’s digital tools, you can learn a lot about a home before visiting, such as when the house was built and the HOA or tax costs. Some things, however, are best to ask the agent in person when you’re touring a property.

1. Why are the owners selling?
The agent isn’t obligated to tell you, but he or she might. The answer could reveal issues not included in the listing description. Is there a new highway planned nearby? Are the HOA restrictions too much for the sellers to handle? If the agent does reveal, for instance, that the owner is desperate to close quickly, you might be able to use that to your advantage when negotiating price.

2. What’s the sellers’ timeline?
Do the property owners need to relocate immediately for work? Or are they waiting for their children to finish the current school year? It’s important that your timeline for moving into the home and the owner’s timeline for moving out line up.

3. What, exactly, is for sale?
Find out precisely what’s included in the sales price. That nifty new fridge with the built-in smart screen you admire might be going with the sellers to their new home. Learn whether the appliances and fixtures, such as ceiling fans, are included in the sale price.

4. Are there any issues with the property?
Yes, the sellers are required to reveal most problems, but a chatty sales agent might reveal more than is included in the disclosure document. It certainly can’t hurt to ask.

5. How are the neighbors?
Ask about the types of people that live nearby. Retirees? Young families with kids? College students? The primary population will influence the overall culture of the neighborhood and can help you determine if this is the home for you.

6. Have the owners completed any major home projects?
Lots of recent home improvements could mean the property is in better shape than ever, ready for you to enjoy. It could also indicate more work will need to be done in the future. Be sure to get the full story about any recent property updates.

You’ll have tons of questions as you search for your next home. A RE/MAX agent can help you find the answers. To meet an agent, start here: www.remaxallpro.com/agents.

3 Ways to Separate Wants from Needs in a New Home

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Rolling Stones fans and savvy homebuyers both know you can’t always get what you want. At least not everything you want. You should, however, have some sense of what you want and what you need when you start your search for a new home. Distinguishing between the wants and needs can be tricky because so much emotion can swirl around visions of your “dream home.”

But making two separate lists of wants and needs will save you hours and energy in the long run. Here are three things to do to help you decide how to assign home features to your lists:

1. Ask yourself if you can truly live without it.

“Wants” are features that would be nice to have. “Needs” are things that you really must have to function. Be honest, can you truly live without shiny new stainless steel appliances? If yes, put them in the “Wants” column. On the other hand, an additional bedroom may belong in the “Needs” column if you’re expecting twins. Creaky knees? A ranch layout is a “need.” Occasional desire for a nap by the hearth? That fireplace is a “want.”

2. Determine if a feature could be changed or added later.

No matter how ambitious you are, some things may remain beyond your control to change, like proximity to public transportation, or quality of the local school district. If these features are critical to you, they go on the “Needs” list. On the other hand, things like patios and hardwood floors can be added later. List them as “Wants.” Your agent can probably help you talk through potential future costs of renovations and additions to accommodate your wants. Changing the bus routes, on the other hand, is probably beyond the capabilities of even the most experienced Realtor.

3. Talk it through with your agent.

A trusted Realtor can bring a much-needed dose of objectivity to your decision-making. He or she can help you visualize the day-to-day reality of living with (or without) a certain feature, as well as guide you through the math that may help you separate wants from needs.

A Realtor you can trust always goes on the “Needs” list. Find a RE/MAX All-Pro agent who can guide you through the homebuying process.

April 2015 RE/MAX National Housing Report

March home sales rose a significant 33.9% over sales in February. This marks the third largest single month increase since the RE/MAX National Housing Report began in August 2008. The total number of home sales in March was the largest total of any previous March.

AV’S BEST REAL ESTATE SERVICES 2015

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It probably comes as no surprise to many in the Antelope Valley that RE/MAX All-Pro has once again been selected by Antelope Valley Press readers as AV’s Best Real Estate Services for 2015. The company is coming up on its 25th Anniversary next year and a multiple winner in this prestigious category.

“We are a very focused and forward-thinking real estate company that provides our clients the ultimate real estate experience. We understand the process of buying and selling a home through a client’s eyes and we provide them the best real estate council, advice, and negotiation skills,”says Broker/Owner Keny Terracciano.

“Our agents are the most productive and experienced agents in the Valley, and we pride ourself on the fact that nobody sells more real estate in the world than RE/MAX,” explains Broker/Owner Keny Terracciano. “When looking to buy or sell real estate, the consumers seek out the best brand in real estate, and no other brand in the world sells more real estate than RE/MAX with over 1 million homes sold worldwide in 2014.  It is a win for the client and it is a win for the agents that work at RE/MAX All-Pro.”

“As a real estate broker, I am blessed beyond measure to lead a group of highly educated, successful, and experienced Realtors with unwavering focus on navigating and educating their clients through every step of the real estate transaction,” expresses Keny Terracciano.

“As an organization, we strive to give back to the community in which we serve through our non-profit Cure a Child, our City of Lancaster partnership, and the RE/MAX All-Pro Community Outreach programs. That is our company mission, and has provided much success for our associates and brokerage,” adds Terracciano.

The company’s continuing growth is reflected in Terracciano’s opening a Palmdale location at 3001 Rancho Vista Boulevard in Rancho Vistaand they look forward to serving the entire Antelope Valley.


 

Thank you for making us AV’s BEST Real Estate Services BACK to BACK!!!
If you need help finding your dream home, contact us to put our local knowledge and experience to work for you. Get the very BEST real estate professionals on your team with RE/MAX All-Pro.

March 2015 National Housing Report

Unlike last February, this February experienced increased home sales, but with only a moderate rise in prices. Home sales in February rose 7.1% from January and 2.2% from February 2014. Sales through the fall and winter months held ground, as four of the last six months saw higher sales than the same month in the previous year.