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Listing Photos: What to Look for When Shopping

AntelopeValley-listings

These days, very little is left to the imagination when it comes to browsing homes for sale online. With virtual tours, professional photos and mapped locations, it’s easy to see what you might be getting – before you ever set foot in a potential purchase. Technology certainly has its advantages, doesn’t it?

These listing features help you, the homebuyer, narrow down your home search and direct your real estate agent to specific properties. And although you shouldn’t risk ruling out an otherwise perfect property based solely on its online reputation – hey, even houses have bad days – photos and videos can help save time and energy when it comes to building your short list of homes to tour.

So what should you really be looking for based on these photos, videos and mapping tools? Start with:

  • Layout. Does it meet your space needs? Are the only bathrooms upstairs? Is there a pantry?
  • Potential Repairs. Have the original hardwood floors seen better days? Are you up for the challenge of rehabbing?
  • Yard maintenance. Does the home feature a half-acre yard – on a hill – with 30 bushes that need regular pruning? Will you have time to maintain it all – and is the yard worth the effort?
  • Lot location. Are you concerned about being on a corner lot at one of the neighborhood’s main intersections?

Remember, photos and videos can’t always capture everything, so consider your top three priorities in a home. When you think you’ve found them in a property online, it might be worth taking a look in person – even if that shade of green in the kitchen isn’t your first choice.

The best thing you can do is see what’s really there. Contact a RE/MAX real estate agent who can help you find your picture-perfect place.

Ways to Help Kids Adapt to a Move

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We all know that moving can be stressful. Add to that the confusion and anxiety that a child may feel at leaving their familiar little world, and all of a sudden moving into that new place can be downright traumatic.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. Here’s a list of some things you can do to ease your child’s transition to a new home.

  • Look for children’s books about packing, moving and getting used to a new house. See what’s available at your local library, or search online for titles. There’s plenty to choose from.
  • Talk to your kids. Explain why you’re moving in an age-appropriate way. Keep it simple and clear. An older child will understand the concept of a job transfer but a younger child might find the idea of moving to a place with more room to play a more compelling explanation. Understanding the reason behind a move will help your child better absorb the reality.
  • Changing schools as the result of a move presents its own special challenges. If you have elementary-school age children, try to visit the new school with your child before he or she starts attending. Ask to meet the teachers, tour the classrooms, and maybe spend some time at the school with your youngster. Encourage your older children to do some online research into their new school; help them explore its academic opportunities, clubs and athletics.
  • Whenever possible, involve children in some of the decisions. If you’re looking at homes for sale together, ask them for their opinions. Ask where they’d place a bed and toys in their new room, or have them pick a new paint color.
  • You might be ready for new furniture and decor, but young children might have an easier time adjusting to a new home if some familiar pieces from the previous home stick around. So don’t rush to redecorate. Familiar items may ease your youngster’s transition.
  • Try to set up your child’s new room as soon as possible, even before the rest of the house is under control. Order, calm and your child’s favorite toys easily within reach will go a long way in making him or her feel settled.
  • If possible, revisit your former neighborhood or invite your child’s friends from there to your new place. That reconnection with the past, even if it’s brief, can help your child move forward.

Fit to Sell: Why a Home Doesn’t Sell

Help close the gap between what homebuyers are looking for – a home that’s updated and well-maintained – and what’s actually available on the market. By doing so, your home has a better chance of selling quickly and for more money.

Watch the most recent RE/MAX “Fit to Sell” video to learn what three steps are needed to sell your home – and which three major elements can affect its sale.

Looking for more tips and tools on selling your home? Watch all the videos in the RE/MAX “Fit to Sell” series.

Buying Homes in the Antelope Valley; Palmdale/Lancaster Real Estate

 Buying Homes in the Antelope Valley; Palmdale/Lancaster Real Estate

Have you noticed how some “housing experts” say that demand is “overwhelmed by supply” while others throw out estimates of an “excess supply” of over three million homes? Yet, buyers keep saying how there‟s nothing to choose from? Worse yet, when they do finally find a home they want, they often submit an offer only to find that theirs is one of multiple offers the seller‟s received! Do you have a bidding war and multiple offers in your market on any listings? What‟s going on? How can in- ventory be high with slim pickings and multiple offers? According to one study, although listings may be up from January-which is true every year due to the annual winter hibernation of the housing market-on-market inventoryand new listings, are actually down from this same time last year. The study continues, “every „major market‟ except Las Vegas has less listings than this time in 2010”! Moreover, new listings of non-distressed homes, which are more frequently well-kept and owner-occupied (i.e. the kind of home that most non-investor buyers are interested in), are falling over twice as fast as bank-owned (REO) listings. Where all the listings are hiding? -Jack

From the study, “If we don‟t start to see more listings from owners who have the equity to put their homes on the market, prices of increasingly rare non-distressed listings seem likely to stop falling soon, just due to basic supply and demand. Of course, that claim leads to the big ques- tion: howsoon?” Although supply and demand are the primary drivers of the real estate market, prices seem to react to these inputs with ice-age speed. When the bubble was inflating, it took over a year of declining sales and increasing inventory before prices peaked and began to fall, and although on-market inven- tory has been declining since mid-2008, the slow recovery of sales along with a shift in psychology away from home ownership has delayed the turnaround of prices (and this isn‟t even considering all the government intervention!) As Calculated Risk recently pointed out, home prices are not far above their historic lows, although it‟s a pretty safe bet that we‟ll have a bit of an overshoot on the downside, followed by at least a few years of flat prices (which is down when inflation is factored in). Foreclosures are still quite high and will likely take three to five years to work through, but growth in both the beginning and the end of the foreclosure pipeline seem to be backing off their 2010 peaks. The worst seems to be behind us on that front. Every region has different dynamics, but with generally lousy selection, slowly recovering sales, and year‟s worth of foreclosures to work through, where does that put us today, and through the end of this year? Barring some unforeseen economic events, some believe that home prices will likely stop falling by this time next year, while others expect prices to end the year higher than where they are today. Sales will continue their slow increases, foreclosures will be slowly but surely absorbed (many by all-cash investors), and hopefully, non- distressed sellers will begin to return to the market. In the end, nobody is able to perfectly time the market, and no matter where anyone thinks the bottom is, they‟re probably wrong. Is buying a home today less risky than it was five years ago? Absolutely. Will buying a home ever be a risk-free proposition? Unfortunately, no.

Did You Know………that while gloom and doom about the housing market dominate the news, it may be overlooked that it might be a great time to buy! In a recent survey, 64% of respondents say that they think it‟s a good time to buy a house. We all know the average median house price is down almost 10% from its peak in 2007, take a closer look at the attachments to this week‟s Newsletter at when homes have been at their cheapest.


 

Is It Important To Have A Professional Short Sale Agent Negotiating On Your Behalf?

Is It Important To Have A Professional Short Sale Agent Negotiating On Your Behalf?