Completing Your Final Walk-Through
You put a lot of effort into finding the right house, and now that your closing is just days away, you're finally ready to start calling your new place home. Before this can happen, however, you should do a final walk-through of the property.
What is a final walk-through?
A final walk-through isn't a home inspection (that typically takes place in conjunction with your offer). It's not the time to request new repairs, either. Instead, this is an opportunity to make sure the condition of the home is as expected. Specifically, you'll want to confirm there haven't been any unexpected or unwanted changes made to the property.
What should you look for?
Make sure there isn't any move-out damage and that all your requested repairs have been made. You'll also want to check that no extra furnishings have been left behind and that everything included in the home price -- items like appliances, light fixtures or window blinds -- are in place and in good condition. Use a checklist to guide you through this process.
When does it take place?
The final walk-through can happen anywhere from a few days prior to your closing to just a few hours before.
Finally, be sure to bring a copy of your contract along for reference and consider asking your real estate agent or a home inspector to help you double-check everything and verify repairs. Remember, this is your last chance to give the property a good once-over before you legally claim it as your own.
The Home Improvement Projects
With the Highest ROI in 2018
Posted on Jan 17 2018 - 4:35pm by Jameson Doris
A strong housing market isn't necessarily all good news for sellers. As evidenced by Remodeling magazine's newly-released Cost vs. Value Report for 2018, average return on investment (ROI) for home improvement projects dipped across the board, with "upscale" projects taking the biggest hit.
The report, which measures the average cost of 21 popular remodeling projects and their average resale value one year later, found that garage door replacement has the highest ROI at 98.3 percent (up from 85 percent year-over-year). Backyard patio jobs garner the lowest ROI, at 47.6 percent (down from 54.9 percent year-over-year).
The reason for the sweeping decrease in ROI isn't immediately obvious, but Remodeling magazine's editor-in-chief (and manager of the report) Craig Webb notes that it's likely related to the strength of the housing market currently.
"It's not clear if...nationwide affordability concerns are leading (real estate) pros to question the value of renovations that would make a house even more expensive at resale," says Webb.
However, a silver lining from the report relates to when the data was compiled. Remodeling magazine put all the cost information together before the country was struck with several natural disasters, including massive forest fires and several hurricanes. Since then, building supplies and the price of skilled labor has increased, but that's expected to change over the course of 2018. As a result, expect to see the ROI of most of these projects level out by the end of the year.
Despite these events, some longtime trends continued through the new year. Remodeling is still far more cost-effective than replacement, but, according to real estate pros, replacing is still the way to go. This year, there's a 20-point difference in ROI: 76.1 percent for replacement jobs, versus 56 percent for remodeling.
Nationally, when it comes to renovation ROI, curb appeal still wins out. Here are the top five projects with the greatest ROI in the report's "midrange" cost category:
Manufactured Stone Veneer (97.1% ROI)
Garage Door Replacement (98.3% ROI)
Backyard Patio (47.6% ROI)
Master Suite Addition (48.3% ROI)
7 Pricing Myths You Need to Get Past If You Want to Sell Your Home
By Lighter Side Staff
Setting the asking price accurately can mean the difference between getting an offer quickly and having a house languish for months, drawing little interest.
With that in mind, it’s important that potential sellers block out a lot of the noise that often surrounds the intricate art and science of pricing. There are plenty of myths that may cause sellers to lose sleep at night as they attempt to separate fact from fiction.
The following are statements that can stand in the way of a successful sale.
1. ‘If we keep waiting, a better offer will come along!’
2. ‘Getting an offer right away, means the agent priced it too low!’
When sellers receive an offer from the first showing, they may be skeptical or hesitant to accept it, wondering if other prospective buyers would be inclined to pay more. Thoughts of potential bidding wars could cause sellers to want to wait and see who else falls for their place. But, remember the old adage, “A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush?” There’s no guarantee other would-be buyers are waiting around the corner. If the offer is a fair one, entertain it and count your blessings.
When sellers receive an offer early in the process, as excited as they might be, many can’t help but wonder, “Should we have asked for more money? Did our agent price it too cheaply?” While it’s natural to be skeptical (and even a little greedy), receiving an offer on the early end of the spectrum most likely means your home was priced accurately and attractively. If you trust your agent, you know he or she didn’t pick a number out of the sky, but rather based it on extensive market research. So, be glad your sale is moving in the right direction.
3. ‘We should price it so there’s room to negotiate!’
Let’s be honest: Most sellers would love to get top dollar for their homes. But overpricing it with the intention of being willing to accept a lower offer may just leave you empty handed in the long run. Plus, if you have to drop your ask multiple times, buyers may begin to wonder what’s wrong with the place — other than the price, that is.
4. ‘That’s not what my Zestimate says it’s worth!’
Have you ever noticed how homeowners are eager to believe Zestimates or other automated valuation models when that price exceeds their expectations? Yet, when the opposite happens, they assume it’s outdated or erroneous information? The point we’re making is, these numbers can be inaccurate, so again, trust your agent over the Internet. Enough said.
5. ‘We can add all renovation costs to the asking price!’
Sellers may adore the improvements and renovations they’ve made and want to add in those costs to the asking price. But remember, not every change is going to land a huge return on investment. If you’re curious about what you can expect on those fixes, check out Remodeling Magazine‘s annual ‘Cost Versus Value’ report to get an idea of which upgrades yield the biggest bang for your buck. Also, as you’re making changes, bear in mind that the infinity pool you view as an asset may just seem like a huge liability to a buyer.
6. ‘My Realtor® overpriced my house to make a larger commission.
Agents are paid a percentage of the selling price of the home. However, even if they were to raise the ask by $25,000, in most cases that would yield an additional $1,500 in commission, which would then be divvied up between the broker the agent is working for and the buyer’s agent, leaving your agent with less than $750 more in his or her pocket. It’s hard to imagine an agent would blow a potential quick sale — and take on weeks or months of additional showings and marketing expenses — for a few hundred dollars.
7. ‘Reducing the price is a sign of weakness!’
While no homeowner is eager to drop the listing price, if time is passing and there’s been little interest, it could be time to consider lowering the ask. Remember, time is money. While you’re waiting for someone to meet your price, you’re still paying the mortgage, taxes, utilities, and insurance etc. Plus, sometimes, lowering the price can put your home in front of a group of new buyers, which could generate a lot more interest and, ultimately, get the price back up closer to where it was in the first place.
The best place to start is with a REALTOR, he or she does this everyday and has a good idea to help you get started! Buying or Selling ....Give me a call and let's talk!
Good Morning just thought I would share a little housing information.
The 2017 Summer home buying and selling season finished strong, according to the October 2017 RE/MAX National Housing Report.
And although the Season has now changed to Fall, we’re not seeing many changes within the market. The number of available homes for sale remains low and home prices are still rising year-over-year.
Curious how much your home may be worth in today’s market? Reply to this post or give me a call! I’m always happy to answer any of your real estate and home value questions.
The City of Palmdale will host a free e-waste recycling event on Sunday, October 15th from 8:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. at the City of Palmdale Maintenance Yard, located at 39110 3rd St. East.
Funded by a grant from CalRecycle, Palmdale residents will be able to safely dispose of their electronic equipment at no cost. E-Waste includes electronic equipment that is no longer working or relevant. Items accepted at this e-waste event include computers, tablets, printers, televisions, VCR's, telephones, microwaves, fax machines, stereos, speakers, electronic games, household batteries, fluorescent light bulbs and cell phones.
A permanent e-waste collection center is located at the Antelope Valley Public Landfill, 1200 West City Ranch Road, and is open on the first and third Saturday of each month from 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. In addition to the e-waste items mentioned above, this permanent facility also accepts non-controlled pharmaceuticals, needles or syringes, antifreeze, car batteries, cleaning supplies, cosmetics, used motor oil, pesticides, household batteries, fluorescent light bulbs and cell phones.
Another e-waste collection event hosted by the City of Palmdale will be held on Saturday, January 6, 2018 from 8:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. at the Best of the West Softball Complex, 2723 Rancho Vista Blvd.
For more information, please call 661-267-5300
by Meg White
Long Standing beliefs-
These days amplified by social media bubbles and spin-Can be flat wrong.Through research, crowd sourcing, and interviews with industry experts known for their skeptical eye, We have uncovered some of the most questionable dogma, along with reasons why they should be dismissed. Reconsidering these ideas may embolden yourself to challenge other dubious notions!
1. New windows make a home energy efficient
While there there is a boon for curb appeal and to replace those fogged up windows they are unlikely to be critically important to a homes efficiency. The Federal Trade commission has warned or filed charges against more than a dozen window manufacturers to ensure their marketing is truthful. Some companies promise up to a 50% return on investment thanks to the energy savings when Laura Stukel estimates that number to be closer to 3%. A window is an insulated hole and a hole will never be efficient. You want to be more efficient and help cut your energy bill whether it be with your AC or Heater, Start with putting more insulation in the attic as it has settled over the years, and it will be a 1/3 the cost of installing new windows.
2. Members of Generational groups are the same.
Not All Millennials want Micro-Apartments and Not All baby boomers fear technology Not All senors want to age on place and not all Gen Xers are stuck in homes they bought during the boom. Researchers group generations together to better understand trends but with homes .........it is best to ask, because Millennials are everywhere, and connected boomers act and think like millennials.
The housing package passed by California lawmakers is the biggest thing they've done in years. But it won't lower your rent
“Three California measures have passed, Senate Bills 2, Senate Bill 3, and Senate Bill 35, comprise the key parts of the housing deal. Under SB 2, those refinancing their homes or filing other real estate documents — aside from home and commercial property sales — will pay a fee of $75 with a maximum of $225 paid per transaction. The measure is expected to raise about $250 million a year to finance the construction of affordable housing.
What are your thought of this? Read this article below!
California lawmakers sped to the close of the legislative session on Friday, addressing one of their signature issues with a sweeping package of bills aiming to address the state’s crippling housing costs.
The bills expect to raise billions in funding to help finance the construction thousands of new homes for the state’s low-income residents. They also attempt to ease local regulations on home building — a necessary move, lawmakers said, to help middle-class Californians who are now overwhelmed by costs.
“I’ve read study after study after study outlining this crisis,” said Assemblyman Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica), one of the leading legislators on housing issues. “We’re here to do something about it.”
Three measures, Senate Bills 2, 3 and 35, comprise the key parts of the housing deal. Under SB 2, those refinancing their homes or filing other real estate documents — aside from home and commercial property sales — will pay a starting fee of $75 with a maximum of $225 paid per transaction. The measure is expected to raise about $250 million a year to finance the construction of affordable housing.
SB 3 places a bond measure on the November 2018 statewide ballot with $3 billion set aside to also finance low-income development, and an additional $1 billion for veterans home loans. SB 35 would require cities and counties to limit environmental, planning and other reviews on land already zoned for a developer’s proposed amount of housing.
Gov. Jerry Brown is expected to sign the three bills.
“This comprehensive approach does what’s long been needed in California — build new homes and improve access to housing,” Brown said in a joint statement over the summer with Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon and Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León.
Housing was one of many major issues lawmakers addressed before adjourning for the year, including legislation that would make California a so-called sanctuary state for immigrants here illegally and a bill to move up the 2018 presidential primary to the spring.
Growing housing costs have touched every part of California. The state’s median home value of $505,800 is more than 2½ times the national average, and nearly 2 million residents pay more than half their income on rent.
Just this week, the U.S. Census bureau revealed that one in five Californians is living in poverty — the nation’s highest rate — once accounting for housing and other costs of living.
“The poverty rate in California, everyone talks about it,” said state Sen. Toni Atkins (D-San Diego), author of SB 2. “Look at everything we do. For child care, for education, for minimum wage, for health care. All those things are significant. And because of housing costs, it negates all those good things.”
This year’s decision represents lawmakers’ largest attempt to address the problem in recent memory. In 2011, at the height of the state’s budget crisis, legislators ended an urban renewal program that contributed billions of dollars to finance low-income housing. Ever since, lawmakers introduced a version of SB 2 every year to no avail. Last year, other major housing legislation crumbled after Brown and lawmakers couldn’t agree to a final deal.
Even though lawmakers hailed Friday’s votes as historic, the bills won’t put much of a dent in California’s affordability problems. The state will remain billions of dollars short annually of the money needed to finance new homes for the neediest Californians, according to state and third-party estimates of the legislation. Similarly, tens of thousands of additional new homes will be needed each year simply to keep pace with population growth.
Opponents of the legislation noted that the state’s problems are so large that it would be prohibitively expensive to address them with new taxpayer spending.
“The numbers prove that this is simply not the case,” Assemblyman Jay Obernolte (R-Big Bear Lake) said during debate on SB 2 Thursday evening.
Despite the bills’ limited effects, the votes were far from assured. Rendon held the roll call vote on SB 2 open for nearly an hour Thursday evening as the measure was two votes short of a two-thirds supermajority threshold needed for passage. SB 2 passed after Rendon held beer-fueled lobbying efforts off the floor of the Assembly with two Democrats who were holding out, and thanks to a Republican assemblyman who unexpectedly voted in favor.
The lawmaker, Brian Maienschein of San Diego, said his decision was motivated by an outbreak of hepatitis A in his city, which has killed 16 homeless residents in recent months. Maienschein, who worked on homelessness issues at the United Way in San Diego prior to his election, said he didn’t like forcing homeowners to pay more, but the problem had reached emergency levels.
“This is a public health crisis,” Maienschein said. “Our economy is at risk. And everyone in San Diego’s quality of life is affected by this.”
Republican lawmakers also raised sharp objections to SB 3, the housing bond. GOP legislators who are military veterans argued that legislative leaders included $1 billion for veterans’ home loans only to engender sympathy from voters at the ballot box.
“We have taken the image of a veteran and wrapped this other item in the flag,” Assemblyman Rocky Chavez (R-Oceanside) said during debate Thursday night. “Ladies and gentlemen, as a veteran I find that offensive.”
Atkins attributed part of the difficulty in securing the votes for a housing package to fatigue among Democrats, who voted earlier this year to increase the gas tax and extend cap and trade, the state’s primary program to combat climate change. Like SB 2, both those measures required two-thirds supermajorities, and Democrats vulnerable to reelection battles next year were wary of a third such decision.
The lone Democrat who voted against SB 2, Sabrina Cervantes of Riverside, called the bill“a regressive tax that disproportionately affects the middle class.”
“It took a lot of effort,” Atkins said. “But it was time.”
NATIONAL FLOOD INSURANCE PROGRAM SET TO EXPIRE
The current authorization for the National Flood Insurance Program is set to expire at the end of September 2017. Both the National Association of REALTORS® and the California Association of REALTORS® are working with Congress to pass a long-term extension. So far, the House Financial Services Committee has passed a package of bills that would extend the NFIP and make reforms to financially strengthen it. N.A.R. is working with members of Congress to improve those bills.
If Congress does not pass a long-term extension to the program, C.A.R. and N.A.R. are hopeful Congress will pass a short-term extension that allows them to continue to work on a larger reform package that includes a long-term extension.
Lets hope they get this figured out quickly!
Securing your online accounts is vitally important. The consequences of being hacked can be great — someone could lock you out of your email account. If that account is used for password recovery for your other accounts, then a hacker could get access to all of those as well. There are a few basic things that you should make sure you do to protect your email account:
1. Provide a secondary email address for recovery.
2. Provide a phone number for password recovery.
3. Turn on 2 Factor Authentication.
Turning on 2 Factor Authentication is the most important thing to do. Even if someone does guess your password, they will still need the six digit code from Google authenticator on your phone or tablet, and that will stop hackers cold.
If you do end up getting hacked, the first thing to do is create a new email address. Then sign into all of your other online accounts and change the password recovery email address to the one you just created. You should also contact the company's support and have them verify your identity in another way. While recovery questions are rather insecure themselves, if you did set them up, they could help prove your identify as well.
Facebook recently has implemented a new security measure where you can designate three trusted contacts for password recovery. If you forget your password, Facebook will send each friend a code, and you'll need to get all three codes to get back into your account. I recommends reading these three articles on what can happen when your accounts are hacked:
Kevin Roos: I dared two expert hackers to destroy my life. Here's what happened.
Mat Honan: How I Resurrected My Digital Life After an Epic Hacking
What we give away when we log on to a public Wi-Fi network
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