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Moving Checklist

by Bill Nelson - Broker

Moving can be a hassle, especially when we fear were forgetting something. This moving checklist infographic will help keep you on track as well as informing you of deductibles that could apply to you.

How Not to Sell Your Home

by Bill Nelson - Broker



While the fundamentals of home staging, like de cluttering, and removing family photos, are critical when it comes to getting your home sold, it’s just as important to focus on what not to do as certain factors can act as immediate deal breakers to would-be buyers. Make sure your for-sale home doesn’t include any of the following turn-offs:

Odors. Whether it’s pet odors, last night’s stir fry or that musty basement, any type of strong odor can be an immediate deterrent to a buyer, no matter how beautifully your home is decorated or staged. We usually get accustomed to our home’s unique scent, so have a professional cleaner do the necessary work to make the environment odor-free.

Artwork. While all art is certainly subjective, keep in mind that not everyone will appreciate artwork with severe subject matter or nudity. Stick to subtle landscapes and still life subject matter, or remove artwork altogether. Sparsely decorated walls will make your home appear more spacious.

Collections. Your shelves of antique dolls or Norman Rockwell plates might be your most prized possession, but for prospective homebuyers who don’t share the same affinity, collections can skew their opinion of your home - not to mention, make it appear very cluttered. Pack away your beloved collectibles in preparation for their new home.

People. Sometimes, being present during showings can be a plus - you can provide buyers with certain details about your home and what you love most about the neighborhood. But most people don’t want the owners present when they tour a home. So clear out and give them the freedom to pour over every detail of your home and make honest comments to the REALTORS.

Weeds. Curb appeal really is everything, so if your yard isn’t up to snuff, buyers may turn around before they ever step foot inside. There’s no need to break the bank - just make sure the basics are covered: mow the lawn, weed borders and beds, trim bushes and trees, and remove all sticks, leaves and debris.

For more tips and advice on getting your home in perfect condition to list, contact me. 
                         


 

5 DIY Projects You Can Take on With Your Significant Other

by Bill Nelson - Broker

Do you remember the first date you ever went on with your significant other? The beginning, butterfly stages of any relationship are all fun and games until it becomes serious and you’re sitting on the couch in pajamas on a Saturday night.

Rekindle the flame, see the fireworks again and fall even more in love. No couple is perfect, but DIY projects can bring you and your sweetie closer than before. Here are some great DIY projects for you and your love to do together.

1. Refurbish Furniture 

Upcycling is all the rave lately. Just face it, you both dream of new furniture to give your home a fresh look, but brand new furniture can be so expensive. Save the money for a special night out with your significant other, and refurbish your old furniture instead.

To get started on this project, you should decide together which pieces of furniture you want to give a makeover. If you two would rather replace it and start from scratch, search at yard sales and thrift stores for cheap outdated furniture.

Decision making and coming to an agreement is a challenge for couples but helps the relationship get to a deeper connection. You’ll both have to choose the type of paint you want and your color, too.

You and your significant other will be so proud of the work you did together to turn something old into something new. That’s half of what you need for wedding luck right there — something old, something blue, something borrowed and something new.

2. Wooden Coffee Table 

table

There’s nothing sexier than a man showing off his handyman skills, right? Take on a weekend project and make a coffee table for your living room. When it’s finished, you two can cuddle on the couch, put your feet up and relax.

A small DIY project such as a coffee table is an easy way to spend time together while being productive. Make this project out of repurposed materials to give it a unique look.

Did you know spending quality time together is one of the secrets to a healthy relationship? Building the coffee table is a shared activity that you’ll enjoy making together, and gain satisfaction out of using it when it’s complete.

Related: High-Resale Value Projects You Can Tackle In A Weekend

3. Retaining Wall 

A relationship can get pretty stuffy when all of your time is spent indoors. Get outside in the fresh air with a hardscaping project. Build a retaining wall and turn your backyard into a romantic oasis. Cook a special dinner and eat it on the patio when the project is finished.

Retaining walls are great for turning a plain backyard slope into a gorgeous landscape. You can shape a garden out of the retaining wall, add lighting features for elegance, or simply add value to your property.

To get the perfect measurements in your backyard, GNSS can be used for landscape or hardscape layout. You and your honey can bring the vision of your backyard to life with the proper tools and techniques.

4. Movie Room 

Adding an addition onto your home is a pretty big project for the two of you to handle alone. You don’t have to build an entire new room onto your home to create a home theater. A simple DIY project of turning any wall into a projector screen will do. You’ll have the fancy feel of a movie theater from the comfort of your couch.

You and your significant other can work together to paint your wall for projection. You’ll want to paint the wall an off-white or gray depending on what projector you have or purchase. The entire wall will have to be free of any decorations, with any visible holes spackled before painting.

Grab some comfy throw blankets for the couch and cuddle up for movie nights with the one you love. Physical touch is one of the five love languages, so if you or your significant other fall under that category, this is the perfect project for you two.

5. Backyard Vegetable Garden 

veggies

A fun project with many beneficial factors is building a DIY vegetable garden for your backyard. This is a good project to do after work, when you want quiet time but also want to spend time together. Planting a garden can teach you both patience, which is something every couple needs.

From the fresh produce you grow in your backyard, you can come up with great recipes to cook dinner together. Your relationship will see growth as you both tend to the garden and appreciate the fresh vegetables you planted together. Spice things up in the kitchen with your love and fresh produce.

Get back into the groove with your lover after some quality time making a project together. No matter what project you take on, you and your significant other can enjoy the bonding experience. Even if you have to fake it until you literally make it, you will love your project and your significant other more in the end.

First American’s proprietary Real House Price Index (RHPI) looks at January 2017 data and includes analysis from First American Chief Economist Mark Fleming on the decline in affordability as consumer house-buying power dipped due to rising rates.


“While affordability is lower compared to a year ago, the level of affordability in most markets is still high by historical standards, which is why demand is expected to remain strong this spring.”


“Real purchasing-power adjusted house prices declined 0.1 percent in January, as mortgage rates did not meaningfully change and income growth continued. Despite the monthly increase in affordability and continued strong wage growth, homes are less affordable across the country compared to a year ago,” said Mark Fleming, chief economist at First American.

 

For Mark’s full analysis on affordability, the top five states and markets with the greatest increases and decreases in real house prices, and more, please visit the Real House Price Index.

 

The RHPI offers an alternative view of the change over time of house prices at the national, state and metropolitan area level. The traditional perspective on house prices is fixated on the actual prices and the changes in those prices, which overlooks what really matters to potential buyers - their purchasing power, or how much they can afford to buy. The RHPI adjusts prices for purchasing power by considering how income levels and interest rates influence the amount one can borrow.

 

The RHPI is updated monthly with new data. Look for the next edition of the RHPI the week of April 24, 2017.

032717 RHPI.jpg

Hidden Backyard Deal Breakers That Are Lurking on Your Property

by Bill Nelson - Broker

Every time a prospective home buyer walks onto your Central Coast property, there are a few things that they will absolutely not put up with. These deal breakers can be anywhere in the home, but there is one area that we often forget about: the backyard.

The backyard is very important to family life, especially here on the beautiful Central Coast. After all, this is the place where children will enjoy their childhood and play in a safe and secured environment. Most home buyers prefer single-family dwellings solely because of the usable outdoor space! Take some time to focus on your backyard. After all, there are ways that you can update your backyard without spending money.

Pool in the Backyard

To many buyers, a pool can be seen as an expensive maintenance fee that they will have to pay for on top of the mortgage. Once they see a pool, they’re going to start doing some calculations in their head thinking, “Now how much is this going to cost me?” Whether it’s above or below ground, a pool can raise a flood of concerns over child safety. But then there are those like me who love pools and are prepared to maintain them. 

Size of the Plot

The appraisal of your home is typically made in two elements, the plot size and the actual value of the physical home. That said, the size of your yard comes into play so you want to make sure that you spend a generous amount of time prepping your backyard for visitors. Getting rid of clutter and opening up the yard to make your lot feel larger will help you when it comes time to sell.

Pet Products

Hide dishes, play toys, and photos of your pets as this may make the buyer feel like the home is dirty, especially for a homeowner that doesn’t like the idea of having pets inside the house. This will be a deal breaker if the buyer is allergic to cats and/or dogs.

Landscaping

With the price of water rising rapidly and droughts in California, grass isn’t as appealing as it once was. When frugal buyers see grass, they see a sky-high water bill that will eventually lead to a dead yard and a new project to be undertaken. Think about landscaping trends like xeric landscaping, native plants, and artificial turf to make your home more appealing to all home buyers.

Leaving Backyard Photos Out of your Listing

This is a rookie mistake. If you leave out photos of your backyard, homebuyers will think that you have something to hide. If you have a gorgeous yard, why wouldn’t you want to showcase it in your listing? Are you hiding any skeletons in the closet?

Noisy Neighbors

Now this may be seen as something outside of your realm, but it may be worth a knock on the door to let your neighbors know that you will be showing your house at a given time. Rowdy neighbors can be an instant turn off to potential buyers. Make sure your neighbors’ parties are held on a different day than your open house to give buyers a better peace of mind. After all, they will share a fence with these neighbors for an indefinite period of time.

So What Are Home Buyers Looking For?

A survey conducted by the National Association of Home Builders found that new home buyers are looking for exterior lighting, lots of trees, a deck or patio, and a fenced in yard. Beyond the basics, an outdoor amenity that is rapidly gaining in popularity is the outdoor fireplace/fire pit, outdoor kitchens, and the outdoor living room.

Investing in the backyard can net you some of the highest returns. Knowing what real estate appraisers (and home buyers) are looking for will help you sell your property faster. That said, the exterior of your home is just as important as the interior of your home. Many people assume that the front and backyard aren’t crucial to the buying process so they overlook these pitfalls. Make sure that your backyard does not have any hidden deal breakers that could steer away new bids!

10 Ways to Make a Small Room Look Larger

by Bill Nelson


No matter how large your Central Coast home may be, there’s always one room that’s just a little too small. Luckily, with some quick design tricks, any room can appear larger. Try a couple of these suggestions and watch your room magically expand.

  1. Use lighter paint colors.
  2. Paint or wallpaper the ceiling in order to make a room look taller.
  3. Install wall-to-wall or floor-to-ceiling bookcases to make the ceilings look higher.
  4. Pull furniture away from the walls to create a feeling of spaciousness.
  5. Hang mirrors opposite windows to reflect light and make the room seem bigger.
  6. Keep knickknacks, framed photos, books, etc., to a minimum to create a sense of spaciousness.
  7. Use furniture that doubles for something else. For example, a lidded ottoman that’s also a seat that’s also a storage unit.
  8. Keep window treatments to a minimum to expose as much of the window—and therefore, light—as possible. Think sheer, white curtains. Or better yet, nothing at all.
  9. Stay away from bold prints and colors. Stick to smaller patterns and neutrals when it comes to rugs and upholstery.
  10. Deploy stripes, either on your walls or floors, which will make the walls look taller and the floors longer.

For more tips to make small spaces appear larger than they are, contact me today.

(Reuters) - New U.S. single-family home sales jumped to a seven-month high in February, suggesting the housing market recovery continued to gain momentum despite the challenges of high prices and tight inventories.

Other data on Thursday showed an unexpected increase in the number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits last week. Still, the labor market continues to tighten, which together with the strength in housing, should underpin economic growth.

The Commerce Department said new home sales increased 6.1 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 592,000 units last month, the highest level since July 2016. Sales have now recouped the sharp drop suffered in December.

Economists had forecast new home sales, which account for about 9.7 percent of the overall market, rising 0.7 percent to a rate of 565,000 units in February. Sales were up 12.8 percent compared to the same month last year, showing the housing market's resilience. 

Last month's sales were likely partially buoyed by unseasonably warm weather. Although mortgage rates have risen and may go higher, most economists see a limited impact on housing because a tightening labor market is improving employment opportunities for young adults.

Displaying blog entries 1-7 of 7