Monday, February 8, 2016
Tuesday, January 12, 2016
If selling your Long Beach or Lakewood home has been on the back burner of your to-do list, then now is the time to move it to the front and turn up the heat! Though spring and summer are the peak seasons of house shopping, the winter brings its own off-season bonuses to the real estate market. To get a jump start on your competition, consider the beginning of the year when selling your home.
Why? For one, there is less inventory to compete against. Fewer houses mean the chances of showings of your house increase greatly. An added bonus of that? Less times you have to clean up and clear out when your agent wants to bring in potential buyers.
Another reason to sell your home at the beginning of the year is, typically, those looking to buy during winter are doing so because they need too. Whether for work, family or other needs, they’re looking because they need a house now. Let’s face it, no one wants to tromp through rain puddles and mud, or blustery cold days to look at real estate if they don’t have too.
Motive three…money! And not just any money, but TAX money. Buyers who have been waiting for tax returns now have a deposit to put down on their new home. Or, they may be wanting to buy to get an exemption, either way it’s a win-win for homeowners wanting to sell. Another bonus? People want to know that whatever they buy is in working order. Winter time is the perfect chance to show potential buyers how your house stands up to harsh weather conditions. Walking into a warm house, maybe one with a cheery fire burning in the fireplace, with no drafts, or the sound of wind whistling through cracks, will reassure the buyer that your home is sound and well kept.
And last, but not least, with everything in hibernation, you don’t have to worry about cutting the grass or trimming the bushes as often like in the spring and summer. What more could you ask?
So if selling your home in Long Beach or Lakewood is one of your New Year’s resolutions, then consider the beginning of the year and you just may have it sold in advance of the peak season and BEFORE the competition, even starts.
For more information give Allison Van Wig a call
or email her Allison@SuperBroker.com
Wednesday, December 9, 2015
light up your Christmas & Holiday display safely & economically
Christmas lights can be modest displays to show good cheer, or million-bulb light shows that draw viewers from near and far that could compete with the Clark Griswald’s of the world. Watch the movie Christmas Vacation to see what I mean.
Here are some tips on how to get the most from your decorations and spend the least amount of money on your holiday display. These tips may seem to be very basic, but it never hurts to be reminded of the simplest of safety tips.
1. Safety first. Emergency rooms are filled with homeowners who lose fights with their holiday lights and fall off ladders or suffer electric shocks. To avoid the holiday black and blues, never hang lights solo; instead, work with a partner who holds the ladder. Also, avoid climbing on roofs after rain or snow.
2. Unpack carefully. Lights break and glass cuts. So unpack your lights gingerly, looking for and replacing broken bulbs along the way.
3. Extension cords are your friends. Splurge on heavy-duty extension cords that are UL-listed for outdoor use. To avoid overloading, only link five strings of lights together before plugging into an extension cord.
4. LEDs cost less to light. LED Christmas lights use roughly 70% to 90% less energy and last up to 10 times longer than incandescent bulbs. You can safely connect many more LED light strings than incandescents. Downside: Some think they don’t burn as brightly as incandescent bulbs.
5. Solar lights cost nothing to run. Solar Christmas lights are roughly four times more expensive to buy than LEDs, but they cost zero to run. They’re a bright-burning, green alternative. Downside: If there’s no sun during the day, there’s no light at night. The jury’s also still out on how long they last; they’re too new on the market for results.
6. Dismantle lights sooner than later. Sun, wind, rain, and snow all take their toll on Christmas lights. To extend the life of lights, take them down immediately after the holidays. The longer you leave the up, the sooner you’ll have to replace them.
7. Plan next year’s display on Dec. 26. Shop the after-Christmas sales to get the best prices on lights and blowups that you can proudly display next year. Stock up on your favorite lights so you’ll have spares when you need them (and after they’re discontinued).
8. Permanent attachments save time. If you know you’ll always hang lights from eaves, install permanent light clips ($13 for 75 clips) that will save you hanging time each year. You’ll get a couple/three years out of the clips before sun eats the plastic.
9. Find those blueprints. Instead of guessing how many light strings you’ll need, or measuring with a tape, dig up your house blueprints or house location drawings (probably with your closing papers) and use those measurements as a guide.
10. Store them in a ball. It sounds counterintuitive, but the best way to store lights is to ball them up. Wrap five times in one direction, then turn the ball 90 degrees and repeat. Store your light balls in cardboard boxes, rather than in plastic bags: Cardboard absorbs residual moisture and extends the life of your lights.
Tuesday, November 17, 2015
Don’t be detracted by deferred maintenance; instead, perform an inspection to eliminate the risk of serious problems, then use the condition as a negotiation tool.
First Impressions: More than one home has suffered from a bad first impression; overgrown shrubs, faded paint, lack of shutters and stained concrete walkways make any home look tired and dull.
Fortunately, first impressions are fast and affordable projects; landscaping, pressure washing and a new doorknob quickly turn a tired entrance into an inviting space.
Lights and Appliances: Upgrading lights and appliances might be one of the best ways to add value to any home.
Energy-efficient appliances and beautiful LED lighting not only provide a modern, up-to-date appearance but are quieter, easier to operate and more dependable than older models.
Cosmetically Challenged: Some homes simply suffer from wear & tear; old carpets and personalized paint choices may have once been your pride and joy but they usually don’t translate well into the general market.
Rather than succumbing to the “shock and awe” when encountering a cosmetically challenged home, focus on the structure and surroundings instead. Cosmetic fixes often result in the largest and best return on your dollar when it comes to adding value to the price of a home.
If you would like some specific ideas as they relate to your home and property, I would love the opportunity of speaking with you and giving you the perspective you need to improve your home’s value – Just give me a call 562-882-1581 or drop me an email Allison@SuperBroker.com.
Monday, October 26, 2015
Whether you are buying or selling a home or entering into any other type of real estate transaction, chances are you will hear a lot about “comps” so it might come in handy to understand what they really are and why they matter.
Comps are comparisons between your property and other similar properties. Age, location, amenities, and the general condition of the home are all used to compare your property against others in the same general vicinity in order to establish a price or fair market value. Appraisers can only use properties as a comparable if it is the same city as the subject property, even if it is on the opposite side of the street; if it is in a different city, it CAN NOT be used.
Why the Asking Price of Your Neighbor’s Home Doesn’t Count
Many sellers mistakenly look at the asking price of homes in the immediate vicinity when trying to establish a listing price, but that is often a major mistake. Actual sales data is a much more reliable indicator of value, since some sellers can be overly optimistic when it comes to setting an asking price. The period of time of when a sale closed escrow is also a closely watched, for example it is usually within 90-120 days.
Buyers also benefit from obtaining accurate comp data in order to determine what amenities, upgrades, and other items are included. Even homes that superficially look exactly the same in terms of square footage or floor plans may have substantial upgrades or extras that dramatically impact the price of the home.
Get the Most Accurate Data
It is a good idea to insist upon accurate and up-to-date comps when buying or selling a home, and best to not confuse true comps with estimates or other inaccurate sources of data.
Many popular websites like Zillow and Trulia use estimates based upon self-reported data or generalized insurance replacement rates. While these may be useful for rough guidelines, they may cost you tens of thousands of dollars when buying or selling a home. It is best to only work with an agent who provides the latest information specific for the area you are considering.
Age, condition, maintenance, upgrades, amenities, landscaping, appliances, energy efficiency, attractiveness, and even whether or not you have a corner lot can make a tremendous difference in the desirability and price of a home.
Having worked in the Lakewood and Long Beach area for over 28 years and having sold over 1,000 homes I have come to know that the only way to determine the true value of a home is to do the proper research using the most accurate and up to date statistics and data. If you would like to find out what your home is worth, please visit www.LakewoodPrices.com and I will provide you with a computerized market analysis.
If you have any specific questions, please feel free to just give me a call ~ 562-882-1581.
Friday, September 18, 2015
Now that online listings provide potential homebuyers with instant access to homes for sale, there’s little reason to enlist the services of a buyer’s agent, right? Well, the short answer to that proposition is … wrong!
This opening statement, is based upon the notion that most of what all a buyer’s agent does for you is to find your new home. Veteran homeowners and first-time homebuyers alike, all know a buyer's agent’s services reach far beyond just the initial search.
Even so, taking that task on by yourself requires a great deal of diligence (and more time than most of us can spare). Most of the time the homes you find on Zillow or Trulia have already gone under contract by another buyer and are not even available for purchase.
WHAT DOES A BUYER’S AGENT REALLY DO?
A local buyer’s agent removes these obstacles by keeping a daily lookout for appropriate new listings as they come into the agents Multiple Listing Service. Knowing what their client wants, the agent then weeds out the homes that fall short of matching up with a buyer’s requirements, they also preview listings to save you time, they then play phone tag with listing agents to set up appointments so clients can tour the properties that may be THE ONE!
A local buyer’s agent has first-hand knowledge of our local neighborhoods and many times has already previewed the individual properties. That extra insight allows the agent to point out homes that you might not have picked from its listing alone, they can offer you homes that may be perfect for you in the long run.
WHY NOT JUST WORK WITH THE LISTING AGENT?
The seller's listing agent works for the seller, not you. When you team up with your own buyer’s agent, you have someone in your corner who can offer you sound advice and represent only you throughout the entire process.
If you're a first time homebuyer, there’s an extra incentive; inevitably, you're going to have a lot of questions — and you'll benefit from the extra guidance you get on your first time through the home purchasing process. Even if you have purchased before … with all the changes and new legal documents involved in the home buying process, you need someone with experience to guide you and answer all your questions.
Help will come not only by identifying the right home, your buyer’s agent offers you with an experienced skill set that is needed to negotiate your purchase contract then upon a final agreement there is a myriad of other tasks to accomplish!
Among those other tasks are identifying a suitable home inspector, interpreting the resulting inspection report, and dealing with the voluminous paperwork that comes afterward … escrow instructions, a huge stack of disclosures, the list goes on and on!
While there is no requirement to engage a buyer’s agent in town, given the size of the investment you are going to be making, having someone in your corner makes good sense.
DO I HAVE TO PAY A FEE TO BUYER’S AGENT?
Van Wig & Associates philosophy is we will work hard for you and in return what we ask of you is that you are loyal to us … if we do not meet your expectations within a reasonable amount of time … then FIRE US and find another agent but working with an agent that is committed your success is the first step to becoming a happy homeowner.
Ready to buy? Good - because we are ready to go to work for you!
Search for Homes linked to the MLS www.AutomaticHomeSearch.com
FOR THE BEST MOVE OF YOUR LIFE … LET US WORK FOR YOU!
Thursday, September 17, 2015
Take a look at Bixby Area Home
Three bedroom, two baths, country style kitchen, nice size living room, and a lot that is over 7000 square feet. Nice patio area and raised planters.
Join in First Fridays on Atlantic and shopping at Trader Joes.
Text VANWIG2 TO 79564 or ...
Call me today for more info. 562-882-1581