Friday, September 20, 2013


Thinking of selling your Lakewood home in the fall and need some quick staging ideas that may bring you more money?


It seems that here in California we do not decorate for the seasons as much as other states do. We decorate for Halloween of course, but that does not help sell the home!


Here are a few tricks I use when staging some of my listings.

 cropped table runner pic

·        Decorate the table with a runner and some small brightly colored squash. It gives the home a warm and welcome feel.


·        Open your favorite cookbook and get a recipe holder. This shows them how great your kitchen would be for cooking.cookbook on counter


·        Put pumpkins on the front steps … try two or three; two orange and one of those cool white ones. It adds a little color and is less expensive than flowers … besides no watering is required.Pumpkins on a porch

·        Buy a picture frame breakfast tray and take a picture of the front of your home and mount it in the frame. Put this on the coffee table with some cookies on a small plate. It just makes your home look so special. Call me if you want me to do this for your home!

 ·        Some cinnamon and maple soy candles always make the home smell welcoming; or boil some cinnamon or vanilla in some water on the stove.

·        Try to arrange the furniture with an open feeling and eliminate any clutter.

·        Put the trash cans outside and just use a small one under the kitchen sink.

·        Hose off the patio furniture and add a couple of beach towels to the back of the chairs and put a couple of magazines out so it shows them how nice it would be to read outside.


Fall is here and the holidays are right around the corner … if you have any questions at all about selling your home at this time of year, I would love to talk to you … with more than 25 years of experience in selling homes, I have lots of ideas and tricks that have help all my clients to sell their home … I would love the opportunity to do the same for you … just give me a call 562-882-1581.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Why Did My Home Appraise for Less Than What I Agreed to Sell It For?

Knowing How Home Pricing Works Can Avoid Appraisal Issues

When it comes to selling a home and avoiding problems with appraisals, it takes a skilled real estate agent who understands the appraisal process to avoid issues that could potentially kill your deal! If that happens you may be asking yourself, “why did my home appraise for less than what I agreed to sell it for?”
For several years now, property values in the Long Beach and Lakewood areas have been increasing. This plus the fact that we have limited inventory on properties that are priced well and many times some homes may end up selling for more than they are listed for.

As a Listing agent, my job is to make sure and provide the assigned appraiser with three GOOD comparable sale for them to use in their valuation process.
This marks the difference between a good agent and a “not-so-good agent”!

A good agent will meet the appraiser at the property and come prepared with information on comparable properties. I always go through the improvements of the property with the appraiser to ensure they are aware of all the features of our subject property.

PLEASE NOTE THE VIDEO BELOW WAS RECORDED IN 2013 but the information about why a GOOD AGENT should meet the appraiser is still true today.

Must be within the same city, within customary neighborhood boundaries, preferably within ¼ mile of the subject property but no more than ½ mile and within the past four month. They size also need to be a like-type property and within 150 Square feet of our listing; for example if our home is 1200 sq. ft. then we would use homes between 1050 and 1350 sq. feet.

Appraisers will look at these but they do give them much weight to the value. The sold properties are the only thing that can be realistically considered a true comparable. My job is to inform the appraiser why your home is worth the price we accepted an offer for and how the home differs from the properties that may have sold for a lesser amount.

In a rising value market such as the one we are currently experiencing (Spring/Summer of 2013) my strategy is and always will be to do everything I can to prevent an under-value issue but we don’t have to accept that under-value appraised value.

1. Reduce the price to match the lower appraised value.
2. Ask the buyer if they are willing to pay more and/or perhaps meet them half way.
3. Rebut the appraisal and determine why the appraiser did not consider the comps that we felt were a good representation of our subject property’s value.
In conclusion … when hiring an agent to sell your home, make sure they understand this appraisal process and are experienced in the successful resolution to problems should they occur.
If you would like more information about this subject … just give me a call 562-882-1581 or visit

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Contingency Sales and the Challenges of buying real estate as a second time, move-up buyer.


What is a Contingency, Concurrent Closing Sale Anyway?

Contingency Sales and the Challenges of buying real estate as a second time, move-up buyer. Why it is important that the agent you hire understands the ins and outs of handling this type of transaction?

Second time home buyers are different as they have a clear understanding of what they are looking for in their next home. But the challenges of avoiding a triple move can be difficult to overcome if the agent you hire is not experienced in handling this type of transaction.

Selling your existing home and buying another property and having both escrows close together can be very difficult if not handled correctly. Buying and/or selling real estate is stressful and challenging enough without complicating the situation with problems that are easily avoided.

Allison talks about how to overcome the challenges of selling & buying at the same time.

So where do you start?

When hiring an agent to sell your existing home make sure and interview at least two or three agents to determine their experience in the concurrent closing of a contingency real estate sale.

Beware of the advice that an agent may give you about just selling your current home first to get that part of the transaction out of the way … after all; you would still have the cash in the bank with which you would use to make your next purchase. View the video I published that goes into more detail as to how harmful this strategy can be and how you may actually lose money in the long run!

Hiring an agent that is experienced and who has successfully closed concurrent, contingency real estate transactions in a rising home value market is critical to your success as a seller and second-time, move-up or empty-nest home buyer.

In my video I further explain how I recommend proceeding should my home sellers not be successful in finding their next home within the specified period given in the sales contract of their existing home.

For more information or to discuss your individual situation, just give me a call.

Allison Van Wig 562-882-1581

Friday, May 10, 2013

Allison Van Wig to Ride in Tour of Long Beach for the THIRD Year in a Row ~ Giving Where She Lives as A Keller Williams Realtor

bike_tour_v from gazette_thumb[13]As a Broker-Associate Realtor with Keller Williams Realty I believe strongly in giving back to the community where I both work and live. Yesterday my whole office contributed a day of volunteer service to the Long Beach Ronald McDonald House and this weekend I will be riding in the 2013 Tour of Long Beach. This ride is a fund raising event which makes it a win-win for all!

The picture to the left is from the 2011 Tour of Long Beach, which you can read all about from my blog post from that year here. This photo appeared in the Grunion Gazette and shows me and my niece Meggan.

I had so much fun in 2012 that I decided to contribute once again which I chronicled in my blog post following up from that event … this blog post has a video that shows what this worth-while event  was all about.

Allison Van Wig - 2011 Tour of Long Beach

This year I hope to be as successful as I have been in prior years in finishing the 31 mile course … above is a photo of me at mile 25 in the 2011 Tour!

For information about this years Tour on Saturday May 11, 2013 here is a link to the article that appeared in the Long Beach Press Telegram.

Our local real estate market is on a fast moving path so I figured that my participation in this years Tour would keep me in shape for all my Seller and Buyer Clients … if you have any questions about selling in today’s competitive market … give me a call, I would be happy to email you over a market analysis of home prices in your neighborhood …

562-882-1581 …

Thursday, April 11, 2013

NEW LISTING–A Pool Home in Long Beach


This home is MOVE IN READY!!

Perfect starter home and with the pool it will be your own tropical paradise … two bedrooms and 1 bath PLUS an office, laundry room and half-bath in the detached garage just off the pool area.

Newer kitchen with granite counter tops and country type white cabinets. Living room is bright and sunny, large dining room and step-down family room with a fire place. If you would like to see more info about the near-by shopping areas and restaurants … just click the photo above … to see a YouTube home tour, visit my YouTube Channel ….

If you have any questions just give me a call 562-882-1581

Monday, April 8, 2013

Want Someone Else to Do Your Spring Cleaning?

spring cleaning list
This Spring, I thought I would have a drawing for a FREE Spring Cleaning for a lucky winner who wants someone to do spring cleaning …
Everyone knows that there are so many tips and ideas on how to do the best job of spring cleaning but I did a little research on the Internet and found a great website with tons of interesting tips …
Spring Cleaning Tips this website is full of great tips and tricks!
Now if you would like SOMEONE ELSE to do your Spring Cleaning … register to win a FREE Spring Cleaning on  I will be having the drawing to pick the lucky winner on Friday, April 19th … You must live in Southern California to be eligible to win.
If you have any questions about what is happening in our local market this spring … just give me a call 562-882-1581 or drop me an email

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

A Royal Rendezvous in Long Beach

A Royal Rendezvous Between Two Queens

A Royal Rendezvous took place Tuesday March 12th in Long Beach when the newest Cunard ship the Queen Elizabeth II came into Long Beach harbor to visit our own Queen Mary. There was such a sense of excitement and anticipation of the event in the days leading up to the event. It was talked about in the local newspaper the Long Beach Press Telegram and on The Queen Mary's facebook page.

As this blog's title says Loving Long Beach, I would be remiss if I did not express my delight when this event approached and unfolded in the community which I have served and promote without shame throughout my career as a full-time real estate agent and Realtor.

Queen Mary in Long Beach California
As the afternoon unfolded, the Promenade deck began to fill up with those that came aboard the Queen Mary ... the press was there, interviews were done and all waited to see the first signs of the royal visitor with her escort a flagship Goodyear blimp. At sunset and as scheduled ... the event unfolded for all in attendance; after the royal salute, fireworks concluded the rendezvous and visit.

To see a 4 minute video of the fireworks visit my facebook page.

Telemundo interviews Queen Mary Captain
Promenade Deck of the Queen Mary
Waiting for the Royal Rendezvous to begin

Thursday, March 7, 2013


Madison Elementary School in Lakewood
Allison Van Wig and Snow Day at Madison ElementaryThanks to local Realtor Allison Van Wig … the students at Madison Elementary school and visiting neighbors enjoyed 34 tons of snow on a sunny California afternoon where we all enjoyed a touch of summer in 81 degree weather. 

Last Saturday on March 2nd, 2013, Allison Van Wig hosted a Snow Day for the students of James Madison Elementary School located at 2801 Bomberry St in Lakewood California.

Madison Elementary is in the heart of the Lakewood Mutuals area where Allison Van Wig has been successfully listing and selling homes for over 26 years.  

With 34 tons of snow that was produced for this event, everyone had such a good time. Take a look at this video and if you attended, let Allison know what you thought.

34 tons of snow at Madison ElementaryWhat made it most enjoyable was the fact that there were so many children that had never played in the snow so with 4 sled runs and 2 play areas complete with snowmen … a fun time was had by all that attended.

If you would like to see a longer video with even more pictures go to   For more information about real estate in Long Beach or Lakewood … give Allison a call at 562-882-1581 or visit

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Buying a Home in Long Beach with an FHA Loan after a Foreclosure.

Buying a Home in Long Beach with an FHA Loan after a Foreclosure? Current FHA guidelines do not penalize a borrower with past credit hardships like bankruptcy, short sale or foreclosure. However, there are certain things that underwriters are looking at to determine that the hardship is unlikely to happen again.

Determine that it will not happen again: You may be asked to provide a Letter of Explanation (LOE) to describe the circumstances around the hardship. Your loan approval does not hinge on this letter, it’s just so the underwriter has an idea about what happened. They do not want this to be a repeat occurrence.

Re-establish good credit: DU, the automated underwriting system, considers the last 12 months. Make sure you have a minimum of 3 credit lines, at least 1 revolving credit line (credit card). Once you’ve established credit, maintain it by not making payments more than 30 days past the due date.

Income / Employment: Documenting income and establishing consistency and dependability of employment is the most important factor in qualifying for a home loan. We need two years of stable employment or just graduated and have a job in that field, i.e. nurse.

Qualifying After Foreclosure Getting Harder?

As of the writing of this article, there is no difference between applying for a FHA loan if you have a past hardship, and applying for a FHA loan if you have not.

Call me if you have any questions about Buying a Home in Long Beach with an FHA Loan after a Foreclosure. Remember, It is a good idea to get qualified now even if you may not buy for a year. Qualifying now gives you a chance to fix any problems that may stop you from buying that great home in Long Beach or Lakewood.

Allison Van Wig, 562-882-1581,