A lot of sellers don't listen to their real estate agents, so we'll tell you what your agent wants to say, but can't say to you and this is it - your agent can't get you the price you want unless your home is in pristine move-in condition.
That means no sticking drawers in the kitchen. No leaning fences. No rust-stained plumbing fixtures. We could go on, but maybe we need to make it clear. If you have even one of following "turn-offs," your home won't sell.
Buyers can get instantly turned off. Here are their five biggest turn-offs:
- Overpriced for the market
- Deferred maintenance
- Dark, dated décor
Overpricing your home
Overpricing your home is like trying to crash the country club without a membership. You'll be found out and escorted out.
If you ignored your agent's advice and listed at a higher price than recommended, you're going to get some negative feedback from buyers. The worst feedback, of course, is silence. That could include no showings and no offers.
The problem with overpricing your home is that the buyers who are qualified to buy your home won't see it because they're shopping in a lower price range. The buyers who do it will quickly realize that there are other homes in the same price range that offer more value.
Smells can come from a number of sources - pets, lack of cleanliness, stale air, water damage, and much more. You may not even notice it, but your real estate agent may have hinted to you that something needs to be done.
There's not a buyer in the world that will buy a home that smells unless they're investors looking for a bargain. Even so, they'll get a forensic inspection to find out the source of the smells. If they find anything like undisclosed water damage, or pet urine under the "new" carpet, then they will either severely discount their offer or walk away.
If your tables are full to the edges with photos, figurines, mail, and drinking glasses, buyers' attention is going to more focused on running the gauntlet of your living room without breaking any Hummels than in considering your home for purchase.
Too much furniture confuses the eye - it makes it really difficult for buyers to see the proportions of rooms. If they can't see what they need to know, they move on to the next home.
Deferred maintenance is a polite euphemism for letting your home fall apart. Just like people age due to the effects of the sun, wind and gravity, so do structures like your home. Things wear out, break and weather, and it's your job as a homeowner to keep your home repaired.
Your buyers really want a home that's been well-maintained. They don't want to wonder what needs to fixed next or how much it will cost.
The reason people are looking at your home instead of buying brand new is because of cost and location. They want your neighborhood, but that doesn't mean they want a dated-looking home. Just like they want a home in good repair, they want a home that looks updated, even if it's from a different era.
Harvest gold and avocado green from the seventies; soft blues and mauves from the eighties, jewel tones from the nineties, and onyx and pewter from the oughts are all colorways that can date your home. Textures like popcorn ceilings, shag or berber carpet, and flocked wallpaper can also date your home.
When you're behind the times, buyers don't want to join you. They want to be perceived as savvy and cool.
In conclusion, the market is a brutal mirror. If you're guilty of not putting money into your home because you believe it's an investment that others should pay you to profit, you're in for a rude awakening. You'll be stuck with an asset that isn't selling.
To develop your interior color scheme, the color wheel is a good place to start. Learning how colors are created and what effect they have on you can be useful in helping you set the ambiance you want for your home.
If there were only 12 colors in the universe, choosing a decorating color scheme wouldn't be difficult, but it's the millions of variations of the color wheel that complicate matters. The impact colors have on how you want to feel is largely due to how much chroma or intensity they have. The more chroma or pigment a color has, the more intense it is.
A highly saturated hue or color is energetic, attention-grabbing, and bold. Hue is another word for pure color, the point at which any color is at its clearest. See: color-wheel-artist.com
If you add white, you soften the hue, cool it down and turn it toward a pastel version of itself, otherwise known as a tint. The less chroma you have, the lighter the tint. Tints are like the early buds of spring - youthful, delicate and gentle.
When you add black to any hue, you deepen and darken the color, which is known as a shade. Shades tend to be rich, mysterious, and sophisticated.
A tone is composed of a hue with added grey, or a blend of white and black. Tones tend to be neutral, relaxing and comforting. Think of the expression "toned down."
Color and mood
Keeping the effects of hues, tints, shades and tones in mind, colors have the power to energize or to relax you, to annoy you or to soothe you. To choose a main color for your décor, think about how you want to feel when you're in your home.
The main color is what you will use on the largest areas of the home - walls, ceilings floors or furniture.
Do you want your home to be a retreat, a haven? You can try the colors of nature - earth tones of beiges, browns and greens. If you prefer cool colors, try soft hues of blue.
Whatever you choose as your main color, you can punch it up or tone it down by putting other colors around it. You can also control the impact of the color by using it in an entire room or on one wall as an accent. You can control the intensity by changing the hue, shade, tint or tone.
For example, you may choose a neutral beige or tan for your couch and draw attention to it with bright orange accent pillows.
Placing color for effect
Start by choosing the color family you want based on your favorite hue. You may love vivid colors such as fire engine red or royal blue. Imagine the whole room done in your color and you may begin to see a problem - that the hue is simply too intense.
Next, try to imagine an accent wall in your favorite hue. Still too intense? You don't have to give up your signature color. You can always use fire engine red on the front door or a chair seat or in a painting.
Choose whether or not you want the color on the walls to be dark or light, and that will tell you whether or not you want to go in the direction of a tint or a shade.
Darker rooms are cozier and more calming, but they can also make a space seem smaller. If you prefer the drama of a spicy or deeper shade on your walls, you can lighten the effect by painting your doors, trim and crown molding a soft white which will make any wall color pop.
One way you can choose colors for your home is by colors you enjoy wearing. If you feel pretty in pink or handsome in oxford blue, think about using those colors somewhere in your home. You'll enjoy colors more if they're flattering to you as well as to your furnishings.
The beauty of color theory is that you can use almost any color you wish in a home, if it's in the right amounts and appropriate to the architecture or the home and the use of the room.
For most buyers, the mortgage is the largest monthly expense they will have. Yet most borrowers will do little to no preparation, negotiation, or shopping to get the best deal. And they end up paying much more for their loans than they need to. You? You're smarter than that, or you wouldn't be reading this article. Here are five of the biggest mistakes that can cost you real money.
1. Believing advertised rates are what you'll pay
Unless you have perfect or near-perfect credit, most advertised rates are out of your league. To get boasting rights on a rate that good, you have to pay part of a point (one percent of the loan amount) a point, or more to get the best rates.
Your lender will go over your credit with a fine-tooth comb to find anything to raise the rate. That includes qualifying you at the beginning of the transaction, and then running your credit again a day or two before you're supposed to close on the home and loan. If there's been any change in your debt-to-income ratio, goodbye low mortgage rate.
2. Not comparing lenders
Just like everyone knows two or three real estate agents or more, everyone knows a loan officer or a mortgage broker. A loan officer works for a bank or savings and loan and can only offer you loan packages that the bank has put together. A mortgage broker prequalifies you just like a loan officer, and shops your deal around to various lenders.
Whether you talk to a loan officer or a mortgage broker, you're going to have to share personal financial information in order to get a realistic rate. Reputable brokers will show you what certain banks and credit unions quoted and you can pick the loan you like best.
If you'd rather do your own shopping, consider talking to a local bank, a national bank, a credit union, and a savings and loan, but remember, unless you give them personal information and permission to run your credit, it's just talk.
3. Not paying attention to terms
Advertised rates even for those with perfect credit aren't what you will actually pay. The true cost of the loan is the APR or annual percentage rate, which includes fees from the lender.
Understanding loan terms is harder than shopping for a new mattress. There are so many ways lenders can inch up the fees. A loan origination fee is also called a processing fee. It pays the loan officer or mortgage broker, so this fee can vary widely. You may pay one lender more for an appraisal than another might charge you.
One lender may charge more for pulling your credit than another. It's all in your good faith estimate, which you don't get until you've applied for the loan.
All terms are negotiable, so don't be afraid to ask what a particular fee is for and can it be reduced or eliminated.
4. Waiting for a better rate
It's great to have bragging rights on a low rate, but you don't want to lose the home of your dreams over a quarter of a point in interest.
There's a big picture here you could be missing. No matter what your interest rate is, you're going to pay thousands of dollars in interest up front before you make any serious gain in equity. If you go all the way to the end of your loan's term, you'll pay so much interest that you could have bought the same home two or three times.
Instead of focusing on the percentage rate, work on how quickly you can build equity. Make one extra payment a year. Pay $25, $100, or $500 extra per month and you'll more than offset the rate you're paying.
Down the road, if rates drop through the floor, you can refinance, but even that's not an ideal solution. You'll pay loan origination fees, title search fees, appraisal fees and so on -- enough to equal the closing costs you paid the first time around.
And don't forget, you'll start the amortization schedule all over again -- with most of your payments going to interest instead of principal.
5. Choosing the wrong type of loan
Many families were hurt post-9/11 when lenders opened the spigots and gave a loan to almost anyone who could sign the paperwork. Suckers bought homes that were too expensive using balloon loans with low teaser rates.
The type of loan you choose should depend on current market conditions and how long you plan to stay in your home, not how much home you want to buy.
Current market conditions favor fixed rates, because rates are rising from all-time lows. Yes, they cost more than hybrid loans or adjustable rate loans, but the base amount is fixed and doesn't change. Only your taxes and hazard insurance will cost you more over the years.
If you get an adjustable rate mortgage, you are at the mercy of market conditions. While there's a cap on how high your interest rate can go, it's still a risk.
If you plan to stay in your home five years or more, get a fixed-rate mortgage. If you plan to sell your home sooner, you're taking a risk. It takes most borrowers five years just to earn back their original closing costs in equity.
Once you've narrowed your choice of lenders, ask them on the same day to give you a quote. If you wait even one day, rates may have changed, so you're no longer comparing apples to apples.
How to Come Up with the Down
Saving for a down payment is tough
– especially if you’re a young home shopper. Here are saving strategies that
millennials and other cash-strapped, would-be buyers can use to get into a home
For many prospective homebuyers,
saving for a down payment can be a struggle. But without the necessary upfront
finances, the dream of homeownership can be difficult to achieve.
This especially is true for younger
According to a recent survey published
by Trulia, 60 percent of millennials (aged 18 to 34) indicate that finances are
the largest sole barrier preventing them from owning of home (approximately 50
percent of respondents said they would turn to parents or grandparents for
financial assistance to purchase a residence). Further, a newly published
report from Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies revealed that mounting
student-loan debt likely would delay homeownership for the group. The share of
households (aged 25 to 24) with student-loan debt increased from 26 percent to
39 percent from 2001 to 2010, according to the report; homeownership rates for
this group also dropped nearly 8 percentage points between 2004 and 2013.
It’s simply harder for today’s
buyers to come up with the necessary down payment, particular Gen Yers, says
Carole Short, a Realtor with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Atlanta.
“Many Millennials are straddled not
only with consumer debt but student loan debt payments. With the cost of living
going up for the basics – housing, food, phone … today’s buyers often are
struggling financially and living paycheck to paycheck,” Short says.
While low- and no-money-down loans
were offered aplenty prior to the housing downturn, most lenders today typically
require at least 20 percent down—which is the minimum needed to avoid having to
pay costly private mortgage insurance. However, an FHA loan requires only 3.5
percent down, and many conventional loan programs stipulate as little as 5
Beginning to save now, with the
goal of purchasing sooner, is a smart move given the continued climate of
favorable mortgage interest rates, say the experts.
“The idea is to buy now. Rates are
low, and real estate is a great investment that accumulates equity,” says Yael
Ishakis, vice president at First Meridian Mortgage in Pomona, New York.
Saving, however, often requires
homeowner hopefuls to make sacrifices. Alarmingly, the aforementioned Trulia
survey reported that many Millennials aren’t prepared to give up the following
to save for a down payment: car (65 percent); smartphone (45 percent); cable
(20 percent); Netflix subscription (15 percent); and vacations (14 percent).
“Unlike baby boomers, who wanted to
strike out on their own, millennials aren’t as eager to cut the apron strings
or give up some of their indulgences. But cutting back on eating out, cable,
shopping and even that morning cup of coffee can all add up,” says Sheryl
Simon, a principal Benoit Mizner Simon and Co., a real estate firm in Wellesley,
Those determined to purchase also
have to be willing to prioritize goals, work hard, and seek assistance, Simon
“Rent a smaller apartment that is
lower than your actual budget. Take on an extra job you can fit in on the side.
If you’ve just tied the knot, try not to spend all your gift cash on a
honeymoon. And speak to a financial planner to set goals and guidelines to put
you on a path to homeownership,” says Simon.
Lastly, be prepared for other
essential items you’ll need to salt away funds for aside from the down payment,
including closing costs (often 2 to 3 percent of the loan amount), furniture,
and home improvements you may need to make after purchasing.
© CTW Features
If you're entering into the real estate market for the first time, you'll hear the old adage: location, location, location. That's three of the key factors... I'm kidding but, location is, indeed, a very important concern.
However, many buyers think location is most important because of the surrounding area. So, if the neighborhood is nice, with parks, good schools, retail stores nearby, and somewhat close to freeways, it's a good location. But what also makes it a good location is how close it is to your work.
These days many people are telecommuting, which allows them to work from home and save gas. If that's the case, a 45-minute or hour-plus drive, one-way to the office, might not be too intimidating because you're not going to have to do it every day. But your long commute could still become a key factor when it comes to getting a mortgage.
Some lenders may factor in your long commute as part of your overall debt-to-income ratio, (DTI) which will directly impact how much money you can borrow. Regardless of whether the lender takes your extended commute into consideration, buyers should. With rising gas prices and increasing traffic, an extra long commute to the office can hurt your pocketbook.
A study from the Center for Housing Policy and the Center for Neighborhood Technology reported that transportation expenses for households in the largest metro areas increased 44 percent from 2000 to 2010. And about 600,000 full-time workers have a huge commute of at least 90 minutes and 50 miles to get to the office, according to U.S. Census data.
Sometimes the allure of rural areas with typically less expensive housing prices is so strong that buyers forget to consider how long they'll be on the road before they're home at night. They also don't factor in the gas costs that add up fast and can amount to hundreds of dollars in expenses each month.
If you do purchase a home with a long commute, talk to your company about possible commuting subsidies, arrange a carpool, or try to work remotely more frequently to reduce the back and forth commute. eRideShare.com help connect people with others who live and work nearby. Some cities even have their own sponsored program for free online matching services for carpooling. You can also ask your work to adjust your hours so that you can come in and leave at times when you'll miss rush hours. This way you're not just burning gas while sitting in tight, slow-moving traffic.
Cities with good mass transit are attracting buyers and providing options that help avoid putting extra unwanted miles on their vehicles. It makes sense. Sometimes the commute, if they don't have to drive, is a welcome break giving workers time to catch up on a good book, movie, or extra work. Plus, some cities have waterway ferries that make it a beautiful and enjoyable commute.
If you're shopping for a home and considering the long commute, spend a little time weighing the pros and cons. Also, do a little research. You can visit commutesolutions.org to use their online calculator to determine the true cost of your driving commute. Having a road map that shows your expected expenses will help you accurately budget for them.
Several states are experiencing drought or near-drought conditions today. Areas of the country that aren’t facing droughts right now still anticipate water shortages in the coming years. All of us can conserve water—and money!—with xeriscaping.
Keep it simple — Drought-tolerant plants are the easiest way to drought-proof your yard. The USDA’s Plant Hardiness Zone Mapwill help you figure out which plants will have the best chance at thriving.
Location, location, location — If you want to keep some water-needy plants in your garden, locate them in a place where they can naturally get the most water, such as near a downspout.
Rock it! — Incorporate gravel as an accent feature, such as in a pathway or between your sidewalk and the street. Keep in mind that many experts recommend limiting the amount of hard materials you use in your landscaping.
Save for a sunny day — Rain barrels are a handy way to conserve and use water in your yard and garden. You can make your own with a plastic trash can or buy one that does double-dutyas a composter and rain catcher for that extra-green touch.
The old switcheroo — Still love a luscious green lawn? Swap out grasses that need lots of water to maintain for more drought-hardy grasses.
Get rid of that lawn altogether — Plant drought-tolerant ground cover such as thyme, lantana and hens-and-chicks instead of grass.
We live in a digital world, but that doesn’t mean paper has disappeared. Social security cards, birth certificates, wills and other important documents still need to be protected.
What to Protect — Not sure which documents are the “important” ones? Experts recommend safekeeping insurance policies, passports, family photos and other indispensable records.
Keep It Together — Store important documents in a portable, lockable home safe—preferably fire and water resistant—that can be easily located in an emergency.
Fire Prevention — Fireproof boxes are a great backup plan. But preventing house fires in the first place can bring peace of mind to every homeowner.
Burglarproof Your Home — Make sure all windows and doors are locked when you leave. A dog’s bark (large or small!) is an excellent deterrent. Security systems and surveillance cameras, along with a warning sign, can deter would-be criminals.
Offsite Storage — Keep important documents at your attorney’s office or with a trusted relative. Just remember that a bank safe-deposit box may not always be the best option.
Create Digital Backups — Scan everything. A CD, flash drive or an external hard drive can be kept in a separate location, or you can use an online storage service that can be accessed from any computer.
Get Rid of It — Identity theft is a concern for many consumers. One way to protect yourself is to shred documents that you don’t need anymore. Old bank statements, credit card offers and pay stubs are great candidates for the crosscut shredder.
Come Join us Sat & Sun May 17th and 18th of some informational Seminars
Home Buyers - Are you tired of throwing money away on rent? Have you had a Short Sale, Foreclosure, Bad Credit? We can Help!
Interest rates are still low
Stated income programs available - Loans for as low as 1/2% down!
Homeowners - Is your home still under water? Can you refinance? We have answers to these any many other questions you might have.. Plus, programs to help you
Investors - Interest rates are still low! Are you looking to increase your portfolio? Not getting a good return on your investment?
Invest in Real Estate!
Everyone is invited! Classes will be held at Century 21 Gold 2055 Hamner Avenue, Norco CA 92860
When: Sat & Sun May 17th & 18th
Time: Saturday 10am-2pm and Sun: 12pm-4pm
Please call to RSVP as seating is limited 951-479-4581
Does the favorite mom in your life have a green thumb? Here are seven useful gardening products that are sure to bring a smile to her face on Mother’s Day.
Get cooking — This futuristic-looking indoor herb garden is perfect for the mom who loves to spend time in the kitchen as well as the garden.
Pamper her — Inspired by England’s historic landscape gardens, Crabtree & Evelyn’s Gardeners Collection offers products that will soothe her hardworking hands.
Safety first — Gardeners spend a lot of time under the sun. Help her protect her skin with a wide-brimmed hat that offers UPF 50+ protection.
Keep her cool — Cool Mud gloves incorporate aloe vera to help moisturize her skin even while she’s digging deep down in the dirt.
The avid gardener — Does your mom love everything from amaryllis to zinnias? She can customize these hardwood markers (Sharpie included) to help her locate every last plant.
Put down some roots — Rootcup’s silicone planters boast great design but remain practical; they’re even dishwasher safe. Thestarter kit is perfect for the desktop or countertop gardener in your life. Just make sure she knows it is not a Koozie.
A fruitful gift — The Apple Tree to Be kit is a unique present for the patient mom—it can take 10–15 years for an apple tree to actually produce apples. The set includes seeds harvested from heirloom apples, a seedling pot and saucer and a customizable I.D. tag she can hang on the tree someday.
Filing taxes got you down? Or maybe it went well this year, and you’re expecting a sizable refund. Either way, tax season is a great time to “spring clean” your finances. One way to do this is to pay off your home mortgage faster. Use these tips to get it done ASAP:
Refinance Your Loan — Refinancing a 30-year fixed mortgage to a 15-year fixed mortgage can help you save thousands on interest and build equity faster. Typically, shorter-term mortgages also have a lower interest rate, which means even more savings.
Make Extra Payments — If you don’t want to refinance, adding a few more dollars to your mortgage payment each month—or even just once a year (maybe with that tax refund)—can help you get to that magic number zero faster. Just make sure all extra payments are credited toward your loan principal, not the interest, and that your mortgage does not have a pre-payment penalty.
Create a Budget — Seeing how you spend your hard-earned dollars can help you find ways to put more money toward paying down your mortgage each month.
Change Your Payment Schedule — In a biweekly payment plan, you pay a mortgage “half-payment” every other week. At the end of the year, you will have made 13 monthly payments instead of the usual 12.
The Proof Is in the Pudding — Use this calculator to see the impact extra payments could have on the life of your loan.
Positive Effects — Some experts say that having your home paid off before retirement can lead to happier golden years, due to reduced cash-flow needs and the peace of mind from being debt free.
|Price||Sq. Footage||Zip Code||Date||Baths Total||Bedrooms||City||Street Name||Street Number||Street Suffix||Unit Number||Year Built|| |
|$13,065,865||1,063||92879||2||2||Corona||Vista Del Cerro||1030||Drive||104||1991||Details |
|$1,850,000||7,200||92881||10/19/2012||9||7||Corona||Hidden Springs||1340||Drive||2004||Details |
|$1,099,000||5,712||92881||1/6/2012||6||5||Corona||Shady Ridge||3945||Drive||2003||Details |
The cost of a home loan dropped early this week on less than robust news about the economy and housing, with Freddie Mac reporting that the average interest rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage was 4.28%, down from 4.37% a week earlier.
The average for a 15-year fixed mortgage was 3.32%, down from 3.39%, Freddie Mac said Thursday in its weekly survey of what lenders are offering to solid borrowers.
The average start rate for a popular type of adjustable mortgage with a fixed rate for the first five years edged down from 3.05% to 3.03%.
Rates rose late last year when it became clear that the Federal Reserve would scale back its enormous purchases of mortgage bonds and Treasury securities, a program designed to stimulate the economy by keeping long-term rates low.
But the 30-year fixed rate has since fallen back about a quarter of a percentage point, a decline attributable at least in part to an economic recovery too weak to raise fears that inflation could become a problem.
Freddie Mac's chief economist, Frank Nothaft, noted that the news early this week included a downward revision in the fourth-quarter gross domestic product and a weaker than expected report on private-sector job growth.
Freddie Mac asks lenders each Monday through midday Wednesday about the terms they are offering creditworthy borrowers who pay less than 1% in upfront lender fees and discount points to obtain mortgages. Charges for services such as appraisals and title insurance are extra.
Actual rates fluctuate, sometimes more than once a day. Borrowers can pay additional points to obtain lower rates, or get zero-cost loans by accepting a higher rate.
The Bottom Line on Energy Efficient Upgrades
Wondering which energy-saving upgrades are worth it? These simple steps tend to pay for themselves quickly:
Installing weather stripping to an older home can reduce heating costs by 10 to 20 percent.
Adding or upgrading insulation in an under- or un-insulated attic or basement can pay off quickly on energy bills.
Upgrading from incandescent light bulbs requires spending more on replacement bulbs, but with the energy savings and longer lifespan, LED bulbs pay for themselves in about three years, and CFL bulbs can pay for themselves in as little as three months.
Replacing inefficient showerheads with a water-saving modelwill save the average family 2,900 gallons per year and 370 kilowatt hours of electricity.
Switching to low-flow toilets can reduce the water used for toilets by 20 to 60 percent (or 13,000 gallons per year) for an average savings of $110 per year.
Using a programmable thermostat to automatically adjust the indoor air temperatures lower or higher to save on heating and cooling costs can pay for itself in less than a year.
Upgrading to Energy Star appliances can reduce energy costs dramatically, especially if your current fridge or dishwasher was manufactured before 1990.
Switching to a front load washing machine can save you $150 a year, using 35 to 50 percent less water and up to 50 percent less electricity than a conventional top-loading model.
Installing a water heater blanket is an inexpensive way to save you 4 to 9 percent in water heating costs.
Upgrading an older heating system to a high-efficiency furnace is a good investment if your system is older than 20 years.
If you have done a Short Sale, had a foreclosure or any credit issues or a VA Buyer
We are holding a FREE seminar to provide you with information about City programs that might be able to help you
When: March 22, 2014 From: 1pm-4pm
Where: 2055 Hamner Avenue, Norco, CA
SEATING IS LIMITED PLEASE CALL TODAY TO RESERVE A SEAT
NEXT CLASSES STARTING - MARCH 25TH
Classes will meet in the evening twice per week, on Tuesdays and Thursdays for six weeks from 6pm to 10pm. The curriculum will be from RE Trainers, one of the most respected real estate training courses in California! Fee will include a weekend cram session to assist you in passing your state exam and everything you need to be ready to take your state exams!
You will have a knowledgeable, experienced, Realtor guiding you through the course. And, because it's a real classroom, you will get your questions answered on the spot! What an outstanding opportunity!
And, be sure to ask about the incentive Century 21 GOLD offers for new licensees joining our office! Once you pass your test, if you hang your license with Century 21 GOLD, we will refund the cost of your class when you close your first transaction!
Please send us an email or call the office for more information @ 951-479-4581.
Contact us to reserve your spot today! It will be the first step in launching YOUR NEW CAREER!