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Displaying blog entries 1-6 of 6

Market vs. Assessed Value: What’s it all Mean?

by Real Team 360

“What’s my home worth?”

This simple question is often answered three different ways. Ask your public tax assessor, and you’ll get one number (usually low). Look up your house on Zillow and you’ll get another number (usually too high). The third answer is market value, and if you’re selling your house, you’ll usually figure out what that number is (for good or ill) in 30 to 90 days.

Many people are confused about assessed value versus market value. Assessed value is a number placed on a property by a public tax assessor for the purposes of taxation. Some percentage of your assessed value is used to determine your annual tax bill. The rules for the assessment vary, but typically the assessed value has more to do with how much money the municipality needs to raise than it does the number you’d arrive at after putting your home on the market.

Assessed values can lag behind true market values in both directions. They can vary widely from home to home in the same neighborhood, especially if a neighbor has appealed an assessment (usually for the purposes of lowering their tax bill). And by the way: assessed values don’t automatically adjust for you when someone else appeals their assessment.

Market value is the price at which a specific house in a particular location in current condition will sell, typically within 30 to 90 days. Your real estate agent will try and predict the market value of your home based on all of these factors. In a hot neighborhood? It can elevate your home’s value. Have significant repairs to do or other condition issues? It can bring that value back down. The number one reason a home doesn’t sell is often related to a disparity between listing price and true market value. (Overbidding occurs when a home is priced below market value.)

Generally, assessed value tends to be below market value. Sometimes a buyer will attempt to negotiate a lower price on a home by citing assessed value, but this only underscores their lack of understanding about assessed value versus market value.

The best way to understand what your home is worth? Contact us today, and we’ll get to work on helping you determine the right price for your house in today’s market.

Staging Your Home for the Right Buyer

by Real Team 360

Staging a home to sell is the process of redecorating or cost-effectively renovating aspects of your home to present it in the best light. Much like cleaning up a home’s curb appeal to appeal to buyers, staging can position your house to sell faster and for a higher price than it might otherwise.

It’s important to remember with staging that you’re not decorating the home to appeal to you, the seller, but to the prospective buyer. When working with a stager, you have to learn to set aside your own aesthetic preferences and ask yourself how a buyer might see the home. Imagining who those buyers might be can help your stager make decisions about which direction to take the interior design.

So who are the buyers? Can you know? It depends on local market conditions and trends. A common scenario is when Baby Boomers looking to downsize or move into a condo living situation finally decide to put their family home on the market. Often these homes are in need of updating, and frequently the buyers for these homes are younger generations (i.e. Millennials) looking to upgrade from their first house or buy for the first time.

If home hunters in your market are younger, it makes a lot of sense to work with a stager who understands what younger buyers are looking for in a home. In fact, if you’re interviewing stagers, it can be an excellent idea to ask them specifically for examples of how they’ve staged homes to attract younger buyers. Furniture, window treatments, and design accents (or lack thereof) are all a big factor in how younger buyers judge a home. The last thing you want Millennial buyers to think is, “Oh, no, this looks just like my parents’ house.”

Make no mistake, there will be a lot of inventory on the real estate market from Baby Boomers over the next 15 years. If you want yours to stand out, try and look at your home with an objective eye and see if it looks outdated compared to newer construction on the market. Don’t stage for yourself... stage for the generation buying your home.

We can work with you to find a stager who can help make your home as appealing as possible. Give us a call today at 805-238-1555.

How To Keep a Healthy Home During Flu Season

by Real Team 360

The peak of flu season tends to be between December and February, and during these months a little extra cleaning can really pay off. When we go out and about, we can easily bring home the flu virus, and it can continue to be a threat on surfaces throughout the home.

Using a disinfectant registered with the Environmental Protection Agency is a smart move. Remember to wash your hands regularly and avoid touching your face while cleaning.

Here’s a checklist of places you’ll want to clean more regularly during the flu season:

1. The bathroom is ground zero for cross-contamination, especially the sink area. Faucets, door knobs, and areas around trash cans are key zones to clean.

2. Light switch plates are notorious transfer points for germs. Wipe them down with disinfectant throughout the house.

3. Remote controls, game console controllers, and touch-screen devices are seldom cleaned and often touched. Refer to your manufacturer’s cleaning directions to make sure you don’t damage the electronics.

4. Beloved stuffed animals are germ magnets, especially those indispensable “go everywhere” toys. If possible, wash these special friends in hot water.

5. Shift to dishwasher-only cleaning during the flu season. Utensils, plates, and leftover food containers might not get a complete cleaning in or around the sink alone.

Someone in the house already feeling under the weather? Take a few extra precautions by isolating their toothbrush, washing their bedding, washcloths, and towels daily, and segregating their eating utensils from the rest of the household dishes. Also be sure to empty their trash cans frequently to dispose of contaminated tissues.

And if you’re buying or selling your home during flu season? Keep in mind that open houses can be a common crossroads for the flu virus. Take extra steps to disinfect before and after events.

Questions Buyers Often Overlook

by Real Team 360

When you’re home hunting, information is power. The more you know before you make an offer, the better. Usually when two homes are equally appealing, digging into the details can make a difference. Here’s a list of “bonus information” that most buyers overlook or forget to ask about while they’re shopping for a house:

Homeowner’s association rules: Certain neighborhood covenants may be a deal maker or breaker for you, so if there’s a set of guidelines you’ll be required to adhere to, get them up front. They can cover everything from paint schemes to lawn design and beyond.

Utility bills: Most sellers won’t balk at sharing with you what utilities cost annually. Water, power, gas, and even telecommunication or cable service provider bills can help you get a better idea what it will cost monthly to live in the home.

Pest control: In areas where pests can be a problem, asking for information about who has been maintaining pest control (and how much it costs) can help you plan financially and get a sense if the sellers have been keeping up with pest issues.

Service providers: Save yourself some leg work and ask the sellers who they like for lawn maintenance, pool maintenance, home repair work, housecleaners, and appliance repair. Not only will the list save you time, but the providers will already be familiar with the home’s condition and systems.

Home insurance company: You can bet the company insuring the home will want to continue to keep the business, and getting this cost information and provider contact info from the buyer is a good idea.

Floor plans: Having a floor plan will help you understand whether or not your stuff is a good fit for the home. Not every seller will have these handy, but sometimes a seller’s agent will be willing to get a current floor plan put together if it’s important to you.

They may seem like small details, but they can make all the difference.

Safety for Sellers

by CAR

Some good ideas to keep in mind when selling your home:

Cold weather plant protection tips

by Real Team 360

When the colder months settle in, there’s no reason to sacrifice all of your plants. Depending on the type of plants you have and the severity of your winter, there are ways to help ensure your favorite decorative greenery sees another spring.

Before it’s too late, take the time now to plan your plant protection strategy. These tips selected from gardening experts from around the web should help many of your most beloved shrubs, bushes, trees, and potted wonders make it through the harsh weather.

Move potted plants off concrete and onto the earth. Protecting the roots of a plant can be key to its survival. The top of a plant can often endure more trauma than the roots. Concrete can warm considerably in the sun, and then become very cold at night. This heat/cool cycle and the rapid swings in temperature it brings can damage roots.

Plant in big pots. Soil is insulation for root systems. In a 10-gallon pot you’ll have ten times the protection a 1-gallon pot provides. It can also be useful to buy a pot with a thickness greater than one inch as a means of helping further shield the roots.

During winter, water at the warmest point in the day. When temperatures climb above freezing, water your plants. Water is often used as a defense against freezing temperatures, in part because when water freezes it releases heat. Also, wet soil does a better job protecting from invasive cold than dry soil (which contains air pockets).

Position plants where temperature swings are lower. Often southern exposures will experience the greatest temperature fluctuations, so consider northern or eastern positions around the house.

Group plants defensively. Gather your plants together, placing the “weakest” of the bunch in the center and the heartiest selection on the outside, forming a border. You can also create a barrier around the group to help shield the plants from excessive wind.

Mulch for additional insulation. Mulch can help create a blanket of protection. Hay or a thick layer of leaves can also work.

Consider bringing some plants indoors. Certain potted plants might have the best defense inside. But if you do bring them indoors, bring them in before it gets too cold. The shock of moving from a chilly autumn night to a heated home can be dangerous.

With a little planning and luck, you can extend the life of your plants and the beauty of your home!

Displaying blog entries 1-6 of 6

Contact Information

Real Team 360
RE/MAX Parkside Real Estate - BRE #01421338
1213 Vine Street
Paso Robles CA 93446
Office: (805) 238-1555