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5 Essential Questions to Ask Before You Renovate

by Real Team 360

Over time, almost any home could use an upgrade. Not only is wear and tear an issue, but our needs change as we do. Birth, death, marriage, the kids going off to college… all can have a profound impact on the utility of our home and the pleasure we take in it. Home renovation can be an excellent way to improve your quality of life, but is it always the best choice? By asking yourself these five essential renovation questions, you can gain real insight into the right decision.

1. What are your renovation priorities?
Yes, if you could do it all, it would be great. But odds are you won’t be able to do it all. So brainstorm all of your renovation desires and write them down. Next, rank them by order of importance. Some will be large and some will be small. Consider your budget. Would you be happier with one large revision, or would several small ones be better? Prioritize to clarify!

2. How disruptive will the renovation be to living in your home?
Understanding your appetite for disruption is important. Some renovation projects are minor and may take a day or two. Others could drag on for months and months. What are you willing to tolerate?

3. How will the renovation impact the home’s balance?
Major renovation projects can throw a home’s feel, flow, or look out of line. If you put a commercial-grade, ultramodern kitchen, will the nearby living room look shabby or antiquated? What if you add a bedroom but you only have one bathroom?

4. How long will you enjoy the renovation?
People typically renovate when they’re planning on staying in their home. Which direction is your neighborhood heading? Are you planning to downsize in a couple of years? A renovation may be overkill if you don’t think you’ll stick around long.

5. Will you recoup your investment?
Happiness with your home should be your top priority, but before you renovate you should understand that a major renovation isn’t a guarantee that you’ll get your money out when it’s time to sell. This may or may not be a factor for you.

Smart Technology In The Home

by CAR

Millenials aren't the only ones embracing smart home technology...today's sellers and buyers both see the value in this type of upgrade!

Easy Fixes for Common Indoor Maintenance Issues

by Real Team 360

When the weather keeps you stuck indoors, you might consider passing the time with some simple home maintenance tasks. These easy projects can alleviate your boredom while protecting your family’s safety and the value of your home.

1. Change smoke and carbon monoxide batteries. Don’t wait for detectors to start chirping at you… replace all the batteries at one time. At most you’ll need to do this twice a year, so why not take care of it in a single go?

2. Test your ground-fault circuit interruptor outlets. These are the outlets typically found in bathrooms and kitchens which are designed to prevent catastrophic electrocution. A video on GFCI outlets and how to test them can be found on YouTube here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vkd43t2y2to

3. Clean kitchen stove and dryer vents. Clogged kitchen vents reduce the efficiency of the exhaust system and lint built up in dryer vents can be a major cause of house fires.

4. Lubricate water shut-off valves. Since they’re so seldom turned, these valves can rust and seize up over time. Use WD-40 to lubricate the valves, letting the lubricant work into the metal if need be. Turn and test the valves under sinks, around toilets, and to the lines supplying water to your washer.

5. Inspect hoses. Cracked or leaking drain hoses, ice machine water lines, and washing machine supply lines can all lead to unexpected flooding. (This is a good job to pair with lubricating your valves.)

6. Silence squeaky floor boards. Did you know a little talcum powder worked into the cracks between floor boards can help reduce friction and quiet down noise?

7. Tighten loose knobs and handles. Break out your screwdrivers and work through cabinets, drawers, and all other doors. You’re likely to find a few places you can tighten up a nagging screw.

If you come across any larger projects you’d like handled and need a referral for a plumber, electrician, or contractor, get in touch with us today at (805) 238-1555!

Tips For Saving On Your Homeowners Insurance

by Real Team 360

Homeowners insurance is vital for protecting your investment. It’s also required by lenders holding the mortgage on your home. For some reason many homeowners overlook ways they can save money on their premiums. Shopping around is a good idea, but much like auto insurance, there are many simple things you can do to impact how much you pay annually to protect your home.

Raise your deductible.
Do you really need a low deductible on your insurance policy? Many people can absorb the hit if they go from a $500 deductible to a $1000 deductible, and in some cases this simple move can reduce rates up to 25%. Deductible can have a dramatic impact on your premium, so ask your company rep to quote you the difference.

Don’t insure for your home’s purchase price.
Remember, you don’t have to re-buy the land your home is on if you have to rebuild. If you’ve asked for coverage which includes the land cost as well as the structure cost, you could be paying far more than you need to pay to protect your home.

Retired? Seek a discount.
If you’re over 55 and you’re retired, your insurance company may be willing to drop your rate by as much as 10%. Retired folks are home more often. This can help reduce burglaries and provide an early warning system for fires.

Ask for a loyalty discount.
If you’ve been with your insurance company for at least three years, call them up and bring this to their attention. Let them know you’re considering shopping for a new policy, and you’re curious if they can extend you a discount for being a loyal customer. Savings can range from five to ten percent.

Adjust your coverage for possessions.
You may be insuring for more than you own. Certain high-end computers and other luxury goods may depreciate over time. If the limits on your policy far exceed the value of your possessions, make changes to your policy. The difference can add up. (Do this every year.)

Home Prices Up 5% Year Over Year for December 2014

by CoreLogic®

CoreLogic Reports December 2014 Home Price Index

February 03, 2015, Irvine, Calif. –

  • Home Prices Up 5 Percent Year Over Year for December 2014
  • Home Prices Expected to Be Flat Month Over Month in January 2015

 

CoreLogic® (NYSE: CLGX), a leading global property information, analytics and data-enabled services provider, today released its December 2014 CoreLogic Home Price Index (HPI®) which shows that home prices nationwide, including distressed sales, increased 5 percent in December 2014 compared to December 2013. This change represents 34 months of consecutive year-over-year increases in home prices nationally. On a month-over-month basis, home prices nationwide, including distressed sales, fell by 0.1 percent in December 2014 compared to November 2014.*

Twenty-seven states and the District of Columbia are at or within 10 percent of their peak. Three states showed year-over-year home price depreciation, including distressed sales, in December; these states were Maryland (-0.7 percent), Vermont (-0.9 percent) and Connecticut (-2.2 percent).

Excluding distressed sales, home prices increased 4.9 percent in December 2014 compared to December 2013 and increased 0.1 percent month over month compared to November 2014. Distressed sales include short sales and real estate owned (REO) transactions.

The CoreLogic HPI Forecast indicates that home prices, including distressed sales, are projected to increase 0.1 percent month over month from December 2014 to January 2015. Full-year 2015 (December to December) increase is projected to be 4.8 percent**. Excluding distressed sales, home prices are also expected to increase by 0.1 percent month over month from December 2014 to January 2015 and increase by 4.5 percent** year over year from December 2014 to December 2015. The CoreLogic HPI Forecast is a monthly projection of home prices using the CoreLogic HPI and other economic variables. Values are derived from state-level forecasts by weighting indices according to the number of owner-occupied households for each state.

For the complete article, visit http://www.corelogic.com/about-us/news/corelogic-reports-december-2014-home-price-index.aspx  

Handy Floor Planning Tools For Your Home

by Real Team 360

When marketing a listing, lots and lots of photographs help give buyers an idea of what the home is like before they tour the property. Professional photos online increase the amount of qualified interest in a home. But one often overlooked piece of information you can provide to help buyers is an accurate floor plan.

Up-to-date, detailed floor plans give buyers context for all those photos presented with your listing. While photos tell buyers how the rooms look, the floor plan can help them understand a bit more about the flow of the home, the relative location of the home’s amenities, and (most importantly) give them an idea if their furniture will fit. If a buyer has an heirloom piece of furniture they’re unwilling to part with, a floor plan can save everyone involved a lot of time and energy. There’s no sense in going down the path of offer and counteroffer if the floor plan turns out to be a deal breaker.

If you don’t have a current floor plan of your home, there are a couple of handy resources online to help you create one. (If you’re buying a home, these tools can also help you visualize how you might like to arrange the furniture in a room once you’ve moved in.) Check out both of these tools online and see which one you like to use the best:

FloorPlanner.com: With Floor planner you can recreate your home, garden or office in just a few clicks and furnish your plans with our huge library of objects. (http://www.floorplanner.com/)

RoomSketcher.com: Anyone can create state-of-the-art 3D visualizations of homes and properties with RoomSketcher. (http://www.roomsketcher.com/)

Regardless of the tool you use, consider creating a floor plan to give your listing an information advantage over others in the market. Going the extra mile to make it convenient for prospective buyers to get a clear picture of your house is both helpful and it inspires trust.

Have questions about floor plans? Curious which aspects of your home’s floor plan are the most marketable? Contact us today for more information!

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