Posts Tagged ‘san diego real estate’

7 Easy DIY Things Around The House

Looking to update your home, but don’t want to shell out big cash? Don’t have the DIY gene? You can still make noticeable and beautiful changes to your home. Here are the 7 things you can easily do yourself:

1. Painteasy do it yourself projects around the house

Painting is the easiest way to make a big impact on your space with little money and minimal effort. A must-do for painting: proper preparation. You can choose to tape the baseboards and lay down some drop cloths before you paint. On the flip-side, you can choose to scrape, scrub and be frustrated with the mess you made later. But you can’t have both.

You’ll also want to consider the type of paint you buy.

The lower grade the paint, the more you will usually deal with drips and coverage problems. If you don’t want to splurge on a pricy brands like Benjamin Moore or Sherwin Williams, wait for sales or go with the big box stores’ more high-end lines. You’ll see a difference.

2. Minor demo

Pulling up old carpet is easy with a few tools, a little time, and access to a dumpster to dispose of the old carpet. You can also pull up old tile, but be prepared to use your muscles.

3. Do your flooring

Although flooring typically falls into more of an advanced DIY job, it can be easy depending on the area being covered and the type of material being used. Carpet tiles or vinyl can be easier to install and care for.

4. Refinish furniture

Refinishing furniture is easy, fun, and a great way show off your creativity and personal style. All you need is a sander (or some old-fashioned sand paper), your paint or stain of choice, and something to apply it with. If you are using stain, make sure to have clean dry towels to remove the excess.

If you’re not sure you want to take the leap on something you already have, practice on a cheap garage sale find.

5. Landscape your yard

Even without a green thumb, you can create a great yard with a little work. If you need help easy diy around san diego housegetting started, attend a clinic at a local nursery. Be sure to bring pictures of your yard. You’ll want help determining what you can plant, which will depend on the amount of sun, shade, and water involved, along with the time of year.

6. Update your bathroom

Paint the walls, replace your bath mats and towels with something new and fresh, update the bathroom light fixture. That’s all it takes for an easy and cheap update to freshen the look of your bathroom. Looking at add more flair? Try peel-and-stick tiles in a decorative pattern or do an entire wall.

easy diy7. Change out your hardware

This super easy fix can have great impact in a kitchen or bathroom. Transform those dated cabinets and drawers into a more modern aesthetic. Remember to use a template to cut down on time and help keep uniformity among them all.

For more information on this topic:

619.384.2248
Ryan@RyanYourRealtor.com

Home Warranty Companies-What Do They Do?

home warranty when buying a san diego homeWhat Exactly Is A Home Warranty Company And What Do They Do?

If you’re purchasing a re-sale home in San Diego be sure to ask for a home warranty. They normally cover you, the home buyer for one full year. Companies like American Home Warranty, Old Republic, and First American Buyer’s Protection are some of the more common ones.

Home Warranty programs are normally paid by the seller. They cover most mechanical systems in a home. They cost from $300.00 to $800.00 depending on the size of the home, options such as a pool/spa, and the company. Most will have a service call fee of around $30.00 to $60.00 per visit.  Home warranties don’t cover structural issues and should never be used in lieu of getting a professional home inspection.

Home Warranties benefit home sellers as well because it reduces their post-sale liability. At times, disputes arise when something goes wrong after close of escrow. Rather than argue about a non-disclosure issue, the home warranty will fix the problem for a nominal fee.

Benefits for buyers include peace of mind knowing that appliances, heating systems, and plumbing are covered.  It’s nice to know there will be no unexpected expenses for that first year. Let’s say your garbage disposal stops working a month after moving into your new home. Instead of paying for a new one along with installation, for the cost of a service call, you now have a brand new one installed!

Home Warranty options can include the following (depending on the plan):

  • Refrigerator – normally considered personal property unless a built-in like a Sub-Zero.
  • Washer & dryers.
  • Roof leaks (Limited)
  • Garage door openers – some provided in upgraded coverage.
  • Pool and spa.
  • Central air conditioning.

The basic warranty plan is normally around $350.00 for a standard size home.  Options run around $150.00 for pool and spa coverage, $75 for washer and dryer, $25 for refrigerator, and central air conditioning around $60.00.  Each company is different, however.

Check the fine print on each Home Warranty Company for coverage and exclusions. Here are three that I have had satisfactory service from.

  1. American Home Shield.
  2. Old Republic Home Warranty.
  3. First American Home Buyer’s Protection.

Notice that I said only SATISFACTORY service.

Just do a Google search on Home Warranty programs to find out many customers are unhappy. This is likely from higher expectations of coverage and the various sub-contractors that the services use.  Sometimes you get lucky, other times you don’t.

For more information on this topic:

619.384.2248
Ryan@RyanYourRealtor.com
Visit my Website: http://ryanyourrealtor.com

Credit Reports – What You Need To Know

Credit reports and the “secret formula” for calculating one’s credit score remains a mystery for most people. When a lender “runs your credit,” that means the bank is getting your credit information from one of three independent national credit reporting bureaus–Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion.

what is my fico scoreCredit reporting bureaus collect information about your credit card use, rental history, loan history, including vehicle and student loans. They then analyze the results and tabulate them into credit scores, using software created by the Fair Isaac Corporation. Your lender can purchase the reports, as the FICO scores to serve as summaries of your credit history. Your FICO score is the middle of the 3 scores.

Each of these credit reporting bureaus collects and analyzes its own data which results in 3 different scores. The bureaus don’t share information between each other, so if you want a true picture of your credit, you have to check with all three bureaus.

If you have a mistake on your credit report from one bureau, the same problem may not appear on the other bureaus’ reports. You have to get the negative item removed by sending a copy of your proof, full payment, release of lien, or other evidence.

Getting one of these items removed can take as long as 30 days, which will delay your loan. That’s why it’s best to clear these things up before the lender brings them to your attention. If your lender sees something negative enough to decline the loan, they will tell you to fix it. Lets say you may have had a dispute with a contractor that resulted in a lien on your home. It doesn’t matter who was right, you’ll have to pay the debtor, obtain a release of lien or payment in full receipt, whichever applies.

This evidence should go into the loan file. Make sure to keep multiple copies of the lien release or payment in full. Why? Because that lien can always reappear on another credit report. Property liens from the IRS are particularly hard to eradicate because the proof of payment has to come from the IRS, along with the county where you owned the property, which must record the release of lien.

You may see a problem in your credit report that’s over 10 years old. An account in collections can stay on your credit report for much longer than 7 years; which is the length of time it takes for bad accounts to drop off your credit record. When the debtor finally gives up trying to collect, that’s when the 7 years begins.

FICO credit scores can be in the range of 300 to 850. To get the best mortgage rate, your score must be as high as possible. Today, most lenders will give you their best rates if your credit scores are 750 or higher.

Factors that make your FICO score and credit historyYou can raise your credit scores by managing your credit the way that generates the highest scores. About one-third of a FICO score is your payment history (paying on-time). Another third is based on how much of your available credit-line you use. You can improve both areas by paying down your debts down as quickly as you can. If you are only making the minimum payment on your accounts, you’re living beyond your means and thus lowering your credit score. Don’t max out any credit card.

You can also improve your scores if you pay debts off early and avoid late payments. Data in your credit report includes the loan terms, payment history — on time, early or late payments, unpaid monthly balance rollovers, payment amounts, minimum payment history, income-to-debt ratios, and percentage use of available credit. Always pay off those credit cards that charge the highest interest first. Try not to incur new debt.

Managing your debts well does more than earn you a great mortgage rate. It ensures lenders that you are more likely to buy wisely within your affordability range. And that will make any lender view you as a good risk.

You’re entitled to a free copy of your credit reports once/year. You can contact all 3 credit bureaus or visit AnnualCreditReport.com.

 

For more information on this topic:

619.384.2248
Ryan@RyanYourRealtor.com
Visit my Website: http://ryanyourrealtor.com

Quick Tips For Pricing Your Home

determining an asking price for my homeWhen it comes time to sell your home, setting a realistic selling price is extremely important. Price it to low, and you may be leaving money on the table, despite getting extra interest from buyers. Price it too high, and your home risks becoming a “stale listing,” as it sits on the market with little interest.

· Consider nearby comparables. What have other similar homes in your neighborhood sold for recently? How do they compare to yours in terms of size, upkeep, and amenities?

· Consider the competition. How many other houses are for sale in your area? Are you competing against new homes?

· Consider your contingencies. Do you have special concerns that would affect the price you’ll receive? For example, do you want to be able to move in a few months instead of a few weeks?

· Get an appraisal. For $400-500, a licensed appraiser can give you an estimate of your home’s value. Be sure to ask for a market-value appraisal. To locate appraisers in your area, contact The Appraisal Institute (www.appraisalinstitute.org) or ask your REALTOR® for some recommendations.

· Be accurate. Studies show that homes priced more than 3% over the correct (market) price take longer to sell.

· Know what you’ll take. It’s critical to know what minimum price you’ll accept before beginning a negotiation with a buyer. Of course, there could be other terms on the offer that may change this number. Your agent can guide you further on this during contract negotiations.

 

For more information on this topic:

619.384.2248
Ryan@RyanYourRealtor.com
Visit my Website: http://ryanyourrealtor.com

 

Don’t Stress Out When Buying A Home

Buying a home can actually be fun, not stressful. As you look for your dream home, keep in mindno stress these tips for making the process as peaceful as possible.

1. Find a real estate agent who you connect with. Home buying is not only a huge financial commitment, but also an emotional one. It’s critical that the REALTOR® you chose is both highly skilled and a good fit with your personality.

2. Just remember, there’s no “right” time to buy, just as there’s no perfect time to sell. If you find a home now, don’t try to time interest rates or the housing market by waiting longer — you risk losing out on a home you love. The housing market usually doesn’t change fast enough to make that much difference in price, however, a good home won’t stay on the market long.

3. Don’t ask for too many opinions. It’s natural to want reassurance for such a big decision, but too many ideas from too many people will make it even harder to make a decision. Focus on the wants and needs of your immediate family — the people who will actually be living in the home.

4. Accept that no house is ever perfect. If it’s in the right location, but perhaps the yard may be a bit smaller than you had hoped. The kitchen may be perfect, but the roof needs some repairs. Make a list of your top priorities and focus in on things that are most important to you. Don’t sweat the minor ones.

don't stress out when buying a home5. Don’t try to be a killer negotiator. Negotiation is definitely a part of the real estate process, but trying to get that extra-low price or by refusing to budge on your offer may cost you the home you love. Negotiation is give and take.

6. Remember your home doesn’t exist in a vacuum. Don’t get so caught up in all the physical aspects of the house itself — room sizes, kitchen, etc. — that you forget about important issues such as noise level, location to amenities, and other aspects that also have a big impact on your quality of life.

7. Plan ahead. Don’t wait until you’ve found a home and made an offer to get approved for a mortgage, investigate home insurance, and consider a schedule for moving. Making an offer contingent on a lot of unresolved issues will make your bid much less attractive to sellers. Preparation goes a long way.

8. Factor in maintenance and repair costs in your post-home buying budget. Even if you buy a new home, there will be some costs. Don’t leave yourself short and not be able to afford upkeep.

9. Accept that a little buyer’s remorse is inevitable and will probably pass. Buying a home, especially for the first time, is a huge financial commitment. But it also yields big benefits. Don’t lose sight of why you wanted to buy a home and what made you fall in love with the property you bought.

10. Choose a home first because you love it; then think about appreciation. While U.S. homes have appreciated an average of 5.4% annually over from 1998 to 2002, a home’s most important role is to serve as a comfortable, safe place to live first, an investment second.

For more information on this topic:

619.384.2248
Ryan@RyanYourRealtor.com

Steps to Buying a Home

If you are buying a home for the first time, buying a second home or considering investment property, taking some simple steps to protect your investment and financial health. No matter what type of property you’re eyeing, here are some basic precautions as you navigate the process of purchasing any home.

Before Shopping for Property:

Look at your finances. Before contacting a real estate agent and starting to look for a new home, steps to buying a home in san diegofigure out what you can afford. Taking a simple inventory of your wallet can help your understand your financial ability and speed up the mortgage pre-approval process. A mortgage affordability calculator can help with this.

Know your credit card limits and review your usage to prevent loan approval issues. According to Equifax, the closer you get to using all your available credit, the less likely you are to have a good credit score or seem like a low-risk mortgage candidate to a potential lender.

Start with financing. Obtaining pre-approval for a loan will make the process of negotiation and loan approval process smoother from the start. Most sellers may even require you to be pre-approved before they accept an offer anyway, so doing this step ahead of time is a no-brainer.

Find a real estate agent. The seller is the one who pays the commission to both agents, so there’s no reason not to get the professional guidance of an agent. Look for a professional who is both familiar with the local area you’re considering and its property values. A good agent will also be well versed in the laws, timelines and deadlines in your state. This can be the difference between losing your dream home, deposit, and time.

Before Making an Offer:

Visit the city/county planning department. There one in every city and county. If the home you’re interested in is within city limits, you should visit the city planning department. Homes in rural unincorporated areas will normally fall under the control of county planning departments. The planning department can present any permits for the home you are interested in, and investigate that neighborhood. You can learn about what building applications are in the works (more homes, commercial buildings, industrial parks) and which schools your children would attend (it’s not always the school nearest your prospective home). There will also be information on traffic, crime reports (which can affect auto insurance prices), and more.

Review past utility bills. The monthly mortgage payment isn’t your only expense. Ask to review past utility bills before putting in a purchase offer to understand how heating and cooling the house will affect your finances.

During the Negotiation Process

Read the contract. When you’re ready to submit a purchase offer, your real estate agent should review the purchase contract with you. If the agent moves through it too quickly, ask to get an explanation of every paragraph (or at least the most important parts) of the contract. Have your Realtor explain in detail the circumstances in which your deposit can be withheld or kept, the contingency periods, and buyer expenses.

Ask for exact dates. Your contract might state you have 17 days to perform your inspections or 30 days to fulfill all contingencies. Ask your Realtor for the exact dates, not just the number of days, to make sure you don’t miss any important deadlines. This will also tell you when you’re supposed to receive various documents and reports.

get it in writing steps to purchasing a homeGet it in writing. If you negotiate any extras (the seller will leave various furniture or appliances, you can move into the house the day before closing, etc.) make sure that they’re documented in writing and that all parties sign off on these items.

Have a home inspection. Home inspections can spare you from a purchasing a unknown “fixer.” Have an inspection, even if the property appears to be in great condition or is relatively new. Without catching problems during the inspection period, any potential for negotiation with the seller will be lost.

The Bottom Line:

Don’t do it alone. Purchasing real estate is a large financial investment. Having the right professionals on your side, along with some common sense, can spare you costly mistakes.

 

For more information on this topic:

619.384.2248
Ryan@RyanYourRealtor.com
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