The Ten Commandments of Home Staging

 

I

Clean – Everything – Always

II

Spend at least 3 hours out in the fresh air. Then take a good whiff of the inside of your house as you walk through its front door. Proceed accordingly.  Do this at least once a week

III

If you’re a seller you were once a buyer. What pleased you – what turned you off?   Stage accordingly

IV

If you must cook cabbage or fish, do it on the barbeque

V

Get rid of clutter.  Keep the closets half empty.  It makes your house look bigger.

VI

Repair everything that needs fixing – everything

VII

You will recoup expenses spent on repairs twofold when the house is sold

VIII

It is okay to keep family pictures on display. Buyers aren’t stupid; they can look beyond personal items

IX

Bathrooms must be spotless at all times

X

Remember that once you sign a listing agreement, it is no longer your home. It is merchandise.


Posted on August 18, 2019 at 6:33 pm
Stacey Hanna | Posted in Uncategorized |

There’s an App for That

Realtor.com

This app helps you search for your new home as it has the most accurate listing information available.

iPhone and Android

Mortgage Calulator Plus

As a top 100 financial app in the United States as well as 30 other country’s, the Mortgage Calculator Plus estimates your mortgage, then provides analytics and graphs to show principal payments over time.

iPhone

Real Estate Dictionary

It’s an app covering over 2000 common real estate terms, and fundamentals. Knowing the jargon helps buyers and sellers alike.

iPhone and Android

 

AroundMe

How close is your new dream home to banks, bars, grocery stores, and entertainment? Will that influence your opinion of the home and its neighborhood?

iPhone and Android

 

Dwellr

An app by the United States Census Bureau showing commuting information, education statistics, home values and more.

iPhone and Android

 

Homesnap

Have you seen a house for sale that seems like it would suit your family? Find out for sure. With this app you can take a photo with your smart phone and Homesnap can pull the interior photos from the local Multiple Listing Service.

iPhone and Android

 

GreatSchools Finder

This app with fill you in with detailed ratings, testing scores and reviews of local schools.

iPhone and Android


Posted on August 18, 2019 at 6:32 pm
Stacey Hanna | Posted in Uncategorized |

Mountain Fitness

Get moving! We’ve all heard that advise time and again; from friends, from family members, at the doctor’s office, even TV commercials urge us to stop watching and start moving.

There are fewer better ways to increase your and your family’s physical activities than buying a home nestled in the spectacular mountains.  As we all know, the point of living high up is to get outside as often as possible. Even the athletically challenged take advantage of the high country’s opportunities.

How about a springtime walk along a mountain trail? That is not hiking; it’s a pleasant stroll.

Want to get back into biking without facing the hazards of road traffic? The new bicycle trail from Incline Village to Sand Harbor was built just for your use.

Love to swim but hate the smell of chlorine? There is a large lake waiting for you with brisk, clean, clear water.

Whether swimming, boating, fishing or simply lounging on the beach, Lake Tahoe is at the center of everything in its part of the Sierra Nevada.

Keep a picnic basket at the ready in your new home, because it’s a fact that a Lakeside meal tastes much better than one eaten inside.

Early risers love to watch the light appear over the eastern peaks. Nighthawks gasp with awe at the sunsets and starlit skies. Locals know that on moonless nights it is hard to tell where the house lights end and the stars begin.

It may seem like skiing is the one and only wintertime activity. Not so.  A walk around a quiet snow-covered golf course is just as pleasurable but not as tiring.

Ice-skating is popular, but so is sitting beside that busy ice rink while slowly sipping a cup of steaming hot chocolate.  Sure it‘s cold, but think of all the calories your body is using to keep warm.

Do yourself a favor and follow your dreams; buy a home in the mountains. Come on up and get outside.


Posted on August 18, 2019 at 6:31 pm
Stacey Hanna | Posted in Uncategorized |

TEN REASONS TO ALWAYS WORK WITH A REALTOR

 

  1. Paperwork

Realtors help with all disclosures and the paperwork that has become necessary in today’s heavily regulated market

  1. Monitoring

A Realtor knows the entire sales process; from home inspections to appraisals, they know what’s needed and when.

  1. Negotiations

Realtors act as a buffer between parties and, as neither a buyer nor seller, they are neutral throughout the transaction

  1. Pricing

Realtors know current markets and can help set a realistic, competitive price for either a sale or a buyer’s offer

  1. Marketing

Realtors can access marketing tools to get a property listed on multiple websites getting the attention of thousands of viewers.

  1. Security

Realtors screen and prequalify prospective buyers, weeding out casual or simply curious lookers

  1. Effective Home Presentation

Realtors know what buyers are looking for and can advise sellers how to present the property in the best possible way and know service providers who can help

  1. Networking

Realtors know industry professionals. They know who to contact to get a particular job done – and they also know who not to contact

  1. Local Knowledge

Realtors have knowledge of real estate values, taxes, utility costs, municipal services and school district information

  1. Confidentiality

Realtors operate under a strict Code of Ethics which ensure negotiations and personal information remain priva


Posted on August 18, 2019 at 6:30 pm
Stacey Hanna | Posted in Uncategorized |

Sellers

You are going to sell your house. You are working with an experienced, successful realtor. But have you thought about pricing and how it can help or hinder a sale?

Your realtor has given you comparable pricing information. You know that the house down the street sold for just below your asking price, and you’ve looked at the house 2 blocks over that’s still on the market – after all this time. You have decided to price your home just a bit on the high side so you have room to negotiate.

First impressions count. Studies show that the first two weeks on the market are crucial. If your starting price is perceived as too high, you will lose the attention of all the active buyers.

Remember that the price of your property has an expiration date.

Everyone is interested in a new listing, so make sure to grab that market attention right away.

Make sure your price helps your property stand out from the others in a positive way.

A small, often overlooked asset when selling your house is evidence of pride of ownership.
 
Of course, before listing your home for sale, you’ve made sure the house was clutter-free, freshly painted, and the weeds in the yard have been pulled up. And so have the sellers of the house just around the corner.
 
To set your property apart from the competition, consider giving prospective buyers that extra boost of confidence about buying your house. Give your house a pedigree.
 
A prominently displayed three-ring binder filled with information about the house is just what any buyer would want to see, wouldn’t you?
 
A well-organized binder would have all the particulars about your home. From the year it was built, to the appliance manuals, any upgrades you’ve made, and major, or even minor, repairs.  Especially important would be information about repairs and upgrades that are not readily visible.
 
If you can show prospective buyers that the property has been well maintained, it gives them more confidence that they will be buying a good house.  
 
Make sure your home’s pedigree is clearly labeled and displayed so that realtors showing the property can point it out, so they will make sure that their buyers are aware of it.
 
After all, who wouldn’t want to own a home with a pedigree?

Posted on August 18, 2019 at 6:28 pm
Stacey Hanna | Posted in Uncategorized |

Snowpack

The Tahoe real estate market is unique. Not only does it perform differently from the national average, but also within the Tahoe market different neighborhoods sometimes vary dramatically. Even though South Lake Tahoe and Incline Village share Lake Tahoe’s shores, their Real Estate markets are not the same.

Differences notwithstanding, the 2017 winter storms have given all the Tahoe markets a boost. Instead of dreary news about low lake levels, we’ve all been treated to more optimistic reports of unusually deep snowpack, and the easing of the drought. All of us living around Lake Tahoe expect to see more visitors this summer.

However, will raising interest rates offset the good news about the Sierra’s winter weather? There have been changes in the first three months of 2017. Interest rates have increased and are now at over 4% for 30-year-fixed-rate mortgages. That along with the tightening of the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy in the last month of 2016 might affect the real estate market.

There are a few things to be aware of as you plan your real estate ventures in 2017. If the stock market continues to rally, mortgage rates will go up. Pay attention to news from Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac as their guidelines may loosen to offset higher interest rates.

It’s unlikely that mortgage rates will decrease. It would take something big happening in the stock market to disturb the current trend. Although if that did happen, be prepared to act on it.


Posted on August 18, 2019 at 6:25 pm
Stacey Hanna | Posted in Uncategorized |

The Mortgage

Mortgage loans carry simple interest, and calculating how much of your monthly payment is credited to interest and how much of that payment is applied to principal, is really simple.

Suppose you borrow $150,000.00 to finance your new house. You apply for and get approved for a 30 year fixed rate mortgage at 4.25%. The monthly payment is $737.91.

To figure how much of your first month’s payment is applied to principal and how much to interest, multiply the loan amount of $150,000.00 by .0425 (4.25% interest), then divide that amount by 12 (12 months in a year). Out of your first month’s payment of $737.91, $531.25 goes to interest, and $206.66 is applied to reduce the principal.

Month two is calculated exactly the same, however in month two you only owe the bank $149,793.34 because of the first month’s principal reduction. So, $149,793.34 X .0425 = 6,366.22/12 = 530.52 – 737.91 = $207.39 to pay down more principal. That’s a little over a dollar more that is applied to the principal in just the second month. At that rate you’ll have the mortgage paid off in 30 years!

Seriously, by knowing how a loan works, you understand how even a small increase or decrease in interest rates can affect you.

When dealing in real estate, the more you know about the basics, the better you will be able to judge what is best for you and your family. You, as the buyer, deserve to have a sound grasp of the details in what usually is the biggest purchase you’ll ever make.


Posted on August 18, 2019 at 6:24 pm
Stacey Hanna | Posted in Uncategorized |

Lake Tahoe Farmer’s Markets – And Then Some

All the communities around Lake Tahoe have access to efficient, well-stocked grocery stores, but what could be more fun than buying your summer vegetables at an outdoor farmers market?

Instead of hearing canned music as you wander down aisle 4, out of doors your ears pick up the sound of the bold Stellar’s jays scolding anyone or anything in their way. In place of looking up to see what’s on top of that tall shelf over the frozen food section, out in the sunshine you can crane your neck to watch the birds swooping through the tops of the tall trees surrounding the market. Snapping fresh vegetable displays tempt your palate and delight your eye, while the sharp pine smell of the trees puts an edge to your appetite.

Indoor grocery stores have their place; we cannot do without them. Farmer’s markets, though, have food for the body and the soul.

 

Even though the outdoor markets have regular meeting places, it’s always wise to check. We’ve listed links to a few web sites that have the schedules (or soon will) for 2017. Bon Appétit!

http://www.ediblerenotahoe.com

http://www.sierravalleyfarms.com

http://www.laketahoemarkets.com

http://www.eldoradofarmersmarket.com/Markets/AmericanLegionSouthLakeTahoe.aspx

www.skirunfarmersmarket.com/


Posted on August 18, 2019 at 6:21 pm
Stacey Hanna | Posted in Uncategorized |

Appraisals

It doesn’t matter whether it’s a house or a farm or a condo or a piece of undeveloped land that is being sold, nearly every real estate transaction needs the services of an appraiser who will give an unbiased professional opinion of the property’s value. Buyers do not want to overpay for a house, and an appraisal is especially important when a lender is involved. A good appraisal determines whether the purchase price is appropriate thus ensuring the lender’s collateral.

Qualified appraisers are required to be licensed or certified in all 50 states. They should be familiar with the local area, and must be impartial; they cannot have an interest in the transaction.

All appraisals are based on recent sales of like properties, as well as current market trends. The square footage of the house, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the floor plan and the condition of the property all play a part in the final determination of the property’s value.

What happens if an appraisal is lower than expected? Of course, a second opinion by way of another appraisal is always an option. In some cases, an appeal to the original appraiser, giving new or missing information has been successful.

If everything goes smoothly, the appraisal is just another part of a real estate transaction. If the appraisal comes in lower than expected, an understanding of appraisers and their methods works in everyone’s favor so that buyers and sellers can cooperate to ensure the completion of their contract.


Posted on August 18, 2019 at 6:20 pm
Stacey Hanna | Posted in Uncategorized |

What is Escrow?

There has to be a neutral third party in every real estate transaction; someone who will take instructions only from the principals – the buyers and sellers. That is escrow’s job.

Once the contract is signed, and its terms and conditions, along with the buyers’ deposit, are submitted, the escrow officer begins her work.  After depositing the buyers’ earnest money into a trust account, the escrow holder will prepare escrow instructions that are in accordance with the original real estate contract. This is the first document buyers and sellers sign. If, for some reason, the terms of the original contract change during the term of the contract, amended escrow instructions are sent for signature, also.

During the term of the escrow, the escrow holder must maintain an impartial third party status. They never will offer any advise, nor will they disclose or discuss the terms of the original contract with anyone except the parties to the contract. If a conflict arises before the close of escrow, the holder will not complete the escrow. An agreement must be reached before the escrow holder will proceed to closing.

A preliminary title report is ordered, which will show that the sellers really do own the property and are entitled to sell it, that the taxes on the property are paid current, and that there is a first mortgage, or the property is free and clear of liens.  If there are liens against the property, perhaps a first or second mortgage or a mechanics lien, the escrow officer will order payoff amounts. These amounts will be paid by escrow from proceeds due to the sellers at closing. If the buyers are getting a  first mortgage on the property, then it’s a waiting game until the lender is ready with the new loan documents.

Just before the agreed-upon date of close of escrow, buyers sign all the loan documents, deposit their total down payment into escrow, receive a preliminary closing statement, showing loan costs, prorated interest, escrow and title fees, along with prorated taxes and homeowner’s dues, if included in the original sales contract. Usually, sellers sign the only the deed, and receive a preliminary closing statement showing their costs of the transaction; escrow fees, commissions, payoffs, and prorated amounts, if any. Then it’s finally time to record the deed and the new first mortgage. Money is disbursed, escrow is closed.


Posted on August 18, 2019 at 6:19 pm
Stacey Hanna | Posted in Uncategorized |

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