Thursday, April 17, 2014

It Pays to Use a Realtor ®

I was reading this article on California of Association Realtor's® and I had to share with all of you.  It explains all the advantages of using a Realtor® to sell your home.  After all the home is the biggest asset for most of us.

For Buying or Selling, it helps to have a guide that gives you straight answers. For more information on buying, selling, or renting out an income property in San Diego, please call Frank Rashid's cell phone at (858) 676-5250 or email him at rashid@rashidrealty.com. More to follow within the next couple of weeks.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Home Improvements that pay you back

This week I wanted to share this post that I found on the California Association of Realtors website.  

These are generic numbers. If you need any specific guidance, please don't hesitate to email or call me.


For Buying or Selling, it helps to have a guide that gives you straight answers. For more information on buying, selling, or renting out an income property in San Diego, please call Frank Rashid's cell phone at (858) 676-5250 or email him at rashid@rashidrealty.com. More to follow within the next couple of weeks.


Friday, March 14, 2014

Repairs before selling - Part 2

Continuing from the last post, here is a list of other pointers of what you ought to be looking into doing:

Kitchen Improvements
Appliances and cabinets are typically the most expensive items to replace in a kitchen. If you don't have to replace them, you'll save a ton of money. However, if your cabinets are dated and beat-up, your house might not sell if the cabinets aren't replaced.

Kitchen remodels return nearly 100%. According to Remodeling Magazine, the high-end kitchens don't return as much as the mid-range or minor kitchen remodels. Most buyers won't pay extra for a built-in Sub Zero refrigerator, professional 8-burner stove, undermount sink or travertine floors. If you live in the Midwest, your return will be less than for those who live in other parts of the country.

Cabinets
Resurfacing is your best option. This involves attaching a thin veneer to the surface of the cabinets and replacing the doors and hardware . If your cabinets are painted, add a fresh coat of paint and new hardware.

Counter tops, sinks & faucets
Granite counters are not necessary. Simple laminates, newer faucets and sparkling sinks sell. Buyers don't want leaky faucets or stained sinks.

Bathrooms
The national average of recouped cost is more than 100% for bathrooms. New floors, fixtures and lights payoff.

Roofs & Exterior
If your home needs a new roof, bite the bullet and do it. Even though most roofing tear-off jobs take one to two days, buyers shy away from buying a home if the roof needs to be replaced.

Other items you should consider:
Patch cement cracks in sidewalks
Resurface asphalt driveways
Plant flowers
Caulk windows and doors
Replace doorknobs and locks
Fix or paint fences

Conclusion
Overall, buyers want to buy a home that has no deferred maintenance, newer appliances, updated plumbing, electrical and heating (including a/c), modern conveniences and is ready to occupy.

For Buying or Selling, it helps to have a guide that gives you straight answers. For more information on buying, selling, or renting out an income property in San Diego, please call Frank Rashid's cell phone at (858) 676-5250 or email him at rashid@rashidrealty.com. More to follow within the next couple of weeks.


Thursday, February 27, 2014

Repairs before selling - Part 1

This week I wanted to write to prepare you better for your future move.  We never know when the desire to move into a slightly larger home or to a different location strikes us.  The move may be motivated by the need for more space, the need to grow wealth through real estate, the need of wanting to be closer to friends and community, and so on.  Most of the time, it is a combination of the above factors that triggers the phone call to me to evaluate market conditions and explore feasibility.

Quick fixes before selling a home always pay off, but which repairs bring the biggest return? Specific answers to this often-asked question largely depend on a variety of factors such as:

  • Time of year 
  • Location of the home 
  • Market temperature 
  • Competing inventory 

There is no hard and fast rule. But there are general guidelines that apply to most homes.  This is part one of a two part series that will give you some pointers of what you ought to be looking into doing.

Hardwood Floors 
If your home has hardwood floors, that's what buyers want, and it would pay to have the carpeting removed and the floors refinished.

Carpeting 
If your sub-floor is plywood, then replace the carpeting with light tan. Neutral carpeting is your best bet for resale.

Ceramic 
Replace chipped or cracked tiles. Clean or replace the grout. But don't install ceramic (it's too expensive) unless it's for aesthetic reasons in an entry way.

Paint Ceilings & Walls 
Buyers spend more time than you would think staring at ceilings. They are looking for signs of a leaky roof, but what you don't want them to see are stains from grease or smoke and ceiling cracks. Ditto for walls. Nothing says freshness like new paint, and it's the most cost effective improvement. Use fiberglass tape on large cracks, cover with joint compound and sand. Paint a neutral color such as light tan - think of coffee with cream.

Wallpaper 
It's not that all buyers hate wallpaper. They hate your wallpaper - because it's your personal choice, not theirs. And they hate all dated wallpaper. Get rid of it. The easiest way is to steam it off by using an inexpensive wallpaper remover steamer.

Wood paneling
Even if your wood paneling is not real wood but composite, you can paint it. Dated paneling must go. Older wood paneling such as walnut, mahogany, cedar and pine, it's all gone out of style. Paint it a neutral and soft color after priming it.

Textured ceilings
Older popcorn ceilings with the "sparkles" often contain asbestos and if disturbed are health hazards. Say goodbye to it. But even recently sprayed ceilings turn off buyers. It's not expensive but it is time consuming to remove. Lay down drop cloths and scrape it off. You will need to repaint.

Email me at rashid@rashidrealty.com for a complete detailed list. I would love to hear your comments on what you think about which repairs bring the biggest return.

For Buying or Selling, it helps to have a guide that gives you straight answers. For more information on buying, selling, or renting out an income property in San Diego, please call Frank Rashid's cell phone at (858) 676-5250 or email him at rashid@rashidrealty.com. More to follow within the next couple of weeks.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Why We Fall in Love—With Houses

By SANETTE TANAKA

Falling in love can be wonderful—and finding the perfect house can make a house-hunter weak in the knees.

As Valentine’s Day approaches, a survey by Realtor.com shows that falling head-over-heels for a house is fairly common—69% of respondents reported that they have had a home crush. House-hunters with a “home crush,” as defined in the survey, are drawn to the same house again and again. Realtor.com surveyed 1,082 individuals from Jan. 9 to Jan. 20 who reported having had a home crush.

Many people approach house hunting the same way they approach dating, by checking compatibility and fit, but the intangible factors are what tips a house from crush to true love, says Leslie Piper, Realtor.com’s consumer-housing specialist and an agent with Pacific Union in Lafayette, Calif.

“You have to make sure you know what’s really out there. You evaluate what is a turn-on and turn-off, and perhaps you’ll fall in love,” Ms. Piper says.

Also like dating, men and women approach a home crush very differently.

Some key findings from the survey:

Women are more likely to crush on home that is out of their price range: 41% of women said their home crush is out of their price range, compared with 30% of men.

Men tend to move from one home crush to another: 36% of men said they find a new home crush weekly, compared with 29% of women.

Outdoor living spaces are the most attractive home attributes to both men and women: 54% of women and 46% of men said outdoor living spaces like backyards, decks and patios make them fall in real-estate love. In addition, 42% of women preferred open-floor plans, and 40% of men indicated garages.

Nearly 80% of homebuyers first find their home crush on their computer. After that, about one-third then decide to go see the house in person.

About 16 years ago, Brenda Van Fossen of Lynchburg, Va., stumbled on a 2,600-square-foot, contemporary-style house with 10-foot ceilings and an open-floor plan. She called up the agent and was disappointed to hear that the house was already under contract.

But Ms. Van Fossen couldn’t get the house off of her mind. A year later, she found out that the house was back on the market and purchased it for roughly $170,000.

Ms. Van Fossen, who became a real-estate agent in 2006, says she has never felt this way about a house before: “That first night there, it sounds silly, but it was like I was in love.”

But love can have a downside—heartbreak.

“You have to be realistic. When you’re looking at homes outside of your price range, the last thing you want to be is disappointed. It would be like falling in love with someone on the other side of the country,” Ms. Piper says. To move on, she suggests keeping an open mind and perhaps considering several houses at the same time in case the first choice doesn’t work out.

Fortunately, unlike with relationships, picky homebuyers do not need to limit themselves to what’s on the market, she says. Rebuilding, redecorating or building from scratch are an option, too.

For Buying or Selling, it helps to have a guide that gives you straight answers. For more information on buying, selling, or renting out an income property in San Diego, please call Frank Rashid's cell phone at (858) 676-5250 or email him at rashid@rashidrealty.com. More to follow within the next couple of weeks.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Trulia: Buying Beats Renting Despite Rising Home Prices


By Robbie Whelan

To buy, or not to buy, and instead to rent? That, as ever, is the real-estate question.

Consumers often look to buy-vs.-rent comparisons and indices to make big decisions about housing. So as home prices rise and the recovery progresses, which side is up these days?

Trulia, the real-estate listings and data firm, has come out with a new analysis of this question. The answer? Buying is still resoundingly cheaper than renting, in basically every corner of the country, and you’d be better off buying, unless you: can’t qualify for a low mortgage rate; you don’t itemize your tax deductions; or if you plan to move within two to three years.

That said, buying has become slightly less attractive, when compared with renting, than it was a year ago. In early 2012, buying was 46% cheaper than renting. Today, it’s 44% cheaper. That’s because of rising prices. But falling mortgage rates (Freddie Mac reported Thursday that the average rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is 3.54%) have reduced the cost of buying, tempering the effect of rising home values. A year ago, for example, the average 30-year fixed-rate loan came with an interest rate of 4.08%.

“Home prices rose faster than rents, but with low mortgage rates, it’s better to buy than to rent everywhere,” says Jed Kolko, Trulia’s chief economist. “What’s surprising is that it’s still 44% cheaper to buy than to rent, despite the fact that home prices are rising.”

Of course, the results of Trulia’s study vary from place to place. In Detroit, where the housing market has been decimated by years of job losses and a painful crash of the subprime lending market, it’s 70% cheaper to buy than to rent. Most of the steepest buy-to-rent discounts are in Midwestern cities, including Dayton, Ohio (64%); Gary, Ind. (63%); Cleveland (64%); Warren/Troy/Farmington Hills, Mich. (63%); Toledo, Ohio (62%); Memphis, Tenn. (62%); and Kansas City (60%).

Buying is least attractive compared with renting in coastal markets, where supply is constrained, home prices are recovering quickly and home values are traditionally quite high. San Francisco leads the pack in “unaffordability” of for-sale property versus rental property—the discount to buying vs. renting is just 19%. It’s followed by Honolulu (23%), San Jose (24%) and New York City (26%).

San Francisco is a more nuanced case, however. A year ago, buying was 35% cheaper than renting. The reason for the dramatic drop, according to Mr. Kolko, is the surge in new construction. As the Journal reported, housing starts continued to rise in February. Although most of the monthly gains were in single-family housing construction, markets like San Francisco have mostly seen construction of multifamily rental buildings, rather than one-family homes.

For Buying or Selling, it helps to have a guide that gives you straight answers. For more information on buying, selling, or renting out an income property in San Diego, please call Frank Rashid's cell phone at (858) 676-5250 or email him at rashid@rashidrealty.com. More to follow within the next couple of weeks.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Housing Recovery Hovers at 50% Mark


Each month, Trulia’s Housing Barometer charts how quickly the housing market is moving back to “normal.”  We summarize three key housing market indicators: construction starts (Census), existing home sales (NAR), and the delinquency-plus-foreclosure rate (LPS First Look). For each indicator, we compare this month’s data to (1) how bad the numbers got at their worst and (2) their pre-bubble “normal” levels.

In January 2013, construction starts slid, while home sales and the delinquency + foreclosure rate both improved slightly relative to December:

Construction starts fell monthly, but were still up sharply year-over-year. Starts were at an 890,000 annualized rate, down 8.5% month-over-month but up 24% year-over-year. The month-over-month decline was relative to a December spike in multifamily housing starts, which tend to be volatile. January starts were at their second-highest level since July 2008, and single-family housing starts were at their highest level since that same month. Furthermore, residential construction employment was up 2.6% year-over-year in January – outpacing employment overall, which rose 1.5%. Construction starts are now 40% of the way back to normal.

Existing home sales edged up. Sales rose slightly to 4.92 million in January from 4.90 million in December. Year-over-year, sales were up 9%. But the mix of sales is shifting from “distressed” sales — foreclosures and short sales — to “conventional” home sales. Excluding distressed sales, conventional home sales were up 29% year-over-year in January. Overall, existing home sales are 66% back to normal.

The delinquency + foreclosure rate improved. After holding nearly steady for three months, the share of mortgages in delinquency or foreclosure fell in January to 10.44%, from 10.61% in December. The January rate is the lowest level since December 2008. The combined delinquency + foreclosure rate is 43% back to normal.

Averaging these three back-to-normal percentages together, the housing market is now 50% of the way back to normal, down from 52% in December. That’s the first setback since June. Cause for alarm? No: the Housing Barometer reached 52% in December thanks to what looks like a temporary spike in multifamily housing starts. Even with this backward step in January, 50% back to normal represents steady progress. But January’s figures are a reminder that housing indicators often have monthly swings, and the longer-term trend is a better guide to the shape of the housing recovery.



WRITTEN BY
Jed Kolko, Chief Economist