Tag Archives: neighborhoods

Here’s Where to Trick-or-Treat in San Diego

San Diego ranks #8 in the best cities to go trick-or-treating! But there’s also specific neighborhoods to check out in San Diego.

pumpkin1According to Zillow, there’s a specific algorithm for finding the best places to trick-or-treat on Halloween. Four variables are involved: the value of the single family residences in the area, local crime data, the closeness of each house to its neighbors, and the age of residents there.

Based on their research, apparently these are the neighborhoods to be in for Halloween night:

  1. Del Mar Heights
  2. Carmel Valley
  3. Loma Portal
  4. Carmel Mountain
  5. Mission Hills

If you’d like to read Zillow’s article, it’s available here: www.zillow.com/blog/trick-or-treat-index-2015-184961/

Buyers pay premium for move-in ready homes

First impressions are lasting. Home buyers and real estate agents remember what they see, not what you say your home will look like after you reduce the clutter, paint, and replace outdated floor coverings and light fixtures.

Most people don’t have the ability to visualize how a home will look spruced up. If you show your home to prospective buyers or their agents before it’s ready to show, you could lose out on a possible offer because they’re turned off by the lack of appeal. It’s often difficult to get someone back for a second look after you’ve made improvements.

One couple who’d been looking for a home that was big enough for their family heard that one of the largest homes in the neighborhood was coming on the market. They contacted the sellers and asked if they could look at the house before it went on the market. If they liked it, they could save the sellers the expense of preparing the house for sale.

The sellers agreed. The prospective buyers looked at the house but turned it down. They couldn’t see past the dated décor.

The house went on the market months later. The interior was painted in decorator colors; old carpet was removed and the hardwood floors underneath were refinished; the overgrown yard was pruned and a new lawn was installed; and all the seller’s belongings were moved out and the house was staged.

The house looked fabulous. It received multiple offers and sold for well above the asking price. Ironically, the couple who had seen the house before it was fixed up and passed on the opportunity were encouraged by a friend who attended the open house to take another look.

They did and ended up making an offer in competition. Unfortunately, another buyer made a better offer. The couple who first saw it lost out on an opportunity because they couldn’t visualize the property’s potential. This worked to the sellers’ advantage because they netted much more on the sale than they would have if they’d sold it to the first buyers for the list price.

HOUSE HUNTING TIP: Many sellers resist the notion of fixing their house up for someone else. Although it’s not a good idea to make major renovations just before selling a home, cost-effective cosmetic improvements can make your home more salable and could increase the amount you recoup when you sell.

Most sellers find the decluttering process tedious. The bonus of weeding out what you no longer want or need is that you don’t have to pay to move these items. And, you’re making your home easier to sell.

Some agents don’t want to take time to help sellers prepare their home for a more profitable sale even though buyers pay more for a home that’s in move-in condition. Ask your real estate agent how much your home might sell for in both its “as is” condition and after making cosmetic improvements. If you decide to prepare your home for an advantageous sale, use an agent who will assist you with this by prioritizing what should be done and helping you find people to complete the work.

It’s not always possible for sellers to cosmetically update their homes before selling. The trade-off will be a lower sale price.

THE CLOSING: Make sure if you are going to spruce up your home for sale that you don’t show it before the work is done.

Dian Hymer is a real estate broker with more than 30 years’ experience, and is a nationally syndicated real estate columnist and author.

Fewer foreclosures in San Diego county

Foreclosure investors face slimmer pickings

Home buyers, particularly investors, in San Diego County have fewer foreclosed homes to choose from these days.

Properties that were foreclosed upon in the past year and resold in San Diego County made up 20 percent of total home resales in June, matching the recorded low in September 2007, DataQuick stats show. Their share of the resale market was 21.3 percent in May, 28.5 percent a year ago and had peaked at 55 percent three-and-a-half years ago. In other words, bank-owned resales are making up a smaller share of the total market as time passes…

Read the rest of this article by U~T San Diego here: “Foreclosure investors face slimmer pickings”.

How to tell if a home will hold its resale value when buying

Six signs a home will hold its resale value

Most buyers have a wish list of features they’d like to have in a home. Often missing from that list is how salable the home will be when they later decide to sell.

Generally, buyers deal indirectly with resale value. They want a home they can buy at market value or less. They want to buy a home that will retain its value. They want to buy a home that will suit their needs. They want to buy a home they can make their own.

home hold its resale valueA listing that’s priced low to sell fast may be one that will have good resale value only if you use this marketing strategy. The low price may offset an incurable defect, such as a location on a busy street.

There’s nothing wrong with buying a home on a busy street as long as (1) you buy it at a price that reflects the location issue; (2) it suits your long-term needs; and (3) you understand that you will probably have to discount the price accordingly when you sell, depending on the market at the time.

In a hot seller’s market, buyers are desperate to buy. They often overpay, and they are more likely to overlook defects that they would shun in a sour market.

Resale value has become a bigger issue since the housing recession began five years ago. Buyers are more cautious in their home-buying decisions. They don’t want to buy just any home; they don’t want to make a mistake and end up wanting to move in a slow market in which they might lose money.

The homes that hold their resale value well are the ones that appeal to a broad cross section of buyers; offer a good floor plan that works for different lifestyles; have a good amount of space but are not enormous and expensive to maintain; and exhibit a pride of ownership. They should also be in good condition.

Location is also a critical element of resale value. There are market niches that are always in demand, in both hot and soft markets. For example houses in neighborhoods with close proximity to shops, cafés and public transportation systems.

That’s not to say that every listing in these neighborhoods sell quickly. To sell, it needs to be priced right for the market.

It’s easier to recognize a home with good resale value in the current market than it was in the bubble market of 2005 and 2006 when virtually all homes sold in many areas. In a soft market, the homes that sell within 30 to 60 days are either good homes or good deals.

Ideally, you want to buy a home that has good resale value. Not one that’s just a good deal. There’s no urgency to buy now in many areas, although it would be nice to take advantage of record-low interest rates. But you shouldn’t buy a home that won’t work for you long term just to lock in a great interest rate.

Even though there are a lot of homes for sale on the market, in many areas there is a not a surplus of quality inventory on the market. One reason for the lack of quality homes on the market is that many sellers are waiting for a better time to sell. Another reason is that homes with good resale value don’t tend to change hands that often.

THE CLOSING: There may be good news ahead. Leslie Appleton-Young, chief economist for the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®, predicts that sellers who have been waiting for a better time to sell may decide they’ve waited long enough and list their homes for sale in 2012.

Dian Hymer is a real estate broker with more than 30 years’ experience and is a nationally syndicated real estate columnist and author.

Event: Taste of Hillcrest

Taste of Hillcrest

When: Saturday, April 21 | 1oam-4pm

Where: Hillcrest, San Diego, CA

Official Website

Cost:$30.00 – $35.00

Taste of Hillcrest, San Diego eventHere’s a bit about the event straight from Taste of Hillcrest:

Get ready to experience this year’s most tantalizing taste event as you explore the “Taste of Hillcrest” taking place on Saturday, April 21th, 2012 from NOON to 4:00 PM.

Enjoy a self-guided stroll that will take you around to some of the top chefs in San Diego, who are preparing their best dishes especially for you! From scrumptious appetizers to delectable desserts, come prepared to please your appetite. With samples created from over 40 of the area’s prominent restaurants, you are sure to find a new takeout favorite or dining hotspot.

Once you’ve had your fill of savory dishes, take a break from the action to stop into over a dozen of the neighborhood’s surrounding shops participating in the 2nd Annual Sidewalk Sale, offering participants a variety of exclusive discounts and promotions.

Tickets to the “Taste of Hillcrest” are just $30.00 in advance and $35.00 day of the event and proceeds benefit the Hillcrest Association.

Four steps to buying a house in 2012

Q: I am on a mission to buy a home. I’ve wanted to own a home my entire life, and thought I would miss the opportunity to buy while the market was down, because I had no real savings when the market crashed. I think I’m ready, though, and prices still seem low. What should I be doing now to make this happen in 2012?

A: The recession has done lots of favors for buyers-to-be, including dropping prices and interest rates to bargain levels. But it has also created a lending and housing market climate in which loans are tough to get, tensions about buying into a down market run high, and transactions are harder and longer to close than they have ever been.

Here are the things to do now, to buy a home this year:

1. Fix credit problems. More deals than ever are dying on the vine, and credit problems are a top reason home-sale transactions fall out of escrow. Detect and correct errors on your credit report now by reviewing the federally mandated free reports you can get at AnnualCreditReport.com.

2. Study up. Do some research, both online and offline, into things like:

Areas: Start your online research into decision points like tax rates, school districts, neighborhood character and even prices in various areas. Check out NabeWise.com for some local insight into neighborhood flavor and personality.

When you start connecting with local agents, ask them to brief you on neighborhood market dynamics. They can give you a deeper view into need-to-knows like how long homes typically stay on the market and whether they generally go for more or less than the asking price, so you can be smart about how you search vis-à-vis what you have to spend.

Agents: This is the perfect time to ask your family and friends for a referral to an agent they know, have used and love. Then, follow up by doing an online search for the agent’s name and seeing what sort of online reviews and activities you find. When you’ve narrowed the field down to a few, call them up and set up a meeting to find out if you’re a good fit.

Distressed properties: In some areas, more than 40 percent of the homes on the market are short sales and foreclosures, and they involve a very different timeline and set of facts than traditional home sales. Read up and talk with the agent candidates you interview about what you should expect from these types of listings, to minimize surprise and manage your expectations way in advance.

3. Save even more. Sounds like you’ve worked hard for a number of years to save enough cash that you think you’re in the clear when it comes to funding your down payment and closing costs. Studies show that after months of saving, people often let up and relax into a spending season. Even at your early stage in the process, it’s easy to start noticing and buying the furnishings and touches you want to install in your new home.

Although you shouldn’t feel deprived or forgo amazing and affordable deals on things you know you’re going to need, rest assured that no matter what amount of cash you have on hand, when you start house hunting, making offers, closing your transaction or moving in, the time will definitely come when you’ll wish you had more.

You might want to ratchet up your offer a bit to best another buyer, or you might just end up with a place that needs a little sprucing up. It might be months before you know exactly what you’ll need extra cash for, but now is not the time to press the gas pedal when it comes to your monthly spending.

4. Purge. Now’s the time to sell, donate or give away as much of your personal possessions as you can. Use the proceeds to pad your cash cushion, or tuck the donation receipts away for your tax records next year.

Start here, and chances are good that your house hunt — and purchase — will be in full swing by spring, if not sooner.

Tara-Nicholle Nelson is an author and the Consumer Ambassador and Educator for real estate listings search site Trulia.com.

Proposed Bill to Speed Up Short Sale Process and Prevent Foreclosure

We all know short sales are not so “short”–but this proposed bill outlined by DSNews.com’s article may speed up the process, while also preventing foreclosure.
 
To avoid losing homes to foreclosure due to long response times for short sale transactions, three senators introduced legislation to speed up the short sale process.  
 
Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-Arkansas), Scott Brown (R-Massachusetts), and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) proposed the bill addressing the issue of short sales timelines on February 17. A short sale is a real estate transaction where the homeowner sells the property for less than the unpaid balance with the lender’s approval.
 
“There are neighborhoods across the country full of empty homes and underwater owners that have legitimate offers, but unresponsive banks,” said Murkowski. “What we have here is a failure to communicate. Why don’t we make it easier for Americans trying to participate in the housing market, regardless of whether the answer is ‘yes,’ ‘no’ or ‘maybe?’”
 
The legislation, also known as the Prompt Notification of Short Sale Act, will require a written response from a lender no later than 75 days after receipt of the written request from the buyer.
 
The lender’s response to the buyer must specify acceptance, rejection, a counter offer, need for extension, and an estimation for when a decision will be reached. The servicer will be limited to one extension of no more than 21 days.
 
The bill will also…
 
Read the rest of this article by DSNews.com here: “Proposed Bill to Speed Up Short Sale Process and Prevent Foreclosure“.

4 ways to attract more buyers

Some buyers are looking for a home that’s located in a specific neighborhood. Others have more flexibility regarding where they live. But most buyers share one thing in common: They want a home that’s in move-in condition.

Start working on attracting buyers to your home by putting the property in good condition before it goes on the market. In most cases, it’s not a good idea to show your home to a prospective buyer before it’s ready to be shown. Photos should also wait until your home presents itself well.

homes for salePay attention to “curb appeal”; first impressions are lasting. Some buyers drive by without taking a look inside if they don’t like the way a house looks from the street. The yard should be clean and tidy. Replace the front lawn if it’s dead; the same goes for plants that have seen better days. Flowering plants make your home look festive and inviting.

Peeling paint should be touched up, if possible. If an entire exterior paint job is called for, consider changing the color scheme to enhance the appeal. One seller repainted the exterior of his home before selling without consulting his agent or a colorist. He repainted using the existing color scheme, which was out of date. The house didn’t sell quickly. When it did, the first thing the buyers wanted to do was change the color of the exterior.

Repair deferred maintenance, particularly if it’s visible from the street. You want to convey the impression that your home has been well maintained. If you can’t afford to repair and paint the white picket fence in front of your house, it would be better to remove it than leave it.

Houses that don’t have much architectural appeal can often be improved by the addition of shutters. Houses that don’t show much from the street can be enhanced with an architecturally intriguing gate or entryway. You want to peak buyers’ interest in seeing what they can’t see from the street.

HOUSE HUNTING TIP: List with an agent who can provide wide exposure for your home, including extensive Internet advertising. The vast majority of homebuyers search for homes online. Buyers discount Internet listings that do not have photos, and they gravitate toward those with many photos and quality photos. Make sure that the agent you list with will not put your home on the multiple listing service or Internet without plenty of quality, representative photos — 15 or more is good.

The importance of Internet advertising should not be underestimated. The Internet is global and available 24/7. Buyers often find the listing they want to buy on the Internet before their agent has seen it. After surfing the Internet, some buyers decide to buy outside the area they were focusing on if they see something elsewhere that appeals to them.

Local marketing may work in some cases, but you wouldn’t want to cut yourself short. Broad exposure of your listing to the market is an integral part of selling.

Although the buyer for your home could come from anywhere, you do want it to be exposed to the local agents. Your agent should hold the listing open for real estate agents as soon as it’s ready to be shown. Repeat broker open houses may be necessary to make sure a representative number of agents see the listing.

Public open houses are good exposure. Some buyers still find the home they buy at an open house. However, they don’t pay off like they did during the bubble market. Encourage private showings, which require that you make it easy for agents to show your home to their buyers.

THE CLOSING: The best way to attract buyers to your listing is to price it right for the market. Otherwise, all of your efforts will be for naught.

Dian Hymer, a real estate broker with more than 30 years’ experience, is a nationally syndicated real estate columnist and author of “House Hunting: The Take-Along Workbook for Home Buyers” and “Starting Out, The Complete Home Buyer’s Guide.” View the article here.

If you want to sell, I’m the Realtor for you! Give me a call at (619)337-3262!