Archive for the 'Real Estate Nuts and Bolts' Category

Artistic Real Estate Photography

said on June 22nd, 2016 filed under: Localism, Real Estate Nuts and Bolts

The Front of House photo is the most important.  Take numerous shots from different angles and distances.  Time of day may be critical depending on solar exposure.  Sometimes you can frame the shot with foliage.  Minimize driveways and garages unless they are sensational.

Turn all the Interior Lights on, day or night.

Consider the Time of Day even for interior shots.  Some homes simply do not show well in morning photos.  Some homes get too much late afternoon glare.

You will probably need to Return for a second, or even third, photo session.

When Bright Light is blasting in from a window and you absolutely must shoot in that direction, and you can’t diminish the glare with blinds or curtains, try this.  Point the camera to a non-glare area of the room, let the automatic exposure adjust for a few seconds, then quickly swing the camera up where you need the shot and click the shutter before the camera readjusts to the bright glare of the window.  This works most of the time with inexpensive digital cameras when set to automatic.

Take photos from the Corners.  This works especially well in living rooms, dens, family rooms, and bedrooms.  Corner shots often result in interesting angles and typically make a room look a bit bigger,

Bathrooms.  Good luck.  Nothing works very well in small bathrooms.  Maybe there is interesting tile work, or a garden tub.  Do not photograph toilets.

Angles and Elevations are typically more interesting than straight-on shots.  High angle shots (from a staircase, balcony, or even a ladder) can yield spectacular photos.  Low angle shots, likewise, can be effective, shooting up stairwells or at interesting upper story features.

Kitchen shots generate buyer interest.  Take Multiple Kitchen shots from lots of different vantage points (including high angle).  If tactful and easy, clear most of the “stuff” off the counter tops so that the kitchen looks brand new.

Avoid Gilding the Lily.  Photography that makes the house look much better than it actually is . . .  will backfire when buyers arrive and are disappointed in the reality.

But, a couple of Artsy-Fartsy shots never hurt anybody.  Try using arches or doorways to frame shots.  Shoot past beautiful  art objects to provide a rich depth of field. Get closeups of lovely features, man-made and natural.  A photo of the owl who lives in the tree, or the otters who swim in the cove, or the sunset from the deck, or the pretty elm-lined street, or the intricate carving on the balustrade are nice to sprinkle among the more informational photos.

Practically one of the family, Hootie lives in a tree in the back yard.

Practically one of the family, Hootie lives in a tree in the back yard.

 Photo by Cheryl Taylor.

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Request for Repair Guide for Sellers

said on September 29th, 2015 filed under: Localism, Negotiating, Real Estate Nuts and Bolts, Request for Repair

This is a compilation of brief articles about the Request for Repair process in California Real Estate.   Though the California Residential Purchase Agreement (RPA) is the governing document for this discussion, the overall principles and strategies will apply to most states and situations.  Note that this article is not applicable to commercial real estate transactions, in California or elsewhere.

 

stock-photo-5538759-pocket-kings-in-poker

1.  INTRODUCTION

At some point in the life of a residential real estate transaction, the buyer will need to continue reading…

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Request for Repair Guide for Buyers

said on September 29th, 2015 filed under: Localism, Negotiating, Real Estate Nuts and Bolts, Request for Repair

This is a compilation of fourteen brief articles about the Request for Repair process in California Real Estate.   The California Residential Purchase Agreement (RPA) is the governing document for this discussion, but the overall principles and strategies will apply to most states and situations.  Note that this article is not applicable to commercial real estate transactions in California or elsewhere.

stock-photo-5538759-pocket-kings-in-poker

1.  INTRODUCTION

At some point in the life of a residential real estate transaction, you will need to continue reading…

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The Real Estate AVID

said on June 15th, 2015 filed under: Localism, Negotiating, Real Estate Nuts and Bolts, Request for Repair

The Real Estate AVID

AVID
The California AVID is not an insect–though many real estate agents consider it worthy of extermination. The Agent Visual Inspection Disclosure is, for a fact, an odd and awkward creature. Can the findings from the AVID be used by the buyer in negotiating a Request for Repairs? Answer at the end of the article. continue reading…

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Good News for California Home Buyers

said on July 16th, 2014 filed under: Market Trends, Real Estate Nuts and Bolts

Yes, there is good news for California home buyers, but home sellers take heed and pay close attention.  I am excerpting and quoting from Madeline Schnapp’s post (Director of Economic Research for Property Radar) on her June 2014 report.

California single-family home sales were down 12.6 percent from June 2013.

Year-to-date sales for the first six months of the year are the lowest since 2008.

The lack of distressed property inventory (foreclosures and short sales) and rapid increase in median prices have definitely taken a toll on demand.

The June 2014 median price of a California home reached its highest level since December 2007.

But . . . the nearly uninterrupted double-digit monthly increases in median home prices from August 2012 through March 2014 have slowed considerably.

That’s good news for buyers who were finding themselves rapidly priced out of the market.

Going forward, we expect low sales volumes and flat prices until increased supply or looser credit forces prices even lower.

Did you get that?  Forces prices even lower.

Like all markets, real estate is cyclic.  Right now, buyers are gaining a bit of ground on sellers who have had it their way for the past couple of years.

Here’s the link to Schnapp’s full report:  http://www.propertyradar.com/reports/real-property-report-california-june-2014

 

 

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“Just Listed” Sweet Life on Huck Finn Pond – Lake of the Pines Auburn, Ca

said on June 3rd, 2013 filed under: Auburn, Lake of the Pines, Localism, Real Estate Nuts and Bolts

“Just Listed” Sweet Life on Huck Finn Pond – Lake of the Pines Auburn, Ca. continue reading…

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Mold, Oh Mold, Oh Crazy Mold

said on May 22nd, 2013 filed under: Localism, Real Estate Nuts and Bolts

MOLD 101

Mold is everywhere.  It’s in every breath you take and in every breath you will take for the rest of your life.  Mold is in every house you have ever lived in or will live in.  There will always be mold spores floating around your home.  How did they get there?  You brought them in, on your shoes, your clothes, your hair, your food. They blew in on that delightful fresh breeze through your open window.

When should you be alarmed about mold in your house?

  • If it is present at extremely high levels.
  •  If you or the members of your household are ultra sensitive or hyper allergic to it.
  •  If it is a species of dangerous mold.

Dangerous mold.  There are a couple of dangerous molds, but they are surprisingly rare.  I have only come across one verified instance in my real estate career.  I am talking about the dreaded stachybotrys, or misleading “black mold.”  I say misleading because most species of mold are black.

Where does dangerous mold grow?  A warm place where there is a continuous supply of moisture, a dripping pipe inside a wall, or a low spot under a house where water accumulates and stays there all year round, the attic where an unconnected bathroom exhaust pumps hot, wet air every day.

When should you have a test performed to determine the mold levels in your house?

  • Test when an expert tells you to test.  I am not an expert.
  • Test when you see or smell suspicious black stuff.

Who do you call?  You call a professional environmental testing company, and my preference is to call one that does NOT bid on the remediation of their own findings, and which does not recommend a remediation crew.  No conflicts of interest.

What does the testing company do?  Their main tests compare two or more air samples.  They take an air sample from outdoors near the house to set a baseline for the immediate environment.  Then they take one or more air samples inside the house for comparison.  The outside sample and the inside sample(s) should be similar.  If “suspicious stuff” has been pointed out, they may also take a physical swab for identification.

Air samples and physical samples go back to a lab for analysis.  A rather lengthy report is generated that usually includes:

  • descriptions and levels of the fungal species present
  • the testing company’s recommendation for remediation protocols.

If remediation is recommended, the testing company will return (at additional cost) to re-test.

How much does the testing cost?  Here in northern California, the environmental testing company I use charges $200 for the visit plus $100 for each sample, of which there are a minimum of two.  If you want to add the basement, another $100.  The attic?  Another $100.  Two swabs?  $200 more dollars.

You will spend $400 for the simplest two-sample procedure that answers two questions:

  • Is there too much mold in the air of my house compared to established norms?
  • What kind of mold is it?

The testing procedure is surprisingly quick.  I can usually get the Sacramento-based inspector out within 48 hours, get a verbal report on the phone the next day, and the writing report from the lab on the following day.

OK, students.  There is going to be a test. Put away your blogs and websites.  Take out a piece of real paper and a pencil.  STOP!  DON’T CHEW ON THAT PENCIL!  DON’T YOU KNOW THERE’S MOLD ON THAT PENCIL?

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Buyer, Thou Shall Not . . .

said on May 15th, 2013 filed under: Real Estate Nuts and Bolts

There are 5 Absolute Do Not’s When Purchasing A House. The 5 Absolute Do Not’s When Purchasing A House below are so important that anyone one of them can easily bring a Loan Approval and Closing to a screeching halt. The 5 Absolute Do Not’s When Purchasing A House are:

  • DO NOT go out and buy a new car, or furniture or ANY other large purchase. The new payment could disqualify you from being able to qualify for the mortgage.
  • DO NOT stop making payments on your bills such as credit cards, student loans, car payments, rent, utilities, etc.
  • DO NOT apply for new credit cards while your mortgage is being approved. This could lower your credit score, and if your credit is checked again before the Closing you may no longer qualify.
  • DO NOT make large deposits or withdrawals that you cannot document.
  • DO NOT quit your job, even if it is for a better one. A change in jobs will mean that you will have to produce 30 days      worth of paystubs for the new job, and this could delay your Closing.

When purchasing a home, if there is ANY doubt on whether to do something or not, CALL your Loan Originator and ASK. The few minutes that it takes to make a quick simple phone call, could save hours of delays and problems later on . . .

or worse . . .

the mortgage being denied.

(This article is slightly shortened form is re-blogged from an ActiveRain post by George Suoto.  Here is the link to his original article.)

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Lake of the Pines High School – Auburn, Ca Bear River High

said on May 6th, 2013 filed under: Auburn, Lake of the Pines, Localism, Neighborhood Profiles, Real Estate Nuts and Bolts

Lake of the Pines High School – Auburn, Ca Bear River High School is located near the community of Lake of the Pines at 11130 Magnolia Road Grass Valley, CA 95949 (530) 268-3700. continue reading…

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Lake of the Pines Middle School – Auburn, Ca Magnolia Intermediate

said on May 3rd, 2013 filed under: Auburn, Lake of the Pines, Localism, Neighborhood Profiles, Real Estate Nuts and Bolts

Lake of the Pines Middle School – Auburn, Ca Magnolia Intermediate School has enjoyed serving students in the Sierra Foothills since 1975.  They currently have about 620 students in grades 6-8.  Located between Grass Valley and Auburn near the community of Lake of the Pines, they are nestled among the beautiful trees and blue skies. They are in the Pleasant Ridge Union School District, their physical address is: 22431 Kingston Lane Grass Valley, CA 95949 Phone: 530.268.2815. continue reading…

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