paul's blog

The 2% Solution for Home Maintenance

Have you ever driven by a home or apartment building that is in serious disrepair? Do you wonder how it got to this state? Surely the owner didn't mean for one of their most valuable assets to depreciate its current condition?

Local Realtor® Knowledge is Key

From time to time we, as local Realtors®, get the opportunity to work with other agents that are not local. Usually they have helped or are helping their client sell their current home. Since they have a good relationship they want to help their, now buyer, to find a new home. Not to mention the opportunity to earn another full commission.

How to Never Have a Rent Increase Again

One of the most fearful days of the year every person who rents or leases their home or apartment is the day your landlord decides it is time to raise the rent.

If you're on a month-to-month this can happen with as little as 30 days notice; with a lease, at the end of your lease term. In most places in California they can raise it as much as they want.

Buying Your First Investment Property

So you've done it. You've found your dream job, saved some money, bought your own home, and are working toward investing in your future financial independence or retirement. Several friends have told you that real estate is one of the things you should invest in and they're right.

5 DIY Winners and Losers

Wins:

  1. Save big bucks. By doing it by yourself and maybe a couple friends you don't need to fork over money to contractors.

Getting Green with Small and Mini Homes

Many people will exclaim their environmental consciousness by telling you about their Tesla or Prius. They might expound upon their composting, recycling, and double pane windows.

Then you realize that this middle aged couple with no kids living at home ramble around a 2,300 square foot home, running their heat or A/C to keep themselves comfortable. They might even have high vaulted ceilings that they keep nice and toasty in the winter.

Your Home is Perfect Except...

Selling your home can be easy or complicated. Complications many times are past your control, but there are some things you can do to remove some of the stress.

Manage Your Home Like an HOA

When I bought my first home most of my thoughts revolved around making the mortgage payments, keeping the utilities on, and the daily expenses of living. I based my home purchase on what the bank told me I could afford. This was in 1985 and I had just turned 24 years old. What did I know?

In fact, to make the payments the first few years I rented out a couple rooms and worked a lot of overtime. Lenders were very liberal with what they said you could afford.

Buying and Selling a Home in the Winter

Many people equate spring and summer as the best time to buy or sell a home. In the spring school is wrapping up, so if you're moving to a new area there won't be the hassle of kids changing school mid-year. In either spring or summer it can be much more pleasant to tour homes and visit open houses as well. There is often more competition for the homes available, so sellers might be able to demand a little more.

Discount On-Line Brokerage Service?

Recently a few new services have appeared on the web promising sellers low-cost alternatives to full-service local real estate brokers like Century 21 Showcase, REALTORS®.

A recent one I came across suggested that instead of the seller paying the industry common 6%, typically split 50/50 between the listing and seller brokerages, that they would offer a complete on-line transaction and only take 1%, while offering the selling brokerage 3.5%. This would equate to a savings of 1.5% for the seller using their calculations.

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