paul's blog

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.

You Bought Your First Home -> Now what?

In the first six months virtually every faucet developed an drip. A washer repair only lasted a couple months, so I ended up replacing all the faucets. Not too bad, using my own labor it probably cost a couple hundred 1985 dollars. If I had used a plumber it would have been much more. Before the year was out the water heater bottom decided to rust out in the middle of the night.

Is Your Home Right-Sized?

Over the last several decades there has been a trend toward larger homes. In 1970 the average family home in the United States was around 1,500 square feet, by 2004 this number was closer to 2,500.

Several factors drove this trend, including further suburban sprawl, air-conditioning, and relatively inexpensive costs. As a culture, Americans have also been conditioned over the last 50 years that bigger is better.

5 Ways to Make Sure Your Home Won't Sell

Sure, most of this seems like a no-brainer, but you'll find it happen over and over again. A seller will list their home with an agent and then either take steps to make it unmarketable. The seller will then wonder why they have little interest or no offers.

Here's a list of common offending activities:

Your Stuff vs. Their Stuff

Listing your home for sale can be an awkward lifestyle moment. If you're living in your home while it is on the market, which many of us do, it can feel invasive when agents and their buyers come by for a showing or when a multitude trample through during an open house.

Most sellers accept this in stride; understanding the necessity, but that doesn't make it less frustrating at times. Also, keeping a clean house 24/7 is never easy, especially for those housekeeping challenged such as myself.

This is usually just inconvenient or an minor annoyance through the sale process.

5 New Friends Buyers Get in San Lorenzo Valley

If you're an expat from Silicon Valley or some other suburban or urban area that has made the decision to enjoy the rural life of the San Lorenzo Valley it means you get some new friends! These probably aren't the friends you were thinking of, but they may become some of your best friends.

Real Estate and Technology

Is your real estate agent old school, new school, or a hybrid of both? When is technology a benefit and when is it a hindrance to buying or selling a home?

Connectivity in the Home

One of the things that is not often included in the listing information is the availability of Internet. Today it is a necessary item. Not only for work, but for everything we seem to do these days. From Apple TV, Netflix, and Hulu for entertainment to access to our bank, health insurance, and so many other things.

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