Five Reasons to Choose a Resale Santa Clarita Home Over New Construction

Five Reasons to Choose a Resale Santa Clarita Home Over New Construction

You’ve decided you want to buy a Santa Clarita home, but you’re not sure if you should buy a previously-owned home or a newly built home. Here are five reasons why buying a pre-owned Santa Clarita home might be right for you:

  1. You want big trees – The cost of landscaping a newly built home can be exorbitant, especially if you want big trees immediately. When you buy a resale home, you get the benefit of bigger trees that have taken years (even decades or centuries) to sink deep roots and grow broad, shade-providing canopies.
  2. You want an established neighborhood: Who wants to deal with the noise and dust until all the construction is completed? No one! What if all the homes don’t sell? You could end up living in a partially finished neighborhood without all the promised amenities. When you buy a pre-owned home, you know what you’re getting – just ask the neighbors and check the crime stats.
  3. You don’t want to have to deal with a home builder. Not only do you have to deal with the builder while the home is being built, you’ll also be dealing with him or her for years afterwards. There are invariably things that need to be fixed, even after you move into your newly constructed home. If you decide to build a new home, hire a real estate agent to represent you before you begin the process of looking at home construction, and thoroughly research the builder before signing anything.
  4. You don’t want to pick out everything: Most people think they want the opportunity to pick out all the light fixtures, flooring, countertops, and on and on, but the reality is that it’s very time consuming. It’s also hard work if you don’t enjoy or have a knack for decorating.
  5. You want a definite move-in date: When you’re building a new home, there are invariably time delays. They can be caused by bad weather, slow supply delivery, overbooked subcontractors.  Unfortunately, you have no control over any of these.

Whether you’ve decided buying a pre-owned or new Santa Clarita home is right for you, I can help. Give me a call today at [661-505-timv] or email me at [tim@timsells.net].

You can get more information or contact me on my website. Or search for your next home at ThinkSCVHomes.com.

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Get Your Santa Clarita Home Ready for Its Close-up

Get Your Santa Clarita Home Ready for Its Close-up

The winter season makes staging, or the concept of showing your Santa Clarita home at its best, even more important.  Follow these tips to make your home irresistible:

  1. Make every surface shine: Shine bathroom fixtures, stove, refrigerator and faucets.
  2. Sweep your front porch: Sweep away all those leaves stuck in the corners.
  3. Clean, Clean, Clean: Everything from lamps and light fixtures to bulbs and baseboards.
  4. Add fresh flowers: Put them on the entry table, dining room table and anywhere else that needs a splash of color.
  5. Remove all clutter: Put it in a storage locker or a friend’s garage. Take down all your personal pictures.  Buyers want to picture their belongings in the house, not yours.
  6. Burn potpourri: Or bake something to leave out for potential buyers.
  7. Leave every light on:  And every interior door open.
  8. Keep snow and ice at bay:  If your Santa Clarita home is under winter conditions, be sure to keep walkways and driveways clear of snow and ice.
  9. Warm it up. Adjust the thermostat so your home is warm and inviting.
  10. Take advantage of natural light: Encourage showings during daylight hours. Have all curtains and blinds open during the day and closed at night.
  11. Wash the windows: Buyers act on first impressions; the strong winter sun can reveal grime and turn away prospective buyers.
  12. Create a little atmosphere: Play music softly in the background. Tune the radio to a classical station, and turn it down so that you barely hear it in the background.
  13. Show off hardwood floors: Pull up that wall-to-wall carpeting, clean the floors, store the throw rugs and show the wood!
  14. Freshen the walls: At a minimum, clean the walls from top to bottom.  If they still look dingy, give them a fresh coat of paint.  That is the quickest and fastest way to freshen up a room.
  15. Use the rule of 3 – Three items per surface, in every room.  Make it look uncluttered and clean by doing this.

If you are ready to sell your Santa Clarita home, I can help you get it on the market and sold.  For more information, call me today at [661-505-timv] or email me at [tim@timsells.net].

You can get more information or contact me on my website. Or search for your next home at ThinkSCVHomes.com.

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The Bottom is Here and It’s Time to Buy Santa Clarita Real Estate

The Bottom is Here and It’s Time to Buy Santa Clarita Real Estate

The latest statistics indicate that the U.S. real estate market is at or very close to the bottom right now.

On January 18, Bloomberg News reported, “Confidence Among U.S. Homebuilders Climbs to Highest Since 2007.” Bloomberg said, “The confidence measure, which increased for a fourth straight month, improved in all four regions of the U.S. This is ‘yet another indication of the gradual but steady improvement that is beginning to take hold in an increasing number of housing markets nationwide,’ Bob Nielsen, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders and a builder from Reno, Nevada, said in a statement.”

The official data on home prices might not show the recovery yet, because they are always months behind, but most other data indicates that in general the housing market has hit the bottom.

Right now, homes in America are the best value they’ve been in many generations. And right now, mortgage rates are off-the-charts low. In short, now is the time to buy Santa Clarita real estate.

The reasons to buy now are incredibly basic:

Of course, there is no guarantee that this is the bottom. But with prices this low and with very few other great places to invest your money, now’s the time to seriously consider buying Santa Clarita real estate. If you can buy now and hold on to it for a few years, it could be one of the lowest-risk, highest-reward investments you ever make.

If you’re still not convinced real estate is one of the best values out there right now, please give me a call at [661-505-timv] or email me at [tim@timsells.net]. I will share specific numbers with you about our Santa Clarita real estate market.

You can get more information or contact me on my website. Or search for your next home at ThinkSCVHomes.com.

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Tips for Successful Santa Clarita Short Sales

Tips for Successful Santa Clarita Short Sales

The reality of today’s real estate market means that there are many opportunities to purchase Santa Clarita short sales.  While the process can still be confusing, it is increasingly common. Here are a few tips on how to make sure you leap through the extra hoops a short sale requires with ease and grace:

  • Avoid short sales with multiple mortgage lenders: Offers on Santa Clarita short sales with two different lenders are at a much higher risk of being declined. The first mortgage lender will likely only allow a small percentage to go to the holder of the second mortgage – who will therefore be likely to veto a deal, on the hope that more funds would be generated in a foreclosure.
  • Check the Real Estate Agent’s Short Sale Track Record: Agents with experience in short sales are much more likely to be able to successfully navigate the system than those new to the vagaries of short sales.
  • Make Reasonable Offers: Short sales can be better deals, but they are unlikely to be magically cheap.  No matter what, the bank isn’t going to give the home away just to avoid foreclosure.  You want to put together an offer that makes the buyer and the bank happy.
  • Follow Up on the Details: With the bank involvement, there will be more negotiation and more detail.  Keep your i’s dotted and t’s crossed to make sure the process doesn’t stall.
  • Allow For Extra Time: Short sales are not a short process, so if you are truly in a hurry to close a deal, consider other options.

If you’re looking for a real estate agent with experience in Santa Clarita short sales, give me a call.  I can help you navigate the system and close on your new home. You can reach me at [661-505-timv] or email me at [tim@timsells.net].

You can get more information or contact me on my website. Or search for your next home at ThinkSCVHomes.com.

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Don’t Let Divorce Impact the Mortgage Status of Your Santa Clarita Home

Don’t Let Divorce Impact the Mortgage Status of Your Santa Clarita Home

If you have come to the difficult decision that divorce is the course of action you must take, don’t compound the grief by allowing mortgage delinquency on your Santa Clarita home to tank your credit.

In addition to the emotional toll that divorce can take, there are a lot of financial tolls that can occur as well. Don’t add a poor credit history or foreclosure to the list.

When divorcing and hashing out the financial details, be sure to:

  • Clearly identify who is responsible for the mortgage payment. No matter who moves out of your Santa Clarita home, if you are both on the mortgage, you are both responsible for the mortgage payments. That doesn’t mean you each have to pay half of the payment. It does mean that if the payment is late both of your credit histories will be hurt. The two of you have to decide who pays what percentage of the mortgage payment. Do this immediately (preferably before someone moves out) and get it in writing.
  • Consider involving an escrow company. If you are not solely responsible for making the mortgage payment, get an escrow company to receive the payments from you and your spouse and send the full mortgage payment in on time. This gives you a record of the payment being made by a third party and the escrow company can let you know if your spouse has not made his or her share of the payment.
  • Continue to pay your share of the mortgage. Not only do you want to protect your credit but also your contribution to the equity in the home.
  • Sell or refinance. To get your name off the mortgage, you must either sell or refinance. A quit claim deed does not remove your name from the mortgage; it just takes you off the title.

Discuss these suggestions with your soon-to-be-ex spouse and your attorney. Take the steps needed to secure your financial future.

If you’d like to find out what your Santa Clarita home is worth in today’s market, or need help preparing your home for sale, give me a call today at [661-505-timv] or email me at [tim@timsells.net].

You can get more information or contact me on my website. Or search for your next home at ThinkSCVHomes.com.

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Practice Fire Safety in Your Santa Clarita Home

Practice Fire Safety in Your Santa Clarita Home

You know what an ounce of prevention is worth? In the case of fire, it’s worth your Santa Clarita home and everything in it. Here are six tips to prevent fire from devastating your home.

  1. Repair or replace appliances that repeatedly cause fuses to blow or circuit breakers to trip. This indicates the appliance is causing an overload that could lead to fire.
  2. Keep your clothes dryer’s lint vent clean. Lint is highly combustible. Make it a habit to clean out the lint trap after every load. Also, make sure the flapper to the exterior is opening while the dryer is running. Keeping lint cleared out not only prevents fire, it also helps your clothes dry quicker and saves energy.
  3. Know where your main gas shutoff valve is. If you use natural gas or propane, make sure you know where to shut it off in case you smell a gas leak. The main valve is usually near the meter or tank. Go outside to call your gas company to prevent the phone from setting off a spark that could ignite the gas. Never turn the gas back on yourself.
  4. Practice fireplace safety. Keep fireplaces clean by having them inspected annually by a certified chimney specialist. Always use a metal mesh screen with fireplaces that do not have a glass fireplace door. Clear the area around the hearth of debris, decorations and flammable materials.
  5. Install smoke alarms.
    1. High on walls
    2. On every level of your Santa Clarita home
    3. Outside every bedroom
    4. Inside bedrooms if you close doors at night
    5. Test their batteries every season; make it part of your equinox/solstice rituals
  6. Invest in fire extinguishers
    1. Make sure they are ABC rated
    2. Learn how to use them and review instructions periodically
    3. Have one on each level of your Santa Clarita home
    4. Have them serviced annually

Don’t risk the loss of your Santa Clarita home (or your life and family!) to fire. Fire prevention is easy, recovering from fire is not. For more safety tips, subscribe to my blog – it’s free!

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Short Sales and REO Properties: Opportunities for Santa Clarita Real Estate Buyers Abound in 2012

Short Sales and REO Properties: Opportunities for Santa Clarita Real Estate Buyers Abound in 2012

With prices still low, it continues to be a buyer’s market for those interested in Santa Clarita real estate. Some of today’s most profitable buying opportunities are with short sales and REO properties. Not sure what short sales or REOs are? Here’s a synopsis of each:

  • A short sale property is when the sale price of the property falls short of the balance owed on the mortgage. As a result, the real estate transaction can involve a lot more time and negotiation than a straight purchase, as the seller’s lender has to sign off on any agreements. The upside for the buyer is that you can make a nice profit because short sales are priced at or below market.
  • A Santa Clarita real estate owned (REO) home is a property that is owned by the lender after an unsuccessful foreclosure auction. Usually, the lender asks a real estate agent to list the property for sale. The initial listing price is often high. Hire a Santa Clarita real estate agent who is knowledgeable about REOs to negotiate the price for you and help you navigate the complicated process through to a successful closing.

According to a Housing Pulse survey, short sales were the largest segment of the distressed property market during November 2011, at 17.6% of total home purchase transactions.  The reason for this popularity is clear: price. The average price of short sale properties is close to 20% lower than non-distressed properties, and REO properties are discounted by an even higher percentage.

If you have the time and patience to wade through the short sale process, or are willing to invest in repairing an REO property in less than move-in ready condition, you can reap financial benefits from your patience and hard work.

If you would like to discuss your particular situation, and whether short sale and REO properties might be good options, give me a call today at [661-505-timv] or email me at [tim@timsells.net].

You can get more information or contact me on my website. Or search for your next home at ThinkSCVHomes.com.

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Show the Love with Heart-Warming Photos of Your Santa Clarita Real Estate

Show the Love with Heart-Warming Photos of Your Santa Clarita Real Estate

In honor of Valentine’s Day, sellers should take this month to highlight what they love best about their homes for sale. Instead of just focusing on the square footage, buyers will get the chance to see what makes your Santa Clarita real estate surprisingly special. The best way to project a loving image is to let Cupid take over and shoot your home — with a camera, of course.

As a seller, you constantly hear tips about de-cluttering and depersonalizing a home that’s on the market. However, when you’re taking pictures to post online, be sure you capture the details you love most about your home, because buyers are likely to love them too. Below are a few photography tips to get you started:

  • Capture the heart of your home. Ensure that you get pictures of all the living spaces, from the kitchen and living room to the finished basement and backyard. Any place that a family will spend most of its time together should be highlighted.
  • Make sure you have good lighting. Photograph on a day when there is a lot of natural light coming through the windows. Also be sure to turn on all inside lights and lamps — this gives your home that cheery, glowing feeling.
  • Highlight your home’s best features. Do you love your wrap-around porch, built-in bookshelves, shaded backyard or beautiful stained glass windows?  Be sure to showcase each of those unique features in the photos of your home. You might be surprised at what catches the eye of a potential buyer.
  • Double-check your online upload. Take care to verify the online uploading of your photographs. Carefully read website parameters for picture size and captioning. This will probably be many potential buyers’ first impression of your home, so you definitely want to make it a good one!

Don’t just quickly snap pictures using your phone. Be sure to employ a little love and effort when capturing your Santa Clarita real estate. Then you’ll highlight its best features and pass on that heartwarming image to potential buyers.

If you’re looking for a Santa Clarita real estate agent who will photograph your home to show off its best features and market it extensively online and off, please call me at [661-505-timv] or email me at [tim@timsells.net].

You can get more information or contact me on my website. Or search for your next home at ThinkSCVHomes.com.

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2012 Could Be Your Year to Buy a Second Home in Santa Clarita

2012 Could Be Your Year to Buy a Second Home in Santa Clarita

If you’ve ever dreamed of purchasing investment property, owning a vacation home or buying a home in Santa Clarita for a family member, this could be the year to check that off your bucket list.  With record low interest rates and decreased prices, it is a buyer’s market, particularly in the second-home market.

Before you sign on the dotted line of another mortgage, be it for a beach condo in Florida or a home in Santa Clarita that you plan to rent, be sure to:

  • Check your credit. The same rules apply for a getting a mortgage on a second home as on a first.  Good credit means better loan terms.
  • Save for a down payment. The more money you can put down, the lower your mortgage.  If you put 20% down, you can save money by avoiding Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) requirements
  • Check your budget.  It may be cheaper to rent that ski villa or palm tree paradise for a month than pay a mortgage year round. Consider what you really want in a second home, and what you are willing to pay for that.
  • Check your time.  Choose a second home carefully and make sure that you will really use it, or can rent it when you are not using it. There is no sense paying for a second home that remains shuttered and locked.

Once you consider the basics of your situation, you can begin looking for a second home with the confidence that you can afford the time and expense it requires.  Your second home could be just around the corner – or palm tree.

If buying a second home in Santa Clarita is on your bucket list, give me a call today at [661-505-timv] or email me at [tim@timsells.net].

You can get more information or contact me on my website. Or search for your next home at ThinkSCVHomes.com.

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How to Sell Your Santa Clarita Real Estate this Winter

How to Sell Your Santa Clarita Real Estate this Winter

If you need (or want) to sell your Santa Clarita real estate this winter, you’ll have to step up your game a bit. People tend to be less likely to buy in the winter because the weather keeps them indoors rather than out house hunting. And let’s face it, most homes just don’t look as good in the brown, drab winter as they do in the spicy spring and summer.

If you’re one of the lucky owners with a home for sale in an area that stays beautiful all year long, you can still find a few tips here to help get your home ready to sell.

Six tips to help you sell your home this winter:

  1. Keep it cozy. You want your home to be warm so people can comfortably take their time viewing your Santa Clarita real estate. Saving money on heating costs isn’t worth it if it means freezing out your potential buyers.
  2. Turn up the light. Keep curtains and blinds open during the day. Turn on your lights, both inside and out, at night. Put your lights on timers if you won’t be home until after dark. Use motion detectors to light up in the evening when a potential buyer approaches your doorstep.
  3. Point out cold-weather benefits. Have mass transit within walking distance? That’s a big benefit in bad weather because you don’t have to de-ice or dig your car out of the snow in order to get to work. Have an attached garage? Ditto.
  4. Take advantage of good winter locations. If your home is in a location that people flock to in the winter, say an area with great outdoor winter sports such as skiing or a warm-weather area like Florida, now is the time prime time to promote your house! Put all you’ve got into marketing the benefits of living where it’s always sunny or where winter living is fun.
  5. Set the mood. Play soft, classical music. Toss afghans or throws across the back of your sofa. Hang plush robes in your bedroom or bathroom.
  6. Clear away snow and ice. Shovel a path through the snow so potential buyers don’t have to get out their snowshoes. De-ice your driveway, sidewalk, steps and porch to prevent slips and falls.

If you’re ready to sell your Santa Clarita real estate this winter, I can help. Give me a call today at [661-505-timv] or email me at [tim@timsells.net] for more information.

You can get more information or contact me on my website. Or search for your next home at ThinkSCVHomes.com.

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