What You Should Know About Santa Clarita Real Estate Disclosures

What You Should Know About Santa Clarita Real Estate Disclosures

When walking into Santa Clarita real estate that is listed for sale, you might notice the seller has applied a fresh coat of paint or installed new carpet. While most sellers make updates like this to make their home more appealing to buyers, they could also be trying to hide faults within their home, such as water damage or cracks.

Sellers are obligated to disclose all major property issues, but buyers should double-check the disclosure statement before signing any sort of contract. Below is important information about Santa Clarita real estate disclosures:

  • If you know it, disclose it. Don’t try to hide anything negative about a home you’re selling because it could come back to bite you. There are standard documents that sellers can fill out, but know that verbal disclosures can also be documented.
  • Things you should disclose. Disclose all renovations, whether or not you were required to obtain a permit. Other normal disclosures include property line disputes, termite problems, indoor pets, chronic neighborhood disruptions and appliance issues.
  • Disclosures and inspections are not the same thing. Some people get these confused. A disclosure is something the seller fills out and gives to the buyer. An inspection is conducted by an independent party and might bring to light issues of which the seller is unaware.
  • Improper disclosure can result in a lawsuit. If buyers quickly discover that their new home has serious undisclosed issues or renovations that were hidden and aren’t up to code, they can ask their real estate agent to confront the seller’s agent and seek a settlement. If the seller does not cooperate, the buyers have the right to file a lawsuit.

If you’re getting ready to sell your Santa Clarita real estate and would like help deciding what to include in the disclosure, or if you’d like to buy a home and want to be sure you’re getting all the proper disclosures, 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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Remove Clutter for Good from Your Santa Clarita Home

Remove Clutter for Good from Your Santa Clarita Home

There are hundreds of real estate blogs and property-selling advice articles that tell you to stage and clear clutter before putting your Santa Clarita home on the market. However, you can’t just throw everything into the closet like you might be tempted to do, because buyers will open those doors.

If you’re about to put your house on the market, take advantage of this opportunity to not only clean up the clutter — but get it out of your house for good! Then you’ll have less mess to move to your new house. You might even make a little money on the side.

  • Give sentimental items to family and friends.  Set aside valuable goods, still-useful furniture or family heirlooms to give to dear friends, family members and children. These are the items that others can still get joy from but that you don’t use anymore or need to purge because of downsizing.
  • Have a yard sale. It’s always satisfying to get some cash for goods that you no longer need. Try to hold your yard sale on the first weekend of the month, as a lot of bargain hunters receive paychecks at the end or beginning of each month. Advertise it in your local newspaper. While having a yard sale takes quite a bit of work, you might bring in enough money to make minor improvements to your property before putting it on the market.
  • Donate to a local charity. After the yard sale, pack up whatever is left and donate it to a local charity or resale store. You’ll ensure your discarded belongings get to people who could actually use them, and you’ll save money by getting a tax write-off.

Whether your Santa Clarita home is just a little cluttered or it looks like something off of “Hoarders,” take the time to clean up the clutter and actually get rid of it once and for all.

If you’d like to put your Santa Clarita home on the market, I can help you get it ready to sell. Please call me 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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How to Downsize to a Smaller Santa Clarita Home

How to Downsize to a Smaller Santa Clarita Home

Many people are downsizing these days, either because they’re empty nesters and no longer need the room, they’re getting older and want a smaller space to maintain, or they’re reducing their financial burdens or environmental impact.

If you’ve made the decision to downsize to a smaller Santa Clarita home, here are five tips to help you make the transition:

  1. Start early: Downsizing to a smaller home is much less stressful if you have plenty of time to sort through your belongings to figure out what you’re getting rid of and what you’re keeping. Plan to do this at least a month before you put your home up for sale. (Bonus benefit: it makes your house less cluttered and more desirable to buyers.)
  2. Evaluate your needs: Take an honest look at your lifestyle and what you truly enjoy. Are you really going to learn to play that piano? If you haven’t used it or thought about it in over a year, the answer is probably no. Advertise it in your local newspaper and sell it! With anything you’re having a hard time letting go of, put it in storage for six months. If you don’t think about it during that time, give it away or sell it.
  3. Measure the rooms in your new Santa Clarita home: Measure the rooms in your new home as well as the furniture you want to take with you. Then, create a floor plan of your new home, including the location of doors and windows and where you can place each piece of furniture. You know what to do with any furniture that doesn’t fit.
  4. Assess the storage in your new home: While you’re getting room measurements, make sure to evaluate the storage situation in your new home. Will you have fewer kitchen cabinets? How many closets will you have? To make up for lost space, search for hidden storage options and consider investing in inexpensive storage systems.
  5. Relax and enjoy: You no longer have to worry about the financial burden or time-draining tasks of maintaining a big home.

If you need help selling your current home or finding a smaller Santa Clarita home to buy, 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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Stop Renting and Buy a Santa Clarita Home in 2012

Stop Renting and Buy a Santa Clarita Home in 2012

While we all know the economy has taken a hit on the real estate market, that doesn’t mean purchasing a Santa Clarita home and putting down roots has turned into an unreachable dream. In fact, you can grasp it quite easily, and there are many benefits to doing so.

Start 2012 off right by setting new life and financial goals for yourself. If you’ve been renting and are planning to remain in Santa Clarita, then it’s definitely time for you to consider buying a house. Here are some benefits you should take into account:

  • You’ll build equity. If you take out a loan, you’ll be using someone else’s money to turn your property into a piggy bank and eventually make money as your Santa Clarita home appreciates. Plus, when you sell down the road, you won’t have to share the proceeds — what’s not to like about making money with your bank’s money!
  • You’ll receive tax breaks. The government supports purchasing homes by giving you significant tax breaks on your federal taxes. And when it comes time to sell, you won’t have to pay capital gains taxes either, until you hit a certain ceiling.
  • You’ll be able to count on consistent payments year to year. If you can get a fixed-rate mortgage, you won’t need to worry about an annual increase in your housing payments. When you’re renting, you never know what your payments could be from lease to lease, which makes it hard to determine if your current residence will always be within your budget.

While the appreciation on a house you purchase now might not shoot up as fast as it did a decade ago, buying a home is still a wise long-term investment. Paying rent is no investment at all.

If you’re on the fence about the benefits of purchasing a Santa Clarita home in the New Year or you’d like to see what’s available, please call [661-505-timv] today 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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Benefits of Downsizing Your Santa Clarita Home

Benefits of Downsizing Your Santa Clarita Home

Have you been considering downsizing your Santa Clarita home? You are not alone. According to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), 60 percent of buyers are considering downsizing to smaller, more efficient homes.

There are many benefits of downsizing your Santa Clarita home:

  1. Reduce your impact on the environment: Your home will use less energy when you have less space to heat and cool.
  2. Simplify your life: Simplifying your life reduces stress, improves creativity and increases joy.
  3. Save money: When you buy a smaller, more energy-efficient home, you’ll save money on your utility bills. You’ll also reduce your maintenance expenses.  You will most likely have a smaller mortgage. When you have less space to fill, you need less stuff. So you can also spend less on furniture and other home décor.
  4. Increase free time: You’ll spend less time cleaning and maintaining a smaller home.  Use the extra time to travel, take up a hobby or just relax.
  5. Enhance peace of mind: When you no longer have to worry about how you’re going to pay enormous utility bills and mortgage payments, you can sleep better at night.
  6. Improve your health: Less stress usually equals improved health. Owning a large house full of stuff you have to pay for and take care of can be very stressful. When you downsize and let go of all that stuff, your stress decreases.
  7. Put cash in your pocket: Sell your extra stuff on eBay, Craigslist and at a garage sale.

Making the decision to downsize can be difficult to do, but once you’ve taken the leap, you’ll discover many rewards. The more stuff you get rid of, the more you can save for things that truly matter, such as saving for your retirement or your child’s college education.

Ready to buy a smaller, more efficient Santa Clarita home? 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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Safety Tips for Using the Fireplace in Your Santa Clarita Home

Safety Tips for Using the Fireplace in Your Santa Clarita Home

Is there anything cozier than enjoying a warm fire inside during the winter months? There is something primal about watching the flames of a contained fire that reaches back into our ancient human past.

If you’re lucky enough to have a fireplace or woodstove in your Santa Clarita home, please follow these precautions:

  • Call in a chimney sweep. Every year, you should have your chimney cleaned to remove creosote buildup. This keeps air flow unobstructed and prevents a chimney fire, which would be devastating to your Santa Clarita home. A professional chimney sweep should also check for cracks in the flue liner and proper functioning of the damper.
  • Inspect your chimney cap. The chimney cap keeps the rain and snow out of your flue. It also prevents birds or other animals from entering the flue. The sides of the chimney cap are wire mesh, which also needs to be kept clear of creosote. Otherwise air flow will be hampered and smoke will enter your home instead of being properly drawn up the chimney.
  • Burn only dry, seasoned wood. Wood that has not been aged long enough will sputter, smolder and smoke, causing excess build up of creosote.
  • Burn only untreated wood. Do not burn treated wood, plastic or other debris in your fireplace or woodstove. These give off toxic fumes you do not want inside your home.
  • Wait until ashes are cool before removing them. If you try to clean out the fireplace or stove while there are live coals or embers in the ashes, they will give off smoke into your home while in the ash bucket. They could also result in burns, if dropped on the floor.
  • Install a carbon monoxide detector. Carbon monoxide is a deadly gas produced during incomplete combustion. The only way to know if it is in your home is by using a detector.
  • Keep the damper closed when not burning a fire. This will prevent the warm air from going up the chimney.

If you’re looking for a Santa Clarita home with a fireplace, I can help you buy one. 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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2012 New Year’s Resolution: Sell Your Santa Clarita Real Estate

2012 New Year’s Resolution: Sell Your Santa Clarita Real Estate

With a new year beginning, it’s time for you to get rid of last year’s baggage and concentrate on making 2012 the best it can be. So if you had a home for sale in 2011 and it’s still on the market, then you only need to have one New Year’s resolution: do whatever it takes to sell that house!

This economy has made it challenging to get acceptable offers from prospective buyers. While this is extremely discouraging, the lack of offers might mean it’s time to bite the bullet and lower the price on your Santa Clarita real estate. Then you might be able to sell quickly and start a new lease on life.

Below are reasons you should lower your price now to sell fast and start anew:

  • It costs time and money to keep a house on the market. Maintaining a house and waiting for the right offer is a full-time job. There is constant cleaning, upkeep and improvements that can cost you time and money — which you could be investing into your new house.
  • Your Santa Clarita real estate may be overpriced. If you aren’t receiving any offers, have your real estate agent pull information on comparable properties in your neighborhood that have recently sold. This will give you a better idea of where your home should be priced.
  • Your Santa Clarita real estate agent recommends it. He or she knows your market and can tell if your property has been for sale longer than expected. If a property sits on the market too long, potential buyers might suspect that something is wrong. If your house has more days on market than your agent expected it to have, then it’s probably time to reduce the price.

Consider dropping your price so you can accomplish your New Year’s resolution early in 2012. Reducing your price might draw attention to your property, increase activity and bring more people through the doors.

If your home isn’t currently listed with an agent, and you’re ready to get it sold, please call me at [661-505-timv] or email me at [tim@timsells.net].  I’ll implement my proven marketing plan to get your home sold as quickly as possible.

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

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Resolution for 2012: Buy a Santa Clarita Home

Resolution for 2012: Buy a Santa Clarita Home

As the new year starts, pursuing your dream of buying a Santa Clarita home may be on your list of resolutions. Prices and interest rates are extremely low, which means 2012 could be the perfect year to buy a home. As exciting as that is, I bet it can also feel a little overwhelming.

One of the best ways to attack a big goal is to break it down into smaller goals. So here are four smaller goals you can tackle to accomplish your larger goal of buying a home:

1)      Prepare for battle: Before you begin looking for a house, look at your financial situation. Do what you can to clean up any credit blemishes, pay off debt and save toward a down payment.

2)      Check your qualifications: There’s no sense looking at million dollar mansions if that’s not in your budget. Talk to a mortgage professional, or preferably several, to get an idea of what loan amount is available to you. Get preapproved for your mortgage so that you’re ready to make an offer when you locate your perfect Santa Clarita home.

3)      Build your army: Finding a real estate agent that you click with can make all the difference in navigating the home buying process successfully. He or she can save you tons of time by pointing out the advantages and disadvantages of neighborhoods and homes so that you only look at places that truly fit your needs.

4)      Define your perfect space: It’s worth spending some time considering which characteristics of a home are most important to you. Think about the neighborhood, school system, and commute times, along with basics like number of bedrooms and square footage.

Once you have a clear understanding of your financial situation, know what you’re looking for, and have the help you need to find the perfect Santa Clarita home, you will be amazed at how much more prepared you feel to take the next steps in the process.

If you want to discuss more details on the home buying process, contact me today at [661-505-timv] or [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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Space-Saving Tips for Your Santa Clarita Home

Space-Saving Tips for Your Santa Clarita Home

If you feel like you need more space in your Santa Clarita home, consider reconfiguring the space you already have, rather than building on an addition. Not only does working inside your existing footprint save money up front, but smaller homes are cheaper to heat, cool, furnish and maintain. You’ll also save on taxes and insurance. Here are some ideas.

  • Evaluate your space. How do you really live in your Santa Clarita home? Walk through it and make notes on high-use zones that should be reconfigured and underperforming areas that could be put to use.
  • Open it up. Simply opening up a wall may help your flow. A minor remodel that makes your home function better will pay you back if you sell in the future. Opening up a small kitchen by combining it with adjoining rooms is among the most common remodels today, and the trend is likely to continue. An open floor plan means reduced material use, better space utilization and better light penetration, as well as more accessible space.
  • Go vertical. To make a small bedroom more efficient, consider a loft bed. This will free up floor space and keep sleepers warmer at night. Space-saving bunk beds in the kids’ room or a trundle bed can accommodate overnight guests.
  • Store it away. To keep clutter at bay, invest in storage systems such as built-in shelving, wall units or under-bed bins.
  • Fold it away. Remember the old-fashioned ironing boards that used to attach to the wall? Now you can get a fold-out desk area that disappears when not in use.

If you need more space than these tips can provide, you may want to move to a larger Santa Clarita home. I can help you find one and purchase it at a great price. Contact me today at [661-505-timv] or [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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How Is the Indoor Air Quality In Your Santa Clarita Home?

How Is the Indoor Air Quality In Your Santa Clarita Home?        

Now that winter is here, we’re spending more time indoors and keeping our homes closed up against the cold. These two factors mean we should pay more attention to the air quality in our homes. Here are some things to consider at your Santa Clarita home:

  • Ban the use of pesticides in your home. Insecticides are toxic to all life forms, not just insects. Many are carcinogenic. If you have a serious pest problem like roaches, try using boric acid against them. Otherwise, the occasional spider or beetle is not a real threat to you.
  • Simplify cleaning. Most commercially available cleaners are a stew of chemicals. You don’t need to be breathing their fumes. Instead, you can use baking soda and/or white vinegar for most jobs.
  • Ventilate the bathroom. In order to prevent mold and mildew in the steamy bathroom, it pays to use the exhaust fan when showering.
  • Use the range hood. If you cook with gas, those fumes are adding carbon monoxide and other pollutants to the air in your Santa Clarita home. Make sure your hood exhausts the fumes to the outdoors.
  • Get some houseplants. They not only add beauty and a bit of nature to your home, they also clean the air! Some of those known to be best include spider plants and philodendrons, both very easy to grow.
  • Don’t burn scented candles. Sorry, but the fact is, scented candles are a serious source of indoor air pollution. See the next tip for an alternative.
  • Use essential oils. You can use a diffuser to disperse essential oils that smell good and also kill germs and mold. Some of these include clove oil, cinnamon and lemon. If it’s the flame that you love, invest in pure beeswax candles, but never leave a lit candle unattended.

If you’d like to find a Santa Clarita home with great indoor air quality (as well as other great qualities), 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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