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How does location affect my home value?

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We all know the three key factors in real estate: Location, Location, Location. Maybe it is an over-simplified axiom, but it is still relevant today. But what variables affect home price? Here are some of the major ones that affect locational home value:

  • On a cul-de-sac vs. drive thru street
  • On a busy vs. quiet street
  • Gated vs. non-gated community
  • Views of ocean, lake, or mountains vs. buildings, industrial, etc.
  • The School Boundary in which it lies (will go up or down based on desirability of school)
  • Walkability to outdoor activities, stores, restaurants, and businesses
  • Lies within a Natural Hazard Zone (Fire, Flood, etc.)
  • Known area to negatively affect value (such as soil settlement issues, nearby or in a commercial zone, under a flight path, near active train tracks, etc) 
  • Stage of neighborhood life cycle (Growth, Stability, Decline, or Renewal)

These are some key aspects to pay attention to and let guide your decision-making when searching for a long-term home.

Chris Chin |Broker & Owner

Seaside Realty

DRE 01882756 | SeasideRealtyVC.com

830 E. Santa Clara St.  Ventura, CA 93001

Cell 805.258.2870   Fax 805.856.1583

Homeowner Tip Prior to Selling

When selling a home, homeowners need to address maintenance items as well as keep the home looking its best to get the highest market value. For maintenance items, a pre-listing home inspection (click for previous post) will help bring to light any issues that may affect desirability of the property. The homeowner then may choose how to address the items.

This post is more about sprucing up a home to look its best without breaking the bank. Aside from LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION!, the curb appeal is another reason prospective home buyers will look at a property. A home seller can’t move the home, but the seller can improve the appearance of the home.

I learned this trick while showing a property to a buyer client. The subject property was a flipped property done by a large investment company from Los Angeles. Due to the increased competition for the limited inventory of properties that were able to be flipped for profit, the LA based company would work on sheer volume with ultra tight margins. The pictures looked great as the pictures showed the property had been upgraded. The exterior paint in particular looked great.

When my client and I previewed the property, I realized the exterior was not re-painted in whole. The investors paint matched the body of the property and touched up areas. They did however repaint the wood fascia and roof eaves. This translated to significant savings to the seller in reduced remodel costs.

Here are the steps to reduce your costs and make your home looking its best:

  1. Pressure wash the exterior of the home

  2. Patch and fix any wood damage or stucco damage

  3. Repaint the wood fascia and eaves to give it a pop

  4. Touch up paint to the body of the home as necessary

Keep in mind, some homes may look great with just pressure washing.

Happy Home Selling!!

Chris Chin |Broker & Owner

December 8, 2014

Gallery

For Sale by Owner

For Sale By Owner (FSBO) Statistics

  • FSBOs accounted for 9% of home sales in 2013. The typical FSBO home sold for $184,000 compared to $230,000 for agent-assisted home sales.

  • FSBO methods used to market home:

    • Yard sign: 36%

    • Friends, relatives, or neighbors: 28%

    • None: Did not actively market home: 32%

  • Most difficult tasks for FSBO sellers:

    • Understanding and performing paperwork: 18%

    • Getting the right price: 13%

* Statistics and chart from the National Association of Realtors

Seen from the chart, the percentage of sellers selling on their own has been gradually decreasing since 1991. The percentage has decreased by about 50%. With home searches starting online with buyers, sellers need to have their listing syndicated to all the major real estate sites such as Trulia, Zillow, Realtor.com, etc for maximum exposure to all potential buyers.

With litigation on the rise and real estate disclosures increasing and continually changing, hiring an experienced and qualified Realtor to guide and have the proper paperwork completed will lessen the burden that FSBO sellers expressed as the number one difficult task.

From a Realtor’s perspective, one reason not to sell FSBO (For Sale by Owner) is to avoid the onslaught of Realtors who will call and drop by your home to try and list your home. Realtors are a persistent bunch and generally do not stop until the home sells or gets listed with an agent. It is not uncommon for an FSBO to get more calls from Realtors trying to list the home than qualified buyers.

Another reason listing as a FSBO may not be the best idea is that buyers are aware that a FSBO seller is trying to save on the commission paid to Realtors and will account for that in their offer as they want a deal as a buyer also. Many FSBO sellers cooperate with the buyer’s agent and pay them for bringing in a buyer. If that is the case, then a FSBO seller is saving only half the commission that would be paid to a listing agent.

Wondering if there is any reason why a seller should consider being an FSBO when selling? There certainly is: If the seller already has a buyer lined up who is willing to pay fair market value, then selling FSBO may make sense. If that  is your case, I would be glad to put you in contact with an escrow officer to get your home sold without agents involved (this would apply to Ventura County properties).

Happy Home Selling!

Chris Chin |Broker & Owner

October  16, 2014

Home Warranty

Typically, buying a home is the largest purchase people make. Whether new construction or a complete fixer, every property deteriorates with each passing day. So what can be done about it? For starters, buyers can ask the seller to pay for a one-year home warranty when an offer is submitted (this is renewable after the year). Sellers often agree to give a warranty as it assures the buyer and seller that issues that arise within the first year (be aware that home warranties have limited coverage) will be repaired through the home warranty company. If you are currently in escrow and already had your buyers’ inspection, you can request repairs be done on the property or ask for a credit based on what work you believe the home needs. The seller does not need to agree to any of the repairs, but it is smart to ask. Getting a home warranty is a good idea even if the sellers choose not to agree to one.

As you can see from the picture, this gas line has seen better days! My clients smelled gas within their home that they recently purchased in the Montalvo, Ventura area. The deteriorated gas line did not show up on the buyer’s home inspection report when my clients were in escrow. And to our knowledge, the seller was not aware of this issue. Due to the need to repair the gas line as soon as possible, my clients immediately had a plumbing contractor come out to fix the gas line. The home warranty reimbursed my clients for the repairs. Before you get a home warranty, it is important to verify that the warranty will reimburse you for covered items if you choose to use a specific contractor and pay out of pocket.

Although I do not recommend a specific home warranty company, here is a list of a few that I have seen purchased: American Shield, Old Republic Home Protection, Fidelity National Home Warranty, First American Home Buyers Protection, CRES Home Warranty by HISCO, and Buyers Protection Group.

When a seller does agree to pay for a one-year home warranty, it’s a win-win situation, as the seller knows items neither party were of aware of will be repaired. (Please be aware that home warranties are limited in nature, and it is recommended that buyers of the home warranty do their due diligence to their satisfaction.)

Chris Chin |Broker & Owner

October 7, 2014

Affordable Housing Options and Instructions

Though we have seen growth in certain areas, home-ownership can still be a steep hill to climb for many! Some may be surprised to know that there are several Affordable Housing Program areas available.

Nine developments within the City of Ventura fall under the Affordable Housing Program.

  • Country Groves / County Harvest (Telegragh Rd cross Pistachio Ave; Casa St, Date Ave, Sage St, Cinnamon Oak Ave, Apple Ave, Plum St, Peach Ave, Cid St): 69 Moderate Income 3 Bedroom and 77 Moderate Income 4 Bedroom

  • La Paloma (S. Saticoy Ave cross North Bank Dr; Daphne Ave, Verbena St, Marigold Ave, Poppy St, Lobelia Ave, and Sunflower St): 32 Moderate Income 3 Bedroom and 63 Moderate Income 4 Bedroom

  • Los Cabos (N. Ventura Ave cross Los Cabos Ln): 23 Moderate Income 4 Bedroom

  • North Bank Greens

  • Seneca Gardens (N. Ventura Ave cross Seneca St): 8 Low Income 2 Bedroom

  • Seneca Highlands (Scattered on Seneca St, Nocumi St, and Katari Ave): 4 Low Income 3 Bedroom, 1 Low Income 4 Bedroom, 15 Moderate Income 3 Bedroom, and 27 moderate 4 Bedroom

  • Harmony (Telephone Rd cross Saratoga Ave; Dorsey St, Fitzgerald Ave, Northwind Ct): 10 Moderate Income 2 Bedroom

  • Melody (Telephone Rd cross Saratoga Ave; Holiday Ave, Basie St, Getz Ave, Gillespie St): 7 Moderate Income 2 Bedroom

  • Mayfair (E. Santa Clara cross N. Ash St): 1 Moderate Income 2 Bedroom

For SELLERS under this program, you will need to do the following:

  • State your intent to sell

  • Provide the address of the house for sale

  • Date escrow closed when current owner purchased the property

  • Purchase price of the property at the close of escrow, when the current owner purchased the property

  • Number of bedrooms

  • Provide legal names and signatures

  • Attach a copy of the escrow settlement statement, or tax report, as supporting documentation of the home purchase price

For BUYERS under this program, you will need to first meet income requirements which can be found Here.  And if you would like to be placed on a waitlist, you can fill out the Interested Affordable Homebuyer’s Intake Form and send it to the address provided on the form. If you submitted an offer on a listed home under the program and are in escrow, buyer/s will need to fill out an Affordable Housing Program Application.

Here are the buyer requirements:

  1. Your income must not exceed the Maximum Allowable Household Income Limit.

  2. Within five days of opening escrow the HACSB should be contacted by either the buyer or the listing agent by submitting the completed signed original Affordable Housing Program application along with the requested documentation.

  3. Within 10 days of opening escrow, the buyer needs to submit all required income documentation to the City to include most recent paystubs for all wage earners in the household, three years W-2s and federal tax returns, and current statements for all bank accounts.

Hopefully this gives you the necessary starting point to make your sale or purchase a reality. Please email if you are interested in more details!

Chris Chin |Broker & Owner

Seaside Realty

DRE 01882756 | SeasideRealtyVC.com

830 E. Santa Clara St.  Ventura, CA 93001

Cell 805.258.2870

September 8, 2014

 

Aside

Why a Seller May Want to Consider a Pre-listing Home Inpsection

Home inspections are more associated with buyers, but sellers may want to consider a home inspection prior to listing their home.  Here are a few reasons why:

(1) The buyer’s home inspection has the power to put the deal back into negotiations.  With a pre-listing inspection, the seller can fix items that may come up during escrow.  With the necessary made repairs, buyers will have less of a reason to negotiate price or request repairs.  This puts the seller in the driver’s seat.

(2) Be certain a major issue doesn’t show up during the buyer’s inspection.  Depending on the situation, it may be beneficial for the seller to address any major issues that were unknown to the seller that could derail the transaction.

(3) If the seller chooses to not do major repairs that show up on a home inspection, then the homeowner can price the listing accordingly and make the issue known.  This can not only save the seller’s time but also helps prevent a buyer from cancelling escrow because it avoids the element of surprise for the buyer; informed buyers are less likely to cancel a transaction because they are prepared for any existing or potential problems before proceeding.

Any other city mandatory inspection would also be beneficial before the transaction begins.  For example, Ventura’s private sewer lateral inspection program became effective on Feb. 3, 2014.  Click link for details.  http://www.cityofventura.net/water/privatelateral.  Two other helpful inspections prior to listing are termite report and roof inspection. Seller-initiated inspections can save time and money in the long run.

August 18, 2014