Home Buying

2013 Home Buying Season Kicks Off Early

*This is a repost from a April 2013 blog.

Don't trust home searching sites that give you false info and show you homes that are actually NOT on the market! If you are looking for a home in the SoCal area, search for free from a trusted source!  bit.ly/realtygoddesshomesearch

Home prices are rising, the number of homes for-sale is showing a slight increase, and homes are selling faster—all signs that spring is in the air in real estate, according to the latest MLS data released by realtor.com®.

Nationwide, median list prices continue to tick up, reaching $189,900 in February. Inventories last month increased 1.15 percent month-over-month, after recently hitting record lows. Also, homes are selling faster with the median age of inventory at 98 days, a 9.26 percent drop from the previous month.

“As we enter the busiest time of the year for home buyers and sellers, our latest housing trend data shows just how competitive the market is with a significant housing recovery well underway,” says Steve Berkowitz, chief executive officer of Move Inc. “Looking ahead, we can expect the amount of inventory to increase this spring along with higher list prices as sellers become more comfortable with the market conditions.”

Median list prices were up 5 percent or more in 51 markets on a year-over-year basis, according to realtor.com®. California markets are seeing some of the highest increases in list prices as well as some of the largest declines in for-sale inventory. Other top performing markets include Phoenix, Seattle, and Denver, according to realtor.com®.

“However, many smaller industrialized markets in the Midwest and the Northeast registered year-over-year price declines, as did Philadelphia, Chicago, and New York City,” Lexie Puckett reports in a recent realtor.com® blog post. “While the number of markets experiencing year-over-year list price declines had been increasing, this pattern appears to be turning around as home list prices increased in 78 markets last month on a year-over-year basis and declined in 39.”

Source: “Spring Home Buying Season Starts Early According to Realtor.com’s February Trend Data,” RISMedia (March 18, 2013)

Painting Your Own Home: Tips to Make the Process Painless

Young family painting the wall

Painting Your Own Home: Tips to Make the Process Painless

While it’s might seem easier to hire professionals to paint the house, but with a little research you can find the job is not as intimidating as it seems. With a few free days set aside and some preparation, painting one room (or multiple) is easily doable for anyone. Here are a few things to consider before you start.

Apply a Primer Coat

Preparation entails most of the painting process. It’s easy to become frustrated during the preparation stage, because prepping to paint can take longer than the actual painting component of the project.

Interior walls aren’t always perfect, and painting the walls is a perfect opportunity to fix those imperfections. If you’re using a putty or a filler to patch holes, the paint will react differently to those substances than it will the wall itself. The solution here is to prime your walls, so the new paint color has a uniform surface to adhere to. It’s one simple step that doesn’t seem like much, but could end up saving you a whole lot of work at the end of the process.

Factor in taping time

Taping up the room is tedious work, but will be worth it when you don’t have to waste time being ultra-careful or nervous when getting close to edges. Instead of trying to take the tape off while the paint is still dry, wait at least 24 hours for the paint to dry, and use a knife to slice the tape off at the edge. If the paint is still even a little wet or gummy, don’t continue. Make sure the knife is sharp enough and pull the tape away at a 45-degree angle, making sure not to rip the paint.

Set up with clean-up in mind

To protect floors, a drop cloth is a necessity. In some cases, cotton or canvas drop clothes can work better than plastic. Plastic drop cloths can be slippery and don’t easily stay in place, especially when ladders are involved. Any splatters or drips of paint that fall onto a plastic drop cloth won’t dry or absorb right away and can be easily tracked throughout the rest of your house. A canvas or cotton drop cloth will be more stable and will protect the floors better. Tape the edges of the drop cloth to the tops of the trim to protect both the floor and the trims from any splattering or dripping paint.

Work top down

Not only does it prevent drips from ruining anything you’ve already painted, but it keeps the walls and baseboards free of any dust or debris from sticking to wet trim. Paint the ceiling first, move to the walls and possible crown moldings. Only then should you move to any trims around windows or doors and finish with the baseboards. Not only will this keep a system in place to ensure there’s no questioning what’s been painted and what hasn’t, but it’ll keep things clean.

Check thickness of previous paint layers

Cracks on an exterior paint job don’t reflect the owner’s best intentions and should be fixed before the damage is too much to fix. Too thick of a layer of paint means that the paint might just be too heavy to stay, and will start to crack and to peel off. It loses its grip and can’t attach to the other layers of paint. In older homes, it’s likely that some of those layers of paint have lead in them, in which case you’ll need to look into how to remove it safely. The EPA has guidelines here. This could be the one step that requires you to outsource, if the layer of paint is extremely thick, because removing it completely (and correctly) will ensure the next coat of paint will attach correctly. Hiring a home washing company can help you identify these cracks in exterior paint as well. If anything, have the exterior of your home professionally power washed, so the paint will have a clean surface to adhere to.

Using these tips, ideally the house-painting process will be doable for anyone. Prepare yourself to set aside time for set-up, knowing that it will help when you’re done painting and ready to clean up. Instead of hiring painting professionals, save some money for decorating and tackle the job yourself.

Curious to know how much your Southern California home is worth! Get an instant report now! www.CaliOnTheMove.com 

Bio: Matt Lawler is an Internet marketing specialist from Tempe, Arizona where he attended Arizona State University. Whenever he can step away from the computer, Matt enjoys playing sports, traveling and exploring the great outdoors. Follow him on Twitter.

Laura Key, REALTOR® Cal BRE 01908085 310-866-8422 Laura.A.Key@gmail.com www.KeyCaliforniaHomes.com

Happier Hardwood Floors

Hardwood Floors

Hardwood floors make for a beautiful, stunning addition to your home. However, they can bring new cleaning and maintenance challenges that aren’t present with carpet. Here are some tips for simple, efficient, and thorough hardwood floor cleaning.

Make the job easier Place mats on either side of your exterior doors and always remove your shoes before entering your home—and make sure your guests do the same. Protect the floors by placing felt (or similar) protectors on the feet of your furniture, and use area rugs to designate play areas for the kids. This will reduce extra dirt, dust, and floor scratches.

Weekly cleaning Sweeping with a standard broom will remove some dirt and dust, but not as much as a mop, wipe, or broom that’s been treated with a dusting agent such as a Swiffer. You could also invest in a vacuum that is designed for hardwood floors. Just be sure that the vacuum won’t leave scratches!

Deeper cleaning Regular sweeping will remove most dirt and dust, but occasionally you’ll need to give the floors a deeper cleaning to remove the dirt and grime that builds up in your floors’ seams. Use a wood-cleaning soap to thoroughly mop your floors, but make sure the mop isn’t sopping wet—you don’t want to leave standing water.

Spots and scuffs Most of the marks that occasionally show up on your floors, such as scuffs from rubber soles on boots and shoes—can be wiped away with a rag or very fine steel wool.

To find your next home: www.KeyCaliforniaHomes.com To find the value of your current home: www.CaliOnTheMove.com

The "KEY" to your real estate dreams!

Lots of Los Angeles Real Estate Agents want to be stars as big as the celebrities they cater to. Me? I just want to help people find the homes that make them happy and help them to create a sanctuary for future dreams and lasting memories.

Laura Key 310-866-8422 Laura.A.Key@gmail.com Cal BRE #01908085

Home Design Inspiration For Your Bathroom

A few candles, a dimming light, a glass of bubbly, some music and some bubbles....YEAP!

Bathroom-Home-Design-12

Start your home search out RIGHT! Access homes from a direct source! Text LKHOMES to 87778 today or go to http://87778.mobi/LKHOMES Available on iPad/Tablet/Smartphones

Source: http://homedesignboard.com/bathroom/home-design-inspiration-for-your-bathroom-12/

Tree Hugging REALTOR®

This weekend I had a wonderful time previewing homes in Hancock Park.  You would think that since I see so many homes with clients the last thing I would want to do on a rare off Sunday is go see more homes! Sometimes you find treasures worth more than gold.  Such is the finding of this fabulous tree.  This great maze of branches and leaves still lives behind a multi-million fixer upper.

The minute you see this fallen beauty you know it has stories to tell.  Children climbing it's branches, picnics under it's once upright limbs. You just don't see things like this everyday.  And even though this old tree has fallen, it will still have many stories to tell.  I do hope that the new owners leave it right where it is, so it can create future stories for all to wonder at.  

There is something so rare, so beautiful and so peaceful about standing beside it.  I could not fit the whole tree in a single photo.  Look at the first photo, you will see the base and some of it's exposed roots.

image

Now, look in your left hand corner at the person standing beside the tree.  You can clearly see just how majestic this beautiful tree actually is! In fact it reminds me of the trees that come to life in "Lord of the Rings" the ones who can hold you tight in their grasp while traveling great distances.image

Memories, precious memories this tree holds! I feel all the more wiser just for seeing this classic beauty!

Ready to start making memories of your own?  Find your new home today! Text LKHOMES to 87778 for your FREE. Or call me today and let's get started on your personal journey! 310.866.8422

Hancock Park, Memories, California Homes, Holiday Joy, Childhood Dreams, Trees, Old Trees, Wisdom, Peace, Peaceful, Joy, Majestic, Realty Goddess, Realtor Goddess, Real Estate Agent, #1 Agent, Windsor Square, Mid-Wilshire

Beautiful Tile Work

This beautiful tile work was found in a bathroom located by the pool! Just Gorgeous! Its bright and detailed.  In my opinion you just can't go wrong with mermaids by a pool.image

Buyers: Ready to find your new home? Sellers: Want to see what homes are being listed at in your neighborhood?

It's easy! Text LKHOMES to 87778 for free MLS application.

 

Hard at Work In Real Estate

Looking for A New Home? Text LKHOMES to 87778 to get instant free access to the MLS!  Or Call me at 310.866.8422

2013-11-18 09.40.48

Homes are turning over quickly in Los Angeles!  Let me work hard for you!

California Real Estate, Los Angeles Homes, Homes for Sale, Larchmont Homes for Sale, Hancock Park Homes for Sale, Windsor Square Homes for Sale, West Hollywood Homes for Sale, Koreatown Homes for Sale, Realty Goddess, Top Los Angeles Real Estate Agent, Real Estate Agent, Realtor, MLS, Home Search

FHA Limits for Los Angeles Area

Homeownership is not out of reach. FHA limits in California are one of the highest in the country.  I have great lenders that can help you reach your real estate goals! Call me to get started on your homeownership goals!!!  Laura Key 310.866.8422

Here are the current limits for Los Angeles (as of August 23, 2013) FHA allows 3.5% downpayment over a 15 to 30 year term!

Single Family             $729,750

Duplex                        $934,200

Tri-Plex                      $1,129,250

Four-Plex                   $1,403,400

Source: FHA.com

More Renters Say They Want to Own, Survey Finds

Interested in purchasing a new home! I have a team that can help you reach your real estate goals!  Call me today! Laura Key 310.866.8422

House in Hand

The majority of renters say home ownership is one of their highest priorities for their future, and more renters are saying they want to buy soon, according to the 2013 National Housing Pulse Survey, conducted by the National Association of REALTORS®. Renters are showing stronger desires for home ownership compared to recent years, according to the survey. 

“Home ownership matters to Americans who consistently realize the many benefits it provides to communities, families, and the nation’s economy,” says NAR President Gary Thomas. “Due to high housing affordability and today’s interest rates it makes sense for people to consider home ownership over renting. In fact, in many parts of the country it’s cheaper to own a home than to rent one. Therefore, it’s no surprise that renters recognize that owning a home offers tremendous long-term benefits and is an investment in their future.”

Fifty one percent of renters say that eventually owning a home is one of their highest personal priorities, up from 42 percent in the 2011 survey.

The survey found that 80 percent of the 2,000 Americans surveyed say they believe buying a home is a good financial decision. Sixty-eight percent said now is a good time to buy a home, too. 

Their main motivations to home ownership: Building equity, wanting a stable and safe environment, and the freedom to choose where to live, the survey found. 

Meanwhile, the main obstacles to home ownership have remained the same over the years: saving for the down payment, closing costs, low wages, and student loan debt. 

“Student loan debt is a concern for many consumers in today’s market, especially first-time buyers,” Thomas says. “Buyers with student loan debt may find it difficult to access mortgage credit, as well as save for a down payment. Pending mortgage finance regulations requiring higher down payments could also contribute to the already tight lending environment. REALTORS® are working with regulators to address this issue and are committed to making sure those who are willing and able to own a home have the opportunity to pursue that dream.”

Source: National Association of REALTORS(R)

5 Home Inspection Red Flags

Inspection is always a good way to see the bones of your new home! Do not ever skimp on inspection!  Laura Key 310.866.8422

Home_Repairs.84173319

A home inspection is a buyer’s opportunity to see if any problems lurk that may prove expensive to fix later. Home inspections nearly always uncover something in a home to watch for or minor repairs needed. But what repairs should buyers especially be alarmed about that could possibly send them back to the negotiation table? Tom Kraeutler of The Money Pit, a nationally syndicated radio show on home improvement, points out some of the following home inspection red flags:

  1. Termites and pests: The sooner termites are detected, and steps can be taken to get rid of them, the better.
  2. Drainage issues: A home that has poor drainage can have wood rot and wet basements and crawlspaces, which can then lead to major mold growth.
  3. Mold: Pervasive mold growth may indicate an issue with improper ventilation issues and can also cause health issues to those living in the home.
  4. Faulty foundations: A cracked or crumbling foundation could be a very expensive repair.
  5. Wiring issues: Outdated wiring or overloaded circuits can pose a fire hazard. 

Source: DAILY REAL ESTATE NEWS | MONDAY, JULY 22, 2013

Call me today! Let's get you started on making your home dreams come true! Laura Key 310.866.8422