Real estate pricing

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.

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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

10 Most Desirable Do-it-Yourself Outdoor Projects

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DIY

The warmer weather has home owners looking to spruce up their home’s outdoor spaces. So when it comes to do-it-yourself outdoor projects, which projects are most home owners tackling?

A survey of more than 1,200 home owners by the Home Project Council identified the following DIY outdoor projects as most desirable:

 

1. Plant a garden

2. Use decorative pebbles, stones or rocks for landscaping

3. Build a deck

4. Create a fire pit or barbecue pit

5. Build a patio or walkway using concrete pavers or bricks

6. Install or build a shed or storage building

7. Stain or paint siding or windows

8. Build a privacy fence

9. Stain or paint exterior concrete surfaces (patio, pool deck, driveway, sidewalk, etc.)

10. Repair or seal concrete cracks in patios, steps, or driveways

Home owners identified the most difficult or intimidating DIY outdoor projects as being building an outdoor kitchen and pouring concrete slabs for patios, steps, or sidewalks, or building a deck, according to the survey.

Source: Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR(R) Magazine

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Sellers Jack Up Price After Offer is Accepted

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Contract

Some home sellers are accepting a buyer’s offer, even having a contract drawn up, only to ask for a higher price a few days later.

The move called “goalpost-shifting” is becoming more common in competitive markets with limited inventories of homes for sale, The New York Times reports. Some sellers keep the bidding on their homes going even after they’ve said they'll accept an offer from a buyer. 

The New York Times describes a recent incident where a buyer offered $912,000 for a condo that was originally listed for $800,000, which had attracted more than a dozen offers. The seller accepted the buyer’s offer and a contract was written. However, a few days later the seller notified the buyer that the price had increased to $995,000. The buyer refused to increase his offer, and lost out on the unit. The seller ended up selling to another buyer who offered $1.1 million. 

The practice is controversial, but The New York Times quotes brokers who note that buyers are learning a tough lesson: Until signatures are on a contract, a deal isn’t done. Also, they note the buyer is generally given the opportunity to increase their offer. However, other agents say it’s a greedy move on sellers’ part and that once sellers give their word, they should honor it. 

“It’s surprising how ugly it’s getting,” says Robert Frankel, a real estate lawyer who frequently handles closings. “If you don’t hear back about a contract in two days, there are usually some shenanigans going on.”

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

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New House - New Yard - Got Plans?

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Where Asking Prices Are Rising the Most

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House in Hand

Median list prices in May edged up 2.10 percent month-over-month, as housing inventories also were on the rise, creating a greater balance between supply and demand, according to realtor.com’s latest Real Estate Health Report. 

The nationwide median list price was $199,000 for May, and up 4.79 percent year-over-year. 

"We are seeing large regional markets across the country leading the way to national recovery. These regions are acting as a microcosm for what's slowly happening in the larger real estate market," says Steve Berkowitz, chief executive officer of Move. "Overall, we're seeing seller confidence beginning to respond to consumer demand. Nationally, there are more homes going on the market for a shorter amount of time.  And this is happening in our hot markets on a much larger scale."

California housing markets are seeing some of the highest median price gains. The following 10 markets have seen the highest year-over-year list price gains: 

1. Sacramento, Calif.: up 42.45%

  • Median list price: $284,900

2. Oakland, Calif.: up 38.27%

  • Median list price: $495,000

3. Detroit, Mich.: up 31.73%

  • Median list price: $125,000

4. San Jose, Calif.: up 30.58%

  • Median list price: $679,000

5. Los Angeles-Long Beach, Calif.: up 27.80%

  • Median list price: $428,000

6. Fresno, Calif.: up 27.48%

  • Median list price: $219,900

7. Phoenix-Mesa, Ariz.: up 27.03%

  • Median list price: $235,000

8. Stockton-Lodi, Calif.: up 25.63%

  • Median list price: $199,750

9. Reno, Nev.: up 24.23%

  • Median list price: $235,900

10. Santa Barbara-Santa Maria-Lompoc, Calif.: up 24%

  • Median list price: $775,000

Source: realtor.com®

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1 Bed 1 Bath 621 SqFt - HUD

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Appraised Value: The Ups & Downs Of How Much A House Is Worth

How is the fair market value of a real estate property actually determined?

Home Question

Determining Fair Market Value is an eternal struggle and major balancing act. That’s because buyers want a house to appraise on the low side—to keep the purchase price down. While sellers want the same house to appraise on the high side—to make the sale price higher. And then you’ve got the owners of the house—who also want the appraisal to be on the low side, in order to keep the property taxes down.

So with all these different agendas and points of view, how is the fair market value of a real estate property actually determined?

Once a year, your county sends all area homeowners official notices that put a dollar value on their property. And property taxes are based on those dollar values. But before those notices get sent out, a long, detailed process usually takes place. First, the land is valued as if it’s vacant—an empty lot, in other words. Then any improvements are described and measured. Improvements consist of the house and any other structures, pools, sheds, garages, and so forth. Next, most counties check the Marshall Valuation Service Cost Guide. It’s a standardized nationwide guide for determining the value of the cost per square foot to build a building that fits the description of the improved property. Next, if the house isn’t brand new, the replacement cost is considered, as well as depreciation; the year the house was constructed and the condition of the property are factors here. Appraisers then must take the critical step of comparing the value of the house with recent selling prices of similar homes in the neighborhood. At this point, the appraisal might stand “as is”—or it might be adjusted upward or downward.

Market Value is a theory, in other words—not an unchanging fact.

In a perfect world, you have to have willing buyer and a willing seller. Neither is under duress. Both are in a position to maximize gain and are trying to do this. But in the real world, things are rarely that simple and equally balanced. Which is why people feel differently about the appraisal value of a house. It really depends how strong their position is as a buyer or seller.

Does the local economy come into it at all? You bet it does.

Ask a successful Realtor about that! He or she will tell you they’ve noticed that the Rio Grande Valley’s fast-growing economy is attracting people from other areas who consider real estate here a bargain. That helps fuel increases in property values.

So—now you know where that Grand Total comes from.

You’re armed with the information you need to make a better house-buying decision. For instance, you can understand how two virtually identical houses that are in two different neighborhoods could be very far apart in price and appraised value. And why your choice of the right house in the right neighborhood could be worth a not-so-small fortune to you right now—and years down the road.

 Sellers! You can get a great idea of how  much  your home is worth! Call me for a FREE Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) Laura Key 310.866.8422

More Sellers Jump Into Favorable Market

More sellers are ready to put their homes on the market for the awaiting buyers.  They are getting top dollar! If you have been thinking of selling, give me a call for a FREE Comparative Market Analysis and let's begin the process! Laura Key 310.866.8422

BLOG

 

Inventories of for-sale homes are increasing as more owners see rising home prices and faster sales as a reason to try to sell now, according to industry reports.

In April, the number of listings was higher than the level of homes that were under contract in that month, according to a study by the real estate brokerage ZipRealty, which measured listings in 24 major metro markets.

“It’s less of an indication of buyer momentum flagging and more of seller momentum picking up, finally,” says Lanny Baker, the company’s chief executive.

The reports find that homes are selling faster—on average, within 32 days of being listed. In April 2012, that average stood at 48 days for homes to sell. 

“A market in which the sale prices are happening very close to the list prices, a market in which the list prices seem to be moving sequentially higher, and a market in which any of those houses are selling speedily is one that is bringing sellers back,” Baker says. “That makes it feel to a seller that this isn’t going to be a long passive despair that I tried three years ago.”

Source: “Why More Sellers Could Test the Market,” The Wall Street Journal (June 10, 2013)

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Does HUD Offer Special Programs for Homebuyers?

Buying a HUD Home is not as difficult as you may think! I have helped many people purchase their 1st Home from HUD! Call me today for more details about the process! Laura.A.Key@gmail.com or Visit my website to sign up for FREE HUD Listings! http://www.KeyCaliforniaHomes.com

HUD Home

Yes, HUD offers a program called the GOOD NEIGHBOR NEXT DOOR PROGRAM for Police Officers, Firefighters, EMT and Teachers! Call for more details on this program! 310.866.8422. If foreclosures are not sold within six months, HUD will sell them for $1 each to approved nonprofit organizations and government agencies. Homes must then be used create housing for families in need or to benefit neighborhoods.

Los Angeles HUD homes, Buying A Hud Home, North Hollywood HUD homes, Westchester HUD Homes, Gardena HUD Homes, Northridge HUD Homes, Santa Clarita HUD Homes, Simi Valley HUD homes, Lemert HUD Homes, Compton HUD Homes, Lynwood HUD Homes, Hawthorne HUD Homes, Inglewood HUD Homes, Baldwin Hills HUD Homes, Playa del rey HUD homes, Marina del Rey HUD Homes, Santa Monica HUD homes, Lakewood HUD homes, Buying A HUD Home, Buying a Los Angeles HUD Home, HUD Trained Agent, HUD NAID agent, Good Neighbor Next Door

Does HUD Offer Financing On Their Homes?

Buying a HUD Home is not as difficult as you may think! I have helped many people purchase their 1st Home from HUD! Call me today for more details about the process! Laura.A.Key@gmail.com or Visit my website to sign up for FREE HUD Listings! http://www.KeyCaliforniaHomes.com

HUD Home

HUD does not provide direct financing to buyers of HUD Homes. Buyers must obtain financing through either their own cash reserves or a mortgage lender. If you have the necessary available cash or can qualify for a loan (subject to certain restrictions) you may buy a HUD Home. While HUD does not provide direct financing for the purchase of a HUD Home, it may be possible for you to qualify for an FHA-insured mortgage to finance the purchase.

Los Angeles HUD homes, Buying A Hud Home, North Hollywood HUD homes, Westchester HUD Homes, Gardena HUD Homes, Northridge HUD Homes, Santa Clarita HUD Homes, Simi Valley HUD homes, Lemert HUD Homes, Compton HUD Homes, Lynwood HUD Homes, Hawthorne HUD Homes, Inglewood HUD Homes, Baldwin Hills HUD Homes, Playa del rey HUD homes, Marina del Rey HUD Homes, Santa Monica HUD homes, Lakewood HUD homes, Buying A HUD Home, Buying a Los Angeles HUD Home, HUD Trained Agent, HUD NAID agent