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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

How To Find A Realtor (Buyer)

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hf7vgVU_IGs&w=420&h=315] Did you know most people choose a Realtor by spinning the wheel of fortune? When you are buying a home, you really should take the time to interview agents to help your buying experience the most enjoyable as it can be.

Did you know not all agents work the same? Some don't work weekends, some don't want to work with buyers, some only work certain hours of the day, some are part time, etc.  But how will this benefit you when you are working hard to find the home of your dreams.

Interviewing agents is a extremely important part of successfully buying a home.

Enjoy the above Periscope broadcast to learn a few things when choosing a Realtor! (recorded March 19, 2016)

Please note I have a correction: If an agent tells you they will not let you out of a buyer's agency, please think long and hard before signing.

Follow me...

Snapchat: @realtygoddess Periscope & Twitter: @realtygoddess Instagram: realtygoddess1 Facebook: www.Facebook.com/RealtyGoddess Website: www.KeyCaliforniaHomes.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

What Home Projects Should You Do Yourself?

 DIY

What Home Projects Should You Do Yourself?

By: Oliver Marks

Published: March 8, 2011

Doing maintenance jobs yourself can be a smart way to save money, but choose the right DIY projects or you'll end up paying dearly.

Why pay someone to do something you can do yourself? Because sometimes doing it yourself costs more than it saves.

More than 100,000 people injure themselves each year doing home improvement jobs. So add medical bills to your DIY budget, and you ending up spending the same, or more, than if you hired a pro.

We’re not suggesting that you call a plumber each time you need to plunge a toilet. But think twice about what DIY might really cost you. Here’s how to decide.

Stick to routine maintenance for savings and safety

Seasonal home maintenance is ideal work for the weekend warrior because you can tackle these jobs when your schedule permits. Because these are routine maintenance projects, your savings will add up. Mowing your own lawn, for example, saves $55 to $65 a week for a half-acre lawn. The bigger the lot, the bigger the savings: with two acres, you’ll pocket around $150 per week.

When it pays:

  • Snow removal
  • Pruning shrubs
  • Washing windows (be careful on that ladder)
  • Sealing decks
  • Painting fences
  • Fertilizing lawns
  • Replacing air conditioner filters
  • Cleaning gutters

When it costs: Unless you have skill and experience on your side, stay off any ladder taller than six feet; according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, emergency rooms are filled with people with ladder injuries. The same goes for operating power saws or attempting any major electrical work—it’s simply too risky if you don’t have the experience.

Become your own general contractor

If you’re more comfortable operating an iPhone than a circular saw, you could act as your own general contractor on some home improvement projects. That means you hire, schedule, and pay the carpenters, plumbers, and other tradesmen yourself. You’ll save 10% to 20% of the job cost, which is the contractor’s typical fee.

When it pays: If it’s a small job that requires only two or three subcontractors, and you have good relationships with top-quality professionals in those fields, consider DIY contracting.

When it costs: When you don’t have an established network of reliable workers, time to supervise, construction experience to spot problems, and the skill to negotiate disputes between subcontractors, your project and budget are at risk.

Invest sweat equity on big jobs

Contribute your own labor to big jobs being handled by a professional crew and cut hundreds, even thousands, off construction costs. For instance, tear out kitchen cabinets and appliances before the contractor gets started, and you might knock $800 off the cost of your remodel. Make sure you negotiate cost savings with your contractor before pitching in.

When it pays: Jobs that are labor-intensive but require relatively little skill make perfect sweat equity jobs. Perform minor interior demolition, such as pulling up old flooring, daily job site cleanup, product assembly, and simple landscaping.

When it costs: If you get in the crew’s way, you may slow them down far more than you help. Make your contributions when the workers aren’t around; mornings before they arrive, or nights and weekends after they’ve left.

Add finishing touches

Unlike the early phases of a construction job--which require skilled labor to frame walls, install plumbing pipes, and run wires--many finishing touches are comparatively simple and DIY-friendly. If you paint a basement remodel yourself, for instance, you can save up to $1,800.

When it pays: If you have skill, patience, or an experienced friend to teach you, setting tile, laying flooring, painting walls, and installing trim are good DIY jobs.

When it costs: The downside to attempting your own finish work is that the results are very visible. Hammer dents in woodwork, or sander ruts in hardwood floors will annoy you every time you see them. So unless you have a sure eye and a steady hand, don’t perform the tasks that only a skilled tradesperson will get right.

Find your next home with me! Text LKHOMES to 87778 or visit http://87778.mobi/LKHOMES for your FREE search.
Laura Key, CalBRELic #0198085
www.KeyCaliforniaHomes.com

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As Home Prices Rebound, Lenders Rush to Unload REOs

DAILY REAL ESTATE NEWS | THURSDAY, DECEMBER 26, 2013

Welcome

The recovery in home prices this year is prompting banks to sell off their REO inventory at a brisker pace. Sales of bank-owned homes made up 10 percent of residential sales in November, the third consecutive month for increases in REO sales, RealtyTrac reports. 

"Lenders are taking advantage of this environment to unload more of their bank-owned inventory and in-foreclosure inventory at the foreclosure auction," says RealtyTrac's Daren Blomquist. "But as the backlog of distressed inventory available dries up in many of the markets with the most efficient foreclosure processes — namely California, Arizona, and Nevada, with Georgia not far behind — overall sales volume is declining and will continue to do so until more nondistressed sellers enter the market."

Rick Sharga, executive vice president at Auction.com, says his company is “seeing more properties sold at trustee sales, and we are seeing more properties that are coming from servicers priced to sell at trustee sales.” 

Previously, mortgage servicers would put foreclosed homes up for sale at the full value of the loan, CNBC reports. However, those homes would often land back at the bank as investors sought larger discounts. “Ironically, as prices are rising, servicers are discounting the homes more,” CNBC reports. 

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: “Sales of bank-owned homes surge,” CNBC (Dec. 20, 2013)

Condominiums – Should You Consider Purchasing One

Condominiums tend fall into the love them or hate them position for buyers

Condo

Condominiums are all about communal living, which can be good or bad depending upon your personal views. This type of communal living doesn’t refer to the failed experiments of the sixties wherein hippies packed into a structure and shared everything. Instead, the modern condominium community is all about sharing common spaces as well as rules, rules and more rules.

Condominiums come in all shapes and forms. Condos can be found in a single high rise building in a downtown area or in an apartment complex type of layout in a planned community. The structure isn’t the determining point. Instead, the issue is how the properties are owned.

Unlike a stand alone home, the property lines on a condominium are the walls of the structure. Essentially, you own everything inside the condominium as your individual property. Everything outside the condominium is owned jointly with the people who own the other units. These areas are known as common areas and are subject to group rule.

Every condominium has a homeowners association in one form or another. The association has rules set out by the original developer regarding landscaping and so on. Members of the community are then elected to the board of the association, whereupon the immediately become a focal point of aggravation from individual owners and often wonder why they took the thankless job.

The problem with the association and condos in general is the issue of uniformity. If you desire to change the exterior of your condominium in some way, you must comply with the rules of the association. This means you cannot paint your property a different color, do landscaping and so on. For some people, this isn’t a problem, but others are frustrated they can’t express themselves.

When deciding whether a condominium is a good option for your next purchase, you need to carefully weigh the restrictions of a particular association. If you consider yourself an individual and want to show it, a condominium is probably a very poor choice for you.

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Laura Key, BRE 01908085
310.866.8422
Laura.A.Key@gmail.com
www.KeyCaliforniaHomes.com

 

Do you work from home? Buy your next home with your office in mind!

 

If you work from home, and it is time to move to your next home, there are some factors you should consider carefully before making your decision.

working-from-home

The flexibility afforded by a “zero-commute” combined with the skyrocketing price of gasoline has strengthened the case for full time teleworking and telecommuting. According to an Environmental Protection Agency (2004) study:

“Americans spend an average of 46 hours per year stuck in traffic. Gridlock produces more than $63 billion in congestion costs per year”

The artist community has been well acquainted with the use of work/living spaces for years, but improvements in technology have made the benefits of teleworking and occasional telecommuting more attractive to general consumers. According to the key findings form the International Telework Association & Council (ITAC) Telework America (2000) study:

“Home-based teleworkers also have larger homes, on average, than non-teleworkers; the difference amounting to about 500 square feet. The most popular place for an office in these larger homes is a spare bedroom, with the living room a distant second. The primary home telework activity is computer work (55% of total activities), followed by telephoning, reading, and—averaging 7% of the time—face to face meetings.”

As you purchase your next home, there are certain factors to consider if you need to set up a new home office:

Make sure that your high-tech needs can be met. Have a qualified electrician inspect the wiring of the house to see if the system can handle the extra power load that your home office requires. Older homes may need significant upgrades to handle the extra power, while newer homes are built with more energy-efficient systems to handle the additional power along with heating/air conditioning requirements. If you use cable, DSL or satellite internet access, check with your local service provider to see if access is available in your new neighborhood. Shop around for your telephone provider—in some cases, business service bundles may be more cost effective than regular residential service.

Designate where your office space will be. Determine the amount of space you will need to accommodate your work style and space. In many cases a spare bedroom or living room space can be used, if a formal den option is not available. If your work requires heavy telephone usage or just heads-down concentration, you may want to consider utilizing a room with a door. Doors can be closed to reduce interruptions from other family and household noises.

Plan your office blueprint to include all required furniture, bookcases, computers, fax, and printers. Make sure to allow for filing and storage space for files and extra office supplies. Lighting is critical for computer or assembly work, so make sure to allow for direct sunlight along with any specific task lighting that may be necessary. Select flooring options that will allow you to work comfortably—you may wish to go with hardwood or laminate flooring to allow for your chair to move smoothly across the floor. Install enough phone lines to cover your home, business and fax machines needs.

Is the office easily accessible? If you will expect regular package deliveries, make sure that your designated office is easily accessible to the front door of the home. This is also necessary if you will need to meet clients or visitors in your office and would like to ensure a professional appearance for your business.

Find out about local business requirements. Some cities have zoning restrictions and guidelines for work/living spaces along with tax implications. Make sure to check with your local government to determine if special restrictions exist.

Are you ready to find a home that could allow you to work from home? Or...do you need more room in the current home you own? Give me a call - lets get you started!

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5 Things You Should Know Before You Flip A Property

 

Money is made at the buy, not the sell of your flip. When flipping a house your money is made at the purchase not at the sell of the house. So, many times people buy a house with the intentions of making a huge profit only to find out that they could not make any money after all the renovations because the purchased price of the house was to high.

house-flip

1. Money is made at the buy, not the sell of your flip. When flipping a house your money is made at the purchase not at the sell of the house. So, many times people buy a house with the intentions of making a huge profit only to find out that they could not make any money after all the renovations because the purchased price of the house was to high. When you purchase your property you need to be sure that you buy the house with enough money to make renovations, have carrying cost, and add about 5 $6,000. Now, cost is at $147,000, and that is if everything goes as planned. Profit is under 10,000 dollars. The mistake was made at the purchase at the home, not the sell.

2. Get an inspection on the home - Get a complete inspection done on your property. By, spending a few hundred dollars on this expense you can save thousands in problems that you cannot see. Foundation, Pest, Wood Rot, Etc... By, getting a full inspection you can rest assured that you know every thing that is wrong with the property before its to late. In the contact for the house you need to make sure that you have 7 days to have a inspection preformed, and if the inspection finds problems that are going to cost more money that you are willing to spend you can get out of the contract with no penalties.

3. Don't do the work yourself: - Get a contractor or several sub-contractors and have the work done quickly. You need to have you house flipped ASAP, so that you can get it on the market and get it sold. When I started flipping my brother and me did a house together, and we did all the construction. I had a construction background and figured it would save thousands, but it took us over 4 months to get the work done that a contractor could have had the work done in a month. But, we trying to save money on our flip did all the work on our time off and after work, and it just took to long. On our 2'nd flip we used contractors for almost everything and had the house completely flipped with a new roof, new air conditioning, new hardwood, and much more in only 3 weeks. We did not have to spend all our time working on the property and were able to spend that time looking for the next deal. This is how you get rich in real estate.

4. Place the property 1 to 2 percent below market value: If you are wanting to flip real estate and make money the object is to buy and sell the property as quickly as possible, so that you can move on to the next house. If you purchase a house and try to sell it at top dollar to make and extra couple of thousand dollars on your flip, and end up holding it for 6 months you are loosing money. Get the house on the market at a price that is going to blow the competition away, and you will sell it no matter what the market conditions. On our second house the market for selling house went down do to the housing market as a whole, and the tightening of the loans across America. We were told that you could not sell a property in this market, but we went ahead anyway and flipped our house. After 3 weeks on the market we had 3 people wanting to buy the house. Why, because we offered it at such a great deal that people wanted to jump on it. That is what you have to do especially if the market is slow.

5. Use a real estate agent - Do not try to sell you house on your own. Harness the power of a real estate agent and the power of the MLS system. When you do a FSBO you are depending on people driving by your house and seeing you sign, with a real estate agent you have someone actively marketing you house to get it sold. Once again this will free up more time for you to look for more great deals. If you want to help the process I have found that craigslist and listing you house in google adwords help to, but use these tools with the help of a agent such as Laura Key to make sure I have all my bases covered.

I hope this article has been helpful with the basics needs of flipping a house. If you will study and learn you will make money. But, do your homework before you purchase a house, and make sure that you can pull a profit on your deal. Then, make it happen! I am a Investor Friendly Agent, let's get you some deals! Laura Key 310.866.8422

 Laura Key on CBS News

Return to 'Buyer's Market' Still Years Away

Even though it's tough for buyers right now, I never say it's IMPOSSIBLE! Buyer who are patient and stay the course can find a home! Call me today! Free Homebuyers classes coming soon! Register Now! Laura Key 310.866.8422

Register_for_Homebuyer_Class

It may be two to three more years before prospective home buyers get a break from escalating property prices and tight supply, according to experts speaking at a National Association of Real Estate Editors conference Wednesday. 

That is the time frame for institutional speculators, who currently are dominating the market, to pull out of their investments and still make a profit, explained Bill Rayburn of the mortgage technology firm FNC.  The market also will need to see the return of individual home buyers in order to normalize, he said, which will be propelled by employment gains.

Source: "Better Times for Home-Buyers Will Take a Few Years, Experts Say," Los Angeles Times (June 5, 2013)

Search for homes now...It's FREE!

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California Homebuyers Need Homes!

CBS News Press PHOTO

If you can't see the video from the photo please click here:  http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-18563_162-57587256/home-flipping-trend-returns-threatening-higher-prices/

Are you thinking of selling?  I have buyers! Call me and let's reach your Real Estate Goal! Laura Key 310.866.8422

Wells Fargo, Citigroup Halt Foreclosure Sales

Banks seem to be moving in the right direction on this action.  But is it too late? Call me if you are in need of help!  Laura Key 310.866.8422

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Wells Fargo and Citigroup have temporarily halted foreclosure sales in several states, taking precautions after a federal regulator released new guidance on minimum standards for foreclosure sales. 

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) recently released the new standards. The OCC’s directive mostly consists of 13 questions banks need to ask themselves before selling a home in foreclosure, such as whether the borrower is protected from foreclosure by bankruptcy or if the borrower is in an active loan modification plan. 

JPMorgan had also mostly stopped its foreclosure sales after the OCC’s standards were released, but has since resumed sales.

Wells Fargo, the nation’s largest mortgage originator, has seen a dramatic drop in foreclosure sales while significantly decreasing the number of sales it’s processing. For example, foreclosure sales by Wells Fargo in California, Nevada, Arizona, Oregon, and Washington plummeted from 349 a day in April to less than 10 a day, according to Foreclosure Radar, a real estate monitoring firm based in California.

"Wells Fargo has temporarily postponed certain foreclosure sales while we study the revised guidance from the OCC," a Wells Fargo spokeswoman confirmed for American Banker. Citibank officials also confirmed the reason behind their halt in sales was to carefully review the new guidance. 

"The OCC did not direct a slowdown or pausing," says OCC spokesman Bryan Hubbard. "However, if servicers are not certain they are meeting these standards, pausing foreclosures is a responsible and productive step."

Are you facing foreclosure? Contact me for a free consultation!

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Source: “Wells, Citi Halt Most Foreclosure Sales as OCC Ratchets Up Scrutiny,” American Banker (May 17, 2013)