moving

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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Crenshaw Line Is Really Coming! - Green Line

After a long haul and many battles the Green Line is coming to Crenshaw!

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Not sure how much you have been following along but the Crenshaw District IS getting its own Light Rail/Subway. Last week the planned light rail received a boost from the  Metropolitan Transportation Authority staff recommending a $1.27 billion contract to build the line.   The Line will begin at The Aviation Station along the Green Line, travel north along La Cienaga( meet a soon to be people mover at Century Blvd that will  that take travelers directly into the soon-but-not-too-soon Grand Terminal at LAX), touch the eastern tip of Westchester with a station at Hindry to serve the Westchester community.  The Light Rail will hit a slight right along Florence, cutting through Downtown Inglewood and finally hitting Crenshaw Blvd in Hyde Park at Crenshaw and Florence.  The train will continue north along Crenshaw all the way to expo, submerging underground after Slauson Ave. with a subway stop at Leimert Park at or around Vernon  amd another subway stop at MLK Blvd with a underground entrance to the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza.  Bravo!

On June 27, the full Metro board is scheduled to vote on the contract and whether to approve Walsh/Shea Corridor Constructors as the contractor.

Source: SouthLA: Crenshaw on the Move

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

Great Burbank HUD Home! 2 Bed 2 Bath

HUD Homes are a wonderful way to purchase your first home! Most are FHA approved and don't need much work at all.  Make sure you use a HUD experienced agent as myself! I have helped many families obtain their Home Dreams with HUD!  Call me today for more info! Laura Key 310.866.8422

2359 N. Reese Place

Burbank CA 91504

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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

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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)

Want an estimate of what your California home is worth? Fill out the form below!  All info is confidential and will not be sold!

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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.

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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.

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Do I Need An Appraisal On A HUD Home?

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

It is not necessary to have a HUD home independently appraised, HUD offers an appraisal every 6 months. Your Lender may require a more current appraisal than the one provided by HUD.  Ask your loan officer or HUD registered agent.

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How Much Money Will I Have to Put Down on a HUD Home?

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

If the bid price is less than $50,000, you’re required to make an earnest money deposit of $500. HUD homes priced greater than $50,000 require a $1000 deposit.

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Should I Get A Home Inspection If I Am Buying A HUD?

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 warrant the condition of its properties and will not pay for the correction of defects or repairs. Since the new owner will be responsible for making needed repairs, HUD strongly urges every potential homebuyer to get a professional inspection prior to submitting an offer to purchase.

If you are interested in acquiring a HUD Home that is in need of repair, you may be interested in applying for an FHA 203(k) Rehabilitation Loan. When a homebuyer wants to purchase a house in need of repair or modernization, the homebuyer usually has to obtain financing first to purchase the dwelling; additional financing to do the rehabilitation construction; and a permanent mortgage when the work is completed to pay off the interim loans with a permanent mortgage. Often the interim financing (the acquisition and construction loans) involves relatively high interest rates and short amortization periods. The Section 203(k) program was designed to address this situation. The borrower can get just one mortgage loan, at a long-term fixed (or adjustable) rate, to finance both the acquisition and the rehabilitation of the property.

Will HUD make the repairs?

HUD homes are sold as-is. The new owner is responsible for all repairs and improvements.

Can I start improving on the property right away?

If HUD accepts your offer, you cannot make any repairs or home improvements until the escrow transaction has closed and title is recorded in your name.

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