sell homes

Clean Home, Easy Sale

One of the biggest problems people run into when selling their home is the process of preparing it for sale. The best way to begin this process is to take a quick walk through your home then call me for an appointment! Laura Key 310.866.8422

clean house

One of the biggest problems people run into when selling their home is the process of preparing it for sale. Many homes are simply places where we keep the accumulated treasures of the years. Are you a clutter-bug, a pack-rat? It's OK, we all are to some degree. When preparing a home for sale, we need to be mindful of our "stuff." The best way to begin this process is to take a quick walk through your home. Make a list of everything that you have not used in the past 3 months, 6 months? Now, and here is the hard part. Get rid of it. Seem a bit extreme? It might, but things that you have not used in half a year are not likely to get used in the future. Remember we are trying to get rid of some stuff so that people can see the house, not what's in it.

There is a common line of thought that home buyers want to see the "personality" of the homes current owners. This is not true. Buyers want to be able to see their belongings in the home. They want to put their personality into it to see if they could see themselves living there. A backlog of your stuff will get in the way of them doing this. Go through every room in turn and remove the clutter! This includes the closets, shelves and cupboards. Also remove excess furniture if the room seems too crowded. Here is another important thing to remember, don't put all this stuff in the garage! Buyers will go through the garage like any other room in your home. Hire a storage locker if it is really necessary. Aside from that, use this as an opportunity to rid yourself of those things that you never use.

The minimalist approach is a good thing to utilize when showing your home. The lack of personal effects will make it easier for buyers to place themselves in your home. This will also make the moving process easier on you. With less things to pack when moving day comes, you can dedicate more time to creating your perfect space in your new home.

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

 

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)

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

[contact-form][contact-field label='Name' type='name' required='1'/][contact-field label='Email' type='email' required='1'/][contact-field label='Address' type='text' required='1'/][contact-field label='City%26#x002c; State%26#x002c; Zip' type='text' required='1'/][contact-field label='Number of Bedrooms' type='text' required='1'/][contact-field label='Number of Bathrooms' type='text' required='1'/][contact-field label='When are you interesting in putting your home on the market?' type='select' options='0-3 Months,4-6 Months,7-9 Months,10-12 Months'/][contact-field label='Please enter any other important features about your home? Upgrades%26#x002c; Garage%26#x002c; etc.' type='textarea' required='1'/][/contact-form]

 

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!

search_now

When It Comes to Wood Floors, Choose Wisely

Rich wood flooring can spell instant warmth and patina in a home. Here’s an overview that can help you evaluate if wood floors are right for you! Laura Key 310.866.8422

Hardwood Floor

Just as with ties and hem lengths, wood flooring styles change. Colors get darker or lighter; planks get narrower or wider; woods with more or less grain show swings in popularity; softer or harder species gain or lose fans; and the wood itself may be older, newer, or even pre-engineered with a top layer or veneer-glued to a substrate to decrease expansion and contraction from moisture.

Here are key categories for consideration:

Solid Plank

This is what some refer to as “real” wood because the wood usually ranges from three-eighths to three-quarters of an inch in total thickness to permit refinishing and sanding. Thicker floors have a thicker wear layer to allow for more frequent refinishing and sanding, so they can withstand decades of use, says architect Julie Hacker of Stuart Cohen and Julie Hacker Architects. It also can be stained, come from different species of tree, and be sold in numerous widths and lengths:

  • Width and length: Designer Steven Gurowitz, owner of Interiors by Steven G., is among those who prefers solid flooring for many installations because of its rich, warm look. Like other design professionals, he’s seeing greater interest in boards wider than the once-standard 2 ¾ to 3 ¾ inches — typically 5 to 6 inches now but even beyond 10 inches. And he’s also seeing corresponding interest in longer lengths, depending on the species. Width and length should be in proportion. “The wider a board gets, the longer the planks need to be, too, and in proportion,” says Chris Sy, vice president with Carlisle Wide Plank Floors. These oversized dimensions reflect the same trend toward bigger stone and ceramic slabs. The downside is greater cost.
  • Palette: Gurowitz and others are also hearing more requests for darker hues among clients in the northeastern United States, while those in the South and West still gravitate toward lighter colors. But Sprigg Lynn, on the board of the National Wood Flooring Association and with Universal Floors, says the hottest trend is toward a gray or driftwood. Handscraped, antique boards that look aged and have texture, sometimes beveled edges, are also become more popular, even in modern interiors, though they may cost much more.
  • Species and price: Depending on the preference of the stain color, Gurowitz favors mostly mahogany, hickory, walnut, oak, and pine boards. Oak may be the industry’s bread and butter because of the ease of staining it and a relatively low price point. A basic 2 ¼-inch red oak might, for instance, run $6.50 a square foot while a 2 ¼-inch red oak that’s rift and quartered might sell for a slightly higher $8.50 a square foot.
  • Maintenance: How much care home owners want to invest in their floors should also factor in their decision. Pine is quite soft and will show more wear than a harder wood like mahogany or walnut, but it’s less expensive. In certain regions such as the South, pine comes in a harder version known as heart pine that’s popular, says Georgia-based designer Mary Lafevers of Inscape Design Studio. Home owners should understand the different choices because they affect how often they need to refinish the wood, which could be every four to five years, says Susan Brunstrum of Sweet Peas Design-Inspired Interior. Also, Sy says that solid planks can be installed over radiant heating, but they demand expert installation.

Engineered Wood

Also referred to as prefabricated wood, this genre has become popular because the top layer or veneer is glued to wood beneath to reduce expansion and contraction that happens with solid boards due to climatic effects, says Sy, whose firm sells both types. He recommends engineered, depending on the amount of humidity. If home owners go with a prefabricated floor, he advises a veneer of at least one-quarter inch. “If it’s too thin, you won’t have enough surface to sand,” he says. And he suggests a thick enough substrate for a stable underlayment that won’t move as moisture levels in a home shift.

His company’s offerings include an 11-ply marine-grade birch. The myth that engineered boards only come prestained is untrue. “They can be bought unfinished,” he says. Engineered boards are also a good choice for home owners planning to age in place, since there are fewer gaps between boards for a stable surface, says Aaron D. Murphy, an architect with ADM Architecture Inc. and a certified Aging in Place specialist with the National Association of Home Builders.

Reclaimed Wood

Typically defined as recycled wood — perhaps from an old barn or factory — reclaimed wood has gained fans because of its aged, imperfect patina and sustainability; you’re reusing something rather than cutting down more trees. Though less plentiful and more expensive because of the time required to locate and renew samples, it offers a solid surface underfoot since it’s from old-growth trees, says Lynn. Some companies have come to specialize in rescuing logs that have been underwater for decades, even a century. West Branch Heritage Timber,for instance, removes “forgotten” native pine and spruce from swamps, cuts them to desired widths and lengths, and lays them atop ½-inch birch to combine the best of engineered and reclaimed. “The advantage is that it can be resanded after wear since it’s thicker than most prefabricated floors, can be laid atop radiant mats, and doesn’t include toxins,” Managing Partner Tom Shafer says. A downside is a higher price of about $12 to $17 a square foot.

Porcelain “Wood”

A new competitor that closely resembles wood, Gurowitz says porcelain wood offers advantages: indestructibility, varied colors, “graining” that mimics old wood, wide and long lengths, quickness in installation, and no maintenance. “You can spill red wine on it and nothing happens; if there’s a leak in an apartment above, it won’t be destroyed,” he says. Average prices run an affordable $3.50 to $8 a square foot. The biggest downside? It doesn’t feel like wood since it’s colder to the touch, Lynn says.

Bottom Line

When home owners are making a choice or comparing floors, Sy suggests they ask these questions:

1. Do you want engineered or solid-based floors, depending on your home’s conditions?

2. Do you want a floor with more natural character, or less?

3. What board width do you want?

4. How critical is length to you in reducing the overall number of seams?

5. What color range do you want — light, medium, or dark?

6. Do you want more aggressive graining like oak or a mellower grain like walnut?

7. Do you want flooring prefinished or unfinished?

8. How thick is the wear layer in the floor you’re considering, which will affect your ability to refinish it over time?

9. What type of finish are you going to use? Can it be refinished and, if so, how?

10. For wider planks that provide greater stability: Where is the wood coming from, how is it dried, what is its moisture content, and what type of substrate is used in the engineered platform?

Thinking of selling your home? A little investment can increase your resale value! Call me for a personal consultation! Laura Key 310.866.8422

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

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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

Is There Anyway To Have My HUD Offer Considered Before Others?

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.comHUD Home

Owner occupants always have first priority; however, if there are not any bids after the 30th day then bidding is open to all bidders (investors). All offers are due by the bidding date and the HUD system generally picks the highest and best offer.

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