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December 2015

 

Whether you are looking to buy or sell, I can offer the highest levels in real estate expertise and professionalism. Don’t hesitate to contact me and allow me to help guide you through that process!

Amir Vahdat
Real Estate Advisor/Broker BRE#01819847
amirvahdat@bhhscal.com   |   949-682-9090
http://www.OCLuxuryProperty.com

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HOMEBUYING TIPS

Final Walk-Through

You found the perfect house, made an offer, negotiated the price, had an inspection and ensured your mortgage. The only thing left is your final walk-through.

Walk-throughs are normally scheduled the day of, or day before the settlement, as the seller should be completely moved out. The object is to ensure that the house stands in the same condition as when you agreed to buy it.

This is not the time to nitpick about nail holes or carpet imperfections. Unless you’ve negotiated allowances for such issues, you’ll have to address them later after you’ve settled.

What could impact the transaction is property or fixtures that the seller agreed to leave behind are missing (e.g., a washing machine, pool table, garage cabinets, etc.) or if the seller leaves things that were supposed to be removed (e.g., paint cans, furniture, etc.).

With your agent at your side, be sure that obligatory repairs flagged during the home inspection are completed to code and satisfaction. If the seller agreed to replace an aging water heater but didn’t do it, this must be accounted for during settlement.

You may be eager to leave the house and get to the settlement, but don’t rush through the walk-through. Run the appliances through a full cycle to make sure they work. Turn on all faucets and showers as well.

Some contracts will specify that the buyer complete a walk-through a week or two prior to settlement followed by a quick meeting prior to settlement to check off any items previously noted. Again, any items or tasks that aren’t complete must be justified at the time of settlement.

Though issues may arise, the majority of walk-throughs go without a hitch as both parties are eager to complete the deal and willing to negotiate any final hurdles.

FINANCIAL TIPS

Improve Your Credit Score

Those looking for a home should check their credit score before things get too serious. There’s nothing worse than learning that your credit report contains a late payment that can prevent you from buying a property.

The higher your credit score, the better. A score of at least 620 will give you a good chance to secure a home loan; 720 should qualify in most cases.

However, a lower score doesn’t mean you can’t finance a home. Credit repair begins with your credit report. You can request a free copy of your credit report annually from the Federal Trade Commission at AnnualCreditReport.com. Check it for errors.

There are steps to fix negative marks:

If you’ve missed a payment: Call the creditor and ask to erase the negative listing. A well-documented letter can also help. There is no guarantee that a creditor will do this, but if you’ve been a good customer through the years, this method has proven to be successful.

If you have defaulted on a student loan: You can enter into a “rehab program,” which will get your account back on track after 12 months. It may not be the quick fix you need when buying a home, but the sooner the better.

For disputing a negative mark that was not your fault: Try disputing the account with the credit bureaus as “not mine.”

One way to boost your credit score is to have an older family member with a sound credit rating add you as an authorized user on a credit card. This can help increase your score. You don’t even need the card in your possession. With loans requiring higher credit scores, it’s never too early to start fixing credit challenges.

HOME IMPROVEMENT TIPS

A Souped-up Laundry Room
Can Make a Difference

The laundry room is one of the most forgotten areas to get in shape. Machines are often dusty, detergent dripping down the sides and lint and old socks on the floor. Yet it doesn’t take much to make a real difference:

Add energy-efficient appliances: The U.S. Department of Energy claims that machines with the ENERGY STAR label can decrease water costs by up to 50%. There are machines that adjust water temperature and amount for each load to prevent excess and waste.

Add a touch of pizazz: Consider designer colors, pedestals or sleek designs that can make a bold statement.

Choose the best type appliance for you: Top loaders require enough water to cover all the clothes in its drum. Front loaders can reduce that by two-thirds—less water for larger loads. While they look great, they can be more expensive and can develop mold because they don’t empty as efficiently.

Don’t forget the dryer: Moisture sensors recognize when laundry is dry more quickly than traditional machines and shut down sooner. This saves energy, cash and wear-and-tear on clothing.

Consider steam: The use of steam washers and dryers for greater energy and water efficiency is also a growing trend. They offer enhanced clothing-care options such as short, steam-only cycles that help to reduce wrinkles and remove odors without using water and detergent.

Laundry rooms used to be relegated to the basement. Today, people are finding space in more convenient areas of the house—like the kitchen, upstairs or near bedrooms. Experts agree that a laundry nook will raise the value of a home, making it more convenient as hauling baskets of clothing up and down flights of stairs become a thing of the past.

HOMESELLING TIPS

A Picture Can Be Worth
a Thousand Words

This is even more true when it comes to selling your home. And let’s face it, you want those words to end with a definitive “sold.”

Homes garner more traffic and buyer interest when presented effectively—which means they sell faster. That’s why it is essential that you showcase your home through images in the best way possible.

According to the National Association of REALTORS,® nearly 90% of all homebuyers begin shopping for homes online. They click through photos and send a list of those of interest to their real estate agent. In fact, homes with few or no photos are often skipped simply for that reason, even if the home’s description matches a buyer’s ideal listing.

Many agents believe that apart from staging, no other marketing investment is as important as professional photography in marketing a property. So to generate more buyer interest, there has been a dramatic increase in the use of professional real estate photographers. As much as we like to think we take great photos, a professional has an eye for seeing the best composition and lighting, plus better equipment to make the photos bright, clear and sharp.

2016 home sales to be best since 2006

Total homes sales next year are expected to reach the highest levels since 2006 on the back of new construction and the existing housing market.
 

Here are the details from CNBC.

If you are thinking of getting your home on the market, this may be a great time. Who do you know that needs to sell a home that I can help?

 
 
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