Congratulations to the Viados!!!

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I had the privilege of meeting and working with Katherine and Luis Viado and their beautiful family to find this place which they now can call home! Since the very beginning I have been impressed with this family. They were on a hunt to find a house and even though there isn’t much inventory for sale, they were aggressively and actively looking. I would say that it was because of their determination and proactive approach that we were able to get into escrow within less than a months worth of searching. We were in communication everyday and when I sent them a listing they liked they made time to go drive by the property right away (usually the same day I sent the listing even if it meant after the sun went down). Because they made themselves available we were usually one of the first ones to view the property which gave them the opportunity to submit an offer if they really liked it. Although they lost to investors and higher offers on a couple of houses, the stay committed, determined, and did not lose sight of their dream of finding a home. When we found this home they listened to my advice and followed my directions and we got our offer accepted! To top things off everyone involved in the transaction worked together diligently and we were able to close a week early! 

Some tips that the Viados might give to you to get in and out of escrow quickly:
-Listen to Lauren’s advice!!! 🙂
-Be available to go see new listings right away
-Drive by the property at day and/or night to be sure that you like the neighborhood
-Submit a cover letter and photo with your offer
-Stay in good communication (email, text messages, phone calls)
-Have a good attitude 

I couldn’t be happier for this wonderful family, they are well deserving of this awesome home!

IMG_8178*Katherine is missing from the photos 😦

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How to save water AND money during this extreme drought!

For those of you who live in Los Angeles County, you may have received a notice from the city indicating that we are currently facing an extreme water drought and those who “waste water” can be fined up to $500/day!

Here’s an article from the Los Angeles Times:

http://touch.latimes.com/#section/-1/article/p2p-80834518/

Initially I thought about washing my car and how I’ll have to start going to the car wash. But then I got to thinking about how that would only help decrease my risk of a $500 penalty fee and doesn’t do anything for the lack of water supply.

Fortunately my dad introduced me to this Turtle Wax Rinse Free Wash and Wax product. When he first told me about it I was very skeptical and thought it sounded dirty and it would not clean my car good enough. However, after testing out his new purchase I instantly became a fan. We used one bucket of water to wash three cars and it took about 10 minutes to complete my car.

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You can purchase this product directly on the Turtle Wax website for $7.99 here:
http://www.turtlewax.com/shop/products/turtle-wax-rinse-free-wash-wax-33-8-fl-oz-

But I also found it on Amazon for $5.97

One bottle is supposed to be good for 30 washes, but you can probably get more out of it if you wash multiple cars as a time.

I hope that you guys can enjoy this product as much as I have. It is also a great way for people who live in apartments or places where you do not have access to a hose to wash your own car. You can simply fill up a bucket inside your house and wash your car on the street 🙂

Happy Weber Weekly Wednesday. Now go save some water!

 

 

Do Solar Panels Increase or Decrease The Value of Your Home?

 

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Many solar companies would argue that the installation of solar panels will increase the value of your home. The problem with this statement is that it is all subjective to the buyer. Because the epidemic of solar panels has become a fairly new trend, we are facing the challenge of gathering enough data to prove whether homes with solar panels truly do add value to the sale of a home.

One of the major benefits of installing solar panels is the reduction in the home’s electricity bill. In addition, there is an increasing trend in environmental conscious consumers that find “green-friendly” home more appealing than one that is not. *The National Bureau of Economic Research released an analysis that found solar panels can add about 3.5 percent to a home’s value. Where the Appraisal Journal states that a home’s value increases roughly $20 for every $1 decrease in energy costs. So if the solar panels save you $600 a year, the home’s value may increase by $12,000.

The biggest factor that home owners take into consideration when deciding whether or not to instal solar panels is cost. Depending on your average usage of watts you can be paying anywhere from $4-$9 per watt. Some companies quote that a cost can average anywhere from $25,000-$100,000. However, today many companies are offering different programs to make installation of solar panels affordable with as little as $0 down. The trade off is a leased or payment plan can be as long as 20-25 year. NPR just posted an article about a home owner who had to negotiate a $10,000 credit to the buyer for unexpected lease fees. You can read the full article HERE.

So, the question still stands: Do solar panels increase or decrease the value of your home??? I would say that there is not black and white answer, but rather it depends from home to home. Things to take into consideration: 
-What type of neighborhood is your home located in? A community filled with college graduate, millennial, hybrid driving consumers may be more inclined to purchase a solar powered home than an older community. 
-The benefits of buying verses leasing or opting for a payment plan.
-How much money does it save you on a monthly or annual basis?

If you do have solar panels and plan on putting your home on the market for sale, make sure you are clear to the buyer what the benefits are of having the solar panels (monthly or annual savings) and/or the costs that they will incur. 

Here is a good article from HGTV on how to calculate and budget whether or not installing solar panels is the right move for you. 

http://www.hgtvremodels.com/home-systems/the-true-cost-of-solar-power/index.html

 

As always, feel free to contact me with any questions or comments. Make it a great Weber Weekly Wednesday!!!

 

*-1 http://budgeting.thenest.com/solar-panels-increase-value-home-22289.html

Taste of Summer

Flyer with ticket JPG

I’m so excited to share with you all this fun event I’ve been helping plan. Women’s Council of Realtors is throwing their 4th annual wine event and this year it will be held at the South Coast Botanic Garden in Palos Verdes on Thursday, July 24th from 5:30PM-8:30PM. Not only will it be a fun wine tasting/ beer garden with food, music, and silent auction, but it is also supporting a local charity:
Gals Starting over
They provide educational workshops and coaching to women who are trying to get back into the work field. Whether they are recently divorced, a single mother, or recovering from the recession, women are welcomed into this program to improve their interviewing skills and get up to speed with today’s technology in their search for a new job.
You can visit their website HERE to learn more about the program.

Everyone of age is welcome and encouraged to participate! Please feel free to contact me if you are interested in coming or would like to donate or sponsor the event.

LaurenW@hmsold.com

 

What’s The Difference Between A Buyer’s Home Inspection and A City Inspection?

Buyers:
One of the first steps after getting into escrow is for the buyer to schedule a home inspection. Your inspector will do a thorough inspection including things such as: testing appliances, checking electrical boxes and wiring, crawling under the house (if there is crawl space) to see if there are signs of pests or leaks, checking the attic, etc. I highly encourage my client’s to do this as soon as possible so that we can become aware of any major issues and hire any specialists if the inspector advises further investigation (ie: plumbing, roof, fireplace). Doing your home inspection right away will also allow for more time to negotiate repairs with the seller if needed. A home inspection can run anywhere form $200-$400 depending on the size of the property and the service you choose.

Sellers:
In the Los Angeles County some cities require that you get a pre sale inspection. This has to be ordered directly through the city and has to be scheduled by the seller. There are some exemptions to this inspection but in most cases the city will not allow escrow to close with out clearance on your city inspection. Some cities may even require that you do your inspection prior to placing your home on the market. Every city has different requirements, some search for healthy and safety issues while others are looking strictly to see that any additions have been done with permits or up to city code. I have included a list of cities in the Los Angeles County that require a pre sale inspection. City inspections can range anywhere from $100-$200.

Buyers and Sellers:
If you are going to be buying or selling in one of the cites that require an inspection I urge you to visit the cities website or call to see what is required. A city inspection can take a couple weeks to be scheduled so to insure a smooth escrow, it would be wise to order this sooner than later. I highly recommend that the city inspection should not be done in replace of a buyers home inspection.

As always, feel free to contact me with any questions or real estate needs: LaurenW@hmsold.com

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*List provided by Orange Coast Title