Tuesday, August 23, 2016

First-Time Buyers Want Homes That They Can Grow Into

Photo and article courtesy the Pacific Union blog:
The majority of today's first-time buyers would prefer to forgo starter homes for properties that will meet their future needs and almost all of them are willing to make sacrifices in order to realize their homeownership dreams.  Read more at http://pacunion.us/2b9KwWC .  For more help with all your real estate needs, call FRITZ.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Turn Your Bedroom Into a Sanctuary

Photo Courtesy Jennifer Worts Design.

Since we spend a third of our lives sleeping, we should place high importance on the look and feel of our bedroom.  Here are some tips to improve the look and feel of our personal sanctuary.

Bring in neutral colors.  Light, neutral colors like creams, grays, taupes and blues provide a tranquil atmosphere.

Add soft lighting.  Overhead light can be harsh and concentrated.  Add lamps to soften and illuminate the room.

Use window treatments.  They add both privacy and a beautiful design element to your room.

Remove outdated bedding.  Make sure your mattress and pillows are in good shape.
Plan on replacing you mattress about every eight years and your pillows every year or two.

Remove excess furniture.  Pare down your space to the essentials--clutter can disturb rest and be distracting.  Above all, reserve the bedroom for rest and relaxation--remove the electronics.

Call FRITZ for answers to all your real estate needs and how to buy and sell a home.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

How to Write an Offer Letter That Will Win the House

Photo and article courtesy Cathie Ericson, Realtor.com:
You love the house sooo much.  The problem is, lots of other people probably do too.  How can you stand out in a competitive environment?  Try writing an offer letter that knocks the seller's socks off.
"Making the highest offer is typically the best way to win a bid, but when a seller is faced with two very similar offers, a letter can oftentimes tip the scales toward yours," says Realtor Mindy Jensen of Longmont, CO.
So how do you use writing to woo a seller to your side?  Check out these snippets from winning offer letters, then learn how you can follow in the footsteps of these real-life buyers.
Read the snippets. . . http://bit.ly/2a1nphJ .  For more information on expert tips on buying or selling a home, call FRITZ.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Smart Homebuyer Strategies

Courtesy Blanche Evans:
When homes are in short supply, buyers don't have the luxury of taking their time, teasing sellers with low ball offers, demanding that every little thing be fixed and shopping for homes with multiple real estate agents.  Do these five steps instead.

Make a good first impression.  When you find the home you want, send the seller a letter along with your offer outlining why you love the home.

Get pre-approved by a lender.  Not only will you know how much home you can buy, you'll be ready to make an offer quickly.

Shop within your price range.  In a seller's market, it's wise to shop for homes within or slightly below your price range.  This will give you more room to make a full price offer or above in case the home you want is in a bidding war.

Be flexible.  No home is perfect.  To get more home for your money, try to look past old or ugly finishes and visualize the home with new finishes.

Be ready.  Be ready to see a new listing at a moment's notice and be ready to make an offer.
For more information on buying and selling a home, call FRITZ.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

New Listing! 1148 Rosewood Way, Alameda

A mid century modern beach house, just a block from Crown Memorial Beach, this hip, 3 bedroom, 2 bath mid century style home offers the open concept floor plan perfect for California's in and outdoor lifestyle.  The home features updated kitchen and baths, hardwood floors throughout, skylights, fireplace and a gorgeous yard.  Don't miss out on this rare offering!  Open Saturday and Sunday from 2-4:30.  Offered at $699,000.  Call FRITZ for more details.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Strong Data About Surprises in Economic Activity

STRONG DATA: Courtesy the Loan Ladies at Prospect Mortgage
Upside surprises in economic activity are usually not good for mortgage rates.  The major reports released over the past week, especially the housing market data, far exceeded expectations.  Hawkish comments from Fed Chair Janet Yellen in a speech on Friday afternoon also had the potential to push mortgage rates higher.  Despite the strong data and hawkish comments from Fed officials, mortgage ratesd ended the week with little change.
Two important reports on the housing market released over the past week showed that activity in April rose to the best level in years.  First, a report that measures the number of contracts signed to buy newly built homes showed that activity in April rose to the best level since january 2008.  This was good, but new homes represent only 10% of the overall housing market.  The remaining 90% is made up of activity involving previously owned homes.  The data on previously owned homes also showed stunning results in April.  Contracts signed in April to buy previously owned homes jumped to the highest level since February 2006.
The other significant data released this week that exceeded expectations was report that measured activity regarding orders for durable goods.  Durable goods include items considered to be useful for at least three years, like planes, autos and machinery.  Orders for durable goods rose in April by 3.4%.  Most of the increase came from orders for civilian aircraft, which generally are quite large and can be very volatile--even excluding transportation, new orders rose .4% from March.  For more information on how the latest economic activity effects your ability to buy or sell a home, contact FRITZ.

Monday, April 11, 2016

GlassHouse Keeps Your Home in Check!

More time living at home and less time maintaining it . . . sound good?  Unless we are diligent about their upkeep, our homes are going to become worse with wear and that's just the stuff we can see.  But it's the items that you can't see that can really cost the big bucks and leave you a little shell-shocked come time to sell.  Outdated foundations, leaking roofs, water intrusion and active infestations behind walls can all lead to expensive repairs . . . a plumbing leak is problematic enough without compounding the damage by waiting too long to make the repair, but add to that ongoing small maintenenace issues like air filters, dryer vents, removing debris from gutters.  So what is the answer?  Enter, "Glasshouse" which literally manages your house for you.  For a small monthly fee, your home will have a proactive service with four quarterly maintenance visits a year--a wellness check-up if you will.  Your home will have someone checking and maintaing the working components of appliances, water heaters, HVAC system, gutters, toilets, pipes, etc.  To sign up for an appointment and find out more about this amazing service, visit https://glasshouse.com/.  For more information about all your real estate needs, call FRITZ.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

The Must-Dos Before Showing a Home

Thoughtful home staging is more than just tidying up and cleaning every room.  It could mean a quick sale and higher selling price if done right.  Here are five ways you can leave a positive impression on potential buyers.

Eliminate Clutter.  Clear the clutter from around your home.  It's easy to overlook things you see every day, so try to approach all spaces with fresh eyes.  Consider having a friend come over to help point out unnecessary items.  Larger pieces like coat racks and side tables can make a room feel smaller.

Clean Out Storage Spaces.  Make space in kitchen and bathroom cupboards, closets and other storage areas.  Pack up items you don't regularly use and put them out of sight or donate them. Leaving these area completely full may give potential buyers the impression that your home doesn't have enough storage.

Clear the Way.  Make sure potential home buyers can move through your house easily.  Remove furniture that blocks the flow of traffic or hinders sight lines.

Remove Personal Items.  Family pictures, children's artwork and other personal items should be removed to avoid distraction.  Personal belongings can also make it hard for potential buyers to imagine themselves living in the house.

Remember Curb Appeal.  Make a strong first impression by sprucing up your front yard and entryway.  Replace the house numbers and exterior light fixtures if necessary.  Keep the lawn mowed, plants maintained and free of clutter and toys.

For more information about how to sell your home fast and for the right price, contact FRITZ.