In case you missed it, our bi-monthly Rolling Hills Newsletter!
In case you missed this month’s Rancho Palos Verdes Eastview Newsletter, see it here!
In 1827, Don Dolores Sepulveda received an original land grant to Rancho de los Palos Verdes that supported several thousand heads of cattle and flourishing hacienda. Rancho Palos Verdes literally means “Ranch of Green Sticks” but some say it takes its name from Canada de Palos Verdes, or “Canyon of green trees” and RPV was originally inhabited by the Gabbrielino-Tongva Tribe. 
Then, for a brief period of time in the early 1900’s, the Peninsula enjoyed prosperity as a cattle ranch and rich farming area. During this time, 2,000 head of cattle roamed the open areas. Japanese families farmed the moist southern slopes with fields of beans, peas and tomatoes, while the manager of the cattle ranch farmed the dryer northern slopes with barley for hay and grain.2
In 1913, the found father of the Peninsula, Frank Vanderlip, bought the 16,000-acre Palos Verdes Peninsula and embarked on a grand vision to develop the “Palos Verdes Project” into the most fashionable and exclusive residential colony in the nation. The first homes in Rancho Palos Verdes appeared in the region in 1924, two years before the historic Point Vicente Lighthouse was built in RPV. 3
1″Terranea History.” Rancho Palos Verdes Resorts. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Oct. 2014.
2 “Rancho Palos Verdes – The Birth of a City.” PalosVerdes.com. City of RPV, n.d. Web. 15 Oct. 2014.
3 “Terranea History.” Rancho Palos Verdes Resorts. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Oct. 2014.
It’s that time of year again…when the busy holiday season is upon us. Starting with Halloween, Thanksgiving seems to creep up on us quickly followed by Christmas and New Years.
Tricks to get your home sold faster !
1. Online marketing. 92% of homebuyers start their house hunt online, and they will never even get in the car to come see your home if the online listings aren’t compelling. In real estate, compelling means pictures! A study by Trulia.com shows that listings with more than 6 pictures are twice as likely to be viewed by buyers as listings that had fewer than 6 pictures.
2. Social Media. Facebook is the great connector of people these days. If you have 200 friends and they each have 200 friends, imagine the power of that network in getting the word out about your house!
3. Beat the competition with condition. In many markets, much of the competition is low-priced foreclosures and short sales. As an individual homeowner, the way you can compete is on condition. Consider having a termite inspection in advance of listing your home, and get as many of the repairs done as you can – it’s a major selling point to be able to advertise a very low or non-existent pest repair bill. Also, make sure that the little nicks and scratches, doorknobs that don’t work, and wonky handles are all repaired before you start showing your home.
4. Access is essential. Homes that don’t get shown don’t get sold. And many foreclosures and short sale listings are vacant, so they can be shown anytime. Don’t make it difficult for agents to get their clients into your home – if they have to make appointments way in advance, or can only show it during a very restrictive time frame, they will likely just cross your place off the list and go show the places that are easy to get into.
5. Get real about pricing. Today’s buyers are very educated about the comparable sales in the area, which heavily influence the fair market value of your home. And they also know that they’re in the driver’s seat. To make your home competitive, have your broker or agent get you the sales prices of the three most similar homes that have sold in your area in the last month or so, then try to go 10-15% below that when you set your home’s list price. The homes that look like a great deal are the ones that get the most visits from buyers and, on occasion even receive multiple offers. (Bidding wars do still exist!)
6. De-personalize & De-clutter. Do this – pretend you’re moving out. Buyers want to visualize your house being their house – and it’s difficult for them to do that with all your personal items marking the territory as yours.Keep the faux-moving in motion. Anything that you haven’t used in at least a year? get rid of it. Give away what you can, throw away as much as possible of what remains, and then pack the rest to get it ready to move.
Why selling your home during the Holidays is a Treat!
Less Competition Many home sellers either hold off from selling or take a break from selling during the holidays. Inevitably, the amount of listings on the market drop down, which means less competition for your home. With less competition, you could potentially sell your home faster, for more money. Once the market comes back up in the spring time, a lot of sellers will list their homes all at once for lower prices, which may drive the whole market down.
More Motivated. Home buyers are generally the most motivated during the holiday season, greatly aiding sellers. Although there will be less buyers looking at homes this time of year, the buyers who do look are more serious about closing. “While the traffic is down, the buyers who are out there — when it’s soggy and dark at 4:45 p.m. — they’re not just poking around for the fun of it,” said Billy Grippo, a broker for Windermere Cronin and Caplan Realty Group. “They’re wanting to buy a house.”
Interest Rates Drop. Looking back on statistics, interest rates tend to drop the most at the end of the year. “If we look historically at interest rates, cyclically we’ve seen drops every December through January,” says Rich Hayden, senior loan officer for Home First Mortgage Corp. “While rates are now at all-time lows, we could dip even lower,” he says. Tyler agrees, “Interest rates have to come up sometime but it won’t be during the holidays.”
Tax Deductions. Many people purposely choose to purchase a home before the new year to receive a tax write off. Home buyers who close before the end of the year could be eligible for tax credits, such as deductions for home mortgage interest, real estate taxes, and PMI premiums.
The decision to purchase your first home is one of the biggest and best choices you could ever make. After all, a home is the largest – and most emotional – investment most people will face in their lifetime. So, how do you know if it’s the right time for you to buy?
There is never a wrong time to buy the right home. The key is finding the right buy and taking the time to carefully evaluate your finances.
A home purchase is an important step that can provide many advantages. Purchasing your own home is a great investment that can deliver several financial benefits – equity build up, value appreciation, automatic savings plan – not to mention a new sense of pride!
Start looking at your options today. You don’t have to know everything. Your Keller Williams agent is ready to help you through every step of the process.
When you’re looking for a real estate professional to help you, know that above all else, good agents put their clients first. This is your dream, and your agent is your advocate to help you make your dream come true.
A great real estate agent will:
To make the financing process as painless as possible, ask your agent to introduce you to the preferred financing consultant. This professional will work with you and your agent to make sure the financial aspect of your home purchase is stress free.
What will the consultant do for you?
So you’ve met with your trusted advisors, and now you’re ready to begin your search. But how or where do you start? There are a lot of homes out there, and diving in without a guide can become overwhelming and confusing. Your Keller Williams agent will help you more accurately pinpoint homes that fit your criteria. The right home will meet all your important needs, and as many of your additional wants as possible.
Some questions you might ask yourself include:
You’ll learn as you look at homes, your priorities will probably adjust along the way.
Once you’ve found a home you love, the next step is deciding on a price. It’s important to remember that a home is an investment. Your agent can give you information on other properties in the neighborhood to help you ensure you make an informed decision when it comes to price. Look to your agent to explain and guide you through the offer process.
Some things to consider when deciding on the best price point are:
Your agent will provide you with improvements and challenges within your home. This way you’ll know what you are getting into before you complete the purchase.
Knowing what work has and has not been done to your home is important information to have in the buying process. While updates can increase your home value, damages can take money out of your pocket. Your main concern is the possibility of structural damage, which can come from water, shifting ground or poor construction.
Very often a problem appears to be big, but can be fixed with very little effort and not a huge budget.
Once you’ve determined a price point you’re comfortable with, you’re in the “home” stretch! But, in order to ensure that you don’t put the property purchase at risk, you have a couple responsibilities that you’ll need to keep in mind:
Congratulations, and welcome home! The home-buying process is complete, which means it’s time for your maintenance plan! It’s now your responsibility, and in your best financial interest, to protect your investment for years to come. Performing routine maintenance on your home’s systems is always more affordable than having to fix big problems later. Be sure to watch for signs of leaks, damage and wear.
And remember, just because the sale is complete, your relationship with your Keller Williams agent doesn’t need to end! After you buy, your agent can still help you – providing information on the real estate market, finding contractors and repair services, and even tracking your home’s current value.
Picking a Listing Price can be extremely stressful, what you think your home is worth might not be what the Market thinks your home is worth. A Real Estate Agent will give you their expert opinion, but make sure they explain the current market trends and have enough information to back it up.
Broker- and buyer-interest is at its highest when a home is first put on the market — and that interest will remain high for about four weeks. But if a property is priced too high during this crucial period, it won’t attract the right buyers. Once that momentum is lost, it’s difficult to recover.
Talk to a Realtor and have them find Comparable homes,that are on the market and homes that have recently sold, also known as a Comparative Market Analysis . Your asking price should be within 10 percent of the average sold price in your neighborhood.
Realtors will evaluate three factors: comparing your home to others that have recently sold, others currently listed and adjustments needed for extraordinary improvements.
Although home improvements can increase the value of your property, it is more likely these upgrades will simply help the home to sell faster than the others without similar renovations. This concept is sometimes difficult for sellers to understand. They feel that if they spent a certain amount on a home improvement, they should be able to recoup that cost by tacking it on to the sales price. But unfortunately, that’s not always the case. According to Home Remodeling Magazine, very few home improvements return 100% of the investment, and that percentage of return declines as the years go by.
Upgrades are important, but buyers may not share the owners’ enthusiasm for — nor agree with — the owners’ perceived value of the improvements. And if a buyer doesn’t see the value, then there is no value.
A professional analysis of the market, will take all of this into consideration as well as analyze the price other homes have actually sold for, not just the asking price — there can be a sizable difference. The most common mistake sellers make when pricing their property is to only consider the asking prices of other properties. Remember, a list price does not suggest market value of a home. It is simply the “asking price” or “dream sheet” of another seller. Its relevance may, however, be in how you position your home with the others on the market.