Some Homeowners ask: How Can I Package My Home to Impress Buyers?

Even the hardiest shopper has difficulty remembering each home they visited after a full day of house-hunting. As a seller, you want to feature your property’s benefits as a great way to be sure your home stands out. The following marketing strategies have been used successfully in selling many homes. They could very well work for you too!

Creativity Counts

You can make a poster or photo album or even a loose-leaf binder showing your home’s best attributes which can be attractively displayed on your dining table or near the front door. Home shoppers appreciate take-home flyer as a memory-jogger, for later study. The flyer should always include the property address, price, and a brief description .

Focus on Features

Every home a buyer is looking at has its own outstanding features. When you and I talk about a marketing strategy for your home, we will consider what to include in your display and on the flyer. Here are some worthwhile ideas.

  • Capital improvements. Including project description, year completed and your investment in the improvements.
  • Upgrades or replacements. List new appliances, paint, wallpaper, attic fan—anything you’ve accomplished that buyers won’t have to do after they move in. You can mention special features and benefits. For example: “Easy-care kitchen range with self-cleaning oven, sealed burners, electronic ignition, digital controls etc.
  • Energy-saving features. Important to list money-saving extra insulation, high-efficiency heating/cooling system, and thermal double-pane windows.
  • Mention affordable property taxes. Buyers want to know!
  • Provide a floor plan. Room arrangement and dimensions are important when the buyer is thinking about their furniture. Home builders and renovators can often provide floor plans, or one can be drawn for your home.
  • Gardening highlights. Have pictures to show the work you’ve done. Identify trees and plants, especially if you have unusual ones. Provide photos of bushes and flowers in full bloom, if you’re selling off-season.
  • Pre-listing home inspection report. Impress buyers with proof of your home’s excellent condition. Show receipts for correcting any problems the inspector noted.
  • Neighborhood map. Highlight nearby schools, convenient transportation, shopping, parks, libraries, hospitals and any other amenities or points of interest.
  • School data. Feature excellent schools. Mention honors and awards, good student-teacher ratios, sports and athletics, drama presentations and special programs (i.e. for learning disabilities or English as a second language).
  • Neighborhood information. List HOA dues (if any), annual community events, Neighborhood Watch programs etc. If yours is a friendly, quiet neighborhood, be sure buyers know it!
  • Community services. Include helpful information such as days for recyclable material and bulk trash pick-ups, availability of swimming pools, children’s summer day camps, adult education and so on.

For more ideas on making a lasting impression with potential buyers, CALL me Jeff Howard, your realtor for life.  I have many ways to make your home stand out when you decide to sell so potential buyers will have a great impression of your home.

Do you have a need for commercial/industrial/retail buildings or land? Are you ready to buy or sell a home? Do you want a guaranteed cash offer? We can help you with all of that… just call us at 702 SELL NOW or click on this link to my website http://www.702SellNow.com

Choose to have an amazing day….Jeff

What is a HELOC and Why Would I Want One?

Home values have risen dramatically in the last few years, and many homeowners would like to tap into their equity to make home improvements or go on a great vacation or even payoff some high interest credit cards, but they don’t want to refinance their primary mortgage because the rate they have is much better than today’s rates. If you purchased your home 2 years ago or more, chances are you have significant equity. Or maybe you have paid so much of the mortgage down that you’ve and now you wish you had held onto some of that cash.

Home Equity Lines of Credit (HELOCs) are a very popular option for homeowners in this very situation. They’re flexible loans that give you a lot of options and time to decide what you want to do with your equity.  However they can also be a bit confusing because they don’t work like a more traditional home loan.

HELOCs Are Lines of Credit

HELOCs are unlike a traditional home equity loan, where you borrow a set amount all at once, and then repay it. HELOCs are lines of credit that they work much more like a credit card than a mortgage. You’re approved for a maximum amount that represents the most money you can charge to your HELOC (just like with a credit card), and your payments are based on how much of that line of credit you’ve used.

If you max out your HELOC, you can pay it down and charge again, just like with a credit card. Unlike a credit card, however, your home is being used as the security for this loan, so if you get in over your head, your home is at risk of foreclosure. So you must be very careful with this particular kind of credit line. Of course rates are almost always a lot lower than your credit card rates.

HELOCs Have Two Separate Loan Periods

HELOCs start out as open lines of credit, allowing you to charge or pay off as much as you wish at any given time. You’re usually expected to make at least an interest payment each month, but beyond that, you can charge a lot or a little and only pay based on the percentage of the credit line you’ve utilized. This is known as the “draw” period.

This period of the HELOC, where it functions as a line of credit, is usually about 10 years, but can be more or less, depending on the specific terms. Immediately following this period, your HELOC becomes a set loan, and you can no longer charge anything else to the line of credit.

In this repayment period, your HELOC becomes much more like a traditional second mortgage, with a payment that’s based on the amount of credit you ultimately used during the draw period. From here on, your payment is more or less fixed, but can vary if you have an adjustable-rate loan. The repayment period is usually about 20 years, but, again, can be different based on your agreement with your bank.

There is often a balloon payment due at the end of the repayment period, so if this is a concern for you, make sure that your loan either will fully amortize or that you’re paying extra each month to ensure your last payment takes your note to a zero balance.

HELOC Requirements

Just like other home equity loans, you’ll need to qualify for a HELOC with a reasonable credit score (ask your lender for specifics), a debt-to-income ratio of about 40% or below, and a high amount of home equity. Most lenders won’t lend more than about 85% of your home’s equity back to you, in case of default.

There are exceptions to all of these rules of thumb, so it’s very important to understand the specifics of the loan program you have chosen. You’ll also need an appraisal to assess the current value of your home, as well as minimal closing paperwork to finalize and record the loan and there is typically an annual fee.

Need Help  to Find Your HELOC Lender?

If you need a recommendation for a lending company to use for a HELOC – CALL me Jeff Howard, your realtor for life. I have a list of great lenders that I trust and I would be happy to recommend.

Do you have a need for commercial/industrial/retail buildings or land? Are you ready to buy or sell a home? Do you want a guaranteed cash offer? We can help you with all of that… just call us at 702 SELL NOW or click on this link to my website http://www.702SellNow.com

Choose to have an amazing day….Jeff

Stock Investors are Considering Multifamily, Commercial Real Estate as Another Way to Invest

The primary place to investment in the United States has always been stocks and bonds. In fact, the 60/40 stock/bond portfolio is a standard that many investors follow, however this trend of investment points to one of the most stable long-term investments out there: real estate.

In the last 12 months, ending June 30, 2022, all aspects of the stock market were down. The S&P 500 was down 11 percent, Dow Jones Index was down 14 percent and Nasdaq was down 22 percent. The volatile Bitcoin went down 68 percent.

In the meantime, the real estate rent amounts continued to increase during that same period, meaning profits continued to climb for investors.

The annual rent for multifamily properties grew an average of 13.5 percent during 2021 (which is admittedly higher than historical increases) so multifamily properties generated the highest average returns among real estate classes in 2021.  This is a trend that has been going on for the last 40 years.

A point you should consider is that real estate does not follow the typical stock market swings. Stocks and bonds follow the stock market ebb and flow, and multifamily properties are independent of those swings. While this may mean that real estate doesn’t see large swings in gains and losses like some stocks do, it does mean that return profits are more stable and consistent.

Multifamily properties give the strongest average total return (9.75 percent), according to a 2017 report by CBRE Research, however, there are also other types of properties that give average total returns over eight percent as well; hotel (9.61 percent), industrial (9.57 percent) and retail (9.44 percent) & office properties (8.38 percent).

The main reason that multifamily properties top the list is that millennials have a solid desire not to own their homes properties, and now baby boomers have started renting more, as well.

Lease agreements for multifamily rentals also typically last just one year, allowing for faster increases over office, industrial and retail leases, which are typically five years or more.

I remember one of my real estate mentors once telling me “The stock market is a great place to have your money… when it’s not in real estate”.

Do you have a need for commercial/industrial/retail buildings or land? Are you ready to buy or sell a home? Do you want a guaranteed cash offer? We can help you with all of that… just call us at 702 SELL NOW or click on this link to my website http://www.702SellNow.com

Choose to have an amazing day….Jeff

Due Diligence is a Lot More than a Home Inspection

The Due Diligence in your purchase contract is more than just a home inspection! You need to verify, confirm and sign off that you are OK with every aspect of the home you intend to buy. Here are some more important items that should be included in your due diligence as a home buyer. 

Verify & Obtain Historical Water Usage

Verifying water usage is very important. While a good home inspector makes every effort to detect an underground water leak in the course of a home inspection (i.e., checking water meter for movement,) they do not have the ability to spot underground water leaks because this is a visual service as defined by NAC 645D, an underground leak may be detected by excessive water usage.

You can call your water provider to verify water usage and historical use by going to their website or calling them.

Review Homeowner’s Association (AKA CIC or HOA) Documentation

After the seller sends a written request to the HOA, in Nevada, that HOA has 10 days to deliver the documents, and the prospective purchaser has 5 days to review and approve those documents. If a prospective purchaser disapproves the documents, they have the right to cancel the purchase contract, not ask for changes. 

Verify School Zoning

If schools are important to you, utilize the school’s online zoning tools to verify school zoning. Do not rely solely on what the listing agent stated. For Clark County Nevada schools, go here: https://www.ccsd.net/schools/zoning/ For other areas, ask Google.

Verify Value with an Appraisal

You will want to verify the value of the home:

a)     an independent CMA (Comparative Market Analysis) that can be done by your real estate agent (me)

b)    a licensed appraiser (even if you are paying with cash). Try not to rely on online valuation sites as they are notoriously unreliable sources. They gather date but can’t actually visit the house being valued. A trained human brain and eyeballs is your best source for valuation!

Check for Kitec Re-Plumb

If the home you are buying was built in between 1996 through 2006, Kitec may be an issue. A good inspector does their best to look for signs of defective Kitec plumbing. If they find signs, or even if you are just curious, you may check to see if the home had a Kitec re-plumb as part of the class action lawsuit:

http://kitec.totalclasssolutions.com/pages/propertysearch

If built with Kitec and not replumbed, you will want to ensure you are getting enough of a discount to make it worth having the replumb done professionally after you buy it.

Review Title Report

You will receive a Preliminary Title report from the Title agency that you selected on your contract. Review the Title report for any inconsistencies, liens, encumbrances or red flags. These documents can be a little confusing, so ask your Title Officer if you have any questions. Title and Escrow Officers are often the same people in the Las Vegas market. Make sure you return the information sheet promptly to your Escrow Officer when you receive it. 

Verify Building Permits

Many property owners (especially flippers) do not hire licensed contractors so you will really want to verify permits issued (or the lack of) if extensive work was done to the home you are purchasing!

Here are your resources for verifying permits:

City of Las Vegas: https://www.lasvegasnevada.gov/Business/Permits-Licenses/Building-Permits/Permit-Application-Status

Clark County: https://citizenaccess.clarkcountynv.gov/citizenaccess/Cap/CapHome.aspx?module=Building&TabName=Building

City of Henderson: https://eportalprod.cityofhenderson.com/ePortalProd/Permit/Search

City of North Las Vegas: http://www.cityofnorthlasvegas.com/departments/ldcs/building_safety.php  

Review Seller’s Real Property Disclosure (SRPD) & Any Other Disclosures

Sellers are required, by law, to disclose property defects. This includes, but is not limited to “non-traditional” sellers: investors, flippers, bank owned entities, etc. There are very few exclusions to this law.

It is important to remember SRPD’s convey with the property and run with title, so this should be a comprehensive disclosure of the property’s history.

Check Crime Statistics

Crime Mapping – https://www.crimemapping.com/ – is an excellent tool. You can plug the address of the home you are purchasing into the website and set yourself up for alerts to be sent directly to your email. Just make sure that you put your current address in the map as well for comparison. There is probably more crime in your own neighborhood than you think, and I wouldn’t want you to walk away from a great property because it looks like they have a lot of crime, when in fact, it may have less crime than your current neighborhood.

Verify Zoning

Verify Zoning with your local zoning office. There is always a lot of new construction in the Las Vegas valley and you will want to make sure that all land zoned around you is acceptable to your needs.

Order a C.L.U.E. Report

A C.L.U.E. report is also known as “Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange”. You may obtain this report from your home insurance providers. Some insurers will provide it for free and some will charge a nominal fee.

You do not want to go through all of this due diligence process to find out in the end that the home you are purchasing is uninsurable due to a large claim in the past.   

Research & Order Your Home Warranty

Having a home warranty can save you from spending a lot of money on replacing water heaters, appliances, and many other systems in your home. I have Dwellness Home warranty. They are local and have their own techs and I think they are great! Many HW companies are terrible, so if you have had terrible experiences in the past, ask me about Dwellness.

Check for Airplane Noise

Is the home you’re buying directly under a common flight path? And if it is, does that bother you when you’re inside?

Review and Turn Around Documentation to Your Lender Promptly

If you are working with a Lender, make sure you turn around paperwork quickly to avoid last minute closing delays. Also, do not make any large credit purchases (like a car) because this could throw off your ratios. Do not open any new lines of credit and believe it or not, don’t close any existing lines of credit… that can cause you issues too.

Obtain Historical Electrical & Natural Gas or Propane Usage

Call the electric and gas providers to check historical usage specific to the house you are purchasing.

Review Nevada Sex Offender Registry

The Nevada Sex Offender Registry is located online: http://www.nvsexoffenders.gov/ Keep in mind that the Las Vegas area is very transient, and people move around often.

Review the Nevada Residential Disclosure Guide (RDG)

Order Uncommon Inspections That Are Specific to the House & Important to You

a)  Lead based paint is hazardous to young children who ingest paint chips. Lead-based paint was outlawed a long time ago and it is extremely difficult to test for paint as it is generally under several layers of paint. There is a good chance that if the home was built prior to 1977 that it does have lead-based paint. You can buy lead-based paint test kits at Home Depot or any hardware store, and if you are really concerned about it, you can hire a professional to do the testing. If there aren’t going to be any young children in the home, it may not be important to you (unless you are prone to eating paint chips).

b)  If the home has a septic system, definitely get the septic professionally inspected.

c) Well or Public Water Quality: Nevada Division of Environmental Protection is a resource to get well water quality testing done: https://ndep.nv.gov/water/lab-certification/drinking-water-testing.  You may also check the SNWA website for additional guidance: https://www.snwa.com/water-quality/treatment-testing/index.html

d) Mold: If moisture or suspicious biological growth was found during your home inspection you may want to find a qualified and experienced mold inspector.

e) Pest: Scorpions, black Widows, pigeons and roof rats are just a few of the common pests in the Las Vegas Valley. You may want to hire a pest inspector that is licensed by the State of Nevada Department of Agriculture. http://agri.nv.gov/Pest-Control/    

Verify Repairs Were Done Correctly

If you have requested the seller to do repairs prior to close, make sure you verify that the repairs are done before you close. Also obtain receipts for those repairs, licensed Nevada contractors must provide a statutory warranty for work done. 

Final Walk Through & Release

A Final-Walk Through & Release is vital at the conclusion of your escrow period. Mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems will fail from time to time during an escrow. I highly encourage all of my clients to do their own walk-through Inspection and test all systems to make sure they are running correctly. I have a checklist for you to complete this walk-through in a thorough manner!

Do you have a need for commercial/industrial/retail buildings or land? Are you ready to buy or sell a home? Do you want a guaranteed cash offer? We can help you with all of that… just call us at 702 SELL NOW or click on this link to my website http://www.702SellNow.com

Choose to have an amazing day….Jeff

Las Vegas Farmers Market -The Pavilion at Downtown Summerlin

Downtown Summerlin is known for many things; the fantastic array of restaurants at all prices ranges and lots of varied cuisines to choose from.  There are also many retail stores to shop in and of course the events that make Downtown Summerlin the hub of the master-plan of Summerlin.

One of the events that happens every Saturday in Downtown Summerlin is the Las Vegas Farmers Market.  The hours are 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.at the Pavilion, 1980 Festival Plaza Drive 89135.

The Las Vegas Farmers Market® features fresh fruits and vegetables from the South West, authentic hand-crafted European style breads and cakes as well as local fresh breads and pastries, blood oranges and many varieties of citrus, asparagus, beets, leaf greens, nuts, pasta, salad mix, fresh cut flowers, bedding plants, avocados, squash, pomelos, bok choy, strawberries, and more. It offers a wide selection of diverse and unusual fruits and vegetables not available through mainstream purveyors. I’m told that this farmer’s market will be the only one in the Las Vegas area where 90 percent of its produce is organic and free of pesticides.

Throughout the season, the market is supposed to host cooking demonstrations, live music, classes dedicated to ecological stewardship and tasting events. The Downtown Summerlin Farmer’s Market will continue at the same time and place each week throughout the year.

Bring your family, tell your friends and make sure to stop by and visit all the friendly farmers.

Do you have a need for commercial/industrial/retail buildings or land? Are you ready to buy or sell a home? Do you want a guaranteed cash offer? We can help you with all of that… just call us at 702 SELL NOW or click on this link to my website http://www.702SellNow.com

Choose to have an amazing day….Jeff