Ethel M Chocolates Factory & Cactus Garden

The Cactus Garden is open again!  Ethel M Chocolates’ breathtaking Botanical Cactus Garden is Nevada’s largest and one of the world’s most prolific collections of its kind. Based on the English landscape model of naturalistic design, the Ethel M Botanical Cactus Garden features three acres of drought-tolerant ornamental, cacti, and other succulents.

Did you know that over 300 species of plants can be found on the grounds? Half are cacti and succulents largely native to the American Southwest, and the rest are desert trees and shrubs from the Southwestern United States, Australia, and South America. All of these plants were chosen both for the beauty of their floral displays and their ability to adapt to the climate of Southern Nevada.

Ethel M store, factory and gardens are located at 2 Cactus Garden Drive, Henderson, Nevada 89014.  The telephone number is 702-435-2608.  The hours are:
Sunday-Thursday from 9am–6pm
Friday and Saturday from 9am-7pm

Besides the glorious Cactus Garden, you should also visit Ethel M Chocolates factory and have a self-guided tour of the chocolate viewing aisle and see how they make their amazing chocolates. Self-guided tour and Cactus Garden are free and open year-round!

And one of my family’s favorite holiday treats starts November 5.

Go see the holiday lights from 5pm until 10 each night thru January 2.  Stroll through the three-acre cactus garden with over a million lights twinkling & making spirits bright.  I heard you can even have your photo taken with Santa!  (Walk ins are ok, but having a specific reservation eliminates standing in line to see if you can get in.)

And don’t skip a premium Holiday Chocolate tasting experience.  Sip one of the world’s best hot chocolates on (what we consider) a cold winter evening! Plus, you can buy candy boxes for friends and family!

In lieu of collecting toy and food donations this year, a $5 non-refundable donation will be required per group of 6 people when making a garden reservation. The $5 fee will be donated to Three Square Food Bank and HELP of Southern Nevada.

Do you have a need for commercial / industrial / retail buildings or land? Are you ready to buy or sell a home? Do you want 3 cash offers? 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

Halloween Is Celebrated the Whole Month Of October

I love Halloween and kids seem to love it too, so Downtown Summerlin kicks of October with the Parade of Mischief presented by SelectHealth® starting October 1, 2021, through October 30, 2021, Every Friday and Saturday| at 7:00 PM on Park Centre Drive.  The parade fills the streets of Downtown Summerlin with mischievous mayhem featuring dancing zombies, ghosts, witches, wizards, and more!

Pumpkin patches are also one of the highlights of October and Halloween. Bring the kids to pick the perfect pumpkin for a jack-o-lantern and have fun climbing the hay bales. Good luck finding your way through a corn maze. (But don’t worry, there are maps if you need.)  You will be able to get some cute family pictures that the kids will look at and smile. So enjoy the festivities and attraction of the fall festivals that usually are at the  pumpkin patches.  Here are some favorites:

Halloween Towis one of the most popular Halloween events in Las Vegas and has been celebrated for over 20 years. Halloween Town is hosted in three different locations. The original is located at Boca Park, but you can also visit Rainbow & W. Warm Springs, Silverado Ranch and Las Vega Blvd. There are over 30 vintage-themed rides that will pull you back to the 50s. Glides down the giant inflatable slide or explore Las Vegas’s largest pumpkin patch.

Admission here is free, but you will need to purchase tickets or a wristband for your children to go on the rides. (you might as well get the wristband as kids always want to go on rides more than once.)

Gilcrease Orchard is a U-Pick orchard. This fruitful farm in the middle of the desert is thanks to the great care and long family history. This means you can pick the best-looking pumpkin right off the vine for an unbeatable price.

Be sure to download the orchard’s app to help navigate through the farm and pumpkin patches. Once you’ve chosen your perfect Halloween carving pumpkin, you can grab their famous apple cider and donuts for the road.

Moapa Valley Maze and Pumpkin Patch. This patch is an hour out from the iconic strip of Las Vegas; however, it is definitely worth the drive. When you visit Moapa Valley you can expect to have more than your share of fall fun with the family. From a corn maze and petting zoo to pig races, giant Jenga, peddle carts, a zip line and, of course, a pumpkin patch. Entry to the corn maze is $12 and at night it becomes haunted for adults to enjoy.

The Las Vegas Farms hold the annual Farm Fall Harvest Festival that is a blast for all ages. The fun festival consists of a cow train, pony rides, corn mazes and more. At the farm’s pumpkin patch, you can find a selection of squashes and pumpkins. You will be greeted by egg-laying hens and can also purchase a range of homemade, artisan breads, jams and jellies.  You can expect to pay $8 per adult and $4 per child for entrance to this farm.

Staheli Family Farm has a stunning pumpkin patch as well as a corn maze, giant chair, zip line and pig races. You can spend the whole day exploring and making memories at all the attractions.  In the evening, adults can come back for the Field of Screams and Zombie Rampage for a bit of a scare and start their Halloween night. This farm has been in the family for six generations and has just celebrated 20 years of festival fun.

Horses 4 Heroes Ranch – This lovely ranch has a pumpkin patch of already gathered pumpkins for you to seek through and pick your favorite. Here, they host a fall festival to raise money for the Horses 4 Heroes’  fund. There are child-sized hay bale mazes, horse-drawn rides, tractor rides and a trick-or-treat event for kids to take part in. The Horses 4 Heroes Ranch is open from the 3rd to the end of October, giving you plenty of time to join the fun fall madness.

This should give you plenty to choose from.

Do you have a need for commercial / industrial / retail buildings or land? Are you ready to buy or sell a home? Do you want 3 cash offers? 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

The Smith Center Has Reopened!!

Myron Martin, president and CEO of The Smith Center, had his big day on Sept. 14, 2021 it marked the reopening of the city’s center of cultural and performing arts that has been shuttered since March 2020 by the pandemic.

The Smith Center’s ghost light that sits in the center of the stage when the venue is not in use, has been glowing for more than 600 days.  Martin stated “It’s not something we ever contemplated, so to replace the ghost light with the bright lights of in-person performances is exhilarating for so many reasons.”

Not only is Martin excited to welcome patrons of the arts back to The Smith Center, he is beyond thrilled to once again embrace the Center’s family members – staff, employees and volunteers who each contribute to the venue’s success and execution of its many productions. 

Slated for the month of October are two noteworthy Broadway hits Cats with performancesTuesday, Oct. 12 – Sunday, Oct. 17, 2021 and An Officer and a Gentleman Tuesday, Oct. 26 – Sunday, Oct. 31, 2021

Rediscover CATS—the beloved musical with breathtaking music—including one of the most treasured songs in musical theater, “Memory.” Featuring new sound design, direction and choreography for a new generation — experience CATS for the first time as it begins a new life, or let it thrill you all over again!

Based on the Oscar-winning film starring Richard Gere, AN OFFICER AND A GENTLEMAN is a breathtaking production that celebrates triumph over adversity and includes one of the most iconic and romantic endings ever portrayed on screen. Features the Grammy Award-winning, #1 hit single “Up Where We Belong.” 

The one silver lining of the pandemic is all the new development at Symphony Park that is adding new vibrancy to the area.  Two new apartment communities, along with additional parking have come to completion over the past year. “It’s fun to watch nearby residents stroll through the neighborhood. With plans for future restaurants including Vic’s that will open in 2022, Symphony Park is truly taking shape as city leaders envisioned. “Performing arts centers have long been regarded as catalysts for development and The Smith Center is no exception,” said Martin.

The Smith Center, which already has a full schedule of planned performances this fall, including Broadway touring shows, the Las Vegas Philharmonic, Nevada Ballet Theatre and more, has also adopted a vaccine mandate for both guests and staff.  Martin, who sits on a number of industry committees, including the Broadway League and the top 30 performing arts centers in North America, has participated in weekly calls over the past 18 months with a range of experts, including epidemiologists from Harvard, ventilation and touchless system specialists and other leaders from throughout the entertainment world.

For a full schedule of presentation at the Smith Center click here https://thesmithcenter.com/tickets/

Do you have a need for commercial / industrial / retail buildings or land? Are you ready to buy or sell a home? Do you want 3 cash offers? 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

Experts Offer Tips to Make Your Home More Secure

In Southern Nevada, as well as most cities across the country, the news headlines covering rising crime rates are increasing.  With that said homeowners and renters alike, may wonder how to effectively improve the security of their home. If you have been lucky enough to never have been burglarized, then I truly hope you never feel the sheer violation I felt years ago.

The good news is that there are a number of things you can do to keep your home safe and make it less desirable for any would-be intruder without breaking the bank. As sad as it is to say, we are never going to stop burglaries, so your job is to make your house look like more work than your neighbor’s… it sounds kind of crummy to put it that way, but if they look at your house and look at the one next door, well, which would you rather they chose? Here, experts share some simple, inexpensive home security tips that don’t take a lot of effort or money to implement.

Start With Doors And Windows

Advancing the security of your home starts with fortifying your front door. We all have heard about the importance of having a quality deadbolt lock.  However there’s a little more to understand when it comes to the quality of the entire door lock components.

The point of failure for a lock is usually the strike plate or the small piece of metal screwed into the door frame where the actual bolt of your deadbolt lodges into. You want to invest in a stronger strike plate that requires four or six screws to anchor it. Then, buy 3-inch screws to anchor the plate.  This advice comes from Chris McGoey, a Southern California crime expert witness who has analyzed thousands of crime scenes for homeowners and businesses.

“Those 3-inch wood screws can make all the difference in the world,” he said.

An even stronger solution, which costs more money is to have a security door installed. That is one of the things I have done, (with my HOA’s blessing of course).

Mike Johnston, chief security adviser for Boss Security Screens, a Las Vegas Valley-based window covering manufacturer, stated “Fortifying windows is important, too. Johnston is also a former Henderson Police Department captain.

Johnston encourages homeowners to also place a wood or metal bar in all sliding glass doors and windows. If you have a bigger budget, security window coverings are a deterrent as well.  “The No. 1 thing is that you don’t want to make it easy for anyone to enter the home,” Johnston emphasized.

Adjust Your Landscaping

Johnston is certified in Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design by the National Institute of Crime Prevention. CPTED was created to make crime prevention part of the landscape design process. One of the key elements of CPTED is what Johnston calls the “2-foot, 6-foot rule,” meaning shrubs should be no taller than 2 feet off the ground and tree canopies should not hang lower than 6 feet.

Dan Kopec,  an associate professor in UNLV’s School of Architecture, added Thorny bushes like roses near pathways can also be a deterrent. Larger rocks in desert landscaping, while they add thermal gain, are difficult to run across and are a good security choice.

Assess What Passersby See

McGoey says it’s important not to leave visual enticements for anyone casing the area. This can be as simple as leaving your garage door open for long periods of time during the day. In these cases, the door from the garage into the home is usually unlocked as well, and if not, they may just walk up brazenly and take items from the garage. I know we all like a nice breeze during those 2-3 weeks of spring and fall that we get every year in the Las Vegas valley, however, even open windows on the front of the home can be an enticement.

Giving the appearance of activity at your home can deter an intruder. When you’re home, having blinds open so that people can see you moving around inside during the day is good practice, Kopec noted.

Security Plans & Technology

Once you’ve secured access points, some homeowners create an overall security plan for the home. That can include making sure the home is well-lit, alternating lighting schedules, installing security doorbells that let you see and talk to your guest from your phone, and even adding a whole home camera system and/or a home alarm service.

It’s important to view these strategies as “layers” that complement one another, said Johnston, and even the best technology only serves you well if you use it properly and maintain it. A maintenance plan can include:

Regularly trimming trees and shrubs to make sure your home is visible from the street.

Regularly testing alarm systems and technology components.

Having a system of checks in place when you leave the home for windows, doors and systems.

And if all of that unfortunately fails, McGoey also notes that in the event of a burglary you can more easily and accurately identify stolen items, if you have taken photos/videos of items and kept them, along with receipts, in one place (ideally, electronically, such as on a smart phone, hard drive or cloud storage).

Choose to have an amazing day….Jeff

Do you have a need for commercial / industrial / retail buildings or land? Are you ready to buy or sell a home? Do you want 3 cash offers? 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

Fall Landscaping

Here we are in September when the days are gradually getting shorter and the nights grow a little cooler.  This is a good time to start thinking about how you want to handle your fall landscaping.

Maybe you’ve never really put much thought into what your fall landscaping will look like; after all, many people see fall as a time to start prepping for winter and let the look of their landscaping kind of fall by the wayside until spring. Las Vegas does not have too many below freezing nights and with a little bit of TLC, though, you can transform your landscaping and create a striking contrast between spring and fall without having to break the bank or spend all your time working in the yard.

One easy way to do this is to add some new plants to your landscape as the season change approaches. There are a wide range of autumn-hardy plants in both flowering and ornamental varieties, so you should be able to find some options that you like regardless of your preferences.

Flowering Plants

While many people think of flowers as a big part of spring, there are a number of flowering plants that absolutely flourish during the autumn. Many of these flowering plants are available in a wide range of colors, and some are even perennial, so you’ll get to enjoy them year after year. Here are just a few of the fall flowers you might add to your landscaping:

  1. Autumn Crocus
  2. Blue Mist Shrub
  3. Shasta Daisy
  4. Aster
  5. Chrysanthemum

There may be other options that are available here locally in addition to this list above, so be sure to check with your local nurseries to see if they have any recommendations for autumn-blooming flowers.

Ornamental Plants

Flowers are always a welcome addition to landscaping, but there’s something to be said for colorful and hardy ornamental plants as well. Some of these do well throughout the fall and even into the chill of winter, making them favorites when it comes to building up landscaping that will survive colder nights and chilly winter winds. While this is far from an exhaustive list, here are a few ornamental plants that you might consider for your fall landscaping revamp:

  1. Chinese Lantern
  2. Cotoneaster
  3. Ornamental Kale
  4. Purple Fountain Grass
  5. Winterberry Holly

Many plants that work well as ornamental pieces in the fall will also produce beautiful flowers in the spring or early summer, making them staples of your landscaping year-round. In most cases they can be planted either directly in the soil or in containers for an additionally striking look. As with flowering plants, be sure to check to see if there are additional options that do well in Southern Nevada.

Landscaping Revamp

In addition to changing out the flowers in your yard, the fall can be a great time to make other changes to your landscaping as well. Everything from adding garden paths to installing outdoor lighting or planting and removing trees can be done as part of an autumn revamp to your overall landscaping. This can be done alongside floral and ornamental planting to get the most out of your autumn, and by starting in late summer or early fall you can be sure that everything is in good shape before freezing temperatures or other problems arrive.

If you think that a larger landscaping remodel sounds like a great idea alongside some fall planting, and you don’t care to do it yourself, you can just call me – Jeff Howard, your realtor for life, and I can recommend some landscapers to you.

Do you have a need for commercial / industrial / retail buildings or land? Are you ready to buy or sell a home? Do you want 3 cash offers? 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

Artificial Grass Helps to Combat the Drought

As I wrote about a few weeks ago, in June, Governor Steve Sisolak signed into law a measure that would require nearly a third of all of Southern Nevada’s grass to be removed by the end of 2026. The Southern Nevada Water Authority has estimated the measure will save 10 percent of the area’s allocation of water from the Colorado River — about 30,000 acre-feet.  Click here for the link to the post http://www.jeffhoward.net/index.php/2021/07/01/nevada-enacts-ban-on-non-functional-grass/

The law is in response to the drought and water shortage occurring throughout the Southwest and is driving more homeowners to consider artificial turf, which is much more eco-friendly than a natural lawn. Growing and caring for grass requires regular watering and fertilizing that can produce a negative impact on the environment. Installing artificial grass or desert landscaping can conserve water and reduce the carbon footprint.

If you don’t want to have desert landscaping, eco-friendly lawns may be the way to go.

Elizabeth Mullally, general manager at Las Vegas Artificial Lawns, said homeowners are making the change to artificial turf. “I’ve been doing this for 15 years and have never seen anything quite like it,” she said. “We have always been busy, but what is going on now is just unreal with what people are doing to their homes. Usually, I’m booked two weeks in advance. Right now, we’re booked through the end of August.

But it makes sense because this is a home improvement project where SNWA pays you to get rid of grass. You can keep your trees, flowers and bushes but convert the grass, which is a drain on water resources.”

The SNWA will rebate $3 per square foot of grass removed and replaced with desert landscaping up to the first 10,000 square feet converted per property, per year. Beyond the first 10,000 feet, the authority will provide a rebate of $1.50 per square foot. The maximum award for any property in a fiscal year is $500,000. Over the years, the Water Smart Landscapes rebate program has upgraded about 200 million square feet of lawn to water-efficient landscaping, saving billions of gallons of water.

Mullally stated,  “Some prefer a more manicured look like it was just mowed, while others want the yard to look lush like it needs to be mowed in the next couple of days.” 

“When we consult with a customer, we have in-depth conversations to determine which of our 12 products best fits their needs. You don’t need high traffic turf in the front yard, but it’s altogether different in the backyard.” Among the features of the artificial grass installed by Las Vegas Artificial Lawns is its fiber heat reduction technology that lowers surface temperature, evaporative cooling infills, soy-based BioCel coating that replaces petroleum components, antimicrobials infused in the backing to help mitigate pet odors, and nylon products that will not melt from reflective lighting off windows.

Do you have a need for commercial / industrial / retail buildings or land? Are you ready to buy or sell a home? Do you want 3 cash offers? 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

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My Thoughts on The Current Housing Market (or “is the Bubble About to Burst?”)

If you aren’t aware, most of the U.S. is seeing a sharp rise in the cost to buy a home, and in many cities, buyer’s find themselves in one bidding war after another until they finally win (or give up). Some have commented to me that it is reminiscent of 2006… so is a housing crash around the corner? Now I don’t have a crystal ball, but…

I say unlikely.

Now let me explain my answer.

I’ll speak specifically about the Las Vegas housing market, because I know it intimately, however from what I have gleaned from professionals I know around the country, what is happening in Las Vegas seems to be true in most cities in the U.S.

In 2006, home builders were building as fast as they could in Las Vegas, with a sort of “Field of Dreams” mentality that “if you build it, they will come”, and the buyers bought… (until they didn’t anymore). When the Las Vegas market screeched to a halt, there were roughly 50,000 completed vacant residential units (single family homes and condos) with no buyer, and thousands more in some state of incomplete. To put that in perspective for you, (not counting 2005, when the most units were sold in Las Vegas) approximately 3,000-5,000 units sell in our valley each month on average – literally 3,708 in the past 30 days.  In economics we learn that when the supply goes way up – even if the demand does not change, then more sellers are competing for the same number of buyers, so most of them begin to lower their prices… and they lowered them and lowered them.

Additionally, in 2006, you also had money that was super easy to borrow, so very few buyers had any “skin in the game” when they bought a property. In 2006, you could buy a $300,000 house with zero down payment and zero proof of income… in fact, just before the crash, there were loans that let you buy a house and actually walk away with cash in your pocket!

So, when the number for sale properties went up sharply, and sellers were dropping their prices to attract the buyers, the owners that had recently purchased with no down payment, saw the prices of their properties begin to go down. Those people had no down payment to lose… so they just walked away from their new homes, leaving them to be foreclosed on, and add more units for sale to an already over-supplied market. Then prices dropped more and more units went up for sale and priced dropped more and (well, you get the idea).

Builders stopped building almost completely (a few were built here and there) until around 2012, when the inventory finally dried up and houses started to go up in value again. Between 2006 and 2012 a lot of people also consolidated households out of need. The economy was bad so people shared homes with parents, friends or whoever they could to keep expenses down… causing there to be very little need for new homes anyway.

Around 2011, a ton of cash began flowing into the Las Vegas real estate market and in 2012, close to half of the houses purchased in our valley were paid for all in cash by investors scooping up bargains. Many of them had seen the writing on the wall in 2005 and sold their assets and putting their cash “on the sidelines” to wait for this. Wall Street got involved too and hedge funds like Blackstone started buying properties to rent out. Since 2012, close to 1/3 of the houses in the valley have been purchased with all cash, and now, (unless you are a veteran of the armed forces), you pretty much have to have at least a small down payment to buy a house… plus, builders, who learned their lessons, are only building if you give them a down payment, and even if they wanted to build them faster than they could sell them, according to a Wall Street Journal article this past April, we also have too few home builders in the US.

So, with the economy recovered (pre-Covid), combined households, began to realize they wanted their own space, so builders began to build again. But remember, for 6 years, our population grew at a normal rate, but the number of new houses built, stagnated significantly. So now we have a lot of people wanting to own a home, but not enough homes to own.

Then came Covid… along with a moratorium on evictions and foreclosures. Sure there were plenty of people out of work, but believe it or not, there were a fair number of essential workers who had good income and wanted to own their own place, but there were very few for sale because many people who may have thought about selling, just didn’t want a stranger in their house, so they waited… and you did not have people “forced out”, so those did not come on the market.

[January, 2020, just before Covid hit in the Las Vegas valley, saw 23% more homes sold than January 2019 with 23% less homes on the market, and this has actually got worse since then. January 2021 saw 28% more homes sold than the year before and 40% less homes on the market.]

According to a Wall Street Journal article this past June, the U.S has 5.5 million too few homes, currently, and I read another that says if we double the number of homes built from last year, and kept that pace, it would take until 2050 to catch up based on current demand and estimated population growth.

Wow that’s a lot of information and if you didn’t follow it too well, I’m not surprised, so I will sum it up. We need a lot more houses in this country than we currently have (make that a lot more than a lot… actually a lot more than that), so it is highly unlikely based on the laws of supply and demand that the Las Vegas or U.S. housing market is going to crash anytime soon. Individual small markets could certainly be an exception here and there, however that is the overall outlook.

Do you have a need for commercial / industrial / retail buildings or land? Are you ready to buy or sell a home? Do you want 3 cash offers? 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

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My Thoughts on Reverse Mortgages

I recently read an article in Investopedia entitled “5 Signs a Reverse Mortgage Is a Bad Idea” and I thought I might learn something new about reverse mortgages. All I saw was a “glass half full” explanation of them. Let’s be honest, every financial tool is not perfect for every situation, and if you are over 62, you may be considering a reverse mortgage, so let me tell you what I think about them. Then, read other opinions and decide for yourself.

What is a reverse mortgage? Let’s start with what is a mortgage? (just in case). If you are clear what a mortgage is, skip to the next paragraph. A Mortgage (called a Deed of Trust in some states) is a loan, secured by real estate, and they were really made popular after the Great Depression when the time to repay was stretched from 5 years to 30 years. That’s right, many years ago, if you could not pay off your house in 5 years you couldn’t buy one, and the Federal Government stepped in to create the 30 year mortgage in order to increase homeownership. When you buy a home, most people borrow most of the money and the repayment is usually spread out over 30 years. We won’t get too deep into amortized interest here, so suffice it to say that for the first several years, most of your payment goes to pay interest, and a small portion goes to pay down the amount you need to repay (principal). Usually, your real estate taxes and homeowner’s insurance are also bundled into that payment. You also might pay a fee called Mortgage Insurance, which is essentially an insurance policy in case you can’t pay your mortgage and they need to begin collection proceedings. Yes, they can take your home away if you do not pay your mortgage (that’s fair, right?).

So, what is a reverse mortgage? Well, it’s a mortgage that works in reverse… With a mortgage, you start with a high balance, and pay it down. If you stay in mortgage for the full 30 year term and never make extra payments, at the end of the term, you no longer owe a mortgage payment (you still owe real estate taxes and homeowner’s insurance). In a reverse mortgage, you start with a low loan balance (as low as zero if you have paid your house off already) and your balance increases as you receive money. You must start with at least 50% equity, so if your home is worth $400,000 and you owe less than $200,000, you have enough equity. You could also use a reverse mortgage to buy a $400,000 home with a $200,000 down payment and, because the house is going to pay you, you do not need to have good credit or income.

What? Why would I receive money from my house? That sounds like a scam to me!

Based on my conversations with people, there are 4 primary reasons people don’t get a reverse mortgage when they should, and the above reason is

#1. People think it must be a scam, so let me explain why a bank would send you money. Remember, the loan is secured by real estate, and banks are just investors who are in business to make money by loaning it out. And if you remember that you must be 62 or older to obtain a reverse mortgage, then you’ll realize that you are closer to the end of your life than the beginning, and reverse mortgage is only valid while you are alive and living in the home. When you die, the bank loan must be paid off. The 2 most common ways this happens is that your heirs pay off the loan by getting a new mortgage, or they sell the property. If there is any money left over after selling it, the heirs get to keep it. However (and this is pretty cool) if there is not enough money from the sale to pay off the loan, your heirs do not owe the difference. Now you can see, it makes business sense for a bank to offer a reverse mortgage.

#2 (THIS IS FALSE) People think the bank will eventually foreclose on me and kick me out! As long as you are alive and living in the home, the bank cannot take it away from you. The worst thing they can do is stop sending you money if they have sent you the maximum they originally agreed upon, and very often, by the time they have sent you that amount of money, the home has gone up substantially in value, however it is possible that you stop receiving money. In fact, if you really beat the odds and live to a healthy 150 years old, the bank will just have to wait until you die (or voluntarily move), in order to get the mortgage paid back. Of course, interest will continue to accrue, but remember, your heirs do not owe the difference if the sale does not bring in enough to pay what is owed.

What if you are still alive and want to move? Just like any home you own with a mortgage, sell the home, pay off the mortgage, and move. No problem. Which brings me to reason

#3. There are high upfront fees to get a reverse mortgage. Now these high fees, spread out over many years, seem reasonable to me. And let’s be honest, when I die, I can’t take the rest of the money with me, so personally, I am ok with spending that money today to not have a house payment in my later years and create some additional income. Which brings me to reason

#4 If you get reverse mortgage, you are spending your children’s inheritance (or at least some of it). This is a true statement! The more you spend while you’re alive, the less your heirs will receive when you are gone. So here is how I view this; when you’re gone, (depending on what you believe) you will not get to watch them spend it anyway, so if you want them to enjoy your money, why not have them enjoy it with you? Get the reverse mortgage and use the money to spend your last years creating wonderful memories with the ones you love! Also, as a parent, I believe it is my job to teach my children the life skills they need to surpass my accomplishments, not to just leave them a pile of money when I am gone.

Closing thoughts:

I am not 62 yet, and at some point, after I turn 62, I fully intend to get a reverse mortgage. I have paid into my home for years and I will feel good when it pays me back.

To be clear, there are legitimate reverse mortgages and there are certainly reverse mortgage scams out there too, so if you want to talk to a reputable reverse mortgage lender, just let me know and I will be happy to recommend someone, after all I’m Jeff Howard – you’re Realtor for life.

Do you have a need for commercial / industrial / retail buildings or land? Are you ready to buy or sell a home? Do you want 3 cash offers? 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

Matching Cabinet Hardware

New Hardware

Whether you have knobs, pulls, handles, or some other hardware, you need to have some way to access your cabinets. If your cabinets are relatively new, that hardware is probably fairly modern. However, if you have older cabinets, and you have new cabinets in the same area of your home you may want to match the hardware of the new and old cabinets.

However if your old hardware needs replacing since they have been broken or dinged up over time, this situation can be stressful, especially if you’re not sure where to start. While your success will depend on the specific pieces that you’re looking for and how recently they were manufactured, here’s some info that will hopefully point you in the right direction if you find yourself on a hardware hunt.

The Need to Match HardwareWhy do you need to match old cabinet hardware, anyway? There are a few reasons. The most common is that handles and knobs sometimes become damaged or break over time, especially if the cabinets see frequent use. You may also find yourself adding new cabinets or other fixtures that you want to match as closely to the older cabinets as possible, including similar finishes and hardware. In some cases it may even be a matter of hardware being removed to repair or replace cabinet doors and then getting lost or accidentally tossed out. Whatever the reason, you want matching hardware, and it doesn’t seem to be available in stores anymore.

Sources for Older HardwareWhen trying to match old hardware, it’s important to start by checking if it’s actually available. Visit cabinet or woodworking shops in your area with pictures of the hardware you need (or the actual hardware itself) to see if anyone can recognize it and know where to order it. If that doesn’t pan out, check the internet; there are a lot of stores online that specialize in older items, and this can include out-of-production hardware and other materials. Even if you can’t find the specific hardware from its original manufacturing run, you may be able to locate visually similar reproductions that will at least match the look of your existing hardware.

Mixed Hardware

If that doesn’t work, spend some time searching online auction sites to see if you can find the hardware that you’re looking for there. While online auctions can be a mixed bag, there are a lot of people who post used or out-of-production items that they have a surplus of to make some money off things that they no longer need. It may be worth checking a few times on different days, as new items are listed all the time, and you never know when someone is going to list that handle or knob that you need for a few dollars.

Unable to Find a Match?Unfortunately, there may be some cases where you simply can’t find a match for your old cabinet hardware no matter how hard you try. If this happens, you typically have two options: You can upgrade all your hardware to a new style, or you can find something that complements your existing hardware to create a mix-and-match arrangement. It basically comes down to whether you want to upgrade some of your existing hardware or all of it with something a bit newer. You can choose pieces that complement your cabinets, hardware that goes well with sinks and other fixtures in the room, or even something significantly more modern than the cabinets to create a visual contrast between the cabinets and the hardware. Regardless of what you choose, be sure to pick something that you enjoy.

Of course, if you decide that the cabinets themselves could use an upgrade too- remember Jeff Howard , your realtor for life, is here to help you.  I can help you find contractors and other pros who can give your rooms the new cabinets or other solutions that you need.

Do you have a need for commercial / industrial / retail buildings or land? Are you ready to buy or sell a home? Do you want 3 cash offers? 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

Nevada Enacts Ban On ‘Non-Functional’ Grass

One thing that will soon become unforgivable in Las Vegas is useless grass.

There is a new Nevada law that will outlaw about 31 percent of the grass in the Las Vegas area.  This effort is to conserve water amid a drought that’s drying up the region’s primary water source: the Colorado River.

Other cities and states around the country have enacted temporary bans on lawns that must be watered, however legislation signed a couple of weeks ago by Governor Steve Sisolak makes Nevada the first in the nation to enact a permanent ban on certain categories of grass.

Sisolak said last week that anyone flying into Las Vegas viewing the “bathtub rings” that delineate how high Lake Mead’s water levels used to be can see that conservation is needed.  Sisolak stated “It’s incumbent upon us for the next generation to be more conscious of conservation and our natural resources — water being particularly important,”

The ban targets “non-functional turf” according to the Southern Nevada Water Authority. It applies to grass that virtually no one uses at office parks, in street medians and at entrances to housing developments. It excludes homes, parks and golf courses.

The measure will require the replacement of about 6 square miles of grass in the metro Las Vegas area. By ripping it out, water officials estimate the region can conserve 10 percent of its total available Colorado River water supply and save about 11 gallons per person per day in a region with a population of about 2.3 million.

John Entsminge, General Manager of Southern Nevada Water Authority, stated  “Replacing non-functional turf from Southern Nevada will allow for more sustainable and efficient use of resources, build resiliency to climate change, and help ensure the community’s current and future water needs continue to be met.

The ban was passed by state lawmakers with bipartisan support and backing from groups like Great Basin Water Network conservation group and the Southern Nevada Homebuilders’ Association, which wants to free up water to allow for projected growth and future construction.

When the ban takes effect in 2027, it will apply only to Southern Nevada Water Authority jurisdiction, which encompasses Las Vegas and its surrounding areas and relies on the Colorado River for 90 percent of its water supply.

The ban came as the seven states that rely on the over-tapped Colorado River for water — Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming — consider  the prospect of a drier future.

Lake Mead and Lake Powell, the two reservoirs where Colorado River water is stored, are projected to shrink this year to levels that would trigger the region’s first-ever official shortage declaration and cut the amount allocated to Nevada and Arizona.

In Arizona, farmers in Pinal County south of Phoenix have had to stop irrigating their fields because of the cuts. Nevada stands to lose about 4 percent of its allocation, although the state has historically not used its entire share.

I think we should all pray to the water gods and do a rain dance. It might not help, but it won’t hurt, since we need a lot of rain and snow in the southwest over the next few years to feed our rivers and lakes.

Do you have a need for commercial / industrial / retail buildings or land? Are you ready to buy or sell a home? Do you want 3 cash offers? 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