Five Steps to Create the Kitchen of Your Dreams

When you decide to remodel your kitchen, follow these steps to design the space you have been dreaming about:

  1.  Create a budget:  It is important to determine how much you are willing to spend to achieve your ideal kitchen.    If you need basic upgrades or a complete remodel, setting your budget will help create a realistic plan from the start.
  2. Think about what you need and what you want:  Think about how you use the kitchen.  Do you do a lot of baking and need more counter space for rolling out confections?  Would you like to have a stone oven for your homemade pizza?  There is one area that everyone should update-the kitchen faucet.  Because it sees so much use on a daily basis, think about ways to make tasks easier, like installing a new pull down faucet.  No matter what the task, you will quickly notice the difference made by this simple update.  Beyond a new faucet, here are some of the most popular items for the kitchen:  A chef’s stove is a dream appliance.  Use soft, neutral colors in the kitchen.  Purchase stainless steel appliances.  A custom pantry is a popular kitchen storage item, followed by a utensil drawer.
  3. Research and plan:  Sources for ideas and inspiration are infinite, especially online.  Visit sites like Pinterest and Houzz that provide design concepts for your new kitchen.  Visit a kitchen showroom .  Magazine articles and features can also provide valuable how-to information.
  4. Determine your approach:  Will you hire a professional or do most of the work yourself?  Moving walls or doing electrical work is best left to licensed contractors and electricians.  You may be comfortable installing a new faucet or painting your new space, but remember that when you do-it-yourself, fixing one thing may lead to other jobs that need to be accomplished.
  5. Get to work:  With the perfect plan and a list of updates to incorporate, you will be able to create your new kitchen space.

How to Price Your Home to Sell

Getting the price right is the most important factor when you are putting your house on the market.  Here are some hints for setting the price just right:

1.  Look for information about similar homes that have sold and closed escrow, those that are in escrow, and those that are presently on the market.  The location, condition, amenities should be close to those of your house.  We are in an area where many homes are custom and have unique floor plans.  Even the best comparable homes are not just like your home.  Only in a tract or condo development will the homes have identical floor plans.  I usually look at homes of similar square footage, using a range based on the size of my client’s home.  If the subject property is 2500 square feet, I would probably search in sizes ranging from 2100 to 2900 square feet.  Some of the homes found will have additional bedrooms and bathrooms and I will make adjustments to the price based on statistics obtained from the Multiple Listing Service.  The presence of an ample backyard is a big factor.  A swimming pool, I have found, is a feature that usually does not add value or subtract value for most buyers.

2. Time on the market is an important factor.  In a normal market homes should sell within thirty days if they are priced correctly.

3.  When pricing your home, try not the be at the top of the price range for similar competing homes; this is a factor often overlooked by homeowners and agents.

4.  If you put your home on the market and you are having a lot of viewings, but no sale, your price is probably too high.  If you are getting very few showings, there may be something wrong with the property itself.

5.  If your home is not in escrow within the first thirty days on the market, I recommend cancelling the listing and re-listing it, rather than simply lowering the price.  Homes that are new on the market, or appear to be new on the market, always get more attention and are many times e-mailed out to prospects put into the system by their respective agents.

6.  Look at the situation often, as new houses come on the market and hopefully many are selling, as well.

Contact me for a complimentary market evaluation of your home!

De-clutter Your Home

Consider this list of creative ways to de-clutter your home:

1. Give yourself 5 solid minutes: Put at least twenty-five items away in five minutes.  If the item does not have a home, or is no longer needed, place it in a donation box.  2. Give away one item each day. This is manageable de-cluttering, simply done one item at a time.  3.  Fill one trash bag: This is an easy way to process excess papers and packaging that is no longer necessary.  When the bag is full, you are done with that task.   4.  Try the Closet Hanger Experiment: To identify wardrobe pieces to clear out, hang all your clothes with the hangers in the reverse direction.  After you wear an item, return it to the closet with the hanger facing the correct direction.  After six months, you will have a clear picture of which clothes you can easily discard.   5.  Take the 12-12-12 Challenge: A simple task of locating twelve items to throw away, twelve items to donate, and twelve items to be returned to their proper home can be a really fun and exciting way to quickly organize thirty-six things in your house. You can select a smaller number for children to process.  6. The Four-Box Method: As you set out to de-clutter an area, set up four boxes:  trash, give away, keep, and relocate.  Each item in every room is placed into one of the four categories.  No item is passed over; each is considered individually.  Some projects may take an hour and others may take days or weeks but the technique and principles remain the same.  No matter what you choose to help you get started – whether it be one of these six or one of countless others – the goal is to take your first step with excitement behind it.  There is a beautiful world of freedom hiding behind that clutter.

Taking Care of an Empty House

Often we have listings of homes for sale or lease that are vacant for a few months.  Sitting vacant is probably one of the worst things that can happen to a house.  I make sure I or the owner visit empty listings at least once a week.  Here are some things to be sure to check.

Run the water: Every time I show the home or am checking the home, I run the water in the bathrooms, kitchen, laundry room, etc. and flush all the toilets.  If this is not done sewer gases will accumulate in the drains and when someone occupies the house and starts using the shower or toilet, a very foul odor will permeate throughout the house.

Run the garbage disposal: Some garbage disposals tend to freeze up when not used; run the disposal when you turn on the kitchen faucet.

Toilet lids: Another thing to be aware of is that if the lids on the toilets are closed, mildew accumulates in the toilet bowls and is unsightly for a prospective buyer or lessee.  Put the seats down but leave the lids up is my advice.

Air out the house: Open windows and doors periodically to get rid of that vacant house smell.

Check the smoke detectors: If you hear a chirping noise it is probably one of the smoke detectors needing new batteries; this is an aggravation for people viewing the house as well as being a possible breach of safety.

Be sure to lock all doors: One of my worst fears is that someone will move into a vacant home; it can take years to get them out.  Plus, think of how scary it would be to enter a house and find someone there.

Check the yard: Sometimes, the sprinklers get out of whack and some parts of the yard are not getting any water.  This leaves dead grass areas that are unsightly.

Check the gutters: Take a look at the rain gutters to make sure they are not full of leaves and other debris.  If the gutters are full and there is a rain storm, water will flow over to the edge of the roof and can cause a lot of damage.

Check around the front door: Remove any free newspapers, magazines or door hangers that have been delivered since your last visit.

Check the lights: Most showings are during the day, but some are after dark, and it can be pretty creepy for the agents and their clients if there are some lights that do not operate.  Usually, a light bulb just needs replacing.

 

 

Taking care of your empty house will likely bring a higher price in a shorter time.

 

Home Is Never Far Away

The majority of renters who plan to buy a home soon don’t expect to move far when they do. More than half will stay in the same county, if not the same neighborhood.


Interesting 90275 ZIP Code Facts

The 90275 zip code is the City of Rancho Palos Verdes.  There are 15,633 households of which 76% are owner occupied; 66% are married; 39% have children.   The median home sales price is $845,000.  The median age of the inhabitants of this zip code is 32.37 years; 33% have bachelor degrees and 23% have graduate degrees.  82% are white collar workers, mostly in service industries and most commute by car thirty-one minutes to their places of work.

This information was obtained from the Realist tax portion of our Multiple Listing Service and though believed to be accurate, is not guaranteed.