Friday, April 29, 2016

New Listing - 3605 Woodcrest Road, Sacramento (Arden), CA 95821

Elegant 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom, 1,483sf Arden home! You will love the spacious layout, separate living and family rooms, remodeled kitchen with self-closing cabinets, granite counters, and high end stainless appliances, formal dining room with kitchen nook, remodeled bathrooms with new vanities, and tiled tub/shower surrounds. Freshly painted interior, new baseboards and crown moulding. Wood floors, dual pane windows, whole house fan, central heat and air, remote controlled driveway gate. Short distance to shopping, schools, and more! Don't wait! Offered at $335,000. For more photos and information please visit 3605 Woodcrest Road, Sacramento, CA 95821.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

I was featured on the news...Squatters are becoming more common in Sacramento...

It seems like "squatters" have become an issue again. For several years during the housing crash, as many homes sat vacant they were prone to vandalism and break-in. It was not uncommon to encounter people squatting in homes. When values started to go up again and there were not as many vacant properties, it seemed like squatters became less of a problem. Fast forward to today, and squatters seem to be an issue again.

What is a squatter? A squatter is someone who unlawfully enters into a property and stays there without permission from the owner. It is a crime of opportunity, as well as the fact I do think that with the proliferation of smart phone devices squatters can search MLS for vacant property to target.

I encountered squatters at one of my vacant Midtown Sacramento duplex listings a few months ago. I approached the property to install a carbon monoxide detector, and noticed a shopping cart near the front porch. As I got closer I could hear voices inside and footsteps echoing off the hardwood floors. I immediately called the police. Before the 9-1-1 operator could take my information, a police car drove by and I flagged him down. Luckily those squatters did little damage and probably had not been there too long.

I just represented buyers on another Curtis Park triplex property that was broken into and torn apart by squatters. That property was the subject of an ABC Channel 10 news story by John Bartell. You can watch the news story here. Luckily I was able to negotiate a price reduction on the property once we got a full understanding of the extent of the damage, which in this case was extensive. All three HVAC units were stolen. Holes were punched in the walls. All of the copper plumbing and wiring was removed. It was bad.

How can you as a home seller prevent squatters? I highly suggest if you have a vacant property that you give it the appearance that it is occupied. Park a car in the driveway, or ask a neighbor to do so. Make sure your windows have blinds or curtains so people can not see inside. Put a lamp with a plug-in light timer in a few rooms that is set to go on and off during the evening. Keep the grass and landscape trimmed. Make sure you suspend mail so your mailbox does not overflow. Same with the newspaper. Set your alarm and spring for month-to-month monitoring services. Make sure your neighbors are aware the property is vacant and let them know to alert you to any suspicious activity.

A little vigilance goes a long way.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Showed up for home inspections and found a small lake on the side of the house instead...

So I arrived at a Tahoe Park house I have in contract with one of my buyer clients a couple weeks ago to do inspections, and found a lot of water in the gutter out front. My first thought was the seller was over-watering the grass. Then as I got out of the car and approached the house, I could hear the sound of running water. That's not good. I immediately opened the lockbox and went inside the house. Luckily there was no evidence of water inside and I did not see anything leaking in there. I went into the backyard and did not immediately see anything until I went around the side of the house so see what's in the photo...standing water. I found the main water shut-off and turned it off. The sound of the running water, which was coming from under the house, stopped thankfully.

Luckily we caught this early-ish...a roof inspector had visited the house the previous afternoon and said there was no water, so it had been spewing water for much less than a day at the most. This de-railed our inspection plans for the day -- the home inspector and termite inspector have to go under the house, and it was WAY too wet for that.

The seller had a plumbing contractor address the issue under the house where a connection between two pipes had basically blown out. A week later the sub-area of the house had dried out and we completed the home and termite inspections. Both buyer and seller are thankful it was not worse. And my buyer is thankful this happened before she owned the house...

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Checked out the Boise Regional Association of Realtors...

Yeah, I know it's super nerdy, but luckily my husband doesn't mind that I like to check out other Associations of Realtors when we visit other towns. We spent 5 days in Boise checking out the local craft beer scene, the Oregon Trail, birds, the state Capitol, and generally goofing naturally I visited the Boise Regional Association of Realtors. Although we went on a Saturday when their offices are typically closed, they were having a first time home buyer class and welcomed us! Super nice people and a neat facility. I enjoy seeing what other associations do...

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

New Listing - 3052 8th Avenue, Sacramento (Curtis Park area), CA 95817

Adorable 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom, 1,148sf home on a deep lot near Curtis Park in Sacramento! You will love the spacious layout with vaulted ceilings, remodeled kitchen with maple cabinets, stainless appliances, and granite counters. New engineered hardwood flooring in the living areas, new carpet in the bedrooms, and freshly painted interior. Huge backyard is a great blank canvas for your landscaping creativity. Newer central heat and air, newer water heater (both replaced in 2014), and attached garage. Close proximity to the park, schools, fun shops, great eateries, and more! Don't wait! Offered at $364,900. Subject to seller's 1031 Exchange (at no cost to buyer). For more photos and information, please visit 3052 8th Avenue, Sacramento, CA 95817.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Does your electric clothes dryer plug match what is in your future home?

Most often when showing homes, my buyer clients will briefly look in the laundry room to see if the dryer connection is gas or electric. Most often though, they do not realize that not all dryer plugs are the same. Some have 3 prongs and some have 4 prongs in different configurations. If you are looking for a home and have an electric dryer, you may want to check to see what type of plug configuration you have. This client got all moved in to his new Carmichael home and realized the plug on this dryer did not match what was already there. It took a couple days to get an electrician out to the house to change it out.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

New Listing - 2619 Concord Avenue, Davis, CA 95618

Adorable 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom, 1,504sf Davis home on a huge .20ac lot in a great cul-de-sac location. You will love the spacious open layout, separate living and family rooms, vaulted ceilings, and laminate flooring. Large master suite with door to the backyard, large closet and dual sinks in the bathroom. Lots of recent updates including new central heat and air in 2015, new composition roof in 2016, clear pest, and freshly painted interior and exterior. Huge backyard is the perfect blank canvas for your landscaping creativity. Close to UC Davis, award-winning K-12 schools, shopping and more! Don't wait! Offered at $519,000. For more photos and detail, visit 2619 Concord Avenue, Davis, CA 95618.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Things that appraisers believe are adverse conditions that must be repaired prior to closing...Part 1...

As I spent Monday morning painting 2 exterior door frames and trim on one of my listings, I thought of a great idea for a series of blog posts...I think it will be educational to post items that appraisers note in their appraisals as adverse conditions that require repairs prior to funding a buyers and sellers take note!

I should preface all of this by disclaiming that appraisers will have differing thoughts on what will constitute an issue that must be fixed as a condition of making a loan. This is the perfect case in point.

This particular home, a +/- 10 year old home in Natomas, was initially in contract with a buyer who ultimately could not complete the purchase -- that buyer's appraiser did not call out any adverse conditions requiring repairs. The home went back on the market, and the new buyer had to have her own appraisal. That appraiser noted the exposed wood in his appraisal report. On the photos, you will see the worn paint on the photos to the left and them my handiwork to the right. My seller has relocated to another state so I gladly painted this for her. Initially I had planned just to touch up the areas with exposed wood, but the new paint was more vibrant than the existing paint. So I ended up painting the entire exterior door frame and trim. And I think it turned out looking pretty nice.

Appraisers are generally on the look-out for health and safety issues. Missing smoke detectors. Missing carbon monoxide detectors. Unstrapped or improperly strapped water heaters. Missing deck railing. Exposed electrical wiring. Obvious dryrot. You get the idea.

This appraiser was a little picky to call this an adverse condition in my opinion. In my experience, most appraisers will let something like this slide -- as the first appraiser did in this case -- unless it is really bad. By really bad, I mean like there is a significant surface area with exposed wood (more than this anyway), or peeling paint all over the house.

Peeling paint on a home built before 1978 can have other implications (like if may be lead-based paint that requires special remediation), and that is another post for another time.