Monday, May 20, 2019

Buyers - you should rekey your newly purchased home!

You just closed escrow and got the keys to your newly purchased home, yay! But who else might have the key too? Even if a seller has turned over all the keys in their possession, you as a new homeowner have no idea if that seller gave a copy of the key to a family member, or a neighbor, contractor doing work at the property, or hid a spare under a rock in the front yard.

Replacing all of the lock hardware in a house can cost a several hundred dollars. Most homes have at least a front door, back door, and door into a garage...three new locksets are expensive! And some homes would need more than three. But there is a much less expensive way.

Some new home owners do not understand that in order to rekey a lock, the entire lock-set does not need to be changed out. A good locksmith can reuse existing locks, reconfigure the inner-workings, and make a new key that fits. 

And scheduling a locksmith to come out, rekey locks and make you copies of new keys is more like $125-$150. This is a small price to pay for added security at your new home.

Monday, May 6, 2019

Quoted in a Sacramento Bee article this weekend about the spring Sacramento real estate market...

I was quoted in a Sacramento Bee article by Tony Bizjak over the weekend about the local market conditions. True to the norm for this time of year, the Sacramento area real estate market is going nuts. It's spring. And this is what predictably happens here every year. And in the hot (temperature) part of the summer, things will likely slow down a little, and that too will be normal and part of the predictable Sacramento real estate cycle.

In any market, the key is to be strategic.

If selling, how does the home present online and in person? If the property does not look amazing, buyers may not be as interested or willing to pay market value. Is it priced correctly and in line with comparable sales? If it is not priced correctly, you will miss your target buyer audience. Have you properly disclosed inspection reports, known material facts, and issues up front? Not disclosing potential issues up front before and during contract negotiation will be an engraved invitation for a renegotiation later. Are you realistic in your expectations? Most homes do not sell to the unicorn bay area buyer over-paying with all cash.

If buying, what are your short and long term goals? Are you rushing into things? Contemplate your options. The best decisions are usually not made impulsively. Are you comfortable with this monthly payment in the event of an economic issue? Don't get in over your head. Are you doing enough due diligence and property investigation? Inspect, inspect, INSPECT. Please know what you are buying before you close the transaction. What are the comparable sales? Is the listing over or under priced? Look at comparable sales with your agent and make an appropriate offer whether that is below the listing price or above. Sorry, looking at Zillow doesn't count. What does the seller need out of the transaction? Especially in competitive situations, tailor your offer to the seller's needs - often, the right terms may be a win for the seller over highest price. Are you realistic in your expectations? I know your parents, favorite uncle, and BFF said to make a lowball offer because that is what they did 30 years ago or that's what worked in Texas or what they saw on HGTV, but seriously that may be a total waste of your time.

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

New Listing - 6700 Flaming Arrow Drive, Citrus Heights, CA 95621

Lovingly maintained 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom, 1,693sf Citrus Heights home is ready for a new owner! You will love the spacious, open layout with separate living and family rooms, and formal dining room. Updated open kitchen faces family room and also looks outside to the backyard. Large bedrooms with lots of storage. Master suite opens to the backyard and features lots of closet space, and a remodeled master bathroom. Ceiling fans and laminate flooring throughout. Big, nicely landscaped yards are great for entertaining with lots of sunny space to garden or play! Other great attributes include dual pane windows, whole house fan, composition roof, central heat and air, and 2-car attached garage with extra wide driveway. Section 1 and 2 pest clearance. All this located in proximity to parks, schools, shopping and with convenient freeway access for your commute! Don't wait! MLS# 19024125. For more photos and information please visit 6700 Flaming Arrow Drive, Citrus Heights, CA 95621.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

New Listing - 2016 Starboard Way, Roseville, CA 95678

Lovingly maintained 4 bedroom, 2 bathroom 1702sf Roseville home is ready for a new owner! You will love the spacious open layout, vaulted ceilings, separate living and family rooms, formal dining room and kitchen nook, remodeled kitchen with stylish cabinets, under-mount stainless sink and synthetic countertops. Master suite features a large walk-in closet, dual sinks, and lovely sliding door to the backyard. New laminate flooring throughout, dual pane windows, composition roof, central heating and air, attached 2-car garage, section 1 and 2 pest clearance. Big backyard shed provides lots of extra storage space. Huge manicured backyard is the perfect spot for entertaining with a large covered patio and plenty of sunny places to garden or play. All this close to award-winning schools, shopping, easy freeway access and more! Don't wait! MLS#19022355. Offered at $405,000. For more photos and detail please visit 2016 Starboard Way, Roseville, CA 95678.


Wednesday, April 10, 2019

New Listing - 8012 Briar Ridge Lane, Citrus Heights, CA 95610

Stunning and rare loft unit in Almaden Place in Citrus Heights! This unit has 2 bedrooms+ loft, 2.5 bathrooms, and approximately 1528sf. You will love the nice updates throughout, such as custom shutters, dual pane windows, updated kitchen with granite counters, laminate flooring, spacious and open living and dining room with a serene deck retreat. Upstairs on the 2nd level you will find dual master suites with remodeled bathrooms, new vanities, granite counters and custom tub/shower surrounds. On the 3rd level there is a large loft with vaulted ceilings - perfect for a home office, craft room, game area or 3rd bedroom. Newer HVAC, 2-car garage, low-maintenance patio yard. Section 1 & 2 pest clearance. The grounds at Almaden Place are private and perfectly manicured, featuring a pool/spa area, tennis court and pristine clubhouse. Located off the beaten path yet close proximity to shopping, schools, parks and more. Don't wait! Offered at $269,900. HOA dues $250/month. This is a PUD, not a condo, so FHA and VA financing are ok. MLS# 19018288. For more photos and detail please visit 8012 Briar Ridge Lane, Citrus Heights, CA 95610.

Thursday, March 7, 2019

New listing - 2671 Aramon Drive, Rancho Cordova, CA 95670

Adorable, renovated 3 bedroom, 1 bathroom, 1229sf Rancho Cordova home! You will love the light and bright spacious floorplan with freshly painted interior, wood flooring throughout, and dual pane windows with custom shutters. Updated kitchen with white cabinets, laminate counters, newer appliances, and new flooring. Formal dining room, large bedrooms, newly remodeled hallway bathroom with new vanity, dual sinks, tiled tub surround, and custom storage cabinet. Enclosed rear patio makes an ideal home office, workout or play room (not included in the home's square footage). The backyard has a large storage shed, and lots sunny spaces for gardening, BBQ, or recreation. Section 1 and 2 pest clearance and roof certification recently completed. Located in close proximity to shopping, restaurants, schools and public transportation. Don't wait! Offered at $289,000. For more photos and detail, please visit 2671 Aramon Drive, Rancho Cordova, CA 95670. MLS# 19010557

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Planning to sell a home that one of my buyers may like?

It's mid-February in Sacramento. And, like our seasonal real estate cycles typically predict, it is that wonderful time of the year when home buyers really get motivated to buy, and sellers start to prep their homes for sale...the perfect storm when buyers are ready to go, but there is not quite yet an abundance of housing inventory on the market for buyers to choose from. Which brings me to today's post...do you have a home that you would like to sell that my buyers would like to buy? I am working with some really well-qualified (pre-approved!), amazing people...

Buyer A
Seeking a home in the Arden / Arcade, Carmichael, or Fair Oaks areas. In a perfect world, the property would have 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, 1600sf or larger, a built-in pool, AND an Accessory Dwelling Unit for a multi-generational situation. An ADU is also commonly referred to as a "granny flat", "in-law unit", or "studio". A home with room to add an ADU may also work, or they are also willing to retrofit some existing space to create an ADU. They are pre-approved up to $500,000.

Buyer B
Seeking a home in the Tahoe Park, Tallac Village, Hollywood Park, or surrounding areas. Ideally the property would be a 2 bedroom, 1 bathroom home of 900sf or larger, be pretty turn-key and not need a lot of work, but this buyer would happily do some minor repairs, replace flooring and paint if need be. This buyer is pre-approved up to $335,000.

Buyer C
Seeking a home in the East Sacramento, Land Park, or Midtown Sacramento areas. They would prefer something with architectural character that is walkable. They are down-sizing and a 2 bedroom, 1 bathroom home of 1200sf+ would be great. A second bathroom would be a bonus. Ideally the home has an open layout where the kitchen is open to the living area. A garage is a must, and they'd also love a basement too but that is not required. They are pre-approved up to $600,000.

Buyer D
Seeking a home in the South Land Park, Pocket / Greenhaven, or Little Pocket areas. They would love a 4 bedroom home, but are also fine with a 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom home of at least 1200sf. A half-plex would also be ok too. The house must have a decent-sized yard for their soon-to-be adopted dog. They are pre-approved up to $350,000.

Buyer E
Seeking a newer home (2014 or newer, but not new construction) in Roseville or Rocklin areas at least 4 bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms, and 2000sf+, and with a good-sized yard (aka, larger than just a patio). They are doing a tax-deferred 1031 Exchange and are all cash buyers. By the rules of their exchange, they need to spend a minimum of $500,000 and a max of $550,000.

So anyway, if you own a home something like what I have described here and are thinking about selling it, drop me a line at erin@erinstumpf.com or 916-342-1372! My buyers would love to hear about it. And if it is not a great fit for one of them, I can help you prep your home for sale and list your home as well.

Monday, February 11, 2019

Ramifications of jointly purchasing a home with a non-spouse...

Home buyers come in all shapes and sizes. A home buyer could be a single person. Or a married couple...Or an unmarried couple. Maybe two friends. Two siblings. Parent and child. You get the idea. But let's be real. There is a lot to consider when purchasing a property, and potentially a lot more to discuss when you are purchasing a home with someone who is not your spouse.

When buying a home with a spouse, your finances are usually at least somewhat co-mingled. California is a community property state, so a home purchased likely belongs to both of you equally no matter who brings what to the table financially.

But hey, it's 2019, and not every deeply committed couple gets married. Or perhaps two BFF's decide to purchase a home to be able to afford a nicer or larger place than one could afford individually. Or parent and adult child decide to jointly buy a home so grandma can watch the kids while adult child is working. I have worked with buyers in all of these scenarios and more.

But let's talk about the ramifications of making a large joint purchase for a minute. A home is a large asset to own jointly. If you are planning to buy a home with someone, you should have a pretty candid discussion the other person about your intended mutual financial arrangements and obligations owning a home together. And, if you were to separate, you should talk about how you would divest yourselves from it.

The road to hell is paved with good intentions. Couples who are deeply committed do separate sometimes. BFFs maybe eventually get married and want to move somewhere else with their new spouse. Or grandma gets tired of constantly having the grandkids around and wants a place of her own.

It can be a tough conversation to have. Buying a home is exciting, and this conversation can be a real buzzkill. It's as exciting of a conversation to have as, for example, creating a prenuptial agreement. But it is a really necessary conversation to have so everyone has the same expectations.

You should be thinking about this stuff and get mutual clarity on:
-Who is making what percentage of the downpayment?
-Who is paying what percentage of closing costs?
-Who will make what percentage of the monthly mortgage payment, utilities, HOA dues, property taxes, insurance, etc.
-Will this be a 50-50 ownership? Or some other percentage? Perhaps you may not want a 50-50 ownership if one of you will carry more of the financial load.
-How will you hold title to the property? (Married couples usually are "Joint Tenants" where essentially both owners collectively own 100% of the real property, and in the event of the death of one owner, the surviving owner retains 100% ownership. It might make sense to explore other forms of vesting, like for example "Tenancy in Common" where each owner owns an individual interest in the property. That interest could be sold on its own. There is also no right of survivorship, such that one interest does not automatically go to the other owner upon death and could be bequeathed to a beneficiary.) You should consult a CPA or an attorney on that one.
-Who will pay for repairs or improvements to the property?
-How will you decide who gets to deduct mortgage interest, property taxes, and other house-related deductible expenses on your state and federal income taxes (if applicable)? If you are unmarried, each owner will be filing a separate tax return.
-And most unexcitingly, if you were to separate and want to sell the property, would you split the net proceeds down the middle? Or would you want to first recoup your downpayment, closing costs, repair costs, and then split it? Or if you have individual ownership interests in the property, and one wants to sell his/her interest, should the remaining owner have any input as to who the new co-owner would be?

It's not exactly fun to discuss the termination of anything (especially a relationship or friendship), but it is also best to be on the same page now. It might be worth it to even draft an agreement relating to this sort of thing...

I know, buzzkill. But if you don't feel comfortable enough to have this conversation before making your purchase, perhaps you should rethink your purchase with your potentially joint co-owner.

As an agent, I see these scenarios play out all the time. Everyone is excited and happy to make the purchase. But then when things go south, it is a tense situation and nobody is on the same page when it is time to sell the property. Things are usually a little more straight-forward when a married couple separates (usually joint tenants, usually proceeds of a sale are split down the middle, if spouses do not agree usually divorce attorneys or judge help to steer the decision-making), however when people are unmarried it can get messy quickly.

Save yourself the trouble and think about these things in advance.