Stacy and Nicole's Blog

21
Sep

Empty Nesting Can Be The Besting!

empty nest

Today I will speak of a subject that I know very well….The dreaded empty nest.  As we are raising our children we dream of the day that they will be grown, happy, and on their own. After all, if they are, we have done our job right? Then the time actually comes and you find yourself aimlessly walking around a big house, quiet, lonely and with no one to pick up after. You and your spouse, who by the way feels the same way, look at each other from across the couch with the “What do we do now?” looks on your faces. Well, the way I see it, we have two choices. We can play the echo game down the empty halls and vacant bedrooms  (hello, hello, hellooooo) or we can get out there and enjoy what life has to offer!! After all…. we have a whole lot of years left, it’s time to reconnect with your best friend and go have some fun! Here are a few ways to get that party started!

Create a Dream Board- The first thing that you and your spouse should do is create a dream board! Pull out books and magazines, maps and and old photos of the things that you did before the children… Now is the time for you guys to daydream…. No, the years of raising kids did not suck the life out of you! Put your imagination caps back on and light that fire under each other , this is an exciting time!

middle-aged-couple-reading-laptop-blue-and-white1_2

Reacquaint With Your Spouse- Let’s face it, raising children not only ages us, but it changes our perspective on life. Many times we find with the sleepless nights, working hard to try and feed and clothe them and scurrying to keep up with their busy schedules that we haven’t had time to really share our new found thoughts and desires with our spouses. Remember a long time ago, it was just the two of you… best friends, in it to win it, ride or die kind of love…. Now it’s time for the two of you to jump back on that bike called life, feel the wind in your hair and pull the bugs out of your teeth together!

motorcyle couple fun

Get MOVING- Ok…. now we have some free time to fill… Get of the couch!! Do you guys love Country music? How about line-dancing classes? You’d rather be outdoors you say? Then I say it’s time to buy that travel trailer you’ve always talked about. That is exactly what my husband and I did and we couldn’t love it more! The awkward silence while sitting on the couch watching T.V is not the same as the silence cuddled under the stars and around the campfire together!

Young couple sitting at a campfire in the evening, lake Ottenstein, Lower Austria, Austria, Europe

Play- Play, play, play. Play music, play board games, play cards, play golf, play tennis, play hide and seek for gosh sakes…. who cares…. just remember what it’s like to feel young and laugh!

fun

Get Healthy- Have a goal, whether you need to lose a few or just need to start exercising… Do it together. After all, you two have a lot of years to spend together and those grand kids will start coming soon! You’re going to need to stay active to keep up and watch them grow! Plus, when you feel better, you do better!!

hiking together

Now, if you really take our fist 5  suggestions and you find yourself suddenly having a good time, laughing and carrying on in that big old house and just decide it’s too much up keep for your new fancy free lifestyle…. You need to call us! We will get that house sold in no time and find you a more manageable home for you to enjoy for the years to come!!

Orange County homes

20
Sep

Are we moving into a Buyer’s Market?

Hi Friends,

Orange County homes

If you find yourself reading this blog, it means you are a very important person to us in one way or another.  As your expert Orange County Realtors, we’d like to have a very candid conversation with you. A good agent is an honest agent, even if it means waiting for a paycheck…(remember we’re being candid )
So here’s the cold hard truth, our market is changing quite rapidly and home values are coming down. We typically start to see this after a long run of a seller’s market when values peak, which we’ve been in for several years now. In our experience and with all the research that we do, we can confidently say that we are seeing the trend migrate towards a buyers market. Also, with interest rates rising, inventory increasing and a very unsettling presidential election we see the buyers hesitating due to uncertainty as well. All of these will result in longer days on the market for sellers. So, for our friends who have been thinking about selling, but aren’t really sure it’s the right time, I strongly believe that if you hesitate much longer you’ll have to wait another 5-7 years before you could try to sell it again in order to get the money you are wanting today out of your home now…and that is if the market rebounds to today’s market value again. 5-7 years is the typical turn around time. With that being said, as your friends and advisors, we strongly urge you to ask yourself the question, “Do I want to stay or do I want to sell?”
If your answer is sell… then pick up your phone and let’s get the party started!
As for our buyer friends, interest rates are still low and people buy homes in all types of markets and for different reasons and we know, because we sell them! If you are ready, then now is the time…But if you are merely thinking of buying and are not quite ready, WAIT. Use this time, save more money and firm up any credit issues. We believe that next year is going to be a much better market for our buyer friends!!

Don’t forget, We are here to help you meet your goals, whatever they may be.  We can’t wait to work with you!

06
Sep

A Great Big List of Things to Do Before You Sell Your Home

First impressions are everything when selling your home. Making sure that your potential buyer is comfortable and not only enjoys the tour of your home, but wants to make it their own, is a pretty simple task. Here are a few things that you can do to ensure a great experience for the buyer and not only multiple offers, but top dollar for your listing!

  1. SAY NO TO CLUTTER- My golden rule is, if you haven’t touched it for 6 months and you do not need it for daily living, PACK IT UP! Buyer’s want to imagine themselves and their things in a home when they are looking. Plus, you are moving, it’s going to make the process so much easier for you when the time comes… You’re welcome 🙂
  2. CLEAR OFF COUNTER SPACE- Clear off those kitchen and bathroom counters and wipe them clean! Less stuff of yours, makes the buyer feel that there is more space for theirs!
  3. DE-PERSONALIZE THE WHOLE HOUSE- Time to pack up the Little League trophies, family photos and the snow globe collection… Keep decorations neutral and to a minimum. Remember that photos of your home will become very public once you are listed and unless you want to feel like the whole world is creeping on you, go ahead and pack it away!
  4. CALL THE HANDYMAN- This is the time that you want to fix obvious issues with your home. For example… leaky faucets, drywall holes or repair, broken windows or cabinets that don’t close…. ALSO, remember to replace any burned out light bulbs. Besides keeping it light and bright, this assures buyers that even the little things are maintained.
  5. BATHROOMS- You can really change the look of the bathroom with a few simple steps from your local hardware store. Update out dated faucets or light fixtures and put fresh caulking around the tubs and sinks. A steam cleaner works wonders on dirty grout and tile… a new shower curtain and a bath mat and BAM it feels brand spankin’ new!
  6. FRESH COAT OF PAINT- This never hurt anyone… covers imperfections and little handprints. A fresh coat also smells fresh, covers up old musty odors that maybe lingering from pets or cooking.
  7. CLEAN YOUR WINDOWS AND WASH DOWN- Let the light shine through! It is also important to pay attention to dusty window sills and blinds… Also, pressure wash the outside of the home and hose away any dirt and cobwebs that may have accumulated over the years.
  8. CURB APPEAL- water grass, plant flowers and cut back overgrown shrubs and trees that may be blocking the beauty of your home.
  9. CLEAN UP AFTER YOUR PETS- Always clean up after your pets! Besides the fact that there is not one buyer out there that wants to look at it or smell it… You do not want them accidently stepping in it and tracking it through your home!
  10. LAST BUT NOT LEAST- Find a realtor that you connect with and trust. Do not hire a realtor because they tell you what you want to hear, this can be a very costly mistake! Hire a realtor that knows your city and neighborhood, one that “works” and is familiar with the ever changing market and most importantly, one that listens to your needs. After all…..You are the boss!

We know that by following these simple steps you will find great success and we absolutely would love to be apart of it! Remember, we have an extensive list of vendors that we work with everyday that can help you complete these tasks. We know that life is busy and getting started can be overwhelming, let us help you now!

31
Aug

7 Tips to Help You Sail Through the Buying Process!

Most of us buy a home thinking that it will be our “happily ever after” dream home…. studies show us that this is just not the case. Did you know that the average person buys/sells a home every 10 years? This means that you and I will possibly go through this process 3-4 times during our lives! The thought of that may overwhelm you, don’t let it. If you are knowledgeable and have a great support system  (e.g. Stacy and Nicole) then you will not only look forward to this process, but you will build future wealth as you do it!

  1. Call Stacy and Nicole as soon as you start to think about buying – A true real estate professional offers you more benefits than you can imaging. We will navigate you through the entire process in detail. From showing you homes and helping you to compete with multiple offers to finding contractors to help with any needed renovations after the close. We are always available to you before, during and long after the sale has closed.
  2. Find the right lender– A lender is one of the most important people in your transaction. Your lender should discuss many options with you to estimate the right  price range and a payment that you are comfortable with. None of us want to live to pay a mortgage and you don’t have to, there are countless programs for you to choose from and a savvy lender will be able to find the right one for you.  If you need help in finding a lender please contact us right away, we only work with the best in the biz!
  3. Keep your expectations in check- In life and in real estate a lot our frustrations and disappointments evolve from unmanaged expectations. Before you get on the road with your realtor to start looking at potential homes, make a list. Think about things like how long you plan to live in the home, and any life changes that may occur in the future (e.g. children, pets, housing a parent or loved one). Add to that list your must haves and absolutely “do-not-wants”. Always remember that your agent will work hard to find you the home that matches your wish list, but that sometimes we must make small sacrifices and alterations in our way of thinking to make our dreams a reality. Stay focused, trust your agent and work together as a team, this will ensure success!
  4. Be in control and always read the fine print- Never be afraid to ask questions! KNOWLEDGE IS POWER. This is your transaction and quite possibly the biggest one you will ever have, you are the boss. Make sure that you know the details of the property that your are looking at, does it have an HOA, are there any liens on the property, is it located near a noise nuisance….This is also important to remember with your lender!
  5. Inspect the home that you are buying- You will always want to hire a licensed home inspector on every property before you close escrow. The inspector is trained to assess the condition of the entire home from top to bottom. This gives you a pretty clear idea of what you are purchasing and gives you the right as the buyer to request any major items of concern to be handled by the seller before closing. Though an inspection may not be able to uncover every potential problem of the home, it will give you a clear idea of whether or not you want to proceed with the sale.
  6. Investigate the neighborhood- The quality of the neighborhood is the most important factor to about 60% of buyers. Visit the neighborhood often, before, and during the escrow period. Is the home on a busy street, is there a future rock star that lives next door and likes to practice at dinner time, or does the lady across the street belong to a motorcycle gang that likes to gather at her house before the weekend ride? Finding out these types of things are vital to your comfort and happiness.
  7. Remember to plan for possible renovations and future repairs- Don’t empty your savings account! Work with your lender to find the best program for you that allows you to keep at least 6 months reserves in the bank. You never know what could come up with your home or perhaps your new home needs a little TLC, be prepared.

Please remember that we work with a variety of professionals and are ready to guide you through one of the most exciting times in your life! Do not hesitate, put on that life jacket and jump on board the ship headed straight towards building a bigger and more prosperous future!

08
Jun

SELLING A HOME

Maybe your youngest child just moved out or maybe you just received a great job offer in a city across the country; whatever the reason, it’s time to sell your home. Many homeowners don’t know how to begin this process, or where to turn for answers to their questions. It’s wise to examine the selling process one step at a time, from evaluating the market to closing the deal.

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18
Apr

CALIFORNIA REAL ESTATE IS HOT!

These markets receive 1.8 to 3 times the number of views per listing compared to the national average.

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18
Jul
11
Sep

WHERE HAVE ALL THE NEW-HOME BUYERS GONE?

For two years, Orange County’s new-home market soared.

Sales of brand new homes climbed to 349 a month in 2014 from a monthly average of 159 units in 2012. The new-home share of all home sales rose from 3 percent in July 2012 to 11 percent two years later.

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07
Sep

26 OC FRANCHISERS MAKE LIST

Twenty-six Orange County-based franchisers are on an annual list of 500 companies ranked according to systemwide sales last year by industry trade magazine Franchise Times.

 

http://goo.gl/9UBnFA

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25
Aug

SHOULD MILLENNIALS RENT OR BUY?

Higher Mortgage Rates Could Spur Renting in California

A tougher call for younger house hunters, especially in California, if mortgage rates rise. Many economists predict that the Federal Reserve Bank will raise interest rates, now near historic lows, by the year’s end. Nationally, rates would have to nearly double to about 6.5% to equalize the buy vs. rent equation for young buyers. Still, an increase of 25-50 basis points could push mortgage rates to 4.15% – 4.4%. That would make the costs of renting about the same as buying in some large California markets.

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