GivingBackSantaClaritaSeniorCenterThumb

Giving Back-Santa Clarita Senior Center

My good friend Deanna and I decided that we would like to spend time with the Senior Community at
our local Senior Center. After we started our own company, one of the cornerstones of our
philosophy – READ MORE

interestratethumbWhat rising rates mean to homebuyers and how to prepare yourself

After what seems like years of teasing us with the possibility of rising rates, the Federal Reserve finally made their move with a quarter-point jump last week. Economic conditions, led by a strong job market, triggered for the first rate rise since June 2006. The move is a sign of confidence in the economy (that’s a good thing!), albeit one that is feared to slow down economic growth (not so good!) and potentially scare off buyers who were just starting to feel OK about getting into the L.A. real estate market (bad, very bad!) – READ MORE HERE

 moneythumbWinning tips for writing a winning offer

You would think in this real estate climate that the easiest part of buying a home in Los Angeles would be submitting an offer. After all, finding a home that is the right size in the right place at the right price that somewhat matches your style (or at least doesn’t completely offend you) is usually the biggest challenge in the always-tight L.A. real estate market, right? – READ MORE HERE

405thumb8 Things you need to know before moving to a new city

Moving has been proven to be one of the most stressful events there is—second only to renovating when it comes to real estate-related factors. And that’s when you’re just moving down the street! Buying a home in Los Angeles and relocating your family to a new area can have an even greater impact. The idea of starting over may sound thrilling –READ MORE HERE

 VeniceThumbTearing up and tearing down in Venice

Want to make some money in L.A. real estate? All you need is a keen eye, a little imagination, and a million and a half bucks. And a very well defined ability to suspend disbelief.Case in point: This sad little one-bedroom, one-bath Venice number with a whopping 667 square feet—none of it pretty. Neither is the selling price: $1,495,000. But is that price as insane as it sounds, at $2,241 per square foot against a $515 average price per square foot in Los Angeles?  – READ MORE HERE

Moving1Thumb Next three months are the best time to buy a house this year

Want to know the hottest time of the year to buy a home? Spring, you say? That’s obvious, right? It’s when inventory starts to increase, with families looking to sell so they can get their kids all settled before the new school year starts. No, it’s got to be summer, when homes on the market hit their peak and anyone who hasn’t already made their move is typically looking to. Actually, this year, it’s all about the next three months – READ MORE HERE

SinkingthumbRising rates, sinking confidence: all aboard the seesaw

The Fed was supposed to raise rates earlier in the year. Then in June. Then in September.Trying to figure out when rates might actually go up is harder than trying to pinpoint which Kardashian will be the subject of the next mini-scandal. Nevertheless, all signs point to rates rising before the end of the year. So what does that mean for L.A. homebuyers? Not the pundits or the glut of cash buyers in the market for whom interest rates are a non-issue.-READ MORE HERE
 RealEstateAgent2thumbNew Mortgage Changes: What You Need To Know

“Mortgage lenders and real estate agents are bracing for the…implementation of a five-year-old law that has forced them to overhaul the way they process sales,” said the Wall Street Journal. “The changes, prompted by the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial law, are meant to help consumers better understand the terms of their mortgages before they sign on the dotted line. READ MORE HERE

CondoThumbIs buying a condo right for you?

So what’s a condo buyer to do? Seek alternate financing, for starters. But, back to that down payment issue. If your funds are low and you need a minimum down payment situation, new conventional loans from Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae that offer a three-percent down payment can be a great alternative to FHA loans. – READ MORE HERE

LiesthumbReal estate agents and the lies we tell

It’s no secret that buyers and sellers have high expectations for their transactions. But are our expectations where they should be? Do we expect our clients to live up to their obligations and do so with some common sense and some humanity, or have we lowered the bar for them so much that real estate today resembles a game of advanced limbo? I don’t know about you, but I have to stifle my exasperated sighs and disappointed groans more than I’d like to. –READ MORE HERE

 sfvthumbIs It Still A Good Time To Buy In The San Fernando  Valley?

Are you being priced out of the Valley? If you’ve been looking for a home in the area, you know that prices haven’t exactly been hospitable lately. In fact, “The median price of a previously owned home in the San Fernando Valley hit $600,000 in July, its highest level in eight years, and sales reached their highest total in 27 months,” according to the Southland Regional Association of Realtors, said the Daily News.Granted, high prices driving buyers away here is hardly a new phenomenon.-READ MORE HERE
 zillowthumbWhy Zillow is killing the real estate industry

The growth of third-party websites like Zillow, which has reported up to 75 million unique visitors in a month(!)—far more than lesser-known cohorts Trulia and Redfin—might seem harmless. But in a business where more than 90 percent of potential clients are using the Internet for research and to build a profile for what they can afford or how they should price their home, accuracy is just slightly important.-READ MORE HERE
DirtyDishesthumb7 Reasons Your Home Isn’t Selling

So you’ve decided you’re selling your home, and you’re excited about the change of scenery—and even more excited to make a nice little profit on your existing home. But then you put it on the market, and…nothing. Few things stink more than waiting around for an offer to come in—especially if you’ve had a lot of showings. A home that’s not selling can mean many things. Most often, it’s that your price is just too high. But that’s not the only reason no one’s buying. READ MORE HERE

 RealEstateAgent1thumb10 Things Agents Can Do To Fix Our Bad Reputation

I came across a Harris Poll the other day that, unfortunately, was not shocking. It listed real estate as the least prestigious profession. The Day America Told the Truth, a book by advertising mavens James Patterson and Peter Kim, had real estate at No. 13 on the list of Top 20 Sleaziest Ways to Make a Living (behind drug dealer, crime boss, TV evangelist, prostitute, and eight more questionable pursuits), so there’s that. But it was written in 1992. Is it possible our reputation has only gotten worse since then? – READ MORE HERE
 DogthumbToo many seller restrictions: The home sale killer

Unfortunately, not everyone is like you these days. In fact, unreasonable seller restrictions are a growing problem, and one that only seems to be getting worse. If you want to know what “unreasonable” means in the lexicon of seller restrictions, it pretty much translates to anything that makes your Realtor: sigh, cry, place his hands over his eyes and shake his head, go silent for an abnormally long period of time and then abruptly tell you he needs to call you back, or outright quit as your agent.- READ MORE HERE
EverybodylovestrippjonesthumbDo you need to like your Realtor? No, but it helps

He’s mean. Rude. Cunning. Ruthless even. Seemingly incapable of kindness or empathy or even fair play.He’s also insanely successful and working with him has always paid off for you. Literally. The morality play has concerned you before, but it’s getting more and more difficult to work with someone whom you don’t like or respect. Time to let go of the relationship and work with someone new? Or should you just get over it? – READ MORE HERE 
 kitchenthumb10 Things You Must Do To Get Top Dollar For Your Home

There’s an old saying that if a home is priced right, eventually it will sell. And, for the most part, that’s true. But sales price is only the beginning.Buyers are picky, and when they have lots of options to choose from, you need to make sure your home is the one they remember—for the right reasons. For my clients, that means advising them on changes that will make their home memorable and saleable. Some may just need a few key fixes, others may need to be brought into this century. Either way, these tips can help them get top dollar for their home and sell quickly.- READ MORE HERE
droughtthumbDealing with the drought: 27 ways to make it easier

The drought California is facing is no picnic. Especially because there are few lush green lawns left to spread out on. The most recent gut punch is a round of mandatory cutbacks that went into effect on June 1, requiring “statewide savings to average 25 percent.” Even more harsh are the possible fines involved: “Local water agencies in Southern California can fine property owners up to $500 a day if they don’t abide by the new restrictions,” saidABC7. The state has ordered restrictions (L.A. DWP customers can’t wash their car without a hose that can self close and shut off or water their lawn when it’s raining).- READ MORE HERE
 LASkylinethumbIs L.A. Affordable For Homebuyers?

The question, “Is L.A. affordable for homebuyers?” will elicit everything from groans to guffaws depending on whom you ask. Paying a premium to live in the most gorgeous area in the world, with a backdrop of beaches and bluffs and beautiful people is what many of us just accept. It quite literally comes with the territory. We may complain a lot about rising prices, but that doesn’t mean we’re about to pack up the car and move to the Midwest. For many of us, it’s L.A. or bust—a fact that showcases our civic pride but also leaves many buyers on the outside. READ MORE HERE

SingleMovingoutthumbSingle and ready to…buy a house

The picket fence dream probably looked something like this: Proud spouse by your side. A couple of smiling kids. Fluffy dog at your feet. Maybe even a few blooming rosebushes. But now you’re an adult—or, at least, you’ve reached the age in which you’re supposed to act like one—and here you are standing alone at the fence. You’re no sad anomaly. You’re part of a growing trend: accomplished, single individuals who are making the American dream come true on their own terms.READ MORE HERE
Keys2thumbCash Is King: Where Loan Is A Four-Letter Word

So you’ve scrimped and saved and that five percent down payment is burning a hole in your bank account. You better fasten your seatbelt. It’s going to be a bumpy night. Or season. Or year. Seriously, it could take a while to find a place. The truth is, in some areas in and around our fair city of Los Angeles, it doesn’t matter how much you have socked and stashed away for a down payment. If you’re not a cash buyer, you’re not a buyer—period.- READ MORE HERE
SavingMoneythumbHow to Save Money on Closing Costs

Buying a home is expensive. Whether you’re looking for something simple and off the beaten path or a modern condo firmly ensconced in the bosom of the Silicon Valley, you’re likely going to be paying hundreds of thousands of dollars (if not more) for your home. With prices like that, saving up for the down payment can (and often does) take several years. – READ MORE HERE
NewHomethumbAre you Ready for Your First Home?

Buying your first home can be an exhilarating experience. After renting for years, you’re finally going to own your own home. One of the questions most people ask themselves when they begin to think about buying their first home is if they can afford it. There is another question, though, that you might want to ask yourself and it isn’t as obvious. That question is: am I ready to buy my first home? In order to figure that out, you may need to take a few of the following under consideration. – READ MORE HERE
ForSaleSignthumbHome Not Selling? Re-List!

Think back to when you were in school. Were you ever the last one picked during gym class? If so, then you know it’s no fun. Nobody likes to be the last one picked; not in school, and definitely not in the real estate market. When a home sits for too long with a “For Sale” sign on the lawn, it can garner a negative reputation. If you feel your home has been on the market for too long, it might be time to pull it from the market, reassess the situation, and eventually re-list it.READ MORE HERE
TaxThumbBuy A Home in 2015 and Enjoy Tax Breaks!

Mortgage rates are still in a good place, and there are a lot of homes available for prospective buyers. If you need any additional incentive to purchase a home in 2015, how about these 3 tax breaks? – READ MORE HERE

 HouseforyouthumbWhat Type of Home is Right for You?

When you’re looking for a place to live, it’s important to find the right kind of home for YOU. What works with your lifestyle?There are several different kinds of homes to choose from and knowing what you’re looking for beforehand can save you and your real estate agent a lot of time. Here are a few common terms and definitions that might help you narrow your search. – READ MORE HERE

manshruggingthumbTOP OF YOUR TO DO LIST: Qualify An Appraiser

So, how do you know an appraiser is qualified? If you’re a buyer, your lender will usually choose an appraiser from a list of qualified individuals that they work with. If you’re a seller, make sure that the appraiser you’re hiring is properly licensed and certified. Not every state requires certification and a little research can go a long way.As far as paying your appraiser goes, most loan agreements include a fee that covers an appraiser for individuals looking to buy a home.  READ MORE HERE 
springcleaningthumbSpring is Here! Prepare your Home for Showing

Did you know that the kitchen sink can contain more bacteria than a toilet seat? If you’ve ever noticed a smell coming from the disposal, it’s usually because the bacteria have taken over. Disinfecting the sink every few weeks can help keep things clean and sanitary all year-round. Store-bought disinfectants are great, but if you still notice an odd smell, try cutting up a lemon and putting it down there. Turn on the disposal and let it run until everything’s been eviscerated. READ MORE HERE
 BadRefrigeratorthumbWhat’s That Smell?

Have you ever been to someone’s home and noticed a strong odor every time they opened the refrigerator? Maybe you’ve noticed this in your own home. Worse yet–maybe you noticed it even when the refrigerator is closed. This problem often begins when the power goes out, or when the refrigerator is accidentally left open for a prolonged period of time. READ MORE HERE

StickingDoorthumbDon’t Wait till Spring to Clean!

Upkeep of your home is a year-round job, and if you haven’t been as diligent with housecleaning as you’d like to have been, there’s no better time to start than NOW–especially if you’re planning to sell your home soon.One common issue I’ve encountered among homeowners I’ve worked with has been a sticking door. READ MORE HERE

GraphthumbLet’s Look at Stats…(yawn?)

I’m usually pretty bored when I have to start looking at charts & graphs, but I’ve noticed a slowing patch in the market; I’ve talked to agents in every state in the US, title reps, escrow companies, mortgage brokers, etc. While the hot hot flurry of buying a home has slowed down (is it because of the investors cooling off?) Prices have, however, risen in many of the upper end price ranges. WHUT???? And here’s the stats to prove it….- READ MORE HERE
 keysthumbThings You Need to Know Before Becoming a Landlord

Are you considering becoming a landlord? Here are five things you should consider before jumping into the investment-property world.Follow the rules – Being a landlord can be a legal headache. There are numerous federal Fair Housing Laws, local and state housing laws as well as health and safety codes you must abide by. And if it ever comes to pass—and let’s hope it it never does—there are laws that apply to evicting tenants.- READ MORE HERE
Offer2thumb An Offer Isn’t an Insult

When buyers especially submit an offer in writing, and customarily also submit their proof of funds for the down payment, and a pre-qualification letter, it’s usually very serious that they want to start negotiations on a home. Just like you I watch all the HGTV/Bravo shows (many of the agents on there I know professionally or have met, and speaking from experience what you see on TV ain’t necessarily real life here…) I see all the hullybaloo over all the people who – READ MORE HERE

 ConstructionThumbAlways get a Home Inspection!

When you buy a Santa Clarita home, you need to know exactly what you’re buying. Imagine how frustrated you’d be to find out that the hot water heater wasn’t working—in the middle of a shower! This is why you should have a home inspection before you buy your home. A home inspection is an important part of buying your home. Before you hire a home inspector, ask candidates a few questions to make sure you hire a trustworthy inspector.READ MORE HERE
 manshruggingthumbLet me tell you about…Mello Roos….

This is a question I get asked, alot, especially from: 1) First time home buyers and 2) buyers NOT from California. Now, like most of you, I would try to circumvent a buyer from buying in a Santa Clarita Mello Roos district because I also couldn’t understand WHY would anyone want to pay MORE to live in a similar Santa Clarita community. I’ve had a 360 degree turnaround since. Let me tell you why. READ MORE HERE
MovingFamily2thumbBuyers Who Circle the Water-But Can’t Jump In…..

Recently I held an open house, the listing was HOT and it was in a great area….and during my time I met some really cool people who were searching for their first home. One particular couple spent FOREVER in the home, looking at everything, asking very detailed questions about the neighborhood, the homes updates & remodel (extensive!) and other general questions. I certainly believed they were going to put an offer in within the week! READ MORE HERE 

So….lets talk about Comps…RealEstatethumb

Psst, have you heard? The real estate market is crazy right now. Bidding wars up the wazoo, all cash offers have been undercutting the mere mortals right and left.  In addition to ratcheting up the stress and busting the budgets of buyers, it adds an interesting wrinkle to the matter of figuring out how much to offer for a house. In the good old days (like last year), you’d look at the comps. That is, recent sales of comparable houses in the neighborhood of the house you have your eye on. Comparable means houses of a similar – READ MORE HERE

RealtorthumbWhy YOU need a Realtor

Recently I did a couple of Open Houses over the weekend for a new listing I have in the SFV. Several of the people who dropped in were young couples, buying their first home or moving up from another home, and most of them were shopping on the Syndicated Realtor websites (I WILL NOT mention them as I don’t want to ADD to their SEO!) They buyers came in, looked around, asked questions, then a few of them told me that they would be willing to work with the listing agent, thinking that they would be a better price by working with the listing agent. – READ MORE HERE
 HomeforSaleResedathumbHome for Sale in SFV! 6701 Sylvia Ave, Reseda, CA 91335

We’re pleased to present a brand new listing, a home for sale at 6701 Sylvia Avenue in Reseda, CA. This home has 3 Bedrooms and one bath it’s just a little gem! Close to shopping, schools and nicely situated near Vanowen and Tampa in Reseda of the San Fernando Valley. More information and current images are coming soon, but this is one you really must visit to truly feel the flavor of the environment!- READ MORE HERE
whitekitchenthumbIdeas for Your Kitchen – San Fernando Valley – Santa Clarita

Try covering up last year’s fry-up-gone-bad with a nice slick coat of coat of paint. If you can’t afford to replace old cabinet doors, simply replacing the door knobs can give them a new spring in their step! Add more light to your kitchen with new lampshades and perhaps under cabinet lighting. Shopping for new utensils and replacing tea stained dish towels is always a good idea and the easiest to do. If you don’t have the budget, add a vase of fresh flowers, a bowl of fruit and voila! Your kitchen has sprung! READ MORE HERE

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Tripp Jones Real Estate for Santa Clarita and San Fernando Valleys, Call 661-733-4555 or 818-527-6292