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808 Danrose Open House Sunday, 1-4pm

I will be holding my good friend Eva Garcia’s listing open this coming Sunday, July 22 from 1-4pm.

808 Danrose

This home is a little bit like the Tardis…it’s bigger on the inside. Extensively remodeled, 808 Danrose offers luxurious cooking and family space. There’s plenty of room for entertaining both inside and out. It has a spacious backyard and is ready for your finishing touches. It’s a don’t miss kind of home. Light refreshments will be served. I look forward to seeing you there.

Why the need for Earnest Money?

Today’s blog is short but sweet. But since I get asked this question a lot, I thought that I’d address it.

Perhaps it is best to first answer the question, what is earnest money (EMD for short)? Earnest money deposit comes up in Paragraph 3A in the offer. It’s the first item in financing the property, right after purchase price. EMD can be anywhere from 1 – 3% of the purchase price. planning for deposit

The standard in most areas is 3%. Why?

Take a look at Paragraph 21B. REMEDIES FOR BUYER’S BREACH OF CONTRACT: LIQUIDATED DAMAGES. Liquidated damages for breach of contract are set at 3%. By voluntarily putting 3% up for the earnest money deposit, the buyer is showing that they are serious about following through with the contract and will not back out at the least minute.

If you are a buyer, one thing to keep in mind is that the sellers are very often as nervous as you are. They want to sell their home and – presumably – if you’re in contract they want to sell their home to home. However, sellers are as concerned about you backing out as you are about finding something wrong with the property.

That’s why it’s really important to start planning. While there is some creative financing, in a competitive market like the one we are in now, seller’s are wary of buyers coming in with 0$ down and asking for a credit for closing costs. It does happen and offers like this can be successful; however, why not put yourself in the best possible position to have your offer accepted in this real estate game?

 

Make Moving with the Family Easier

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Today is the third component in our ongoing guest blogging. I’d like to welcome Alexis Hall. Alexis is a single mom to three kids. She created SingleParent.info to provide support and advice for the many families out there with only one parent in the household.

How to Make Moving With Children Easier and Happier for the Whole Family

Moving to a new home, and often, to a new city entirely, is simply a part of life. Making a move may feel simple when you’re single or a couple without kids, but it takes on a whole new meaning when you have children. If your family is planning a move, know that it can be an overall positive experience using these tips to help along the way.

Finding Your Family Home

As you start searching, you may come to realize that your ideal home is different from what you wanted before having kids. Before making any big decisions, spend a little time researching the best prices and neighborhoods in your region. The average sale price for homes in Fairfield, CA, is $475,000.

With this information in hand, start your home search with a few key points in mind:

Get to Know the Neighborhood: The neighborhood your family ends up in is just as important as the house itself. Think about your family’s lifestyle and what matters the most to you. Do you want a neighborhood that is within walking distance to schools or parks, or are you OK with being in a less walkable neighborhood if the streets are quiet and ideal for children? Besides your own unique needs, there are several ways you can tell if a neighborhood is thriving and an overall good place to be. Drive or walk around to see if people are out on the streets walking or biking, if houses tend to look like they have been improved, and if you see churches and signs of city services.

Put Practicality Over Emotions: Buyers often fall in love with a home that feels just right, but then they realize that it doesn’t actually meet their family’s needs. Families with children should look closely at a home’s floor plan and yard. Think about whether you want all the bedrooms on the same level if you have small children, or if you want a flat yard for outdoor play. It’s completely OK to have a “feeling” about a house, but don’t let a feeling cloud your judgment.

Managing the Move

Moving can be scary and highly emotional for children. The best approach is to communicate about it with kids as soon as you know you’ll be moving and to keep the conversation going. Kids need to process their feelings about the change. One idea from Scholastic is to encourage them to write in a journal or draw pictures about the move. Kids who are old enough can also get involved in packing. Give them some independence in making choices about how they pack.

Don’t forget that while you are doing plenty of research into your new home and neighborhood, your children may not know what to expect. Spend some time helping your kids get familiar with the new area. Talk about what your new neighborhood has that they will love, and start exploring the area together, if possible. For young children especially, talk about what won’t be changing too. Make sure they know you’re bringing all of their possessions to the new home.

Settling In

When you first move into the new house, unpack your children’s rooms first so they start to get a feel for their own space surrounded by things that are familiar. In the days and weeks to come, help kids adjust to the change by keeping your schedule as routine as possible. You can also do some special family activities in those early days to start creating positive memories in your new home and neighborhood. The Art of Happy Moving blog suggests going to your local library or setting up a lemonade stand to get to know the neighbors.

While moving with children isn’t always ideal, it doesn’t have to be traumatic. You know you’re making the right move, and it will be best for everyone in the long run. There will still be bumps in the road, but these tips will help your whole family bounce back and adjust with less stress.

Photo credit: Pexels

7 Tips to Help Avoid Common Moving Day Mishaps

Today I have another guest author ready to give you tips on how to avoid costly moving day mishaps. Suzie Wilson is an interior designer with more than 20 years experience. What started as a hobby (and often, a favor to friends) turned into a passion for creating soothing spaces in homes of every size and style. While her goal always includes making homes look beautiful, her true focus is on fashioning them into serene, stress-free environments that inspire tranquility in all who enter. The Ultimate Guide to Prepping Your Home for an Open House is filled with tips, tricks and other advice based on Suzie’s years of experience in interior home design that will set you up for success.


 

Moving is exciting! It’s also stressful and tiring. If you throw a few blunders into the mix, the event can quickly go from becoming a pleasure to being a pain. Here are some tips for keeping your moving day positive.Image courtesy of Pixabay hand truck

Hire help. One of the best things you can do is hire a moving company to assist with your move. You’ll be exhausted even with help, so paying someone else to do the grunt work will literally take a load off. If you’re nervous about allowing a stranger handle your fragile or valuable items, one solution is to hire a company that drops the moving truck at your house, you pack it, they deliver it for you to the new place, and then you unpack. You still do some heavy work, but at least you’re relieved of the driving duty.

Another great service: hire someone to assemble furniture for you. Assembly can be a headache, especially if you’re in the middle of pointing to where boxes go and living out of your suitcase. Opt to get help through a trusted service like HireAHelper.

Arrange ahead. Good moving services get booked up well in advance, especially during summertime. Some experts recommend locking in your mover months in advance. Also, note there are some moving companies who are fly-by-night. Check references and go with a trusted service. Make sure you read through estimates and paperwork carefully, as some companies may hide fees in the fine print. Then once you’ve reached your destination, read the inventory sheet carefully and ensure all your items are present.

Don’t take it all. Most of us have more “stuff” than we really need. Take a hard look at what you own, and do some decluttering in advance of the move. Less belongings will mean less to pack, less to move, and less to unpack. Besides, if you’re staging your home for a sale chances are you need to reduce clutter anyway. If you opt to store items in another location during your home sale, box them in an organized manner. Label appropriately and store them in a way that will be logical when it comes time to move.

Last-minute packing. This is a big no-no. Don’t wait until the morning of the move to pack your kitchen, or any other rooms for that matter. You won’t be able to do a good job since you’ll be rushed and you’ll add to the chaos of the day. Some experts suggest allowing eight to 10 weeks to pack up your home.

Keep necessities handy. Think through what you may need when you get to your new location. Keep some fundamentals in a convenient location; include basic tools and cleaning supplies. You won’t want them at the back of the moving van or buried under boxes.

Secure items. Don’t pack in a manner that allows things to shift out of place. Falling items can not only become damaged, they can hurt someone. Secure your belongings with ratchet straps, shrink-wrap, and rope as needed. Also, ensure your heavy items are packed low with lightweight items higher.

Don’t rely on Mother Nature. Be prepared if the day turns out to be inclement. Have tarps, plastic sheeting, towels and plastic bags at the ready. If you need last-minute additions you can drop by a local home center for supplies, but it’s best to have some items accumulated just in case.

Also, Better Homes & Gardens recommends considering the time of day you decide to schedule the move. Chances are you will be better off planning around rush hour or big local events.

Moving success! Moving can be both exciting and overwhelming. Do some planning to avoid turning your moving day into mayhem. With smart strategies in place, your move should go smooth as silk!

Renovating your bathroom

Earlier this week I posted a CAR Infographic about remodeling…and here is a great blog from the folks over at Houz about remodeling a small bathroom. If you live in the Rancho del Mar subdivision in American Canyon then you know how tight the spaces are. These folks can relate and look at what an amazing job they did!

 

Beware the remodel…

Thinking about taking out a home equity line of credit to fix the kitchen that is too small and too cramped? Take a look at this info graphic by CAR before you do.

Surviving-the-Remodel-hi-res

I think that what amazes me most is that only 3% of couples contemplated separation. I remember watching my parents go through the remodel of our guest bathroom and how ugly that was…the funniest part? They went on vacation and weren’t even around!

Communication is key, however. But make sure that you’re talking about it first – not halfway through the project.

Monthly American Canyon Market Recap

The American Canyon real estate market is fast and you better not wait too long or you’ll miss out completely.

My listing at Rio del Mar sold at $415,000 which was $45,000 above asking. There were 4 total offers. It’s at the entrance of the Rancho del Mar subdivision and boasted a huge back yard and an additional 500±sf of living space. It has some foundational and drainage issues which dragged the original list price down but which made the offers all that much more remarkable. Last fall a home on the other side of the creek in the 100 block of Los Altos struggled to sell at full price (~$400,000) even though it was turnkey. What a difference 6 months make.

Higher end homes are not selling quite as fast but there is definitely still a market for them. This is good news as the original investor in Canyon Estates continues to look for someone to develop them. I still think that a $1M home in the AC will be difficult without something happening with Broadway and/or Watson Ranch.

Even though there were double the amount of homes on the market year-over-year for March, the inventory still fills tighter than it has been for a while. Homes priced in a traditional first time home buyer price range are still going fast. Overall, there is only a little over a month’s worth of inventory (the amount of time it would take to sell all active homes). This data backs up the “feeling” that we are in a fast market right now.

AC Months of Inventory

What this chart doesn’t show is that of the 19 homes on the market, at least 7 are either businesses or should be looked at as commercial potential – especially those along Broadway/Hwy 29. If you’re interested in one of the many properties for sale along Broadway, make sure that you talk to Brent Cooper over at the City before you start trying to put up a development that the property isn’t suited for…those non-conforming homes are a big issue.

The good news for buyers is that the median selling price for a home in American Canyon has stayed relatively stagnant over the first quarter. AC Median Avg SoldI am continuing to see Rancho del Mar homes drag down the home prices in McKight Acres, Napa Square, Napa Meadows, etc. The Rancho homes that are selling for a premium (mid-to-high $400,000’s) are turnkey and recently remodeled. Sellers in the mid-market that aren’t willing to do the same are taking a hit on it and the homes are lagging…there’s a lesson here if sellers and listing agents are willing to listen.

 

114 Rio del Mar – Just Listed

Welcome to 114 Rio del Mar!

Offered at $370,000 and exclusively listed by Richard Peterson with BHHS Drysdale Properties.

Large 3 bed, 2 bath, 1537±sf bungalow in Ranch del Mar. Wide open kitchen and large family room with exposed beams. This house is great for entertaining. Home situated on 0.18 acres and has a huge backyard with a built-in brick BBQ. Newer roof and sewer lateral. Home has a water filtration system. Close to Hwy 29 and shopping.

Read this Before Upgrading Your Master Bath!

Every day I get asked about what type of renovations homeowners should do to increase the value of their home. Master bathrooms aren’t usually at the top of the list when it comes to a return on investment – although it can make the home more comfortable to live in in the long run. Houzz.com put together this list of 7 questions to consider when planning your master bathroom upgrades.

Make sure that you start with #7 first though…asking the right questions.