How Is Your Curb Appeal?

photo by:  hill.josh

To a prospective buyer this is the first impression.  Would someone take a look and keep on driving or want to see more?  Nice curb appeal can go a long way.

Take a look at your yard.  Is there cleanup to be done?  Think weeding, raking up leaves, trimming back overgrown plants or replacing dead ones.  Could your landscaping use a little updating?

Take a look at your house.  Any cracks, hanging gutters or other exterior repairs to be done?  How’s the paint?  A fresh coat of paint can really brighten things up.

How’s the roof?

Take a look at the entry, front door and porch area. When walking up to your house is it inviting?   Does entry need to be swept or cleaned?  How’s your porch light?  Is it bug-free?  A potted plant or other décor could be nice.

The way the exterior of your home looks sets expectations for what the interior will be like.  Make the most of that first impression!

Canyon Restaurant and Bar

Canyon Restaurant
Anaheim Hills has a new restaurant that just opened recently and it is the creation of Chef Richard Mead.  He is also the chef-owner of Sage and the now closed Sage On The Coast.  He wanted to create a place where people could come and “enjoy uncompromising foods, simply prepared with only the freshest, locally grown organic ingredients.”  The idea of locally grown is something he believes in; not only has he installed planter boxes in the back of the restaurant to grow his own vegetables, he has an agricultural engineer helping in the green thumb department.

You can get more on this new establishment from Blogger Jenn Garbee or visit the Canyon website.

First Time Home Buyer Things to Think About


image by  Tony The Misift

If the rule of real estate is location, location, location, then the rule for the first time home buyer should be research, research, research.  There is all kinds of information on this subject that you can find by searching online, at your local book store or by connecting with a local real estate agent. Buying a home is a major purchase and you need to have some answers before taking on a mortgage.

The following list is a good starting point for a first time home buyer.

  • Income – Will there be one or two incomes in the house to make the mortgage?
  • Future Income – Don’t count on your income going up (it might, it might not)
  • Children – Is it possible you will lose an income to a stay home parent?
  • Down Payment – How much will you need?  20% is a good starting point.
  • Budgets – expenses, repairs, maintenance
  • Type of Mortgage – A 30 year fixed is a good idea.
  • Starter Home – it might not be your “dream home’ but it needs to be affordable.
  • Monthly Payment – not just the mortgage, include taxes and insurance.
  • Closing costs – this is not part of your down-payment, it is in addition to.
  • Location – is it close to work and schools?
  • Credit – do you know your credit score?  (credit scores can be improved

Buying a home is a big decision, getting an agent and asking lots of questions is a good starting point.

How To Get Your Home Sold In A Buyer’s Market

What is a buyer’s market? A buyer’s market takes place when the inventory of homes for sale is up and the number of buyers is down (large inventory with few buyers). This puts pressure on the seller since there are few buyers and those that are buying have lots to choose from.

There are several reasons for the current rise in inventory and one of the biggest reasons is the change in the economy. With everyone feeling the economic times we are in, people are not spending and buying homes like they were a few years ago. Another reason is that lending has become very tight and banks have made it harder to qualify for a loan, reducing the number of buyers that might otherwise want to buy a home.

So what can you do if you are trying to sell in today’s market? There are several things that you can do to help move your property and get it sold.

One of the most important things that you can do as a home owner to get your home sold is to price it correctly. How do you do this? If you are working with a real estate agent they can run CMA reports that will give you a view of the current market. Another way to get a good idea of the price on your home is to hire an appraiser who can look at several factors to come up with a price. Are you a do it yourself type person? Then you can take to the internet with a site such as that can give you an indication of the price.

Now that you have the house priced to sell in the market the next thing is to make your home “move-in-ready”, because a home that shows like a model is going to sell faster. This is a three part process consisting of the interior, the exterior and then your “stuff”. Starting with the exterior the yard should be green and all of the gardens looking well-kept, the home itself looking cared for and maintained. The interior needs to very clean and without the need of any repairs or updating. With this taken care of the final step is to remove your “stuff”. This is where a home staging company could come in handy, such as, helping to make the house look bigger and less cluttered and allow the  buyer to imagine the home as theirs.

Since you now have a home that is priced right and looking fantastic, you need to get potential buyers in the door, and this is done through marketing. If you decide to use an agent they will put the listing into the local MLS as well as post your home on several websites such as and Yahoo that will bring in buyers. If you are doing this yourself, FSBO, then you can post the listing on several web sites at little or no cost. Another key part of marketing is holding an open house and inviting potential buyers to come look at your home.

While it might take a little longer, and involve more effort on your part, it does not mean you should give up. Look at your house and see what you can do to make it look more appealing to a buyer. Search the web, pick up a book or hire some help where you might need it. It will sell, it just takes time and effort.