Should You Renovate Before Selling Your Home? Consider the Cost of Doing So

Should You Renovate Before Selling Your Home? Consider the Cost of Doing So

If you are considering selling your home then you may have wondered if it’s a good idea to renovate your home. The answer is not as simple as yes or no – it depends on numerous factors. One of those factors is the cost. Keep reading to find out about various renovations, some minor and some major, and then contact Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties at 310-373-0021 for tips on selling your home.

Painting a Room

Depending on the size of the room, it will cost around $200 to $400 to paint a room and will take an average of one day. A good option is to update your walls to a neutral color. While white is an ever-popular choice, a warm gray can help add personality while still allowing buyers to imagine themselves living in the home.

If you decide to hire a painter instead of doing it yourself, then you are better off painting more than one room. Why? Because you’ll get a better value. You will end up paying more for more of their time, but the cost of getting them to your home and set up is the majority if the cost. Adding another room or two is comparatively inexpensive.

Installing Crown Molding

This project will take a few days and cost between $300 and $500 per room. It may seem like a small item but it can make a big difference and lead to a better sales price. Generally made from wood, crown molding is added to the top edges of door frames, walls, and cabinets. It adds a class, elegant, and vintage look to a room. The project involves painting, prepping, and installation. This is also an option for covering up problem areas on walls, around windows, or around doors.

Remodeling the Bathroom

This is a major renovation that will cost at least $35,000 and can cost as much as $65,000 or more. It will take anywhere from three weeks to three months, depending largely on inspections. This is obviously a much larger financial investment but it can be a deciding factor for a buyer. Today’s homeowners simply don’t want tiny bathrooms. They want natural light, a soaking tub, and his and hers sinks. If you want to go all out, you can add luxurious touches like heated floors or a spa bathtub.

Are Any of These Renovations Wise for Your Home?

If your neighborhood is in a seller’s market and your home is in good shape then you likely don’t need to make any renovations to get buyers interested. However, if you live in an area in which homes sit on the market for months and months, then investing in a renovation could be what gets your home sold before everyone else. Contact Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties at 310-373-0021 to learn more about your options and to get your home listed.

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Learn How to Create the Illusion of More Room When Selling a Small Home

Learn How to Create the Illusion of More Room When Selling a Small Home

It can be a hard sell to get a potential buyer to get interested in a home but there are ways to do it. At Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties we will offer you personalized tips for sellers that will help you get your home moved as quickly as possible. Today we will cover a few tricks that can help your space look larger. When you’re ready, contact us at 310-373-0021 to find out more about listing your home.

Get Rid of Furniture

The simplest way to make an instant difference is to get rid of some of your furniture. The items that stay should be rearranged. If possible, create walkways through the space. For example, don’t leave a couch in an area that blocks foot traffic. This makes a room look and feel smaller.

Upgrade Appliances to Steel Surfaces

If your stove is white or, worse, black, then it is making your kitchen look smaller. Ideally you would replace those appliances with stainless steel so that it will give off a bright color that subtly reflects light. However, you may not want to invest in new appliances just to sell your home. In that case, they make very high quality stainless steel covers you can adhere to the surface of your fridge and stove.

Paint All the Walls White

If you have colorful walls then your home looks smaller than it is. A warm white helps to make rooms look bigger. If you have a lot of dark wood in a room, consider painting that white as well. Remember that though you may like more personality in your wall colors, potential buyers are looking for somewhere that reflects their needs. Neutral colors like white make it easier for them to picture changes they could make to create the home of their dreams.

Focus on Lighting

If you have a dark room then it looks smaller than it is. If you have a kitchen with just a few lights, remove them and replace them with recessed lighting. For living rooms, add lighting that comes from numerous directions – lamps on the floor that light up the ceiling, lamps on tables, and lamps overhead. The more light you have, the bigger a room will look.

Create a Bonus Room

If your home is small, then showing buyers that they have a “bonus room” could help them live with the smaller space. For example, if you have basement, create a room down there. If you have a garage, turn it into an office. If you have a large cubby closet, take out the shelves and make it a small room.

These are just a few tips to make your home more appealing to buyers. If you are ready to list your home, or want more tips on how to do so, contact Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties at 310-373-0021 today.

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Consider These 3 Flooring Alternatives to Hardwood Floors

Consider These 3 Flooring Alternatives to Hardwood Floors

Whether you are just moving into a new home and want to install new floors, or you are looking to sell a home and want to install floors that potential buyers will love, you likely have considered hardwood. There are many advantages to it, including the fact that it is very popular with all types of buyers, and it is an allergy-friendly option.

That said, there is one big disadvantage to hardwood floors: The cost. The good news is that in today’s world there are actually a number of alternatives that can be much more affordable. Keep reading to learn about them and then contact Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties at 310-373-0021 if you are looking to sell your home or need a buyer’s agent to find a home.

  1. Cork
  2. If you think of an office bulletin board when you think of cork, then you are missing out. It’s becoming a much more popular choice for people who want a soft, cozy flooring but don’t want carpet. It only costs between $2 to $4 per square foot, which is a fraction of what it would cost to install hardwood floors. It also offers a warmth and comfort that is absent from hardwood.

    For eco-friendly homeowners, the good news is that cork is rapidly renewable and does not require trees to be harmed in order to be harvested. This makes it a great choice for the environment. In addition to its resilience, it also has acoustical properties that help it reduce unwanted noise. Finally, you can char cork to create unique patterns, color it, or add finishes.

  3. Bamboo
  4. Another eco-friendly option, thanks to the fact that bamboo grows faster than wood, bamboo flooring costs around $4 a square foot. Just like hardwood floors, it is long-lasting and very sturdy. It’s also easy to clean, fairly water resistant, and is great for people with allergy.

  5. Concrete
  6. You know concrete is durable enough to be used in driveways and other outdoor areas but you may not realize that it’s a great choice for the interior too. Put concrete flooring in a kitchen, living room, and other high-traffic areas. It costs anywhere from $2 to $6 per square foot. It is extremely durable, low maintenance, and can be quite beautiful. You can have it stained to create a unique look too.

What’s Your Favorite Flooring Type?

These are just three of the available flooring alternatives to hardwood. What are your favorite options? If you’re interested in finding a home that’s already equipped with your ideal flooring type, contact Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties and we will work to find you your dream phone.

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5 Affordable Ways to Instantly Boost Your Home’s Curb Appeal

5 Affordable Ways to Instantly Boost Your Home’s Curb Appeal

As you work to sell your home, there are many things to think about. You have to find a new home, find the right seller’s agent, and get your home ready to sell. The good news is that Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties is here to help with all of that. Today we are going to discuss five ways to boost your home’s curb appeal that each cost less than $200.

  1. Use a Pressure Washer to Clean Your Driveway
  2. One of the first things many buyers notice about a home is its driveway. Do you want your potential buyers to think, “This is a lovely driveway,” or “I hope the rest of the house is in better shape than this driveway.” Obviously, you want them to think the former. While you may wish you could repave the driveway, a more affordable option is renting a pressure washer and cleaning the driveway down so that it is free from dirt, dust, grime, and algae.

  3. Put Down Fresh Mulch and Easy-to-Care-for Plants
  4. You don’t want to spend thousands of dollars re-landscaping your home just to sell it, but you do want potential buyers to like the landscaping. The answer is simple: Put down fresh mulch and plant a few easy-to-care-for plants. It will like tidy, fresh, and much more appealing than doing nothing.

  5. Frame the Front Door
  6. One of the best ways to instantly impress buyers is to add symmetry to your front door. You can add two planters, one on each side of the door, or sculptures – or anything else you want. Just make sure that whatever you frame the door with match with each other.

  7. Paint Your Front Door
  8. When you frame your door, now you’re going to see buyers’ eyes automatically go to it – and you want it to look great. This is smart as well because buyers often spend more time at the front door than any other single place in the home, as they wait for their buyer’s agent to get the key out. Bold front doors are particularly popular right now but you can also simply paint it white or another cozy color.

  9. Buy a New Welcome Mat
  10. You want buyers to be able to instantly imagine themselves living in your home and you ant them to feel that doing so would be cozy. A great way to do that is to have a new, beautiful welcome mat. It will make the place feel homier and will make them imagine coming home every day to a beautiful house.

These are just five ideas but there are many ways you can boost curb appeal. When you work with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties, you can count on us to help you find the best ways for your unique property. Call us now at 310-373-0021 to get started.

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4 Tips to Throw a Memorable Moving Away Party

Moving away to a new state or city is an exciting time but it can also be heart wrenching to leave friends and family behind. At Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties we can help you find your new home, we can help you sell your current home, and we can support you at every step in between. Today we are going to give you four tips to help you throw a memorable going away party. If you are ready to start looking for your next home, contact us at 310-373-0021 right away.

1. Pick a Party Theme

It is not mandatory that you have a party theme but it can help the party be more cohesive – and it can be a lot of fun. Consider a party theme based off of your favorites, such as a party with the theme of your favorite movie. Perhaps you can make the theme based on where you are moving, such as a Wild West Party theme if you are moving to Texas. You could even just make it a black tie event and turn it into a fancy party.

2. Create a Fun Game

People love having something to do at parties and games are a great choice. There are a million different game ideas, such as renting karaoke equipment and having a sing-off. You can have people sing farewell songs and judge the winner. You could create a game in which everyone writes down one fun memory they have of you, and you pull them out of a box and try to remember who the memory is with.

3. Say a Few Words to Your Guests

It’s a good idea to have a farewell speech planned. You will have a lot to say and you don’t want to find yourself tongue-tied when the moment comes. Write down a few memories from your current location, say something to your co-workers, say something to your friends, and say something to your family. Tell people how much they mean to you and how grateful you are to have them in your life. This is a sweet and touching way to make sure everyone knows how much they mean to you.

4. Find a Clever Way to Make it Easy to Keep in Touch

With social media, it may be easier than ever to keep in touch with people but this can also be more impersonal. Find a clever way to have everyone leave you their address. For example, set up a table with blank envelopes and have your guests write their addresses on one. You can then write letters throughout the next year and slip them into the envelope and off they go. The table could also include stamped envelopes with your new address on them so guests can write to you too.

These are just a few ideas to help make your transition easier. We can also make it easier by ensuring that you get the home you have always dreamed of. Contact Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties at 310-373-0021 now to begin the process.

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3 Questions to Ask Yourself to Decide if Now is the Time to Buy a Home

If you have been on the fence about whether or not to buy a home there are a few things you can carefully consider to make up your mind. Keep reading to learn about three questions you can ask yourself to decide if now is the right time. If you decide to take the next step toward buying a home, you contact Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties at 310-373-0021 for help.

1. Why Am I Considering Buying a Home?

Think honestly about why you want to buy a home. If you think that financial matters are the top reason, make sure you are considering every aspect. We have found that while finances are always an essential aspect of the decision to buy a home, more buyers are focused on how the home will function for them. They are thinking of how it will impact their family today and for years to come.

In fact, according to one study, there are four main reasons people buy a home: To live in a good school district, to live in a safe place, to ensure they have room to grow their family, and to control the space they live in. Do any of these reasons ring true for you? If you are married or buying a home with someone else, ask them why they want to buy a home. Make sure you are on the same page. 

2. How Are Home Values Trending?

The fact of the matter is that the California housing market is strong. This has many upsides but it has potential downsides too. For example, a strong market means higher priced homes. It means more people wanting to buy the same home and potentially dealing with a bidding war. Depending on what particular part of California you are considering investing in, the market may dictate that now is the time to buy or you may decide to wait. 

3. Are You Likely to Qualify for the Best Mortgage Rates?

You cannot just consider the contract price for the home you buy – you must also consider how much it will actually cost you. This means that you must take your interest rate into consideration. They are always changing and your creditworthiness will have a big impact on the total you will eventually pay. That said, this can be a difficult balancing act.

Signs point to the fact that interest rates are likely rising. However, if you have reason to believe that your credit score is going to rise in the near future then it may be better to wait. You can always talk to a lender to find out what they recommend. At Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties we can steer you toward a financial advisor who will give you honest opinions about whether or not it makes sense for you to buy or wait. Call us at 310-373-0021 to get stated.

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3 Reasons It’s Smart to Get Mortgage Preapproval Before House Hunting

If you’re about to start looking for a home to buy, then you may be wondering if it makes sense to get preapproved for a mortgage. Depending on the specifics of your financial situation, it may be best to get preapproval today or it may be best to wait until you have found the home you want. However, today we are going to present three reasons that you may choose to get preapproved.

Once you have preapproval, or if you decide to start looking before you have been approved, you can contact Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties at 310-373-0021 to find the perfect home for your needs.

1. You Are Stepping into a Competitive Market

If you are buying property in California then there is a very good chance that the market you are buying into is competitive. This means that there are likely to be other buyers looking for the same great deal you are in the same place you’re looking. Imagine that a seller has several offers on the table but only one of them has preapproval and the others are simply people who assume they can get approved. Who do you think the seller will choose?

2. Some Sellers Will Not Accept an Offer Without Preapproval

It happens all the time in California and throughout the country: A buyer will put in an offer but the seller discovers that the buyer is not preapproved and refuses to accept the offer. This may sound harsh, but, depending on the specifics of your financial situation, the approval process can take some time. A seller does not want to wait around only to find out that you cannot get approved after all.

3. Preapproval Assures You Are Looking in the Right Price Range

There is nothing worse than falling in love with a home you believe is in your price range, only to have a lender come back and tell you that they cannot approve you for the amount you are requesting. Do not assume that you can get approved for the same amount as someone else. Do not assume that online calculators that tell you how much house you can afford are accurate.

The only way to know for sure how much a lender will approve you for is to request money from a lender. The only way to know for sure what your payments will be with interest and other costs is to get preapproved. When you have it in hand, you can stick to price ranges that are realistic for your situation.

We Can Help You Find the Home You Have Been Dreaming Of

If you are ready to find the best home for you then you are ready to contact Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties at 310-373-0021. We are standing by to listen to your needs, find great options to show you, and help you negotiate to get the best possible deal.

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5 Things Pet Owners Should Consider When Buying a Home

As a pet owner, you will have unique factors to consider when purchasing a home. At Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties we can help you find the right home that meets your specific needs. When it comes to your pets, we recommend considering the following five factors before making a financial decision on which home to buy.

1. The Local Pet Laws

When we say “local” we mean citywide but we also mean the laws that may affect the HOA or condo development you move into. Some cities have breed-specific laws that prevent certain pets from living within city grounds. Some HOAs will only allow certain types of pets or will limit the number of pets allowed. Certain condo buildings do not allow pets at all.

2. Your Pet’s Space

Does the property have a yard? Is it fenced in? If not, remember that there may be rules affecting your ability to add a fence. Some HOAs limit the style or type of fence used while others don’t allow it at all. If you are moving into a condo, you may want to look for one that has a dog run or other pet-friendly area. As more and more people treat their pets like family, newer buildings often include a space for your pet.

3. Your Pet’s Outdoor Options

If you have a dog, then you will need space to take it for walks. You may want to be near a park, a dog park, or another green area. You are more likely to want to find a home that is in an established neighborhood with sidewalks if you will be going on thrice-daily walks. Keep an eye on how busy the neighborhood is too – some dogs and even cats can get spooked living too close to a busy or loud freeway.

4. The Floors

Most experts agree that hardwood floors are the best options for homes with pets. They can be refinished if they are scratched, and they do not stain. Carpet is often described as the worst option because pets can easily damage it and reduce the resale value when it comes time to sell the home. Cats may claw up the carpet, dogs can track mud, dirt, and other stains, and carpet traps smells easily.

5. The Floorplan

If you have larger pets, you will want a home that does not result in you tripping over your pooch on a constant basis. You want room to have a cat or dog bed, or a scratching post. If you plan to move to a smaller space than the one you are currently living in, keep your pet’s needs in minds.

If you are ready to find the home of your dreams for you and your pet, then we look forward to hearing from you. Contact Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties at 310-373-0021 now and we can get started.

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3 Qualities to Look for When Choosing a Buyer’s Agent

3 Qualities to Look for When Choosing a Buyer’s Agent

So you’ve decided to buy a house. What next? At Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties we have helped many people just like you find the home of their dreams. As you consider your options for a buyer’s agent, think about the following three qualities. Then reach out to us at 310-373-0021 for help with all aspects of the buying process, including securing financing.

  1. Educated

  2. Every person who has earned a real estate license must take certain classes and pass certain tests. It is the additional training and education you should consider. For example, a good buyer’s agent will keep up to date on market trends, changes to the way properties are taxed, and other topics related to real estate. At Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties we use continuing education to ensure that our staff is up to date on the latest in the industry.

  3. Professional Experience

  4. You likely know that you want a person with professional experience but do you know what that should look like? First, you may want to avoid a person who has just passed the real estate exam and has not yet represented anyone. As motivated and excited as they may be, there is only so much that can be learned in books or a classroom. Much is learned in the field, which is why experience is so important.

    Second, we recommend choosing a buyer’s agent who has a wide range of experience. Do they only represent buyers or do they also represent sellers? If they represent both, they will better understand the other side when it’s time to negotiate. Do they have experience in your particular area? Do they have experience in both seller’s and buyer’s markets? Do not be afraid to ask about a potential buyer’s agents experience before making a final decision.

  5. Do They Have Personal Experience?

  6. Ideally, you would find a buyer’s agent who can help with both professional and personal issues. For example, if they have experience buying their own home then they can help you avoid common pitfalls that occur after you sign on the dotted line. If you are likely to get a home that needs renovation, it can be helpful to have a buyer’s agent who has renovated a home.

Call Us Now to Get the Process Started

Buying a home is an exciting time but it is also stressful, confusing, and overwhelming. The good news is that with the right buyer’s agent, it does not need to be any of those things. At Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties we have the requisite experience to get you through this process. Call us at 310-373-0021 and we can start searching for your dream home right away.

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4 Tips for Downsizing When You’re Buying a Smaller House

4 Tips for Downsizing When You’re Buying a Smaller House

If you are buying a home that is significantly smaller than the home you are currently living in, you will need to make adjustments. Too often we find that people assume the transition will be no big deal when it fact it can be quite a challenge. Today we are going to provide four of our best tips for downsizing. Remember that if you need help finding a new home, we can provide real estate updates, helpful tips, and much more. Just contact Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties at 310-373-0021 to get started.

  1. Plan Ahead

  2. The biggest and best tip is to have a plan and know what you are getting into. The last thing you want is to wake up on moving day to realize that you cannot possibly fit in everything you have packed. Get measurements. Know what will fit and what will not fit. Start the downsizing process well before the moving date.

  3. Think Critically About Your Lifestyle Needs

  4. As you are packing, ask yourself some critical questions. For example, do you have room to fit your current furniture? Be honest not about what can technically fit but would actually fit comfortably. If you find yourself attached to an item even though you don’t think it’s a good fit, get to the bottom of the reason why. Is it because you spent a lot of money on it? That is not a good reason to keep an item. Is it because it has sentimental value? That may be reason enough.

  5. Clutter is Your Biggest Enemy

  6. It is not uncommon for a person downsizing to make some very difficult decisions regarding heirloom furniture only to turn around and ruin their small space with excess clutter. Every little thing you can do makes a difference. For example, choose a TV that mounts to the wall so you will not need to clutter up a media center. Find storage solutions that keep the things you need out of view. Unless something is serving a purpose, it does not need to be visible.

  7. Quality and Multipurpose Use Are You Friends

  8. If clutter is your enemy, then your best friends are quality and multipurpose. For example, if you are buying nightstands, choose options with extra storage. If you are buying a kitchen table, make sure it can be used as a desk too. Because you will be buying fewer things, you can splurge on getting truly high-quality furniture and accessories.

These are just a few tips that can help you downsize successfully. If you are looking for a smaller place then you have come to the right place. At Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties we are ready to help you today! Call us at 310-373-0021 to let us know what you are looking for, where you are looking, and how we can help.

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