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Real Estate Blog for Desert communities in Palm Springs California
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The median price of a home in Riverside County rose 32.5 percent in May, compared to the same month a year ago, reflecting a statewide jump that gave California the biggest year-over-year price increase in 33 years, according to figures released today by the California Association of Realtors.
The median price of a Riverside County home was $282,560 in May, up from $213,240 in May 2012, according to Los Angeles-based CAR. May's median price was 3 percent higher than April, when the median was $274,420. Home sales in the county increased by 5.4 percent between April and May, but were down 14.9 percent from May 2012.
Statewide, the median price of a single-family home was $417,350 in May, up 31.9 percent from $316,460 in May 2012, according to CAR. It was the 15th consecutive month of year-over-year increases, and 11th straight month of double-digit jumps.
According to CAR, the 31.9 percent increase was the largest annual jump since at least 1980, when the association began tracking the statistic.
``More home buyers are putting down larger down payments, and many of them are opting for more stable loan products,'' CAR Vice President and Chief Economist Leslie Appleton-Young said. ``Additionally, historically low mortgage rates have reduced monthly mortgage payments substantially, making owning a house more affordable, even with rising home prices.''
The number of homes sold in California increased by 1.9 percent between April and May, but fell 3.6 percent from May 2012, according to CAR.
With 92 percent of homebuyers beginning their Home Search on the internet, it is crucial that Real Estate agents pick up and use the tools of Social Media to help market real estate: the property for sale and the real estate services they provide. Acquiring a base of “friends” and “followers” through social engagement via Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube Google+, Pinterest and other up-and-coming portals of interactive communication is simple. Post regularly and include content that engages and stimulates interest and furthers conversation. Homebuyers, sellers and agents alike can utilize these new tools as an introduction to a property. Posting a listing and syndicating it throughout the web maximizes exposure of a home. Of course, nothing beats actually walking through a home, but now buyers are able to preview homes of interest beforehand and eliminate the wasted time of traveling and touring sight unseen.
It is imperative for an agent to stay current and in-touch by setting up an informative Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest account. It proves the realtor is tech-savvy, a forward thinker, socially aware, and actively engaged in the business. Staying current and in-touch by setting up an informative Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest account can set you apart from the pack. It is estimated that only 56 percent of realtors use social media and only 12 percent of realtors maintain a blog.
Not only does tapping into the strength of Social Media assist in promoting business and current home listings, but it helps to acquire listings. An agent’s online presence serves as an online resume, offering several means for potential clients to pre-screen the person that was referred to them. Today, a website or friend’s referral may not be enough to convince a buyer or seller to work with that realtor. An online property listing with just a few images of the home, just a tidbit of information and a simple video used to be enough for buyers, but today’s modern buyers—especially the younger ones—want more information such as what is accessed from a YouTube channel. People today want to peruse multiple videos and even a Facebook page that was created for just that home listing. More exposure can help generate more interest in a home, but only if it’s the right kind of publicity. Ensure the home has been captured with excellent professional-quality photography and videography to showcase it in the best light. Bad content makes for a bad listing.
Informative content, such as tweets on Twitter from local agents commenting on a home or its area, the current mortgage rates, etc. are perfect to pass along to the buyer or seller. Pinterest is a great Real Estate industry asset, where photos of the listings can be uploaded into albums the buyer or seller can examine easily. Even posting pictures of interesting home interiors that exhibit various colors and styles can peak the imagination of a buyer and help them decide what type of home they are looking for—and what you can select for them to consider. Social Media is a great tool, but of course, does not replace the one-on-one relationship established between the in-person contact of agent and a buyer or seller. At some point the computer, cell phone or tablet must be turned off so the home tours can begin.
Just a few affordable updates, repairs and renovations can help you get top dollar for your home. Potential buyers are looking for certain features that best match their tastes and lifestyle needs. Every choice, from paint to fixtures, impacts a buyer’s interest and can bring you to a quick sale for your price.
Just a few affordable updates, repairs and renovations can help you get top dollar for your home. Potential buyers are looking for certain features that best match their tastes and lifestyle needs. Every choice, from paint to fixtures, impacts a buyer’s interest and can bring you to a quick sale for your price. As one of the most used rooms in the home, it only makes sense to have a fully functional and stylish décor to entice the home seeker to make an offer.
Transform your bath without breaking your pre-sale budget:
1. It’s important when showing your house to present a neutral space that will suit the majority of buyers that are considering your home. Bright and vibrant paint and wallpaper colors that you might like may turn-off most buyers. Esoteric colors should be toned down with a more pale and soothing color. A nice white trim on the door and cabinets will give the room a fresh and clean appearance.
2. If your fixtures are more than 15 years old, consider upgrading with more water-efficient faucets and toilets. You can reduce water flow by at least 30 percent without downgrading performance. Equipping your bath with high-efficiency plumbing products can be a major selling point. “Green” upgrades can be highlighted as a call-out on the listing; the ability to lower utility bills is a great selling point.
3. Upgrade lighting fixtures and create a scheme with stylish flair. Just replacing a few fixtures with energy-efficient styles can completely transform the look of your bath. Focus on lighting that provides even illumination over the vanity and overhead in the shower and tub.
4. Replace flooring and transform the look and feel of your bath. This can be a fairly affordable update since this is one of the smallest rooms in your home. Stick with materials that will stand up to the rigors of everyday use. Avoid wood, bamboo or laminate that can react adversely to moisture.
A little imagination can make a big difference when you want your home to stand out from the pack. Check out the video below for more inspiration.
Having the knowledge and know-how to keep your home maintained is one of the most important aspects of property ownership. Keeping the structure and the systems that make your house a home up-to-date and repaired can avoid costly repairs and permanent damage. As the years go by, the harsh elements of weather will wear down both the interior and exterior of your home. Practice preventative care! At least once a year, you should be thoroughly inspecting your property to check that everything is functioning normally and note any repairs that may be needed.
Keep these points in mind when practicing preventative home care:
Pests & Insects: Check thoroughly for insects and unwanted pests such as destructive termites. Make sure there is no point where the wood of your home is in contact with the soil, and trim away bushes and trees from your home’s foundation. Catch an infestation immediately and save thousands of dollars in future structural repairs.
Doors & Windows: Inspect all of the doors and windows to make sure there are no air leaks or points of entry for sand or water to enter into your home and air to escape. Check the seals regularly and save money on your energy bill.
Roof, Gutters and Downspouts: Make sure that you also inspect the roof at least once a year. Look for any loose shingles or damaged roof tiles. If you spot damage early, it will be a lot less expensive to fix than the water damage that would be caused in your attic by a leaky roof. Gutters and downspouts also need to be cleared and free of leaves or tree debris.
These are just a few important preventative measures that every homeowner should know.
HERE'S TO ALL OF US BORN BEFORE 1979!
First, we survived being born to mothers who smoked and/or drank while they were pregnant. They took aspirin, ate blue cheese dressing, tuna from a can and didn't get tested for diabetes.Then after that trauma, we were put to sleep on our tummies in baby cribs covered with bright colored lead-base paints.
We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, locks on doors or cabinets and when we rode our bikes, we had baseball caps not helmets on our heads. As infants & children, we would ride in cars with no car seats, no booster seats, no seat belts, no air bags, bald tires and sometimes no brakes. Riding in the back of a pick- up truck on a warm day was always a special treat.
We drank water from the garden hose and not from a bottle. We shared one soft drink with four friends, from one bottle and no one actually died from this.
We ate cupcakes, white bread, real butter and bacon. We drank Kool-Aid made with real white sugar. And, we weren't overweight.. WHY?
Because we were always outside playing...that's why! We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back when the streetlights came on.. No one was able to reach us all day. And, we were OKAY. We would spend hours building our go-carts out of scraps and then ride them down the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes. After running into the bushes a few times, we learned to solve the problem.
We did not have Play Stations, Nintendo's and X-boxes. There were no video games, no 150 channels on cable, no video movies or DVD's, no surround-sound or CD's, no cell phones, no personal computers, no Internet and no chat rooms. WE HAD FRIENDS and we went outside and found them!
We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth and there were no lawsuits from these accidents. We would get spankings with wooden spoons, switches, ping pong paddles, or just a bare hand and no one would call child services to report abuse.
We ate worm and mud pies made from dirt, and the worms did not live in us forever. We were given BB guns for our 10th birthdays, made up games with sticks and tennis balls and, although we were told it would happen, we did not poke out very many eyes.
We rode bikes or walked to a friend's house and knocked on the door or rang the bell, or just walked in and talked to them.
Little League had tryouts and not everyone made the team. Those who didn't had to learn to deal with disappointment. Imagine that! The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke the law was unheard of. They actually sided with the law!
These generations have produced some of the best risk-takers, problem solvers and inventors ever. The past 50 years have been an explosion of innovation and new ideas. We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned how to deal with it all. If YOU are one of them, CONGRATULATIONS!
You might want to share this with others who have had the luck to grow up as kids, before the lawyers and the government regulated so much of our lives for our own good.
Kind of makes you want to run through the house with scissors, doesn't it?
Zwemmer & Associates Inc. of Keller Williams Luxury Homes International sponsored a special day trip to Disneyland for children of the Olive Crest Academy in Coachella. Over 40 children, their chaperones and members from the Zwemmer team travelled to Anaheim on Tuesday, May 28. “It is always a thrill to experience this trip each year, and help create happy memories for kids that otherwise may never have the opportunity to visit Disneyland,” said Rob Zwemmer, President of Zwemmer and Associates.
Since 1973, Olive Crest has offered hope and helped to create bright, positive futures for abused, at-risk and neglected children. Approximately 2,000 children and families are currently served by Olive Crest each day; a non-profit organization dedicated to preventing child abuse, treating and educating at-risk children, and preserving the family unit. Zwemmer and Associates is proud to be a contributing part of their efforts.
Zwemmer added: “The care and safety of children is a growing concern as many families today are challenged by various issues that can negatively impact the household. This Disneyland trip is a fun, carefree time these deserving kids will always have to look back and reflect on.”
There are many things you can say are “Dishwasher Safe”! You might be able to combine some cleaning jobs with your regular dishwashing session, saving you time and money, plus, the dishwasher can sterilize and thoroughly clean items that will save you time and elbow grease!
Not all of these items can or should be washed with your dishes or pots and pans. Noted are the ones to keep in a separate load.
1. Ziploc bags. A trip through the dishwasher will give used Ziploc bags a good cleaning. Just make sure you spread the bag open on some prongs, so the water gets into it completely.
2. Bathroom wastebaskets. Bathroom waste baskets can collect gunk over time. Fit them into the dishwasher (you may need to remove the top rack) and run them through a normal cycle.
3. Plastic Hair Brushes, Combs, Headbands, etc. These items can get dirty over time from hair oils and products. Pull out any strands of hair, then place them in a dishwasher basket on the top rack and run through a typical cycle. Please note: Only do this with plastic or metal items, not with products that have wood handles or natural brush fibers.
4. Pet dishes. It’s recommended by vets to run pet dishes through a dishwasher at least occasionally, to prevent growing bacteria which can make them sick. You can do this alongside people dishes, unless you have a baby and/or a family member with immune system problems – in that case, you’d want to run them separately on the sanitizing cycle.
5. Soap dishes, toothbrush holders, other bathroom items. Personal care items that get filmy over time can be run through a normal cycle on the top rack, along with other dishes on a routine dishwashing.
6. Metal fixtures. Put clogged shower heads, grungy faucets and similar items through a pots and pans cycle on the top rack, along with your regular pots and pans.
7. Sponges and dish brushes. Along with a regular dishwashing on a normal cycle, throw in your sponges and brushes for dishes to give them a thorough cleaning and, in the case of the sponges, remove the bacteria so they’ll be safe to use until they start falling apart.
8. Gardening tools. Wash plastic-handled (no wood!) trowels and other small gardening tools on the top rack, in a separate load (just in case they have traces of fertilizer and other stuff you don’t want getting onto your dishes).
9. Plastic baby toys. Teething rings and other plastic toys babies put in their mouths deserve a good cleaning. Put them in the dishwasher basket or in a mesh bag on the top rack and wash them along with the regular dishes.
10. Fake plastic flowers. Run them through on a normal cycle to restore their original luster. Make sure every part of the fake plant is plastic – sometimes they have paper stems (but you may be able to pop the plastic petal part off, wash it, and pop it right back on).
11. Microwave trays, drip pans, etc. Use a normal cycle to clean the tray from your microwave, your drip pans and any other metal grease-collecting objects that could use their shine restored.
12. Keyboards. You can actually wash a computer keyboard in the dishwasher.
13. Light fixture globes. Glass and acrylic light fixture globes can be run through a delicate cycle, without a drying cycle.
14. Baseball caps and visors. Plastic hats will benefit from a wash on the top rack, in a separate cycle from your usual dishwashing, with borax instead of dish detergent. You may need to reshape them a bit while they dry.
15. Golf balls. Toss them in with the dishes, in a dishwasher basket so they can’t bang into the rest of your load and break things.
16. Empty your spice containers once in a while, and run them through a regular cycle. Be sure they’re completely dry before you put the dry ingredients back in.
17. Shoes. Sneakers, crocs and sandals can generally be run through the dishwasher. Avoid putting shoes with suede, leather or wood parts into the dishwasher, as they can shrink and/or crack.
18. Sports equipment. Shin guards and other plastic sports equipment can be run through a dishwasher on a normal cycle, just skip the dry cycle.
19. Fridge shelves. Many fridge shelves can be put in the dishwasher to wash, so pull out the top rack to fit them in.
20. Vacuum cleaner attachments. Run them through on a normal cycle to remove film.
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