Tag

Home Selling

Time to garden… landscaping in the spring.

By | Around the house | No Comments

While in the Netherlands it takes till April until the nice spring weather start, Springtimein Sonoma County, it’s usually February that gives me that ‘it’s spring again’ feeling.  Such is life in the Bay Area.

While January is the perfect time to plant bare rooted trees, spring is just around the corner. Besides, it’s never too early to start thinking about spring plantings and home landscaping plans for the coming year, especially if you plan to put your property on the market.

The Professional Landcare Network, the national trade association for landscape professionals, offers smart advice for homeowners looking to get a jump on spring. Here’s a quick summary of the organization’s recommendations:

  • First, inspect the trees and shrubs in your yard, looking for limbs or branches that might be broken or damaged. Prune them or have them removePruning treesd by a professional.
  • Rake away leaves and other debris from plant beds, prune any dead branches, and create tidy borders around the beds using an edging tool.
  • Test the soil every few years to make sure it has the proper pH balance and nutrient mix. Most garden centers sell soil-testing kits if you’re in do-it-yourself mode, or you can consult a lawn-care or landscape professional.
  • Depending on the plants in your yard and the soil conditions, you may want to fertilize it, along with trees and shrubs. Check with an expert for the timing and type of fertilizer. When possible, choose slow-release or controlled-release nutrients to prevent runoff and increase absorption
  • Add an inch-thick layer of mulch in plant beds and around trees, but don’t let the mulch touch the tree trunk and never let it accumulate to more than a three-inch depth. Mulch makes planting areas look neat and also helps to retain moisture in the soil. It keeps the roots cool in the summer and insulates them in the winter.
  • Check your outdoor lights for broken fixtures. Reset timers when daylight saving time begins on March 8.

If you have questions about pest management at home or in your yard or garden, a local  nursery is a great resource. Personally I find the people at Harmony nursery in Sebastopol very helpful and very knowledgeable.

Happy gardening and share some pictures when you have a chance

Mirjam

Purchase Real Estate with Bitcoin

By | Buyers, Economy, Sellers, Sonoma County info | No Comments
Bitcoin

Image source https://www.flickr.com/photos/100239928@N08/

An article on August 8 in WSJ online caught my eye: Lake Tahoe Property Sells for $1.6 Million in BitcoinsBitcoin is a software-based online payment system, a digital currency. Here is other article about this transaction in Martis Camp’s Lodge Estates. The transaction was paid using the bitpay service. 

At first it looks unusual but from a transaction perspective it is  more like a cash transaction. Instead of dollars, euros or yens, bitcoins are used. Similar to when paying with ‘foreign’ currency, an exchange rate is used. The property in Lake Tahoe sold for 2,739 BTC which was at the time appr $1,6 million.Dutch Euro

What currency or method is used to pay for property is something to agree upon between the buyer and the seller. Whether a buyer uses a mortgage, pays cash, uses a digital currency, or even an exchange -for instance an other property of equal value- doesn’t matter as long as the  parties involved agree and the method of payment is legally acceptable. Of utmost importance is to check with a CPA/financial advisor for tax consequences and an attorney as to possible legal consequences.

Bottom line: whether or not paying in bitcoin does not make a whole lot of difference to a transition as a whole. Buyers do their due diligence – the standard time for inspections etc in our local contracts is 17 days-, sellers do their due diligence -in this case whether the method of payment is acceptable – and upon agreement the deal closes.

Mirjam

Making that move into your dream home

By | Buyers, Sellers, Sonoma County info | No Comments

There are quite a few people who’s situation has changed and their current life style does not match the home they are living in. It’s either to small, too big, the yard is to small or too big, to name just a few.

YardRight now there is not a lot of inventory in the wine country. Homes sell fast and quite often with multiple offers, sellers have a choice when offers come in.

So how about moving into your dream home?  Option 1:  Selling and moving into a rental means you have to move twice. Not so desirable.

Option 2: Making an offer contingent upon the sale of a home. This might not get your offer accepted. Why would a seller choose a more difficult transaction when there is the option of a sale without this contingency.

Option 3: A better option is this market is to sell your home contingent upon you finding a new home. This means that you might have to go with a little lower asking price to make sure that you have found a committed buyer who is willing to wait.  Then, when you find your dream home, finalize the sale of your current home and rent back for a week or 2. The money received from the sale of your home can be used to purchase your new home.

There are many options to consider when buying and selling real estate, your local Realtor will be able to help you sell your home and  move into your dream home, taking the local market conditions into account.

Mirjam

 

Staging a home works and sets expectations.

By | Buyers, Sellers | No Comments

Millbrook frontWhen showing homes to prospective buyers, I always love to show homes that are Staged. These homes are free of clutter and show well. It is easy for a buyer to see whether it would be a good match for their needs. Staged homes tend to sell faster and quite often for more money.

The initial decision to purchase a property is an emotional one and  driven by the sub conscious. It’s a great house, feels good, has lovely colors, great yard etc etc. This decision is justified afterwards by reason: the house is well maintained, no major flaws, great neighborhood etc etc. The different property inspections confirm the condition of the house, major appliances plumbing, electrical etc etc.

There is a flip side:

Staged KitchenWhen a home shows well it sets the expectation that it is well maintained and there are maybe only a few items that need attention. Imagine the response of a buyer who totally falls in love with a house and the inspections show a list of major and minor problems that need attention: plumbing leaks, improper drainage, ducts laying in the mud, a patched roof at the end of it’s life etc etc. The response more often than not is: what else is not maintained/taken care of/do we not know?Staged family room

While it is always wise to do at least a pest inspection prior to putting a home on the market, it is a must for homes that staged to perfection. I also highly recommend a general home inspection. The reason being the incredible first impression might turn into a incredibly low one. Neither of these are true to reality yet it is what is very likely to happen.

Especially in the higher priced areas -Sonoma County, Napa County- it’s worth spending the $350-$400 on a pest inspection to avoid cumbersome negotiations while in escrow. Preparing for a smooth sales process is beneficial for all parties involved.

Mirjam