10 Tips for Selling Your Home in Winter

Part 1 of a 2-Part Series

winter 2In Lake Arrowhead, as in many mountain communities, some people bury their heads in the snow, waiting for spring to arrive. But if you want to sell your Lake Arrowhead home, don’t follow suit. While there are admittedly fewer buyers in cold winter months, there is also a lot less competition. Also, since your Lake Arrowhead house was designed with weather in mind, you should take the opportunity to showcase just how beautiful it is in a winter wonderland. So, now is actually a great time to sell your house— if you follow these 10 tips: (We have provided five tips in this post and will conclude our series next week.)

  1. Showcase winter sport possibilities. Since Lake Arrowhead homes are close to Snow Valley Mountain Resort, call attention to the fact that your house is near a popular ski location. If you own a snowboard or skis, display them inside the house. If not, consider displaying artwork that features ski and snowboard scenes. Your home will sell quickly if buyers can picture themselves taking advantage of nearby winter sports and enjoying snow-capped mountain views.
  2. Let buyers be your guest. Showcase your home in a way that makes potential buyers feel like they are invited guests. Set the dinner table with good china. You might even want to set up an entertaining area that features small snacks and drinks such as cookies and coffee or Doing so will alert buyers to entertaining options. winter
  3. Let the sun shine. Light is more important in the winter months than at any other time of year. So open the shades and let in as much sunlight as you can. Also, keep windows clean to improve buyers’ first impressions. Also important—try to avoid showing your house at night, when ice could create treacherous walkways.
  4. Keep it clean. This tip applies to the outside and inside of your house. The first thing potential buyers will notice is the outside of your house. Unkempt, dirty, cobweb-filled windows and eves could turn off buyers before they ever enter your house. And strong southern light in the winter could reveal grime that otherwise wouldn’t be as noticeable. So dig out your squeegee or hire someone to clean your windows. You might be able to negotiate a cut rate, since winter is a far less popular time to clean windows than spring or summer.
  5. Shovel and salt often. Keeping the sidewalk, driveways, and front steps free of snow and ice is critical to keep prospective buyers safe as they tour your property. Keeping walkways clear will also help make your home appear well-maintained, much like mowing the lawn does in the summer. If you’re not living in the home, or are not home often enough to keep on top of the snow, hire a service to salt and shovel your driveway and walkways.

winter 3Check back next week for the remaining five tips for selling your home in winter. Whether you are buying a first or second home or investing, real estate can be tricky—whether you are buying your first home, purchasing a vacation home, or upgrading from a starter. If you are interested in buying or selling property in Lake Arrowhead, California or the surrounding area, don’t get caught in a Catch 22 — owning two homes or none at all. The Prime Team is the only group of real estate agents in the Lake Arrowhead area who stand by our services by offering a number of guaranteed sales and purchasing programs. So don’t miss a prime opportunity to take advantage of today’s market. We’ll answer all of your questions today, and you’re never under any obligation. Call 1-909-337-7653 and ask for a member of the Prime Team.

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New Year’s Real Estate Resolutions (For Buyers)

luxury buyer 3Part 2 of a 2-Part Series

Are you planning to buy or sell a home in 2015? Whether you are looking to purchase or sell a vacation home or a luxurious place you and your family can live year-round in the Lake Arrowhead area, our gift to you this year is help you keep your 2015 New Year’s Real Estate Resolutions.

In our last post, we examined resolutions for sellers. This week, we will conclude our two-part series by focusing on resolutions for buyers, who may find it tough to find just the right place unless their agent helps map out a strategy. Whether you plan on securing a mortgage or if you plan to pay cash for your luxury locale in Lake Arrowhead, our 2015 Real Estate Resolutions will help you make your move.

Paying Cash

cashIf you can afford to avoid interest rates, work with your accountant to determine a working budget. According to Realtor.com, in the U.S., some 43 percent of homes in the U.S. were paid for by cash. In 2011, that figure was 30 percent. In 2008, that percentage was just 15. So there is definitely an upward trend for paying with cash. If you’re considering making a cash purchase on your next home, consider the perks:

  • The most obvious benefit to paying cash for a home is that it eliminates the need to pay interest on the loan and also cuts many closing costs.
  • As noted in Forbes, one of the best benefits of paying upfront is that you may qualify for a “liquidity” discount.
  • Writing an offer for cash will give you an edge in a competitive market. If a house gets multiple offers, yours will stand out. As Investopedia notes, “a cash buyer’s home is not leveraged, which allows a homeowner to sell the house more easily – even at a loss – regardless of market conditions.”

Despite all of the above, a home without a mortgage is a house without a major tax write-off. So this may be your number one reason to finance. But if you still can’t decide whether to pay cash, evaluate your personal circumstances. And make sure you have enough cash reserves to cover these possibilities, including having funds set aside for retirement, at least six months of emergency funds in a savings account and sufficient health, life and disability insurance

luxury buyer 4Financing

It just may make more sense to use your cash to pay off non-deductible credit obligations than to put cash into a home.

If you’ve decided against paying cash, your first order of business will be to figure out financing. It will be well worth your time to get pre-approved. Speak to a licensed mortgage professional before you start looking at homes. An experienced real estate agent will be able to connect you to a reputable loan officer, who will check your credit and pre-qualify you for a mortgage. It’s vital to take this step before your house-hunt because it’s possible your credit report has errors. These should be addressed before you apply for credit, to ensue you get a favorable interest rate. Also, consider these benefits to financing a home:

  • Tax deductions. When it comes to buying a vacation home, one of the most obvious benefits to securing a mortgage is the tax write-off. This does not just refer to interest and taxes but also points and closing costs.
  • Although losing the mortgage interest deduction can make a cash purchase unappealing, according to BankingMyWay, until you realize this deduction may not be as valuable as it seems. So check with your accountant.
  • The key investment issue may be whether you could earn more by investing the cash in another way. The “return” on cash put into the home equals the mortgage rate you’d pay if you borrowed instead, since it relieves you of that interest cost. Paying cash today, for example, would save you the 4.167% you’d pay on the average mortgage.
  • More options. You may be able to improve the location and/or condition of your second home by securing financing for it instead of solely relying on cash reserves.

luxury buyer 2The best advice when considering which option makes the most sense is to opt for whichever choice gives you more bang for the buck. Also, ask yourself which will provide the greater return on your investment. Whether you are buying a first or second home or investing, real estate can be tricky—whether you are buying your first home, purchasing a vacation home, or upgrading from a starter. If you are interested in buying or selling property in Lake Arrowhead, California or the surrounding area, don’t get caught in a Catch 22 — owning two homes or none at all. The Prime Team is the only group of real estate agents in the Lake Arrowhead area who stand by our services by offering a number of guaranteed sales and purchasing programs. So don’t miss a prime opportunity to take advantage of today’s market. We’ll answer all of your questions today, and you’re never under any obligation. Call 1-909-337-7653 and ask for a member of the Prime Team.

How to Buy Luxury Gifts this Holiday Season

woman counting money at holiday gifts backgroundAccording to Forbes Magazine, “Luxury these days is not about price or brand name or status. It’s about heritage, exclusivity, access and experience. It’s also about items that are deliberate, thoughtful and beautifully functional. Simplicity is genius, after all.” We agree. Because the Prime Team caters to clients in the #luxury market, we wanted to provide our readers, subscribers and friends with some helpful hints for finding and purchasing the perfect holiday gift for anyone on your holiday gift list who seems to have everything.

moneyHere are some Holiday Gift Suggestions for Hard-to-Buy-for Friends and Family

money bagFor more ideas, you could order Luxury World: The Past, Present and Future of Luxury Brands, which would set you back a mere $20 on Amazon.com. And if you are in the market to buy or sell your luxury home in or around the Lake Arrowhead area, consider working with the Prime Team. #RealEstate investing can be tricky—especially if you are in the market for #LuxuryProperty.

Don’t get caught in a Catch 22 — owning two homes or none at all. The Prime Team is the only group of real estate agents in the Lake Arrowhead area who stand by our services by offering a number of guaranteed sales and purchasing programs. Recently named the exclusive Lake Arrowhead member of Leverage Global Partners, we are perfectly positioned to help you take advantage of today’s luxury market. We’ll answer all of your questions today, and you’re never under any obligation. Call 1-909-337-7653 and ask for a member of the Prime Team.

10 Tips for Buying Luxury Property

ServiceAlthough it’s difficult to quantify the definition of a luxury property, most buyers know one when they see it. The scale is grand. The location, ideal. The house, much more than a home. If you are looking to buy or sell a luxury home, you are in good company, as estate sales are hitting records across the country. For example, the number of California homes selling for $2 million or more reached an all-time high in 2013.

According to data prepared by Nationwide Real Estate Schools:“ the 11.6% price growth in California over the last year means that a house worth $925,000 last summer may be worth $1,032,300 today. (What’s more), the influx of international buyers is pushing up prices at the high end.”

When it comes to looking for a starter home or even a modest upgrade, the expertise and experience of your real estate agent is far less important than if you want to purchase a luxury home. The reasons for this are many:

Closeup, Time and Money. Gold Tone.

  • Time is money. Investing in luxury property is done mostly by people whose success is owed to hard work and wise use of time. While junior employees can afford the time to scour websites and pound the pavement in search of great bargains, successful entrepreneurs and C-suite executives understand that time is money. So they appreciate working with an expert who does the legwork for them—showing only the best possible options.
  • Connections are key. Luxury property is unlike that on a more modest level, in that networking is critical. The most luxurious properties come on the market only to be snatched up by the first discerning consumer. So anyone who is interested in buying or selling a luxury home will benefit from the experience of brokers and agents who are in the know.
  • Money talks. The real estate professional you choose for a relatively small real estate transaction is less critical than if you are dealing with a six-figure sale. Don’t leave your property search to someone who doesn’t intricately understand the market.

To help you on your quest, we have prepared 10 steps to help you buy luxury property. In next week’s blog, we will focus on 10 steps to help you prepare to sell your luxury home.

湖畔の秋5 Steps to Help You Buy Luxury Property

  1. Find the right agent. Although this is always the case, in luxury transactions, working with the perfect real estate professional will make the difference between a successful transaction and a frustrating process. The Prime Team is a Leverage Global Partner, uniquely aligned with the most prestigious independent real estate brokerage firms around the world. Leverage Global Partners offers its members the opportunity to better serve their clients’ relocation and real estate portfolio needs by establishing each member firm as a key player in the international real estate arena. Prime Properties is the only Leverage member in Lake Arrowhead.
  2. Don’t overlook the basics.The foundation of energy efficiency begins with the basics — sealing and insulation, an orientation for optimal efficiency, adequate ventilation, an HVAC system correctly sized for the house and Energy Star-rated appliances (or better)! The green issue looming on the horizon is water usage. Consider any feature that conserves water or collects water to be a plus.
  3. If necessary, procure financing in advance, if possible. Most brokers who specialize in luxury real estate will be able to assist you with this. As long as the terms you offer are attractive and you come in with a large down payment, you are in equal position with a cash buyer who is offering less than market value for the home, according to Iyna Bort Caruso of The Wall Street Journal.
  4. Do your due diligence. In many cases, since luxury homes are large, they feature amenities that may require specialized home inspectors. (If you work with an experienced real estate professional, he or she will be able to help you find experts of this kind.)
  5. Don’t rush the process. Although the market has improved, it may take awhile to find the perfect property. Trust the agent you are working with to find you the right home and to negotiate on your behalf to make sure you secure it.

#RealEstate investing can be tricky—especially if you are in the market for #LuxuryProperty. If you are interested in buying or selling property in Lake Arrowhead, California or the surrounding area, don’t get caught in a Catch 22 — owning two homes or none at all. The Prime Team is the only group of real estate agents in the Lake Arrowhead area who stand by our services by offering a number of guaranteed sales and purchasing programs. Recently named the exclusive Lake Arrowhead member of Leverage Global Partners, we are perfectly positioned to help you take advantage of today’s luxury market. We’ll answer all of your questions today, and you’re never under any obligation. Call 1-909-337-7653 and ask for a member of the Prime Team.