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.

Advertisements

10 Tips to Help Winterize Your Lake Arrowhead Home  

Winterizing-Your-HomeAccording to forecasts, the Lake Arrowhead area should see snowfall later this week. Just in time for the holidays, the first snowstorm may be picturesque. But if you haven’t taken steps to prep for winter, the impending storm could put your home at risk. To help, we have come up with some tips to help you winterize your Lake Arrowhead house.

  1. Inspect the furnace. You may want to call in an HVAC professional to check your system. In advance of his inspection, check your filters and make sure you change them on a regular basis. Make sure all flammable material is located far from heat sources.
  2. Check windows and doors for leaks. If you hear wind coming through windows or doors, make sure you seal all entry points. Use weather-stripping around doors to prevent cold air from entering the home and caulk windows.
    Frozen Man
  3. Call a Chimney Sweep, to prepare your fireplace for winter use. In the meantime, cap or screen the top of the chimney to keep out rodents and birds. Inspect the damper and check the mortar between bricks.
  4. Schedule Roof Inspection. Consider adding extra insulation to the attic, which will prevent warm air from creeping to your roof. Also, make sure your roofer checks flashing to ensure water cannot enter the home and that he replaces worn roof shingles or tiles.
  1. Check the Foundation. Rake away all debris and edible vegetation from the foundation. And, unless you don’t mind critters living under your house, seal entry points to keep small animals from crawling under the house.
  2. Service Weather-Specific Equipment. Since you won’t need to use most gardening equipment until next summer, drain gas from lawnmowers. Service or tune-up snow blowers. Replace shovels. Stock up on ice-melt and sand. And while you’re at it, you may want to call a snow plow company to arrange for service starting with the first snowfall. Winterize
  3. Prepare Landscaping and Outdoor Surfaces. If branches are hanging low, have trees trimmed so they won’t interfere with electrical wires. If you’re uncertain, ask a gardener when your trees should be pruned, to prevent potential winter injury. Move sensitive potted plants indoors or to a sheltered area.
  4. Install Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors. Install a carbon monoxide detector near your furnace and/ or water heater. Test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors every six months to make sure they are in good working condition.
  5. Prepare an Emergency Kit. Buy indoor candles and matches for use during power outages, which can happen in the San Bernardino Mountains during storms. Locate emergency phone numbers and tape them near your phone or inside the phone book. Store bottled water (3 gallons per person for three days) and non-perishable food supplies (including pet food, if necessary), blankets and a first-aid kit in a cool, dry place. Store in an easy-to-access location. Prepare a family evacuation plan.
  6. Keep pipes from freezing. This is particularly important if you plan to leave your home vacant for any length of time. Locate the water main so you will know where to go to shut it off in an emergency. Drain garden hoses. Insulate exposed plumbing pipes. Before you leave for vacation, set your thermostat to at least 55 degrees.

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.

Porsche Timeline in Lake Arrowhead Village

Porsche TimelineLooking for something fun to do this weekend in Southern California? Here is a fun, low-cost idea. Head up the hill to #LakeArrowheadVillage for the annual Porsche Timeline.

Since the event is free, all you’ll have to come up with is gas and spending money to tour the village, where 70 vintage, tricked-out Porsches representing several exciting models and styles from the early 50’s to 2015 will be on display. The public is invited, with or without a Porsche. And if you drive a Porsche but don’t want to register it, you will still be able to enjoy free, priority-Porsche-only parking in the Village parking lot. And this year’s event is especially noteworthy because it ushers in the first weekend of Oktoberfest, where food and fun reign supreme.

The 2014 Lake Arrowhead Village Porsche Timeline is sponsored by Porsche Riverside Region Club of America.

The 2014 Lake Arrowhead Village Porsche Timeline is sponsored by Porsche Riverside Region Club of America.

Sponsored by the Riverside Our Region, which was founded in March 1968, the timeline event incorporates enthusiasts from the Riverside, San Bernardino and Imperial counties of Southern California, extending into the high desert north towards Las Vegas and south throughout the southern deserts, including Palm Springs. The Riverside Porsche region is the largest group within the PCA Zone 8 of Southern California, representing approximately 600 members. What that means for tourists in #LakeArrowheadVillage is that more Porsches will be parked this weekend than at virtually any other So Cal event. So the nice thing about the #LakeArrowhead event is that it gives permission to peek at Porsches…something most people do every time they see one in a lot or on the street.

Porsche owners will be able to take advantage of expert-information about vehicle services and discounts offered by regional Porsche dealers and independent service and parts vendors. Even Porsche members who are not yet a member of PCA, and Porsche lookie loos are invited to come on by and “kick some tires” and join the fun! Also, as usual in Lake Arrowhead, there are tons of outlet and specialty stores, restaurants and activities on Center Stage.

Once you’ve checked out the Porsche Timeline, you might decide to invest in a vacation or full-time home. But real estate investing 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.

Should You Buy Vacation Property?

Is it Time to Buy Vacation Property?While it may seem attractive to rent timeshare property or register at a hotel for your next holiday, consider the benefits of buying a vacation home in your ideal location:

Equity—why pay rent to cover someone else’s mortgage when your vacation dollars could be building a nest egg? Since the average amount spent on vacation is just over $1,600, according to a study done by Visa, you could greatly reduce the amount spent on meals eaten out and rentals by applying vacation funds directly to your investment portfolio.

Home Away From Home—one of the drags about going on vacation is all of the prep work required. Since packing and lugging your belongings is an unnecessary requirement if you own the home you travel to, vacation home owners rest more than their hotel-going counterparts. After the initial move in, the only thing you’ll need to bring with you on your next trip is a good book.

Room to Relax—why pay per night to rent someone else’s cubicle when you could buy an entire multi-room facility suited precisely to your own taste? Regardless of your budget, the cost-per-stay will go down with every trip if you stay in your own place. And if you take the plunge and buy a vacation home, you will actually save money the more vacations you decide to take!

A Place for New Traditions—if you are taking a family vacation, you are likely doing it (at least in part) to build memories with your family. Purchasing a second home is an investment in family because it will allow you to develop rich family traditions.

Potential for Income—as much as you would love to vacation every day, chances are that your opportunities to get away will be tempered with the demands of the real world—jobs, kids in school, community responsibilities. So you might consider letting your vacation home pay for itself by renting it out. If you buy right, you should be able to entice vacation hunters to pay by the day to stay instead of letting the home sit empty. Many income property owners enjoy their second homes almost rent-free by generating sufficient income during vacation season to cover the total amount of their annual mortgage payments.

Time to Grow— since people rarely increase their wealth by owning property for short periods of time, long-term vacation property investing makes a lot of sense. Instead of purchasing property to let it sit idle while the market improves, why not buy something you can enjoy while it appreciates?

Real estate investing 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.