Showing posts from December, 2019

4 Unique Ways to Market Your Home

David Deem 714-997-3486
If you’re thinking about listing your home on the market soon, you’ll want it to sell as quickly as possible for the highest possible price. While local market conditions are usually the main factor affecting both of those outcomes, creative marketing can also play a significant role. Talk to your real estate agent about deploying one the following strategies to help your home stand out, no matter what the market:

1. Target niche buyers. While you want to cast the widest possible net when attracting potential buyers to your home, your home might be just right for a particular segment of the market. For example, is your master bedroom on the first floor or do you have a ranch style home? You could have the perfect place for retiring Boomers. Do you have a fenced-in yard and a finished basement? Those are ideal selling points for families with small children. Talk to your agent about the unique qualities of your home that might make it appeal to a …

2020 Housing Market Predictions: A Snapshot

David Deem 714-997-3486
With 2020 nearing, experts and forecasters have issued many market predictions, aligning on certain points, but diverging in opinion on others. Below, RISMedia's snapshot:

Although homebuilders maintain optimism, buyer demand is stronger, and analysts are divided on whether inventory is meaningfully rising. For 2020, the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) expects 10.6 percent more housing starts (multifamily and single-family), while® researchers forecast a 6 percent increase in single-family starts. On the flip side, the Urban Land Institute projected single-family starts to tumble 4.7 percent. According to Census data, construction in November spiked—an encouraging indicator.

Home Prices
After a cooling-off period, home prices reignited this year, and are expected to further increase in 2020. How much? At most, a cohort of economists at the NAR Forecast Summit predicted a 3.6 percent rise; at least,…

How to Tackle Holiday Clean-up

David Deem 714-997-3486 The holidays are a special time of year for most, filled with merry festivities, time spent with friends and family, time off and travel. What’s not to love? The clean-up, that’s what!

When it’s finally time to confront taking down the decorations, here are a few ways to simplify the task, preserve your holiday decor, and stay safe in the process, courtesy of Pillar To Post Home Inspectors.

Enlist the whole family. The onus for ‘de-decorating’ shouldn’t be placed on the shoulders of one person. Get the whole family involved with age-appropriate tasks, with one person removing ornaments from the tree and carefully packaging them, another taking down lights, and someone else gathering miscellaneous items, like garlands and trinkets.

Start at the bottom. When taking ornaments off the tree, start at the bottom and work your way up to avoid knocking ornaments off in the process.

Handle broken ornaments safely. If you do encounter a broken glass ornam…

5 Ways to Use 'The Color of the Year'

David Deem 714-997-3486
Pantone’s official shade for 2020 is Classic Blue, a color that’s meant to instill "calm, confidence and connection." The color was chosen based on trend analysis conducted by the company's color experts, who examine both emotional trends and color influences in the entertainment industry, art, fashion, textiles and even popular events, like sports.

If you want to add this on-trend shade into your home decor, here are five great ways to do so:

1.. Dress up a powder room. The blue tone is perfect for adding a touch of class to a powder room. Use it on one wall or all four, and consider nautical or seashore-themed accessories to complete the look.

2. Add color to the kitchen. If your kitchen is decked out in a sea of white or grey cabinets and stainless steel appliances, use Classic Blue for a bright contrast to a mostly neutral decor scheme. Then you can have fun accessorizing with cobalt glass decoratives or blue earthenware and pott…

The Top Housing Markets for 2020 May Surprise You

David Deem 714-997-3486

With a lack of inventory and affordability concerns in many locations, homebuyers are opting to purchase in alternative locations, especially first-time homebuyers. Thanks to factors such as strong local economies, job creation and available inventory at the entry-level price point, several unexpected locations are topping®’s housing market list for next year, including Boise, Idaho, McAllen, Texas, and Tucson, Ariz.

According to®'s recently released analysis of the 100 largest metros, based on projected home sales and price data, there is a clear trend of people moving from expensive coastal cities to more affordable areas inland. In fact, nine out of 10 of 2020's hottest markets are not on the coast, a significant change from last year when four out of 10 markets were on or near the water. Boise, in fact, jumped from the No. 8 position last year to the top spot for 2020, thanks to an influx of out-of-state buyer…

Home Staging on a Budget

David Deem 714-997-3486
Having a home professionally staged has many benefits. Staging can help present a property in its best light, potentially making it more appealing to prospective buyers. Many times, staging may help a home sell more quickly and sometimes even for a higher contract price.

Bringing in professional home stagers does come with a cost, and sellers may not always be able to assume those costs. In those cases, homes can be staged by the sellers themselves with input and advice from you. Here are some tips you can share that can help get a home ready to show:

Prioritize the best features.
Ask yourself what will most likely attract buyers to the home, and then focus on those things first. For example, if the home has a beautiful fireplace or a fantastic view, be sure to have sellers arrange furniture and lighting to play up those features. If a large master bathroom is a selling point, have them spend time spiffing it up.

Clear clutter and personal items.

Merry Christmas-Mortgage Rates Still Dropping

David Deem 714-997-3486
Because wages continue to grow at a rate higher than inflation, people are gainfully employed, making money and feeling good about it. Good enough to invest it on something like a 30-year mortgage that, according to Freddie Mac, averages 3.69 percent right now (at press time). Let’s not forget that fixed-rate mortgages in the early ’80s inched up to 19 percent and people were still buying homes. Now that’s perspective. Investors and economists alike expect interest rates to stagnate, or even decrease in 2020, which means there’s a lot more positive to come. DRE #01266522

First-Time Homebuyers: Come on In

David Deem 714-997-3486
Deterred last year by skyrocketing home prices and low inventory in many markets, first-time homebuyers stepped out of the way. But, a recent TransUnion estimate released in late October indicated that favorable economic conditions, including low unemployment and low interest rates, will send an estimated 8.31-9.2 million first-time homebuyers into the market in the next three years. DRE #01266522

5 Winter Home Safety Tips

David Deem 714-997-3486

When you see frost on the windows in the morning, feel the crunch of leaves underfoot and hear the roar of fire in the fireplace, old man winter has returned.

While you often hear about cold-weather fashion and beauty essentials, there is some maintenance your home needs too. Give your sanctuary some love with these five steps from the home safety experts at Kidde.

Clean Your Oven 
Ranges and cooktops are involved in 62 percent of home fires, according to the National Fire Protection Association. Stovetops and ranges, in particular, caused 87 percent of home fire deaths. Particularly in the winter when comfort foods are prominent, it's necessary to clean your oven and stovetop to remove grease and fat, which can ignite. Always keep towels and oven mitts away from hot appliances.

Keep a Kitchen Fire Extinguisher Ready
Research from the National Fire Protection Association shows about half of all home fires start in the kitchen, so it's impo…

Creating a Safe, Secure Multigenerational Home

David Deem 714-997-3486

Whether you're expecting a new addition to the family or making room for your elderly in-laws, transitioning your living space to accommodate multiple generations takes careful planning.

"Delayed marriage patterns, increased life expectancy and the housing crisis have all contributed to the resurgence of multi-generational households," says Richard Hart, co-owner of Harts Services. "While these homes are excellent solutions for many families, it's important to remember they often have unique plumbing and safety needs."

To help, Harts Services recommends making the following updates:

Install a new toilet. A standard ADA toilet is a more aesthetically pleasing option than a raised toilet seat. This toilet style is great for family members with limited mobility. Individuals with arthritis or that have had hip or knee replacements will greatly benefit from this upgrade.

Be mindful of the water heater temperature. It's i…

Window Condensation: What You Should Know

David Deem 714-997-3486

Most homeowners have experienced the curiosity of moisture or frost gathering on your windows as the temperature drops. But why does this happen, and what does it mean about the effectiveness of your windows?

To explore this, window expert Lyle Kvarnlov, Product and Services manager for Marvin, offers insight into the surprising factors that can contribute to window condensation and steps you can take to improve or prevent it.

Never underestimate the power of airflow. If there's one takeaway for reducing potential window condensation, it's making sure that the air is moving in your home. Use fans to help promote circulation, and make sure that your bathrooms and kitchen are properly ventilated with exhaust fans that are vented to the outside. The same rules apply to laundry areas, as the exhaust from a dryer can emit large amounts of water vapor in a short period of time if vented into your home.

Identify unexpected culprits. There are man…

Why Many Seniors Are Choosing to Retire in Communities

David Deem 714-997-3486

By Meghan Belnap

Retirement looks very different than it did even a few decades ago. Today's seniors are more active and most are looking for new opportunities after retirement. It makes sense, then, to consider these reasons why so many seniors are choosing to live in communities instead of more traditional retirement locations:

One of the most attractive parts of living in a senior community is that each resident owns his or her own home. These retirement community homes might be built with seniors in mind, but they're still independent living units over which the residents have full control. For those who want to maintain independence, living in one of these homes is ideal. It's also much easier to make the transition into retirement when it's coupled with a transition into a new home instead of a retirement facility.

A Community of Seniors
Another reason why so many seniors choose to retire in communities is that …

Removing Wallpaper Doesn't Have to be Difficult - Follow These Tips for an Easy Transformation

David Deem 714-997-3486

By John Voket, RISMedia Columnist

Anyone who has ever wallpapered or removed wallpaper from a room in their home knows how tedious the job can be. Jennifer Grinter, an agent with LG Real Estate in Carey, NC ( offers some advice for homeowners who are looking to save a lot of trouble before the wallpapering process even begins as well as down the road when you are remodeling and have found a different wallpaper that fits your current style.

Tapping various personal and professional resources, as well as her own experience, Grinter suggests before you ever install wallpaper, you can save yourself tons of grief years later by sizing your walls before hanging the first sheet.

"Sizing is a primer product you put on the wall to prepare it for wallpaper," Grinter stated in a recent blog. "This preparation allows the wallpaper to adhere better and allows for easier removal of the wallpaper later on."

Her step-by-step a…

Power Lines and Property Values - One Doesn't Affect the Other

David Deem 714-997-3486
When it comes to searching for the right property, prospective homebuyers have a list of 'wants' and 'don't wants' of items they can't live without, and those they would rather not see in our around their home. Power lines are one feature that rarely appear on an owner's want list, as many people believe they will affect the value of the property. However, a recent article published in The Appraisal Journal's summer issue reports that a property's value is not affected when the home is located close to high-voltage transmission lines, or when those power lines are visible from the home.

"High-Voltage Transmission Lines: Proximity, Visibility, and Encumbrance Effects," by James A. Chalmers, PhD, and Frank A. Voorvaart, PhD, cites a study of 1,200 home sales in Massachusetts and Connecticut from 1998 to 2007. The study also found that a transmission line easement adjoining a home's property had onl…

Orange County Housing Market Summary: December 17, 2019

David Deem 714-997-3486

•The active listing inventory dropped by 389 homes in the past two-weeks, down 8%, and now totals 4,546, the lowest level since March 2018. Last year, there were 6,395 homes on the market, 1,849 more than today, or an extra 41%.

•Demand, the number of pending sales over the prior month, decreased by 221 pending sales in the past two-weeks, down 10%, its largest drop of the year, and now totals 1,949. Last year, there were 1,508 pending sales, 23% fewer than today.

•The Expected Market Time for all of Orange County increased from 68 days to 70, a slight Seller’s Market (between 60 to 90 days). It was at 127 days last year and climbing, substantially different compared to today.

•For homes priced below $750,000, the market is a hot Seller’s Market (less than 60 days) with an expected market time of 46 days. This range represents 36% of the active inventory and 54% of demand.

•For homes priced between $750,000 and $1 million, the expected market ti…

Homebuyer Optimism Sparked, but Affordability Questionable

David Deem 714-997-3486
By Suzanne De Vita

In November, Americans' confidence in home-buying ignited, boosted by low mortgage rates, according to Fannie Mae's Home Purchase Sentiment Index®, newly released.

As a consumer measure, the Home Purchase Sentiment Index gauges optimism and perceptions, based on questions such as "Is it a good time to buy a home?" Last month, the Index rose to 91.5—nearing a record set this year, and up 5.3 points year-over-year.

So, is it a good time to buy a home?
Sixty-one percent of Americans—an increase—say yes, but 29 percent believe not, according to Fannie Mae's survey.

What about selling?
Sixty-six percent of Americans believe it's prime selling time—a minor slip—but 26 percent believe not.

Will home prices rise?
Forty-four percent of Americans peg prices to rise in the upcoming year, 10 percent believe they'll come down, and 40 percent believe they'll remain unchanged.

…and mortgage rates?
Eleven percent…

Fed Holds on Rates: Now What?

David Deem 714-997-3486
At the conclusion of its last meeting of the year, the Federal Reserve kept rates unchanged, in the 1.5 percent-1.75 percent range, and announced its economic projections, or “dot plot,” anticipating 1.9 percent growth in inflation in 2020. Based on its projections, the Fed is likely to keep rates unchanged, as well, in the upcoming year.

“The [Federal Open Market] Committee judges that the current stance of monetary policy is appropriate to support sustained expansion of economic activity, strong labor market conditions, and inflation near the Committee’s symmetric 2 percent objective,” according to the policymaker’s statement.

“Everybody’s well aligned around this being the appropriate level of rates for now, and that the state of the economy does not warrant further action at this time,” explains Greg McBride, chief financial analyst at Bankrate, of the vote.

The Fed’s goal is keeping momentum up, as the current economic expansion, the longes…

Home Improvement projects worth doing.

David Deem 714-997-3486
If you’re on the fence about a home improvement project, wondering whether or not it will be worth the time, money and disruption to daily life, consider the results of a recent survey.

According to the 2019 Remodeling Impact Report from the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), with insights from the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI), homeowners who decide to undergo a home improvement project, whether it be interior or exterior modifications, often find that the task was worth the investment and time. 

The report examines a variety of remodeling projects, using responses to rank the appeal of a given project, rank the value of the project in terms of resale and determine its overall functionality. The findings also reveal the reasons for remodeling, the success of taking on the various projects and the increased happiness reported in the home upon completion of the job.

According to the report, after completing a remode…

7 Things to do Before Leaving Home for the Holidays

David Deem 714-997-3486
Leaving home for the holidays can be the highlight of the year, whether you're off to grandmother's house with the family, or headed to that annual tropical getaway. However, homes left vacant during the holidays can be a prime target for theft, or vulnerable to severe weather damage.

To help, Erie insurance offers the following top-of-mind tips before you pack your bags and hit the road or runway. 

Share your itinerary. Let a few trusted people know where you are going and when. They will more than likely text you if they need to reach you, but you should still share the rundown of your travel plans, including departure and arrival dates, flight numbers and times, and a contact number where you'll be staying. After all, a backup is always good in case something happens to your phone (or your ability to charge it).

Take care of deliveries. Don't forget to have something done about your mail. If a neighbor can collect it daily, that…

Help Your Trees Survive a Storm

David Deem 714-997-3486

If you’re expecting severe weather in the season ahead, it’s time to help your trees get ready to withstand the storm. The National Association of Landscape Professionals suggests you take these six steps right now to make sure your trees are up to the next weather challenge:

1. Carefully inspect your trees. Look for peeling bark, chips or cracks in the trunk. Is the soil heaving at the base? Are there holes or cavities, dead branches or leafless twigs and budless branches? All of these symptoms are signs of a weakened tree that needs pruning or possibly removal, depending on how widespread the damage is.

2. Start pruning. Cut away dead, weak or diseased branches and twigs. While this will protect your tree and your property, and added benefit is that it will let in more light for your yard and garden.

3. Add support. If you have a weakened tree, add flexible steel cables or braces to help support it. This will help transfer the tree’s weight from …

5 Criteria to Consider When You Buy Property

David Deem 714-997-3486 By Anita Ginsburg

Buying a house is one of the largest investments you'll ever make. It's crucial that you make wise decisions when purchasing a house to protect your investment. Here are five criteria to consider to ensure this:

Location of the House
Location is often considered the most important criteria when buying property. The house should be located in a neighborhood that's safe, so check the crime statistics for the area. Make sure it's in an area convenient to everywhere you need to get to, such as work, doctors, schools, stores, church and restaurants.

The location of the home within the neighborhood is also important. Property values may be lower when you buy a home on a busy street or backing to a busy road. It may be more desirable to be on an inside lot, on a street that's not too busy or on a cul-de-sac, if possible.

Size and Shape of the Lot
Some people like lots that offer more privacy, such as a corner lot whe…

5 Home Renovations You Can Tackle During the Winter

David Deem 714-997-3486

By Anita Ginsburg

Winter is the perfect time to tackle those home renovations that you've been putting off all year. Costs will likely be lower during the colder seasons, and if you plan it well, you might even be able to have your renovations completed by the holidays. Consider taking on these five home renovations during the winter season:

Add Insulation
If the cold weather has reminded you that your home needs better insulation, there's no better time than now to have it added. Improper insulation can cause high utility bills and a cold home. You can tackle this renovation on your own or hire a professional to do it for you.

Finish Your Basement
If you have an unfinished basement that you've been wanting to turn into a functional space for your family, you might want to renovate during the winter. You can add an additional living space or an extra bedroom. A finished basement can be a worthwhile investment because it may substantial…