Does This House Fit?

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The housing market it moving so quickly these days and you may be tempted to snatch up the first one that catches your eye.  Investing in a house is a huge commitment and you want to make sure you ask yourself, “Does this house fit?” You want a house that fits your lifestyle because once you make your first payment, it is hard to make too many changes.

1. Square Footage

You want to find a house that is “just right”.  But what does that even mean?  Well, if it’s too small, you will quickly feel that you’ve outgrown your home and get frustrated.  When looking at homes, consider where things will go.  Is there enough storage?  Is the kitchen big enough for our needs? Are there enough bedrooms? Then there is the problem if your house is too big.  Energy costs might get too high or you might feel the need to buy more furniture that will go unused.  You really want something that you feel comfortable in long term.

2. Daily Commute

There are few things more frustrating to me than being stuck in traffic.  We have all been there! The house you fell in love with may seem like a great location, but is it congested during rush hour?  Is there a lot of construction going on?  How far is it from work or school for everyone in your house hold?  Consider taking a test drive to or from your office during rush hour to your home so you can get an idea of what it will be like.  Being stuck on the freeway may not be the way you want to spend your morning.

3. Neighborhood and Community

Hopefully you did research before you even looked at the house, but if not, take the time to do so.  You want to live somewhere you feel comfortable.  What is important to your lifestyle?  Are there parks nearby or a community pool?  Do you want to be near restaurants or take out places?  Is it safe to run outdoors?  Check and double check your school zoning so you know what schools are close.  School zones can affect the price of your home, who your neighbors are because of the people the schools are attracting, and of course, where your children are educated.

4. Noise

Sometime people forget how the neighborhood may be different at different parts of the day.  You might not notice that it is close to the airport and planes are constantly flying overhead.  There might be a barking dog that is left outside all day.  Try visiting the home at different times to see what the noise level is.  Everyone is different and you might feel there are things you can live with or things you can’t.

Before purchasing, make sure the house fits your lifestyle.  Having an experienced agent on your side can make the process so much easier.  Give America’s Choice Realty a call when you are ready to find your dream home! (702) 685-6531

We Love Referrals!

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America’s Choice Realty is the premier real estate agency serving Las Vegas, Henderson, Lincoln County, and more in Nevada.  We want to make each client’s experience with us the very best possible.  Because of that, we strive to work with each client’s individual needs and give them excellent service.  If you enjoyed working with us, then we would love a referral!

1. Why should you refer us?

First off, we love referrals because right off the bat there is a connection with the new client.  We love knowing you had a good experience and will give that same experience to your friends and family.  You can save the people you know a lot of time, money, and aggravation by making sure they are working with someone you know to be a good agent. Also, if you truly enjoyed your real estate journey, then you want your agent to succeed.  By giving them referrals, they are able to keep their business thriving.  They will always take care of a friend or family member, just as they took care of you.

2. When should you refer us?

  • If you have a friend, family member, or acquaintance moving locally
  • If you have a friend or family member or acquaintance moving out of the area. Your agent can refer them to someone they trust and make sure they get the best service available.
  • Anyone in passing or on social media you hear about buying, selling, or renting real estate.
  • Anyone trying to sell their house themselves. An agent is always the best way to go.
  • You know someone who simply needs real estate advice.

3. How should you refer us?

There are so many ways to share about America’s Choice Realty!  We have our website, facebook, and twitter accounts.  Take some of your agent’s cards to keep with you and hand out to people.  Tag your agent on facebook or tag their page.  Keep their number on hand to be able to easily share with people.  Referrals keep the real estate business doing well and having good agents gives it a good name.  We look forward to hearing from you! (702) 685-6531

Spring Break Housing Projects

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Spring Break is quickly approaching and if you’re not going out of town, might as well use that time to do some housing projects.  The weather is warming up and it’s time to spruce up your home and get ready for summer.

1. Outside Washing

Winter can be hard on the exterior of your home so take the time in the beautiful weather to power wash your home.  Not only does it make it look like it has a new paint job, but it can also blast away any potentially damaging mold and mildew.  If you don’t own a power washer, you can rent one from your local home improvement store for fairly cheap.  While you’re out there, go ahead and take care of your siding, deck, and driveway as well.  It will make such a difference in your curb appeal and you’ll feel like your house is sparkly and new.

2. AC Tune Up

In Las Vegas, having a working air conditioner is a must.  At some point we have all learned the hard way that it is important to keep up on your ac unit.  Schedule a tune up now before it gets to be the busy season and you may not be able to get an appointment as quickly.  You definitely do not want to have your air conditioner go out when it’s 110 degrees outside!

3. Clean Your Windows

Nothing is better than having that beautiful natural light coming through your windows! But no one likes to look out and see dirt, streaks, and spots.  Take the time to  wash the interior and exterior of your windows.  Try a squeegee instead of paper towels to avoid the little lint spots let behind.  There are many companies that will even do it for you, if you have a lot of high windows.  Clean windows make everything look sharp and will overall make the house look better, inside and out.

4. Fridge Time!

Dust and grime on your refrigerator’s coils causes the machines to use more energy to cool.  Cleaning coils is really easy with your vacuum’s hose attachment. Pull out the drawers and make sure there’s no spills or spoils in there.  Wipe up anything that’s been sticky and lingering underneath for longer than we want to admit.

5. Declutter

This is an ongoing battle for me, but during Spring Break I can get my kids to help out.  Focus on one or two spots, fill up trash bags or boxes, and donate them or simply throw them out.  An organized space can make all the difference.  When the whole family pitches in and gets a say in what stays and what goes, it can change their mindset to making everything more organized and hopefully keep the trend going of decluttering on a regular basis.

Are you ready to sell your home?  Contact us at America’s Choice Realty to speak with an experienced realtor that can help you on your journey. (702) 685-6531

How To Win a Bidding War

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With how fast paced the real estate market is, homes are being snatched up right and left.  This often leads to multiple offers and we want you to win that bidding war.  There are several ways to give yourself the upper hand and America’s Choice Realty is ready to help you negotiate through those deals.

1. Find The Dream Team

Finding the right real estate agent and mortgage lender are essential.  Try to find two people who have worked together before because they know how it goes and can make everything run so much more smoothly and quickly.  The real estate agent will be your right hand man in getting you quickly in to great homes and showings, then give you advice when you should put in an offer.  Your mortgage lender can make sure you are preapproved so you will have the upper hand when you are ready to put in an offer. Having the preapproval letter shows you are already approved and able to purchase the home. This is one more advantage for you when you are ready to pounce on a house and win the bidding war.

2.   Listen to Your Gut

If you really love a home, go with your feelings and put in an offer.  You want to be one of the first ones so you know where you want to go when other offers come in.  You and your agent should be watching homes for sale constantly so you will know when things go up on the market and can quickly go to the showings.  Do your research beforehand so you can go in ready with an offer on the spot if it turns out to be right for you.

3. Consider an Escalation Clause

This is kind of like ebay.  You can strengthen your offer by putting in an escalation clause which states you’re willing to increase your offer to a certain amount if other offers come in that match or go over your initial bid.  This is a really great strategy to show the seller you are serious, but remember to remain within your budget.  Just like ebay, it’s easy to get carried away with a bidding war when you really want a house.  You don’t want to lose it because you then can’t qualify for your offer.

4. Write a “Love Letter”

So I’ve seen this several times, so it must be working.  Taking the time to write a letter to the sellers telling them how much you love their home, talking about your family, even including a photo can pull at their hearts and swing hope in your direction.  Houses are pieces of peoples lives and sometimes the emotions involved can change someones mind to go with one buyer over another.  You still of course need to be prepared with a competitive offer, but every little bit helps.

5. Don’t Count Yourself Out

Even if you lose the bidding war, make sure your agent keeps in touch if you are still interested in the house.  Sometimes things fall through.  The deal could fall apart on appraisal, or the buyer might be bidding on multiple properties and change their mind.  They could be a difficult buyer and the seller might want to go with you instead.  Don’t run away just because they said no the first time.  Also, don’t get discouraged if you missed out.  Just keep looking! Another house is always going to pop up.

The home buying process can feel stressful and you may lose a bidding war or two before you find the right home for you.  America’s Choice Realty has experienced real estate agents ready to help you navigate the waters and work with you until you find the home of your dreams.  Call us today at (702) 685-6531

How To Get Over “The One That Got Away”

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When you’re house hunting, it is so exciting when you finally find the home of your dreams.  It has the right rooms, beautiful floors and ceilings, windows in the right places, everything you’ve been wanting.  So what do you do when the deal falls through?  Sometimes there can be a fierce bidding war or a fickle seller, but one way or another, the house gets away.  Here a few tips to help you get over “The One that Got Away”.

1. Get Right Back to Looking

Dwelling on the loss of that home won’t do you any good, especially when there are so many more homes out on the market.  Things move fast and you don’t want to miss out again.  Take a moment to be sad, then start the search right away again.  Keep in mind what you liked about that home, but don’t compare every new listing you see to that one, or you will never be satisfied.

2. Don’t Focus on the Loss

Time to move forward!  Delete the pictures of the listing, erase the pictures from your phone.  Look at each new listing with fresh eyes.  Constantly comparing to what you lost will only make looking for a new home harder, maybe even impossible.  There are new homes popping up on the market every single day and each one has great features that might end up being more than what you even imagined.

3. Never Settle

Sometimes having the loss of a deal go through can make you feel hurried and push yourself into the next available property because you’re afraid of losing another deal or simply to get the process over with.  Buying a house is a huge investment and getting something you aren’t truly happy with will be bad overall in the long run.  Take the time to go over your lists of needs and wants and keep those in mind.  Just because you didn’t get the first house you fell in love with does not mean another one won’t come around.

4. Check Out Your Budget

Maybe it’s time to re-evaluate your budget.  Do you need to add a little more cushion to be able to put in a competitive offer? Or maybe should you be looking at less expensive areas to find a home that has all the things you want?  Have you considered buying a less expensive home and then making renovations? Sometimes taking a step back to look again can help you refocus your goals and help you determine what is best for your new situation.

5. Talk to Your Real Estate Agent

Having a real estate agent on your side makes things easier.  They have great advice for surviving the whole home buying process.  They are able to advise you on what to do next and help you determine how to avoid potential problems.  Don’t let the one that got away determine how the rest of your home buying experience will go.  Call us today at America’s Choice Realty to find an agent to help you find your dream home. (702) 685-6531

Best Paint for Landlords

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Until I bought my first house, I never thought much about wall colors.  I had friends and roommates that were constantly talking about what color they would paint their house when they bought one.  I recently had to repaint my rental home and realized that I kept forgetting what paint color I liked, and didn’t really know what would be best.  So I did a little research and this is what I found.  What is the best paint for landlords?

First, there are a lot of things to consider so don’t just take in to account what I have personally found.  You could have a completely different take on paint and what will make your rental property look the best.  This is just my opinion and what I found.

Best Brand of Paint

I’m sure all of you, like me, have stood in the isle of home depot staring at all the colors and brands, not knowing why one is $20 and one is $50, especially when they look exactly the same. Most of my friends had brands that they absolutely lived and died for.  Others went by price. After talking to my many, many, MANY crafty friends, I found out that with the exception of one brand, all the paints they used took only two coats to cover, no matter what brand or cost. So I came to the conclusion, if the expensive stuff takes two coats, and the cheap stuff takes two coats, guess which one I’m going with?  Especially when you have a rental and will have to repaint more often then normal.

You might wonder about the durability of the paint.  With rentals, you are usually painting every few years so the durability does not matter as much to me.  Remember, this is for landlords with rentals!  You will want to do research on more durable paint if you are planning on painting your long term home.

What Does Sheen Mean?

I had no idea what kind of “sheen” I wanted.  I knew “sheen” meant shiny, but that’s about it.  Do I want glimmering walls or just flat?  First off, what kinds of sheens are there?

  • Flat (no shine)
  • Eggshell (a little shine)
  • Satin (some shine)
  • Semi-gloss (quite a bit of shine)
  • Gloss (shimmery shiny!)

After talking with friends, they told me satin and semi-gloss show the least amount of dirt.  They are also easier to clean.  I have small children and see them wipe their little hands up and down my walls constantly, and the same goes for rentals.  There always seems to be a layer of dirt that doesn’t want to come off.  Instead of having to repaint every year, it was recommended to use Semi-gloss that can be easily wiped down and last longer.  Do the trim, walls, ceiling, all the same color so you don’t have to spend as much money and you know exactly what to get.

Best Color To Use

A friend of mine that owns several rentals gave me a great piece of advice: pick a color you like (white, slightly off white) and stick with it.  As in, pick the brand, pick the name, and use it every single time you repaint.  You will always know which one you’re getting and it will always match.

Again, this is just my opinion on the best paint for landlords.  You want to have a beautiful rental ready to go and keep it looking nice so it can continue to bring in money for you.  Let us help you find the perfect investment property today! (702) 685-6531

 

Hiring the Wrong Realtor

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Hiring the wrong realtor can make buying or selling your home a complete nightmare.  Many people do not realize how much can go wrong by hiring the wrong realtor.  This is a huge life change that can have a big impact on your personal and financial future.  That is why it is so incredibly important to find the agent that is right for you.  At America’s Choice Realty, we have many experienced agents that are able to help you in all aspects of real estate. We would never want a sale to go badly and here are some of the things that could go wrong with the wrong agent.

1. Not Listening

Realtors job is to listen and understand their clients needs.  When buying or selling your house, you will have specific needs in mind that absolutely need to be addressed.  A great realtor understands that each client is different, each home is different, and will be able to listen carefully to what needs to be done.  The wrong realtor, however, will not listen and focus on what works best for them and their interests.  The first conversation can help you see whether or not you will be listened to and set the precedence for the rest of the process.  An agent who won’t take the time to know your wants and needs will cause you so much stress and confusion.

2. Bad Advice

If there’s one definite thing you need a realtor for is their knowledge and advice they’re able to provide.  Good agents know the ins and outs of the real estate business and will be able to easily guide you through the process.  They should be your trusted advisor, helping you make important decisions regarding your future.  They will do their research, use their experience, and help you reach your goals.  The wrong agent, however, will give off hand advice without doing their due diligence and can end up giving advice that can backfire on your financially or altogether prevent you from achieving your goals.

3. Unsuccessful Negotiations

The art of negotiating is something that is extremely important in the real estate business. Many people may consider themselves good negotiators, but few actually are.  You will want a realtor who has had experience closing favorable deals and will always put your best interest first.  They can help you figure out what needs to be done before closing and make sure you get the best deal possible.  An agent that rushes or pushes you into a contract that does not feel right for you is not someone you want to work with.  They may end up making deals fall through or just negotiate their own best-interests instead of yours.

4. Legal Questions

Real estate is very complex and has many legal pitfalls surrounding it.  A good realtor knows how to navigate the legal nature of real estate and will have the knowledge and resourcefulness to find solutions for you. Nothing is worse than having an important question that could have legal consequences and have your agent shrug their shoulders at you.  You want an agent that knows exactly what to look for and how to find the correct answers for you.

5. Missed Great Opportunities

Real estate moves quickly and houses come on and off the market quickly.  A good agent knows how to spot a deal and will jump on it in order to help you.  They are constantly doing their research and stay up to date on what is going on so they can best help their clients.  The wrong agent may not be able to recognize a good opportunity or just will move to slowly and miss them altogether.

Overall, hiring the wrong realtor will just make the process of buying or selling your home completely not enjoyable.  This is a huge life changing decision and you want to work with someone that makes it a positive experience.  Choose your real estate agent wisely, someone you trust, with experience, that can work for your best interest.  America’s Choice Realty has many realtors ready and willing to make this the best experience possible.  Contact us today! (702) 685-6531

Foreclosure Prevention

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Did you know we have a Foreclosure Prevention team right here in house at America’s Choice Realty?  It is a free service we offer and want to help you make the best decision for you in your situation.  Every situation is different and we have several things that can help.  Some of the things we can do it:

* Mortgage Forgiveness

* Credit Restoration

* More time in your home without making mortgage payments

* Up to $3,000 in Relocation Money that you do not pay back!

If you are facing foreclosure you are not alone.  Over the past 9 years in Las Vegas 1 in 7 homes has either been foreclosed on or is in default and may be foreclosed upon. In every instance the cause of default was the predatory nature of banks and mortgage companies or the crippling decline of the economy. And while caused by the banks and the federal government, little if no help is offered by either entity. As Real Estate Professionals we feel it is our obligation to assist homeowners that are in distress and facing the possibility of foreclosure.

Here are the ways of Foreclosure Prevention:

Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure – Often referred to as a friendly foreclosure it is anything but.  The term and process means that the homeowner voluntarily surrenders the property back to the bank/lender and returns the Deed (the ownership documents) in lieu of facing the process of Foreclosure.  This was a rather common practice up to the 1970’s as it was often impossible to sell real estate in some parts of the country.  If a person wanted to move and there were no buyers the only way to relieve the homeowner of future expense and liability was to return the note (the loan obligation) with the Deed.  The bank would accept it and the homeowner could move on.  What they forget to tell you is that is still shows as a foreclosure on your credit report.  It turns out there was nothing friendly about the Deed in Lieu process.

Mediation – This is an activity that was implemented in 2009 in Nevada.  The idea was to force the bank/lender to negotiate with the homeowner and come up with an alternative to foreclosure.  The idea was correct but the implementation was a failure as the Nevada legislatures did a poor job of creating a law that forced banks/lenders to negotiate and made it a suggestion that they assist the homeowner.  The banks/lenders used this program as a Band-Aid to show they were trying to assist homeowners.

Ultimately the program gives homeowners false hope and generally prolongs the anxiety and uncertainty of foreclosure.

Modification – This was created by the banks in partnership with the Federal Government.  Originally the Feds were going to reimburse homeowners out of a fund created by the banks for the federal government called TARP.  While the government agreed to lend the banks TRILLIONS of dollars that they were going to borrow from the banks to assist homeowners in distress.  The banks lent the money to the government and then kept it for themselves.  Once again making more money on their own money.

This created a process where the banks could foreclose on a home, reimburse themselves the full amount for their loss with interest and penalties AND retain ownership of the home which was sold at a discounted price, but represented a 100% profit.  This is the same way that organized crime operates.

Foreclosure – This is the legal process that bank/lenders take back ownership from homeowners who have not made payments as required by the mortgage note (obligation).  This is a judicial legal process.  Foreclosure is the last worst step for both the bank/lender and the homeowner.  It is the most costly process for the bank/lender and damages the homeowner’s credit and future financial stability.

Foreclosure should be avoided at all costs.

Foreclosure will:

  • Leave the homeowner with the lowest possible credit score.
  • Leave the homeowner financially responsible for the original debt.
  • Leave the homeowner financially responsible for any deficiency debt when the home is sold.
  • Leave the homeowner financially responsible for any fees and penalties.

As a homeowner that is foreclosed upon you may be responsible for the original debt obligation, the fees, deficiency and penalties – an amount greater than your original obligation.

Short Sale – Short sales have been common in the American housing and mortgage/lending industry since its inception.  Going back to a time when homeowners would live in their home for years or decades and find themselves in a position that they must move and were unable to sell the home for an amount that would pay the loan in full.  Thus, the bank would allow the homeowner to sell the home at a price that was short of a full payment (aka short sale).

In doing so the homeowner would be relieved of all financial obligations and the note (promise to pay) would be shown as paid in full, allowing the homeowner to move and continue in a financially positive direction.

At the beginning of this current housing crisis as housing values declined rapidly many homeowners short sold their homes.  As the housing crisis heated up the banks/lenders quickly changed the role and process of short selling a home.  For the record between 2010 and 2013 it was almost impossible to get the banks to agree to short sale a home.

Today a short sale is the only method to relieve the homeowner of the financial debt and create a positive credit position to move forward.

What We Can Do For You

We will explore all the possibilities to assist you in finding a remedy to your housing crisis. We will present you with the material that you will need to make a decision to move forward. 95% of homeowners that lose their home to foreclosure do so because they did not make a decision.

You must decide now.

Your Best Options lie in Short Selling your home.

It will allow you time to organize and prepare to move, thus giving you more time in your home.  The short sale process is 60 to 120 days but is under your schedule.

  • You will be given relocation monies to assist you in finding other housing accommodations.
  • Your debt with the bank/lender will be satisfied. Any financial obligation deficiency will be forgiven.
  • We may find a buyer that will rent your home back to you so that you do not have to move.
  • You may find in the future that the buyer of your home may sell it back to you.
  • You will be able to re-establish credit with a short sale faster than any other avoidance program.

We are prepared to help you out of a hard situation and greatly reduce that stress from your life.  Please call us today to speak to one of our Foreclosure Prevention specialists. (702) 685-6531