Big-money investors have owned rental homes around Las Vegas for years.
But despite fast-rising sales prices, they aren’t ready to cash in,
thanks to people like Darrius Mathis and Kayte Fernandez.

The couple, both in their 20s, are expecting their first child and looking for a rental property.
Mathis figures a single-family house offers more living space than a regular apartment.
Not to mention a yard and a garage,for the same price.

“It’s definitely worth renting a house over renting an apartment any day,” he said.

Investors bought cheap homes in bulk to turn into rentals after the market crashed last decade,
and now seems like a ripe time to sell, at least in theory. Las Vegas home prices are rising at
one of the fastest rates in the country, fueled by strong demand and low availability.

But big landlords are holding on to their properties, a sign that the rental market
is still making them plenty of money and that Las Vegas’ low inventory of sales listings
won’t get a boost from these property owners anytime soon.

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

Kid Friendly Hikes In Las Vegas

It’s Spring Break for CCSD and the weather has been so beautiful!  Take the time to enjoy the outdoors by enjoying some of these kid friendly hikes.

1. Calico Basin Hike

Calico Basin Las Vegas

I have done this hike many times with my kids and it is super easy for all age levels. From the 215 Beltway, take the  Charleston Blvd exit heading west for 3.8 miles. Turn right onto Calico Basin Road and follow to the fork in the road.  Head right to the park.  If you go left you will find more hiking but far less family friendly then Calico Basin!  This is a FEE FREE area.  If you get to the Red Rock Scenic Loop on Charleston then you’ve gone too far.  Parking is plentiful and there are covered picnic tables.  The restrooms are also usually clean and well kept.   The boardwalk itself is a short walk with several information stations to educate about the area.  This is a protected path.  DO NOT go off the boardwalk.  You will often see groups of people off the boardwalk in the grass, PLEASE do not do this.  Aside from being illegal, it’s hurting a precious birding area.  Let’s respect the outdoors.  You CAN hike around the fenced area!  This is a great way to work up your kids skills in climbing up different rock faces and learning the etiquette of hiking.

  • Stroller Friendly
  • Great for Toddlers
  • FREE Entry
  • Covered Picnic Tables
  • Bathrooms onsite
  • Plenty of Parking
  • 30 minutes from the Las Vegas Strip

2. Lost Creek Canyon Trail

red rock kids hikes

From the 215 Beltway, take Charleston Blvd. heading west.  You will enter the Red Rock Scenic Loop, there is a fee per car or you can buy the early pass (well worth it!).  For the scenic route, you’ll want to follow the “Lost Creek Route” at guidepost #5.  There is a cute stopping area with a park bench shaded by trees accompanied by a small pond. The rock walk through takes you into a small canyon with a seasonal waterfall.  Hiking shoes aren’t really needed for this hike but you will want to bring water!  The seasonal waterfall is more often then not a trickle.  The best time of year to see water actually flowing is early Spring.  Pack a light lunch and have the kids scramble all over the rocks in the cool shade!  This is a heavily hiked trail as it is super easy.  There are bathrooms at the trail head.  If you continue driving past the parking area, you will find a picnic area you will love.  This is great for finishing off your hike with more hydration and photos.

  • 1 mile Hike
  • Great for young hikers and some toddlers
  • Seasonal Waterfall
  • Bathroom onsite at trail head
  • Picnic tables within 1 minute driving distance
  • 1 hour from the Las Vegas Strip

3. First Creek Canyon Trail

las vegas kids hike

This hike in Red Rock Canyon is NOT apart of the Red Rock Scenic Loop.  Heading west about 4 miles past the visitor’s center on highway 159, look for the First Creek Canyon trailhead sign.  This is a pleasant 3-mile walk across a desert valley to a little waterfall with cottonwood trees, willows, and other shade trees. My kids absolutely love seeing the waterfall and watching the fish swim around. The well-defined trail winds through the open desert, slowly making it’s way toward the canyon that is being cut by First Creek and then beyond to the rugged south side of Mt. Wilson. After hiking for a mile, head toward the first big pine tree growing along the canyon rim. Next to this tree you’ll find a little unmarked trail leading into the canyon, toward a couple of big diamond-shaped composite rocks, and then downward to the waterfall. Soon after a small descent, you will find a rocky grotto that is covered with green ferns and tall shady trees fed by a large pool at the base of a waterfall.

  • 3 mile Hike
  • No Bathrooms
  • Free Entry
  • Street Parking only
  • Seasonal Waterfall
  • DO NOT PET or FEED the wild donkeys
  • 1 hour from the Las Vegas Strip

4. La Madre Springs

red rock canyon with kids

This is last on our list as it is a moderate hike.  It’s a little over 3 miles and takes about 2 hours to complete.  My older kids handled it just fine but it would be probably hard for the little ones. This trail doesn’t not actually go to La Madre Spring, it does go to the dam built in the 1960’s.   This is perfect hike for the Spring.  The pinyon pine, juniper, and scrub oaks gives this hike a forest feel.  Perfect for the enthusiastic hiker, parts of this hike are strenuous, as the trails climbs some 700 ft in only 1.8 miles it’s enough to tire you out!   The water at the dam provides habitat for tree frogs in the spring; water for birds, bighorn sheep, and other wildlife; and it sustains vegetation not often seen in the desert.

  • 3 mile Hike
  • Moderate Hike
  • No Bathrooms
  • Fee Entry
  • 1 hour from the Las Vegas Strip

Tips Before You GO

  • GAS UP before you go!  The Red Rock Scenic Loop itself is 13 miles.  Most of the hikes are not right off the loop, you do additional driving.
  • During peak seasons, the Red Rock Scenic Loop can get closed early due to heavy use. Plan ahead, go early.
  • Bring plenty of water, regardless of the season.
  • Use sunscreen and hats.
  • Do No Feed or Pet the donkeys.  They are known for kicking, biting, and spitting!
  • Bathrooms are not available at all trailheads.
  • The Scenic Loop requires an entry fee.  A yearly pass is also available and well worth it.
  • If you have a 4th grader, take advantage of the Every Kid in Park Program.
  • Don’t miss the fun Events at the Visitor Center!  Free to look around at the animal exhibits

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

Las Vegas Hottest Real Estate Market of 2018

The Las Vegas Real Estate market has had a lot of ups and downs in the recent past.  We were number one for foreclosures and short sales but now we are number one for the hottest real estate market to look forward to this year!

The economy is up and people are working again, so  they are ready to spend money.  2017 was the 3rd best year for real estate sales in Las Vegas and it is predicted that this year will be even better.

The one thing to look at though is that supply is limited but demand is high.  What this means, especially for first time buyers, you might have to put offers on several homes before you get the one you want. Bidding wars could be the norm and there will be competition.  In order to be prepared for this kind of situation, make sure you have an experienced agent.  They will be able to give you sound advice and help you negotiate deals that you might have a hard time knowing what to do.

Another thing to do it make sure you have your preapproval letter.  Real estate agents and mortgage lenders that have worked together in the past are a great team to look for.  They can get you the paperwork you need and move the process around quickly so you’re prepared to put in an offer when the situation presents itself.  When a seller sees you are already approved and ready with an offer, they can look in your favor.

This is also great news for sellers!  It is definitely a sellers market so if you’ve been thinking about listing your home, now it a great time.  Again, make sure you have a great real estate agent on your side that can help sell your home at a competitive price to the right buyer.

People may be worried that we are heading into another housing bubble because of rising home prices.  We are optimistic we have seen the worst of it.  Things are just getting better and Las Vegas is a great place to live!

If you’re ready to get started on your real estate journey, please contact us at America’s Choice Realty to find the realtor that is right for you. (702) 685-6531

Spring Break Housing Projects

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

Secrets You Only Tell Your Realtor

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You may be selling your home because there are things you just don’t like about your house.  But to be a smart seller, there are secrets you should keep to yourself. But make sure to tell your Realtor! They need all the information so they can successfully sell your home to the right buyer.  Here are a few things you need to avoid chatting about.

1. Taxes

Property taxes are the worst and seeing them go up over time can be a big turnoff.  Potential buyers could automatically say no to home if they think they will be paying big bucks year after year.  Make sure your realtor knows what they are and how to handle that with the buyer.

2. Noisy Neighborhood

I used to live by a house that constantly did fireworks and had their ATVs out on the street every night. But when it came time to sell my house, did I mention that? Nope! Ever if the buyers seem to be a party crowd that’s okay with noise, it’s not something that needs to be shared.  Last thing people want to hear is that you won’t get a good nights sleep.

3. The House Needs Work

This is of course something you need to speak to your Realtor about.  The home inspector will be able to find all the problems as well.  But it is not your place to discourage buyers by mentioning all the things that are wrong with your house.  There are a lot of investors interested in fixer uppers so let the professionals handle that conversation.

4. Crazy Neighbors

I’ve had my fair share of the Kookie neighbors next door.  However, all personalities blend differently and for all you know, they may end up being the buyers new best friends! Plus, people come and go all the time so there could be new people in the home after you leave.  No need to bring up unpleasantries.

5. Pest Problems

Again, if there’s any sort of infestation, it will show up in the home inspection.  You can take the time to deal with the pests before you put your home on the market, or wait for report to come back.  This is another conversation to have with your agent and have them advise you what would be the best option.

6. Safety

Some people do move because they no longer feel safe in their neighborhood or their home.  This is an obvious turn off to potential buyers.  But you have to remember, this could be a step up from where they were previously living.  Safety is relative and most buyers have already looked into the neighborhood and decided if this is a safe enough place for their family.

7. Moving For Work

Definitely let your real estate agent know that you are moving for a new job or a transfer so they are aware of your deadlines and needs.  However, disclosing this to potential buyers may make them feel like they can take advantage or low ball you because you need to sell.  When there’s a sense of urgency, buyers may want to use that in their favor.  Speak to your realtor about how to handle it.

8. Outgrown the House

What may suddenly feel teeny to you may be a palace to someone else.  Take the time to declutter and stage your home so it looks as spacious as possible and let it speak for itself.  Talking about the downfalls of the house will not make it appealing to buyers.

Basically, you never want to deceive or lie to buyers, but you definitely can be a line drawn where you don’t want to say too much.  Having an experienced real estate agent help you navigate the best way to show and describe your house can be invaluable.  They will know exactly what needs to be disclosed and when it should be.

America’s Choice Realty is ready to help you on your real estate journey, whether it is buying or selling your home.  Find a real estate agent 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