Category Archives: Blog

Buying a Home? Don’t be Surprised by These Extra Expenses

When you are buying a home, you are fixated on one price and that is the big one that you may be paying for over the next 30 years. While that is definitely the most important price, don’t let that be the only thing you think about. There are many other expenses you will encounter when purchasing a home and they could add up significantly. If you haven’t budgeted for extra items, don’t let them sneak up on you and cause your household budget to become unrealistic. Don’t be surprised by the necessary expenses you will encounter throughout the home buying process.

Here are some of the additional expenses you should expect when you buy a home. Take these expenses into account before you buy so you aren’t surprised by them at closing.

Closing costs. Closing costs are part of every home transaction and can add up to thousands of dollars on top of the price of your home. In some cases, your lender may allow you to finance some of your closing costs along with the purchase price of the home and you may also negotiate with the seller to pay a portion of your closing costs as part of the contract. Either way, expect closing costs to total 2% to 4% of the price of your home.

Taxes and insurance. Real estate taxes vary greatly depending on the value of your property and the tax rate where you live. While property taxes are frequently paid via your escrow account and therefore added to your monthly mortgage payment, this will increase your monthly payment and may push that payment beyond an amount you are comfortable with. Insurance will also be added to your escrow account so don’t forget it either. You will definitely need homeowner’s insurance and could need other coverage depending on the location of your home. Make sure your monthly payment leaves room for these items.

Homeowners association fees, condo fees, and utilities. HOA and condo fees are normally paid by your landlord when you rent, as are many utilities such as water and garbage. You will be responsible for them once you own your home. Be sure you have room in your monthly budget for these expenses.

These extra costs can add up, but don’t let them scare you off from buying your own home. As long as you budget for these added expenses before you buy, you won’t have to worry about getting in over your head.

Even if you aren’t buying your first home, it’s easy to forget about some of these items when you get excited about a new home. Take a little time to plan your household budget before you get too far into the homebuying process, so you aren’t surprised by anything after you fall in love with your new home. For additional information on purchasing a home or the home buying process, I will be happy to answer any questions you may have, help you to find your dream home or determine the value of your existing property.

 

Nancy Davidson
Mammoth Village Properties
760 937-2301 mobile
nancy@mammothcountry.com
www.MammothCountry.com
CA Broker’s License #01264041

Nancy Davidson is your ultimate real estate resource for Mammoth Lakes, CA and The Eastern Sierra. Visit my website for detailed information regarding today’s real estate markets.

Photo by Alexander Mils on Unsplash

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Should You Update Your Home or Sell It As-Is?

When you decide you are ready to sell your home, there will be many decisions to make like selecting a firm and agent to represent you, determining the list price and when you want to list your home. Before you get to the listing stage, you will need to determine if you plan to sell your home as-is or if there are improvements you want to make before listing.

Improvements come in all different sizes so depending on the age and condition of your home, there may be small improvements you can make or larger improvements that can change your home significantly. If you want to sell your home for its maximum value, it will need to be updated and have all systems in working order. What if your home is not in that condition currently? Is it worth making changes? It depends on what needs to be done and how much it will cost.

If your home needs repairs (not updates) like a new roof or repairs to an HVAC system, those should be made. When homes have major components that are not working, buyers will likely offer significantly less for a home. If your home is just dated, the updates are likely to cost more than the return they will be bring so it may not be wise to proceed with updates if the only reason is to increase your value. Depending on the market you live in, it may be necessary to update your home to help it sell if you live in a competitive market. If your home is not updated, you will want to remember that you will not be able to price your home the same as an updated home that recently sold because it won’t be comparable.

If you are thinking about making updates to your home but plan to live in it a few more years, the return is likely to be worth it. Historically, homes appreciate on an annual basis, so the appreciation coupled with the enjoyment you get from the updates you make to your home, are more likely to make the updates worthwhile. There are also some updates that usually have a greater return on investment than others.

When you are trying to decide what is best for your situation, you do not have to make the decision alone. As your trusted real estate advisor, I am always willing to have a conversation about your real estate investments and offer advice based on my experience and knowledge. I am available to you before, during and after the sale for real estate advice not just when it is time to sell.

 

Nancy Davidson
Mammoth Village Properties
760 937-2301 mobile
nancy@mammothcountry.com
www.MammothCountry.com
CA Broker’s License #01264041

Nancy Davidson is your ultimate real estate resource for Mammoth Lakes, CA and The Eastern Sierra. Visit my website for detailed information regarding today’s real estate markets.

Image by Jesse Bridgewater from Pixabay 

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For Sale ~ 248 Mammoth Slopes Drive #E49, Mammoth Lakes, CA 93546 – $419,000

FURNISHED MAMMOTH SKI & RACQUET CONDO!

Great price on this spacious, furnished 2-bedroom + loft and 3 FULL bath condo with attached one-car garage. This property features a gas fireplace, vaulted ceilings and open layout floorplan with large windows allowing lots of natural light. Unit is located in the E-building which is the same building as the office, spa and recreation room so no need to walk outside to access these amenities. Steps to the pool.

Mammoth Ski & Racquet is located so close to Canyon Lodge and Mammoth Mountain ski area you could walk or use the ski back trail. The complex offers tennis courts, ski lockers, 2 hot tubs, pool, recreation room with a pool table & video games, a basketball court, volleyball court, horseshoe pits and outdoor barbecues with picnic tables. A year-round retreat for you to come and get away from it all!

Click Here to view the virtual tour!
Click Here to view to the interactive 3-D walk through.

For more information visit 248 Mammoth Slopes Drive #E49.

Contact Nancy Davidson for All Your Real Estate Needs! For more information or to schedule a showing visit www.MammothCountry.com or email Nancy@MammothCountry.com. Let me make your home selling and or buying experience one of a kind!

 

Nancy Davidson
Mammoth Village Properties
760 937-2301 mobile
nancy@mammothcountry.com
www.MammothCountry.com
CA Broker’s License #01264041

Nancy Davidson is your ultimate real estate resource for Mammoth Lakes, CA and The Eastern Sierra. Visit my website for detailed information regarding today’s real estate markets.

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Picking the Perfect Paint

One of the easiest and least expensive updates you can make to your home is painting. For most homeowners, it is something that can be accomplished with little to no expertise and without expensive tools. By purchasing the desired paint and a few basic supplies, you can make a big change to a room or your entire home.

Selecting paint can be challenging though. Flat, satin, semigloss and glossy paints are just a few of your choices. When you settle on a kind of paint, there are many brands to select from and then the choice of color. With thousands of different shades of paint to select from, you may think you will never make a choice. Where do you start to narrow down your selection to the perfect paint for you?

Start by considering the area you are painting. High traffic areas like kitchens and bathrooms or doors with lots of use will do best with a semi-gloss or glossy paint. It is also great on cabinets and trim. Flat and satin paints will be better in adult bedrooms or dining rooms that have less activity. Once you narrow down where you are painting, select the color family you want to work from. Attempting to select a paint color from all of your options will drive you crazy so narrow it down a little so you are comparing 50 colors instead of 500 colors.

After you select a color family, head to the store to see some options. Remember, don’t pick your paint in the store. Take it outside and take it home. Look at the color swatches outside and in your home. The natural light and the lights in your home can make the colors look very different so don’t skip this step. It’s also a good idea to look at the colors with any existing furnishings to make sure they look good together.

After you have looked at the color in multiple lights, sit on it for a few days. Paint doesn’t have to last forever but if you are going to spend the time to repaint, you probably want it to stick around for a little while.

After you have selected the perfect paint, take your time to prepare your surface correctly and properly apply the paint. Consider painting an investment in your home and remember that anything worth doing is worth doing well. If your intent is to select the cheapest paint and get it on the walls as quickly as possible, that will be evident when you look at it. Your home may be better off left untouched then to paint in a rush and leave it looking less than perfect.

If you have any additional questions about updating your home, I will be happy to answer any questions you may have, help you to find your dream home and/or determine the value of your existing property.

 

Nancy Davidson
Mammoth Village Properties
760 937-2301 mobile
nancy@mammothcountry.com
www.MammothCountry.com
CA Broker’s License #01264041

Nancy Davidson is your ultimate real estate resource for Mammoth Lakes, CA and The Eastern Sierra. Visit my website for detailed information regarding today’s real estate markets.

Photo by Boxed Water Is Better on Unsplash

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For Sale ~ Lot 14 Ridgeview Drive, Swall Meadows, CA 93514 – $129,000

BUILD ON YOUR OWN LOT IN RIMROCK RANCH!

Fabulous views from this nearly 2 acres level building site at Rimrock Ranch in Swall Meadows that is zoned equestrian. Enjoy views in every direction of the Owens Valley, Wheeler Crest, Mt. Tom, and the White Mountains. Super quiet area surrounded by newer custom homes.

Located approximately 30 miles south of Mammoth and about 25 minutes to Bishop. Close to hiking and mountain bike trails and fishing at nearby Rock Creek or Pleasant Valley Dam. Community water system and underground utilities are at the street and it will need a septic.

Come get away from it all in spacious surroundings!

Click Here to view the virtual tour! For more information visit 563 Club Drive.

Contact Nancy Davidson for All Your Real Estate Needs! For more information or to schedule a showing visit www.MammothCountry.com or email Nancy@MammothCountry.com. Let me make your home selling and or buying experience one of a kind!

 

Nancy Davidson
Mammoth Village Properties
760 937-2301 mobile
nancy@mammothcountry.com
www.MammothCountry.com
CA Broker’s License #01264041

Nancy Davidson is your ultimate real estate resource for Mammoth Lakes, CA and The Eastern Sierra. Visit my website for detailed information regarding today’s real estate markets.

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Prep Your Yard for Spring

Spring is officially here and thanks to the Coronavirus, you should have more time at home than ever before to make your yard look its best. If your yard has been neglected throughout the winter (or maybe for years), where should you start to help it look its best?

Start with a vigorous raking of your yard. You probably raked in the fall to clear the leaves that had fallen but spring raking has a different purpose. The primary reason for spring raking is to clear the thatch that has built up over the winter. While raking, you will also have the chance to see if there are areas of your lawn that need special attention.

Spring is the perfect time of year to apply preemergent herbicides. These herbicides will help prevent the growth of weeds as the grass starts to grow. As the weeds begin to grow, you will want to pull the weeds or apply a postemergent herbicide to stop their growth.

As you prepare for your first cut of the season, do not forget to tune up your lawn mower, weed eater and other equipment so they are ready for the season ahead. After your equipment has been prepped for the season, it is a good time to give your lawn its first cut of the year. For the first cut, raise the deck on your lawn mower to its highest level to cut your yard. This will allow your lawn to look a little cleaner and give young grass a chance to grow before you start cutting it regularly.

After you have prepared your grass, it is time to give the rest of your yard some attention. Add some bright flowers, freshen your mulch and shape the bushes so your yard looks its best. If you are thinking about selling your home anytime soon, these preparations are a great first step toward increasing your curb appeal. If you would like to talk about the current real estate market and the value of your home, give me a call today.

 

Nancy Davidson
Mammoth Village Properties
760 937-2301 mobile
nancy@mammothcountry.com
www.MammothCountry.com
CA Broker’s License #01264041

Nancy Davidson is your ultimate real estate resource for Mammoth Lakes, CA and The Eastern Sierra. Visit my website for detailed information regarding today’s real estate markets.

Image by aedrozda from Pixabay 

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For Sale ~ 563 Club Drive, Mammoth Lakes, CA 93546 – $469,000

A CONDO FOR ALL SEASONS!

Awesome 2 bedroom/2 bath ground floor condo in Snowcreek IV. You can hear and see the year-round babbling creek right outside the bedroom windows. The living room features a beautiful stone feature wall with gas log fireplace and is open to the kitchen and dining area. The kitchen offers tons of storage and stainless-steel appliances. Spacious master bedroom including ensuite bath with oversized vanity and nicely sized secondary bedroom and bath.

This unit is nicely maintained and comes partially furnished. It has all new flooring, freshly painted and a new washer/dryer. The front deck has been extended 8 feet.

Snowcreek IV amenities include a jacuzzi, sauna room, off-street parking, fully landscaped grounds, on-site manager and conveniently located within walking distance to the Snowcreek Athletic Club and the Red Line shuttle bus stop. This is a great year-round complex with creeks, ponds and meadows. Come enjoy this condo for all seasons!

Click Here to view the virtual tour!
Click Here to view to the interactive 3-D walk through.

For more information visit 563 Club Drive.

Contact Nancy Davidson for All Your Real Estate Needs! For more information or to schedule a showing visit www.MammothCountry.com or email Nancy@MammothCountry.com. Let me make your home selling and or buying experience one of a kind!

 

Nancy Davidson
Mammoth Village Properties
760 937-2301 mobile
nancy@mammothcountry.com
www.MammothCountry.com
CA Broker’s License #01264041

Nancy Davidson is your ultimate real estate resource for Mammoth Lakes, CA and The Eastern Sierra. Visit my website for detailed information regarding today’s real estate markets.

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Have You Considered Refinancing?

With mortgage rates at an all-time low and potential for them to drop even further, this is a great time to reach out to your favorite mortgage lender to discuss refinancing. Depending on how long you have been in your house and what your interest rate is, it might be possible for you to refinance to a lower rate, a shorter term and still reduce your monthly payment. Your lender can tell you if it makes sense for you.

One thing to remember is that there will be some closing costs to accompany refinancing your home, but your savings will cover them quickly. However, if you are planning to sell your home this year, it may not make sense to refinance as you aren’t likely to recover those expenses before you sell your home.

While the Federal Reserve’s recent change to interest rates has potential to drop rates further, the rates haven’t changed significantly due to that because mortgage lenders have been backed up for some time lately due to the latest refinance frenzy but that’s ok. Mortgage rates were already low enough to justify you calling your lender. In the past, maybe your lender has reached out to you when mortgage rates dropped to ask you about refinancing. Don’t expect to hear from them this time because they don’t have time to call you. If you call them though, they will make time to help you.

Refinancing your home can be a great way to reduce your housing expenses, add money to your savings or pay down other debt. If you are nearing retirement, add your savings to an IRA or another retirement account for the future. Younger people may choose to use their savings to establish a college savings account for their children. Another option would be to use the money you save over a period of time to make some updates to your home. If you need a recommendation for a mortgage lender, call me today and I can connect you with one.

 

Nancy Davidson
Mammoth Village Properties
760 937-2301 mobile
nancy@mammothcountry.com
www.MammothCountry.com
CA Broker’s License #01264041

Nancy Davidson is your ultimate real estate resource for Mammoth Lakes, CA and The Eastern Sierra. Visit my website for detailed information regarding today’s real estate markets.

Image by Clker-Free-Vector-Images from Pixabay 

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The Paperwork of Selling a Home

If you are thinking about selling your home, you will want to understand the paperwork that the agent will have you sign when you list your home. There are different kinds of listing agreements you may choose to have with an agent, and it is important to understand the differences so you will make the right decision for you.

Exclusive Right-to-Sell Listing. An exclusive right-to-sell listing is the most common listing type and the majority of real estate listings fall into this category. The listing agent has complete control of the transaction and so even if the seller, the listing agent or a cooperating selling agent finds an acceptable buyer, the listing agent will still earn the sales commission for the duration of the listing term.

Exclusive Agency Listing. An exclusive agency listing contracts one agent to sell the home. If that agent, or any other licensed cooperating agent finds an acceptable buyer, the seller must pay a sales commission. The owner still reserves the right to sell the property by themselves and thus avoid paying a commission. The broker is free to cooperate with another brokerage, meaning the second brokerage could bring an able buyer whose offer the owner accepts. Typically, the broker is paid a listing commission that is shared with the selling broker, so the owner pays both fees.

Open Listing. An open listing is almost like a “for sale by owner” listing. It is a non-exclusive agreement, which allows the owner to execute open listings with more than one real estate broker and pay only the broker who brings an able buyer whose offer the owner accepts. However, no commission is owed if the seller finds a buyer on his own, without any agent’s help. The open listing creates competition between the seller and agent(s) to find a willing buyer.

Multiple Listing Service. The multiple listing service (MLS) is not a listing type but is an important marketing tool for listing agents. This allows all the listing information as well as photos of the property to be shared online and is frequently syndicated to thousands of websites from here for maximum exposure.

Pocket Listing. A pocket listing is a variation of any of these listing types that doesn’t get placed in MLS. These listings may be marketed online by the listing agent but without going in MLS, they don’t get the same exposure as listings that do.

The listing agreement isn’t the only paperwork you will have to complete but it is an important piece. In most cases, you will need to fill out disclosures that share details about the home and the condition of the home. There may also be agency agreements that explain an agent’s obligations to you. The disclosures will be provided to interested buyers while your property is listed to give them more information about the home.

When you are listing your home, take time to read the paperwork and ask questions. In most cases, it is pretty straight forward and easy to understand. It is important to understand that a real estate listing contract is a legally binding agreement that outlines the rights and duties of the seller and the agent. Keep in mind that all listing contracts have expiration dates, so you aren’t committed to an agent forever if something doesn’t work out. When you are ready to list your home, let me know and I will be happy to go through the paperwork with you and answer any questions you may have, help you to find your dream home and/or determine the value of your existing property.

 

Nancy Davidson
Mammoth Village Properties
760 937-2301 mobile
nancy@mammothcountry.com
www.MammothCountry.com
CA Broker’s License #01264041

Nancy Davidson is your ultimate real estate resource for Mammoth Lakes, CA and The Eastern Sierra. Visit my website for detailed information regarding today’s real estate markets.

Image by aymane jdidi from Pixabay 

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134 Laurel Mountain Road #23, Mammoth Lakes, CA 93546 – SOLD!

FULLY FURNISHED 2-BEDROOM CONDO IN TOWN!

Beautifully remodeled, furnished 2 bedroom/2 bath condo that is in a great center of town location. The kitchen boasts granite counter tops with newer cabinets and stainless-steel appliances and Brazilian cherry wood floors. A breakfast bar overlooks the living room which features a vaulted wood ceiling and gas log fireplace. The Master bedroom has a beautiful bathroom with jet tub and double massage shower. Bedroom 2 also has a vaulted wood ceiling and second bath has a freestanding shower. This unit offers lots of storage and built-ins too. Just off the living room, the deck offers a place to grill and enjoy the view.

The condo has been plumbed with propane which offers an EPA gas log fireplace in the living room, water heater and dryer which is also gas.

Krystal Villa West Amenities include an outdoor pool, jacuzzi, on-site property manager and easy walk to the Red Line Shuttle route. Affordable HOA dues which makes it perfect for a local resident or a family ski getaway include snow removal, water & sewer and trash service.

Click Here to view the virtual tour! For more information visit 134 Laurel Mountain Road #23.

Contact Nancy Davidson for All Your Real Estate Needs! For more information or to schedule a showing visit www.MammothCountry.com or email Nancy@MammothCountry.com. Let me make your home selling and or buying experience one of a kind!

 

Nancy Davidson
Mammoth Village Properties
760 937-2301 mobile
nancy@mammothcountry.com
www.MammothCountry.com
CA Broker’s License #01264041

Nancy Davidson is your ultimate real estate resource for Mammoth Lakes, CA and The Eastern Sierra. Visit my website for detailed information regarding today’s real estate markets.

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