NewsletterYosemite Gateway Properties and Lifestyles
Ed Bailey, GRI, MS, Broker, Ed Bailey Realty / BRE #: 01479711
Post Office Box 308, 39383 Honeysuckle Lane, Oakhurst, CA 93644
(w) 559.683.5193 (c) 559.676.2424
- Bass Lake, California
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Bass Lake Home Realty, Oakhurst, North Fork Real Estate Specialist
|Six Ways to Shoot Yourself in the Wallet When Selling Your Home
Eleven Reasons Why Your Home Does Not Sell
By Charles Muotoh
When you first put your house on the market, you might be hopeful for a quick sale—especially if you've put a lot of money into improving
the house over the years and if the neighborhood is one that has historically attracted a lot of buyers. While you shouldn't panic if the
house doesn't sell the moment you list it, you should begin to worry if the months start flying by without any real offers. If this is
the case, here are 11 reasons why your house may not be selling.
- You overvalued your property. If your house is overpriced, it's simply not going to sell. Compare your property to similar properties that recently sold within your area to get a better idea of its true value. An experienced real estate agent can give you an accurate value of your home. Additionally, don't make the mistake of tacking on the cost of any renovations you made. You can't just assume that the cost of a renovation translates to added value.
- Your listing is poor. If the listing of your home includes a poorly written description without any images, a lot of buyers are going to skip over it. Make sure you and your REALTOR® put an effort into creating a listing that attracts the attention of buyers. Make sure to add high quality photographs of both the interior and exterior of your home. Don't forget to highlight unique features as well.
- You're always present at showings. Let your agent handle your showings. Buyers don't want to have the seller lurking over their shoulder during showings, especially during an open house. This puts unwanted pressure on the buyer, which will make them uncomfortable and likely chase them away.
- You're too attached. If you refuse to negotiate even a penny off your price, then there's a good chance that you've become too attached to your home. If a part of you doesn't want to sell it, or you think your house is the best house in the world, odds are you're going to have a lot of difficulties coming to an agreement with a potential buyer.
- You haven't had your home professionally cleaned. A dirty house is going to leave a bad impression on buyers. Make sure you have a professional clean your carpeting and windows before you begin showing your house.
- You haven't staged your home. If you've already moved out, then don't show an empty house. This makes it difficult for buyers to imagine living in it. Stage your house with furniture and decor to give buyers a better idea of how big every room is and how it can be used. You want the buyer to feel at home when they are taking the tour.
- You kept up all of your personal décor. Buyers are going to feel uncomfortable touring your house if you keep all of your family portraits up. Take down your personal décor so that buyers can have an easier time imagining themselves living there.
- Your home improvements are too personalized. You might think that the comic book mural you painted for your child's room is absolutely incredible, but that doesn't mean potential buyers will agree. If your home improvements are too personalized, it can scare off buyers who don't want to pay for features they don't want.
- Your home is too cluttered. Even if your home is clean, clutter can still be an issue. For example, maybe you simply have too much furniture in one of your rooms. This can make the house feel smaller than it is.
- Your home is in need of too many repairs. The more repairs that are needed, the less likely a buyer will want your house. Many buyers simply don't want to deal with the cost or effort of doing repair work, even if it's just a bunch of small repairs, such as tightening a handrail or replacing a broken tile.
- You chose the wrong real agent. In my opinion, choosing the right real estate is simply the most important decision you make in selling your home.
- All these things can be fixed once you realize your mistake; however, the longer your property stays on the market, the less likely it will sell at listing price.
Charles Muotoh is the owner of dcrealestateguru.com, a full service real estate firm focused on leveraging digital marketing strategies to serve buyers and sellers of real estate in the Washington D.C. area.
11 DELIGHTFUL WAYS TO MAKE YOUR HOUSE BRIGHTER IN WINTER
By: Leanne Potts
Fall and winter start cozy — who hasn’t used the colder temperatures as an excuse to binge-watch Netflix while swaddled in a couch blanket?
But come January, staying indoors can feel less like a treat and more like you’re living in a cave.
Here’s how to make your house lighter, brighter, and cheerier.
#1 Take the Screens Off Your Windows
You’ll get 30% more sunlight shining indoors without screens on your windows.
Here’s the best part: Sunlight warms your room and saves you money on your heating bill. It’s solar power — for you!
Be sure to store your screens in your garage or basement where they won’t get damaged. In the spring you’ll want to put them back on so you can keep that 30% of the sun out and run your cooling system less.
#2 Hang Outdoor String Lights Indoors
They don’t give off a lot of light, but they’re cheerful as heck.
Drape them around a window or a mantel, or hang a string of LED glimmer lights in a tall potted plant. They’ll add a layer of soft light to your room and remind you of fireflies, flip-flops, and patio parties.
#3 Steal a Little Swedish Chic
Scandinavians excel at making a home light and airy because they’ve got places where the sun doesn’t rise at all from November to January.
And you thought you had it bad.
To adapt to weeks and weeks of polar night, Swedes keep interiors pale to reflect and amplify light.
Think white walls, light woods for furniture and floors, and light upholstery. To get the look without getting rid of your dark furniture and floors, put white or light gray slipcovers on your sofa and chairs, and put down light-colored rugs.
The fastest way to bring a little Sweden into your room is to paint it. Try creamy white, pale blue, or dove gray.
#4 Change Your Bulbs
Replace those incandescent bulbs and their yellowy light with LEDs, which produce a brighter, whiter light.
But get your bright right:
The higher the K rating on the bulb, the cooler and whiter its light.
For cool, white light, opt for a bulb rated 3,500K to 4,100K.
For blue-white light that’s closest to natural daylight, use a bulb between 5,000K and 6,500K.
Unless you live in Sweden (see above) you may want to leave the uber-high K bulbs for affective disorder therapy clinics — because they’re as bright as real sunlight on a hot summer day at noon. You’ll need sunglasses to read.
#5 Hang Mirrors
Make the most of that weak winter light by bouncing it around the room with mirrors.
If you don’t want the distraction of seeing your reflection all the time, use a large, convex one — also known as a fish-eye mirror. It will amplify light better than a flat one. Another option: Hang a gallery wall of small mirrors
#6 Replace Heavy Curtains With Blinds or Roman Shades
Fabric curtains, while quite insulating, block light and make a room feel smaller and more cramped, especially if they’re a dark color or have a large print.
Try Roman shades or a simple valance paired with blinds to let in the maximum amount of natural light.
#7 Trim Branches and Bushes That Block Light
If you look out your windows and see the tops of your bushes, grab your pruning shears and get whacking.
You don’t want anything blocking that precious natural light. Same for tree limbs that may be arching down and blocking windows. Cut them off.
#8 Clean Your Windows
Dirty windows block a lot of natural light.
Admit it, yours are kind of cruddy because who remembers to block out an afternoon to clean the windows?
So get it on your list. Clean the glass inside at least once a month and the glass outside once a year. Your serotonin level will thank you.
#9 Swap Your Solid Front Door for One With Glass Inserts
A solid front door can make your house look and feel as dark as a dungeon.
Get rid of it and install a half-light or full-light door that lets the natural light stream in. For even more natural light, add glass sidelights and a glass transom.
The median cost of a new door is $2,000 for steel and $2,500 for fiberglass, before any extras, but a new door will add curb appeal.
Curb appeal equals higher resale value. And coming home in the evening to the warm glow of light radiating out the glass panels in your front door is an instant mood lifter.
#10 Add a Skylight
It’s the ultimate way to bring more natural light into your house. A window only catches sun for a couple of hours a day, but a skylight lets in the sun all day.
An indoor view of the sky makes deepest January more tolerable. And feeling the warmth of the sun on your skin, light streaming from above, is liberating. A skylight, installed, can cost as much as $3,000. A cheaper alternative is a tubular skylight, which costs around $1,000.
If you’re really good with tools, you can install a tubular skylight yourself. Don’t even think about installing a full-blown skylight yourself.
#11 Add Plants
Putting pots of plants around your room will remind you that spring and green will return.
Match plants to the amount of light you have, because dead and dying plants are depressing. Tropicals that thrive in indirect light are usually the best choice. If you have a sunny window you’ve got more plant options.
Bonus points for adding a plant that blooms in the winter, like a kaffir lily or anthurium.
DEED VS. TITLE: WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE? TERMS HOME BUYERS NEED TO KNOW
By: Audrey Ference
Deed vs. title: What's the difference? Most people use the terms interchangeably, but there's a significant difference between the two— a distinction that's important to understand when you're ready to purchase a home. So let's look at what distinguishes deed from title.
Deed vs. title: The difference between these 2 real estate terms
"A deed is a legal document used to confirm or convey the ownership rights to a property," explains Anne Rizzo of Title Source Title Clearance. "It must be a physical document signed by both the buyer and the seller."
Title, however, is the legal way of saying you have ownership of the property. The title is not a document, but a concept that says you have the rights to use that property.
So when you buy a property, you will receive the deed, a document that proves you own it. That deed is an official document that says you have title to the real estate.
How to get the deed and take title of a property
To get the deed and "take title," or legally own the property, your lender will perform a title search. This ensures that the seller has the legal right to transfer ownership of the property to you, and that there are no liens against it. If everything is clear, then at closing the seller will transfer the title to you, and you become the legal possessor of the property.
The title or escrow company will then ensure the deed is recorded with the county assessor's office or courthouse, depending on where you live. You'll generally get a notification a few weeks after closing that your deed has been recorded. If you don't, check with the professional who did your closing and ensure that the paperwork has been filed. At that point, you have the deed and title to the real estate and the property is all yours.
What is title insurance?
Even with all of the due diligence a title company does before closing, there are rare instances when title problems can pop up later (e.g., missed liens and other legal issues that can be very costly to resolve). To protect against any financial loss, two types of title insurance exist: owner's title insurance and lender's title insurance.
"Unlike other types of insurance that protect the policyholder from events that may happen in the future, an owner’s title policy protects the buyer from events that have happened in the past," says Rizzo. "That may jeopardize their financial interest, such as title defects from fraud or paperwork errors, unpaid liens against the property, or claims that someone else is the real, legal property owner."
On the other hand, when you secure a mortgage, your lender or bank will require that you purchase lender's title insurance to protect the lender's investment in case any title problems arise. Lender's title insurance essentially protects the lender's interest in your property, which is typically until your mortgage is paid off.
THE 9 HOTTEST INTERIOR DESIGN AND DECOR TRENDS YOU'LL SEE IN 2018
By: Holly Amaya
When it comes to home design and decor, we'll be the first to tell you to stick with what you love, no matter what the pros say. But if you can't escape that sinking feeling each time you walk through your front door that your decor is looking a little tired, well, don't despair. We've got you covered! We've already talked about the design trends you should ditch in the coming year. Now let's take a look at some of the hot new designs you might want to use for 2018 to give your home a fresh lease on life.
From splashy color palettes to bright yellow sofas and mixed metal everything, our stable of designers and tastemakers have given us the ultimate insiders' scoop on what'll be hot in 2018. And trust us: It'll be a gorgeous year. Here's what to watch:
1. Bold colors
Designers haven't yet had their fill of spaces decked out in deep, bold shades; this decor trend is appearing on our hot list for the second year in a row.
“As much as I love an all-white interior, rich jewel tones are making their way onto our walls and moldings in a big way—think ‘English library,’ but with peacock teal, black, or rich burnt orange colors,” says Oregon-based interior designer Arlene Lord.
The proof is in the paint: Sherwin-Williams' 2018 Color of the Year (Oceanside SW 6496) is an intense shade of blue-green, while Pantone recently announced the rich and regal Ultra Violet will reign supreme in the coming year.
Lord recommends pairing these jewel tones with bold, dustier shades to create a lush, layered look. (We like PPG’s Black Flame, an indigo-hued black that’s great for modern interiors; Glidden’s Deep Onyx, a classic no-fuss shade; and Olympic’s Black Magic.)
"Dipping a room in a dramatic shade like midnight navy, eggplant, or charcoal is a fun way to embrace a deep, rich color, and the result is deliciously inviting,” says Elissa Morgante, co-principal of Morgante Wilson Architects in Illinois.
Ready to really commit? Go all-in on this trend with dark or black trim.
“Outlining the room or windows in dark trim helps punctuate and call attention to unique features,” she says.
2. Mixed metallic
A few years back, mixing metals was a total no-no. But experts now agree that today’s homeowners want more than simple one or two copper or brass fixtures—they like seeing the stuff throughout a room or house.
“Buyers really love to see modern, eclectic choices such as a hammered copper light fixture above the kitchen island paired with sleek chrome faucets and cabinet hardware,” says Ken Fixler of Barnett Homes in Chicago.
To warm up the industrial feel of some metals, pair them with a natural stone like marble or limestone, and look for unexpected finishes like matte black, satin brass, black nickel, and unlacquered brass. Amp up the visual interest another notch by layering your metals across a variety of locations, from faucets to hardware to lighting and furniture.
3. Gen Z yellow
As usual, Beyoncé was way ahead of the curve on this one, smashing car windows and security cameras in an unforgettable yellow Cavalli dress in her epic video for "Lemonade." And as designers, fashionistas, and millennials will all tell you, the hue that's being dubbed "Gen Z yellow" is the one to watch.
Karen Wolf, of Karen B Wolf Interiors, calls it "positive, confident, vibrant, and enthusiastic."
"We have not seen this color emerge for quite some time," Wolf adds. "It feels fresh, happy, and young."
Designer Sarah Hullinger agrees, predicting the color will continue to be huge well into 2018.
“It’ll certainly make an impression, whether a bright ‘minion’ color or a burnt shade resembling curry or turmeric,” she says.
If you can't quite warm up to the idea of, say, a bright yellow sectional, test the waters with an accent chair or painted side table.
In the kitchen, sleek quartz is taking the place of the ubiquitous granite and hard-to-clean marble.
“Quartz products are appealing to the ease of living that we all crave, and the surfaces are much more modern, clean, and versatile,” Lord says.
5. Light, textured wood floors
“Red-toned woods are fading in popularity, along with tropical exotic species” like Brazilian cherry or walnut, says Armstrong Flooring design manager Sara Babinski.
Instead, flooring trends are moving toward lighter color palettes in domestic American woods such as maple, pine, or hickory, she says.
Why? Light-hued woods—including natural tones and blond and whitewashed woods—brighten interior spaces and hide imperfections more easily, making them a great choice for families and households with pets. For extra credit, choose a distressed or wire-brushed wood, which offers vintage appeal with a less aggressive look than a scraped floor, and choose 5-inch-wide planks, which create a sense of openness and interior space.
If you decide to stick with dark flooring, designers recommend that you pair it with light walls and white trim for contrast.
6. Natural materials
“In interior design we're seeing a strong push toward eco-consciousness—looking toward items that are made of sustainable materials and have a natural feel to them,” says Ana Zuravliova, an interior designer at Roman Blinds Direct. “People care about the production, the history, and the story of their furniture more than they ever have before.”
While the sustainability element is a plus, the visual airiness of the materials is indicative of a move toward more minimalist interiors, says designer Erin Powell, virtual staging coordinator at 3-D rendering company roOmy.
"The less-is-more approach will continue—[think] lacy hammocks and daybeds and wicker and rattan furniture with a more modern edge," she says.
7. Concrete in unexpected places
Tired of basic granite in your kitchen and bath? Ditch it in favor of cool concrete—and then take your design up a notch by extending the material elsewhere in your house.
“From fireplaces to bath tubs, concrete is no longer the countertop alternative,” says designer Ana Cummings. “I’m seeing entire walls in concrete panels that look fantastic juxtaposed next to antiques or contemporary furnishings.”
8. Black fixtures Black fixtures will take the place of brass as the new hot home hardware, predicts Ryan Brown of Brown Design Group in Southern California. The first reason is easy: Black pretty much goes with everything. The second? Black fixtures—especially in matte finishes—are much easier to clean (and don't need to be cleaned as often) than lighter, polished metals.
“They look great in modern applications as well as transitional homes,” Brown says. “And the best part is, no water spots to clean off.”
9. Larger tiles
For years, white subway tile has been the go-to choice in many a modern (or renovated) bathroom and kitchen. But designer Karen Asprea of Whitehall Interiors notes a recent shift toward larger-format tile (and even slab-size sheets of porcelain).
"This shift is not only aesthetic but one of function, as larger tile has less grout and is both easier to install and maintain," Asprea says.
But if you're not on board with big, don't fret—designers agree the subway tile trend has life left in it.
“Clients want a really clean look for their homes and that doesn’t appear to be a trend that’s going away,” says Katie Jaydan, senior designer with White Crane Construction, a residential remodeling company in Minneapolis.
To mix things up a little and add visual interest, consider swapping out tired old cabinetry hardware with mixed metals (oh, hi, Tip No. 2) for a look that's oh-so-2018. (In a good way.)
WHAT HAPPENS IF I SKIP A MORTGAGE PAYMENT?
By: Daniel Bortz
"What happens if I skip a mortgage payment?" is one of those questions we hope you never have to ask, but life is unpredictable: Sometimes no matter how carefully you plan, you may find yourself short on the funds you need to pay this crucial monthly bill. So what happens if you skip a mortgage payment for just one month?
Don’t worry—there's no need to panic quite yet. But there are consequences to missing a mortgage payment, so you'll want to know what's in store.
What if you're late on your mortgage payment?
Every home loan agreement offers borrowers a grace period for late payments. (Most mortgage payments are due the first day of the month but policies can vary, says Guy Cecala, chief executive and publisher of Inside Mortgage Finance.) Typically, there’s a 15-day grace period, in which case you would have 14 days after your payment is due to pay your bill without incurring a late fee. However, “I’ve seen some late fees kick in after seven days,” Cecala says, who recommends checking your policy carefully to see how long your grace period is.
Late fees are based on your mortgage agreement, loan type, and state regulations, but generally the average is 4% to 5% of the overdue payment. So, for a $1,000 monthly mortgage with a 5% late penalty, the fee would be $50. That might seem like a drop in the bucket, but “late fees are a good source of income for mortgage lenders,” Cecala points out.
How a missed mortgage payment affects your credit
Mortgage lenders typically report late payments to credit bureaus after they become 60 days past due—meaning you usually have two months to make up for a missed payment. After the 60-day mark though, your credit score (a reflection of how you've managed past debts) might take a big hit.
According to data from credit analysis firm FICO, someone with an excellent credit score—780 or above—could see it drop 90 to 110 points if the person has never missed a payment on any credit account. In comparison, someone with a 680 credit score and two pre-existing late payments on his credit report may see a 60- to 80-point drop for a mortgage payment delinquency.
Will my bank start foreclosure proceedings if I miss one payment?
The short answer is no.
“The foreclosure process takes a lot longer these days because of the foreclosure crisis [of 2008],” Cecala says. “Mortgage lenders don’t want to foreclose on your home because it results in a loss or a cost to them."
Nonetheless, your mortgage is technically in default if you’re more than 90 days late on your mortgage payments—even just one. At that point, you’ll receive a letter from your mortgage servicer notifying you that you’ve defaulted on your loan; you then typically have 90 days to pay off your most recent bill before your mortgage lender can begin foreclosure proceedings.
I don't think I can make next month’s payment. What are my options?
Your first step is to contact your mortgage servicer and explain your financial situation. “People often feel like they don’t want to turn themselves in, but you don’t know what your options are until you talk to your lender,” Cecala says. Plus, mortgage lenders tend be more accommodating if you notify them in advance that you can’t make an upcoming payment.
You might qualify for a special forbearance, a process where your servicer gives you a temporary break from your mortgage payments.
“It’s essentially an extended grace period,” says Cecala. Alternatively, you may be able to work out a repayment plan with your lender where you agree to pay down past-due amounts on your mortgage over a set period of time.
If you can’t afford to make your mortgage payments (say, due to a layoff or emergency medical expenses), Cecala also recommends looking at the federal government’s Home Affordable Modification Program.
“Through HAMP, homeowners who are not unemployed but struggling to make their monthly mortgage payments may lower their monthly payments and make them more affordable and sustainable for the long-term,” says the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s website. You’ll have to meet certain requirements to qualify. For example, you must have obtained your mortgage before Jan. 2, 2009, and “in general you can’t qualify if you have a jumbo loan,” Cecala says. (Call 1-888-995-4673 for free to speak with a HUD-approved housing counselor to see if you can take advantage of the program.)
How can I avoid a missed payment in the future?
The best way to ensure you won’t miss a mortgage payment, says Cecala, is to set up automatic bill pay so that the money is automatically withdrawn from your bank account each month. (You can do this easily through your bank either online or by phone.) You may even want to set up a dedicated checking account for your mortgage payments, and make arrangements with your employer to have a percentage of your income automatically deposited into the account each month.
Cecala offers one more tip: “If you run into problems making your mortgage payments, you probably want to avoid debt consolidation services. There are costs attached to them,” he says. “You’re generally always better off working with your loan servicer or a nonprofit that offers counseling and mortgage relief services.”
Mountain Area Home Sales Report December 1, 2017
Oakhurst, Coarsegold, Bass Lake, North Fork, O’Neals, Wawona, Yosemite N. P., Ahwahnee, Raymond, Wishon, Fish Camp, Mariposa, Catheys Valley, Midpines, and Hornitos.
Single Family Home Sales for Various Periods Ending November 30, 2017.
Compiled Monthly by Ed Bailey Realty, California BRE License 01479711
||Average (Median)||Average (Mean)|
||Sales Last Year||Sales This Year||+/- % From Last Year||Price Last Year||Price This Year||+/- % From Last Year|| Price Last
| Price This
|+/- % From a Year Ago||Pend-ing Sales at end of Month||Active Listings at end of Month|
|3 mo. Sep-Nov 2017||133||134||0||254,000||283,000||+11||292,983||307,358||+5||NA||NA|
|6 mo. Jun –Nov 2017||344||335||-3||255,000||285,000||+12||290,694||320,228||+10||NA||NA|
Distress sale listings at end of November were 9, or 4% of total active listings.
Pending sales were up 9 percent above the end of September numbers, from 44 to 48.
Homes sold in November 2017 were on the market an average of 67 days, and averaged 97% of asking price. Average price per square foot was $162.72
|Year||# Sold||% Change from Prev. Yr.||Median Purchase Price||% Change from Prev. Yr.|
Disclaimer 2: MLS records are presumed to be accurate, but not guaranteed
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