Thursday, April 18, 2019

How to save up for a house...



Are you thinking about buying a home and just don’t know where to start? Before you even begin looking at homes, consider how much you may need to save to make the process as smooth as possible for you, especially in the long run. While there are situations where you don’t need a large down payment for a home, having one can save you money down the road. 
Saving for a down payment is slightly different than other large savings, like retirement. With those savings, you can set aside smaller amounts or invest the money. Because you will need your down payment sooner rather than later, those saving methods won’t be beneficial to you. Here are some steps to take to save up for your dream home!
1. Determine How Much You Need
There is a general rule of thumb in real estate, the rule of 28, that says your maximum mortgage payment should not exceed 28% of your gross monthly income. Sitting down with a mortgage lender will help you find out how much of a mortgage you qualify for based on that income. They will be able to tell you the recommended amount needed for a 20% down payment. Whether or not that is a requirement, a 20% down payment can get you a great price deal and reduce your monthly mortgage rate. 
2. Decide When You Want To Buy
The next step will be deciding when you want to buy. This will give you either a monthly or annual goal of how much money you need to be setting aside to reach that down payment goal.
3. Choose A Savings Plan
It it usually best to avoid stocks or other risky investments when it comes to saving for a home. Consider opening a regular savings account specifically for your down payment, and make sure it is an account you use for deposit-only purposes until you’re ready to make your down payment.
4. Check Your Budget
Saving a few dollars here and there can be easy, but saving thousands of dollars may take a little more practice. First, consider cutting back on your expenses. Check your budget for things you can go without. This may be difficult, but think about what you are saving up for! If you have the chance to earn additional income, devote that extra cash directly to your savings account. These saving strategies will not only help you to buy your new home, but can create life-long habits to help you continue to save money down the road.
5. Consider An Automated Savings Plan
Even after you have adjusted your budget, pulling that money out of your checking account and putting it into a savings isn’t always easy. Once you’ve determined how much of your budget will be going into savings, consider adding a savings plan to your bank account so that the money will automatically be sent to your savings. This can remove the temptation of spending what may look like extra money in your account and ensuring that it goes where it needs to. 
6. Save Your Big Deposits
Have you received a large sum of money lately? Maybe you just got married, or got a bonus at work, or that tax-return was especially big this year. Instead of spending that cash, deposit it directly into your savings account. This can reduce your savings timeframe and might have you ready to buy sooner than you thought.
Saving up for a home isn't always easy, but it is always worth it!
When you are ready to buy, give us a call and we will get you that home you've been dreaming of! 

Maria Zendejas & Team (805) 465-2001
License 01522044

Habits of a tidy homeowner!




We all have that friend whose home seems to be spotless, no matter the time of day. You could swing by for a morning coffee or stop over for dinner, and it always looks like someone just cleaned. Can you imagine if your house could be like that? Well, it can! Tidy homes are created out of habit. Here are 5 habits of people with tidy homes, so that you too can have a house that looks like a magazine feature all the time.
1. Having A Schedule
Letting clutter accumulate is the easiest way to get a messy home. If you are waiting until the mess is unbearable, you’re going to be overwhelmed by it every time. By creating a cleaning schedule, you can manage the cleaning of your home instead of avoiding it. Create tasks for each day, like a day for dusting and a day for vacuuming, so you are doing a little bit of deep cleaning every day. 
2. Create Lists
Break down everything in your home that needs to be cleaned on a list. By creating a list, you will be able to cross off what you complete as you go. This visual helps you to stay on track and feel like you’re accomplishing your goals. 
3. A Place For Everything
Organization is the key to a tidy home. If every item in your house has its own home, cleaning will be much easier. This especially helps to prevent junk drawers or counters overflowing with random household items. 
4. Get Rid of Clutter
If a junk drawer is already overflowing in your house or you have a closet where you’ve been stuffing items with no other place to go, it is time to purge. Follow Marie Kondo’s advice and get rid of anything that doesn’t bring you joy - especially clutter.
5. Baskets are Best
While it is important to maintain organization when using them, baskets can be extremely helpful to organize and reduce clutter - especially if you have children or pets. While it is easier to manage our own clutter, it can be difficult to put every toy or childcare item away properly when we are in a rush. By having decorative baskets throughout your home, you can quickly clear out an area if you have guests coming over without scrambling to put all those items where they are meant to go. It is important to add basket organization to your cleaning list, that way they do not become just another 'junk drawer' of sorts. 
Work on creating these habits in your own home and soon enough, you'll be the one who doesn't mind when your friends stop by at any hour!

Thursday, February 7, 2019

The Ins and Outs of Setting a Price for Your Home

The Ins and Outs of Setting a Price for Your Home

Published: April 12, 2018
It’s a big decision with a lot of factors, but don’t worry — you have backup.
Everything has value. Especially your home.
And when it comes to selling your home, assigning a price to that value is complicated. You made memories there. You’ve got a major financial interest in the place, too.
Buyers think of value, but they’re more concerned with price. And your home’s price is one of its most attractive — or unattractive — features. The right price can {{ start_tip 97 }}attract buyers, quickly{{ end_tip }}. The wrong price may mean the house sits on the market, which can create the vibe among buyers that there’s something wrong it. (If the home buying process is Instagram, think of a wrongly priced home as a photo that isn’t getting any likes.)
It’s your agent’s job, as the real estate expert — mining his or her expertise and knowledge of the market — to determine the best price for your home. But it’s your house. You need to have your own idea of how much your property is worth. Here’s how to get it.    

Work With Your Agent

This is crucial. Your agent brings the right mix of industry expertise and knowledge of your local market to the table. 
To understand whether your agent is pricing your home properly, read through each of the steps below. Use what you learn about your home’s fair market price to evaluate any price your agent recommends.
Throughout the pricing process, a good agent will:
  • Listen to your needs
  • Take into account your research
  • Use his or her knowledge of the local market to help you pick the best asking price 
You’re a team. It’s in both of your interests to price your home correctly — a timely, profitable sale is win for everyone.   

And Yeah, You Should Also Check the Internet

Pricing a home is both art and science. To understand what will inform your agent’s pricing decisions — and to be prepared to bring your own educated input to the conversation — start with a pricing research phase.
This includes taking advantage of online estimating tools — but only to an extent. Property websites like realtor.com® and Redfin enable you to plug in your home’s address to see approximately how much your house is worth. They base their estimates on your home’s square footage and real estate data they’ve collected, such as recent home sales in your local market.
But those results are estimates based on generalized factors, not your unique situation. If at any point the price you see in an online calculator doesn’t align with what your agent suggests, prioritize the agent’s advice. 
Online estimators also have a reputation among real estate professionals for misleading buyers and sellers alike with less-than-optimal pricing information. But as a starting point, they have their utility.   
Related Topic: Sell a Home: Step-by-Step

Know Your Local History

What your home’s listing price should be largely depends on what similar homes, or “comps,” recently sold for in your area. To price your home, your agent will run the average sales prices of at least three comps to assess your home’s value.
What constitutes a comp? A number of factors, including a home’s: 
  • Age 
  • Location
  • Square footage 
  • Number of bedrooms and bathrooms 
Agents will look into the difference between each comp’s listing price, and the price it sold for. He or she will consider price reductions and why they happened, if relevant. All the while, your agent will also rely on inside knowledge of housing stock and the local market. That nuanced understanding is invaluable, particularly when measuring the unique aspects of your home with raw data about comps.
When selecting comps, agents generally look for properties that sold within a one-mile radius of your home, and in the past 90 days. They find these homes using the multiple listing service (MLS), a regional database of homes that agents pay dues to access.

Size Up the Competition

In addition to recently sold homes, your agent will also look at properties that are currently for sale in your area. These listings will be your competition. But because listing photos don’t always tell the full story, a good agent will check out these homes in person to see what condition they’re in and to assess how your home sizes up.
You can do the same. For additional perspective, you can also get in touch with your local association of REALTORS®. Ask if they have information to offer about your neighborhood and the local market.

Understand the Market You’re In

The housing market where you live can greatly impact your pricing strategy. 
If you’re in a seller’s market, where demand from buyers outpaces the number of homes for sale, you may be able to price your home slightly higher than market value.
But if you’re in a buyer’s market, where buyers have the advantage, you may have to price your home slightly below market value to get people interested. 
You can see local market trends by checking the online resource realtor.com®. It offers charts that display important housing market data, such as a city’s average listing price, median sales price, and average days a home is on market. It’s a lot of information. At any point, you can ask your agent to help you make sense of how your local market will influence your home’s price.

Put Your Feelings Aside

As previously mentioned, many sellers think their{{ start_tip 98 }}home is worth more than it is.{{ end_tip }}Why? Because memories. Because sentiment. Because pride.
But you have to stay objective when assessing your home’s value. Buyers, after all, won’t know your home’s personal history. What makes your home special to you may not be something that entices them. Read: They may want to convert that craft room you worked so hard to perfect into a man cave.
The lesson: As much as possible, set aside your emotional attachment to your home. It will make it easier to accept your agent’s realistic, clear-eyed calculation of its price.

Remember: It’s All Relative

As you and your agent are talking price, the local market may throw you a curveball or two.
In some markets, for example, it could make sense to price your home slightly below its fair market value to spark a bidding war. 
Of course, there's no guarantee a pricing strategy such as this will pay off. Similarly, there’s no one-size-fits-all playbook. Your home should be priced for its own local, or even hyper-local, market. Period. Confer with your agent before you decide to try any market-specific pricing tactics.

Be Savvy With the Dollar Amount

Pricing your home requires careful attention. In some cases, fair market value may not be precisely what you should list it for — and the reasons can be subtle. 
For example, if comps show that your home is worth $410,000, setting that as your asking price can backfire — the reason is that buyers who are looking online for properties under $400,000 won’t see your home in search results in that case. This explains why many agents use the “99” pricing strategy and, for example, list $400,000 homes for $399,000. The idea is to maximize exposure.

Have a Heart-to-Heart With Your Partner

Not the sole decision maker in your household? Talk to your partner about your home’s price before it’s listed. You can use this worksheet as a guide for that discussion.
The reason isn’t just to foster the kind of open communication that's important to any relationship. It’s that if you’re not on the same page about price or the other things that are important to you about sale, each subsequent step of the selling process will be impacted by that tension. 

Keep Your Head in the Game

You’ve considered your agent’s advice, and the two of you have agreed on the right price for your home. Hey, champ! Your house is on the market.
Even after the listing date, price should be an ongoing discussion between you and your agent. Markets are fluid, so it’s possible that you’ll have to make tweaks. 
In any case, it’s important to to stay in continuous dialogue with your agent, the MVP of Team Sell Your House. Together, keep your eyes on the price.

How to Find the Right Person to Sell Your House



How to Find the Right Person to Sell Your House

Published: April 12, 2018
Your guide to hiring the listing agent who can set you up for success.
Your home is where you’ve lived and loved, where you’ve laughed and cried, where you’ve huddled and snuggled. You’re the pea, your home is the pod. And you’ve been through a lot together.
Now that it’s time to put it on the market, you’re likely experiencing some sadness, plus plenty of anxiety. Because really: How often does your future depend on selling your past? If you’re a little overwhelmed, we don’t blame you.
But there’s also good news: You don’t have to go it alone. 
A listing agent has your back when it comes to the financials, like setting a listing price and marketing, staging, and making repairs to your house. He or she can also help you navigate more personal issues, such as your timeline, and what you’re hoping to achieve with the sale.  
For all of those reasons, it’s important to find an expert who is right for you and your specific situation, and who can help you get what you want. Here’s how.

Know What a Listing Agent Can Do for You

Before you start interviewing prospective agents, have a clear sense of what you want to get out of the selling process. When so much money is on the table, it’s crucial to know what your goals are, so that you can find an agent who really speaks to them.
Then, it helps to understand what a listing agent does (other than sell your most valuable asset — no big deal).
The listing agent will: 
  • Work with you to price your home
  • Market your home (we’re talking pretty pictures, social media promo, cute staging — the works)
  • Negotiate with home buyers
  • Usher the home sale through inspection and closing
Now, let’s break all of that down . . .
Pricing your home. This is the BIG question, right? How do I set the price? The short answer is you’ll need to trust your agent to recommend a smart listing price. 
So how can you tell whether an agent — a relative stranger to you — is choosing the best price for your home? You need to do two things:
  1. Know, generally speaking, what your property is worth. Do your own research on the prices of local comps, (but understand the limits of online property sites). Run your info by your agent for an informed perspective. 

  2. Ask the agent for pricing information on homes he or she has recently sold. Specifically, what the differences were between their listing prices and how much the homes ultimately sold for. 
When it comes to the agent’s pricing history, you’re looking for accuracy. Anyone could suggest a high price for your home, knowing it’s what you’d like to hear. But nobody (especially you) wants to have a house languish on the market, or to reduce a price repeatedly.
Marketing your home. The listing agent will also get the word out that your house is on the market, using a combination of old-school (but powerful) marketing techniques — such as direct mail, signage, and open houses — and the modern methods we know and love, like social media. Savvy agents will post pics of your house on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and any other platform that can get likes plus the attention of other real estate agents who can bring buyers to the table.
Negotiating with buyers. When offers start pouring in, your agent will negotiate with prospective buyers on not only the sale price but also on what contingencies (aka special circumstances) are attached to the contract. As with any negotiation, there could be some stressful, fraught moments with the buyers. You’ll want an agent who can step up for you, and who has a negotiation style that you’re comfortable with.
Closing the sale. Once you’ve signed a purchase agreement with a buyer (woo-hoo!), your agent will help you navigate the sale’s remaining steps. This includes negotiating home repair requests post inspection and dealing with any last-minute surprises before closing.
The average listing agent does all of the above. A great listing agent does all of the above, while also inspiring your confidence — that they’re getting the best price for you, and that they’re representing you and your home in the best possible light. 
So, let’s talk about how to find and hire that kind of agent.

Monday, January 21, 2019

Does moving up make sense?









Does Moving Up Make Sense? 

These questions will help you decide whether you’re ready for a home that’s larger or in a more desirable location. If you answer yes to most of the questions, it’s a sign that you may be ready to move.

1. Have you built substantial equity in your current home? Look at your annual mortgage statement or call your lender to find out. Usually, you don’t build up much equity in the first few years of your mortgage, as monthly payments are mostly interest, but if you’ve owned your home for five or more years, you may have significant, unrealized gains.

2. Has your income or financial situation improved? If you’re making more money, you may be able to afford higher mortgage payments and cover the costs of moving. 

3. Have you outgrown your neighborhood? The neighborhood you pick for your first home might not be the same neighborhood you want to settle down in for good. For example, you may have realized that you’d like to be closer to your job or live in a different school district. 

4. Are there reasons why you can’t remodel or add on? Sometimes you can create a bigger home by adding a new room or building up. But if your property isn’t large enough, your municipality doesn’t allow it, or you’re simply not interested in remodeling, then moving to a bigger home may be your best option.

5. Are you comfortable moving in the current housing market? If your market is hot, your home may sell quickly and for top dollar, but the home you buy also will be more expensive. If your market is slow, finding a buyer may take longer, but you’ll have more selection and better pricing as you seek your new home.

Ready to explore your options? 
(805) 465-2000 or (805) 443-7383


Reprinted from REALTORS(R) magazine (REALTOR.org/realtormag) with permission of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS (R). Copyright 2009. All rights reserved. 

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Realty World Sweepstakes


Will you be the next winner?

We invite you to participate in the Realty World Sweepstakes.  This is offered to you Free and with No Obligation. To enter, register online at  www.realtyworld.com or visit our office.  

Good Luck!



Monday, January 7, 2019

28221 Minneola Lane Saugus, Ca.


For sale $465,900.






Welcome Home to the Santa Clarita Valley! Located in the City of Saugus, Ca. this home offers 4 bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms. Features 2,106 sqft and was built in 2006. Upgrades through out include travertine flooring, high ceilings, crown molding and fireplace encased with travertine tiles. Kitchen with pantry, stainless steal appliances, stone backs plash and breakfast bar. Roomy dining area with backyard access. All bedrooms and laundry room on the second floor. Custom built ins on second-floor landing/loft area. Desirable location just steps from the community swimming pool. Quiet Cul-De-Sac with no rear neighbors. Centrally located with easy access to stores and freeways via Cross Valley Connector. A must see...
Interested in viewing or have questions? Send us a message or just pick up the phone and call (805) 443-7383.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

You're Making Your Landlord Rich!




While you’re fussing over your bills, did you realize you’re making your landlord rich? Rentals are the most lucrative business to get into. It turns ordinary people into multi-millionaires. The next time you’re afraid of committing to a mortgage, keep in mind that you’ve already committed to paying off the mortgage of someone else - every single month you rent. The only time home buying doesn’t make sense is if you’re still living with your parents rent-free. Or you prefer to live out of an R.V. or tent. But if you prefer to live in a home, or a condo, it always makes the most sense to buy.
Stop making your landlord rich and start building your own net worth. You can still enjoy owning a home - even if you don’t intend to stay in an area for long. You can always resell your home, most often for more money than you put in, or turn it into a lucrative side business by renting it out. Whatever you decide, don’t be afraid of a mortgage commitment - you’re paying one regardless. Now ask yourself, do you want to make yourself money or make your landlord money?
Maria Zendejas & Team (805) 443-7383 zendejas@aol.com

All My single Ladies!



In 2017 alone, 60% of women millennial buyers were single! Buying a home seems to come with the idea that it’s the step AFTER you get married and have a family - but that simply isn’t true! Not only is home buying an incredible investment, it provides stability. If you’re worried that a home is too much of a commitment, while you still enjoy travelling around the world, having a great Realtor on your side can help ensure you aren’t tied down by a home.
No one ever said your net worth is a burden. Build your net worth by owning your own dream house and recoup your investment when the day comes to sell. If you’re paying the same amount on rent as you could on a mortgage payment, doesn’t it make sense to put that monthly amount into a home you could actually get the money back on? Of course it does! Give us a call, it’s time to invest in yourself and your future.
Maria Zendejas & Team 805 443-7383 zendejas@aol.com