Saturday, March 6, 2021

Should You Try Peel-And-Stick Wall Paper?


When you think of wallpaper, you likely picture rolls of material that are plastered or glued in place. Once the wallpaper is up on the walls, that’s pretty much it; while wallpaper can be removed, the process usually isn’t very quick or easy. If you want the look of wallpaper without the hassle, however, there is another option: peel and stick wallpaper. If you weren’t aware that this was available, it might be worth looking into.


What Is Peel and Stick Wallpaper?

Similar to some other wall decorations, peel and stick wallpaper is a vinyl applicant that has its own adhesive on one side. A protective paper backing covers the adhesive and is peeled off before application, allowing it to be placed without the need for glue or other messy adhesives. The adhesive on the back of peel and stick wallpaper is strong enough to hold the wallpaper in place, but not so strong that it can’t be removed with ease; when you’re ready to take it down you can simply peel it off without having to worry about the wallpaper tearing or causing any sort of damage to the wall surface beneath it.


Peel, Stick and Adjust

As with more traditional wallpaper options, peel and stick wallpapers typically feature repeating designs that are essentially seamless once everything has been installed. The self-adhesive nature of the wallpaper makes it easy to start a wallpaper installation since you can position the first piece more easily than you might with wallpapers that have separate adhesives.


There is another advantage to using this self-stick adhesive as well. Because it’s designed to release easily, you can adjust the positioning of the wallpaper with ease during the installation process. This helps to ensure that none of the wallpaper is crooked or out of alignment, since you can correct any problems as they occur without having to reapply adhesive or worry about damaging the paper.


Residue-Free Removal

One big advantage that peel and stick wallpaper has over more traditional wall coverings is that you can remove it and replace it whenever you need to. The vinyl material that peel and stick wallpaper is made from is harder than paper, so not only is it less likely to be damaged in day-to-day life but it’s also much less likely to tear during removal. The adhesive on the wallpaper leaves no residue behind and isn’t going to peel off paint or other surface details. While peel and stick wallpaper typically isn’t designed for reuse after removal, you can remove one peel and stick design and replace it with a different design, or even more traditional wallpaper, without any issue.


Multiple Surface Options

Peel and stick wallpaper goes well on walls, but it can also be applied to other surfaces as well. The main requirement for application is a clean, dry surface without texture. Your walls should be painted with at least a base coat, but the paint shouldn’t have any texturing agents added. Surfaces with non-stick elements added (such as non-stick paint) or residues need to be cleaned or painted before application as well. Peel and stick wallpaper can be added to drywall, wood or any other surface that either meets its requirements or can be painted to provide the clean, smooth surface that the wallpaper needs for adhesion.


Sunday, February 28, 2021

What Is Escrow?




When it comes  mortgages are concerned, "escrow" and "escrow accounts" refer to two slightly different concepts. Escrow is the process by which a neutral third party mediates a real estate deal, holding money and property "in escrow" until the two sides agree that all the conditions are met for a sale to close. By contrast, an escrow account is usually an account that helps to manage a mortgage borrower's annual tax and insurance costs.

What Does Escrow Mean?
Escrow refers to a third-party service that's usually mandatory in a home purchase. When a buyer and seller initially arrive at a purchase agreement, they select a neutral third party to act as the escrow agent. The escrow agent collects what is known as "earnest money" from the buyer: a deposit that is equal to a small percentage of the sale price. In exchange, the seller takes the property off the market. Until the final exchange is completed, both the buyer's deposit and the seller's property are said to be in escrow.
Escrow "accounts" have more to do with your monthly mortgage payment than the initial home purchase. When you borrow money from a bank or a direct mortgage lender, you'll usually be given an escrow account. This account is where the lender will deposit the part of your monthly mortgage payment that covers taxes and insurance premiums. By collecting a fraction of those annual costs each month, the escrow account reduces the risk that you'll fall behind on your obligations to the government or your insurance provider.

How Do Escrow Accounts Work?
When you obtain a mortgage loan from a bank or direct lender, you also receive an escrow account that helps you pay your property taxes and homeowner's insurance premiums on time. Even though these costs are paid on an annual basis, your lender will require you to pay a monthly fraction towards each cost and accumulate the balance in your escrow account. This ensures that these expenses get paid on time every year.  Mortgage lenders require borrower escrow accounts in order to minimize the risk that you fall short of your financial obligations as a homeowner. In a foreclosure, unpaid taxes or insurance can result in liens that make it harder for the mortgage lender to recover the original loan. This creates a strong incentive for lenders to keep their borrowers on track with escrow accounts that smooth out the non-mortgage costs of owning a home.  Although escrow accounts conveniently allow lenders to pay the relevant taxes and insurance premiums on your behalf, they do have some drawbacks for the borrower. Lenders often require you to a keep a minimum balance in your escrow account to protect against any unexpected cost increases. The usual rule requires a minimum of two months' expenses on your mortgage escrow account, though the limit can be higher on riskier mortgages. Lenders usually review your escrow account once a year to make sure that the calculated payments are keeping up with costs.

How Much Do Escrow Fees Cost?
Just like any other service provider involved in a real estate deal, the escrow agent will need to be paid a fee. Escrow services for a home purchase typically cost 1% to 2% of the final price. Based on national median home values, this translates to a fee of $2,000 to $4,000, which is added into your other closing costs. However, escrow fees are one of the many expenses that are negotiable between the buyer and seller. This means that you can try asking the other party to foot part or even all of the escrow fee, depending on local rules or the current market conditions.  If you're buying, you'll also need to deposit between 1% to 3% of the final sale price in a joint escrow account with the intended seller. This earnest money serves as proof that you're serious about following through with the sale, and it obligates the seller to take the property off the market while the transaction gets finalized. When you complete the transaction, the earnest money you put into escrow will be applied towards your down payment on the house. Earnest money in escrow isn't a fee, but you should be wary of the fact that it's possible to forfeit that money if you can't come to a final agreement with the seller.

When is Escrow Needed in a Mortgage?
Escrow plays a role in both your initial home purchase and the ongoing monthly mortgage payments that follow. In a purchase, the escrow process provides certain guarantees to both the buyer and the seller. Once the two parties agree on a sale, a neutral third party—a bank, title company or attorney—will receive the signed purchase agreement so that it act as the escrow agent. Escrow agents exist to monitor and help fulfill the conditions of the sale, such as the buyer's "earnest money" deposit for a percentage of the sale price.

TYPICAL COMPONENTS OF ESCROW IN REAL ESTATE
Buyer Must Provide…
Earnest money towards down payment
Proof of mortgage loan approval

Seller Must Provide…
Access to property for inspections
Required repairs or renovations
Inspection of title

Once a property is "in escrow", neither the buyer nor the seller will receive anything from the escrow company until all the conditions of the purchase agreement are met. For example, you might agree to purchase an older home on the condition that the building pass a safety inspection. Other common escrow conditions include repairs and property tax audits. Meanwhile, the buyer's earnest money proves to the seller that the buyer has both the intent and the ability to complete the purchase. Earnest money can be forfeited to the seller if the buyer backs out or fails to hold up the terms of the contract.  Escrow agents are also responsible for distributing money to parties other than the buyer and seller. These can include commissions to the real estate agent, prepaid mortgage interest to the lender, recording fees to the county office of records and the escrow agent's own fee. In this sense, escrow greatly simplifies the home buying experience: without it, you'd be held responsible for sending timely and accurate payments to each and every party involved in the transaction.

Thinking of buying? We are happy to guide you every step of the way towards homeownership! 



Friday, February 26, 2021

Preparing Your Home For Listing Photos




Listing photos are the first chance many potential buyers get to be exposed to your home. This is why being prepared for listing photos and ensuring your home looks ready to sell is a key part in the home listing process. Here are some tips to prepare your home for listing photos!

Clear Off Kitchen Counters & Sink

When the kitchen counters are completely cleared off, buyers can imagine how they might use the space for themselves. Kitchen items and decor only distract buyers can often make the kitchen feel cluttered. You will want to remove everything except a handful of decorative items from the countertops and thoroughly clean all surfaces.

Clear & Clean Bathroom Sinks, Tubs, and Showers

Take all of your bath/shower items and place them into a bin that can go underneath the sink. This can help your bathroom look bigger.  Clear off the counters so that bathrooms look unused, but it is okay to leave clean hand towels and hand soap.

Replace Burned Out Light Bulbs

Make sure you check all of the ceiling lights, lamps, and exterior lights to make sure that they all work and can correctly illuminate your space. If there are dark areas in your home, feel free to add a few extra lamps to brighten them up. Additional light can make an area look more spacious so the more light, the better!

Turn On All Lights Throughout The Entire House

You want your home to be captured in the best light, and so it is essential to have as much light as possible. Before your photographer comes, turn on all of the lights in the house!

Open All Windows

Natural light from windows brings life to photos. Opening all of the window treatments in your home to let in as much light as possible. If it's too bright, your photographer can adjust as needed. Make sure you clean the windows if they will be photographed!

Remove Unnecessary Furniture & Decorations

This is probably the hardest part, but it's one of the most important. Removing and storing furniture that doesn’t bring value to your photos can be hard, but it opens up the floor space and helps to not distract potential buyers. Buyers want to be able to visualize their items in your home and that can be hard to do if the room is cluttered with furniture.

Turn All Ceiling Fans, TVs, and Computer Screens Off

Any moving items like ceiling fans or active TV/Computer screens can look very strange in photos.  You should turn off anything that moves or can cause a motion blur.

Clear Off Appliance Surfaces 

Be sure to remove photos, magnets, notes, reminders, and other personal information from the refrigerator or any other appliance you have decorated. It will not only make your home appear cleaner, but it also keeps your personal info safe.

Make All of the Beds

Be sure to make and decorate all the beds in your home with matching sheets, blankets, and pillows. Use bedding fits correctly and covers the mattress.

Are you thinking of selling or know someone who is? Please share our information and give us a call to discuss your selling options. Maria Zendejas & Team (805) 465-2000

We look forward to being your Realtors! 


Friday, February 19, 2021

Need Space? Ditch Your Dining Room!




More and more, we're on the go. Dinners have evolved and formal dining is becoming a way of the past - or is reserved just for special occasions. With that in mind, we see more and more often that dining rooms are left untouched a mass majority of the year. Many people still have fully furnished dining rooms, for a few reasons. They may have been told they can’t sell their home without one, or they already have a dining set, or it just hadn’t occurred to them to not have one.

If you’re willing to think outside the box and you’re looking for ways to have more room without financing a home addition, take a second to think about what you really need and don’t need in your home. There’s a good chance that maybe, you don’t really need a dining room.

A better solution might be to create a slightly larger, less formal dining space. A space that can be more flexible, taking the place of the formal dining room and the breakfast room. Most of the time, this other dining space works great for meals, crafts, and everything in between. You can just add a nice tablecloth, some candles and once again it is a temporary space for elegant dining. If space allows, you can add a nook to your kitchen (if you haven’t already) and completely remove your formal dining furniture from your dining room. Now, you have a full room for play, design, or maybe an office - it’s up to you!


If you've been thinking of selling to purchase a home that offers more space, finding out it's resale value is the place to start! Contact us for a free report of your home. Maria Zendejas & Team can be reached via phone (805) 465-2000 or email lupezendejas@aol.com

Monday, February 1, 2021

When To Purchase Flood Insurance




If you are in an area where you think you might need flood insurance, you also might be wondering if and when the best time to purchase is. Like many Americans, the threat of a flood may always seem far off but if you are in an area that has any flood risk, the best time to consider making the investment is as soon as possible. 

Home insurance will not pay to repair damage caused by flooding, which is why you’ll need to buy separate flood insurance to cover tropical storms, torrential rain and overflowing rivers. It’s the smart move to buy flood insurance before flooding becomes imminent, because there is typically a waiting period between the time you buy your policy and the time it takes effect. 

Waiting period for flood insurance

If you buy your flood insurance policy through the National Flood Insurance Program, your home coverage will kick in 30 days from the purchase date. If you decide to buy private flood insurance, the waiting period might be shorter - typically around 2 weeks. Because not every state/area has private sellers, you will want to ask your home insurer or agent about options in your area. Unfortunately if flooding occurs during the blackout period, your policy won’t pay to fix damage to your home or belongings.

When the waiting period doesn’t apply

Here are some scenarios that are exceptions to the NFIP waiting period, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency:

You have flood insurance and increase your coverage at renewal time. The new limits of your policy will take effect once your old policy expires.

You buy flood insurance within 13 months after your home is added to a Special Flood Hazard Area. The waiting period is one day in these cases. 

Your home sits on burned federal land and post-wildfire conditions put your property at an increased risk of flooding. There may be no waiting period if you buy your policy within 60 days of the date the fire is contained.

You buy flood insurance in relation to getting, increasing, extending or renewing your mortgage. There’s no waiting period in these cases.

There might also be exceptions to the waiting periods for private policies, including if you’re switching from an NFIP policy to a private one. You will want to ask your insurer for more details.


Saturday, January 30, 2021

Design Trends for 2021




It is hard to believe that 2021 is 80 days away. With a new year approaching quickly, now is the time to start thinking about how you want to update your space. If you’re wondering how the design trends are looking for the new year, here is a great place to start! 

Less Is More

After Marie Kondo took over last year, there is no surprise that the idea of ‘less is more’ is trending in the decor space. Take the time to check each space in your home and ensure your decor is intentional. Make sure all of your belongings have a place and that they all serve a purpose.

Scandinavian and Japanese style

Both cultures celebrate minimalism while also encouraging functionality. With white shades dominating spaces in this style, you will also find natural woods and materials in large spaces that are open and bright. 

Personalization

One of the most marked trends in interior design is focused on the personalization of your space. Take into account what you already love when creating spaces in your home without worrying about what others consider stylish or up-to-date. Let your creativity shine through your space. 

A Touch of Color

Neutrals are great in most settings, but a pop of color allows you to add personality to your space. Yellow shades add warmth while blue shades give a sharpness and can be used to enhance certain elements of a room. If you want to introduce a little color, use colors inspired by nature. 

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Is Your Home Ready To Show? Here's Some Quick Tips!




While it might be your goal to keep your home show-ready at all times, that isn’t always possible. It is completely normal to have a home that feels lived in - especially if you are living in it! This isn’t a major issue, but something to be aware of if you are getting ready to list your home.

If your house is already for sale, you may have already experienced the stress of last minute showings. Of course you want your home to appeal to a potential buyer, but you also want to be able to maintain some normalcy while you are still living at home. Here are some tips to help you show your home in a way that potential buyers will love and you can actually manage!

Create Routine
Create an easy maintenance cleaning schedule for each member of your household. Rather than having to worry about cleaning the entire house all at once, this allows you to maintain order and cleanliness - making show-ready living easy to achieve!

Decide On The Necessities 
Once you decide to put your home up for sale, you should do a walk-through of your entire house. Decide what items you’ll need and use while your home is on the market, and start to make a packing plan for the rest. If you have the room, store items in-house, or consider renting a storage unit. Either way, you will have much less to worry about packing when it is time to move!

Quick Fix Containers
Thankfully, decorative baskets and bins of all sorts are all the rage right now. If you don’t already use containers to organize and store toys, clothes, shoes, or other items - now is the best time to start! You will then be able to toss those items quickly into their storage space before a showing.

Maria Zendejas & Team (805) 465-2000

Saturday, January 9, 2021

How Often Should I Check My Roof?




While you may not think about your roof every day, you want to make sure that your roof stays in good shape and remains leak free. To do so, regular inspections need to be performed. But how often should that happen? According to the National Roofing Contractors Association, you should check your roof at least twice of year, during fall and spring. The mild weather of those seasons can help make inspecting the roof easier and it also allows you to ensure that your roof will be prepared potential seasonal weather hazards. While it may not be easy to complete an inspection as often as recommended, doing so will help prevent minor roof damage from leading to serious problems.

Preventing minor problems from turning into major ones will also save you money in the future. Your bi-yearly check can be done yourself unless you find reason for concern. Here are some things to look out for when doing a DIY inspection:

  • Broken or missing shingles
  • Cracked or curling caulk
  • Patches of moss/lichen
  • Worn or peeling plastic rubber boots around pipes or other roof projections
  • Cracked or rusted spots on metal flashings 
  • Shingles that are blistering, cracking or buckling
  • Loose, cracked or rusted gutters
  • Crumbling or missing chimney mortar
  • Tree branches or other large debris

If during your own inspection you notice any cracked or rusted flashings or gutters, crumbling or missing chimney mortar, sunken spots in the roof, or several shingles that are buckling, cracking or missing, you should call a roofing company. A professional roofer can inspect both the inside and outside of your roof and give you peace of mind about the safety of your roof and your home.


 Maria Zendejas & Team (805) 465-2000  | Lic. 01522044





 

Sunday, January 3, 2021

Painting mistakes to avoid

     Free Paint Bucket Clip Art with No Background - ClipartKey


DIY interior painting can be a money-saver if you know what you’re doing. While saving a few dollars is definitely worth trying out painting yourself, it is important to avoid mistakes often made in the process. Here is how to avoid them!

Mistake #1: Not Using The Correct Applicator

If you are willing to pay for premium paint, you should be willing to invest in a good applicator. Invest in good brushes or rollers up front to avoid hair on the wall or lumps of roller lint under the paint.

Mistake #2: Not Preparing Correctly

You always want to do repair work first so that your walls are smooth, clean, dry and free of loose debris before you begin painting. A repair will be much less obvious if it is done before a new coat of paint!

Mistake #3: Overextending Your Brush Dips

One of the most frequently made mistakes by DIYers is that they often continue applying a dip of paint until the brush or roller is dry. When you overextend each dip, the paint can dry in the brush bristles, and the fabric on rollers can mat down. You want to maintain a smooth line of paint. Once you can see the paint starting to break up, it’s time to re-dip.

Mistake #4: Breath Interference

Your breathe when painting can impact the steadiness of your hand. When cutting in near edges or other times when you need to be precise, you should hold your breath or breathe out to limit your movement as much as possible.

Mistake #5: Allowing Paint To Dry Out

Touch-ups are not ideal if your paint has dried out. To extend the life of water-based paint, place a piece of clear plastic wrap directly on the surface of the paint, then reseal the container. For oil-based paint, add about a half-inch of water on the surface before resealing.

Sunday, October 11, 2020

What Does Your Door Say About You?




Doors don’t talk — but they can say a lot. Your front door is the first thing visitors will see, and it may say more about you than you think! If reading that made you think you might need to update your door or even replace it, now is the time to consider your options.

Steel, fiberglass and wood are the most popular material choices for exterior front doors. There are several styles that combine these materials like a fiberglass door with a wood frame. Here is a brief overview to help guide you toward a door that sends the message you want to be saying!

Steel

If security is your priority, a steel door might be best for you. Usually the least expensive option, steel doors start around $150 for a paneled door. The downside is that a steel door system with sidelights and stellar hardware can rival that of a quality solid-wood door system. Steel doors come in a variety of finishes and typically come as part of a pre-hung door system.

Wood

Solid-wood doors are the most expensive option but are a popular choice because of their versatility. Natural finish doors come in oak, cherry, walnut, mahogany, maple, fire and pine as well as paint-grade doors usually made of pine or western hemlock. A standard-size, six-panel pine door will cost around $600; similarly sized hardwood doors are considerably more expensive. A complete wood door system can cost close to $5,000 and only increase in price if additional items are added. If you love wood but not the price tag, consider a stock door with a wood-veneer skin.

Fiberglass-composite

Fiberglass-composite doors are gaining popularity for their durability and low maintenance. Fiberglass is much less susceptible to dings and dents and have wood grain texturing and can be stained to match natural woods. These doors usually come as complete entry systems with the frame. Depending on the investment you want to make, they can start at $200 for a door with no glazing or hardware but can cost upward of $4000 for a fully loaded fiberglass entry system.