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6 Tips for Staging Your Home When Selling

by Lakeshore Realty
 

The housing market continues to show headway in recovery, according to the National Association of Realtors, who reported that existing home sale numbers have risen 6 percent. When you prepare to sell your home, make it as inviting as possible to the potential buyers coming by to take a look. This means more than leaving the house clean and tidy—it means creating a space that the buyers will be able to imagine themselves living in. Stage your home for potential buyers and stick to a neutral style. Here are a few tips to help get it sold quickly!

Appeal to the Masses

After living in your home for quite some time, it's become imprinted with your specific style. However, each of us have our own preferences, so make some adjustments to your home's decor to neutralize it for mass appeal. Minimize bright colors and style-specific furniture and artwork. Make your home's features stand out rather than the way you've decorated it.

Swap Out Appliances

Kitchens are critical, and buyers want to envision themselves preparing their future meals in a nice, clean, modern kitchen. Upgrade to stainless steel appliances if you haven't already, and remove appliances and clutter from your counter tops. Offer you potential buyers a "clean slate" in the kitchen space.

Look at Your Windows

Window treatments are one area in homes that is often overlooked, but they add to the overall atmosphere of a room. Busted blinds and dingy curtains won't do you any favors when it comes to showing off the house. The New York Times recommends swapping out existing blinds with higher quality versions, adding full length curtains for a dramatic effect to the room, or exploring the use of sheer curtains to lessen the impact of unfavorable outdoor views.

Keep Rooms Gender Neutral

When showing off your bedrooms, such as the master bedroom, keep the decor gender neutral. You'll need the rooms to appeal to both men and women, instead of having a heavy lean on one side or the other. When couples stop by to take a look at the home, you want them both to imagine sleeping in the room, instead of one person feeling as though they don't belong.

Scrub Down the Bathrooms

Take the time to make your bathroom spotless—from smudge-free mirrors to grime-free bathtubs. Don't let unsightly stains discourage your potential buyers from the house. Declutter your vanity and consider adding new hardware if your existing ones are chipped or dingy. Bathrooms are one of the most used rooms in the house, so buyers will want to see an inviting, tidy space when they take their tour.

Take a Critical Look at Lighting

Make sure that your lighting fixtures are positioned for the best effect in each room. Bring additional lamps to dark corners of the room or swap out light bulbs to achieve a room's best glow.

To access all the Incline Village and Lakeshore Realty listings please click here. You can also contact us by email or call us at 775-831-7000. If you are in Incline Village, please visit us at 954 Lakeshore Blvd. Incline Village, NV 89451.

 

Happy New Year!

by Lakeshore Realty

Happy New Year from Lakeshore Realty!

Pros and Cons of Living Within a Homeowners Association

by Lakeshore Realty
 

Ask two different homeowners what they think about living in a community with a homeowners association and you may see one of them scowl and another one smile.

The difference of opinion on homeowners associations, or HOAs, depends on several factors, including individual personalities and preferences and the quality of the particular HOA. Rules and dues vary but, in general, homeowners who live in an HOA must abide by its regulations and pay a monthly, quarterly or annual fee that pays for management and maintenance of the community.

HOA Benefits

Many homeowners prefer to live in an HOA for several reasons, including:

§  Community appearance: Homes within an HOA must meet the standards set by the association or face a fine, so you’re less likely to see unkempt lawns, peeling paint or a garishly painted house. Some HOAs have a design review board with the power to approve any changes to your home’s exterior, and which establishes a color palette for exterior paint and trim. Many HOA’s have rules about how many cars or even what type of vehicles can be parked on your property. For example, they may ban commercial vans or RVs.

§  Low maintenance: Depending on the HOA, services such as trash and snow removal and lawn care are handled by the association, leaving less work for the homeowner. Typically, common areas are maintained by the association.

§  Recreational amenities: While not all HOAs have swimming pools and tennis courts, many offer a range of amenities such as a community center, walking trails, sports courts and playing fields reserved for residents.

§  Association management: If you have a problem with your neighbor’s dog barking, loud parties or a dispute over a tree, you can ask the management to handle the issue rather than getting directly into a spat with the homeowner next door.

 

Living Within an HOA

For some buyers, the idea that a management association can tell you when you can put out a decorative flag or that you can’t park your truck in front of your property is a deal-breaker. If you have a concern that something that’s important to you, such as your ability to run a business from your home, could be banned by HOA rules, then be particularly careful to read all the regulations before you buy a home in a community with a homeowners association. This doesn’t mean you can’t buy at all within an HOA, but you’ll have to find one with regulations that meet your requirements.

HOA regulations are usually set by a committee or board of directors and then enforced by a paid management company or a group of volunteers. You can become involved with the HOA in order to have a voice in the decisions being made. Homeowners can request a rule change or an individual waiver, but there’s no guarantee that your request will be granted.

HOA Fees

HOA fees vary as much as HOA regulations and depend on multiple factors such as the amenities in the community and which services are covered by the fees. When you’re buying a home, you need to compare HOA fees from one community to another based on what they cover. You may find that the HOA fee includes a gym membership so you can spend less on a private gym. You should also decide if you’ll use the amenities you’re paying for, such as tennis courts or a swimming pool. Keep in mind, however, that the presence of these amenities can add to your home’s value, even if you don’t directly take advantage of them.

Many homeowners appreciate that HOAs often maintain higher standards for a neighborhood’s appearance, but there’s no question that you need to understand the regulations and costs in every community where you’re considering buying a home.

Source: Realtor.com

To access all the Incline Village and Lakeshore Realty listings please click here. You can also contact us by email or call us at 775-831-7000. If you are in Incline Village, please visit us at 954 Lakeshore Blvd. Incline Village, NV 89451.

 

Lakeshore Realty wishes you a Merry Christmas!

by Lakeshore Realty

Lakeshore Realty team wishes you a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

 

What Are the Tax Implications of Selling a House?

by Lakeshore Realty
 
Selling your home can be an exciting and challenging experience, particularly if you’re attempting to simultaneous settle on one house and purchase another.

The numbers spinning through your head at this point include principal and interest payments, closing costs, down payment funds and moving costs. Unless you happen to be making this move right around April 15, when federal income taxes are on everyone’s mind, you may not have given much thought to taxes on the sale of your home. In most cases, that’s OK, because for the vast majority of people no taxes are due on a home sale.

Taxes and Home Sellers

Federal tax law allows home sellers a tax exclusion on the capital gains from the sale as long as they meet certain criteria, the most important of which is that the home must be the primary residence for at least two of the previous five years. Single taxpayers can exclude a profit of up to $250,000, and married taxpayers who file joint returns can exclude a profit of up to $500,000.  You can use this exclusion more than once in your lifetime as long as you haven’t taken the exclusion within the past two years for another house.

The Internal Revenue Service spells out certain circumstances in which you can take the exclusion on your profit, even if you don’t meet the two-year requirement. If you couldn’t live in the house because you’re divorced or your spouse died, or if you were deployed overseas by the military or by the U.S. Foreign Service, you may still be able to qualify for the full exclusion.

A partial exclusion may be possible if you sold your house before two years of residency due to a job loss or transfer, illness or because of other unforeseen circumstances, such as a divorce or multiple births from a single pregnancy.

Consult with a tax professional to determine your eligibility for the exclusion.

Calculating Your Tax Bill

If you’re certain that you’re not required to pay taxes on the sale of your home because you meet the exclusion eligibility requirements, then you aren’t required to report the sale of your home on your federal tax return.

If you do have to pay taxes, you and your tax professional will need to calculate the adjusted basis of the house. The adjusted basis is the original price of your home, plus capital improvements, minus any depreciation. Capital improvements mean things like adding a deck or finishing a basement or remodeling your kitchen, not routine maintenance. Depreciation refers to tax credits you took such as for a home office, a first-time home buyer tax credit, or a credit for energy-efficient improvements.

Your taxes will be based on the calculation of the sales price of the home, minus deductible closing costs, minus your basis. Some examples of deductible closing costs include the real estate broker’s commission, title insurance, legal fees, administrative costs and any inspection fees paid by you instead of the buyer. If you made any home improvements specifically in order to sell your home, such as new landscaping or repairs or replacing the carpet in some rooms, you can deduct those costs — as long as you did them within 90 days before the sale.

You may also be able to deduct moving costs from your tax bill if you’re moving at least 50 miles because of a job change.

While these are potential tax implications of selling your home, you should always consult a tax professional to make sure you are meeting current IRS requirements.

Source: Realtor.com

To access all the Incline Village and Lakeshore Realty listings please click here. You can also contact us by email or call us at 775-831-7000. If you are in Incline Village, please visit us at 954 Lakeshore Blvd. Incline Village, NV 89451.

 

Negative Equity Will Continue Declining in 2014

by Lakeshore Realty

Negative equity amounts continued to shrink during the third quarter of 2013 CoreLogic said today.  An estimated 791,000 properties regained an equity position during the quarter, leaving about 6.4 million homes "under water."

CoreLogic's latest negative equity analysis reports that about 13 percent of all mortgaged homes in the U.S. remain in negative territory compared to 14.7 percent or 7.2 million homes at the end of the second quarter.

A house is said to have negative equity or be underwater when more is owed on the mortgage than the market value of the property.  Negative equity can occur because of a decline in value, an increase in mortgage debt or a combination of both.

The national aggregate value of negative equity was $397 billion at the end of the third quarter compared to $430 billion at the end of the second quarter of 2013, a decrease of $33.7 billion. This decrease was driven in large part by an improvement in home prices.

There are an estimated 42.6 million homes in the U.S. with positive equity, but 10 million or over one-fifth of them (20.4 percent) have less than 20 percent equity, what CoreLogic calls being "under-equitied.  Their owners may have difficulty refinancing because of underwriting requirements and their ability to buy in order to move may be similarly constrained.  More than 1.5 of these under-equitied owners have less than 5 percent or what is called near-negative equity and are considered at risk should home prices fall.

 

 

Nevada had the highest incidence of negative equity, 32.2 percent of all mortgaged homes, followed by Florida (28.8 percent), Arizona (22.5 percent), Ohio (18.0 percent) and Georgia (17.8 percent). These five states together accounted for 36.4 percent of negative equity in the U.S.

 

 

The 3.8 million homeowners with a single mortgage on their homes accounted for $202 billion of the $397 billion in aggregate negative equity. Their average mortgage balance is $221,000 and they are underwater by an average of $53,000.  The 2.5 million homeowners with both a mortgage and a home equity loan have an average combined balance of $296,000 and are underwater by an average of $77,000.

The bulk of positive home equity for mortgaged properties is concentrated at the high end of the housing market. For example, 92 percent of homes valued at greater than $200,000 have equity compared with 82 percent of homes valued at less than $200,000.

"Rising home prices continued to help homeowners regain their lost equity in the third quarter of 2013," said Mark Fleming, chief economist for CoreLogic. "Fewer than 7 million homeowners are underwater, with a total mortgage debt of $1.6 trillion. Negative equity will decline even further in the coming quarters as the housing market continues to improve."

"We should see a further rebound in consumer confidence and economic growth in 2014 as more homeowners escape the negative equity trap," said Anand Nallathambi, president and CEO of CoreLogic. "Home price appreciation has helped more than 3 million property owners regain equity since the first quarter of 2013."

SOURCE: www.mortgagenewsdaily.com

What Is an FHA 203k loan?

by Lakeshore Realty
 
Whether you’re buying a home in dire need of complete renovation or just want to modernize the kitchen or flooring of a property before you move in, an FHA 203k loan insured by the Federal Housing Administration could be the solution to your financing issues.

How Do You Qualify for an FHA 203k Loan?

In general, an FHA 203k loan allows you to wrap your renovation costs into your mortgage with one loan and one closing. The amount you borrow is a combination of the price of the home and the estimated price of the repairs, including labor and materials.

Your down payment of 3.5 percent (the minimum required by the FHA loan program) will be based on the full loan amount and, of course, your monthly payments will be higher since you’re including repair costs in the same loan. You’ll need to qualify according to the standards of your lender, typically with a credit score of 640 or higher and with a maximum debt-to-income ratio of 43 percent, including the new monthly payment. The full loan amount must be at or below the maximum limit for FHA loans in your area, which in many housing markets is $417,500.

As with any FHA loan, you’ll be required to provide complete documentation of your income and assets and your credit profile; but you’ll also need a detailed proposal for your home, including a cost estimate. An appraiser will estimate the value of the home in its current state and estimate the home’s future value based on the cost of the renovation.

How FHA 203k Loans Work

There are two types of 203k loans: a streamlined version and a regular version. The streamlined 203k program is meant for homes that don’t need structural repairs and are capped at a maximum of $35,000 in repairs. No minimum amount of repairs must be made. Traditional 203k loans have a minimum requirement of $5,000 and can be used for structural repairs. Both loan programs require the repairs to start within 30 days of the loan closing and to be completed within six months.

The FHA has specific guidelines about types of projects you can finance with a 203k loan, but generally the only home improvements that you can’t finance are luxury items such as adding a swimming pool.

A Few Caveats

All FHA loans, including 203k’s, require you to pay mortgage insurance for a minimum of 11 years, and usually for the entire length of the loan. This could raise your monthly payments higher than anticipated. Interest rates are slightly higher on 203k loans compared to other FHA loans, and they also require an extra fee of $350 or 1.5 percent of the loan amount.

Because of the extra paperwork involved, 203k loans take a little longer to process than other loans, so you’ll need to be patient.

When deciding which home improvement projects to do, consider the neighboring homes in your community. If you’ve improved your home far beyond the level of comparable homes, it can be difficult to recoup your investment when you eventually decide to sell.

If you would like to use an FHA 203k loan, it’s best to work with a lender who has experience with them. Lenders with significant 203k loan experience can recommend contractors and help you with the paperwork.

 

Source: Realtor.com

To access all the Incline Village and Lakeshore Realty listings please click here. You can also contact us by email or call us at 775-831-7000. If you are in Incline Village, please visit us at 954 Lakeshore Blvd. Incline Village, NV 89451.

 

Ways to Quickly Improve Your Holiday Rental Listing

by Lakeshore Realty

Forty-seven percent of all travelers are interested in spending their holidays in a rental home, according to Discover Vacation Homes. This can be used to great advantage for a real estate professional or landlord. As every professional knows, holiday listings are some of the most challenging in the industry. Few people rent during the holidays unless they are specifically renting for a holiday retreat, and this usually only occurs in highly desirable areas. If you want to jazz up your holiday listing and increase the possibility of responses, there are a few things you should consider:

Stage the Home for the Holidays

With a little creative flair, you may be able to stage your rental location for the holidays. You can add brightly colored decorations or even a Christmas tree to your rental pictures, thereby giving prospective renters the feeling that they could have a lovely family holiday in the rental home. The same props can be used in all of your listings to keep you under budget. There are many inventive ways staging props can be obtained, as mentioned by Staging Diva.

Consider Targeting Holiday Renters

Almost a quarter of all renters have stayed in a vacation home through the holidays. This offers an insight into a prospective demographic you may not have considered. While it is very difficult to rent a home through the holiday season, it may not be difficult to temporarily fill it with a holiday rental. A holiday rental may be an excellent way to produce income without having to actually fill the home.

Tempt Your Renters With Additions

Holiday renters tend to be more hesitant than most because they don't want to move through the holidays. But they still can be tempted. You can consider additions such as a Lifeshield.com home security system, include utilities, waive fees such as pet deposits and more. If you are an agent, you can work with the landlord to determine how flexible they are willing to be.

Give Incentives for an Early Move-In

Rental incentives have traditionally been a way for landlords to increase occupancy during lean times, as reported by MSN, but the same strategies can also be applied to the holiday season. Offering furnished apartments, including items such as washers and dryers and offering discounted rates for specific periods of time can be an excellent way to attract tenants.

Fill Your Ad With Cheer

The holiday season is about happiness and fun, so don't be afraid to add a little personality to your holiday listings. You can add fun graphics, interesting fonts and colors to differentiate your listings from the competition. If you're an agent, this may even encourage prospective tenants to view your other listings to find one they like.

Consider the Military

While many people don't like to move during the holidays, Military Spouse points out that members of the military often don't have a choice. Encouraging members of the military to view your listing is an excellent way to target this valuable demographic, especially if you are in an area with a large military presence.

It's important to remember that anyone looking at a rental listing is already interested in moving into a new home. Many tenants hesitate purely because they feel they cannot make a move during the holiday season. All you need to do is find something that gives them the push they need to commit.

Diamond Peak Opening Day

by Lakeshore Realty
December 12th, 2013

Let the countdown begin! Diamond peak invites you to celebrate and kick off the 2013-14 season on December 12th! Normal opening is 9am but they will get the lifts spinning as soon as they are ready. 

Diamond Peak will be open top-to-bottom with four lifts (Crystal Express, Lodgepole, School House and the Surface Lift) spinning. They are making snow on lower mountain to get Lakeview Quad open by the the weekend.

Join Diamond Peak on December 19th for the first  Season Passholder BBQ.

To access all the Incline Village and Lakeshore Realty listings please click here. You can also contact us by email or call us at 775-831-7000. If you are in Incline Village, please visit us at 954 Lakeshore Blvd. Incline Village, NV 89451.

 

Incline Village Real Estate Market Update

by Lakeshore Realty

Incline Village Real Estate Market Update

The charts below reflect North Lake Tahoe, Incline Village and Crystal Bay real estate data collected from the MLXchange system. Charts contain data starting 1/1/13 and 12/9/13.

To see a larger image of the chart above click here.

To see a larger image of the chart above click here.

To see a larger image of the chart above click here.

To access all the Incline Village and Lakeshore Realty listings please click here. You can also contact us by email or call us at 775-831-7000. If you are in Incline Village, please visit us at 954 Lakeshore Blvd. Incline Village, NV 89451.

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LakeshoreRealty.com
Lakeshore Realty
954 Lakeshore Blvd.
Incline Village NV 89451
775-831-7000
800-954-9554
Fax: 775-831-6777

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