San Diego Real Estate Blog

3 Advantages of Buying a Smaller Home

Small Home BenefitsDepending on where you live, housing prices may have shot up over the past year. While this is great for homeowners — and a positive sign for the economy in general — it can be disheartening if you're finding yourself priced out of favorite neighborhoods or home styles.

If the real estate market’s getting you down, cheer up! This may be an opportunity to open up to a whole array of homes that are somewhat smaller than what you thought your dream home would be. Buying a smaller home comes with all kinds of hidden advantages. Consider the bright sides of buying a little less space.

A Lower Price Saves More Money Than You Think

If you can't afford a favorite $500,000 dream house, a smaller place nearby that costs $300,000 will save $200,000, right? Actually, no — the savings are even greater. A $500,000 30-year mortgage at 4 percent interest will end up costing an additional $344,139.20 in interest, while the same mortgage for a $300,000 home will cost just $210,233.52 extra.

Over the life of the loan, that's a savings of $133,905.68 on top of the $200,000 sticker price reduction. You'll probably also pay less for taxes and homeowners insurance, so the savings continue over a lifetime. Spend a little time playing with a mortgage calculator to see how this will work for the houses you're looking at.

There's Less to Worry About

It's just plain easier to live in a smaller house. You'll...

Home Selling: How to Take Great Photos

How to Take Pictures That Sell Your HomeYou have seen the listings of other homes in the neighborhood. The ones with the best pictures really stand out, making buyers much more excited about the property.

You also know that bad photos make your home look less appealing, but how do you take great photos? 

With these six real estate photography tips, you can learn how to take the best photos to use to sell your home.

1. Stage Your Home

Although you may want to start taking photos of your home before you are finished staging it, these are tasks that must be done one after the other.

The majority of home buyers do some shopping online before they actually make a path to your door, according to a survey from the National Association of Realtors.

What they see in your online listing may encourage or dissuade them. Carefully stage each room before you take your final photos. Do not be afraid to re-shoot a room if you think that the design did not come off flatteringly, or if you realize there is too much clutter.

2. Light Your Shoot

Having great lighting is absolutely paramount. A room that appears too dark seems smaller, and will make buyers wonder if they will be able to adequately light the space. Experts recommend using natural light whenever possible.

Turn off the camera’s flash, as it can make surfaces look overemphasized or, conversely, washed out.

Determine the best time of day to get the most natural light in each...

7 Home Modifications That Buyers Avoid

Home Improvements to AvoidYou've lived in your home for a while now and over the years you've probably turned it into exactly what you wanted. So the question is: Should you leave all those do-it-yourself projects you made alone?

Well, that depends. Some upgrades, changes and remodels may increase your home's value. However, there are others that may not sit well with many buyers that could cost you the sale. So, if you have done any of the following upgrades to your home, you may want to consider getting ride of them or putting the room back into it's original state. 

1. An Above-Ground Pool

Many buyers who are looking for a pool may not want an above-ground pool. They may, in fact, be looking for a pool, but desire the in-ground version with a large deck and all of the amenities that come with a pool.

If the above ground pool was not professionally installed with quality decking, lining and pumping equipment, you might consider removing it.

2. A Converted Garage

While a converted garage may give some additional square footage, the majority of buyers may already be searching for homes with a square footage number in mind and may want the garage to store their vehicles, and for the extra storage.

If the converted garage is simply being used as another living area, consider turning the room back into a garage.

3. Converted Bedrooms

When home buyers are searching for their next home, they will look for the number of bedrooms they want or need. If you've converted one of those bedrooms into something else,...

How Do You Find the Best Agent in a New Market?

If you’ve just moved to San Diego from a large city or a small town in Nebraska, or if you’re moving from San Diego to a different market, finding the right real estate agent is critical. Regardless of where you’re moving to or from, the way to find the right agent is to reach out to us here.

Because we’re in the unique position of being the number-one producing agency by volume in San Diego County out of all of Keller Williams, the biggest brokerage in North America, we are in a very special circle of contacts. Our network allows us to reach into any town in the United States and determine exactly who the top producer is, not just for that market or for that neighborhood, but for whatever property type or price range that fits your needs.

Our team is fortunate to be a part of Gary Keller’s Top 100 Mastermind, which is a network of the very best agents across the whole country. This allows us to make a direct referral for you so that you would be working with the person that I would personally be working with if I were moving to any one of those markets.  

If you or anybody you know is either moving to a different market or coming here from another market anywhere else in the country, just direct them our way and we’ll set them in the right direction. If you have any other questions about anything else related to real estate, don’t hesitate to reach out by phone or email. I’d be happy to help you.

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Home Staging for Pet Owners: 6 Easy Steps

Pet Owner Staging TipsStaging your home is all about making it inviting to potential buyers. To do this, staged homes must achieve a look that is almost supernaturally clean and universal in its appeal. Pets can complicate things.

Though pets may bring their owners joy, they can also bring odors, destruction and clutter, which runs counter to the staging process. As you prepare your home to be seen by buyers, you must minimize the evidence of your pet's occupation in your home.

Deep Clean the Carpets

Carpets trap pet dander that can leave a lingering odor in your home. If you own carpet and are preparing to put your home on the market, start by deep cleaning your carpets. Use a carpet rake to raise the pile, then clean the carpets with a vacuum specifically designed to pick up pet hair. If you have time, have your carpet professionally steam cleaned by a reputable cleaning company in your area.

Get Fanatical About the Litter Box

Litter boxes that aren't cleaned on a daily basis can smell. Clean your cat's litter box every day, or if you own multiple cats and they use the same litter box, clean the box once daily for each cat that you own. Experiment with different types...

Staging Your Home to Sell: Top Lighting Tips

Staging Your Home With Good Lighting TipsLighting fixtures matter when staging a home to sell, and the right lighting type can dramatically affect the look of the room or space.

As you prepare to sell your home, talk with your real estate professional and work together to create the optimum lighting plan. This will help your home show in its "best light" making it more attractive to potential buyers.

3 Basic Lighting Types

When staging your home to sell, it's essential to understand the three types of lighting: general, task, and accent.

General Lighting. A general or ambient lighting provides the illumination needed to walk into a room and be able to see and move about safely without stubbing a toe on the furniture. It's typically in the form of an overhead light but also may be provided by a floor lamp, wall-mounted fixtures, or track lighting. It's usually the foundation for a comprehensive lighting design in any room.

Task Lighting. This type of lighting is essential in rooms like the kitchen (think over the countertop or island for food prep) and in the bathroom at the mirror or vanity area. Task lighting should also be bright enough to prevent eye strain and never cast distracting shadows or glares over the work/reading area.

Accent Lighting. Often accent lighting is provided by recessed and track lighting or wall-mounted...