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  • Address: 2120 Colorado Blvd., Suite #1, Eagle Rock, CA 90041
  • Office Phone: 323-274-2148

Tracy King Blog - Eagle Rock Real Estate - Northeast Los Angeles Realtor

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LA Digs - Northeast LA Real Estate Blog

Welcome to LA Digs, the real estate and Northeast Los Angeles community blog written by Realtors Tracy King and Keely Myres.

Here, we share tips, market updates, and local news bits to keep you informed on what's happening in Northeast Los Angeles and the surrounding neighborhoods. Read on to learn about the latest in your neighborhood!

Winterizing Your Home

The change of seasons from fall to winter is a great time to check that your home is still in good shape.  Even in sunny Southern California, we need to think about “winterizing” our homes.

If you are a homeowner, the best single thing you can do is schedule a periodic inspection of the major areas that can affect how safe, warm and dry you will be this winter.

Here’s a list of points you can use to make sure your home is ready for winter (however mild it may be here!):

Safe:
1.       Are your doors and windows secure?  It’s easy enough to check all your locks, knobs and handles. Also, if you have recently moved into your home, have you had your locks re-keyed? It’s not expensive and can prevent someone else’s old friends from wandering in.
2.       Is your house safe from bugs? A termite inspection every year or two is such a smart thing to do. Take it from the person who waited nine years and had to go through a fumigation, wood repair, repainting…a whole lot of work that could have been easily prevented!
3.       Is your house safe from fire? Have your chimney cleaned and inspected.
4.       Are all your systems operating safely? A professional  general inspection will tell you if you have electrical or plumbing issues that you might not know about otherwise. I once listed a house in which the electrical system was so old and worn that the inspector warned them a fire could start at any moment. They re-wired the house immediately, but would not have known to do so otherwise.
Warm:
1.       Have your furnace inspected and serviced. Are you changing your filters as often as recommended? You will ensure safe and efficient operation, plus you can save on your heating bills—a clean filter lets more warm air through with less energy used.
2.       Have you checked your doors and windows for air leaks? You can apply weather-stripping yourself with inexpensive supplies from the home improvement store.
Dry:
1.       Have your roof inspected.
2.       Check your yard. Is the ground sloped away from the house so that moisture doesn’t flow or wick toward your foundation?
3.       Do you have rain gutters? Clean and inspect them often, especially if you have trees nearby. A clogged gutter can cause water to collect on your roof and drastically reduce its life.
If you don’t have gutters, you might want to investigate having them installed—they can help keep water away from your foundation.
4.       Back to plumbing—How often do you go under your house? It is very common in older homes to have a plumbing leak that is small enough that you don’t notice it, but it can do a lot of damage over time. Or it can provide a breeding ground for mold, dry rot, or pest infestation.

These inspections don’t have to be expensive. A reputable termite company might charge $75-$125 to inspect your home. Start with that and a chimney cleaning ($75-250) and go from there.
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How About an Inspection Before You Go on the Market?

I'm studying for my continuing education for my real estate license and I came across this paragraph:

Prior to listing the property for sale, it may be advisable for the seller to hire an independent home inspector to examine the property and prepare a report on the property. This will give the seller the advantage of correcting identified problems prior to an offer on the property which, if discovered by a buyer, might become an obstacle in the negotiation process. If problems are corrected by the seller prior to marketing the property, they should not become an issue during the sale process. However, the seller should disclose to the buyer any repairs. The seller's inspection report can also be used as a basis to complete the RETDS.

In the previous hot market, I had sellers who would take this advice. For $350 or so, you could have an inspection report that buyers could view and make an informed decision about what condition the house was actually in and how to position the price they offered. Sometimes the inspection revealed problems that the seller was unaware of and was able to either disclose it and/or repair it with a lot less drama than it would have been in escrow. I had fewer escrows fall out and much less concern over inspection negotiations. Now, with prices down and sellers feeling very poor, almost no one has an inspection before going on the market. One of the two times this year that we had an inspection done, the buyers felt that our inspection didn't turn up nearly the issues their own inspection did and asked for quite a lot. The other time we had 80 offers and a cash deal and almost no issues and we did sell for a lot more than asking--in fact, $181,000 more.

A few thoughts on all this:
1. You could have 10 inspections and each one would turn up something different.
2. The fact that the seller is willing to pay for an inspection up front should tell the buyer that the seller is not trying to hide anything.
3. Especially if a seller has lived in a house for a long period of time, many things can fall into disrepair without being noticed.

Bottom line, there is no perfect way to sell a home. After all, we are dealing with human beings who are different from each other. We are dealing with what is often the largest investment of a person's life. We are dealing with an incredible amount of fear, opinion, innuendo, myth, fable, and fear (I said it twice, I know) on the part of everyone even barely involved in the transaction. Every listing that is signed in the state of California comes with a Seller's Advisory that discusses the idea that a pre-listing inspection is a good idea. Almost no one in our area is doing this. If you are considering selling your house, you should consider having an inspection. It's a small expense that could save you some headaches. Even if you have no intention of selling, it's a good idea to have an inspection every few years just so you can make sure you have no issues that have come up.
And now I can go back to my continuing education

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Tracy King, Realtor
DRE# 01048877
Phone: 323-274-2148 | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
COMPASS DRE# 01991628

Keely Myres, Realtor
DRE# 01834633
Phone: 323-274-2148 | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
COMPASS DRE# 01991628

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