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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!

Homebuyer? Home Seller? You’re Gonna Want to Know Home Values

Homebuyer? Home Seller? You’re Gonna Want to Know Home Values

What is the best way to obtain an accurate value of your home? There’s a simple answer.

Who would have thought 20 years ago that the rising values of homes in Highland Park and Eagle Rock - as well as real estate in Mt. Washington and Glassell Park - would be the talk of the town? If you own a home in one of these regions - or are looking to buy - odds are that home values are on your mind.

Regardless of whether you’re looking to buy a home or sell a home, it only makes sense that you will eventually want to gain an understanding of your own home’s value, if you’re selling, or the value of a different home if you’re buying.

But with all the information, articles, blogs and website tools out there offering home evaluations, its become easy to get, well, confused. That’s because as you’re performing your research and due diligence, the first thing you’ll notice is that there is little consistency in the values offered. One evaluation will be wildly different from the one before or after.


The reasonable question is, why? How? There’s a simple, straightforward answer: There are actually two types of values of homes - automated home values and manual evaluations.

Automated home values are very useful as a general reference tool, to give you a rough idea of what your home or any other home may be worth in the current market. And sometimes a general, rough idea is a good place to begin.

Let’s be honest, though.  

Every home is unique. This is especially true in the neighborhoods of Northeast LA where tract homes don’t really exist. Most every neighborhood in the region is dotted with custom homes and it’s rare to find one that is like another.

Also, there are all sorts of renovations, upgrades and features that aren’t reflected in automated home values.  Added up, these renovations and upgrades can make a considerable difference in price.

For instance, there is no way possible that an online tool can know if a home owner has refurbished the kitchen or the master bath. It doesn’t know if all the 80’s era carpet has been replaced with beautiful bamboo or magnesite. It might not even know if a room addition occurred since the last time the home was sold.

So the next reasonable question is, how do you as a home seller learn the true value of your home?

That’s where I come in.  As a local professional real estate agent, I know what sells ... and what doesn’t.  I know what buyers will pay more for, and how much that renovation really will net you in a home sale. Most importantly, I can provide you with a much more accurate and precise value of your home.

One last question …

When is the best time and date for me to stop by?

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The Internet is Driving the Northeast Los Angeles Real Estate Market Like Never Before

The Internet is Driving the Northeast Los Angeles Real Estate Market Like Never Before

Hot Markets like Eagle Rock, Highland Park and Mt. Washington Owe their Heat to Online Listings

If you’re a potential home seller, you’ve probably noticed that home prices are through the roof in Northeast LA. Homes in Pasadena are always in high demand, and real estate in Highland Park, Glassell Park and Eagle Rock don’t stay on the market long.

If you’re considering selling your Northeast Los Angeles home, a good question to ask yourself is: “How did I find my existing home?”. For most people it was either online, from a Realtor, or from seeing a yard sign.
 
Statistically speaking, you probably utilized the Internet at some point during your search process if you’ve purchased your home in the last 10 years.

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Selling Your Home in NELA? Make Sure the Price is Right

Selling Your Home in NELA? Make Sure the Price is Right

In a red hot real estate market like Northeast LA, pricing your home right is key.

Real estate in Northeast Los Angeles continues to boom. Beyond ultra-hot Eagle Rock and Highland Park, homes in Mt. Washington aren't staying on the market long and we're seeking homes for sale in Glassell Park being snatched up after a single open house. If you own a home in one of these hot-market areas and you're thinking of selling your home, then you probably have a lot of questions.

One of the most important questions for home sellers is: How should I price my home?

Some people think they should price their home well above the market, in hopes people will make an offer, or negotiate down to the real price. Others think they should price the home just above the market, in hopes of fetching a few extra dollars.


Truth be told, pricing is used to attract buyers and offers, which then leads to negotiating the real price. So it’s important to price your home on the market so it generates lot of buyer interest … and ultimately lots of offers.

When you receive multiple offers, you can negotiate higher prices. As a seller, multiple-offer situations give you leverage. And pricing your home right is a key ingredient to getting multiple offers.

On our team, we work with home sellers to price their homes so they generate lots of interest and offers, which results in our homes selling for higher than the average real estate agent.

If you’d like to learn more about pricing your home so you can create a splash in the marketplace that brings in buyers and offers, contact Team Tracy today to receive expert insights into pricing your home.

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Increase Your Home’s Value Up to 28% with These 5 Tips

Increase Your Home’s Value Up to 28% with These 5 Tips

In Northeast LA, "curb appeal" isn't just about having a great looking home. It's about improving home value.

With homes in Highland Park selling briskly, and Glassell Park real estate in high demand, home sellers in Northeast Los Angeles neighborhoods are thinking about small ways to make a large difference in the value of their homes. They are finding that fixing up one's home to improve the "curb appeal" is a step in the right direction.

Great curb appeal not only makes your home the star of the neighborhood, it can also improve its value and help you sell it for more. Whether you’re thinking of listing your home or just want to make your home the envy of your neighbors, here are several ways to increase your home’s curb appeal.

1. Make your home’s exterior look like new.

For many potential buyers, the condition of the exterior of a home can offer clues to the condition of the interior. The first place to start when boosting curb appeal is the exterior of your house.


Paint. Paint is the best way to make your home appear newer. While you can paint your home yourself, if it’s large or more than one story, consider hiring a professional. Painting is a fairly inexpensive improvement with between 60 to 100 percent return on investment.1

Maintain your siding. Over time, weather and the elements can make your home’s siding appear dull and dirty. Use a pressure washer to clean stains, spider webs and accumulated dirt and grime, or use a soft cloth and a household cleaner to get into those small nooks and spaces. Although the average life expectancy of siding ranges from 60 to 100 years, depending on the material, extreme weather may reduce this number. If you need to replace the siding, you’ll enjoy a 77 percent return on investment.1

Paint or replace garage doors. If your garage doors are in good condition, give them a new coat of paint. If they’re beginning to show their age, consider replacing them. Not only are new garage doors more energy efficient and better insulated than older models, they also have a 91.5 percent return on investment.1

Maintain your fence. Replace rotted or worn posts and panels and freshen it up with a coat of paint. If you have a hedge that serves as your property’s border, keep it trimmed and in good shape.

2. Pay attention to the small details.

The small details tie your home’s exterior together and help it stand out from others in the neighborhood.

Paint front door, trim and shutters. This inexpensive improvement adds brightness to a home, whether you choose a bold color, a neutral tone or classic white.

Install new door fixtures and be sure they match in style and finish and complement the style of your home.

Update your house numbers. Make sure potential buyers and guests can find your home. If the numbers have faded or need an update, replace them. If choosing a metallic finish, make sure it matches the finish of your exterior light fixtures.

3. Tend to your driveway and lawn.

Well-landscaped homes may sell for between 5.5% and 12.7% more than other similar homes and studies show it may also add up to 28 percent to your home’s overall value.5

Place a border along your driveway or walkway made of brick, stone, pavers or another hardscape element to add visual interest to a plain driveway.

Maintain your green space. If you have grass, a well-maintained, green lawn makes your home look inviting and picturesque. However, in many parts of the country, water conservation is becoming more important. Xeriscaped landscapes incorporate drought-tolerant vegetation that thrives in warm, dry climates, such as lavender, sage, wisteria and agave, with water-saving drip irrigation and mulch. Xeriscaping has a cost savings of 36 cents per square foot annually through reduced irrigation and maintenance costs.3 Additionally, these landscapes are virtually maintenance free, which makes it an attractive option for busy buyers.

Include trees and shrubs to create texture and add interest to your landscape. Planting a few types of trees and shrubs of varying heights, widths and flowering times boosts your home’s curb appeal year-round.

4. Make it feel inviting.

It’s no secret that emotions play a role in a person’s decision to purchase a home. Stage the outside of your home to evoke warm feelings.

Stage your porch. If you have a front porch, make it feel more inviting by including seating, such as a chair or loveseat, an outdoor rug and a small table. If space is an issue, incorporate small decorative touches, such as a festive wreath or potted plant.

Hang flower boxes on your front porch railings and/or below your windows. If you don’t want to affix flower boxes to your home, purchase nice planters and containers and place them around your porch or on your front steps.

Choose flowers and plants that bloom at different times of the year for year-round appeal. For example, bulbs not only bloom all spring, they also multiply and come up every year. Perennials often flower for most of the year and will prevent you from having to replant them every year.

If you don’t have a green thumb, choose low maintenance plants and flowers. Flowers such as lavender, rosemary, and zinnias are a few low-maintenance and drought-tolerant options.

5. Boost Your Online “Curb Appeal.”

For those interested in selling, it’s important to know the effect online curb appeal has on a home. The better impression your home gives online, the more likely buyers will want to see it in person. Here’s how to get your home ready for its listing debut.

Stage your home. Staging shows your home in its best light and helps potential buyers picture themselves living there.

Hire a professional to take photos. A photographer has the skills and equipment to shoot your home in the best light and make it look its best.

Include a short video tour of the home. Videos are becoming a popular way to give buyers a glimpse of the home before they step foot in it.

Before you start a home project, keep these four things in mind:

1. Why are you renovating? In other words, is your intention to update your home and get it show-ready or do you want to sell it for more money? Don’t fall into the trap of undertaking major renovations that may not pay off when you sell. If your home is in good shape, a few inexpensive updates may be enough to make your home attractive to buyers.

2. The style of the neighborhood. Whenever you renovate your home, make sure the project fits with the style of the neighborhood and rules of the homeowner association. For example, an HOA may limit the choice and number of trees you can plant on your property. Similarly, a tall hedge border may not fit in in a neighborhood of low, picket fences.

3. Permits. If you’re planning an extensive exterior renovation, you may need a permit from your municipality or other authority.

4. Budget. A budget keeps your project’s costs and scope in check. Make a list of the improvements you’d like to make, set a realistic budget and stick to it. If you’d like advice on improvements you can make to boost your home’s curb appeal, give us a call.

Are you thinking of boosting your home’s curb appeal or renovating your home before you list? Do you want help making your home more appealing to potential buyers online and in-person? Give us a call and we’ll help you present your home in its best light.

Sources:

1. Remodeling, 2016 Cost vs Value Report
2. Realtor Mag, September 22, 2016
3. REALTOR.com
4. Houzz, Houzz & Home-U.S., June 2016
5. Houselogic.com

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The 3 Ps of Increasing your Home’s Resale Value

The 3 Ps of Increasing your Home’s Resale Value

For Northeast LA home sellers, it pays to hire an experienced realtor who knows the ins and outs of price, preparation and promotion.

Over the past decade homes in Highland Park and Eagle Rock have become sought after, not only by those moving into the region, but by real estate investors looking to capatlize on the hot, hot market. Consequently, real estate in Glassell Park and Mt. Washington and other areas of Northeast LA have risen in value, too.

Naturally, the question on every homeowner's mind is, "What is my home worth?"

Since you are probably curious about your home’s value, I wanted to give you some tips on how you can increase your home’s resale value.

The best way to get more for you home is to work on the 3 Ps of home sales:


  • Preparation - getting the right things ready so buyers will value your home’s features.
  • Price - pricing your home to avoid Limbo Land, a place where homes sit on the market indefinitely.
  • Promotion - marketing your home to get your home found online and generate buyer interest.

On our team we work with home sellers to implement the 3 Ps and sell homes for higher than the average real estate agent.

If you’d like to learn more about the 3 Ps of home selling and how we can assist you in increasing your home's resale value, contact us today.

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