Archives for the month of: June2017

selling your home

It comes as a surprise to many people that selling a home can actually be hard work. Not just for your Realtor®, either. Because if you hired an experienced professional to sell your home, they will have a huge list of tasks to undertake on your behalf, too. (And in case you were thinking it’s just a matter of putting up a sign and collecting a check, take a look at this article, What Happens Behind the Scenes of Your Real Estate Listing.)

No – it actually requires a real commitment on the Seller’s part to follow through on many things that will optimize their opportunity to grab the attention of buyers and sell quickly. When it comes to real estate, the motto that ‘you never get a second chance to make a first impression’ is doubly true. Buyers have a lot of options when they’re shopping for a home, and a Seller needs to put their best foot forward from Day One.

That’s why we want to share a few of the mistakes that Sellers have made in the past that worked out to their detriment. While their homes may still have sold eventually – it probably wasn’t at top dollar, or as quickly as they would have liked. Instead, we recommend that you hedge your bets, because doing these things up-front may be precisely what gets you to your next home destination (whatever that may be) faster, and with more money in your bank account.

Mistake #1: List as a FSBO Seller.

We’d like to ask you to take note of one very important (and proven) statistic: You will not make more money as a For Sale By Owner seller. Real estate agents are proven to sell for more money than sellers who try to go it alone – and that is taking into account the typical 6% agent commission you’re thinking you can pocket. According to the National Association of Realtors, on average FSBO sellers sell a home for $210,000. In comparison, real estate agent assisted sellers can make $249,000 on the same sale. If we subtract the 6% fee, that means a real estate assisted seller made almost $25,000 more than a FSBO seller made on the same house. ‘Nuff said on this one.

Mistake #2: Pricing Your Home Too High.

Over-pricing or under-pricing is a huge money-losing mistake. We get it, you want to make the most off of your home sale and you feel that the home you put work, time, and memories into is worth more than the other houses in your area. It may be tempting to argue with your real estate agent and push the list price higher. But it’s also critical to know your market and get familiar with comps of similar homes currently for sale (and those that have recently sold) to understand exactly what price tag your home needs. If the comparable house down the block is listed for $15,000 less than yours and has the same features, buyers will definitely be more interested in theirs over yours. That means you’ll risk sitting on the market longer (which gives buyers a negative impression to begin with), it will put you in a position of having to let buyers negotiate, and in the end, you can end up selling for less than a lower (and more accurate) listing price would have gotten you from the start. Timing is everything in real estate. Learn the impact that the phrase “Days on market” can have on your home sale.

Mistake #3: Not Making Necessary Repairs & Presenting a Cluttered House to Potential Buyers.

First, keep in mind that it’s always going to cost you less out of pocket to fix things ahead of time. When potential buyers see your home in disrepair, their first inclination is going to be “Let’s negotiate.” You’re starting out in the hole by not putting your best face forward, and that’s just an unnecessary mistake to make. Second, remember this: clutter eats equity and kills deals. One of the least expensive improvements you can make to your home is to declutter and create a sense of spaciousness. From the kitchen countertops to the overstuffed closets to the trophy-lined shelves in the den, it costs you nothing to get rid of all that ‘stuff,’ but it will make a positive impression and reap big rewards. (Besides, less to pack when it’s time to move!)

Mistake #4: Ignoring Curb Appeal.

This one falls a bit in line with #3 above, actually. But it’s important enough to merit a place of its own on this list. Because of your familiarity with your own home, you actually may not be the best judge of its ‘curb appeal.’ But if you think back to the times you’ve pulled up to someone else’s home, or an office building or shopping center – the first thing you see sets the tone, doesn’t it? (And when the tone is set negatively, things usually just go downhill from there.) So look at the exterior of your home and your landscaping with a fresh eye – or enlist someone else’s opinion – and come up with a plan to increase your home’s desirability before people even set foot inside.

Mistake #5: Bad Photos Can Stop Buyers Before They Even See Your Home.

As we’ve said many times before, people begin their home searches online, and that is more than likely where they will get the first views and impression of your home. We can’t stress strongly enough that bad, amateurish-looking photos has killed more deals before they could even get started. This is one place where it’s worth the expense to make sure you get it right. Think about it: the professionally photographed hotel wins the booking every time. The same goes for your home, but the stakes are even higher. Why would a buyer put the biggest investment of their life into a blurry vertical shot? (With 51% of buyers ultimately buying a house they found online, your house has to be in top shape for it to compete with the others they’re seeing at the same time.

Those five points are among the most important that Sellers should be aware of so they can take steps to address them before that “For Sale” sign even goes up in the yard. A knowledgeable and experienced Realtor® can help you navigate the process, and also discuss a myriad of other ways that you can ‘get a leg up on the competition’ – perhaps even helping your home be the one that buyers get into a bidding war over. Win-Win.

New Home Resource helps current and future homeowners with all of their Las Vegas real estate needs. Whether your preference is for property management, a newly built home from a local builder, or a resale property in just the right location, a New Home Resource Realtor® is here to provide the service you’re looking for. Please contact a New Home Resource Realtor® today at 702-365-1000 or visit www.newhomeresource.com. Broker Joanna Piette, and agents Denise Thrasher, Jessica O’Brien, Evelyn ‘Beng’ Kern, and Kathy Paterniti are all here to help!

home maintenance

When you first move into a home of your own, it’s a little bit like taking a trip to a foreign land. After all, up until now, you either lived with your parents, or at school, or rented a place – and the odds are you never gave real home maintenance a thought. Things just somehow magically got done. It had nothing to do with your dad’s “Honey-Do” list, right? You just lived in a place, and it stayed nice, and after all, you had other things to do with your time than worry about all that.

But now, you’ve bought a home of your own – and Surprise! You’re the one with the honey-do list. But if no one ever explained to you what, exactly, home maintenance is all about, how are you supposed to make sure you’re getting it all done? Exactly. You won’t. That’s why we thought we’d help you out with some of the most basic-of-basic home maintenance information. We’re pretty sure after this list, you’ll discover a few other things that you’d like to pay special attention to – because as a smart homeowner, you want to protect the value of your investment. But this short list should be enough to prime the pump, so to speak!

What: HVAC filters need to be changed about every 30 days in Las Vegas (desert, dust, wind – you get it.)
Why:
It will help your air conditioner run more efficiently and avoid wasting energy and money. Plus, it won’t only extend the life of this (very expensive to replace) unit, but clogged filters can also trap harmful pollutants and allergens that you don’t want lurking around your home.
How: Just turn off your system, pull out your filters and inspect them for dirt and grime. If they’re dark and look dirty, get suitable replacements from the local hardware store. When replacing them, turn the unit back on first – as this will hold the filters in place while you’re fastening the vent cover back on. (Just don’t leave the unit running without filters in place for more than a few seconds.)

What: Get your air conditioning system serviced before the heat of summer starts.
Why: Just as with a vehicle, maintaining a complex A/C system can go a long way towards extending its life. And if you’ve ever had your A/C break down mid-summer in Las Vegas, you already know repair companies are busy and not likely to get to your problem the same day. Sweat, sweat, sweat.
How: If possible, contact the company that installed the unit for a quote on their maintenance service call. Or make inquiries about reputable HVAC contractors that you can trust to come out and give your system a tune-up.

What: Test your smoke detectors and carbon dioxide detectors.
Why: Safety, for sure – and also, there’s nothing worse than a beeping ‘low battery’ signal that goes off in the middle of the night and the ceiling is 12’ high.
How: Follow the “test” instructions (there’s usually a button on the unit for this), and many brands also have a light to indicate that batteries are getting low, so you can change them out before they wake you up at 2am. Rule of thumb: Change these batteries every time you change your clock for Daylight Savings Time.

What: Test your fire extinguishers.
Why: Being prepared always beats being sorry.
How: Ensure it has easy access (not being blocked by a garbage can or anything else), that the gauge shows adequate pressure, and that it has no visible signs of wear and tear. Most fire extinguishers have a life cycle of from 5-15 years – but if you don’t know how old yours is, just be sure to check the pressure gauge each month. If the needle is in the green area, it’s functional.

What: Recaulk your windows.
Why: It’s estimated that 80 percent of winter heat loss occurs due to cracks in a home – so just imagine how much you might be paying to air condition the outside! Sealing the spaces around windows with caulk goes a long way toward solving this problem.
How: First, do some research on the type of windows you have and recommended caulking products, methods, and how often they should be done. When applying the caulk, make sure all surfaces are clean and dry, and pay attention to the temperature specifications in the product information. Since temperatures change most in the morning, it’s smart to start your project after they have leveled out.

What: Speaking of caulking – check the bathtub, shower, and toilet seal caulking, too.
Why: Intact caulk and seals prevent water from leeching into the rest of your bathroom, causing mold and other damage.
How: Inspect the caulk that seals the tub to the floor, as well as the caulk around the edge of the tub, and the points where tub faucets come out of the wall or tub surround. If the caulk is cracked or peeling, replace it with polyurethane bathroom caulk. When checking your toilet seal, look for condensation or discoloration of the flooring around the seam where the toilet meets the floor. If you see either, call a plumber to help determine the source of the leak.

What: Clean your kitchen sink garbage disposal every 60-90 days.
Why: Waste particles can collect on your blades and inside the drain – which cannot only get smelly, but can clog your disposal.
How: Freeze an ice cube tray of vinegar, put the frozen cubes in the disposal, and then turn it on.

This is just a quick list of things to keep the basics running smoothly, but as a new homeowner, you should take the time to walk through your house and prepare a list of things that will need attention over time – depending on the features and finishes in the house you purchased. For example, if you have granite countertops in your kitchen – educate yourself about their proper care and treatment for cleaning and sealing (sealing finishes don’t last forever!), and marble flooring and baths surfaces also require specific care treatments. Testing water pressure from time to time will help you discover any in-wall or landscaping leaks that could be causing damage over the long-term – not to mention that we don’t like wasting water in Las Vegas.

For new homeowners, there’s definitely a learning curve – but by making a calendar to remind you when to take care of certain tasks each year, it can go a long way towards retaining (or growing) your home’s value.

New Home Resource helps current and future homeowners with all of their Las Vegas real estate needs. Whether your preference is for property management, a newly built home from a local builder, or a resale property in just the right location, a New Home Resource Realtor® is here to provide the service you’re looking for. Please contact a New Home Resource Realtor® today at 702-365-1000 or visit www.newhomeresource.com. Broker Joanna Piette, and agents Denise Thrasher, Jessica O’Brien, Evelyn ‘Beng’ Kern, and Kathy Paterniti are all here to help!

When it’s time to sit down and figure out how you’re going to finance the home you really want to buy, it’s also a good time to remember a very important real estate rule of thumb: Just because a mortgage lender has a household name doesn’t mean they’re going to be the best choice for your mortgage loan. There’s a way they got to be a household name, after all – by advertising. And who do you think ultimately pays the cost for that? Yep. Their customers – through the higher rates and fees they charge to cover that expense.

(Of course, some mortgage lenders became household names by doing some not-very-savory transactions with their customers, too. But unfortunately, it’s also true that people often remember the name better than the deed . . . so, yeah, there is that.)

And, if you’re of the opinion that those “discount” mortgage financing options you see online are saving you money because they don’t have the ‘brick and mortar’ costs associated with traditional mortgage lenders, you’ll want to think again. The largest online mortgage lender has over 8,000 employees manning phones and populating cubicles in office buildings, all getting loans closed. (They have to – because that’s a lot of brick-and-mortar to pay for!)

So if you’re in the market to get the best deal on a mortgage loan for your needs – it’s a good idea to maybe gather some information (like a Loan Estimate) from the ‘great and powerful wizards’ – but then we recommend you go do some exploring on your own for the ‘little man behind the curtain.’ Because more often than not, it’s going to be the small, local mortgage lender who is going to be working harder on your behalf to give you the best service and save you money on your loan.

Knowing the difference between mortgage lenders and how they work – as well as how they earn their fees – is a critical part of making the right choice, too. There are different regulations that govern banks and mortgage banks, vs. mortgage brokers.

Here in Las Vegas, one locally owned mortgage broker is helping to unravel the ‘mystery’ behind mortgage loans with a series of informational videos that make it simple to understand. Premier Mortgage doesn’t expect borrowers to be experts about mortgage loans, that’s their job. But they do make an effort to help people understand how important it is to shop for a loan with more than one mortgage lender – and what exactly to look for when comparing the numbers, so they can make the best choice themselves. (How to Discover What You Don’t Know About Getting a Mortgage.)

One other important thing to remember about getting a loan: Timing is critical for a borrower’s mortgage transaction. If a loan is delayed due to errors or a Loan Officer’s failure to request and submit proper documentation on time, the buyer may end up paying more money, not have a place to live in the interim, or may even lose the deal completely. And that’s no way to start off the “Happily Ever After” in your new home!

Your Realtor® can be instrumental in helping you make the right mortgage loan choice – and the right Realtor® will recommend that you shop around with several mortgage lenders before making a decision. (Remember, simply filling out an application – or getting a “loan pre-approval” from a lender does not commit you to using them.) Making the wrong choice for a lender can literally cost you thousands of dollars more out of pocket than you need to spend. And wouldn’t that money look better in the new furniture for your new home? We thought so, too!

New Home Resource helps current and future homeowners with all of their Las Vegas real estate needs. Whether your preference is for property management, a newly built home from a local builder, or a resale property in just the right location, a New Home Resource Realtor® is here to provide the service you’re looking for. Please contact a New Home Resource Realtor® today at 702-365-1000 or visit www.newhomeresource.com. Broker Joanna Piette, and agents Denise Thrasher, Jessica O’Brien, Evelyn ‘Beng’ Kern, and Kathy Paterniti are all here to help!

pool safety

As summer heats up here in the Las Vegas valley, we’d just like to send out a little reminder to our friends and neighbors to consider the safety and well-being of your children when it comes to summertime pool fun.

According to the Southern Nevada Health District, 2016 saw 9 fatal drownings of children aged 0-14 years old in Clark County. That’s the highest number since 2008, and we think it’s important to note that nearly three-quarters of those deaths occurred in a residential pool.

Sadly, these losses could have been prevented. Just imagine – in the time it takes to turn and take a sip from a cold drink (about 10 seconds) or to take a quick trip to the bathroom (four to six minutes), a child can begin to drown when left unattended in a backyard pool. Within a minute without air, brain damage can occur – and lives can be forever changed by an avoidable accident.

That’s why it’s important that parents and guardians of little swimmers are reminded that pool safety should be a top priority for summer fun. So if you have a pool at your home, or there is one at a home your child frequents, you can plan ahead with some basic pool safety training:

• Ensure there is constant adult supervision – with no texting or other seemingly insignificant distractions.

• Watch kids when they are in or around water, without being distracted. Keep young children within arm’s reach of an adult, and make sure older children swim with a partner every time.

• Make sure your children learn to swim, and also develop these five water survival skills:

o Step or jump into water over their heads and return to the surface;
o Float or tread water for one minute;
o Turn around in a full circle and find an exit;
o Swim 25 yards to exit the water; and
o Exit the water. If in a pool, be able to exit without using the ladder.

• Put up secure fences.

• Remove elevated objects, such as chairs, tables and blow up toys from the pool area. This can play an important role in prohibiting a child from climbing over barriers and fences and inadvertently falling into a pool.

• Being CPR-educated and having lifesaving devices available (such as a shepherd’s hook and foam ring) can make a difference between a call to 911 or a brief scare.

Please remember and think ahead, so you don’t take unnecessary chances with the lives of your children when it comes to pool safety.  We want to make sure 2017 has a big, fat ZERO in the column that counts Child Drowning Fatalities in Clark County!!

New Home Resource helps current and future homeowners with all of their Las Vegas real estate needs. Whether your preference is for property management, a newly built home from a local builder, or a resale property in just the right location, a New Home Resource Realtor® is here to provide the service you’re looking for. Please contact a New Home Resource Realtor® today at 702-365-1000 or visit www.newhomeresource.com.   Broker Joanna Piette, and agents Denise Thrasher, Jessica O’Brien, Evelyn ‘Beng’ Kern, and Kathy Paterniti are all here to help!

find the right home

Who isn’t online these days? We’ll grant you that there are still a few holdouts who think the internet is just a fad – but you’re obviously not one of them, because you’re here reading this article! We thought we’d talk a little bit about how helpful search engines can be when you decide it’s time to find the right home.

These days, most people begin their search for a new (or used) home on their computers. And why not? It’s a great place to get a feel for the areas you want to live in, what type of homes are in your price range, and a lot more. It can help you narrow down your choices so you don’t have to physically go look at every house that’s for sale in Las Vegas. (When it’s 106-degrees outside, that’s a good thing.)

Of course, once you get your preferences well defined, you definitely want to find an experienced and reputable Realtor® to work with – for a whole host of reasons that we’ve written about before. Such as: Is Your Realtor® Negotiating the Best Deal For You? What To Look For in a Home Tour With Your Realtor®. And even How to Know You’re Hiring the Right Realtor® in the first place. (Not to mention a few dozen other reasons you want a Realtor® on your side. You can find those on our blog, too.)

But there is a lot of helpful information you can glean from doing your own searches online for properties. It can range from the basics to specific things that are important to you (that may not be a big deal for other people). Consider the sort of things you can discover:

1. See the neighborhood – thanks to Google Street View. Have you seen that meme that says, “Google Maps gives us the ability to see the world – and we spend our time zeroing in on our own home.” It’s true, right? (Sort of makes you want to go search for Italian Villas on there right now, huh?) But in this case, it’s a good thing. You can get a feel for the type of community, zoom out to get a sense of the larger area – what shopping and such are nearby, see if there are a lot of apartments in the neighborhood, are you going to have to deal with a daily school zone (good – and bad!). It’s a great way to get a good sense of the homes you’re considering and help you weed out the ones that won’t work no matter how nice the house itself is.

2. Check out the crime statistics. For many people, this is a major consideration for several reasons. Perhaps especially those with children, senior citizens, single parents, and so on. These stats are usually available on many websites with information gathered from local police departments. It’s a good thing to know – one way or another.

3. What’s the history of the home? Local Assessor’s records can tell you who the previous owners were and how many times the home has changed hands – with the date and the price. (Helpful information to figure out if foreclosure or a short sale occurred – and how long the home may have possibly been unoccupied. An important consideration following the Great Recession.) It can also give you a good sense of potential resale value – if you’re not planning on living the rest of your life at that address. Although your Realtor® can also assist with this information, too – again – it’s a way for you to narrow your focus to find the right home to begin with.

4. Find out information about the HOA. Let us just say that contrary to what you may have heard, not all HOA’s are bad. In fact, we’ve written about that in more detail, too (Do Homeowners Associations Get a Bad Rap?). But some have developed, shall we say, a rather dubious reputation. By digging a little deeper online, you could find out that your new HOA is one of a surprisingly large number of HOAs that have been reviewed online. If so, it’s time to put your feet up and start reading. You’ll probably find a variety of rants, and some raves. But remember, most people only take the time to write about bad experiences, so you need to take many of these comments with a grain of salt.

5. What municipality the home is in, and what are the city or county requirements. Thinking of running a business from home? See if it’s legal. Are you allowed to convert a garage into living space? Not every community lets you do that. If you have specific plans for your home and property, it’s worth making these types of inquiries before (rather than after) you buy.

Goodness knows that there’s more information available at our fingertips today than at any other time in history. Sometimes, doing a search like this may not only help you with a decision as big as where to buy your next home – but also remind you that ….. uhhhh ….. maybe it’s time to review the privacy settings on your own online identity, right?

And as the questions arise while you’re doing your online research to find the right home, be sure to write them down. Because your friendly neighborhood Realtors® at New Home Resource are available to help you get them all answered!

New Home Resource helps current and future homeowners with all of their Las Vegas real estate needs. Whether your preference is for property management, a newly built home from a local builder, or a resale property in just the right location, a New Home Resource Realtor® is here to provide the service you’re looking for. Please contact a New Home Resource Realtor® today at 702-365-1000 or visit www.newhomeresource.com.   Broker Joanna Piette, and agents Denise Thrasher, Jessica O’Brien, Evelyn ‘Beng’ Kern, and Kathy Paterniti are all here to help!

final walk-through checklist

The Big Day has arrived. All the contracts are finished, the inspections are done, the appraiser has done his/her job, your mortgage loan is approved and loan documents are waiting for you at escrow. All that hard work you’ve been putting in these past few weeks all boils down to this day: Your final walk-through and getting the keys. (Well, it may be your final walk-through, sign documents, wait for recording, and THEN get the keys – but you get the drift.)

This is an exciting time – so exciting, in fact, that it might be easy to forget about checking out some important things when you do the final walk-through with your Realtor®. Normally, that would be okay – because if you chose the right Realtor® they’ll be looking out for you and following up on all those things you might overlook. However, it never hurts to have a back-up plan – and two (or three) heads are better than one, right? So we wanted to give you a quick and easy list of reminders that you’ll want to double-check before you head out the door.

What to Take With You

Again – your Realtor® will probably have many of these things with them, too – but just in case, be sure to bring along:

• A notepad to document your thoughts and the final walk-through.
• The Purchase Agreement, along with any Addenda – to refresh your memory about all the terms with regard to the condition of the property.
• A copy of the Inspection Report – so you can confirm all necessary repairs have been made.
• A camera – or your smart phone and a charger. (The charger can also be used to confirm electrical outlets are working.) But you’ll want to have photo documentation of any issues that need to be addressed.

What to Look For During the Final Walk-Through

At this point, certainly you’ve already seen the home and an inspector has reviewed it, and various people told you repairs were done. But that doesn’t account for two things: Time – because things can happen between then and your closing date; and Sellers – because, well, things can happen. By that we mean movers may have caused damage the Sellers aren’t aware of, or they accidentally loaded things on the truck that should have stayed with the property. It’s not that we’re saying Sellers have bad intentions – just that “things happen” – so you want to be sure, right?

• Is the house broom-swept clean? Is there any damage caused by movers?
• Confirm all items that should be with the home are present – such as appliances, window coverings – all things that the contract state go with the sale.
• Also confirm that anything that shouldn’t be there isn’t. This can range from trash and construction debris, to personal belongings or furnishings that should have been removed.
• Check the HVAC system – make sure the thermostat is working and that the heat and air conditioning are working properly.
• As you walk the home, make sure all the doors and windows can be secured. And while you’re at it, check for missing screens, broken glass, or hardware that’s not operational.
• As mentioned above, making sure that any repairs required from the Inspection Report is critical.
• Check that all appliances are working.
• Make sure all warranties and instruction manuals are present (most are available on-line if not).
• Confirm garage door openers are there, ask for garage door codes if there’s a keypad.
• Confirm mailbox location and keys.

You may think that “Of course I’m going to do all these things at the walk-through!” – but you’d be surprised how often new buyers are so excited that they’re concentrating on where to place furniture or what new pieces to buy for that charming bay window they’ve never had before. That’s why it might just be a good idea to print this out and take it with you that day. Because we’re nothing if not meticulous about having a back-up plan – for every situation!

New Home Resource helps current and future homeowners with all of their Las Vegas real estate needs. Whether your preference is for property management, a newly built home from a local builder, or a resale property in just the right location, a New Home Resource Realtor® is here to provide the service you’re looking for. Please contact a New Home Resource Realtor® today at 702-365-1000 or visit www.newhomeresource.com. Broker Joanna Piette, and agents Denise Thrasher, Jessica O’Brien, Evelyn ‘Beng’ Kern, and Kathy Paterniti are all here to help!

Las Vegas

Oh, sure – people come to Las Vegas from all over the world. Many times, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime trip. And with all the things to do and experience in Las Vegas, there’s still plenty of history and tidbits that even locals never learn about. Unless someone decides to dig up a few and share them. Like we are right now!

We thought when we hit “21” – that was the place to stand. So tell us – how many of the following Las Vegas Trivia Facts are news to YOU?

FUN LAS VEGAS FACTS

1. In Nevada it is mandatory that video slot machines pay a minimum of 75 percent on average.
2. Vegas Vic, the enormous neon cowboy that towers over Fremont Street, is the world’s largest mechanical neon sign.
3. Howard Hughes stayed at the Desert Inn for so long that he was asked to leave. He bought the hotel.
4. Camels were used as pack animals in Nevada as late as 1870.
5. More than 41 million people visit Las Vegas each year.
6. Seventeen of the 20 biggest hotels in the U.S. are in Las Vegas.
7. The average age of a Vegas tourist is 47.7.
8. McCarran International Airport is the seventh busiest airport in the United States and North America.
9. California’s known as the Golden State, but most U.S. gold comes from Nevada. Not only is Nevada the largest gold producing state in the nation, it is second in the world behind South Africa.
10. The iconic “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” sign was created by 35-year-old graphic designer Betty Willis in 1959. She never trademarked the design, calling it her “gift to the city.” Willis continued working in neon signage until she was 77.
11. With fewer than 10 inches of rain per year, Nevada’s the driest state in the U.S.
12. Nevada’s the only U.S. state to legalize prostitution, but only in the form of regulated brothels in counties with populations under 400,000. So all that prostitution that occurs in bigger cities like Reno and Las Vegas is illegal… (But probably thriving).
13. Reno is farther west than Los Angeles.
14. Nevada’s location and mineral wealth made it an attractive potential Union state during the Civil War, and so it was. That’s why Nevada’s also known as the “Battle Born State.”
15. More than 300 weddings take place in a day in Las Vegas every year – making Las Vegas the top wedding destination in the U.S.
16. Casinos in Las Vegas never use dice having rounded corners – only dice with steep edges.
17. The Las Vegas Strip is the brightest place on Earth seen from space. The ‘City of Lights’ has over 15 miles of neon tubes and over 9,900,000 light bulbs on the strip alone.
18. The Statue of Liberty depicted on the US postage stamp is not the one you see entering the harbor in New York – but instead is the Las Vegas replica.
19. The Main Street Station Casino’s men’s bathroom is home to a section of the Berlin Wall.
20. Las Vegas has more hotel rooms than any other place on earth – and it would take 288 years to stay in all of them. (There are more than 150,000 rooms within 5 miles of McCarran Airport.
21. The Stratosphere is the tallest, freestanding, observation tower in the US and the tallest structure west of the Mississippi.

Now you can go out and win a few bar bets! Enjoy!

New Home Resource helps current and future homeowners with all of their Las Vegas real estate needs. Whether your preference is for property management, a newly built home from a local builder, or a resale property in just the right location, a New Home Resource Realtor® is here to provide the service you’re looking for. Please contact a New Home Resource Realtor® today at 702-365-1000 or visit www.newhomeresource.com. Broker Joanna Piette, and agents Denise Thrasher, Jessica O’Brien, Evelyn ‘Beng’ Kern, and Kathy Paterniti are all here to help!

property manager

That’s a tough topic, huh? As Property Managers ourselves here in Las Vegas, it seems like this article might sound like it goes a little against our own interests. Or . . . does it?

Actually no. Because we firmly believe that if we’re not doing a great job managing your rental properties, then maybe we should be fired. Although we would like to believe that our clients know us well enough that they would be comfortable voicing their concerns and allow us to ‘clear the air’ – either by assuring them of our efforts, or changing things to their liking.

But perhaps you’re already working with another property manager, and you’re not quite sure if they’re doing a good job. How, exactly, can you know? Especially if you live in another city far away from your properties – because you’re having to rely on them completely for accurate information and current updates on the status of your homes and tenants (or lack thereof).

Enter: New Home Resource Property Management with the answer to that question. In fact, make that a list of “5 Red Flags” you should be aware of to determine whether or not you’re getting the service and value you should.

Red Flag #1: When is the last time you heard from your property manager? If they’re not contacting you promptly with any updates and reports on your properties, then that’s a problem. You shouldn’t have to reach out to them to get that information and an assurance that everything is under control. Even worse: What if you’ve tried to get in touch with them, and they’re not returning your calls or emails? Then start worrying. Because if they’re not even handling their paying clients (you!) properly, how can you feel comfortable that they’re coping with your properties and tenants as they should?

Red Flag #2: You’re Consistently Getting Bad Tenants. This is typically the result of poor screening policies. Sure, a bad tenant can happen to anyone from time to time, despite all the best efforts. But if it keeps happening over and over, it’s costing you money – either in repairs, lost rental income, or (gah!) perhaps even lawsuits with tenants over possible mismanagement.

Red Flag #3: Typically, you should receive an annual interior inspection. If you’re not getting a detailed report on a regular schedule, it could mean that there are repairs or code violations needed that you’re not being advised of – and that your PM isn’t managing.

Red Flag #4: Speaking of reporting… Depending on your property manager’s software systems, you should either have 24/7 access to your own property account, or you should be receiving a monthly printed report of your properties’ income and expenses – broken down item by item. If not, then, uh……we don’t have to tell you that’s a bad sign.

Red Flag #5: You’re hearing directly from tenants that repairs or other issues aren’t being addressed. Not only does this unnecessarily and adversely affect your relationship with your tenant, but if a minor repair becomes major due to lack of attention, the expense to you goes up – and it may even be bad enough to give your tenant grounds to break the lease. Result: Lost income.

If any of these red flags should arise during the course of your relationship with your property manager, it’s a good idea to reach out to them to discuss your concerns. In some cases, they may have a staff member who’s “gone rogue” and they haven’t discovered the problem yet. And there’s the possibility that they may just step up their game and come through for you better than you might have hoped. But after one more chance (if you feel comfortable giving that to them), you may discover that you’ll do much better by hiring a different company to handle your income properties.

In that case, did we mention that New Home Resource Property Management is always here to help? ☺

New Home Resource helps current and future homeowners with all of their Las Vegas real estate needs. Whether your preference is for property management, a newly built home from a local builder, or a resale property in just the right location, a New Home Resource Realtor® is here to provide the service you’re looking for. Please contact a New Home Resource Realtor® today at 702-365-1000 or visit www.newhomeresource.com. Broker Joanna Piette, and agents Denise Thrasher, Jessica O’Brien, Evelyn ‘Beng’ Kern, and Kathy Paterniti are all here to help!

Las Vegas

We SO don’t blame you. Even though it’s one of those cities that when you tell people that’s where you’re from, they’ll respond with comments like “Oh sure, but where are you from originally?” (Because…. Las Vegas isn’t a real place?) Or with the ever favorite “You mean people actually live in Las Vegas?!!” (Said with some astonishment, as indicated by that exclamation mark.)

But you know what? That’s really okay. Because it means that we get to live with this little-secret-of-a-desert-oasis a bit longer – without the hordes having shown up yet to enjoy all the things we already know about Vegas. (Or, change that to – at least everyone hasn’t moved here yet!)

The City That Never Sleeps
We often associate Las Vegas with a 24/7 slot machine, but it’s so much more than that: You can also order Chinese food 24/7 (we could stop right there, right?), go grocery shopping 24/7, just about anything. In fact, it almost seems as if everything here is 24 hours (which it’s not, but it doesn’t take long to get used to what is). We have 24-hour taquerias, ramen shops, bars, grocery stores, athletic clubs, pharmacies, gaming restaurants, Starbucks, smoothie shops. You’re asking yourself right now “Do I really need a smoothie at 4 a.m.?” Probably not, but the point is you can get one. Ah….the taste of freedom!

Beautiful Scenery Just Minutes Away in Every Direction
Outside of the fact that many of the suburban areas surrounding the center of the city are well-planned to accommodate recreation, biking, hiking, and sports – there are some world-class recreation areas just a few minutes from the glamour and fast-pace of the city. Valley of Fire, Lake Mead National Recreation Area and Red Rock Canyon, to name a few, offer trails for every level of difficulty with incredible views of Vegas and the surrounding area. And Lake Mead National Recreation Area offers boaters and fishermen a place to get their water fix in the middle of the desert. A little farther afield and you can enjoy the skiing at Mt. Charleston or Brianhead, Utah, visit Death Valley, and the list goes on. (And dare we mention that a trip to the Pacific Ocean is a mere 4-hour drive?)

300+ Days of Sunshine
People often associate Las Vegas with brutal heat, but the truth is that on the whole, the weather is relatively mild. The average annual temperature in the valley is 67 degrees, with temperatures rarely dipping below 45. While it is true that it is hot here in the summer, this is a town that’s built to cope with that lifestyle, in more ways than you can imagine. And – as locals are always eager to point out, “it’s a dry heat.” That might sound crazy….but it really is true and makes a difference – as anyone who has dealt with “humid heat” can attest! It may surprise you to know that we get our share of rain, too. In fact, summer desert rainstorms aren’t that unusual around here.

It’s an Amazing Place to Live, Raise a Family, or Retire
There are lots of negative stereotypes for Sin City, and that’s a sad fact, because when you get outside of the glitzy downtown area, you’ll discover the churches, schools, and grocery stores of the town outside the inner city where everyone seems to know everyone. Las Vegas – even at its size – is famously known for being a “small town,” actually. There are the tourists, and then there are the locals. Las Vegas is like any other city – you shop, eat out, watch a movie, go to the dentist, wait your turn at the DMV (although, ours is pretty ahead of the game – with an app that lets you check in online and show up precisely timed for your appointment!), and hike in the national parks. It’s more than just a city of slots and roulette. For many of us, it’s home. Las Vegas has plenty of family-friendly neighborhoods and suburbs, too – like Summerlin, Providence, and Centennial Hills, just as examples. And Forbes states that Henderson has been voted the second safest city in the U.S. If you’re moving to Las Vegas, you won’t have any trouble finding a nice, quiet residential area that feels like home.

…And the Tourists Pay Your Taxes
Businesses headquarter in Nevada thanks to the friendly tax climate – and the same goes for those planning to retire, too. No Nevada state income tax is a big deal – whether you’re counting big bucks or trying to make that fixed income go farther. With almost 40 million tourists visiting Sin City annually, it’s no surprise that whenever you see those casinos flooding with people chunking their change in every slot machine, you’re watching funding to pay for all of your roads, schools, parks, and local services. In fact, Nevada hotel-casino operators accounted for roughly 45% of State General Fund revenues in 2014. Why does that matter? It means residents enjoy the third lowest state and local taxes in the U.S. Also, Nevada has low property taxes, and approximately 33% of the state sales tax is paid through the gaming industry. Thank you, tourists!

Add to all this the upcoming inaugural seasons of professional sports (go NHL & NFL!), the festivals, the entertainment, the food (some of the finest restaurants in the country are found in Las Vegas) – and you not only have a great place to live . . . and we’re just getting started!

If you’d like to know more about how to put down your roots in Las Vegas, our extraordinary team of real estate professionals is here to help!

New Home Resource helps current and future homeowners with all of their Las Vegas real estate needs. Whether your preference is for property management, a newly built home from a local builder, or a resale property in just the right location, a New Home Resource Realtor® is here to provide the service you’re looking for. Please contact a New Home Resource Realtor® today at 702-365-1000 or visit www.newhomeresource.com. Broker Joanna Piette, and agents Denise Thrasher, Jessica O’Brien, Evelyn ‘Beng’ Kern, and Kathy Paterniti are all here to help!

radon and carbon monoxideIt doesn’t matter if you own your own home or rent, there are some things that may affect our lives that cross that ‘homeowner’ barrier. Two of those things can be serious health hazards, so we believe everyone should be aware of them: Radon and Carbon Monoxide.

Actually, most people have probably heard far more about the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning than they have about radon. (This unfortunate death from carbon monoxide poisoning that occurred last December in Las Vegas springs to mind.) But they both pose risks to occupants, which is why officials recommend testing your residence for both.

Carbon Monoxide

In the case of carbon monoxide, the simplest solution can be found by purchasing detectors that are easily plugged into outlets in your home and will set off an alarm when raised levels are detected. They work a lot like the fire alarms on your ceilings – and in fact, many fire alarms may also include carbon monoxide detectors. This website from Kidde – a leading manufacturer of such alarm systems – offers a lot of helpful information about why, where, and how to use these detectors.

A few important things to know:

• According to the CDC, carbon monoxide poisoning is the leading cause of accidental poisoning deaths in America.
• Even if you use your appliances and vehicles properly, malfunctions can occur. And you may also be exposed to such issues from the homes of neighbors who live above or below you.
• Low-level, long-term exposure to carbon monoxide can cause a variety of health issues that may not be recognized as caused from this source, including headaches, dizziness, and nausea, among others.

Radon

Radon, on the other hand, is a different story. While there is a commonality between the two – in that they are invisible, odorless, and tasteless – the Surgeon General states that radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the country.

Radon is a radioactive gas that is naturally occurring from the ground, and it can easily be accumulated inside the home. As radon decays, it emits particles that can cause lung cancer. And while it has become a common item for testing inside homes on the East Coast, it’s important to know that it is found throughout the entire country. In fact, it is becoming more common to request a radon test as a condition of purchasing a home in Las Vegas.

Here in Clark County, it is estimated that 8-9% of homes harbor radon exposure – which is one of the reasons that the State of Nevada is attempting to educate the public about this potential danger. The Nevada Cooperative Extension’s Radon Education Program recently sent representatives to various Las Vegas libraries to speak on this issue, and offer residents radon testing kits (both short-term and long-term testing) through their offices.

The designated “action level” for radon exposure is 4 picocurie (pCi) – which in itself, offers a surprising statistic:

“A family whose home has radon levels of 4 pCi/L is exposed to approximately 35 times as much radiation as the Nuclear Regulatory Commission would allow if that family was standing next to the fence of a radioactive waste site. (25 mrem limit, 800 mrem exposure)” –radon.com

Over 500 homes in throughout Nevada have tested above 4 pCi/L, with the highest level found in Clark County to be 66 – more than 15 times the action level. Testing becomes all the more important as two homes next to each other can have far differing levels of radon exposure – meaning that this isn’t one of those things you can simply tell yourself – “Hey, my neighbors don’t have it, so my home is fine.”

Testing matters. And if radon is found in your residence, a mitigation process should immediately be undertaken.

Worth noting:

• There are no “safe” levels of radon gas exposure.
• The alpha radiation emitted by radon is the same alpha radiation emitted by other alpha generating radiation sources such as plutonium.
• According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, an estimated 22,000 U.S. residents die annually from lung cancer brought on by radon.

The bottom line we’d like to share this information, that in the case of both of these potential ‘silent killers’, it is far better to err on the side of caution. Take the necessary steps referenced above to keep yourself and your family safe and reduce the chances of exposure to either carbon monoxide or radon exposure in your home.

New Home Resource helps current and future homeowners with all of their Las Vegas real estate needs. Whether your preference is for property management, a newly built home from a local builder, or a resale property in just the right location, a New Home Resource Realtor® is here to provide the service you’re looking for. Please contact a New Home Resource Realtor® today at 702-365-1000 or visit www.newhomeresource.com. Broker Joanna Piette, and agents Denise Thrasher, Jessica O’Brien, Evelyn ‘Beng’ Kern, and Kathy Paterniti are all here to help!