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!

home inspection

“You can’t judge a book by its cover.” You’ve heard that one, and you’ve probably discovered that it’s a pretty good thing to remember. We apply that idea to things we buy, and even extend that phrase to people (how many of your very best friends would seem like “non-conformists” to others?)

And the same theory needs to be kept in mind when buying a home. Not that you should approach every seller as though they’re trying to hide something – because in truth, they may not even be aware of problems with the home they’re selling. After all – how often do we hire a home inspector to go through our own homes when we’re not selling one?

No – inspectors are there to do a job on your behalf so that there are no ‘surprises’ that pop up during or after you take possession of that home. Keep in mind, of course, that homes are built using thousands of parts, methods, and systems – and are built by real live people. So the idea of “perfection” isn’t really what you’re shooting for when you hire an inspector to go through that house on which you’ve made an offer. But you are looking for information and confirmation that there are no potentially major flaws or defect that could materially affect both your finances and your enjoyment of that home.

With that in mind, we’ve got a list of a few things to which buyers should pay attention when they have their home inspection by a professionally licensed home inspector.

HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning system)

We’re in Las Vegas – so this one typically goes to the top of the need-to-know list. Because if you’ve ever lived through a few days with a broken air conditioner in this town during the summer – well, we don’t need to tell you how much fun it was.

While a home inspector can confirm that a home’s HVAC is functional at the time of the home inspection, they won’t be able to guarantee that it will keep working once you take possession. However, they can provide you with information about the age of the air conditioning condenser (the part that either sits on the roof or on the ground outside) by reviewing the serial number – which will allow you to make an educated guess of its potential lifespan. (Most of them last 12-15 years before they need replacing.) If it has been replaced by the current owner, however, you should also be able to locate this information in the Seller’s Disclosure form.

Electrical

Do the switches work? Are there any obvious malfunctions? Have the outlets been grounded? Is the panel updated and expandable for additional appliances or a potential remodel? Typically these are not issues in newer homes, and many older homes have had their electrical wiring updated. But you want to make sure you find out if the electrical wiring is up to code, and more importantly, that it’s safe.

Plumbing

A full evaluation of pipes, drains, water heaters, and water pressure and temperature is required to make sure that there are no problem inside the walls. Even a slow drip that’s not noticeable inside your home – over time can cause huge problems that require major repair.

Roof

Depending on the size of the house, roof replacements can range anywhere from $2000 – $50,000+. During an inspection, you’re looking to get a good understanding of the reasonable life expectancy of the roof and to determine if there are any defects (as a result of wind, weather, etc.) in shingles, flashing, and fascia (especially around skylights) that can cause ceiling drips. Roof problems are responsible for 39% of homeowners’ insurance claims, according to the National Roof Certification and Inspection Association. And it’s always far better to be aware and make repairs ahead of a potential disaster that might make your home temporarily inhabitable.

Foundation

The foundation is perhaps the most important thing to check in a home inspection. Look at the base of the walls and the ceilings in each room. Are there obvious cracks or apparent shifts in the foundation? Do the same check around the outside. Are there any trees encroaching on the foundation? Home inspectors will typically look at foundations from inside the house and outside the house in an effort to find cracks that are big enough to cause damage. Most concrete foundations will have a few minor cracks, which are nothing to worry about, but make sure all potential issues are brought to your attention.

Water Drainage

Current or future water issues – such as standing puddles and faulty grading or downspouts – can cause serious problems to the foundation and stability of your home – not to mention be a cause for potential mold issues. Poor landscape planning is one culprit, so you want to make sure all drainage leads away from the home. An inspector will check out landscaping to see if trees and shrubs are in good condition, and evaluate pathways, retaining walls, sheds, and railings.

Your home inspector will, of course, be looking over and making notes about literally dozens of features and functions of the home you’re hoping to buy. But some things, such as those listed above, can create far more financial and enjoyment exposure than others. Be sure to get a copy of the home inspection report when it’s completed for your records, too. Of course, an experienced Realtor® working on your side of the transaction will not only make sure that happens, but be able to review the report with a keen eye and follow-up on potential problems before you’ll even need to think about them. (It’s part of the job – and we do it with pride!)

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!

Earlier this year, the list of the 20 Top Selling Master Planned Communities for 2016 was released by research firm RCLCO, and to no one’s surprise, two extraordinary Las Vegas area master planned communities were included on that list – and you don’t even have to go past #7 to find them.

Clocking in at the #5 position is Summerlin, and at #7 is Inspirada. (Woo-hoo, Las Vegas and Henderson!) Plus, Mountain’s Edge, Providence, and Cadence also made the list of the Top 50 Master Planned Communities. That’s pretty solid proof that the real estate market in Las Vegas is recovering well from the Great Recession – (something we’ve known for some time). Considering the popularity of these areas, it occurred to us that if you’re just thinking about moving to the Las Vegas valley, perhaps a primer in a few of the successful master plans might come in helpful! Remember, this list is by no means exhaustively complete – because Las Vegas continues to grow and attract new residents from all over the country – but it can come in helpful to give you a sense of the ‘lay of the land’ to get your in-person home search under way soon.

Summerlin

Located along the western rim of the valley at the edge of Spring Mountain and Red Rock, Summerlin is the largest master planned community in Las Vegas – covering 22,500 acres. More than 100,000 people live there – which is about 5 percent of Clark County’s total population. Well-known for its thoughtful neighborhoods, beautifully landscaped avenues, and numerous parks, community centers, and hiking and biking trails – Summerlin lies at the higher end of the Las Vegas elevation with many homes offering picturesque views of both city skyline and nearby mountains – capped by the close proximity of Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area. Many of Las Vegas’ finest homebuilders offer new communities in the various villages at Summerlin, where buyers can find both production and custom homes to choose from. Summerlin itself began selling homes in 1990, so the resale opportunities in this area are immense.

Inspirada

This 1,900-acre project is located in the heart of Henderson (which Bloomberg Businessweek ranked as one of America’s 50 Best Cities – and named America’s Second Safest City by Forbes Magazine in 2011). Situated on the southern edge of the valley, it’s among the top-selling master planned communities nationally, as we mentioned – with builders closing 564 new-home sales in Inspirada last year, up 45 percent from 2015. Nationally recognized homebuilders in this master plan include Beazer Homes, Century Communities, KB Homes, Pardee Homes, and Toll Brothers. Inspirada’s park system is one of the defining features here – with four already built and 85 acres of parks and trails planned. Community events are varied and inviting to residents of all ages, and homes range from approximately 1,500 to over 4,500 – priced from the $200s to the $400s.

Mountain’s Edge

Located in the southwest part of the valley, this 3,500-acre master planned community calls for 14,500 homes in more than 22 neighborhoods that will include multiple schools, stores, office space, and shopping centers. Builders include D.R. Horton, Woodside, Beazer, Pardee, Discover, Lennar, Toll Brothers, KB Homes and many others. Mountain’s Edge features hundreds of acres of land devoted to open spaces, parks, and trail systems. It was developed as the region’s first drought-tolerant community, estimated to save over 200 million gallons of water annually vs. traditional grass sod landscaping. Close to both the city and stunning mountainscapes and featuring an active community event calendar, Mountain’s Edge began in 2004 and was the #1 selling Las Vegas community from its opening through 2008. Both new and resale homes are available at Mountain’s Edge to explore.

Providence

Found in the northwest Las Vegas valley, Providence is a 1,200-acre master planned community that will ultimately include about 7,500 single and multifamily homes in 39 different neighborhoods. Located near schools, shopping, dining and the 215 Beltway/U.S. Highway 95 access. In addition to being in close proximity to both Nellis and Creech Air Force Bases, Providence attracted new-home builders KB Homes, Lennar, Pardee, Richmond American, Ryland, Warmington Residential, Woodside and Summit Homes. With acres of neighborhood parks and trail systems, a thriving community center and an active event calendar, Providence has previously ranked in the Top 10 master planned communities in the country. Winding avenues and numerous amenities have made Providence a lovely and peaceful addition to the Las Vegas landscape. Next stop: Mount Charleston!

Cadence

Located near the intersection of Lake Mead Parkway and Boulder Highway in Henderson, Nevada, Cadence is a 2,200-acre master planned community calling for 13,250 homes, over one million square feet of commercial property, 30 acres of trails, six schools, and a casino resort. Homebuilders include Richmond American, Lennar, Ryland, Woodside, and more. Schools, shops and restaurants are right inside this community – along with parks, pools, and trails – with the 50-acre Central Park a main draw (amphitheater, pickleball, and free wifi anyone?). Add in a bike-share program, and close proximity to Lake Las Vegas and Cowabunga Water Park – and you’ve got the makings for Las Vegas fun any time of year.

Keep in mind that both new and resale homes are available for purchase in all these areas, too. And whichever route you choose for your Las Vegas home, you can rely on the experienced services of the New Home Resource Team to look after your interests and ensure a smooth and seamless transaction.

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!

realtor

“How hard can it be to hire a realtor?” That’s a good question, but often people don’t give a lot of thought to the answer. And to be honest, it’s not hard to ‘hire’ one – but hiring one who is going to do what is needed to either find or sell a property for you – that’s another story.

Because when it’s all said and done, working with real estate is a business transaction. You may know real estate professionals from your family or social circle, and it seems like they would be the easiest choice to make, right? But unless you know how they operate in business and are comfortable with all their methods, you may want to cast your net a little farther afield. (If only to retain those personal relationships, because nothing will damage a friendship or familial tie faster than a financial transaction gone wrong – in either direction.) Actually – when you think about it – friends are a lot harder to come by than Realtors®. So perhaps keeping business and personal separate is generally a good idea.

It’s Business, Not Personal.

When the time comes to choose a Realtor®, the most important thing to do is make sure you pick someone that you can have a serious, straight-talk business conversation. At some point, this person is going to become very familiar with your entire financial picture – something that can skew a personal relationship uncomfortably. You may agree or disagree on decisions about properties, lender choice, or any number of things in the process; and let’s face it: not every real estate transaction turns out perfectly. If there’s any chance of personal feelings getting in the way of getting the best outcome, you’re probably going to be much happier with a straight business relationship – handled by a professional that has no emotional stake in the final outcome. (Can you hear it? “But if you buy this house, we’ll live on the same street!” Yikes!)

Obviously, you want to choose the most qualified person for your needs (a specialist in your area, a Seller’s or a Buyer’s agent, a relocation specialist, etc.) – and one that you feel will work well with you. So in the big picture, the bottom line is to find an experienced professional who knows your market, acts in an ethical manner, answers all of your questions, addresses your concerns, and listens to you – acting as your teammate – throughout the entire process.

Knowing all that, there are still a few questions that will be helpful for you to ask any potential Realtor® with whom you’re considering working. And the answers to those questions will help you determine if they are the right fit for your needs. Any reputable Realtor® – even those with a long-term business presence and sterling reputation – will understand that working with an informed client is to their benefit, as well. (Meaning, if a real estate agent ‘doesn’t want to be bothered’ with a brief interview, they’re probably not the best choice for you.)

Nine Questions to Ask a Potential Realtor®

Just to get the ball rolling for you, we’d like to provide a brief list of questions you should inquire of a potential Realtor®. Many of these inquiries will lead to other questions that will ultimately help inform your final decision. But in our experience, these are a great place to start!

1. What are the top three things that separate you from your competition?
2. How many years of education and experience do you have as an agent or broker? What percentage of your clients are buyers (vs. sellers)?
3. In which neighborhoods do you primarily work?
4. How many homes have you closed in my chosen area or neighborhood?
5. Will I be working with you directly or handed-off to anyone else other than you? In other words, will you handle all aspects of my transaction or will you delegate some tasks to a sales associate or administrative assistant? (A knowledgeable assistant can be invaluable, but you want to make sure you can connect with your agent regularly.)
6. How many other buyers are you representing now? How many sellers? Hint: the busiest agents often are the most efficient.
7. What would be your marketing plan/strategy for my needs?
8. Will you help me find other professionals? (lenders, appraisers, etc.)
9. What haven’t I asked you that I need to know about you?

Buying or selling a home is a big deal – no matter what anyone tells you. Because it affects so many important areas of your life (where you’ll live, schools your kids will attend, financial well-being, creditworthiness, and much more) – even though real estate transactions happen every day, you can’t take for granted that everyone who hangs out a shingle knows how to do it right. (There’s a reason that some lawyers specialize in Real Estate, you know.) Make sure you take a little extra time up front to find the right, experienced, and knowledgeable agent to help you get it all done. It’s worth it. Trust us.

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!