fall wardrobe

Here in Las Vegas – where the weather is awesome for most of the year (except for those annoying few days of summer) – we get used to the eye-rolls when we talk about the weather turning cooler. We know we’re not going out to shovel snow for the next 3 months, or keeping an eye out for nor’easters to make sure our storm doors are up in time.

But the change of seasons does happen here!!  And in a totally awesome and enjoyable way. That’s why when it does, we like to make some seasonal changes in our home environment, too.

Even though it might not be  -10° outside, we still want to put away the shorts and tank tops so we can finally pull out the comfy sweaters and jeans. (We don’t get to wear them often, you know.) Not to mention, with all of the autumn and winter outdoor activities there are to enjoy in Southern Nevada, yes – we all get into the spirit of the season, too! That means we’re also adding seasonal touches of décor in our homes that reflect the holidays and upcoming celebrations.

Besides, it’s also the perfect time to start getting organized and to rid yourself of that clutter and clothing that’s cramping your style. (Are we right?) So, ready for a few suggestions? Let’s get started!

Start with the Closets . . .

• Pull out the spring and summer clothes, and remove those items you haven’t worn in over a year. (Don’t lie to us, we know that you know – deep down inside – that you probably never will again).
• Replace them with your fall and winter clothing – but be sure to go through them all beforehand to discard anything that won’t fit or you won’t wear. (Ugly Christmas Sweaters have to stay, though. Contests….you know.)
• Go through any boxes and non-clothing items in your closet and throw away anything you don’t need.

Head to the Kitchen . . .

This may be the most daunting space, but hey – you’ve got holiday baking and party hosting to do! That means:

• It’s time to dig out that turkey platter, and maybe even your mom’s old china. (What are you saving it for? A “special occasion”? Well then, this is the time!)
• Go through your pantry and refrigerator and throw away any expired foods. (Don’t worry – you’ll be filling them up again with great things during the season.)
• And, if you have food items in your pantry that you know you won’t use before they expire, donate them to a local food bank.

Then Dress Up the Place!

The one thing we think should be absolutely stress-free is bringing out the holiday décor. After all, this is a happy, beautiful time of year (right?!) – let’s keep it that way by:

• Making holiday decorating an event and enlist the family to help.
• Before you decorate, give the house a good cleaning. That way, your house will be fresh smelling and sparkly, in more ways than one. (Enlist the family for this part, too ☺)
• Incorporate natural items that are readily available. (We think the loveliest seasonal looks are the ones that bring the surrounding environment inside.)
• Resist over-accumulation by purging unused decorations – or hey – maybe even trade decor with a friend! (Just for a year –it’s okay, you can trade back.)
• If you like to set up decorations the same way each year, don’t just leave it to memory. (Especially if you have “Monica Bing” syndrome.)  By taking photos and notes, you never know – one year, someone may want to surprise you by doing it all for you – just how you love it!

We’re not going to pretend that this covers everything. Because if you’re anything like us, one good turn will bring up another and another and another . . . Somehow, before you know it, you’ve got the Pier One showroom on display in your gathering spaces. (Weird how that happens.)

But get started, because the weather’s cooling down, the leaves are turning (yes, we have leaves turn in Las Vegas – jeez!), and it’s time to start creating some family and holiday traditions.

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 the Sun Goes Down, It’s Time to Bring the Dogs Out!

At the moment, it might be a bit too crispy to take the dogs to the dog parks during the day, but one of the best things about Las Vegas is that we are definitely a dog-friendly town. No matter which side of the valley you live on, odds are, you’re not more than a few short minutes away from a dog park to enjoy with your four-legged friends 😊

Make the best of this valuable asset our neighborhoods have to offer! Here’s a list of 8 great dog parks throughout town to get you started.

SUMMERLIN

Kellogg Zaher Dog Park
7601 W. Washington Ave., Las Vegas, NV 89128

Kellogg Zaher Dog ParkNORTHWEST

Barkin’ Basin Dog Park
Alexander & Tenaya, Las Vegas, NV 89129

Barkin’ Basin Dog Park

SPRING VALLEY

Desert Breeze Dog Park
8275 W. Spring Mountain Road, Las Vegas, NV 89147

Desert Breeze Dog Park

Charlie Frias Park
4801 S. Decatur Blvd., Las Vegas, NV 89103

Charlie Frias Park

SOUTHWEST

CJ Dog Park (Cactus & Jones – Southern Highlands)
Corner of Jones & Cactus, Las Vegas, NV 89141

CJ Dog Park (Cactus & Jones – Southern Highlands)

Exploration Peak Park
9275 S. Buffalo Drive, Las Vegas, NV 89178

Exploration Peak Park

SOUTHEAST

Sunset Park
2601 E. Sunset Rd., Las Vegas, NV 89120

Sunset Park

EAST

Horseman & Dog Fancier’s Park
5800 E. Flamingo Road, Las Vegas, NV 89122

Horseman & Dog Fancier’s Park

(Just makes you want to go out and play fetch now, doesn’t it?)

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 Residential Lease Agreement

When you don’t look too far behind the scenes, being a Property Manager sounds pretty ‘easy-peasy.’ After all, what does a Property Manager do, anyway? Hand out keys, collect the rent, and get paid big fees for a few minutes of work each month?

Well, as soon as you find a Property Manager that does only that – give us a call. Because we’ve never met a reputable property manager who didn’t work hard on behalf of their clients to keep all the i’s dotted, the t’s crossed, the tenants, owners and maintenance people happy – all while complying with the laws and regulations of the city, county, state – and the Feds.

Not that we’re complaining! Far from it! When you’re an experienced professional in the real estate industry – as are the experts at New Home Resource – it’s almost a genetic thing for us. We can’t wait to dive-in to organize and address all the steps involved in managing our clients’ properties to the nth degree. It’s something we love, or we wouldn’t be doing it!

But be under no illusion that it’s an easy job – and that’s something that a new income property owner might not realize. A Property Manager needs to know how to handle all the steps required in order to do their job well – while at the same time maximizing the owner’s investment. That includes setting the rental rates, advertising for new tenants, properly screening and researching potential tenants, addressing maintenance issues, handling emergency calls, keeping detailed records, collecting rents on time – and much, much more.

Being prepared by taking as many steps as possible to avoid potential problems may be an even more crucial responsibility for a Property Manager. By not properly screening tenants, a situation might turn into an eviction and/or legal nightmare. By failing to properly maintain a property, a minor repair issue can turn into a major expense. Even unanticipated events such as storm damage can create far larger and more costly issues than they should — if they’re not addressed properly at the time they occur. (Sometimes, even the best laid plans get can have the proverbial wrench thrown into the mix!)

Of course, not everyone thrives on those challenges like we do. It takes time, knowledge, experience and connections throughout the industry to do it well. That’s our business. But for a property owner, handling all these details on your own may not be something you enjoy, have time for, or be the most effective use of your own talents.

That last part is perhaps one of the biggest advantages Property Managers have to offer you as the owner. By taking all that responsibility off your plate, it gives you the time to do what you do best. That frees you up to acquire more properties and assets, develop your investment portfolio, and increase your personal wealth.

To find out how the New Home Resource Property Management team can help take the burden off you and maximize your investment better than you ever imagined possible, give us a call. We’re 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!

home buyers

Summer is a busy time for home sellers in Las Vegas. Well, for that matter, given our amazing lifestyle, climate, and all the other great things about our city – pretty much most times of year are busy for both home buyers and home sellers.

As a seller, though, you need to remember that you are always in competition with other homes that are for sale. To make sure your home is at the head of the line for receiving the best (and most) purchase offers, we’d like to remind you that no matter when home buyers are shopping for a home, there are some things they ALL hate to see. Make sure they don’t see them at your home!

Bad Listing Photos.

Most home buyers begin their search online. If your photos aren’t appealing on the internet, there’s a good chance they won’t even bother to see your home in person. Make sure whoever is listing your home gets the best photos possible of both inside and outside your home. They matter more than you know.

Dirty Homes.

And yes really, we do need to say this. Because it seems not everyone instinctively knows that a clean, neat, and appealing presentation of your home is critical to the interest of the buyer. It’s true what they say: You never get a second chance to make a good first impression. And that means both inside and outside. You may not even think twice about your unkempt yard – because you know the landscape maintenance guys will be there tomorrow. Or to you, a messy patio or play area might just look normal and ‘lived in.’ The problem is, you’re not trying to make you comfortable by picturing yourself living in this home…you’re trying to impress home buyers you don’t know anything about. They may actually think just like you, but you have no way of knowing that. So always use the “Best Foot Forward” rule for any part of your property that a potential buyer sees.

Sellers Being Home During the Showing.

Yeah, it’s true. Even if you’re immensely proud of your home and would like to be there to “point out all the little things they might not notice, but are so important and add value to this home!” But all your being there will do is make everyone feel awkward, make visitors shy about asking their Realtor® questions that you may overhear, and encourage potential buyers to want to rush through the home and get out; which is, ironically the very thing you were trying to avoid. The longer a shopper takes to explore your home, and the more comfortable they feel, the more it sticks in their mind, compared to all the other homes they’ve seen. We’d even suggest doing something out-of-the-norm – like leaving cold bottles of water and freshly baked cookies out, with a note that it’s just for them. (A welcome idea in Las Vegas during the summer, for sure!) Anything that makes their visit to your home stand out (in a good way, we mean!) – is going to be to your benefit.

There are other words of wisdom that our experienced team of Realtors® at New Home Resource would be happy to share with you about how you can help show your home in the best possible way – and maximize your chances to sell rapidly and at the best price. Just get in touch with us and we’ll be happy to share those ‘inside tips’!

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!

tax benefits

Should I buy a home – or keep renting?

That’s a common question these days, especially since everyone knows the cost of rent has skyrocketed in the years since The Great Recession. So many lost their homes at that time and had no choice but to move into rental properties; but now time has passed and many have gotten back on a little better financial footing. So the question comes up again: “Should I Own or Rent?” Good question.

However, it’s not simply the amount of your Rent Payment vs. a Mortgage Payment – although here in Las Vegas with mortgage interest rates still hovering around the 4% range, that alone can make owning a much more appealing alternative to renting.

That even takes into account the cost of maintaining your own home vs. those maintenance items being a landlord’s responsibility – because in many cases, the principal and interest payment to buy a home can be hundreds of dollars less than renting the same property.

But there are other economic factors that most people forget to consider when deciding between the two: How tax benefits can affect their financial bottom line for the better. Although the tax codes change yearly (so if you have any questions about this topic, be sure to get current information from your accountant), the following have been among the most common IRS deductions for homebuyers in recent years.

Home Mortgage Interest Deduction
Typically, this is one of the largest tax breaks available to homeowners. It allows you to write off the interest paid on your mortgage loan, which can be most lucrative during the first years of your mortgage (when the majority of your payment applies to interest, rather than principal). In some cases, this is even applicable to home equity loans. Certain limits to your loan amount do apply, but most typical first-time buyers fall into this category. When you pay rent – there’s no deduction for that. It’s just money out the door.

Mortgage Points Deduction
If you paid points on your mortgage in order to lower your interest rate, you may also be allowed to write off this expense on your taxes.

Property Tax Deduction
Nevada’s property tax rates fall about mid-range between all U.S. states – and the average American pays in the neighborhood of $2,500/year (just as an estimate). But whatever the property taxes for your home, they are a deductible expense when it comes to your 1040 filing.

Property Mortgage Insurance Deduction
If your mortgage loan includes Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) – often the case if your down payment is less than 20% – depending on your income, you may be eligible to deduct this expense annually, as well. PMI generally runs between .5%-1% of the amount of your home loan, so this write-off could benefit even more on your taxes.

Tax-Free IRA Withdrawals for First Time Buyers
Saving money for your down payment got a little bit easier when the IRS allowed first-time buyers (or those who haven’t owned a home in two years) to break into their IRA’s for their down payment funds without having to pay the 10% penalty that applies to withdrawals before age 59-1/2. (Although we should note that your 401k plan does not qualify for that same penalty exception.)

Home Improvement
The rules for home improvement tax breaks vary often. For example, by taking out a home equity loan to finance major improvements, currently that loan could qualify for the same interest deductions as your main mortgage loan. But there is one important thing to remember: If you document and keep track of the improvements and upgrades you make on your home during the entire time you live there, you can deduct those costs down the road when you sell that home – thus lowering the amount of your Capital Gains Tax.

The ability to take advantage of tax benefits like those listed above really do affect your financial bottom line. Case in point: Consider that if you have a $250,000 mortgage loan at 4% interest, that’s costing you approximately $10,000/year in interest. With just that one deduction, you’ll save money on your annual tax bill. And when you combine the other homeowner tax breaks that could apply to your situation, that’s money that will stay in your pocket (or bank account) – rather than going into your landlord’s.

If you’d like more information about the many other benefits to owning your own home, give our crackerjack team of experienced Realtors® at New Home Resource a call and let’s talk about your specific situation, needs, and goals.

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

Let’s say you own a piece of income property in Las Vegas, or perhaps you’re in the process of considering making that leap from “homeowner” to “landlord.” Outside of your due diligence in finding the right property (or properties) to buy for this substantial investment – one of the things you also need to take into consideration is this: Who is going to be your property manager?

The smart real estate investor is going to be leaning towards finding the right Property Management company to handle those details. Why would they want to use a Property Manager instead of just doing it all themselves, you ask? Actually, for a lot of reasons. So many, in fact, that we recently wrote a 5-part series of articles that specifically address those reasons – and you can find this series on our blog, 12 Reasons to Hire a Property Manager, and How a Property Manager Takes Care of Business (Parts 1-4).

Those articles address everything from meeting legal requirements for screening tenants to maximizing savings with your property manager’s vendor relationships – and a few dozen other details that lie between.

But that all happens after you select a Property Management firm to work with. So how do you get started down that road? You want someone that can take the day-to-day management burden off your shoulders, and allow you the time and freedom to move forward with acquiring additional properties and increasing your income potential.

At New Home Resource Property Management, there are four key steps to the process, and we’re happy to outline them here – so there are no surprises, you know exactly what to expect, and you can rest easy knowing that your valuable investment has been placed in the right hands.

Step 1: Discovering Your Goals

Initially, we’ll want to sit down with you to discuss your needs and determine your long-term goals for your investment – and explain how our services can best support those goals for you. We’ll also prepare a rental analysis so you can see what’s currently happening in the market and how much rental income you can anticipate getting for your home. All your questions about our services and the property management process will be answered at this meeting.

Step 2: Setting Up Your Account

Next, it’s time to put a property management agreement into place. We’ll also gather additional data about your home so we can effectively manage it, and do a pre-list inspection with multiple photos that can be used for managing, marketing and leasing purposes moving forward.

Step 3: Marketing & Locating Potential Tenants

Marketing your property to all the relevant platforms is where we start, and as potential tenants contact us, we’ll show the property, screen backgrounds of applicants, check references, and constantly update you on the status of our progress. Effective tenant screening is one of the most important aspects of property management, as long-term, high-quality renters will increase your profitability. It is an element that we take very seriously at New Home Resource Property Management.

Step 4: Leasing and Property Management

Once a tenant has been approved, we handle all documentation, inspections, and then take over all the relevant management responsibilities as per our agreement. That includes setting up access to our online software portal, wherein you can view statements of income and expenses, and keeping you in the loop regarding maintenance and repair issues. Maintaining a good relationship with tenants is a critical aspect of our operation, as it results in less turnover for your property, thus fewer expenses for you.

It’s estimated that 48% of the people living in Southern Nevada are renters. With roughly 2.2 million residents in Clark County, that’s a pretty staggering figure. (Approximately 1,056,000 renters, just to help with that math.) There’s a reason real estate investors choose Las Vegas as one of their top cities for acquiring rental properties – the demand is there to support it.

Of course, that also means that the demand is there for many other aspects of this type of ownership, including maintenance and repair vendors – among other things. The last thing you need is to spend your days chasing down contractors and negotiating pricing, on top of the thousand-and-one other duties involved in finding the right tenants, collecting rents, and paperwork – lots and lots of paperwork.

At New Home Resource Property Management, we have all those resources already in place and working for our clients – not to mention years of experience in real estate as a whole, unique knowledge of the area, and the staff to make sure your investment is maximized in every possible way. In addition, we also offer investment strategies and can help you identify other investment opportunities that might be available so you can continue to grow your portfolio. Find out more by contacting our office today.

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!

summer salads

Once summer arrives, it seems like the last thing we want to do is standing around and cooking over a hot stove, right? (Although having someone else slaving over a hot grill in the back yard is another story entirely!) So we started putting together a new list of summer salads that we think look fabulous, and these photos just looked too good not to share. (Feel free to make an extra batch of any of these and send it over to our office, by the way!)

Chickpea Tex-Mex Salad
from DinnerThenDessert.com

Chickpea Tex-Mex Salad Seriously? Does this not just scream of cool-and-spicy all at once? According to Sabrina at Dinner Then Dessert, this summer salad “has a ton of flavor like most Tex-Mex salads, but with far less of the heavier and more caloric ingredients that would weigh you down. Having this lunch option will help you avoid falling into the normal restaurant salad trap where similar Tex-Mex salads are filled with cheese and sour cream and mayonnaise based dressings.” We’re totally on board with the whole idea.

Grilled Vegetable Nicoise Salad With Salmon
from HummingbirdThyme.com

Grilled Vegetable Nicoise Salad With Salmon Okay – so let’s say we do have that guy out working the grill in the back yard. That’s perfect! All they need to do is grill us up some sliced eggplant and this amazing hunk of salmon, and we’re on our way to nirvana. Oh sure, a couple other items in this recipe might take a couple minutes on the stove (blanching green beans), and a few minutes in the oven (roasting beets) – but wouldn’t you say the end result is absolutely worth it? We would. We’d like to give a shout out to Laura at Hummingbird Thyme for sharing these mouthwatering photos along with her amazing summer salad recipe on her blog.

Sweet ‘n Savory Wild Rice Salad
from GreatEightFriends.com

Sweet ‘n Savory Wild Rice Salad Wild rice, grapes, cranberries and pecans (and Anna of Great Eight Friends says that adding some grilled chicken breast makes it even better). Seriously: YUM. Light, flavorful, savory, and sweet all in one dish – with a refreshing and simple dressing that is simply to die for. Bring it on.

Shaved Asparagus Spring Salad
from DelishKnowledge.com

Shaved Asparagus Spring Salad Minimal ingredients, maximum flavor – just the way we like to prepare our meals. Alex of Delish Knowledge created this fabulous vegetarian recipe (just throwing that part in because, hey – it matters!) – and even though it’s got the word “spring” in the title, we’re pretty sure it’s good-to-go anytime around here. Some tips from Alex: “This salad works because of the layering of flavors. If it grows in the spring, I put it in this salad. Thinly sliced radishes, mint, slivered almonds, couscous and a lemon-mustard dressing. Cooked couscous almost clings to the shaved asparagus like pasta, so I don’t recommend subbing out another grain in its place.” This one is worth investing in a mandolin, if you ask us.

Purple Cabbage, Orange & Walnut Salad
from Teczcape

Purple Cabbage, Orange & Walnut Salad A huge part of our dining experience comes from the visuals, as we all know. And we think this summer salad recipe is simply perfection for the eyes. (Not a bad experience for the taste buds, either!) Quick to prep and pull together, it offers a simple, fresh, and light meal solution on its own, or makes a great accompaniment for whatever that guy has on the grill tonight. Presented on Hui Leng Tay’s blog, we’re happy just looking at this one for the moment!

If you have a favorite summer salad recipe that’s your Go-To meal, we’d love to hear about it! (And taste it – so hey, share, okay?) Summer Rules All!

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!

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!