Archives for the month of: March2016

image003Oh what a thrill! You sold your home! Now there are Big Plans to follow through, decisions to make, people to notify, boxes to pack, addresses to change……..oh, wait just a minute. What was that the appraiser told your Realtor®? Your home didn’t appraise for the full sales price?

Gaaaahhhhhh!

Okay. Now that you’ve had a chance to sit down and get over the initial shock of that news, let’s take a look at how to deal with it – and more importantly, some ways you can avoid it happening in the first place.

#1 – Heeding Advice.

You’re probably not going to like this part, but think back . . . when it was time to set the sales price for your home, did you insist on a figure that your Realtor® felt was too high? We’re not trying to say we told you so – but rather, provide some helpful advice for those who are planning to sell a home soon.

Your real estate professional knows the market, has pulled the comparable sales, and is aware of other homes that are currently listed. In other words, they’re providing their recommendation for a listing price based on facts – the same information that the appraiser will use to set the value. Most of the time, a homeowner is basing their opinion of the value of their home on how much they paid for it, how much work and money they’ve put into it, how much money they “want or need to get out of it”, and many other reasons that can’t really be calculated. The takeaway: Trust your real estate professional’s opinion on this matter. After all, you hired them specifically because of their skills. This is one of them.

#2: Frustration. (aka, “But the buyer is willing to PAY that price – so that makes it WORTH that amount!”)

If only. On one hand, it makes perfect sense, doesn’t it? We’ve all heard the term: “The Buyer sets the market.” But when it comes to real estate, that’s not necessarily the case. Homes, after all, are not Cabbage Patch Dolls. There are many more factors involved in real estate transactions that have to be taken into account – not the least of which is the amount of the mortgage loan. Lenders have a fiduciary responsibility to secure their real property loans, and that means we head straight back to (you guessed it) – the actual value of a home based on the market and comparable sales. The takeaway: The market sets the sales price when it comes to real estate.

#3: A Hot (or Cold) Market

Your market may be very active. In a rising market, low valuations are fairly common because appraisals are based upon sales that closed when prices were lower – and the reverse is true in a declining market. In other words: Sometimes appraisals can’t keep up with how quickly homes are selling in a hot market, so you’re bound to see lower-than-expected values placed on homes.

#4: Can You Do Anything to Avoid This Problem?

There are some steps you can take after the fact – but first we’d like to address a few things that you should do before the appraisal (and your Realtor® can help you with these).

• Get your paperwork in order.

o Before the appraisal takes place, gather all the information you have about your home and send it to your Realtor®.

o List all the major improvements you’ve made – along with details about the age and condition of the major systems – roof, HVAC, appliances, plumbing, etc.

o Provide the original permits for any do-it-yourself projects you did for the home.

o The takeaway: Hand every bit of helpful information you can to the appraiser ahead of time to ensure they have all the facts in their possession from the start.

• Prepare your home for company. Okay – that might sound a bit over-the-top, but we’ve said it before and we’ll keep on saying it: Your home never gets a second chance to make a good first impression.

o Think about it like this: A good appraiser isn’t going to devalue your home because it’s messy – but you know what? They’re human, too! A clean, tidy, dust-free environment is one extra way you can impress them with the (even if it’s subconscious) message that “this home has been taken care of and is in great shape.”

o The takeaway: It. Can’t. Hurt. Can we say this again? It. Can’t. Hurt.

#5: Is There Anything You Can Do After The Appraisal To Fix It?

After the appraisal has come back too low, discuss all the possibilities with your Realtor®. These can include (but aren’t necessarily limited to) the following – because every transaction has different details (and possibilities):

• Appeal the appraisal (referred to as a “Rebuttal of Value”). This is when the homeowner, the loan officer, and often the real estate agent work together to find better comparable market data to justify a higher valuation. Everyone gets to work looking for anything that helps the claim for higher valuation. It’s possible that perhaps the appraiser overlooked some comps that support your purchase value. The takeaway: It’s a hard fight – and if there is any way to avoid having to make it (like the steps listed above before the appraisal occurs) – do it.

• Order a second appraisal. But it will cost you. You’re not only paying for the first appraisal (in your closing costs), but you’ll pony up for any additional appraisals as well. They can range between a few hundred dollars and $1,000 depending on the area. If you find evidence supporting a different valuation and the original appraiser won’t consider it, this may be your next best option. The takeaway: It can be worth it – especially if the difference in valuation is considerable. Spending $1,000 to gain $10,000 is a good investment – but have your ducks in a row to ensure your chances.

• Negotiate. Sometimes, all it takes is a little bit of budging on both sides. If you’re lucky, that solves the problem. Your Realtor® may be able to arrange splitting the difference between both parties, or it may be necessary to renegotiate the agreement completely. The takeaway: Cooperation is key – and if there were negotiation issues where you gained up-front, consider revisiting those as persuading factors now.

• Let them walk away. It can hurt – but there are times that no meeting of the minds is possible. The takeaway: Again, make sure you’ve explored all the options with your Realtor®, and let their instincts guide you on this decision. It’s not personal, it’s business. One thing to keep in mind is that appraisals remain valid for 6+ months on certain loan types, so if you should get a new buyer using the same type of financing… you got it – – the previous appraisal amount prevails. This in itself should be a compelling factor to negotiate the deal you’ve got.

Just keep in mind; most appraisal companies offer a step-by-step procedure to follow if anyone involved in the deal thinks the valuation is off base. But this is one situation where following the Boy Scout motto to “Be Prepared” can help you head off a lot of frustration and disappointment after the fact.

New Home Resource helps current and future homeowners with all of their Las Vegas real estate needs. Whether your preference is for 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 find the perfect property for you. Please contact a New Home Resource Realtor® today at 702-365-1000 or at www.newhomeresource.com. Broker Joanna Piette, and agents Denise Moreno Thrasher, Jessica O’Brien, Evelyn ‘Beng’ Kern, Lance Partin and Kathy Paterniti are all here to help!

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Last week, we shared some helpful tips and contact information for those who are moving to Las Vegas from other cities. But that got us to thinking, perhaps we should back-up that train a stop, and discuss some of the things you should consider BEFORE making that big move.

Moving is big business. It’s estimated that about 40 million people in the U.S. move each year, and more than 7.6 million of them are moving to another state. Because of the proximity of Las Vegas, and the fact that it’s a top Sunbelt destination, we may perhaps have a higher percentage of those out-of-state moves than other places – considering our weather, recreation and entertainment, services, and all the conveniences offered in a major metropolitan area.

For those who choose to move to Southern Nevada to be near family or for work opportunities, those two factors will most certainly weigh heavier on the “Pro” reasons to come to Las Vegas, of course.

But if you’re simply trying to decide between one of several different cities to start out in life, find a new start, or in search of a place to wind down after a long career – here is a list of things to consider when comparing one city/state to another. (Because every little bit helps, right?)

1. Where Will You Live?

Whether you plan to rent or buy a home, there are resources that can help give you a fair idea of the cost of the housing market where you choose to move. Check around online at websites like Zillow.com or Realtor.com – as they can both offer some information about both the rental and buying markets. But don’t depend on them as your sole source of information. (And by the way, just beware of the numerous scam listings for both on Craigslist.org.) Check with the local Chamber of Commerce or the website for the city you’re interested in learning about – because they will often have “Moving to …..?” packages they can send to you that include a great deal of helpful information.

Of course, if buying a home is at the top of your list, it makes sense to find an experienced and reputable Realtor® in that city that you can work and communicate with. They’ll be able to help you pinpoint the most important features about your home and the area you wish to live, and as your ‘boots-on-the-ground,’ their assistance can be invaluable.

2. Where Will You Work?

Sometimes the job is what brings you to a new city. Sometimes knowing friends, family, or associates in an area will help you find employment more quickly when you move. But if you’re starting from scratch, research the types of jobs that are available in your field online at places like Indeed.com, or Monster.com – or any number of job-seeking/job-placement websites. It used to be that scanning the Want Ads in the local newspaper was the method to get a feel for employment in another area; but with the move to digital and the efficiency that offers to employers – your best bet is going to be starting with your search through the internet.

That’s not to say that once you arrive, it should still all be done “online.” Quite the contrary, employers are impressed with those who make the effort to present themselves in person for many positions – especially small businesses (of which there are many in Southern Nevada – because we’re not all about huge hotels and casinos, you know!).

3. Weather and Location.

Most people have a pretty good idea if they want to head for a place where the sun shines all the time, or where they can experience the four seasons. What they often fail to consider, though, is the proximity to those “life conveniences” that you’re used to, but may not be available in some places.

For example, if you’re in Las Vegas – the convenience of a major international airport within 30 minutes of virtually any point in the valley is something you get used to quickly – whether you’re the one traveling, or you’re picking up friends and family at the airport. On the other hand, if you’re used to that convenience and move to Vermont, you may not realize you’re going to be a 3-hour drive (one-way) to the Boston airport. The same thing applies to shopping, culture, entertainment, and many other everyday things that you may take for granted now, but might be giving up in your new city. A list of what you can – and can’t – live without can be very helpful in narrowing down your choices.

Those three things are only the beginning, of course. There’s also a need to give serious consideration to several other circumstances – some may affect your life, some may not– but could in the future, and some may not matter at all. But that list continues with such topics as:

Taxes. State income tax can take a huge chunk of your income (except in places like Las Vegas, since Nevada has no state income tax at all!). Be sure to add this to your financial considerations.

Quality Health Care. With the changing health care climate in the country, this has become a more important issue than ever before for many people. Don’t simply assume you’ll have easy access to the care you need – confirm it. (By the way, Las Vegas has many – and some of the best – hospitals and health care providers in the country – and resources are growing all the time.)

Education. If there’s the slightest chance you may want to continue your education now or in the future, be sure to look into universities and college opportunities nearby. A quick look at each city’s Wikipedia page can be helpful to show what schools are available. (Las Vegas is the home of UNLV, CSN, and Nevada State College, along with a number of special trade schools from Touro University to Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts.)

Transportation. Moving to an urban area? Then do you really need the expense of a vehicle? (Given Uber and Lyft and other options available these days.) On the other hand, the West is a bit of a different animal. Planned and developed during the heyday of the U.S. automobile, contrary to what people think – you can’t just pick up a friend at the Reno airport when you live in Las Vegas. Things are a bit more spread out here, and the public transportation that’s so available in the East isn’t really on display out West. So plan accordingly.

We figure that should be enough to get you started. A move is a big thing – and exciting time – and fills the future with unlimited possibilities. And if Las Vegas should become your moving-destination-of-choice, know that the crew at New Home Resource is here to help you find just the right new or resale home for your family’s needs. We love this place – and we’ll be happy to show you why!

New Home Resource helps current and future homeowners with all of their Las Vegas real estate needs. Whether your preference is for 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 find the perfect property for you. Please contact a New Home Resource Realtor® today at 702-365-1000 or at www.newhomeresource.com. Broker Joanna Piette, and agents Denise Moreno Thrasher, Jessica O’Brien, Evelyn ‘Beng’ Kern, Lance Partin and Kathy Paterniti are all here to help!

By Jennifer Riner, Trulia

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Suffering through a long morning and evening commute is intrusive and can consume hours of your life every year. Unfortunately, work-related travel rose to 27.2 minutes in 2014 from 26.4 minutes in 2009 in the largest U.S. metro areas. Many Americans have taken the necessary steps to shorten their commute times, opting for apartments closer to work and placing low commute times at the top of their must-have lists, according to a Trulia study.

Renters have shorter commute times compared to homeowners in 43 out of 50 major metros, which adds up to one-and-half minutes per day, or 8.7 hours annually.

# U.S. Metro Average Commute (Minutes) Average Renter Commute (Minutes) Average Homeowners Commute (Minutes) Shorter Commute Time for Renters
1 Buffalo, NY 20.3 19 20.4 YES
2 Columbus, OH 21.8 21.8 22.8 YES
3 Hartford, CT 22.3 22.3 22.3 YES
4 Milwaukee, WI 22.3 22.3 22.4 NO
5 Las Vegas, NV 22.5 22.5 23 NO
6 Memphis, TN 22.5 22.5 23.4 YES
7 Virginia Beach, VA 22.6 22.6 23.5 YES
8 West Palm Beach, FL 23 23 23.9 YES
9 San Diego, CA 23 23 23.9 YES
10 Cincinnati, OH 23.2 23.2 23.6 YES

Cities with the Best Commute Times

Note: Census’ 2014 American Community Survey

While in some cities, renters fare better when it comes to getting to work efficiently, both renters and homeowners in Las Vegas benefit from low commute times. The average commute time for all Las Vegas residents is just 22.5 minutes, the fifth best out of all U.S. cities.

Las Vegas lessees have an average commute of 23 minutes, which is equivalent to Las Vegas homeowners’ commutes. If you’re searching for a home in Las Vegas, you’re likely to receive the same rapid work-related travel apartment dwellers get, as long as you choose a well-positioned neighborhood that’s not overly far from your place of employment.

How important are commute times to Americans?

According to Trulia’s analysis of Census data contrasted with an online survey by Harris Poll, Americans rank short commute times to work and access to public transportation second on their must-have lists – whether they opt for buying or renting in Las Vegas and beyond.

Millennial Americans are more inclined to search for apartments closer to work and worry about low crime rates after the fact. In the study, 22 percent of 18 to 34 year olds remarked that “shorter commutes to work” or “nearby public transportation” were more important than living in a neighborhood with low crime rates, while 14 percent opted for the latter as more pressing.

In Las Vegas, 95 percent of residents commute by car, while just 4 percent opt for public transportation. However, the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada (RTC) offers 38 routes and carried over 60 million passengers in 2015 alone. So if you don’t have a car in Las Vegas, you can still benefit from a low commute by taking advantage of public transportation options. Opt for apartments within close proximity of bus stops to make your morning and evening schedule a little less stressful each day.

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Few things are more exciting than the adventure of moving to a new city. The possibilities are endless: There are new opportunities, discoveries to make, new friends, activities, exploring – it’s a big deal and a huge lifestyle change for most people.

One of the things that we’ve learned in our years of playing a role in helping people relocate to Las Vegas is that knowing who to call to set up your initial services, or who to contact for information about moving your business – or even just to know where you’re at (physically) in the Great Scheme of All Things Las Vegas – can be a challenge. Most folks are so busy with the “moving from” part that – once they land at their new home and are standing amid piles of boxes and the oh-so-necessary take-out food containers because you can’t find your dishes yet – that even if you were smart enough to make a list of local services, you probably won’t be able to find that, either.

So we wanted to lend a hand with a brief list of phone numbers and website links to services and agencies that will hopefully come in handy and make your landing in Las Vegas just a little bit softer. Enjoy! (then start unpacking!)

Where Is THAT?

This may be “home” now – but you might not be familiar with general areas of town, at least as it applies to major street names. For example, if you’ve just moved to the area of Wigwam/Pecos in Henderson – you’re not going to want to make a quick trip to the Trader Joe’s on Summa Drive in Summerlin (30 minutes+)

LasVegasValleyMap_em1

Smartphones and tablets will, of course, make the actual navigating easier – but few things compare to a visual image in your head of the general lay of the land. So here’s a map of neighborhoods/districts in Las Vegas you can click on to download (for everyone’s use).

My Internet Isn’t Working!

You planned ahead and got all those services turned on for your arrival – but argh – something’s not working right. No worries – here are a few handy phone numbers to help out with that:

Electric:

NV Energy – (702) 402-5555

Gas:

Southwest Gas – (877) 860-6020

Water:

Las Vegas Valley Water District – (702) 870-4194

City of Henderson – (702) 267-5900

Trash Pick-up and Recycling

Republic Services – (877) 692-9729

Telephone

AT&T – (800) 288-2020

CenturyLink – (855) 524-0369

Cox Communications – (866) 961-0027

Equiinet – (702) 789-6001

Nextiva – (800) 799-0600

Sprint – (866) 275-1411

Verizon Wireless – (800) 922-0204

Internet / Cable TV / Satellite TV

CenturyLink – (855) 524-0369

Cox Communications – (866) 961-0027

DirecTV – (855) 838-4388

Dish TV – (855) 839-589

You’ve Got 30 Days . . .

To get your new resident driver’s license and vehicle registration transferred. So – where do you go and what do you need for THAT? Here’s a hint:

Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles

Office locations

Driver’s License Information

Vehicle Registration Information

Forms

Business Contact Information

Are you planning to run a business in Clark County? Or Henderson? Or Las Vegas? Or North Las Vegas? Most people think you move to Las Vegas, and it’s a simple one-stop process to get your company up and running – but it’s a bit more confusing than that. So we’ll start you off with some basic information – and depending on your specific needs, these entities should be able to point you in the right direction and help you get the ball in motion.

Determine Your Business Jurisdiction for Licensing

Nevada State Business License

Secretary of State – Visit their website here for a list of FAQ’s

City of Las Vegas

Starting a business in Nevada

City of Henderson

Business License General Description

City of North Las Vegas

Business License

Clark County, Nevada

Fictitious Firm Name Registration

Business License FAQ’s

Nevada Department of Taxation

Information about Nevada’s Taxes and The Department

Goodness knows there are going to be many more adventures and plenty of errands to run – so enjoy the journey. You’re about to explore all the things that we Nevadans already know make Las Vegas a great place to live. Welcome home!

New Home Resource helps current and future homeowners with all of their Las Vegas real estate needs. Whether your preference is for 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 find the perfect property for you. Please contact a New Home Resource Realtor® today at 702-365-1000 or at www.newhomeresource.com. Broker Joanna Piette, and agents Denise Moreno Thrasher, Jessica O’Brien, Evelyn ‘Beng’ Kern, Lance Partin and Kathy Paterniti are all here to help!

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Devoting the time and effort involved in making sure we provide our customers with dependable, market-specific information to help them buy or sell real estate – it’s just our nature. Going the extra mile to make sure they receive the best possible service from knowledgeable experts on the subject of all things “Las Vegas” – that’s just how we roll. The bottom line is this: We’re in this business because we love it – and we love working with customers and others in our industry who really ‘get’ how great this city is.

But it’s always a thrill to have that dedication acknowledged – and when we discovered that our Fearless Leader – Broker Joanna Piette – was chosen as one of the Top 25 Women in Real Estate in Las Vegas for the 3rd year in a row – well, it just seemed like it was something worth mentioning.

New Home Resource Broker, Joanna Piette

New Home Resource Broker, Joanna Piette

Why? Because we know that the company she’s in is pretty darn amazing. Being able to share this honor with two dozen exceptional women who work throughout our industry is something to be both proud of – and grateful for.

Each of the women listed – that will be recognized at next month’s event at Treasure Island Hotel and Casino – is a leader in her field, and we’re awfully proud that the Women’s Council of Realtors considers Joanna Piette to be among this list that represents the best of the best. (We’ve always known it around here!)

Members of The Women’s Council of Realtors exemplify the highest standard of industry professionalism and it is a recognized source of leadership development and the businesswoman’s perspective in Las Vegas. To learn more about the vision, values, and impact this organization promotes in our great city, click here for further information.

New Home Resource helps current and future homeowners with all of their Las Vegas real estate needs. Whether your preference is for 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 find the perfect property for you. Please contact a New Home Resource Realtor® today at 702-365-1000 or at www.newhomeresource.com. Broker Joanna Piette, and agents Denise Moreno Thrasher, Jessica O’Brien, Evelyn ‘Beng’ Kern, Lance Partin and Kathy Paterniti are all here to help!