Archives for the month of: April2016

homer-simpsonMade the decision to go find yourself another home, did ya? Wow. Now THAT’S exciting! Congratulations!

As we all know by now, buying a home is a pretty emotional experience. You’re excited, you’re amped up, you’re viewing listing photos via online sites several times a day, and you’re rarin’ to get out there and find the one that’s just perfect for you. Yep – that’s how it’s supposed to be.

Knowing what to do when you start home-shopping is important . . . in fact, it’s almost as important as knowing what NOT to do. The job of an experienced REALTOR® is to guide you down the right path for both of those fronts. But we figured it wouldn’t hurt to give you a little ‘heads-up’ about some of the larger pitfalls you’ll really want to avoid in the process. So read on, dear house hunter!

Not Letting Your REALTOR® Do Their Job

Funny thing – sometimes people complain about having to pay a REALTOR® at all – and then they fail to actually let them do the job they were hired for. We know part of that is the excitement and enthusiasm that comes with searching for a home, but it’s easy for buyers to jump the gun about certain things – which might ultimately end up costing them money, or even to have regrets about “the one that got away.” So – let your REALTOR® do their job. If you drive by an interesting property they haven’t mentioned to you, call them with the property address and phone number from the sign, and let them research the asking price and property details. (You’ll probably discover that 9 times out of 10, they didn’t mention it because it doesn’t meet your search criteria.)

Decide What You’re Looking For In Your New Home

This actually covers a range of topics, and it will be wildly different for every family. Do you have kids? Then the schools will be an important issue. How many bedrooms and bathrooms; what square footage; 3-car garage; a big back yard to play in, or a low-maintenance patio home; one- or two-stories; a specific neighborhood; close to your work; a multi-generational suite; a gourmet kitchen; new; used . . . as you can see, the list can go on and on. Your REALTOR® will help you nail down the specifics based on your needs and your budget. And then they’ll get to work on your behalf.

Stay In Your Budget

As critical as knowing what you’re looking for in a home (or perhaps even more critical) – is determining what your budget is. It’s not simply a matter of “How much of a mortgage loan can I get?” – because often, people will be able to qualify for a larger loan than they may truly be comfortable with. That’s not to say the lender is over-selling you – what it means is that you may have the income, but want to apply it to other priorities – and perhaps not all of it to your home mortgage payment. If you’re planning to start a business, have more children, saving for college tuition – these are all reasons (and many more) to take into consideration when deciding how much of a loan to get. And that – combined with your down payment needs – will help you determine the price range of the home you should be searching for. Few things are worse than shopping outside that range, falling madly in love with a home, and making the (incredibly long-term) decision to overextend yourself, or have to give up on your future plans because of an impulsive past decision. Just avoid that problem entirely – and stick with your planned budget.

Get Pre-Approved For Your Mortgage Loan

The old-school mindset used to be: Shop for home, Find home, Make offer, Get mortgage loan. Yeah – not so much anymore. There’s a new first step that any reputable REALTOR® is going to strongly recommend – or in fact, may even require before they’ll begin working with you: Getting pre-approval for a mortgage loan. And there’s a very good reason for that – in fact, more than one.

First, you don’t want to be wasting your time, going out and looking at homes that you can’t buy. It’s frustrating (and potentially heartbreaking) for you, and trust us – your REALTOR® certainly doesn’t have extra time lying around to waste, either. Getting a pre-approval for your loan removes the “wish” factor and gives you more confidence to shop wisely for the home of your dreams.

Second, while the market is always changing – it’s not all that uncommon any more for a seller to get multiple offers to buy their home. So put yourself in their shoes: You’re the seller, and you’re looking at offers from three different buyers. All things being equal (assuming they all offered the same price and the same general terms) – you’re going to be far more interested in choosing the buyers who have their loan pre-approval letter in hand, which proves they have the financial wherewithal to actually close escrow successfully. And since you were smart enough to get that pre-approval – you’ve got a good chance of beating those other two buyers to become the new owner.

Choosing The Right Lender

Let us just say this: All mortgage lenders are not the same. Actually, it wasn’t all that long ago that they were all more alike in how they made, processed, and charged borrowers for their mortgage loan. But those days are gone. (A little thing called The Great Recession made that necessary.) Now, many home buyers don’t realize that simply by not doing their due diligence – and shopping their loan around to multiple lendersthey can end up paying thousands of dollars more for their loan than they should. You read that right: Thousands.

Why? Because different regulations apply to different types of lenders. Mortgage Brokers (like Las Vegas’ locally-owned Premier Mortgage Lending) are regulated in how much they can charge for a mortgage loan – and they must fully disclose all charges to the borrower. Banks and Mortgage Bankers do not have the same restrictions; they can earn more from the borrower and not even have to disclose that information (so basically, they’re spending your money without even telling you about it). And you know what else? That extra few thousand dollars you’ll save by shopping around is money that can help you qualify for a larger loan, a different home, buy new furniture, or just put in your pocket. (Which all sounds a lot more fun to us than just handing it over to a bank – but that could just be us. ;-))

Actually, those five steps are just the beginning – because there are many other house hunting pitfalls that buyers can easily avoid, as long as they’re aware of them. We’ll help out with some more of those in a future post. But for now – remember these as you set out on your home-buying adventure, and you’re more likely to get the perfect home at the perfect price! Woo-hoo!

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 Broker Joanna Piette, and agents Denise Moreno Thrasher, Jessica O’Brien, Evelyn ‘Beng’ Kern, Lance Partin and Kathy Paterniti are all here to help!


No lie – there are times when it’s great to be thought of as SuperRealtor! And then there are times, when … well, notsomuch. Helping a client buy their dream home (or sell their existing home to get there) – is a wonderful feeling. Pulling all the details together and helping everyone to reach the finish line is so incredibly satisfying to a Realtor™, both professionally and personally.

BUT…. (you had to see that coming, didn’t you?) Even Clark Kent had a day job.

And by that, we mean at any given time, we have a lot of balls in the air – it’s just the nature of our job. So while we do our best to “be there” whenever a client needs us, there are times we simply aren’t at liberty to drop everything and rush out the door. (Emergencies are, of course, another story. And yes – there are real estate emergencies to deal with at times.)

After all, if you were the client with whom we had scheduled an appointment in advance to view homes, or to take care of paperwork, inspections, etc. on your home purchase or sale – you wouldn’t be too thrilled at the idea of being ‘ditched’ because of someone else’s poor planning – right? And (it’s always amazing to us that people don’t think about this until we point it out) ….we’re Real People, too! That means we have a work life and a home life (okay, sometimes). There are hours we’re awake – and hours when we sleep. (Aaaaack! What a concept!)

We’re the first to admit that with the 24/7 nature of Las Vegas, sometimes people forget those little details. So we’d just like to point out three little courtesies that will help you and your Realtor™ get along even more swimmingly.

• Respect Your Realtor’s Time – As Much As You Do Your Own

Do you have an appointment scheduled with your Realtor™? We’d really love it if you’re on time. But we also know that ‘things happen’ and get in the way of even the best-laid plans. Just keep in mind – it takes us time to drive to that appointment, too. So if you know (or even think) you may be late for a scheduled appointment, please give us a call as soon as possible. Often, even a 15-30 minute hitch in our schedule can inconvenience many other clients, the other agent, the sellers, and staff that we work with. It can be the difference between having a productive day or seeing our schedule thrown into complete havoc (and having to play the “I apologize/Catch-Up” game the rest of the day). So those clients who appreciate that we have a schedule, too, well – we appreciate they recognize that fact more than they know.

• Failing To Plan Ahead

Ideally, buyers and sellers choose a Realtor™ to work with because they believe we’re good at what we do. Most people will ask friends or associates for a referral to a good agent because hey! – we live in a “social” world anymore. There is simply more trust placed in a business or a professional because someone you trust has had a good experience with them.

The news flash that goes along with that? It means we work hard. And that our schedules are busy – just like yours. Let’s face it – would you want to hire the Realtor™ who has nothing but “free time”? Nope. You value us because we’re dedicated to doing a great job for every single client. All that, while practicing the delicate balancing act of maintaining a personal and family life, too. (And yes – we know that’s not a problem exclusive to Realtors™. All the more reason to empathize…because we know everyone deals with that.)

That said, it’s a pretty safe bet that most people have a sense of when they plan time in their schedule to view homes. Talk with your Realtor™ about a mutually beneficial schedule – and then you’ll both be on the same page to find a day and time that works for you both. Because it all falls back on that “respect for time” we mentioned above.

• Expecting “Instant” Communication – At Every Hour

Vegas is a tourist town – we get it. And we love it! However, just because you’ve come to town shop for a home and chose to utilize this trip to catch up on your casino recreation at 3am, it doesn’t really follow that we’re sitting at home waiting for your text to come through about that time. Sometimes, there are reasons we must be available by phone, just as you have had such situations occur. But we also have the hope that our clients will respect our off-hours and not shoot us messages at any hour of the day or night, asking to go look at homes in 3 hours! Ahhhhh……yes, it all boils down to – once again – respect of time.

But that respect is absolutely a two-way street. A professional Realtor™ is completely dedicated to giving each client the time and attention needed (and then some!) to make sure their real estate needs are met – – and exceeded. We work hard, during long hours to know our market, to know the always-changing laws and regulations, to get our clients exactly what they’re in search of, and still manage to get it all right. And we love doing it, too! We just also happen to love it when our clients realize we’re just like them . . . we need to play, rest, and take care of our personal lives, too. We promise, if you’ll keep that in mind, you’ll get the very best of every service we have to offer!

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 Broker Joanna Piette, and agents Denise Moreno Thrasher, Jessica O’Brien, Evelyn ‘Beng’ Kern, Lance Partin and Kathy Paterniti are all here to help!


Life wasn’t meant to be all about work. At least, that’s what the team at New Home Resource agrees on. If you’re going to work hard, you want to play just as hard – and they do. But they also have one other very closely held belief: To give back to the community that’s been good to you.

Led by Broker Joanna Piette, taking the time to give back to Southern Nevada charities is simply built right into the schedule at New Home Resource.

“All of our agents and staff care deeply about different organizations in our city – so when there’s an event that we want to volunteer our time and efforts to help make it a success – we love to get involved,” Piette explains. “We’ll close the office, turn on our voice mail, set up our email auto-reply – and for that day, we’re all fully focused on doing our part for the community.

And that’s precisely what’s going to be taking place this week – Thursday, April 7. The New Home Resource team is taking their show on the road, so to speak – to lend a hand at the “Backpack For Kids” program at the Three Square Food Bank.

Here in Southern Nevada, Three Square works year-round to help the over 300,000 people who are food-insecure – meaning they’re not able to secure enough food for a healthy diet at least some point during the year. 125,000 of those are children – and this particular event is geared toward the kids.

Joanna Piette goes on to add, “It’s an important and often overlooked topic. We believe Three Square is providing a much-needed service, but they need everyone’s help to reach their goals. We’re pitching in because we want to be part of the solution for our city. It’s a real passion for us; we’re honored to be in a position where we can help – and our hope is that more businesses in the Las Vegas valley will recognize that together, we can make a real difference in people’s lives.”

Actually, for the New Home Resource team, it’s not just about people – because the many needy animals in Las Vegas tug at their hearts, too. During the 6 or more events that New Home Resources actively participates in throughout the year, supporting animal rescue organizations is a big part of their calendar, too.

“Our involvement in our community comes from the sincere belief that there are things we can do to help others in need – and we know so many people who feel the same. There are a lot of very dedicated, very committed individuals in Las Vegas who take the time to make a difference outside of their work,” Piette reveals.

“As far as all of us are concerned at New Home Resource, we get as twice as much in return from these events as we give – so in one way, it’s almost a selfish thing for us to do. The truth is that giving not only directly benefits others in need; studies show that it also boosts the physical and mental health of the giver, too. Perhaps that’s why knowing that our time and efforts can make a difference in the quality of life for a child, an adult, or an animal – makes us aware that it’s all time well spent. We invite others to join the spirit of giving where it affects them personally, too. If our experience is any indication, we know they’ll be glad they did.”

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 Broker Joanna Piette, and agents Denise Moreno Thrasher, Jessica O’Brien, Evelyn ‘Beng’ Kern, Lance Partin and Kathy Paterniti are all here to help!


There’s definitely a formula for success in selling a home. And when it’s time for you to think about selling yours, if you’re working with an experienced and knowledgeable Realtor™, they’re going to let you know what it is. The formula will change depending on the home, the community, the city, and the surrounding area – but there are a few ‘universal’ concepts that you should be aware of. That way, when it’s time for you to plant that “For Sale” sign in your yard, you’ll be a few baby steps ahead – and sometimes, that’s just enough of a leg-up to get to a happy finish line sooner.

1. Buyers Know Within Seconds If They Want To Buy Your Home.

Yep – buying a home is a huge investment, so you would imagine people want to weigh all the pros and cons, maybe even make some spreadsheets to compare features, costs, and benefits.

You would be wrong.

Why? Because the mind processes far more information in less time than previously thought; one recent study shows that 80% of prospective buyers know if a home is right for them within seconds of stepping inside. That’s a daunting thought, isn’t it? But all the more reason that we drive home this fact: No detail is too small for the Seller to consider. Sweep the front sidewalk, clean up the leaves; tidy up the entryway, unclutter every horizontal surface. And of course, we’ve never heard of a Buyer complaining that a house is “too clean.” That’s worth remembering, too.

2. Pricing Makes A Difference – But Not For The Reasons You Think

First off, we’ll say this: Your home needs to be priced right to take advantage of every sales opportunity. We addressed that at some length in a previous article – “5 Reasons Why Your Home Didn’t Sell” – check it out here. But there’s a bit more to it than that.

It’s one thing to think you’re getting a great deal at Nordstrom’s Rack when you see that $14.99-price tag. It’s another thing to be shopping for a home with a price like “$299,999.” (You just felt a little “thunk” didn’t you?) There’s a certain sense of ‘bargain-hunting’ that is out of place with all those 9’s in a home’s sales price. Even without setting a foot on the property yet, it’s enough to turn off many buyers because it feels dishonest and “cheap.” Just don’t go there.

On the other hand, while those last two numbers should always end in “00” – you don’t necessarily want tooooo many of them showing up in the rest of the price, either. You know that feeling you get when you’re at the grocery store and your total comes out to EXACTLY $20.00? Yeah. That almost never happens – and when it does, it’s pretty memorable. If your Realtor™ has performed an accurate price evaluation of your property, the odds of it coming in to show five 0’s in a row are just about as common.

The fact is, a sales price of $200,000 seems arbitrary – like you just plucked that figure out of thin air – and that makes your valuation suspect, to say the least. Stick with the facts, and base your final listing price on firm data.

3. There’s A Reason Why There’s A Home-Staging Industry

Buyers. Love. Staged. Homes. How do we know that? Those homes sell faster. Often by 50-70% faster. How’s that for an eye-opening thought? You don’t necessarily need to shell out the money to hire a professional stager – because these days, you can find a myriad of helpful tips online about how to do much of it yourself. But it does boil down to two things:

1. If you’re still living in the home during the listing period – consider renting storage space to streamline what furniture and belongings are on display. After all, you are moving, right? May as well take this opportunity to start packing and simplify the look of the house. It takes a good eye and a commitment to a bit of heavy lifting – but more often than not, it will pay off with a quicker sale.

2. If you’ve already moved out of the home – think about adding some furniture and accessories back into it, even if it’s only to stage the main living areas. For a potential Buyer, viewing an empty home is a little like making whoopie with the lights on (ack!) — i.e., every flaw is visible. (Unless you’re J.Lo.) PLUS, most people aren’t capable of fully visualizing the potential of space in a home when it’s completely empty. Help their imagination see your home for what it really is: The. Awesome. Place. They. Want. To. Live.

As we referenced above, your specific home has unique attributes that a professional Realtor™ will help you recognize and capitalize on to help you get to that fabulous trifecta of “Offer-Escrow-Closing.” But knowing these handy tips can help, too. If you’re planning to sell your home soon – we’ve got a lot more of them we can share with you. All you’ve got to do is ask us!

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 Broker Joanna Piette, and agents Denise Moreno Thrasher, Jessica O’Brien, Evelyn ‘Beng’ Kern, Lance Partin and Kathy Paterniti are all here to help!