Do You Want to Buy a Brand New Construction Home?

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Thinking of Buying a New Construction Home from the Builder?

There are some things you should know.

Many people like the idea of purchasing a brand new home. There is the thrill of watching the construction process and choosing the upgrades you like, and something about knowing that you are the first to walk on the plush carpet, use the shiny appliances and take a bath in the jetted tub. This can be a very exciting time, but there are a number of things that you should know that will help you throughout the process. Take a look at this article before you head over to the sales office and put down a deposit on your desired lot.

First of all, although the people at the sales office may be nice, they are not looking out for your best interest as they have been hired by the builder to sell the house. Many buyers think that the process will be easier and that using the builder’s sales agent will result in getting a better deal. This is not the case, as builders generally aren’t very flexible on price and the job of their sales agent is to represent them and maximize their profits on each sale.  You need representation! A real estate agent that works for you will ensure that your interests are voiced and will negotiate on your behalf. If you choose to hire your own agent, they should accompany you on your first visit to the sales office. This will let the builder’s agent know that you are represented and the sales office will register him/her as your agent. Your agent can also insulate you from high-pressure sales tactics that a builder’s agent may practice.  It is best not to even casually go and take a look at the model homes without your agent. Some builders are very strict and will not allow you to hire your own agent if you have set foot in the office previously without your agent.

In addition, many buyers don’t realize that they are NOT responsible for paying a commission. Commissions are paid for by the seller or builder in this case. Builders rely on real estate agents to bring buyers to them. If buyers go to the sales office without an agent and contract directly with the builder, the builder will not credit them the cost of a commission that they would usually pay an agent. If they did, agents would cease to bring in buyers and it would eventually impact the builder’s sales. Really, there is no downside for a buyer to hire independent representation.  A buyer will pay the same cost for the home whether they have hired their own agent or not.

What are some other benefits of hiring an agent?

Representation – Your agent is looking out for YOU! They will advocate on your behalf and see that your voice is heard throughout the process.

Negotiation – While you may be a great negotiator and perhaps have experience doing so, it is always recommended to have someone else negotiate for you. Even the best negotiators follow this practice as an agent will not have the same emotional attachment that may blind a buyer. The agent can look at the deal from a different perspective that not only encompasses the price, but many other factors as well. While a builder may not negotiate on price (as they may have to answer to other buyers that paid more for the same home) an agent usually knows what they will discuss. Depending on the builder and the market, you may be able to get some free upgrades, closing cost credits, extended home warranty and perhaps some back yard landscaping or a patio slab that is larger than 3 x 3. A good agent will know what can be negotiated and how to be creative to make sure you are getting the best bang for your money.

Contract – How many buyers are really that familiar with real estate contracts? Although they aren’t that complex, agents look at them every day and have an understanding of what to look for to ensure sure you are getting a fair deal. I have caught mistakes on builder contracts more than once. Sometimes it is as simple as a math mistake and other times it is terms that were written in that hadn’t been discussed or previously agreed upon. An agent knows the contracts and knows how to make sure your interests are represented. Your agent should review the contract and notify you of any concerns prior to you signing a deal for your brand new home. They will make sure you are aware of contractual deadlines and that the building process stays on track.

Builder Quality and Reputation – Agents generally know most of the builders and will be able to share the information that they have learned over the years. Not all builders build the same quality of home. Some will use inferior materials, some have problems with quality control, some use different construction methods and so on. An experienced agent will know which builders are good about doing warranty work and which aren’t. They will also have seen how the builder’s homes stand up over time. This information can be extremely important and another piece in your decision making.

Financing – Builders usually have their own, preferred financing and will usually offer incentives for closing costs or upgrades if you finance through them. A good agent will be able to help you understand their loan programs and make sure you are able to choose the best for your circumstances. If the builder’s lender doesn’t have a program that works for you, your agent should be able to point you toward other lenders that may be able to help. I have had a couple situations where the builder still allowed the incentives even though the buyer used an outside lender.

Inspections – a builder will have walk-throughs at different points in the construction process. It is important that you have your agent there as they may be able to point things out and ask applicable questions that a regular buyer may not think about. You are also allowed to have an outside inspector look at the home to see if there are any issues you need fixed prior to closing or any other smaller items that can be repaired through the warranty process. Experienced agents will have qualified inspectors that they trust to find insufficiencies and items that a buyer will want repaired or replaced.

Recommend upgrades – An agent will know the latest trends, upgrades that are good for resale and how to choose complimenting and contrasting colors.  They will also know what upgrades may cost a lot but not add much value. They also understand which upgrades will be better to have done after-market that should save you money as well as giving you a superior product. Even though you most likely won’t move from your new home in the near future, an agent will look at everything from a “return on investment” standpoint. They can advise you on upgrades, lot choice, exterior elevation choices and other elements that can affect resale in a positive or negative way.

Knowledge of City plans – A good agent that focuses in a certain geographic area will know more than the builder’s sales agent about the city and about what is happening in the area. The builder’s agent usually lives outside the area and has a good knowledge of the homes, products and package choices that the builder offers, but doesn’t always know the details about schools and other upcoming developments like a hometown agent will. This information can be extremely valuable in making your decision.

Final thoughts and how to proceed – As you can see, there are many reasons and potential benefits in hiring an agent to work for and represent you. If you do decide to hire an agent, make sure that they are familiar with new construction and with the area. Have them take you through the models the first time you go to ensure that they are registered as your agent. Not only will your agent make you feel more comfortable in looking by insulating you from high pressure sales tactics, but they will also make sure you aren’t “blinded by the upgrades” and that you know what is included in the base price and what isn’t. They will take the emotion out and help you look at purchasing a home as a good business transaction that should help you increase your wealth over time.

Contact me today if you are thinking about purchasing new construction and I can guide and advise you through the process. The right agent really can make all the difference in the world!

 

Now Available: Luxurious Country Home close to Town

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Spring is here and the trees are blooming! Come take a look at this incredible home while the weather is nice.

Your chance to own an amazing country home only minutes from town! No expense has been spared on this gated, private estate. The open floor plan features fine finishes throughout and eye-catching architectural details. The chef’s kitchen is the hub of the home and is appropriately appointed with custom, white “soft close” cabinets, striking granite counter tops, designer light fixtures and professional appliances including Viking range, SubZero built-in refrigerator, double Bosch dishwashers, pot-filler, farmhouse style sink and double ovens with a warming drawer. The gourmet in the family will appreciate the vast surfaces and prep sink that are perfect for preparing for those family get-togethers. Throughout the home the flooring is top-quality with wood, tumbled travertine, premium carpet and marble. You’ll love the fabulous master suite! The oversized master includes a retreat that is currently being used as a home gym, a fireplace, coffered ceilings with double crown, double walk-ins with organizers, outdoor access and an incredible master bath. The bath includes a large shower with bench and multiple heads, a jetted tub, “his and her” vanities and custom mirrors and fixtures. The handyman will enjoy the huge (almost 1200sf) garage. The park-like yard is a beautiful setting with a variety of trees and shrubs and a fenced-off back yard. The spacious back pasture is level and has tons of possibilities-barn, riding arena, shop, In-law cottage…You choose! Also worthy to note is the high producing well, whole house fans, triple zone HVAC with multiple condensors, batting cage, stream that runs through property and surround sound. This is a perfect home for entertaining!

Act now; call for more information and to request a private showing of this luxurious country home!

CLICK HERE for more pictures and property detail.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Turn-Key and affordable in West Lincoln!

1665 Calabasa

JUST REDUCED TO $375,000. COME TAKE A LOOK TODAY!

This turn-key home is located on a quiet street in West Lincoln and is truly move-in ready! You’ll be impressed with the new laminate flooring, fresh interior paint and how clean this home is. It has a sensible floor plan without any wasted space and is the perfect size for someone starting out or for the empty-nesters looking to downsize. The home has been appointed with some nice upgrades including warm, neutral custom paint, high quality flooring, upscale ceiling fans and “his and her” closets in the master suite. The back yard is private and has a large patio and a spacious lawn so you can get outside and enjoy evening barbeques. The handyman will like the epoxy flooring in the garage and the spacious driveway. No HOA dues and extremely low Mello Roos. Don’t delay, homes in this condition and price are hard to find!

For more information and pictures, CLICK HERE

Act now; Call Garth Evans at 916 408-2222 for more information and to request a private showing.

Rich History in Lincoln California

In 1859 Lincoln became an official town and many of the original buildings are still downtown. Have you ever been curious about what some of those old buildings used to be? Well, you can visit our local museum and find out about that and much, much, more! The Lincoln Area Archives Museum is a fun place to learn some history about our special city. A few of the volunteers there are actual descendants of some of Lincoln’s early pioneers. When we visited the museum we learned the reason the Zebra is Lincoln High School’s mascot and enjoyed seeing one of the original desks from the school. The items they have on display there range from ancient Native American artifacts to old high school year books. You’ll love looking at photographs and uniforms of the original Potters baseball team. The admission is free and there are “hands-on” displays for the kids to explore.  After your visit you can walk around the corner and grab a bite to eat at one of the local restaurants. It’s truly fascinating to see how much history Lincoln has. So go take a look and increase your knowledge of this great little city.

Lincoln Area Archives Museum

640 5th Street

Lincoln, CA

916-645-3800

Mon-Sat 11-3

Coming Soon! 1673 Calabasa Drive

1673 Calabasa Drive
1673 Calabasa Drive

1673 Calabasa entry

Coming Soon and won’t last long! This home is as neat as a pin and is a great floor plan with no wasted space. This home has been extremely well-maintained as has new carpet and paint, newer A/C condensor and appliances. Just under 1500 sf, 3 bed/2bath, NO HOA and very low Mello Roos. This is truly a move-in ready home for only $365,000. Call or message me for a private showing. 916 408-2222

Open Saturday 11-2, Best price per square foot in Lincoln!

Okay, someone is going to get a great deal! I haven’t seen a price this low on a home like this in a long time. Whether you are looking for a larger home for yourself or know someone that wants to move into the area, come take a look at this beautiful home. Solar, No Mello Roos and space to spread out!

Beautiful home in Foskett Ranch
Beautiful home in Foskett Ranch

Big & Beautiful! This spacious 5 bed/4 bath home boasts an excellent, open plan & has room to spread out. Quality-built Standard Pacific home with all the right upgrades! Granite counters, gorgeous cabinets, premium plush carpet, surround sound & so much more. You’ll love the generous master suite w/huge walk-in closet, split vanities, oiled bronze fixtures & custom mirrors. The solar allows you to stay cool this summer without worrying about astronomical bills. NEW PRICE and closing cost credits for the buyer! Don’t delay, take a look today.

See additional pictures, property description and video: HERE

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Favorite Things Friday- Lake Tahoe

With the mercury rising here in Lincoln, sitting on a sandy shoreline and a dip in the cool water is starting to sound pretty good. Lucky for us in Lincoln, beautiful Lake Tahoe is only a quick drive up the hill. With plenty of beaches and restaurants to chose from, a day trip to Tahoe is a great way to beat the heat.

Whenever we visit Tahoe, we are sure to stop at the kid’s favorite ice cream shop. Located in Incline Village on the North Shore, Susie Scoops is a must visit for a large assortment of locally made ice creams with a delicious flavor to suit any taste. Make sure to grab one of their homemade dipped waffle cones and enjoy some sun on the patio!

From there, there are always lots of options when it comes to enjoying time by the crystal clear waters of Lake Tahoe. Kings beach is a great option, but it can fill up quickly, so be sure to stake out a spot earlier in the day. Perfect for the family looking for a little more excitement at their day at the beach, Kings beach is a hot spot to rent paddle boards or enjoy parasailing or other activities on the water.

North Tahoe beach is another option and is great because of it’s nearby lots of places to grab a quick bite before heading out and the Safeway across the street. We like to stop by and fill up the cooler before we settle in for some time on the sand.

One of my favorite beaches in Tahoe is Sand Harbor beach. The views here are some of the best in the area, and beautiful rock formations and calm water make for a breathtaking spot to kick back and relax.

After a day in the sun, our favorite restaurant to visit is Rosie’s Cafe in Tahoe City. With lots of options, this local spot for homestyle cooking is sure to have something for everyone. Nothing hits the spot quite like one of their burgers!

One of my favorite things about living in Lincoln is the proximity to so many great places. There’s no need to spend too much time in the car or hop on a plane to get away. If you’re looking to get away there are so many great options for day trips this summer- I’d recommend a visit to Lake Tahoe be one of them!

6 Tips to Prep Your Property to Sell

When people come to me about listing their property, one of the first things they ask is “how do I get my house ready to show?”. It may seem like common sense, but how the home shows and what a seller does to prepare it can make a huge difference on not only being able to sell, but also getting a price you are happy with.

 

Here are a few basic tips to consider when getting ready to put your home on the market:

 

  1. De-Personalize

When selling a house, you want to make sure that the people looking at it can picture themselves living there. Removing some personal items such as family photos, and clearing out things from around the house and counter tops like cosmetics, hair products or small appliances can go a long way in helping the buyers visualize the home as a “blank slate”.

  1. De- Clutter

Take this chance to lighten your moving load! Donating items taking up extra space in the closet and getting rid of unnecessary clutter makes your space appear larger and more desirable. Clear off any extra clutter on counters, magnets on fridges and books off of nightstands. You may consider renting a storage unit, and look at it as an opportunity to get a head start on your packing.

  1. Organize

Along the same vein, taking a chance to organize areas like closets and shelves makes a huge difference in how your home appears. This can be as simple as taking time to make sure your home entertainment center is free of excess wires, or making sure everything has a place in the closet. Containers or baskets make everything look more orderly and could make the move easier.

 

  1. Repair

It might not make sense to put too much money into a home you plan on selling, but a few cosmetic tweaks can have a big impact on how it shows. Are there any unsightly holes or annoying leaky faucets? Some buyers might be put off by simple things, so small things like painting any bright accent walls a nice neutral color or making sure obvious things are in good repair can influence how the listing is viewed.

 

  1. Clean, Clean, Clean

One of the biggest “make or break” moments is when a buyer looks at a home that is clean or not. If a potential purchaser walks into an area and it’s visibly dirty or smells, chances are they aren’t going to be too comfortable taking much of a look around. Making sure carpets are vacuumed, things are dusted and wiped down and there are no unpleasant fragrances is something that absolutely must be done when trying to sell a house. Areas like kitchens and bathrooms should be cleaned frequently when showings are happening. A deep cleaning before your home hits the market is always a good idea.

 

  1. Amp Up the Curb-Appeal

Almost all buyers like to take the chance to do a drive-by before they make an appointment to see a house so they can get a feel for the house and the neighborhood. Make sure to keep the lawn mowed, trim up any shrubs and maybe plant a few flowers for some color. The front of your house is the first impression, so make sure it’s a good one!

 

Listing your house, especially for the first time, can be a stressful experience filled with a lot of questions. However, choosing an agent with experience and expertise makes all the difference. Having sold homes for over 15 years in Lincoln, I know how to navigate even the toughest deals, ensuring you get top dollar when you decide to sell. Give me a call if you’re looking for someone that can get the job done!

Big and Beautiful 5Bed/4bath Home in Foskett Ranch!

1410 El Camino Verde Drive
1410 El Camino Verde Drive

Located in the desirable Foskett Ranch community, this spacious 5 bed/4bath home boasts an excellent, open floor plan and has a full bed and bath conveniently placed on the first floor. This quality-built Standard Pacific home has tons of great upgrades and more than enough room to spread out! The baker’s kitchen has granite counter tops, oversized tile flooring, under-cabinet lighting, top-of-the line appliances, gorgeous cabinets, butler’s pantry and a faux brick backsplash. The home has premium, plush carpet, ceiling fans, abundant canned lighting and is wired for surround sound. Each bedroom is unique in size, but all are much larger than your average bedroom. Two of the bedrooms feature a Jack and Jill bath with an extended vanity and dual sinks. The generous master suite has a sitting area, coffered ceilings and an amazing master bath. The bath has split, “his and her” vanities, sunken tub, shower stall and a walk-in closet the size of a regular bedroom! It also features custom mirrors, oiled bronze fixtures and an extra linen cabinet. This energy efficient home is well-insulated and the solar system will allow you to run the ice cold A/C without worrying about astronomical utility bills. You’ll love the summer nights sitting around the firepit on the vast, natural flagstone patio. Other features include a handyman’s 3 car garage with gorilla storage racks and lots of room for your toys and projects.

Act now; call for more information and to request a private showing of this clean, move-in ready home!

FOR MORE PICTURES AND PROPERTY INFORMATION, CLICK HERE

Nice Single Story in West Lincoln

1669 Calabasa Drive
1669 Calabasa Drive

This home is clean and has been well maintained. You’ll love the custom features; from the classy, knotty alder front door to the extremely durable, luxury flooring and the warm, neutral paint colors. This home has had recent exterior paint, new carpet and upgraded stone hearth put on the fireplace. The back yard is private and low maintenance. You’ll enjoy being in the yard and relaxing on the custom tile patio under the well-built patio cover. The handyman will love the finished 3 car garage with the epoxy flooring and the heavy-duty insulated garage door. This home has lots of other custom features including framed mirrors in the master bath, surround sound wiring and upgraded ceiling fans and light fixtures. No HOA dues and very low Mello Roos. This is a home you don’t want to miss!

 

Act now; call for more information and to request a private showing.

 

For more information and pictures, CLICK HERE