How to Ease the Transition to Fall

As summer winds down, we find ourselves entering back-to-school season. While you may be excited to escape the dog days of summer and get your kids back into a routine, fall can be a hectic time for families. Here are a few ways to make things a little easier as we start to transition into fall.

Use a family calendar

If you have multiple kids, keeping track of everyone’s busy schedules can be a nightmare. Consider getting a large paper calendar for the kitchen and using a different color for each person’s activities. Or if your family is digitally savvy, make a shared family Google calendar or use an app like Cozi to stay on top of everyone’s schedule.

Make dinner a no-brainer

Avoid the last-minute “What’s for dinner?” stress during this time. Either do weekly meal planning and shopping during the weekend, or buy a meal kit service like Hello Fresh or Blue Apron that sends ingredients and recipes to your front door.

Start adjusting schedules

If your kids have been sleeping in all summer, switching back to a busy school schedule can feel jarring. At least a week before school begins, start gradually having your kids go to bed earlier and wake up earlier — even 10 minutes at a time can help them get back on track.

Talk to your kids

Your children may have some anxiety about going back to school, especially if they’re making a big change like going from elementary to middle school. Check in with them and ask if they have any specific worries you can help them with; it could be as minor as helping them get comfortable with how to use a combination lock for a locker.

Is buying a new home on your agenda for this fall? Please reach out; I’d love to help you find your family’s dream home.

Do You Have These 4 Home-Buying Habits?

What is your largest expense in your lifetime?

It's your housing costs. Yes, your housing costs are your largest expense you will have in your life.

How do you fix your housing costs? You need to own your own home.

Dave Ramsey one of the nation's largest talk show hosts teaches people to be debt free and to pay off their homes. I work with Dave Ramsey as his top Endorsed Local Provider (ELP) here in Orange County working with buyers, sellers and investors. I work with those that reach out to Dave Ramsey for the top Realtor's in Orange County.

We know that buying a home can come with its ups and downs. For buyers, sometimes it works out and sometimes it doesn’t. For those homebuyers who end up getting the home of their dreams, there are a few habits they all have in common.

I wanted to share four common habits successful homebuyers all have and that you should take on if you're going to become a homeowner.

#1 ​Indulge in Savings. 
Not Coffee!

Saving for a down payment is one of the most important habits or steps you can do when trying to buy a home. Get into the habit of skipping your daily coffee purchase or try cutting your cable to save.

#2 Create a "Home Savings Account"

Take that money you’re saving from cable, coffee, or lunch and put it directly into your home savings account. That’s right: open a savings account that’s just for your down payment.

#3 Test Drive Homeownership

Nothing will get your mind and bank account in shape like a trial run. Each week, set aside money for various homeownership bills. Separate funds for your mortgage payment, home maintenance, etc. This trial will help you get in the right mindset for homeownership.

#4 ​Don’t Miss Payments 
​(Know your Credit Score) 

One of the most important steps and really the only way you can buy a home is if your credit score is in good shape. Make sure you pay every bill on time and pay extra on credit cards if you can.

Buying a home is a huge step in life. It doesn’t matter if it’s your first home or your retirement home - it’s essential to get your mind and your bank account ready. I can help you every step of the way. Contact me today. Let’s talk about your future home.

Moving This Summer? Download This Helpful Cheat Sheet

Moving is never a fun process. Once you’ve bought your next home, the thought of getting settled in, decorating, and living in your new space is incredibly exciting. But the actual logistics of preparing for and executing your moving day...not so much.

For most of us, it’s a time filled with stress and anxiety. Packing might take longer than expected, movers could be running hours late, and you might forget to transfer utilities on time.

However, if you start preparing weeks in advance, the day itself can be much more manageable, even if there are some day-of hiccups. Follow the tips in our new moving day cheat sheet to help your big move go as smoothly as possible.

Click here to download

We are now into the SUMMER market here in Orange County. If you haven’t bought your new home yet, or if you're thinking of selling please reach out and I’d be happy to help you find the perfect one.

3 Reasons Your Home Won’t Sell and How to Fix it

There’s nothing worse than excitedly listing your home on the market, only to wait months and months with no offers. When a home doesn’t sell, especially in a hot market, there are usually some issues with the home or listing. But here’s the good news: those problems can be fixed. Here are three of the most common reasons homes don’t sell and what you can do to get those offers rolling in.

If your home isn’t selling, especially if you’ve had a lot of viewings and you’re in a strong real estate market, it’s likely a sign that it’s overpriced. While you definitely don’t want to go lower than what you owe on the loan, you might need to slightly lower the price to bring it in line with the value buyers perceive when they view the home. It should be similar to your local competition; if it’s priced a lot higher than similar homes in your area, that could be the issue. Additionally, your listing price should take into account any needed repairs. If you think this might be the issue, I can help you determine an accurate value and asking price.

Yes, it’s painful to spend money on repairs and improvements that you won’t get to enjoy for long. But if your home is older and hasn’t gotten much TLC in a while, start making some updates to make the home more appealing to buyers. These don’t have to be major renovations or expensive improvements. Several small tweaks, such as upgrading ceiling fans, faucets, and cabinet handles, and adding a fresh coat of paint inside and outside can go a long way to improving the perceived value of the home and winning over buyers. Updating some appliances can also help freshen up the home and make it look cared for.

If you’re still living in the home, it’s a challenge to keep it spick and span and smelling lovely — especially if you have kids or pets. But seeing a cluttered house makes it difficult for buyers to picture how they would live there. And smells, like those from pets or smoking, can really turn them off. Do your best to keep the home tidy for showings, and don’t hesitate to hire a professional cleaner. If you think smells might be an issue, address root causes where you can (like getting rid of carpets pets have peed on or fixing mildew issues). Beyond that, light some scented candles, spray some Febreze, and consider baking cookies or other deliciously-scented desserts before a showing.

If you’re unsure why your home isn’t selling, please reach out so I can help you determine what’s going on and help you address any issues. 

Stage Your Home To Sell

When selling your home, you need it to shine and appeal to every buyer possible. Staging your home appropriately will help potential buyers connect with your home and picture their daily lives in your home. 

You already know that you must clean and declutter like you’ve never cleaned before, but I wanted to pass on a few ideas that go beyond cleaning that will help you stage your home to sell.

Show off your lighting. When staging your home, you want to make sure that it’s bright. Replace any burned out bulbs, clean your windows, and open your blinds to let in the natural light. You do not want the first comment from a potential buyer to be, “It’s dark in here.”

Don’t be afraid to switch up your furniture. Move couches and loveseats away from the walls. You’ll be surprised at the space it creates. Moving furniture to face each other also shows the natural flow of a room. Remember: you’re showing your home to sell, so things won’t be the way you live in them.

Arrange your pillows, accessories, artwork, and chairs in threes, fives, even sevens. Designers say it’s more appealing to the eye. Give it a try.

Do you have an odd room or unique floor plan? Don’t hide it. Make this space into a useable space. A unique space will be appealing.

I hope these tips help you prepare your home to sell. If you need professional advice, I’m here to help. 
Give me a call or send me a text to set up a time to talk about your home.

Does Your Home Make a Good First Impression?

Making a good first impression is important in business, dating, and selling a home, especially here in beautiful Orange County. 

In this fun but true video, we lighten it up by comparing home shopping to a first date. Enjoy these tips along with how they apply to home showings, and avoid the 3 biggest turn-offs for potential buyers interested in purchasing your home!

A first impression is lasting, and you’d never show up on a blind first date not looking and smelling your best. So shower, apply light fragrance, dress neat, and smile.

Odors, pleasant and unpleasant, are one of the first things noticed. Everyone has their own unique smell, and if it includes pet smells and/or smoking, it’s a big turn-off. This also includes damp or musty smells like trash; these should be addressed with fresh paint and carpets, air fresheners, and cleaning. But don’t overdo the fragrance - that can be a huge turn-off, too.

Nothing is ruder than talking about yourself endlessly. Leave your photo album at home and be ready to ask questions and listen to answers about your date.

When a buyer walks into a home and sees an overabundance of your unique personalization, they don’t feel like they belong. They may feel isolated, and maybe even guilty, about wanting to remove wallpaper to make the home their own. Simplify by removing heavy d├ęcor, walls of images, and anything else that can distract from the beauty of the home itself. And don’t take it personally!

It is important to be authentic and to present your best self. Your appearance, language, and honesty will go a long way towards getting that next date!

Buyers notice curb appeal and how well maintained the home is. If gutters are full, weeds are growing out of control, and things are in clear disrepair, they often wonder what problems are hiding below the surface. Performing needed maintenance and cleaning will go a long way in making a good impression.

Now is the time to start getting your house ready to show for selling in the spring. Contact me today to learn the areas of your home to address before spending unneeded time and money, and to make the best first impression.