Move in Ready?

Move in Ready?

“Move in Ready” or “Move Right in” is a common headline on many listings (guilty as charged). But what does that really mean? It may indicate the home, although dated, doesn’t need any major repairs other than cosmetic upgrades. Or in some cases, it means the home has been decked out with new paint, maybe a kitchen/bath remodel, updated flooring, lighting, windows, etc. But in either case, the spending is by no means over once the sale is closed. The down payment and mortgage payments are just the beginning… Affectionately referred to as “the joys of home ownership”… the expenses that come along with furnishing and maintaining a home are worthy of thoughtful consideration when you are deciding on buying a home. This article offers great insight into what Buyers buy after moving in…



What Do Home Buyers Buy after Moving

Source: National Association of Home Builders via


Furniture, appliances, and remodeling projects are among the biggest expenses for new homeowners, who spend an average of $10,600 in the first year of home ownership, according to a recent analysis by the National Association of Home Builders. New owners spend an average of $3,778 on furnishings alone, according to NAHB’s analysis. Here are a few common expenditures recent home buyers made:

Living room chairs and tables: $687
Dining room and kitchen furniture: $345
Window coverings: $215
Sofas: $700

Property alterations and repairs (particularly outdoor additions and alterations such as a new driveway, walkway, or fence): $3,729

Appliances (particularly washers and dryers, lawnmowers and other yard equipment, and computer hardware and systems): $3,094

A survey conducted by Home Innovation Research Labs shows that two-thirds of new homes built in 2015 came with no washer or dryer; 36 percent had no refrigerators. Most new homes, however, did come with cooking stoves, ranges, and ovens.

Click here for the complete article

The post Move in Ready? appeared first on Terra Firma Global Partners.

Source: Terra Firma

Is it Worth It?

Is it Worth It?

To upgrade or not to upgrade?

This is a question we face often from our seller clients. In our experience, fresh interior paint, landscaping, and system upgrades (furnace/AC, roof, water heater) are smart ways to spend your pre-list budget. The vast majority of buyers are really only considering turnkey homes, so anything you as the seller can do to minimize a  buyer’s move-in “To Do List” will benefit you greatly when you put your house on the market! Of course, some homeowners are interested in updating their home for their own enjoyment and use. Increasing your home’s functionality for your own use has its own inherent value above and beyond the increase in resale value. But at the end of the day, if you are wondering what projects to take on in consideration of increasing functionality AND re-sale, this article from AOL Finance may be helpful for you!

Source: AOL Finance via

Not every improvement made to a house will ultimately raise its value. Homeowners who are looking for projects that will pay back at resale would be smart to consult a local real estate professional to determine whether the project they have planned would help boost their home’s value.

The key to successfully remodeling your home is knowing which projects are going to actually benefit you in the long-run and which ones are merely a waste of your time.

Among projects that may not pay as much back at resale as others include swimming pool installations, home office remodels, master bedroom upgrades, sunrooms, special-purpose room, kitchen remodels and bathroom upgrades.

Click here for the full story

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Source: Terra Firma

Tips For Getting the Best Deal on a Mortgage

Tips For Getting the Best Deal on a Mortgage

SOURCE: The Fiscal Times, via C.A.R.

With the spring housing market in full swing, prospective buyers are battling rising prices and tight inventory. Still, it’s not all bad news for today’s buyers. While lending standards are far stricter than they were during the height of the housing boom, it is nevertheless possible for most qualified borrowers to get a loan these days. Here are a few tips. You can read the full story here. 

Start the process early. If you’re serious about buying a house this year, you need to meet with a mortgage lender now. That will give you a better idea of how much you can realistically borrow to purchase a house. You’ll also be able to get a pre-approval letter, required by most sellers these days before they’ll consider your offer.

Shop around. Get quotes from at least three lenders, including a national bank, a local bank or credit union and an online lender. Having multiple offers may help you negotiate with the lender you ultimately end up using for your mortgage.

Understand private mortgage insurance. While putting down 20 percent will typically get you the lowest monthly payment, a growing number of lenders now also offer low down payment loan programs in which you can put down as little as 0 percent on the loan.

Ask about all your loan options. In addition to figuring out how much you’ll put into a down payment, make sure you’re considering all available loan options, including fixed and adjustable-rate mortgages, and shorter-term loans like 15-year mortgages. Consider locking in your rate since mortgage rates can fluctuate.

Remember you don’t need to borrow the max. If you’re in a competitive market where bidding wars are common, it can be tempting to find a home or make an offer for the maximum amount for which your lender has approved you. Before you do, consider the short and long-term impact of those mortgage payments on your budget and lifestyle.

The post Tips For Getting the Best Deal on a Mortgage appeared first on Terra Firma Global Partners.

Source: Terra Firma

Rock the Vote!

Rock the Vote!

Public Service Announcement brought to you by C.A.R. Newsline…


Did you know more than 36,000 REALTOR® members in our state are not registered to vote? This year is an election year, with the upcoming presidential election on Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2016. If you’ve moved or need to vote by mail, you can easily register online. Permanent absentee is the easiest way to vote; your ballot arrives by mail and you can vote at your convenience.

Voter registration forms are available at your association office. Your registration must be postmarked or submitted electronically no later than Oct. 24, 2016. If you are enrolled in California’s confidential address program, Safe At Home, please do not apply to register to vote using this site. Contact the Safe At Home program toll-free at (877) 322-5227 or by the Safe At Home email.

Getting involved is key to protecting the issues important to our industry. When REALTORS® are engaged in the electoral process, elected officials listen to our concerns.

Register online to vote and Rock the Vote on Nov. 8!

The post Rock the Vote! appeared first on Terra Firma Global Partners.

Source: Terra Firma

Selling to the Millenial Buyer

Selling to the Millenial Buyer

If you are planning to sell your house anytime soon, you likely have a “To Do” list of upgrades and repairs that need to be done to prepare your home for market. You may want to take this one step further and prepare your home with the millenial buyer in mind. According to the National Association or REALTORS® Home Buyer and Seller Generational Report released in March of this year, millenials – for the third year in a row – are driving the housing market with 35% of all home purchases made by Generation Y (ages 18-35).

“I woHispanic Couple Viewing Potential New Homeuld say millennial buyers are informed and competitive buyers.   They move quickly and decisively. They have done their research and they are looking for a win in the real estate market. Whether that is getting the best house on the block or getting a great deal on a fixer or a secret off market property.”
 – Lani Gullotta, Terra Firma Global Partners, Sonoma


An updated kitchen and bath and an open floor plan are high on the list of millenial buyer wants, but of course not every seller can make those things happen before going on the market. Here is a list of more manageable projects you may want to consider in order to appeal to the millenial buyer…

  • Home Office – If possible, consider setting up a room as a home office. As more and more millenials are telecommuting, a home office is at the top of the list for many.
  • Staging – This generation loves HGTV, especially the Before and After stories.  And of course the “Afters” always include staging – so it definitely helps for millenial homebuyers to be able to tap into their emotional see themselves in your home.
  • Outdoor Entertaining Space – Millenials want a casual yet appealing outdoor space to entertain family & friends. Think firepit, patio or low maintenance deck.
  • Exterior Lighting – Let’s be honest, it just looks cool!
  • Energy Efficient Homes – Of course solar is great but you don’t need to go spending thousands of dollars on installing solar panels. Touch up the insulation where possible, check weather stripping, and plug leaky holes where air escapes; also consider installing new energy star appliances
  • SMART features – consider installing a NEST thermostat, hands-free speaker system, or keyless entry


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Source: Terra Firma