I Found the Home of my Dreams…!

You really can buy your dream home!
You really can buy your dream home!

You have finally found the home of your dreams, but how much should you offer? Without a doubt this is the question I am asked most frequently when working with buyers, especially first-time home buyers. It isn’t always an easy question to answer but there are a few tips to help you make that decision:

1. Ask your agent how much comparable properties in the neighborhood have sold for.  The best indicator of value is the selling price of homes that are similar to the one you are hoping to purchase. Your Realtor can run a search and show you exactly which homes have sold, when, for how much, and generally show you pictures so you can compare condition, location and amenities.
2.  Ask yourself how badly you want this home. For some people, it is just a house, for others it is THE house. If this home is the only one that you believe will meet your needs in the next 5-10 years, you will probably want to make an offer higher than if it is just one of several that will work.
3.  Are you going to ask for the seller to contribute toward your closing costs? If you are, you should factor that into your offer. The more you ask for in the form of seller credits or seller-paid inspections, the more appealing that offer should be. Anytime a buyer is asking for concessions, the offer becomes less and less appealing to the seller. You can compensate for that in your offer price. Ask your Realtor what costs are typically paid by the seller and which are paid by the buyer. This can help you structure your offer to be more enticing to the seller.
4.  Can you afford it? Just because a lender tells you that you can borrow a certain amount doesn’t  mean that you are comfortable at that payment. Look at your budget and decide how much you can manage each month and still put a little into savings for the future. If you have to offer more than that amount, it might be wise to keep looking. Buying a home is probably the largest financial investment most of us will ever make. It is important to do your homework and seek the advice of a licensed real estate professional. Working together with your lender and your Realtor, buying the home of your dreams can be a reality. Happy house hunting!
Freedom isn't far away!

Is it time to find a smaller nest? Downsizing made easier.

Family!

There often comes a time when the home where we are living just isn’t working anymore.  Whether it is trying to navigate stairs after a stroke, opening doors with arthritic hands, or just having a yard that is more work than you choose to manage at this time, the thought of downsizing and moving can be overwhelming. Luckily there are services today that can help with a variety of issues that will need to be addressed, from figuring out a way to stay in your home a little longer to getting help hauling off all those “treasures” that no one in the family seems to want.

How can I age in place?  There are modifications that can be made to your current home to help with a variety of issues.  If opening and closing doors has become difficult you may want to consider changing out standard door knobs to the lever-type.  These are much easier for arthritic hands to manage and can make a world of difference in accessing all the rooms in your home.  You can also hire someone to put in ramps to make navigating steps easier.  If your yard is more than you can handle, consider hiring a yard service to help with the maintenance.  You can even put puff paint (available at most craft stores) on the buttons on your microwave to help you distinguish the start, stop and number buttons.  All of these modifications can help you stay in the home you love longer.

Where will I go?  When you realize that it is time to downsize you need to sit down and assess your needs.  Meeting with family, close friends or trusted professionals such as doctors, attorneys or financial planners can help with this decision.  Know what your limitations are and remember to choose something that doesn’t just work today but can work into the future.  This may not be your last move but some of the options are a single story smaller home, a condominium, an independent living facility or even an assisted living facility.  Knowing where you plan to move to will help you know how many of your things you will need to keep.

I need to downsize, what do I do with my things?  Most of us have acquired quite a few possessions throughout life, and it can be overwhelming to know what to do with everything.  The first recommendation is that you “gift” away anything you can do without that you would like family or friends to have.  From Grandmas’ quilt to Daddy’s coin collection, give away the things that you planned for family members to take.  This makes it so you can be sure that the person you wanted to have it actually gets it.  For those things you don’t choose to gift away, consider a yard sale or an estate sale.

No one seems to want my doilies and bottle cap collection. It’s true that you probably won’t get a taker for everything you want to get rid of.  If you can’t give it away and you can’t sell it, consider donating it.  But make sure you are donating something of value.  If it really doesn’t have any value, perhaps the local landfill is the best place for it to be.  Yes, it’s true that one person’s treasure is another person’s trash.  Don’t’ take it personally, after all it is just “stuff”.

Downsizing will never be easy, but finding a service that can help you accomplish all of these tasks can certainly simplify it.  Simple Senior Transitions can help you through this process and reduce the stress and worry.

Great Local Restaurants, No Reservations Required

I was looking for a subject for my blog this week and did what most people in my situation do—I googled it.  I found a great site with some ideas, but most did not really apply to our market area.  One that made me laugh out loud was, “popular restaurants in your local area and how to get a coveted reservation”.  Now don’t get me wrong, we have some great local restaurants, but there generally isn’t much trouble getting a reservation and some of the best places to eat don’t even take reservations.  So, here are a few of my favorite places to eat in our local area.  I know that you will have your favorites too so be sure to share in the comments.

Antonio's has locations in Yuba City, Linda and Olivehurst.
Antonio’s has locations in Yuba City, Linda and Olivehurst.

I admit that I absolutely love Mexican food.  I think I could eat Mexican food almost every night of the week.  We have plenty of Mexican restaurants in our local area, but my favorites are the local tacqueria-style places.  My kids have long favored Antonio’s Quick Lunch, and what’s not to love about Tortilleria Flores.  El Taco Naco in Olivehurst has some pretty tasty food too.   I love El Zarape for their crab enchiladas—they are pricey but worth it.  I admit that I am missing the taco truck that was always parked in Plumas Lake though.  With no real options for eating out in PL, it was nice to know I could at least grab a quick burrito or taco.

When I want a nice meal with a great wait staff we go to Pasquini’s.  Their bread is delicious and the Steak John appetizer is the best around.  I have tried to duplicate it at home, but I can’t quite master it.  It doesn’t really matter, it’s nice to have table service now and again anyway.  City Café has been a consistent winner, although I admit I haven’t been for a while.  Their salmon is always delicious and perfectly prepared.

Pasquini's is located in Live Oak at Lomo Crossing.
Pasquini’s is located in Live Oak at Lomo Crossing.

Have you tried Cool Hand Luke’s?  I have been a couple of times but the long wait always discourages me.  The food is fine, but I am not one to stand around for 20-30 minutes waiting for a table, sometimes longer.  The Refuge is set to re-open, again.  I look forward to trying out the newest version of fine dining here in the Yuba Sutter area.

While we don’t have a lot of restaurants that demand reservations, and none that require them weeks in advance, we have quite a few local options with great food and great service.  The best part of eating locally is that we are supporting our local businesses that employ our neighbors, friends, and family.  So the next time you are looking for a place to eat out, just look around, you won’t have to look far.  Let me know your favorites in the comment section below, I am always  looking to try something new.

Bon appetit!

$130,000 for a 3 bedroom home in Yuba City?!

45 Toldeo Street, Yuba City
45 Toldeo Street, Yuba City

Yes, you read that correctly.  This home is over 1400 square feet and has a HUGE master bedroom with a walk in closet and a fireplace.  Located in central Yuba City, you won’t find a better buy.  The home has some hardwood floors, some tile, and some carpet.  There is a large fireplace in the family room and in the master bedroom and the kitchen was redone several years ago.  The backyard has plenty of space for a garden and the RV parking is an added bonus.  There is nothing priced lower with this square footage that offers so much.  Call today for your private showing, but don’t wait because this one won’t last long.  FHA Case#043-810875.  HUD home sold as-is.  Equal housing opportunity.

Dream Homes

My Dream House
My Dream House

As many of you know, I was on vacation just over a week ago.  It was a busy week while I was away, and my agents at home kept things humming.  Last week was a whirlwind of catching up and preparing to leave again, this time for Washington DC where I will attend  the National Association of Realtors legislative meetings and attend my graduation ceremonies for earning my Master of Real Estate degree.  As I write this I am on a plane flying over some strange “crop circles” in the middle of the country.  It is only Tuesday, but it has been a successful week already.

Yesterday afternoon I sat with some wonderful clients at the title company as they signed loan documents for their new home. Louise and Daryl are long-time clients that I have worked with before, especially Louise.  In 2011 she found her dream home and I helped her buy it.  Not long after that she met the love of her life, and I helped Daryl sell his home as he and Louise started their lives together in her dream home.  Today they are buying a new dream home together.  They will be selling their home with five acres where they kept goats and horses, with its arena and barn, and they are moving into a spacious home in town with a 3 car garage and a swimming pool.  It’s a place where they don’t have to do daily chores and they can travel without worrying about the animals.  It’s a home where they can grow old together. Isn’t it funny how our dreams change?  I think that’s part of what makes life interesting.  Congratulations to Louise and Daryl as they move into this next phase of their lives, and let me know if you would be interested in buying a dream home of your own.  I hear there is one coming on the market with 5 acres, a barn and an arena☺️