News, Photos & Up-Comming Events of the CENTURY 21 Adams & Barnes Sales & Marketing Team

There was an error in this gadget

Thursday, June 26, 2008

FINDING A CAPABLE AGENT TO MEET YOUR REAL ESTATE NEEDS

Whether you’re a first-time buyer, selling your current home or relocating to a different part of the country, the support of a qualified, knowledgeable REALTOR can alleviate many of your concerns and ensure a smooth transaction. A professional agent can market your present residence, help you locate the home of your dreams and assist in making your transfer to an unfamiliar area easier.

To find a trained REALTOR or broker, you may need to look no further than your own neighborhood or home town or this site. If a well-established brokerage is involved in many listings and sale, this is a god sign. Speak with some of the agent’s past customers about the quality and integrity of service and performance. Successful real estate agents rely heavily on customer referrals and will therefore strive to provide the very best in customer service and satisfaction.

Set up appointments to “interview” agents and brokers much like an employer world interview a prospective employee. Inquire about their training, marketing programs and specific service policies. Also determine how many years of experience they have, the number of listings they have had, and the number of homes they have sold within the past few years. More importantly, find out how well they know the area. Ask for references, and check them out.

Your goal is to determine just how knowledgeable the agents are. Question them on financing, closing costs and/or local market conditions, depending on whether you’re a prospective home buyer or seller, to determine their expertise. If they know their stuff, they should be able to answer your questions effortlessly.

If you’re selling your home, learn what they will do if you decide to list with them. How do they plan to market your home? Will they provide you with a market analysis to help you determine the most effective listing price for your property? Will they supply regular progress reports and assist with negotiations once you’ve received offers?

If you are relocating to a different part of the country, is your agent connected with a national relocation service that will not only expose your present property to incoming transferees, but assist with your search for a new house?

Ask for a written guarantee that everything promised will be delivered. The CENTURY 21® organization, for example, backs its listings with the CENTURY 21 Seller Service Pledge. This 11-point written commitment covers everything from furnishing the seller with a marketing plan to monitoring pre-settlement activities throughout the closing process. It also gives the seller the right to terminate the listing if the pledge is not fulfilled.

A qualified real estate agent should be able to answer all your questions and provide you with qualify service that is courteous and responsible. Finding the right person may take time and patience, buy when purchasing or selling a home, the selection of a dependable agent should be tops on your list.

To speak with a CENTURY 21 Adams & Barnes REALTOR today, contact our offices at 626.358.1858 / Monrovia or 626.963.7621 / Glendora

By Hugo Torres
GM/E-Pro/REALTOR
CENTURY 21 Adams & Barnes

Monday, June 23, 2008

To Buy or Not To Buy!

What a market we’re in! Money’s cheap and houses are a plenty. If it was 2005, we would be jumping for joy! So…what is different now than 2005?

For starters, people are afraid of buying a house thinking that it will drop in value some 30-40% in the next 6 months. Just like the stock market at times, the real estate market can be significantly driven by emotion and media hype. Remember when tech stocks where being traded by anybody who could get their hands on them? Well, for the last 9 months, we’ve seen horror stories about people losing their homes to foreclosure and adjustable rate mortgages going through the roof. The media has turned this into what would seem to be the end of the world. Others comment on how it is merely a common denominator of people that shouldn’t have gotten into these houses in the first place. The issue was that people were being told that they COULD afford these houses and that they DID deserve to live the “dream”. It was kind of the same logic as credit card debt, enjoy what you want NOW, and pay later. Later, unfortunately came sooner than expected.

The truth of the matter is that if you are ready (financially and mentally) to buy a home, now is a great time! If you look at it over the long term, no matter when you buy a home, you are always prone to some kind of market changes.

So what do you do if you want to live the dream and settle down in a home for your family?

Look at the long term. What are your needs for a home immediately and in the next 10 years?

Get prepared financially. If you have money for a down payment, speak to a mortgage specialist.
Save money for a down payment so that you can “jump” on that great deal when it comes around.

Check to see if you qualify for any special first time buyer programs. Your agent can also help with this process.

Consult a professional real estate agent, preferably a REALTOR® to be on the look out for the right property for you and your family.

Be prepared with ideas on location, size and most importantly price that you can afford.
Jacen Crehan is a REALTOR at CENTURY 21 Adams & Barnes. To learn more about Jacen, visit him on line at AskJacen.com, YourMonroviaTeam.com or call 626.674.3514.

Monday, June 9, 2008

How To Spot A Good Buy In Any Market

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, particularly when it comes to buying a home. Features that attract one home-buyer may repel another.

However, the one feature of interest to every home-buyer is price. Getting the most home for your money is paramount. The real problem is figuring out whether that fixer-upper on one street is a better buy than the home in next-to-new condition two blocks away. That’s why knowing what to look for before you buy can save you time, energy and money down the line.

The first step is figuring out what kind of house you need. A good buy is only a good buy if it meets your current and future living requirements. Before shopping for a home, decide how much space you and your family require. How many bedrooms, bathrooms? Is a family room necessary? Do you need a layout that will accommodate a lot of entertaining? Do you prefer a spacious or compact work space in the kitchen? If you have small children, can the house easily be childproofed?

Evaluate the front and back yards. Is there enough space to accommodate your children? Do you want a park-like or garden setting? Do you enjoy yard work and gardening, or do you want a low-maintenance yard? Take into consideration the cost of extensive landscaping and upkeep.

Next, determine how much work is required to make the house you are considering livable. Make an honest assessment of your fix-it abilities. How much work are you willing to do or pay someone else to do? Do you have basic decorating, carpentry and plumbing skills? If you plan to learn as you go, make sure you have accurately determined what you are getting into. Ask an experienced friend, family member or your real estate agent for their opinion, and be sure to consider how much remodeling inconvenience the rest of the family can handle.

Unless you are ready and able to tackle a major remodel, look for a house or condominium that needs only cosmetic improvements. These include painting, wallpapering and replacing items like flooring, window treatments, bathroom and kitchen fixtures, light fixtures, cabinet and interior door hardware and appliances. Remember that even these simple changes can be costly if you have to make many of them.

Beware of improvements that seem easy enough at first glance buy may turn into major headaches and require a lot of money once you’ve moved in. Remodeled kitchens and bathrooms, changes to the floor plan, room additions and redesigned landscaping are examples of seemingly minor changes that can easily eat away the money you thought you saved by selecting a so-called “bargain priced” home. Of course, you may be perfectly willing to spend whatever money is needed to customize the house to match your tastes and needs.
Make sure major systems in the house are in good working condition. The furnace, air-conditioning and plumbing should be up to date, since repairs can be costly. Your agent can arrange to have a professional inspector determine whether the electrical wiring and any room additions are to code. Local utilities often offer free or low-cost inspections to tell you if the house is energy-efficient.

Look for a house with universally popular selling points. If you’re impressed, the next buyer down the line is bound to be, too. For example, a roomy, modern east-to-clean kitchen is the best selling point a home can have. A house with only one bathroom is less desirable than a house with two or more. Many buyers expect at least three bedrooms, with a master bedroom that offers a feeling of privacy. Lots of storage space and closets, especially walk-in closets, will be a real selling point. Family rooms or “great rooms” also are desirable. On closer examination, a house that looks like a bargain may lack some of these key features.

Don’t forget the old adage: location, location, location. Unless you’re looking for a fixer-upper, the house should be in a condition that is comparable to other homes in the neighborhood. Avoid buying the biggest or fanciest home on the block. Consider the amount of traffic or noise. Homes located in a quiet area away from a busy street will command a higher price. Make sure the schools in your district have a reputation for quality education and safety. Nearby supermarkets, gas stations, restaurants and theaters also will make a location more desirable.

Good community facilities also add appeal; pools, athletic fields, community centers, libraries and hospitals all add to a neighborhood’s value and desirability. Transportation needs also should be considered. Is local public transit available? How long are typical commutes to places of current and potential employment? Are there several alternate route? How close is a major airport? All of these can affect a home’s pricing.

Consider the cost of living in a home. It’s important to consider not only purchase price but the monthly cost of living in a home. Estimate your utility and maintenance costs. For example, will the house need to be painted on a regular basis and will you need to spend money maintaining a swimming pool? Ask your agent about the property tax rate and whether increases are anticipated. Will you have to pay special assessments for a homeowner’s association? Consider the point in the life cycle of major household systems, such as the furnace, air conditioning, roof and kitchen appliances.

You can find a bargain! Your first step should be to seek out a knowledgeable REALTOR with experience in the market areas where you wish to purchase a home. Your favorite, CENTURY 21 Adams & Barnes agent can help you locate those properties that truly are “bargains” and help find the home that most closely matches your desires and needs. Call us today!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

CENTURY 21 Adams & Barnes Sponsors Tri-Chamber Golf Tournament

The team at CENTURY 21 Adams & Barnes is proud to be one of the sponsors for the 11th Annual MAD Tri-Chamber Golf Tournament coordinated by the Monrovia Chamber of Commerce. The event will take place on June 26, 2008 at San Dimas Canyon Golf course from 8 am to 3 pm. The Real Estate team has been a proud sponsor of the event and is currently putting together a foursome team. To learn more about the tournament, contact the Monrovia Chamber of Commerce at 626.358.1159.

Commercial Split Roll Taxes

On May 2nd, we had Christopher Carlisle, C.A.R. lobbyist, speak to AAR members about Commercial Split Roll Taxes and the implications involved if this were to come into effect. Currently under Proposition 13, commercial property taxes are only reassessed when the property is sold and title changes to a new owner. However, this newly proposed legislation would require commercial property to be reassessed at fair market value instead of from the date it was purchased according to Prop 13. It would also institute reassessment and transfer of ownership if there was a change in the ownership of the company that owns the commercial property even though it did not change title to the real property itself.

Split roll tax disregards the protections Proposition 13 allotted to property owners and has a negative impact on job-producing operations and the state’s property tax structure. Commercial properties already contribute approximately two-thirds of the property tax revenues, just as they did before the passage of Proposition 13. Implementation of a split roll tax would mean tax increases for California businesses likely to exceed $3 billion per year. Increasing commercial property taxes will negatively affect businesses, their ability to provide jobs, and prohibit benefits and cost savings to tenants and customers. Consumer costs could increase as a result of the increased cost of doing business.This Issue would have major affects not just on property owners but also tenants, customers and businesses. If apartment buildings are re-assessed, this would mean additional costs are passed along to tenants. Retail operations typically have a pass-through clause on increased taxes or fees, which will most affect small businesses. Increased fees on businesses are likely to drive more businesses out of California. We have already experienced business practices being affected by rising health care, insurance and other costs, this would increase their vulnerability. It could have effects on pensions, benefits, pay and sustainability.

When considering this legislation, it is important to look at the underlying consequences our community would face:

  • How would increased fees affect the property values of your client's properties.

  • How would increased taxes affect the sustainability and business practices for companies throughout California?- How would increased fees affect the ability of your clients to lease their properties?- How would increased taxes affect your clients looking to lease property?- What would the affect be on multi-family residential units, and how would the government likely react?

It is important to look at the repercussions of such legislation. This would increase tax revenue, however, if businesses and property owners cannot thrive, they will take their businesses and exchange their property to a different state or simply go out of business. It will also continue to force investors to look to other states for more profitable ventures. Property values and cost of doing business in California is already significantly higher than in most other states, this legislation would cause further detriment to the situation making the business climate of California less competitive and negatively affecting the state’s economic activity.


The information in this article was obtained through CAR.org, Caltax.org and CalChamber.com. If you have any questions or comments on this article, please write to Linda.Vidov@Century21.com or call 626-930-9392.

Linda Vidov is a Commercial REALTOR at CENTURY 21 Adams & Barnes and Local Goverment Relations Chairwoman for the Arcadia Association of REALTORS. For additional information on her practice, visit her on-line at sgvcommercial.com

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

CENTURY 21 Adams & Barnes Revamps Real Estate School

In recent months, an upsurge in Real Estate licensing interest has prompted CENTURY 21 Adams & Barnes to revamp its Wednesday night classes at its Monrovia Office. The California Department of Real Estate's (DRE) change in education requirements at the beginning of this year asked all licensing schools to review their systems and teaching materials to account for the more rigorous threshold.

Now, CENTURY 21 Adams & Barnes re-introduces it's Wednesday night program that includes three subjects that the DRE mandates. Students who enroll in the course and who are ultimately licensed, will have an extensive education in Property Management, Real Estate Practice and Real Estate finance. Prior to 2008, licensees where only required to have passed Real Estate principles and then take and complete two additional courses 18-months after a conditional license was issued.

In addition to the proposed subjects, students at CENTURY 21 Adams & Barnes will receive additional information about life after the DRE exam. During the course, they will begin to develop the necessary skills and concepts that will lead to a successful practice.

To learn more about CENTURY 21 Adams & Barnes' Real Estate licencing course visit the company at C21AB.com today or contact instructor Hugo Torres at licensing@hugotorres.com

Monday, June 2, 2008

CENTURY 21 Adams & Barnes Team Sell Homes Fast

You would think that selling high-end real estate in a challenging market would be difficult, but for “Fine Homes and Estate Specialists” Jerry Baker and Connie Snider, putting these homes in escrow is a quick process. Averaging 25.5 days on the market, Jerry and Connie are using their pro-active marketing approach to get fantastic results for their clients.
Using a vast array of media, the Baker and Snider team have strung together an impressive campaign of sales totaling more than 5,000,000. Focusing their efforts to San Marino, Arcadia and Pasadena the team is quickly developing a reputation for being the “go to” REALTORS in this sought after area of the San Gabriel Valley. “We market homes on several different levels, direct mail, print advertising, internet, as well as follow-up after open houses” said Connie Snider at a recent marketing meeting. “Hard work has paid off for us as well as our clients and we feel that it is an exciting time to be in real estate!”
“Fine Homes & States is a special division within the CENTURY 21 system that very few REALTORS pursue,” mentioned CENTURY 21 Adams & Barnes General Manager Hugo Torres, “Jerry and Connie have made a concerted effort to use (CENTURY 21) system tools, the internet, their own innovations and good ‘old-fashioned’ hard work to succeed. I am not surprised at all by their success and momentum going into the busy season.”
Jerry and Connie’s business tagline is “Partners In Real Estate”. As a team they specialize in representing marquee clientele and Fine Homes and Estates throughout the San Gabriel Valley. If you would like to discuss the value of your current home or the purchase of a new property now is the time! Jerry & Connie may be reached at 626.358.1858 at bakerandsnider.com

Blog Archive

About CENTURY 21 Adams & Barnes

My photo
Monrovia, California, United States