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

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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Mid-Year Sales Volume in 08 Earns CENTURY 21 Adams & Barnes the PaceSetter Gold Award for Production

Monrovia, CA, July 2008, - CENTURY 21 Adams & Barnes announced today that CENTURY 21 Real Estate LLC recently recognized the office with the PACESETTER GOLD Award for production through the first six months of 2008. The recognition is presented to CENTURY 21 System offices whose sales production is tracking at impressive levels for that given year.

The company's Monrovia office is to present the award certificate at an upcoming Friday Sales and Marketing Meeting.

"The individual efforts and dedication displayed by each member of CENTURY 21 Adams & Barnes in achieving this significant accomplishment are to be commended," said Thomas R. Kunz, President and CEO of CENTURY 21 Real Estate LLC. "Through the PACESETTER award, the CENTURY 21 System is able to recognize outstanding achievement of its franchisees.

The Monrovia office's sales have tracked well despite the recent downturn in the housing market. Focusing its efforts, its sales and marketing staff to hone in on specific market areas, the company has been able to assist buyers and sellers successfully. The office has participated in CENTURY 21's Open House Month drive, broken into the burgeoning REO and shortsale markets, averaged over 10 open houses per weekend and increased its Internet presence through REALTOR.com, CENTURY21.com and the newly re-imagined company site at www.c21ab.net

CENTURY 21 Adams & Barnes is a full-service brokerage located at 433 West Foothill Boulevard and specializing in Residential, Commercial, Property Management, Mortgage and Escrow services.

To learn more about CENTURY 21 Adams & Barnes visit us on-line on the world wide web at www.c21ab.net or call us at 626.358.1858 / Monrovia or 626.963.7621 / Glendora

President Signs Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 Into Law

LOS ANGELES (July 30) – The CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.) applauds President Bush’s decision to sign H.R. 3221 into law. For the past several years, C.A.R. and the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® have aggressively lobbied for Congress to pass numerous provisions found in this historic bill.

The legislation, called the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008, will assist an estimated 400,000 homeowners facing foreclosure, many of whom reside in California, by allowing them to refinance their current mortgages with a Federal Housing Administration (FHA)-backed loan. The bill also will permanently increase FHA, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac loan limits in high-cost areas.

“This federal housing bill is a significant move in the right direction for California homeowners,” said C.A.R. President William E. Brown. “It will aid in stabilizing our economy and help stem foreclosures, while also providing support to first-time homeowners.”The bill permanently increases the conforming loan limit to $625,500. C.A.R. has long advocated for higher conforming loan limits. In February, the Economic Stimulus Act of 2008 was signed, temporarily raising the conforming loan limit in high-cost areas to $729,750 from $417,000 until December 31, 2008.

“Although we would have liked Congress to make permanent the current $729,750 loan limit, C.A.R. is pleased with the new permanent loan limit of $625,500. It will allow California homeowners to refinance their loans into safe affordable loan products and allow first-time home buyers to enter the market,” said Brown.

The new loan limits for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are the greater of either $417,000 or 115 percent of an area’s median home price, up to $625,500. The new FHA loan limit will be the greater of $271,050 or 115 percent of an area’s median home price, up to $625,500. Both new loan limits will be effective at the expiration of the economic stimulus limits on December 31, 2008.

C.A.R. also supports the following bill provisions:

  • A temporary increase in mortgage revenue bonds to refinance subprime mortgages.
  • New regulator for Government Sponsored Enterprises to restore investor confidence in GSE loans and help the market and economy stabilize.
  • First-time home buyer tax credit, which allows first-time home buyers to receive a tax refund worth up to 10 percent of a home’s purchase price, up to a maximum of $7,500. The refund serves as an interest-free loan and the homeowner is required to repay it in equal installments over 15 years.
  • Temporary raise in the loan limit for the Veterans Affairs home loan guarantee program to the same level as the economic stimulus limits until the end of 2008.
  • Adjustment to the Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act of 1980 (FIRPTA), allowing sellers to provide the non-foreign affidavit to a qualified closing entity and not just the buyer.
  • The setting of minimum requirements for mortgage originators, which mandates fingerprinting of loan originators and establishes a nationwide loan originator licensing and registration system. The requirements do not apply to those only performing real estate brokerage activities unless they are compensated by a lender, mortgage broker, or other loan originator. States will have the ability to implement more stringent laws.
  • The creation of a National Affordable Housing Trust Fund to help cover the cost of the FHA rescue plan for the first five years and develop affordable housing in subsequent years.

Other provisions in the legislation include:

  • The Treasury Department’s proposal to create a federal backstop program to ensure the financial well-being of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
  • The FHA’s inability to insure loans that utilize a seller-funded down-payment assistance program. Down-payment assistance from family, employers and other nonprofits is still allowed.
  • The Community Development Block Grant Programs’ $4 billion allotment for communities to purchase and refurbish foreclosed homes.

Leading the way...® in California real estate for more than 100 years, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (car.org) is one of the largest state trade organizations in the United States, with nearly 175,000 members dedicated to the advancement of professionalism in real estate. C.A.R. is headquartered in Los Angeles.

CENTURY 21 Adams & Barnes Sales Associates are members of the National Association of REALTORS, the California Association of REALTORS and the Arcadia Association of REALTORS. To speak to a CENTURY 21 Adams & Barnes sale professional, contact us today at 626.358.1858 / Monrovia or 626.963.7621 / Glendora or visit us on-line at http://www.c21ab.net/

Monday, July 28, 2008

REALTOR Spotlight - Karen Taylor-Straley

With over 18 years experience in real estate sales in the foothill cities of the San Gabriel Valley, as well as intimate local area knowledge, Karen Taylor-Straley works diligently to help buyers and sellers meet their real estate goals.

As a listing agent, her extensive marketing plan gives a homeowner the opportunity to achieve the maximum value for their property.
For buyers, Karen searches and re-searches until the the perfect property becomes available and then she helps negotiate the best possible terms.

Believing that civic affairs are an important part of our community, Karen has served as the President of the Monrovia Chamber of Commerce and Past-President of Monrovia's Kiwanis Club.

Therefore, if you are looking to buy or sell a home or would just like some more information about the local real estate market, feel free to call Karen Taylor-Straley at 626.358.1858.


Karen's latest listing at 329 West Highland Highland Avenue in Sierra Madre, CA. For more info call 626.358.1858.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

REALTOR Spotlight - Cecilia Farnum

Few REALTORS have amassed a more colorful and well-rounded Real Estate career than Cecilia Farnum. Born into the industry, Cecilia's family helped shape the neighborhoods of the San Gabriel Valley. She has lived in Monrovia since 1986 where she has been an active resident through the city's re-invention period.

Her Real Estate career, which is now 25 years strong, has given Cecilia a soothing coolness to her approach. She guides customers and clients with sensible advice that consistently lead to overwhelmingly positive results.

As one of CENTURY 21 Adams & Barnes' most experienced agents, Farnum is a sought after guide. Her knowledge of the local market is inspiring and she's developed it during her daily 'power-walks' in the neighborhoods she services.

Her consistency has made Cecilia one of the most decorated REALTORS at CENTURY 21 Adams & Barnes. Acknowledged for her production and customer service at the national and local level, she is accustumed to being in the 'winners-circle'.

Her true passion though, rests with her clientele who never hesitate to point out her thoughtfulness and collected wisdom during the sale or purchase of their home.
To learn more about Cecilia Farnum contact CENTURY 21 Adams & Barnes at 626.358.1858 or visit us on-line at C21AB.com

Monday, July 21, 2008

REALTOR Spotlight - Jacen Crehan

Today, most Real Estate experts are not as approachable as Jacen Crehan. Basing his practice on building trust and personal accountability, he has built life-long relationships with his clients who seek him out for advice and guidance.

Jacen has three major passions in business life: real estate, client care and marketing.

A born entrepreneur, Jacen has succeeded in several business ventures. His experience has lead him to market and sell product to mass retailers, lead and MC corporate functions, and create programs that grew a very small venture into a healthy and thriving business. With a background in Marketing and Brand management, Jacen brings a unique palette of experience to the Real Estate industry. He thrives on taking marketing properties to the next level and it shows through websites such as AskJacen.com

In fact according to Jacen, 'It is essential to recognize and adapt to the nuances of today's marketing strategies, especially when you are selling or buying your home. I am equipped with a robust set of tools that marry older techniques with the most modern technologies. I am ready to overcome the challenges and help my clients achieve their goals.'

Sellers and buyers have many options available, but when it comes to Real Estate in Monrovia, Arcadia, Duarte and the rest of the San Gabriel Valley, Jacen is the obvious choice for representation.

Today, Jacen brings passion, energy and dedication to the Real Estate industry. To learn more about him, contact our office at 626.358.1858.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

REALTOR Spotlight - Micah Adams

When your family surname has become synonymous with community involvement and unparalleled Real Estate services, making a mark of your own is a peculiar challenge. For those who embrace their legacy, blazing new paths to success is the ultimate distinction and for Micah Adams the journey began many years ago.

His first steps were taken as CENTURY 21 Adams & Barnes opened its doors in Monrovia and the company began its ascension as an area leader. A first hand witness to the obstacles of growing a business, Micah was privy to strategy and planning talks that moved the company forward. Bright and curious, he took to the impromptu training and at an early age was charged with the company's developing Property Management division.

Shortly, those early lessons began to shape his skills as a REALTOR and Property Manager.
First, his focused business approach has allowed him to gauge worthwhile opportunities for his clientele. This has led to rental units that are meticulously maintained ensuring consistent profits.

Second, a healthy respect of experienced mentors gives Micah a vast professional resource pool from which to draw wisdom from when a customer requires it.

Finally as an Adams, a genuine concern for others and commitment to service is innate and thus Micah always measures how business decision affect those he works for.
With a fixed business and ethics compass, Micah Adams has seen CENTURY 21 Adams & Barnes' Property Management Division grow by leaps and bounds to become one of the company's most successful divisions. His accomplishments have led him to become more involved in local voice and in 2007 he joined Rotary International where he has made a name for himself as an energetic member and ambassador of good-will.

Currently, Micah's journey continues as he continues to sharpen his skills as REALTOR and business person. Already a respected member of the Real Estate and business community he sits as a committee member at Focus One Community Credit Union and has helped spearhead the Arcadia Associations of REALTORS, Young Professionals Network committee. In addition, Micah is a rising star at Monrovia's historic Rotary Club and is an active blood and platelet donor at City of Hope in Duarte, CA.

Micah is accomplishing the task of making a mark of his own while proudly representing the family name that means so many good things to the communities of the San Gabriel Valley.
To learn more about Micah Adams and CENTURY 21 Adams & Barnes, C21ab.com or call 626.358.1858

Monday, July 14, 2008

MOVING ON: POWERFUL TIPS FOR SELLING YOUR HOME

Maybe you're moving to a larger home to accommodate a growing family, relocating for a new career opportunity, or purchasing a townhouse for retirement. Whatever the reason for the move, you'll need to take the necessary steps to sell your home for the best possible price, within a reasonable amount of time. Where do you begin?

If you're like most people, you'll start by seeking assistance from a professional. A local REALTOR, who knows your neighborhood, can help you determine a fair market price. The sales associate should also recommend the extent to which you should make repairs or improvements to your house.

In order to select a real estate professional who's right for you, ask family, friends and neighbors for referrals. Attend open houses and interview several sales associates to find out how professional or experienced they may be. Get a written outline of how they plan to market your property and the services they will offer you.

Once you've identified a qualified REALTOR, the rest is chemistry. Is the sales associate someone with whom you would like to work closely? Do you feel comfortable with the sales associate as your partner, working with you to give you advice and acting as your representative? Does he or she practice a consultative selling approach, focusing on the long-term client relationship and on the importance of exceeding client needs and expectations or is he or she caught up in the proverbial 'hard sell?'

The brokerage firm that your agent is associated with is also important. Research the firm's success rate and commitment to quality service. Does it survey existing clients in order to ensure customer satisfaction? What are the results of those surveys? How in tune are they with consumer needs? Do they offer guidance with mortgages or any discounts for other home related or moving services?

Determining your home's fair market value is one of the most important decisions you'll make during the home-selling/buying process. Your REALTOR can help you set a fair price based on local market conditions. For instance, she or he will provide sale prices and other statistics of homes similar to yours that have recently been sold. Prospective buyers will be comparing your home to others on the market. Therefore, setting a comprehensive price can determine if your property will or will not sell.

For the first offer made, it's rare that the prospective buyer matches the asking price. If the offer is reasonably close to the asking price, carefully consider the offer before you consider turning it down. Curiously, it's the first offer that can often be the best offer. If the first offer is unacceptable to you, it may in your best interest to have your sales associate respond with a counter offer. Whenever considering an offer, ask yourself if you would purchase the property for the amount being offered. Always be willing to negotiate, especially if the prospective buyer is pre-qualified for a mortgage.

Once you decide what terms are acceptable, let your sales associate negotiate with the prospective buyer to work out the best agreement for you. You'll need to be patient while the buyer arranges financing and as the real estate company compiles and prepares pertinent data.
Careful planning and sound advice from a real estate professional can make selling your home a very satisfying experience. For further information, please contact, the sales team at CENTURY 21 Adams & Barnes at 626.358.1858 - Monrovia or 626.963.7621 - Glendora. Or visit them on-line at C21AB.net

Monday, July 7, 2008

ACCORDING TO SELLERS, SILENCE ISN'T ALWAYS 'GOLDEN'

When trying to sell a home, silence isn't always golden especially when you're expecting your real estate agent to call. In fact, it's one of the leading complaints among sellers in the real estate market. Often times you find an agent who is more than willing to take on your listing, but once the relationship is made, the seller enjoys getting a call at least once a week.

"A seller should establish with the agent up front the expectation that regular communication will occur. Even if it's just to check-in, the seller will be more satisfied being kept 'in the loop'," says Monrovia REALTOR Nicole Kinder at CENTURY 21 Adams & Barnes.

Keeping the communication lines open between the two parties assures the seller that the agent is keeping them apprised of any and all offers. In addition, agents often provide valuable tips on why prospective buyers weren't interested. Often times, an agent is privy to the buyer's dislikes of the property. For instance 'this room's too dark' or 'the kitchen has a funny smell.' This allows the agent to give the seller constructive feedback and offer important tips on how to make the home more attractive to future buyers.

If you're a seller and are not hearing from your agent, be sure to keep calling them until they get the message that you expect a regular update. If the agent doesn't return your calls, leave a message for your broker's office manager. The manager will see to it that your broker becomes more attentive to your listing.

"At CENTURY 21 Adams & Barnes" Nicole continues "we're expected to have open lines of communication with our clients. Whether its phone calls, text messaging, instant messenger, e-mail, faxing or occasional visit, there is always a way for us to reach out to our clientele."

Selling a home can be a lot of work and sometimes quite stressful. It is incumbent upon an agent to satisfy the seller's expectations of routine updates, this will ensure the possibility of future business not to mention a successful sale. Furthermore, as a seller you must demand the communication exchange between you and your agent. If both parties work in a cooperative effort, the selling experience will be more successful and enjoyable for both the agent and the seller involved.

To learn more about client communication, visit CENTURY 21 Adams & Barnes at C21AB.net or call 626.358.1858.

Nicole Kinder is part of Your Monrovia Team (YMT), a Division of CENTURY 21 Adams & Barnes. To learn more about Nicole visit YourMonroviaTeam.com or call at 626.675.1614

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

20 Small House Dos & Dont's

Short on square footage? Don't despair. Follow this advice for maximizing a minimal space.

Recently, some of our clients have inquired about techniques to maximize their home space. Our team researched and found some answers at Better Homes & Gardens. Here are some good ideas that may help make your humble abode, into a design masterpiece.

Small Space Dos

1) Homeowner Sheila York knows you don't have to live in a palace-size place to reap the benefits of good design. In fact, smart space-stretching ideas abound in her 1,200-square-foot Michigan home, from room-expanding paint treatments to efficient ways for displaying treasures. Here, she shares her design dos and don'ts for other homeowners who have more style than space.

2) DO Start at the ceiling. Sheila hung the window treatments in the dining room from the highest possible point on the wall (just under the crown molding). Hanging the curtains high lets the fabric flow freely and tugs the eye upward.

3) DO Include built-ins. They take up almost no floor space but yield plenty of much-needed storage -- both perfect characteristics for a small house. Sheila assigned double duties to a built-in bookcase in the living room: It not only holds books and display items but also serves as a mini-bar.

4) DO Reflect on the situation. Mirrors and panes of glass act as room expanders when strategically placed to reflect something pretty. The small mirror next to the built-in bookcase in Sheila's living room doubles the number of pretty glasses in view. And she made the dining room lustrous by adding glaze to yellow paint so the walls reflect the limited light.

5) DO Open rooms to each other. Though it's important to clearly define separate spaces, some openness between adjoining rooms makes all of them feel bigger. Sheila's cramped kitchen used to be cut off completely from the dining room, but now a large pass-through connects the two spaces. In a similar way, her office joins the living room through a French door, which allows the two rooms to share the same light and views.

6) DO Define different spaces subtly. Separate one room from another without choosing completely different wall colors or flooring. A checkerboard pattern in slate blue on the floor of the dining room looks like an area rug without being bulky.

7) DO Give each room its own treatment. To differentiate it from the living room, Sheila rag-rolled the walls of the dining room; the living room walls are covered in yellow striated wallpaper. Although the tones are similar (and therefore unifying), the texture in each space is unique.
8) DO Opt for light colors. One law of color is that pale tones advance, thus expanding a room, while dark colors recede and shrink a space. Sheila's kitchen gets a lift from airy white cabinets; her bedroom glows with walls covered in white linen.

9) DO Draw the eye upward. This creates the illusion of more volume, which makes up for a lack of square footage. Crown molding, painted crisp white, defines the ceiling in Sheila's living room; striped wallpaper also stretches the height of the walls in the kitchen. The dining room walls boast a special treatment: A chair rail, set about two-thirds of the way up the wall, caps pieces of trim that run vertically to the floor.

10) DO Keep flooring continuous. Maintaining the same flooring material throughout the house imparts a sense of continuity; the eye does not jump from one room to the next but rather wanders easily between the spaces. Sheila's hardwood floors are light-stained to look even more expansive.

To learn more about additional design ideas or to receive a complimentary copy of this entire article, contact your CENTURY 21 Adams & Barnes REALTOR® at 626.358.1858 today.

Reprinted with permission. Copyright National Association of REALTORS®, Reprinted from REALTOR.org with permission

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Monrovia, California, United States