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

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Monday, March 29, 2010

What are the Must-Have Features in Homes Today?

It seems like only yesterday that whirlpool tubs, formal dining rooms and home theaters were considered de rigueur features in new homes. Today, however, buyers are more likely to look for small homes with energy-efficient appliances, a home office and a first-floor master suite, according to a new survey of homebuyer preferences.

“I think it’s economics driving the desire,” says Paul A. Cardis, CEO of AVID Ratings Co., which conducts the annual survey.

The economy and demographics are playing an increasingly larger role in buyers’ choices these days. According to AVID’s survey, some of the must-have features in homes today are:
  • Energy-efficiency. Buyers of all types—first-time, empty-nester, move-up and vacation buyers—all want energy-efficient appliances, high-efficiency insulation and high window efficiency.
  • Large kitchens. Although home size is trending down, Cardis says that “the kitchen is still king.” A kitchen island is also a must-have.
  • Granite countertops. This is a must feature for move-up, empty-nester, vacation and custom homebuyers. First time buyers are less interested in granite, probably due to the cost.
  • Main-floor master suite. Cardis says this is due to the aging of the population. The demand for upstairs laundries is waning as a result.
  • Home office/study. People would rather have a home office than other rooms such as a formal dining room, Cardis says.
  • Two-car garages. All types of buyers consider these as must-haves, while move-up and custom home buyers prefer three-cars.
  • Master suite soaker tubs. These are more popular than whirlpools among all categories of buyers. Oversized showers with seating are also growing in demand.

Interested in seeing the latest features in luxury homes in your target neighborhood? Contact our agents today at 626.358.1858, 626.963.7621 or visit us on-line at www.c21ab.net

Friday, March 12, 2010

9 Ways to Spruce Up Your Home In Time for the Spring Selling Season—Without Spending a Lot of Money

With all the news lately about snow, it’s easy to forget that spring is just around the corner. And with spring comes the spring selling season, when home sales typically perk up.

This year, there’s lots of good news for those selling their homes.

“This spring should be a breath of fresh air for beleaguered sellers,” says Mike Larson of Weiss Research. “The supply of homes for sale is falling. Affordability is rising thanks to declining home prices. And the extension of the homebuyer tax credit is putting a bit more wind in buyers’ sails.”

Still, there are things you can do as a seller to help pique buyer interest:

  • Create a great first impression by improving curb appeal. Cut the grass, trim the hedges and plant flowers. Touch up the exterior paint.
  • Repaint the interior. Again, this is an inexpensive way to give your home a fresh, clean appearance. Keep colors neutral.
  • Refresh tired carpets by having them cleaned. Tile floors can look new again by cleaning the grout and sealing it.
  • Remove clutter from the house. This improves the appearance and makes rooms seem larger.
  • If you don’t want to hire a professional stager, then move furniture around to improve the flow of the home and make it seem more open. Put excess furniture in storage.
  • Replace old cracked caulk in the kitchen and baths. This not only freshens up the rooms but also improves water resistance.
  • Make your home seem lighter and brighter by replacing or adding light fixtures.
  • Purchase an appliance warranty. For a few hundred dollars, you can give potential buyers peace of mind.

For other helpful tid-bits about preparing your home for sale, contact our team at 626.358.1858.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The Lifespan of Elements in Your Home

You have made an investment that will provide enduring value and years of enjoyment. Thanks to the National Association of Home Builders report "Housing Facts, Figures & Trends" we can share some of what you can expect to replace and repair to maintain your home in top conditions.

Most of home maintenance is common sense. If you have a plumbing leak, you will repair the fixture. Then look for water damage in the surrounding area. Replace all effected materials to avoid mold, wood rot, or weakened structure. The quick fix is not appropriate for one of your biggest and best investment.

Because there are so many elements in your home from the structure to the appliances, we are providing this quick reference guide.

It has been estimated that if a home is not properly cared for, the materials will only last one-third to one-half as long as manufactures suggest.

So use this guide to gauge and estimate when you may need to service or replace articles in your home. It is intended to be for information purposes only and we recommend that you consult licensed professionals for specific advice.

  • Roof : Asphalt, wood shingles & shake last approx. 15 - 30 years. Tar & Gravel 10 - 20 years.
  • Refrigerator: 6 -15 years - Do not place against the wall, leave ventilation space; clean behind the frig and replace ice-maker periodically.
  • Microwave: 11 years - Avoid any metallic trim or foil in microwave. Do not leave unattended.
  • Window Air Unit: 10 years - Remove or cover during winter; change filters each season.

To learn more about other around-the-home items to look out for, contact our team of REALTORS today at 626.358.1858 or 626.963.7621.

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Monrovia, California, United States