El Dorado County Local Events, Area Info, News & Real Estate Tips

You’ll find our blog to be a wealth of information, covering everything from local market statistics and home values to community happenings. That’s because we care about the community and want to help you find your place in it. Please reach out if you have any questions at all. We’d love to talk with you!

May 12, 2021

JUST LISTED - 38452 Darnel Court, Fremont, CA

Bedrooms: 3  |  Baths: 2  |  Offered at $1,399,900

 

Tucked away on a quiet cul-de-sac sits this impeccably maintained family home. Spacious kitchen with granite countertops, stone backsplash, travertine flooring and large dining bar. Light, bright open concept living featuring led recessed lighting with smart switches throughout, dual pane windows & slider, 3 year old roof, newer HVAC and ducting. Plenty of storage, inside laundry room and an extra deep garage with built in cabinetry. Backyard is designed for entertaining boasting a stamped concrete patio, 2 gazebos, pool, spa, surround sound & outdoor shower and bathroom. Centrally located in the heart of Fremont with easy access to shopping/dining/commute. Welcome home!
Contact us for more information or to schedule a showing.

38452 Darnel Court, Fremont, CA 94536.mp4 from f8 Real Estate Media on Vimeo.

Posted in Just Listed
May 7, 2021

Ep. 5 The Good, The Bad and The Ugly of Home Inspections

Ep. 5 The Good, The Bad and The Ugly of Home Inspections

It’s easy to get swept up in the excitement of buying a new home and forget to make the important decision to have a home inspection conducted soon after you are under contract. Home inspections are an instrumental part of the homebuying process that can save you a lot of time and money in the long run. Find out more about inspections from our local home inspector, Kelly Reeves with Sierra Inspection Services, as he talks with Morgan on today's Finding Bliss in Real Estate Episode. 

Links to the topics discussed… 
https://www.kcra.com/article/accessory-dwelling-units-real-estate-trends/36230550# 
https://www.mtdemocrat.com/business-real-estate/an-affordable-cure-for-californias-housing-shortage/ 
https://www.mtdemocrat.com/news/new-transportation-plan-approved-for-lake-tahoe/ 
https://www.trpa.gov/rtp/ 

Like the show and want more local info on El Dorado County, CA? Click here to subscribe! 

Show produced by: 
Morgan Larson, Broker and Realtor 
530-503-5225 
Bliss Real Estate Team
Powered by Keller Williams Realty 
DRE # 01884981 / 01406150

Posted in YouTube Videos
May 7, 2021

Downsizing? What to Do with Your Stuff

Whether you call it downsizing or rightsizing, the bottom line is you’re moving into a smaller space and have no idea what to do with all the stuff you’ve collected over the years. Many people consider moving from a larger home to a smaller home at some point in their lives. Often this move is made after the childrearing years, when homeowners no longer need the extra bedrooms or living space, and want less home to worry about (or to clean!). The problem is that they have accumulated items to fill the space that they aren’t ready to part with, yet all their stuff won’t fit in a smaller home.

If you’re considering this type of downsizing, begin by sorting your possessions into three piles: keep, donate, trash. After trashing, donating, and storing what you can, here are some clever ways to store your stuff in the new, smaller space.

  • Dual-Purpose Furniture – Find furniture that offers hidden storage, such as a coffee table or ottoman with storage compartments for extra pillows, throw blankets, games, or books.

  • Baskets and Cubes – There are a lot of great options for cube storage units that incorporate baskets to store extra items for easy access when needed.

  • Digitize – This is the perfect time to put your important papers and pictures into a digital format. From treasured pictures to tax forms, there are companies who specialize in transferring your items for later access.

  • Repurpose – Take a careful look at your furniture…and Pinterest. You’ll find great ways to use some of your favorite pieces in different and useful ways.

  • Closets – Consider a closet consultation to make sure you maximize your closet space, not only in the bedrooms but also in your kitchen pantry and hall coat closet.

Downsizing doesn’t mean you have to throw out everything you love. Take a hard look at what matters and then use some of these tricks to store the items you treasure without adding clutter to your new home. 

 

Posted in Home Buying Tips
April 30, 2021

Understanding the Back-Up Offer

 

“When can I consider my home sold? This is one of the most common questions real estate agents are asked. While the laws vary in different states, generally the contract is binding once both parties sign the offer. At that time the closing process begins. This is also the time when sellers must stop considering other offers, but they can accept back-up offers.

What is a back-up offer? This is when the seller accepts an offer contingent upon the first one falling through. There are many reasons why the home purchase might not closethe buyer may fail to secure the loan, the home inspection may find issues the two parties can’t resolve, it could even be that the Homeowner’s Association has rules that the buyer is unprepared to accept. Whatever the reason, real estate agents know that the deal isn’t done until it closes.

A back-up offer should be carefully executed. Both buyer and seller must be able to pursue other options. Unless the buyer is willing to wait without seeking an alternative property, the back-up offer should be written to allow for the possibility that they find an alternative home in the meantime. The seller, on the other hand, must make clear they are currently obligated to another buyer and will consider the back-up offer only if the current one cancels.

Back-up offers can be a great tool in a fast-moving real estate market. Writing the offer virtually guarantees the listing agent will notify you if the home becomes available again. This gives the buyer an advantage in a seller’s market, increasing the opportunity to capitalize on a home that fell out of contract.

Posted in Home Buying Tips
April 18, 2021

OVERCOMING THE FEARS OF SELLING IN TODAY'S REAL ESTATE MARKET

No doubt about it, selling a home and making a move has always been nerve-racking and stressful. Nowadays it has been compounded by the fact that there are far fewer homes for sale, that’s making it difficult to find a replacement home. We have noticed that this is caused additional fear and uncertainty for our home sellers.

Selling a home has always taken a leap of faith. Almost always homeowners need to sell their current home and use those funds in order to purchase their next home. Up until about six months ago it was almost always possible to write an offer on a new home that was contingent on the sale of the current home. When there was more than one offer on a house it was more challenging, but still possible. It seems like overnight this all changed when nearly every home was receiving four or more offers. It became difficult to compete when the majority of buyers did not need to also sell a home.

Because of this it has actually complicated the scenario, as many people who would be selling their homes have decided not to face this challenge. Thus deepening the issue of low inventory.

How do we overcome this? We have found that if someone is motivated enough then they are willing to get creative. The most common option right now is to put a home your the market, accept an offer within a week, and then start looking for your new home. Home buyers are so eager right now that they are often giving two months of time after the close of escrow for a home seller to find their new home.

What if that isn’t long enough? Sometimes the 2 to 3 months to find the replacement home isn’t enough time. This does mean having a back up plan. We get it, having to move twice is a pain in the you know what and certainly isn’t ideal! For those that are motivated it can still be made rather seamless. It’s all about putting the pieces of the puzzle together ahead of time as opposed to being last minute. Working with a skilled realtor can take a lot of the stress off of you and make finding your new home fun and exciting. There are many intricate details to this process, and many more options than what was just talked about in this article. If you have further questions, we would love to answer them.

Posted in Home Selling Tips
April 6, 2021

Can You Sell an Outdated House?

It seems that everywhere you turn there are companies who advertise buying ugly houses. These messages offer to quickly buy any house, regardless of the condition. The problem is that their offers are often significantly below market value.

If you’re a seller whose home needs some attention, you might think these companies are your only option. Some of the offers sound attractive; quick sale, all cash, no commissions, and no fees. But before you do anything, it’s worth your time to call a local real estate agent for a second opinion.

3 Reasons to Call a Real Estate Agent Now

1. Free Advice – The real estate agent will not charge you anything to simply come look at your home.

2. Your House Might Not Be that Ugly – You may be surprised to find that your home is quite marketable. A few years ago, a 1950s mid-century modern home would have been considered a tear-down. Now, these ranch homes command top dollar and are in very short supply.

3. A Path Forward – If your home does have some issues, the agent can offer some ideas about moving forward. They can suggest local contractors to provide repair/upgrade services or market to investors that might still offer significantly higher prices than the quick-sale guys.

Even outdated houses sell. We are in a seller’s market in almost every part of the country. Selling your home has a large financial impact on you and your family. Don’t make assumptions about value, reach out to a real estate agent, and make sure you understand all your options so you can get the best offer possible. 

Posted in Home Selling Tips
March 17, 2021

Tips for the First-Time Home Seller

 

There is a lot of attention paid to first-time homebuyers. Most real estate agents and lenders have some kind of guide to help first-time homebuyers navigate their first home purchase, but what about the first-time seller? Selling your home for the first time can be just as confusing as a home purchase, so here are a few things to remember as you navigate your home sale. Before that first showing, it’s important to prepare. This involves not only cleaning, decluttering, and staging the home, but also learning about your local real estate market and finding the best agent for your needs. Interview more than one agent and ask lots of questions. Learn about the services they offer: do they include professional photography, video, or virtual tours? Ask for a comprehensive market analysis (CMA) and ask each agent their suggestions for the listing price and their method for arriving at that number. Use this information to determine the best agent to assist you. Once you have an agent, stay involved. Discuss the plan for showings and open houses. Try and be flexible to allow for as many potential buyers as possible viewing your property. Review the listing online for accuracy and stay in touch with your agent for feedback from showings. Once you start getting offers, respond as quickly as possible. It’s not just about the price; watch for terms, such as length of escrow and contingencies, when evaluating these offers. Be prepared to move so that you can take advantage of a good offer, such as all-cash. The most important aspect of a successful home sale is the relationship you have with your agent. Be transparent about your needs, concerns, and goals; insist that your agent do the same, and working together you will navigate through your first home sale successfully.

Posted in Home Selling Tips
Feb. 19, 2021

HOW TO GET YOUR OFFER ACCEPTED IN A SELLER'S MARKET?

The market is hot right now! The reason? A low number of properties are being listed for sale while a high number of homebuyers are looking to buy. More buyers means more sellers are getting multiple offers for their properties. So, how can you make your offer stand out and get accepted in a multiple offer situation? Here are five strategies we use to help you write a competitive offer and win the bidding war:

1. Provide appraisal gap coverage
In order to get an offer accepted, you may need to go over asking price. But when offering above the asking price on a property, there is a chance that it may be more than what the bank appraises the home for. Sellers get nervous of what the outcome of that situation would be, so to put their mind at ease appraisal gap coverage guarantees that when you make an offer over asking price that you are willing to come up with some money to cover the difference, if the appraisal were to come in short. It is insurance to the seller that you are willing to pay an additional amount over the appraised value of the home, if the appraisal is less than the agreed upon purchase price.

2. Increase your earnest money deposit
Earnest money deposits are used to show that you have skin in the game when making an offer to buy a property. A typical earnest money deposit in El Dorado County is 1% of the purchase price. You can increase your earnest money deposit to more than 1-2%—maybe 3% or more—to show you really want a home. You have even more skin in the game.

Now, the earnest money deposit is refundable if you have to back out of the contract due to inspection, financing, or other issues. The earnest money deposit also comes out of your down payment, so it’s not money you are just giving away.

3. Shorten your inspection period
The inspection period is where you get a licensed inspector and contractors to walk through the home and do an in-depth assessment on the structure and systems. This is often the time when homes fall out of contract due to a poor inspection.

If you offer a shorter window for inspection, such as a 7-10 day inspection period compared to a 17-day, a seller might accept your offer over others. They know that if something comes back from the inspection that can't be negotiated, they can go back to market sooner rather than later.

4. Cover your own closing costs
Many first-time homebuyers scrape just enough money together to come up with the down payment for a home—they don’t have enough to cover the closing costs for the lender and the prepaid expenses for funding the escrow account. A way for property buyers to get this cost covered is by asking the seller to cover a certain amount of the buyer’s closing costs. Do your best to cover your own closing costs when writing an offer in a competitive market.

5. Provide occupancy
This is a pretty simple one: If a seller needs time after closing on the house to pack their things and move or buy another house, give it to them! Many times, a seller may ask for 10 days or as many as 60+ days to move out of a property. If you give the sellers the occupancy they need after closing and another buyer doesn’t provide occupancy, your offer is more likely to get accepted. In many cases—depending on the length of occupancy the seller needs—you may even collect rent from sellers or collect a fee for days they stay in the home past the agreed upon occupancy period.

Bliss Real Estate Team is on your side and will be your advocate when it comes time to negotiate. We will help you make a strong offer and most importantly, one that you feel comfortable with!

Posted in Home Buying Tips
Jan. 27, 2021

Age Old Selling Tips to Ignore

Homeowners planning to sell their home tend to get unsolicited advice from every direction. “Do this,” “don’t do that”; it can be difficult to decipher the good from the bad advice. As homebuyers become more informed and market-savvy, knowing which age-old advice to ignore can be important. Here are some adages which should be retired immediately.

  • Spring is the best time to sell While spring is traditionally when home sales tick upward, the real key to selling is inventory levels, which typically occur other times of the year.
  • The first offer is always the best While all offers should be considered, don’t feel pressured to take a sub-par offer just because it was the first.
  • Open houses sell houses Not anymore. Only 2% of homes sell as the direct result of an open house, according to the National Association of Realtors®. Virtual tours and online photos will attract more interest than foot traffic.
  • Price high so there is room to negotiate – Homebuyers are more sophisticated about pricing and will not bother with overpriced homes.
  • If you don’t want to make repairs then lower your price – Unless you market your home as a fixer-upper, buyers expect the home to be in reasonable condition and a low price might not be enough to encourage an offer.
  • You must update your kitchen to sell – Buyers do love renovated kitchens, but keep in mind that you typically recover only 81% of the cost of a remodel when selling. Selling a home is a major life decision.

Before you begin the process of listing your home, do your research and make sure the advice you rely on is valid in today’s changing environment.

Posted in Home Selling Tips
Jan. 7, 2021

Be Prepared for Closing Costs

budgetingforclosingcost

Saving for a down payment in preparation for buying a new home is pretty common knowledge. With the mortgage meltdown, most mortgages that allowed zero down payments disappeared. While FHA and VA loans still offer little to no money down, most potential homebuyers will need to save at least 5-20% of the home value.

Unfortunately, many first-time homebuyers are dismayed to learn that in addition to the large down payment, they also owe thousands of dollars in closing costs that they might not have expected. The national average for closing costs ranges from 2-4% of the purchase price, which adds considerably to the amount of savings needed to buy a home. In addition, while not a closing cost, most lenders also require a savings reserve equal to at least two months of the mortgage payment. Needless to say, it adds up.

Let’s break these costs down.

Closing costs include fees charged by the escrow or closing attorney, as well as costs associated with obtaining a home loan, including:
    • Escrow fees
    • Title search and filing fees
    • Appraisal fees
    • Home inspection fees
    • Wire transfer fees
    • Loan costs – These include what are termed “points”; each point is 1% of the purchase price and is used as both commission for the lending officer and as an upfront fee to reduce the loan interest rate.

These are just a few of the extra costs associate with buying and closing on a new home. It’s important to know these costs ahead of time, so potential homebuyers can save the appropriate amount of money needed to buy a home. Nobody wants to be surprised by unexpected costs and and end up missing out on the perfect property.
Posted in Home Buying Tips