3 Predictable (and Costly) Mistakes Most Californian First-Time Homebuyers Make

Keys and handsIt’s very difficult to keep your head cool during your first home hunt. As soon as you inspect a Californian house, you start picturing the rest of your life on that property. You think about ways in which you could decorate the baby’s room, buy new marble countertops for your kitchen and drink your first 10,000 cups of coffee in that truly extraordinary garden. In a few words, you get way too emotional and let your sentimentalism influence your end call. Unfortunately, this is only one mistake that most inexperienced home buyers make. Below you will find 3 other mishaps that you could end up regretting after a few weeks, months or years.

1. They Obsess with Luxury Amenities That They Don’t Really Need or Afford. The thought of owning a large, gorgeous Victorian mansion with a truly decadent pool, a large patio and the most elegant kitchen that you have ever seen is quite tempting. Truth be told, these types of luxury additions are a real magnet for buyers. However, as soon as prospects get mesmerized by what’s in front of them, they ignore the fact that upscale extras involve considerable out-of-pocket expenses. Who is going to clean and maintain your pool area? Can you actually afford to hire an army of landscapers, maids, plumbers and electricians to keep a sophisticated property in its current condition? With the money that you would spend on pool maintenance and professional landscaping you could afford one or two memorable getaways in the most amazing corners of paradise. Therefore, evaluate expenses before setting your heart on high-maintenance, pricy properties.

2. They Neglect the Fact That Rentals Could Be the Perfect Solution for Their Family. In some of the most sought-after Californian urban areas, once-in-a-lifetime real estate deals are difficult to come by. If you are already covered in debt and the chances of getting another loan and pretty slim, why are you so determined to place the weight of ownership on your already loaded shoulders, especially in times of financial hardship? On the other side of the coin, the rental market could enable you to discover golden opportunities that may actually fit your needs and lifestyle choices.

3. They Think That Homes Are Livable ATMs. Before ending your home hunt, ask yourself this: are you looking for a Californian home for sale simply because you want to enjoy the convenience and stability that ownership gives you, or are you actually interested in securing your future or filling your bank account viaa real estate transaction? Unless you are an experienced house flipper, you may want to leave this job to the real pros. Buying, fixing and selling houses is not exactly an easy assignment, especially when you’re a first-time buyer who knows very little or nothing at all about the Californian real estate market. Also, buying a place so you can rent it and turn it into your personal cash cow could also represent a risky decision, especially if you are not ready to deal with the regular responsibilities and challenges that landlords are faced with.

To avoid misguided purchases, start by evaluating your realistic needs and allocated budget. Put your thoughts on paper and share them with your realtor to narrow down the search and make a wise end call.

Sep 2014

3 Home Remodeling Ideas That Won’t Help You Attract More Potential Buyers for Your Californian Home  

Attractive young adult couple looking at house plans.Just like any homeowner, you know that the devil is in the details. This is precisely why you have decided to invest a significant amount of money in a complete home remodeling process. But do you actually know which of the changes that you feel ready to implement are actually buyer-oriented and which ones are a mere waste of precious time and money? It’s not always easy to keep a clear head and stay objective, especially when it comes to adding value to your real estate property. Some additions that you may find useful and extremely attractive could be cataloged by your prospects as dull and inconvenient. Want to stay in the safe zone and spend your money wisely? Here are 3 terrible extreme makeover ideas that you’re better off without.

1. Swimming Pools. Naturally, as a proud homeowner of a gorgeous Californian house, you are inclined to think that a large pool would manage to boost the value of your property in no time and make prospects fight over it. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Potential buyers with limited financial possibilities could associate lavishing swimming pools with dangerous liability, ridiculous maintenance costs and a lot of extra work. In short, swimming pools won’t really help you hit the jackpot, especially if your goal is to attract a larger segment of prospects.

2. Upscale Upgrades. Real estate experts tend to agree that most homeowners waste a ton of cash on expensive kitchen and bathroom remodel work. In case you are getting ready to follow the same path, you should know that high-end additions installed in your indoor space won’t necessarily bring you the leverage that you are expecting. On the contrary, pricy upgrades like imported tiles, exquisite marble countertops and custom made cabinets could overbalance your budget without triggering any benefits. Your buyers might actually hate them. After all, people have different tastes and are fond of different interior décor style. This is precisely why minimalist spaces attract clients like a magnet: they represent a blank canvas that your prospects would like to paint and embellish according to their very own creative vision and aesthetic goals.

3. Pricy and Time-Consuming Landscaping. You invest at least 5 hours in gardening because this leisure activity relaxes you. But would a couple with 5 kids really appreciate your exotic plants and the time, money and energy you have constantly invested in them? Probably not! Most of your home hunters won’t afford to hire a professional landscaper and have very little desire to take care of your rare cannibal plants, iron fences and mini waterfalls.

These 3 home remodel projects may match your taste and budget, but they could also disappoint you in the long run, as they don’t always add real value to your Californian property. This is why it would be better to turn your home into a neutral yet cozy and modern place and let your buyers conduct the remodel work that they feel comfortable with.

Sep 2014