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Chris Plastiras

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Don’t Sink Money Into the Wrong Home Upgrades

by Marius Poltan

If you’re considering home improvements—or even just adding a few extra touches to freshen up the place—don’t rush the process. A plan is key for any successful remodeling job.

You don’t want to pay for impractical or expensive home improvements that are out of style by the time you have to hang a “For Sale” sign in the yard.

Instead, look for smart, traditional and fashionable upgrades to provide value and aesthetic beauty for years to come.

While you’re looking for upgrades, consider these following tips for remodeling.

Kitchens

  • Spacious kitchens with abundant natural light make cooking a pleasure, not a chore.
  • Light-colored kitchens can create an illusion of a bigger space.
  • Adding a skylight is another way of creating a spacious feel.
  • Multiple storage shelves and cabinets plus an extra sink will reduce counter clutter.
  • Built-in microwaves, dishwashers, six-burner ranges and convection ovens are great for utility and convenience.
  • An island range with bar stools promotes an inviting, social atmosphere.

Bathrooms

  • Two-bath homes, plus a master bathroom, are optimal.
  • Many home buyers see high-end items like whirlpools, Jacuzzis, steam and jet showers, double shower heads and hand-held sprayers as essentials.
  • Large storage cabinets, freestanding or built-in, are great.
  • Avoid all-white bathrooms—splashes of color reduce the sterile feeling.
  • Bigger is better. Tiny bathrooms are out.  

Floors

Hardwood flooring increases resale value, so keep hardwood floors in top shape by refinishing them. As an alternative, laminate flooring is typically cheaper than hardwood and a nice upgrade from carpet.

Ceiling Fans

Try to install ceiling fans that make use of a remote control. This will allow you to change speeds without getting up.

High-End Home Amenities

  • Specialty rooms like media rooms, wine cellars, workout rooms and children’s playrooms can boost resale value and personalize a home.
  • Outdoor fireplaces, patio heaters, electronic insect control devices, decks and fountains are popular.
  • Outdoor kitchens can boost resale value.
  • If you live in a hot climate, an in-ground swimming pool can increase your home’s value. However, buyers in more more seasonal climates may see pools as an inconvenience. Ask a REALTOR® to see whether pools are popular in your area.

North Lake Tahoe March 2015 Real Estate Sales Comparison

by Marius Poltan

  

  • North Lake Tahoe March 2015 Real Estate Sales Comparison

The charts bellow reflect Incline Village real estate sales for the month of March in the past 5 years. These reports we're created individually for Residential Home sales and Condominium Sales.

  • Residential Home Sales Report


Click here for larger image

- Please note that the report above was created using data extracted from the MLXChange System and reflects Residential Home sales.

  • Condominium Sales Report

Click here for larger image

- Please note that the report above was created using data extracted from the MLXChange System and reflects Condominium sales.

To access all the Incline Village and Lakeshore Realty listings please click here. You can also contact us by email or call us at 775-831-7000. If you are in Incline Village, please visit us at 954 Lakeshore Blvd. Incline Village, NV 89451.

One of the single-most important aspects of buying a new home is related to your credit history. A solid credit score will not only help you get approved for a mortgage, but you'll also likely receive much more favorable terms and conditions. If you've been a victim of identity theft, however, you'll be paying the price of having a poor credit score even though its no fault of your own. The good news is that there are a number of steps that you can take to repair your credit after identity theft in order to buy that new home.

 

Contact the Credit Reporting Companies

After identity theft, the first step that you should take involves calling all three of the major nationwide credit reporting companies and putting a fraud alert on your credit report. To do so, use the following telephone numbers:

  • TransUnion - 1-800-680-7289
  • Experian - 1-888-397-3742
  • Equifax - 1-800-525-6285

Put an "extended alert" on your credit report. Good for seven years, these types of alerts will verify to creditors that there has been an identity theft issue with your credit history and that they should take additional steps in verifying your identity and other information before opening up a new line of credit (like a mortgage).

Removing Fraudulent Information

The next step that you'll want to take when repairing your credit involves going through and removing all fraudulent information from your credit report. When contacting each of the three major credit bureaus, be sure to request a full copy of your credit history. Go through each entry and identify the ones that were made by the person who stole your identity.

Itemize all of the errors that you've found on each of the three credit reports and obtain all necessary documents proving your innocence. If you found that the person who stole your identity opened up a credit card in your name, for example, you would call that particular credit card company and ask them to send you a copy of the application or other documents that you can use to prove your innocence. Then, you can send a list of the errors and all supporting documents to each credit bureau and ask them to remove that fraudulent information.

The credit bureau will need to alert you regardless of its decision. Rest assured that whether a particular item is removed from your credit history as a result of the identity theft, you will receive written notification of this. You can then present this information to your mortgage company to help buy your new home.

Consider a Protection Service

By and large, one of the best ways to repair your credit after identity theft involves taking a proactive approach to make sure you aren't a victim again in the future. LifeLock offers a full line of identity theft protection services, and offers a discount to veterans. All packages include a $1 million guarantee to help fight identity theft cases.

Should I Buy a Home Now?

by Chris Plastiras

I'm often asked if this is a good time to buy a home. Some clients are concerned that home prices may fall down the road, while others are convinced that home prices will go up.

Home prices are one factor in determining your cost of ownership, but so are interest rates and financing availability. Even though interest rates have fluctuated, they are still near historic lows. Since your monthly mortgage payment is a combination of paying down your principal and paying the interest owed, a one point rise in interest rates could cost tens of thousands of dollars over the life of your mortgage!

While a home is a major investment, it is also the center of your personal life. It's important to live in a home that reflects your taste and values, yet is within your financial "comfort zone." To that end, it may be more important to lock in today's relatively low interest rates while they are still available.

Please give me a call if I can be of any assistance in determining how much home you can afford in today's market.

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