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Home selling tips for pet owners

by Kathy and Michael Rain - The Rain Team

There’s no doubt pets play an important role in our homes. They wait for us to come home after a long day, protect our property, and are there to comfort us when things go wrong. They truly are part of the family. But if you’re trying to sell your home, your four-legged friend could put a bit of a damper on the process. From removing stubborn stains to recommending where to put your pet during a showing, these tips will ensure potential buyers aren’t off-put by your companion.


  • Invest in a good carpet cleaner.
    It’s a good idea to invest in a carpet cleaner or have your carpets cleaned professionally to ensure there are no obvious pet stains. Plus, some pets put off strong odors that can radiate throughout the house. A carpet cleaner will help remove those odors and stuck-in fur. Your house deserves a deep clean!
  • Keep your pet out of the house.
    If possible, it’s best to leave your pet with a friend, a relative, or another trusted caretaker while showing your home. If no one is available, it’s a good idea to leave your pet in a crate, in an area where potential buyers are less likely to be­—either a basement or mudroom. Put a warm blanket, bowl of water, and favorite toy in his crate to help him feel more comfortable.
  • Clean up the yard. 
    Even your backyard could leave traces of your pet, so it’s important to clean up any waste and toys. Keep a toy bin by the door, and try to have your pet use the bathroom in the same area, so the cleanup will be easier. If there are any bare patches of grass, you can try to aerate and seed these spots or plant sod for a quicker fix.
  • Put away the pictures.
    More than likely you’re a proud pet parent, meaning that you have a handful of pictures of your pet around your home or at least some photos where he makes an appearance. You’d be surprised at how many potential buyers pay attention to pictures during a showing. These pictures will be a dead giveaway of your pet ownership, so keep them put away while the showing is going on. 
  • Familiarize yourself with your insurance policy.
    Even if your pet is the nicest pet in the world, having him around during a showing poses a handful of potential risks. Take a look at your homeowner’s policy and make sure that it covers you in the event your pet becomes aggressive with someone on your property. Aggression doesn’t have to always be malicious: even if your pet knocks somebody down due to excitement, you could still be held liable. These types of situations happen more often than you would think, so it’s better to be prepared.

There’s no reason for your animal to hinder your house selling process. Use these tips to ensure that you can still enjoy your pet, and make a deal all at the same time!


For more tips and tricks for pet owners, visit www.americanlifestylemag.com/pets.

See the original article here.

Five Ways to Decrease Busy Season Stress

by Kathy and Michael Rain - The Rain Team

Prepping for the changing season is a lot to endure; for some, it’s stressful and nerve-wracking, and for others it means they become quite the busy bee. In addition to everything else usually happening at the end of the year, trying to get ready for the season change while maintaining your household can become a big, burdensome cherry on top. 

 

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, believe me - you’re not the only one. No matter if you become frazzled by the thought of holiday prep or if you just need an extra boost, it’s always nice to have some help. The good news? There’s plenty of tips and tricks available that can make everything a lot easier. 

 

Check out some home hacks below that will help you stay organized and on top of your game through this busy time! Do you have your own home hacks that you rely on to get through this busy season? If so, I’d love to hear them 


 

7 CREDIT SCORE MYTHS EVEN SHREWD HOME BUYERS FALL FOR

by Kathy and Michael Rain - The Rain Team

By: Lisa Kaplan Gordon

Forty percent of us think our credit score will climb if we carry a small balance (nope), and 52% don’t realize bad credit can increase the amount needed for deposits on utilities (it does!), according to a NerdWallet survey.

“There are quite a few myths and misinformation about credit scores,” says Ryan Greeley, author of the “Better Credit Blog.” “This stuff isn’t taught anywhere, so it’s something you have to dig into yourself.” The worst time to find out you’ve got a going-nowhere credit score is when you’re trying to buy a home.

Unless you have us to dig for you, that is. Here are seven top credit score myths, and the reality behind them.

Myth #1: Always carry a small balance on your credit card.

Reality: The credit score gods want to know two main things: that you pay your bills on time, and that you don’t constantly max out the credit you have.

And yes, one of the items they like to see you pay is your credit card bill — all of it. The only thing a running balance increases is the interest you owe. That’s why Erin Lowry, who writes the “Broke Millennial” blog, believes banks and credit card companies probably perpetuated this myth to boost their profits.

Myth #2: It's OK to pay credit cards a day late if you pay them off in full.

Reality: ”Missing a payment is the biggest way to hit your credit score,” Lowry says. “If you pay a student loan a day late, your score can go down as much as 100 points.” So much for that degree making you smarter.

To maximize your score, always pay your installment loans (like car loans and mortgages) on time and in full. You know, like you’re supposed to. But also note that actual humans work for financial companies; if you need to pay late for a legit reason, call your lender — before the due date — and have a frank conversation. They’ll often help out.

Myth #3: Closing old cards will erase any negative history.

Reality: If it was that easy, we’d all be driving Teslas. Credit-reporting companies keep information on your file for seven years, no matter what.

And actually, the longer you’ve responsibly used a particular credit card, the better effect it has on your credit score. Remember, you’re judged by how much of your credit you’re using. Closing a credit card makes that percentage change for the worse.

Myth #4: If you've never had credit, you have a perfect credit score.

Reality: There’s no reason to save your credit virginity for that special something. If you’ve never used credit, it’s anyone’s guess how well you’ll handle it once you do. Credit reporting agencies call it a “thin file,” meaning there’s not enough information on you to create a credit score. So, if you’re a newbie, get an itty-bitty card or loan, and start fattening up that file.

Myth #5: Checking your credit score frequently will hurt your score.

Reality: How else are you supposed to keep track of the darn thing? It’s true that several “hard” checks by companies can ding your score a few points. Hard checks generally happen when you are actually seeking a loan or line of credit, such as a mortgage or credit card.

If you check your own, it’s called a “soft” check, and it doesn’t hurt your score. So, for Pete’s sake, check your score and credit report at least annually. It’s super easy these days, especially with websites like creditkarma.com, or use a banking app that lets you easily monitor your score. A sudden, unexplained dip could be a sign that identity theft or mistakes are hurting your credit (and keep hard checks to one or two a year).

Myth #6: Paying off a student loan or car loan early will hurt your credit.

Reality: Ah, no. Credit report companies definitely do not punish you for paying off loans early. They might even throw you a parade. (Not really. Put away your princess wave.) While responsibly paying installment loans may be good, paying off those loans is way better.

Myth #7: Your age, sex, and other non-money issues affect your credit score.

Reality: What century is it again? Federal law protects you from credit discrimination based on non-credit issues, like race, color, national origin, or sex. Sure, credit card companies or lenders can ask, but they can’t deny you credit based on your answers. Income, expenses, debts, and credit history are what matters.

Myth #8: My credit score can hurt/help my chances of landing a job.

Reality: Actually, this one is partially true, depending on how fancy your job is. If it requires a security clearance or using a company credit card, an employer will want to know how you use credit, or if you’re in a financial mess that may make you bribe-able, Lowry says. But don’t worry, the employer will ask your permission before pulling your credit report, which is considered a soft pull and won’t hurt your score.

 

San Mateo County Real Estate Report

by Kathy and Michael Rain - The Rain Team

Here is an updated Market Report summarizing recent real estate activity in the San Mateo area. Please keep in mind that the values represented are based on current, detailed information from the Regional Multiple Listing Service. If you need clarification on any of the figures or if you wish to take additional steps toward property ownership, please let us know. We are happy to help.

"Move-In Ready" Now Includes Smart Home Tech

by Kathy and Michael Rain - The Rain Team

Today's buyers want move-in ready homes, and a new survey points to exactly what that means.

More than 70 percent of buyers want a move-in ready home, and that ultimately breaks down to a home that has updated heating and cooling and an updated kitchen and bathroom (more than 80 percent expect those features to qualify as move-in ready) and they want new appliances (74 percent), according to a recent survey by Coldwell Banker. To a lesser but still notable degree, buyers feel a move-in ready home has smart home technology installed (44 percent).

Additionally, 57 percent of those buyers that want a move-in ready home would consider an older home updated with smart home technology.

Apparently, survey respondents want the technology but they really don't want to sift through the options and install it themselves. Thirty-six percent of all respondents believe that having smart technology is a major selling point when buying a home, but 32 percent feel they are too intimidated to install it themselves.

And while the millennial generation certainly leans hardest toward this technology with 61 percent interested in it, 52 percent of Gen Xers and 50 percent of baby boomers do as well.

Taking that first leap and making the investment in smart home technology may wind up being an investment in your home's value.

 

THE TOP 10 TRENDIEST HOME FEATURES

by Kathy and Michael Rain - The Rain Team


San Mateo County Area Market Report

by Kathy and Michael Rain - The Rain Team

Here is your latest Area Report, analyzing data as it affects a specific market area. The Market Summary below offers a look at sales activity for the prior month and year, along with current and past year-to-date statistics. The graphs cover several different aspects of the real estate market. Not how some of the graphs break out trends by price increments.  Please contact us if you would like more information your current market.


TO D.I.Y OR NOT TO D.I.Y

by Kathy and Michael Rain - The Rain Team

KILL THE clutter

by Kathy and Michael Rain - The Rain Team

There’s a reason REALTORS® always advise home sellers to remove all clutter when selling their homes: The difference is remarkable. The clutter-free home often looks like a new one entirely, and homeowners even wonder how their home could look that good.

You don’t have to wait to sell your home to make it look better. Plus, clutter can physically and mentally stress us out. By breaking your decluttering down into five-minute sessions, you can slowly conquer your clutter.

Leo Babauta of Zen Habits offers some ways to start:

  • Designate a spot for incoming papers, and don’t put them anywhere but that spot until you can sort and file them.
  • Clear one area and designate it your “no-clutter” zone. There is one rule for that area: Nothing can be placed there that’s not actually in use. Everything must be put way. Once you have that, expand to more areas.
  • Pick up five things and find places for them. These should be things you actually use, but which don’t have a good spot to live.
  • Pull everything out of a drawer, evaluate it and sort it into three piles: stuff that really goes in the drawer, stuff that belongs elsewhere and stuff to ditch.
  • Create a “maybe” box. When you’re organizing, you often know exactly which items you want to keep and which you can trash or donate. But sometimes there are items you can’t trash, and yet you’re not sure what to do with them. Put them in the “maybe” box and pull it out every six months to re-evaluate.
  • Keep it going: After you’ve decluttered, don’t get tempted to buy new things. Instead, create a 30-day list and put any non-essential items you want to buy on it along with the date. If an item has sat on the list for 30 days and you still want to buy it, you can.

The Rain Team is here to help you with all of your real estate needs. Contact us today to see how we can help.

Going to school on home values: What's the connection?

by Kathy and Michael Rain - The Rain Team

 


Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 331

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The Rain Team
CA# 01169588 | CA# 01125976 | CA# 01908304
248 Main Street, Suite 200
Half Moon Bay CA 94019
Michael: 650-888-6361
Kathy: 650-888-6903
Fax: 866-396-0207

Kathy and Michael Rain of Coldwell Banker provides real estate services in the San Mateo County, California area including the surrounding communities: El Granda, Half Moon Bay, Montara, Moss Beach, Pacifica and San Mateo. Search for homes in San Mateo County. We list and sell residential real estate, investment properties, vacant land, lots for sale in the San Mateo County, California area.

Licensed in the State of California

Kathy Rain - CA BRE# 01169588 | Michael Rain - CA BRE# 01125976 | Coldwell Banker - CA BRE# 01908304
Cell Phone: (650) 888-6903 * Direct Phone: (650) 712-0411
San Mateo County Real Estate and Homes for Sale

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