by Barbara • Barbara's Blog on May 13, 2015
I am often asked when is the best time to start making moving plans and my answer is always the same. The day you decide to move. On that day, you need to start looking at your home differently and begin purging yourself of things that you will not need or want to take with you to your new home. Too many times I have seen many organized home sellers fall victim to the chaos that can accompany a move.
However, with a little planning, organization and adopting a schedule that has served professional movers very well you can check your big move off your to do list with ease. If you follow this simple timeline and advice, any move can be quick, easy and organized:
Three to Four Weeks Prior to Move Day
Estimate How Large a rental truck you will need. In general, allow 150 cubic feet of truck space for each fully furnished room. For example, a 12 foot truck offers 450 cubic feet while a 26 foot truck offers 1,400 cubic feet.
Round up all the packing supplies you will need. Save time by ordering boxes, labels, bubble wrap and packing tape online. Sometimes you can collect boxes at work or ask your local grocery store if they have any you may take. Also, don’t forget to ask me! As your agent, I know of many people who may have just finished moving and have boxes to give away.
Start Packing. Begin with out of season and non essential items. Remember to label the boxes clearly. Again, this is the time to lighten your load. If you haven’t worn or used it in a year, donate it to a charity or hold a yard sale.
Utilize Technology. Did you know that you can use your smartphone to quickly and easily rent a moving truck with Penske’s new mobile rental option? Simple access PenskeTruckRental.com from your smartphone and the site automatically becomes an easy to use mobile version. A few clicks and you’ll have your moving truck reserved for your moving day!
Two Weeks Prior to Move Day
Change Your Address with the post office. Remember to update your address with other important contacts such banks, credit card companies, magazines and professional associations.
Call Service Providers and utilities to discontinue cable TV, trash collection, water, gas and electricity. Consider scheduling cut-off day for a day or two after you move, just in case there is a delay and you still need those services.
Coordinate Your Helpers. Get a crew of family and friends to save the date to help on moving day. You’ll need some strong folks to help move boxes and appliances and some others who are willing to watch children and pets so they don’t get in the way. Short on helpers? Go to www.TaskRabbit.com. It’s a great resource to find reasonable help to assist you with all aspects of your move.
One Day Prior to Move Day
Finish Any Remaining Packing. Pack all your essentials into a suitcase as if you were travelling. This will be the last item you pack and likely the first one you open at your new destination. Include items like checkbooks, credit cards, IDs, glasses, prescription drugs, house keys and other necessities.
Pick up Your Truck Rental the day or evening before the move to save time on moving day. Penske professionals will get you familiarized with your vehicle and help you verify the best driving directions to your new home. They’ll even check the upcoming weather and give you any necessary driving advice.
Pack the Truck. Put the heaviest items on the truck first. When loading and unloading, be sure to bend your knees and lift with your legs, not your back. Work diligently, but be sure to take breaks, stay hydrated and consider wearing a back support belt to avoid strain or injury.
Leave Early. You will run into less traffic and you’ll leave yourself extra time to unload at your destination. Allow yourself time to set up your house, even if that just means setting up your bed and finding the sheets and towels you packed away!
By utilizing this timeline, you will take the guess work, and a lot of the stress, out of moving and be one step closer to enjoying your new home!
by Barbara • Barbara's Blog on April 22, 2015
Once again I would like to share my blog with one of my favorite guest contributors, Michael Hickman, President and CEO of Seven Gables Real Estate. Mike’s review of the statistics and what they mean to you always makes for an interesting read!
The long awaited return of home equity and a real estate market equal to that of 2005 has arrived! Here’s the evidence to support our view. During the month of March pended sales reached a 10-year high of 3,647, up 32.3% (nearly 800 more homes) over March 2014 and closed sales reached 2,637, up 13.7% over 2014. This is remarkable news and worth noting. Underlying this dramatic increase is the decrease of homes for sale across all markets in Orange County. The number of homes decreased from 2014 by 6.5% or 232 homes. This is significant when compared to the dramatic increase in pended and closed sales.
The effect of the ratio between homes pended in March and the number of homes available for buyers to view has shrunk to 1.5 months of supply of homes available. Here’s the question: Has there been a better time in the last 10 years for homeowners to consider selling their home in Orange County? The answer is a resounding NO. The perfect storm is occurring before us. Prices are remaining stable, interest rates remain at or near all time lows, consumer confidence in Orange County is excellent and the unemployment rate is steadily declining below 4.6%.
While the Spring Market is blooming, the shortage of homes for sale for buyers to view is taking its toll as most properties have multiple purchase offers, often exceeding the list or asking price.
In the luxury home market in Orange County (in excess of $1,000,000), the activity is quite different than a year ago. During March 2015, pended sales were up by a staggering 30.6%, closed sales up by 33.6% and the homes for buyers to view increased by 12%. The result of the activity is the lowest amount of inventory of homes currently available in recent years, dating as far back as 2007.
In summary, there has not been a more favorable time for sellers to consider selling their home in the last 10 years than the present. Similarly, home shoppers are in a very good position to purchase at low interest rates with low down payment financing available and prices that are stable for the time being. If the current trend continues home prices will be reflecting an increase that may price homebuyers out of the market.
There is no time like the present. If sellers are considering selling, take this into account as the Millennial Buyer (there are 84 million in this age group) enters the marketplace – a group that represents the largest home buying generation in history, surpassing the Baby Boomer.
by Barbara • Barbara's Blog on April 9, 2015
For single family residences in 92807, the Spring buying season got off to a good start this year but lack of inventory is once again playing a large role in our market.
We saw days on the market down almost 30% from 94 last year to 66 this year. The number of new listings was also down 20% from 40 this year compared to 50 last March. Pended sales were up to 39 over last year’s 27. Closed sales were also up by 50%! In March of 2014 there were only 28 closed sales as opposed to 42 closed sales for the same time this year. Median sales price is up to $642,500 against last year’s $580,000 for an increase of over 10% with the average sales price down almost 15% to $665,715. The percent of original list price received ran neck and neck from last year’s 97.3% to this year’s 98%. Inventory of homes for sale is down over 39% from 107 last year to 65 this March and month’s supply of inventory is currently only 2.2 , down 40% from last year.
What does this mean to you? If you are selling your home, accurate pricing is more crucial than ever. Try to resist the temptation of overpricing. Don’t allow your home to languish on the market and miss the Spring buying season. If you are buying a home, make sure you have been prequalified by a direct lender and are ready to go when the perfect property presents itself as it may not be available too long.
by Barbara • Barbara's Blog on February 23, 2015
For single family homes in January we saw a slight increase in inventory with 44 homes listed for sale as opposed to last year at 38. Pending sales also rose to 30, which was up over 36% from January, 2014. Closed sales were down 14.3%. The most notable difference however were the days on the market which was up over 54% from 61 last year to 94 this year which could be due in large part to a slower than normal fourth quarter for home sales in the area. The median sales price was down slightly to $631,000 and the average sales price was also down over 20% to $617,389. There was a virtual dead heat in the percent of original list price received with 95.7% last year vs. 95.3% this year. Lastly, the all so important inventory of homes for sale was down this year by 12% as was the months supply of inventory which was down 3.3% to 2.9 months of inventory.
As anyone who is currently buying or selling can attest to, the market is definitely heating up. Interestingly, while there has been increased activity, we are not seeing a large surge in prices. It will be interesting to see where the numbers come in for February.