Kitchen Remodeling Trends

Whether you’re planning to sell your South Bay home or just want to remodel your kitchen and just enjoy it, the cost consideration combined with high-tech solutions is the main challenge.

Here are the new kitchen remodeling trends, we’ve observed lately:

Trend #1: Remodeling scales back

Value and cost savings are in.

You’ll repair your existing appliances instead of replacing them, extending their life with good maintenance and care. If you’re replacing cabinets, you’re likely to build around your current appliances rather than choosing new models.
You’re scaling back your cabinetry purchases, with an increased emphasis on kitchen storage and functionality over elaborate decoration. For example, rather than stacked crown moldings throughout the kitchen, you’ll put your money into practical roll-out trays and drawer organizers.
Small-scale kitchen projects are big news. Changing out cabinet hardware, replacing a faucet, and refacing your cabinets upgrades your kitchen without major expense.
Trend #2: Simpler, warmer styles dominate
Fussiness and excess have faded away in favor of pared-back looks that present a more timeless, value-conscious style.
Cabinet decoration continues to streamline. For example, massive corbels, once fashionable as undercounter supports, will give way to sleeker countertop supports and cantelivered countertop edges. Stacked moldings will pare back or disappear entirely.

Kitchen finishes will continue to get warmer and darker, and feature natural and stained woods. Walnut especially is growing in popularity.
Laminate countertops will continue to surge in popularity, especially in contemporary design. The latest European-inspired laminates offer more textured and naturalistic finishes than ever before. While exotic wood kitchen cabinets are out of reach for most home owners, glossy, look-alike laminate versions can be had for about one-third the price.

Trend #3: Technology expands its kitchen presence
Many of the techno products and trends that relate to your smartphones and tablets have just started making their way into your local showrooms and home centers.
Appliances will be equipped with USB ports and digital screens so you can display your family photographs and kids’ artwork.
Smart, induction built-in cooktops ($500-$3,000) remember your temperature settings as you move your pans across their entire surface.
One light finger touch is all it takes to open the electronically controlled sliding doors of your kitchen cabinets — a boon to people with limited mobilities. You’ll pay 40% to 70% more for cabinets with electronically controlled doors than standard models.
You’ll be able to use your smart phones and tablets to control lights and appliance settings from anywhere you have a wi-fi connection, as well as to shop for appliances from major manufacturers.
You’ll be opting for LEDs for your recessed lights, under-cabinet task lighting and color-changing accent lighting. You’ll see more LED-powered pendants and chandeliers from major manufacturers as inefficient incandescent bulbs continue their march toward extinction.
A wide selection of affordable microwave ovens with convection and even steam features gives owners of smaller kitchen spaces more high-end cooking power.

Are you planning kitchen remodel soon?

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Southern California January ’12 Home Sales and Prices

The Southern California real estate  market started 2012 with slightly higher sales and slightly lower prices.

DataQuick, San Diego reported that a total of 14,523 new and resale houses and condos sold in Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego, Ventura, San Bernardino and Orange counties last month. That was down 24.5 percent from 19,247 in December, and up 0.4 percent from 14,458 12 months ago.

Sales have increased year-over-year for five of the last six months. The sharp sales decline from December is normal for the season. Last month’s sales count was 17.8 percent below the 17,671 average for all the months of January since 1988.

The median home selling price  last month was $260,000, down 3.7 percent from $270,000 for both December and January last year. The median was the lowest since $249,000 in May 2009. The median’s low point for the current real estate cycle was $247,000 in April 2009, while the high point was $505,000 in mid 2007. The peak-to-trough drop was due to a decline in home values as well as a shift in sales toward lower-cost homes, especially inland foreclosures.

Distressed sales made up more than half of January’s resale market.

Foreclosure resales – properties foreclosed on in the prior 12 months – made up 32.6 percent of resales last month, up from a revised 32.4 percent in December and down from 36.8 percent a year earlier. Foreclosure resales hit a high of 56.7 percent in February 2009 and a low of 32.8 percent last June.

Short sales – transactions where the sale price fell short of what was owed on the property – made up an estimated 21.3 percent of Southland resales last month. That was a high for the current real estate cycle and compares with 19.6 percent in both December and January 2011.

Meanwhile, credit conditions remained tight.

Adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) accounted for 6.0 percent of last month’s Southland home purchase loans, down from 6.4 percent in December and 7.0 percent a year ago. Since 2000, a monthly average of about 35 percent of purchase loans were ARMs.

Jumbo loans, mortgages above the old conforming limit of $417,000, accounted for 13.6 percent of last month’s purchase lending, down from 15.2 percent in both December and a year earlier. In the months leading up to the credit crisis that struck in August 2007, jumbos accounted for 40 percent of the market.

Absentee buyers – mostly investors and some second-home purchasers – bought a record 26.8 percent of the Southland homes sold in January, paying a median $193,500. The Inland Empire saw absentee purchases rise to a record 33.6 percent of all sales. Since 2000, the Southland’s absentee buyers purchased a monthly average of 16.9 percent of all homes sold.

Cash purchasers accounted for a near-record 31.4 percent of January home sales, paying a median $199,000. That was up from 29.8 percent in December, and up from 30.4 percent a year earlier. The 10-year monthly average for Southland homes purchased with cash is 15.1 percent. Cash purchases are where there was no indication in the public record that a corresponding purchase loan was recorded.

Government-insured FHA loans, a popular low-down-payment choice among first-time buyers, accounted for 31.2 percent of all purchase mortgages in January. Last month’s FHA level was up from 30.7 percent in December but down from 33.2 percent in January 2011. Two years ago FHA loans made up 35.0 percent of the purchase loan market, while three years ago it was 38.9 percent.

Last month 16.0 percent of all sales were for $500,000 or more, down from a revised 18.4 percent in December and down from 18.3 percent a year earlier. The low point for $500,000-plus sales was in January 2009, when only 13.8 percent of sales were above that threshold. Over the past decade, a monthly average of 27.2 percent of homes sold for $500,000 or more.

Viewed differently, Southland zip codes in the top one-third of the housing market, based on historical prices, accounted for 35.1 percent of total sales last month. That was down from 36.4 percent in December but up from 33.6 percent a year earlier. Over the last 10 years, those higher-end areas contributed a monthly average of 36.7 percent of regional sales. Their contribution to overall sales hit a low of 26.2 percent in January 2009.

DataQuick monitors real estate activity nationwide and provides information to consumers, educational institutions, public agencies, lending institutions, title companies and industry analysts.

Foreclosure activity in So California remains high by historical standards but is lower than peak levels reached over the last two years. Financing with multiple mortgages is very low, and down payment sizes are stable, DataQuick reported. 

Sales Volume Median Price
All homes Jan-11 Jan-12 %Chng Jan-11 Jan-12 %Chng
Los Angeles         4,908      4,997      1.8%   $300,000   $289,000     -3.7%
Orange              1,929      1,872     -3.0%   $415,000   $392,000     -5.5%
Riverside           2,738      2,684     -2.0%   $190,000   $180,500     -5.0%
San Bernardino      2,085      2,051     -1.6%   $151,500   $150,000     -1.0%
San Diego           2,248      2,358      4.9%   $304,000   $305,000      0.3%
Ventura               550        561      2.0%   $350,000   $322,500     -7.9%
SoCal              14,458     14,523      0.4%   $270,000   $260,000     -3.7%
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How To Prepare Your South Bay Home For Sale?

Preparing Your South Bay Home For Sale

Here is a list of items to keep in mind when preparing your home for sale:

  1. Tidy up the grounds and the garage.  Keep the lawn trimmed and edged.  Ensure that your yard is clean.
  2. First impression counts!  Your front door contribues to that impression – repaint it if necessary.
  3. Wash windows  and dust window blinds and coverings
  4. Paint walls to give your home that fresh look!
  5. Bathrooms and kitchens help sell homes – make sure that they are sparkling clean;  replace appliances if needed.
  6. Make beds, wash dishes, put away clothes and straighten up.
  7. Turn lights on when showing
  8. Keep pets out of the during showings
  9. Put away valuable, extra furniture, declutter.
  10. Leave the showing to the salesperson.  It’s recommended that you leave the property during showings.
  11. Don’t discuss any details with potential buyers, leave it to their agents.

It helps to look at your property from a buyer’s perspective.  Imagine you’re a buyer,  what would you like to see in a home?

Contact me at (310)918-5027 or via email at info@isellsouthbay.com and I’ll be happy to stop by your house and help you “set the stage”.

We only have one chance to make a good first impression!

 

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Short Sale


WHAT IS A SHORT SALE?

Foreclosure on a home has consequences for the family, the community, the housing market, and the economy.  However, the option for a short sale provides a way for troubled homeowners to prevent foreclosure and many of the dire penalties involved.
Short sale is an agreement with your lender, in which the lender agrees to accept a payoff on the loan for less than the balance.  Many lenders agree to a short sale because they receive more of the loan balance if the property ended up in the foreclosure.  The short sale process also aides in maintaining home values in the community and helps the homeowner maintain a better credit when compared with the foreclosure.   In most instances, homewners considering a short sale must meet certain criteria the lenders set, such as you will have to provide evidence of economic hardship and you must be behind in mortgage payments.
Short sale is not a typical real estate transaction.  There are many parties involved in a short sale.  The short sale process can be difficult to complete without a qualified Realtor to guide you and act as a liason between all  parties involved.  Homeowners considering a short sale should also consult their tax advisors and obtain the professional advise of an attorney to protect themselves from any future claims from their lender or the IRS.
HOW TO AVOID FORECLOSURE?
Facing foreclosure is extremely difficult.  Finding hope and solution can be hard  when you’re behind with your payments and your lender does not seem provide you with any assistance.  There are options and solutions that can help you prevent foreclosure.
Please contact Krystyna Baty at 310.918.5027 or via email at info@isellsouthbay.com for a Free and confidential consultation.  Any communication with our team will be kept in strict confidence.
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Selling Your South Bay Home

Information for South Bay Home Sellers

For quality service on your next South Bay property sale, consider working with The Krystyna Baty Team at Century 21 Amber Realty.  As your seller’s agency we can manage the entire sales process, from listing to negotiations and closing paperwork. We’ll also market your home online so buyers anywhere can easily access it. With our professional assistance, you can relax and get ready to re-invest. Please call (310)918-5027 to schedule Free consulation or to get a Free home evaluation.  Below are the highlights of our proven Marketing Plan –

 

We are committed to selling your property:

  • For the best possible price
  • In the shortest period of time so you get where you want to go on time
  • With the least amount of stress for you
In order to receive top dollar, you need top exposure. Our proven marketing plan provides you with that top exposure.

This includes:

  • Listing your home on the Multiple Listing Service across Southern California

  • Assistance in staging your home for a quick and profitable sale

  • Conduct a multi-channel marketing campaign:

  • Web Marketing: Because over 80% of buyers start their property search online. It’s particularly true her in the South Bay Los Angeles area where many buyers come form out of state.  Your listing will appear on multiple national and international websites to give you 24- hour-exposure.  This aggressive online approach will greatly differentiate you from your competition and bring your property exposure to millions of home buyers every month! Strong advertising dollar is consistently spent to give your property maximum exposure on Google, MSN, Yahoo, AOL search engines

  • Unique website for your home for additional internet exposure and easy access for prospective buyers, such as www.123MainStreet.com
  • Utilize digital photos and online virtual tours and videos
  • Consistently email your listing information to local real estate agents and our Team’s entire database of past clients, buyers and sellers.
  • Conduct print and direct mail advertising
  • E-cards and flyers to potential buyers
  • Installation of a “For Sale” sign
  • Custom property profile flyer
  • Installation of a lockbox
  • Public Open House events – exposing your home to potential buyers
  • Telemarketing to neighbors and potential prospects
  • Weekly status report
  • Verbal feedback provided from showings

 FOR A FREE CONSULTATION PLEASE CONTACT KRYSTYNA BATY – YOUR LOCAL CENTURY 21 EXPERT AT (310) 918-5027 OR VIA E-MAIL AT INFO@ISELLSOUTHBAY.COM

 

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