Articles

It Pays to Use a REALTOR(R)!

February 11, 2014
The stats are in and below are a few reasons why using a REALTOR could earn you some extra cash!  Contact us today to see how we can help you today. ItPaysToUseRealtor

Home Improvements that can Pay You Back!

January 20, 2014
Always wonder what home improvements can actually pay you back.  Well the research is in! Contact us today to see how we can help you today. Screen Shot 2014-01-20 at 12.33.43 PM

Creative Ways To Recycle Everyday Household Items

December 20, 2013
Every week the trash truck comes to pick up our garbage and unwanted items, which are promptly taken to landfills. Instead of filling landfills and just buying new items to stuff our homes, we can help the earth and recycle everyday household items. Below are a few fun and creative ideas for recycling things around your home that you might be ready to trash. Coffee Table Into BenchCreative Ways To Recycle Everyday Household Items If you just purchased a new coffee table, don’t give away the old one — repurpose it. Find a space in your home where you could use some additional seating, like at the end of your bed or in the entryway. Push it up against the wall so that any drawers and shelves are facing out. Then add some cushions and pillow. Tada; a bench! Copper Piping Into Bathroom Hardware Whether you’re going for a modern industrial look or a French country theme, old copper piping can add an attractive and interesting conversation piece to your restroom. Utilize a U-shaped piece of piping as a toilet paper holder and long pieces of pipe as towel racks. Polish the copper and then seal it with spray lacquer so that it keeps its sheen. Light Bulbs Into Decorations Recycle filament light bulbs with a fun little craft project for your children. Grab paint, twine, glitter and glue. You can make flower pots and hang them in the yard as a simple green accent. Use the twine to create loops for hanging. Pillowcase Into Shopping Bag Take an old or vintage pillowcase, lay it flat and cut the top corners off of the open end. You’ll want to cut the corners off in a half-C shape so that that there is only about a two-inch strip left in the middle at the top. Sew that two-inch strip together and you’ve got your handle. This reusable shopping bag rolls up tight and is easy to wash. Drawer Into Dog Bed The size of your animal will dictate the size of drawer you should repurpose. A cat might like a kitchen drawer while a bigger dog would use a large dresser drawer. Strip the wood off the drawer and repaint. Remove the hardware. Maybe stencil your pet’s name on the front of the drawer. Then create a mattress using foam, batting and a soft and durable material. Before getting rid of that broken side table or trashing those carry-out chopsticks, take a second look and tap into your creative side to see if you might be able to recycle and give them a second life.

5 Home Improvements Projects to Avoid if you plan on moving!

December 17, 2013
This is a great explanation of  why some home improvement projects are not worth investing money if you plan on moving in 2 – 3 years.  If you are looking to sell your house, don’t hesitate to contact us for a free market analysis today! 5Projectstoavoid

Home For the Holiday’s! Open House – 2071 Marques Avenue

December 6, 2013
Brand New Construction in Willow Glen – Open this Sunday, December 8 from 2-5 PM. Come see us at 2071 Marques Avenue, San Jose to preview this lovely 5 Bedroom 3.5 Bath Custom Home!  Contact Us for more details. Marques Rendering 2

5 Great Questions To Ask At An Open House

December 5, 2013
An open house gives you a great opportunity to look more closely at real estate you might be interested in buying. It also affords you the chance to chat with the owner or real estate agent so you can bring up any issues or hesitations you have with the home. Knowing what to ask can be difficult, so below are examples of questions to ask at the next open house you attend. Couple shakes hands with realator in fron of new home Why Has The Seller Decided To Sell Now? If you ask why the seller is moving, you could learn valuable information to help determine your offer or possibly whether or not you want to buy the home. Knowing whether the owners are about to go into foreclosure, have experienced trouble in the neighborhood, or if they’ve retired and completely paid off the home can help you understand how urgently they need to sell their property. Has The Seller Had Any Other Offers? Don’t forget that you are not only negotiating with the seller for a price, you are also competing with other potential buyers. It really helps to know what you are up against. It is important to understand that you might not get a 100% straight answer to this question as most sellers know that competition or perceived competition can cause a potential buyer to move forward more quickly and at a higher price. If you’re comfortable in this discussion, you might want to try and see if you can find out the details of any other offers. Does The Property Have Special Ownership Costs? Ask the agent or owner about the other costs associated with owning the property, such as Home Owners Association fees within a condo complex or a gated community. It’s important to know about these extra expenses in advance so you can make an informed offer. You may also want to ask about any pending litigation concerning the property. Litigation is not always a deal killer, but it’s better to know the details before you sign closing documents. What Furniture And Appliances Are Being Sold With The House? Most of the time, a seller will include their major appliances such as the refrigerator, stove and dishwasher with the home, but this isn’t always the case. If you don’t already have these items, it’s important to know whether they are included in the purchase price. Is There Anything Else That You Want To Leave With The Home? This is an important question to ask, especially if there are specific things in the home that you have a strong interest in. Perhaps there is custom art work or a pool table that fits perfectly in the game room. The seller may be eager to part with those items and include them in the sale of the home or sell them at a large discount. The open house is a great opportunity to learn more about a home before making the decision to buy it, so be sure you ask the right questions.    

Checking in on 2071 Marques Avenue in San Jose!

November 10, 2013
Take a sneak peak at the latest development for 2071 Marques Avenue in San Jose.  If interested in learning more about this new construction or signing up for development updates, please contact us today! marques8

722 Sonia Way – Feels Like Home!

November 3, 2013
722 Sonia Way in Mountain View is progressing nicely and is looking very attractive!  For more details about this new construction, contact us today before its too late! Sonia8

Tips On Passing Your Home Inspection With Flying Colors

October 30, 2013
Home inspections are a tense time for everyone. Sellers are fervently hoping that nothing major is wrong with their home that could hold up the transaction. Buyers are eager to hear that their new house is in prime condition. Whatever the wishes, one thing is for sure; any news from an inspector is usually bad news. Home inspectors have a tough job. They have to be trained to spot hundreds of potential issues with a home and be knowledgeable of local codes, community restrictions and residential permit parameters. Stay one step ahead of your home inspector by reading the list of common home inspection issues below. Then hopefully your inspection won’t reveal any unwelcome surprises. Tips On Passing Your Home Inspection With Flying Colors   Electrical Wiring This is a common bubble-busting issue, especially in older homes. Wiring might have been up to code when the home was built, but it now violates code and is a fire hazard. Look for ungrounded outlets, shoddy wiring or a mass of confusing connections in the electrical panel. Replacing an entire electrical system can be expensive, but it’s worth it not to risk a fire. Plumbing Look for signs of water damage in the ceilings. This could be a sign that something above, like a bathtub or sink is leaking into the floor or walls. Look around toilets and inside kitchen cabinets for traces of wet flooring or wood. While external leaks are easy enough to fix, interior pipes might require you to rip up flooring. Foundation And Framing Examine the foundation and framing of your home for any structural issues. You’ll want to keep an eye out for cracking in the foundation due to water runoff or settling. Also, look for signs of wood rot or termite damage. These issues affect the framing of your home and could cause scary structural problems if left unattended. Roofing While it’s probably too difficult for you to inspect the roof yourself, just stand back in the yard and see if you can notice any bare spots. Also, check for water damage around the roofline from rain leaking in. Don’t get too discouraged about roof issues. It might not call for a complete replacement, but just a repair on one section. These common home inspection issues affect both sellers and buyers. As a buyer, you’ll want to keep a eye out for these problems so that you know what you’d be getting for your hard-earned money. As a seller, it’s good to stay one step ahead of the home inspector so that whatever price is agreed upon goes through.    

Social Media Jargon: 15 Terms You Should Know!

October 26, 2013
New words, phrases, and acronyms are constantly popping up across social networks. You can’t afford to ignore social media, so here are 15 terms you might find useful to know! 1. Circles - These are the community groups users put together on Google+. Screen Shot 2013-10-26 at 11.07.07 AM 2. ConnectionsThis is the online version of your business network, made up of the people you decide to “connect” with on LinkedIn. When you’re a “connection” in someone’s LinkedIn network, you can view their “full,” profile instead of their “limited,” one and send them private messages and updates. 3. Geotagging - This is adding a geographic ID to let others know your location. Found on smart phone apps for social media sites. 4. HashtagA hashtag begins with a number sign followed by a word or string of words with no spaces. On Twitter, and now Facebook, this creates a hyperlink that when clicked on, performs a search for that word or phrase on the social network. 5. Meme - Rhymes with “seem.” Short for “mimicked theme.” A meme is an idea, style, or action that spreads virally, often as mimicry, over the Internet. It may be an image, video, hashtag, or hyperlink. 6. PinningThis is how you show you like content on Pinterest. Once content is pinned, it appears on your own Pinboard. 7. RSS - Often called Really Simple Syndication, but actually stands for Rich Site Summary. A web standard for content delivery for everything from blog posts and news stories to images and videos. Lets you stay current with information sources without having to browse all their content. 8. Social GraphA visual that shows all the connections an individual has within a social network. 9. Social Media Optimization (SMO) - SMO is the process of checking that all the content you’ve created or curated is available to share across your key social media and networking sites. Types of media to check include RSS feeds, social news and bookmarking sites, as well as the social networks, video, and blogging sites you use. 10. Tag - A keyword or phrase assigned to a piece of information, such as a blog, bookmark, or digital image. It helps describe the item or topic and enables it to be found again through a browse or search. 11. Tumblr - Another blogging website and social platform. Lets users share content and connect based on their blog entries, as well as “follow” other users’ blogs. 12. Tweets, RetweetsTweets are posts on Twitter, limited to 140 characters. When a user tweets another’s tweet, it’s called a retweet. Credit still goes to the original user and the tweet appears as RT in the timelines of all the retweeter’s followers. 13. Twebinar - This is a live podcast or audio broadcast that uses Twitter as the backchannel for discussion. 14. Viral - This describes anything that is rapidly shared across the Internet through social media, email, and video sharing websites. 15. Widget - This is a mini application that performs a specific function connecting a user to the Internet.