COUNT ON CROSS

COUNT ON CROSS…..to keep you informed!

5 HOME IMPROVEMENTS TO BOOST YOUR CHANCES OF SELLING

To increase the odds of a quick, well-priced sale, make the effort to get your home viewer ready.  It is important when selling a home you do a few minor improvements that can be extremely persuasive when it comes to appealing to buyers.  Buyers need to envision the homes as his or hers, not yours.  You want to try to make your home look less like you and more like a new house.  Doing the simple and inexpensive things can speed the sale of your home and ensure a fair selling price.

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1.  DO A THOROUGH CLEANING:  It should go without saying, dust bunnies and dirty windows are going to be turnoffs to most buyers.  They are looking to buy a “new” house, so any signs lack of upkeep will be viewed negative.  It’s worth hiring a service to clean carpeting and remove stains from upholstery.

2.  UPDATE THE BATH:  If your toilet seat is worn, stained or dated, put in a new one (the cost is about $30 and the job takes less than 10 minutes).  Replace the shower curtain and liner.  Re-caulk around the tub, when this job is done right it will score lots of points with prospective buyers.

3.  IMPROVE THE LIGHT:  Everyone loves light, so make sure draperies are open and replace missing or dim light bulbs.  If your compact fluorescent lights have dimmed over time, replace them.  When showing the home turn on all lights and open all windows, even in the middle of the day.

4.  CLEAR OUT CLUTTER:  Get serious about throwing out or donating stuff you don’t need.  Closets, and cabinets should have space and not be packed full.  Remove unnecessary and unused furniture from rooms to help make rooms look larger.  You are getting ready to move so start packing all of the knickknacks and personal items.

5.  PAINT OVER RISKY COLOR CHOICES:  If your bedroom is purple or your living room is orange, cover it up with a nice light beige.  Even if your house is already painted in neutral colors, consider repainting rooms where the walls and ceilings are stained or faded.  Nothing makes rooms look new like a fresh coat of paint and it’s one of the most affordable ways to update your space.

A FEW EXAMPLES OF DE-CLUTTERING, RE-ARRANGING, CLEANING, PAINTING, AND LIGHT…..

All of these examples are from homes using the same furniture they already had.

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before after 6Contact the Cross Group for help on getting your home ready to sell….

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NEW RESTAURANT TO OPEN IN ANTIOCH

 

BASES LOADED IS NOW SCENDS DEUX

Deborah Nickelson, of Antioch, is the new owner of Scends Deux restaurant in Antioch, Calif., on Monday, Aug. 4, 2014. Nickelson is taking over the Bases

Deborah Nickelson, of Antioch, is the new owner of Scends Deux restaurant in Antioch, CA
The Bases Loaded restaurant in Antioch has a new owner and with that brings many changes.  Deborah Nickelson of Antioch is the new owner of Scends Deux restaurant.  The restaurant at the corner of G street and West 4th street is scheduled to have a grand opening on August 30th.
The new owner believes her family’s time-tested menu and experience in the industry will be the recipe for success.  Debora Nickelson’s Cajun-soul food eatery, Scends deux is slated for a soft opening on Saturday and a grand opening on Aug. 30.

RECENT CELEBRITY HOMES (LISTED/PURCHASED/SOLD)

Nascar Crew Chief Greg Zipadelli Sells Mansion for $4.85 Million

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Nascar crew chief Greg Zipadelli is finally looking at his mansion on Lake Norman from the rear-view mirror.

Zipadelli, now the competition director for Tony Stewart at Stewart-Haas Racing, has sold his massive estate in Mooresville, NC.  Originally listed for $6.8 million back in August 2013, the home ultimately closed in mid-March for nearly $2 million less than the decorated crew chief’s original ask of $4.85 million.  He paid just $1.175 million for the property back in May of 2007.

Built in 2008, the Tudor-style mansion sits on a nearly one-acre lot overlooking Lake Norman and has a total of five bedrooms, eight full bathrooms and two half baths. Highlights include mansion-standard amenities such as a gourmet kitchen, formal living areas and a wine cellar, along with a few unique perks. A decked out man cave comes complete with a wet bar, video game arcades and a pool table; and Zipadelli’s personal office sits adjacent to his garage.  Outside, the scenery of Lake Norman takes center stage from a wide patio area that includes an outdoor kitchen, a fire pit, and a pool with a hot tub. A pathway leads from the home to a private dock on the water.

 

Hayden Pannetierre sold her Hollywood home for $3.075 million

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After settling into Nashville, TN, earlier this year, actress Hayden Pannetierre has officially bid adieu to the Hollywood scene—at least, as far as her home in Los Angeles is concerned.Realtor.com® has confirmed that the television and film star has parted ways with her house in the celebrity-preferred Hollywood Hills West neighborhood. News of Pannetierre’s home sale was first reported by TMZ and records show the property changed hands in an off-market deal for $3.075 million in early February.  Pannetierre paid $2.635 million for the property back in March of 2008.

Built in 1962, the stylish residence has been updated to include designer finishes, wood flooring, recessed lighting and other luxury touches. An open floor plan of 3,120 square feet contains three bedrooms, three bathrooms, a gourmet kitchen and an office.  Outside, 180-degree views of Hollywood take center stage thanks to a large, entertaining space with a pool.

Earlier this year, Pannetierre purchased a home in the country music capital after two years of working in the city on the ABC hit series “Nashville.” In addition to her Nashville home, Pannetierre reportedly owns a penthouse apartment in Hollywood, FL.

 

Gwyneth Paltrow pays $14 million for new home with Chris Martin

Realtor.com® has confirmed that actress Gwyneth Paltrow and her husband, Coldplay frontman Chris Martin, have purchased Lautner’s Garwood Residence in Point Dume. The couple paid $14 million for the home.

Presiding over a little more than an acre overlooking over Little Dume, the Garwood Residence sits hidden from the outside world behind tropical landscaping that provides the perfect cover for the celebrity haven.  A primitive covered pathway leads the way to the one-acre summit, where the 3,650-square-foot home sits. Three bedroom suites, a chef’s kitchen and a media room have perfectly framed views of the ocean through rows of floor-to-ceiling windows, while outer buildings with separate yoga and art studios offer places to escape for the creative type. For the sports enthusiast, there is a custom, full-size tennis court designed by the legendary tennis player and art dealer Gene Mako.  Outside, the landscaping design is punctuated by jungle gardens filled with fruit trees, a pebble-stone pool, and an outdoor master steam room and rain shower. A private pathway leads to the shore and a protected cove that presents the perfect place for boating visitors to drop anchor.

 

Vince Vaughn Buys $6.5 million home from Trojan’s football coach

In early March we learned that the former USC Trojans football coach had sold his Manhattan Beach, CA  7,300-square-foot custom Craftsman home to Vince Vaughn for $6.5 million.

Built by Nick Schaar in 2002, the rustic-contemporary Craftsman enjoys a half-acre lot and has six bedrooms and seven bathrooms. The grounds include a saltwater swimming pool and spa, a fire pit, an outdoor kitchen, and a guest house.  Inside, vaulted ceilings and a wealth of windows give the home an airy feel. An enormous living room is highlighted by a stone fireplace. The country kitchen comes complete with commercial-grade appliances, a center island and a breakfast nook that faces toward the backyard. The master suite features a private sitting area, a pair of walk-in closets, a steam shower and a spa room.

 

Zac Efron Lists His Home For Sale $2.849 million

Newly listed in the Hollywood Hills West area of Los Angeles is a home owned by the film and television actor. Zac Efron is asking $2.849 million for the Case Study Program home designed by esteemed architect Rodney Walker.

Built in 1947, the home of the “High School Musical” star has two bedrooms, two-and-a-half baths and 2,400 square feet of living space. Telescoping walls of glass add an organic dimension to the open floor plan, and open the interiors to a large deck and impressive views. Shaded by mature trees, grounds spanning one-third acre offer a relaxed state of living with various patios and an infinity pool with a private cabana.

 

Kari Cross – Intero Real Estate Services

925-584-1640

kcross@interodb.com

 

THE MODERN FAMILY HOME IS FOR SALE

If you watch Modern Family you know that Phil Dunphy is a real estate agent. The home the Dunphy family lives in is currently for sale but he’s not selling it.

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10336 Dunleer Drive in Los Angeles has been listed for sale at $2.35 million. The home is a 4 bedroom, 4.5 bathrooms, mahogany floors, marble countertops.

The house is used for all the external shots of the Dunphy household. The inside looks completely different though, as those scenes are filmed on soundstages.  The home’s current owner says he collects a nice fee from ABC every time they use the set. The new owners will get to negotiate their own contract with the studio.

Claire’s “Slow Down Your Neighbors” campaign for neighborhood caution must have worked, because the community is recognized for being safe for kids and spacious.   When the home was new in 2006 – three years before the show – it sold for less than two million.

A few Philism’s for you (some of the best real estate related puns from the show:

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Every Realtor is just a ninja with a blazer. The average burglar breaks in and leaves clues all over the place, but not me. I’m completely clueless.

You haven’t seen a commission since you joined the Navy.

I haven’t sold a house all month. Do you see me saying “I’m done?” Never. Because there is no “done” in Dunphy.

I always follow the ABC’s of real estate….. Always Be Closing

 

15 STORAGE IDEAS UNDER THE STAIRS

In our homes we are always looking for extra space.  Consider using the area under your stairs to fill a need you might have in your home.  Below are 15 stair storage ideas to inspire you to find the best fit for your home.

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1.  HOME OFFICE

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2.  PLAY HOUSE

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3. WINE CELLAR

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4.  SHOE STORAGE

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5.  DOG KENNEL

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6.  LIBRARY

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7.  READING NOOK

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8.  COMPUTER CENTER

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9.  DRAWERS

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10.  HANGING SHELVES

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11.  TOY ROOM

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12.  DOG HOUSE

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13.  DAY BED

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14.  KIDS ACTIVITY CENTER

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15.  DISPLAY CASE

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What is under your stairs?

Provided by:

  • Kari Cross
  • Intero Real Estate Services
  • 925-584-1640
  • kcross@interodb.com

I AM A REALTOR… BUT I DON’T SELL HOMES

I have been a real estate agent for over 15 years but I don’t sell homes!  

Over the years I have worked with may different buyers and sellers but it is not my job to sell a home….. I guide people through the process that will fulfill their personal dreams or needs, I assist people prepare for the largest financial decision of their lives, and I offer ongoing home information needed throughout the years they live in the home.

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STARTING A FAMILY:  Working with a newly married couple looking for the perfect home in the right neighborhood close to a great school so they can start a family….It is not my job to sell this couple a home, my job is to help this couple with their dream to start a family.  Years after the sell when I visit the family in their home and watch how their kids have grown, I know that my job is much more important than the house, my job affects people’s lives and I couldn’t be more proud of that.

INVESTORS:  Working with many investors…..It is not my job to sell them a home, my job is to help them expand their business portfolio.  Finding a home for investors and assisting them with finding the perfect tenant.   In the recent years many of my clients have decided to invest their money in real estate and I provide them with the information needed to make the best financial decision they can.

RELOCATION:  I help people relocating to a new area get familiar with a neighborhood/city/state….. Moving to a new area is very stressful but I provide clients with the information needed to make the transition as smooth as possible.  When relocating to a new area every client will have different needs that are important to them and I help them through the process.  I am not selling them a home, I am helping them get familiar with a neighborhood, city or state.

FINANCIAL HARDSHIP:  I assist people going through a financial hardship…. When someone is going through financial struggle or on the brink of loosing their home it is a very difficult time.  I give my clients the information needed so they know how to navigate through the process.  I advise them of all the different options and help them determine what the best decision is for their situation.  I walk them through the process and I don’t sell their home, I help them get through a stressful financial struggle.

FIRST TIME HOME BUYERS:   I help first time home buyers fulfill the American dream of owning a home… When making the biggest financial decision of your life it is important to have someone you trust guiding you along the way.  I provide my first time home buyers with all the information they need so they know that they are making the right decision for them.  I help my first time buyers figure out what they are looking for, what they want and what they need, and walk them through the entire process.

DIVORCE:  I help couples going through a divorce communicate about important home decisions…. When helping divorcing couples I help both husband and wife make important decisions about the home they are selling as well as assist them both in finding new homes.  The process can be very emotional, stressful and frustrating and the communication I provide helps both the husband and wife get through the process.

CHANGING HOME NEEDS:  Many of my clients need to downsize after the children move out or move into a larger home when they have more children,  When my clients need to sell their current home and buy a new home, they are concerned about moving from one home to the next.  I work with multiple parties to ensure that the client has a seamless move from the old home to the new home.

ESCROW:  The escrow process can be confusing.  I provide information and guidance for my clients to assist them through the escrow process.  I help my clients navigate the paperwork with confidence assurance throughout the entire escrow process.

LOAN INFORMATION AND REFINANCE:  I provide lender information for both clients looking for new homes or wanting to re-finance their current loan…. giving my clients information is a huge part of my job.  When you are purchasing a home or refinancing your loan years after, I help my clients obtain the loan information needed.

AREA REFERRALS:  I offer referrals to contractors and service providers in the area….  Throughout the time people live in their home they sometime need the advise of a local contractor or service provider.  I offer my clients references that may have been used by other past clients by keeping a referral database.

Just like in most jobs, as a Realtor I wear many hats.  Working with people and helping them through the real estate process is my passion!   I don’t sell homes…..I assist buyers and sellers with their real estate dreams, financial questions, lender information, etc.

I look forward to assisting you with your real estate needs……..

  • Kari Cross
  • Intero Real Estate Services
  • 925-584-1640
  • kcross@interodb.com

TOP 5 CALIFORNIA REAL ESTATE TRENDS TO EXPECT IN 2014

In the past few years the housing market has had many changes and RealtyTimes recently predicted some of the top housing trends for the California Real Estate market for 2014:

  • Mortgage rates will go up
  • Home values and prices will increase
  • Fewer investors buying up properties and more buyers looking for primary residences
  • Seller’s market will continue but cool off
  • Home buyer’s need to start searching

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INCREASING MORTGAGE RATES

Mortgage rates are predicted to rise, but not too far, up to 5% or 5.25% in 2014. The
Federal Reserve will begin tapering soon and the greater the reduction in Federal government purchases, especially of Mortgage Backed Securities (MBS), the more rates are likely to grow.

It’s a great time to buy now because mortgage rates are still below the historical average so if you’re thinking of making a move, 2014 is the perfect time to jump into the market and start looking! With low rates and increasing home values, now’s the time to buy in order to make a smart investment for your future.

Speaking of mortgages, home buyers also need to be prepared for stricter qualifications on home loans. Come January 10th lenders will be required to prove borrowers’ ability to repay a loan according to new “qualified mortgage” standards. An important statistic to keep in mind is the maximum debt-to-income ratio of 43% that borrowers will need to qualify.  The Federal Housing Finance Agency, which regulates Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, has also announced plans to reduce the maximum loan limits for conventional conforming loans some time in 2014.

If you are considering buying a home in 2014, contact your local Realtor now to make sure you know how these changes will affect you. 

INCREASING HOME PRICES AND VALUES

Predictions show that home values and prices will rise in 2014.  Moderate predictions are clocking in at a 6-8% increase for California markets whereas others foresee a 10-15% increase.

According to Bill Plattos, Execute Vice President of First Team Real Estate, “2013 has begun the upward progression of the real estate market in California. In the next 3 to 4 years prices and sales will continue to rise bringing us back up to a peak.”

FEWER INVESTORS

Investors swoop in when home prices bottom out like they have in the past few years, seeking foreclosed homes and short sales to snatch up.  However, as our economy strengthens and home values come back up in 2014 there are fewer distressed homes on the market to interest investors.  The rise in home values in and upswing in the economy will also make it easier for current home owners who’ve built up equity to afford a down payment and enter the market in search of a bigger and better home to fit their needs.

Fewer investors also means less price competition and fewer bidding wars for buyers shopping for primary residences.  2014 will be the prime time to buy and sell for home owners who are ready to move on to a better neighborhood, larger home or location offering a more convenient commute.

CONTINUED HOME SELLERS MARKET

The seller’s market will continue in 2014 for California and on a national level.  However, it will be much cooler than the one we’ve witnessed over the past two years. “The market will get closer to normal – or as normal as the market can be,” says Plattos. “It will continue to cool and inventory will come up to a moderate level, not too low or too high.”

HOME BUYERS NEED TO START SEARCHING

With the seller’s market leveling in 2014, that means buyers need to be realistic about the home they can afford.   Home buyers, now is the time to start searching the best deals in real estate in order to get the most for your money.

IF YOU ARE PLANNING TO MAKE A MOVE IN 2014

CONTACT A REAL ESTATE AGENT TODAY

Provided by:

  • Kari Cross
  • Intero Real Estate
  • 925-584-1640
  • kcross@interodb.com