Tag Archives: investors

Moisture in Windows – Real Estate Sacramento

I have viewed and sold so many homes with dual pane windows that have failed.  The clear, or should I say unclear, indication is fogged up glass.  When you try to clean them, you quickly realize that there is moisture trapped in between the two panes, hence the window has failed.  Most inspectors will tell you that this does not diminish the effectiveness of the window, rather it just looks ugly.  And typically the remedy is replacing the glass or the window, which can be costly.

I ran across an article/ad regarding a newer technology, whereby they can de-moisturize and repair the window by just drilling to small holes in the corners.  Sound great if it actually is legitimate.

Has anyone out there utilized this technology?  And more importantly, does it work?  If so, this would be a great innovation to all those failed windows out there.

Enjoy,

Keith Klassen – Real Estate Broker

916.669.9030

KeithAKlassen@gmail.com

Things That Eat Your Home (Sacramento CA)

Viewing thousands of homes and participating in hundreds of inspections, there are things that become familiar sights – things to look out for that could adversely affect the purchase of a home.

I showed an investor a home that I was about to list.  Originally it was going to be a flip, but the owner has his hands full with about 20 other homes that they are rehabbing.  When previewing this home, there were the normal checklist-thoughts of what needs to be done to get this home ready to rent or sell:  Paint and carpet, rip out and rehab kitchen, new HVAC unit, restore garage from illegal conversion, etc.  Before we left, I pulled back a window curtain and ah ha….

This my friends is a termite “tunnel.”

While these items may seem daunting, they are curable at a relatively reasonable expense.

Enjoy,

Keith Klassen – Real Estate Broker

916.669.9030

Great Remodeled Home for First Time Home Buyer in Sacramento CA

Welcome to 5761 Sampson Way.

This house has been renewed… all you will need to do is move in (and plant a garden in the humongous backyard).

This home has been painted inside and out.  There are new doors (including security doors), new trim, new carpet and tile flooring.  The kitchen and bathrooms have been renovated and upgraded.  Check out the granite-slab counter tops and recessed lighting.

Just to mention a few more of the many upgrades – New central heat and air units, new landscaping, and newly pour concrete driveway (these costs and really add up).

You get all this for under $100,000.  That’s only about $775.00 per month in housing payments, which is less than you’d pay to rent this house!  We have more for sale like this.

Enjoy,

Keith Klassen – Real Estate Broker

916.669.9030

Property Management Market in Sacramento CA

Just like home values, market rents, in Sacramento CA, vary depending on the location, size, and quality (amenities) of the property.  Currently, the inventory (supply) is up, there for prospective tenants have much to choose from, driving the rents down.  Tenants can now be picky, as they hold most of the “cards.”  There are a few areas that stay strong – East Sacramento and Midtown (as well as Curtis and Land Park when people can afford it) always have high demands to live there.

I have an owner client that was previously renting a 2 bedroom home for $1250.  We’ve lowered the price to $1050 and are still not get very many showings.  The people how do look, say, “Yeah, I have 4 more to look at and I’m in no hurry.”  After showing the property yesterday, the couple said, “We love it and think it’s adorable, but we have one little questions…  We cannot live without a dishwasher and noticed that this home does not have one.  Would you be willing to install one?”

I found the owner to be very amicable to the idea and said, “If it will get them in, I will do it!”  Kind of like, he just threw up his hands and said, “I’m tired of this game, let’s get it over with.” So I called the potential tenant back with the good news, ready to schedule an application date, etc., and they said, “Well, we have a few more we want to look at before we make a decision… but we do want to decide soon… we’ll let you know.”  I guess we came off too desperate?!?!  Par for the course.  It’s a brutal time to be getting top dollar on a rental here in Sacramento.

What has been your experience?

Enjoy,

Keith Klassen – Real Estate Broker

916.669.9030

Philosophy Meets Real Estate in Sacramento CA and Beyond

While this post has everything to do with, and is focused on the details of the real estate market, the economy, investing, buying and selling property, my little neighborhood in Curtis Park, Sacramento, sometimes I can get a little philosophical.  What is the meaning of life?  What is the purpose of my life?  How do the situations and the context which I find myself shape life?  Are there forces at work bigger than the indexes?  Is this depressed economy doing something in our culture and country that may actually be positive?

I mused the other day over the thought that storms and hard times in my life have been the things that has been pivotal or a “rescue” of sorts for my life.  Let me give you an example.

When I hit the ripe age of 31, I started having chronic back pain.  This was the same time as we had our first child.  I have painful memories of not being able to carry my newborn son very far in the Baby Bjorn (front carrier), due to back pain.  My wife just thought I was trying to get out of carrying the baby 🙂  I tried a lot of quick fixes like a hot pad, muscle relaxing creams, simple stretching, and more.  I continued to not be very active and I lost sleep due to the discomfort.  As a result, I made a determination that I had to seek physical therapy and strengthen my core muscles, or I may go through the rest of my life with a dull, (kind of) bearable back pain.  I could not deal with the idea that I would not be able to carry, let alone wrestle with my sons as they got older.  As a result, I buckled down, swallowed my pride and got help.  I now stretch daily, am aware of my posture, wear orthotics, work out 4-5 days a week (focusing on core muscles) and am in the best shape of my life.  Oh yeah, there are nightly wrestling matches with my boys, now 4 and 6 years old.  I can sleep soundly and walk/run long distances without pain.  This pain-in-the-back changed my life for the better.

Whether it be a health situation, a tragedy of some sort, or a financial crisis, the “storms” in life will reveal in us who we really are and what lies at the core of our being.  I wonder, is this housing storm revealing what our nation is really about?  While it’s tragic for many (including myself), is there something underneath it all that is good?  Is there a corrective measure that we need as a country that will be of great benefit in the long-run?

I read an article lately about “The return to frugality” – how saving money is back in vogue.  Trends show that people are staying home and finding inexpensive ways to be entertained.  Maybe couples are conversing more and experiencing greater intimacy?  Maybe families are doing things like going on bike rides together, or spending a day at the park with a picnic lunch?  Maybe people are reading more?  Maybe consumption is down (I know that is not helping our economy in the traditional ways)?  Maybe people are shopping more locally?  Maybe people are saving resources by not driving as much, or using as much power?  I’ve heard that micro farming is becoming a big thing for some families, or at least there is rise in growing your own produce.  Maybe neighbors are talking more and sharing ideas and bonding over a shared plight?   Maybe people are looking after their physical health more?  I notice the gym is packed on Fridays with “furlough Fridays” in effect for state workers,.

I got to thinking a little deeper…. Usually I try to escape storms and run away from them – this is the rational thing to do, right?  However, if I am constantly trying to escape the thing that could radically change my life for the better, maybe I should attempt to look at storms a bit differently?  Do I just continue to put “Icy Hot” on my dull back  pain, or am I going to embrace the trauma and enter into a larger, positive, more life-impacting shift?

Your deep thoughts?

Enjoy,

Keith Klassen – Real Estate Broker

916.669.9030

Have we hit bottom in the Sacramento CA housing Market?

This is a question I get asked frequently and one that I hear attempting to be answered.  “Have we hit the bottom of the housing market?  At times I have fallen prey to the common thinking that says, “How much worse can it get?  The market has dropped ____%, how much more can it go down?”  Then the conclusion… “We must be at the bottom.”  Anyone with their head in the game has thought/asked this.

However, after just doing a little research you will find that there are key economic forces in play that have to change (unemployment for one) before “the bottom” is reached AND our economy comes out of the recession in which we find ourselves.  Forecasters have been calling the bottom for the last 2 years or longer.  So have we hit bottom yet?

For an excellent read on some of these economic factors, check out this article, The Orwellian Recovery.  The author succinctly states,  “I don’t see how housing prices can recover at the same time inventories, mortgage rates, and unemployment rise.”

A colleague an I were discussing this topic over coffee today… what’s going to happen when the government backs off the stimulus and interest rates rise?

It’s a complicated and highly opinionated topic, what are your thoughts?

Enjoy,

Keith Klassen – Real Estate Broker

916.669.9030

Real Estate Therapy in Sacramento, CA

Lately I’ve had the privilege of gaining several buyer referrals, where the previous real estate agent, for a variety of reasons, was not able or capable of getting the job done.  One agent was in the business part-time and did not have the availability to do the follow through.  Another situation, the agent said to the buyers, “You are too picky… you need to expand your search and buyer something [now].”  I’ve retold that story many times… how crazy is that?!  I mean, there are thoughts that might go through my head about certain buyer characteristics (especially if I’m hungry, tired, or unbalanced)… but let’s just say, FILTER!  Let me say it again, FILTER!  If I said everything I was thinking, I might get beat up (and that’s just my wife – ha ha ha).  Back to the subject… My point… plain and simple I’ve had the good fortune of capitalizing on other agent’s inability to do their job (well).  One frustrated client said, “Our agent wouldn’t return our calls!”  Most recently, I received a referral on a client whose previous agent decided that they could not make a living in real estate any more (this is pretty common these days).

While this phenomenon has been good for my business and is a nice pat on the back, as I imagine the ones referring these clients say, “Call Keith, he’s the most solid (best, most professional, gets-the-job-done, intelligent, savvy…) Realtor I know!”  Okay, emphasis on I imagine.  Bottom line, I call people back, am full-time, and don’t say (aloud) everything that passes through my head.  It’s been good to get these referral, however, I find myself having mini-counseling sessions to give these beat-up buyers real estate therapy.  These are wonderful people now on edge due to their past agents.  For the one client, she kept asking me during the showing process, “Do you think I’m too picky?”  My response, “Why yes I do, let’s stop right now, I can’t take it any longer!”  Of course not!  And I wasn’t even thinking that 🙂  Here’s the genuine and right response, “You should be picky.  You are making one of the biggest investments of your life.  My role is to assist and help you find your ideal home that fits your buying criteria.”  Agents, takes notes – this is real estate 101 / Socialization 201.

You will be helping yourselves as well as your clients when you help them focus their search.  If they don’t want a swimming pool… don’t show them homes with swimming pools.  If the client can only afford a $250,000 home, then don’t show them homes that are listed at $300,000.  If they are using a down-payment assistance program that requires that they buy an REO (bank owned property)… yep, you got it, only show them bank owned properties.  I know, not rocket science, however, it requires that the agent listens, and asks questions, and takes notes, and is actually engaged.  The other day I met a clients for the first time that was frustrated and burnt out on her last agent.  I found out through listening to her story that they’ve looked at 40-50 homes over the last 5-6 months.  Naturally I asked, “What were some of the things about those homes that did not work for you?”  She replied, “Well, most needed too much work, and I don’t have a lot of money to do a lot of work.  Many had swimming pools, and I definitely do not want a pool.  Others backed up to a busy street, and I don’t like the noise.”  She went on.  I took notes.  Wen she was done I ask more questions and learned that she also was allergic to cats, loved gardening, and has a niece that would be living with her.  I asked specific questions like, “What do you mean by ‘a lot of work’?” And, “How much money could you spend on fix up costs.”  And, “what is your favorite thing about this house?” And, “Does your niece need to be in walking distance of the school?”  And, “What matters most in buying a home on the list we’ve created?”  Again, this is not new or an unusual tool in the agent’s belt, but I am surprised how little it is used.

I’ve found it a refreshing experience to have these real estate therapy sessions. The client finds relief from frustration.  They feel cared for and in good hands.  They get motivated and excited to find that home, as they now know we are not going to just look at anything that pops up.  The homes we look at will all be potential purchases.

My therapy sessions are free.

What are some experiences you’ve had as an agent or a buyer? I’d love to hear your story.

Keith Klassen – Real Estate Broker

916.669.9030