March 26, 2021

The Spring Is a Great Time to List Your Home

Here are four reasons to sell your home this spring.

We’re officially in the spring season, and the real estate market is red-hot. Today I’ll answer a question on many sellers' minds this time of year: What are the advantages of selling your house during the springtime?

 

1. Great weather. Once the weather becomes warmer, there will be no better time to spruce up your curb appeal. The flowers and trees are in bloom, the grass is green, and the sky will be clear and sunny.

 

2. Active buyers. Springtime is when most buyers are out and about in the market; they want to close on their homes before the summer so they can get settled in and make the most of the hotter months. This also allows them to get everything ready before the fall, when kids go back to school.

 

     If you’re thinking about selling your home, the spring is the time to do it.

 

3. Low inventory. Most sellers want to list their homes in the summer when they have more free time, but if you wait until then to list, you’ll have that much more competition in the market. Why not sell when there are plenty of buyers but fewer sellers? By selling now, you'll likely receive multiple offers and sell for top dollar.

 

4. Low interest rates. Last month, interest rates hit an all-time low, which increased how much homebuyers could afford. That, in turn, increases how large your pool of potential buyers is.

 

The bottom line is that if you’re thinking of selling your home, the spring is the time to do it—don’t wait until the summer. If you have any questions about selling your home or anything else to do with real estate, feel free to reach out to us. We’d love to help you.

 

Posted in Sellers
Feb. 11, 2021

The Hidden Costs of Buying a Home

 

Here are four things every homebuyer should budget for.

 

When you buy a home, all of your costs are disclosed to you in writing. However, you may not have budgeted for some of these “hidden costs,” so I’ll run through them with you today:

 

1. Earnest money deposit. This is the good faith deposit you put into escrow that takes the home off the market for you. The seller can’t sell to someone else at this point. The deposit is generally 1% to 3% of the sale price, but the good news is that it goes toward your down payment and/or closing costs.

 

The appraisal will cost around $500 to $600 out of pocket.

 

2. Inspections. A home inspection will cost you around $300 depending on the size of the property and will need to be paid out of pocket.

 

3. Appraisal. If you're getting a mortgage, you’ll have to pay out of pocket for the appraisal as well. This is about $500 to $600 that you’ll pay to the bank.

 

4. Closing costs. These include things like prepaid taxes and insurance, escrow fees, title insurance, home insurance, lender fees (if applicable), and a transfer tax and generally add up to about 2% to 3% of the purchase price.

 

This pretty much sums up what you need to bring to the table when you buy a home. Stay tuned for the next video where we’ll discover some of the hidden costs that pop up after you’ve bought your home.

 

If you have any questions for me in the meantime, don’t hesitate to reach out via phone or email. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Posted in Buyers
Feb. 5, 2021

The Hidden Costs of Homeownership

        Here are five homeownership costs you might not know about.

 

 

Here are the five hidden costs of homeownership:

 

1. Mortgage payment. Your mortgage payment will include your principal and interest payments each month. A lot of times, they'll also include your homeowners insurance and property taxes.

 

2. HOA and Master Plan fees. If you buy in one of these communities, you’ll have additional fees.

 

3. Utility bills. This includes power, gas, water, sewer, and trash bills.

 

4. Water reclamation bill. This is specific to Las Vegas.

 

5. Maintenance costs. Things like landscaping, pest control, and home system repairs all fall under this umbrella.

 

These are the costs you can expect when buying and owning a home. If you have any questions for me, don’t hesitate to reach out via phone or email. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Posted in Buyers
Jan. 21, 2021

Recapping Our 2020 Market & Looking Ahead to 2021

 

Despite the pandemic, our market heated up nicely during 2020.

 

What’s the story of our 2020 Las Vegas real estate market?

 

Obviously, we saw a huge change, but to truly answer that question we must start at the beginning of the year, before COVID hit, with some January numbers. The average interest rate was 3.7%, the median days on market was 34 days, the median home price was $305,000, and the average price per square foot was $168. 

 

If we skip forward to last December, interest rates dropped even further (28% to be exact) to 2.67%. This really increased the affordability of most buyers and drove our market, so much so that the median days on market dropped to 16 days, the median home price increased to $345,000, and the average price per square foot increased $183. 

 

Sellers will be able to sell their homes pretty easily; it’s only a matter of getting the best terms and price.

 

In total, there were 31,191 single-family home sales in the Las Vegas market (including Henderson). The market really heated up during the pandemic, mostly due to low interest rates and high demand for homes—especially from people relocating from California. As of the recording of this video, there are 3,100 homes for sale, and we’re averaging about 2,600 sales per month. This equates to a 1.25-month supply of inventory. 

 

What do I expect from the rest of 2021? I expect the market to continue to be hot, with inventory staying low and demand staying high. Basically, it’s going to be a crazy seller’s market. Sellers will be able to sell their homes pretty easily; it’s only a matter of getting the best terms and price. If you’re thinking of buying a home in 2021, it’s going to be a competitive market. Since rates are so low and so many people will want to upsize, it’s important for you to work with an experienced agent who knows how to navigate current market conditions. 

 

If you’d like to talk more about why I think 2021 will be a very good year for our market or you’re thinking of buying or selling soon, don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I’d love to speak with you.

Jan. 6, 2021

Q: How Do I Sell My Investment Property?

Here’s our process for helping landlords sell their investment properties.

 

We occasionally hear from landlords who have been given notice that their tenant is moving out and they want to sell the property. If you or someone you know is in a similar situation, here’s how we typically handle it. First, if you’re working with a property manager, we work in cooperation with them as far as the move-out process goes. If you don’t have one, we can reach out to the tenant directly.

 

Once that’s been settled, we’ll go out to the property, walk though it, and assess it. We’ll make maintenance notes, paying close attention to any tenant damage and any areas in need of repair. Next, we’ll get estimates and bids for the work and look at what we actually need to do to get the home sold. We know that your goal is to make a profit on the property, and we’re dedicated to giving you the best advice and tips to get the property in good condition, where you can sell for top dollar without having to dump a bunch of money into improvements.

 

If you have questions about this topic or anything else related to real estate, don’t hesitate to reach out via phone or email. I look forward to hearing from you.

Posted in Sellers
Dec. 14, 2020

Q: Why Sell With a Listing Agent?

These are the differences between property managers and listing agents.

 

Often when I speak to landlords who want to sell their rental property, they’ll tell me what an excellent job their property manager has done keeping the home rented out, and ask why they should list with a real estate agent and not their property manager. The truth is, property managers and listing agents have two different jobs.

 

The difference is that property managers specialize in just that—managing your property. They ensure rents are collected, screen residents, work out any repairs or issues that come up, and when the residents move out, they’ll do what’s needed to get the house rented again. A listing agent specializes in selling your property for top dollar; they understand buyers and can tell you what upgrades are needed to get the most from your sale. If you compare the marketing between houses for sale and those for rent, you’ll notice a huge contrast. 

 

"If you compare the marketing between houses for sale and those for rent, you’ll notice a huge contrast."

 

Listing agents know the sales market and what buyers want; property managers know the rental market and what renters want. As an example, a property manager may ask you to replace some carpet so they can rent out your house, a listing agent might ask you to replace it with updated flooring to reflect the current market and get you top dollar. Or, if it’s a very hot seller’s market, they could tell you not to worry about the flooring because the buyer will purchase it as is. 

 

If you have more questions about the differences between property managers and listing agents or you want to discuss it further, please reach out to me via phone or email. I would love to help you.

Posted in Tips from Jim Fong
Nov. 25, 2020

Q: Is your client moving to Las Vegas?

I’m looking to develop some referral partnerships between Las Vegas and California.

 

The Las Vegas real estate market is really hot right now, and it’s fueled in part by a flood of people moving here from California. In light of this, I’m looking to develop some referral partnerships between Las Vegas and California. I would love the opportunity to help your clients with their relocation to Las Vegas—of course, I would pay you a referral commission for referring your clients to me. If you know anyone who has relocated here from California and not yet listed their home, I would also love the opportunity to refer business back to you.

 

If this sounds like something that you’re interested in, please reach out to the Jim Fong Group at UrbanNest Realty in Las Vegas. Hope to hear from you soon!

Nov. 5, 2020

Q: What Should Homeowners Know About Solar Power?

Here’s what homeowners should know about adding solar power.

 

Solar power is a very hot topic here in Las Vegas. You can see solar panels popping up on more rooftops every day—not just with residential houses, but with commercial properties as well. Builders are even including solar power as an option for new construction properties. 

 

Thus, one question I’m getting asked quite often is: How do solar panels affect home sales? The answer depends on a couple of factors. 

 

First of all, is the solar system of the home in question leased or paid off outright? If it’s on a lease, the buyer would have to assume that lease once they take possession of the home. In this way, having a leased system is only an incentive if the buyer is willing to assume the lease’s terms, and they have to qualify to assume the loan before purchasing. The lease can also be paid off in full by either party before closing. 

 

If you’re curious about adding a solar system to your house, there are a few things you can expect from the purchasing process. First, whichever solar company you buy from will first ask to see your power bill so they can calculate your annual energy usage and determine how many panels you qualify to have installed. They don’t want your house to produce more energy than it uses.

 

Whichever solar company you buy from will first ask to see your power bill so they can calculate your annual energy usage and determine how many panels you qualify to have installed. Obviously, they don’t want your house to produce more energy than it uses.

 

If you own a home with a solar system that’s paid off, it benefits you when you list it because it adds value to your property.

 

 

After that, they’ll take a quick look at your house (probably via Google Earth). Ideally, they’ll want a south-facing roof to install your panels on. Roofs with multiple levels are less than ideal because they make your system more expensive to build and less efficient to operate. 

 

Once you go solar, you’ll still have a Nevada energy account because you’ll still be connected to the power grid. During the winter, when we use less energy, you’ll build a surplus of energy for your account that goes back to the power grid. Then during the summer when we use more energy due to air conditioning, you can draw from the surplus you created during the winter. If you have any energy left at the end of the year, you’ll receive a credit for it that’s referred to as ‘net metering.’


There are also tax incentives involved in buying solar systems. If you bought and installed a system in 2020, you’d get a tax credit that’s equal to 26% of the cost of that system. For example, if your solar system costs $30,000, you’d receive a tax credit of $7,800.

 

If you have more questions about how solar power affects a home sale or any general real estate concerns, please reach out via phone or email. I'm always happy to chat with you.

Posted in Tips from Jim Fong
Oct. 23, 2020

Wishing You a Happy Halloween!

 

Today we just want to wish everyone a happy and safe Halloween! We hope you and your family are doing well. Enjoy the holiday, even if it isn’t quite the same as usual this year.

 

If you ever have any real estate questions, call or email me. I would love to help you.

Posted in Las Vegas Events
Oct. 14, 2020

Q: Do You Know the Answers to These Homebuyer FAQs?

 

 

Here is some more helpful info about buying new construction homes.

 

We’re back with part two of our new home series to answer some more common questions we get from homebuyers who are considering a new construction home:

 

What are quick move-ins and spec homes?

These are great questions. When builders are in a hot market, they’ll often build properties knowing that they’ll sell them without having to wait for a buyer to come along before construction begins. The builder will choose countertops, cabinets, and other finishes prior to selling it. These are called “quick move-in homes” or “spec homes.” You don’t get to fully customize them, but you don’t have to wait six months for the home to be built either.

 

If I buy a new home, do I have to use the builder’s lender?

The simple answer is absolutely not. You can use whatever lender you’d like to finance the home. However, there may be incentives tied to using the builders’ preferred lender, such as closing cost credits or design center credits. Some builders may or may not honor those incentives with an outside lender. It’s a good question to ask when you’re looking at possible homes.

 

The warranties that come with new construction homes are usually really good.

 

What are the warranties that come with new builds? 

They’re usually really good: a 10-year structural warranty and a one-year warranty on everything in the home from the foundation to the roof. It’s a good warranty to have and one of the reasons why people prefer new builds.

 

Do I need a home inspection when I buy a new home? 

My answer is yes, but not right before closing. If you do one within the first year that you’re living in the home, you can find all the imperfections, submit your claim to the builder’s warranty, and they’ll come and fix everything without you having to pay for it.

 

If you have any other questions similar to these or about real estate in general, don’t hesitate to reach out via phone or email. I look forward to hearing from you.

Posted in Buyers