Archive for March, 2008
March 29th, 2008 categories: San Diego Real Estate
There are times in life when words along can not capture the spirit of the magnificent traits of our lives as we grow through the trials and tribulations of life. Please join me to view this most wonderful video that reflects the true principles of greatness that we seek within our selves.
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March 23rd, 2008 categories: San Diego Real Estate
As your real estate professional, it is incumbent upon me to help you get your property ready for market. I am quite well known for my Diligent Agent Inspections and that helps me to observe many more things that need attention ion the home.Getting all the obvious repairs done, making the place shine, paying attention to the areas that need replaced, repainted, etc. Another area is staging and getting the Buyer to see the best use of your space that you are selling. Helping them to take custody of it, if you will. Along the way, lots of things need cleaned and polished. Floors, walls woodwork, detailing the kitchen and baths. But time after time, when I come in, I see many areas that were neglected. So this is my above and beyond list. The first on my list is almost always either neglected or not done correctly. That being, cleaning out and fixing up under the Kitchen sink.
That Kitchen sink cabinet is almost universally stuffed with bottles, jars , cleaning supplies,cans, dish clothes, sponges, you name it, it is under the Kitchen sink. There are some tell tale signs that speak to the real condition of the property, so pay special attention here.
For instance, was there ever a leak under the sink. Hopefully you repaired it. But did you repair the damage? The water stain, the softened or damaged wood. If you have laminate, is it separated at the seams and is the wood or fiber board all swollen? Is the base of the cabinet stained from wet bottles , soap dispensers,or metal cans that left rust rings. Is there a smell under there?
Believe it or not, it is one of the first places a good buyer looks when going in to the Kitchen. It just must be instinct as I see almost every buyer prospect do this. What will they see? A neat and orderly cabinet with finish intact or something else? What they see here also very much speaks to what the condition of the rest of the home is or at least was, even if you just fixed it up. It’s a tell-tale sign as to how you really lake care of things and if this is the home of their dreams.
So here are some areas that need special cleaning, repair or specific attention if you want to pass the Buyer’s desireability test. This list is beyond all the upgrades and improvements you made.
Under the Kitchen sink – Make it perfect, neat, clean,orderly, odor free and pardon this word but un-stuffed. Obviously, the same goes for under your bath sinks as well.
The garage – clean the floor of stains, discoloration and have them refinished and sealed if it is seriously stained. Paint the walls and clean all the corners and walls of cob webs and get the other debris out. Get rid of stuff ( my favorite word ) that fills it up. Buyer expects a garage to house cars not be a warehouse. If your water heater and furnace are located here please clean them off. They have a tendency to get very dirty so make them clean and presentable for your prospective buyers and eventually the inspector. Don’t forget the furnace filter.
Closets – make your closets look ample, clean and orderly. Spend a little time providing enough hanging space with closet outfitters. This alone can overcome some of the objections of why many homes don’t sell. Take all that “stuff” you’re not wearing or just storing to a charitable organization or a storage facility! This is a well known area you should all know by now to take care of but mentioning it here again can’t hurt.
Window sills – most often not properly cared for and usually dirty. Windows need hard surface sills and they are often not provided by home builders that take shortcuts in the trimouts. At the very least , have the surfaces repainted with an enamel paint. The glass in windows is a magnet for dust and the glass also radiates the extremes of temperature. Latex painted drywall sills can not be expected to endure the harsh treatment they often attract.
Switch plates and outlet covers – With hands touching these everyday, they get plenty dirty. They need to be cleaned of all dirt and fingerprints. Usually made of plastic, this material was used in homes because they were inexpensive and readily available. Changing them out when they become discolored is best. For the future, one tip will help make these plates blend better with the walls. Plastic plates would serve best if the first coat of paint on them was enamel and then they may be painted with latex paint to match the wall color. Latex paint without the enamel will enable them to be easily scratched and attract dirt.
Drains – When sinks, showers and tubs are first installed, they have metal drain trim and it takes quite a beating over the years. Changing this out when the metal becomes pitted or discolored will brighten these areas and make them look new again. Changing the sink, shower or tub hardware would have been on my recommended list in the first place, if needed. New sink hardware comes with new drains but don’t forget about the tub and/or shower drains. I’ve walked into too many homes with new handles and faucets but pitted drain covers.
Baseboards – These are very often overlooked as they are down at the floor level and provide a buffer between the floor surface and the walls. They get dirty, plenty dirty, scratched , chipped and worn. Keeping these painted and clean will pay dividends and give evidence of good maintenance , cleanliness and pride in the home.
Overhead fans – the blades attract dust and minute particles of oil from the motor and the air. This should be a regular cleaning and maintenance item.
Window and sliding door tracks – In a typical year, these doors are opened and closed to the elements outside and the tracks attracts dirt, sand, and debris. Keeping the tracks clean will help cut the wear and tear down of opening and closing them. Allowing debris to accumulate eventually will cause the rollers to disintegrate and the door will become harder and harder to open and close, even to the point of eventually just dragging the door’s metal bottom against the metal of the threshold track. Sellers, please make sure that your sliding glass doors open and close easily. Walking into and through a seemingly beautifully maintained home and then coming upon a sliding door that barely or roughly opens is a turn off.
Inside edges of the dishwasher – Many homeowners have the mistaken belief that because water runs through the dishwasher that it must be clean. The inside maybe but the continued splashing of water, dirt and detergent along the edges accumulates and looks very unsightly and unkempt.
Detailing the stove top – using the stove top naturally exposes it to oil and food splash. Quick wipe downs force dirt into the crevices and edges and attract even more dirt. Detailing the stove, using old toothbrushes will get all these areas and clean and help make the stove sparkle. Don’t forget the underside of the hood, the backsplash areas, the undersides of the top cabinets since grease and cooking debris can fly everywhere. Left undetailed, it is further indication that proper maintenance and cleaning of the house is often overlooked.
The front door – The first impression. Your front door. The weather takes it’s toll on the wood finish as well as the metal trim and handle. If these things are worn and the door is dirty with silt from the outside, the first impression is marred. Clean, paint and replace any deteriorated metal. A gleaming front door gives a great welcoming message. Wipe down your door every few days. Even if you have freshly painted your door, the dirt that collects in the grooves and moldings over just a weeks time is amazing.
Recessed lighting – dust accumulates here and cleaning these out adds additional sparkle to the ceiling. How many times I have looked up and seen dirty and/or dust caked light bulbs, especially in kitchens I cannot begin to count.
Blinds and louvered drapes – These items attract dirt and dust like a magnet. They should be a part of the regular cleaning and maintenance but are often overlooked. When you bring your home to market, they may need more than a casual dusting. They may need to be professionally cleaned.
Air ducts and return vents – For your own health and well being, doing an annual vent cleaning can go a very long way in helping to keep the home clean. But providing clean air through the heating and cooling system for the Buyer should be the standard not the exception. Homes accumulate dust, dirt, smoke, cooking odors ( oil based) , pet and human dander and any number of other things that eventually find their way into the ducts and coat the return air vents. Providing a clean home to the Buyer should be the goal and this is an important area not to overlook.
Remember, this is the above and beyond list (which in my opinion must be done) on top of the other lists of fix-up, clean-up, de-cluttering, repairs and/or replacements, staging you should already de doing.
And, last but not least get fresh doormats at every doorway into and out of your home!
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March 22nd, 2008 categories: Local San Diego News You Can Use
Blu-Ray Disc ( BD ) by the definition in Wikipedia is an optical disc storage media format. So exactly why should we care? Will it have some adverse effect on our DVD players we now own, especially the DVD-CD ROM player associated with our computers?
The answer is……. yes. As the new movies and other media are produced in the Blu-Ray format, they will not play on our old equipment, either the stand alone DVD players or the one ( internal or external ) that comes with your computer. Major motion picture companies are switching over and will not continue to produce in the DVD format. Currently there are only 2 US major motion picture studios that are current holdouts but all expect they will eventually cave and convert as well. Most of the movies already on the shelves in DVD format will be converted over time.
If you are over 40 you will remember experiencing the conversion from the old 8 Track tape to Beta. The standard that didn’t last long as Beta was won over by VHS and then the evolution on to DVD. It will take so time but all of our old equipment will eventually end up with the recyclers and we should have the new format equipment showing up in all of our favorite electronic stores soon. Blu-Ray, both Disc’s and Players are expected to be at the same or similar price points as the current HD-DVD format.
The Blu-Ray Disc Association that developed this new format said the Blu-Ray format has the real advantage of being able to pack the data more tightly and with the blu-violet light ( that is where the name Blu-Ray came from ) that can focus with more precision allowing for more data in less space. DVD disc could hold about 15 GB and the new Blu-Ray format comes in nearly double at 25GB.
Special Note: If you happen to be upgrading your computer soon, be sure that the media player you end up with is capable of playing in the Blu-Ray format.
Blu-Ray.com has provided a Q & A for those that have questions and would like more details.
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The chair of the committee of representatives from each of the 50 participating community planning groups had this to say about the much awaited new growth plan. ” The plan has these wonderful platitudes but on every page you should be hitting the cash register”, as quoted in the Union Tribune in a March article.
I am sure as a road map that the New Growth Plan will have much to like and maybe even some things to dislike depending on what your personal perspective might be. But one thing is certain, without a plan, most cities would flounder till there is one and the San Diego city council both now and the one that will be seated in the Fall, after the next election, at least will have a blue print for the possibilities that exist for San Diego.
Some of the main categories that will be addressed in the plan are:
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With the advent of larger Plasma and LCD HDTV’s becoming more reasonably priced, many more homeowners are not just sitting or hanging the new TV in the Family Room but are literally creating newly designed spaces that will serve to showcase the new TV and provide optimal viewing of HDTV and provide entertainment for the whole family and friends.
Most homes that are not new in the last 4 or 5 years had no real design provisions for the new wall mounted wide screen larger TV’s that didn’t involve hiring an electrician and a finish carpenter to prepare for them. Most homeowners who hadn’t given much thought to preparing the new space in advance, realized that there was no power outlet at the right height and the cable was not nearby to make a clean connection with cords out of view.
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