Back to School!

Believe it or not, the end of summer is approaching, and school days are just around the corner. Are you getting ready for the early morning schedule, homework, and projects?

We need to start setting our kid’s sleep schedule to school at least two weeks before their start date. It won’t stop the bedtime bickering from happening; however, it will significantly reduce the bickering once school starts.

Start looking for extra curriculum activities that you could involve your kids in, it will keep them active, and it will get them excited to go back to school the following day.

Get your kids used to the school schedule, school start and end time, pick up time, homework time,  refresh them on the rules for electronics and TV.

Start shopping for school supplies early, but doing so you can start picking up a few items each week, and you can take advantage of the specials, and multiple stores will offer. This will keep you from avoiding the masses and overspending in last-minute purchases.

Why did I choose Real Estate?

My home has been the place where I’ve enjoyed most of the most memorable experiences of my life. Whether I was renting, or I owned it.
I started with nothing, sleeping on the carpet in a one-bedroom apartment for over a year because I couldn’t afford to buy furniture.  I didn’t let the lack of money stop me from pursuing a dream of buying a house. 

That desire increased when I got engaged,  even though I couldn’t afford to buy when I got married to my wife in August of 2009, we persevered, set up a plan, started reading about  Real Estate, created a budget, and started saving like crazy. 

The process was very stressful; we had to work with 3 REALTORS. The experience with each REALTOR was utterly different.

Nobody guided us through the process of buying, and I didn’t know anything about commissions, offer, EMD, contingencies, short-sale, pre-foreclosure, and nobody dares to explain it to us. In the end, we made it, and on December 10, 2010, we got the keys of our first home.It was the beginning of a hobby that I made my new career. After our experience, I wanted to help people avoid struggles, stress, sorrow.

When it was time to sell it became stressful as well, and I don’t feel we were appropriately supported through the process, it was super stressful, to the point of canceling the sale, unfortunately I learned that I couldn’t do that we had already an accepted offer and we had to suck it up and finish what we started. It made me realize that not every agent has your best interest in mind, that they don’t have systems in place, their lack of commitment could make a transaction go extremely bad, on the other side an agent could make the process a fantastic experience. I decided that I wasn’t going to let that happen to me again. I started to study more and more during the night, going to seminars, open houses.

From December of 2010 to now, I have been in the shoes of a buyer 17 times, I have been in the shoes of a seller seven times. I have been through very smooth transactions to very stressful ones, and that made me get licensed, as a real estate salesperson which I did in 2017.

People were reaching out to seek advice or to talk about real estate, and it made my soul whole, every time I have the opportunity to talk about real estate and being involved in a transaction made me live my life on purpose; however, I was still afraid, and I didn’t pursue this passion right away, and then I was given the best gift of my life, I didn’t have the courage to do it on my own, so God helped me a bit and due to discrepancies my boss decided to fire me without notice, in April of 2019.

I had the freedom to pursue my passion for Real Estate.It’s been challenging for sure, and I wanted to quit multiple times, however, when I think how rewarding it is to have those conversations, to guide people, to assist, and to serve.

I wouldn’t want it any other way, I am living my life on purpose, and I will persevere through struggles.

Real Estate questions? Call Cristobal at 619-500-2899 or email me at cristobal@integrity.realestate

Multi generational Homes in San Diego

The Phair Company is planning to build multigenerational homes in La Mesa. The development is called “La Mesa Summit Estates.” This project is believed to be a solution to San Diego’s housing crisis. With this development, this can lessen the number of homes to build and lessen expenses of the household as well.

They downsized the number of homes to be built from 39 to 30 while maximizing the floor plan a bit.

What is a Multigenerational Home?

A multigenerational home is designed for multigenerational families. That’s for families that have a lot of members ‒ extended family to call it. Multigenerational homes are built inside a one structure unit as a huge room or suite that has almost all home needs. A multigenerational suite has a bedroom, living area, bathroom, and a kitchen. Yes, it is inside an existing home.

This is intended for relatives that want to live closer under the same roof, your parents or the elderly for example. If their families especially their children want them under their care or being cared for close to them, this multigenerational home can help with that. This will enable relatives to check on their elderly parents/grandparents whenever they want to because it’s more accessible than placing them in a shelter and usually far away from home.

Aside from the elderly, it can be a home for their children who want to live with their parents or relatives and still have privacy. You are living under the same roof yet you have a chance to be in your own personal space. More convenient than just your bedroom.

This multigenerational home was first built and developed in Arizona way back in 2011. Now it is proposed in San Diego as well.

This new development is expensive to be honest if we are thinking of a one time expense. If you sum it all out, in time you are saving more money because you don’t need to pay for separate mortgages, you will just have to pay for one, which is less expensive.

“You’re still with the family, but you have that privacy to step away and still be independent,” says Bill Ostrem, the San Diego Division President for Lennar Homes. “At the same time, if you want to engage with the family, the family wants to engage with you it’s right there.”

The 4 Most Important Questions You Need to Ask Before Selling Your Home

There comes a time in every home owner’s life when he or she realizes: “I am not the same person I was when I bought this place.” Maybe your lifestyle or your family configuration has changed, or maybe the house just isn’t as appealing as it was when you signed that ream of paperwork on closing day.

If you’re thinking about moving on, then there are a few questions you need to ask yourself before you take the plunge and list the house. When you can answer these questions, you’ll know you’re in the right place emotionally and financially to move on to your next space.

What is my home really worth?

You can find almost anything on the internet, and that includes an estimated value of your home. How convenient!

But before you try to figure out how much your house is worth on your own, take a deep breath and resolve to remember one thing: “I shouldn’t believe everything I read on the internet.”

It’s possible that an automated estimate is going to be spot-on, but those algorithms depend on numbers that might or might not be accurate, like the condition of your property, the square footage, any features or amenities you’ve added (or removed), and recent sales of properties nearby that could be comparable to your own home.

A better way to figure out how much your home might be worth is to look at your most recent property tax bill. Your property taxes change with the value of your home, so if you look at your property tax rate from last year and figure out your state’s assessment rate (usually not quite the total value of your home — it’s somewhere between 80 percent and 90 percent of the home’s total value, depending on the state), that can help you get a little bit closer in terms of pinpointing price.

You can also talk to a professional about your home’s value; a real estate professional who sells properties in your neighborhood every day is going to be able to give you a more accurate idea of how much your particular, specific home might capture on the current market.

And a real estate professional can also explain what you can do to your home to help inch that number upward a little bit. Then you can make the call as to whether or not you want to make any upgrades or take the estimated price as-is. Which leads to the next question …

How can I sell at the highest price possible?

When you’re selling anything, you want to get fair market value for the item you’re releasing, and that’s exponentially truer for your house, which is probably the biggest purchase you’ve ever made.

If you know your neighbor’s house sold for ten figures more than the highest estimate you’ve been able to find for your own home, that can be a tough reality to swallow. But this is where real estate professionals really earn their keep — they can explain why that house was so desirable (maybe if you’re honest with yourself, you can admit that your neighbor’s view is much nicer than yours, for example), and they can also show you where you do have some room for (price) improvement.

If you’re not ready to call in a professional, then start with things that can spruce up almost any dwelling. One of the first and most important steps to selling your home for top dollar is to get the place deep-cleaned from floor to ceiling, including washing the windows and scrubbing down all of your kitchen appliances.

Start by attacking the clutter; it’s much easier to clean a room that doesn’t have a lot of furniture or objects in it, so even if you’re hoping to move up to make space for all your stuff, it’s a good idea to start cleaning out the items that you know you don’t want to move with you. If there’s still a lot left, consider a shed or an off-site storage facility where you can stash things without packing it all in your closets (where buyers are most definitely going to be looking). If you have a junk drawer or even a “junk room,” now is the time to start corralling that beast.

Then get cleaning. There’s no detail too small — make sure every room in the house sparkles to the best of your ability and smells fresh and aired-out.

There may be quite a few additional projects you could tackle to increase your home’s value, such as adding a deck, remodeling the kitchen, or even adding entire rooms in some cases. Those are good opportunities to discuss with a real estate professional, who can share feedback about whether the project is going to be worth the eventual return on investment when you sell the home — and what projects will net you more money for your property.

Real Estate Professionals also know stagers and home photographers. When a buyer falls in love with your home, it’s most likely going to be from an online listing, so your listing photos should be as high-quality as possible — that might mean bringing in a stager to spruce up the rooms and a photographer to capture the results.

How long will my home be on the market?

No one can predict the future, but experts who work in the industry can usually come close. If you haven’t called an agent yet, you might need to in order to get the information you’ll need to answer this question.

Ultimately, it depends on what the housing market is like in your area, but there are a lot of anomalies within a housing market — even in markets that seem red-hot, sometimes sellers make a mistake and overprice a home that then languishes for weeks or even months longer than more realistically priced homes. And there are some neighborhoods or even specific blocks where buyers seem to be willing to do just about anything to get their foot in the door — and other geographies where they might need to be lured in a little more aggressively.

The number of days that homes stay on the market gets shorter and shorter as housing heats up, but that number is absolutely contingent on the initial list price. Homes that need to reduce their prices to attract qualified buyers will remain on the market significantly longer than homes priced competitively from the start. It’s really important to get the initial list price right if you’d like the home to sell quickly. (And remember: The longer that house takes to sell, the longer you as the seller will be responsible for keeping it in showing condition for buyers — seven days a week.)

So even in markets where houses seem to be flying off the shelves, it’s smart to talk to someone who sees those sales up close and personal every day. They can give you an educated estimate about the amount of time it should take your property to get from list to close.

How can a Real Estate Professional help?

Selling a home is a huge life event that encroaches on just about every aspect of your existence, from your meals to your work schedule to how often you do laundry and vacuum up pet hair. It can be an incredibly stressful time, and a real estate professional is a personal advisor that can help sellers make the best decisions possible while keeping track of all the details.

A good real estate professional will help you find the best price for your home, list it for you on the MLS, and handle all the marketing — from photos to open houses to glossy brochures to Facebook ads. A good agent can manage your showing schedule for buyers who want personal tours and can help you decide which offer to accept if you happen to receive more than one … and a licensed real estate professional is absolutely essential during the negotiation process, especially if the buyer is making demands that the seller isn’t prepared to address.

A knowledgeable real estate professional will also know the best plumbers, electricians, and general contractors in the area who might be able to make any repairs or changes to the home before it closes. He or she can manage the transaction timeline, alerting you when an inspection or appraisal is about to happen and keeping you in the loop regarding financing and every other aspect of the deal.

A good real estate professional can also help you do all of this while you’re simultaneously looking for a new place to live and can help you manage that, too — including what to do if you find a home before your current house sells.

And depending on your personal situation, there are local real estate professionals who specialize in divorce, estate sales, and other tricky life events involving a home transaction.

Selling a home is as simple as listing it on the MLS and waiting for an appropriate offer to come in — but there’s so much more involved that most sellers can’t handle it on their own. Answering these questions will get you a head start, but don’t skip talking to an agent or three when you’re actually ready to list that home; they’ll be able to point out what you didn’t know you were missing.

5 Home Seller Strategies for Staging Your Home Perfectly

There’s a reason why people love looking at photos of homes for sale — it’s rare that we get to see a place look it’s very best, and scrolling through gorgeous room after room helps serious buyers see themselves settling down in those very rooms.

But as any seller (or photographer) can attest, getting a home ready for its close-up (also known as “staging”) is not easy and is definitely not always fun. It involves a ton of cleaning, some furniture removal (or placement), a plethora of attention to detail, and usually a lot of light. This is why professional stagers charge hundreds (sometimes thousands) of dollars for their services.

If hiring a stager isn’t in your budget or you’re simply more of a do-it-yourself type, consider taking advantage of these relatively quick and easy methods for helping your soon-to-be-sold home appear shiny and new.

1. Clean, clean, clean, clean, clean

Even if you follow every other tip on the list to an exacting standard, if your home isn’t clean, you won’t be reaping all of the benefits that staging could generate for you. There are two big steps to cleaning for staging:

  • Decluttering your home
  • Deep cleaning everything … everything

First is the clutter. This might be a good time to join the neighborhood garage sale or arrange for your sister-in-law whose kids are a few years younger to come pick up all the hand-me-downs you’ve been promising. It always makes sense to start with things that you don’t want to pack up and move to a new location.

Don’t forget about the furniture — too much furniture in a room makes it look cramped and small, so remove what you don’t need.

Resist the temptation to box everything up and stash it in one room, the garage, a basement or attic — unless it’s not your room. Buyers are going to want to open doors, cabinets, and drawers, and peer into closets and utility rooms, so if you want your home to look its best, you need to keep those areas neat, too.

Some sellers rent storage facilities during the process, and that’s always a possibility, too. If you have family or good friends in the area who can take some of the larger items for you, then you might be able to get a smaller storage unit. (Make sure to pay your loved ones back with a gift or thoughtful gesture when the home is sold!)

When the surfaces are clear and your surroundings are feeling more vacation-home than lived-in, it’s time to deep clean those surfaces. Scrub the inside from ceiling to floors; wash your windows; consider power-washing the outside to brighten it up. Plant new flowers, keep your sidewalks and walkways clear and weed-free and set some inviting chairs with fluffy cushions on your (freshly polished, cobweb-free) front porch.

Once the decluttering is done, it’ll be much easier to get everything looking shiny and new — and easier to hire help, too — so make sure to tackle this step first.

2. Light up

If you haven’t changed a light bulb in a while, then you might be surprised by how much brighter they’ve gotten — or what a difference a bright bulb can make in a room that you thought was naturally dreary and dim.Changing out your bulbs can be a quick way to give your entire home a quick lift, brightening up every room and helping potential buyers see exactly how well-maintained those original wood floors are, and examine the crown molding close up.

Experts suggest that you obtain 100 watts of lighting for every 50 square feet in your home, and consider using three different types of lighting (not just overhead lighting) to get there. Overhead or ambient lighting is important, of course, but accent lighting (on walls and tables) and task lighting (reading or under-cabinet lights) will help showcase your space in all its glory.

3. Rearrange with an eye for balance

Most of us don’t live in perfectly symmetrical surroundings, but if there’s a way to achieve it with your furniture, then it’s worth it to try — at least for the photos. Try to balance any shelves, counters, and mantelpieces in the same way, with an eye for highlighting the accessories that will help make your home look like a retreat from a messy world.

You can do the same thing with area rugs and artwork. Arrange your floor and wall coverings to draw the eye down the halls and through the house, which will give touring buyers a pleasant sense of welcome and discovery.

4. Organize and energize

There are always going to be parts of your house that are made to hold “stuff” — but you can make that stuff look presentable with a little bit of organization.

Some decluttering and color-blocking on your bookshelves can make the display draw the eye instead of distracting from the rest of the room, for example. Kids’ and pets’ toys are another opportunity to organize and beautify with a decorative box or basket, or a fun shelving unit that holds everything with style.
Straighten your shoes on the closet floors and neaten up the hanging areas, then open up the doors when you leave for a buyer’s tour. They’ll enjoy the welcoming feeling of the open doors (and you know they were going to open them up, anyway).

5. Polish up the appliances

If you can afford it, new appliances in the kitchen can go a long (long!) way toward helping a buyer fall in love with the heart of the house. New appliances tend to help generate high returns for sellers, so depending on the condition and upgrades in the rest of your home, you might want to consider it — you might be able to find some good deals on floor models or end-of-season sales, too.

If not, help your appliances look their best by using stainless steel polish, glass polish, or whatever else you might need to help regenerate the shine on your stove.

You don’t need to take all these tips when staging your home — but don’t ignore them all when you’re selling, either. Taking the time to pay a little bit of attention to staging before a buyer even sees the place can reap big rewards at the closing table.