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Posts tagged ‘Terre Steinbeck’

14
Dec

How Eco Friendly is Your Home? II

My previous post explored the all-important topic of making your L.A. home a shiny green example of eco-friendliness. Thankfully, it doesn’t cost a fortune in alterations to ensure your residence goes easy on the power consumption. Nevertheless, saving precious energy does take some effort on the part of you, the conscientious eco-trooper. Remember, a planet’s health and a small fortune in energy savings both are at stake. So don’t even think about shirking your domestic duties. Instead, focus your attention on this follow-up list of energy-saving tips. You and the environment will profit enormously.

Get Unplugged. Even when appliances are enjoying a break from the drudgery of washing your camp clothes or cooking holiday casseroles, they’re still sucking power out of your well-scrubbed walls. Not much, mind you. But enough to gobble up a substantial amount of personal funds over the long haul. Believe me, the outflow adds up. So disconnect all that hard-working machinery when not in use. I mean, how hard is it to pull a plug from a wall?

Achieve Total Clarity. Toxic chemicals generally don’t improve the well-being of rivers, lakes, and oceans. Be a friend to these important sources of H2O. Make clear, non-polluting laundry detergent a part of your washing regimen.

Reach for the Stars. Energy Stars, that is. Appliances bearing the Energy Star label are graceful power nibblers, not unstoppable gluttons. This radiant emblem is a sure sign of major savings to come, both in the kilowatt and cash departments.

All You Need is Cold. Save the hot water for your spa parties. Cold water is all you need to get that month-old mountain of laundry sparkling clean.

Bin There. A recycle bin makes a fine addition to any garage or backyard. When not looking pretty, this sturdy storage unit makes a great destination for discarded metal, glass, paper, cardboard, and plastic.

Would you like to learn more about giving your home the green touch? Or maybe you have your own way to save energy. I’d really like to hear about it, so feel free to reach out in my direction.  Or fire your questions and comments into the comment box below. There’s always a vacancy.

And, of course, if you want an instant connection to the latest info and opportunities in the Beverly Hills real estate market, I’m ready to make it happen.  Call or email today.

Back soon.

Terre Steinbeck

terre.steinbeck@gmail.com

(310) 666-4094  DIRECT

(310) 724-7100   OFFICE

12
Dec

How Eco Friendly is Your Home?

Stop wondering how you’ll cover the costs of all those holiday gifts. Instead, start wondering how you’ll pay for all that energy you could be squandering from the confines of your comfy house. That’s right. You may think your L.A. home makes the green scene in a satisfactory way. But chances are, you’re overlooking some key routes to eco-friendliness. No problem. The following steps will help you get your green on. Amazingly, they’re both simple and low-cost. So no excuses. Ring in the New Year right by doing something positive for your home, the environment, and your wallet.

The Green Clean. Wipe away dirt and grime with environmentally-save cleaning products. The world abounds with choices in this department. If dollar-stretching is an activity you enjoy, baking soda, vinegar, and lemon are excellent alternatives to conventional  cleaners.

Light Touch. Try this simple exercise: reach for the light switch and switch it to ‘off’ position before you leave a room. This easy move reduces energy usage and the amount of pollutants emitted by your power provider.

Fill ‘Em Up. Wall and ceiling cracks invite warm air to escape from your home and cash to escape from your personal stash. So get in there and caulk those cracks.

Choose a Compact. Consider using a mobile device or laptop for your at-home computing. These little workhorses gobble up far less energy than desktop behemoths. And they take up far less of your living space.

Would you like to learn more about giving your home the green touch? Or maybe you have your own way to save energy. I’d really like to hear about it, so feel free to reach out in my direction.  Or fire your questions and comments into the comment box below. There’s always a vacancy.

And, of course, if you want an instant connection to the latest info and opportunities in the Beverly Hills real estate market, I’m ready to make it happen.  Call or email today.

Back soon.

Terre Steinbeck

terre.steinbeck@gmail.com

(310) 666-4094  DIRECT

(310) 724-7100   OFFICE

5
Dec

New Year’s Resolutions for Realtors

As hard as it is to believe, there are certain people out there who think they can handle the ins and outs of Real Estate better than Realtors. That’s right. These individuals are certain they can out-sell, out-locate, and out-negotiate those hearty professionals who live, breathe, and eat Real Estate. While these well-meaning amateurs probably aren’t the self-styled masters they fancy themselves to be, they are, for some reason, questioning the performance of a large group of professionals. In contrast, dental patients rarely ask to fill in for an oral surgeon during a wisdom tooth extraction.

All of which, reminds me of the need to maintain the high standards the Real Estate industry has worked so hard to establish. With that in mind, I would like to usher in the New Year with this set of resolutions intended for we of the profession.

Take the Straight and Narrow. Commissions might make your world go round, but ethics keep that world orderly and safe. You know the rules and regulations. Stick to them, or somehow, someday, this business will stick it right back to you.

Be a Master of the Map. You probably cover a lot of communities. But how much do you really know about them?  You’ll come across as much more knowledgeable and therefore reliable if you’ve got your finger on the pulse of the neighborhood you’re touting. How could anyone fail to be impressed if you know which school has the best math program. Or more importantly, which store has the best prices on hats.

Go the Distance and Beyond. Clients expect it all. You’ve got to give that to them, and then give them some more. Remember how great you felt when the car dealer threw in a free antenna ornament to go with your new convertible? Exceed client expectations, and they just might reward you with a signature on the dotted line.

Do any of you have some resolutions of your own? I’d really like to hear them, so feel free to reach out in my direction.  Or fire your questions and comments into the comment box below. There’s always a vacancy.

And, of course, if you want an instant connection to the latest info and opportunities in the Beverly Hills real estate market, I’m ready to make it happen.  Call or email today.

Back soon.

Terre Steinbeck

terre.steinbeck@gmail.com

(310) 666-4094  DIRECT

(310) 724-7100   OFFICE

24
Nov

New Bumps on the Appraisal Road

First, the good news. The real estate market definitely is waking up from a long, lazy slumber. Look around. The signs of renewed vigor are everywhere. The bad news is this – the market is still in low gear. One reason for the lagging sales pace is tight credit. Another less obvious but equally detrimental reason lies in the appraisal realm. Specifically, the steady increase in the number of under-value appraisals. An unexpectedly low assessment of a property’s value can blast an exquisitely-crafted contract right out of the water. And all those weeks or perhaps months of wheeling-dealing negotiations go right down the proverbial drain.

Now don’t press the panic button yet. More than likely, your finely-wrought contract is safe from the ravages of under-valuation. A recent survey revealed that 65% of the Realtors polled did not experience contract setbacks resulting from low appraisals. The survey covered activity over a three-month period. Nevertheless, the remaining 35% of those questioned claimed that due to low valuations, recent contracts either were cancelled, delayed, or re-negotiated to a lower price. So even when a contract isn’t lost, a precious commodity known as time very well could be.

The core of the problem isn’t the appraisers. Most are acceptably skilled at their craft. The real cause is rooted in the changes shaking things up in the appraisal process itself. We’re talking jarring new policies such as deploying non-local appraisers who lack area knowledge. And let’s not forget the super-stringent requirements pushed into the process by the almighty banks. Facing an onslaught of unfamiliar obstacles, the appraisal industry can’t help but lag behind the outrageous pace of change.

On the plus side, the appraisal industry is making encouraging headway in its efforts to get a grip on changing market conditions. But until more progress is made, buyers, sellers, and agents must acknowledge and prepare for bumps on the appraisal road. And they absolutely must communicate loud and clear any concerns about valuation errors. Even if it means demanding, I mean, asking for appraisal #2.

Any thoughts or questions about this whole appraisal issue? I’d love to hear from you, so feel free to reach out in my direction.  Or just fire your questions and comments into the comment box below. There’s always a vacancy.

And, of course, if you want an instant connection to the latest info and opportunities in the Beverly Hills real estate market, I’m ready to make it happen.  Call or email today.

Back soon.

Terre Steinbeck

terre.steinbeck@gmail.com

(310) 666-4094  DIRECT

(310) 724-7100   OFFICE

16
Nov

Party of the Year

Teaching Son and Girlfriend How to Party

I’ve been itching to do it for a long time. And I finally I carried my long-held vision through to completion. That’s right. This mild-mannered realtor cut loose and threw the party of the year! Not just any party, mind you. We’re talking a knock-your-socks off  ‘Client Appreciation Party’. Call it my way of saying a big ‘thank-you’ for years of loyalty and friendship.

From the moment the celebration kicked off, my humble home transformed into a grand festival of friends and clients, delightfully revved up by a perfect blend of music, food, and games. Talk about a fantastically fun evening!

The icing on the cake definitely was the meeting of the clients. Up until this point, this select group had only heard about each other (thanks to my updates.) Now they actually were connecting face to face. The chemistry was unbelievable!

Pat Ostrow and I Plan Our Next Move

It was such a great mix that something amazing happened on the following morning — many of the attendees sent me emails and texts requesting each other’s contact info. Thanks to the new connections that developed from these requests, two of the guests were soon trading valuable advice about caring for their elderly moms. Two couples who are trying to have kids forged a common bond revolving around that topic. Yes, it was networking at its finest!

As much as I enjoyed myself immensely, I’m sure some of my clients got a bigger kick out of the event than even I did. I just hope it was a big enough THANK YOU.

Girls Night Out

Back soon.

Terre Steinbeck

terre.steinbeck@gmail.com

(310) 666-4094  DIRECT

(310) 724-7100   OFFICE

27
Sep

The Ultimate House Hunting Guide

I know what you’re feeling. I’m aware of that burning desire to buy a new house. You’ve got an irresistible impulse to jump right into the sedan or zoom through the internet. Yes, you’re going on a house hunt! Great! House hunting can be one of life’s more exhilarating and fulfilling experiences. Especially when you’re sufficiently equipped with abundant patience and a savvy Realtor guiding you across the real estate landscape.  But along with these essentials, you must bring one other element to the mix – preparation. With that in mind, here are four ways to be rip-roarin’ ready for an L.A. home search.

Location. Click your heels together and say the word ‘location’ three times. That about sums it up. But we’re not talking just about a paradise of lush greenery and gorgeous cityscapes. You need to think about travel distance to your workplace, schools, and the all-important shopping center. Unless you have a hankering for frequent road trips.

The Must-Haves. Compile a list of home features you absolutely MUST HAVE. This is crucial, especially if you’re married, and more especially if there are children in the family package. Everyone has particular wants and needs, right? And it’s far better to hold you public debates about such matters before you select a dream home. By then, you’re stuck with what you have.

Dig Deep. Once upon a time, you couldn’t learn much more about a home except its address and  listing price. Who could blame buyers for being in the dark about such things as market trends and neighborhood stats?  But the info-revolution is well underway, and ignorance no longer is a valid excuse. So jump right into the web and click your way to supreme real estate enlightenment.

If you’d like more info about launching a house hunt, feel free to reach out to me.  Or just fire your questions or comments into the box below. There’s always a vacancy.

And, of course, if you want to be connected to the latest info and opportunities in the Beverly Hills real estate market, I’m ready to make it happen.  Call or email today.

Back soon.

Terre Steinbeck

terre.steinbeck@gmail.com

(310) 666-4094  DIRECT

(310) 724-7100   OFFICE

23
Sep

Will You Choose the Right Home Inspector? – Part Two

In the previous post, I showcased the fine art of hiring a home inspector when considering an L.A. home for sale. But that powerful set of insights put you only as far as the fifty yard line. To run the remaining distance to your goal, you’ll need to gallop your way through these additional steps.

What’s the Buzz. Is the buzz on your candidate smooth, harmonious, and loud. Only checking references will clue you into this info. Ask the inspector you’re considering for customer contact info. Then follow through with a thorough investigation that reveals their satisfaction levels. Remember, connect with homeowners who’ve occupied their property for at least a few months. Occasionally, issues rear their beastly heads only after some time has gone by.

Belonging is Believing. Not every capable home inspector is a member of a professional association. Nevertheless, belonging to one definitely can say a mouthful about competency and reliability. That’s because these organizations offer members a number of bonuses in the form of ongoing education and information. I mean, what would you think of a physician who didn’t belong to the AMA?

The Oops Factor. As the wise bard sad, ‘to err is human’. Since the vast majority of home inspectors are members of this species, sometimes mistakes happen. Be sure to find out if the inspection company has ‘errors and omissions insurance’. If not, you could be stuck footing the bill for an unexpected problem, no matter how mind-bogglingly stellar the inspector’s reputation.

If you’d like more info about choosing a home inspector, feel free to reach out to me.  Or just fire your questions or comments into the box below. There’s always a vacancy.

And, of course, if you want to be connected to the latest info and opportunities in the Beverly Hills real estate market, I’m ready to make it happen.  Call or email today.

Back soon.

Terre Steinbeck

terre.steinbeck@gmail.com

(310) 666-4094  DIRECT

(310) 724-7100   OFFICE

21
Sep

Will You Choose the Right Home Inspector?

It seems as if it were only yesterday that home inspections were a rarity in the world of residential real estate. Those were the days when buyers trusted their gut instincts about a property. A first impression was the all-important yardstick. Today, however, very few people will sign on the dotted line without the blessing of a qualified inspector.

Obviously, you want an inspector worthy of the title, not a quack. But choosing one isn’t like selecting bananas. You don’t just test for ripeness. There are many critical factors to consider before zeroing in on the chosen one for your L.A. home. Basically, you’ll want to inspect the inspector. Here are some of the key points to consider:

  1. Is the Prospect Qualified? You’re about to plunk down a small fortune in down payment cash, monthly payments, and interest. You want a true maestro who’ll make sure endless repair costs and headaches aren’t added to your expenditures, thereby depriving you of yearly excursions to Maui. Ask your candidates every question under the sun regarding training, experience, and track record.
  1. Range.  You definitely want to know what will and what won’t be inspected. The last thing you need is the omission of a roof inspection. Unless you don’t mind raindrops falling on your  head at 3 a.m.
  1. Details. How complete will the report be? Will it provide detailed descriptions with full explanations? Or is it just a listing with check-off boxes?

OK, there’s your start. Now let it sink in for awhile. I’ll be hitting you with more of these gems very soon.

In the meantime, if you’d like more info about choosing a home inspector, feel free to reach out to me.  Or just fire your questions or comments into the box below. There’s always a vacancy.

And, of course, if you want to be connected to the latest info and opportunities in the Beverly Hills real estate market, I’m ready to make it happen.  Call or email today.

Back soon.

Terre Steinbeck

terre.steinbeck@gmail.com

(310) 666-4094  DIRECT

(310) 724-7100   OFFICE

17
Sep

Signs Matter

I just can’t believe these people who’ll jeopardize the sale of their home for the sake of a discounted commission. Or even worse, those who’ll badger and push for a commission cut so they can pocket the proceeds. Not surprisingly, the infamous commission grinders think the name on the front yard sign is of no consequence. KW, Coldwell Banker, Remaxx or White House – they’re all the same, right? If that were true, would all these companies be shelling out major bucks to carve out their own brand identities?  (i.e. Century 21 as the supreme king of lower end properties.)

The truth is, most realties strive to stand out as a unique brand. It’s like shopping for a new sweater. Why would anyone choose Marshalls over Barneys if price were the only factor?  The point is, of course, brand distinctions make these sweaters as different as night and day.

Same holds true for brokers. Do you really think the discount broker delivers the same level of service as the high-end master?  Only in Fantasyland.  The discounters couldn’t afford to rise so high.

Allow me to elucidate with a dose of reality from my recent excursion through the marketplace. Had a listing for a cool $2.3 million. My fellow realtors howled that this price tag was way too high. Instead of bowing to peer-group pressure, I promptly waltzed out, snagged the best high-end photographer I could get my mitts on, and ordered mind-bogglingly expensive card/fold-over brochures befitting the castle I represented. Parted with another grand to cover a radiant selection of flowers and a very special caterer. Then I poured all this magnificence into our Sunday open house and broker caravan. Yes, there was major sizzle on this steak!

Out went scores of invitations. And in flocked agents from as far away as ten miles (a very unusual distance.).  One realtor quipped, “Terre, with this crowd of agents, I thought you were giving away $100 bills!”

The upshot?  My super-spiffed out Camelot sold for its list price — $2.1 million. Would a discount broker go to such extravagant lengths? You know the answer. All of which goes to show, signs matter — because brands and service matter. End of story.

If you’d like more info about selling your L.A. home in record time, feel free to reach out to me.  Or just fire your questions or comments into the box below. There’s always a vacancy.

And, of course, if you want to be connected to the latest info and opportunities in the Beverly Hills real estate market, I’m ready to make it happen.  Call or email today.

Back soon.

Terre Steinbeck

terre.steinbeck@gmail.com

(310) 666-4094  DIRECT

(310) 724-7100   OFFICE

11
Sep

Uncover a Home’s Deepest Secrets…Before It’s Too Late

Way back in the early, pre-heat wave days of August, I unleashed an article spotlighting the importance of conducting do-it-yourself home inspections — before you plunk down a solitary cent for an L.A. home. Eventually, of course, you’ll want a professional to waltz in and do some in-depth snooping. You know, for the stuff that doesn’t meet the eye. The very costly stuff. Problem is, as the L.A. real estate market gallops forward, sellers are riding a high horse of robust demand. Therefore, they’re granting fewer and fewer favors to the groundswell of eager buyers. One of the favors increasingly being dumped is the home inspection contingency. Not a good thing for Mr. or Ms. Buyer.

Consider this — when you put your John Hancock on the dotted line for a no-inspection home, you’re accepting said property as is/as is. Yes, yes, I know — you’re itching like mad to jump right into that gorgeous hunk of real estate. But don’t let looks and charm fool you. Very few homes are perfect, and many are far from it. So if you surrender the inspection contingency, you could be stumbling into a bottomless pit of hidden household problems, escalating repair expenses, and endless frustration.

Bottom line is this — unless you’re a major risk taker who doesn’t mind squandering a small fortune for headache-relief measures, don’t buy a home without an inspection contingency. You could be flinging yourself into the disaster zone. Far, far better to get a grip and look elsewhere for your Xanadu.  Believe me, it’s out there.

If you’d like more info about the importance of home inspections, feel free to reach out to me.  Or just fire your questions or comments into the box below. There’s always a vacancy.

And, of course, if you want to be connected to the latest info and opportunities in the Beverly Hills real estate market, I’m ready to make it happen.  Call or email today.

Back soon.

Terre Steinbeck

terre.steinbeck@gmail.com

(310) 666-4094  DIRECT

(310) 724-7100   OFFICE