Real Estate Market not as Rosy as Yes-Men say it is

After 10 years of appreciating home prices, we all knew it wouldn’t (couldn’t) last forever. Throw in wars and market instabilities around the world, and top that all off with rising interest rates. You now have the perfect recipe for a downturn in the market.

This is how trendlines are usually expected to look.

Realty Reality

Those of you who follow me regularly are probably tired of hearing it. Yet there are many people who still aren’t getting it or who’re in disbelief. The prediction that I’ve been making for a year is coming to fruition. The market is changing, and savvy sellers are getting ahead of it.

Facts & Predictions

Don’t just listen to me. Here are the eye-opening facts and statements from other trusted sources.

Jonathan Lansner, long-time columnist for the Orange County Register, wrote on May 1st, “Homebuying in LA & OC ran at the 2nd slowest March pace in records dating back to 1988…with sales that were down 35% from a year ago”. He went on to say that it was, “39% below that 35 year average.” And even though “…some house hunters returned to the market in early 2023…sales in the six-county Southern California region fell by 37% in the last year…and the median price fell 2.1%.” “Orange county’s median price was 6% off the peak in May 2022.”

On April 28th, Cal State Fullerton economists predicted there would be a “mild, routine recession over the next 2 years.” Whatever that means. And there would be “no job growth” in that period.

Another OC Register writer, Kevin Smith, noted that companies are downsizing their space. That’s an indicator of where Commercial real estate is headed.

Finally, the respected economists at Cal State Fullerton were quoted in a May 4th article saying, “the economic forecast is somewhat bleak…after taking a Deep Dive into every economic indicator.” and that “Trends over the past decades point to a looming recession.”

Peaks & Valleys of Real Estate

Historically, real estate swings usually last 8-10 years, peak to peak (or valley to valley if you’re a glass half empty kind of person). That mean that prices could continue to fall for another 3-4 year, and then may take another 4-5 years to get right back to where we are today. Yet nobody has a Crystal Ball.

Do you want to take that chance?

Unless you’re fully committed to staying in your home for the next 8-10 years, please call me today for a private consultation.

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Thinking about What to Plant?

Its that time of year again. Time to get out and celebrate nature. One of the best ways to enjoy the season is to bring color and aroma to your yard or garden by planting varieties of early and late-blooming plants. In addition, you promote biodiversity on your property by attracting pollinators like bees and butterflies. This is also one of the Best ways to increase the Curb Appeal of your home when selling.

In this article we’ll show you a mix of the best early to late spring flowers and guidelines about when to plant and how to care for them. First, we’ll begin by explaining the difference between perennials and annuals.

With both it’s important to know how these two planting groups differ so that you can plan and coordinate a combination of blooms for the most favorable display. Perennial flowers regrow every spring, while annuals live for only one growing season. If you are looking for fast growth and a quick splash of color, annuals are a good choice if you are okay with replanting them yearly. They fill in the gaps and add curb appeal. Perennials are usually more expensive, but they are a worthwhile investment because they are long-term and tend to grow slowly. You will have the best of both worlds by planting annuals and perennials due to longer and more intermittent bloom periods and varying hues.

Types of perennials and annuals- If you are looking for flowers that live for more than two years, some suggestions to consider are the peony, daylily, hosta, iris, lavender, black-eyed susan, aster, tulip, daffodil, hyacinth, crocus, lily of the valley, and lilac. Those that are heartier and don’t mind the cold will come up in early spring, such as the crocus, iris, tulip, daffodil, lily of the valley, and hyacinth. They have bulbs that need to be planted in the fall and can be split to produce more. Others can be grown from seeds, such as Shasta daisies, black-eyed Susans, yarrow, and purple coneflowers. If you prefer starting with larger plants, you can choose shrubs like azalea and forsythia or trees like magnolia, apricot, or dogwood.

Perennials provide a basic long-term structure, and Annuals fill the spaces in between with bright colors and conveniently rapid growth. Although short-lived, many are popular for their availability in multiple colors and can come in various sizes. Examples of flowers that only grow one season are marigolds, pansies, petunias, sunflowers and zinnias.

Timetable and care- Flowers best for early spring planting can handle the cooler air, such as sweet peas, pansies, petunias, and snapdragons. Once the summer heat arrives, though, they will fade. Therefore, you should plant other species in between that will bloom throughout the spring and summer, like gladiolas, roses, sunflowers, and summer lilies. When planting seeds or transplanting potted plants, follow directions for proper placement as per their sun exposure requirements. Among many that require full sun and are drought intolerant, zinnias, marigolds, peonies, hibiscus, and sunflowers are some examples. Some that thrive in the shade or indirect sunlight are begonias, fuchsia, impatiens, primrose, and lily of the valley.

Once you know the varieties of early and late spring blooms in either the annual or perennial family, you can start planning ahead for the season to sow. For the best results, follow product packaging directions or consult a professional gardener or botanist. Also, remember where to place your plants for the healthiest and most robust results, with attention to proper sun exposure, watering frequency, and soil use. With practice, you will learn to cultivate a diverse garden that you can beautifully maintain and enjoy throughout the season.

If your are planning on selling, call my team of experts before you spend a dime.

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High Utility Bills got you down?

This year more & more people are complaining about the increases in their electric and gas bills. Whether the increases are brought on by weather, rising natural resource & labor costs, or just plain old corporate greed, many people are feeling the pinch and taking a look at what they can do to lower their bills.

Insulation upgrades are at the top of most peoples minds. New higher R-factor windows & doors, wrapping ducting & pipes, more insulation in the walls & ceilings and higher efficiency HVAC systems top the list in these cold winter months. Additionally, in summer months we consider whole house fans, attic vent fans and even solar. These are just the tip of the iceberg of what can be done.

Lets take a look at some of these costs. These are purely estimates of course, because every home’s situation, size and location are different. Dual pane windows/doors: $30,000-$80,000…Wrapping pipes: $3,000-$5,000…more/replace Insulation: $20,000-$50,000…New HVAC system: $10,000-$30,000… Attic fans: $2,000-$4,000…Solar: $25,000-$75,000. All told, this could be upwards of $244,000.

In addition to all those expenses, is the inconvenience of having your whole life disrupted by all this work. Remember this, it has been quoted many times by many people; construction/remodel budgets go over budget & over time by approximately 50%. And most of these expense don’t increase your home’s value by the same amount of cash you laid out. Is it really worth all that time & money?

I have another alternative for you. What if you added that $244,000 to the profit in your current property and bought a new Home? No more hassles in dealing with contractors and no more inconvenience. Plus, there’s the added benefit of the new home appreciating faster than your current one.

It’s a no-brainer.

Call me today, to find out how much I can get you for your current property and how easily and quickly I can get you out from under all those high utility bills and into your beautiful dream home.

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Moving with Children

6 Tips you need to know

Moving With Children: What You Need to Know Moving is an exciting new chapter in life, but it can also be a stressful experience. If you have children, the process becomes even more complicated. Even if you’re prepared for the myriad of tasks that come with moving and packing, there are still some special considerations to take into account when it comes to relocating with kids. Here are 6 tips to help make the transition easier:

1 – Communicate With Your Kids

team-g2e486f385 1920 It’s important to keep your children informed throughout the entire moving process. Explain why you’re making this move, when you’re moving, what they can expect at their new home, and how they can stay connected with friends and family members who won’t be joining them on the journey. Kids can pick up on the slightest change in your household atmosphere, so telling them sooner rather than later is important. Make sure your kids understand that this is still their home—just in a different place—and try to involve them in decision-making during the transition (e.g., choosing their own bedroom).

2 – Visit Before You Move

children-g9d50e97b1 1920 If possible, plan a visit before you actually move so your kids can become familiar with their new environment ahead of time. This will give them something to look forward to in anticipation of the big day. During your visit, take them out for ice cream and explore the local parks & playgrounds, YMCA, and shopping centers together. This will help them create positive associations with their new home before they arrive there for good.

3 – Make It Fun!

Simple Move Chart - used for foam board A good competition may be all you need to get the kids focused on packing and moving! Moving Game Plans offers a unique product that will help. Family members race to complete important jobs, helping to ensure that everyone stays on task. For instance, in the first step, each person will pick the tape color they want to use to identify their room during the move. Next, they choose a game piece and add it to the first stepping stone on the game board. Whoever finishes Step 7 first wins!

4 – Plan A Visit To Your Old City

katarzyna-grabowska-oA1-rirIJ2E-unsplash Knowing that there is a scheduled visit to see dear friends can help when your kids are leaving behind loved ones. Having something fun to look forward to can be a huge comfort to them!

5 – Children’s Rooms Should Be The Priority

pexels-tatiana-syrikova-3933227 Children’s belongings should be the last boxes packed on the moving truck. This way they can get involved and have something positive to do as soon as the unloading begins. It also makes their packing less stressful, as it will give them a bit more time to say goodbye to their old bedroom. This is also a great time for a room make over! Giving kids a budget for a new design will keep them occupied and involved. Anything from new bedding, pictures, or furniture will make them feel like they are growing up a bit. Don’t know where to start? A signature piece could help set the stage for a new look (e.g. a super hero, comic book character, or sports theme).

6 – Things to Set Aside

pexels-markus-spiske-102155Have each family member create an Essentials Box. This is the first box each family member will open when arriving at your new home. It should have what you need for your first night and morning in your new home. Make sure to include a first aid kit too! If you have small children and pets, consider packing their own essentials bag. Children’s boxes should have a blanket, snacks, toys, and extra clothes.
If you want it to go smoothly, moving with children will require extra planning and preparation. Be sure to watch their mood and ask how they are feeling. Even the most attentive parents can miss things when distracted during the chaos of moving. Your kiddos may need some special time with you, or just a few extra hugs. By taking into account some of these tips, you can make sure that everyone ends up happy and settled into their new home without any unnecessary stress or confusion along the way!
For more Great Tips, contact…
Kathie Gomes, CEO
831 250-6900
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Time to Sell your 2nd Home?

During the pandemic, second homes became popular because of the rise in work-from-home flexibility. That’s because owning a second home, especially in the luxury market, allowed those homeowners to spend more time in their favorite places or with different home features. Keep in mind, a luxury home isn’t only defined by price. In a recent articleInvestopedia shares additional factors that push a home into this category: location, such as a home on the water or in a desirable city, and features, the things that make the home itself feel luxurious.

A recent report from the Institute for Luxury Home Marketing (ILHM) explains just how much remote work impacted the demand for second and luxury homes:

“The unprecedented ten-fold increase towards remote work since the pandemic is an historic development that will continue to fuel second home demand for many years to come.”

But what if you bought a second home that you no longer use? If you’re now shifting back into the office or are seeing your priorities and needs change, you may find you’re not utilizing your second home as much. If so, it may be time to sell it.

And if you own what’s considered a luxury home, buyer demand for it may be even greater. In another report, the Institute for Luxury Home Marketing explains:

“. . . the last few years have left their legacy for the luxury market. While it might only represent a small percentage of the overall real estate market, luxury homeownership’s influence is growing. Not only has the purchase of homes valued over $1 million (a figure considered by the National Association of Realtors to be a benchmark for luxury) tripled from 2.6% to 6.5% since 2018, but demand for multiple luxury properties has soared over the last two years.

This phenomenal increase has been driven by a growing affluent demographic who consider owning a luxury property a necessity in their asset portfolio. All indications are that this trend is here to stay, albeit that demand is set to return to a more sustainable level.”

If you own a luxury second home that isn’t being used as much anymore, now’s the time to sell. There are still buyers in the market who are looking for a home like yours today.

Bottom Line

Connect with your real estate advisor to explore the benefits of selling your second home this year.

As seen in the KCM Real Estate Blog

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Thinking of Pursuing Your Dream of Homeownership?

If you’re thinking about your goals and priorities for the and homeownership ranks high on your list, you’re in good company. Many of your peers are also pursuing their dream of owning a home. The 2022 Millennial & Gen Z Borrower Sentiment Report from Maxwell says:

“Many young adults have demonstrated their resolve to embark on the journey toward homeownership soon. More than half of millennials and Gen Zs plan to apply for a mortgage sometime within the next year.”

Let’s take a look at why homeownership makes the top of so many young buyers’ to-do list and what you need to consider to achieve your goals if you’re one of them.

Top Motivators To Buy a Home

Before you start the homebuying process, it’s helpful to know why homeownership is so important to you. The survey mentioned above sheds light on some of the top reasons why younger generations are looking to buy a home. It finds:

No matter which of these resonates the most with you, know there are many financial and non-financial reasons why you may want to buy a home. While your top motivator may be different than that of your friends, they’re all equally valid and worthwhile.

Key Obstacles and How To Overcome Them

Whether your homeownership goals come from the heart or are driven by financial aspirations (or both), it can still be hard to know where to start when you’re looking to buy a home. From understanding the homebuying process, to getting pre-approved, and exploring down payment options, it’s a lot to wrap your head around.

The same Maxwell survey also reveals key challenges for potential buyers. Thankfully, the knowledge and guidance of a trusted real estate professional can help you overcome both. Here’s a look at two of the hurdles potential homebuyers say they face:

1. The Mortgage Process Can Be Intimidating

In the Maxwell study, 33.37% said one of their obstacles was that the mortgage process is confusing or difficult to understand.

An article by OwnUp helps explain why the mortgage process is so challenging for buyers:

“There is a general lack of knowledge about home financing. Mortgages are a complicated topic with no one-size-fits-all answer. It’s difficult to understand the space, let alone determine what the right course of action is based on your unique financial picture.

While you may be tempted to do a quick search online to find instant answers to your questions, it may not get you the information you need to understand the full picture. Especially when it comes to financial advice, you want to lean on a true expert. Having trusted professionals on your side can help you to learn what it takes to achieve your dream of homeownership. Not to mention, an expert can give you advice specific to your situation, not generic advice like you’ll find online.

2. It’s Hard To Know How Much You Need To Save

In the Maxwell study, 45.75% believe they don’t have enough saved to cover their down payment or closing cost expenses.

What you may not realize is that, today, there’s a growing number of down payment assistance programs available nationwide to help relieve this pressure. A report from Down Payment Resource says:

“Our Q3 2022 HPI report revealed a 1.6% uptick in the number of homebuyer assistance programs available to help people finance homes, raising the number of programs to 2,309, a net increase of 36 over the previous quarter.”

Additionally, as the housing market cools, buyers are regaining some negotiation power and more sellers are willing to work with buyers to help with closing costs.  Understanding what’s out there and the options available may help you achieve your dream of homeownership faster than you thought possible.

Bottom Line

If you’re serious about becoming a homeowner, know it may be more in reach than you think. Lean on trusted professionals to help you overcome challenges and prioritize your next steps.

As seen on

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How to Devalue Your Home

So you’ve bought a home. You can kiss bland uniformity goodbye the moment you turn your apartment keys over to your now-former landlord. The world is your canvas — at least, that part of the world inside your property lines and the possible Home Owners Association will allow. You’re the artist that’ll mold it into a shape that tantalizes and delights the senses.

You may have big dreams for that new home, but cool your jets. This is a time for careful consideration, not for hastily scribbled modern design notes on cocktail napkins. Although there are certainly changes you can make that will update and/or upgrade your new home, there are others that can potentially devastate its value. This is no small thing.

If you thought that ugly entryway light fixture was a real turn-off, just read on to learn about things potential buyers will find extremely unappealing down the road.

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Every homeowner will leave a mark on the homes they own, this is an inevitable fact of life. The only question you need to ask yourself is if your mark will be a good one. Will you be the homeowner who planted the gorgeous maple tree that eventually turns into a beloved climbing tree or are you the one that glued neon green shag carpet to the hardwood floors?

We’ve made a short list of some of the most dramatic ways to destroy your home’s value without even trying all that hard so you can, hopefully, avoid these problems when you go to sell. Now, this is an important point to note: if you’re in your forever home, go hog wild. If you don’t need to sell that puppy ever, feel free to do whatever thrills you. Just be aware that your outlandish choices could prevent things like refinances and even reverse mortgages down the road.

Having made those disclosures, let’s talk about home value-destroying projects!

4 Things That Can Lower Your Home’s Resell Value

Now that you own a house, people will be giving you all sorts of weird advice. You’re going to have to learn to tune it out, because generally, random people don’t know. Most people own two or three homes in their lives, which doesn’t give them a whole lot of experience with market values and making upgrades that will make a house really pop.

Realtors, general contractors and other home pros, on the other hand, make it their business to know what’s just in vogue and what’s a classic, evergreen sort of modification that will stand the test of time. These are the people to ask when you really need a second set of eyes.

But, before you even get that far, let’s count down some of the worst ideas for your new home.

#4 Really Personalizing the Place

Look, we know you’re eager to make your house your own. But step away from the lime green wallpaper and the orange tiles. Just for a minute. Think this through. Some buyers can see past over-personalization, others simply cannot. There’s a reason Realtors used to advise sellers to paint everything beige, it creates a blank pallet for a buyer to start from.

If you want to use quirky wallpaper, choose something that’s easy to remove when you go to sell. You may want to choose a tile that is mostly neutral and scatter those orange ones in just here and there like confetti. In short, tone it down a bit. However, feel free to paint to your heart’s desire — just plan to repaint before you put the house on the market.

When a buyer walks into your home, the first impression they have informs every other thought they have as they walk through. They’re simultaneously calculating two things in their heads: “How much can I afford to pay for this house?” and “How much will I have to pay to fix this place?” Each intolerable thing they encounter, like that orange tile, is another thing that goes in the repair budget. As it grows, the price they’re willing to pay shrinks.

Oh, you left the flamingo wallpaper in your bedroom? The repair budget’s getting pretty heavy. And these are just the immediately visible things, they haven’t yet gotten to the inspection period. The point here is: do you, but do it in a way that can be reversed before anyone shows the house.

#3. Converting the Garage to Anything Else

There’s a difference between using your garage as a gym and making it a gym permanently. When it’s a permanent gym, you can’t push some stuff out of the way and pull the car in real quick to get it out of the rain. In fact, you probably don’t even have a garage door anymore!

Many people have made this hasty decision, turning their garages into master suites, home gyms, playrooms and home offices, not considering the long term ramifications. Then, after dumping thousands of dollars into the project, they find out that it’s extremely difficult to resell their home.

No matter how professionally the conversion was done (and some are done very well), the buyer says to themselves, “Where am I going to stash my lawnmower?” Even if the yard’s a postage stamp, it’s a valid question.

Buyers come into a transaction with a certain set of expectations and, frankly, when they’re looking at houses in certain areas or certain prices that typically come with garages, it sort of breaks their brains to find one that doesn’t quite fit the model. That’s the beginning of the price chopping spiral. Eventually you’ll discount the house much more than you ever intended or just give up on selling and rent it out or not move at all.

#2. Tearing Down (Some) Walls

This one is actually not a hard and fast rule. There are sometimes walls that should come out. But don’t make this call without consulting with an architect or a general contractor because there are several things to consider, including the structural integrity and flow of the home.

The walls that you definitely should never tear out are the ones that reduce bathroom or bedroom number, unless you have something like five or more beds and three or more baths. At that point, you have a little wiggle room. As long as you maintain the American standard of a three bedroom, two bath home (or whatever is standard in your neighborhood), you’re probably ok.

However, turning a three bedroom home into a two bedroom home because you wanted to expand a bedroom is a value killer. If you think about it from a market perspective, it might make a bit more sense. A larger, or more mature, family is most likely to buy a three bedroom home. They’re going to have a bigger budget because there are two incomes, they need more partitioned spaces because there are possibly teenagers involved.

The same house with the same square footage, but with two bedrooms, is more likely to be shown to young families with small children, possibly only one income while one parent stays home to raise the toddlers, or even single people. Their budgets are smaller, which means that the two bedroom market simply doesn’t support the higher prices of the three bedroom market.

When your home is appraised, your appraiser will be pulling comparable homes based on things like neighborhood, square footage and numbers of bedrooms and baths. So, if the other two bedroom homes are selling for $30k less than three bedrooms, that means yours is going to appraise somewhere well below where you might expect, maybe even below what you paid for it.

Bottom line: Don’t knock out walls without professional consultations with your Realtor and an architect or general contractor at minimum so you can understand the full impact of this decision.

#1. Unprofessional DIY Repairs

There are two kinds of DIYers: those with significant trade experience and those without. If your main qualifications involve eighth grade shop class, you probably should not try to handle any big jobs on your own. Start small and work your way up, watch lots of YouTube videos, practice on test materials that don’t affect your home and for the sake of your house and your financial future, recognize and accept when you’re in over your head.

A home pro is often less expensive than you might imagine if you just call them in first. When they’re asked to clean up a bad repair and still make the original correction, it can cost a lot extra.

Finding these sorts of obvious DIY repairs in a home is a terrifying prospect for potential buyers. When they see them, they wonder what else you’ve tried to repair on your own. Did you rewire the electrical box? Is the house going to burn down in the night because you did something to the HVAC?

Because prospective buyers don’t know you or your level of competency, they just see that one botched repair and hyperfocus on it until they either run away or submit an offer significantly lower than what you were expecting.

Need a pro

Check out my list of preferred vendors. It is a list of 260+ service providers that I and/or my fellow Realtors have personally worked with over the last 27 years.  They don’t pay to be on this list like the other referral services. This link makes it easy to access and search…simply register for a free account

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Does Solar Increase a Home’s Value?

Whether you are environmentally conscious or you’re look to reduce those high electric bills, Solar panels are about your best bet. With better technology, today’s panels are way more efficient and cost a great deal less then those of even 10 years ago.

The big question on most homeowner’s minds is; Will they add value to my home if I sell it?

While there are too many variables to say how much value solar panels will add, the short answer is, “Yes”. Variables like where you’re located, the cost of your electricity, the amount of electricity you use, and most importantly will you (do you) own the solar system or lease it. The Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy says that a solar energy system will likely increase your home’s value, and that buyers across the country have been willing to pay a premium of approximately $15,000 for a home with an average-sized solar array.

So it wouldn’t be prudent to go out and spend $40,000 on a solar system, if you’re planning to sell your home in the next few years. However, keep in mind that any increase in your homes value is in addition to your electrical cost savings.

When it does come time to sell there is some vital information that you’ll probably need to provide about your solar system;

  1. Did purchase or lease the system?
  2. You’ll need the purchase or lease agreement
  3. If financed or leased, What are payments and is it assumable?
  4. How much is the pay-off?
  5. If it’s not transferrable, are you or the buyer willing to pay it off?
  6. Solar company info and date installed
  7. Warranty info
  8. Proof of how much savings the system provides
  9. Who gets the utility credit?

As always, I am here to answer all your real estate questions.

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Pure Professionals

It takes a village!

Over my 27 years in real estate, I have worked with many service providers; some good, some not so good and some Excellent.  These are the people I trust the most to help me help you.

Front Left:

Melinda Kirkwood, a Certified Transaction Coordinator & Owner of Superior Transactions.  I’ve been working with Melinda for 11 of her 32 years in the business. She makes sure all paperwork is in the files, with all signatures, initials & dates, so our transactions close…on time…and our butts are covered.

Christina Smolskis, an Executive Title Rep. with Lawyers Title, a leading provider of title insurance, protecting buyers and their lenders against claims questioning legal ownership of properties.  They pay all legal fees if a claim ever rises after the close of escrow.  Christina has been part of my team for 5 of her 20 years in the business.

Donna Wilke, has been my Escrow Officer for 6 years out of her 25 years of experience.  Unless I’m convinced otherwise, Honor Escrow has the best success for closing your escrow, on time.  She handles residential and commercial real estate closings very well, especially the difficult ones, and is always available for me.

Colleen Rogers, is the Operating Principal for our company.  For such a young gal, she has an Awesome head for business and I have been very fortunate to be a part of her family of companies and growth for nearly 12 years.  She brings a wealth of helpful knowledge and tools, that she has amassed in her 19 year career.

Back Left:

Erik Messinger, is the Broker of Record for our company.  He’s the guy whose license is on the line if something goes south in a transaction.  That why he continually keeps us informed of new regulations, forms and scams to watch out for.  Erik has been a part of our team for 10 of his 30 years in the industry.

John & Melissa Hammond, are the owners of Hammond Inspection Services.  I have been calling on them to inform and protect my buyers by providing thorough inspections & delivering timely reports, for 8 of their 12 years in the business.  They also conduct Mold Inspections which is very handy.

Mark Burkhardt, is the Team Leader (manager) of two of our offices.  He has his hands full with nearly 550 agents needing his guidance, yet he always has time for me. Mark has been helping me help you for 5 of his 40 years in the business.

Scott Stephens, Licensed Realtor since 1994, and bringing you this information to protect you and your loved ones.  I have never had a claim against my real estate license (check any license here, and I want to keep it that way. That’s why I only work with people who have the same impeccable work ethics.

Justina Brogan, has been my Marketing Director for 5 years. She has such a keen eye and attention to detail, and has developed a Fabulous array of marketing pieces to help me help sellers maximize profits.

Jeff Johnson has been my Inspection Repair Specialist for my entire 27-year career.  Why? Because his 40 years of construction experience help buyers and sellers accomplish what they want without breaking the bank.

Renae Alanis & Huy Tran, of Excelerate Capital, with over 34 years and 10 years respectively, have more loan options to help my buyers and sellers than anyone I know.  They’ve been going to bat for my clients (no matter what their financial situation is) for 3 years, and they’ll double check buyer qualifications for my sellers to bring our transactions to fruition.

I also have assembled a list of over 260 vendors that I and my fellow agents have worked with over the years that I am happy to share.  This wealth of experience is yours when you call Scott Stephens to handle your real estate transactions.

I’m Here to Help,

Scott Stephens

(714) 801-6230

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Know Someone Affected by recent Floods?

When a natural disaster hits, the effects are typically much more significant than you might first suspect. Sure, there is the immediate impact and potentially some damage resulting directly from that, but in most cases, there is also a significant amount of clean up and recovery that’s required afterward. This is especially true in instances of flooding where it can take weeks if not months or longer to get everything dried out and cleaned up.

So what should you do if your home is hit by flood waters or possible worse a mud-slide? There are a lot of potential answers to this question, depending in large part on how severe the flooding was where you live. After all, getting some water in your house or basement is a much different situation than heavy flooding that damaged your foundation or broke windows and damaged walls. Assuming your home didn’t receive significant structural damage from the flood, here are a few suggestions to get you started with the cleanup process.

Dry It Out

Your first priority in dealing with flood cleanup is getting everything as dry as possible. Use pumps, buckets, wet/dry shop vacs, or other tools to remove as much water as you can, then wipe up or mop areas that still have a little bit of surface moisture on them. Set up fans to keep air moving to aid with the drying process, and open windows if possible to give water-laden air a place to go. For rooms that don’t have good ventilation, set up dehumidifiers to help remove moisture from the air. Getting as much water as possible out of your home quickly will help you avoid mold and mildew growth that is quite common after flooding.

If you’ve got mud, sludge, and other debris in your home, use a shovel or similar tool to scoop it up and remove it from the house. Try to get as much of it as possible while it’s still wet, because it will be much harder to remove once it starts to dry. Getting this sort of debris out of your house as soon as possible is also important to keep unwanted smells out of your home; mud and other debris can contain fungi, mold spores, and other materials that will break down and decay, so you want to get it out quickly if you can.

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Keep Yourself Safe

There are worse things that can come from flood waters than just bad smells, so it’s important to keep yourself and your family safe during clean up and afterward. Flood waters can contain decaying materials, raw sewage, and materials that can cause a variety of illnesses, so it’s important that you try to protect yourself with gloves, masks, and eye protection while cleaning up after a flood. You should also shower and change your clothes as soon as possible after finishing clean up each day to avoid accidental contamination after the fact. Sanitize every surface you can, and anything that can’t be sanitized should be gotten rid of if it came in contact with dirty flood waters.

You should also keep in mind the fact that you don’t necessarily know what all is hiding in the debris you see in or around your home. Even if they’re not immediately obvious, objects with sharp points, jagged edges, and other potential hazards might be mixed in with everything that was deposited by the flood. Try to avoid picking up things directly unless you can confirm that it’s safe to do so, as even a small cut or other injury can introduce infection.

Call for Help

Don’t be afraid to call for help with your clean up and recovery. There are a number of recovery services available that can aid in cleaning up after a flood. Best of all, if the flood is declared a disaster, then many of these services may be eligible for reimbursement from FEMA or other agencies. As always, I am also here to help.

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