Why Now is the Best time to Sell Your House

1. There are motivated buyers in the market that must buy for tax reasonHappy Holidayss.
2. During the Holiday Season there are typically less homes on the market. Less supply means less competition. Less competition means more money in your pocket.
3. Many people have time off during the Holidays, which increases their availability to see homes. Buyers that buy during the Holiday Season tend to be serious buyers.
4. Buyng is an emotional purchase and emotions tend to run high during the Holiday Season. Strategically, having the opportunity to work off a buyer’s emotion is in your favor … they tend to offer a higher price when emotions are involved.
5. The Holiday Season reminds many people of family. The home is the foundation of the family unit. More people become motivated to buy during the Holidays more than other times of the year.
6. The interest rates are incredibly low, which allows a buyer to afford more than the market. When rates are low, buyers tend to present higher purchase offers.
7.Many sellers will wait and list after the first of the year, which causes a lot of new inventory in January. The longer you wait; the more competition you create for yourself. You can expect a flood of new inventory in the first quarter of 2016. As supply increases, your likelihood of getting an offer at an acceptable price decreases.
8. Since most people do not want to move during the Holidays, you can secure a contract now while your selling opportunity is and high and arrange for a delayed closing or a rent back with the buyer(s).
9. Companies typically bring new talent in starting at the beginning of the year. These new hires are looking at property now. You must be on the market to take advantage of these buyers.
10. Selling now can give you more buying power later. By selling your home now, you can buy after January when the market becomes saturated with listings as a non-contingent buyer. This gives you negotiating power!

New listing

Contact info:
Katie Cotter | Keller Williams Realty | 562-230-0896 |                       cotterrealestate.com                        cotterrealestate@gmail.com



Income Property in Rose Park

788 Dawson Ave, Long Beach, CA 90804


Year Built: 1912
Sq Footage: 1483 sqft.
Bedrooms: 3 Beds
Bathrooms: 2 Baths
Floors: 1
Parking: 1 Garage
Lot Size: 5837 Square Feet
Property Type: Multi-Family


Craftsman Bungalow and a small cottage on one lot in historic Rose Park area. White picket fence surrounds generous yard. Front house has 2-bedrooms, an updated kitchen and completely remodeled bathroom. There’s a bonus room off the dining room and kitchen, perfect for an office. There’s a side entrance off the dining room with small deck. Back cottage is a one-bedroom, with a living room, kitchen and bonus room. Each unit has their own garden area and washer/dryer hook-ups outside. Separate garage with alley access. The exterior of the main house maintains its historical essence with a front porch, original window configuration and trim details. Seller says there should be some upside potential on current rents, especially with some cosmetic improvements.

Contact info:
Katie Cotter
Keller Williams Realty

Starbucks and Higher Home Values

Homes located near a Starbucks, the coffee store, tend to gain value faster than houses further away.

At least that’s what a New York Times Bestselling book says. Zillow Talk: The New Rules of Real Estate was co-authored by the chief economist and by the CEO of Zillow.com. Zillow.com is the number one real estate website and mobile application in the the country.

The news about homes near Starbucks appreciating faster is good news for us in Belmont Heights. While there are 19,000 Starbucks locations in more than 60 countries, there are two in our immediate area!

Zillow research says: In the past 17 years, Starbucks adjacent properties have outpaced other areas by appreciating 96%, while the average American home has appreciated only 65%.

Some may argue the phenomenon is not specifically about Starbucks. So Zillow Talk also examined real estate near another coffee venue: Dunkin Donuts. (We have a new one in our ‘hood, too).

The findings: “Homes near Dunkin’ Donuts reflect a similar historical trend…they appreciate faster than the nation’s housing average, they still don’t appreciate as fast as properties that are now a quarter-mile from a Starbucks.”

The Zillow Talk authors took those statistics to the people at Starbucks (their home office also in Seattle, like Zillow’s). Zillow wanted to see if there was some kind of formula regarding Starbucks’ site selection—in case it could be applied to real estate and used to identify neighborhoods that will appreciate faster than the national average.

While Starbucks does use some science, local demographics and traffic patterns, the team there admits they also use local intuition by relying on input from regional decision makers.

In addition, it’s assumed that unsuccessful Starbucks locations disappear when they’re underperforming, so only the successful locations ultimately influence what the authors call “The Starbuck Effect” on real estate.

But this is only one of the several data-driven observations that the Zillow authors use to challenge conventional wisdom regarding real estate.

Now that Zillow has been on the scene since 2005, the authors have a wealth of statistics they say are creating: “The New Rules of Real Estate.”

For instance, the book suggests that the old adage: “You should always buy the worst house in the best neighborhood” is not necessarily the case anymore. There’s a whole chapter outlining where this strategy might be outdated and examining a new approach to purchasing for the highest return.

In addition, the Zillow authors say that: “certain improvements will increase the home’s value by more than the cost of renovation.”

However, surprisingly, it’s not a kitchen. Authors say: “kitchen renovations at any level offer among the lowest return on investment of the home improvements we studied.”

Of course, authors caution that this information is based on a wide-variety of price ranges throughout the US, so there could be several different exceptions to this advice. Yet, one real estate rule still exists: “practically all home renovations increase a homes value to some extent.”

Regarding selling, There’s a list of what Zillow Talk tells you are “magic” words and “dangerous” ones when writing a description about a house for sale.

Finally, Zillow Talk tells you exactly when in the year to list your house for the best results. The time is coming! Please let me help you sell your home for the highest price in the least amount of time by applying the latest research. I have 15 years experience in this area, helping both sellers and buyers.

Facebook can make you happier!

People who participate in social media are more content. That’s according to the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science and reported in March 10’s issue of Women’s World. “Simply updating your Facebook status can make you feel more loved,” according to the magazine, “Even if no one comments immediately.” I know that Facebook has made my life fuller with all of the friends I’ve found and rediscovered. Now there are 300 plus people in my life I keep up with daily, that I might not have communicated without social media. Yeah, I’ve been stung a couple of times when people have “un-friended” me, but then I’m like why did you friend me to begin with? And those few times I’ve been hurt can’t compare to the dozens of close friendships I’ve been able to maintain because of Facebook. The journal said that communicating with friends via social media makes you feel more connected, ergo happier.

The difference between Realtors and Real Estate Agents

All Realtors are real estate agents, but not all real estate agents are Realtors. State governments are in charge of licensing real estate agents. In California, becoming an agent requires some college courses and a test. To keep a license in California, agents have to participate in continuing education and show proof to renew their license. Realtor, however, is a trademark name, used to describe a real estate realtor agent who has joined the National Association of Realtors and receives advanced training in ethics. There’s a 17-point Code of Ethics that Realtors promise to uphold. Some of these standards are: pledging to put the interests of buyers and sellers ahead of their own and treat all parties honestly and to refrain from exaggerating or concealing material facts. This doesn’t mean that real estate agents aren’t following these guidelines, but a Realtor will be subject to disciplinary action if the agent violates the strict code. In addition to ethics, the National Association of Realtors charges dues that allows them to compile important information and statistics to help Realtors market your home. Now, when you’re looking for a Realtor, understand that you are choosing an agent who has gone beyond the requirements of state licensing and is following a higher standard of practice and receiving more valuable resources.


Open kitchens, neutral colors and quartz counters are what’s hot in home design this year. Making sure your home’s appeal is contemporary will make it more competitive at resale and, hopefully, more comfortable now.
In older homes, kitchens were a room, generally at the back or off to the side of the house. Gradually kitchens have been growing larger by taking out walls and incorporating more family space. The folks at the American Society of Interior Designers say homeowners are looking for spaces that maximize their ability to gather and relax with friends and family. And as kitchens morph more into living spaces, designers are creating appliances that blend into the kitchen decor, so kitchens look less functional and more comfortable: for instance: a microwaves and refrigerators that look like a drawers.
Neutral colors have always been said to be the best for resale or rental. Now neutral walls and window coverings are popular with homeowners, too. While painted cabinets are very popular, says the President of the National Kitchen and Bath Association, most people are painting with antique white or arctic white.
As for countertops, granite has been the most popular for a decade now. But now factory engineered quartz is the in trend. Quartz offers the same polished look as granite, but its more durable, better resists cracking and chipping, while being resistant to stains.
Finally, one of the latest trends in home decorating is energy efficient and water saving appliances. Homeowners appreciate the savings now and buyers will definitely view that as a selling point.

What happened between these walls?

I interrupt blogging about my summer vacation to write about a mystery in my house. We’ve lived here for 13 years. It’s a duplex with two identical units stacked one on top of the other. It’s been very convenient having two apartments exactly the same, especially when it comes to replacing things–I know what works in ours upstairs, will work usually work downstairs, too. The only major difference between the units is that downstairs is still original in most aspects–with avocado green appliances and the upstairs, where we live, was “updated” at one point by a Liberace-loving Narcissist. There were six walls floor to ceiling mirrors: one wall in the entrance hall, another one in the dining room. The master bedroom’s largest wall was covered completely with mirror and the fireplace in the living room was in encased in the mirrors, too. It’s been a big of an adventure living with all of this reflection. One, it’s hard to keep them all clean, but then you can watch TV backwards in most rooms and the kids never get away with anything because I can usually keep them in sight with all the mirrors~! It really didn’t become a problem until last year when the glue that secured these mirrors started to give away. One panel of a mirrored wall smashed onto the tiled entrance hall–then we ran around the house noting that several of the mirrors were losing their grip on the walls. We took down the ones we could and we reinforced the the ones that were too stubborn come off completely. This summer, we had a professional come in to address the mirror situation: remove the rest of the mirrors and patch and repaint all the walls. Tuesday, it was the fireplace’s turn to be de-mirrored. Since the two units are exactly alike and the downstairs has a brick fireplace, I insisted to the painter that there was a brick fireplace under the mirrors. He took the mirrors off the top and there was sheet rock. He knocked on it and said it was hollow. Still, I insisted that he take off the lower mirrors and there WAS some brick, so I told him to demo the wall board above to expose the brick chimney. He was hesitant because he doesn’t like to make messes, but he made a smaller hole in one of the walls and saw brick beneath. I was quite vindicated and told him with bravado to remove the rest of he mirrors! Next thing I hear is: “Katie, we’re done. Come see this,” the painter smirked. Yeah, what happened here? Did they just never finish it? On closer inspection it looks it was once done properly and fell apart because there’s some crude patching. The part of the chimney that is intact is enclosed…so I’m figuring that’s why it’s worked for 13 years, but I just have got to find out what happened, so we’re having a chimney specialist come on Monday to do some comprehensive inspections from downstairs to the roof. The chimney place says they have cool tools like cameras to look inside. Meanwhile, I’m perplexed WTF between these walls?

Jesse James’ Hideout Home

Famed Old West outlaw Jesse James and his brother hid out from the law in Meramac Caverns in Missouri. They had explored the caverns and knew a secret way out the back. So when the law set up at the front entrance it was assumed that eventually the bandits would have to come out for food. But Jesse and his brother, Frank, left them waiting and slipped out unnoticed. This is one of the places we visited on our summer vacation to visit my daughter in Baltimore.
In addition, to being a the hideout for famed train robber James, the the Meramac Caverns located along old Route 66 was home to a honeymoon couple on the old TV show: “People are Funny”. Art Linketter hosted this show from 1954 to 1960, offering people an opportunity to “win” prizes by performing crazy stunts. The stunt in this episode was for a newly married couple to live in the caverns pretending to be cave-people. Every time a tour came through the couple, dressed like cave people, would jump up and down feigning some sort of primitive communication. The couple completed the week in the cave and won a dream honeymoon–not one in a cold dark cavern. Now, the trails through the cave are paved and lit, but its still a bit spooky and disorienting with each of the huge rooms branching into other cave rooms filled with a carpet of water.

There’s at least 4 miles of cave (although, the tour is not that long and strenuous.) During the Civil War, the Union Army mined saltpeter, which was used to manufacture gun powder. The caverns have also been used as movie sets (Tom Sawyer (1972) and Deep Impact (1998)), now its mostly a tourist attraction. If you’d like to visit, well there’s only one Route 66 (now Interstate 44) through Missouri and if you’re afraid of missing it there’s actually fifty billboards directing you there.

What the current generation of home buyers want

Current home buyers want energy-efficient homes. That’s according to the National Association of Builders which survey current home buyers’ preferences. Generation Y (people born after 1977, who are younger than Generation X) are looking for homes that have ENERGY STAR-rated appliances and features like energy-efficient windows, doors and insulation that help control the home’s climate. They’re looking for tank less water heaters and heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems that help save energy costs. DSNews.com reports June 5th that newer homes (built after 2008) average $241 to maintain while homes built before 1960 cost $564 per year. So what does that mean to the average home seller in the Long Beach/Lakewood area that was mostly developed in the 1940 and 50s? When remodeling, future sellers should choose more energy-efficient materials and appliances. This will help their home appeal to the current generation of buyers.

How Your House Can Be Making You Fat

Losing weight can have a lot to do with your house. Simple things like where you store food to where you spend most of your time at home can affect your weight, according to ThisOldHouse.com. Room color makes a difference, too. The Pantone Color Institute says that red, orange and yellow can stimulate your appetite. Conversely, blue is unappetitizing. The web article says that: “blue rarely occurs as food in nature (more often indicating rot or mold that can make you ill), humans have no appetite response to it.” So using aqua to decorate your kitchen
or even blue plates may limit the amount of food you comsume. Your home’s floorplan and kitchen design can also influence healthy eating habits. A study from Wansink’s Cornell lab shows that people who pass through the kitchen during the day tend to eat 15 percent more than people who don’t. Likewise, if the family spends more time in a family room that’s combined with a kitchen, the opportunity to eat can be tempting–especially, if the kitchen doesn’t have a pantry and junk food is left out in plain sight. Leaving fruit and healthy treats out on the counter might encourage healthier eating habits. Instead of spending your time in a comfortable lounging area where it’s convenient to eat, incorporating exercise equipment in a popular TV-watching area could encourage you to burn some calories. Planting a garden in your backyard is another healthy idea. It’s fun to eat things you grow. Keeping your house clean and tidy can also help you shed pounds, vacuuming and mopping burn calories. Walking up and down stairs to put things where they go, can add lots of activity to your day. Finally, your bedroom can also influence your weight. Studies show that people who get 5-hours sleep are more likely to be heavier than people who sleep 7-8 hours. A Stanford University study, says this is because sleep deprivation increases the hormone ghrelin, which is an appetite stimulant, while decreasing leptin, which is an appetite controller. Anything you can do to encourage more sleep in the bedroom is good. Making changes in your household might help you lose weight.