Happy Thanksgiving!

Fall leads intoFB_IMG_1444777532182[1] winter and winter into spring, but first, let’s dig into some delicious turkey and stuffing and have ourselves a get together! Calaveras County is a fantastic place to spend your Thanksgiving holiday. We have some gorgeous foliage in great abundance during the fall months, and just the right amount of crispness in the air to make those stylish scarves and winter coats and boots a necessity.

If you have a winter cabin or second home in the Motherlode, now is an excellent time to have it winterized if you don’t plan on using it soon. Cold winter mornings have played witness to thousands of broken pipes, leading to thousands of dollars worth or repairs or cleanup after a flood. Likewise, if you have your home for sale and it is currently sitting vacant, please give your real estate agent a call and ask her to arrange to have your property winterized for you. It generally doesn’t cost much more than $100 to have it done if you don’t want to do it yourself, and could potentially save thousands in the long run. Just remember, if you do happen to get one of those rare winter buyers, you’ll have to foot the bill to have the property de-winterized in order for them to be able to have inspections performed.

Seller’s Alert – NOW is the time to start getting your property ship-shape if you intend to list it this spring! Box up those personal decorative items – family pictures, kid’s artwork, unused kitchen and bathroom appliances, etc., and sell, give away, or toss anything you no longer need. HAVE INSPECTIONS PERFORMED! Having the answers a buyer is going to want to know ahead of time puts you ahead of the game and reinforces your asking price. If you need to have work done; termite and pest, roof, septic, well, etc., and you let the buyer know what to expect in regards to that work (ie. your listing price represents and takes into account that the buyer is expected to be responsible for cost of repairs, or that the seller will have repairs done prior to close of escrow), you have more leverage in negotiations where the buyer wants to haggle over the price. Yes, I know inspections can run into the hundreds, but is that really not just a drop in the bucket compared to the thousands in repairs or a suitable reduction in price if the buyer finds out he’s not really getting what he thought he was paying for when you leave that responsibility up to the buyer?

I usually recommend that my sellers have a whole home inspection (usually around $450) and a roof inspection if the roof is over 15 years old (somewhere around $150 for this one). If the home inspector finds evidence of pests or pest damage, I’d take it a step further and get a pest inspection as well. And see, here’s the deal: If you want to be able to sell your home to someone who wants to finance it, the lender is going to require that you or the buyer provides clearances for the septic, well, pest and/or roof from a licensed inspector in order to approve the loan. Otherwise, you are going to be limiting your buyer pool to only those with enough cash to close the deal… which could result in additional months sitting on the market and unnecessary additional carrying expense for you, the seller. And that’s a bummer. We don’t want bummed sellers, we want blissful sellers! So take my advice and have those inspections done ahead of time!

Meanwhile, I want to wish you all a warm, family and fun-filled Thanksgiving holiday with some fantastic Diestel Farms locally grown organic turkey, some home-made eggnog, lots of laughter and abundant good blessings, from my household to yours!