Real Estate Information

San Diego Real Estate Blog

David Crowell


Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 22

How can I make my home attractive to buyers?

by David Crowell

Q.  How can I make my home attractive to buyers?

A.  When selling your home, look at your home through a potential buyer’s eyes, and follow these steps to make it show well and receive a good offer:

• Clean and repair.  Your buyer’s first impression is from the street.  Clean up the yard, the landscaping and check your exterior paint job.  On the inside, shampoo the carpets, scrub the floors and clear off all the counters.  Remove old wallpaper and paint the walls a neutral color. Fix things that need fixing, like squeaky doors, broken tiles etc.
• De-Clutter.  Get rid of all that “stuff” you’ve accumulated in the garage, the backyard and the basement.  And don’t forget the closets!
• “Stage” it to look like a model home.  Put away your personal items and remove large pieces of furniture.  Ask your REALTOR® for ways to “dress up” your home (candles, new linens etc.) to maximize your selling potential.

For more tips, ask for my Free Consumer Report called “Make Your Home Show Like A Model Without Breaking the Bank.”  Email us at and we’ll get a copy to you.

3 Ways To Update Your Kitchen

by David Crowell

3 Ways To Update Your Kitchen
Does your kitchen need a new look?  Here are three ways to give it a makeover without spending a fortune. 

1. Paint your cabinets and change your hardware.  You may choose to hire a professional or paint your cabinets yourself.  Search for “best way to paint kitchen cabinets” at  When you buy new cabinet and drawer handles, take your old ones to the hardware store to ensure the new set matches the holes.

2. Add a backsplash.  Again, have the job done professionally or do it yourself by checking out a YouTube video or searching for “how to install a tile backsplash” at

3. Swap your countertops.  Estimate the cost of materials and installation by using  Granite countertops can cost $100-$225 per square foot but you can spend less by looking at concrete, stainless steel, or laminate.

How can I build wealth with real estate rental properties?

by David Crowell

Q. How can I build wealth with real estate rental properties?

A.  Before purchasing rental property, consider the following factors to make a good investment:

• Find moderately priced properties, so you can generate more cash flow than higher priced properties.  Your tenant’s rent should cover the mortgage, utilities, and additional expenses in order to produce a cash flow.

• Get the full cost of owning and repairing the home.  Have a property inspection before you purchase the property to identify any potential repairs.  Also, get written quotes from contractors for repairs you’ll need to make before renting out the home.

• Carefully select your tenants.  Each time a renter leaves, you have to prep it for another tenant by paying for repairs, possible upgrades, and other costs such as advertising, credit and background checks, plus taking time to show the unit.  Long-term tenants are better for your investment, so choose wisely and treat them well!

To learn more, call me to request my Free Consumer Report called
“How to Avoid 8 Dumb Mistakes Even Smart Investors Make.”  

How To Stop A Running Toilet

by David Crowell

How To Stop A Running Toilet

It’s not just an annoying noise – a constantly running toilet can waste up to 200 gallons of water per day.  Toilets haven’t changed much since their invention, so they’re usually easy to fix.  Remove the lid and look inside for one of these problems:

□ Buildup of sediment can cause parts to malfunction.  Clean any sediment off the flapper (the rubber flap at the bottom of the tank) or other parts.

□ The chain or rod connected to the flapper may be bent or could be tangled.  Bend the rod straight or untangle the chain.

□ The float (the rubber or plastic balloon) needs to be above the water.  If it’s filled with water and sinking, you may need to screw a new one on.  See this by searching online for “ float”.

□ The flapper can become stiff as it gets old.  Replace it by turning off the water, removing it, and taking it with you to the hardware store to make sure you buy the right one.  Simply snap the new one in place!

Q. What key factors should I consider before selling my home?

by David Crowell

Q.  What key factors should I consider before selling my home?

A.  Here are a few factors to consider:

• Make sure you are ready.  You should be able to afford to get your house sale-ready as well as make the move to a new home.

• Consider the condition of your home.  You may need to make upgrades or repair cosmetic defects because homebuyers may not be able to get past the look of an outdated home.  Updating by bringing in new appliances, painting, and making exterior repairs can improve first impressions and increase the value of your home.

• Finding the right price point.  You don’t want to price your home too high or too low when it is first listed on the market.  An experienced REALTOR® can help you find a price range that buyers might pay for your home.

Learn more about how to sell your home quickly and for the most money by calling and asking for my Free Consumer Report called “How To Avoid 7 Costly Mistakes When Selling Your Home.”  Email us at and we’ll send a copy right over to you.

Is The Air In Your Home Safe?

by David Crowell

Is The Air In Your Home Safe?

The air you’re breathing in your house and office may be more polluted than the air in a smog-filled city.  You might be breathing in harmful mold, chemicals, pet dander, pollen, and bacteria, any of which can lead to asthma and allergy attacks or lung infections.  Here are the four best ways to reduce your risk of health problems from dirty air:

1. Reduce indoor moisture.  Mold and bacteria particles in the air thrive in moist environments.  Using ventilation fans in areas of the home with high humidity and running an air conditioner can help lower humidity.  Water-damaged carpet or building materials should be completely dried or replaced.  Don’t forget the basement, attic, and crawl spaces – if you see water condensing on your walls, you may want to operate a dehumidifier in these areas.

2. Bring outside air in.  Sometimes the weather doesn’t permit it, but opening a window can improve circulation and usher out airborne bacteria and chemicals.  Running a window or attic fan and always using vent fans in kitchens, laundry rooms, and bathrooms will keep the air moving in and out of your home.

3. Keep things clean.  Vacuum carpets and sofas weekly if possible, with a vacuum that has a HEPA filter.  Washing bed sheets in hot water reduces dust mites, pollen, pet dander, and other allergens.  Allergy-sensitive people should use allergen-blocking pillowcases and mattress covers.  Mattress protectors range from $10 to $40, or several hundred dollars for higher-quality fabric on

4. Eliminate toxic chemicals.  You may want to consider an air purifier, but research varies on the effectiveness of products that filter the air.  You’re better off removing contaminates from your home rather than trying to filter them out of the air.  Try finding non-toxic cleaners and using non-chemical pest control methods.

Q. What should I know about FHA loans if I’m thinking about buying a home soon?


A.  An FHA loan is a mortgage insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) that offers favorable terms for those who qualify, particularly first-time homebuyers.  Here are some important details:


1. Is mortgage insurance required?  Yes.  Because only 3.5% of the purchase price is required as a down payment, FHA loans require you to pay private mortgage insurance.  This protects the lender from a loss if the borrower defaults on the loan.

2. Can you use gift monies with FHA loans?  Yes, you may use a gift from a friend or relative for the 3.5% FHA down payment.

3. Do I get the loan directly from the FHA?  No.  You need to get your loan through an FHA-approved lender.  Costs, services, and underwriting standards vary, so it’s important to shop around.

4. How do I find an FHA-approved lender?  Go to the Department of Housing and Urban Development site at (then search for “Lender List”), or ask me and I’ll refer you to a lender.


 To learn more, ask for my Free Consumer Report called “7 Secrets For Saving Thousands When Financing Your Home.”  Just send us an email at and we'll send that right over to you.

Remove Common Stains Fast

by David Crowell

Remove Common Stains Fast

 Got kids, pets, or are you the accident waiting to happen?  Here are some quick & easy tips for cleaning up frequent stains:

Greasy spills.  Sprinkle the spot with a little cornmeal and let it sit for five minutes.  Then sponge the area with a vinegar/water mixture.

Pet stains.  Cover the stain with baking soda.  It soaks the moisture up, making it easy to pick up the mess with a paper towel and dispose.  Vacuum the baking soda.  If there’s still a stain, try a specialized pet spot remover.

Chewing gum or crayon.  Use undiluted vinegar.  Dip an old toothbrush in the vinegar to get the crayon stain out.

How much money do I need for a down payment?

by David Crowell

Q.  How much money do I need for a down payment?

A.  Your down payment will be based on the cost of the home and most likely one of the following popular loan programs...

1. Conventional financing – For conventional financing, you need a minimum of 5% up to a maximum of 20% down.
2. FHA financing – You will need a minimum of 3.5% down.
3. USDA financing – You may not need a down payment.
4. VA financing – You also may not need a down payment.

 Here are a few more things to know if you go with conventional financing.  If you put less than 20% down, you may be responsible for paying private mortgage insurance.  Also, the lower your down payment on a home, usually the higher your interest rate and monthly payment.  Mortgage lenders tend to offer better terms to those with a high credit score, a higher down payment, and a stable employment history.

Learn more about down payments by calling and asking for my Free Consumer Report called “4 Quick Ways To Buy A Home With Little Down.”  Email your request to us at and we’ll send a copy right over to you.

How To Protect Yourself During A Home Burglary

by David Crowell

How To Protect Yourself During A Home Burglary

   Do you know what you’d do if someone broke into your home while you were there?  A recent FBI Crime Report says about two out of three residential burglaries happened during daylight hours, when many people are usually not at home.  However, the U.S. Justice Department also reports that 27 percent of home break-ins occur when someone is at home, either during the day or in the middle of the night.  Here are some tips to keep in mind for your personal safety:

 Don’t confront an intruder with a bat, flashlight or weapon because the intruder is more likely to react violently.  Your property isn’t worth risking your life so only do this as a last resort.

 Quietly move to a pre-arranged safe place.  If you can get out of the house without being seen, go to a neighbor’s house and get help.  If you can’t leave, take your cell phone, get into a closet (preferably one you can lock from the inside) and call 911.  Tell the dispatcher where you are in the house and stay on the line until help arrives. 

 If the intruder comes into your space, remain calm, cooperative and don’t look him/her in the eye.  Many burglars will flee if you aren’t confrontational.  If they don’t flee, let them take your possessions and call 911 as soon as you can.  If the situation becomes life threatening, attract attention by screaming and try to escape.  Never agree to go with the burglar to another location because you may be unable to call for help.  

 Prevention is the best protection.  Install a home security system or consider buying an alarm monitoring system.  On click “Locate A Security Company” to research options.  Having a monitored system can reduce your homeowners’ insurance by up to 20 percent.

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 22