Real Estate Information

San Diego Real Estate Blog

David Crowell


Displaying blog entries 51-58 of 58

What factors affect the value of my home when I sell it?

by David Crowell

Q.  What factors affect the value of my home when I sell it?

A.  If you’re thinking about putting your home on the market, here are some of the most important factors affecting its value:

 1) Comparable homes in the area that sold in the past 30-90 days.
If some of the recent sales were short sales or foreclosures, it may affect the value of your home.  Also, the more homes currently available for sale, the lower the value your home may have.

 2) Your location.  Access to highways or public transportation, the quality of your school district, and too few (or too many) commercial or residential developments can have an effect on a home’s value.

 3) Major home systems.  If your water heater, electrical, or heating and air-conditioning systems aren’t working properly it can have a significant affect on the price a buyer pays for your home.  

Want to learn more?  Ask for my Free Consumer Report called “6 Steps For Selling Your Home For TOP DOLLAR.”  Email us at and we’ll send a copy right over to you.

READ This Before Painting...

by David Crowell

Read This Before Painting...

If you’re painting a room, or your entire house, use this handy checklist to avoid common mistakes and make it look amazing:

• Buy sample sizes to try out the color before you buy a gallon. To determine how much paint to buy, use the paint calculator at
• Prevent paint bubbles.  Always start with a clean, dry surface.  Apply a primer-sealer over any stains and allow time to dry.  If you have to paint when it’s hot or humid, run an exhaust fan.
• Blend your paints.  If you’re using more than one can of paint, mix them in one large container so there are no color variations.  Then pour into a smaller can or paint tray for application.
• Start “cutting in” first.  That means painting the trim, corners, and ceiling edges with a brush.  Outline these areas with painter’s tape to ensure straight lines before you begin.  Then use a roller to paint the remaining walls.

What landscaping will attract buyers to my home?

by David Crowell

Q.  What landscaping will attract buyers to my home?

A.  Here are some ideas to get more offers on your property.

 1) Consider a low-maintenance landscaping concept.  Having little or no natural grass and rock gardens is perfect for busy professionals and retirees looking at your home.  Also, consider using native plants because they are colorful, require little fertilizer, and need no additional water or special attention.

 2) Keep your foundation plants pruned.  Make sure plants are low enough against the windows and railings.  This keeps a well- maintained appearance and makes your home look more secure.

 3) If you are short on time, hire a professional.  A professional landscaper can rid your yard of weeds and dead spots.  This ensures a healthy-looking yard.

What is the Purpose of a Home Inspection

by David Crowell

Q:  What’s the purpose of a home inspection?

A:   A home inspection is performed after the buyer and seller have entered into a written contract.  It’s a review of the home’s condition, including the heating system, attic, foundation, and a mold review.  The point is to identify any area of the home that needs replacement or repair.  You’ll use the report to set the final price of your purchase.

You may choose to buy the house and make the repairs, or you may walk away from the property if the costs would be too high for your budget and the sellers refuse to lower the price or make the repairs. You can get your earnest money back provided your contract has a “sale contingent on inspection” clause.

You’ll also need to get an appraisal, which serves to assess a value to the property. You need to know that the property you’ve selected will appraise at or above the amount you’ve contracted to pay for it.

Want to learn more?  Ask for my Free Consumer Report called “Top 10 First-Time Homebuyer Mistakes To Avoid.”  Email us at and we’ll send a copy right over to you.

Home Problems To Fix Now

by David Crowell

If you address a few home problems now, you may avoid major damage and repairs later. 

Here are three areas to check:

Electrical problems.  Circuit breakers tripping frequently, outlets becoming hot, or flickering lights are indications that you should call an electrician.  A home or appliance warranty could cover some of the costs.  Fixing these problems may prevent a fire later.

Loose railings.  A loose handrail is dangerous if someone puts too much pressure on it.  You can remove the screws and reattach new and longer screws.  If it’s attached to concrete, you’ll need to install anchors in the concrete and then place steel bolts in the anchor.

Washing machine hoses.  These hoses can burst or leak at the connection site, possibly resulting in mold or damage to your floors and walls.  Make sure your hoses are connected securely, and verify that you have at least 4 inches of space between the wall and the back of the machine so the hose doesn’t bend.  If you’re going to replace hoses, purchase those made of braided stainless steel.

Think Twice Before Renovating

by David Crowell

If you’re planning a home renovation, do it for your own enjoyment.  But if you might move in a few years, know that some projects won’t generate the return you hoped for.  Here are some do’s and don'ts. 


Do consider these upgrades:

 1) Replace your kitchen countertops with stone or granite (check material cost calculators at  Paint your cabinets and add new handles.

 2) Modernize the bathrooms. A total renovation can cost thousands, but just replacing the vanity in one bathroom with a granite top and dark-wood cabinets will make a huge difference.  For example, you can find one at Costco for about $600.

 3) Make your home more energy efficient.  Buy energy-efficient appliances, insulate your attic, seal air leaks around the house, and install a programmable thermostat. While these upgrades may not be obvious, they will save you money and buyers will appreciate them.


Enjoy these, but you may not get a return on your investment:

 1) Installing a pool.   A pool is entertaining, but it can be a liability when you sell.  Buyers worry about safety and maintenance.

 2) Creating a dedicated home office.  It’s appropriate if you work at home and use it everyday, but if you just use it to pay bills, make sure the room can also be used as a den or spare bedroom.

 3) Over-renovating for your neighborhood.   If you spend $25,000+ on a new kitchen, you may price yourself out of the local market when it comes time to sell.

What big mistakes should I avoid when selling my home?

by David Crowell

There are plenty of mistakes you can make when you sell your home but most can easily be avoided.   Here are three important ones:

  1. Pricing Your Home Incorrectly.  You need to set the right price when you put it on the market.  If you start high, you may keep buyers and other real estate agents away.  If you lower your price in increments, it may be too late, as the home may already be viewed as “overpriced.”
  2. Failing To Stage Your Property.  You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression!  Look at your home from a buyer’s point of view: clean it up, clear the clutter and get it in model-home shape.
  3. Selecting The Wrong Agent.  You need to hire a REALTOR® who understands your goals and will meet your needs.   

Learn more about selling your home in our Free Consumer Report called “How To Avoid 7 Costly Mistakes When Selling Your Home.”  Email your request to and we’ll send a copy right over to you.

Should I Buy a Home Now?

by David Crowell

I'm often asked if this is a good time to buy a home. Some clients are concerned that home prices may fall down the road, while others are convinced that home prices will go up.

Home prices are one factor in determining your cost of ownership, but so are interest rates and financing availability. Even though interest rates have fluctuated, they are still near historic lows. Since your monthly mortgage payment is a combination of paying down your principal and paying the interest owed, a one point rise in interest rates could cost tens of thousands of dollars over the life of your mortgage!

While a home is a major investment, it is also the center of your personal life. It's important to live in a home that reflects your taste and values, yet is within your financial "comfort zone." To that end, it may be more important to lock in today's relatively low interest rates while they are still available.

Please give me a call if I can be of any assistance in determining how much home you can afford in today's market.

Displaying blog entries 51-58 of 58