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Which Real Estate Site Should You Use?


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If you are in interested in buying or selling, which website should you use for your research, HouseCallRealty, Realtor.com, Zillow, Redfin, Trulia etc…?  

You probably have many questions.  Which one lists the most homes for sale?  Which are the most accurate?  How up to date are they?  When you click on a house and an agent is shown to contact - are they the actual listing agent?  Who do they really cater to?  Will you get spammed?  And the most important question, WHICH ONE SHOULD YOU USE?

When I’m speaking with my clients, especially buyers, they always, and I mean 100% of the time, search for homes on multiple sites?  Why?  Because they think there are different homes for sale on different sites.  It is simply not true.  Every website out there, including my site HouseCallRealty, use the same data from the “Multiple Listing Service” or the MLS, which is what Realtors use.  So what does this mean?  It means all of the sites have the exact same information.  So to save time, pick one that you like and stick with it.  

Zillow, Redfin, and the other sites make money selling advertising to Realtors and Lenders to appear as the listing agent and lender for the home.  They cater to real estate agents and lenders who pay for placement - advertising.   I personally get solicited at least once a week from these sites to pay for placement (advertising) in a certain city or zip code.  For example, if I bought a portion of 91915 and 91941 on Zillow, I would appear as the listing agents for 100’s of homes…because I paid for it.  

If you use one of these websites and click on multiple different homes, your information will be sent to the various Realtors and lenders who paid to have their names listed in that area and you will begin receiving calls/emails/texts from them soliciting your business.  These sites are not interested in helping you, they are in business to sell advertising – period.

So where should you safely search for homes – HouseCallRealty.com!!
  1. It’s lists every home for sale in San Diego County and is updated every day.
  2. Your information will not be sold.  
  3. You won’t get calls/emails/texts from tons of agents across the county.
  4. You can set up custom searches.
  5. You can see how much your home is worth on a monthly basis.
  6. You can see what is selling in your neighborhood and for how much.
  7. I’m available 7 days a week to answer any real estate related questions you may have.
  8. It is super easy to use.
**A broker is licensed to render real estate advice. If you desire tax, legal or lending advice, consult the appropriate professional. Videos and marketing by Broker are intended to help educate the public. Laws and real estate practices may change at anytime.  All information deemed reliable but is not guaranteed and determined on a case-by-case basis. If your property is listed, please disregard as it is not our intention to solicit. We cooperate fully with other brokers. Equal Housing Opportunity and member of the National Association of Realtors.

Smart Home Technology That Will Add Value to Your Home


These small, really cool changes can add value and make your home more desirable.

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Want to buy a home? Search all homes for sale

Over the last several months many buyers have been requesting to see homes with “Smart Technology” so I thought it would be a great idea to let you know the items most requested. These small, really cool changes can add value and make your home more desirable.

  • Smart Home Security Systems can make your home stand out, and you won’t have to shell out thousands of dollars to make your home shine. Additionally, smart home features may signal to buyers that the home is updated and may have other desirable traits, upgrades or features. (Suggestions are Nest Learning Thermostat & Honeywell Lyric 5 for Thermostats and Comcast and ADT for Smart Security Systems).
  • Alexa & Google Home – Voice Command for your entire home. You can do things like controlling your stereo system, turning lights on and off and controlling your thermostat.  (Alexa/Google Voice).
  •  Video Doorbell – Ring is the most popular right now. You can see who is at the door on your phone whether you are home or not and actually speak to them.

Other “Smart” upgrades that can increase the value of your home are:

  • Tankless Water Heaters - never run out of water because they heat your water on demand, instead of storing 40 or 50 gallons of hot water.
  • Smart Door locks, Smart Sprinkler controls, Smart Air conditioners and Smart appliances

Last but certainly not least is Solar Panels – only if you want to eliminate your electricity costs for as long as you own your home. The best investment I’ve ever made!

**A broker is licensed to render real estate advice. If you desire tax, legal or lending advice, consult the appropriate professional. Videos and marketing by Broker are intended to help educate the public. Laws and real estate practices may change at anytime.  All information deemed reliable but is not guaranteed and determined on a case-by-case basis. If your property is listed, please disregard as it is not our intention to solicit. We cooperate fully with other brokers. Equal Housing Opportunity and member of the National Association of Realtors.

What’s the Real Purpose of a Home Inspection?


What is the purpose of a home inspection?

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Want to buy a home? Search all homes for sale

So what is the purpose of the home inspection?

The home inspection is the opportunity for the buyers to check out the overall condition of the home they just purchased. Home inspection costs run from $300 to $500 depending on the size of the home. This is usually the first inspection the buyers do after their offer is accepted. Keep in mind a buyer has the right to do any and all inspections they want – at their cost.

So what do you want the home inspector to concentrate on?

Let’s begin with the big four–foundation, roof, electrical, and plumbing (the bones of the property):

  • Foundation – If it is a raised foundation, are the pillars and posts in good condition? If it’s on slab – is the slab cracked?
  • Roof – Does it need to be repaired? Does it need to be replaced or is it leaking?
  • Plumbing – Are there any leaks? If leaks are not detected they could lead to mold or upgrades. Is the water pressure high or low? Is the water draining slowly in the sinks, toilets, showers, and tubs?
  • Electrical - Is the panel up to code? Is the panel labeled? Are outlets and receptacles grounded? Are GFIs in place?
Buyers can perform any inspection they want—at their cost.
Other items the home inspector should inspect are:

  • The overall grounds -- How is the grading? Is the water being forced away from the property?
  • Driveway and garage condition – How is the concrete holding up?
  • Retaining walls – Are they in good shape?
  • Fencing – Does it need to be repaired?
  • Wood – Is there any wood rot? Typically handled by the termite company.
  • Patio or patio covers – What is their condition?
  • Heating and AC – Is it working? Does it need repairing or need to be replaced?
  • Water heater – Is it working? Does it need repairing or need to be replaced?
  • Attic – This is a good place to check for roof leaks.
  • Windows – Are they leaking, do they lock, do they slide properly?

Keep in mind these are just a few items a home inspector should check.

If you have any questions about home inspections or you’re thinking about buying or selling a San Diego home, don’t hesitate to give me a call or send me an email. I’m always happy to help.

**A broker is licensed to render real estate advice. If you desire tax, legal or lending advice, consult the appropriate professional. Videos and marketing by Broker are intended to help educate the public. Laws and real estate practices may change at anytime.  All information deemed reliable but is not guaranteed and determined on a case-by-case basis. If your property is listed, please disregard as it is not our intention to solicit. We cooperate fully with other brokers. Equal Housing Opportunity and member of the National Association of Realtors.