Good manners & Trick-Or-Treat!

Very important for your children to know and do before and during they trick-or-treat?

To plan for this festive day, we’re establishing some general ground rules for those on the “receiving” end.

Children stay on the walkway to the front door. You don’t want to mow down your neighbors’ prize mums.

Ring the doorbell twice, if it is not response do not insist,  go to the next home.

Be careful with the homes that are dark, should not be approached. Perhaps they are either not at home but if they do not wish to participate in Halloween you need to respect their decision can be for religious believing.

Always carry a flashlight so cars can see you and you can see where you’re walking.

And parents can add reflective tape to costumes and candy containers.

Be courteous when someone answers the door, say “Trick-or-Treat” nicely.

Be sure to say, “Thank you” after receiving your treat. Only get one candy to be respectful with the homeowner and other children. They will be more children after you looking for candies too.

Never go into someone’s home. If anyone invites to go inside be polite but decline the invitation.

Only eat candy that is wrapped. Candy unwrapped can contains something that can damage your health.

Time to start Halloween is when it becomes dark outside and not past 9:00 p.m.

Don’t rifle through the candy to find your favorite treat.  Once again take one treat unless told otherwise.

California & Arizona

Times for Trick-or-Treating

Usually, there is no set schedule for trick-or-treating in California and Arizona. Check with your city in case that it is a time scheduled this year.  Most trick-or-treaters will arrive at homes between 6 p.m. and 8:30 p.m., but there is no hard rule about it. Notwithstanding the fact that it is Halloween, city curfews are still enforced.

If Halloween falls on a school night, it is usually a good idea to wrap things up by 8:30 p.m. or 9 p.m. at the absolute latest.

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

Thinking of buying or selling? I’m happy to help!

I am never too busy for your referrals.

Stella Bonin
Associate Broker
480.797.4884 / 619.250.6214

stella.bonin@yahoo.com

Our Team serves all Southern California and Maricopa & Pinal Counties (AZ).

California Bureau of Real Estate Lic. # 01222569
Arizona Department of Real Estate Lic. # BR550696000

“Equal Housing Opportunity”

6 Tips For Your First Home Sale

Are you ready to sell your first home? Let me help! Here are some tips for easing you into the process and making your home sale a success.

  1. Property Disclosures. As a seller, you will need to disclose all known material facts. Take special note of health and safety conditions, such as missing smoke detectors or broken windows. Additionally, paying for an inspection and completing simple repairs upfront can save you money on buyer requests for repairs or a reduction in the sales price during negotiations.

  2. Pricing your home right. Price your home appropriately for its condition and your neighborhood — I can help you find the right price through a comparative market analysis.

  3. Home showings. You’ll need to make time for buyers to view your home. Ideal home showings are flexible for a buyer’s schedule and allow them to walk through your home with their real estate agent when you are not present.

  4. Staging and decluttering. Be prepared to remove personal items and tidy up before a home viewing. Buyers want to be able to envision themselves in your home — depersonalizing and cleaning will help your home appeal to buyers.

  5. Reviewing offers. Consider all the offers you receive. Sellers have a tendency to ignore the first offer they receive from a buyer, expecting a better offer to come along. Don’t let a great offer slip by just because it’s the first offer you receive.

  6. Timing your sale. Expect your home sale to take at least three to four months to complete. This allows for proper marketing, home viewing, negotiations, and closing. Also, consider creating a timeline for when you aim to move out and complete the purchase of your next home.

Let me help make your first home sale a success. If you’re ready to begin the selling process, give me a call today!

Stella Bonin
Associate Broker
480.797.4884 / 619.250.6214

stella.bonin@yahoo.com

I am never too busy for your referrals.

Our Team serves all Southern California and Maricopa & Pinal Counties (AZ).

California Bureau of Real Estate Lic. # 01222569
Arizona Department of Real Estate Lic. # BR550696000

“Equal Housing Opportunity”

What is a Homestead?

A homestead is the dollar amount of equity you have in your home that you qualify to exempt from creditor seizure.

The dollar amount of the homestead you hold in equity in your home has priority on the title over most judgment liens and some government liens, but not your mortgages.

Two types of homestead protections are available to California homeowners:

• the declaration of homestead, which is recorded;  and

• the automatic homestead also called a statutory homestead exemption, which is not recorded.

Both homestead arrangements provide the same dollar amount of home equity protection in California.

However, you need to record a declaration of the homestead to receive all the benefits available under the homestead laws. These benefits allow you the right to sell, receive the net sales proceeds up to the dollar amount of the homestead and reinvest the funds in another home.

As a homeowner, you qualify for one of three dollar amounts of net equity homestead protection:

• a $75,000 equity as an individual homeowner with no dependents;

• a $100,000 equity as a head of household; or

• a $1750,000 equity if you are:
◦ 65 years or older;
◦ disabled; or
◦ age 55 years or older with an annual income of no more than $25,000 or a combined gross annual income of no more than $35,000 if married.

The homestead declaration needs to be signed, notarized, and recorded to take effect.

Your recorded homestead does not affect your creditworthiness.

Anyone of several individuals may sign and record the homestead declaration, including:

• you as the owner of the homestead;

• your spouse; or

• the guardian, conservator, or a person otherwise authorized to act on your or your spouse’s behalf, such as an attorney-in-fact.

Arizona’s homestead exemption laws protect up to $150,000 of a person’s equity in their dwelling from attachment, execution or forced sale. A person or married couple may only claim one homestead exemption and must reside in the dwelling for which the exemption is claimed.

33-1101. Homestead exemptions; persons entitled to hold homesteads

A. Any person the age of eighteen or over, married or single, who resides within the state may hold as a homestead exempt from attachment, execution and forced sale, not exceeding one hundred fifty thousand dollars in value, any one of the following:

1. The person’s interest in real property in one compact body upon which exists a dwelling house in which the person resides.

2. The person’s interest in one condominium or cooperative in which the person resides.

3. A mobile home in which the person resides.

4. A mobile home in which the person resides plus the land upon which that mobile home is located.

B. Only one homestead exemption may be held by a married couple or a single person under this section. The value as specified in this section refers to the equity of a single person or married couple. If a married couple lived together in a dwelling house, a condominium or cooperative, a mobile home or a mobile home plus land on which the mobile home is located and are then divorced, the total exemption allowed for that residence to either or both persons shall not exceed one hundred fifty thousand dollars in value.

C. The homestead exemption, not exceeding the value provided for in subsection A, automatically attaches to the person’s interest in identifiable cash proceeds from the voluntary or involuntary sale of the property. The homestead exemption in identifiable cash proceeds continues for eighteen months after the date of the sale of the property or until the person establishes a new homestead with the proceeds, whichever period is shorter. Only one homestead exemption at a time may be held by a person under this section.

Thinking of buying or selling? I’m happy to help!

I am never too busy for your referrals.

Stella Bonin
Associate Broker
480.797.4884 / 619.250.6214

stella.bonin@yahoo.com

Our Team serves all Southern California and Maricopa & Pinal Counties (AZ).

California Bureau of Real Estate Lic. # 01222569
Arizona Department of Real Estate Lic. # BR550696000

“Equal Housing Opportunity”

 

What is a “due-on clause”?

The due-on clause is a trust deed provision which allows your lender to call the debt due and immediately payable on any transfer of legal or equitable ownership unless prohibited by law. The primary event triggering the lender’s due-on clause and a call for immediate the payoff of the debt is the sale of the property liened by the trust deed.

The due-on clause is not only triggered by a sale using a grant deed or quitclaim deed, but by other transfers of legal or equitable ownership of real estate to a buyer, recorded or not, including:

• land sales contracts;

• lease-option agreements; and

• wraparound carryback devices also are known as all-inclusive

trust deeds (AITDs).

The due-on clause, on any type of property, is also
triggered when leasing the property to a tenant for:

• a term over three years; or

• any term length when coupled with an option to buy.

An assignment or modification of an existing lease does not trigger the due-on clause, unless:

• the term of the lease is extended beyond three years; or

• a purchase option is granted to the tenant.

On owner-occupied, one-to-four unit residential property, transfers that do not trigger due-on enforcement include:

• the creation of a junior lien where the owner continues to occupy;

• a transfer to a spouse or child who occupies;

• a transfer into an inter vivos trust when the owner continues to occupy;

• the death of a joint tenant; or

• a transfer upon the owner’s death to a relative who occupies.

Thinking of buying or selling? I’m happy to help!

I am never too busy for your referrals.

Stella Bonin
Associate Broker
480.797.4884 / 619.250.6214

stella.bonin@yahoo.com

Our Team serves all Southern California and Maricopa & Pinal Counties (AZ).

California Bureau of Real Estate Lic. # 01222569
Arizona Department of Real Estate Lic. # BR550696000

“Equal Housing Opportunity”

Be a good neighbor!

Whether you’re new to the neighborhood or have lived here for decades, it’s always a good idea to stay on your neighbors’ good sides. These relationships will help when there’s a disaster, you lock yourself out of your home, or when you go on long trips and need someone to keep an eye on your house.

Here is a list of actions to take that will help build positive relationships with your neighbors:

  • Introduce yourself — Bring a small housewarming gift to new neighbors and visit neighbors on your block with treats during the holidays.
  • Exchange phone numbers — Even though everything happens online today, it’s always a good idea to have the phone number of a neighbor in case of emergency.
  • Keep your yard tidy — No one wants to be that person who doesn’t maintain their yard, causing neighboring property values to diminish. Make exterior maintenance and landscaping a priority, and hopefully your neighbors will follow your lead.
  • Discuss big exterior changes — Before you build a fence or cut down a tree near the border of a neighbor’s yard, let them know. They will appreciate the courtesy and will likely return the favor.

Thinking of selling? I’m happy to help!

I am never too busy for your referrals.

Stella Bonin
Associate Broker
480.797.4884 / 619.250.6214
stella.bonin@yahoo.com

California Bureau of Real Estate Lic. # 01222569
Arizona Department of Real Estate Lic. # BR550696000

“Equal Housing Opportunity”

Save money with meal planning

Saving money to cover your next home project or a down payment for a future home purchase can be daunting. Planning your meals is a simple way to get started saving.

Meal planning can save the average family of four $50-$200 a week on groceries and eating out. Here are some tips to get started:

  • Plan your meals for the coming week each Sunday and aim to visit the grocery store just once each week. This saves you money and time.

  • When planning, reuse ingredients so nothing goes to waste. For example, if one recipe calls for just half a bunch of carrots, plan another recipe later in the week that will use the other half.

  • Check your pantry and refrigerator before making your plan for the week, aiming to use all of your current ingredients before buying new ones.

  • Plan your meals so that you make enough for leftovers, useful for packing lunches so you can avoid eating out at the office.

Thinking about selling or buying? Contact me for more ideas to prepare for your next step.

I am never too busy for your referrals.

Stella Bonin
Associate Broker

West USA Realty
480.797.4884 / 619.250.6214
stella.bonin@yahoo.com

California Bureau of Real Estate Lic. # 01222569
Arizona Department of Real Estate Lic. # BR550696000

“Equal Housing Opportunity”

Top 6 Household Items Known To Cause Cancer

In the modern era, we are exposed to many different harmful chemicals on a daily basis. Workplaces and restaurants all have to adhere to certain safety measures to ensure that workers and customers alike are not exposed to dangerous amounts of these substances. However, many toxic chemicals can be found in your home as well. Take a look at the World Health Organization’s statistics on leading causes of death worldwide. It will tell you that the more advanced a country is, the greater your chances of dying of cancer. Advancements have brought down infectious diseases.

1. Air Fresheners

This is believably the number one product that most of the people have in their homes. The Natural Resources Defense Council reported that almost all of the common air-fresheners, even those tagged as being “all-natural” contain chemicals with serious carcinogenic potential. Any household item that contains some type of fragrance or “perfume” has a toxic chemical called phthalate. There are numerous types of phthalates that have different health consequences, but almost all of them have one thing in common — they affect reproductive health. Many of these air fresheners do not clean the air as we expect they will, but they do provoke respiratory problems such as asthma and cancer. As much as possible, choose fragrance free products and make your own homemade air fresheners to avoid phthalates.

2. Hair Color

Many women and a few men wouldn’t dream of consuming anything that isn’t natural and organic, but they have no problem putting cancer-causing chemicals on their heads once a month. Although ingredients vary, most home hair coloring kits contain quaternium-15 – a known neurotoxin, skin irritant, and formaldehyde releaser; diethanolamine (DEA) – a carcinogen that interacts with nitrites to form a carcinogenic nitrosamine; fragrances – a cause of contact dermatitis and a carcinogenic potential; phenylene-diamines and propylene glycol – carcinogens that can cause contact dermatitis. Perhaps it’s time we must decide to stop being partially “natural” and go all the way. Embrace the gray, and let’s age graciously.

3. Art and Crafts Supplies

You probably cannot ideate how something as seemingly nontoxic as a marker can be toxic to your health, but it’s true. Almost all glues, acrylic paints, and the solvents used in marking pens, contain toxic chemicals that have been linked to organ damage, allergies, and certain types of cancer. Although federal law, entitled the Hazardous Art Materials Act, says that art supplies sold must have warning labels if they contain any type of dangerous toxin, however, they don’t need to actually list the ingredients by name. Because of this, you should only purchase products that have been certified by the Art and Creative Material Institute (ACMI). Products that have this certification mean that they have been severally tested so that they are safe enough even for small children.

4. Kitchen and Bathroom Cleaners

We all are aware of those cleaners that are meant to scrub your sinks, tubs, and toilets? The ones that comes in pretty bottles but these are loaded with toxic ingredients such as crystalline silica, which is a known carcinogen as well as an eye, lung, and skin irritant. Silica is a known carcinogen. Some of these cleansers also contain “perfumes,” which, like air fresheners, contain carcinogenic phthalates. Instead of artificial cleaners one can use natural cleanser by mixing some vinegar and baking soda, or lemon juice and baking soda. These will neither endanger your health, nor will scratch the floor surfaces!

5. Hair Shampoos and Conditioners

This should be one of the hottest topics as we all use shampoos and conditioners. But, many people have been unaware of the toxins that are used in personal care items, even those that are labeled as being organic or natural. If you have ever read the labels you might be aware of the chemicals that it contains such as polyethylene glycol (PEG), cocamide DEA, and sodium lauryl sulfate, which make cancer causing agents when they are used together. To avoid the danger you can make your own natural personal care products at home – there are many recipes online that will tell you exactly how to make shampoos and conditioners.

6. Scented Candles

Most scented candles use lead wicks, while lead is one of the most dreadful things for your health. It is used to make the wicks last longer and burn more steadily, but lead is a deadly toxin that infuriate behavior problems and hormone disruption. Hold the wick and try to use it to draw a line on the paper. If you cannot see a smudge or line, your candle probably does not have a lead wick. Paraffin wax also creates highly toxic compounds. Toluene and benzene are both known carcinogens that are released into the air anytime paraffin wax candles are burned. Some candles also use artificial colors and artificial scent, which you inhale whenever you burn one of these candles.

 

Finding the right agent to work with is key to getting an offer accepted on the home you want or to have your home sold in a short period of time. I have years of experience assisting clients buying and selling homes. Contact me for more information!

Stella Bonin
Associate Broker
480.797.4884
stella.bonin@yahoo.com
West USA Realty
Arizona Department of Real Estate # BR5550696000
California Bureau of RealEstate # 01222569

“Equal Housing Opportunity”

What are discount points?

Points paid to a lender on origination of a mortgage are considered interest that is
prepaid as it has not yet accrued as earned by the lender. Points essentially buy down the mortgage’s interest rate from par for the life of the mortgage. When no points are paid or taken by the lender as a discount on origination of a mortgage, the interest rate stated in the note is the par market rate.

Depending on the purpose for obtaining mortgage funds, points are deductible for income tax reporting, either:

• fractionally throughout the life of the mortgage;
or
• entirely in the year the mortgage is originated.

The general tax reporting rule for expensing interest, unless excluded from the rule, is that only the fraction of the points paid which accrues each month over the life of the mortgage, called the life-of-loan accrual, may be deducted against that year’s income. In the year a mortgage is satisfied by prepayment, any prepaid interest not yet accrued — undeducted points — may then be deducted.

Excluded from the life-of-loan accrued reporting treatment is interest paid on a mortgage which finances:

• the purchase of an owner-occupied primary residence; or
• home improvements made to an owner- occupied primary residence.

The entire amount of points paid on a mortgage funding the purchase of the home you will occupy — not a second or vacation home — is allowed as a personal deduction in the year the mortgage is originated. This immediate deduction applies to all points paid in connection with the mortgage which finances the purchase or improvement of your primary home.

When your lender pays the points as a discount or an add-on to your mortgage, the points — as prepaid interest withheld by the lender — need to be deducted annually as they accrue over the life of the mortgage.

Your tax preparer knows how to report your points as a personal deduction.

Contact me today with questions about buying a home or listing your home!
I am never too busy for your referrals.

Stella Bonin

Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
480.797.4884 / 619.250.6214
stella.bonin@yahoo.com

I am licensed in California and Arizona and we have offices around the country.

California Bureau of Real Estate Lic. # 01222569
Arizona Department of Real Estate Lic. # BR550696000

“Equal Housing Opportunity”

Top 5 Cost Effective Ways to Transform your Home

If you’re bored, embarrassed, or just tired of the way your home looks, renovation is usually the first point of call. A lot of people like the idea of renovation, but they are overwhelmed by the costs and the countless options they are faced with. If you want a change, but aren’t sure where to start, these cheap tips will help you transform your home for the better.

1: If in doubt, paint.

Just like changing your hair, painting your home can make you feel new again. Paint is a cheap way to really change the look of your home. I’ve seen houses go from unsightly to stunning with nothing but a fresh coat. It’s an extremely quick and easy remodeling idea. The right shade of paint can really transform your house into a dream home – you could even work in stripes to give your rooms a point of difference.

 

2: Redo your flooring.

Re-flooring or even just cleaning your carpet can entirely change the feeling of your home. There’s a lot of low-cost tiling options that will fit right in with any home. Laminate flooring is cost efficient, and there will definitely be an option that suits the style you’re going for. There are a lot of tiling and laminate options, so if you’re looking to make your home a bit different, then they’ll be worth checking out. If you’re doing your renovation on a very tight budget, you can resurface your floorboards or rent out a carpet steamer for surprisingly little. With some carpets, it’s like unrolling new life onto your floor.

 

3: Clean! Rearrange furniture! Get rid of what you don’t need.

Cleaning your home can literally add property value.You can extend the life of your home by years by removing fly spots and keeping the walls and surfaces clean. Scrub down your shower and sink, and reorganize your bathroom cabinet. Why renovate when you can preserve what you already have? Get rid of the stuff you don’t need. Think about the last time you went on holiday. Did you really miss that ridiculous collection of pillows your partner has always wanted you to get rid of? Did you really miss that old coffee table sitting in the corner of your room, that just takes up space and never gets used? No? Throw it out or give it to your local charity store.Every room in the home needs a purpose. If you’re looking to sell, it will help people visualize themselves living in your home. They’ll be able to see themselves being productive in your rooms rather than just using them to store old furniture.

 

4: Shake your garden up.

The outside of your home is important. Your yard is often the first thing you see when you get home from work, and it’s the first impression your friends have of your home when they come over. Gardening is cheap, and there’s a lot of fun to be unearthed in it.  If you don’t have a yard, a cheap home decor idea is to get some pot plants for the windowsill. Having new life in and around your house can make you feel energized, and there’s a lot of pleasure to be gained from simple rituals like watering plants daily. It’s an easy home renovation idea that doesn’t involve much work.

 

5: Spice up your kitchen.

If you really want to transform your home on a budget, there are plenty of easy and affordable ways to renovate your kitchen. Wall mounted wine racks and shelves are cheap, they can look sleek, and they’re easily accessible. It’s a weekend home improvement project that can be completed in no time. If you don’t want to replace your cabinets, you can paint them a color that is more suited to the look you’re going for. If you’re going for the full renovation, be aware of any retro gems your kitchen may have. Don’t demolish everything if you think there’s a funky bench top from the 80’s or a cute set of drawers that could fit nicely into your new home.

List your  home now and take advantage of today’s low inventory. 

I will diligently market your property and ensure it’s priced to sell quickly.

Call me today to set up an appointment.

Stella Bonin

Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
480.797.4884 / 619.250.6214
stella.bonin@yahoo.com

I am licensed in California and Arizona and we are a worldwide company to serve your needs.

California Bureau of Real Estate Lic. # 01222569
Arizona Department of Real Estate Lic. # BR550696000

“Equal Housing Opportunity”

Who pays to cure any safety hazards on the sale of a home?

Safety   hazards   are   an   important   aspect   of ownership a buyer needs to consider when looking into purchasing a home.

Safety hazards typically include:

  • automatic garage doors that do not have a reverse safety device;
  • garage door  openers  that  are  not  installed  with a sensor which, when interrupted or misaligned, prevents the door from closing;
  • a water heater that is not anchored, braced or strapped;
  • window security bars that do not have emergency release mechanisms;
  • the absence of a carbon monoxide detector in a home that contains a fossil fuel-burning appliance, heater or fireplace;
  • a lack of properly placed smoke detectors; and
  • a pool which does not include any of the following:
  1.  a surrounding fence at least 60 inches tall;
  2.  removable mesh pool fencing with a self-closing and self-latching gate that is key lockable;
  3. an approved safety cover installed for the pool;
  4. an up-to-code swimming pool alarm that sounds when it detects accidental or unauthorized water entrances; or
  5.  doors of the residence providing access to the pool that are equipped with exit alarms or a self-closing, self-latching device with a release mechanism placed no lower than 54 inches above the floor.

As with any property defect, sellers are mandated to disclose safety hazards to prospective homebuyers. Sellers make these disclosures when preparing a Transfer Disclosure Statement (TDS).

The seller’s agent also conducts a mandated visual inspection of the property and notes any property defects they observe, including safety hazards, on the TDS.

The seller’s agent hands the TDS and all other seller disclosures and property reports to prospective buyers who show an interest in purchasing the property.

When a buyer submits an offer to purchase, they acknowledge receipt of the TDS and each additional disclosure they have received in the offer. Through the purchase agreement, the buyer negotiates to have the seller correct or pay the costs to bring the safety hazard conditions up to building codes.

If the prospective buyer, chooses not to negotiate for the seller to cure any disclosed defects as a condition of paying the price offered in the purchase agreement, the buyer has agreed to acquire the property “as disclosed” by the seller. Here, the buyer assumes responsibility for curing safety defects.

However, when the seller and the seller’s agent fail to disclose the safety defects prior to entering a purchase agreement with a buyer, the buyer has several remedies:

  • demand the defects be eliminated by the seller before closing;
  • call for the seller to provide a monetary concession in lieu of the repairs;
  • renegotiate the purchase price; or
  • cancel the purchase agreement.

List your  home now and take advantage of today’s low inventory. 

I will diligently market your property and ensure it’s priced to sell quickly.

Call me today to set up an appointment.

Stella Bonin

Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
480.797.4884 / 619.250.6214
stella.bonin@yahoo.com

I am licensed in California and Arizona and we are a worldwide company to serve your needs.

California Bureau of Real Estate Lic. # 01222569
Arizona Department of Real Estate Lic. # BR550696000

“Equal Housing Opportunity”