Just Listed Near Durango & Sahara! 8296 Arden Ladder Place – 3 Beds, 3 baths, Pulte-Efficient Beauty!

Nestled in the quiet neighborhood of Arden Park, just over a mile from Desert Breeze Park, with it’s soccer, baseball, skateboard & aquatic community offerings, this corner lot is the largest one in the tract. It also provides even more privacy with no neighbors directly behind you & beautiful mountain views from the master suite. Pulte builds a great home & this one is very energy efficient as well, reducing your on-going costs of enjoying life every month.


Upon secured entry (Iron gate & alarmed) you’ll notice a beautiful open floor plan with ceramic tile throughout the great room, dining room, & kitchen (with island), all the way to the granite counters, reverse osmosis filter system & stainless steel appliances. Pre-wired for surround sound, the Great Room makes even more use of the 2,100 square feet offered. As you head out of the kitchen, find a convenient half-bath to your right, & an enormous walk-in, lighted pantry to your left. Continuing to the garage you’ll notice plenty of space for two cars, and a tank-less water heater promising endless hot showers.

Continuing up stairs, a good size loft dividing the master suite from the two other bedrooms appears to be the perfect spot for a home office, a craft area, or play-zone. The full bath with shower/tub combo leads the way to bedrooms 2 & 3. All bedrooms have ceiling fans & bedroom 2 has a walk-in closet for that extra stuff. Down the hall from beds 2 & 3, we find the large 19’x15′ Master Suite with beautiful mountain views to the North & West. Continuing on to the large Master Bath room, a separate Tub & Shower provide relaxation just the way you need it. Large dual sink vanity with plenty of space for everyone’s items leads you to a HUGE Walk-In Closet with not only plenty of room for everything, but two bolted safes for those very important items.

Coming back down stairs & heading out to the paver-stone patio you can take a deep breath.. no neighbor’s yard is backing up to yours. You found a little privacy in suburbia. To the right you notice a huge, efficient York A/C system & smile knowing it’s been maintained every year. To the left you see a gas-stub for that BBQ you’ve been wanting to buy & start imagining game days at home. This side yard is huge you think envisioning how well an in-ground spa would compliment the low maintenance landscaping environment.

This can all be yours, but you’d better hurry. Homes in this area are going quick & the seller already has an offer only 1 day after listing it with Stephen P Christmas of Very Vintage Vegas Realty! Nevada Licensee #S.0182878. If you’re interested in touring this home, contact me now!

To View on GLVAR MLS Click Here!


Will a Refinance Now Make Sense For You?

We bought our current home in the beginning of 2018, home values have gone up and mortgage rates have gone down. We initially put 10% down on our purchase, bumping our rate up a little from what could have been had we put down 20% lowering the bank’s risk and our interest rate. Since then, home values have continued to rise and our balance has been payed down about $6,000.00 . We’re just at the crest of seeing comparable homes selling for 20% more than we owe on our current home.

By speaking with a few lenders (let me know if you need a good referral) I’m finding that for about $3,000.00 all in we can do a rate and term refinance and get our rate down to about 3.8%. However, we can also spend about another $3,900.00 or so and buy our rate down to 3.5%! This combined effort would chop off about $308.00/month from our housing expense forever and cost about $6,900.00 today.

However.. when you look at the $308.00/ Month we’ll be saving, remember you need to go earn that money and then pay tax on it, and then make that payment. A dollar saved is not a dollar earned, it’s a dollar saved is a dollar + your tax bracket earned. So, if we’re in a 22% tax bracket, $308.00×1.22=$375.76 saved every month in pre-tax dollars (we don’t need to go earn & pay taxes to make that payment).

Let’s multiply that by 12 & see how much we’ll save each year, and how long it’ll take to recoup the cost of a refinance. $375.76×12=$4,509.12 saved every year. Ok, so lets take $6,900.00 and divide it by $4,509.12=1.53 This means in 1.53 years we will have received all of our refinance-cost investment back, and as we plan to hold this home forever (whether we stay or move) the rest is all savings of $4509.12/year in after-tax dollars, or a 65.34% annual return on your dollars spent. That’s a pretty good return!

It may or may not make sense for you to refinance. A few things to consider would be:
1. When did I buy my home?
2. How much more equity is now in my home? (do not trust zillow, speak with a professional)
3. What % did I put down? If it’s less than 20% & comparable home values have risen, you may able to eliminate your mortgage insurance (which is no longer tax-deductable)
4. What is my current interest rate & what can it be today if I refinance?
5. How long do I plan to stay in my home & how much would I save every month if I do refinance?
6. If I’m planning to stay for awhile, does it make sense to buy my rate down even further? (points paid are tax-deductable)

I am no longer a lender, never was a tax professional, and I am not providing advice as either. That being said, my previous experience as a lender benefits me personally in this case, and can benefit you if you’re looking to buy or sell as well. If you need a referral to a good lender, please let me know! If you need to buy or sell now, please consider me on your short list of licensed Realtors to interview!


Las Vegas Home-buyers, You DON’T Need To Pay a Realtor! How We Just Saved a Buyer $19,700.00 On a $190K Purchase.

Many people are shopping for homes right now and there is a LOT that goes into buying one.  As a home buyer in Las Vegas, you do NOT need to pay your Realtor!   Whether you’re buying a pre-existing home, or new construction, the SELLER pays YOUR agent! 

Why would you not take advantage of the experience & advice of some one who lives & breathes real estate, especially if it costs you nothing?! Some agencies do charge a brokerage fee to cover the overhead of a large office, staff and the broker’s profitability.  Our brokerage operates by sharing commission between your agent (myself) and the agent’s broker rather than adding fees to your transaction.  We also operate with streamlined overhead costs so we remain profitable without needing to tack on small fees you would be required to pay for.

So now that you know you can have an agent, who’s constantly updated with market statistics, ever changing laws regarding real estate, and brings years of experience to the table at no cost to you, why would you not take advantage of this?  The seller or builder (if buying new), is paying commission to your agent.  This is a cost the seller, not the buyer will save if you don’t have representation.  Then there’s also the potential for you to loose money or buy a home it turns out is a lemon, because your contract is not written in a way that protects your unique situation.

Even in for sale by owner situations of previously owned homes, the seller is trying to save the same commission that you’re hoping to save, and now you’re both negotiating the sale of an asset with a LOT of moving parts & contractual nuances that could cost you thousands if not familiar.  Statistics show you’ll be able to get a much better deal by using a Realtor.  I’ve even heard that appraisers don’t value a home the same way if it’s sold FSBO, which can complicate the deal even more.

The Story

Let me give you an example of client’s we’re closing a purchase for today.  Let’s call them Frank and Julia.  Frank and his wife have lived here a long time and already own a home that’s bigger than they need.  The market being where it is; now is an excellent time for Frank & Julia to downsize to a condo now that their kids are moved out and self-sufficient.  They weren’t in a rush, as they have a place to live, and wanted to get a great deal on something perfect for them.  We looked at dozens of condos over 3 months & even wrote offers on two that didn’t work out for different reasons, one of which was otherwise perfect, but had POLYBUTYLENE (PB) TUBING PIPE, as found by my favorite master inspector (referrals to other phenomenal professionals is an added benefit to working with a great Realtor).  This plumbing represented a risk of pipe bursting and future flooding.  We recovered our earnest money & moved on.

($5,000.00 saved in instant equity)

Next we found a great condo, a little dated in the finishes & appliances but in the perfect neighborhood & right next to the pool & spa with a 2 car garage.  We got it under contract for $190,000.00; it appraised for $195,000.00 (we did this by analyzing the seller’s motivation against our buyer’s position & presenting our offer in a way that allowed both parties to win).  Again our master inspector found that while the A/C (27 years old) was currently working, it was likely on it’s last functional year.

($6,000.00 Saved in professional negotiation)

We brought in a quality A/C contractor for expert opinion & he agreed in writing for negotiation.  We also found the water heater was at the end of it’s life cycle, though still functioning at time of inspection.  A water heater that ruptures while you’re out of town represents much more in potential loss than just replacing the unit, that had to be accounted for as well.  The window panes were mostly in good shape, but upon close inspection the seals (glazing beads) were giving out due to age & sun exposure.  I contacted four different window companies to get an estimate of repairs for my clients.

In total to remedy these items we were able to negotiate a $6,000.00 closing credit, offsetting all of Frank & Julia’s additional costs, such as lender fees, escrow fees, title fees, recording fees, pro-rations for taxes, HOA costs, and everything else that you may not even know you need to pay to buy a home (again, a good realtor can give you estimates of what these total costs will be so you’re prepared to not just buy the home, but actually close the deal).

($8,300.00 saved in financial strategy)

Now, Frank and Julia have worked hard all their lives and are good with their finances.  They were prepared to put down 20% on their purchase, have good credit, and were planning about $18,000.00 in remodeling expenses post-closing.  As we neared close, Frank’s mortgage lender suggested putting down another 5% ($9,500.00)  to avoid the bump in his mortgage rate due to the property being a condo.  As I know Frank & Juila planned to live here for about 5 years, the difference in rate would save about $20.00/month or over the life of their loan, about $1,200.00 saved over projected 5 years of ownership for a cost of $9,500.00..  Not an ideal scenario.  I spent years as a loan officer, originating mortgages & really educating myself on returns on investments in real estate in particular over the last 3 years every. day.  I pointed out to Frank that as we’d negotiated more than we needed for closing costs in seller concessions, the best thing to do would be to buy down his rate with the remainder of the $6,000.00 and keep the $9,500.00 in his bank, especially since their plans to remodel had gotten more elaborate & expensive than initially projected.

(A bonus $400.00)

We had a problem.  A good problem.  Frank & Julia still had more money in seller concessions than we had closing costs & buyers aren’t allowed to just keep the difference for no reason.  However the remaining $400.00 or so is just about the total Frank spent on inspections & estimates.  I suggested to my client’s loan officer that since Frank had already paid these inspections & I had invoices showing payment related to closing the transaction, but paid outside of escrow; that Frank may be able to be reimbursed for these costs.  Now Frank & Julia just got their inspections paid by the seller, leaving them buying a condo for nothing more than their original 20% down payment and the cost of an appraisal.

Every transaction is unique and I can guarantee your deal won’t go exactly like this, every seller is different, every home is different, and every deal is different.   I can guarantee that given your unique situation, I will put your needs first, take care of you and your transaction to the best of my ability & capitalize on every opportunity we find in your interest.

(Total savings $5,000.00 + $6,000.00 + $8,300.00 + $400.00 = $19,700.00)

(Total Cost to Client of using a Realtor = $0.00)

In this market; wouldn’t you like to work with me?  I’d love to work with you.  Even if you’re THINKING of buying or selling and not quite ready, Call Me Today as time to prepare can only benefit your bottom line.

 


Ready to SELL Your Home, Las Vegas?

With phenomenal work by Las Vegas area native, Anne M. Creative we’re very proud to be rolling out new yard signs in the Very Vintage Vegas Realty brokerage style.  While the majority of Anne’s work is now in the web design arena, her skills for print are still evident in this work.

You’ll notice two subtle things: 1. Jack’s color scheme plays well with my last name (anything we can do to help buyers remember YOUR home when they see 6 that day, helps us get more offers & sell for more money) and 2. This sign isn’t designed for you, as a client looking to sell your house.  It’s welcoming your buyer to their new home, gently guiding them into picturing their new life there.  One of the many subtle, yet effective shifts in our perspective when marketing your home for a quick and top-dollar sale.  To hear more about how we can differentiate our services from so many licensed agents in Las Vegas, and to get a clear picture of what you can expect to net from your home sale, contact me here.  If you’d like to connect with Anne for design services, you can reach her at her website

VVVYardSignSteveChristmasWeb

 


Defeating Spring Weeds, Without Exposing Pets & Kids To Roundup!

A quick, easy, & SAFE solution to spring weeds & HOA Violations that pop up out of nowhere!

The other week, your part of the Las Vegas valley may have gotten a lot of rain. I know in Mountain’s Edge it was a more glorious downpour than any irrigation system could provide. The good news, any lawn or trees happily had much needed drink. The bad news; weeds you didn’t even know were there started popping up all over the place too! While this represents a few hour task of digging them up (and possibly a few hand blisters) there is a better way! Roundup kills all sorts of stuff, dandelions, unwanted grass, and unfortunately has been shown to cause cancer.

So that’s not a good option to be dumping on your property or back into our precious desert water supply. There’s got to be a better way to avoid an ugly lawn, violation notices from your HOA, and poisoning our tap water right? YES! After some research online, a few clicks at Amazon, and a previous trip to Ace Hardware, I had everything I needed & I’d like to share it with you to help save your back, your hands, and your bank account from the HOA violation police. There is a natural solution and it WORKS!

Here’s the required solution pieces and sources:
1) 2 Gallon reusable garden sprayer from Amazon, or Ace Hardware (about $14 there if I remember right)
2) 30% Horticultural vinegar from Amazon ($23.99)
3) Standard white vinegar
4) Table salt
5) Dawn Dish soap
6) D-Limonene 100% FOOD GRADE Citrus Solvent (Amazon $8)
7) Respirator mask & vinyl gloves for safe mixing & application

The recipe (Use a face mask & gloves while mixing/applying natural, but very acidic mixture) :
1. Dump the full gallon of 30% Vinegar into your sprayer
2. Dump 1/2 gallon of standard white vinegar to make it last longer while still being very effective
3. Dump 1 cup table salt into your sprayer
4. 1 tablespoon D-Limonene
5. 1 tablespoon blue Dawn dish soap (helps mixture get into roots & cling to weed)

Cap your sprayer and shake it up well to mix. Spray, being careful to spray only weeds, not foliage you’d like to keep. 2 hours later, your weeds will dry & shrivel up down to the root looking like the picture above.

Happy home maintaining & let me know how it works in the comments below. Remember to be careful not to breath the fumes or get it on your skin. It is natural, but it’s a powerful acid! I’d keep any pets & family inside until it dries and does it’s thing. I’m not a chemist, just a Realtor & homeowner who’s sharing some knowledge I found that worked well for me. Please be careful & exercise caution when mixing any substances. One thing I do know is it works & it’s not Roundup!


Two Books For Understanding Financial Calculations – Without an MBA

Without a doubt, investing in real estate is best done with a firm grasp of the financials involved. Financial calculations can appear daunting to say the least. With a quick look at the HP-12C financial calculator shown above you’ll quickly begin to wonder what the heck all those buttons do. While I don’t use all of them, using a similar calculator to quickly and accurately assess your costs and returns involved in real estate can help you immensely when evaluating investment opportunities. Is it better to invest in a vehicle that returns 16% annually but compounds only every three years, or an investment that returns 12% but can be compounded every two?

I recently did calculations for this example above & found, though compounding interest periods are a vital component of assessing how your money will grow or shrink overtime, the 16% return that compounds every three years is indeed a better investment for my 18 year horizon. In order to do this I had to use both my HP-12C and an excel spread sheet. Excel has many of the calculations the 12C does built right into it, but I’ve been really enjoying using the HP after reading a book that is basically half education on how money works, and half instruction manual to the HP-12c. This book relies heavily on the use of this exact calculator to illustrate it’s figures & if you’re looking for a solution you can carry around in your pocket without needing to lug your laptop around, I’d highly recommend reading it. The title is “Taking The Mystery Out Of Money” by Lonnie Scruggs, a now deceased investor who focused on flipping mobile homes. You don’t need to be interested in mobile home investment to benefit from his knowledge about how money works, and the material is so beneficial I’m left wondering why this book isn’t required reading somewhere along the education cycle of a high school senior.

The second book is definitely more real estate focused in-depth, but uses Microsoft Excel Read More


What is a SID? What is a LID? Why Is My Mortgage Payment Going Up?

SIDs and LIDs are additional taxes levied on homes that exist within a Special Improvement District, or a Local Improvement District that benefit from the improvements to that district. If you live in Mountain’s Edge Master Planned Community, your additional taxes are paying for things like Mountain’s Edge Park, and Exploration Peak Park. If you live in Summerlin, they are paying for things like Summerlin Parkway. The idea is that not all of Clark County will benefit from these expensive improvements, but the homes in the area will, so they will pay for the improvements through these taxes in addition to the regular Clark County Property taxes that fund things like our police force, firefighters, and teachers that we all benefit from.

Just like regular property taxes, SIDs and LIDs need to be paid, if they aren’t, a first priority lien can be placed on your home an you could be foreclosed upon over an unpaid bill of a few hundred dollars, usually charged twice a year until the total assessment is paid off; even if you’d been paying your mortgage and HOA dues. Many times, a SID or LID can be requested to be paid off by the existing homeowner prior to transfer to a new buyer. This, like many points of negotiation is highly variable in every real estate deal.

Take for example our most recent purchase in Mountain’s Edge. We purchased a home that didn’t include the very nice washer, dryer, and refrigerator and had a SID amount of about $2,800.00 left on the home. We asked to keep the appliances, and in return would assume the remaining SID balance. I look at it this way, the cost of replacing these appliances + interest if we put it on a credit card, even at 10% would be more than the balance of the SID, so in our case we were coming up a little over $1000.00 + the savings on interest if we chose to finance the purchase.

These payments in our situation are due June first and December first in the amount of $***.** until the balance is paid off. Many times your mortgage company may not make these payments out of your escrow account, and you would need to make a separate payment before those dates to the county assessor. Sometimes, the mortgage company will make these payments, though if they discover they haven’t included their collection into your escrow account, your payment may go up from when you initially purchase the home until the debt is paid. Remember, either way you are going to pay this tax or loose your home for a fraction of it’s worth, so be sure you know what’s required of you.

The company that auctions off your SID/LID taxes to investors in the Las Vegas area is a company called Assessmentt Management Group. You can visit their site to check your balance and payment history & be sure that if payments need to be made, someone is making them, whether it’s rolled into your mortgage payment, or you need to make payments yourself. Remember, we are not tax, or legal professionals, only sharing our experience to increase awareness. If you need to consult a professional in these areas, always be sure they’re qualified to help.


The Four Pillars of Real Estate Investment

Hopefully, you’re someone who owns not only their own home, but also another asset that generates cash flow.  If you are a real estate investor, you’ll realize many benefits when done correctly.  The four pillars of real estate as an investment vehicle are:

  1. Cash flow:  Simply put, if you can rent the home or apartment out for more than it costs to pay the mortgage, keep it in good repair, and account for vacancy (months with no income, but still expenses) you have an asset that is making you money while you sleep.  If you want to invest in rental property, having an agent like myself who personally invests & understands the costs are more than (rent) minus (mortgage, taxes & insurance) is vital!  Things like vacancy, repair, capital expenditures, and management are important to consider, even if it’s a new home and you plan on self-managing.
  2. Mortgage pay-down:  Simply put, if you’ve answered yes to the previous criteria, your tenants are paying off your property a little bit every month.  If you’re on a 30 year fixed mortgage, your payment is the same every month.  Initially, most of that dollar amount is going to interest, but as time goes on, more of it pays down the amount you borrowed, called principle which by the end of year 30 will have a balance of zero.
  3. Tax-favored investment environment:  Residential improvement on property is calculated by the IRS to depreciate to nothing in 27.5 years (though the value of the land does not depreciate).  That means every year you can write off 1/27.5th of the amount you purchased the home for (minus the cost of the land), as well as the mortgage interest, property taxes, insurance and repairs.  Due to new tax law changes, the first 20% of your income is tax free.  Meaning if you made $10,000.00 in one year, the basis for taxation begins at $8,000.00 before those other benefits.
  4. Appreciation: We suggest buying for cash flow not speculative appreciation like so many did in the early to mid 2000’s (especially on Adjustable Rate Mortgages!).  However let’s dig a little deeper into how this works, as it is a potential benefit of Real Estate investment.  Let’s say you buy an investment property for 25% down; you’re into it for 1/4 of the cost and the rest is financed (with tax-deductible interest). If the property appreciates 5% in one year, the appreciation applies to the entire purchase price, not just the 1/4 of that you paid for in cash.  So this means your actual return on cash put down would be four times that.  For simple math, lets say your bought something for $100,000.00, put $25,000.00 down, and it appreciated 5% in one year; or $5,000.00.  Now that $5,000 is 5% of $100,000.00, but it’s a 20% return (or 4 times that) on the $25,000.00 you put down.

Understand that there is so much more to all of this, and this brief synopsis is only meant to start you thinking.  In no way are we offering legal, tax, or investment advice.  Please consult your professionals in those areas for specific advice as it applies to your situation.  If you’d like to speak with me directly about these or any other real estate related ideas, we’re happy to share more of our personal experience, contacts for professionals, resources & real estate sales experience with you. Reach me directly on our Contact page & let’s speak soon.


We Need to Talk About HOA’s & Las Vegas Real Estate

The majority of homes in Las Vegas have Home Owner’s Associations. This can be a benefit or a detriment when shopping for a new home, or selling one. In theory, the HOA will provide at a minimum, protection for your home’s value based on the homes around it being kept up rather than falling to disrepair and negatively affecting your home’s value. In reality, the HOA can be seen as an additional cost to home ownership that can vary in benefit as widely as buying a great or terrible stock of a company. In a way that analogy is very on point, as management of the HOA and it’s assets, legal status and financial standing can cover a wide range.

Using a Realtor who understands HOA’s is a great starting point in helping you find the right community to live in, but now your due diligence doesn’t have to end there. When you buy a home you’ll have an independent, qualified, licensed home inspector verify the condition of the structure and it’s components. You’ll have an independent, qualified, licensed appraiser verify the value of the home. When you buy in a HOA, you’ve previously received a sometimes 500 page resale package delivered to you before you close. It’s really been on you personally to read and interpret the bylaws, restrictions, and financial condition of the association your buying into. Sure a Realtor can give you their opinion of a community’s standing.. but they are not qualified or licensed to interpret legal documents for you. Read More


Bonnie Springs Development Near Red Rock National Park

Bonnie Springs Ranch, nestled between the quaint town of Blue Diamond, and Red Rock National Park in West of Las Vegas’ Valley has been contracted for purchase by developers. Many Las Vegas locals are upset, recalling their childhood memories of riding the train to the petting zoo and old mining town recreation. We are loosing a bit of Nevada history, a family outing that provides something of value to those looking for a fun family afternoon with a bit of historical culture for the area.

https://youtu.be/9q_5drSVtd0

We’re also loosing a bit of the pristine natural wilderness and the feeling of being ‘out there in the desert.’ One thing is certain, Las Vegas has always developed from the center, out. As time goes on, the newer suburbs are always being built out where ‘just a few years ago there was nothing but one road, and open wilderness.’ As you move to the center of the city, the older homes become a bit of a time capsule, as my broker, Jack LeVine at VeryVintageVegas.com employs a bit of tongue-in-cheek humor with our still relatively young city while promoting the benefits of these older homes. Things like bigger backyards, unique mid-century architecture, and central proximity to the vibrant energy of our entertainment capital. If you were to look at a maps of the Las Vegas area throughout the decades you would see these concentric circles of development.

Many families have been flocking out to Bonnie Springs Ranch for another visit, one last chance to enjoy the site of their childhood memories. We were among those visiting last weekend, taking our one year old son even though he likely won’t remember. We wanted to at least give him the experience while we could. It was great to spend the day with some friends & family enjoying the glimpse of Nevada’s past, but I can’t say I’m upset that the nature of development is taking it’s course. Maybe not everyone will be in the market for one of these 2-3 acre home sites, but on a macro level, if development weren’t to take place, competition for homes would be outrageous as supply and demand would drive home prices through the roof.

At the end of the day, what we have is a seller wanting to sell, a buyer wanting to buy, and we wound up with a situation that is much better than it could have been. This proposed development will be much less crowded that previous proposed developments in the area have been. Yes, we’ll be loosing a piece of our history, but the area will be much more open than even zoning would allow.

There will be restrictions on what can be built there aimed at preserving the natural beauty of the area, including a lack of fencing around each home site’s perimeter as is so common in our more dense subdivision tracts in town. Also at least 8.5 acres of the land is planned to remain public use. More of details can be found here: https://lasvegassun.com/news/2019/jan/10/planned-housing-at-bonnie-springs-wont-kill-charm/