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!


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.


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


It May Be Cold Outside, But January is a Hot Time To Buy Las Vegas Real Estate.

This time last year, our family purchased a new home in Mountain’s Edge, a great community in the South West of Las Vegas.  We were scouring the MLS for two months looking for a perfect place to call home for an expanding family.  Our first contract was on a home a bit bigger than we needed.  It was owned by a California investor who’d let deferred maintenance pile up and was unwilling to negotiate for repairs that would be needed.  The balcony had a crack in the flooring that the inspector said may or may not be a big issue.  Luckily it rained two days before the end of our due diligence period & I was able to bring a moisture meter to check the absorption.  Turns out the entire plywood surface under the stucco had absorbed so much water it would present and un-safe structural issue.  This repair alone would total about $10,000.00.  The rest of the drywall, plumbing, and stucco repair would be about another $10,000.00!

Because of this blessing in disguise, we had already been approved by our lender’s underwriter, meaning they had checked off all of the boxes they needed to be sure they could loan us all the money we’d need.  Once we decided we weren’t going to buy a home that the seller wouldn’t concede on cost to make it fit, we canceled the contract.  What we lost was the cost of inspection, and appraisal; about $1,000.00 in total.  What we kept, by navigating our contract properly was our earnest money deposit.. and our underwriting approval.

We took both and continued our shopping.  Viewing a few more homes with more clarity on what was necessary, and what was negotiable in our wish list. We found a home more nicely appointed and certainly more well cared for in the same area.. for $40,000.00 less.  Because we’d narrowed down what we really needed and where we wanted to be, we found our new home before the sign was even up in the yard (use the MLS, not Zillow!)  We submitted an offer with prior underwriting approval from the last deal that went south.  This isn’t the same as coming in with cash, but it is a close second meaning the likelihood of our contract coming to fruition is much better than those competitors who have only a pre-qualification.

By getting the home under contract in January when competition is less than the peak season, we were able to purchase the home before the busy summer months when it had already appreciated $15-$20,000.00 due to the competition driving prices up.  By having our financing in a more secure position than many others, our seller’s agent told the 4 other offers that came in to not even bother submitting.  Assurance we CAN close can be better than even a few thousand hypothetical more dollars to the seller (it’s not always about the highest bid!).

If you’re thinking of buying a new home at any point this year, the best time to start getting a plan together is right away.  There is a lot to consider and a lot to prepare, especially for your financing if you’re not planning to buy with cash.  A good Las Vegas area Realtor can assist you with this checklist so you’re in the best position to buy, be it this month or further down the road.  I look forward to hearing from you & seeing how we can best prepare you for a great transaction, and a smooth transition to your new home.  You can contact me at SteveChristmas@gmail.com or call me at the number listed in our Contact section.