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Dec. 15, 2014

Preventive Rain Maintenance for Your Home in California

Rain Maintenance for your Home

We haven't seen much rain in California, but when it does rain it truly pours. When it pours we have a ghastly amount of mudslides, flooding, trees falling, roof leaks and a few more distresses that home owners encounter. It is absolutely important to perform preventive measures that can help deter these catastrophes from our homes and minimize the damage. This article will go over a few areas of the home that you will want to take care of before the next rainstorm hits.

The most important part of everyone’s home that is a definite must to maintain is the drainage system. Most homes fall victim to clogged drains and clogged gutters around the roof. Those gutters near the roof won’t unclog themselves once the rain starts pouring. The gutters will eventually get clogged, become overweight and could potentially collapse. The accumulation of wet leaves, dirt, water and possibly bird poop may bring them down. Not only that but the debris that goes down the gutter tube which lead to the outside drainage which may also cause the gutters to get clogged. So... it is always important, especially, if you have trees surrounding your home as we do here in Pasadena, to inspect the gutters monthly. Always keep them cleared and ready for the next rainfall

The other vital drains on the outside of the home that lead directly to the street should also be checked monthly. There will be days and even months in between rain falls which might mean the dirt or mud that was going down the drainage pipe could have dried up. This dried up dirt can form into a clay-like material which may cause flooding around your house. Most drainage pipes run from the left and ride side of the home to the street. If they ever get clogged then have a professional plumber use a hydro-Jet water machine to clear them out. If there are roots then the plumber can snake that area, cut the roots and then hydro-jet the rest to clear it. In addition, if you plan on planting a tree anywhere around your home then double check to see if a drainage pipe is running below. As the tree grows, its roots will ultimately destroy those drainage pipes. That alone could cost you a couple hundred dollars to re-do or even thousands.

Besides the drainage system around your home one should also maintain any hillside, vegetation or planters. If you live on a hillside then a great preventive measure to take is to build a retaining wall. However, building a retaining wall can be quite costly and before you decide to get it done get several estimates for your home and check the contractor's references.

Flooding around the foot of your home risks the possibility of water getting into the home and causing mold to grow inside of walls. Most homes are built with enough protection to prevent this from happening but the longer you let that water sit the more chance there is that it can eat through the stucco, seep through the cracks and get into the house.


find your dream home Interested in sitting down and meeting with one of our great real estate agents for an in-depth explanation of a home buying process and what to expect?  Give us a call at 626-629-8439.  We look forward to being of service!

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Nov. 27, 2014

What Gift Are You Getting Your Home This Holiday?

A new paint job? New kitchen appliances? New bathroom décor? New air filters? New copper or plastic pipes?

home updatesTo some, these all sound like daunting tasks or a wallet eater but all of these gifts we contribute to our home may indeed increase its longevity and value! This idea of “new” or “re-installing” has its benefits down the line just like performing an oil change or tune up for your car, obviously on a longer time frame scale.

There are many opinions out there by contractors when one should change certain things with the home. I will mainly focus on home maintenance that is for the health and well being of you and your family.  So, take a deep breath with me and let’s start with your homes air.   

Yes, I asked you to take a deep breath because many homes with air conditioning have air filters. If you have allergies while in your home or notice much more dust on the counter tops then it is a good sign that you should change your air filters. You may even need to get the air ducts steamed cleaned out by a professional. It is recommended to change out your air filters once a year! This filtration system helps protect you and your family from unwanted odors, bacteria, pet dander, dust and above all allergies. Many people also have the mini air filters that you can get from tech stores but require you change or clean those twice a week! So, ask yourself when is the last time you changed your filters? 

If you have already taken care of the filters then you can breath easier. So, another question you should ask yourself is whether your skin is dryer after a shower? If your showers are foggy, have water spots or a build up of calcium then that means your water has tons of unwanted minerals and contaminates.  A good way to fix this is to go above and beyond and get a home water filtration system, which would do wonders for your pipes and your skin! By having a water filtration system you don’t get those water spots, you don’t get the very dry skin feel and you don’t get any calcium build up on faucets. You can go a step further if you know your home has a few leaks or is really outdated to have its piping system re-piped with copper or plastic as well.

While on the subject of water it is also very important to change your refrigerator filter. The filter lasts about 6 to 12 months, which is designed to remove lead, contaminants and other debris from the tap water. This is a filter you do want to change because you may not only be drinking tap from your refrigerator but ice as well.

There are many other gifts you can get your home but I hope you get the idea that you should really start doing the due diligence on your home. If you don’t fix a leak right away then you obviously know it may grow into a bigger problem. However, if you do decide to go for appliances this year for your home then the biggest benefit of all is that the industry has focused on their products to be more cost effective for electricity, water and labor.  

 I can go on and on of the different gift ideas for your home but they all have one thing in common which is that they are preventive care maintenance and help with the health and well-being of your family. So, with the bonus this year share some of that for the love of your home.

 

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Nov. 17, 2014

The Buying Adventure of a Condo or Townhouse!

Pasadena is one of the greatest places for buyers looking for beautifully upgraded and remodeled condos and townhomes.  New ones are also being built near the downtown area (Old Pasadena).  With these great property opportunities come very important questions that a buyer should review before heading into the buying process. As a buyer you have to be well equipped and prepared for such a process especially if it is your first home purchase. We break down a few questions that buyers should have knowledge about before jumping the gun.

Pasadena condo complex on Cordova

First and foremost what is the difference between a townhouse and a condo?

In the broad sense a condominium complex is a multi-level dwelling of multiple units that share amenities, which can be a gym, pool or barbecue patio. A condo will most likely have designated parking spots in a garage where all residents’ vehicles will be whereas a townhouse will usually have an attached garage.

Majority of townhomes are normally 2 stories, which offers a small patio vs. a balcony in a condo. The major difference is that in a townhouse you only have a neighbor to the left and right of you unless you are placed in a corner unit.  Townhomes may also have amenities just like Condos.

 The two both share one major thing in common, which is a Home Owners Association.

So, what is an HOA? 

A Home Owners Association enforces community rules (known as CC&Rs), provide building maintenance and covers funding for the amenities or events hosted by the HOA. As an owner of either a townhome or condominium you pay a monthly HOA fee, which is simply what covers the costs of what the HOA enforces and provides. However, a portion of that is placed into an account that is set aside as reserve. This reserve is normally set aside for repairs that may include new roofing, garage, piping etc. It is extremely important as a buyer to read through an HOA agreement because there may be a few restrictions or rules that you may not agree with. 

Do the Due Diligence!

It is of extreme importance that a buyer do their due diligence when it comes to buying a townhouse or condominium. When a buyer does due diligence then their buying process is clear and understandable. To build your knowledge read this full article and feel accomplished that now you know more about one of the biggest purchases you will ever make.

 

If you want to read the full article then click the following link: Buying a condo or townhouse? 

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June 30, 2014

Creative ideas for garage conversions

garage conversions pasadena

Most home owners with a single family residence have an enclosed garage that many times becomes storage space. Often that storage space contains objects that will never again be used so why not utilizing it for something else? By emptying the garage you will very quickly see that it could actually be an extra room or workspace. Basically an added 400 sq.ft that already has a foundation and with a little imagination, everything is possible!

Converting a garage can be fun but should also be done with utmost care. Before making any changes we do recommend that you first check with your local planning and development departments to make sure that you will not have any problems on resale. One example is that when selling a home in Pasadena, you as the owner have to provide the buyer with a City Occupancy clearance. What that means is that a city inspector will come out and look for certain safety items, check on permits for any changes done to the house and whether or not you have a usable garage.

The really great thing about garages is that they usually have a structure that is ready to be converted into a functional room. To create a comfortable and livable room you may want to put in a nice floor and more insulation. However, if you're looking to create a work space or art studio you might be better off keeping the concrete floor for durability. If you are unfamiliar with construction work we do recommend that you contact a contractor and do your due diligence when it comes to city building codes.

Here's an excerpt from our article:

"Have fun with your garage conversion! The garage door space can become a huge window or kept as is, in order to have a large opening to the outdoors. Paint the walls in funky colors and make it into a play room for the kids! So, if you are a home owner and have a garage that is not utilized and you need more space see it as a bonus room that can help you add another 400 Sq.Ft. to your home!"

READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE


Do you own a home in San Gabriel Vally and curious to know you what your home is worth? Try out our simple Home Valuation site and in just seconds you will get an estimate of your home's current value and also see how much it could be rented out for! For more questions don't hesitate to call Pasadena Views Real Estate Team at 626-629-8439 to speak to one of our agents.

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June 11, 2014

How to create a drought resitant garden

California Buckeye

Living in Southern California definitely has its perks! We get to wake up to blue skies and the pleasant heat from the sun almost every morning. Unfortunately, the dry desert weather is not as friendly to some plants and it also requires us to use more water when maintaining our gardens. If you are a homeowner in the greater Pasadena area, there are many good websites that provide local information about how to be water wise and we wanted to share some of that information here.

When landscaping it's often easy to forget what is required to maintain certain vegetation in the environment we live in. Who doesn't love the sight of gardens with lush green grass, exotic plants and vibrant colors? The back-side to planting gardens without thinking about our climate is that your garden will probably need a lot of watering to stay healthy. It's estimated that the average American household uses approximately 320 gallons of water each day and here in the South West almost 60% of that water is used outdoor. Furthermore, here in Pasadena it is estimated that people over water their lawns by 50-70%! The great thing is that just by applying some simple methods to the way we plan and maintain our gardens we can save many gallons of water.

The first thing to consider is what plants and flowers that you will have in your garden. There is a wide variety that are drought-tolerant and that are California natives. By choosing plants and flowers wisely you can create a garden that is both beautiful and also water friendly. Flowers like the Bigleaf Lupine and the Bush Sunflower are especially popular with the butterflies and will attract many fluttering friends.

Here is an excerpt from an article that gives you more tips about being water wise when gardening:

"To make sure that you are only watering with the amount of water the plants actually need, install timers, sprinklers and emitters. This helps you to keep track of your watering and you can simply sit back and enjoy your blossoming garden! Using mulch around your plants and along walkways does not only prevent weeds but also helps reduce water use on bare areas."

To read our full article go to this link.

 

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June 1, 2014

Efficient ways to keep your home cool during the summer

1920x1200_fan.jpg

Summer is often associated to vacations and fun activities. However, if you live in the San Gabriel Valley summer is the time when you would rather stay indoors because of the sweltering heat! Home owners usually try to avoid using their air conditioner in order to save energy. We wanted to share some useful tips on home improvements and creative ways to keep the heat out of the house and keep the inside nice and cool.

Everything from your walls, roof, windows and the color of your exterior walls can affect the way heat is absorbed and cool air is retained in the home. Talk to a contractor to learn more about what you can do to improve the insulation and windows quality of your house. Remember to always keep doors and windows closed to avoid hot air coming into the house.

Your garden can also be a tremendous help to create shade and keep your home cool. By being smart about landscaping you can reduce the temperature in and around your home by a few temperatures.

Here's an excerpt from the article:

"Create shade either from trees, arbors, pergolas or awnings for east and west facing windows to help preserving the cool on the inside. If you enjoy gardens and would like to make the most out of yours, why not plant some beautiful fruit trees such as persimmon or orange trees? While creating that much needed shade you will also be able to harvest some delicious fruits as soon as they’re ripe! It is estimated that tree-shaded neighborhoods can have 3-6 degrees cooler air temperatures during the day."

Read the full article here


If you are thinking of selling your home or if you are curious to see the value of your home try our new FREE Property Valuation service here . In only a few seconds you can find out home much your home is worth. You can also contact us on 626-629-8439 to find out more.

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May 29, 2014

The latest interior design trends for 2014

dining-room

If you own your home you have the freedom to let your creativity flow when making your interior design choices. There are no limitations for what colors you can paint your walls, what furniture to use or what material your floors should have. Are you the daring type that go for the vivid colors or do you prefer the calmer shades? We wanted to share some interior trends that are hot for this summer and throughout the year!

Cold or warm colors?
To find out what's trending in the color section we turned to ELLE Décor for inspiration. This year we found certain grays and blues that are quite popular. Flower and garden inspired colors such as Radiant Orchid, Cayenne and Violet Tulip have also made it on the list. If you are not too keen on going with the vibrant colors you can choose to just paint one wall in this color and leave the rest neutral. A splash of color gives your home depth and character.

Help your walls come to life
By looking at your interior walls as canvasses it might be easier to be daring when creating wall art. There are several ways to create texture to your walls and a small details goes a long way! 3D wall art is decorative interior art that can be in the form of flowers, metal shapes and more. Other wall textures can cover the whole wall with ripple patterns. Click here to get some more inspiration for cool wall ideas. 

Here is an excerpt of our article

"Summer is here and it's a season associated with many different feelings and impressions. Flowers are in full bloom, fruits are changing colors and overall everything feels a bit warmer and sun-kissed. In Pasadena our roads are experiencing the purple explosion from all the blossoming Jacaranda trees!"

If you would like to read the full article on interior design trends for this year click here

 

 

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April 2, 2014

Prepare & Make Your Home Earthquake Safe

Pasadena residents have experienced a number of minor earthquakes in March, 2014. Thankfully, most have not been centered in Pasadena, but a bit of shaking and rolling always makes us take a look at our preparedness level.  The Pasadena Views Real Estate Team wanted to help you prepare for the next one. 

The earthquake supplies kit

Prepare kits that you can place in your home, your car and even in the workplace. They should be easily accessible and also kept updated by checking expiration dates on food and battery functions for flashlights. Now is a good time to do that!

The kit should provide for your whole family, don't forget the pets,  and include things such as food, water, hygiene products, clothing, flashlights, batteries, first aid supplies and other supplies. Make sure to have enough to last for at least three days to a week, or longer if possible. Also, keep some cash in the kit since ATM machines can be hard to access in the event of an earthquake.

Staying updated with the news and disaster alerts in Pasadena

By keeping updated with the news and also by receiving alerts you have a better chance to prepare yourself and everyone in your home for what actions to take.  The City of Pasadena offers their residents a Local Emergency Alert System called PLEAS. By signing up to PLEAS you will receive both voice messages and text messages incase of a citywide or major emergency. To get more information about PLEAS, go to www.cityofpasadena.net/Fire/PLEAS/ 

How to keep your home safe when the earthquake hits

The recommendation when the disaster hits is to stay in doors if possible. Therefore, you want to makes sure that objects that can fall are secured properly. Any heavy objects, breakable glass, china etc. should be kept low and in closed cabinets with latches. Larger and heavier wall items such as frames and mirrors should be fastened to the wall and kept away from beds and couches.

All homeowners should strap their water heaters, furnace and gas appliances to the wall studs and bolt them to the floor. It might also be recommended by your gas company to have an automatic gas shut-off valve installed. Repairs of deep cracks in the foundation or ceilings can also help keep your home safer in an earthquake. Please make sure to get expert advice when it comes to your private residence and how to make it as safe as possible.


To find out more about buying a home in Pasadena or get more information on your real estate options, give us a call at 626-629-8439. Or, if you’re interested in seeing homes available for sale, visit our Multiple Listing Search site.

Posted in Area Information
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Feb. 17, 2014

Pasadena's Home Selling Season is Here!

Real estate is pretty cyclical, that is, it's pretty cyclical in a normal market.  Our home sales have been anything, but normal in recent months.  Homes for sale are scarce and buyers are struggling to get their offer accepted.

Home sellers that are thinking of selling their property are definitely reconsidering waiting until spring when the usual home selling season begins.  Many are working hard to get their homes ready to be placed on the market early.  Home stagers are working overtime providing estimates on how best to present their home, professional photographers are in demand and the real estate agents are going from appointment to appointment.  I have personally met with 5 Pasadena home sellers this week who are excited to list their homes as quickly as possible.

And... who can blame them?  Interest rates are moving up and are predicted to end the year at 5.3% that's a .8% jump from current rates.  A 1% change in interest rates is a 10% decrease in housing affordability.  Buyers are desperate to find homes to purchase before the interest rates get any higher and even though Pasadena home prices are increasing steadily, existing home sellers find that their homes are being sold at top dollar.

Are you thinking of selling your home?  What should you do?


Internet is the new Curb Appeal!
 I read this on Fools.com today in an article aptly titled "Want to Sell Your Home? The spring selling season may be coming early this year!" and couldn't agree more.  Now, more than ever, you need to understand that you are merchandising your home online.  It's no longer your home, it's a product that needs to be marketed where buyers are - on the net.  Pictures, pictures and more pictures!  And... you can't get those pictures without beautifully presented rooms.  Here's a photo of one of my home listings in Monrovia.  This is what home buyers are expecting to see.  Crisp, clean rooms that are move in ready, tastefully decorated.

Buyers determine which homes they do NOT want to see online.  Make yours stand out so that it's not automatically ruled out.

Get a Home Pre Inspection! Your real estate agent should be able to recommend a couple of great inspectors.  You know that the buyer will get an inspection in escrow.  It's inevitable.  Get ahead of the game and order one yourself.  It will be the best couple of hundred dollars spent.  You'll be able to take care of a lot of issues ahead of time and have a much less worry some transaction.

Hire a Real Estate Agent that not only specializes in selling homes in Pasadena, but understands how to market your home on-line!  Most realtors just put your listing in the Multiple Listing Service and hope that the regular syndication of property listings will get your home noticed.  However, it's not that easy.  There are so many real estate website portals with thousands of listings.  How will your real estate agent make yours stand out?  Think of it as googling a product.  How many links will you click on before settling on what you will buy.  The first few links on the first page? What is your click tolerance?  It is exactly the same in marketing homes on-line.  You want to be on the first or second page of any real estate portal, not on the 10th.

Understand how to Strategically Price Your Home!  Pricing is half the battle.  You price your home too low and you won't get the highest price.  Price it too high and no one will see it.  Best real estate agents will be able to guide you based on their experience and understanding of the current market conditions.

I hope that some of these steps will help you get started.  If you have any questions, give me a call at 626-629-8439.

If you'd like to get information on your home worth, visit our Home Value Request website and we'll get a market analysis over to you.


Irina Netchaev is a real estate broker/owner of Pasadena Views Real Estate Team and has been helping home buyers and sellers in the Greater Pasadena area since 1984.  Check out what her existing clients think on Yelp.

 

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Jan. 12, 2013

543 Woodward Blvd Pasadena

SOLD at $941,500 33% over asking!!!

A wonderful opportunity to buy a home in one of the best neighborhoods of Pasadena - Michillinda Park.  Get a sneak peak of this upcoming listing by clicking here - 543 Woodward Blvd.

Price: $708,000
Bedrooms: 3 BR 
Bathrooms: 2
Square Feet: 1,868 per assessor
Lot size: 18,596 per assessor
Year Built: 1949
Guest House: 2 BRs + 1 BA & Full Kitchen
MLS Built: TBA

 

Exclusively represented:

Irina Netchaev

Pasadena Views Real Estate Team Inc.

(626) 629-8439

READ MORE:   How to Buy a House in Pasadena

Interested in more information about Pasadena and surrounding cities, check out our City Guides below:

Alhambra City Guide

Altadena City Guide

Arcadia City Guide

Eagle Rock City Guide

Monterey Hills City Guide

Pasadena City Guide

San Gabriel City Guide

San Marino City Guide

Sierra Madre City Guide

South Pasadena City Guide

And, if you are interested in fun activities to do in Pasadena, take a look at our 365 Things To Do in Pasadena® page.


Thinking of selling your Pasadena area home? Interested in finding out the current market value of your single family home, condo or investment property? Then call Irina Netchaev at (626) 629-8439 to discuss what is happening in today’s Pasadena Real Estate Market.

 

Posted in Homes For Sale
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