Far West Sonoma | Lou Rosenberger

Lou Rosenberger, Realtor

Love Your REALTOR®! — February 14, 2018

Love Your REALTOR®!

Searching for a new home? Here are five reasons you should consult with a real estate pro (me) before you find your dream home. Getting a real estate professional involved early on in the process can make a BIG difference.

  1. Real home value: The home value estimates on many of the search sites can be off by thousands of dollars. A real estate pro has access to live and update data that can be interpreted through years of experience to make sure you are looking at homes in your price range.
  2. Negotiations: A real estate professional can and will represent you in the negotiation process which in a fast paced market can have many pitfalls and nuances that can be navigated through experience.
  3. Insider info: Maybe most important, a real estate professional often has “insider info.” Through networking, experience and industry information a real estate professional may have information important to know and understand as it relates to price, location and other intangible aspects to the home search.
  4. Local Expert: Each local market has its particular nuances. Even the savviest of buyers may miss these subtle differences and the early consultation with a real estate professional will uncover these nuances and assist in helping find the perfect home.
  5. Needle in a haystack: in most U.S markets, inventory is low which means you have competition in your search. Many buyers are searching for homes with few available to purchase. The extra set of eyes working for you along with the other four reasons to use a Realtor® early on in the process can often make the difference between getting your dream home or losing out to the competition.

Bring a Realtor® to your home search and you will have a great buying experience. Call me to talk about my low inventory search strategy for buyers.

Living in Bodega Bay and having owned a small business in the region I call
Far West Sonoma, I understand our local market.
If you, or someone you know, would like assistance in marketing a home in Sonoma County,
I would be most grateful if you would please contact me.

ASIR LOGO Rosenberger Lou 178 pixels h IMG_7501

Lou Rosenberger, Realtor
CalBRE# 01955420
415.518.5286 | www.FarWestSonoma.com

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Lou Rosenberger on Zillow

 

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Be a Better Landlord — February 7, 2018

Be a Better Landlord

Rental properties are one of the best ways to earn passive income and build wealth, but “passive” is a little misleading—it can still be a substantial amount of work. However, with a little planning and dedication, you can run your properties efficiently while also keeping your tenants happy.

Treat it like a business
Successful businesses have plans and procedures that keep things running smoothly, and the same should be true for renting and managing your properties. That means committing to customer service, outsourcing work appropriately, and paying close attention to income and expenses. Don’t just assume that you’ll collect a check each month and everything else will be a breeze.

Thoroughly vet your tenants
Collecting applications, interviewing tenants, and checking references means a lot of legwork up front, but it’s worth it in the long run. Choosing the right tenant could mean going years without incident—no late payments, no legal issues, and no property damage. Choosing the wrong tenant could mean monthly calls and visits to collect late rent, expensive property damage and repairs, eviction processes, court dates, and a whole lot of stress.

Make sure your lease is rock solid
Lease agreement laws vary from state to state, so don’t cut corners—find a lawyer who specializes in lease agreements. You’ll be glad you were thorough if you ever have legal issues with a tenant.

Living in Bodega Bay and having owned a small business in the region I call
Far West Sonoma, I understand our local market.
If you, or someone you know, would like assistance in marketing a home in Sonoma County,
I would be most grateful if you would please contact me.

ASIR LOGO Rosenberger Lou 178 pixels h IMG_7501

Lou Rosenberger, Realtor
CalBRE# 01955420
415.518.5286 | www.FarWestSonoma.com

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Lou Rosenberger on Zillow

 

Property Tax Fairness Initiative — February 5, 2018

Property Tax Fairness Initiative

from the California Association of Realtors®

The California Association of Realtors® is spearheading an effort to qualify an initiative for the November 2018 ballot. Known as the Property Tax Fairness Initiative, this measure would allow homeowners 55 years of age or older to transfer their Prop. 13 tax base to a home of any price, anywhere in the state, any number of times. These protections also would be extended to people who are disabled and to those who have lost their homes to a natural disaster. It’s a carefully written initiative that includes appropriate safeguards while eliminating California’s property tax “moving penalty.”

Support this measure by signing the petition when
presented by your friendly California Realtor®.

Why is the Property Tax Fairness Initiative Needed?
It’s no secret that California is in the midst of a housing crisis. Not only is affordability near an all-time low, but housing inventory remains stubbornly low – wreaking havoc on the market and reducing homeownership opportunities for many would-be buyers in California.

On top of these challenges, nearly three-quarters of homeowners 55 years of age or older have not moved since 2000, further constricting inventory. Research has indicated that one of the primary reasons these homeowners are effectively “locked” into their homes is the prospect of paying higher property taxes.

C.A.R.’s Property Tax Fairness Initiative will help these homeowners sell their current homes and move without being subjected to what is effectively a massive “moving penalty.” These homes will then be available for families and other would-be buyers to purchase.

How Do Property Tax Assessments Currently Work?
The amount a homeowner pays in property taxes is based on the assessed value of the home at the time of purchase. Generally, Prop. 13 limits property taxes to 1 percent of the assessed value at the time of purchase, even if the value of the property subsequently increases.

What is Prop. 13?
Prop. 13 is a California proposition that limits the property tax rate to 1 percent for all California property and annual tax increases to no more than 2 percent. This protects homeowners from losing their homes due to unforeseen property tax increases.

There also are two other propositions that affect property taxes – Prop. 60 and Prop. 90.

What is Prop. 60?
Prop. 60 allows senior homeowners, 55 years of age or older, to transfer their property tax base – one time — to another home in the same county, as long as the purchase price of the replacement home is equal to, or less than, the sale price of the original residence.

What is Prop. 90?
Prop. 90 is an extension of the original Prop. 60 program. Prop. 90 allows senior homeowners to transfer their property tax base, one time, to a home in a different county, as long as the county accepts such transfers.

Prop. 60 Prop. 90 C.A.R. Property Tax
Fairness Initiative
Transfer Tax Base One time One time Unlimited
Counties Allowed Same county Different county
(if new county
accepts transfer)
Anywhere in the state
Price Replacement home equal to,or less than, the price of the property sold Replacement home equal to,or less than, the price of the property sold Any price

ASIR LOGO Rosenberger Lou 178 pixels h IMG_7501

Lou Rosenberger, Realtor
CalBRE# 01955420
415.518.5286 | www.FarWestSonoma.com

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Tips For Selling Your Home In A Hurry — January 31, 2018

Tips For Selling Your Home In A Hurry

There are a lot of factors that will determine how quickly your house is sold, and it’s important to tackle the factors you can control. If you’re still living in your home while trying to sell it, these are a few simple ideas that can help speed up the home sale process.

1. De-clutter: Buyers want to step into a prospective home and imagine the possibilities. That’s a lot easier to do when a space is airy and clutter-free. Get rid of the clutter that’s just taking up space in your home, and it can totally transform how a buyer sees the property.

2. Offer an incentive: Don’t break the bank for add-ons that don’t make financial sense in the long run, but there are some reasonable expenses you can use to entice buyers, such as offering a home warranty.

3. Focus on flow: Now that you’re working toward a new home, it’s important to position your furniture for easy movement through the space, rather than how you personally like it arranged. Position your furniture so that it’s natural to flow from one room to the next.

4. Take care of your to-do list: There’s probably a list of small repairs that you’ve been putting off for a while, like fixing a dripping faucet or touching up paint on some walls. Make those repairs so that the home is more move-in ready for buyers.

5. Commit to cleanliness: Just like removing clutter, keeping your place clean can go a long way toward appealing to buyers. It’s especially true in the kitchen—no dishes in the sink or coffee rings on the countertops!

Living in Bodega Bay and having owned a small business in the region I call
Far West Sonoma, I understand our local market.
If you, or someone you know, would like assistance in marketing a home in Sonoma County,
I would be most grateful if you would please contact me.

ASIR LOGO Rosenberger Lou 178 pixels h IMG_7501

Lou Rosenberger, Realtor
CalBRE# 01955420
415.518.5286 | www.FarWestSonoma.com

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Lou Rosenberger on Zillow

 

Earthquake Insurance: Are you covered? — January 25, 2018

Earthquake Insurance: Are you covered?

Your California Earthquake Authority insurance coverage is different and separate from coverage provided by your homeowners insurance policy.

Did you know, if the California Earthquake Authority’s lability for earthquake losses exceeds the CEA’s available resources, the CEA may reduce its payment to you or pay you in installments? Your insurance policy is not covered by the California Insurance Guarantee Association and therefore the California Guarantee Association will not pay your claims if the CEA becomes insolvent and is unable to make payments as promised.

Choosing to purchase earthquake insurance is a personal decision. Read the fine print  and be certain to understand the coverage and limitations before you purchase. In the event of earthquake damage to your property, you will be better prepared for how your insurance policy will cover your losses.

Living in Bodega Bay and having owned a small business in the region I call
Far West Sonoma, I understand our local market.
If you, or someone you know, would like assistance in marketing a home in Sonoma County,
I would be most grateful if you would please contact me.

ASIR LOGO Rosenberger Lou 178 pixels h IMG_7501

Lou Rosenberger, Realtor
CalBRE# 01955420
415.518.5286 | www.FarWestSonoma.com

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Lou Rosenberger on Zillow

 

Happier Hardwood Floors — January 17, 2018

Happier Hardwood Floors

Tips for cleaning your beautiful hardwood floors and keeping them looking great.

Hardwood floors make for a beautiful, stunning addition to your home. However, they can bring new cleaning and maintenance challenges that aren’t present with carpet. Here are some tips for simple, efficient, and thorough hardwood floor cleaning.

Make the job easier
Place mats on either side of your exterior doors and always remove your shoes before entering your home—and make sure your guests do the same. Protect the floors by placing felt (or similar) protectors on the feet of your furniture, and use area rugs to designate play areas for the kids. This will reduce extra dirt, dust, and floor scratches.

Weekly cleaning
Sweeping with a standard broom will remove some dirt and dust, but not as much as a mop, wipe, or broom that’s been treated with a dusting agent such as a Swiffer. You could also invest in a vacuum that is designed for hardwood floors. Just be sure that the vacuum won’t leave scratches!

Deeper cleaning
Regular sweeping will remove most dirt and dust, but occasionally you’ll need to give the floors a deeper cleaning to remove the dirt and grime that builds up in your floors’ seams. Use a wood-cleaning soap to thoroughly mop your floors, but make sure the mop isn’t sopping wet—you don’t want to leave standing water.

Spots and scuffs
Most of the marks that occasionally show up on your floors, such as scuffs from rubber soles on boots and shoes—can be wiped away with a rag or very fine steel wool.

Living in Bodega Bay and having owned a small business in the region I call
Far West Sonoma, I understand our local market.
If you, or someone you know, would like assistance in marketing a home in Sonoma County,
I would be most grateful if you would please contact me.

ASIR LOGO Rosenberger Lou 178 pixels h IMG_7501

Lou Rosenberger, Realtor
CalBRE# 01955420
415.518.5286 | www.FarWestSonoma.com

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Lou Rosenberger on Zillow

 

Five Ways to Increase the Value of Your Storage Areas — January 5, 2018

Five Ways to Increase the Value of Your Storage Areas

Storage areas are usually an afterthought in homes, especially if it’s not already finished when you move in. The lack of natural light doesn’t always make for the most inviting space. However, there are plenty of ways to improve your home’s storage areas that will both increase your home’s value and give you more space to enjoy.

1. Home theater: These areas can be the perfect space for a home theater, as they already have little lighting and offer ample space and an escape from summer heat or winter cold. A TV mount and some simple built-in seating can be accomplished for under $2,000.

2. Play room: Kids have a tendency to scatter their toys all over the house. Creating a playroom helps keep the mess confined to one area, plus there’s already great storage capabilities. Just update the space to make it kid-friendly with features like egress windows and carpet.

3. A bar: Grownups need a play space too! Creating a bar is an easy upgrade and allows you to keep your gatherings focused in one room, making post-party clean up easier.

4. Utility room: If you do a lot of gardening or other DIY projects around your home, add a sink and hose to give yourself a space for cleanup and storage. This is especially useful if you don’t have much room in your garage.

5. Family room: You can keep your formal living room and add a second space that’s more focused on relaxation and watching TV as a family.

Living in Bodega Bay and having owned a small business in the region I call
Far West Sonoma, I understand our local market.
If you, or someone you know, would like assistance in marketing a home in Sonoma County,
I would be most grateful if you would please contact me.

ASIR LOGO Rosenberger Lou 178 pixels h IMG_7501

Lou Rosenberger, Realtor
CalBRE# 01955420
415.518.5286 | www.FarWestSonoma.com

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Lou Rosenberger on Zillow

 

2018 Tax Reform Affects Homeowners — January 1, 2018

2018 Tax Reform Affects Homeowners

BLOGtaxes

President Trump signed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act tax reform bill. All individual provisions of the measure are generally effective after December 31, 2017 for the 2018 tax filing year and expire on December 31, 2025 unless otherwise noted. The provisions do not affect tax filings for 2017 unless noted.

Mortgage Interest Deduction

  • The final bill reduces the limit on deductible mortgage debt to $750,000 for new loans taken out after 12/14/17. Current loans of up to $1 million are grandfathered and are not subject to the new $750,000 cap. Neither limit is indexed for inflation.
  • Homeowners may refinance mortgage debts existing on 12/14/17 up to $1 million and still deduct the interest, so long as the new loan does not exceed the amount of the mortgage being refinanced.
  • The final bill repeals the deduction for interest paid on home equity debt through 12/31/25. Interest is still deductible on home equity loans (or second mortgages) if the proceeds are used to substantially improve the residence.
  • Interest remains deductible on second homes, but subject to the $1 million/$750,000 limits.

Deduction for State and Local Taxes

  • The final bill allows an itemized deduction of up to $10,000 for the total of state and local property taxes and income or sales taxes. This $10,000 limit applies for both single and married filers and is not indexed for inflation.
  • The final bill also specifically precludes the deduction of 2018 state and local income taxes prepaid in 2017.

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Living in Bodega Bay and having owned a small business in the region I call Far West Sonoma, I understand our local market. If you, or someone you know, would like assistance in marketing a home or acquiring property in Sonoma County, please contact me.

Lou Rosenberger, Realtor
CalBRE# 01955420
415.518.5286 | www.FarWestSonoma.com

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Lou Rosenberger on Zillow

 

Dog-Friendly Dwellings — December 30, 2017

Dog-Friendly Dwellings

Even the most happy-go-lucky dogs and cats have some preferences about the spaces they occupy. If you want to keep your pet as happy and comfortable as possible, here are some things to take into consideration.

Dogs don’t like hardwood
Carpet is more comfortable for your dog when it comes to laying down and sleeping, but it’s also preferable when your dog is on its feet. Dogs typically don’t like hardwood floors because they feel less traction under their paws. They may even try to dig in with their claws to improve traction, possibly damaging your floors. As a compromise, you can place soft, thick rugs on the floor to help your pets relax. You can also place booties or rubber rings on your dog’s feet for better grip.

Fireplaces can be scary
You’ve surely seen a dog get spooked by the sound of 4th of July fireworks. A fireplace isn’t nearly as loud, but can still have a similar effect. Plus, those pops and crackles from the flames are a far more regular occurrence. A quieter gas fireplace is more dog friendly. You can also give your dog a chew toy or bone as a distraction before lighting a fire.

Ignorance is bliss when it comes to fences
A chain-link fence can cause stress for your dog, because it can still see other animals and strangers, but is confined to the yard. If you’re considering a new fence, your dog will appreciate a solid one made of wood or vinyl panels. With fewer lines of sight to the outside, your dog will be less anxious.

Living in Bodega Bay and having owned a small business in the region I call
Far West Sonoma, I understand our local market.
If you, or someone you know, would like assistance in marketing a home in Sonoma County,
I would be most grateful if you would please contact me.

ASIR LOGO Rosenberger Lou 178 pixels h IMG_7501

Lou Rosenberger, Realtor
CalBRE# 01955420
415.518.5286 | www.FarWestSonoma.com

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Lou Rosenberger on Zillow

 

Happy Holidays — December 24, 2017