Kimberly and John Solio - Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage



Posted by Kimberly and John Solio on 5/28/2017

A lawyer maybe the last person that you think of contacting during the home selling process. After all, if you hire a lawyer when you sell your house, you reduce the amount of profit that you get to keep from the sale of your home. Factor in your real estate agentís commissions and you could decide that bringing on a lawyer simply is not worth it.

Yet, a lawyer could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars on the back end of a house sale. Following are a few ways that selling your house with the help of a lawyer could pay off.

Attorneys could save you legal fees related to problems that arise from the sale of your house

  • Ensure that you meet all required legal disclosures. States like California have strong house disclosure rules. Not only do you have to disclose of known defects with your house, you also have to sign disclosure forms in some states. A lawyer could let you know if youíre required to pay for a home inspection before you sell your house. An attorney could also let you know how soon before closing you are required to get your house inspected.
  • Trees with limbs that hang over your neighborís property are another area that a real estate lawyer can advise you on. For example, a real estate attorney may know whether or not you have to remove hanging limbs if a tree produces fruit that could fall onto your neighborís property and cause damages.
  • Contingencies like how to handle counter offers can also be written up by a real estate lawyer. If the buyer presents you with contingencies, the lawyer that you work with while selling your house could look the contract over, ensuring that you get a good deal.
  • Should your house be in foreclosure, a real estate lawyer can let you know what to expect during the foreclosure process. A good real estate attorney could also work with lenders and help you avoid losing your home, giving you enough time to sell the property and potentially earn a profit.
  • If youíre selling a house that you formerly rented to tenants, by working with a real estate attorney you can stay within the guidelines of tenant removal notices, occupancy rules and leasing agreements. You could also work with a real estate attorney to draw up lease to own agreements. This option may work well when selling to first time homeowners, especially if the homeowners are concerned about taking on the responsibility of owning a house but are, on the other hand, prepared to move into a place of their own.

If youíreselling your house on your own, without the support or guidance of a licensed real estate agent, consider working with a lawyer who is familiar with the real estate market. A lawyer who understands property tax laws, defect reporting,property boundaries and housing discrimination regulations could help you to avoid legal errors. The attorney who you contract with to help sell your house could also increase the level of confidence that potential home buyers have in the deal.




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Posted by Kimberly and John Solio on 5/21/2017

Effectively staging your home can make a difference when selling your home. It can help you reach your asking price, or it can mean the difference between making a sale and not making a sale.

With so much at stake, itís clear that home staging is a good idea. However, if you plan on living in your home while itís on the market it can cause a big change in your lifestyle. It can mean putting most of your belongings in storage and be constantly rearranging furniture and moving your valuables around.

In this article, Iíll give you some tips to help you get through the difficult time of living in a staged home. Iíll talk about how you can make the most of this situation while still making the important sale on your home.

Decluttering and removing personal items from your home

There are two important things to remember when cleaning out your home before staging it. You want to declutter and you want to remove your personal presence in the home.

In terms of decluttering, not only is this a good time to start packing up items you wonít need until you move into your next home, but it is also a good time to do some cleaning. When going through your home, ask yourself if youíve used the item in question within the last year or two. If the answer is no, you might be able to throw away or donate the item.

When someone views a home they want to be able to picture living there. Thatís hard to do if it is filled with the photos and heirlooms of another family.  If youíre unsure about whether something is too personal to keep on display in your home, thereís a good chance that itís better off to put it in storage.

Use your free time at home to your advantage

Living in your home while itís on the market gives you one important advantage--youíre able to spend more time prepping your home for sale. Use your free time and weekends at homes to paint your walls bright, neutral colors. You can also experiment with arranging furniture in a spacious and welcoming way.

This is also a good time to take care of small issues that might turn off potential buyers. Runny faucets, creaking doors, and other cosmetic fixes are all simple but important fixes to make while still living in your home.

Adopt a ďclean as you useĒ mentality

Since people are coming to view your home, youíll naturally want it to be as clean and tidy as possible. But rushing to clean everything before someone views your home makes it more likely to overlook a dirty countertop or misplaced towel.

A good practice is to simply clean up after yourself as you use items. That means wiping down the counter or oven after use, making sure you donít leave products out in the bathroom, and sweeping the floors at the end of the day.

While it can be difficult to live in your home while it is staged for sale, it also has its advantages. As you go through this process, remember that it isnít forever, and that it can save you time and money in the long run.





Posted by Kimberly and John Solio on 5/14/2017

After you launch a search for the perfect home, it may seem like a fast, easy process to acquire your ideal residence. But if you're not careful, you may encounter many homebuying hurdles along the way.

Lucky for you, we're here to ensure that you can streamline the process of purchasing your dream home. Here are three tips that you can use to accelerate your push for the perfect house:

1. Determine Exactly What You Want

Spend some time considering what you want out of your dream house. By doing so, you'll be able to speed up the process of going from homebuyer to homeowner.

Ultimately, no two houses are identical, and homebuyers who know what to look for in a dream house can narrow their search for the perfect residence.

If you understand what you want out of a house, you'll be able to budget accordingly as well. Thus, you may be able to improve your chances to buy your dream residence and avoid the temptation to overspend on a house if you plan ahead.

2. Examine a Large Assortment of Houses

After you narrow your home search, take an up-close look at residences that fit your needs.

Open houses frequently are held on weekends throughout the year, making it easy for you to check out available residences without having to rework your weekday schedule. Plus, open houses ensure that you can browse a house at your convenience and find out if a property corresponds to your budget and lifestyle.

Don't forget to set up individual home showings, either. These home showings will enable you to assess all aspects of a residence. And if you are satisfied with a residence following a showing, you can submit an offer.

3. Hire an Experienced Real Estate Agent

The homebuying journey features many twists and turns, and as such, there is no need to navigate it on your own. Fortunately, many experienced real estate agents are available to help you purchase your dream house.

An experienced real estate agent understands the differences between a buyer's market and a seller's market. Therefore, this real estate professional knows what it takes to acquire a residence in any real estate market, at any time.

With an experienced real estate agent at your disposal, you won't have to worry about missing out on your dream residence. Instead, your real estate agent will keep you informed about new houses that may meet or exceed your expectations as soon as these properties become available. Your real estate agent also will offer recommendations for submitting a competitive offer on a residence, conducting a home inspection and much more.

Perhaps best of all, an experienced real estate agent is happy to share his or her expertise with you. And if you ever have homebuying concerns or questions, this real estate professional will respond to your queries without delay.

For homebuyers, there is no need to leave anything to chance. Employ an experienced real estate agent, and you can streamline your search for the perfect house.




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Posted by Kimberly and John Solio on 5/7/2017

Move to anew house and you could step into job security. Relocating when the division you work with moves to a new city or state can signal to your employer that you're dedicated, loyal and steadfast. But, buying a new house solely because your employer is relocating comes with risks. These three points can help to reduce risks associated with buying a new house that's directly linked to a job move.

Job move could lead to a new house

Employment contract - Many jobs are at will, meaning that you can leave the job at anytime. With an at-will job, an employer can also bring your job to an end for any reason, as long as the reason does not violate employment laws. Before you move and buy a new house to follow an employer to another town, check your employment contract. See if your employer will offer you a written, guaranteed bonus if you move. If the bonus covers three months or more of your annual salary, it could give you time to find new employment should you get laid off after you relocate.

Housing assistance - Check with your human resources representative to see if you'll receive housing assistance if you relocate. Generally, the employer must ask you to relocate to get housing assistance. You also may have to move 50 or more miles one way to receive housing assistance. Housing assistance can cover closing costs, transporting your household goods to your new home, temporary housing costs and fees associated with selling your current home. The amount of housing assistance that an employer offers varies. Get a good housing assistance package with your relocation and you could significantly trim the amount of money you spend out-of-pocket on your move. Get all housing assistance agreements in writing.

Buying a new house due to a job move requires honesty

Ripple effects of moving to a new house - Move to a new house and you're children could be forced to go to a new school, you could put hundreds of miles between your family and you could have to learn a new culture. You could also have to get accustomed to a new climate. Reduce the risks of moving to a new house during a job relocation by talking openly with your family, including your young children, about the move. Get everyone in your family's buy-in. Also, ask your employer and human resources representative how your role will change after you relocate. If possible, negotiate a move when interest rates are low and the costs of houses in the area you're moving to are low to competitive.

Pack and move when your employer ask you to work in a division that's moving to a different region of the country and you could forego a layoff. The fact that your employer ask you to move is a sign that your employer values your talent.Another way that your employer values your talent is to offer you relocation assistance. Accept this assistance before you agree to move. It could save you closing costs, equity and help with your down payment.




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Posted by Kimberly and John Solio on 4/30/2017

Your 401K is a great resource of investing for retirement. Many people use their 401kís as a part of their overall investment strategies, pulling money out of it when itís needed. When youíre ready to buy a house, you may think that pulling money out of your 401k for a down payment is a good idea. But think again. 


Although you should always speak with a financial professional about your money matters, the bottom line is that is probably not the best idea to use your 401k to supply money for a downpayment on a home. 


First, your 401k funds are pre-tax dollars. That means that you havenít paid any taxes on these funds. Your employer will often match the amount of money that you put into your 401k, as an incentive to help you save money for your future. You need to keep your 401k for a certain amount of time before any funds in the 401k become available to you without having to pay any kind of penalty. If you decide to take on the penalty, you can often face a cut to your employerís match programs as well. This is why you must make this decision wisely. 


The Penalties


Anyone under the age of 59.5 pays a penalty of 10 percent to take the money out of the fund. In addition, youíll now need to pay taxes on this money, because it becomes a part of your adjusted gross income. 


Alternative Actions


If you are looking to invest in a property, there may be other options for you rather than pulling money out of your 401k. While some plans allow you to borrow money from it. However, if your only option to get money to invest in a property is to pull money from your retirement account, it may not be the best time to invest in property for you. 


Keep It Separate


If youíre younger (say in your 30ís or 40ís) your best option is to have a completely separate account that is used to save for a downpayment and other expenses that youíll incur when you buy a home. In this sense you arenít spreading yourself too thin as far as investments go. You should compartmentalize your money. Buying a home is a large investment in itself. Home equity can also be a good source of a nest egg in later years when you need it. However, even if a property will be an income property, itís never smart to take from one investment account to provide for another unless youíre shifting your focus. You donít want to reach retirement, only to see that your funds have been depleted and you canít retire as expected.




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