Staging Your Las Vegas Home For A Sale

Putting your Las Vegas home on the market is one thing, but adequately preparing it for buyers is a whole different matter. Home staging is the term used by real estate professionals to help prepare your house so that it will look its absolute best. Realtors will tell you that buyers usually make a decision about a home within the first ten seconds of their visit. Therefore, a wonderful first impression is imperative if you are to sell your home quickly. Should you stage your Las Vegas home? If so, what exactly is involved with home staging?

Although your real estate agent or broker is knowledgeable and skilled on how to market your Las Vegas home, they may not be particularly adept at interior design. That is where a home staging professional comes in. If you use one, they will work toward helping you eliminate clutter, rearrange furniture, and improve your home’s curb appeal. This may involve moving a painting from one wall to another, removing a bulky chair out of a crowded room, trimming the front yard shrubbery, etc.  In some cases a Las Vegas home staging professional may recommend that you bring in additional furniture, but you must realize that there is an extra cost involved if you choose that option. 

Your real estate agent should be able to refer a home staging professional to you. Most Las Vegas home staging professionals will offer a free written estimate of their recommendations and services. Ask for references from the home staging professional and call them to verify their work.

If you choose a professional who truly excels at home staging, you could recoup the costs of this service through a higher selling price.

Thoughts on the Future of the Real Estate Market

You hear it everywhere. The baby boomers are starting to retire. The stock market and real estate market will suffer as money is pulled out. This hardly seems true for real estate. 

Thoughts on the Future of the Real Estate Market

Baby boomers are those individuals born during the period from roughly 1945 to 1964. Following World War II, peace and economic prosperity occurred for roughly twenty years. Along with this came an explosion in the birth rates in the United States. This increase in birth rates created a bulge in the overall population, to wit, the baby boomer generation.  

As economists and pundits look to the future, they worry about what will happen when baby boomers move out of the job market. Who will replace them? What happens to their money? Will the drain on the stock market from 401k distributions wipe out the stock market? What about real estate where baby boomers are starting to pass their peak earning years? Is everything going to crash? No. 

The first reason the real estate market will not die is the boomers. They do not just disappear when they retire. Most are continuing to invest in real estate as they start receiving retirement distributions. In 2004, this fact was evidenced by the fact that of all home sales, 35 percent were for second homes. Clearly, the boomers will remain active for some time.   

There is also a new generation starting to be introduced to the real estate market. While it is true that baby boomers are the largest population bulge we have seen, one has to keep in mind that the boomers had their own offspring. The second largest population bulge we have seen are these children. They are now entering there twenties and thirties, which means they are entering the real estate market as buyers – often borrowing from their parents for down payments. 

Immigration is a controversial subject. Regardless of your view, the undisputed evidence shows a large number of legal immigrants coming into the country since 1970. Obviously, these individuals and families represent another pool of buyers. 

Despite the wailing of so-called experts, the real estate market should continue to purr along as it always has. Real estate is still one of the best investments. Yes, there will be fluctuations, but the prophecies of doom and gloom are unsupported by the facts.

Tampa Bay Real Estate Bubble Burst? Unlikely

With property prices seemingly on the rise and rising quickly in Tampa, there is a lot of talk about a real estate bubble in the US and dire predictions that the so-called bubble could burst, leading to a lack of confidence on the part of investors and people seeking a second home. But while this talk of a bubble may be true in some parts of America, it isn’t justified in Florida, particularly in the Tampa Bay and Clearwater areas.  

Florida as a whole is enjoying a rise in property prices which promises to be a long term trend. There are many reasons for this.

Demand for real estate in Florida is increasing.  Homes are being bought for various reasons. Both American and European holiday makers view Florida as a premier summer holiday location and flock there each summer and historical evidence suggests that this figure is rising sharply and is having a major economic impact on the region according to VISIT FLORIDA research. 

Historic Visitor Numbers (in Millions) 

  • 1999    58.9
  • 2000    72.8
  • 2001    69.5
  • 2002    73.9
  • 2003    74.6
  • 2004    79.7 

Historic Economic Impact

Total Tourism Spending 1999-2004:

  • 1999 – $44.6 billion
  • 2000 – $48.5 billion
  • 2001 – $48.6 billion
  • 2002 – $49.5 billion
  • 2003 – $51.5 billion
  • 2004 – $57.0 billion

Total State Sales Tax Revenues from Tourism 1999-2004:

  • 1999 – $2.7 billion
  • 2000 – $2.9 billion
  • 2001 – $2.9 billion
  • 2002 – $3.0 billion
  • 2003 – $3.0 billion
  • 2004 – $3.4 billion

Number of Persons Directly Employed by Tourism Industry 1999-2004:

  • 1999 – 826,200
  • 2000 – 842,900
  • 2001 – 864,500
  • 2002 – 862,900
  • 2003 – 871,000
  • 2004 – 912,700

This growth in visitors is due to Florida’s many attractions, many of which are near to Tampa Bay. The superb beaches, the night life opportunities, golf and other sporting opportunities whether playing or being a spectator, the theme parks and adventure worlds, Disney, of course – and the many areas of unspoiled beauty.  And, if anything, this annual visitation is set to increase again as the Super Bowl comes to Tampa in 2009.  This will be the fourth Super Bowl to be held in Tampa.  This has a dramatic effect on our area’s prosperity.

The increasing economic prosperity also makes Florida in general and Tampa Bay in particular a good place to find a job or start a business. In 2004, Florida was ranked #2 as one of the best places in America for start-ups. More and more companies are also relocating their headquarters to Tampa, as well.  Tampa is now being called the “Gateway to the Florida High Tech Corridor”, because companies are being offered a matching grant program that has generated more than $120 million in applied research.  225 companies have already taken advantage of this.

The area has relatively low real estate prices and a lower cost of living and higher employment statistics compared to the rest of Florida and to other states in America, despite recent increases. The median value for a home in Florida was $189,500 last year, significantly less than similar homes in California where the median home value was $474,370. (Source: ).   In Tampa Bay, it was less again.  

Florida, including Tampa, also enjoys the advantage of having slightly more favorable property taxes compared with other parts of the US, no state income tax and better car insurance rates. The education system has undergone considerable improvement over the past number of years. And the Tampa area also has some of the best commute to work times in the country. 

Tampa Bay is perhaps the ideal place not just for the baby boomer buying a second house or holiday home, nor just for the property investor seeking to increase their footprint in the holiday rental market, but also for people starting out in life or those seeking a retirement home.  

There have been several new developments in Tampa Bay Florida real estate and Clearwater Beach real estate holdings; the plans for developing downtown Tampa, especially the Rivergate area, are potentially very exciting indeed, according to recent articles in the Tampa Bay Business Journal. 

In short, Florida as an area for either relocation, investment or a second home is currently one of the most attractive in America and likely to remain so for some time.  Due to the recent economic pressure on the US as a whole there might be a slight slow down in terms of escalating appreciation but Florida remains a great place to come and a great place to invest, especially Tampa Bay real estate and Clearwater Bay real estate, which are right in the heart of the potential growth areas.  

No bubbles bursting here, just opportunities galore!

Why Sell Your House to an Investor?

When talking to people who are trying to sell their house I’m often asked the question, “Why should I sell my house to you?”

That’s a great question. Today’s house seller has lots of options: they can list their house with a real estate agent, they can try to sell the house themselves or they can sell their house to a real estate investor. None of these choices is necessarily better than the others: they each have their own advantages and disadvantages.

Here is what I say when asked why someone should sell their house to me:

I’m fast.

In many cases, sellers are in a rush to get their house sold. Maybe they’re facing foreclosure or they’re settling a divorce. Sometimes the seller has moved because of a job and needs to sell the house quickly to avoid two mortgage payments. Or someone might inherit a house and they don’t want the hassle of dealing with the repairs and marketing necessary to sell the house.

Most people who try selling their house themselves or through a real estate agent find that it is anything but a “fast” process in most cases.  Unless you are willing to sell your house at a significantly reduced price, in many markets you could find yourself waiting one to three months before you accept an offer.

On the other hand, because I’m an independent investor with private funds I can often close a house purchase in 7 days or less.

My offers are flexible

I make my offer fit the seller’s needs. If the seller wants to close quickly, that can be arranged.  If the seller wants cash all at once or a monthly cash flow, I can do those, too.  I can also make up past payments and take over current payments to immediately relieve money burdens on the seller.

I can be a lot more flexible with my offers than the “traditional” offers sellers typically receive. That’s because I’m independent and not part of a bank bureaucracy which has to follow lots of rules.  I’m also aware of possible creative solutions to meet sellers’ needs that your average home buyer wouldn’t think of. 

I’m open-minded.

I might buy someone’s house when no one else will.  In many cases I buy houses that have fire damage, termites, mold, foundation problems, roof problems or need major repairs.  Houses with these conditions scare most buyers and real estate agents hate listing them because they know such houses are hard to sell.

I actually enjoy talking to sellers with houses like these because I can see the house’s potential value after all the repairs are made.  I’m also not worried about extensive repairs as long as the after-repaired-value of the house justifies the expenses.

In conclusion, I encourage sellers to investigate all avenues of getting their house sold in the way that best meets their needs.  If they decide that working with me to buy their house makes the most sense, then I’m more than happy to help.