Thursday, October 30, 2014

Writing a Home-Offer Letter: Is it a good idea?

The most important letter you'll submit to a home seller is the one you'll get from your lender stating that you are preapproved for a mortgage. Savvy listing agents will counsel their clients to refuse offers from unapproved buyers, so all the flowery prose of a home-offer letter will mean nothing without loan preapproval.

Assuming you have your lender's letter, whether or not you also submit a home-offer letter depends a great deal on the type of market in which you're buying and the competition.

The Market

When the real estate market has lots of buyers looking for homes and few houses for sale, it's a seller's market. With the seller in the driver's seat, purchase offers tend to get cleaner, with fewer demands from buyers. Offering prices typically come in at or even over the asking price. When supply is low and demand is high, it's challenging for buyers.

Several regions of the country are currently in seller's markets. In some of the more in-demand areas of California, for instance, there are so few homes for sale and so many buyers in the market that almost 6 in 10 homes are selling in multiple offer situations, according to the California Association of Realtors®. In the second quarter of last year, home sellers received an average of 4.2 offers.

In San Antonio, Texas, homes are selling quickly and for over list price, according to Marilyn Moritz of KSAT-TV. The head of the state's Realtors® association cautions homebuyers in these types of markets that they shouldn't be picky and that time is of the essence when making an offer.

The Competition

If you're unfortunate enough to have fallen in love with the same home that three other people are smitten with, be prepared to do battle. The chances are good that they, too, are preapproved for a mortgage, which puts you on equal footing. If any of them is waving cash, however, all bets are off, as the table is tilted in the cash-buyer's favor.

There are several reasons for this, the most significant of which is that the seller doesn't have to worry about a loan falling through if the house becomes overpriced in a bidding war. There is no appraisal with a cash offer. There is no lag time, waiting for final loan approval. Cash buyers are streamlined buyers, and they usually prevail in a bidding war.

Home-offer letters, however, have been known to sway some homeowners in this situation – especially those with an emotional attachment to the home.

The "Pick Me" Letter

The home-offer letter was created years ago to help sellers stand out from the competition. The problem now is that so many buyers use them; they may be losing their effectiveness.
Since there is no harm in trying, however, let's take a look at some tips for the ideal home-offer letter:

Don't be robotic. This isn't a form letter, it's a letter that you hope will tip the scales in your favor, so put as much personality into it as possible. Start by using the seller's name in the salutation. "Dear John and Mary" is far better than "Dear Seller."

Make it emotional. Tell the seller how the home resonates with you. Even if it's just the color of the walls, tell the seller how much you appreciate her taste and how close it matches yours. Be sincere in telling the seller why you fell in love with the home and why you want to live in it.

Explain why they should pick you. Point out your strong points as a buyer, such as few contingencies, your willingness to increase the offered price, or your strong credit score that will help your loan approval zip right through.

Keep it brief. Try not to go over three to four paragraphs.

Keep it upbeat and positive. Sellers don't care if theirs is the ninth house you've made an offer on. They don't care that you need a one-story because of health issues. Accentuate the positive and leave the complaints out of it.

Don't forget to include photographs to help cement the fact that you are far more than a signature on a purchase agreement.

There's an old saying that is frequently tossed around in business circles: "People do business with people they know, like and trust." Helping the seller get to know you, like you and trust you is a tall order for a short letter, but it should be your goal nonetheless.

Your Local San Diego Real Estate Expert,

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Nissou Realty Group Thanksgiving Can Food Drive with The Salvation Army of El Cajon

It's that time again! Nissou Realty Group has partnered with The Salvation Army of El Cajon to host our 2nd annual Thanksgiving Canned Food Drive to help feed 2,000 families this Thanksgiving and Christmas Season! This weekend, we will be delivering brown bags to homes all over Rancho San Diego! Fill them up with canned food & non-perishable item and on Thursday, November 20th, 2014 Stephen Nissou & the team will be coming around picking up your food donations. 

The most needed food items this holiday season are:
-15 oz Can of Pumpkin
-Chicken OR Vegetable Broth
-Cornbread Mix
-Cream of Mushroom Soup
-Black Olives
-Bread Crumbs
-Cranberry Sauce
-Milk Powder
-French-Fried Onions
-Green Beans

We sincerely appreciate all the donations! If you would like to volunteer to help pass out or pick up donations, please contact us!

Your Local San Diego Real Estate Expert,

Stephen Nissou
Nissou Realty Group   |   Keller Williams Realty 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Gorgeous Jamul Home For Sale!

3154 Miramontes Rd. Jamul, CA 919356 Bedroom, 3 Bath, 3118 Sq. Ft

Need a big home with all the amenities? This 6 bedroom, 3 bath, 3118 sq.ft home features a large backyard with a pool, spa, and large patio that is perfect for entertaining! There is also plenty of room for horses or a large shed. Step inside this open concept floor plan with a drop-dead gorgeous kitchen with all the bells and whistles, including a large center island, sub-zero refrigerator & freezer, jenn-air grill, and high quality cabinets. Also features a wet bar with wine cooler in the down-stairs family room, and private bedroom that's great for parents or a nanny. Home is close to schools. 
Priced at an impressive $699,000 - $749,000.

For more information about this home, and to schedule a private viewing, please contact Stephen Nissou today!
Direct 619-250-4541
Office 619-873-2772

To view this home on the MLS:

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Market Analysis for El Cajon and Rancho San Diego, San Diego, California


Median Listing Price - $499,570
Median Days on Market - 41
Active Listings - 130
Distressed Listings (Foreclosures, Shor Sales) - 4.6%

The number of active listings in El Cajon (92019) increased by 32.7% from the previous months. The median number of days active listings have been up is 41. This is significantly shorter than the national average. The number of sales in June dropped by 88% from the previous month. 

The percent of unoccupied properties is very low in El Cajon. It is -11.86% the national average. The percent of rental properties in El Cajon is 14.8% above the national average which is typical for urban areas. 

Median household income is $75,625 with 687 households earning between $35,000 - $40,000 annually. There is a total of 15,264 homes, with 5869 with children, 36% married, and the median age is 38.

For more insider tips, to find out what your home is worth, and to get your FREE market analysis, call Stephen Nissou today! 619-250-4541!

Your Local San Diego Real Estate Expert,

Friday, October 17, 2014

Home in Santee For Sale!

Santee was ranked #10 for the best cities to raise a family in Southern California, and now you can live there too with this beautiful 3 bedroom, 3 bath, 1375 sq.ft home! Located as a corner lot in the sought after Vista Este Complex in Santee, this beautiful home is move-in ready! Built in 2005, it is neat, clean, and renovated to meet your needs! With a 2 car attached garage and low maintenance yard, it's the perfect home for a first-time home buyer, or someone looking to downgrade! Near the community pool, easy freeway access, and close to shopping! Priced at an impressive $380,000 - $410,000.

For more information and to schedule a private tour of this property, please call Stephen Nissou today! 
Direct: 619-250-4541
Office: 619-873-2773

To see this home on the MLS:

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Tips for Moving with Kids

Moving is complex. Moving with children is even more challenging. Some of their anxieties and fears over relocating may seem petty to adults, but they are nevertheless real. You could probably tell your children they are moving to Disneyland and, after the initial ecstasy wore off, they'd still feel torn.
Let's take a look at some tips for making a smooth transition when moving with kids.
1. Talk to Your Child
The circumstances that brought you to packing up your home and relocating have a lot to do with how your children feel about the situation. Divorce, death and other traumatic events leave them with more questions than they would have if the move is to take a job or for other, happier reasons.
Regardless of the circumstances, the best way to prepare your children is to communicate with them. Ask probing questions to get to the root of their fears, and urge them to talk about them. Answer all questions honestly. "Children require play-by-play explanations and day-by-day reassurance," says Marie Hartwell-Walker, Ed.D at PsychCentral.
Although it's OK to let the kids know that you too are sad, according to Hartwell-Walker, try to get the focus off the sad or frightening aspects by sharing the more exciting possibilities of the move.
2. Get Your Kids Involved
It's easy for children to feel like the move is being forced on them, regardless of how they feel about it. If you involve them in the process, they'll feel more invested in it.
Let them help in the hunt for a new school or new house. Ask for their opinions about what type of neighborhood you should choose and what they want in a new house.
One fun way of involving the children is to make a family wish list, according to Kate Brophy of Parents Magazine. "This will help you reach a consensus on some of the things you all want from your new home: a bigger backyard, a basement playroom, separate rooms for the kids," Brophy says.
If it's possible, take the kids house hunting in the new area. Let them see the school they'll be attending. This makes the new town less of an unknown and far less scary. If it isn't possible to take them with you, sit them down and show them online photos of the new community.
3. Help Them Say Goodbye
One of the hardest parts of moving, even for adults, is saying goodbye to friends and family. Older children, such as preteens and teens, seem to have the most difficult time, according to the experts at The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.
"In general, the older the child, the more difficulty he or she will have with the move because of the increasing importance of the peer group. Preteens and teenagers may repeatedly protest the move, or ask to stay in their hometown with a friend's family," they claim.
Throw a goodbye party so the entire family can say goodbye en masse, or just throw a kids' party. "Be sure to have a special address book at the party where friends can write down their contact information," says Allison Bisbey Colter for HGTV Front Door. She goes on to mention a mom who placed self-addressed stamped cards in the goody bags. The child "got mail (at the new address) for a long time," she quotes.
Help the kids say goodbye to the places that mean a lot to them as well. If the family spent a lot of time at a park, visit it once more. Restaurants that you frequent deserve one last visit as well.
Saying goodbye to all that is familiar is challenging for children, and experts say that it will be at least six months in the new location until the grief and anxiety wear off, according to Caroline Schaefer of Parents Magazine.
Help them through this transition by assisting with letter writing, setting up Skype so that the kids can see and talk to their old friends, and getting them out and about, discovering the new city.

Your Local Real Estate Expert,

Friday, October 10, 2014

Architecture Masterpieces in San Diego

San Diego is definitely America’s Finest City! Not many people know how much of an architectural area we live in each day. There are so many great contemporary buildings in our beautiful city, as well as so many great architectural historic structures as well. From Little Italy, to the Coronado Bay Bridge, to the Prado and more! 

Check out these great masterpieces right in our own back yard and tell us what you think!

For more Architecture in San Diego, visit our Pinterest page!

Your Local San Diego Real Estate Expert,

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Condo For Rent in El Cajon

1490 Naranca Avenue, #14, El Cajon, CA 
2 Bedroom, 2 Bathroom, 824 Sq Ft. 

Just listed in El Cajon - a gorgeous fully remodeled condo for rent in El Cajon! All remodeled 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom condo with laundry room inside unit - 2nd floor unit! This is a must see unit with newer carpet and paint, granite kitchen counters and stainless steel appliances! Great location and quiet complex with only a few neighbors. Pool in complex is great for entertaining!

Move-in Ready! Available 10-15-14! $1200 /month Rent with 1 year lease term. $1200 security deposit. 

For more information and to schedule a viewing please call Stephen Nissou today!
Office 619-873-2772
Direct 619-250-4541