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‘Will your wins’: Luxury agents share tips for breaking into the high-end market

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How to boost your home’s curb appeal

From first dates to job interviews, first impressions matter. And when it comes to selling your home, that initial glimpse of its exterior is a big deal. In fact, according to a University of Texas at Arlington study published in The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, curb appeal can account for up to 7 percent of a home’s value. So it’s important to put your home’s best face forward. Curb appeal is the way your home looks from the outside, and how attractive it is to anyone who passes by. To assess your home’s curb appeal, look at the front of your home and take it in from the perspective of someone seeing it for the first time. The color and condition of the exterior, the landscaping and the overall maintenance of the property all contribute to its curb appeal. This crucial first impression has a big impact when you list your home for sale. “Curb appeal is probably one of the most important and effective tools in selling a home,” says Yawar Charlie, a Los Angeles-based agent with luxury brokerage the AKG | Christie's International Real Estate. 8 ways to boost curb appeal Improving your home’s curb appeal can help you bring in the buyers and get top dollar for your sale — especially if you sell during the peak spring/summer season. Here are eight tips to try: 1. Repaint the house A dingy exterior can make your home unappealing to potential buyers before they even step inside. One of the best ways to refresh it is with a new coat of paint: “A full exterior paint job can go a long way, especially if the paint has faded or is chipping,” says Reese Stewart, a Realtor with RE/MAX Properties SW in Orlando, Florida. “While this can be costly, it can make all the difference.” Cost: Between $6,242 and $11,617, according to Fixr, a home remodeling resource. 2. Repaint just the doors Even freshening up outside entryways with new paint can have an impact. Zillow’s 2023 paint color analysis found that buyers would offer more than $3,300 less for a home with a bland cement-gray front door than one with a bold black front door. “Painting just the front door or the garages can help spruce up the entry point, since it’s one of the first things potential buyers see,” says Stewart. Cost: Between $112 and $205, according to Fixr. But most homeowners can probably do it themselves for less. 3. Clean the windows If a potential buyer is put off by filthy windows, they may not want to see what sits inside them, even if the interior of your home is actually well taken care of. “Giving windows a good scrubbing is an easy and inexpensive way to give your home that sparkling look,” says Stewart. Cost: Between $190 and $460 for professional window washers, per Fixr. But if you DIY, this project will cost you nothing but water, cleaning supplies and a little elbow grease. 4. Refresh the landscaping Full professional landscaping can definitely improve the appeal of your home in a buyer’s eyes, but it isn’t cheap. Luckily, small and economical upgrades, like a few cheerful flowerpots here and there, can also help a lot. “Take a step back and see if you need to repot some flowers or replace some bushes,” says Stewart. “Even some new mulch can go a long way.” Cost: Between $8,000 and $15,000 for a pro job, per Fixr. But if you have a rake and a lawn mower, you can spruce things up for almost nothing. Adding a few inexpensive pre-potted plants and flowers to the walkway or porch will also add color and pop to the entry area (and you can take them with you after you sell). 5. Power wash the driveway For many houses, the driveway is front-and-center. And years of leaves, rain and snow can wreak havoc on its surface, especially if it’s concrete. “If your driveway is discolored, get it power washed,” Charlie says. If there are a lot of unsightly bumps, gouges and cracks, you might even want to spring for having it resurfaced. Cost: Between $180 and $240, per Fixr. If you want to do it yourself, you should be able to rent one from your local home-improvement store for less than $100 per day. 6. Tidy up the lighting Clean, functional and well-placed exterior lighting not only looks nice, but also can be an important safety and security feature. At the very least, inspect and refurbish the outdoor lighting you have. “Make sure that it is clear of cobwebs and dust and that the bulbs are still working,” Stewart says. “It can ensure your home is well-lit if any potential buyers visit around sunset or drive by at night.” If there are some too-dark areas, consider installing another fixture or two, or installing a motion sensor that turns on the light when someone approaches. Cost: Between $350 and $500 to install outdoor motion-sensor lights, according to Fixr. 7. Fix the roof and gutters The look of your roof can be a sticking point for buyers, as can its condition (with good reason). If there are broken roof shingles or other visible issues, or if your gutters are sagging or not properly secured, it’s best to take care of them with the help of a professional before they come up during the home inspection. Cost: Between $400 and $2,000 for roof repair and between $218 and $396 for gutter repair, per Fixr. 8. Upgrade the mailbox It’s small but significant. The mailbox is one of the first things a prospective buyer will see when they arrive at your home: “If your mailbox is faded or is looking worse for the wear, it’s time for an upgrade,” Stewart says. “It might be a small project, but it’s one that can help improve overall curb appeal.” Cost: If your mailbox just needs to be cleaned or painted, the cost is next to nothing. If it needs to be replaced, you can find very inexpensive mailbox-and-post kits at your local home-improvement store. Common curb appeal mistakes Once you have an idea of which curb appeal projects to tackle, you don’t want to waste time or money. Here are some common goofs to avoid: Going overboard: Don’t get caught up in making every upgrade possible. “One of the common mistakes I find when it comes to curb appeal is a homeowner doing too much,” Charlie says. “There can be such a thing as too many trees or too many flowers.” Stewart provides an example: “While a full garden may look beautiful to a seller, potential buyers may see it as difficult for upkeep.” Undertaking projects with no return on investment (ROI): A feature you may love could be seen as a liability to the next potential owner. One prime example is the installation of a lawn water feature like a fountain: “Fountains are beautiful to look at and create a very relaxing environment, but they cost more and are a recurring cost through their water consumption,” says David Steckel, a home expert at Thumbtack. “There is no ROI to a fountain.” Making bold changes: Stick to neutral shades for things like kitchen and bath tile, and especially for exterior paint. “One of the biggest mistakes I see people make is painting their homes a loud, outrageous color,” Charlie says. “Veer toward more of a classic look that will appeal to a variety of people.” Not consulting your HOA: If you live in a home governed by a homeowners association, confirm that your planned upgrades are within its rules. “Sellers should check the bylaws before making any improvements that must go through the HOA for review,” Stewart says. Quick tips for hiring a home pro If you’re hiring a professional to execute any of your curb appeal ideas, remember to: Check online reviews: Look to see what past clients say about the contractor you’re considering. Ask for recommendations: Real estate agents, friends, neighbors and family members can be great resources for finding good home pros. Get a firm bid, in writing: To make sure there are no surprises when it comes time to pay your bill, ask for a bid rather than an estimate. An estimate is like window shopping, says Charlie, but a bid puts hard numbers to the project. “When you decide to use a vendor, make sure that they give you a final bid for what the work is going to cost, so there are no surprises down the line,” he says. https://www.aol.com/finance/boost-home-curb-appeal-200138803.html

6 Features That are Devaluing your Bathroom Right Now, According to Realtors — How Many are in Yours?

Bathroom renovations don't come cheap, but this isn't a place for compromises. As one of the most practical places within the home quality should always be a priority, and skimping on the job could come at a bigger cost than you first thought. Whether you're planning a full-scale renovation or only have the budget for some DIY updates, you'll want to make sure your bathroom is free from features that could devalue your home. Be it a dated style or deeper underlying issues, there are plenty of things you might have learned to live with yet will stand out like a sore thumb to prospective buyers. If you want to increase your chances of a sale, it's vital that you pay close attention to the modern bathroom features that will add value, as well as those that won't. To find out more, we spoke with some professional realtors to learn exactly what to avoid to give your bathroom the biggest appeal possible. Here's what they had to say. 1. INADEQUATE VENTILATION It might not be an obvious thought, but a lack of adequate ventilation in a bathroom can really impact the value of your space, say experts. As steamy spots, it's vital you avoid a build-up of moisture and condensation which could lead to bigger problems further down the line, especially in small bathrooms. 'Overlooking ventilation is a big mistake,' explains Yawar Charlie, director of estates division at AKG | Christie's International Real Estate. 'Without proper airflow, your sleek bathroom could become a damp, moldy mess. It’s like hosting a fancy dinner and forgetting to ventilate the kitchen – a surefire recipe for disaster.' To keep everything smelling fresh and looking clean, be sure to install a fan or, at the very least, functioning windows. 2. A LACK OF LIGHT These days, it's increasingly common for bathrooms to be built without external windows. If you can't improve the natural light within your space, make sure you have plenty of artificial bathroom lighting, including a practical light source and one that serves a more aesthetic purpose. As California-based real estate agent Lindsey Harn notes: 'The bathroom should always be light bright and clean.' Yawar agrees. 'Treating lighting like a trivial detail?' he asks. 'Think again. The right lighting can make your bathroom look like it’s straight out of a luxury magazine. It’s the difference between a masterpiece and a missed opportunity. Aim for a mix of overhead and accent lighting to keep your bathroom looking lit (in all the right ways).' A simple way to improve your bathroom and add a hint of luxury to appeal to potential buyers is by adding some strip lights behind a mirror for a backlit effect or flanking a vanity with sconces. 3. SIGNS OF MAINTENANCE NEGLECT 'Any signs of mold, mildew, or cracked tiles can really devalue a home, as it may be signs of even more problems that you can’t see,' Lindsey says. While you may have ignored these niggles for so long that you no longer notice them, visitors are sure to spot any signs of neglected maintenance as soon as they cross the threshold, so make sure you carry out any updates before your property goes on the market. In the majority of cases, these sorts of updates are easy to do yourself. Treat any mildewy areas or flaking paint with a fresh lick of anti-mold paint, and consider regrouting and resealing your shower or bath if it's looking worse for wear. The same goes for the likes of dripping faucets, chipped tiles, or poor water pressure. these inexpensive bathroom upgrades can make a world of difference. 4. UNIFORM MATERIALS You might think that mismatched materials make for the cleanest, most appealing look in a bathroom, but Yawar says that couldn't be further from the truth. 'Using the same material everywhere is like wearing socks with sandals – just don’t,' he says. 'Your bathroom deserves better.' While decking your space with the latest bathroom trends might be tempting, a space that's dominated by only brushed brass hardware could be overkill. The same goes for stones like marble, too. 'Mix it up with different textures and materials,' says Yawar. 'It’s not just about functionality; it’s about creating a space that has its own personality. A little variety can transform your bathroom from blah to beautiful.' 5. OUTDATED FIXTURES AND FITTINGS Outdated bathroom trends are a surefire way to turn buyers away from your home, according to realtors. 'Outdated flooring, such as carpet in the bathroom or vintage vinyl, can be a real turn-off,' says Lindsey. Rather than buy into passing fads that quickly date your space, opt for timeless features instead that will guarantee a return on your investment even in years to come. The same goes for unique design choices, too. While we're all about expressing your own personal style, it might be worth toning things down if you're trying to sell. As Lindsey points out: 'Super loud colors, wild wallpaper, or outdated chandeliers can really devalue a space.' A lick of neutral paint before you put your home on the market can bring bathroom space back down to earth and will have wider appeal. 6. INSUFFICIENT STORAGE Last but not least, don't fall victim to the pitfalls of bathroom storage - and by that, we mean a lack of it. 'Neglecting storage is like having a library with no shelves - chaos ensues,' says Yawar. 'Sleek, smart storage solutions are essential to keep your bathroom looking organized and elegant.' 'A cluttered bathroom is a style faux pas you don’t want to commit,' he goes on to explain. 'Remember, a place for everything and everything in its place.' If space is at a premium, look for multifunctional solutions that don't sacrifice style for seamless storage that isn't even noticeable (but be sure to point it out to any prospective buyers!) 'By steering clear of these pitfalls, your bathroom renovation will be less about fixing mistakes and more about basking in the glory of a job well done,' Yawar adds. Now you can have a bathroom that buyers won't be able to forget! https://www.livingetc.com/advice/6-features-that-are-devaluing-your-bathroom-right-now-according-to-realtors-how-many-are-in-yours

7 Things That are Devaluing Your Kitchen, Say Experts — ‘Get Rid of Them if you Ever Plan to Sell!’

The kitchen is the sort of space where nobody likes to compromise. As the heart of the home, this room takes a higher priority than virtually any other for potential buyers, so every choice you make for yours matters more than you think. Whether you're planning a full-scale renovation or just a few easy updates, you'll want to make sure you aren't falling victim to some common pitfalls if you want your kitchen to see a return on your investment. Even if you've found your forever home, it'll inevitably be on the market one day. When the time comes, you don't want to be carrying out costly renovations just to increases the chances of a sale. That's why it's important to pay close attention to the features that will add value in the interim - or, more importantly, those that won't. We spoke to real estate agents and expert kitchen designers to find out what could be devaluing your modern kitchen right now and here are seven answers that might surprise you - get rid of them now if you ever plan to sell. 1. BOLD COLOR CHOICES A bright white kitchen with white cabinets, wooden drawers, wood flooring, and marble countertops Ask any real estate agent and they'll tell you the same thing - the most easily avoidable error when it comes to your home's value is choosing bold, garish colors or 'out there' designs. If you want wide appeal, it's best to opt for a neutral color scheme and a pared-back style. That applies to kitchens, too. 'When choosing color combinations, it's advisable to approach more unconventional palettes with caution,' suggests Bob Bakes, designer and co-founder of Bakes & Kropp kitchens. 'Opt for designs are widely approachable, as potential buyers seek designs that align with their tastes and lifestyles. If you're considering more distinctive elements, tailor their design to fit within the greater scheme to make it more palatable for broad tastes.' This doesn't mean you can't choose characterful colors or make unique design choices, but you should ensure these features are easily adaptable and make the effort to turn down the dial before putting your home on the market. 2. IMPRACTICAL COUNTERTOPS A kitchen countertop that isn't hard-wearing is hardly worth spending your money on. Yes, we want our surfaces to be aesthetic choices as well as practical ones, but marrying both form and function must absolutely be on the agenda. That means that some of those beautiful countertop materials could actually be devaluing your space if they don't rank highly on the durability front and yes, that includes marble. 'Marble countertops are less well-perceived than they once were as better options for durability have entered the market,' explain Bob. 'Materials like quartz and quartzite not only provide stunning aesthetics but also offer enhanced durability, making them more suitable for the demands of avid cooks and active families.' 3. INADEQUATE LIGHTING A bright, light, and airy kitchen isn't only pleasant to look at and spend time in, but a marker of a expertly designed and well-rounded space - something which will certainly appeal to prospective buyers. Although not all of us are blessed with lofty kitchens with huge skylights of floor-to-ceiling windows, there are some simple changes you can make to add value to your space through kitchen lighting. 'As functionality is often a top priority, inadequate lighting can significantly diminish the value of a kitchen,' notes Bob. 'Strategically light key food preparation and cooking areas with focused task lighting, and incorporate warmer, ambient lighting in spaces designated for entertaining or dining.' This could be as simple as installing some wireless under-cabinet lighting strips like these ones from Walmart, or just introducing a table lamp to your countertop. Sometimes, you might have to make more drastic changes such as add a window, or knock down a wall for an open plan space that invites more natural light. As California-based real estate agent Lindsey Harn notes: 'A kitchen without a window, that is small, tight and dark can certainly bring down the value of your home.' 4. DATED OR SHABBY CABINETRY It goes without saying, but dated, worn, or shabby cabinets won't be doing your kitchen any favors. Sometimes this calls for a renovation, but other times it could just be a case of fitting new hinges or adding some fresh hardware. Lindsey identifies misaligned cabinetry or cabinets that don't fully close as a common pitfall. 'They make the whole home seem cheap and give the signal the whole home may have taken shortcuts,' she says. If your budget permits, swap out old kitchen cabinets for new ones, but don't be pulled in by short-lived trends. 'Today's trendy is tomorrow's tacky,' explains Yawar Charlie, director of estates division at AKG | Christie's International Real Estate. 'Go for timeless over trendy to keep your kitchen from looking like a kitchen design time capsule.' 5. CLUTTER OR A LACK OF SPACE Clutter is so easily avoided, and while a lived-in look paints a picture of reality, it won't be adding value to your home when potential buyers come looking. Luckily, it's easy enough to declutter a kitchen in just one day, and making the effort could secure you a sale. Cluttered countertops aside, however, there may be a more systemic issue at play. If your kitchen lacks storage, you might want to invest in some smart solutions to avoid devaluing your home. 'A countertop shouldn't double as a storage unit,' says Yawar. 'If you can't find space to chop an onion, it's time to rethink your design. Likewise, squeezing in chairs like it's a game of Tetris is not cool. Balance is key – a kitchen should be a place to move, not a hurdle course.' 6. BUDGET APPLIANCES 'Appliances are another key indicator of perceived value, so investing in premium, high-end appliances can markedly elevate the kitchen's appeal,' Bob says. Sometimes we have to settle for budget-friendly options when it comes to appliances, but if you want to avoid your home looking cheap, make sure they're out of sight when staging your home or - better still - commit to an upgrade. 'Mis-matched appliances or low end appliances that don't match the rest of the quality of the home can bring down the value,' adds Lindsey. 'On the flipside, missing important features - like a trash drawer, garbage disposal or dishwasher - when those things are considered customary, can also bring down the value.' If you really want to add value to your home, smart kitchen appliances could make or break a sale. 7. TOO MANY APPLIANCES On a similar note, however, one too many appliances can overwhelm anyone looking to buy your home. 'Imagine a kitchen where you can't find the fridge for the forest of gadgets,' says Yawar. 'Keep it sleek, and hide away what you don't use daily.' Opting for integrated appliances, as pictured above, is a simple way to keep unsightly appliances tucked away. Use these seven points as guidance when selling your home if you want your much-loved kitchen to be a real return on your investment, and don't fall victim to passing fads that could cost your more in the long run. As Yawar summarises: 'Remember, a kitchen should be functional, stylish, and above all, a reflection of good taste!' https://www.livingetc.com/advice/things-that-devalue-a-kitchen

Yawar Charlie: Big property problems and how to solve them

SOARING interest rates have sent the housing market into a spin. That current turmoil, combined with the stress associated with buying and selling a home, prompted Eastern Eye to catch up with leading property expert Yawar Charlie. The successful actor and TV personality turned estate agent is part of a leading company that has sold over £12.5 billion worth of property. The director of a top ranked sales team has worked with everyone from first time buyers to celebrities and appeared on property reality TV show Listing Impossible, where he and the top team help sell multi-million dollar properties languishing on the market. The Los Angeles-based expert was happy to discuss all areas of property, including buying and selling tips, division after a divorce, his reality TV show and more. What has been your most memorable moment as a realtor? Each time I hand over the keys to a new homeowner is the most memorable. I recall the thrill of acquiring my first home with my hard-earned money from my acting career. This profound sense of achievement is universally experienced, irrespective of whether it’s your first or tenth home. The exhilaration of possessing something entirely your own is incredible and it’s a privilege for me to be a part of this important milestone in my clients’ lives. What was the experience of being part of TV show Listing Impossible? Listing Impossible was a remarkable journey. The business-centric show on CNBC didn’t dwell on personal dramas but offered viewers a bird’s eye view of the intricate process of selling luxury homes in one of the world’s most competitive markets. The show’s authenticity, organic nature and unpredictability were the defining aspects of this experience. It offered a rare insight into the real-world challenges of selling luxury homes. Is there a secret to selling property at a time when prices have come down due to high interest rates? Selling property in a high-interest-rate market depends largely on specific market conditions. For instance, in Los Angeles, despite rising interest rates, property prices have increased owing to low supply and high demand. Buyers have accepted the reality of higher interest rates and adjusted their budgets accordingly. The key to selling in such a market is the understanding that the law of supply and demand ultimately governs property prices. What advice would you give those who have struggled to sell their property? For sellers who’ve struggled to sell their property, it’s crucial to reassess their strategy. Sellers need to consider whether their property is overpriced, how their home compares with others in the area and whether they are working with the right realtor. The right realtor can provide expert guidance on proper pricing and strategic marketing to ensure the property reaches the widest possible audience. What can help increase a property price? Enhancing property value could be achieved through basic maintenance and upgrades such as a fresh coat of paint, new window coverings and improved landscaping. Curb appeal is crucial for fetching a top dollar for your property. Moreover, staging the property, especially when vacant, can make it more appealing and inviting to prospective buyers. How have high interest rates affected the average homeowner and buyer? Higher interest rates affect a buyer’s purchasing power. For example, if a buyer could afford a £1 million home, they might only be able to afford a £500,000 home at a higher rate, to keep their payment amount the same. This necessitates an adjustment in price points. For sellers, it means a smaller pool of potential buyers and they need to factor this into their pricing strategy. What advice would you give those buying a property? First, know your purchasing power. Work with an established mortgage broker to understand what you can afford. Second, work with an experienced realtor to navigate the complexities of the market. Assembling a strong team is vital in a volatile market. How do you get a good price when buying? A key aspect of the purchasing process is negotiation. Having an experienced realtor who’s familiar with the neighbourhood can ensure you don’t overpay. Additionally, exploring developing neighbourhoods can help you find a good deal and grow your equity. What advice would you like to give a first-time buyer? As a first-time homebuyer, it’s important to work with a team that can guide you through the process. Remember, your first home is likely not going to be your dream home. It’s a stepping stone towards building equity and increasing wealth, which will help you afford a bigger home in the future. How important is to choose the right real estate agent? Choosing the right realtor is crucial. You want someone who understands your needs, communicates openly and honestly and prioritises your best interests over their commission. Selling or buying a house is not just a transaction; it’s about creating a space for life’s most precious moments. It’s a big responsibility and should be treated as such. What key advice would you give separating couples who own a property together? Dealing with property during a divorce or separation can be emotionally charged. It’s essential to involve an accountant or attorney to decide how proceeds from the property sale should be divided. It’s also advisable to work with a neutral real estate agent and to treat the transaction as a business deal, rather than an emotional one. What inspires you as a realtor? My greatest inspiration comes from my clients. It’s immensely satisfying to know I’ve served my clients well. My approach to business is always client-centric and integrity-driven. Success, in my view, is a natural outcome of doing the right thing. https://www.pakistanweekly.co.uk/yawar-charlie-big-property-problems-and-how-to-solve-them/

Yawar Charlie: Big property problems and how to solve them

SOARING interest rates have sent the housing market into a spin. That current turmoil, combined with the stress associated with buying and selling a home, prompted Eastern Eye to catch up with leading property expert Yawar Charlie. The successful actor and TV personality turned estate agent is part of a leading company that has sold over £12.5 billion worth of property. The director of a top ranked sales team has worked with everyone from first time buyers to celebrities and appeared on property reality TV show Listing Impossible, where he and the top team help sell multi-million dollar properties languishing on the market. The Los Angeles-based expert was happy to discuss all areas of property, including buying and selling tips, division after a divorce, his reality TV show and more. What has been your most memorable moment as a realtor? Each time I hand over the keys to a new homeowner is the most memorable. I recall the thrill of acquiring my first home with my hard-earned money from my acting career. This profound sense of achievement is universally experienced, irrespective of whether it’s your first or tenth home. The exhilaration of possessing something entirely your own is incredible and it’s a privilege for me to be a part of this important milestone in my clients’ lives. What was the experience of being part of TV show Listing Impossible? Listing Impossible was a remarkable journey. The business-centric show on CNBC didn’t dwell on personal dramas but offered viewers a bird’s eye view of the intricate process of selling luxury homes in one of the world’s most competitive markets. The show’s authenticity, organic nature and unpredictability were the defining aspects of this experience. It offered a rare insight into the real-world challenges of selling luxury homes. Is there a secret to selling property at a time when prices have come down due to high interest rates? Selling property in a high-interest-rate market depends largely on specific market conditions. For instance, in Los Angeles, despite rising interest rates, property prices have increased owing to low supply and high demand. Buyers have accepted the reality of higher interest rates and adjusted their budgets accordingly. The key to selling in such a market is the understanding that the law of supply and demand ultimately governs property prices. What advice would you give those who have struggled to sell their property? For sellers who’ve struggled to sell their property, it’s crucial to reassess their strategy. Sellers need to consider whether their property is overpriced, how their home compares with others in the area and whether they are working with the right realtor. The right realtor can provide expert guidance on proper pricing and strategic marketing to ensure the property reaches the widest possible audience. What can help increase a property price? Enhancing property value could be achieved through basic maintenance and upgrades such as a fresh coat of paint, new window coverings and improved landscaping. Curb appeal is crucial for fetching a top dollar for your property. Moreover, staging the property, especially when vacant, can make it more appealing and inviting to prospective buyers. How have high interest rates affected the average homeowner and buyer? Higher interest rates affect a buyer’s purchasing power. For example, if a buyer could afford a £1 million home, they might only be able to afford a £500,000 home at a higher rate, to keep their payment amount the same. This necessitates an adjustment in price points. For sellers, it means a smaller pool of potential buyers and they need to factor this into their pricing strategy. What advice would you give those buying a property? First, know your purchasing power. Work with an established mortgage broker to understand what you can afford. Second, work with an experienced realtor to navigate the complexities of the market. Assembling a strong team is vital in a volatile market. How do you get a good price when buying? A key aspect of the purchasing process is negotiation. Having an experienced realtor who’s familiar with the neighbourhood can ensure you don’t overpay. Additionally, exploring developing neighbourhoods can help you find a good deal and grow your equity. What advice would you like to give a first-time buyer? As a first-time homebuyer, it’s important to work with a team that can guide you through the process. Remember, your first home is likely not going to be your dream home. It’s a stepping stone towards building equity and increasing wealth, which will help you afford a bigger home in the future. How important is to choose the right real estate agent? Choosing the right realtor is crucial. You want someone who understands your needs, communicates openly and honestly and prioritises your best interests over their commission. Selling or buying a house is not just a transaction; it’s about creating a space for life’s most precious moments. It’s a big responsibility and should be treated as such. What key advice would you give separating couples who own a property together? Dealing with property during a divorce or separation can be emotionally charged. It’s essential to involve an accountant or attorney to decide how proceeds from the property sale should be divided. It’s also advisable to work with a neutral real estate agent and to treat the transaction as a business deal, rather than an emotional one. What inspires you as a realtor? My greatest inspiration comes from my clients. It’s immensely satisfying to know I’ve served my clients well. My approach to business is always client-centric and integrity-driven. Success, in my view, is a natural outcome of doing the right thing. https://asiantimes.biz/yawar-charlie-big-property-problems-and-how-to-solve-them/

New Senate bill on ADU Grant Program could transform housing crisis in Santa Barbara

SANTA BARBARA COUNTY, Calif.— A backyard revolution is underway in California as a new Senate bill is now headed to Governor Gavin Newsom. From working families to college students, the struggle to find an affordable place to live is affecting people from all walks of life. “We live it in a state in the area of Santa Barbara where the price per square foot is really expensive and housing is really expensive. So when people look to buy a house, they look at it now with the eyes of, Well, what can I do to maximize the space? What can I do to help pay the mortgage? And oftentimes the ADU is a great answer to a lot of those questions,” said AKG | Christie’s International Real Estate realtor Yawar Charlie. ADUs, or accessory dwelling units, are typically constructed when homeowners convert garages into bedrooms or backyard sheds into guest houses. Senate bill 104 will offer an additional $25 million dollars for the ADU Grant Program. Approved homeowners would receive up to $40,000 dollars in pre-development costs. It could result in up to 2,500 additional ADUs and play a role in Santa Barbara County's housing crisis. “ The more we start to do this, the more it gets accepted, the more it will start to fill the void for housing rental needs we have, and especially for young families or students, they can afford to live in a 1250 square foot place and they can get to school or get to work,” said Berkshire Hathaway Realtor Dan Johnson. But realtors say there are some important things to look out for. “ It’s not just like a garage that you're going to convert into a gym or a workshop. It's actually a place where somebody is going to live. So you have to take into consideration that you're probably going to bring on some people like electricians, architects, contractors, plumbers,” said Coldwell Banker realtor Yazmin Manno. ADUs can also increase property values, which means property taxes will go up. So it’s important to make sure the profits outweighs the costs. https://keyt.com/news/2023/09/12/new-state-bill-on-adu-grant-program-could-transform-housing-crisis-in-santa-barbara/

HOME RUN Brand new law will give homeowners $40k to build tiny homes in their yard from $25m pot, but realtors have stark warning

HOMEOWNERS have a chance at $40,000 in free money to build a tiny home. A new California Senate bill is heading to Governor Gavin Newsom for approval that could revolutionize housing in Santa Barbara. Affordable housing is scarce in the area, but a new solution is being proposed in an effort to alleviate that issue. “We live in a state in the area of Santa Barbara where the price per square foot is really expensive and housing is really expensive," Yawar Charlie, a realtor with AKG/Christie's International Real Estate, told local ABC, CBS, and Fox affiliate KEYT. "So when people look to buy a house, they look at it now with the eyes of, Well, what can I do to maximize the space? What can I do to help pay the mortgage? Oftentimes the ADU is a great answer to a lot of those questions.” ADUs, which are accessory dwelling units, are small living spaces that typically come from converted garages or sheds. More simply put, an accessory dwelling unit is just an official term for a tiny home. Senate Bill 104, which is heading to Newsom, will provide $25million in funding for the ADU grant program. Any homeowner approved for this program will receive up to $40,000 in predevelopment costs to construct an ADU. This funding could create around 2,500 living spaces in Santa Barbara and be a key weapon in fighting the area's housing crisis. “The more we start to do this, the more it gets accepted, the more it will start to fill the void for housing rental needs we have, and especially for young families or students, they can afford to live in a 1250 square foot place and they can get to school or get to work,” Berkshire Hathaway Realtor Dan Johnson said. Building an ADU isn't a weekend project though, and realtors are warning homeowners to weigh the costs and risks before applying for the grant. “It’s not just like a garage that you're going to convert into a gym or a workshop," Coldwell Banker realtor Yazmin Manno said. "It's actually a place where somebody is going to live. So you have to take into consideration that you're probably going to bring on some people like electricians, architects, contractors, plumbers." https://www.the-sun.com/money/9122376/new-law-will-give-40k-to-build-tiny-homes/

Local Realtors share thoughts and predictions on Housing Trends in Santa Barbara

SANTA BARBARA, Calif.— As interest rates continue to rise, it has become more difficult to find a home, especially in places like Santa Barbara where people pay a premium to live by the ocean. We spoke to realtors who have interesting predictions with how high interest rates will affect buyers and sellers, and how the pandemic has shaped the housing market in Santa Barbara County. Realtor Yawar Charlie says the Covid-19 pandemic caused the housing market in Santa Barbara to explode. He explains that quarantine propelled people to escape the confinement of the big city in search of calming nature and coastal bliss. The influx of new people has pushed others out who are unable to afford the high cost of living in Santa Barbara. https://keyt.com/news/santa-barbara-s-county/2023/07/19/local-realtors-share-thoughts-and-predictions-on-housing-trends-in-santa-barbara/

Pros and Cons of Buying a House in Foreclosure

Foreclosed properties can offer significant savings for homebuyers. But savings aren’t all these properties offer. Foreclosures can also be smart options for investors—particularly those looking to fix up properties and sell them for a profit. It’s important to remember, though, that foreclosures aren’t without drawbacks. If you’re considering buying one, make sure you understand the full range of risks and rewards before moving forward. Key Takeaways Buying a foreclosed property can be a cheaper and faster way to invest in real estate. You will not likely be able to inspect a home under foreclosure prior to buying it, and it may need serious repairs. The market for foreclosures is competitive, and you'll need cash upfront to use at auction. What Happens During a Foreclosure? When a homeowner fails to repay their mortgage as agreed, the lender will seize the property and attempt to sell it to recoup its losses. The exact process for foreclosure depends on the state the house is located in, but in some cases local courts may be involved. Note Foreclosure typically starts anywhere from three to six months after the homeowner’s first missed payment.1 Reasons for Foreclosure Homeowners fall into foreclosure for various reasons. One of the most common is job or wage loss. According to a survey of homeowners facing foreclosure, 54% of respondents attributed their home’s foreclosure to a reduction of income or unemployment.2 For example, in August 2020, 5,599 properties in the U.S. began the foreclosure process, just four months after unemployment hit its peak in April. While this number was up 24% over July, it was still down 80% from August 2019. That may be due to the protections put in place for homeowners who were in financial trouble during the pandemic.3 Other reasons homeowners fall behind on their mortgages include illness, excessive financial obligations or debts, and marital problems. The majority of homeowners in foreclosure may fall into the low- to moderate-income category, too, which may make a job loss or income reduction that much more troubling. Pros and Cons of Buying a Foreclosure Pros Lower price. Faster closing process. Potential investment opportunity. Cons You might not see or inspect the home before buying. The property may need several repairs. Competitive market. You might need a large amount of cash. Pros Explained Lower Price “The obvious pro of buying a foreclosure is the price,” real estate agent Yawar Charlie told The Balance. “Generally speaking, foreclosures are properties that are offered below market value.” It’s true: Foreclosures can offer serious savings. The Balance received information from real estate data aggregator ATTOM Data Solutions showing that the average price of a foreclosed home over the last five years has ranged from about $93,000 to $166,000. That’s well below the annual national average for each of those years. Faster Closing Process Michael Gevurtz, CEO of Bluebird Lending, told The Balance that foreclosures are typically quick transactions, taking about 30 days, on average, from start to finish. That’s compared with 54 days, the average time to close in October 2020, according to Ellie Mae.4 Potential Investment Opportunity Buying a foreclosure and then rehabilitating it can allow you to increase the home’s value and gain immediate equity. If you’re an investor looking to fix and flip the home, that can mean a solid return on your investment, especially with the right upgrades. Note If you’re looking to live in the home for a while, a foreclosed property could also mean more in profits when you decide to sell later. In 2019, home sellers realized an average profit of 34% on their initial investment.5 Cons Explained You Might Not See or Inspect the Home Before Buying Most foreclosures are sold on an “as-is” basis, meaning that what you get is what you get. You might not be able to tour a property or have it professionally inspected before submitting your bid, which could be a dealbreaker for some buyers. “Typically, you don’t have access to the inside of a property before buying it,” Gevurtz said. “They can only be seen via a drive-by or looking inside ground-floor windows.” The Property Might Need Several Repairs Foreclosures often need serious work, due to long periods of vacancy, the previous homeowner’s failure to maintain the home, or even damage by the last occupant. “The property may have been left in disrepair, and the seller might have taken not only the appliances, but basic fixtures for some of the systems,” Charlie said. “Anyone who buys the house will have to make those repairs and adjustments on their own dime after the close of escrow.” Important Before buying a foreclosed home, make sure you have the money in your budget to make those potential needed repairs. A 2020 survey of real estate investors by Auction.com found that budgeting at least 10% to 20% of the purchase price for rehab is the norm in a foreclosure sale.6 Competitive Market According to Gevurtz, there are lots of people vying for foreclosures, so it might be hard to snag one right away. “It’s a very competitive market, which means inventory can go quickly,” he said. With many auctions going online due to the pandemic, this is now truer than ever. Two-thirds of investors say the availability of online or remote bidding increases their interest in a property.6 Foreclosure moratoriums and mortgage relief efforts during 2020 have also limited the number of foreclosed properties hitting the market, fueling even more competition. You May Need a Large Amount of Cash Rehab costs aside, you may also need a good amount of cash upfront—especially if you’re buying the foreclosure at auction. In many cases, cash bids are required at these events. However, if you’re not bidding on a foreclosed home at an auction and have good credit, you may still be able to finance it. The Bottom Line Foreclosures come with some definite benefits, including serious potential savings. But there are also quite a few risks to consider. If you do choose to buy one, consider the potential repair costs it might come with, and research what you can about the property before moving forward. If you can’t tour or inspect the home, driving by the property and reviewing property records may be good options. Finally, make sure you have a reputable real estate agent or real estate attorney on your side. They can help walk you through the process and ensure that you’re protected as much as possible. https://www.thebalancemoney.com/the-drawbacks-to-buying-foreclosures-1798184

First king of comedy: Story of Noor Mohammed Charlie

WHETHER it was Mehmood, Johnny Walker, Johnny Lever or lead stars showing off their funny side, there have been many great comedians in Indian cinema across the decades. But the first talented comedian was iconic actor Noor Mohammed Charlie. Armed with his trademark Charlie Chaplin moustache and a natural swagger, he changed the face of an industry dominated by musicals and melodramas, with laugh out loud entertainment. Born on July 1, 1911, he passed away on June 30, 1983, aged 71, so this week marks his birth and death anniversary. Eastern Eye decided to honour both occasions of a pioneering cinema giant who transformed Bollywood and then helped lay the ground for Pakistani cinema after partition, by charting his remarkable journey, with the help of his US-based actor and TV personality grandson Yawar Charlie. Born into a conservative Memon family, in Ranavav, a small village in the Gujarat state of Porbandar, Noor Mohammed hated studying, so played truant from school. The youngster was immediately enthralled by the emerging cinema industry and would watch films whenever possible. He would get odd jobs like repairing broken umbrellas. Charlie’s grandson Yawar Charlie By the age of 16, the teenager with big dreams had left school and set his sights on the movies. He started working as a clapper boy for Imperial Film Company, after walking in and boldly claiming he was a great singer. The die-hard Charlie Chaplin fan loved being in the bustling studio system and despite showing a great flair for comedy, he made his acting debut in the more dramatic, Krishna Film Company-produced Akalna Bardan (1928). His high-energy antics inspired by slapstick Hollywood films hadn’t got unnoticed. After working in more dramatic movies, his first turning point came when he was signed by Elfin Film Company for The Indian Charlie in 1929. “Although that movie wasn’t released until 1933, it started his journey as an entertainer and comedian. It would lead him towards being re-christened as Noor Mohammed Charlie,” explained Yawar Charlie. While a lot of silent stars were packed into retirement with the advent of talkies, the young actor immediately found fame with hit films like Zarina (1932), Premi Pagal (1933) and Chandrahasa (1933). He could act, speak the language, had a unique identity and a great singing voice, which was the perfect cocktail in the first decade of Indian talkies. The massive success of these early talkies led him towards being signed by the esteemed Ranjit Movietone Studios in 1934, which resulted in hit films like Toofani Taruni (1934), Toofan Mail (1934), Musafir (1940) and many more, including Barrister’s Wife (1935), which had Hindi cinema’s first qawwali pictured on him. “His quick ascendancy within the studio led him to become the blue-eyed boy, and each film he worked on was an instant success. Such was his fame that (producer/director) Chandulal Shah released him from his contract, as his popularity began to eclipse his studio,” said Yawar. Free from the studio system that held actors to ransom with a relatively low weekly salary, the all-round entertainer became one of the highest paid stars in Hindi cinema. He was signed for films like Taqdeer (1943), which marked the movie debut as a lead of all-time great actress Nargis. “One of his first contractual signing for a substantial amount of 100,500 rupees was for the film Sanjog (1943), which was a resounding hit with Mehtab as the leading lady.”

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