Renewable Energy Programs

Place like Pahrump, Nevada have sun exposure virtually every day. Renewable energy strategies like solar & wind are becoming more main-stream by the day. The payback period, on the investment, tends to average 10 years. This fact coupled with ever-present grid integrity concerns makes this option more attractive.

Here’s an example:

Customers of Nevada Energy and other regional coops are offering renewable generations type rebates. This is an opportunity to get paid for installing solar, wind and hydro electric systems. Participants in the rebate program may also need to participate in metering programs. ImageImage

To qualify, the systems must be new, installed by a certified and licensed contractor and meet safety guidelines. System components must meet UL, IEEE and warranty standards set by the utility. Systems are subject to inspection by the company at any time after installation.

Homeowners can get paid $2.10 per watt generated by their solar energy systems, up to a maximum of $10,500. The rebate for wind systems is $2.50 per watt for the first 10 kW and $1.50 per watt above 10 kW. Small Business, Agriculture, Public Buildings and Schools are also eligible under the program. The incentive is paid when the installation project is complete.

Customers must apply for the rebate and be approved prior to installing the system. Nevada Energy limits the number of projects that it approves for the program and approves applications on a first-come-first-serve basis.

To collect the incentive, participants need to provide a building permit, a voltage verification form, copies of all invoices and a signed net metering agreement. If changes in the project equipment, contractor, location of the equipment or other project details occurred between application and completion, a change order form may also be required.

Please contact me if you have any questions and/or would like to consult with a reliable company.

Spring is Real Estate Season

Spring is the time of year when sellers and buyers gird up for what has traditionally been the most important season for buying or selling a home. The following are some ways to prepare:

Sellers

  • Sellers should be aware that there’s a lot of competition for buyers in the spring. That means sellers should do everything possible to differentiate their home from others, including the following:
  • Dress the property by cleaning windows and floors, rake the yard, address the weeds, mow the lawn, and add flowers in containers.
  • Wash blinds and curtains and have carpeting cleaned.
  • If a seller has spent the winter renovating to sell, new pictures should be taken to show the renovated space to best advantage. Be sure to add the new information to the feature sheets and advertising of real estate agents.
  • Store the dark linens and towels and add bright or pastel accents in baths and bedrooms.

Buyers

Have a good idea of what type/size of property you’re seeking. This means structure and lot size. Also:

  • Have a network of experts in place, such as a real estate agent, home inspector and mortgage broker. I have a team of proven professionals to choose from.
  • Obtain a copy of your credit report. Check for errors and/or issues that need to be cleaned up. 
  • Approach several lenders for pre-approval. I have several to choose from.
  • Decide, before shopping for a home, the most you’re prepared to pay, and resist the urge to pay more.Image

Ownership Pros and Cons

Pros and Cons of Ownership
I get this question almost every day. When one is faced with a lengthy mortgage, you tend to feel like a renter since you’re always paying to stay in the home. A good way to sort through the decision is by considering the ways home ownership can affect your life.

Pros

  • Build equity — your wealth will increase as you gain more home equity
  • Gain tax advantages — mortgage interest is tax deductible as per IRS code 
  • Stabilize your payments — monthly payments are relatively steady if your loan has a fixed interest rate, while your landlord can increase the rent
  • Have a secure place for your family to live — a home provides a permanent place where your family can live and grow, and you can decorate or expand a house the way you like to create your dream home
  • Gain a sense of community — homeowners often are more involved in the well-being of their communities; many homeowners work together for better schools and less crime

Cons

  • Maintenance costs — it takes work and money to keep a home in good condition
  • Ties up your cash — selling the house may not be possible during the first few years of ownership; moving is more difficult and complicated and you may not have as much flexibility in choosing a new job location
  • Can fluctuate in value — there is no guarantee that your home will increase in value; it could decrease in value
  • Obligates your finances — when you buy a home, you are obligated to a set monthly paymentImage

Showing Your Home When You Have Pets

Selling a home when you have pets can be a challenge if you don’t work out the details with your Realtor (hopefully me). Many home buyers, even those with pets of their own, can be put off by yours.

Pets Will Make Visitors Nervous

No one thinks of their own pet as scary. But even the mildest mannered cat or dog (not to mention birds or farm animals) will make a visitor a little nervous. Remember that a potential buyer, and their posse, will explore the property (hopefully in a group with the Realtor). This includes out buildings, pens, garages, and stables. Simply relocating or hiding the pets out of the main structure will not get the desired effect. They will be found and may scare or bite the visitors.

Perhaps the most common response from a home seller about the “threat” posed by their pet is denial: “ Puffy is a sweetheart, she won’t hurt anyone” or, “she only looks dangerous”. My own dogs, Lucy and Odie are lovable to us but, tend to freak out our guests.

But no owner can be certain of how a pet will respond when strangers enter the home in their absence. Additionally, your pets may react adversely to a perfume or new sound. An unexpected reaction could frighten potential buyers away before they’ve even completed the walk through. Worse, your pet may assault the potential buyer. Then you have a potential legal issue.

Ask Friends for Help

The safest course of action is to remove a pet from the home while it is listed for sale. Ask friends or family members to care for the pet, or board it at a nearby facility. If this is not possible, and it probably won’t be, put your pet into a carrier or cage during showings. Insist that your listing agent properly codes the MLS page to indicate that pets are in the home, where they’re located on the property, and that visitors should beware not to disturb it. Make certain that this is accomplished as a pet attack is your responsibility.

Remove Stains and Odors

Buyers frequently take issue with a pet’s impact on the cleanliness and condition of the home. Pet stains, odors and damage are a big turn-off (especially to me) and can significantly decrease your home’s market value and increase marketing time. When several similar homes are competing for attention, the pet damaged, stinky home will lose-out or, am I wrong?

To help your home bring the highest possible price, remove stains and repair any damage your pet may have caused. Consider having your home professionally cleaned and deodorized, and have a friend or family member verify that your home doesn’t have an objectionable odor. It may sound funny but, we adjust to stinky smells. Someone from outside your home needs to provide feedback. Keep in mind that any urine on the carpet has probably soaked through to the pad. If so, the smell is tougher to neutralize. If repair funds are limited (like in most cases), ask your Realtor to prioritize the repair issues. Something is better than nothing.

The goal

To create a positive first impression with potential buyers. Sell your home in the quickest possible time at the highest possible point. Doing so is better for you and your pet(s).

Spring Mountain Race Track

Spring Mountain Race Track

The Town of Pahrump and Nye County are fortunate to have the Spring Mountain Race Track in our community. This is a world-class race car facility including but not limited to members clubhouse, state of the art garage & maintenance resources, & guest resort. Refer to their website for details.

Pahrump Valley Winery

Pahrump Valley Winery

This award winning winery is one of the few in the State of Nevada. Daily tours conducted by the staff. Tasting room and gift store a must experience. World-class restaurant for special occasions and power lunches. Gorgeous grounds for a picnic or reflection. Refer to their website for details.

How To Make Your Home The First Choice For Buyers

Thinking about selling your home but worried about the competition?

Whether you live in a cookie-cutter neighborhood where every home looks more or less the same or an eclectic, unique, or rural setting (like mine), use these simple tips to make your property the best in its class.

Tackle Trouble Spots

Like every home (including mine), yours has a few trouble spots that you have probably learned to live with.

Unfortunately, time might make the heart grow fonder, but unfortunately it rarely helps sell a home.
Have a certified home inspection conducted to highlight the issues and, they will find issues. This process is well worth a few hundred bucks. Pay special attention to needed repairs, deferred maintenance and any “ugly” areas. Safety issues on the property must be addressed such as loose handrails, broker or cracked steps, and faulty electrical. Addressing issues prior to the listing will help sell your home quicker and in most cases, yield a higher amount for your home. If money is tight, ask your Realtor to help you prioritize repair items. Remember bang for buck!

Invest in fresh paint, plants and other quick fixes designed to enhance curb appeal. Get rid of the weeds, haul-off the broken museum displays like your wagon wheels and rusty mining cars. Present your home, if possible, with positive energy, well organized, and inviting rather than a structure screaming with deferred maintenance issues and drama. Have an objective, honest friend or family member assess your homes appearance. I heard a wise ole Realtor once tell a Seller, “we live one way, we sell a home another way”. Hint, hint!

Find a Focal Point or theme

Make sure there is something memorable about your home from the moment prospective buyers see the front door until they leave. If you don’t have curb appeal, good luck luring the potential buyer deeper into your home. Each successive room must be inviting and fresh or the walk-through will terminate. Folks are busy these days. The less desirable property will get less attention if any.

Avoid candles, fresh flowers or other potential allergy or chemical sensitivity triggers. For whatever reason, more folks these days tend to have allergies and/or aversion to scent and smells. 

Every room should capture positive attention while inviting visitors to explore (with the Realtor present). This doesn’t mean that you should display all your collectibles and family artifacts. In fact, lock up your valuable, meds, and weapons while your home is listed and accessible. 

Make It Theirs

Remember, attract – don’t detract. Clear clutter and make sure each room is open enough that buyers are able to envision their belongings in the room – not yours. Remove the clutter especially from closets and doorways. Potential Buyers must be able to assess the space and room size. Store the clutter in the garage or better yet, off the property. Come on, you can do it!

Neutral colors, natural lighting and a casual ambiance combined with simple yet inspiring plants, paintings or other props help create a “special spot” they will want to call home. Park the Elvis on velvet in the garage. This is called, “staging”.

Price It Right

Buyers will often look at your house only if the price is right. With help from the internet and/or the Buyers Realtor, it’s easy for them to compare the price of your house with the prices of others on the street, so it’s essential to make sure yours is priced competitively. Remember that your upgrades will not yield dollar for dollar.

Best for Last

My two favorites. 1. Don’t follow for Realtor through your home in fact, leave the home in advance of the showing or wait outside. 2. Stay positive during the selling process. If you price the home commensurate with the market, it will all be over quickly. If you don’t, the home will “age” on the market/MLS. Realtor’s and potential Buyers will assume your home hasn’t sold due to issues and start to avoid showings.

Make 2014 The Year You Complete That DIY Project

Many people are planning to complete a much-awaited home DIY project in 2014. However, turning your home into a work in process can make your life – and your family’s – a long-term nightmare. It’s important to stay on time and on budget. But you can do it. Here’s how.

Do your research. Know what you want to do – and whether you can do it. Talk to experts at home-building stores. Watch video tutorials. There’s a youtube video for just about every home improvement. Read books. Find out how long it should take and avoid unnecessary delays by ensuring you have the proper equipment before you begin. Buy wisely from stores with good reputations and lots of experience. And as much as you want to do it yourself, don’t hesitate to ask for help.

Know why you want to make changes to your home; a full-blown re-build may not be necessary. A fresh coat of paint or new tiles can bring new life to a bathroom or kitchen. New light fixtures or curtains can enliven a room. Putting new wallpaper on one wall can be as effective as re-decorating the whole space.

Re-use and change: You may be able to make better use of what you have by re-purposing (old doors can become table tops, for example) or re-arranging.

Don’t rush to buy new. Shop at thrift stores. Pahrump (and many parts of rural Nevada) are a goldmine of garage & yard sales. Antiques, antiques, antiques and yes, junk, junk, junk! Ask friends or family for furniture they don’t want. One persons trash is another persons treasure. Just ask my wife. 

if you’re performing the home improvement in advance of selling your home, speak to a qualified Realtor first. Hopefully me! The improvement may be a waste of time. You may not obtain the desired affect. What looks good to you may be a “deal killer” to someone else. I’ve seen folks install carpet in the bathrooms then, buyers run for the hills. Even granite counters can create buyer rejection as many buyers prefer solid surface counters.

Finally, go out there and make something happen this year.