Tag Archives: real estate tips

Placer County Real Estate Recap: October-November 2013

John LaRosa 11/27/2013

Here is the latest edition of our Placer County Real Estate Recap, from Pizzimenti Homes and Associates. This issue includes a record-breaking luxury sale in Granite Bay, and details on how you can keep yourself safe from fraud, and even ghosts!

Granite Bay Luxury Home Breaks Record, Sacramento Business Journal

A Luxury Home In Granite Bay

Found in an extremely desirable community, Granite Bay luxury real estate is in high demand. With plenty of interested buyers, and low inventory, prices have been creeping upwards for some time now. Selling for $4.725M, a Bella Terra Estates home in Granite Bay has set the record for most expensive home sold in Placer County in the last four years. This notable sale is just another indicator of the local real estate market’s recovery.

Beware of Illegal Contractors, Central Valley Business Times

The Contractors State Licensing Board (CSLB) has cited eight unlicensed contractors for contracting without a license; of those eight, seven were also cited for illegal advertising. Investigators with the CSLB posed as property owners interested in trade work. Unlicensed contractors can only accept projects valued at $500 or less in combined labor and material costs, and these contractors were bidding on jobs in excess of $10,000 for a bathroom tile job and even $15,000 for landscaping.

The CSLB had help from the Statewide Investigative Fraud Team, the Placer County and Amador County District Attorney’s Offices and the Department of Consumer Affair’s Division of Investigation in this bust.

The CSLB warns both residential and commercial property owners to beware of phony contractors. Before hiring a contractor, be sure to visit the CSLB’s website (see link below) for resources designed to protect consumers from fraud.

Is My House Haunted? Does The Seller Need To Disclose A Death in the Home? Roseville Patch

How would you feel if you found out that someone had died in your recently purchased home? What if it was the site of a violent crime or paranormal activity? Home sellers are not always required to disclose this information, and it pays to do your research.

Know your rights. In the State of California, if a death occurs on a property more than three years prior to the sale, the seller need not disclose the information unless the interested buyer specifically asks. Unfortunately, even with this requirement, some sellers and even their real estate agents try to hide information that may deter buyers, and because of this it may be worth doing some external research of your own to avoid any unpleasant surprises and lawsuits.

It was for this reason that DiedInHouse.com was born. For $11.99, you can search for the specific home you’re interested in purchasing and find out of there was a death in the home. It is well worth knowing this information for your emotional well-being and your wallet: houses where a murder or suicide have occurred can take 50% longer to sell, and close at an average price of 2-4% less than comparable homes. The stats for homes where a well-publicized murder took place are even bleaker; these homes sell for 35% less.

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Looking Out for My Buyer: A Lesson in Purchasing Rural Property in California

Mary Pizzimenti 10/16/2013

There is a tremendous amount of rather contentious debate about the value (or lack there of) in purchasing Real Estate with a Buyer’s Agent representing you. As a California Real Estate Broker it is obvious where my opinion falls in this debate. Although I do believe there are individuals who are capable of handling the transaction on their own, most individuals DO NOT belong to this group. I’m not here to debate this matter. I’d rather tell you about an example of what it is that a Buyer’s Agent does to protect their Buyer’s best interests; about what it is that I do and what value I bring to the relationship.

A recent client of mine had entered in to a contract to purchase a home on a 3 acre parcel of land in Colfax, CA. The property was an older home and his plan was to remodel it and resell the property in a few years. Our offer was accepted and we were working our way through the Contingency Period. During this period it is the Buyer’s responsibility to do his or her due diligence to make sure they know the condition of the home they are about to purchase. This means it is my responsibility to make sure my client is informed and aware of the results of the various inspections that determine the condition of the property.

One of the last contingencies that had to be cleared was the Domestic Well Inspection. This well inspection tests the property’s well for drinkability and the volume of water it yields. Often rural properties in Placer County are not on sewage or water systems and so septic tanks and leech fields are required to address the waste and well water is required to supply water to the property. If the well doesn’t supply a large enough volume of water, measured in gallons per minute (GPM), it will be very difficult for the well to provide enough water when it is needed by the people living on the property. Generally speaking, anything less than 10 GPM is highly undesirable and would probably require the addition of a storage tank or the drilling of a deeper well.

When I received the Well Inspection Report from the Listing Agent I noticed that the first page was missing. The first page is the page that contains the results of the GPM test. So I contacted the Agent and asked for it. She told me that she had sent it. I informed her that I did not receive it and that she needed to resend it, she eventually did. When I saw the report’s results I was shocked. The inspection results measured the well’s yield at 1.6 GPM. This is well below (no pun intended) the 10 GPM needed to supply water to the Colfax property on demand. Even if the Listing Agent and Owner had no idea the GPM would measure so low, it should have been brought to our attention as soon as the report was received. Instead, they tried to sneak the report past me and my buyer.

Anyone who knows anything about buying and selling rural properties knows that 1.6 gallons per minute would create a very difficult and uncomfortable living situation for my client and his family of five. Costly and time consuming work would need to be done to the property in order to remedy the situation. And even that is shaky at best, as there’s no guarantee that drilling the well deeper would necessarily improve its performance. This meant the Placer County property was no longer as valuable as we had thought and it certainly looked like the Agent had done everything possible to prevent us from discovering this detriment. Needless to say my client and I were terribly unhappy with the deception and we canceled the contract within hours of reading the report.

Yes, it is entirely possible that Randy, my buyer, could have noticed this discrepancy himself. But it’s also possible that with all the changes going on in his life he may have been distracted and missed it. He would’ve ended up purchasing an overpriced property and still have had to spend $20,000 to $40,000 to improve the condition of the well. Or even worse yet, it may have been impossible to improve the performance of the well. The Listing Agent did go out of her way to prevent that information from being seen. That is of course if we are assuming that she didn’t “accidentally” forget to include the ONE page of information that would make the property practically unsellable. But it doesn’t matter if Randy would have noticed their ruse or not because I caught it and we immediately called them to task.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned in Real Estate, and in business in general, it’s that there is always something that can go wrong; that WILL go wrong. Staying alert and always looking out for your interests, being prepared for those problems that will arise, and knowing how to fix them; this is what I do. When I am representing you I am looking out for your best interests in your California Real Estate transaction, just like a lawyer looks out for his client’s best interests in court. And you know what they say about someone who represents themselves in a court of law.

I am very well informed concerning purchasing properties that have wells, and I was pleasantly surprised that Mary and her team were as well informed as I was. I am interested in protecting my own interest, but, in my experience, it is rare to have a team that is fighting for my rights as hard as I do. Thanks Mary and team!
~Randy Bivens, PHA Realty Client

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