Team Sweasey's Real Estate Blog

Aug. 11, 2017

What You Need To Know About Homeowners Insurance

Today I wanted to introduce a great client and friend of mine. John Turner is a 38-year veteran of the insurance industry who met with me to discuss some of the intricacies of homeowners insurance.

First of all, today’s homeowners insurance industry is more regulated than it has been at any other point in its history.

It’s also more politicized—meaning politics have a greater influence on rates than business. This means insurance carriers currently can’t make their own rate decisions.

Right now, carriers simply aren’t enthusiastic about accepting new clients. If you’ve had a loss in the last three years, you may not be able to get any quotes at all.

Underwriting is now a data-driven process. Small claims tend to lead to bigger claims. As a result, companies may stop offering insurance to people with small claims.

There are a few things you can do to put yourself in the best position possible. As John has emphasized, it’s important to choose your agent and your company wisely.

Ideally, you want to work with people who you trust and who offer the best possible combination of product, price, service, and financial stability. Shopping for insurance every year can really add up, so it’s always a good idea to find a company you trust and stick with it.

Additionally, choose the highest deductible you can afford and then double it. Submitting a small loss is something you really want to avoid. Insurance is best used on more serious losses. The more losses you have, the higher your insurance will go.

It is important to stay on top of things. With inflation, your coverage will simply not hold up forever. You should always review your insurance annually, at least. Making sure you are always aware of where things stand will eliminate the potential for costly surprises down the road.

If you have any other questions or would like more information, feel free to give me a call or send me an email. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

July 25, 2017

When and If I Should Get a Home Warranty?

Home warranties have been a part of real estate transactions for about 40 years, but how much do you really know about them?

According to Amanda Wood, a home warranty is a limited service contract designed to address common malfunctions in systems and appliances in the home and provide repair and replacement options.

If your water heater blows up one day after you close escrow, for example, home warranty companies have to make sure they apply coverage appropriately and verify that the water heater failed due to normal wear and usage during the term of the plan instead of some pre-existing issue. Realtors typically include their buyer’s request for a home warranty in the purchase contract, and it’s common for the seller to pay for that home warranty, though that can depend on the state of the market.

A seller can also get a home warranty when they list their house. A seller’s warranty provides coverage for the seller during the days they have the property listed and in escrow. In essence, this gives the seller peace of mind and budget protection. It can also help distinguish your home compared to other similar homes on the market and help it sell quicker and for a higher price.

Generally, the coverage costs less than $1 per day and extends from low-end repairs like a leaky faucet to more higher-end ones like a whole HVAC system.

If you’d like to know more about the different types of coverages available, whether you’re a buyer or a seller, you can contact Amanda by phone at (800) 282-7131 ext. 1210 or email her at amandaw@orhp.com.

If you have any other questions, feel free to give us a call or shoot us an email. We’d be happy to speak with you.

July 14, 2017

14 20th Street, Cayucos, 93430

A wonderful opportunity to own a great 2 bedroom 2 bath home just steps away from one of the best beaches in San Luis Obispo County.

Main level features laminate flooring, a spacious family room (could easily be modified to 3rd bedroom) with access to back patio and yard plus a large bedroom and full bath.

The upper level features bamboo flooring, living room with vaulted wood beamed ceilings, brick fireplace and access to the deck with great views of Morro Rock.

The functional kitchen opens to the dining area and features breakfast bar seating and a great serving counter.

The master bedroom featuring access to the view deck and plenty of windows to bring in light, is ideal for relaxing and enjoying the ocean breeze.

Just around the corner is public access to sun, surf and sand!

Click the link to find out more and contact us to arrange your viewing - http://bit.ly/2tOdepM

July 10, 2017

Should you consider a guest unit on your property?

The new San Luis Obispo County ordinance for ADUs represents a great opportunity to add value to your house. Here’s why:

Notable changes have been made regarding ADUs in San Luis Obispo County. What is the new state law and what does it mean for you? I’ve brought in Greg Wynn, an expert on this subject, to help explain.

As Greg says, in San Luis Obispo City, we previously had a secondary dwelling unit ordinance that allowed individual legal conforming lots to have a 450-square foot unit to be added to the back of the parcel. For many people, this ordinance was cost-prohibitive and size-prohibitive. On January 1st of this year, the state created a new ordinance that increased the size, decreased the cost, lowered the parking requirement, and changed the configuration requirement for ADUs.

Greg predicts people will look at this as a way to add value to their house. In San Luis Obispo City, ADUs will be required to be owner-occupied, but not in the county. It’s a great opportunity for people to live in either unit—they can live in the back unit and rent the front house or rent out the back unit to a student to help pay for some of their primary mortgage.

Owners can build new units of up to 800 square feet, and you can build up to 1,200 square feet on a large parcel if the primary house is large enough. The over-the-counter permit approval process has also been modified into a simpler checklist.

The ADU configuration component used to be a studio configuration in which the bed, kitchen, and everything else had to be within one living space. Under the new configuration rules, you can have a bedroom, a kitchen, and a dining area that can be separated further out.

As previously stated, the county might not have the same owner-occupancy rules as the city, meaning if someone moved away, they can still rent out that property. If you recently inherited a property from your parents in the city, the owner occupancy rule can be waived for a period of time so you don’t have to sell the property right away while living somewhere far away.

If you have any questions about these new rules and regulations surrounding ADUs, please don’t hesitate to give us a call. We’d be happy to help you.

June 27, 2017

Don't miss our next great Pismo Beach Open House, this Friday June 30th at 212 Miguelito Lane, Pismo Beach, CA 93449, 9:45am - 12:30pm

Located in Terraces at Las Ventanas with great ocean views! Gorgeous 3 bedroom 3.5 bath home featuring open concept floor plan with gourmet kitchen featuring center island with breakfast bar seating opening to the dining area and living room.

Featuring bleached French oak flooring, fireplace and sliding glass door access to the deck with great ocean and hillside views. Single level living feel with the master bedroom located on the main level with a wall of windows including sliding glass door access to the view deck.

The lower level features a family room, currently being used as an office, nestled between the 2 guest bedrooms with baths, and each with access to the covered back patio and yard. 2 car attached garage with epoxy finished floor and ample room for storage.

Over $55K in upgrades including flooring, window coverings, patio area in the front side area and the beautiful landscaping. Just minutes to Pismo, Shell or Avila Beach, hiking, biking and world class wineries.

Click the link to find out more and we look forward to seeing you on Friday - http://bit.ly/2tkjFle

June 21, 2017

Don't miss our great Cayucos Open House this Friday June 23rd, 9:45am-12pm at 2133 Pacific Av, Cayucos, 93430

A rare opportunity to own this wonderful custom home right across the street from beautiful Cayucos beach, just 65 short steps to the sand and ocean. Enjoy beautiful sunsets and great views of the ocean and Morro Rock from the living room. Open concept floor plan with the gourmet kitchen opening to the dining area and living room. Featuring 3/4" hardwood floors, wood plank vaulted ceilings and plenty of windows to bring in the natural light. 2 bedrooms and 1 bath at entry level plus a private patio with outdoor shower. Upstairs showcases the living area, master bedroom, multi-functional bath and access to the deck overlooking the tranquil patio. 2 car tandem attached garage could be converted to 4th bedroom. Enjoy sun, surf and sand in one of the most desirable beaches on the Central Coast.

Click the link to find out more and we look forward to seeing you on Friday morning - http://bit.ly/2so2Ap2

2133 Pacific Av, Cayucos, 93430

June 6, 2017

The Key to Selling Your San Luis Obispo Home for Top Dollar

How can you make the most money possible from your home sale?

The answer to this question oftentimes depends on the marketplace. Right now, we’re in a seller’s market. We’ve worked with numerous sellers lately whose homes generated multiple offers that drove their sale price way up.

Across the board, there is very limited inventory. At this time last year in San Luis Obispo, there were 133 homes listed for sale. This year there are 102, which is a 30% drop. In Morro Bay, there were 63 available homes last year. This year there are 48. In Atascadero, there were 111 homes for sale last year. This year, there are only 71.

There are two factors that affect the value of your home. The first is the condition of the home, which is something you can control. This includes variables like whether you’ve upgraded the kitchen or whether the landscaping looks fresh.

The condition of the home, though, won’t have as much of an effect as the second factor—the condition of the market. Timing the market is impossible, but knowing when it’s a buyer’s or seller’s market and acting accordingly can get you more money than putting $30,000 or $40,000 into upgrading your house.

If you feel that you must remodel areas of your house, remember that it usually costs more and takes longer than you anticipate.

So, what can you do to sell your house?

The first thing you can do is give us a call. We’ll tell you exactly what to do. Prepare your home for sale the same way you’d prepare your automobile for sale. Nine times out to 10, you probably wouldn’t go so far as to repaint it or do any reupholstering, right? You’d probably just get it detailed, decluttered, and washed thoroughly. After the preparation is done, you want to take advantage of the market with timing.

If you have any questions about getting the most money out of your home sale, don’t hesitate to give us a call. We look forward to helping you.

May 17, 2017

Home Share SLO Is Improving the Market for Owners and Renters

I’m delighted to be joined today by Stephanie Teaford, an Outreach Coordinator with Home Share SLO. She’s here to talk about this fascinating organization she is part of and the work they are doing to solve a need in the community that also solves a need in the real estate market.

Home Share SLO is a local, county-wide nonprofit organization that matches homeowners who are looking to rent out extra rooms to people in the area who are seeking safe, affordable housing.

Back in 2016, they recognized a need for affordable housing with the growing number of low-income, single senior women that are in the community and the special needs they have around housing. A lot of these folks don’t feel comfortable navigating the market to find their own roommate, so we saw this opportunity for some assistance to try and mobilize more rooms in the housing market.

You might know neighbors or relatives that would be perfect for this program. Stephanie and her team are great at putting matches together. This program fills multiple needs, including helping their renters feel safe and secure while also providing homeowners with extra passive income. The social connection that comes along with having someone in your daily life can be extremely valuable for both sides as well.

There is a huge need for affordable housing in our community, and this is one of the better solutions I’ve found. If you know someone who is in need of affordable housing, reach out to Stephanie at (805) 215-5474 or online at www.homeshareslo.org, where you can learn a lot more about this great organization.

If you have any other questions about real estate in SLO, we are always here to answer them. Just give us a call or send us an email today. We look forward to hearing from you.

April 19, 2017

Extra Video Tour: 2711 See Canyon Road, San Luis Obispo 93405

A fabulous new listing: Designed to optimize natural light, beauty, and privacy, this stunning 3 bedroom, 4 bath, modern, minimalist, SLO home is a masterpiece of concrete, glass and steel. Located on a sprawling 23.8 acre parcel, this solar, energy efficient home showcases open concept living with disappearing 11' glass walls opening to multiple decks. The view is from an elevated, southern facing slope to a pristine, original majestic oaks, panoramic canyon. The grounds include a year round creek, a manicured 1 acre meadow, gentleman's orchard, Japanese garden, and a solar voltaic system.

Click the link to find out more about the incredible specification of this unique and spectacular home - http://bit.ly/2n7ohoZ

April 19, 2017

San Luis Obispo 1st Quarter Market Update

We’re well into the second quarter of 2017, so it’s a good time to give you an update on exactly what’s happening in the San Luis Obispo real estate market.

Inventory is relatively flat compared to last year. It may feel lower due to the increased number of sales. For sellers who price their home at market value, we are seeing multiple offers and bidding wars.

There are a few areas that stand out right now. One is Morro Bay, where we saw a 28% increase in home sales since last year. We recently listed a home at $759,000 in that area and ended up selling it for $800,000. In San Luis Obispo, we saw a 27% increase in sales as well. Finally, Grover Beach saw the biggest jump in home sales, with a 75% increase from last year.

Taking all the areas we track into account, we saw a 7% increase in inventory and a 25% increase in sales. We’ve got a relatively tight market as you can see, and homes that are priced right are selling quickly. Rates are still pretty low and we don’t expect them to increase significantly over the next year.

If you have any questions for us about the market or what these numbers mean for your specific situation, don’t hesitate to give me a call or send me an email. I look forward to hearing from you soon.