Welcome or Register

Welcome

 

BUYERS

 

SELLERS

How Buyers Benefit from Kristen’s
DESIRE TO WIN!; 

Kristen is a strong negotiator and will fight to win for her clients. Her off-market intel can give buyers an edge ahead of other buyers. She is responsive, experienced in handling all types of transaction scenarios, and gives her undivided attention to clients’ needs. 

 

How Sellers Benefit from listing with Kristen:

Statistics show during down markets, Kristen’s sellers have grossed more money. Kristen can coordinate home preparations, from repairs to staging. She is responsive, organized and well-managed, provides top-notch marketing, and constantly networks and advertises to keep her sellers’ properties in front of potential buyers and Realtors®. 

 


HIRE Vista Sotheby's #1 Ranked Female Realtor®

Kristen Novoa is a TOP PRODUCER with Vista Sotheby's International Realty. In 2016 Vista Sotheby’s sold more multi-million dollar homes than any other company in the South Bay.

REPUTATION - Choice of Realtor® is a reflection of you in the marketplace. Buyers and sellers should be represented by a Realtor® who is a sharp business professional and respected by their peers. While serving the South Bay, since 2000, Kristen has developed respected relations with other Realtors® in the area, helping her clients win more opportunities.

EDUCATION & EXPERTISE - Kristen’s background in psychology helps put emotions at ease and provide clients with a high level of comfort throughout their transaction. Her background in law and negotiations training is extremely useful for both buyers and sellers to gain a competitive edge. Bachelor’s and Master’s in Psychology. Certified Negotiations Expert (CNE). Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist (CLHMS). 


 

Blog

Open Floor Plan Still Popular

Open floor plans continue to reign. Eighty-four percent of builders say that in the typical single-family home they build, the kitchen and family room arrangement is at least partially open. Fifty-four percent say it's completely open, according to responses from a September 2016 National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index.

"Completely open" essentially means the two areas are combined into the same room. Partially open signifies areas separated by a partial wall, arch, counter, or something less than a full wall.

Seventy percent of recent and prospective home buyers say they prefer a home with either a completely or partially open kitchen-family room arrangement; 32 percent say they prefer the arrangement completely open, according to an NAHB survey.

Only 16 percent of buyers say they want the kitchen and family rooms in separate areas of the house.

As demand continues to increase for open floor plans, homeowners of existing-homes are also looking to open up their kitchen and family room areas. Professional remodelers report that 40 percent of their projects involved making the floor plan more open by removing interior walls, pillars, arches, etc., according to first quarter of 2016 data in the Remodeling Market Index.

Written by Realty Times Staff

HOW TO SELL YOUR HOME IN 2017

It's 2017. Now what? Yes, the new year is typically a time for hope and renewal and for those who are looking to sell - and simultaneously buy - a home, it can represent a fresh start. But this year, political and social realities are giving some would-be home sellers pause.

Thankfully, the real estate market continues to show real strength, with many housing experts projecting home sales prices and inventory to rise in 2017, replacing doubts with consumer confidence.

"Housing prices rose nationally by around 6% in 2016, but the expected increase in 2017 ranges from 3% to 5%," said 24/7 Wall St. "With inventory of existing homes at historic lows and a rise in interest rates thanks to the Federal Reserve, housing inventory for 2017 is almost certain to rise. For prospective sellers that means that if you were planning to sell your home this year, it's time to get cracking."

If you're thinking about selling this year, these tips will help.

Be patient

Sales have been swift in many parts of the country for several years now. That can make sellers who don't get offers on day one feel antsy. Despite some ultra-competitive markets where multiple offers and offer-asking-price sales skew the national numbers, across the country, the average days on market of a home for sale is 50.

Price it right

You may be tempted to price your home at the top of the market - or set a new top if you're in an especially desirable area and if inventory is low. But overpriced homes don't sell, which is probably why your real estate agent is recommending a lower listing price.

 


padrerealestate.com
 

If you're insistent about your price, don't be surprised if you get zero bites or the nibbles you do get are far below what you're asking. Your agent's pricing strategy will be based on market conditions and designed to get you the most money in the least amount of time. What it won't be based on: What you owe on the home, what you think it's worth based on your own estimation, or what you need to get out of it to buy your dream home.

Don't be afraid to loan shop

If you're selling your home to buy another, like most people, you might be concerned about rising mortgage rates. Rates are still near historic lows despite The Fed raising interest rates at the end of 2016 and indicating that further increases are in store for this year.

"Because the mortgage rate makes a big difference in how much you'll pay for your home, it makes financial sense to shop around for the lowest rate you can qualify for," said Investopedia. But many people don't look beyond the first offer. According to a mortgage borrowers survey, "Almost half of borrowers seriously consider only a single lender or broker before deciding where to apply," and "Seventy-seven percent of borrowers only end up applying with a single lender or broker, instead of filling out applications with multiple lenders or brokers to see which can offer the best deal," said the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Asking your real estate agent for a few different trusted referrals could make a big difference. "Getting an interest rate of 4.0% instead of 4.5% translates into approximately $60 savings per month," they said. "Over the first five years, you would save about $3,500 in mortgage payments. In addition, the lower interest rate means that you'd pay off an additional $1,400 in principal in the first five years, even while making lower payments."

 


whiteorchidinteriors.com

 

Make sure your home is clean and lean

It's more important than ever to make sure your home is as close to perfect as possible before you put it on the market. Unless your agent is planning to market the home as a "project," it needs to be spotless. You'd be surprised how much better your home can look just by applying some simple staging secrets.

Listen to your agent's advice

Staging may only be the beginning of what your home requires to get it sold, and your agent's advice will be critical to getting it where it needs to be. "Sure, you no doubt know more about your home than anyone else. But your real estate agent knows more about how to sell it," said Realtor.com. "And your agent may make some suggestions you might not like to hear. It's tempting to take offense or just ignore this advice, but if you do, you could risk seeing your house sit on the market and grow stale."

Be careful of over improvements

Getting your home in great shape may mean making some improvements, updates, and upgrades. But be careful not to go too far.

"Dying to install new kitchen cabinets or retile your master bath? Home sellers often assume any upgrades they make to their home will pay them back in full once they sell, but that's rarely the case," said Realtor.com. "On average you will recoup just about 64% of the money you spend on renovations once you sell—and certain improvements can actually work against you if they're unusual or undesirable in your market, Jason Shepherd, co-founder of Atlas Real Estate Group, told them. 

Written by Jaymi Naciri, January 2017, Realty Times

-----

RENOVATIONS TO THINK ABOUT NOW IF YOU WANT A HOLIDAY-READY HOME

Extended family descending on your house this year? Don't panic. If you start now, you can have a holiday-ready home by the time Aunt Brenda and her brood shows up.

"We say it every year - the holidays will be here before we know it," said Prime Lending. "For many people, that means hosting parties, welcoming overnight guests and opening your home to unexpected drop-in visitors. You may be thinking it would be great to spruce things up around your house before the holiday hustle and bustle begins. Now is a great time to dive into your home makeover and wrap it up before the holidays arrive."

Here are the areas you might want to focus on first.

Get your kitchen looking cheftastic

Chances are, your kitchen is going to be one of the places where people are congregating during the holidays, and not just while cooking. If it's seen better days, or if it just doesn't reflect your style - or any style from this century - get started. You can select, order, and have new countertops installed in a matter of a few weeks. If you don't want to touch the countertops, think about painting your cabinets and adding new hardware. A new backsplash can bring it all together, and is something you can do yourself.

 

Mary Evelyn

Photo by Mary Evelyn Interiors - More transitional kitchen ideas

Replace or repair appliances

Thinking about the function of your kitchen - not just how you'll use it over the holidays, but all year round - is key to making good choices when renovating. "If you are hosting Thanksgiving, a double oven and a new refrigerator may be your top priority," said Prime Lending.

Maybe your dishwasher has seen better days or your washer and dryer have been hanging on for a while. Knowing that they'll be put to good use with a house full of people might inspire you to make some upgrades now.

Consider the stuff you serve with and eat on, too

While you're in the kitchen, you may want to think about upgrading your cookware, cooking utensils, glassware, silverware, and anything else that will be helping you prepare, serve, or eat food during the holidays. How old are those dishes, anyway?

Living room redo

If you have clunky built-ins or a large armoire housing your outdated TV, it might be time to make some changes. Turn the built-ins into bookcases or a sleek desk with some streamlined shelving above, which can provide both function and a fashionable upgrade. Turn a fireplace into a focal point by re-tiling or simply painting old brick white and hang a flat screen above. Voila. Your hangout space is updated and holiday-ready.

If you're not super tech-savvy and have never installed a flat screen before, it's smart to hire someone who is and who has. "If a new flat panel television, home theatre system, or other electronic devices are bound for your household this gift-giving season, consider seeking installation quotes from a trained professional," said Better Homes and Gardens. "Proper installation can maximize your enjoyment of new electronics for a fraction of their purchase price, and the stress of following a multi-page instruction manual may bring out the Scrooge in many DIYers."

 


Better Homes and Gardens

Add new bedding

You can make the guests rooms (or the guest couches, if your family converging on one house for the holidays looks anything like ours) hospitable and improve the look at the same time by changing out the bedding. Buying new sheets and a comforter is easy and inexpensive - and don't forget new pillows, too. Choose a neutral color for the comforter and add some patterned pillow for some zip. Or, choose a graphic pattern to give the bed a modern feel. A fresh coat of paint in a color that is neutral and that gives the rooms a calming nature will help transform them into something that feels resort-like.

Address the back yard

If you live in a climate that allows outdoor enjoyment throughout the year - or if you know the kids will be playing outside regardless of the temperature - making some changes in your yard might be in order. The fall is a great time to buy patio furniture, since it's typically on sale after summer ends. A fire pit can be an inviting addition to your outdoor area, and one that will allow your guests to gather in front of a crackling fire while bundled up with a tasty, holiday beverage.

Update the guest bathrooms

One thing you can count on is that your guests will be spending time in the bathrooms. If yours are in need of some attention, now's the time to pay some. If you don't want to do a complete overhaul, you can make simple, inexpensive edits by changing out the showerhead, faucets, lighting, and slathering on a fresh coat of paint. A new paint color and some new hardware can also liven up older cabinets. Add a fresh set of towels and bath mats, and you're all set.

Do a complete audit of everything else

Do a complete walk-through of your house. Turn on all the baths, sinks, and showers, and all the lights and TVs. Sit on the beds, couches, and chairs. Open closets. Search the walls, doors, and baseboards for nicks and scratches. This will give you a head start on anything that needs to be fixed or replaced before family starts knocking on the door. 

Written by Jaymi Naciri
October 10, 2016 

The Five Biggest Turn-offs For Homebuyers

A lot of sellers don’t listen to their real estate agents, so we’ll tell you what your agent wants to say, but can’t say to you and this is it – your agent can’t get you the price you want unless your home is in pristine move-in condition.

That means no sticking drawers in the kitchen. No leaning fences. No rust-stained plumbing fixtures. We could go on, but maybe we need to make it clear. If you have even one of following “turn-offs,” your home won’t sell.

Buyers can get instantly turned off. Here are their five biggest turn-offs:

  1. Overpriced for the market
  2. Smells
  3. Clutter
  4. Deferred maintenance
  5. Dark, dated décor

Overpricing your home

Overpricing your home is like trying to crash the country club without a membership. You’ll be found out and escorted out.

If you ignored your agent’s advice and listed at a higher price than recommended, you’re going to get some negative feedback from buyers. The worst feedback, of course, is silence. That could include no showings and no offers.

The problem with overpricing your home is that the buyers who are qualified to buy your home won’t see it because they’re shopping in a lower price range. The buyers who do it will quickly realize that there are other homes in the same price range that offer more value.

Smells

Smells can come from a number of sources – pets, lack of cleanliness, stale air, water damage, and much more. You may not even notice it, but your real estate agent may have hinted to you that something needs to be done.

There’s not a buyer in the world that will buy a home that smells unless they’re investors looking for a bargain. Even so, they’ll get a forensic inspection to find out the source of the smells. If they find anything like undisclosed water damage, or pet urine under the “new” carpet, then they will either severely discount their offer or walk away.

Clutter

If your tables are full to the edges with photos, figurines, mail, and drinking glasses, buyers’ attention is going to more focused on running the gauntlet of your living room without breaking any Hummels than in considering your home for purchase.

Too much furniture confuses the eye – it makes it really difficult for buyers to see the proportions of rooms. If they can’t see what they need to know, they move on to the next home.

Deferred maintenance

Deferred maintenance is a polite euphemism for letting your home fall apart. Just like people age due to the effects of the sun, wind and gravity, so do structures like your home. Things wear out, break and weather, and it’s your job as a homeowner to keep your home repaired.

Your buyers really want a home that’s been well-maintained. They don’t want to wonder what needs to fixed next or how much it will cost.

Dated décor

The reason people are looking at your home instead of buying brand new is because of cost and location. They want your neighborhood, but that doesn’t mean they want a dated-looking home. Just like they want a home in good repair, they want a home that looks updated, even if it’s from a different era.

Harvest gold and avocado green from the seventies; soft blues and mauves from the eighties, jewel tones from the nineties, and onyx and pewter from the oughts are all colorways that can date your home. Textures like popcorn ceilings, shag or berber carpet, and flocked wallpaper can also date your home.

When you’re behind the times, buyers don’t want to join you. They want to be perceived as savvy and cool.

In conclusion, the market is a brutal mirror. If you’re guilty of not putting money into your home because you believe it’s an investment that others should pay you to profit, you’re in for a rude awakening. You’ll be stuck with an asset that isn’t selling.


How to create fun kid’s spaces

image-1000px

If you have been thinking about creating a fun space for kids in your home but don’t know quite where to start, or are struggling for ideas, know that you’re not alone.

Maybe soon you will be creating or recreating a space in your home just for kids. There’s no shortage of ideas or inspiration for such a project, whether your aim is a space for education, for play, or just a place for kids to call their own.

When creating a fun space for kids, there are some tips to make it truly kid-friendly. Here are a few:

The point of view – Remember, kids are smaller, and how they see a room from a lower level will be different than yours. Put some thought into placing items – chalkboards, shelves, wall art – at a lower eye-level so kids have access to all that they need, along with kids-sized tables and chairs. This blog about a homework area looks at how to keep things simple, sorted and not distracting.

An inviting space – Consider what you would like the children to be doing, and create a motivating invitation. For an art area, like these on Pinterest, go beyond just placing art supplies out; create a comfortable and inspiring area that’s prepared with everything they need to be creative within arm’s reach. Similarly, if your goal is a space for reading, prepare pillows, blankets or a comfy beanbag or chair to invite them to sit and stay awhile.

The right colors and design – Think about what your design invites kids to do rather than how it looks. Use bright colors where you can – on the walls, for accessories (like chairs or pillows or baskets) or even floor tiles in rugs – to help inspire creativity. Pinterest has many ideas on how to explore using different colors and shapes.

Try a theme – The best spaces for kids will invite them in and get them to stay, and an overall theme might be an idea if you have the space and the resources. Whether you’re considering a play area, homework area or an entire bedroom, themes like these on Houzz help create fun and inspiring spaces. Kids will feel comfortable in these types of spaces and will love a space they can call their own. With some careful consideration and planning you can blend colors, design and functionality to create spaces like these spaces on Pinterest.


Perfect Guest Bedroom

image-1000px

Often times our spare bedrooms end up being untouched spaces or unofficial storage units where all of our miscellaneous belongs get shipped off to. Creating a space for houseguests that is inviting while still versatile for your needs when no one is visiting can be a bit of a challenge, but with a few simple touches you can ensure your guest bedroom is no longer an underutilized area of the home. Your first step is to clear the clutter. This is especially true when guests are due to arrive soon. Investing in storage boxes and bins for your personal items ensures you won’t need to clear all of your belongs each time someone visits and it also keeps the room airy and appealing for your guests. You also don’t need to settle on boring and unstylish plastic storage bins either. Here are some inspiration photos for storage containers that can add a stylish flare to any room: http://www.pinterest.com/rlsenn/storage-containers/. Check out this unique storage idea for utilizing the space under your bed:http://www.pinterest.com/pin/83527768060324674/. Having trouble organizing your closet trinkets? Take a look at this organizational idea:http://www.pinterest.com/pin/48976714667186686/.

The next step to making your guests feel at home is to set the scene with extra pillows, blankets and towels placed out for easy access. Adding in a small vase of fresh cut flowers is a perfect way to gain some extra hospitality points as well.  If you have your seasonal clothes in the drawers in your guest room, you can still accommodate your guests with some inexpensive luggage racks so clothing is easily accessible. Here is a visual list of a few more items you may want to include: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/103301385174128872/. When it comes to beds, the common thought is a queen or king sized arrangement. If you find yourself with a higher traffic of visitors, you may want to look into the two twin bed configuration. Here are some ideas on how to implement this design style:http://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/161978/

Details make all the difference when it comes to guest bedrooms. Having a motion-sensor night-light plugged in alleviates the confusion when shuffling around an unfamiliar place in the dark of the night. Make sure the light bulbs in the table lamps work and the television remote has batteries. Another welcoming touch is having a toiletry bag ready and available in your guest room for your future visitors. Include that with some extra towels, a washcloth and toilet paper. This will keep your guests out of the linen closet searching for these essentials and you happy.

Something simple and elegant like this: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/460704236850865878/is universally appealing.  Some other great touches are hyper-local magazines, brochures of attractions nearby, a list of your address and cross streets and a spare key. This is an obvious fit for visitors renting but also perfect for friends and family. When it comes to the time of the year where you have your home all to yourself, it’s nice to add some elements into your spare room that give you incentive to use it more often. Daybeds provide versatility and invite you to use the room any time. Add some of your favorite books, which can lead you to using the room as a quite space to read and offers your guests some more entertainment.


View All

Thank you for visiting today. If this is your first visit, take your time and look around. I have plenty of information and resources available to you.

If you are a return visitor, thank you. I would love to hear from you and tell you how I can serve all your real estate needs.