by Bob Angilella
As the weather gets warmer in Big Bear Lake, everything outside becomes fresh and new - so why not make your Big Bear home as nice inside as the weather is outside? In just a weekend, you can complete a few quick, easy projects that will make a big difference in your space. Get inspired to give your home a spring spruce-up with these handy tips.
Wash away winter grime The first step to making your Big Bear Lake house feel like new is to clean. Use a weekend to focus on three main areas: the kitchen, bathroom and living room. In the kitchen, toss expired items from your refrigerator and wipe down the inside with soap and water - don't forget to sweep underneath and give the coils a good dusting, too. To get the bathroom in shape, replace dingy shower curtain liners, pitch old toothbrushes and other unwanted items and purchase a new toilet brush. In the living room, thoroughly dust light fixtures and blinds, and remove and launder slipcovers on couches or chairs. While you're at it, don't forget to replace batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
Time to de-clutter Still haven't eaten that candy from Christmas? It's time to pitch it. Spend a few hours cleaning out kitchen cabinets, cluttered closets and the junk drawer - you'll feel more relaxed and organized as a result. Once you've gotten rid of items you no longer need, refresh shelves, drawers and pantries throughout the house by installing shelf liner. It's an easy and inexpensive task that can give any space, whether it's the kitchen, bathroom or laundry room, a new look in a jiffy. Non-adhesive shelf liners, such as those from Duck brand (duckbrand.com), are easy to cut and install. The company's Smooth Top Easy Liner has a grip bottom, meaning the liner stays in place, with a smooth top, making it easy to clean and wipe off debris. Available in a variety of colors and prints, it's also a great way to add an unexpected pop of color and personality to your shelves and drawers, providing the perfect mix of fashion and function.
Add some accessories It's amazing what a few accessories can do. To revive a room without spending a fortune, attach some new trim to your existing drapes or add new shades to your favorite lamps. Wall decals or stencils are another way to add a personal touch to a room. Highlight your favorite inspirational quote or try an interesting illustration, such as a floral design or a sophisticated chandelier. Stencils and decals are available at local craft stores in numerous shapes and sizes - some are even offered in wall-size shapes, making the project super simple. You can also bring the season inside with spring flowers in a brightly colored vase or buy a new piece of art to hang as a focal point in your room.
Pull out your paintbrush If you want to go for a more dramatic redo - but one that's still doable in a weekend - pick up some paint. The warmer weather means you can keep your windows wide open, making it the ideal time to add a fresh coat of paint to your room. For the simplest touch, paint an accent wall instead of redoing the entire room. Pick a vibrant color for some spring cheer or try tackling a decorative painting technique - such as stripes, zig zag chevron or a geometric print - to really make your room feel modern and stylish. To make painting a breeze, use a premium painter's tape like FrogTape brand painter's tape (frogtape.com). Its PaintBlock Technology prevents paint bleed, helping to ensure clean, sharp lines. On fresh paint 24 hours old, select the FrogTape Delicate Surface grade for best results. To really get in the spring spirit, make painting an excuse to have some fun with friends and family.
Take turns helping friends with their painting projects and reward the effort with pizza, ice cream or other treats provided by the host. Whether you're going for a dramatic makeover or simply giving your home a good scrubbing, find inspiration in these tips to help you make the most of your weekend and get your home in superb shape this spring.
Big Bear's Top Realtor and Team
- posted in Big Bear Real Estate
by Jim Gordon, Buyers agent for The Bob Angilella Team
Our busy world forces us to constantly be “on”. Between cell phones and email and texting, there never seems to be a time to just take a deep breath and relax with no distractions. Enter the enchanting mountain lake community of Big Bear Lake. Located a short 1-2.5 hours away by car from most of Orange, LA and San Diego counties, you go “up the hill” and you turn off your daily life, whether it be for a day or two or even longer. While known as a winter getaway for the skiing and snowboarding, Big Bear Lake comes alive in the summer, with outdoor activities galore. Summer temperatures rarely get above 82 and the chilly nights, even in the heat of the summer, mean lots of marshmallows over campfires.
But a quick getaway to Big Bear Lake often leads to falling in love with the fresh air and sunshine, even when it’s the “June Gloom” down the hill. That’s when the true pleasure of Big Bear Lake comes to light: a second home. Whether a simple cabin in the pines starting at around 80K in the Sugarloaf area to a fabulous lake front home, with prices up to $2.5 million, you’re sure to find a family getaway spot perfect for making four season memories!
One benefit of buying in a community within driving distance of over 15 million people: the opportunity to use your home for Short Term Vacation Rentals. Many second home owners offset the costs of maintaining their vacation home by renting it when they are not using it. Or keep it all for yourself – your dream getaway in the sky!
Either way, give the Bob Angilella Team a call at (909) 878-5522 and they can explain the benefits of vacation home ownership in Big Bear Lake.
Buyers agent for the Bob Angilella Team
- posted in Big Bear Real Estate
Bob Angilella, Big Bear's Top Realtor
Ready to buy your first home, 2nd home in Big Bear or move up to a larger home for your expanding family? Home sales seem to be finally warming up after a five-year chill, as demand gradually builds among first-time home buyers and existing homeowners seeking more room. Historically low mortgage rates, rising rents and relatively positive economic indicators are enhancing consumer confidence and driving the trend, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR).
As demand grows, home prices for a median existing home are expected to rise as much as 5 percent nationwide in 2013, according to the NAR. This should encourage existing homeowners who've been patiently sitting on the sidelines to consider putting their homes on the market.
Even though the outlook is looking brighter, Daniel Watkins, an attorney who specializes in real estate law at the Watkins Firm, APC in San Diego, says the hurdles to buying a home in today's market are significantly higher than they were a few years ago. "The big hurdle is financing. Expectations among lenders and sellers are a lot higher today," Watkins says. "If you're serious about buying a home, you need to have a sizeable down payment, a good credit score, low debt and a solid track record of employment to qualify for a loan." Lenders are paying close attention to buyers' ability to repay a loan, according to FindLaw.com, the nation's leading legal information website.
The generally accepted principle is that no more than 30 percent of a household's take-home income should go toward the principal, interest, taxes and insurance. Here are some tips from FindLaw.com about buying a home within the next six to nine months: Start planning now. Even if you're a year or more away from buying a home, start preparing now. Build up your cash for a down payment plus other expenses that come with owning a home. Check your credit report for accuracy. Pay all your bills on time and zero out all credit card debt. And don't take on new debt, like a large car payment. Get a pre-approval letter. Home sellers want to know that you can get a loan to buy their home. It's OK to window shop, my team will help you do that, but don't make any offers unless you are certain you can obtain financing. After shopping around for a financial institution, get pre-approved for a home mortgage.
Showing a seller a pre-approval letter will increase your chances of your offer being accepted. And don't be surprised if the seller or his real estate agent contacts your loan officer to verify that you've been pre-approved. Build a strong buying position. As the home market warms up, bidding wars will become more common. However, the highest bid doesn't always win in today's housing market. Instead, home sellers want to know the deal will go through with smooth sailing. So, today, the highest value is being placed on non-contingent offers (not contingent on the sale of your home), pre-approved financing, higher-than-normal earnest money deposit and personalized bids (share with the seller why the home would be a perfect match for you and your family). Get a lawyer. In some states, the law requires that a real estate attorney be part of the process of making an offer and reviewing loan documents as part of the closing, according to FindLaw.com.
Where a real estate attorney isn't required, buyers and sellers should consider seeking legal assistance for relatively more complicated real estate transactions, such as purchasing a property directly from the homeowner, the purchase of a rental property, a short sale or the purchase of a foreclosed property. Learn about the neighborhood.
When you buy a home, you're also buying into a community. Start your home search by first targeting a neighborhood where you want to live. Avoid neighborhoods where homes are not being kept up, or yards are full of old cars and junk. Check out the schools, too. Great schools attract families, and keep up home values. Avoid busy streets, homes under flight patterns or near railroad tracks. And contact the local police department for crime statistics and the location of nearby sex offenders.
Keep your emotions in check. If you've found a home you like, don't fall in love with it yet. Make sure your offer is contingent upon a satisfactory home inspection conducted by an inspector that you hire (not the seller).
Save some extra money. Whether you're buying your first home or your third, moving and getting a household established can cost more than you anticipated. Make sure you save enough extra money to redecorate your new home to fit your lifestyle, and to pay for unexpected repairs.
Bob Angilella and Team of Professionals
- posted in Big Bear Real Estate
By Maureen Auer – Buyer’s Agent for “The Bob Angilella Team”
The winter season is wrapping up and Spring is in the air. The snow is melting and the plants and trees are blooming. However, don’t be fooled and start planting your gardens, as Mother Nature traditionally gives us one last freeze around Mother’s Day. After Mother’s Day feel free to plant lots of flowers and start your vegetable gardens.
Big Bear Sales seem to be “springing in to action” too, despite the low inventory, (as of 03/23/13, there are 352 single family homes on the market in the Big Bear Valley). Per the Homes Sales Prices report provided by Chicago Title, in February 2013, 84 single family homes were sold in the Big Bear Valley, which is approximately 25% of the inventory.
Because the inventory is low, more sellers are being encouraged to put their properties on the market, as they will get more exposure and thus top dollar for their properties. Because of the continuously low interest rates and the fact the prices are still down, (although they seem to be creeping up a bit), it is still a great time to be a buyer.
If you are selling, now is an excellent time to do your “Spring Cleaning”, inside and outside, to get your place in tip-top shape to attract the buyers out there. If you need assistance in locating service providers to help you in getting your place ready, contact The Bob Angilella Team for a referral, or go to “Client Services” under the “Local Resources” tab on the homepage of our website. If you are buying, come on up to Big Bear to enjoy the beautiful weather and find your perfect mountain home in time to spend time on Big Bear Lake this summer.
Maureen Auer - Buyer’s Agent for “The Bob Angilella Team”
by Jim Gordon, Buyers Agent for the Bob Angilella Team
The question of when is the best time to buy or sell in Big Bear is a question we are often asked. The Winter is generally a very busy time for Buyers. Whether they came during the Holidays and fell in love with the Mountains, or just came up for the day to play in the snow, they are the ones who drive the market during the Winter. Sellers during this time are either using their properties during the Holidays, taking advantage of the Winter Wonderland that Big Bear turns into or have put it on a Vacation Rental Program and are reaping the rewards. During this time demand is generally high and supply is low.
Springtime or tax time is when Buyers start to have conversations with their financial advisors and see the benefits one can have with a Vacation Rental in Big Bear Lake. This is the best time for Sellers who have been renting their Cabins in Big Bear to now talk with a Listing Agent to see how the market is doing and get a CMA and decide if it is a good time to sell. With our Inventory in Big Bear Lake now at about a 13 year low this is an ideal time to list your house. While demand generally goes down and supply increases in today’s market there is definitely pent up demand to go along with historically low interest rates . As a result we are forecasting a strong Spring.
Summertime the emphasis changes from the Ski areas to the Lake and all that Big Bear Lake has to offer. We usually see our Inventory creep up during this time and the demand for Lakefront properties or those in walking distance to the Lake are in the biggest demand.
Fall is usually our busiest time of the year. As soon as the kids are back in school then thoughts of having a Cabin in the Mountains for the Holidays seems to be on all the buyer’s minds. Thus its also a great time of the year to list your house.
If we can help in either buying or selling your cabin in Big Bear please give us a call.
Jim Gordon, Buyers Agent for the Bob Angilella Team
By Maureen Auer, Buyer’s Agent for The Bob Angilella Team
Once again, President’s Weekend proved to be very busy up here in Big Bear. The slopes were flourishing with snow for the skiers, snowboarders and sledders; and the lodges, restaurants and shops successfully kept up with the high demand. Big Bear was booming.
Now that President’s Weekend has passed, many folks who were in town enjoying all that Big Bear has to offer, will decide that they too would like to own a piece of Big Bear Real Estate. As is typical, the next couple of weekends after a holiday, buyers are excited about purchasing Homes in Big Bear. To add to the excitement, we just received another “dump” of snow this week, approximately 6 – 10 inches, to keep our slopes open for all to come up to Big Bear and enjoy.
As a seller, since the inventory is still at an all time low since 1999, Nationally, your property should have lots of showings and prospects in the next couple of weeks, which should result in an offer, if not multiple offers, if it is priced properly. So, make sure your property looks especially clean and nice to entice buyers.
As a buyer, the interest rates are still extremely low, making it an excellent time to buy Big Bear property. In fact, the rates are so low, that you might want to consider getting a 15-year mortgage vs. a 30-year mortgage. A 30-year mortgage financing loan has always been the most popular for consumers purchasing a house, but the 15-year mortgage loan is starting to increase its popularity, as a result of the record-low interest rates that are available nationwide. Consumers are slowly turning to 15-year loans because of how affordable they have grown since 2010. Statistics from the Mortgage Bankers Association show that a 15-year loan accounted for 23 percent of refinancing applications in November of last year. This is up 51 percent from a year earlier. For the whole year, 15-year mortgages made up 35 percent of all refinance loans. In 2007, 15-year mortgage loans made up for only 8.5 percent of the refinance market.
Rates are becoming extremely affordable for a 15-year loan, so more consumers do not mind the higher monthly payment because of amount that they are saving in the long run. Consumers are saving themselves in the tens of the thousands in interest over the life of a 15-year loan vs. the life of a 30-year loan. The saving is the result of the historically low rates, which are also lower for 15-year loans. With the 15-year fixed rate being so low, you can lock that in and never have to worry about refinancing again.
So, whether you are a seller wanting to take advantage of the low inventory, or a buyer wanting to take advantage of the low interest rates, contact The Bob Angilella Team for all of your Big Bear Real Estate needs.
Buyer’s Agent for The Bob Angilella Team
- posted in Big Bear Real Estate
by Bob Angilella - Big Bear's Top Realtor
If you're thinking of selling your Big Bear real estate, now would be the time! Inventory is at an all-time low, with only 339 active Big Bear listings (Feb 9, 2013) in the valley. One year ago, we had over 750 active Big Bear MLS listings. What does this mean for you? It means that the chances of your Big Bear home selling for top dollar are greater than they were for the past 5 years. Are prices going up? Yes, but minimally. About 2 to 4% increase for a normal sale.
Big Bear Foreclosures are also at an all-time low, and are begining to level off. I believe that this spring and summer will bring a number of offers, as buyers are still looking and are waiting for the perfect Big Bear property to come on the market and interest rates are still low! My buyer’s agents have numerous buyers waiting, and when something does come on the market that meets their criteria, then they jump and make a solid offer. The great news is that prices are not appreciating drastically as they did in 2004 and 2005. We are happy about that, as that would be a false ceiling again, and we do not want that to happen! 2 to 4% increase per year in pricing is just what we want and is considered normal.
So, if you are curious as to what your Big Bear Lake property is worth, please contact me today to schedule an appointment and interview. In addition, our websites are the highest ranking websites with Google. Our advertising consists of many internet portals, magazine advertising, a custom virtual tour and multiple uploads with various MLS systems throughout Southern California. Again, this would be the time so please give me a call today. 909-878-5522
Big Bears #1 one Realtor and Team
by Jim Gordon, Buyers Agent for The Bob Angilella Team
This January 2013 saw 115 Big Bear properties go into Escrow in the Big Bear MLS including Re-sales, Short Sales and Foreclosures. Our Inventory in the Big Bear Valley of Single Family Residences is now down to 335 properties which is less than a 3 month supply.
If you're keeping tabs on real estate news, you know we're in a low inventory housing market throughout the country. There are fewer homes for sale and the competition for the best Big Bear homes can be fierce. For the first time in years, bidding wars are making a comeback in many markets. Despite these challenges, now is still a great time to buy a home. Interest rates are low (3.5% fixed, 30 years) and prices have yet to skyrocket back to where they were in 2005 when things were really booming. But how do you make a smart move in a low inventory housing market?
Think about hiring a contractor
Even in a low inventory housing market, there are houses that stay on the market for months. A strange layout or outdated décor can keep a home from selling in any market. But if you love the neighborhood, consider buying the home and making the updates yourself. Who knows, with the money you save by buying “the dud,” you may be able to have the kitchen remodeled, replace the orange carpet and add an extra bedroom.
Make your offer stand out
For many markets, gone are the days when you could tour a resale home, take a week to think about it and then come in with an offer thousands below the asking price. Depending on the state of the industry where you are, if multiple offers have become the norm, you may want to present your best number right away. Plus, have your real estate agent find out from the seller's agent what types of things might tip the odds in your favor. Did the family already move across country? Putting in for quick closing date may give you an edge.
If you are interested in Selling or Buying a home in Big Bear Lake contact Bob Angilella’s Team of Professionals who can assist you. 909-878-5522
Jim Gordon, Buyers agent for the Bob Angilella Team