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Twin Falls Idaho Real Estate Blog

Sid Lezamiz

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Plan Now to Buy a House next Spring

by Sid Lezamiz

Plan Now to Buy a House next Spring 


If owning a home is a goal for you, this is the perfect time of year to start planning and preparing.  Most people start looking at houses online, go to open houses and then schedule showings, before doing the financial preparation.  It can be disappointing and futile.   


For first time buyers there is much work to do before the looking and dreaming begin.  Starting the hard work now will have you prepared to start looking next spring. 

Get your credit report and calculate how much you can afford. This may be sobering but will start you on an achievable plan rather than a fictious dream. 

Start an aggressive down-payment savings plan.  Aggressive meaning if you need to do a shortterm change of housing to allow maximum saving, now is the time to start.  Getting a roommate or moving into a family member’s basement to allow maximum saving opportunity. 


Create a list of priorities you want in a home.  Consider the most important priorities that cannot be changed or added like location, location, location. 


Build a file for mortgage paperwork.  W-2 forms, personal tax returns for the last 3 years, pay stubs, bank statements, previous addresses, loan statements, credit card statements. 


Interview and hire a Realtor®.  A professional who knows the area housing and lenders is invaluable to a successful purchase and closing. 

Idaho Waterfalls Road Trip

by Sid Lezamiz

Idaho Waterfalls Road Trip

With the official first day of fall arriving on September 23rd, and schools already in their fall sessions, it is a great time to plan a one-day weekend excursion to take in the incredible Idaho scenery and a few of the spectacular waterfalls.

A good idea is to begin right here in Southern Idaho. With over 60 recognized waterfalls in the state creating a day trip to enjoy just a few of them is easy. Of the following 6 stops, half of them are in Twin Falls.

      1. Deadman Falls, Glenns Ferry, ID. Cascades 170 feet into Deadman Canyon.
      2. Thousand Springs, Hagerman, ID. Local boat tours and dinner cruises available here.
      3. Perrine Coulee Waterfall, Twin Falls, ID. This falls can be seen 3 ways. From the rim looking down, from the base or kayaking on the Snake River.
      4. Pillar Falls, Twin Falls, ID. A “Hidden Gem” this one must be viewed from a kayak. It is worth the effort to see up close the unique rock formations carved by the river.
      5. Shoshone Falls, Twin Falls, ID. The most well-known and most-visited waterfall in Idaho. 200 feet tall and 900 feet wide, it is sometimes called the “Niagara Falls of the West”.
      6. Big Fiddler Creek, Elmore County, ID. At the southernmost edge of the Sawtooth National Forest and cascading down a rocky cliff. Look to your right when facing Big Fiddler and you will see the razor thin stream of water named Long Gulch Falls.

Visit Idaho!

Is Refinancing a Good Idea

by Sid Lezamiz

Is Refinancing a Good Idea


According to the Mortgage Bankers Association, the number of refinancing applications for the week ending August 23rd were up 167% compared to the same time last year. The average 30-year fixed rate is now at 3.55%. The numbers, both the average interest rate along with the number of applications, say it is a good time to look at your own situation and mortgage to determine if it is the right time for you to refinance.


Will rates linger at this new low or go even lower. There is no crystal ball telling us if rates have bottomed out or may go lower. Uncertainty in the political arena and indecision with trade wars is unsettling and remains unknown. Analyze the value that refinancing may hold for you by looking at the following:
     • your credit score
     • your loan to home value ratio
     • how much will it cost to refinance
     • will refinancing create a solid benefit for you


A two-year payoff of any refinancing costs is considered good guideline to look at when weighing the idea of refinancing.

Driveways

by Sid Lezamiz

Driveways


Driveways are often overlooked as a major contributor to both the curb appeal and function of your home and property. There are a few different choices of materials that come with different price points. How prominent the driveway is to the overall look and use of your property can be elevated depending on the choice.


Concrete. A common choice for both durability, cost and appeal. $5 to $6 per square foot. Up to 50-year life span.


Gravel. Very budget friendly. Compacts nicely. Does require regrading and maintenance. $1 to $3 per square foot. Up to 100 years life span.


Brick. Beautiful choice to set off an inviting curb appeal. Needs to be properly installed to stand up. $6 to $10 per square foot. About 25-year lifespan.


Paving Stones. Both beautiful and durable. Luxurious look when installed. $15 to $30 per square foot. Up to 100-year life span.


Asphalt. Looks and functions a lot like concrete, but less expensive and less rigid. Requires annual or semi-annual re-sealing to last. $2 to $5 per square foot. 12 to 20-year life span

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up

by Sid Lezamiz

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up


One of the most successful books to hit bookshelves in the past several years is not a spy novel or murder-mystery or even a Harry Potter adventure, but a book about how to tidy your living space and keep it that way. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo is a New York Times Best Seller.


Now on Netflix as a series, you can watch Marie successfully help clients declutter and organize their homes. You will soon learn her methodology and can implement it in your own home.


One of the main differences in the Kondo-method of organizing compared to more conventional methods is to tackle categories rather than rooms. For example, a big problem in many homes is the amount of clothes and shoes that accumulate and then become an emotional stumbling block to purge. With Marie’s method you gather ALL the clothes throughout the whole house and throw them on a big pile (a pile for each person’s clothes) and go through each piece one by one. She instructs you to hold each piece and decide if you wear the item and like the item and if it brings you joy. Learning to recognize if an item that brings “joy” into your life may take a while to figure out, but if a piece of clothing is stuffed into a drawer and forgotten, it could probably be considered for purging.


Another method Kondo introduces is the idea of folding most of your clothes rather than hanging. Hanging clothes take up to 40% more space than the method of folding she teaches. Folding clothes into a packet-like bundle and standing them up in a drawer (rather than stacking) allows easy viewing and access to all pieces. If you re-fold and stand up the clothing items in one drawer you will immediately see the benefit.


It is a fun and easy book to read and the Netflix series is very entertaining as well as informative.

First Day of School

by Sid Lezamiz

First Day of School


It is hard to believe summer vacation is over and the first day of school will soon to be here. Monday, August 19th marks the first day of school for the Twin Falls public schools, as other area schools also begin the 2019/2020 school year.


The Twin Falls Police Department urges drivers to SLOW DOWN and remember:

      • OBEY all school zone speed limits and crossing guards (most school zones are 20 mph).
      • STOP for school buses that are loading and unloading students with stop signs out.
      • LOOKOUT for children walking or riding bikes darting into the street.
      • BUCKLE UP everyone in the car when transporting your kids to school.


Allow extra time in the morning for the first few weeks of school. Children are one of our most valuable assets within our communities. Help to keep them safe.


“It Takes a Village to Raise a Child”-Igbo and Yoruba Proverb

The Plus and Minuses of Remodeling Projects

by Sid Lezamiz

The Plus and Minuses of Remodeling Projects


Updating and remodeling projects can increase the usable space in your home and increase your enjoyment of your home. Accordingly, Remodeling Magazine urges when planning projects to keep in mind which ones will add the most value to your home considering the expense of the project and which might add considerably less.


Plusses:


Garage door. Especially if your garage door is presented to the front of the house, replacing a garage door for functional and esthetic reasons is a good expense. If the replacement upgrades the curb appeal the return on investment will be close to 100%.


Minor kitchen remodel. Creating a better flow and replacing appliances and fixtures establishing a new, fresh look will maximize the return on investment by an average of 80%.


Adding a wooden deck. Adding a wooden deck can immediately change the flow and feel of your home as it expands the living area outside. Your return on investment will average 75%.


Minuses:


Expensive master bedroom additions. These suites can become very expensive by adding all the trendy must-haves. Fireplaces, huge closets and tricked out master bathrooms. Expect to re-coup only 59% of the cost.


Expensive kitchen remodel. The cost of a gut kitchen remodel can easily elevate to huge numbers. In the end an expensive kitchen remodel is something that a buyer will want to really love. If it isn’t to their taste it becomes a detriment. You may only retrieve 59% of the cost.


Stone patios. A plus to extend the living area of a home, but the cost can be up to 5 times more compared to the cost of a wooden deck. Expect to recapture in the neighborhood of 50% of the cost in increased value of your home.

Negotiating Offers

by Sid Lezamiz

Negotiating Offers


You have been busily maintaining and showing your home and the day arrives when you get a call from your Realtor® that he has received an offer. Now is the most important part of any home sale. It is a critical time to remain calm and be thoughtful about every step.


Keep your emotions in check. This is a business deal. Negotiating takes a clear and focused head to achieve a sale, so your plans that require this sale can advance. Concentrate on the facts of the sale and put memories and enjoyment of your home on hold.


Do not dismiss any offer without consideration. Insulting lowball offers happen. Concentrate on a reasonable counteroffer rather than fixate on the initial offer. You have someone who is interested in your property. Interested enough to submit an offer and an earnest money check. Don’t throw away all the hard work of finding an interested buyer by refusing to try to find a mutually agreeable contract.


Consider non-monetary counteroffers. Closing dates that are helpful to the buyer and including items in the sale that were excluded in the original listing are two negotiating tactics that often indicate a willingness to compromise and prompt a similar reaction from the buyer.


Let your Realtor® do his job. Your Realtor® is a trained professional working for you. He knows the market and the good, the bad, and the ugly of real estate transactions. Heed his advice and let him use his experience and education to bring your property sale to a successful closing.

Common Household Items That Work Double-time

by Sid Lezamiz

Common Household Items That Work Double-time

If you have ever found yourself in a bind with guests or worse yet a showing scheduled, and find you are lacking supplies to do a quick fix or freshen up your house, then read on for clever immediate repairs and fixes using common household items that are typically found in most cupboards.

Damp sponge.  A common household sponge when dampened with water is a quick way to clean pet hair off upholstery and carpet.  Run it over the surface then scrape the hair into the trash.

Baking Soda.  Known for neutralizing odors and great for absorbing grease.

  • Sprinkle it into your trash cans and onto carpets before vacuuming. 
  • Make a paste with hydrogen peroxide and use it in the bathroom and kitchen to clean and deodorize grout. 
  • Pour baking soda in your kitchen drain, then pour in vinegar, put in the stopper quickly and let it bubble the gunk and odor away before flushing with water. 
  • Sprinkle a layer of baking soda in litter boxes before adding a clean layer of litter. 
  • Add 2 teaspoons with your regular dishwasher soap to de-odorize your dishwasher.

 

Bar of soap.  Use the edge of a bar of soap along a zipper to loosen and unstick it.

Cooking spray.  A quick and alternate use for squeaky hinges.

Alka-Seltzer tablets.  Drop a couple into the toilet bowl for 20 minutes to clean.

Coffee filters.  Use for cleaning glass if you are out of paper towels.

Fair Market Value

by Sid Lezamiz

Fair Market Value


Fair market value is not a phrase you hear much. You know about appraised value as being the guideline for placing a value on your property for the purposes of getting a mortgage. A professional appraiser compares your home’s location, features and size to similar homes that have sold recently and by adding and subtracting value, depending on differences in the properties, a final monetary value is determined for the property in question.


Appraisals are not exact and can vary, but usually only slightly, from appraiser to appraiser.

Fair market value is the amount a buyer is willing to pay for your home. This amount is what a buyer is ready to offer based on their own situation, local market trends, interest rates, and their personal attraction or suitability for their lifestyle to a home.

There are intangible elements with any buyer’s offer. However, it is imperative that a seller uses only actual facts that can be verified and is careful to eliminate emotional attachment or other intangibles from the listing price.

Using a licensed real estate professional to determine fair market value, is the best way to price a new listing. They are intimately familiar with the local market and know all the trends that may not show up in current “sold” properties used as comparison.

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 351

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Lezamiz Real Estate Co.
705 Fillmore, Suite 1
Twin Falls ID 83301
Office: 208-734-7007
info@lezamizrealestate.com
Fax: 208-732-5384