Selling Your Home

The Crypto Corner: Cryptocurrency & Your Real Estate Transactions

Whether it's Bitcoin or another cryptocurrency such as Litecoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Zcash, Monero, or others, this is a new field for many - and while the opportunities to do well are ample, it can be a confusing place for those new to this kind of technology. I am always here to break new technology down to my clients, to ensure that you're armed with the necessary facts to make knowledgeable and well-informed decisions when it comes to investing with cryptocurrency. First and foremost, I want my clients to know all of their options in terms of their real estate transactions, and I want them to always feel incredibly confident in the choices they make regarding their investments.

Below are some questions that I am frequently asked...

What are the benefits of using cryptocurrency for my real estate transaction?  

Cryptocurrency funnels through blockchain. The advantage of using it in real estate is that you don't want to have all your coins in one basket.  You can make a lot of money investing in cryptocurrency and then purchase something tangible (such as real estate). When purchasing a home with cryptocurrency, it is similar to a cash transaction.  You still have to show proof of funds, pay taxes, and record title the traditional way of purchasing homes.  We have an escrow company set up with Bitpay, which will convert your cryptocurrency into cash.  There is an extra fee you have to pay using Bitpay to convert the coins.  Also, because you have to record title with the county recorder, it is not an anonymous transaction type.  

Is it safe?  

There is always a risk that the cryptocurrency market will go down while you are in the transaction.  Should that happen, you need to have enough cryptocurrency or cash to make up the difference.  That is shown in the proof of funds.

What is the difference between cryptocurrency and bitcoin?  

Cryptocurrency relates to all crypto coins.  Bitcoin is just one coin out of thousands, but is the most well known and the most popular coin at this time.

What is the first thing I need to do if I want to buy property with cryptocurrency? 

You need to show Proof of Funds, like with any Real Estate Transaction.

Something that I find to be of interest to many and one reason why many are motivated to engage with crypto and are utilizing this in their real estate transactions is that cryptocurrency is not governed by any governments as of yet.  Once this changes, and the government becomes involved, they will start tracking it and taxing it. For those not wanting the government to know what they have, and not wanting to pay tax on it... cryptocurrency is a golden opportunity area.  

Facelift Essentials For Your Backyard

Whether you just moved into your new home and are wanting to make it feel like yours, or are wanting to spruce up your outdoor space for your family's enjoyment (or to prepare to sell!) here are a few fun decorative pieces that have caught my eye lately... (We live in Southern California so there is no excuse to not be enjoying life al fresco all of the time!)

-Click on each below image for shopping details.-

New Year, New Home: What You Need To Do Now To Prep Your Property For the Market

The end of the year is very near; whether you have thoughts of selling in 2018 or simply want to start the New Year enjoying your home to the fullest, here are my top recommendations that you can start today:

1. Think like a buyer...

This can be as simple as doing a walk-through of each room in your home, as if it's on the market and you're evaluating what you like & dislike. This is a terrific exercise for opening your mind to everyday things in your home that you may not even realize because you're so frequently in the space.

2. Ditch the bulk...

Do you have an oversized couch that you absolutely love and won't part it? Many people do, and I understand it's appeal, but buyers will automatically think the room in its is far smaller than it actually is. Remove any bulky furniture from your home that can detract from the value of your property by making it feel smaller than it actually is.

3. Clear closet clutter...

This is the ultimate win-win for you. Taking the time to fully clear out and organize all closets in your home will not only make you feel more relaxed and on top of it, but it will showcase your closet space for what it truly is.

4. Say no to wasted space...

It's wonderful to be able to have an additional bedroom that can be used for whatever you need it to be... an office, a den, a storage room... however, it's easier for buyers to appreciate a space's value when it's given a defined purpose. That way, even if they don't necessarily need a home office like yours, they are able to actually see it as a finished room that they can then use for whatever purpose they want to.

My 2016 blog entry, "Five Steps You Must Take When Selling Your Home," delves deeper into the nitty gritty of each step to take before you list. Read it here: http://www.melaniehane.com/blog/2016/3/18/5-steps-selling-your-home

The Best Energy-Saving Appliances

When enhancing your home with any upgrade, big or small, it’s essential to consider how much of your investment you’ll ultimately receive in return. When most homeowners consider upgrades, the first priority that comes to mind is the kitchen, which leads to appliances. Investing in the best quality energy-saving appliances on the market will not only increase the value of your home, but also save you ample money on a monthly basis.

Heating and Cooling Units

By Far, central heating and cooling units use up the most energy in homes – it takes significant amounts of energy to maintain the perfect temperatures you desire. By finding a central air unit that strikes a balance between being an energy saver and being a good price, you can add additional value to your home. Consider systems that also have easy to use interfaces so that setting up the thermostat is a breeze. Coleman’s Echelon HC8B has quite a high 18 SEER value, is quiet, and comes with a touch screen display for programming the temperature. The Dave Lennox XC25 A/C unit has received top remarks for its silent efficient operation, as well. 

Refrigerators

Refrigerators are often major focal points when designing or renovating a kitchen. Seeing a current, large fridge sets the tone for evaluating a kitchen’s design. Although most are stainless steel, variations in door types (a French variety, for example) add small hints of unique design palettes. Most refrigerators on the market with modern designs use larger amounts of energy because of the placement of the freezer, but if you’re looking for a comfortable balance between the two, try Fisher-Paykel's Active Smart RF201ADX. It boasts a beautiful French door design, has a generous amount of space, and is a smart buy in terms of energy efficiency. You can also sift through 2015’s best fridges to make choosing the right one for your home an easier task. 

Washing Machines

This third appliance that contributes to your energy bill has a doubling effect on your bills; washing machines use both electricity and water. By updating to a more efficient model, with larger space and more efficient cycles, you can cut down on how long it takes to do your laundry, lower how much water is used over time, as well as minimize how often you wash your clothes. The LG WM4270H is an example of an efficient low-cost upgrade to your washing machine; it even has an intuitive LED display and settings that wash a full cycle of clothes in just under 30 minutes!

If you’re not quite ready for new appliances, consider a smaller change, like installing Energy Star windows, to help lower your energy bills. Be mindful of all options available to you when upgrading – it’s key to making the right choices. Whether your goal is to create a more aesthetically pleasing environment by ridding of anything out of date, or if you are trying to conserve energy and lower your monthly household bills, there are a bevy of energy-saving appliances worth researching —and installing—!

 

Home Features Worth the Splurge

When choosing to splurge on an expensive home feature, like a new swimming pool or the addition of a guest house or tennis court, consider if you’re motivated by the potential resale value, your own personal enjoyment, or both. Choose to splurge on the little things to make a large overall impact on your home, both for you and for the health of your future list price.

Additional bedrooms are smart additions that add tremendous value to your home if done well, and if you truly have the space to do so. Don’t cut an existing bedroom in half to make two very tiny ones, but if the size of your lot allows you to expand, choose this investment! Don’t forget about the possibilities in your attic or basement, as they could make media rooms or home offices that can be useful to your family right now, and provide more living space for future buyers, should you decide to sell.

Paint and hardware are prime examples of details making a big difference. Fresh paint in every room of your house and on the exteriors truly will transform your property, making it instantly feel current, clean and comfortable. Often overlooked, paint is a terrific investment when looking to spruce up your home, especially if you’re putting it on the market. Also, consider your hardware. Are your handles and cabinet pulls all in keeping with the décor and design aesthetic of your home? Go a step forward and switch out your light switch covers… there’s a myriad of options, from gold to stone to wood that are guaranteed to immediately make your home feel more put together and chic.

Landscaping is something that can be a sporadic expense (or a nonexistent one) that needs to be taken care of. While the inside of your home may matter the most to you, the exterior is how your home is presented. Hire a great landscaper, or, if you have a green thumb, DIY your outdoor space, front and back, to notice a drastic difference in the look of your property. Seasonal flowers, bushes and other foliage will brighten up your property, for either your family to enjoy, or for potential buyers to marvel over. 

If you love your house, but there are areas you’d like to improve, why not make the changes so that you can enjoy your home even more? When and if you list your property, these additions will surely boost its value. It's a win, win!