2017 was another crazy year, both in real estate, and California as a whole. Not to mention the nation and the world! I’m not sure if it’s me, but things seem to get stranger every year. Maybe it’s just my age.
Despite the craziness, it was a pretty good year. But that all depends on your perspective and what when on in your life, right? So, before I get bogged down in more rumination (the thinking kind, not the cow thing…) about 2017, let’s just jump into our review. But instead of starting in January, let’s start with our last post in December since it’s Christmas related.
Our Top 10 Christmas Movies of All Time
Ooh, this is a fun one!
We find every Christmas season that when we get together with friends the subject of favorite and “best” Christmas movies comes up. People love to talk about this subject!
This year, for the first time we actually went online to see if there was any agreement on the best Christmas movies. We found there are lists galore. Everything from the “8 Best Christmas Movies of All Time” to the “50 Best Christmas Movies.” They are all over the place with some movies that make us scratch our heads. Well, if they can do it so can Libby and Ken.
The following are “Libby and Ken’s 10 Favorite Christmas Movies.” Movies we love to watch again each Christmas season.[Read Libby and Ken’s 10 Favorite Christmas Movies Here ]
3 Winter Gardening Tips for a Beautiful Spring Yard
Originally posted January 24, 2017
Even though the weather is different this year than last, it’s never too early to start thinking about Spring in my book.
Yes, I know it’s the middle of winter, but if you start thinking about your spring garden now, not only will you be ahead of the game, you’ll have the nicest looking yard on the block.
Also, for you avid gardeners, we are in the USDA Hardiness Gardening Zone 9. Only southern Florida has a warmer winter climate than us.[Read 3 Winter Gardening Tips for a Beautiful Spring Yard Here]
The Worst Mistake You Can Make with a Grant Deed
Originally posted January 24, 2017
Our usual disclaimer, We are not attorneys or tax professionals, nor do we play them on TV. Seek advice from a qualified professional before taking any legal action.
Libby has been particularly frustrated about something lately and has asked me to share it with you. She wants very much for people to avoid a particular mistake that can cause them all kinds of problems regarding a real estate thing.
We have seen people make this mistake many times over the course of our long real estate career and since we do care very much for the people we work with, it is painful to us. It is particularly painful to Libby who has been seeing people doing this much more recently for some reason.[Read The Worst Mistake You Can Make with a Grant Deed Here] The WORST Mistake You Can Make with a Grant Deed #realestate #grantdeed Click To Tweet
Real Estate Market Update for 2016
Although this article is about 2016, many of the things we touch upon ring true for 2017.
In this article, we’re going to review what happened in our real estate market in 2016 for East Contra Costa County California, including Antioch, Brentwood, Oakley, Discovery Bay, Pittsburg, and Bay Point. This will include sharing some statistics but more importantly sharing our take on things as people very close to events on a daily basis.[Read Real Estate Market Update for 2016 Here]
23 Insider Tips – How to Avoid Costly Mistakes When Buying a Home
Originally posted March 21, 2017
Whether you are a first time home buyer, or a seasoned veteran buyer, Libby and I recommend you read this article before diving straight into house hunting.
During our 23-years as real estate professionals, we at Guthrie Group Homes have observed many costly mistakes when buying a home that are commonly made by new home buyers.
Here, we have compiled a list of 23 tips that will help you avoid those mistakes and make you a smarter homebuyer.
Whether you’re a first-time homebuyer or have purchased before and want to be more knowledgeable, you can use this report as a guide to save you time and money.[Read How to Avoid Costly Mistakes When Buying a Home Here] 23 Insider Tips – How to Avoid Costly Mistakes When Buying a Home #realestate Click To Tweet
The Sawa Spa at Trilogy Brentwood
Originally posted April 18, 2017
Everyone deserves to take some time off to relax. If a spa day sounds good, then this article is for you!
It is true to say that Libby and I have been very long-term residents of Eastern Contra Costa County. In that time, we’ve come to know some great people and businesses in the area. Beginning in this post, we would like to share with you some real standouts. We would like to begin with a particular favorite local spot of ours, where you can go to get completely pampered.[Read The Sawa Spa at Trilogy Brentwood Here]
CMA vs. Zestimate – What’s Your True Home Value?
Originally posted May 15, 2017
This is an eye-opening article on the true market value of your home vs. the so-called ‘Zestimate’ provided by Zillow.
It’s well known among real estate agents, real estate appraisers, mortgage lenders, and other professionals in the business that good old Zillow’s “Zestimates” of home values are wrong.
I know! That’s a pretty strong statement. But I wanted to get your attention. So now that I have it, I will correct myself. Zestimates are not always wrong. However, I would put them wrong about 99+% of the time. Once in a while, they can be accurate. When you put out millions and millions of Zestimates, you’re going to hit one right once in a while. (Just in case you don’t know, a “Zestimate” is an automated estimate of your home’s value from the real estate site, Zillow.com.)[Read CMA vs. Zestimate – What’s Your True Home Value? Here] CMA vs. Zestimate – What’s Your True Home Value? #truth #realestate Click To Tweet
How Credit Cards Affect Your Mortgage Application
This article is especially important around the holiday season. Use caution with your credit cards if you want to buy a house in 2018!
So you think you’re finally ready to buy a house, but you have some credit card debt you’re thinking of paying off first. You’re wondering if your credit cards will affect your ability to get a mortgage.
That’s a smart thing to wonder!
Getting your credit in order before you apply for a home mortgage can save you big bucks in the long run, but also help you avoid disappointment from getting turned down by lenders.[Read How Credit Cards Affect Your Mortgage Application Here] How #Credit Cards Affect Your #Mortgage Application Click To Tweet
Avoid These Expensive Mistakes When Selecting Trees for Your Landscape
This was a very popular article from earlier this year.
Now, I’m not a landscaper or what could be called a master gardener but over many years of experience, I have learned some things. One of these is that people should be very careful what trees they plant in their yards.
In addition, people should be very careful about where they plant the trees they decide to plant.
Libby and I have seen many thousands of houses up close in our real estate career. And that includes many thousands of trees planted in the yards.
Here are some of the things we see over and over and over again.[Read Avoid These Expensive Mistakes When Selecting Trees for Your Landscape Here] Avoid These Expensive #Mistakes When Selecting #Trees for Your #Landscape Click To Tweet
5 Home Improvement Tips on How to Increase Your Home’s Resale Value
If you’re going to sell your home, you might as well get as much money for it as possible, right? Read this article and get the low down on how to do just that.
Many homeowners these days would like to do some home upgrades, additions, or remodels. But before they sink major bucks into their home improvements, they want to know if they’ll get their money back. Perhaps you’re one of these homeowners.
So, let’s explore some of the top home updates that both make your home nicer to live in and get all or most of your investment back when you sell the home. Sounds like a win-win to me![Read 5 Home Improvement Tips on How to Increase Your Home’s Resale Value Here] 5 #Home #Improvement #Tips on How to Increase Your Home’s #Resale #Value Click To Tweet
44 Effortless Ways to Make Your Home Sell Faster
Again, if you’re going to sell your house, you want to get the most for it and sell as quickly as possible. Are 44 ways enough for you?
Below you will find 44 suggestions of things you can do to improve your home’s appearance and help you prepare to sell your home faster! Of course, this is not an exhaustive list, so if you have your own sellers tip, please leave it in the comments section at the end of this post.[Read 44 Effortless Ways to Make Your Home Sell Faster Here] 44 Effortless Ways to Make Your #Home #Sell #Faster Click To Tweet
Ken and Libby Guthrie’s Big Boat Adventure
Part 1 – “The Dry Dock Report”
Here is Part 1 of our adventures with our new boat. You can find Part 2 farther down on this page.
This month’s article is going to be on a new subject. Back in July, Libby and I took delivery of our new boat. A number of people have been curious about our experiences so far and have been asking us questions about it. So, we thought we would do a report on that for the newsletter and website.[Read Ken and Libby Guthrie’s Big Boat Adventure Here]
Testimonials and Reviews
We LOVE our clients, and as it turns out, our clients LOVE us too!
Did you know that getting testimonials and reviews of our services is one of the most important things that we can do for our business? And in the current market, it’s even more important than ever. Let me explain why…[Read Testimonials and Reviews Here]
Understanding the Roles in Your Real Estate Transaction
From the outside, one wouldn’t think there were more than a few folks involved in buying or selling a house. But from the inside, it’s a different story!
Most people we ask say a half-dozen or so. How many do you think are involved? There are way more than a half-dozen or so! The numbers are different for buyer and seller transactions so there are two different numbers.
We’ve found that most people really have no idea. Since most of the action in completing a real estate transaction goes on outside the view of buyers and sellers, this is perfectly understandable.[Read Understanding the Roles in Your Real Estate Transaction Here] Who’s Who? The Different Roles in Real Estate Transactions in California #realestate Click To Tweet
5 Real Estate Myths You Need to Stop Believing Immediately
Real Estate is one of those businesses that seem to be shrouded in myths and mystery. But it doesn’t need to be if you read this article.
Unfortunately, watching those reality shows about buying homes, fix and flip, and other similar nonsense will not make you an expert in the real estate biz. And even if you have bought or sold a home before, you might not really be an expert yet.
You don’t know what you don’t know, and you may have just enough knowledge to be dangerous. ???? Your cousin, your aunt who sold real estate 10 years ago, and your neighbor, the self-ascribed ‘expert’ on the subject, simply don’t have enough experience to understand what’s really a myth, and what is fact.[Read 5 Real Estate Myths You Need to Stop Believing Immediately Here] 5 Real Estate #Myths You Need to Stop Believing Immediately #realestate Click To Tweet
How to Help Victims of the Northern California Wildfires
This was a terrible time in California and for our local friends in businesses in wine country and surrounding areas. Though the fires may be out, rebuilding will take months and years.
California’s Wine Country is still in a state of emergency as over a dozen wildfires burn through neighborhoods, homes, wineries, and the countryside across Napa, Sonoma, Mendocino, Lake, and Yuba counties. The fires have destroyed at least 5,700 structures, burned over 217,000 acres and caused at least 41 fatalities.
While a total of around 75,000 North Bay residents have been evacuated, some folks have been allowed back in their neighborhoods to discover the damage done. Tragically, many find nothing but ashes and perhaps a fireplace still standing. A lucky few return to find their home safe and unscathed.[Read How to Help Victims of the Northern California Wildfires Here]
Happy Thanksgiving 2017 from Guthrie Group Homes
Despite the fires, the hurricanes and the storm on Capitol Hill, we give thanks for the abundance that we enjoy in America.
Well, it’s just about Thanksgiving again, just a few days to go, with the rest of the holidays following in the next couple of weeks or so. Wow, did this year go by fast or what?
Hopefully this season you will have some time to spend with your family and relatives, your kids, or dogs, or your other furry or feathered friends. Besides the food, family, and fun, it’s the time to give thanks for the blessings we have received during the year. Sometimes it may seem like a difficult thing to do, given the current circumstances of our country and the world.[Read Happy Thanksgiving 2017 from Guthrie Group Homes Here]
Ken & Libby’s Big Boat Adventure – Part 2
Part 2 – “The Maiden Voyage”
Yes, Libby and I finally made it out of Dry Dock and got our new boat into the water. Join us for the part 2 of our adventure.
Back in August, our article “Ken & Libby’s Boat Adventure – Part 1”, described how Ken and Libby bought their long-awaited fishing boat. That was the “drydock report.” The boat had not been in the water yet. Ken was taking the United States Power Squadron basic powerboat certification course.
The maiden voyage was yet to come with Ken and Libby scheduled to take the boat to Lake Almanor in September for a week of cruising, learning the boat and components and getting in a little fishing.[Read Ken & Libby’s Big Boat Adventure – Part 2 Here]
Top Christmas Songs of All Time
Originally posted December 19, 2017
The final post of this year, a bookend post, as it were, to our Christmas Movies article that we began this post with.
Christmas songs and carols are just as much a tradition as Christmas movies, and since last year we did our Top 10 movies, we thought it would be a good idea to do music this year, thus the title, Top Christmas Songs of All Time. But there are a gazillion or so Christmas songs out there, and since we did 10 movies last year, 10 songs sounded about right.[Read Top Christmas Songs of All Time Here]
Well, that’s a wrap for 2017. We hope you enjoyed some of our articles and maybe learned a thing or two. If you’re so inclined, please share either this post or one of the ones you read about here. There are sharing buttons on every post for your convenience. See you next year!
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Libby and Ken Guthrie
Guthrie Group Homes, Realtors