Tag Archives: Real Estate

Earthquake Tips

Yesterday we felt an earthquake in Southern California and many residents of Costa Mesa felt it.  Since we care about you, your family, and your home we thought this would be a good time to provide some helpful earthquake tips. After all, you can never be too safe.  Please forward this on to your friends and family members.  We got these from Geology.com.

BEFORE AN EARTHQUAKE:

-Review the safe places to be during an earthquake, like under a strong desk and along interior walls.  Also know the bad places to be, which are near windows, large mirrors, under objects that could fall, and next to heavy furniture that could fall over.

-Prepare an earthquake emergency kit.  Some important items to have in it are batteries, a battery operated radio, flashlights, lots of bottled water and canned food to last about 2 weeks, medical supplies/first aid kit.

-Stage your home right.  For instance don’t put heavy objects in shelves that could fall down and hurt someone.  Also, try not to hang heavy pictures or mirrors above beds.

-Brace major appliances and furniture.

-Learn where to turn off your water, gas, and electricity

-Keep flammable liquids far from ignition sources

WHEN AN EARTHQUAKE STRIKES:

-Get in a safe position.  Stay inside if you are all ready there.  Getting under a large sturdy desk or near an interior wall is smart.  You don’t want to be near furniture that could fall on you or any other objects that could topple over.  Outside, it’s best to be away from trees, power lines, and buildings.  And if you are driving pull over to the side of the road safely.  You want to avoid bridges, underpasses, big signs, and power lines.

-If you are cooking, turn off the stove and find a safe spot.

AFTER THE SHAKING STOPS:

-Check for injuries on yourself and others.

-Check for damage.  If your building does not seem safe you should leave it until a professional checks it out.

-If you smell gas, get everyone out of the house or building.  If there is time, open the doors and windows.  If it is safe, turn off the gas at the meter.  Let your gas company and fire department know.  Make sure not to use electrical appliances since it could ignite the gas.

-If the power goes out, you should unplug major appliances until the power comes back on.  This will help protect your appliances when the power comes back on.

Living in Costa Mesa and anywhere in Southern California leaves us at risk for earthquakes.  Awareness about earthquake safety is key.  If you have any other tips we’d love to include them.

About Torelli Realty: Torelli Realty is proud to represent Costa Mesa real estate. We’ve been meeting the needs of Costa Mesa home buyers & sellers since 1984. Torelli Realty deals with Costa Mesa homes, Costa Mesa apartments, Costa Mesa rentals, Costa Mesa property management, and offers home improvement and home staging tips to help your home’s value throughout Costa Mesa and in Mesa Verde. We also have an expert on staff, Holly Schwartz, who came to us as a producer from Home and Garden Television (HGTV) and extensively studied the most effective home staging techniques, as well as home values and markets locally and nationally. Torelli Realty is also an expert in Costa Mesa short sales and Orange County short sales. Feel free to contact Torelli Realty for a consultation and for all your real estate needs.

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Adding Curb Appeal To A Condo

Real estate in Costa Mesa, California includes condos, just like so many other towns. We’re often asked how to improve the curb appeal of condos because it can be difficult to make one stand out from another. There can also be restrictions on the changes that can be made. The good news is there are many ways to add curb appeal to a condo and it’s time to share some helpful tips. Realtor magazine offered up some great ideas and we’re adding some of our own. Try these ideas to add curb appeal: 

1. Clean up that front door! It should be clean, welcoming, and functional.

2. Bring in potted plants (like Torelli Portaplants)– especially ones with a pop of color. They are easy to maintain, don’t take up a lot of space, and can be moved based on preference.

3. Highlight the major selling features in photos. With condos you can’t control what the exterior looks like and some buildings are less attractive than others. If there’s a great amenity or the inside is more appealing than the outside, make sure that feature stands out – otherwise people might not even give the condo a chance.

4. If there is a common space for mailboxes, such as an interior lobby, keep that area as clean as possible. Consider adding a decorative basket for overflow mail otherwise the space can look trashed.

5. Make sure the address and unit number are prominent so the condo is easy to find.

6. Dress up the fixtures like the mailbox, lights, doorbell, and doorknobs. It doesn’t take a lot of money to make a big impact.

7. Repair walkways – it could be a liability if someone gest injured on the property. If the walkways are part of the common grounds leading to the condo make sure to contact the HOA.

8. Add a clean welcome mat – never underestimate old-fashioned hospitality!

9. Rake or sweep for a clean slate and don’t forget to trim the bushes. If there are bare patches in the yard, make sure to add some grass seeds and sod to fill it in.

10. Try to get permission to paint or pressure-wash the condo – that can make a BIG impact.

About Torelli Realty: Torelli Realty is proud to offer home improvement and home staging tips to help your home’s value throughout Costa Mesa and in Mesa Verde. The company has been servicing Costa Mesa, CA almost excludively for over 25 years and knows Costa Mesa real estate. We also have an expert on staff, Holly Schwartz, who came to us as a producer from Home and Garden Television (HGTV) and extensively studied home values and markets locally and nationally. Feel free to contact Torelli Realty for a consultation and for all your real estate needs.

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SHORT SALE WEBSITE
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COMPANY BLOG

Property Management Essentials – How To Handle Maintenance Requests

Many real estate companies offer property management services. A rental property can be a small unit or a large complex. Either way maintenance requests must be handled in a professional manner. Inman News contributed some key points on rental maintenance that all property managers should follow.

-Deal with ALL properties, big or small, formally. This means keeping a written record. If the repair request is made by phone, write everything down and keep it in a log. Every request should be logged with as much information as possible.

-Make sure to get as much information as possible before making the first service call. The goal is to send out the proper service provider and solve the problem as quickly as possible. This should also translate into saving money and time (a lower bill from the maintenance provider and less time intruding on the tenants).

-ALWAYS get permission from the tenants to enter their unit. Ideally, get written permission. If not, log who provided the verbal ok for the records.

-Property managers should work with tried & proven maintenance providers. Remember, they are representing the property manager so pick ones who are courteous, respectful, and clean.

About Torelli Realty: Torelli Realty is proud to offer home improvement and home staging tips to help your home’s value throughout Costa Mesa and in Mesa Verde. The company has been servicing Costa Mesa, CA almost exclusively for over 25 years and knows Costa Mesa real estate. Torelli Realty helps buyers and sellers in Costa Mesa and throughout Orange County, provides property management services, and is an expert in short sales. We also have an expert on staff, Holly Schwartz, who came to us as a producer from Home and Garden Television (HGTV) and extensively studied home values and markets locally and nationally. Feel free to contact Torelli Realty for a consultation and for all your real estate needs.

http://www.torellirealty.com
http://costamesashortsales.wordpress.com/
Twitter: http://twitter.com/TorelliRealty
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Home Remodeling ROI – Return On Investment

Homeowners everywhere want to know what home improvements will pay off with the best return on investment. Remodeling Magazine recently posted some information about the best remodeling projects to tackle and broke it down by region. Here’s some of the highlights to consider for homeowners in California, Oregon, Washington, Hawaii, and Alaska.

Homeowners will get a major bang for their buck on a minor kitchen remodel. The average minor kitchen remodel costs $23,000 and homeowners can expect to recoup about  95%. Why so much? Kitchens sell homes. Buyers want a home that will not require a ton of work and kitchens are expensive to remodel. This means that even a minor remodel can impress buyers who don’t want to take on a major remodel. As long as the kitchen is workable, buyers can always upgrade it down the road. Some homeowners might be wondering why an investment in a kitchen would not return $100+%. Think of a remodel like a car for sale on the lot. The minute you put it in, the cost of the materials and labor depreciates. The up side, in some cases the overall value of the home can increase by more than the amount invested in the remodel. Why? The perceived value home with a nicely redone kitchen may make the home more desirable than others in the neighborhood that do not have a remodeled kitchen.

Costa Mesa real estate kitchen

Remodeled kitchen

How about a full blown kitchen remodel, which averages $64,000? It’s notable that a major kitchen remodel only returns 85%, which is still a good return, though not as high as a minor kitchen remodel. When you are remodeling a kitchen, it’s important to consider a few factors:

-Does the homeowner plan to sell soon or remain in the home for the long term? (For homeowners who plan to sell soon, it makes more sense to save the cost and trouble of a major remodel. If the homeowner plans to live in the house for more than 5 years and a nice kitchen is important to them, a major remodel probably makes more sense.)

-Is the homeowner ready to deal with a huge kitchen remodel? (Remember, any kitchen remodel is going to be inconvenient because people use their kitchen everyday. A major remodel may mean eating out for 3+ months.)

-The cost of labor. (Most homeowners will need to hire help and that will contribute to the bottom line. Get more than one estimate and use referrals from friends or real estate agents you can trust.)

-Materials/design. (Pick a style that suits the home and the neighborhood as well as the price point for the home. Marble counters may not work in a lower price point, just like linoleum floors are not a good choice for a multi-million dollar home. A real estate expert  who knows what features are hot with buyers can help give good advice.

Here are a few other home remodels that can pay off:

Replacing vinyl windows – Cost $13,000. ROI 89%.

Deck addition – Cost $13,000. ROI 82%.

Bathroom remodel – Cost $19,000. ROI 77%.

Bathroom addition – Cost $47,000. ROI 68%. 

Remember, this research is helpful in determining the home remodels that will yield a return on investment. However there is a right way and a wrong way to remodel. Every market is unique and it’s a great idea to check with a real estate expert who knows the specific market before banking on these results.

About Torelli Realty: Torelli Realty is proud to offer home improvement and home staging tips to help your home’s value throughout Costa Mesa and in Mesa Verde. The company has been servicing Costa Mesa, CA almost excludively for over 25 years and knows Costa Mesa real estate. We also have an expert on staff, Holly Schwartz, who came to us as a producer from Home and Garden Television (HGTV) and extensively studied home values and markets locally and nationally. Feel free to contact Torelli Realty for a consultation and for all your real estate needs.

http://www.torellirealty.com
http://costamesashortsales.wordpress.com/
Twitter: http://twitter.com/TorelliRealty
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/torellirealty
Company blog: http://www.torellirealty.wordpress.com/

Home Makeover – Living Room Redo for Under $500

Living rooms are one of the rooms seen and used most in any house. A basic living room has 3 staples: a couch, a chair, and a coffee table. Are you ready to makeover a living room? Here’s some budget-friendly tips from The Nest. Whether you are a homeowner who’s itching for a budget-friendly change or a seller ready to put their home on the real estate market, these cost-effective tips can suit any style.

Living room

1. For a modern living room, stylish lights are a must. Pay attention to window treatments – try modern blinds or window treatments.  A cool vase on a table is a fantastic piece of decor. To soften up the space, incorporate a throw rug with a minimal design that complements your color scheme. (In California, modern living rooms are one of the most popular styles.)

2. For a retro look, retro artwork is key. Consider hanging multicolored curtains in fun colors. Don’t be concerned about traditional style rules. For instance, throw in some fun pillows and crazy candles. Be original – try using an old-fashioned tin for a serving tray for instance. (In California, some hip or eclectic neighborhoods pride themselves on going retro. Make sure retro fits your home and style. It can be a problem if one room is retro and all the others are a completely different style.)

3. For a calming look, try sheer drapery. Choose neutral tones for rugs, pillows, and throws. Dress up the space with some flowers and glass vases. And remember that blue is known to be a calming color, which can set the tone. Reduce clutter to keep the space stress free. (In California, a lot of people who like the beach or who live near the beach pick this style.)

4. For a cozy room neutral, warm colors work best. Texture is a must. Adding comfortable throws, fluffy pillows, and plush rugs can create environment made for curling up in. Make the room inviting with rich, inviting wood accessories, like a coffee table or perhaps a basketweave serving tray. Don’t forget chunky candles, which literally brighten up a room.

About Torelli Realty: Torelli Realty is proud to offer home improvement and home staging tips to help your home’s value throughout Costa Mesa and in Mesa Verde. The company has been servicing Costa Mesa, CA almost excludively for over 25 years and knows Costa Mesa real estate. We also have an expert on staff, Holly Schwartz, who came to us as a producer from Home and Garden Television (HGTV) and extensively studied home values and markets locally and nationally. Feel free to contact Torelli Realty for a consultation and for all your real estate needs.

http://www.torellirealty.com
http://costamesashortsales.wordpress.com/
Twitter: http://twitter.com/TorelliRealty
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/torellirealty
Company blog: http://www.torellirealty.wordpress.com/

Handy Guide on Home Improvement Tips

Costa Mesa real estate begins with the first impression. There’s plenty of ways to improve your home’s exterior. Homeowners can do some of these projects as a do-it-yourself project and others will require the help of a professional. Which home improvements can you tackle on your own and which ones will need professional help? There’s a great book out that comes highly recommended by the leading real estate source Inman News called “Home Repair That Pays Off: 150 Simple Ways to Add Value Without Breaking Your Budget,” by Hector Seda.

What things can help your curb appeal? The book gives tips about landscaping, exterior upkeep, cleaning, draining, roofing, driveways, garages, masonry and foundations. A sample tip from the book tells readers how to make sure they buy enough mulch to prevent the rain from washing plants away.

The book also gives tips for improving your home’s interior. Again, some of the projects are easy DIY projects and others will require help. 

A book like this is helpful for evaluating whether you should tackle a project on your own or hire it out. Remember, while it may seem cost-effective to do a project DIY-style, if you misjudge the complexity of the project or make an error it could end up costing more to have a professional repair your mistakes.

It’s important to note that return rates for home improvements are highly dependent on the location and real estate market of the home. Homes in Costa Mesa need to be evaluated based on a number of factors that a skilled, local real estate agent can help you determine. You can’t expect all home improvements to pay off big time, however when it comes time to sell they will certainly give you an edge. Before you make any changes big or small, you may want to consult with a Costa Mesa realtor who can give you an objective evaluation.

About Torelli Realty: Torelli Realty is proud to offer home improvement and home staging tips to help your home’s value throughout Costa Mesa and in Mesa Verde. The company has been servicing Costa Mesa, CA almost excludively for over 25 years and knows Costa Mesa real estate. We also have an expert on staff, Holly Schwartz, who came to us as a producer from Home and Garden Television (HGTV) and extensively studied home values and markets locally and nationally. Feel free to contact Torelli Realty for a consultation and for all your real estate needs.

Costa Mesa Community Run & Expo

Costa Mesa, CA real estate company Torelli Realty specializes in residential property including homes, townhomes, condos, short sales, and REO’s.  The company is located in the Mesa Verde neighborhood and has been doing business locally since 1984. 

The Costa Mesa Community Run & Expo is set for April 23-24, 2010 and registration is now open.  This is the third year that the race will take place. One of the best things about the race is that the money will benefit foundations that support the local Costa Mesa schools.  Our students and youth will appreciate your involvement!

Picture of Run

Costa Mesa Community Run

We’re excited to help sponsor the event and will be there encouraging the runners.  On Friday night the Expo will psych everyone up for the race.  Local surf band, the Fabulous Nomads, will provide entertainment plus there is going to be a portable skateboard park, games, food and more!  The Volcom Skate Park of Costa Mesa has been getting a lot of buzz lately so this is something the kids won’t want to miss.

On Satuday, April 24 the runners will take their marks, get set, and go for prize… Ikea has kindly offered a $250 prize to the top male and female runner.  The run is a USTFA sanctioned 5K & 2K fun run that welcomes both competitive and recreational runners.  Join the crowd of vendors and supporters as the race starts at 8am.  We’ll be there – will you?