Just in time for the New Year – the Las Vegas Metro Police Substation will be Opening in Summerlin

First, I want to take this opportunity to wish you a very Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year.  2020 begins a new decade with continued growth in the city we call home, Las Vegas…

…Construction of the newest Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department is now complete and officially opening on January 25.

The substation is located at 11301 Red Point Drive, near Summerlin Parkway and Far Hills Avenue. This 24,000 square foot facility was funded by The Howard Hughes Corporation on donated land by the same corporation and will be deeded to the Metropolitan Police Department upon completion.  This station is expected to have 168 commissioned personnel and 16 civilian staff members.

Captain Sasha Larkin will be heading up the new substation to oversee operations once it opens.  According to Tom Warden, senior vice president of community and government relations for Summerlin this substation has been planned for many years ago as a part of the master-planned community of Summerlin.  Warden commented “Having a substation located within the community that is designated to serve all of Summerlin will go a long way in helping to keep safe and protected as it grows.”

There is an open house scheduled for February 4, with the doors open to the public at 5:45 p.m. Will I see you there?

Do you have a need for commercial / industrial / retail buildings or land? Are you ready to buy or sell a home? Do you want 3 cash offers? We can help you with all of that… just call us at 702 SELL NOW or click on this link to my website http://www.702SellNow.com

Choose to have an amazing day….Jeff

Bargain Buying 101: Things to Look for In a Deal when Buying a New Home

Great you and your family have decided to purchase a new home along with the New Year.  It’s not uncommon to face a little bit of sticker shock when it comes to price. This can often lead buyers to try to find a good balance between what they want and what they can afford. However, if you’re smart and maybe a little lucky, you may be able to find some really great deals if you know what to look for.  Plus having a great Realtor can help a lot.

There are some key things to look for in finding a good deal.  Look for properties that have qualities that might seem unappealing at first but that can be corrected fairly easily. Some of these things can drive prices down significantly but won’t require a major renovation to fix. If you’re hoping to find a bargain, here are a few things to look out for.

Ugly Paint – There’s a lot of damage that can make your paint look ugly, however sometimes the paint is just ugly because someone chose to bring together colors that should never coexist. It could be awful colors, it could be cheap paint that’s faded over time or it could even be an amateur paint job that never got touched up. Regardless of the reason for the ugly paint job, it can drive the price of the property down by thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars. It doesn’t even have to be the entire house; one ugly room can give you an opportunity to find a good deal on an otherwise nice property.

Landscaping IssuesA property’s front yard is one of the first things that a potential buyer sees. If it’s obviously been neglected or has bald patches and overgrown flower beds, this can make a negative first impression since it suggests that the house itself might not have been taken care of either. That isn’t always the case, though. Even if the house is in good condition, a yard that needs some TLC can usually trim off some money from the asking price and help you to net a great deal.

Fixtures and Accents – There are a lot of cosmetic elements in houses that can start looking rough over time. Handles and knobs can come loose or become tarnished, shutters can get loose, and bathroom tiles can become cracked… the list goes on. While updating these issues won’t break the bank, many sellers will drop their asking price quite a bit due to how these little things make the house look.

Bathroom Concerns – A lot of buyers shy away from houses that have obvious bathroom problems, causing those sellers to bring the price down significantly in many cases. Depending on the extent of the issues in the bathroom, there could be a real opportunity here. If the problem with the bathroom is mostly cosmetic, then you may be able to fix it on the relatively cheap side and save a lot of money in the process. Just be sure to keep an eye out for signs of water damage or mold, since that could indicate problems that would be much more expensive to fix.

All of the issues I have made you aware of are cosmetic and are easy fixes.  Some of you might be very handy and can do what needs to be fixed by yourself.  Others might want to find a great handyman (or woman) to do this work.  I have lists of people to recommend to you that are good at fixing up, painting and landscaping.  They are all trustworthy and reliable.

Do you have a need for commercial / industrial / retail buildings or land? Are you ready to buy or sell a home? Do you want 3 cash offers? We can help you with all of that… just call us at 702 SELL NOW or click on this link to my website http://www.702SellNow.com

Choose to have an amazing day….Jeff

No More Loan Limits for VA Loans: What This Means for Veterans (Hooray!)

There is a lot to be thankful for this holiday season especially for members of the military on active duty and veterans hoping to buy a home a more expensive home.

Starting next year, they’ll be able to take out Veterans Affairs–backed mortgages as large as their bank accounts will allow.

This is thanks to the Blue Water Navy Veterans Act of 2019; -veterans will be able to buy larger homes in pricier communities without having to put down a cent. However, they must still qualify for their mortgage and be able to afford the monthly payments.

Kyle Reed, an Austin Texas based Realtor stated “It gives the veterans the opportunity to buy homes in the areas they want to be in. It opens up some areas in cities to VA loans … that maybe veterans didn’t have access to before without putting a bunch of money down.”

VA loans up until now, were capped at different amounts across the country. For example, borrowers could take out more in ultra -pricey cities like San Francisco than in Detroit, where homes cost a whole lot less. As long as they stayed within those boundaries they could get a mortgage with a 0% down payment. But if they exceeded those limits, they had to put down 25% of the difference. The change goes into effect Jan. 1, 2020.

Mike Villano of the Veterans Lending Group near Seattle Washington stated “There’s not a lot of VA buyers who are buying these very high-dollar homes, but there are some; however there’s a lot of places where these folks go and serve, and it’s very expensive.”

The problem is that not all lenders are likely to be comfortable making huge loans without imposing a few restrictions of their own. The VA typically backs up to 25% of a VA loan. So banks, credit unions, and other loan makers are likely to set up some internal rules (usually called layers) to protect against defaults.  Some lenders require higher credit scores or debt-to-income ratios to qualify for the loans. And some lenders may even impose their own caps on how much money borrowers can take out.

In addition, mortgage lenders pointed out that the limitless loans will apply only to a borrower’s primary home. That can be problematic for those on active duty, who might buy a home near their base, get stationed somewhere else, and then choose to buy a second home in that location while renting out the first.

Plus if they already have a VA loan on another property, they can’t get the full perks of the loan on a second one. This means they may be on the hook for a down payment or can qualify for only a smaller loan for their new abode. “It would really help a lot of families if they could retain their current home and still be able to purchase at their new duty station with no cap,” says Villano.  Maybe down the road the rules will be modified to include second homes.

If you want a VA loan (or any kind of mortgage), I have a few great lenders I would be happy to introduce you to!

Do you have a need for commercial / industrial / retail buildings or land? Are you ready to buy or sell a home? Do you want 3 cash offers? We can help you with all of that… just call us at 702 SELL NOW or click on this link to my website http://www.702SellNow.com

Choose to have an amazing day….Jeff

Power Surges – Myth or Reality?

A couple of year ago, I was in one of my furnished rental properties, when suddenly (and seemingly for no reason) the lights all got very bright, then burned out and it suddenly smelled like an electrical fire. It turns out, the house had a huge power surge! For some reason, one of the TV’s had a good surge protector, and the other had none at all. Well, as you can probably guess, we had to replace 1 TV, along with the microwave & stove, and several light bulbs. For some reason the washer and dryer were fine. Power surges can wipe out TVs, video games, appliances and many more electronic devices.  This is nothing new – power surges have been in our lives since the invention of electricity, and most of them are more subtle.  However, it is more of a concern these days due to our increased use of electronics.

Basically a power surge is a spike in your home’s electrical current. The spike is very brief, usually lasting less than a thousandth of a second, but it can still cause damage to your anything that is plugged in.

Be certain not to confuse power strips with surge protectors! They look very similar; however, a surge protector will have those words on the box along with a rating in joules!  Essentially, more joules equal better protection, as this means the device can handle one large surge, or multiple smaller surges, before your gear is in danger. Over time, the parts inside the protector wear down, reducing its effectiveness, so you probably want to replace them from time to time… especially the ones hooked up to your most expensive electronics. They are the easiest and least expensive fix for properties with circuit breakers built in.  If you want more protection, consider that phone and cable lines can carry power spikes too. Some surge protectors have connectors for these as well. Many surge protector models will light a warning lamp if the outlet into which they’re plugged isn’t properly grounded. Most do-it-yourself and hardware stores also sell inexpensive circuit testers that are simply plugged into outlets to confirm that circuits are grounded properly.

Also you can install a whole house surge protector at your electrical panel.  I would advise you to have a licensed electrician set this up for you.  This installation will likely cost between $300 to $500. This will monitor electrical spikes and dissolve them safely into the ground before they can do any damage.

During holiday time it’s a good idea to plug in any lights you use in decorating to a surge protector. Has this every happened to you? Share your story below!

Do you have a need for commercial / industrial / retail buildings or land? Are you ready to buy or sell a home? We can help you with that… just call us at 702 SELL NOW or click on this link to my website http://www.702SellNow.com

Choose to have an amazing day….Jeff

Why you should Brine your Turkey this (and every) Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is next week and if you volunteered to roast the Thanksgiving turkey this year and are starting to feel a bit nervous I have three words of advice: Brine your bird. Brining will make sure your turkey will be a juicy and full-flavored even if you’re not feeling confident about your roasting skills.

The turkey is a relatively lean bird, particularly the breast meat, meaning that it doesn’t have a lot of fat to help keep the meat from becoming dry and tough. This is where brining comes in. Brine is a very basic solution of 4 quarts of water and 1 cup of salt, and by giving our turkey a long and luxurious dunk in this solution; we can actually coax a bit more moisture and flavor into our meal.  There are also some aromatic options: bay leaf, peppercorns, cloves, juniper berries, allspice berries, orange peels, lemon peels, to add to the brining mix.  There are many stores in the Las Vegas area that sell kits for brining – Sprouts, Bed Bath and Beyond, Whole Foods and Lowes and of course you can order a kit from Amazon.com.

During brining, the turkey absorbs extra moisture, which in turn helps it stay more moist and juicy both during and after cooking. Since the turkey absorbs salt along with the other flavors in the water, getting nicely seasoned from the inside out. Also the salt breaks down some of the turkey’s muscle proteins, which helps with the overall moisture absorption and also prevents the meat from toughing up quite so much during cooking.

The only downside to brining a turkey is that it takes up a good amount of fridge real-estate. First, find a pot or bucket big enough to comfortably hold the turkey and keep it fully submerged. Next rearrange the fridge to make enough space. If you’re okay meeting these two conditions, then you are good to go!

Brine only turkeys that have not been pre-treated in any way, which should be clearly stated on the label. Do not use turkeys labeled as “kosher,” “enhanced,” or “self-basting” for brining. These turkeys have already been enhanced with salt in some way and brining would result in an over-salted turkey. If your label doesn’t say any of these things or give any indication that it has been pre-treated, then it’s safe to assume you’re getting the turkey and nothing but the turkey, and you’re clear to proceed with brining.  Also it’s fine to brine a partially thawed turkey. The thawing process will continue while the turkey is in the brine.

You cook a brined turkey just as you normally would whether brined or not. Once it’s out of the brine, pat it dry and rub it with any spices you were planning to use (although you can skip the salt!). You can also baste the turkey with juices or brush it with butter as it roasts.  You might find that a brined turkey might cook a little faster than a non-brined bird, so it is recommended starting to check the internal temperature.

The following is step by step instructions to help make your brining easier.

  1. Find a pot or food-safe bucket large enough that you will be able to entirely submerge the turkey. Next, clear some refrigerator space and make sure your pot will fit. (You may have to remove shelves)
  2. Unwrap your turkey and remove the giblets, then transfer it to the pot. Add any aromatics you’d like to use.
  3. Heat 1 quart of water in the microwave until warmed — it doesn’t need to come to a boil, just be warm enough to dissolve the salt. Add the salt and stir until the salt is dissolved. Let the liquid cool slightly; it’s fine if it’s still a touch warm. Also add the other flavors at this time.
  4. Pour the brine solution over the turkey. 
  5. Add the remaining 3 quarts cold water. This dilutes the salt solution to the best ratio for brining and also helps further cool the solution.
  6. Make sure the turkey is completely submerged.If needed, prepare more brine solution at a ratio of 1/4 cup salt per quart of water to completely submerge the turkey.
  7. If the turkey floats, weigh it down with a dinner plate. Cover and place it in the refrigerator.
  8. Brine the turkey in the refrigerator for 12 to 24 hours.
  9. Remove the turkey from the brine and rinse under cold running water. Pat dry with paper towels. Clean your sink thoroughly after doing this step to avoid cross-contamination.
  10. (optional).If you desire, let the turkey air-dry overnight in the refrigerator. Place the turkey on a roasting rack set inside a roasting pan and cover loosely with plastic wrap to prevent cross contamination. This drying step will give your turkey crispier skin.
  11. You can roast the turkey either immediately after brining or after air-drying. I’ve found that brined turkeys tend to cook a bit more quickly, so roast as usual, but start checking the turkey’s temperature an hour before the end of your estimated cooking time.

This might seem overwhelming for first time briner’s, however it is totally worth it – a brined turkey is so good you will always brine your turkeys after tasting the delicious turkey and have your family and friends compliment you on the best bird they have eaten.

It’s funny… I have actually compared staging a home before selling it to brining a turkey… sure you’ll be fine if you don’t do it. However, if you do, the results are dramatically better! (and I always like “better”)

Do you have a need for commercial / industrial / retail buildings or land? Are you ready to buy or sell a home? We can help you with that… just call us at 702 SELL NOW or click on this link to my website http://www.702SellNow.com

Choose to have an amazing day….Jeff

 

“Go to the public library… from your computer or mobile device?”

I love the library – so many books and videos to find and you can take so much home with your trusty library card.  Oh wait, that was years ago.  Boys and Girls the library is fully in the 21st century.

I just discovered how much you can get from the public library without going to the library… including free music, movies, audiobooks, emagazines, ebooks and more. Plus you can get streaming from the library app called Libby and I recommend you also add the Hoopla app.

A good place to start is https://lvccld.org/online-resources/.  I googled this and then decided to actually go to the library when I found out my library card wasn’t the updated version they have been offering for the last 2-3 years.  It’s special alright – the card has the Vegas Golden Knights logo on the front of the card.  While at the library I spoke to a computer specialist to find out how I can stream movies and TV shows – very helpful.

I don’t know if you have been to the Summerlin Library – did you know it is part of the Clark County –Las Vegas library system?  I found out just recently it was.  The Summerlin Library is fantastic – there are so many events there all year round.

Plus they have several musicals and plays that are open to the public for a very small fee in their wonderful theatre and the casts are fantastic.  Click here for more information on the Summerlin Library https://lvccld.org/locations/SM/

Do you have a need for commercial / industrial / retail space? Are you ready to buy or sell a home? We can help you with that… just call us at 702 SELL NOW or click on this link to my website http://www.702SellNow.com

Choose to have an amazing day….Jeff

 

 

Day Tripping – Part Two

Last week I suggested some fun and interesting day trips to destinations around Las Vegas, and still in Nevada – well here are a few days trips that are across the California state line, and are certainly worth visiting (some you might even want to stay overnight in).

Pioneertown – It’s less than four hours from Las Vegas and has an interesting past. In 1946, Pioneertown was founded by a group of Hollywood investors, including actors Roy Rogers and Gene Autry. They dreamed of creating an Old West set 125 miles east of Los Angeles that was actually a town worth visiting.  The town has 1880s-style false-front facades as well as interiors with things for visitors to see and do.

From the outside there are frontier stables, saloons, and jails; inside, they house ice cream parlors, bowling alleys, and motels. It wasn’t a place just for tourists to enjoy though; more than 50 films and television shows were filmed here in the 1940s and ‘50s.  Recently the town has been experiencing something of a renaissance—artists, entrepreneurs, and just regular folks looking to escape city stress are finding their way here. Longtime standby the Pioneertown Motel, a rustic, single-story 20-room inn, has been updated with fire pits, an outdoor bar, and hammocks; it and La Copine, an upscale eatery in nearby Flamingo Heights are contributing to the area’s newfound reputation as a hip getaway.  https://www.visitcalifornia.com/attraction/pioneertown

Big Bear Lake– This is Southern California’s four-season mountain lake escape. Located in the heart of Southern California – and close to Las Vegas it around a 3 ½ hour drive  – Big Bear Lake is the jewel of the San Bernardino National Forest and known for excellent fishing, snowboarding & skiing, hiking, mountain biking and so much more!

During any season, a drive to Big Bear Lake through the San Bernardino National Forest is a wonderful experience. There are winding roads that cascade through hills that become mountains with amazing views of the California basin. You arrive in a destination that’s totally unique and different from the bustling cities below Big Bear Lake. Wood-carved sculptures line the streets, the smell of fresh pine and clean air permeates, and a town decorated in rustic cabins and lodges welcomes your arrival.  https://www.bigbear.com

Death Valley – It’s about a 2 ½ hour drive from Las Vegas to Death Valley and now is the time to go – not too hot (never go in the summer).  Death Valley is a national park located, east of the Sierra Mountains and bordering the state of Nevada. Death Valley has been the home for many Indigenous people dating back to even 10,000 years ago!  Many of these groups (like the Timbisha Shoshone group) were hunters and gatherers that would make winter camps on the valley floor and escape up to the nearby mountains when the weather started heating up.

In the late 1800s and early 1900s, Gold Rush hopefuls and miners came flocking to the area in hopes of gaining riches off of precious gems.  Now Death Valley has some very interesting spots for you to check out – Scotty’s Castle, The Oasis at Death Valley, Furnace Creek, with the park visitor center, as well as campgrounds, restaurants, a store, gas station, and the Furnace Creek Resort, Panamint Springs, and so many incredible sand dunes etc.  Check out the web site – https://www.nps.gov/deva/index.htm

Lake Arrowhead – Located a mile high in the heart of the San Bernardino National Forest, Lake Arrowhead Village is 3 ¾ hours Las Vegas.  With 4 distinct seasons, any time during the year is a great time to visit.  Love the snow? They have it for you from December through March. April and May brings daffodils and dogwoods to the village. From June thru August you’ll find perfect summer weather. Put on your favorite fall sweater and enjoy our fall foliage September thru November.  https://lakearrowhead.com

Joshua Tree – Joshua Tree National Park is a vast protected area in Southern California that is around a three hour drive from Las Vegas. It’s characterized by rugged rock formations and stark desert landscapes. Named for the region’s twisted, bristled Joshua trees, the park straddles the cactus-dotted Colorado Desert and the Mojave Desert, which is higher and cooler. Keys View looks out over the Coachella Valley. Hiking trails weave through the boulders of Hidden Valley. https://www.nps.gov/jotr/index.htm

Calico Ghost Town – Calico is an old West mining town that has been around since 1881 during the largest silver strike in California.  With its 500 mines, Calico produced over $20 million in silver ore over a 12-year span.  When silver lost its value in the mid-1890, Calico lost its population.  Walter Knott purchased Calico in the 1950’s architecturally restoring all but the five original buildings to look as they did in the 1880’s.  Calico received State Historical Landmark 782 and in 2005 was proclaimed by then Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to be California’s Silver Rush Ghost Town. https://www.calicoattractions.com/

Do you have a need for commercial / industrial / retail space? Are you ready to buy or sell a home? We can help you with that… just call us at 702 SELL NOW or click on this link to my website http://www.702SellNow.com

Choose to have an amazing day….Jeff