Nov. 22, 2019

Knowing the 925: The 12 Days of Crossmas Holiday Giveaway

The Cross Group would like to thank you so much for another amazing year.

Buying a home? Click here to perform a full home search
Selling a home? Click here for a FREE Home Price Evaluation

 

Crossmas is the largest local giveaway on social media. Beginning on December 10 and ending December 22, we’re going to showcase 12 amazing businesses and give you the chance to win some awesome prizes.

All you have to do to enter is head to the Knowing the 925 Facebook page for your chance to win during the 12 Days of Crossmas. Watch the local business video featured there and comment “done” so we know you’ve done it, and be sure to share it with your friends so that we can help support our local businesses. You’ll also want to like the Knowing the 925 page and the Featured Business page to stay updated as these videos roll out.

 

 

  

For the 12 Days of Crossmas, we’re going to showcase 12 amazing businesses and give you the chance to win some awesome prizes.

 

 


For a second chance to win, or if you don’t have a Facebook account, we’ll also be posting a video on Instagram, where you can learn how to get a second entry into the drawing.

On December 24, we will go live and announce the winners, who will be chosen at random. You can win more than one prize, so be sure to watch all 12 videos.

From all of us here at the Cross Group, we wish you a very merry Christmas.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We’d love to speak with you.

Nov. 14, 2019

What You Need to Know About the Tenant Protection Act

What is the Tenant Protection Act and what should landlords and tenants know? Let’s discuss.

Buying a home? Click here to perform a full home search
Selling a home? Click here for a FREE Home Price Evaluation

 

The Tenant Protection Act goes into effect on January 1, 2020, and there are a few key points landlords and tenants alike should understand about this new legislation. 

 

There are two main parts to this act. The first addresses rental cap law, and the second addresses eviction law. Let’s start by addressing the changes to state-wide rental cap legislation, which stipulates that rental rate increases must not exceed 5% plus inflation on an annual basis. This means that, at a maximum, California landlords may increase rental rates by 10% each year, depending on local inflation rates. 

 

There are some rules and exemptions to this. For instance, if a tenant moves out of a property, the landlord may increase the rental rate to market value for the new tenant.

 

 

  

Both the new rental cap law and the new eviction law carry certain exceptions.

 

 


Moving on, let’s go over the changes to eviction legislation. These changes have manifested in the form of something called “Just Cause” eviction law. Essentially, landlords will still be able to evict problematic tenants, but will need to provide sufficient legal evidence before a court in order to do so. Just Cause eviction outlines 15 specific reasons a landlord may evict a tenant, the most common of which you can read more about here.

 

There are also instances in which an owner isn’t considered at fault for evicting a tenant, though, such as in the case that they’re removing the property from the rental market or moving into it, themselves. 

 

Also, just like in the case of rental cap law, Just Cause eviction laws do carry certain exemptions based on the way the landlord holds title, how long the tenant has lived in the property, and whether the owner has access to the property.

 

These points combined basically sum up what you need to know about the Tenant Protection Act, but if you have any other questions or would like more information, please feel free to give me a call or send me an email. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

 

Posted in Homeowner
Nov. 1, 2019

2019 Letter From Santa

Send Someone Special a Letter From Santa!  

Want to know an easy way to bring a smile to a child’s face? Have Santa send them a personalized letter!  The Cross Group's team of elves has coordinated with the Big Man in Red to send letters to good boys and girls all across the US. It is very simple, just follow the steps below and we will take care of the rest! (We told you it was easy!) And would you like to know the best part? The letters come with an official North Pole postmark and they are FREE!

Here are the easy peasy steps:

– Complete the form below. Please be sure to speeall coreckly ???? and use capitals when required. 

– Once you have completed the form, hit submit. Our team will take it from there! Letters will be written by Santa and mailed directly to the child! 

Please note:
– You can put up to 4 children on a letter but if you have more children in the same home you can fill out the form twice.– To have the special North Pole postmark on the letter, we MUST have your request by 11:59pm on Thursday, November 21.

The magic of Santa is something all children should experience. We are thrilled to help you bring joy into your loved one’s holiday!

Please scroll inside the box below to see more of the form.  And be sure to hit submit when you are done!

Posted in Community
Oct. 31, 2019

5 Reasons Why Holidays Are a Good Time to Sell

Here are some reasons why the holiday season is a great time to sell your home.

Buying a home? Click here to perform a full home search
Selling a home? Click here for a FREE Home Price Evaluation

 

Step aside, spring selling season! The holidays are also a great time to sell your home, and here’s why:

1. Buyers want to be in their home before the new year. Many are interested in being moved in before January 1 so they can enjoy the tax benefit of owning a new home the previous year. People believe the real estate market is especially slow during the holidays, but we’re actually the busiest in the months before the end of the year. Understand there are still a lot of buyers who are anxiously searching for that perfect home before the year ends.

 

2. There are fewer homes on the market. Because of the myth that real estate dries up in the winter months, sellers take their homes off the market. This gives an advantage to those who keep theirs on the market—supply and demand tells us that the fewer homes there are, the more opportunity you have to sell.

 

 

  

We’re actually the busiest in the months before the end of the year.

 

 


3. Buyers have time off to view your home. For many people, it can be difficult to make it to showings due to traffic, work schedules, and overall business. With holiday time off, these people are now free to schedule appointments and see what’s available to purchase.

 

4. Holiday decorations increase curb appeal. So many of my buyers have made decisions based on the beautiful decorations they’ve seen on potential homes. The holiday cheer has an effect on buyers—they’ll actually imagine spending holidays with family in a well-decorated home.

 

5. The holiday season has blackout dates. As a seller, you may be somewhat cautious about having your home on the market due to your hectic holiday schedule. It can be difficult to be constantly available when buyers need to see your home. You can simply let us know when you don’t want your home to be shown. We can also remove our sign for times such as when family is visiting. The key is to still give buyers the opportunity to see your home.

If you have any questions, need information, or have ideas on future video topics you’d like me to cover, feel free to reach out to me. I look forward to hearing from you.

Posted in Home Seller
Oct. 25, 2019

HALLOWEEN SAFETY TIPS

 

Halloween is upon us again, and this year we want to make sure everyone has a safe and fun Halloween. There are several simple precautions you can follow to minimize the chances of your family, pets and property becoming an annual statistic. 

Here are some key safety tips to keep you and your family safe this Halloween!

 

HALLOWEEN COSTUME SAFETY

1.      Choose or make costumes that are bright and reflective. You can add reflective tape and/or glow sticks into costumes and bags.

2.    Try to avoid wearing masks since they limit or block eyesight. Consider non-toxic makeup and decorative hats as safer alternatives. Hats should fit properly to prevent them from sliding over eyes. Makeup should be tested ahead of time on a small patch of skin to ensure children are not sensitive to it. Always wash makeup off immediately after trick-or-treating.

3.    Swords, knives, and other costume accessories should be short, soft, and flexitble.

4.    Make sure you and your children are in comfortable, well-fitting shoes. Girls in dresses should avoid heels and make sure the dress is not too long to avoid tripping. All shoelaces should be double-knotted before leaving to Trick-or-Treat.

 

JACK-O-LANTERN PUMPKIN SAFETY

1. Small children should never carve pumpkins. Let them draw a face with markers and then the parents can do the carving.  While older children can carve their pumpkins it is highly recommended to supervise closely.

2. DO NOT use kitchen knives to carve your Jack-O-Lanterns. Instead, buy a pumpkin carving kit which uses small saws.

3. Use a flashlight, glow stick or LED candle instead of a flamed candle to light your pumpkin. If you do use a flamed candle, a votive candle is safest.

 4. Candlelit pumpkins should be placed on a sturdy table, away from curtains and other flammable objects. They should be out of reach of small children and pets and not on a porch or any path where visitors may pass close by possibly creating a tripping hazard. 

 

TRICK OR TREATING SAFETY  

1.    Have a planned path for your Trick-or-Treaters. Choose the most efficient and safest path. Stick to areas that you and your children know.

2.    A mature sibling, parent or responsible adult should always accompany young children on their neighborhood rounds.

3.    Older children going without an adult should still travel with a group of friends. Plan and review the route that is acceptable to you. Make sure they have a cell phone with them and agree upon a reasonable curfew.

4.    Make sure your kids know that treats should not be consumed until you’ve have had a chance to check the treats back home in a well-lit area to make sure they’re sealed.

5.    Remain on well-lit streets and always use the sidewalk. If no sidewalk is available, walk at the far edge of the roadway facing traffic.

6.    Only cross the street as a group and in established crosswalks. Never cross between parked cars or out of driveways.

7.    Never cut across yards or use alleys.

8.    Don’t assume the right of way. Motorists may have trouble seeing trick-or-treaters.

9.    NEVER enter a home or car for a treat. 

 

PET SAFETY

1.    Keep sweets away from your pet, especially chocolate from your dog.

2.    Avoid dressing your pet up on Halloween. Even though they look cute it is very uncomfortable for them.

3.    Keep your pet out of the way from all the trick or treaters.

 4. Make sure to have your pet correctly tagged incase it escapes on Halloween night. 

Happy Halloween!!!

Posted in Community
Oct. 17, 2019

3 Tips That Will Make Your Home Sale Easier While Going Through a Divorce

Are you going through a divorce and need to sell your home? Here are three tips that will make the sale process easier.

Buying a home? Click here to perform a full home search
Selling a home? Click here for a FREE Home Price Evaluation

 

If you’re going through a divorce and need to sell your home, here are three tips that will make the sale process smoother. 

First, talk to someone with divorce experience. A Realtor will be able to answer a lot of questions about your home, and they should be the first person you call. But you should also speak with someone who’s handled divorce sales in the past. Even if you and your spouse are on the same page, couples going through a divorce will oftentimes have a difference of opinion halfway through the transaction, and it takes a special skill set to walk each person through these differences of opinion. 

Second, know your options. I work with a lot of couples who are going through a divorce, and I find that many of them aren’t sure of what their options are when discussing one of their largest financial assets: their home. This means it’s paramount that you speak with a Realtor who can explain your options.

 

 

  

I’ve helped many clients who were going through a divorce, and I’ve seen a lot of different scenarios arise.

 

 

Usually, the best option in this situation is to sell the home and split the proceeds, but is that the best option for you? Or would the best option be if one spouse bought out the other, or rented the home from the other? Or what if you both kept the house and used it as rental income? No matter which option you choose, make sure you get good advice and that all the paperwork is handled correctly 

Lastly, know what to expect. I’ve helped many clients who were going through a divorce, and I’ve seen a lot of different scenarios arise. That’s why I put together an e-book that covers this topic in-depth and details which strategies to use to overcome various obstacles. To receive a free copy of this book, all you have to do is reach out to me and I’ll email it to you. 

If you have any more questions about this or any other real estate topic, feel free to reach out to me. I look forward to talking to you soon.

 

Posted in Home Seller
Oct. 16, 2019

4 Tips to Save on Your Energy Bill

 

As a homeowner, it is important to keep your home running efficiently, not only to save money, but also to help the environment thrive. Since, Energy Efficiency Day was just on October 2nd, we thought it would be a perfect time to inform you about some key upgrades that will improve the efficiency of your home. Even if you are looking to sell your house, these 4 tips will help increase the pool of potential buyers in your market. 

1. Make the Switch to LED

LEDs are a great example of how innovation and technology can make your life easier. They last at least 25 times longer and consume up to 90% less electricity than incandescent bulbs. 

TIP: By switching five of your home's most frequent used bulbs with LEDs, it is possible to save $75 on energy costs annually. 

2. Seal Those Leaks

On average, heating and cooling account for almost half of your home's energy consumption. In fact, all the little leaks can be equivalent to leaving open a 3-foot-by-3-foot window. 

TIP: Take simple steps by caulking windows, sealing leaks around chimneys and recessed lighting, and sliding draft guards under your doors to save up to 20% on heating costs. 

3. Heat and Cool Efficiently

Don't waste money heating or cooling an empty home. Install a programmable thermostat and in colder weather schedule your home's heat to lower when you are away or asleep and increase when you are returning home or waking-up. In warm weather, schedule the thermostat to raise the temperature when you are away or asleep, and lower it at other times. 

Tip: Follow the U.S. Department of Energy recommended temperatures and be energy-efficient all year.

4. Maintain Your HVAC System

Make sure to clean or change your furnace filters regularly. A dirty furnace filter will slow down air flow, making the system work harder to keep you warm (cool) and costing you more money. 

TIP: Consider getting a winter tune-up. Just as a tune-up for your car can improve your gas mileage, a semi-annual or yearly tune-up of your heating and cooling system can be vital to improve efficiency, saving you money and making your home more comfortable. 

By making a few key upgrades to your home you will save on your utility bills and improve the energy efficiency of your home. When you're ready to sell your house, these key features will make it even more attractive to potential buyers. L

If you have any questions or would like to get together to discuss what buyers are looking for when it comes to energy efficiency options in our area give me a call at 925-584-1640. 

Posted in Community
Oct. 4, 2019

Which Came First: The Chicken or the Egg?

If you’re thinking of buying or selling, the order in which you handle the tasks associated with these moves matters. Allow me to explain.

Buying a home? Click here to perform a full home search
Selling a home? Click here for a FREE Home Price Evaluation

 

The age-old question about whether the chicken or the egg came first has prompted heated debate for many years. Whatever the case was, though, the end result has been lots of chickens and lots of eggs. The order doesn’t really matter.

In real estate, however, the order of operations is everything. 

So when buyers tell me that they plan to purchase a home in a few months, and will, therefore, “just call me then,” or when sellers tell me they’d like to list but don’t want my help until they’re moments from putting their home on the market, this is a major mistake. The truth is that market conditions change all the time.

You need to work with a Realtor before you’ve got all of your ducks (or chickens) in a row if you want your home sale or home purchase to go smoothly. Trying to prepare on your own can be unnecessarily expensive and stressful, and, ultimately, won’t put you any closer to the kind of results you deserve.

 

 

  

I like to speak with buyers and sellers months before they’re ready to make their move.

 

 

An agent will not only be able to help you determine what steps you should take to make the most of your real estate goals, but they will also advocate for you along the way. They can also help you figure out what kind of timeline works best for you. Most people don’t realize how long the entire real estate process can actually take. I like to speak with buyers and sellers months before they’re ready to make their move so that I can help them make smart decisions about their goals. 

If you have plans on moving in the next year, please reach out now. My team and I are here to answer all your questions, so don’t hesitate to get in touch by phone or email to ask for a free consultation. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Posted in Home Buyer, Home Seller
Oct. 3, 2019

Projected Home Sales

The top 3 industry analysis are predicting home sales to increase in 2020.  

The real estate market is still strong and will continue to be strong over the next several years.  If you are thinking about buying, selling or investing lets take a few minutes to discuss how this information may effect you moving forward.

When you are making one of the most important decisions of your life it is important to have all the information so you can make the best decision based on the facts.

Most of the information you see in the news is National and some of it may not pertain to us here locally or it is actually the opposite for us.  

I am your local expert!  It is my job to give you the answers to all the questions you have as it pertains to you and your home.

Call or text me, Kari Cross, direct at 925-584-1640



Posted in Community
Oct. 2, 2019

Are you selling your house in the next 6 months?

 

 

What a difference a day makes!!!⁠

If you are thinking about selling sometime in the next several months we will schedule your outside pictures to be done on a sunny day and keep the pictures until you are ready... FREE of charge!⁠

We have a better chance of scheduling pictures on a pretty day now than we will when winter really hits.

Call us and schedule your exterior pictures today. That way if you do decide to sell your home it will look better than all the other homes on the market for sell.  ⁠

Flowers, grass and lighting is great now, but that will be changing very soon.  ⁠

☎️Call today to save your spot 925-584-1640⁠

 

 

Posted in Community