When you’re getting ready to list your home, it’s of the upmost importance to ensure you are showing it in the best light. Taking time to highlight its strengths and fix up some of its possible weaknesses can make a big difference in how fast it sells. Here are our top five recommended repairs to make before selling your home.

Repaint walls.

Giving your home a fresh coat of paint is one of the most cost-effective ways to spruce it up, and generally, it can be a do-it-yourself project. Make sure cover any walls with scratches and chips and consider updating any accent walls with a more neutral coat.

Repair floors.

Hardwood floors are a very desirable feature in a home, so you want to ensure they look their best by fixing scratches or dull areas. If your carpet is worn or stained, consider replacing them. And don’t forget the tile in your kitchen or bathrooms. Re-grouting can go a long way in making dingy tile work look brand new!

Refresh the landscaping.

Show buyers your home is the full package by dressing up the outside as well as the in. Clean walkways and driveways, plant seasonal flowers and plants, trim hedges and trees, install outdoor décor pieces and fill in mulch and gravel.

Fix your fixtures.

Leaky faucet? Rusted drains? Loose drawer handle? Making these small fixes can make a big difference to potential buyers with detailed-orientated minds. Improve your kitchen. An outdated kitchen can be a real eyesore in a home. Updating cabinetry, repairing or replacing countertops, and installing new faucets and sinks may be worth the investment.

Every home and budget are different. Thus, a walk through is important to determine the best and most cost effective way to get your home ready for sale. For a free consultation call: (831) 588-2334. I am here to help and listen!

Posted on April 15, 2019 at 5:14 pm
Shemeika Fox | Posted in Uncategorized |

Will you take advantage of this market shift?

Average homebuyer budget down $21K amid rising rates

by Steve Randall01 Jan 2019

A homebuyer earning the median US income is finding their choice of affordable homes falling as mortgage rates rise.

Assuming they use 30% of their income for monthly mortgage payments, they would have been able to afford a home up to $393,700 a year ago. But while rates were 4.15% in January 2018, as we begin a new year, an analysis from Zillow finds that the budget is slashed to $372,000 due to 4.63% rates.

If mortgage rates climb to 6% in 2019, that homebuyer will see the ceiling for their budget cut to $319,200 if their income remains the same and they stick to using 30% for mortgage payments.

The figures reveal that those buyers could be priced out of almost 50,000 US homes.

“In the end, the best time to buy a home is always when the time is right for an individual buyer – often when they’re financially ready, when they’re relocating to a new area or a major life event requires them to upsize or downsize. It’s also important to remember that rates on a typical mortgage remain very low by historic standards – especially given the type of strong economic growth we’ve been experiencing.”

The impact of rising rates cuts buyers’ budgets even more in expensive markets. For example, in San Jose, the nation’s most expensive metro, a 6%mortgage rate would mean buyers making the $118,400 median household income, would see their budget reduced by $102,100 than they might consider now to maintain monthly mortgage payments at 30% of income.

In each of the 35 largest metro areas in the U.S., the drop in buying power is at least $46,500.

Metropolitan Area Median
Home at
Current Rate
Home at 5
Percent Rate
Home at 6
Percent Rate
United States $61,240 $222,800 $372,000 $337,100 $319,200
New York, NY $76,582 $435,700 $465,200 $421,500 $399,200
Los Angeles, CA $70,591 $650,400 $428,800 $388,500 $367,900
Chicago, IL $70,123 $223,600 $426,000 $385,900 $365,500
Dallas-Fort Worth, TX $67,605 $237,800 $410,700 $372,100 $352,400
Philadelphia, PA $70,321 $231,100 $427,200 $387,000 $366,500
Houston, TX $64,822 $203,200 $393,800 $356,800 $337,900
Washington, DC $101,124 $403,000 $614,300 $556,600 $527,100
Miami, FL $54,135 $281,700 $328,800 $297,900 $282,200
Atlanta, GA $66,202 $215,000 $402,100 $364,400 $345,100
Boston, MA $87,854 $462,000 $533,700 $483,500 $457,900
San Francisco, CA $104,496 $963,000 $634,800 $575,100 $544,700
Detroit, MI $59,496 $158,400 $361,400 $327,500 $310,100
Riverside, CA $62,052 $363,900 $376,900 $341,500 $323,400
Phoenix, AZ $62,167 $262,000 $377,600 $342,200 $324,000
Seattle, WA $84,631 $486,400 $514,100 $465,800 $441,100
Minneapolis, MN $77,808 $265,200 $472,600 $428,200 $405,600
San Diego, CA $75,831 $592,800 $460,600 $417,400 $395,300
St. Louis, MO $63,468 $165,600 $385,500 $349,300 $330,800
Tampa, FL $53,987 $211,500 $327,900 $297,100 $281,400
Baltimore, MD $81,722 $267,400 $496,400 $449,800 $426,000
Denver, CO $77,178 $403,800 $468,800 $424,800 $402,300
Pittsburgh, PA $60,064 $143,400 $364,900 $330,600 $313,100
Portland, OR $73,805 $393,700 $448,300 $406,200 $384,700
Charlotte, NC $63,841 $203,900 $387,800 $351,400 $332,800
Sacramento, CA $68,440 $403,400 $415,700 $376,700 $356,700
San Antonio, TX $59,287 $190,500 $360,100 $326,300 $309,000
Orlando, FL $55,315 $233,700 $336,000 $304,400 $288,300
Cincinnati, OH $64,049 $165,900 $389,100 $352,500 $333,800
Cleveland, OH $55,190 $144,400 $335,300 $303,800 $287,700
Kansas City, MO $65,266 $189,100 $396,500 $359,200 $340,200
Las Vegas, NV $57,909 $277,300 $351,800 $318,700 $301,800
Columbus, OH $63,999 $187,400 $388,800 $352,200 $333,600
Indianapolis, IN $60,431 $161,600 $367,100 $332,600 $315,000
San Jose, CA $118,427 $1,251,200 $719,400 $651,800 $617,300
Austin, TX $75,717 $304,200 $459,900 $416,700 $394,700


Posted on January 3, 2019 at 1:05 am
Shemeika Fox | Posted in Uncategorized |

Top Tips for Staging Your Home

A recent survey from the National Association of Realtors® revealed that 77 percent of buyers’ agents said staging a home makes it easier for potential buyers to visual it as their own. That’s why here at Breakthrough Broker, we believe staging is not to be overlooked! Here are our top tips.

  1. Dress up your yard. First impressions count, and the first one your home gives comes from the exterior. Mow the lawn, clean up shrubbery, rake any leaves, clean the walkway and driveway, plant in-season flowers, and pull up any unsightly weeds.
  2. Reduce personal items. Make it easier for buyers to imagine themselves making your house their home by removing personal photos and knick-knacks from shelves, walls, and counters. Instead replace them with clean, simple décor, such as abstract paintings, nature images, vases, plants, and more.
  3. Organize your storage areas. Storage is a huge selling point. Tidy up and clear out the accessible closets and cupboards in the home and make sure to point them out during an open house or showing.
  4. Appeal to the senses. Consider ways you can appeal to potential homebuyers’ other senses. During a viewing or open house, bake some fresh cookies or burn delicious smelling candles and play light, relaxing music in the background.
  5. Consider turning to an expert. With their knowledge of current trends and great eye for design, professionally certified stagers can transform a home in a variety of ways and have a keen sense of what homebuyers want and expect in a home. Investing in hiring a pro may pay off in dividends.



Posted on December 4, 2018 at 10:38 pm
Shemeika Fox | Posted in Uncategorized |

New home construction is on the rise, even in Santa Cruz County. Take a Look!

19 New Homes to be Developed in Scotts Valley, CA By: Apple Homes Development Inc.

Santa Cruz has always had a slow/to no growth mentality which has made the housing market a challenge to get into. Our population continues to grow, and our housing inventory cannot seem to keep up. Our proximity to Silicon Valley, The University of California Santa Cruz, beaches and state parks has attracted many people to this beautiful area on the Central Coast. It is refreshing to see new construction coming to Scotts Valley.

For More information contact: Shemeika Fox- Your Santa Cruz Realtor- (831) 588-2334

Have a look: 19 New Solar Powered Homes In Scotts Valley, CA


Homebuilder sentiment makes unexpected jump

Confidence among U.S. homebuilders unexpectedly rose in October, registering the first gain in five months amid falling lumber prices and solid demand, according to a report Tuesday from the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo.

Highlights of homebuilder sentiment (October)

  • Housing Market  Index increased 1 point to 68 (est. 66)
  • Current-sales gauge for single-family homes increased to 74 from 73;  gauge of six-month sales outlook rose to a three-month high of 75 from 74
  • Measure of prospective buyer traffic climbed to a seven-month high of 53 from 49

Key takeaways

October’s pickup in sentiment across the three sub-indexes and all four regions indicates the market for newly-built homes may be regaining steam after a broad cooling in housing in recent months. Tailwinds from tax cuts and one of the strongest job markets in decades continue to elevate sentiments and boost demand. Lumber prices have also fallen almost 50 percent since reaching a record in May.

At the same time, affordability continues to present challenges, with rising home prices and borrowing costs, the report said. Data on housing starts and existing-home sales due this week are both projected to show declines in September from the prior month.

Official’s view

“Favorable economic conditions and demographic tailwinds should continue to support demand, but housing affordability has become a challenge due to ongoing price and interest rate increases,” NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz said in a statement. “Unless housing affordability stabilizes, the market risks losing additional momentum as we head into 2019.”

Other details

  • Confidence gauge in Northeast climbed to a 13-year high of 64; reached four-month high in West
  • Measures of sentiment rose 2 points each in the Midwest, South


Copyright Bloomberg News

Posted on October 17, 2018 at 6:46 pm
Shemeika Fox | Posted in New Homes Santa Cruz County |