Let Market Alert Do The Hunting For You

So what is Market Alert? It’s Scott’s Sign up for free emails with homes that match YOUR search criteria. There is NO need to keep doing a search every day for new homes for sale.  Let WeSellOakdale do the work for you.   Stay informed immediately, via email, of any new homes that come on the market, any price changes and what has sold. You can set up as many Searches as you like.  By city, zip, # of bedrooms, baths, pool, square footage – you choose whatever parameters YOU want or need with NO Spam. I DO NOT sell your data to anyone and you can cancel your searches at any time.

My favorite search feature is the “Map It” tab – it’s a great way to really narrow your search by subdivision, even by street.  Go LIVE your life and let Market Alert do the research for you.

In addition, I preview these listings and talk with the other realtors constantly. I’ll know all about its condition, the floor plan, if the seller may be VERY motivated – all the info that could affect your bargaining position. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to give me a call. 209-765-7929

What’s It Like To List Your Home With Scott?

Let Scott work for you.

Scott often shares one of his favorite analogies:
“If you ever watch an eagle fishing over a lake or river,” he says, “you’ll notice they may make 30 or 40 passes until they catch a fish. That’s the formula for success!   Sharp vision and sheer determination.”

That’s the work ethic I put into place with every client I work for.  My job is to help you prepare to get the very best price for your home.  Then sort through our competition and the buyers and bring you the right buyer while you live your life.

Save Water Save $$$

Well, are we out of the drought?
 Will we continue to focus on water conservation?

The truth is: ‘THEY’ are going to charge us more money for the water we use,
 WHATEVER  we do!

Here are some steps we implemented at our place and it saved us 27-35% in water consumption per month. Our lawns, flower beds and trees are thriving, even in the 100 + degree summer weather and we remain in compliance with all of the 2014 drought regulations.

Step #1:  Make a decision, commit to a course of action.
  Do I like my landscaping or not?

Step #2: What kind, California lawn, trees and plants or Arizona 
cactus with rock and gravel?
  If you choose or chose Arizona rock and gravel/bark with no lawn, trees or shrubs – that’s as drought friendly as you can go & still have landscaping. For most of us, we already have the California look – lawn, trees, plants, flowers & maybe a little garden area. Assuming that we will be either be on a 2 or 3 days per week lawn watering rotation, here are some of the tips on how we got more results with less water.


 Do a little sprinkler maintenance: Check your pop up sprinklers, make sure that grass is not blocking the water spray, you may need to cut away grass in the spray zone (dig them out a little) or raise the pop-up head by adding a small riser. Clean them up so they are 100% efficient.

Get a good multi-station timer:  (the Orbits brand is a good one, there are others) with a minimum of 10 stations. Identify your individual water circuits, most homes have 3 lawn circuits in front and 2 in the backyard.

For each day that you are allowed to water your lawn:
  Set each circuit for 8-10 minutes, for 2 or 3 times per day early in the morning with at least a 45-minute break in between. The short watering times (8 – 10 minutes) with at least a 45-minute pause in between allows the water to seep into the roots. This reduces runoff and maximizes the effectiveness of the water used. The early morning watering times provides the lawns with a deep root quenching to start the hot, dry days ahead.

Here’s an example of how to set up your water time circuits:

Circuit 1. Front Lawn – Area 1. 1st Start Time 2:00 am for 8 minutes. 2nd Start Time 2:45 am for 8 minutes. If your lawn requires the 3 times per day, limit the last cycle to 4-5 minutes to avoid water runoff on the sidewalk.

Circuit 2. Front Lawn. Area 2. 1st Start Time 2:30 am for 8 minutes.  
2nd  Start Time 3:15 am for 8 minutes. 
If your lawn requires the 3 times per day, limit the last cycle to 4-5 minutes to avoid water runoff on the sidewalk.


DRIP THEM. There are NO daily restrictions on a drip system. 
They make a ‘pop up sprinkler head to drip’ conversion KIT that comes with all the pieces you will need. If you have ridged pipes with spray heads they have KITS that convert each of them to 6 feeder lines. It’s really slick and means you can start laying out the drip lines without having to dig. Just use your existing spray pop-ups and modify them for drip according to the kit’s instructions, choosing as many sprinkler heads as you need to provide a drip line to each of your plants and trees.

To decommission the unnecessary pop-up heads, take a small screwdriver and tighten down the screw in the center of the pop-up spray head, they will pop up but they won’t spray. For those with ridged pipes, just remove old unused spray heads and cap them with ½” PVC threaded caps.

SPECIAL NOTE: Drip systems work best when you use filters or membranes to keep out the seeds and dirt that is in our clean water. Installing a filter on a drip line circuit at the valve is a great way to protect against plugged up emitters.

How to decide what size emitters to use for your plants and trees:

Here’s a quick visualization exercise that will help you determine the best emitter size for each plant and the amount of time the water circuit should be on.

Get a ½ gallon milk jug and fill it. So, a 1 gallon per hour emitter, on for 30 minutes will fill that milk jug just as you did. Not all the plants need that much water so you can adjust the duration time down or lower the emitter volume, using a ¼ or ½ gallon per hour emitter. Just a little bit of math and you are a professional.

Setting the drip system circuit time:

We water our plants at night every other day, 30 minutes in duration, during the summer.

In my travels around Oakdale,  I see evidence of homes being hit by misdirected or broken spray sprinklers. The stucco discolors and cracks, the wood trim and siding fade, crack and get dry rot, all of these conditions diminish the look and value of your home and will ultimately cost you $$.   Therefore, a weekend ‘Water Project’ could save you monthly on your water bill and save you the cost of repairs.

As Always Keep You Castle In Great Shape !

How To Attack Your Credit Score and WIN!

Credit Score Management Is A Lot Like Managing Your Grades In School

– It’s Simple, It Takes Some Focus, Here’s How & Why

A credit score is simply a number based on information in your credit history. It is meant to show the likelihood that a borrower will default on a loan. Most common in the United States is the FICO credit score. FICO is the acronym for the company that developed the credit score model, Fair Isaac Corporation. The exact formula for calculating a credit score is secret. However, here are the factors considered and the approximate weighting of each:

>Payment History (35%) Late payments will reduce your score.

>How much you owe overall and in relation to your credit limits (30%)  Being nearly “maxed out” will lower your score. A good rule of thumb is to keep your Credit Card balance less than 30% of your credit card limit.

>Length of credit history (15%)  Longer is better.

>Recent credit checks (10%)  When a lender checks your credit history, your credit score may drop slightly. Shopping for a better interest rate from several firms in a short period is not supposed to lower your credit score.

> Other Factors (10%) For example, a mix of credit (credit cards, mortgage & auto loans, personal lines of credit) can increase your credit score slightly.

To maximize your credit score, focus on the first two items. Make sure you pay your bills on time and consider not canceling a bank or high credit limit credit card even if you do not plan to use it.

Fair Isaac does not calculate anyone’s credit score. They simply sell their algorithm to credit bureaus, those firms that collect credit information. There are three primary credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. The information obtained by these three bureaus is not identical, therefore the FICO credit score provided by each will differ slightly.

FICO scores range from 300 to 850, but are not evenly distributed throughout the range. Early in 2009, as the nation’s recession took hold and prior to the run of foreclosures, the median credit score was about 725. This means that about half of all people had a credit score greater than 725, while half had a credit score below 725. A higher score is better. Each credit-granting institution must decide if an applicant’s credit score is acceptable.

All three credit bureaus sell personal credit information to credit card companies and others. Credit card companies often send letters of “pre-approved” credit, based on credit information they have obtained about you. These solicitations can be dramatically reduced by indicating you do not want your credit information sold to credit card companies. You can do this by calling 1-888-OPT-OUT (1-888-567-8688). To find out more in depth information about credit scores go to www.myfico.com.

Why does it matter?
Banks, and others who grant credit, usually consider more than just your credit score. For example, they may also consider your current income and the stability of your employment. A low score may prevent you from getting credit, or if you are given a loan, it will most likely be at a higher interest rate. A higher interest rate on a home mortgage, auto loan or credit card can make a big difference in your monthly payment.

Your credit score affects more than just interest rates. How much you pay for auto and homeowners’ insurance will likely be influenced by your credit score. The lower your score, the more you may pay for insurance, and vice versa. Why? Insurance companies have found that those with lower scores tend to have more claims, and they base their rates accordingly.

11 Reasons Why Your Home Isn’t Selling

When you first put your house on the market, you might be hopeful for a quick sale. Especially if you’ve put a lot of money into improving your house over the years and if the neighborhood is one that has historically attracted a lot of buyers. While you shouldn’t panic if the house doesn’t sell the moment you list it, you should begin to worry if the months start flying by without any real offers.  Here are 11 reasons why your house may not be selling.

You overvalued your property.  If your house is overpriced, it’s simply not going to sell. Compare your property to similar properties that recently sold within your area to get a better idea of its true value. I’m very direct and upfront with this information. Additionally, don’t make the mistake of assuming that the cost of a renovation project translates to added value.

The Realtors marketing presentation is poor. If the listing of your home includes a poorly written description without any images, a lot of buyers are going to skip over it. Make sure you and your REALTOR® put an effort into creating marketing that attracts the attention of buyers. Make sure to add high-quality photographs of both the interior and exterior of your home. Don’t forget to highlight unique features as well.

You’re always present at showings. Let your agent handle your showings. Buyers don’t want to have the seller lurking over their shoulder during showings, especially during an open house. This puts unwanted pressure on the buyer, which will make them uncomfortable and can actually chase them away. We want them to have the time to picture themselves making this their home.

You’re too attached. If you refuse to negotiate even a penny off your price, then there’s a good chance that you’ve become too attached to your home. If a part of you doesn’t want to sell, or you think your house is the best house in the world, odds are you’re going to have a lot of difficulties coming to an agreement with a potential buyer.

You haven’t had your home professionally cleaned. A dirty house is going to leave a bad impression on buyers. Make sure you have a professional clean your carpeting and maybe even your windows and do some yard and flowerbed cleanup before you begin showing your house.

You haven’t staged your home.  This makes it difficult for buyers to imagine living in it. Stage your house with furniture and decor to give buyers a better idea of how big every room is and how it can be used. You want the buyer to feel at home when they are taking the tour.

You kept up all of your personal décor. Buyers are going to feel uncomfortable touring your house if you keep all of your family portraits up. Take down your personal décor so that buyers can have an easier time imagining themselves living there.

Your home improvements are too personalized. You might think that the comic book mural you painted for your child’s room is absolutely incredible, but that doesn’t mean potential buyers will agree. If your home improvements are too personalized, it can scare off buyers who don’t want to pay for features they don’t want.

Your home is too cluttered. Even if your home is clean, clutter can still be an issue. For example, maybe you simply have too much furniture in one of your rooms. This can make the house feel smaller than it is.

Your home is in need of too many repairs. The more repairs that are needed, the less likely a buyer will want your house. Many buyers simply don’t want to deal with the cost or effort of doing repair work, even if it’s just a bunch of small repairs, such as tightening a handrail or replacing a broken tile.

You chose the wrong real estate agent.  Choosing the right real estate agent is simply the most important decision you make in selling your home. A good REALTOR® makes all the difference in selling your home within a reasonable time. and at the highest possible price.