Green Designation

Last week, I attended a two day seminar, ‘Green Designation’ sponsored by the National Association of REALTORS® this course gives agents a better understanding of green real estate principles.  It also helps us to be better consumers and stewards of our own ‘footprint’.

This class was an awakening not just another designation behind my name for me.  I always felt that I was someone who was a good recycler, I changed my light bulbs to CFL’s, we have low-flow shower heads, we have fruit trees and we gave up our lawn five years ago to save water.  As a real estate professional, I am a member of SLO Green Build and have advised my clients where to purchase ‘green’ materials to update their homes.

What I discovered in this seminar is that I was only touching the surface; there is so much more to learn & share with my family, friends, clients and ‘Blog’. 

I have ordered the blue recycle trash containers for each desk in my San Luis Obispo office, we already have them in Los Osos.  The agents have agreed to recycle paper by printing on both sides.  We are also collecting inkjet cartridges, all small changes to help make a big impact on our office and community.

At home we are going to use our clothes dryer less by ‘solar or air drying’ our clothes.  And we are going to start a compost pile to enrich our garden.

If you want to make some simple changes start with the CFL light bulbs, weather-stripping door and windows, turn off your computers, TV’s when not in use and recycle your trash.  Remember if it you don’t recycle all your trash goes to the landfill. 

Consider starting a vegetable garden and sharing the fruits of your labor with your neighbors, or using natural soy candles, homemade soaps and green cleaning products.

To be eco-friendly think of the 3 R’s, reduce, recycle and reuse.

 

“If this is your kind of town…let me show you the neighborhood.”®   Live the ‘slo life’ in San Luis Obispo County.  Shirley Hulin is a full-time REALTOR® and manager for Century 21 Hometown Realty she works with a team of professionals who are ready to help you with all of your Real Estate needs in San Luis Obispo and Northern Santa Barbara Counties.  Thank you, for your referrals.

Contact Shirley at ShirleyHulin@gmail.com www.ShirleyHulin.com    

 Rentals or Property Management: Rent@c21Home.com     To receive information on Short Sales, REO’s or Foreclosures: Foreclosures@c21Home.com

Million Dollar Homes

slo Country Club

In San Luis Obispo in the Country Club area, off the golf course but close enough to ride your golf cart to the ’Club’ you will find this million dollar view  and home. 

This French Country home sits on a ½ acre with concrete drive-way and lush green lawns with colorful flower gardens.  As you enter into this sunny single-level home with open living space and vaulted ceilings you will be impressed by the simple elegance.  The kitchen has granite cover-tops, an open kitchen looking onto the backyard and this view, the family room is open to the kitchen.  The Master bedroom is spacious and it also faces the open space behind this property.  This home features four bedrooms 3 baths, with formal living & dining rooms, two fireplaces and an outdoor entertaining area.  This property will appeal to many buyers wanting green open space with the all the amenities of living in close to town.  This home is price at $1,150,000.

For serious boaters wanting to sail up to their private dock and luxury home you will find a modern 2400 square foot brand new two-story home with three bedrooms and three full baths in Morro Bay.  This home is prefect for entertaining with its open floor plan and five fireplaces in each room for ‘Point Source Heating’.  The private deep boat slip is included in the list price $2,375,000, beautiful sunsets guaranteed.

If you are looking for something a bit bigger and off the water but with similar views, I have a Villa to show you.  Built in 2007 this Morro Bay home has taken every advantage of the spectacular views of the bay and sand dunes.  The entry way into this home has two custom elegant water features and an unbelievable media room with all the bells and whistles, a work-out room and two bedrooms are on the first floor.  As you walk up the spiral stairs you will find the open kitchen and living room with arched panoramic windows and an outdoor deck for entertaining and barbeques where you can climb the ladder to the upper sun deck, the Master bedroom is also upstairs.  This is living at its best with stairs near-by to the bay front, parks, shops and finest restaurants in Morro Bay.  List price $2,750,000.  Call me or e-mail for a showing. Additional photos on my Facebook page.

“If this is your kind of town…let me show you the neighborhood.”®   Live the ‘slo life’ in San Luis Obispo County.  Shirley Hulin is a full-time REALTOR® and manager for Century 21 Hometown Realty she works with a team of professionals who are ready to help you with all of your Real Estate needs in San Luis Obispo and Northern Santa Barbara Counties.  Thank you, for your referrals.

Contact Shirley at ShirleyHulin@gmail.com www.ShirleyHulin.com    

 Rentals or Property Management: Rent@c21Home.com     To receive information on Short Sales, REO’s or Foreclosures: Foreclosures@c21Home.com

What is a Reverse Mortgage?

It sounds too good to be true and yet we are tempted when actor Robert Wagner tells us it is safe.  But I always think I doubt if Robert Wagner will ever need a Reverse Mortgage.

I invited Shirley Snyder of The Mortgage House in San Luis Obispo to talk to my team of agents about Reverse Mortgage.

Shirley said the loan limits have increased and are now under the FHA guidelines.   Single family homes and some condos and manufactured homes are eligible for loans. For manufactured homes the have to be on a foundation and cannot be in a co-op park or where you own a share of the park.

As our parents age and we age we wonder, what and where is the best place to live?  For many seniors, couples they do not want to live with their adult children or move into an assisted living home.  They find that having in-home care for basic needs, house cleaning, maybe some cooking, shopping and driving them to doctor’s appointments give them independence and safety they prefer.

With the change in our economy and nest-eggs disappearing in the stock market many seniors can use a Reverse Mortgage to supplement their social security and pensions to meet their monthly expenses and help to give them a better quality of life.

Each borrower or couple is assessed based on age and the value of their home.  Monthly payments are made to the borrower including a lump sum if that is what they choose. 

Monthly payments are made to the borrower as long as they remain in the home and nothing is owed by the Estate.  The heirs can sell it without any obligation to the bank.

Seniors living in homes that have become unsafe or are too large can sell their primary residence to downsize into another home with a Reverse Mortgage.  That’s correct you can purchase a home with a Reverse Mortgage.

For more information and details into this program, contact Shirley Snyder at The Mortgage House, 805-489-4573.  Please let her know you read about her on my Blog, ‘slo Digest’.

“If this is your kind of town…let me show you the neighborhood.”®   Live the ‘slo life’ in San Luis Obispo County.  Shirley Hulin is a full-time REALTOR® and manager for Century 21 Hometown Realty she works with a team of professionals who are ready to help you with all of your Real Estate needs in San Luis Obispo and Northern Santa Barbara Counties.  Contact Shirley at ShirleyHulin@gmail.com www.ShirleyHulin.com    

 Rentals or Property Management: Rent@c21Home.com     To receive information on Short Sales, REO’s or Foreclosures: Foreclosures@c21Home.com

Good Morning slo!

Waking up in slo

Waking up in slo

This morning I woke up to a bright luminous moon sitting above the Irish Hills in San Luis Obispo.  I tried taking photos from my backyard with my little camera but couldn’t really get the picture I wanted.

Once my husband was awake and working on his second cup of coffee, I convinced him to drive me to the top of Perfumo Canyon so that I could take more photos. 

Perfumo Canyon is a great road for hikers and cyclist winding through the Irish Hills, farmland and majestic oaks.  It begins in SLO at Los Osos Valley Road near Madonna Road; it meanders up to 1300+ feet on through See Canyon (apple orchards & farms) to Avila Beach.

I was hoping to be able to take a shot of the moon above Morro Bay and the Rock but it was shining over the hills.

We decided since we were already out of the house we might as well wait for the sunrise and it was beautiful.

slo sunrise

slo sunrise

“If this is your kind of town…let me show you the neighborhood.”®   Live the ‘slo life’ in San Luis Obispo County.  Shirley Hulin is a full-time REALTOR® and manager for Century 21 Hometown Realty she works with a team of professionals who are ready to help you with all of your Real Estate needs in San Luis Obispo and Northern Santa Barbara Counties. 

 

Contact Shirley at: ShirleyHulin@gmail.com www.ShirleyHulin.com   

Rentals or Property Management: Rent@c21Home.com     To receive information on Short Sales, REO’s or Foreclosures: Foreclosures@c21Home.com 

 

 

Downtown slo

slo Victorian

slo Victorian

 

Living in the City of San Luis Obispo has so many things to offer but living within the heart of the downtown area is filled with charm of yesteryear and an active downtown with restaurants, bars, coffee houses, shopping, movie theatres and the weekly Thursday night Farmer’s Market.

There are 16 active listings within a mile of the downtown core plus two pending sales.  One home was on the Broker’s Caravan today, over-looking the San Luis Creek and is already a pending sale. 

If you’re looking for this pictured Victorian within walking distance to downtown & Mitchell Park, you’ll fine a large four bedroom 3 bath near Johnson Avenue sitting on a large lot with a studio unit over a two car garage.  Attention to detail and an updated kitchen make this house an inviting home.  The private patio and sunny garden add to the charm. 

Investors looking for an R-3 property will discover a “vintage” bungalow with detached two car garage on a corner lot off Johnson Avenue near French Hospital.  Or a newer multi-family unit off Broad & Orcutt that has a two bedroom two bath unit and a studio upstairs both have good rental history.

“If this is your kind of town … let me show you the neighborhood. ® Live and experience the “slo Life” in San Luis Obispo County.   Shirley Hulin is a full-time REALTOR® for Century 21 Hometown Realty she also manages an office in San Luis Obispo and Los Osos.  Shirley works with a team of professionals who can help you meet all of your Real Estate needs.  You can reach Shirley at ShirleyHulin@gmail.com or visit her website at http://www.ShirleyHulin.com  

Rentals or Property Management: Rent@c21Home.com  Information on Short Sales or Foreclosures: Foreclosures@c21Home.com

 

Getting Ready to Sell

So you’re thinking of selling your home, ask your REALTOR® to assist you with ideas for your home.  Your agent has a trained eye previewing homes at least once or twice a week.  Your agent should know what your competition looks like and with this bit of knowledge can help suggest projects that might push your home to the next level.

The first thing is to eliminate clutter, gleam those bookshelves, pack those family pictures & collections, empty out the closets and don’t forget the kitchen & garage.  Toys need to be picked up and stored away, pack things that the kids aren’t playing with today. Keep the bathrooms spotless.

Paint is inexpensive and adds a fresh clean look, keep your colors neutral as much as possible.  Add color with fresh flowers and accessories.  Fresh bedding and towels are also important consider buying a new comforter for the master bedroom.

Flooring is always an issue, if the carpet is worn and stained and professional cleaning leaves it looking old & dirty, giving a carpet credit won’t always work.  Buyers are very visual and although many can see the potential in your home a clean or new carpet gives your home the appearance of a well-cared for home.

Pet odor can be offensive, wash your dog, clean or replace their bedding.  Replace or clean the doggie door.  Clean the cat box daily; keep an open box of baking soda near-by to help eliminate odors.  Groom your pets to help with shedding and pet hair.

Curb appeal is also important and ‘instant color’ pony-packs of flowers are the easiest way to add punch.  Rack debris, trim shrubs & trees, clean sidewalks & walkways.

Now you’re ready for your first ‘Open House’.

“If this is your kind of town…let me show you the neighborhood.”®   Live the ‘slo life’ in San Luis Obispo County.  Shirley Hulin is a full-time REALTOR® and manager for Century 21 Hometown Realty she works with a team of professionals who are ready to help you with all of your Real Estate needs in San Luis Obispo and Northern Santa Barbara Counties.  Contact Shirley at ShirleyHulin@gmail.com www.ShirleyHulin.com    

 Rentals or Property Management: Rent@c21Home.com     To receive information on Short Sales, REO’s or Foreclosures: Foreclosures@c21Home.com

“V”, the genuine ‘Computer Geek’

Several weeks ago, my computer crashed and I lost all of my data and most importantly my pictures.  Most of my photos were saved but I did not save my December & Christmas photos.  (We had family & company for three weeks straight in December and that’s a lot of laundry, who has time to ‘save’ anything.)  Anyways, I lost at least three nights of sleep, days of distraction and hours of complaining.

I went to my favorite computer store (think blue & yellow) and gave them my four year old (86 years in cat or old man years) computer and my story of woo.  I paid the $99.00 to diagnose the problem, solve and recover my lost data.  24 hours later, they did not have a solution only to tell me that my hard-drive was “Toast”.  (I did receive a refund of $70.00.)  Please note in the past this store and their repair department have been helpful and extremely patience and polite.

I could not think or focus on my work for days then an epiphany at 2:00 o’clock in the morning hit me, my friend & client “V”, knew computers.  I called him the next day, explained my problem in a hysterical manner and he calmly talked me through the next steps. 

In less than an hour, he diagnose my problem and was able to retrieve 90% of my data, I lost some of my Outlook contacts & e-mails.  “V” was able to save my documents and as a proud Grandmother who only wanted to hear the news, all of my pictures.  J  Who could ask for more? 

“V” as he is affectingly called by his wife and close friends is Vahram Havandjian, a Cal Poly grad who owns his own business “VTM Networks”.  He works with EOC, an 800+ employee account to individual accounts.  “V” can help you with your computer or your company computers; he is local, reasonable and most importantly smart.  “V” is not out to sell you something you do not need or want, he is here to help you.  You can reach “V” at www.VTMnetworks.com or Vahram@vtmnetworks.com.  Please let him know that you read about him & his fabulous reputation as a computer expert on Shirley Hulin’s Blog.

 

“If this is your kind of town…let me show you the neighborhood.”®   Live the ‘slo life’ in San Luis Obispo County.  Shirley Hulin is a full-time REALTOR® and manager for Century 21 Hometown Realty she works with a team of professionals who are ready to help you with all of your Real Estate needs in San Luis Obispo and Northern Santa Barbara Counties.  Contact Shirley at ShirleyHulin@gmail.com www.ShirleyHulin.com    

 Rentals or Property Management: Rent@c21Home.com    

To receive information on Short Sales, REO’s or Foreclosures: Foreclosures@c21Home.com

Homeowner Affordability and Stability Plan

On Wednesday, the president disclosed the Homeowner Affordability and Stability Plan offering assistance to millions of homeowners in an attempt to stop the flood of foreclosures.

The plan has three main sections and only applies to primary residences, investors will not benefit from this plan.  The loans affected are all government loans, under Freddie & Fannie conforming loan limits, no jumbo loans.

1.      Refinancing will be allowed for homeowners whose home values dropped and now have little or no equity.  Refinance guidelines had required the homeowner to have at least 20 percent equity this will no longer be a requirement.

2.      The Homeowner Stability Imitative will assist homeowners who are “underwater” on their mortgages.  An important aspect is that homeowners do not have to be delinquent to participate.  Lenders will be given an incentive to participate.  Lenders and the government will come together to reduce the primary mortgage monthly payments. They will use a 38 percent debt-to-income ratio and then they would split costs further reducing the monthly payments until there at a 31 percent ratio. An integral part of this section will create clear and concise guidelines for loan modifications that may be put into practice across the entire mortgage market.

3.      This section of the plan involves support for low mortgage rates by the Treasury Department strengthening Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac increasing mortgage-back securities and portfolios.

The final pieces of this plan are still being developed such as the modification guidelines which will be released March 4.

If you feel that you will qualify for help with this new Housing Affordability and Stability Plan, I strongly urge you to contact your lender.  Call the phone number on your mortgage monthly invoice, be patient and ready to be on ‘hold’, remember they don’t have the guidelines but should be able to give you some basic information regarding your loan.

 

“If this is your kind of town…let me show you the neighborhood.”®   Live the ‘slo life’ in San Luis Obispo County.  Shirley Hulin is a full-time REALTOR® and manager for Century 21 Hometown Realty she works with a team of professionals who are ready to help you with all of your Real Estate needs in San Luis Obispo and Northern Santa Barbara Counties.  Contact Shirley at ShirleyHulin@gmail.com www.ShirleyHulin.com    

 Rentals or Property Management: Rent@c21Home.com    

To receive information on Short Sales, REO’s or Foreclosures: Foreclosures@c21Home.com

 

The Importance of Branding

This morning on ‘Fox and Friends’ news program, Steve, Gretchen and Brian interviewed former Governor Mitt Romney regarding the auto industry bail-out.  After the commercial they began discussing Mitt’s decision to sell two of his four luxury homes.  Steve Doocy said I feel before we talk about your homes I should put on my “gold” jacket.

Yahoo and thank you Steve! The importance of branding is that everyone knows the “gold” jacket represents Century 21 Real Estate.  Century 21 is an international company that I am proud to be a member of. 

“If this is your kind of town…let me show you the neighborhood.”®   Live the ‘slo life’ in San Luis Obispo County.  Shirley Hulin is a full-time REALTOR® and manager for Century 21 Hometown Realty she works with a team of professionals who are ready to help you with all of your Real Estate needs in San Luis Obispo and Northern Santa Barbara Counties.  Contact Shirley at ShirleyHulin@gmail.com www.ShirleyHulin.com    

 Rentals or Property Management: Rent@c21Home.com    

To receive information on Short Sales, REO’s or Foreclosures: Foreclosures@c21Home.com

slo County Native Cycles…

Redlands Bicycle Classic 2008 stage 1: Neil Shirley.                                                     Photo Courtesy of: Photo © 2008 Action Images

Redlands Bicycle Classic 2008 stage 1: Neil Shirley. Photo Courtesy of: Photo © 2008 Action Images

Neil Shirley born and raised in Atascadero who later lived in San Luis Obispo will be among the professional cyclist riding into downtown Paso Robles with the ‘Amgen Tour of California’ on Thursday.

Neil lives in San Diego and is a talented member of the Kelly Benefit Strategies 2009.   Come show your support for one of our own on Thursday February 19 in downtown Paso Robles.  The riders should be rolling in between 2:30 – 3:30 p.m.  Events and celebrations will be all afternoon. 

“If this is your kind of town…let me show you the neighborhood.”®   Live the ‘slo life’ in San Luis Obispo County.  Shirley Hulin is a full-time REALTOR® and manager for Century 21 Hometown Realty she works with a team of professionals who are ready to help you with all of your Real Estate needs in San Luis Obispo and Northern Santa Barbara Counties.  Contact Shirley at ShirleyHulin@gmail.com www.ShirleyHulin.com    

 Rentals or Property Management: Rent@c21Home.com                                 To receive information on Short Sales, REO’s or Foreclosures:  Foreclosures@c21Home.com