Vallarta Real Estate: Home Staging Dos and Don’ts

Some great advice from http://ow.ly/Tgu9M


Deciding to put your home on the market is a tough choice – it’s become yours throughout the years, and it’s hard to let that go. A crucial part of home staging is removing personal items and memorabilia from your home, so potential homebuyers can truly envision themselves in the space. The less things there are to distract potential buyers, the more likely they are to focus on what the home has to offer.

Before putting your home on the market and inviting buyers into your space, it’s essential that you remove personal collections, sports memorabilia, family photos, and other personal knick-knacks. It may be hard, but many home staging professionals recommend putting these items directly into storage – that way you don’t have to hide boxes of items throughout your home and, once your home sells, you’ll already have the first stage of packing completed.

Neutralize 

By removing personal items such as photos and academic degrees, it’s easier for homebuyers to evaluate how their own furniture and personal style will mesh with the home. Ensure all trashcans are empty and the toilet lids are down. Remove all clutter from countertops and consider using mild air fresheners throughout your home, especially near pet areas and bathrooms. By depersonalizing your home and appealing to a wide range of prospective buyers, you can increase your likelihood of receiving an offer and help decrease the amount of time your home is on the market.

Clean 

Bathrooms and kitchens influence potential buyers the most, so ensuring these spaces are clean is crucial. Use paper plates, cups and utensils to cut back on dirty dishes the day of an open house, and remove half the clothes from the closets in case potential buyers take a peek inside. If you have time to prepare for an open house, consider having your carpets professionally cleaned, replace burnt out light bulbs, lubricate squeaky doors, and trim outside bushes to enhance curb appeal.

Highlight Your Home’s Features 

An important part of selling a home is displaying what sets your home apart from the rest. If your home has a fireplace, arrange the furniture to make it a focal point. In small spaces, use a mirror to reflect light and make the space appear larger. If your home has a pool or spa, be sure the realtor shows these assets off to potential buyers.

Though depersonalizing may seem like a lot to take on, it doesn’t have to be if it’s done correctly. If you’re considering putting your home on the market, there’s no time like the present to begin your home staging adventure. Visit our Pinterest board for visual examples of home staging done well. Happy home staging!


 


Mexico is moving in the right direction, working to raise the real estate standards to protect buyer and seller interests. AMPI (our National Real Estate Association) plays a key role in the real estate industry in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, working closely with local, state and national governments. Our local AMPI Association is leading the country in developing and implementing real estate standards.  To become members of our local AMPI Association Real Estate professionals sign our Bylaws that require our members to follow our Ethical Code of Conduct;  to use our contract forms which have been legally vetted to protect buyers and sellers; to participate in and comply with our MLS Rules and Regulation along with using the shared database. Our Bylaws, Code of Ethics, MLS Systems, Contracts and our other systems are constantly improved on through the expertise and experience of our members.  Find a Committed AMPI Professional Here

The 10 best and worst real estate practices

Real estate agents representing properties in states where they are not licensed, lying about other interested buyers or offers pending on a property, or failing to identify themselves as agents in their marketing and advertising efforts are among the practices that are most objectionable to real estate practitioners, according to an Inman News survey.

Agents who continue to market already-sold properties in order to attract new clients, and agents who do not identify themselves as agents in online conversations also top the list in drawing opposition from fellow real estate professionals, the survey found.

The good news: Real estate professionals say that such practices are not the norm.

Among the five practices listed above, which at least 85 percent of all respondents agreed are “unacceptable,” none was selected as “common” by more than one-third of survey participants.
About 31.8 percent of respondents said it’s “common” for a listing agent in their market area to tell buyers “that there are other buyers interested or other offers pending on the property when there are not,” for example, with an additional 31 percent of respondents stating that this practice is “infrequent.”
The online survey of over 500 real estate professionals, “Real Estate: Behind the Curtain,” was conducted from April 2011 to May 2011 and featured a series of about three dozen multiple-choice questions on the acceptability of a variety of real estate practices and a parallel set of questions about the frequency of those practices. The survey response rate ranged from 348 to 504 per question.

A majority of respondents agreed that two real estate industry practices are both “unacceptable” and “common”:

  • 50.2 percent of respondents said it’s unacceptable for clients or prospective clients “to be unaware of a real estate agent’s previous real estate licensing violations, suspensions, etc.,” and a whopping 70.7 percent of respondents said this occurrence is “common,” with an additional 16.2 percent stating that it is “infrequent.”
  • 63.5 percent of respondents said it is unacceptable for an agent or broker to make “vague or unsubstantiated claims about market share,” such as claiming to be a “top agent” or “No. 1 agent.” About 56.1 percent of respondents said this practice is common.

A majority of respondents said that following four real estate practices were either “acceptable” or “desirable”:

  • Listing agent is from the same office as the buyer’s agent in the same real estate transaction (67.1 percent “acceptable,” 7.6 percent “desirable”).
  • Major listing brokers in the same market area choose to offer the same commission rate or roughly the same rate to cooperating brokers on the buyside of the transaction (40 percent acceptable, 16.2 percent desirable).
  • Agent is personally engaged in buying or selling homes while working with clients who are also buying or selling homes (49.4 percent acceptable, 5.8 percent desirable).
  • Major listing brokers in the same market area choose to charge the same rate or roughly the same rate for services (41 percent acceptable, 12.6 percent desirable).

And at least half of survey respondents agreed on three practices that are “rare” or “never” occur:

  • Listing agent agrees to represent properties located in a state where the agent is not licensed (45.5 percent “rare,” 41.6 percent “never”).
  • Listing agent offers different level of compensation to buyer’s agent based on that agent’s brokerage company, fee structure or business model (34.7 percent rare, 22.4 percent never).
  • Buyer’s agent shares client’s maximum purchase price with listing agent (40.4 percent rare, 9.6 percent never).

Among the five practices listed above, which at least 85 percent of all respondents agreed are “unacceptable,” none was selected as “common” by more than one-third of survey participants.

About 31.8 percent of respondents said it’s “common” for a listing agent in their market area to tell buyers “that there are other buyers interested or other offers pending on the property when there are not,” for example, with an additional 31 percent of respondents stating that this practice is “infrequent.”

The online survey of over 500 real estate professionals, “Real Estate: Behind the Curtain,” was conducted from April 2011 to May 2011 and featured a series of about three dozen multiple-choice questions about the acceptability of a variety of real estate practices and a parallel set of questions about the frequency of those practices. The survey response rate ranged from 348 to 504 per question.

Why Use AMPI?

AMPI is the national association of real estate professionals that have, since 1956, gathered under laws and codes of ethics and conduct to create a reliable, trustworthy an efficient real estate environment in Mexico.

AMPI consists of separate autonomous sections all throughout the nation, as well as more than 4,000 associates and affiliates. Each section is independent and has its own board of directors, only surpassed by a national board of directors comprised of twenty associates from all over the republic.

Developed over the years with the input and knowledge of its members, AMPI is much more than just a collection of offices. AMPI has been a solid and recognized institution in Mexico for the past 27 years. It was originally established in 1956 and was consolidated in 1980. AMPI is currently represented in all the principle cities and regions of Mexico stretching from Tijuana to Cancun.

The Riviera Nayarita, Vallarta and Compostela chapters of AMPI are dedicated to promote the best practices in real estate by providing its members with education to reinforce the standards of ethics that give our industry the credibility which our clients deserve.

AMPI is committed to giving our membership access to a multiple listing service that forms the platform from which our industry can expand locally and into other markets while giving our members precise and up to date information that is vital to continuous improvement and growth.

Vallarta Real Estate: Five Things We Can Learn In Mexico

Manners: While walking the pup this afternoon, in our neighborhood, a Mexican woman came from the other direction talking on her cell phone. She passed me and held the phone away from her ear, greeted me with “buenas tardes” and continued her conversation and stroll. Last week I sneezed in the spice aisle at Soriana and someone in the next aisle said “Salud!” You will seldom walk down a street in Puerto Vallarta and not be greeted by everyone you pass, a gardener watering lawns or an abuelita pushing babies in a stroller. It’s not just the elderly who are polite. Small children do not shrink in terror, as they do in the States, when one smiles at them. They smile back. When testing your Spanish skills, you will not be laughed at. You may be corrected courteously and encouraged, but Mexicans don’t make fun of our language the way we do with theirs.

Rhythm: What is it about the farther North you go, the less people move to music, or express themselves with song and dance? You’d think in the colder climes, people would be more inclined to move around to stay warm. The irony is that in the tropics, you can work yourself into a genuine slather and then require an icy drink to cool down. Mexicans in Puerto Vallarta whistle and sing in public, while working, walking down the street; they show no embarrassment or timidity. When they listen to music, whether a live concert or on their car radio, they MOVE. They shake it up and do things with their hips and ankles that seem to keep them well oiled into old age.

Driving: I didn’t really learn how to drive until I came to Mexico. It’s defensive, for sure. That keeps you more alert, which is something Northerners get lackadaisical about. Too busy messing with the volume, texting or talking on the phone, putting on make-up, shaving (yes, I’ve seen it, on a California freeway even). Once you’ve learned how to parallel park in Puerto Vallarta, go back to your Home State/Province and show off to the amazement of your friends. You learn how to do it once and quickly… most likely after some foiled attempts.

Cleaning: Mexican homes are immaculate. Everyone has a maid. Even our maid has a maid. While she’s cleaning our house, someone else is cleaning hers. But will she use the vacuum we brought to Mexico, thinking it would make her job so much easier? No way, José. Why? There are probably a number of reasons but her main rationalization is that it blows the dirt around and makes a horrible noise. Also, it uses electricity, which we pay for; she has, inadvertently, caused us to inspect our wastefulness and dependency on energy. Ever watched a Mexican with a broom? They sweep slower, closer to the ground, shorter strokes. They’re fast enough; I would never challenge our maid to a sweeping contest. Most appliances aren’t considered all that helpful in a Mexican home. You will rarely see a dishwasher or garbage disposal, devices many of us don’t live without in the States.

Resting: The word Siesta is derived from “sixth hour,” which is approximately how long you’ve been away since the sun came up. Traditionally, the most filling meal of the day is midday, but work hours and the loss of traditional afternoon closing times, due to accommodating tourists, have altered that convention. When clubbing, it’s a good idea to submit to a “disco nap” to enabling one to endure late dancing hours. However, a midday nap, regardless of dinner, is healthy and highly recommended. Come to Puerto Vallarta and get your circadian rhythms balanced.

Que es cómo es.



Mexico is moving in the right direction, working to raise the real estate standards to protect buyer and seller interests. AMPI (our National Real Estate Association) plays a key role in the real estate industry in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, working closely with local, state and national governments. Our local AMPI Association is leading the country in developing and implementing real estate standards.  To become members of our local AMPI Association Real Estate professionals sign our Bylaws that require our members to follow our Ethical Code of Conduct;  to use our contract forms which have been legally vetted to protect buyers and sellers; to participate in and comply with our MLS Rules and Regulation along with using the shared database. Our Bylaws, Code of Ethics, MLS Systems, Contracts and our other systems are constantly improved on through the expertise and experience of our members.  Find a Committed AMPI Professional Here

Vallarta Real Estate: Home Design Top Trends to Watch Out for in 2016

Salone Internazionale del Mobile – 2013 Milan Design Week more big

MILAN, ITALY – APRIL 11: Creations are displayed at Fiera Milano Rho during 2013 Milan

Home decorating and design is about to get more exciting this coming 2016 as the emerging trends for the upcoming year are revealed by local designers and experts.

The design industry will welcome natural materials, warm dramatic colors and clean linen this coming new year, as revealed by expert interior designers on Suffolk Times. Metal will be back in the spotlight together with wood and accent colors this 2016. Floral designs and carved figurines are also back on trend as 2015 bids goodbye.

Sophisticated lines are in this 2016 in home design, even with traditional home stylists, shares Debbie Gildersleeve, owner of Renee’s in Mattituck. Ornate furniture that showcases intricate and grand details will be back in business.

A mix of materials and finishes will also be entering the home design market this new year, with wood, leather and metal as leading choices. Neutral shades such as beige, cream and gray will also be in demand this coming year when it comes to home styles and furnishing.

Maria Killam also agrees that the home decorating industry will be leaning into colors, accents and bold furnishings this 2016. Faux fur will be one of the favorite textures injected inside homes and living areas as well as natural fiber, specifically in rugs and room accents. Floral chairs in big and bold sizes are going to dominate stylish living rooms this coming year.

Gorgeous and dramatic colors will also be part of the trend. Gold and silver will be a favorite, in parallel to the latest home accents that will be available in touches of metal and wood. Pink and blue will still be favorites but will be on the back end as more dramatic colors take the spotlight.

The year 2016 in home decorating is all about color, texture and natural materials. The latest trends in design and décor will definitely make the new year an interesting and exciting year when it comes to home design and decorating.

 



Mexico is moving in the right direction, working to raise the real estate standards to protect buyer and seller interests. AMPI (our National Real Estate Association) plays a key role in the real estate industry in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, working closely with local, state and national governments. Our local AMPI Association is leading the country in developing and implementing real estate standards.  To become members of our local AMPI Association Real Estate professionals sign our Bylaws that require our members to follow our Ethical Code of Conduct;  to use our contract forms which have been legally vetted to protect buyers and sellers; to participate in and comply with our MLS Rules and Regulation along with using the shared database. Our Bylaws, Code of Ethics, MLS Systems, Contracts and our other systems are constantly improved on through the expertise and experience of our members.  Find a Committed AMPI Professional Here

Most @properties listings will feature interactive floor plans

Real estate brokerage @properties will use interactive floor plans and high-resolution photos to market listings online at no additional charge to sellers on all homes listed at $500,000 or more.

The Chicago-based brokerage said it plans to extend the service to sellers of homes priced at more than $300,000.

The service will be provided by Rosemont, Ill.-based VHT Studios, which photographs and takes room measurements on site, delivering photos and floor plans within two to three business days.

VHT’s interactive floor plans show all walls, partitions, doors, windows, staircases, columns, recesses, chimneys, major appliances, floor levels and room dimensions.

VHT also offers a floor plan reconstruction service when architectural blueprints are available.

“It’s almost irresponsible not to make floor plans available when it’s so easy to do with VHT’s new service,” said @properties co-owner Thaddeus Wong in a statement. “Properties can be equivalent in location, and number of bedrooms and bathrooms, but that doesn’t mean they’re all the same. You need to have a full grasp of how all the rooms relate to one another to help you determine a property’s value and if it fits a buyer’s needs.”

Most @properties listings will feature interactive floor plans

VHT Studios will photograph, take room measurements on site

Screen shot of VHT Studios interactive floor plan.Screen shot of VHT Studios interactive floor plan.

Real estate brokerage @properties will use interactive floor plans and high-resolution photos to market listings online at no additional charge to sellers on all homes listed at $500,000 or more.

The Chicago-based brokerage said it plans to extend the service to sellers of homes priced at more than $300,000.

The service will be provided by Rosemont, Ill.-based VHT Studios, which photographs and takes room measurements on site, delivering photos and floor plans within two to three business days.

VHT’s interactive floor plans show all walls, partitions, doors, windows, staircases, columns, recesses, chimneys, major appliances, floor levels and room dimensions.

VHT also offers a floor plan reconstruction service when architectural blueprints are available.

“It’s almost irresponsible not to make floor plans available when it’s so easy to do with VHT’s new service,” said @properties co-owner Thaddeus Wong in a statement. “Properties can be equivalent in location, and number of bedrooms and bathrooms, but that doesn’t mean they’re all the same. You need to have a full grasp of how all the rooms relate to one another to help you determine a property’s value and if it fits a buyer’s needs.”

Wong said the majority of @properties listings will soon have floor plans included.

Why Use AMPI?

AMPI is the national association of real estate professionals that have, since 1956, gathered under laws and codes of ethics and conduct to create a reliable, trustworthy an efficient real estate environment in Mexico.

AMPI consists of separate autonomous sections all throughout the nation, as well as more than 4,000 associates and affiliates. Each section is independent and has its own board of directors, only surpassed by a national board of directors comprised of twenty associates from all over the republic.

Developed over the years with the input and knowledge of its members, AMPI is much more than just a collection of offices. AMPI has been a solid and recognized institution in Mexico for the past 27 years. It was originally established in 1956 and was consolidated in 1980. AMPI is currently represented in all the principle cities and regions of Mexico stretching from Tijuana to Cancun.

The Riviera Nayarita, Vallarta and Compostela chapters of AMPI are dedicated to promote the best practices in real estate by providing its members with education to reinforce the standards of ethics that give our industry the credibility which our clients deserve.

AMPI is committed to giving our membership access to a multiple listing service that forms the platform from which our industry can expand locally and into other markets while giving our members precise and up to date information that is vital to continuous improvement and growth.

Vallarta Real Estate: Antojitos

Antojitos is the Mexican word for those delicious foods we buy in Puerto Vallarta from street vendors. Translated to “little cravings,” they can be found early in the morning and late into the evening. Whether by design or specific agreement, different tacos stands are open various times of day and we have favorites for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It’s good to know midday is not the best time for antojitos; that is siesta time in Mexico.

The most familiar street foods are tacos, gorditas, quesadillas, tostadas, chalupas, elote (corn on the cob) andtortas (Mexico’s version of a sandwich). One can also buy cups laden with fresh fruit and vegetables, water drinks (agua fresca) of many flavors (pineapple, strawberry, orange, guava, lime) and soups (menudo, pozole, pancita.)

As Chef Anthony Bourdain says “As much as we think we know and love it, we have barely scratched the surface of what Mexican food really is,” and we highly recommend beginning personal discovery on the sidewalks of Puerto Vallarta. Those who eschew this fare due to fear of bacteria and lack of cleanliness are truly missing out. There are few things as clean as a Mexican street kitchen. Rarely does the person handling food touch money. They are usually too busy cooking to be concerned. The defined separation of each condiment and filler (onion, cilantro, chiles, cabbage, etc) imposes extreme organization. Meats are cooked in sizzling pans or roasted over open flame. You can SEE what’s being cooked so if it doesn’t meet your standard, move on; there will be another taco stand within sniffing distance. The popularity of any given taco stand is your guarantee of quality. If you see people standing in line, you know it’s a good bet the food is not only delicious but healthy and clean. No taco stand lasts long when its customers don’t come back, due to anything from illness to bad customer service.

Puerto Vallarta is blessed with a constant supply of fresh fish. Our personal favorites are the marlin or dorado tacos, washed down with a brimming cup of refreshing jaimica, the drink made from the hibiscus blooms.  A green sauce is likely made with tomatillos, not avocado. We prefer the milder version but there is always plenty of Tapatio or Salsa Huichol to spice it up. ¡Buen Provecho!

Que es cómo es.



Mexico is moving in the right direction, working to raise the real estate standards to protect buyer and seller interests. AMPI (our National Real Estate Association) plays a key role in the real estate industry in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, working closely with local, state and national governments. Our local AMPI Association is leading the country in developing and implementing real estate standards.  To become members of our local AMPI Association Real Estate professionals sign our Bylaws that require our members to follow our Ethical Code of Conduct;  to use our contract forms which have been legally vetted to protect buyers and sellers; to participate in and comply with our MLS Rules and Regulation along with using the shared database. Our Bylaws, Code of Ethics, MLS Systems, Contracts and our other systems are constantly improved on through the expertise and experience of our members.  Find a Committed AMPI Professional Here

Vallarta Real Estate: See What Web Design And Home Staging Have in Common

Some great advice from http://www.mucho.com.au/


The first time our real estate agent took us to visit the house we refused to get out of the car. The dated pink paint, the brown window frames and wildly overgrown garden said it all. This house was in need of a major renovation and, with our second baby due soon, we just weren’t interested.

Three months later, still desperate to find a bigger home we agreed to look round. Much to our surprise, and despite the terrible first impression, this house checked all the boxes.

It had a private, sunny position, ocean views, a big flat lawn for the kids to play on plus plenty of space to raise a family and work from home.

Those things are hard to find on Waiheke Island in New Zealand where we lived unless you have more than a million dollars to spend – which we didn’t.

So we bought that dated, unloved house, spent six months renovating it and lived there happily for five years.

Although the house looked like a lemon it had that all important great location and, because it was the worst house in the best street, it turned out to be a great investment that turned into a tidy profit when we sold it.

So how can my real estate experiences help you improve your web or blog design?

1. FIRST IMPRESSIONS COUNT

blog-design-mary-beth-bond

First impressions are made in the blink of an eye but once made they’re hard to change. It’s true in real life and online.

If you were meeting a prospective client you’d put on smart clothes, brush your hair and look lively. But in a web-wise world many people won’t meet you in person, they will meet you and your brand online at your website or blog.

There they’ll assess how trustworthy, competent and reliable you are based solely on the first impression they get from your website.

To create a winning first impression online make sure your website has immediate appeal. It’s common sense but it’s the reason many small business owners never find out how blogging can help grow business and why their web marketing fails.

When I design a new website for someone or update an existing blog most clients report an immediate up turn in business because the new site makes them look professional, appeals to their target audience and persuades people to buy now or get in touch.

If you’re not getting new business online your website or blog design is probably letting you down. Can you honestly say your website makes you proud? Or does it look cheap? Thrown together? Unfinished? A badly designed blog or website will be costing you in lost business.

If your blog or website looks amateur, confusing or cheap people won’t even get out of the car and give you a chance.

Which is why good web design is worth paying for because, in time, you’ll get an excellent return on that investment in your business and online marketing.

Check out the blog update we did for author and spokesperson Marybeth Bond at the Gutsy Traveler.

2. GIVE YOUR READERS WHAT THEY WANT FAST

blog-design-seana-smith

Just like you, your clients and website or blog readers are busy. So busy that most of them will only spend five seconds looking at your blog before deciding whether to read on or click away.

If you pass the first impressions test above next they’ll be looking to see if you’re the right person to help them with their problem. Are you an accountant who helps people with end of year taxes? Are you a personal trainer who can help women get fit in record time?

Blog readers and your target audience have problems that need to be solved and they’re hoping you can help.

The question you need to answer fast is: What do you do and how will you help your readers and clients?

Make sure you tell people who you are, how you can help them and why they should give you their time using as few words as possible. Here are a few suggestions:

  • A photo of you with a slogan should do the trick.
  • Add a one sentence testimonial or your unique selling point if you wish.
  • Consider creating three to eight topics for your blog to emphasise the type of things you blog about and can help with.

Maybe that real estate agent could have asked me what I was looking for and mentioned that doer upper was the only house that checked all our boxes within our budget. I’d have bought it a lot quicker and paid more too.

By giving your readers the information they want fast you’ll be helping them make a quick decision that you’re the best person for them to work with.

Check out the blog design we created for Sydney author Seana Smith.

3. USE YOUR MOST VALUABLE BLOG REAL ESTATE WISELY

The term above the fold applies to newspapers and the content which people can see before they pick the newspaper up. That’s the lead content which makes them want to buy the newspaper and read on.

On your website or blog the most important real estate is the content readers can see as soon as they get to your site without scrolling down.

That’s because they may never see what lies below and, if they don’t see what they’re looking for immediately, they’ll probably just click away – that’s the Internet equivalent of driving by without getting out of the car.

blog-design-tips

The most valuable real estate on my travel blog Get In the Hot Spot includes a professional logo, a slogan to tell readers what the blog’s about, a photo of me to personalise it and a subscription box to encourage people to become regular readers. Every color, font and image has been chosen to emphasize the fun content and reader experience readers can expect on the site.

The size of that prime real estate will vary depending on what computer your readers are using and if people are reading your blog on their mobile or iPad you need a good responsive website design.

Your blog designer will be able to advise you on best practice but if you’re working alone do some research to find out what percentage of Internet users are viewing on the various different screen sizes and mobile devices so you can choose the right size for your audience.

Blog Design Dos and Don’ts for your prime online real estate – the content that users can see without scrolling down:

  • Do make sure your site is professional with a clean design and clear navigation structure. 
  • Do include a photo of you;
  • Do have a meaningful slogan;
  • Do tell your reader who you are, what you do and how you can help them in as few words as possible;
  • Do make sure you’ve got an email subscribe box so people can subscribe in one click;
  • Do make sure people can see your latest (or greatest) blog posts immediately;
  • Do include social proof such as how many readers or subscribers you have (as long as it’s 1,000+), an “as seen on” box or a punchy testimonial.
  • Do learn about user-friendly website design or find a web designer who understands it.
  • Don’t give your valuable blog real estate away to other brands, for example with banner ads or by immediately giving people the option to click away to your Facebook page or other social media outposts.

We took a risk but ended up reaping the benefits of investing in prime location real estate. Our second baby boy was born in that house. Three years later I gave birth there again, this time to a baby girl with a beautiful home water-birth.Remember that ugly old house I ended up buying? We fixed it up to create a great first impression and renovated it fast so we could enjoy living there – I loved that kitchen you see in the photo up top.

Then five years later we sold the house by private sale for a chunky profit.

As with real estate when you invest in blog or website design that does your business justice you’ll see the return on that investment. A great blog design will:

  • create an online presence to be proud of;
  • make people want to hang out with you;
  • build trust so they’ll want work with you.

If your website’s uniform and uninspiring then it’s letting you and your business down. Bad website design will lose you money.

The time for dabbling with Internet marketing is over. It’s not enough for people to find your site through good search engine optimisation, you need to win them over once they get there.

So now’s the time to sort out your website and design a site that you and your clients will love.

Just like buying an old house and doing it up good web design takes time and money but it’s the only way to get exactly what you want.



Mexico is moving in the right direction, working to raise the real estate standards to protect buyer and seller interests. AMPI (our National Real Estate Association) plays a key role in the real estate industry in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, working closely with local, state and national governments. Our local AMPI Association is leading the country in developing and implementing real estate standards.  To become members of our local AMPI Association Real Estate professionals sign our Bylaws that require our members to follow our Ethical Code of Conduct;  to use our contract forms which have been legally vetted to protect buyers and sellers; to participate in and comply with our MLS Rules and Regulation along with using the shared database. Our Bylaws, Code of Ethics, MLS Systems, Contracts and our other systems are constantly improved on through the expertise and experience of our members.  Find a Committed AMPI Professional Here

Real Estate Marketing Tips You Cant Ignore

Home staging is among the few things you have complete control of when selling your home. When done properly, it has great potentials of helping you sell your home fast. We’re not even suggesting major renovations, but just deep cleaning, decluttering, and a fresh coat of paint.
But be careful not to over-impress and commit the biggest pitfalls of sellers when staging their home. Here are 6 staging techniques that buyers hate that you should avoid according to Trulia:

Don’t be dull

Avoid staging your home to look like a hotel room that’s perfect and bland. The goal is to show potential buyers that your home looks nice all the time but at the same time appear that real people live there. Injecting a touch of personality is okay like a red throw pillow or a turquoise fruit bowl. These pops of color are sure to attract buyers when they see your home on the listing photos.

Selling with smell

You enjoyed some delicious beef stroganoff the night before but potential buyers don’t need to know that. If possible, avoid cooking strong-smelling food the night before a showing if you don’t want the smell of beef stock or sauce reduction to cling to the walls. But, also be careful with trying to mask those smells by overcompensating with potpourri and air fresheners; keep strong, perfumy smells to a minimum. The goal is to make the house smell homey and fresh. Baking some cookies or bread or lighting a few candles a few hours before a showing should help.

The sound of music

The thing is you would never guess the potential buyer’s musical tastes. Having music play during your house showing is a risk that is likely to backfire. Plus, it would seem as though you are trying to manipulate them.

The elephant graveyard

When you have already moved out before the house sells, don’t leave the house looking like it’s been ransacked with only the run-down and ugly furniture left. Move most of your possessions to your new residence but consider leaving behind pieces that will help enhance the ambiance of the space.

Wasting money on the wrong renovations

A common mistake sellers commit when selling their house is undertaking a major renovation like updating an outdated bathroom. While it would contribute to the house’s selling value, it’s a big risk as you would never guess which renovations provide the greatest return of investment. To be safe, go for smaller renovations like new cabinet hardware or light fixtures that still go a long way when it comes to making a home feel up to date without having to break the bank.

Remove clutter, don’t just move it around

Decluttering is a sure fire way to improve your chances of selling your home: it helps make your home feel open and airy which in turn make it more attractive to buyers on listings and during showings. And don’t even attempt to just move that clutter in hidden areas of the house; serious buyers are going to inspect even the most tucked away corners and compartments of your home.



Mexico is moving in the right direction, working to raise the real estate standards to protect buyer and seller interests. AMPI (our National Real Estate Association) plays a key role in the real estate industry in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, working closely with local, state and national governments. Our local AMPI Association is leading the country in developing and implementing real estate standards.  To become members of our local AMPI Association Real Estate professionals sign our Bylaws that require our members to follow our Ethical Code of Conduct;  to use our contract forms which have been legally vetted to protect buyers and sellers; to participate in and comply with our MLS Rules and Regulation along with using the shared database. Our Bylaws, Code of Ethics, MLS Systems, Contracts and our other systems are constantly improved on through the expertise and experience of our members.  Find a Committed AMPI Professional Here

Vallarta: When Not to Press ‘Send’ on That Real Estate E-mail

Some great advice from: “4 Times You Should Absolutely Not Send That E-mail,” Forbes.com


There’s a time to e-mail, and a time to call. Sometimes in the rush to be responsive you’ll instantly send an e-mail, but doing so may backfire.

When should you e-mail and when should you maybe wait to respond until you can call or even talk in-person? Forbes.com recently highlighted times when you absolutely should not send that e-mail. Some of their biggest e-mail no-no’s:

Sending a long response.

“If you could write what you’re thinking in one sentence and your e-mail is still three paragraphs long, you’re in trouble,” the article notes. For example, maybe you’re correcting a client’s confusion over a transaction. You may end up dedicating one section of your e-mail to how you understand why the person might be confused and then another section to what you think should be done, and a third section honing in on how your plan is really the better route to go. The longer the e-mail, though, the more lines the other person could potentially misread.

Instead, be succinct with your message. If you disagree with someone, just write “I’m not sure we’re on the same page” or “I had a different read on it” – is more efficient – and nicer than going on and on, the article notes.

Too much punctuation.

If your e-mail has too much emphasis, you may want to second-guess sending it. For example, if you’ve made every other word italicized, bold, or in all caps and punctuated everywhere – the other person will perceive you as being extreme. “If your sentiments aren’t positive, the other person could easily think you’re trying to convey anger – as opposed to say, simple confusion,” the article notes. Limit yourself to one punctuation mark and no italics.

Your response is confusing.

You’ve had a long, busy day and you keep re-reading the e-mail you’re crafting over and over again to make sure it makes sense. You may be better off waiting to press send until you’re more alert. If it’s absolutely urgent, send a response with a short message that promises to send more details later. That way you’ve confirmed you received the other person’s message and have let her know you’ll be in touch with more information soon. This provides you more time to compose your response and more time to focus on making it succinct.



Mexico is moving in the right direction, working to raise the real estate standards to protect buyer and seller interests. AMPI (our National Real Estate Association) plays a key role in the real estate industry in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, working closely with local, state and national governments. Our local AMPI Association is leading the country in developing and implementing real estate standards.  To become members of our local AMPI Association Real Estate professionals sign our Bylaws that require our members to follow our Ethical Code of Conduct;  to use our contract forms which have been legally vetted to protect buyers and sellers; to participate in and comply with our MLS Rules and Regulation along with using the shared database. Our Bylaws, Code of Ethics, MLS Systems, Contracts and our other systems are constantly improved on through the expertise and experience of our members.  Find a Committed AMPI Professional Here

The Benefits in Real Estate of the Sinking Mexican Peso

The trend continues. Over the past year the Mexican peso has been falling. A year ago, January 2015, the peso stood at around 14.9 to the US dollar and on January 16, 2016 it was around 18.4 pesos to the US dollar.

An unstable Mexico, politically and economically, obviously benefits the United States. According to Dr. Tony Payan, director of the Mexican Center at the Baker Institute, notes that currencies rise and fall due to supply and demand. Two big factors that affect the peso are oil markets and inflation. A peso devaluation likely means that capital is currently leaving Mexico. So now may be the time to invest in Mexico.

The falling peso may be attributed to the global rise of the US dollar. This combined with the fact that Banco de Mexico has not raised interest rates because it is satisfied with the current level of inflation. Mexico’s growth rate is low because the government has not spent any money on infrastructure programs and the current low price of oil have also contributed. These all affect the exchange rate.

Crude oil prices resumed their slide during the last week of January 2016, falling more than four percent because Iraq flooded a heavily over supplied oil market with record output. Mexico’s peso has shed around eight percent in January 2016 and is heading for its worst monthly loss against the dollar since May 2012.

With the Mexican peso so weak this makes a Mexican vacation extremely affordable for US travelers. Many visitors are reveling in what they receive and the cost, especially eating at really great restaurants.

Andreas Rupprechter, owner of Kaiser Maximilian Restaurant in Puerto Vallarta says his clients can enjoy an exquisite meal for about $15 to $20 US dollars. “It would be difficult to raise my prices to accommodate the current US dollar to peso exchange rate,” says Andreas, “I also have to consider Canadian tourists, too, and their dollar to the peso rate is much lower than the American rate.” Kaiser Maximilian is a high end restaurant and has won many awards for its cuisine.

United States expats living in Banderas Bay can also enjoy the great exchange rate if they are making purchases with their US credit cards, especially big ticket items like household appliances.

These same bargains can be seen in hotel, entertainment and real estate costs.


 

Mexico is moving in the right direction, working to raise the real estate standards to protect buyer and seller interests. AMPI (our National Real Estate Association) plays a key role in the real estate industry in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, working closely with local, state and national governments. Our local AMPI Association is leading the country in developing and implementing real estate standards.  To become members of our local AMPI Association Real Estate professionals sign our Bylaws that require our members to follow our Ethical Code of Conduct;  to use our contract forms which have been legally vetted to protect buyers and sellers; to participate in and comply with our MLS Rules and Regulation along with using the shared database. Our Bylaws, Code of Ethics, MLS Systems, Contracts and our other systems are constantly improved on through the expertise and experience of our members.  Find a Committed AMPI Professional Here