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March 2014

Found 14 blog entries for March 2014.

Mia - daughter of Las Vegas Realtor Brandon JohnsonWe'd like to formally introduce you to our brand new "team member" Mia Johnson, daughter of Las Vegas Realtor Brandon Johnson and his wife Alicia, who was born on March 27th at 10:02 pm weighing in at 8 pounds even. We believe in training our agents right from the cradle, so Mia will be able to show homes, write contracts and negotiate deals by the age of five (though she will require a chauffeur until age 16 when she gets her driver's license.)

In addition, we expect Mia to be on the Pro Golf tour as her dad Brandon is a golf afficionado and expert player in his own right - when he has the time. (Not that he has too much time for golf lately. He has been WAY too busy with his real estate clients, though his current buyers were nice enough to let him

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Invest in Real Estate Like Warren BuffetMost real estate investors follow the latest fads when determining what they will buy. They usually focus on short term gains rather than the overall big picture, and tend to buy in environments of economic euphoria rather than environments of economic doom and gloom. They go with the herd mentality.

Warren Buffet’s credentials as an investor need no explaining. And recently he shared the basis of his success with the shareholders of Berkshire Hathaway in his annual update letter. His strategies for investing are simple and easily followed for those that have the patience and persistence to carry them out.

In his letter to shareholders, he used the example of a farm he had purchased, even though he knew nothing about farming. But, by relying on the

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Homes for Sale Near Coronado High SchoolSpring is upon us, and families all across the country are once again gearing up to make a move at the end of the school year. For those relocating from out of state, it can be hard to determine which schools are the BEST Las Vegas schools for their kids from a such a distance.

Fortunately, the Clark County School District has put out a general ranking of schools based on the School Performance Framework. This should give any prospective homebuyer and concerned parent a start in the right direction for finding the top Las Vegas schools, and we have generated a list of the rankings below. (Be aware that a small percentage of the schools listed are actually in small towns outside of the Las Vegas Valley.)

Once you have identified possible schools for

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One of our most experienced real estate agents, Jackie Goodman, is an avid hiker. It's not unusual for her to answer her phone at the top of a cliff somewhere on a sunny Sunday morning. I asked her, "why hiking?" and this was her reply:

Las Vegas real estate agent hikes for healthI never enjoyed traditional exercising, even as a girl in high school. I found something lacking when running on the treadmill going nowhere fast. But I did like to walk outdoors, and when I wanted more of a challenge, I started hiking. 

When my daughter and 12 year old grandson moved away about 4 years ago I lost my hiking partner, and it wasn’t fun hiking alone.  So I searched on line and found Las Vegas Hikers - that was truly my lucky day. I have been a member of the Hiking Las Vegas Meetup Group since 2010.  And

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High Rise Condos Loans in Las VegasThe Tonnesen Team preferred lender, All Western Mortgage, has secured a relationship with one of the top credit unions in Las Vegas, and is now able to offer three very exciting and new loan programs that NO OTHER LENDERS HAVE. Check out the guidelines for their fresh start loans (only one day out of short sale or foreclosure!), jumbo loans (with as little as 5% down!) and high rise condo loans (with as little as 5% down!)

Click here to apply online

1)   AWM Fresh Start Mortgage! One day out of short sale or foreclosure! 

  • 80% Loan to Value from $100,000 - $1,000,000
  • 75% Loan to Value from $1,000,001 - $2,000,000
  • Minimum Loan Amount is $100,000
  • Rates as low as 4.75% for 30 Years and 3.625% for 15 Years
  • Minimum 620 Credit Score
  • Minimum 6
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Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - Las Vegas, NV Real EstateEvery year in March, Prudential Americana hosts a huge awards ceremony blowout to honor the outstanding agents in the company. There is a lavish breakfast, the mimosas flow freely, and our affiliated Home Benefits vendors display their wares and have the agents draw for prizes ranging from gift cards to rounds of golf.   

But today when we entered the ballroom at the Encore, instead of “Pru Blue,” the entire ballroom was decorated in shades of burgundy and cream. And Mark Stark, owner of our company, made the much anticipated announcement official: as of April 29th, we will become part of the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices family owned by Warren Buffet!

Our sales executives, even the old-timers that have been with Prudential since the beginning, all

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The latest statistics are in: with interest rates hovering around 4.5% for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage, buying is 38% cheaper than renting as a national average, down from being 44% cheaper one year ago.

For example, if your rent is currently $1200 per month and you purchase a $175k home with a 3.5% down payment at a 4.5% interest rate, you would save approximately $8200 per year if home prices appreciated a modest 4% per year, or almost $50k savings over 6 years. Check out this cool buy vs rent calculator that will tell you exactly which option would benefit YOU most! Click Here

Buying a Home is Cheaper than Renting in Las Vegas

The margin between buying and renting narrowed during the past year due to rising prices around the country. But even though the gap has narrowed, this is still great

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Danica Patrick NASCAR 2014 Las VegasVRRROOOOMMMMM.... One of our most experienced real estate agents, Debra Leatham, is also a HUGE racing fan, and every March she camps out over several days at the big NASCAR event in Las Vegas. (Debra and her husband Jim are also avid Corvette enthusiasts, and he built a separate 4 car garage just for his "babies" that rivals anything in the NASCAR pits.) Over 100,000 other racing enthusiasts will also be in attendance, coming from all parts of the world for what is considered NASCAR's best annual competition.

Below is an email Debra sent me yesterday as she got ready for the day's races:

"We headed out on Tuesday with our RV to set up in the Turn1 RV lot.  It is a reserved, dry camping spot and next to the race track.  We have had a spot infield

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Las Vegas Luxury Homes for SaleWhile the average sales price in Las Vegas rose over 30% in 2013, the median price for homes over $1 million was virtually unchanged last year and remained stable at $1.4 million. Surprisingly enough, though, the volume of closed transactions for Las Vegas luxury homes priced at over $1M almost doubled from 2012. Buyers from pricier markets in California and New York took advantage of the situation, and the number of sales in 2013 spiked to 342.

Most of these luxury home sales were located in the newer upscale guard gated communities. These developments were built during the boom years between 2003 and 2006. Luxury homeowners were reluctant to sell during the subsequent bust of 2007 through 2011, but are now coming to the market after waiting out the

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Mortgage Debt Relief Act ExtensionAccording to Mark Stark, owner of Prudential Americana LLC (one of the largest Prudential franchisees in the country), the Las Vegas real estate market has made a full return to traditional sales. In February 2014, bank foreclosures and short sales combined only made up a meager 14% of total closed transactions.

This is due in large part to the failure of Congress to extend the Mortgage Debt Relief Act at the end of 2014. This Act allowed short sale homeowners to avoid paying taxes on the unpaid balance of their loan when they sold for less than what was owed. Instead, these potential sellers are opting to stay in their homes and make the payments rather than be faced with one huge tax bill.

And, though it is possible (anticipated?) that Congress will

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