Las Vegas Real Estate News

April 25, 2019

Bishop Air Service’s Cool Tips for a Comfortable Home

Today I’m joined by Shelly Bishop from Bishop Air Service to dispel a myth about air conditioning that many have been told, and to talk about what her company does to ensure that your home will stay cool and comfortable year-round.


People who have called Bishop Air Service for a second opinion about their air conditioning units have informed the company’s owner, Shelly Bishop, that they were told R22 refrigerant is illegal. This is simply untrue. R22 is completely legal, and it’s been very viable here in town. It is, however, decreasing in production, and will cease to be made come 2020, but there’s plenty of R22 refrigeration now to get your units up and running again. And yes, that means that older units can still be serviced.


Beyond servicing your old A/C unit, Bishop Air Service also provides a 15-point maintenance check that includes the following:


  • Oiling and greasing the bearings
  • Checking the amperages of your electrical system
  • Checking your compressors
  • Cleaning the condensing coils to keep the unit efficient
  • Changing out filters as necessary
  • Checking all other vital components to make sure that your home is cool throughout the summer


Remember, as we move further into the spring and summer months, it’s important to be sure that your HVAC system is running in peak condition. The last thing you want is to wait until it’s 100 degrees out before calling a professional in to fix your unit. You can help maintain your unit by remembering to change out the filters on a monthly basis.


If you have any questions for Shelly about maintaining your HVAC unit or would like for Bishop Air Service to come out to your home, she can be reached at (702) 565-9800.


For other real estate-related questions, feel free to reach out to the DiRaffaele Group. We’re here to help.

Posted in News
March 28, 2019

How Do Courts Divide A Home?

You and your spouse have decided to file a divorce.  You own a home and now need to decide who keeps the home, or how to divide the home.   It’s not as simple as you keep the kitchen, and front porch, and your spouse keeps the garage and backyard.  The courts will need to either divide the value of the home, or allow one spouse to keep the home.

Nevada is a community property state.  Community property is defined as any asset, or debt, acquired during the marriage.  Typical community property is a house, vehicles, bank accounts, and investments.   Community property is divided evenly by the court unless there is a compelling reason to divide other than equally. 

If the home was purchased during the marriage, and the house has equity, then the court will want to divide the equity evenly.    A house is not always an asset.  If there is equity in the home (the difference between the mortgage owed, and the value)  then it is an asset.  If there is no equity, a home is actually looked as a debt by the court.  The simplest way to divide the equity in a home is to sell the home and split the proceeds.   

If one spouse wants to keep the home, then they will need to refinance the home, so they can buy-out their spouse’s half of the equity.    Sometimes, instead of refinancing we might recommend giving the spouse a larger share of a 401K, or IRA, or other assets. 

What if the home was purchased before the marriage?

If the home was purchased prior to the marriage, then the home may be separate property, and not divided with the divorce.   Several important issues exist around a separate property home.   First, was the home paid off before you got married.   If not, then money paid towards the mortgage while married muddies the waters a little.  The house may now have part of the equity that is considered separate property, and part of the equity that is considered community property.   In Nevada, this is called a “Malmquist Issue” and the courts have created a Malmquist Formula to figure out how much is community and how much is separate.  

Does it matter who’s name is on the title, or the mortgage?

In deciding whether the equity is community property or separate, it doesn’t matter whose name is on the title or mortgage.    It is quite common for only one spouse, who has good credit, and to be on the title, and the mortgage.   Some mortgage lenders have the other spouse sign a quit claim deed.   Signing a quit claim deed doesn’t mean you’ve given up your interest in the home.   Signing a quit claim deed doesn’t always affect the community property label of the equity in the home. 

What if I want to keep the home?

If there is equity in the home, you will need to buy-out your spouse’s half.   If there isn’t any equity, the court will let you keep the house, as long as you keep up the mortgage.   The alternative is to have the home sold, for a loss, and this loss becomes a debt you and your spouse will need to cover.  This is called a short-sell and requires a mortgage company approval.  The approval process is lengthy, and the courts may not wait for a mortgage company decision. 

How do we value the home?

If you are choosing to stay in the home, you will need to buy-out your spouse’s half of the equity.  Equity is the difference between the mortgage, or mortgages, and the market value of the home.  Market value is often a figure that needs to be decided by the court. There are several ways to decide value.   A spouse may present a valuation from Zillow.   This is a website that posts general values of homes.  This amount can be challenged with a broker’s opinion.  A broker’s opinion is an estimate provided by a professional realtor.   The valuation the courts provide the highest deference to is a home appraisal.   Home appraisals can range in cost between $900 and $1500 and consider the current market, and construction costs. 

About the Author.   Right Lawyers is a law firm located in Las Vegas, NV that practices exclusively in divorce and custody law.    For over 15 years the divorce attorneys at Right Lawyers have helped thousands of those needing help with uncontested divorces, legal separations, and contested divorce cases.   To reach Right Lawyers visit their website at or call them at (702) 914-0400.

Posted in News
March 26, 2019

Wire Fraud Scams and How to Avoid Them

I’m here today with Stacey Griffith of Ticor Title to warn you of something sinister that’s running rampant in real estate: wire fraud scams.


According to the FBI, over an 18-month period, wire fraud cost its victims $1.6 billion in the United States alone. But what do these scams look like?


In a wire fraud, scammers are attempting to divert wired money, which could be a seller’s proceeds, a buyer’s earnest money, payoffs, and more. They intercept wiring instructions and send their own, meaning the wired money goes to the wrong party—the scammers.


They’re hacking into unsecured websites or into Realtors’ email addresses and impersonating members of the transaction. This is why it’s incredibly important to be aware of any subtle changes in their contact information or their behavior.


Stacey dealt with an experience that happened during a payoff. An agent emailed her assistant and asked for the payoff information. It was sent, and two days later, it came back with updated instructions. The new details were actually fraudulent, but they were able to identify it as a scam and avoid any further issues.

So what can agents, lenders, and people in general do to avoid falling victim to these scams? The best is to pick up the phone; if you receive new payment instructions via email, verify it by calling your agent. As a precaution, my team never sends clients any wiring information.

Agents should be sending as little information as possible. If you hook up your client and title directly so only the title company is dealing with social security information and payoff details, it protects everyone involved. The less information being passed through emails, the better.


I’d like to thank Stacey for providing us with some great information today. If you have any other questions or would like more information, feel free to reach out to us. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

Posted in News
March 14, 2019

Sellers: Beware of Instant Offer Companies

What’s the deal with instant offer companies that seem to be popping up all over the place lately? These companies, also known as “iBuyers”, may be a viable option for some, but before you take the plunge into such an arrangement, there are a few points to consider.


First, realize that anything that sounds too good to be true probably is. The truth is that these iBuyers are really just looking to make a quick buck. Their plan is to offer you a “convenient” arrangement at a cost. Sure, by selling to an iBuyer you get to avoid the listing process, but is that worth the inordinately low price you’ll earn for your home as a result?


If you are at risk of foreclosure or need to move quickly, you may find this to be a worthwhile trade. If you aren’t in distress, though, you’ll almost always be better off pursuing a traditional sale.


The problem with these iBuyers is that they don’t generally present their offer in an honest light. They try to make it seem like you’ll get just as much money selling to them as you would on the open market, and this is simply not true. In reality, sellers working with instant offer companies often leave thousands (sometimes even tens of thousands) of dollars on the table.


Even those who might otherwise find this arrangement worthwhile should know that iBuyers aren’t your only option. If you need to sell fast, reach out to us. We would be happy to develop a strategy for selling your home that fits your wants and needs.


If you have any other questions or would like more information, feel free to give us a call or send us an email. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

Posted in News
Feb. 25, 2019

Your February 2019 Real Estate Market Update

Today we’ll be looking at the latest trends in our Las Vegas and Henderson real estate markets.


From summer 2018 to the end of the year, market inventory has climbed from 4,000 to 7,000. Currently, there are 7,254 homes available. Along with rising inventory, price reductions are increasing as well.


In one recent weekend alone, we saw over 100 price reductions—we even saw 65 reductions on the day we recorded this video. This means there are a lot of agents who simply can’t figure out what’s going on in the market right now.


Though their big promises of selling homes for high prices may have worked back in summer, that’s not the case anymore. Don’t fall for this “buying the listing” gimmick: An agent will tell you a great number, lock you under contract for months on end, and wait for you to get anxious enough to drop your price.


We do have some good news—median home prices are now back up to $300,000. On top of this, about 50% of homes are selling within the first 30 days of being listed. Though this has dropped from 68% back in summer, we’re definitely still in a strong seller’s market. If you have a good home, good marketing, and good pricing, you’ll be able to make a sale. We’ve already had several homes sell in less than 10 days.


If you have any questions about your own real estate situation or would like further information, feel free to reach out to us. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

Posted in News
Nov. 16, 2018

Happy Thanksgiving From DG Realty

Thanksgiving is right around the corner. We got the whole team together to wish you our best.

From all of us here at DG Realty, we wanted to take a moment to say thank you for all of your business this year. We’re so grateful for you, and we wanted to show that gratitude to you as a team. Make sure you eat a lot of turkey and pumpkin pie this year. We can’t wait to help even more of you in 2019. To see our full message, watch this short video.


Posted in News
Nov. 5, 2018

Our Most Trusted Vendors

We have a list of trusted vendors we’d like to share with you if you’re in need of any professional service outside of real estate.

Our team is always networking, and a big reason why is so we can refer you to a number of great local vendors who can help you if you’re ever in need of any service outside of real estate.


With that in mind, here’s a list of some great, quality referral partners that recently attended one of our networking events that you should keep in mind:


- Justin Donald of Service Plus Plumbing. They do plumbing work for residential, commercial, service, and new construction properties.

- Sue Rodrigues of My Coach Sue. Sue is a transformational health coach, so if you know anyone who wants to get in better shape or improve their health, she’s the one to call.

- Randy Donald of Design Builders. This general contracting company has been in business for 30 years, and they do commercial work, residential work, and insurance restoration work.

- Dave Beason of The Muffler Shop, a full-service automotive repair shop.

- Shelly Bishop of Bishop Air Service. As an air conditioning, heating, and refrigeration company, they’ve been serving residential and commercial customers since 1992.

- Todd Farina of Send It Rising. They can handle all of your marketing needs and design a great website for you.

- Ali Monem of ADT Security. He’s been in the business for 23 years defending what you value the most.

- Aimee Sangster of Image 2000. They can help save you money on your copiers and printers.

- Lynn Truong of Layton, Layton & Tobler LLP. Lynn is the accountant you should call if you need any assurance or tax work.

- Gary Thompson of Thompson Traffic Lawyers. They help with personal injury cases, so if you’re in an accident, give them a call and they’ll call you back.


If you or anyone you know needs any of these services, don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I’d be glad to refer them to you.

Posted in News
Oct. 5, 2018

Fall 2018 Las Vegas home price update

Friends and Clients —

If you've been thinking of selling your home, you'll want to keep reading.

That's because it will show you how to get a significant advantage over a lot of other home sellers around Las Vegas.

I'll explain how in just a second. But first, let me give you a bit of background on the current conditions in the Las Vegas housing market:

1. Mortgage rates have hit a 7-year high.

Several weeks ago, the 30-year fixed mortgage rate broke through the 4.6%-mark, the highest level since May 2011.

This is part of an ongoing upward trend in mortgage rates, which started over a year ago.

The thing is, in spite of the rate increase, mortgage applications spiked in September. This is a signal that buyers expect rates to go up even more in the near future—something that's very well possible given current conditions.

2. Affordability is dropping, and demand might soon follow.

For the past several years, home prices have increased at twice the speed of inflation.

For a while, this didn't have too much of an effect on the market, because there was so much pent-up demand.

However, the continued price growth and the mortgage rate hikes might finally be getting to buyers.

Affordability is suffering—an estimate from early summer put current home affordability levels at a 10-year low.

This seems to be causing demand to soften as well. For example, the number of people requesting home tours has fallen by 6.1%, according to one measure this summer.

3. More home sellers are reducing prices.

Not surprisingly, the combination of sustained high prices, increasing mortgage rates, and a drop in demand is finally starting to have an impact on the real estate market.

While there are still no major signs of a real estate slowdown yet, there are some worrying indicators.

Crucially, more sellers are now reducing prices. More than a quarter of homes listed as of September 16 had a price drop.

What does this all mean for you?

In short, if you've been thinking of selling your home, then the time to act is now.

In spite of the easing of demand, there are still many hungry buyers on the market and prices remain near all-time highs.

This means you can sell your home quickly and for top dollar.

However, all of the reasons I listed earlier mean this situation might not hold very long.

Demand might slack off even more, and then many more homeowners might decide to enter the market, driving down prices and really ushering in a buyer's market.

That's why it can make a lot of sense to move early—before this kind of awareness reaches the majority of homeowners.

If you are considering selling, you can get started now by getting an idea of what your home is worth in the current market. Simply try out this home value calculator, which is based on recent sales:

Enter your home address here to find out what your home is currently worth

And once you are ready to get the process rolling (so you can take advantage of this opportune moment), give me a call. I'm here to help.

Posted in News
Sept. 11, 2018

Green Energy Tips for Your Home

Solar power may very well be the future of energy on earth. I recently sat down with my good friend, Rick Van Diepen of GRN Vision, to talk about his background, his company, and some things you can do to make your property more energy efficient today. Here is an outline of what we discussed, with timestamps so that you can skip ahead to the part(s) that interest you most:


:50- Where to start if you want to make your home more energy efficient today.


2:20- Smaller-scale projects that will bring energy efficiency (and value) to your home.


4:10- How new VOC paint can help make your home more energy efficient and give you better air quality at the same time, without breaking the bank.


6:30- How to provide natural daylight in the dark areas your home without having to turn the lights on.


Thanks again to Rick for joining us. If you have any specific questions for Rick or myself about making your home or business more energy efficient and environmentally friendly, don’t hesitate to give him a call at (702) 242-0625.


If you have any other questions about real estate for myself, don’t hesitate to give me a call or send me an email any time. I would love to hear from you.

Posted in Newly Listed Homes
Aug. 9, 2018

Expert Advice About the Current Real Estate Industry Trends


Today my friend Cody Tyson of Bay Equity Home Loans is with me to share his expertise on the current real estate industry.


Today I am joined with my good friend and preferred lender partner, Cody Tyson of Bay Equity Home Loans, to talk about some of what we have recently seen in the real estate industry. Cody has been in his line of work for 15 years which definitely qualifies him as an expert for this expert conversation.


Cody tells us that in any transaction you are only as good as the weakest player on the team. He sometimes sees that when there is a new real estate agent, escrow officer, or lender, clients can pick up on it. Even though everyone else is pulling their weight and doing their job, it doesn't feel right. This feeling spreads throughout the entire transaction.


This can also happen to people who have been in the business for a long time but have only done it for a few hours a week as a part-time job.


One of the things he mentioned as well is that it is the agent's job to be that calming force. Buying or selling is highly emotional times for both parties for a number of reasons. Usually, people buy and sell real estate because they have a life change that has occurred such as a job transfer, promotion, divorce, marriage, death, etc.


Add in someone who is not well equipped in the deal, and it is contagious. If the real estate agent is worried about getting a paycheck, they may not be the calming force that you need. This can spread even if you have a lender and an agent who has worked together for a long time and there is a third person that is thrown in that stirs the pot.


The final tip for this week from our expert is to make sure you do your homework. If you know someone or have seen them on social media, find out the depth of their knowledge and how they will handle challenges and conflicts. A real estate transaction it is about navigating those hurdles that most certainly do come up.


If you have any questions about this or anything else real estate related, please feel free to reach out. I look forward to speaking with you.

Posted in News