Las Vegas Real Estate 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
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
July 26, 2018

We’re in a Red-Hot Seller’s Market, so Don’t Give Your Home Away

Don’t give your home away—not in one of the strongest markets we’ve seen in the last decade.


As I’m sure you’ve heard, the Las Vegas/Henderson market has been on fire this year. As a result, an interesting trend has been occurring that affects home sellers. Companies like Opendoor are getting more involved in the market and spending more and more dollars to convince you to sell your property to them.


Why does it make sense for them to buy your property? Because they’re investors who’re looking for a return on their investment. Why would it make sense for you to sell your property to them? Usually it’s because your home sale faces a significant challenge—perhaps your home needs to be fixed up but you don’t have the money to do so, you’re on a tight timeline, or you’re just overwhelmed with the process in general.


If you’re up against the wall and you need to sell quickly, you could sell to a company like Opendoor, but you should know that you might be leaving more money on the table than you’re aware of if you do. In our current market, many listed properties are receiving multiple offers and selling above their appraised value.


Companies like Opendoor do everything based on past sales (or anything that’s sold within the last 60 to 120 days), but the real market operates based on what’s going to happen in the future. Understanding this is how we get our clients top dollar for their homes—by generating buyer traffic, pushing the price, and negotiating until the sale goes above the home’s appraised value.


Don’t give your home away—not in one of the strongest markets we’ve seen in the last decade.


If you’d like to know more about how we can sell your home quickly and for top dollar or you have any questions about our current market, don’t hesitate to reach out to me. My team and I would love to help you.

Posted in News
July 12, 2018

Knowing the Contracts in Real Estate


If agents aren’t educated about the real estate business, the consumers are the ones who get hurt. That’s why it’s so important that agents know the real estate contracts like the back of their hand.


I just finished one of my continuing education classes I’m required to take every two years to retain my real estate license, and this most recent class was about today’s topic: real estate contracts.


Something, in particular, blew me away about this class: Despite the fact that all the agents in the audience had a least a couple years’ worth of experience, about 90% of them knew very little about the contracts we use day in, day out.


I bring this observation up for a couple of reasons.


First, if you’re a consumer, you should know that just because someone passed their real estate license exam doesn’t make them qualified to help you buy or sell a house. Nor are they automatically qualified if they’ve been in the business for five or 10 years.


Out of the 40 agents in this class, only three had been in the business for 20 years or longer. I was one of them, and all three of us knew every provision and every term of every contract. By contrast, most of the other agents couldn’t even describe what the word “contingency” meant, or why a date and time are needed next to the duties owed form. It’s important to know about this form, because it’s a document that needs to be signed before you go into a listing agreement or purchasing agreement. More specifically, it outlines who’s representing who in the transaction and what their duties are.


Second, it got me thinking that we have to find a way to get agents better educated. Too many brokers who have little-to-no training themselves are opening up brokerages and then hiring people without taking the time to teach them the basics. To me, the scary part is that the consumers are the one who will ultimately be hurt by this. If you hire someone who doesn’t know the basics of the real estate business, you’re the one who’s exposed.


For example, I got a call this morning from a lender friend of mine who told me he’s doing a loan that won’t close on time for a buyer whose agent knew it wasn’t going to close on time when they wrote the offer. The buyer’s agent was new to the business, and he wrote a very attractive offer that, unfortunately, also had a very short closing window.


The sad part is that the seller’s agent was a competent, experienced agent who knew what would happen but didn’t do anything to reach out and amend the situation. The seller’s now planning on canceling the transaction, and the buyer will lose their earnest money deposit.


If you’re a real estate agent, make sure you take the time to learn the business and learn your contracts. You should know every paragraph and every sentence of them. If you don’t understand them, get in touch with a veteran agent or someone else who can explain things to you. This business attracts a lot of people because they like the idea of having the freedom to control their own schedule and making a lot of money. The reality, though, is that the real estate business is about looking out for other people’s best interests. Ultimately, the undoing of a real estate agent comes from not being engaged in learning the business.

If you’re a buyer or a seller, ask your agent simple questions about your contract during the home sale process. If they don’t know about that stuff backward and forwards, they’re just pretending to be a real estate professional. Also, don’t just hire someone because you like them or they’re a family member. If you have any questions or want more information, feel free to send me an email or a phone call. I look forward to hearing from you soon!

June 19, 2018

3 Sustainability Projects That Can Improve Your Home’s Value

If you want to increase your home’s value before listing it, there are three projects you can do that will improve its sustainability and make it more attractive to buyers.


If you are thinking of selling your home, think sustainability.


A new survey by the National Association of Realtors just came out, and it made some remarkable points. For example, 61% of Realtors said clients are interested in sustainability. Also, a whopping 71% of Realtors said energy efficiency is valuable in helping sell a home.


So, if you are interested in sustainability and you want to sell your home for a higher price, here are three projects to consider:


1. Energy-efficient appliances. Energy Star-certified appliances such as fridges, washing machines, and clothes dryers can be as much as 40% more water efficient and 25% more energy efficient than standard models. Those numbers go way up if you compare new energy-efficient appliances with models that are more than a few years old.


Other gadgets throughout your house might also warrant an update. For example, if you have an old thermostat or an inefficient water heater, then smart new alternatives such as the Nest thermostat or solar water heaters might also be worth a look.


2. Solar panels. Speaking of solar, homes with solar panels sell 20% faster, according to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Even more impressive, they sell for a whopping 17% more than comparable homes without solar. And with a range of state and federal incentives still in place, solar can be a great way to make your home more green and attractive at the same time.


3. Windows, doors, and siding. Renovated windows, doors, and siding typically recoup about 80% of their cost in terms of higher home value. However, a full suite of energy-efficient windows, doors, and siding might be worth even more in the current sustainability-minded market. Plus, these projects increase your home’s curb appeal, making it more likely your home will get more interest from potential buyers.


Any of these projects can potentially add a lot of value to your home. If you want to discuss which sustainability projects might make the most sense in your particular case or what kind of sale price you could achieve, please feel free to give me a call.


If you have any other questions or real estate needs, feel free to call or email me anytime. I would be happy to help you.

Posted in News
April 11, 2018

Las Vegas Golden Knights Playoffs 2018!



Hockey Season is officially coming to a close, which can only mean one thing: the spring market is here!

With that, I wanted to reach out to you for a small favor.

I hope you have appreciated the video emails I send out regularly each month addressing trends in, changes to, and tips for navigating the world of real estate.

This is where I would like your help.

Rather than simply guess what's on your mind, I want to reach out and ask you what questions you have about real estate.

Are there any concepts that confuse you? Are you curious about the market in your particular area?

I would love to answer your specific questions in my videos so other people with similar questions can benefit from them too.

Go Knights!


Posted in News