local realtor

What Are the Benefits of a Local Realtor in Temecula?

It’s a familiar story we’ve heard – you’re on a quest to find your perfect home in the charming city of Temecula, only to feel lost amidst the sea of listings and open houses. The stress of making sense of the fluctuating market trends can take away from the excitement of your home-buying journey. As your local realtor in Temecula, Mason Real Estate is here to guide you through these complexities and make your dream home a reality.

According to the Southwest Riverside County Association of Realtors (SRCAR), the median sale price of a single-family home in SW Riverside County was $580,191 last month (Jan. 2024), a slight increase from $580,000 in Dec. 2023. However, we were up by 6% from a year ago at $545,000 despite the roller coaster year in 2023. These ever-changing markets underscore the importance of having a local expert by your side who can effectively navigate as we enter this market in 2024.

The Power of Local Expertise

The housing market can be unpredictable, especially in a dynamic area like Temecula. That’s why having a local realtor is beneficial and essential. We’ve been serving the Temecula Valley and surrounding cities for years, giving us an intimate understanding of local market trends and conditions.

Our team conducts comprehensive comparative market analyzes (CMA) by combining multiple databases of similar homes listed and sold in your area. This enables us to provide you with the most accurate information about your home’s value.

To set ourselves apart, we offer site visits and internal inspections to review any upgrades or additional amenities that could affect the value of your home. This meticulous approach allows us to determine the best marketing strategies and improvements to maximize the value of your property.

Personalized Service Tailored to Your Needs

At Mason Real Estate, every client is unique and deserves personalized service. Whether you’re a first-time homebuyer or a seasoned investor, we understand your needs and goals. We are here to ensure a smooth and stress-free experience.

Our clients’ testimonials reflect our dedication as we provide professional, caring, and relentless advocacy, bridging the gap between you and the bank to protect your best interests.

local realtorExpert Advice and Valuable Resources at Your Fingertips

As a local realtor, Mike Mason provides a regular column featured in the Valley News Real Estate section. These articles cover a vast array of real estate-related issues, keeping you informed about the ever-changing housing market, economic conditions, and trends.

Our website is a valuable resource for both buyers and sellers. We offer resources like articles for buyers and sellers, city links, chamber links, and weekly real estate articles. These resources provide valuable insights and information to help you make informed decisions.

Take the First Step Towards Your Dream Home

When buying or selling a home in Temecula, having a local realtor like Mike Mason and our team at Mason Real Estate can make all the difference. Our local expertise, personalized service, and valuable resources set us apart. We are here to guide you through the process, ensuring a successful real estate experience.

Ready to make a move?

Call (951) 296-8887 or contact Mike Mason and the team at Mason Real Estate today for a personalized consultation. Let us show you why we are the local realtors in Temecula. You can trust to turn your real estate dreams into reality.

Best Realtor in Temecula

Discover the Mason Real Estate Difference: Your Guide to the Best Realtor in Temecula

Picture this: a lovely day in Temecula, the sun casting a warm glow on the vineyards as you drive through the charming neighborhoods filled with excitement. You’re on a mission to find your dream home, and you have a trusted companion, Mason Real Estate, the best realtor in Temecula, guiding you along the way. Now that you’ve imagined Temecula’s beauty and thrill, let’s delve further into how Mason Real Estate can make your home-buying journey seamless and enjoyable.

Our Pledge to You: Satisfaction Above All Else

Our journey in the real estate industry has taught us one crucial lesson: each client’s experience is unique and deeply personal. Buying or selling a home is more than a transaction; it’s a life-defining moment. We’re not just committed to helping you navigate this journey. We’re dedicated to making it a memorable one. Our track record speaks volumes about our unwavering commitment to client satisfaction, with countless successful transactions in the Temecula real estate market.

Local Expertise: Navigating the Temecula Market

Being the best realtor in Temecula doesn’t just mean knowing the basics. It means understanding the nuances of the local market. With years of experience in the Temecula Valley, we’ve acquired an intimate understanding of the area’s real estate landscape. We stay ahead of market trends and economic shifts, providing insights and advice grounded in reality and backed by data.

Best Realtor in TemeculaCustomized Approach: Tailoring the Journey to Your Needs

At Mason Real Estate, we believe in a personalized approach to real estate. We understand every client has unique needs and aspirations. Whether you’re a first-time buyer, looking to sell, or an experienced investor, we customize our strategies to align with your specific objectives. We listen, understand, and create a roadmap to realize your real estate dreams.

Empowering Clients Through Education

We believe in empowering our clients through education. We provide valuable insights on a broad range of real estate topics, from understanding market trends to offering tips for buyers and sellers. Our commitment to educating our clients extends beyond our services; Mike Mason, our founder, writes a weekly column in the Valley News Real Estate section, providing readers with a fresh perspective on various real estate issues.

Why Choose Mason Real Estate: The Best Realtor in Temecula

Here’s why we stand out in the crowded real estate market:

  • In-depth knowledge of the Temecula market
  • Personalized approach to cater to individual needs
  • Commitment to client education and empowerment
  • Proven track record of client satisfaction

Experience the Mason Real Estate difference today – we’re the best realtor in Temecula, thanks to our unwavering focus on client satisfaction, deep understanding of the local market, and personalized approach.

Trust us to guide you on your real estate journey! Reach out to us at (951) 296-8887, and let’s turn your real estate dreams into reality!

home inspection

Who Needs a Home Inspection? The Buyer or Seller

Everyone should know that when buying a home it is prudent to have an independent third party inspect the major systems of the home so that you’ll know what condition they are in, avoiding most expensive surprises.  As a seller of a Temecula/Murrieta Valley homes, MASON Real Estate recommends having a home inspection done prior to the marketing of your home.  Then upon review, take care of what needs to be done prior to placing it for sale.

By commissioning a pre-inspection and correcting any deficiencies’ you’ll be able to market the home as truly ‘turn-key’ enabling you to ask for the highest and best price the market will bear.

The primary areas of interest focus around these 10 major systems that all homes have in common:

  1. APPLIANCES:  Every appliance should be run for a full cycle and verified that they are all working correctly and not leaking or giving off any unpleasant odors.  The best appliances are the ones that match one another and are Energy Star certified.  Remember, kitchens sell houses and upgraded appliances sell kitchens.

  2. HVAC:  The Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning system and the hot water heater should all operate without emitting any loud noises or odors.  All plumbing should be corrosion free, filters should all be clean and new and the system should show signs of regular maintenance.

  3. ELECTRICAL SYSTEM:  All outlets and switches should be grounded and working properly; GFCI outlets should be installed in wet areas; i.e. kitchen, bathrooms, laundry room, exterior walls.  Does the panel and breakers appear modern and working properly?  Do they have sufficient amps to run a modern household?

  4. PLUMBING:  Inspect for leaks, rust, corrosion or other damage to the pipes and connections.  Do all of the drains function properly?  Is the water pressure and temperature where it should be?  If there is a septic system, you’ll want a thorough inspection that there are no cracks and that its working properly.

  5. ATTIC & ROOF:  Are there any missing shingles?  Are they deteriorating?  What condition are the gutters in?  Does the chimney appear to be structurally sound without any cracks?  Look inside the attic for the insulation…Is it even throughout the attic?  Is there a radiant barrier? 

  6. EXTERIOR SURFACES:  Here in the Temecula/Murrieta Valley many of our homes for sale have hairline cracks in the exterior stucco – this is normal with the settling that takes place.  Check to make certain that the exterior surfaces are all properly painted and calked and don’t have other damage.  Eaves and soffits should be inspected for water damage and the presence of termites (by a certified termite inspector, of course).  Check to make sure that the ground cover is not making contact with exterior walls.  Sprinklers should all be working properly and not spraying on exterior walls or fences.

  7. STRUCTURE:  Visually check the structure for bows in the ceiling.  Do all of the windows and doors close properly?  Is the home properly bolted to the foundation? 

  8. LAND:  Does the land slope away from the house?  Try rolling a water bottle and see how it goes.  Check out the driveway, walk ways, patio and any other paved surfaces for cracks or upheavals could be a sign of a natural force that may have also caused damage to your foundation.

  9. DETACHED BUILDINGS:  Detached garages, sheds and other out-buildings should be thoroughly inspected to ensure they can withstand the elements.  The roof, foundation and the sealing elements are all critical to these structures as is the termite inspection.

  10. BASEMENTS:  Not many homes in the Temecula – Murrieta Valley have a basement or cellar.  Of course, exceptions can be found and when they are, they should be thoroughly inspected for any moisture or cracking.  Make sure to seek out any potential mildew or mold.

home inspectionThis list is by no means to be considered all-inclusive or as a substitute for hiring the right home inspection.  It certainly will not replace an appraisal or other mandated inspection.   This is to help you identify any potential issues that will undoubtedly be uncovered in the sale process.  As a seller, you’ll want to know what they are in advance so you can either repair them or account for them in your asking price.  As a home buyer, you’ll want to know as much about your possible new home as you can before you remove your contingencies.

When your inspectors show up, plan on being there.  Allow them to focus on their task at hand, making note of any questions you have.  At the end of the home inspection, the Inspector should have no problem reviewing all of their findings with you on the spot as well as issuing a comprehensive report complete with photos of all areas in need of attention.

Call us today, (951) 296-8887 and get the information you need enabling you to make an informed, educated decision.

Questions regarding available inventory and/or other real estate matters please contact, Mike@GoTakeAction.com.  Mike Mason, Realtor® & Broker/Owner of MASON Real Estate.  LIC: 01483044, Temecula Valley resident for 30+ years, Board of Director (2011-2017) Southwest Riverside County Association of Realtors® (SRCAR).

riverside county

Rent Out or Sell My House in Riverside County?

Hello, fellow homeowners in Riverside County, California! At Mason Real Estate, we understand that you might be at a crossroads, deciding whether to rent out or sell your house. This decision is not taken lightly, and we’re here to help you make an informed choice that aligns with your personal and financial goals. This blog will review the key factors to consider when asking—should I rent out or sell my house in Riverside?

Understanding the Current Real Estate Market in Riverside County

The real estate market in our county has been experiencing steady growth, supported by recent statistics. With increasing home prices, selling your house can be a potentially profitable opportunity. However, considering the current high-interest rates, renting out your home could be a viable option while waiting for rates to fall. The rental market in Riverside County is thriving, indicating a high demand for quality rental properties. Whichever path you choose, there are opportunities to capitalize on.

Crunching the Numbers: Financial Considerations

With the limited number of homes available in Riverside County, selling your house could lead to a substantial lump sum, allowing you to achieve your dreams, invest in new ventures, or buy a new home at the desired price. Alternatively, renting out your house can provide a steady stream of passive income for long-term financial stability. Consider your current financial situation, aspirations, and tax implications when deciding.

riverside county

Investing Time and Effort

Selling a house involves preparing the property, marketing it effectively, negotiating offers, and navigating paperwork. It can be pretty time-consuming. Similarly, renting out your house demands initial preparation, like finding suitable tenants, conducting background checks, and managing ongoing maintenance and tenant-related issues. Consider how much time and effort you are willing to invest and the potential return on this investment.

Evaluating Market Demand and Rental Rates

Before you decide to rent, it’s crucial to understand the current rental market in Riverside County. Consider the demand for rental properties in your area and the average rental rates for similar properties. Your property’s location, amenities, and condition can significantly influence its attractiveness to potential tenants.

Considering Long-Term Goals and Flexibility

Selling your house could allow you to relocate or invest in a different property. However, renting out your home will enable you to retain ownership and potentially benefit from future appreciation while providing a housing solution for others. Consider your long-term goals, such as retirement plans or future housing needs, before deciding.

Let Mason Real Estate Help

The question—should I rent out or sell my house in Riverside County, is a significant decision that requires careful thought. At Mason Real Estate, we understand the complexities and are committed to guiding you through this process. Whether you choose to sell or rent, our team of professionals is dedicated to helping you achieve your goals. Reach out to us today for personalized advice and assistance. 

Remember, as Riverside County’s trusted real estate experts, we’re here to support you every step of the way. Contact us today to start the process of selling your home!


Today’s Temecula – Murrieta Move-Up/Move-Down Buyers face many challenges in an ever evolving real estate market.  It doesn’t matter if you are looking for a larger home for your family with more yard for the kids and dogs to play or downsizing to a smaller home with less maintenance…the challenges are all the same, juggling two real estate transactions at once.   Not an easy task for even the most diligent.

Since many of our Temecula – Murrieta neighbors once again have equity in their homes, many are planning on selling one home and buying another, as the local real estate market continues to appreciate.

The local Temecula – Murrieta market conditions can be both a blessing and a curse to the move-up buyer.  While the thought of limited inventory to select a new home from is not something to look forward to, yet when selling your current home you’ll welcome the bidding war that buyers will generate for the right home in the right neighborhood.

The trick, of course, is in managing and even juggling simultaneous transactions – a task that can be both frenzied and daunting to even the most experienced homeowner.  In the worst case scenario not only can the dream home be lost…but the earnest money deposit as well.

While every seller-buyer is different and each have their own personal scenario, unique to them they still must answer the all-important universal question, “Can I afford to pay two mortgages at once if I buy before I sell?  Or do I prepare to move twice, if I sell before I buy?”


The biggest issue about buying before you sell of course, is financing.  With the newest provision of the Dodd-Frank Act that took effect in 2014, even today lenders interpret differently these new federal laws aimed at protecting consumers while maintaining the integrity of federally insured mortgages.  Now more than ever, it’s critical to speak with your lender and investigate how a ‘Qualified Mortgage’ effects your personal situation.

Some move-up buyers will decide to NOT pay two mortgage payments and just go ahead and move in with friends or family…or perhaps rent an apartment or other temporary housing giving them more time to find and buy their new home.

In a “Seller’s Market” like Temecula-Murrieta real estate is currently experiencing, most sellers will not accept an offer contingent on the buyer selling their current home.  However, a good REALTOR® will have some creative options from their tool box of experience to make for a smoother move-up transaction.


As a seller, you have two tools that can be used to make the process run smoother.  First, when you list your home, have your agent report to the MLS that the sale of your home is contingent on you being able to find your new dream home.  This will allow escrow to coordinate a dual simultaneous closings.

The other option, when an offer comes in on the sale of your home, a good REALTOR® can negotiate a seller rent-back agreement.  This allows the buyer to close escrow on your home and take title while allowing you to remain in the home until you can move into your new home.

It is fairly common to allow the seller to remain in possession of the property for up to 3 days after the close of escrow without any financial consideration.  More than 3 days, a rent-back should be negotiated.  While the amount of the rent is always negotiable it’s typical to consider the buyers payment and add in a pro-rated share of property taxes, home-owners insurance and HOA dues, if any.   A rent-back payment is intended to keep the buyer whole and not create a profit center.  The buyer’s lender may allow up to 60 days of rent-back; anything more and the buyer’s lender may consider the loan to be for investment property, not allowing owner-occupied financing.  In today’s competitive Seller’s Market most buyers will be willing to cooperate allowing you to find your new home and close your own escrow if the home is priced right and in great condition.


As a move-up buyer with a house to sell a smart move is to limit your search to homes that have been on the market or 30 days or more.  While this is not a long time in a ‘normal’ market, the seller will no doubt be feeling anxious and probably more willing to negotiate a contingency allowing the buyer to sell their home.  The object will be to convince the seller to believe they are better off accepting your contingent offer than waiting for another buyer to come along.  It should go without saying that a full price offer should be made with few other contingencies and if you want a long escrow, perhaps sweeten the pot with a little extra purchase price.  By having your financing locked in, removing a loan contingency is another strong move that can work in your favor.

A seller may accept your contingent offer with a ‘kick-out clause’ that will enable them to keep their home on the market and if a better offer comes in, they can ‘kick’ your contract with an appropriate notice, giving you the opportunity to move forward with your contract.

As the buyer, having more flexibility in location may work for you as well.  While certain local neighborhoods turn homes quicker than others, there really are NO bad Temecula – Murrieta neighborhoods.  Allowing for some flexibility in location and even features can prove advantageous – without settling of course.


The most important thing a move-up buyer can do is be prepared…on every level.  As we discussed above, having your financing in place is critical. 

Make sure that the home you’re selling is in the best possible condition, staged to appeal to the widest audience and priced for a quick sale.

The final consideration every move-up buyer needs to focus on is a back-up plan. Always keep in mind the infamous Murphy’s Law, “If anything can go wrong, it will”.  Sometimes ‘Plan B’ turns out to be the best plan, especially if it works out!

Call us today at (951) 296-8887, and get educated! 

For questions regarding available inventory and/or other real estate matters please contact, Mike@GoTakeAction.com.  Mike Mason, Broker/Owner of MASON Real Estate Cal. BRE: 01483044, Temecula Valley resident for 30+ years, Board of Director (since 2011) Southwest Riverside County Association of Realtors® (SRCAR).

What Your Realtor® Should Tell You When Listing Your Home!

Many homeowners today are optimistic about the potential profit they will realize when they sell their home.  Headlines have reported market improvements to the housing market for some time, and sellers are gearing up to cash in on those increases.

The downside is these expectations may lead to a major disappointment.  It’s more critical than ever to have a local agent that understands the local real estate market and can educate their clients on the following six very important topics.


Nearly every homeowner believes that their home is special and one of the best in the entire neighborhood, and should therefore be priced higher than other comparable homes currently being sold.  Knowing the competition is critical to effectively pricing a home.  Your agent should be able to show you on paper where your home stacks up to the completion.  However, not everyone really gets it by looking at values on a spreadsheet.  If this is you, then have your agent take you on a tour of the neighborhood and pre view each comparative home on the market. 

Once you, as the seller, have a chance to see what money will buy in the current market, you should have a better idea of where your home should be priced. 


Sure, you live in a beautiful home and everyone compliments you on your decorating skills.  This does not give you a pass at staging.  Bring in an independent 3rd party who will depersonalize and declutter the living space so that it shows its best under the brightest of lights.

Have you ever toured model homes?  They all look inviting and lived in yet there is never any personal items that will identify the occupants of the home other than a boys or girls room. 

Create a plan with a checklist so that for every open house or showing you can go through the home and create the desired image.  You have to remember the entire purpose of staging is to allow the potential buyer to see themselves living in your home and call it theirs.

Don’t forget that staging includes Curb Appeal too.


Any home repairs that have been on the ‘Honey Do’ list need to be done before you ever allow any prospective buyer in for a preview.  Nearly all home repairs have a minimal cost that a potential home buyer will perceive as much more expensive and inconvenient if not taken care of first.  A buyer will typically compute the cost as a negative which will be deducted from the asking price when structuring an offer.  Therefore, it is much more cost effective to take care of these minor issues up front.

There are a number of renovations that can be made that will add even more value to your home and increase the desirability of it to even more buyers.  For starters, consider adding a fresh coat of paint inside and/or outside.  New flooring.  Consider replacing the windows and exterior doors.


There are a number of ways to offer an incentive to the buyer.  Perhaps one of the most common that is almost taken for granted today is offering a 1 year home warranty.  This takes the concern of any hidden expenses for deferred maintenance that may go uncovered during inspections.  No one likes those kind of surprises.

Other incentives that will help differentiate your listing from others on the market is to offer to pay some of the buyers closing costs, HOA fees for a year or even to buy down their interest rate on their home loan.

While technically not a buyers incentive, many sellers will offer a brokers incentive of extra cash above the commission if they can bring a buyer who can close be a specified date.  Realize that brokers and agents sift through hundreds, if not thousands, of listings and finding the ones that pay the most just may end up on the short list of homes to show.


Don’t fall into the trap thinking that buyers are only ‘out there’ on certain days of the week and only during certain seasons of the year.  Escrows are opened and closed every day – including some holidays.

Your agent should have a marketing plan that covers all of the holidays for the next 6 months, if they want a 6 month listing.  While Spring and Summer are traditionally the hottest selling seasons locally, they also have the most competition with lots of inventory for sale, which means lots of options for the buyers who are shopping for homes.


The news is full of headlines reporting on the real estate market, as a whole.  But who really knows what’s going on in your neighborhood?  Is it an agent from San Diego? Los Angeles? Orange County?  I think not – it’s an agent who lives locally and works locally.  It’s a REALTOR® who has a vested interest in the community and understands its quality of life and everything about the community.

There are many common misconceptions about real estate and market trends.  To start yourself on a path to a successful sale, make sure that your local REALTOR® understands and explains to you what you need to know when listing your home for sale.

Call us today at (951) 296-8887, and get educated! 

For questions regarding available inventory and/or other real estate matters please contact, Mike@GoTakeAction.com.  Mike Mason, Broker/Owner of MASON Real Estate Cal. BRE: 01483044, Temecula Valley resident for 30+ years, Board of Director (since 2011) Southwest Riverside County Association of Realtors® (SRCAR).


Simply put, the spring/summer home retail buying season is over.  Kids are back in school, our focus now is toward family, upcoming political elections, and don’t forget the holidays will be here before you know it.  Purchasing that dream home before the kids start school is no longer an option.  The trend now until the end of the year will be an increase in the number of homes for sale creating even more options for buyers.  This is not the real estate market where you can mow the lawn, list the home for sale and open escrow all in the same week.  Today, qualified and approved buyers have options and are not feeling the pressure to jump at every house they think will meet their needs.

In order to separate your home from the competition, it’s important that your home shows well.  Sure, the granite counter tops in the kitchen and the subway tiles in the bathroom look great and go a long way…but showing well is so much more than a few upgrades.  Showing well is allowing the prospective buyer to visualize themselves moving into your home and making it their own – turn-key.

Full Price Buyers don’t want to think about tearing out carpet or repainting walls. They sure won’t be able to visualize themselves living in your home with dated wallpaper or borders adoring every wall. 


Do you have a home office?  If not you need to create one.  Ten years ago, perhaps a home office was considered a trend – today they are a necessity and if your potential buyer cannot visualize where they will set up their home office they will probably be passing and not making an offer on your home.  You may have to set up the spare bedroom as the home office or just carve out a corner or a quiet place in the home.  I’ve seen them, successfully installed in a walk-in closet.  When designing your home office space, make sure that there is ample electricity, telephone lines, lighting (natural is best) as well as adequate ventilation and heat/air conditioning.

What area of the house will the prospective buyer visualize themselves spending the majority of their time?  Put a lamp next to a comfortable chair and establish a reading corner.  Pull the sofa away from the wall and float them in the room, creating a designer look.  Don’t forget to use area rugs over tile or wood floors to create furniture groupings. 

It’s very important to eliminate personal memorabilia from the entire home.  If you are planning on moving, start packing now – starting with the items that make this house your home.  You never know when something is going to trigger a negative or painful emotion in a prospective buyer

The Kitchen is the center of the home and the most important space every prospective home buyer will analyze.  Put away the dishtowels, eliminate recipe boxes and cookbooks, clear the counters of excessive kitchen appliances and accessories.  Clean your windows and windowsills so that any buyer who is interested can see out of the window and into the yard.  Take down those curtains and install new wood or faux wood blinds. Remove throw rugs and update the kitchen hardware for a fresh clean contemporary look. 

Take the time to organize your cabinets.  If a prospective buyer cannot see the back of your cabinets, they’ll think there is not enough adequate cabinet space.  It’s a good idea to start packing the non-essentials to free up the room. 

What You Can Do to Increase Your Home Value!

Considering a home improvement either to make the home more suitable to your family’s needs or because you are looking to add value before you sell your home you’ll certainly want to investigate what impact your improvements will have on the value of your home.

Not every home improvement project adds value to your home and many projects that are undertaken do not add value equal to the cost of the project.  We are often asked, “What are the best low-cost home renovations we can make that will make our home more comfortable while adding the biggest bang for the buck?” 


While cosmetic improvements are always the most exciting as they leave a visual impact with the buyer, the ‘Bones’ of the home are critical.  The interior systems of your home are often referred to as ‘The Bones’.  By interior systems we are referring to both structural and mechanical elements that when combined make a house.  Heating, plumbing and electrical are the basic mechanical elements of the bones.  Buyers today are looking for turn-key homes and typically are not looking to invest into a home that will require any repairs, upgrades or replacements after the purchase is complete. 


Many times Repair and Replacement projects can increase the value of your home more than an interior remodeling project.  Repairing and replacing projects can also be the least expensive type of project and not break the bank.


In an older home, if the roof needs to be replaced, then you’ll want to replace it before you try and sell it.  On the other hand, replacing a roof is expensive, if there are still several years of life left in those old shingles, don’t replace the roof yet.

Windows and Doors

The front door, garage door your windows and even you’re siding should all be considered as worthwhile renovations.  Today’s modern windows and doors offer both curb appeal and increased energy efficiency making them a sound investment.

These improvements are not only efficient but the added curb appeal will help sell your home quickly, as well.


Your home does not need to look like it belongs on a magazine cover to have curb appeal.  What it does require is a neat well-manicured lawn, free from weeds.    Add seasonal flowers to the planter areas and make sure any shrubbery is trimmed and looking good.  Consider replacing it with a new flowering variety of shrubbery.

Add colored bark or stone to planter areas, keeping them looking clean and fresh.

Remember that curb appeal is all about first impressions – many times a potential buyer will just drive by a home that does not speak to them, from the curb (or worse the pictures used online to market you home).


Your home interior is where you live and want to feel both secure and comfortable.  There are many things to consider when choosing which project to take on.  Even if your plan is to stay long term in your home, try and look at each potential project as a buyer would, coming through the house for the first time – what will their reaction be?

Bathroom Improvements

Some will argue that the bathrooms are the most important room(s) in the house when it comes time to sell.  No one wants to buy a home that is perceived to have a grungy bathroom.  There are a number of inexpensive replacement projects you can take on that will help give the bathroom some zing.

For under $100 you should be able to find a nice spa-style shower head.  It’s amazing how everyone notices a nice shower head when looking at a home they are considering to buy.

Redo the bathroom floor with a neutral color tile for maximum resale value.  Replace those dated plumbing and light fixtures – you’ll be amazed at how far a couple of hundred dollars can go in making a total transformation in this important room in your home.

While you’re at it, spend just a few dollars more and replace those dated towel bars and paper holders as well.  If there is a window, then don’t forget the window treatment.  Of course, you’ll want a fresh coat of paint and this room is set.


The first thing anyone notices when they enter a home is the flooring, after all everyone looks where they walk, right?  What do your floors say, “I am tired, I am worn out, I am beat up”?  Well, then it’s time for an upgrade.

The kitchen and bathrooms are two of the most important floors in the home.  They should NEVER be carpet or wood (water and wood just don’t go well together).  Tile is always the best.  Rip out that linoleum and tile it if you want to add value and appeal to a potential buyer.

About a decade ago, laminate flooring was the new hot thing in homes.  Today they are common and not a viable substitute for wood floors.  Remember, please, if you want top dollar from the sale of your home the buyer is going to want top end materials used throughout the home – you will when you go shopping for a new home, so give your potential buyers the same experience.

The kitchen is the very heart and soul of your home.  Anything you can do to improve your kitchen will undoubtedly improve the value of your home.  There are many minor projects you can take on that will add to the overall appeal and warmth of the kitchen.  Start with a fresh coat of paint.

Consider new flooring, especially if you have vinyl or laminate.  Tile is always best in the kitchen. 

Just like in the bathroom, consider new plumbing and lighting fixtures to give the room a more modern and contemporary look.  New kitchen cabinets are always nice, but if it’s not in the budget then look into resurfacing the existing cabinet doors and drawer faces.  This is much less expensive and will go a great distance at changing the overall appearance of the kitchen.  Of course you can sand down the cabinets yourself and add either a cost of paint or stain giving them a new look.  While this is a very labor intense project, it is relatively inexpensive.

A very affordable trick is to replace the drawer pulls and cabinet knobs – this simple project is both quick and inexpensive and can go a long way at adding a new personality to a tired and worn room. 

Today’s buyers almost always expect granite countertops (or some other solid surface – never tile or linoleum) and they are one of the projects that will return with the highest offers for your home.


Newer homes today are typically built with an ‘open floor plan’ or a floor plan that does not have interior walls defining individual rooms in the home.  An open floor plan will create a flow throughout the home which in turn makes the home feel larger and offer move line of site throughout the home.  Perfect for both family living, and entertaining.

If you have an older home, consider removing one or several interior walls.  Of course, you’ll have to pull permits for this and verify that you’re not disturbing a load bearing wall.  Electrical and plumbing considerations may also have to be made.  While it can be a bit more expensive to open up a home’s interior, the benefits and appeal it will have to potential buyers is staggering.


When it comes time to sell your home, you’ll want to maximize the improvements you’ve made and make every potential buyer aware of each.  You’ll want to show off all of your hard work and capital improvements you’ve made.  It’s important that every potential buyer who either comes to your home to preview it or is just surfing the internet is aware of everything you’ve done to the place.  You’ll want to have a Realtor® representing you that will provide marketing materials that will show off exactly what you’ve accomplished.  The improvements you’ve made will influence the price you ultimately sell your home for so it’s critical to showcase this to a buyer and influence them to decide what they will pay for your home.

Call us today at (951) 296-8887 and get the information you need to make the right decision.

For questions regarding available inventory and/or other real estate matters please contact, Mike@GoTakeAction.com.  Mike Mason, Broker/Owner of MASON Real Estate Cal. BRE: 01483044, Board of Director of your Southwest Riverside County Association of Realtors® (SRCAR).

What is Your Home Worth? How Do You Know?

Today’s Temecula Home Owner wants to make certain that they know the true value of their home before they put it on the market and sell it…the last thing any home seller ever wants to do is leave money on the table.  The uncertainty and ambiguity of the process can be daunting as well as frustrating often leaving the home seller with anxiety over their ultimate decision.

It’s amazing how confident some homeowners are when quoting a value they got on line from Zillow or some other mega-website that does everything at the touch of a button.  If only life were that easy. 

Everyone has been preached to, for years, to interview at least three REALTORS® before making a decision.  Sure, today many top agents have the latest portable electronic gadgetry that can wow the heck out of you and impress you with a wonderful marketing plan that is sure to bring prospective buyers to your home…but is that enough?  What good is 100 buyers touring your home in a weekend if it’s priced below fair market value?

When interviewing an agent, pay more attention to what the agent says and not what he shows.  Those gadgets of real estate wizardry can all be purchased for a price.  Local market knowledge and common sense, these are the attributes that truly make the difference.  Let me emphasize how critical it is during the interview process to pay attention to what is said.


Regardless of how it’s delivered, the most common method of determining the value of a home, is by preparing a Comparative Market Analysis, aka  CMA.  This is nothing more than a detailed report that looks at the recent past and present market conditions of similar properties to determine a value.  Again, be aware that some agents purchase some pretty extraordinary software packages that polish all the bells and fine tune the whistles – the question remains…”WHAT DOES THE AGENT REALLY KNOW?”

Many agents will use comparisons of homes that are not at all similar.  Imagine living in a single story ranch home and having an agent justify a price by comparing your home to a 2-story colonial.  Believe it or not, it happens all the time.

Every good CMA will include similar homes that have recently sold – ideally in the last 3 months but never more than a year; homes that are pending – under contract but have not yet closed escrow; and active listing – similar homes that are currently competing with yours for today’s buyers.  A thorough CMA will also include similar homes that have been on the market but have been taken off either as an expired listing or perhaps it was cancelled by the home owner.  Each of these categories of homes tells a story about the current market conditions.  Let your prospective agent explain the story to determine if they really know what they are talking about.


The basic data is relevant to all homes for sale – or sold.  It’s the starting point of assessing property value in any market.  Some of the basics that can sway the value of a home for sale include:

  • Bedroom Count
  • Bathroom Count
  • Square Footage
  • Garage – Number of stalls?  Attached or Detached?  Direct Access? 
  • Year Home was built
  • Overall condition
  • Lot size and condition
  • Amenities
  • Location
  • Neighborhood


Skills the best REALTORS® bring to the table will be interpreting the data and being able to determine the value of each adjustment in order to determine what your home is actually worth on the date the CMA is prepared.

Skilled REALTORS® will know what value a 4th bedroom has over a 3rd bedroom home.  Is a 3-car tandem garage worth the same as a 3-car side-by-side garage?  If not, what adjustment should be made, in your neighborhood?  If the kitchen has had a major remodel with new cabinets, granite counter tops and high end stainless steel appliances will that add value to the home or just attract more buyers?  Is a model match home worth the same as yours if it’s at the end of a cul-de-sac and yours backs to a major thoroughfare?

I can’t begin to emphasize how important it is to insist on having your prospective real estate agent explain every nuance of the CMA he’s prepared and evaluate how much he really knows and how much he relies on software.


Unfortunately, in today’s competitive market many agents believe they can buy your listing by suggesting a top dollar list price to get the listing, thinking they will later come back for a price reduction.  They’ll do this because either they just don’t know any better or because they want to appease the home seller who believes their home is better than the neighbors who just sold.

Other agents will take a listing at any price, even if it is way overpriced.  They believe that their marketing machine will generate phone calls and internet leads that will become new business for them, all at your expense – either way you lose.


One of my earliest lessons in business was that figures never lie but liars always figure.  Take the time to carefully look over all of the CMA’s you’ve been presented, side-by-side, never feel rushed or pressured in a listing presentation.  Take your time and understand the differences of what each agent is representing.  Call them, question them and get to the bottom.  Compare apples to apples and bring everything together before making a mistake that could potentially cost you thousands of dollars and upset your timeline by choosing the wrong agent.

Call us today at (951) 296-8887 and get the information you need to make the right decision.

For questions regarding available inventory and/or other real estate matters please contact, Mike@GoTakeAction.com.  Mike Mason, Broker/Owner of MASON Real Estate Cal. BRE: 01483044, Board of Director of your Southwest Riverside County Association of Realtors® (SRCAR).