House Repairs

BEFORE Putting Your House Up For Sale in San Diego – Blend Real Estate

IMG_4094It’s that time of year when many homeowners begin to think of selling. Their first thoughts are, “Is this the right year?” Usually followed by, “Where will we live?’

We find that most of our sellers have already answered the second question before asking themselves the first. They either know they are downsizing into what will be a new purchase or moving into something they already own (like what was a vacation condo, that sort of thing — happens frequently). Or they know they want to buy in a particular neighborhood. Or they know they’re getting transferred. If a transfer is in order, the question of “Is this the right year?” won’t matter so much.

If you are ready to move because you know you are done with your home or neighborhood, or you are relocating, here are our tips for getting your life in order and your home in order before selling:


Before Putting Your Home up for Sale

Here are a few items to take care of before listing your home. This can make the sale process quicker and easier in the long run.

¨  Consider a pre-sale home inspection.
An inspector will be able to give you a good indication of the trouble areas that will stand out to potential buyers, and you’ll be able to make repairs before open houses begin.

¨  Organize and clean.
Pare down clutter and pack up your least-used items, such as large blenders and other kitchen tools, out-of-season clothes, toys, and seasonal items. Store items off-site or in boxes neatly arranged in the garage or basement. Clean the windows, carpets, walls, lighting fixtures, and baseboards to make the house shine.

¨  Get replacement estimates.
Do you have big-ticket items that will need to be replaced soon? Find out how much it will cost to repair an older roof or replace worn carpeting, even if you don’t plan to do so. The figures will help buyers determine if they can afford the home, and they’ll be handy when negotiations begin.

¨  Locate warranties.
Gather up the warranties, guarantees, and user manuals for the furnace, washer/dryer, dishwasher, and any other items that will remain with the house. It may seem like this task can be left until closing, but you don’t want lost paperwork or last-minute scrambling to cause the deal to fall through.

¨  Spruce up the curb appeal.
Walk out to the front of your home, close your eyes, and pretend you’re a prospective buyer seeing the property for the first time. As you approach the front door, what is your impression of the property? Do the lawn and bushes look neatly manicured? Is the address clearly visible? What do you see framing the entrance, if anything? Is the walkway free of cracks and impediments?

When we are hired to sell your home, we will be prepared at the time of the listing presentation to make immediate recommendations from this list. Have a note pad ready! We do this every day and can help you make a decision to sell at the same time we help you decide what to do to get ready to sell.

Kimberly Dotseth, broker/owner, Blend Real Estate (858) 291-8110,

Kerry Garnett, Realtor, Blend Real Estate (858) 268-4733,

California BRE licenses 01179760, 01877272, 01835915.

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We Professionally Clean Your Home For Free When Selling

Blend Cleanology Owl JPGBlend Real Estate is pleased to announce its new partnership with Cleanology of San Diego. Cleanology is a fantastic and serious housekeeping service located throughout San Diego County. CLICK ON THE PHOTO TO THE LEFT! 

Now, when listing your home for sale with Blend Real Estate, we will pay Cleanology to come to your home and clean it top to bottom before it hits the market! This cleaning can occur right before the professional photography, so your home is truly sparkling for the photos! San Diego real estate never had it so good.

And of course you as the home seller will enjoy your clean home while we are marketing it for sale.

Cleanology uses its own products and tools, and everything will smell natural and fresh. There is nothing for you to do. Just say yes!

(This service does not include hauling away any items from your home or trash removal.)

Often sellers want to sell, but have a hard time getting ready to sell. So we will do all the work. And there’s more!

After the cleaning, Blend Real Estate steps in with its free Surface Staging program, really turning your house into a show place.

Surface Staging is something we invented and it means we buy new items and accessories for every surface of your home. It puts the right polish on each listing and explains why we sell our listings so fast, for such top dollar prices.

If your home is occupied, after it’s clean we will stage it for one day of photography, then move the items out and you’ll live with your own home items again.

The work to sell your home starts when we first sign with you! It’s a busy process. A timeline of events will be provided to you very early in your listing, so you’ll always know what is happening and when with your home.

We are ready to meet you and schedule your free house cleaning.

In the meantime, we have a new secondary website devoted to home searching. Look for your new home or sign up for our newsletter here, at

Kimberly Dotseth, broker/owner

Blend Real Estate

(858) 291-8110 or (619) 261-1909

Kerry Garnett, Realtor

Blend Real Estate

(858) 268-4733 or (858) 869-3351

California BRE Licenses #01179760 and #01835915

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San Diego Fence Rules

SAMSUNG CSCSomething homeowners ask me, even when shopping for a home: “Can I build a fence around my yard?”

In San Diego that’s a big question. Generally the answer revolves around city permits which generate city fees.

You CAN add a fence to your San Diego property. Typically the rule is that a 1) chain link, 2) a wood or 3) a masonry fence up to 6 feet tall does not need a permit.

But there are parts of San Diego and in La Jolla (which is part of San Diego) that have exceptions to this rule. Please call the city permit desk to share your address and get the answer that is best for you. It will be based on your address. That number is (619) 446-5000. More than likely you will not need a permit up to 6′, but you will always need a permit, plans and full city approval for anything over 6′.

Once I had a San Diego client who had to get a permit and draw up formal plans for a 4′ fence because at six feet it would have blocked his neighbor’s view to the street from the neighbor’s driveway. Sections of his fence had to be mere inches high so the neighbor could exit his own driveway with a full view. And the city wanted to sign off on it so it was definitely more complicated but still only four feet high at the most. And sometimes the building materials themselves are more complicated regardless of height, and a permit is needed.

Below is the BEST article about San Diego fencing that I have read in a long time.

Click here for the San Diego Union Tribune recent story on fencing. Hint: before you sell your home, let’s look at your fence. It makes a great first impression if it looks good and a rocky first impression if it needs work. Any investments in fence repair or full replacement are usually going to come right back to you in your sales price.

The recent number one objection on an otherwise great listing of mine? Lack of fencing. Every single buyer complained and it was a great house on a corner lot.

Enjoy the week!

-Kimberly Dotseth, broker/owner

Blend Real Estate

(858) 452-2599

Today’s photo: An open gate at a radio station on Buddy Holly Boulevard in Lubbock, Texas. It caught my eye for many reasons.


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Furnace and A/C Control — Why I love my NEST Thermostat and CO Detector

Nest ThermostatEarlier in 2014, I installed a new gas furnace and central air conditioning system in my San Diego home. Believe me, it was mostly for the air conditioning. That alone, that treat of all treats, has been well worth this rather pricey investment. At the time, I went for the gold and had the installers put in a new NEST thermostat and a new NEST smoke detector/carbon monoxide detector in one bedroom. The other rooms have what you’d call “regular” smoke and CO detectors.

So the summer went by and enjoying my A/C was all I thought about. Until the winter and last night (New Year’s Eve, 2014) it dropped to 32 degrees in coastal San Diego. Brrrr!

These last few winter weeks have had me enjoying my investment in a whole new way. You see, previously I was completely content with my 1976 gas furnace, original to construction. I didn’t want to be bothered with anything new or be talked into an upgrade – it worked great.

Then my Lennox furnace began to get used in late 2014. It’s dreamy, WAY quieter, and always supremely controlled by my NEST thermostat. The experience of controlling the heat or cold from the gorgeous glass mechanism in the hall is one thing, but I can control all temps from my phone or any computer in the world.

I recently did just that while I was traveling — checking in with my NEST account online periodically to control the heat in the house for my cat at home. Indulgent? No. Free and part of the system.

The bedroom smoke and CO detector is beautiful. Every night when the lights go out to go to sleep, the NEST spins a beautiful color green once around the detector to let me know that it’s OK to go to sleep — it’s ready to keep working all night. I love this light trick and feel safe.

They’re not the cheapest products but they are truly the best.

Today I share with you a video to glimpse the world of NEST. Go ahead, splurge on yourself in 2015. This is an enthusiastic, non-paid endorsement!

P.S. If you’re thinking of selling, I may recommend that you install these prior to listing. Great wow factor. You’ll get every penny back. -Kimberly (858) 452-2599 or


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Remodeling and Recouped Costs When Selling Your Home – San Diego

reviseddoorOften I am asked, “What can or should I do to my house to get the most money when I sell?” You know, someone asking me the cost vs. value equation. That answer has more to do with your location or ZIP code than you’d think. That aside, some remodel projects will simply pay off in bigger ways for you when it’s time to sell — especially if you do these projects within a few months of listing your home for sale. Once you’ve lived with these renovations a while, they are no longer new enough to guarantee any kind of super return. If you did them a while ago, please keep things in good shape!

Remodel Magazine has published a wonderful list of the costs for remodel projects and the projected percentage “return” for each item when selling.

Of the high rate-of-return items, my favorites for you to do before listing your house, in order of importance, are:

  1. Entry Door Replacement — the nicer, the better your rate of return -
  2. Garage Door Replacement — oh, it all comes back to you -
  3. Window Replacement/Vinyl — no regrets here, either -
  4. Minor Kitchen Remodel/Typically paint and new appliances and a simple,  new counter — a fresh kitchen investment is money in the bank.

It’s not on the list, but the LEAST “rate of return” thing you can do to your house is convert the garage into a bedroom or office. This inevitably seems like a great idea at the time, but it’s never a good idea when it is time to sell.

Take a look at the list and see what you think. Questions? Just ask! I will meet you at Lowes or Home Depot to price items with you once we are working together. Remodeling and recouped costs are things you want to study so you spend your money wisely.

Kimberly Dotseth

broker/owner, Blend Real Estate

(858) 452-2599

San Diego Remodel Costs

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