Sunday, January 7, 2018

Pacific Union International is My New Company

I started with the John Aaroe Group when I first became a realtor.  John Aaroe appealed to me with his vast knowledge of the industry, the respect that people had for him, his focus on the agents in the office and his ever-gracious way about him.  Just a few months ago, he decided it was time to go sit by a warm beach, watch the waves and drink a frozen concoction with an umbrella in it (ok...I'm making that up since that's what retirement looks like in my imagination).  None-the-less, he retired and our company became known as Pacific Union International.  Pacific Union was already a force in Northern California and they wanted to spread their wings and be a part of the hot SoCal market as well.  So, I'm still me, doing business as usual but just with a new company name.  I look forward to helping you buy and sell your home and investments with all the same drive, professionalism and personal touch that I've done in all the years past.  Happy 2018 and I'm always here to help!

                                                                       

Saturday, January 6, 2018

11 Questions You Should Ask A General Contractor

A past client just reached out to be the other day and asked about what she should look into when hiring a General Contractor to update her home.  So I took this as a great opportunity to write about it and share.  I reached out to an old friend, Kevin McCabe, who has a contracting business in Raleigh North Carolina called KLM Designs (see his Facebook page here  KLM Designs Facebook ) and asked him what prospective clients should be asking when they are looking to hire someone.  Most of the tips below came from him and you can't get better information than from the source itself so here you go.  

This is a list of 11 things you should be asking a General Contractor when you are shopping around.


1. Ask for proof of insurance
2.  Make sure they are licensed then find out how long have they been licensed. Here is the website for California where you can check http://www.cslb.ca.gov/
3. Can they supply referrals of people they've done jobs for?
4. Ask for their estimate on how much and how long they think they project should take.
5. What is included in their estimate? Such as, is this a total for all work and materials or are you going to be buying certain materials yourself that are not included in the estimate?
6. How many people work for that general contractor? Or is the General Contractor subbing out the work and if so, how long have they worked with the people they are subbing out the work to? 
7. If you live in a condo or home that has an HOA, ask the contractor if there are specific permits or approvals they need to get ahead of time and if so, how to get those?
8. Talk about the process of getting permits on the work getting done or if you choose to forgo that.
9. Ask about how the payment will be handled for the job.  Every General Contractor does it different and it can largely depend on the size and scope of the job.  Some examples of payments can be:
Larger jobs may charge 1/4 down, 1/4 on day one, 1/4 at a certain point during the job then the remainder when the job is done.  Others may ask for 50% upfront and the rest when the job is complete.
10.  Ask what you should expect during the work. If you are working on a kitchen, you may need to use a hotplate or microwave for a while to eat and also find a make-shift place to clean dishes. 
11.  Ask how any future issues resulting from the work should be handled.