Village News - Also serving the communities of De Luz, Rainbow, Camp Pendleton, Pala and Pauma

By Kim Murphy
Murphy & Murphy Southern California Realty 

Real estate round-up:

Money can grow on trees – right in your own backyard


Last updated 2/16/2018 at 2:47pm

“Too good to be true.” “Should I read this – or skip it?” “This sounds like another scam.”

I can understand why any and all of these questions would enter your mind here. Allow me to clarify. What we’re talking about is maximizing your equity so you get the most money out of what may be your biggest asset – your property.

There are two ways to grow your money tree relatively quickly, whether you’re in the market for a new property or looking to sell your home.

Buyers and current/prospective owners:

1) Get on a bi-weekly payment schedule and by year’s end you will have made an extra payment without even noticing. Why do this? Here’s a quick example: If you have a 30-year loan at 4.5 percent, by paying half your mortgage every two weeks, you will pay your loan off in just 25 years and will have paid interest at a lower rate of 3.875 percent because you cut out interest in arrears. No gimmick here, but do not sign up with one of those companies that say they will do this for you. You can do this yourself for free. Visit

2) Another way to get done with your loan earlier is to throw a little extra money per month on your mortgage payment. Check out the easy-to-understand calculator – – and see how much money it would take to pay off your mortgage, say, 10 years earlier. You could literally shave five years off your loan by kicking that daily Starbucks habit.

Both are valid and legal ways to financially free yourself up to buy that boat or vacation property. Whichever method sounds easier for you to do, as Nike says, “Just Do It.”

So, what if you’re at the other end of the spectrum and thinking about putting your house on the market? Here are some ridiculously easy – and cheap – ways to shake that money tree. Beautify your home and make exponentially more money on your sale. Some things will not reap enough value for the effort, but these are pretty fail-proof methods that should be on your to-do list before you list.


1) Get your home inspection and your termite inspections done first instead of waiting until you have an offer. It will bring up issues that need addressing and give you time to do so. They both need to be done and paid for any way you slice it, so you may as well get them over with before you’re scrambling, trying to juggle offers and whatever property(ies) you’ll be making offers on at the end of the process, right?

2) Fertilize your grassy areas. Don’t just over-irrigate them – fertilize them. It’s cheaper than a big water bill, no doubt. If you need to re-seed some areas, go to Joe’s Hardware or any of our awesome local nurseries like Myrtle Creek or Grangetto’s and they’ll direct you to fescue mixes that work well and grow quickly in our climate.

3) Add color to your landscape. Go buy a few of those 24-pack flower trays and tuck them in planters and pots. Everyone likes a cheery entrance and/or perimeter.

4) Power wash and paint. Painting is an obvious one but people underestimate its impact. Nothing says “dated” like dirt, cobwebs and peeling paint. Go in the garage, grab your gear and make it a family work day.

5) Here’s one we never hear from anyone but we swear by – take out ripped/deteriorating screens. They also make a house look dated and unkempt and are frustrating when buyers and agents are coming through, and an added bonus – windows and views are much brighter and crisper without screens.

There seems to be a linear correlation here with the famous “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” – tweaked for real estate anyway. Give us a call if you’re thinking of buying or selling in the area. It would be our pleasure to show you that money can grow on trees.

Petition Reminder: Stop by Murphy & Murphy Southern California Realty at 130 North Main Avenue in Fallbrook this month to sign a petition to get the “2018 Portability Initiative” on the November ballot. If you missed our recent Village News article, this measure, if approved by you, will let thousands of senior homeowners who are currently “locked into” their homes by their low property tax rates move and purchase a home that will better suit their needs. And they can use this perk as many times as they want to, unlike today’s Proposition 13 rule that only allows seniors to use this tax base transfer one time. The bonus for younger folks is that this frees up family size homes and eases the housing shortage. Everyone wins – but we need you to stop by and sign the petition.

Kim Murphy can be reached at or 760-415-9292 and would love to hear from you. Her broker license is #01229921 and she is on the board of directors for the California Association of Realtors.


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