Have you ever thought about why you decorated and furnished your home in a certain way? While you may not realize it, your home's decor says a lot about you.
Buying a home - especially for the first time - can be an overwhelming experience. It's not surprising that buyers tend to have a plethora of questions to ask their agents before they take the plunge. Here are some of the most common queries you'll ever hear a buyer ask their agent.
If you're buying a home, odds are you'll need to take out a mortgage to finance such a large purchase. But if you're planning to build your own home from scratch, the type of financing you get to cover the cost of construction will differ.
It's common practice for homebuyers to offer a price on a home that's under the listing price in hopes of negotiating a number that both parties can agree on. By leaving a gap between the listing and offer prices, you've got some wiggle room to allow for a little back-and-forth bantering. But when is it customary to offer the full listing price on a home?
How can you identify whether or not you're really getting a good deal on a home, especially if you're in the middle of a volatile market and prices are changing from one week to the next? Here are some ways to tell.
California saw its highest year-over-year increase in home prices since January 2016, while inventory continues to be short across the state. Here are some key statistics on California home sales for November 2017, as gathered from the California Association of Realtors (CAR).
Timeshares have been popular vacation options for many Americans over the years, allowing them to essentially "own" their vacation properties without outright buying real estate. But as beneficial as timeshares may be, they also come with a set of drawbacks that need to be carefully contemplated. Here are some pros and cons of owning a timeshare that should be taken into consideration before you buy.
If you’re ready to take the plunge into homeownership and are on the prowl for a new home, a mortgage is likely required to finance your purchase. While there are plenty of factors that determine whether or not you'll be able to get approved for a home loan and get a decent interest rate and terms, your credit score is among the most important.
When it comes to small spaces, there's only so much you can do to define separate areas and create a little privacy. Having all sorts of different rooms and living areas can be really challenging if your home's size doesn't allow for it.
October saw a decent increase in sales across the country, the strongest since June. But the squeeze on inventory continues to put a damper on sales year-over-year. Here are the national sales for the month of October as compiled by the National Association of Realtors.
In the months leading up to the housing crisis a decade ago, option ARM mortgages were pretty popular. That’s because they allowed homeowners to take advantage of flexible payment terms, allowing them to better manage their budgets and cash flow. Back then, mortgages were easier to get approved for, even if borrowers weren’t financially capable of handling them.
One of the great things about owning a home is the tax breaks that typically come with it. The tax code allows homeowners to deduct a number of items come tax time, putting more money back in their pocket after dishing out to keep their properties operational.
Home prices in Southern California have managed to reach the peak of the housing bubble back in 2007, causing further concern over the rampant housing affordability crisis that continues to plague the state.
When inflation rises, consumers notice. With a rise in inflation comes a rise in the price of goods and services. Every industry is impacted by an increase in inflation, including the real estate market.
It seems like there’s an app for just about everything. Luckily for homeowners, there are also a bunch of awesome apps that make a home improvement project a lot more streamlined and simplified. They give ideas, provide tips, and even offer detailed information on how to measure and pick the right design and color schemes.
It's not uncommon for homeowners to miss a mortgage payment or two, especially if they've fallen upon rough financial times and are struggling to keep up with all of their bills. Unfortunately, defaulting on a mortgage is likely if the home loan amount taken out is a lot more than what the borrower can comfortably afford.
Many homebuyers are typically very excited to begin their house hunting journey. But they often wind up booking showings and visiting open houses before they've even had the chance to determine what their financial situation is like and how much they'd realistically be able to afford in a new home.
You're dropping a lot of money on your home purchase, so you want to make sure that your dollar is being well spent. Considering the magnitude of such a purchase, it's vital to take your time looking at homes to make sure the one you want not only suits your tastes and lifestyle, but is also safe to inhabit and won't come with expensive repair costs in the near future.
With Remembrance Day now behind us, it's time to get full-swing into the holiday spirit by hanging decorations, stringing lights, putting up the Christmas tree, and gathering with friends and family near and far. But there's a certain way to conduct yourself over the holidays, particularly as a homeowner.
Wouldn't it be nice if you could find the perfect home and put in an offer on it without the pressure of knowing that there are other prospective buyers that may be eyeing the same property?
Whether you're planning to host a number of holiday get-togethers at your place or simply want to immerse yourself in festive surroundings, decorating your space with holiday decor will bring an immediate boost to the look and feel of your home.
Your home has been cleaned, de-cluttered, staged, and is picture-perfect and ready for the market. But what about you? Are you ready to handle the sales process appropriately?
Thanks large in part to the lack of housing inventory in California, home prices have skyrocketed over the years. This puts home sellers in a great position to realize huge profits, especially if they've held onto their properties for a few years and allowed appreciated to boost value.
Once you've made the decision to sell your home, it's time to find a real estate professional to list it on the market. Listing your home requires a few key tasks: signing a listing agreement contract with your chosen realtor, coming up with an appropriate listing price according to the current market, and prepping your home for showings.
Whether you're selling a condo or are considering buying one, it's important to know if a certain complex is FHA-approved.
Contractors provide homeowners with an estimate of cost for specific home renovation projects, but this number can easily be inflated when all is said and done. Here are the top reasons why renovations tend to go way over budget.
The lack of affordable housing in California is an issue that continues to plague residents of the Golden State. The statewide median home price currently sits at $565,330 and is expected to rise well into 2018. That's more than twice the national average of $253,500.
You've fallen in love with a home and are ready to put in an offer. But before you do, are you entirely certain that all the items that you believe come with the home purchase will be left behind when you get the keys to the home?
When you take out a mortgage, you'll be paying an interest portion on each monthly payment in addition to contributing to the principal. The mortgage rate that you're quoted makes a big difference in the overall cost of your mortgage.
Before buyers move into their new homes, escrow needs to close. That means all conditions and contingencies in the contract need to be met within a certain time frame, and all necessary documents must be signed by the closing date specified in the purchase agreement. At that point, buyers will get the keys to their new abode and are free to move in.
The selling process can definitely be intense and even overwhelming at times. After all, we're talking about a massive investment. There are plenty of efforts made to find the right buyer who is qualified and interested in buying your home, but even after you think you've found the right buyer that will see the deal through, there's still a chance that they may back out.
The odds of problems being uncovered during a home inspection are pretty high, no matter how minor. Just about every house has some issues, even new ones. It's pretty common for buyers to make repair requests with the seller, especially if certain problems are more significant than others. But while some requests may be reasonable, others are not.
You've found a home that you've fallen in love with, submitted an offer, and it was accepted by the seller! It should be time to celebrate, but shortly after you celebrate your accepted offer, something causes you to have second thoughts. Is it too late to back out?
One of the most common - and important - contingencies that buyers insert in their real estate contracts is the home inspection. Without it, buyers will never have a chance to identify any major underlying issues with a home before they buy it.
After offer acceptance, anything can happen during escrow, and you don't want to be stuck with issues that you didn't agree to adopt. Here are some critical things you should be doing during that extremely important final walk-through.
With the housing market being as hot as it is across the Golden State, there's really no bad time to sell. If you think you 'missed' your window of opportunity to sell in the spring or summer, autumn is just a good season as any other to put your home on the market.
When it comes to valuing homes, the key is to compare them to other properties that are very similar in a number of ways. Real estate professionals typically look at other homes that are similar in location, style, size, design, and age compared to the subject property in order to get an accurate idea of the home's value. In addition, only homes that have been recently sold should be looked at, as market conditions can fluctuate very quickly.
When it's time for you to apply for a mortgage, where do you turn to in order to get one? Should you work with a mortgage broker, or a direct lender? Or are they even the same thing?
Your agent has a lengthy list of things that they do from the start of a real estate transaction to closing of escrow. Here are just a handful of things that your buyer real estate agent will do for you.
When shopping for a home, there's a possibility that you may come across a property that's sharing a driveway with the home next door. That means that one driveway needs to be shared between the two adjoining neighbors.
Many real estate investors rent out their properties in order to reap the benefits of passive monthly income while increasing their equity and building wealth over time. Not only are they benefiting themselves financially, but they're also serving a need for those who may not be financially or emotionally ready to buy a home.
Buying a home is a big deal, and comes with plenty of important decisions that need to be made. If it's a single-detached property that you're looking for, you might be struggling to choose between one-story or two-story homes.
Buying new home construction is much different than buying resale. As such, you might want to prep yourself for the process before taking the plunge on a new build. Here are some key things to know about buying a new construction home from a builder.
Homebuyers are always in search of the lowest price on a home purchase. The more house you can get with the smallest amount of money, the better. But snagging a great deal on a home requires a few savvy tactics aside from blatantly throwing the seller a lowball offer. If you go about things the right way, you just might be able to walk away with the home of your dreams at a price you can comfortably handle.
Existing home sales and median home prices in California ramped up in June while the lowest housing inventory levels were recorded so far in 2017. Here are some key statistics surrounding sales in the Golden State last month.
Home values have skyrocketed over recent years in many markets across the country. Homeowners who decide to sell anytime can potentially make a big profit if they have a lot more equity in the home compared to what is still owed on their mortgage.
Owning real estate is one of the most tried and true methods of building wealth over time, and by renting property, you can have someone else pay off your mortgage for you as you build up equity. But as potentially profitable as being a landlord can be, it can also be complex and filled with hassles, especially if the proper protocol isn't followed. Before becoming a landlord, make sure you're aware of the following things first to avoid landing yourself in a legal debacle.
The housing affordability issue has been a dire one throughout the state of California for some time now, but perhaps there's a light at the end of the tunnel. Recently, the California State Senate approved a real estate transaction fee that could make as much as $300 million available in funding to build more affordable housing across the state.
Regardless of whether or not it's a seller's market, it's always helpful if your home has the features that buyers are looking for. Here are the top 11 characteristics that today's buyers want when shopping for a new home.
One of the keys to making a profit on a fix and flip is to sell as quickly as possible right after rehabbing is complete. The longer it takes to sell the place, the less money will be left in your pocket. When you factor in the carrying costs and the potential for market conditions to fluctuate, you stand a much better chance of reaping a higher profit if you sell quickly.
A big part of making a prudent buying decision is ensuring that you know what you're getting. When it comes to buying a house, you want to takes steps to find out if there are any issues with it. If there are, you'll want to identify how serious the problems are and whether or not they will influence your decision to go through with the deal.
If you've got a big expense to pay for, you may not necessarily have to take out a personal loan if you don't have the liquid cash to cover it. Instead, you may be able to pay for the expense with the equity you've built up in your home, if you have any.
The housing market in California picked up some steam in May as existing home sales and median home prices inched up from both the month and year before. Here are some pertinent stats on California's housing market for May 2017, gathered by the California Association of Realtors (CAR).
For many Americans, homeownership is a major goal in life. While many may be content renting into the foreseeable future, many others hope to one day have their name on title of a property they can call their own.
It goes without saying that a home purchase is a big deal and is probably the biggest investment you'll ever make. If you're a first-time buyer, make sure you avoid these potentially costly mistakes.
Considering buying an older home? There are plenty of benefits of taking this route versus buying new construction. Older homes have a lot of character, are usually located in more established neighborhoods that are closer to urban centers, and are typically surrounded by mature greenery. That said, older homes may also require some improvements considering the aging of the construction materials.
As the temperature continues to rise as we head deeper into summer, the energy - and money - needed to keep our homes cool can skyrocket.
For sellers, a short sale is not an ideal way to sell a home. But for buyers, it may be a great way to snag a great deal on a home. That said, a short sale is not exactly like a conventional sale, and there could realistically be a few hurdles for buyers to have to jump over before this type of real estate transaction comes to a close.
After searching for a new home, negotiating an offer, and going through escrow, buyers are aware of the steps that need to be taken to ensure a successful transaction. But the work isn't over just yet. As soon as you get the keys to your new abode, there are a few things that need to be tackled before you kick your feet up.
After searching for the perfect place to call home, you finally find one that perfectly suits your family and lifestyle. You decide to put in an offer and cross your fingers that all goes well at the negotiating table.
Fixing up your home is a great idea when you've decided to put your home on the market. However, you need to be careful with the types of projects you take on and what you decide to invest your time and money in. While some projects may bring in a high ROI, many others won't let you recoup all that money spent.
Selling a home is a lot easier and more streamlined when you've got a professional real estate agent blazing a trail for you and ensuring all items on the list are checked off. After you've chosen the right agent to market and sell your home, you'll both sign a listing agreement, and in California, this document is referred to as the Residential Listing Agreement.
The home selling process is an intricate one that involves a number of steps and contingencies. One of the more common processes involved in a real estate transaction is a title search, which is conducted to ensure that the person who is selling the property actually has the legal right to do so.
Thinking of putting in a pool in your backyard? You've got a lot of options to choose from. Modern pool design is constantly evolving as homeowners' tastes become more sophisticated and available technologies help improve building and design techniques.
There's really only one reason why sellers would choose to go the FSBO route - to save money on realtor commissions. Unfortunately, what many of these sellers do not realize is that it's highly possible to actually wind up wasting money due to costly mistakes made throughout the process that could have otherwise been saved had they hired a professional to help in the first place.
Buying a fixer upper is a great way to quickly add equity into your home shortly after purchasing it. Rather than paying for the best house on the block that's already been upgraded as much as it can be, buying a home in need of some serious TLC will provide you with the opportunity to add this extra value to it yourself while benefitting from added equity.
Planning on selling? Here are some quick tips to staging your home that will attract the masses of buyers.
It's very exciting when your real estate deal closes, but it's imperative not to rush the process until you've dotted all your "i's" and crossed all your "t's". There are a few key documents that need to be reviewed before you move in, including the certificate of occupancy (CO).
If you want to ensure that you receive financial compensation should anything happen to your home or its belongings, then you absolutely need homeowners insurance. In fact, you probably won't even be able to hold a mortgage if you don't have a policy.
If you own a historic property or are considering buying one, there are more advantages than just unique and original architecture and design. There are also several tax incentives at the federal, state, and local levels that are put in place to encourage homeowners to preserve these historic properties and rehabilitate them appropriately rather than tear them down in favor of new construction.
Buying a house is most likely the biggest investment you will ever make, so before you dive head-first into the deal, you'll want to have some questions answered about your mortgage. After all, you'll be responsible for making good on your mortgage payments every month for years, so make sure you're well advised about your home loan before you sign on the dotted line.
As a buyer, the more you can get out of a real estate deal, the better, and that includes a lower purchase price. Having said that, any information you can gather about the seller regarding the motivations that lie beneath why they're selling and how open they are to negotiate would be very helpful.
The spring season is off to a sizzling start in California with both existing home sales and median prices jumping in March from the month and the year before.
It's not called a "family room" for no reason. This important space in the home is dedicated to serving as a retreat for everyone in the home whenever they feel the need to chill out, play, and just hang with loved ones. Based on this description of what a family room is and should be, it needs to be designed and decorated accordingly.
Buying a house is not the time to be making mistakes. It's likely the biggest financial investment you'll ever make, so you want to be sure to get it right. If you're in the middle of a hot seller's market, steer clear of making any one of the following buyer blunders.
Moving isn't exactly fun or easy, but this is even more true when you've got young children to contend with. It can be tough to have to deal with packing, purging, organizing, and all the other tasks that come with a big move while trying to entertain your kids and keep them out of everything you're trying to haul out.
Do you know how much your home loan will cost you? It's a critical question that you need to ask if you're going to be able to budget accordingly. Luckily, the answer to this can be found on the Loan Estimate, which recently replaced the Good Faith Estimate (GFE) as well as the Truth-in-Lending (TIL) disclosure statement under TRID guidelines.
You’ve most likely already heard of a homeowner’s association (HOA), which is basically the governing entity over homes and common areas within an HOA community. It’s the HOA that sets forth a set of rules and regulations that homeowners need to follow and charges a set monthly fee that covers the cost of maintaining the community.
Rarely will you find real estate markets that are exactly the same. In fact, your market could be drastically different compared to the one in the next community over. Of course, the differences typically tend to become increasingly noticeable the further away you go. For instance, a market from one state to another might be a lot different from each other compared to markets in different cities.
Out of all the purchases you ever make in your life, a home is likely the biggest. Take the time to consider the following in order to ensure you’re making a sound buying decision.
It can be devastating to be turned down for a mortgage after getting your heart set on buying a new home. While lenders have loosened their lending criteria somewhat since the financial debacle nearly a decade ago, it can still be challenging to get approved for a mortgage if your credit score is low, your debt-to-income ratio is high, or your income is unstable. Ideally, lenders want borrowers to be able to check off all requirements before extending a mortgage.
The majority of leases are typically for a 12-month time frame. After that 12-month lease expires, tenants can enter a month-to-month tenancy unless a completely brand new contract is negotiated and signed.
The majority of real estate purchase agreements will include a contingency to have a home inspection before a buyer takes the keys to a home. It’s not uncommon for buyers to gloss over issues with a home that a licensed home inspector might be able to catch. If there is a major issue uncovered, it will certainly be the subject of renegotiation.
In the majority of cases, real estate closings happen on time as per the scheduled date. However, there are times when such closings may be delayed for any number of reasons.
Who doesn’t want to score a great deal on a home? Getting a fabulous property for the lowest price possible is one of the primary goals of buyers and their agents.
Imagine being mortgage-free or having access to tax-free money that can be used to cover any one of life’s major expenses? For eligible American homeowners aged 62 years or older, this can be a reality thanks to Home Equity Conversion Mortgages (HECM’s). Backed by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), these reverse mortgage programs enable seniors to take out some of the equity in their homes and even choose how they withdraw the money.
Usually, buyers move into a home they purchased only after escrow closes, but there are times when buyers get possession of the home before closing. While not very common, buyers who ask to move into the home before closing might have a variety of reasons to do so.
The real estate market in California started off strong this year with higher sales from December. Sales increases in January were likely the result of an increase in interest rates since the Presidential election, prompting buyers to get into the market before rates climb even higher.
It’s often recommended for buyers to close at the end of the month - or at least as close to it - in order to avoid being stuck with having to pay more prepaid interest when the deal closes. This is often a good strategy to save money, but it needs to be fully understood in order to find out how much money truly is saved at the end of the day.
Whether you’re on the buying or selling end of a real estate transaction, making it all the way to offer acceptance is a huge, rewarding step. Unfortunately, the deal isn’t quite done yet: you still have to make it to final closing. While the majority of deals go though with little or no issues, there are still the odd transactions that fizzle out before the closing date.
Your home has been on the market for a few weeks now with no offers coming in, despite all the showings that have been booked. What could be the problem?
You pay for your homeowner’s insurance, but at no time do you ever want to have to file a claim as a result of a major disaster. If you find yourself in this position, make sure you keep the following tips in mind when putting in a claim with you insurance provider.
For homebuyers who are struggling to come up with a minimum 5% down payment that conventional mortgages require, an FHA-backed home loan can sometimes be the best route to take. The criteria is also not as strict as conventional mortgage programs, which means stellar credit isn’t always mandatory to be accepted.
Coming up with a sizeable down payment these days can be pretty tough, especially when you consider the soaring home prices that buyers have been facing lately. Conventional mortgages require at least 5% down, but a minimum of 20% is needed in order to avoid having to pay the extra costs associated with private mortgage insurance (PMI).
The housing market in California may have struggled as a result of a squeeze on inventory and affordability issues, but it ended off 2016 in a healthy position. Sales may not have been their strongest in December, but home prices remained high at the close of the year.
When you buy a home, you have the option to include a home warranty in the sale of the property, or purchase it after the deal closes. These warranties cover the repair or replacement of any mechanical systems or major appliances that come with the home and are good for a certain time period.
There’s a lot that goes into buying a house. Think about the amount of time you’ve put into looking for that perfect abode. And don’t forget about all that effort that your real estate agent has dedicated to helping you find a home, wheel and deal with the seller, and draft up that detailed purchase agreements.
There are obvious differences between condos and single family homes. But in addition to the type of lifestyles each of them provide, the differences become even more apparent when it comes time to sell.
Holding an open house shortly after your home hits the market is a great strategy to attract prospective buyers. Make the most out of your open house by following these tips.
Popcorn ceilings were pretty popular from the 1950s through to the 1980s because they were affordable and made finishing a ceiling easy. But these days, popcorn ceilings - which are typically sprayed-on stucco - are nothing more than an outdated eyesore.
There are a number of closing costs that come with a successful real estate transaction, including appraisal fees, mortgage insurance, and home inspection fees. But you may also be responsible for paying another lesser-known fee: documentary transfer taxes.
All those tax returns that you’ve been filing over the years could one day prove to be very important documents if you ever decide to buy a home in the future. While they might just be gathering dust in your filing cabinets, at some point you might need to submit your tax returns to your lender in order to provide proof of your taxable income.
Just about every homeowner knows the danger of carbon monoxide and how it can build up in the home without offering any signs of its presence. It’s colorless and odorless, and can be deadly.
When it comes to revamping your home, you’d probably rather focus on projects that will improve the visual esthetics of the space. New kitchen cabinets, refinished hardwood floors, and updated light fixtures are the types of cosmetic jobs that can really make a big difference in the look of your home.
Getting offers on your home is very exciting and promising, and brings you one step closer to a done deal. But before you accept, you’ll need to analyze the offer in great detail in order to ensure you’re agreeing to something that meets your best interests. Here are 10 important things you should pay attention to when evaluating offers for your home.
Finding the perfect home and negotiating a deal that both parties can agree to is a huge accomplishment. But as stressful as that process is, waiting for closing day to arrive can be just as nerve-racking.
Renting out your own apartment is exciting and liberating, especially when you’re just moving out on your own for the very first time. There are various expenses that you don’t necessarily have to worry about that come with homeownership, including mortgage insurance, property taxes, maintenance fees, and others.
When it comes time for you to shop for a mortgage, you’ll be faced with plenty of options, one of which is whether to “lock” or “float” your mortgage rate. What do each of these mean, and what are their differences? More importantly, which option is best for you?
Buying a home is a big deal, and can be pretty complex and overwhelming if you don’t team yourself up with a real estate professional. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t come out on the other side of a real estate transaction successfully.
Is 2017 the year you finally sell your home? If you’ve been contemplating making a move but have been hesitant to do so up until this point, 2017 just might be the right time to bite the bullet. Of course, such a move should only be made after making the appropriate plans and preparing yourself to sell.
Homebuyers have been enjoying incredibly low mortgage rates for many years now. In fact, the average annual rate on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages has only hit 4% once over the past five years.
It’s a small, unassuming space, but it’s a crucial one nonetheless. Bathrooms are one of the more important rooms that can add a great deal of value to a home if they’re modernized and up-to-date, not to mention bring years of comfort and pleasure to those who use it.
When it comes to selling your home, you want it to be in pristine condition to impress the slew of buyers who will come across it. Many home sellers will often invest in professional home staging services in order to showcase their homes in the best light and attract as many buyers as possible, which in turn will help bring more sizeable offers to the table and get the property sold in a relatively short amount of time.
It can be a real challenge to find the perfect rental unit in the location your desire, in a complex you love, and at a price point you can afford. When you finally do land one, you might be a little over eager to sign the lease.
When it comes to mortgages, there’s no one-size-fits-all scenario. Every home buyer is different and has a unique set of financial circumstances that will dictate what type of home loan makes the right choice.
Many people might assume that being a real estate agent requires nothing more than making a few phone calls a day, putting up a couple of images online, and quickly negotiating a deal.
It’s no secret that any water that’s pooled in any part of your home will cause nothing but problems. And if there are drainage issues in your home, you’ll likely experience these problems pretty quickly.
Bathrooms might be tucked away from public view, but they are one of the most important spaces in a home, especially when it comes to property value. And just like any other room in the home, they need to be updated and spruced up every so often.
Getting into a city that’s growing at a faster pace compared to other areas in the state can be a good thing as far as increasing employment opportunities and a rise in property values are concerned.
Homeowners are typically open to any efforts that will effectively help to reduce their utility bills as well as their imprint on the environment, and green roofs can help do exactly that.
Housing affordability in California continued to be a big issue over the third quarter. Buyers are still finding it challenging to afford a home purchase despite low mortgage rates and a boost in wages.
When it comes time to sell your home, take a close look around and see if your place has the goods that buyers are looking for. Considering the magnitude and expense of such a purchase, buyers want to fall in love with the home they plan to buy, and certain characteristics can help make that happen.
If ever there was a state in the country that’s riddled with amazing vacation homes, California is certainly it. But when it comes to purchasing a vacation property for investment purposes, you’ve really got to look at the dollars and cents, along with all the amenities that each location has to offer.
The opportunity to get a great deal on a property through a short sale is very real. However, many times there’s no money to be saved in this type of real estate transaction, and the process can be a lot more complicated that your average contract.
Real estate investing offers plenty of options for those looking to build wealth through this particular avenue. With mortgage rates as low as they are today, now is a great time to get into the real estate investment market, and a multi-family property is something you might want to consider for many reasons, including the following.
Luxury homes come with a host of ornate and opulent amenities and features that might tickle your fancy. Whether it’s a massive beach house overlooking the ocean, a sprawling expanse backing onto the 9th hole on a golf course, or a penthouse perched high above the city scapes with its own private elevator, properties valued in the millions will offer features that will leave you mesmerized and even completely overwhelmed.
The housing market in California has dipped somewhat in 2016 so far. However, it’s expected to experience a slight increase in 2017 along with continued housing affordability issues and inventory shortages, according to the California Association of Realtors (C.A.R.).
There are plenty of advantages of having a VA home loan compared to a conventional mortgage, including a minimal down payment requirement, no Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI), and competitive interest rates.
A continued increase in housing prices and lagging new home development in California have continued to make it more difficult for buyers to afford a home purchase. Lower mortgage interest rates were unable to balance out the seasonal increases in housing prices, further continuing the extended housing affordability crisis in the Golden State.
Before you get the keys to your new home, there are a few steps you’ll need to go through first. After you’ve got your credit and finances in order, got pre-approved for a mortgage, found a reputable real estate agent to work with, and found the home of your dreams, the actual real estate transaction can begin.
The thought of moving into a new home can quickly go from exciting to overwhelming when you think about all the stuff that needs to be hauled from one place to another. The moving process isn’t exactly a fun time, but there are some things you can do to make the process a lot easier and less stressful.
There are plenty of sizzling hot real estate markets in California. Some are so hot that homeowners could make an absolute killing should they ever choose to sell any time soon.
California has a ton of hot markets from top to bottom. There is plenty to choose from for any real estate investor looking to snatch up valuable properties to rent out for top dollar. Regardless of precisely what you’re looking for, the Golden State certainly offers plenty.
Every home purchase transaction should be initiated with an earnest deposit to the seller. In fact, it’s rare for sellers to accept offers without a deposit. This monetary offering essentially tells the sellers that buyers are serious about purchasing the home, and shows their willingness to meet all of the clauses detailed in the contract.
The real estate market in California lost a bit of momentum in August as a result of continued issues with housing affordability and a shortage of inventory, according to the California Association of Realtors (CAR). While home sales have managed to stay over the 400,000 pace for five straight months, sales have decreased year-over-year for the sixth month in a row.
Keeping your home safe is a crucial component to being a homeowner. After all, we’ve all got locks on our doors and windows for a reason. Other homeowners have added other layers of protection, including installing security cameras or alarm systems. While these are very helpful, home security systems have evolved a great deal over the years thanks to the emergence of digital technology.
It takes a lot of money to run a home, but you could be spending more money than you really need to. Cutting back on how much energy your home uses can help you shave a huge chunk of money off your monthly utility bills, and it can be a lot easier than you may think. Small changes here and there can really add up to significant savings.
Under California law, real estate agents have a fiduciary duty to the buyers and sellers that they represent. That means the agent has a legal obligation to act in the best interest of their clients.
There are plenty of reasons why stucco is so popular among homeowners: it’s durable, it’s easy to maintain, and it looks good. If it’s applied properly, stucco can last as much as 50 years, as long as it’s well taken care of.
Millennials are currently the largest group of homebuyers out there, and have been for the third year in a row. Making up 35% of the home buying demographic in the US, Generation Y buyers make up more than younger and older baby boomers combined.
Your home may have reflected your style a few years back - but today, not so much. Now you suddenly realize that your puffy sofa looks crammed in your living space, or that flower-ridden wallpaper looks a tad on the tacky side.
When you’re ready to buy a house, you don’t necessarily have to depend on your bank to get a mortgage. These days, consumers have a lot more options when it comes to obtaining a home loan, including credit unions.
As a homeowner, you have the right to keep trespassers off your property. You likely wouldn’t allow complete strangers let their kids play on your lawn or use your amenities for their own amusement without your permission.
Water can do major damage to your home if it’s not contained. It can weaken your home’s structure and foundation, cause mold and mildew, and invite unwanted ants and termites. If your home experiences a leaky appliance or a burst pipe, it’s best to get the issue under control as soon as possible before all that water wreaks havoc on your home.
Real estate investors love snatching up good deals and letting their purchased properties make money for them over both the short- and long-term. There are plenty of ways to invest in real estate, and one of them is crowdfunding.
The kitchen is the place where we cook, entertain, do homework, and even surf the web. We want it to be functional, but we also want it to be stylish, too. Luckily there are some easy ways to tweak your kitchen to breathe new life into it. Consider the following simple projects to enhance your kitchen space.
Most buyers have to take out a mortgage in order to pay for a home purchase. While taking out a new mortgage with a lender is the more common approach to take, there's another option: taking over the seller’s mortgage.
With summer in full force, the temperatures are soaring. Homeowners have their air conditioners cranked in an effort to keep the interior of their homes cool and comfortable. While there are few inventions as appreciated as the air conditioner, it can also cost a lot of money to keep these appliances running 24/7.
To successfully sell a home, sometimes you’ve got to pull a few tricks out of your hat. One way that many sellers are trying to sweeten the deal for buyers and speed the process along is to offer buyer incentives.
Selling your home? How much you list it for can make a big difference in the length of time your home sits on the market before getting any offers. Price it inaccurately, and you’ll either scare off buyers, or leave money on the table. Price it right, and you can sell in a short amount of time and get fair market value for it.
The allure of downtown living is obvious: being in close proximity to work, shops, eateries, entertainment, and just about every other handy amenity is the height of convenience. But along with the advantages of downtown living comes the tight living spaces, the sky-high prices, and even bidding wars.
There’s a lot involved in the home selling process. That’s likely one of the biggest reasons why sellers might want to forego the extra step of staging their homes before they sell - it's just one less thing they'll have to deal with.
Ready to buy your first home? Join the millions of others out there who are navigating the waters of real estate for the first time. It’s exciting, yet it’s completely intimidating at the same time, and for good reason. Your home is most likely the most expensive purchase you will ever make, so it’s not something you want to jump into without making sure you’re emotionally and financially ready.
From burned-out light bulbs, to popped-out nails, to everything in between, all sorts of scenarios will creep up on a regular basis in your home that will require your handiwork. Even things like hanging a picture on the wall or measuring rooms for furniture require some type of tool to get the job done.
A home that’s in pristine condition will do well at attracting the eyes of buyers and impressing them enough to put in an offer. If your home could use a little sprucing up, make sure you do what you have to do to bring it up to par before it even hits the market.
Your home may have reflected your style a few years back - but today, not so much. Now you suddenly realize that your puffy sofa looks crammed in your living space, or that flower-ridden wallpaper looks a tad on the tacky side.
Selling your home is a team effort between you and you agent. Having a professional realtor represent you means you’ll be getting solid advice that’s based on experience and in-depth knowledge of the market.
Small spaces certain pose a set of design challenges, but there are plenty of savvy decor tactics that can be employed to make a room seem larger than it actually is, while keeping it stylish at the same time. Here are 13 ways to decorate your home to make it appear bigger if it’s short on square footage.
While your debt-to-income ratio doesn’t have a direct impact on your credit score, it’s an important part of your overall credit health. It’ll also play a key role in how well your application will fare when you’re trying to obtain a mortgage.
It’s prime time for wildfires in the west, especially with temperatures soaring into the summer. California’s already battling raging wildfires, putting homes and lives in danger.
Who doesn’t love a bright, light-filled space to call home? Not only does natural light open up a space and make it seem larger, it’s also good for the mood. If it feels as though you live in a dungeon, it’s time to let some natural light in.
A real estate investment is only as good as the property you invest in. Make the wrong purchasing decision, and you’ll have a much tougher time making a decent profit than you would if you had bought into a better property.
Owning a home no longer has to remain a dream for any Americans, thanks to the changes that have taken place in the mortgage lending realm over the recent past. Coming up with a decent-sized down payment has long been a thorn in the side of would-be homebuyers. But these days, there are plenty of low down payment options available that can help turn the dream of homeownership into reality.
Buying and renting out real estate is a tried-and-true way to develop wealth over time. Not only can you build equity in the property simply through appreciation over time, the rent collected can cover the carrying costs.
It’s that time of year - a plethora of college kids are graduating, and are trading in their caps and gowns for jobs and rent. While the thought of having to find a job might sound intimidating, new grads can rest easy knowing that they’re entering an improved job market. In fact, according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, 11% more grads from the class of 2016 will be hired compared to last year.
Depending on where you live, you might find it tough to land a great rental unit that fits within your budget and meets all your needs. But even when you find a place that’s located in an awesome location and seems like an affordable deal, it can be a total nightmare if you wind up stuck with a terrible landlord. Sure, many landlords are awesome, but some are not. In fact, some are downright shady, and even break the law when it comes to screening renters and dealing with them on a regular basis.
One of the tell-tale factors of a fast-moving market is the amount of time that listings spend on the market. The number of property sales also speaks volumes about the activity in the market. According to the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), over 6 million homes were sold in 2016, the first time this has happened in a decade.
Still got massive student loan debt on the books? Join the 43 million other borrowers who do too. And among all the millennials who are still chipping away at their student loan debt, over one-third of them plan on buying a home within the next five years. But with all that debt still to be paid off, is getting a mortgage and purchasing a property a futile endeavor?
When you buy a condo, townhouse, or any other type of property in a planned development, you’re bound to the rules of the Homeowners’ Association (HOA). While you might have already known that rules existed when you bought, you likely never gave them a second thought, until there’s a problem.
Finally, some relief is on the horizon for homebuyers in California. According to the California Association of Realtors (CAR), 22 out of 29 counties in the Golden State experienced an improvement in housing affordability over the first quarter of 2016 compared to the same time last year, thanks to higher wages and a slight decrease in home prices.
Savvy scammers are always on the lookout for a way to swindle money from unsuspecting victims, and the real estate industry is by no means off limits. Of course, the overwhelming majority of buyers, sellers, agents, landlords, and others involved in real estate transactions are honest, but there are a few bad apples out there who spoil the bushel.
If you’ve ever bought a home in the past, you’ve likely experienced some level of confusion over the cumbersome mortgage documents that came along with the transaction. Going through this paperwork can be like reading a foreign language. Many buyers have complained about confusing terminology, inconsistencies in information, and inadequate time to go through and understand the mortgage documents before signing on the dotted line.
Many sellers tend to focus on the interior of their homes to impress buyers, which is great. But while this is an excellent idea to help boost property value - and thereby help sell your home faster and for more money - it’s important not to gloss over the exterior.
The whole idea of taking a vacation is to get away from the everyday stresses of life and change the scenery, if only for a temporary amount of time. The last thing you need is to worry about the security of your home while you’re gone.
You can learn a lot about a home from an Open House. While you’re not going to be climbing through the attic or sticking scopes down the plumbing pipes (leave that to the home inspector), you can still find out plenty about a property just by being vigilant.
Median home prices throughout the state of California vary greatly. While there are definitely pockets that are extremely pricey, there are also plenty of counties that offer affordable housing options.
INFOGRAPHIC: C.A.R. Survey Reveals Investor Activity in California. Reasons for investment property purchases include good location, rate of return, good price, future development potential, and size.
It’s no secret that living close to certain neighborhood features can either boost or drag down the value of your home. After all, real estate is all about location. But you might be surprised at just how much certain traits affect property values, whether positively or negatively.
Everyone knows that location is a key factor in dictating how much a property can sell for in a given market. But while close proximity to employment, amenities, and green space are all important to boosting property values, the physical features of the homes themselves obviously also play important roles in how much buyers are willing to pay for them.
The real estate market in California continues to sizzle, with existing home sales picking up speed in February, according to the California Association of Realtors (CAR). An improvement in housing inventory and an easing off of prices due to a continued shift to more affordable spots have helped drive the Golden State’s real estate market in February.
Solar energy isn’t exactly new. It’s been around for years now, although it’s only starting to pick up steam as more and more homeowners figure out the potential cost savings in utility bills, not to mention their reduced carbon footprint.
When you’ve got your home listed for sale, you want to draw as much attention to it as possible. Since these small descriptions are only a few characters long, you’ve got to make the most of the words you use.
Who says you need tons of square footage to live comfortably? In fact, smaller-scale homes are appealing to many home buyers, particularly millennials who are looking for comfort without having to dedicate all their free time to maintaining a larger property. Whether opting for a smaller space is a matter of affordability or simply a lifestyle choice, living in small quarters doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice style and comfort.
Whether you need to pay for your child’s college education, a major home renovation, or an emergency medical expense, scraping the necessary funds together can be tough, but necessary. But if you currently own a home that you’ve been regularly putting money into via mortgage payments, you just might be able to tap into your home’s equity as a source to fund these major expenses.
Finding the perfect place to call home can be a real time-consuming and laborious endeavor, especially if you’re in a market where inventory is a little tight. But even when you find the right property, the deal isn’t done yet until a home inspection has been conducted to make sure you’re not buying into a money pit.
Corner lots are often the largest on their streets, offering homeowners wide open spaces that are perfect for the kids to play around or for entertaining. But they also pose certain challenges - namely, privacy. Properties on corner lots are much more exposed to the street than others on the block, making usable outdoor living space tough to define. They also often act as a way for passersby to cut through from one sidewalk to the other, which can make your grass and other greenery vulnerable to damage.
From the sunshine, to the warm climate, to the ocean and wine country, California’s got it all. And from a retiree’s perspective, these traits rank right up there for must-haves in a retirement locale. The hard part isn’t about whether or not California is the right state to settle in; it’s deciding which part of the Golden State to spend the Golden Years. To make this decision a little easier, here is a list of the 10 best places in California to retire.
Home renovations are no small feat, and can put a big dent in your bank account. Considering the huge expense, you want to be sure every dollar is spent wisely throughout the renovations. Knowing exactly what to expect before the project even begins will help prepare you for the project. And to make that happen, you should start off by asking your contractor a number of critical questions before the process starts.
The current California housing market can be described in so many di erent ways. Right now the state is experiencing an inventory crunch, and housing a ordability is a real problem. Housing action is starting to shift inland as supply in coastal areas remains tight. But what about the people who make up the California housing market? Let’s have a closer look at the individuals who are part of the buying and selling process in California real estate for 2016.
It doesn’t take much to notice your bank account whittling away just to keep your home in operation. Your HVAC system can be a real money-sucker when it comes time to pay off your utility bills - but it doesn’t have to be. According to the US Department of Energy, you can slash as much as 43 percent off your monthly bill, while still living comfortably.
Millennials now make up the largest proportion of the population in the US at over 80 million. With so many of these 20- and 30-somethings, one could only assume that they’d simultaneously make up a large part of the real estate market. But that’s not necessarily the case. Millennials are taking their time testing the waters of the housing market, for a variety of reasons.
If you thought finding the perfect home was the hard part of the home buying process, what until you actually have to go from offer acceptance to closing. A bunch of steps need to be taken in proper succession order to take you through escrow, one of which is a home appraisal.
The differences between condo ownership as opposed to single detached home ownership are obvious. For one, there are HOA fees that condo owners need to pay that aren’t applicable to most single detached properties. Part-ownership of common elements is another unique feature of owning a condo unit.
Taking out a mortgage typically means making regular payments until the loan is paid off. But while this may have been the traditional way of looking at mortgages, many homeowners these days are choosing to keep their mortgages by refinancing to take advantage of certain benefits, such as getting a lower interest rate, using the equity to invest, consolidating debt, or taking advantage of tax deductions.
Whatever your reason for wanting to list your rental property for sale, having a tenant still living there while selling the place can definitely make the process a little more complex. But it’s not impossible, nor does it have to be a total nightmare if you play your cards right. While it might be a lot easier to wait until the lease expires and your tenants have vacated the premises, you might not necessarily have the luxury of time. Not everyone can necessarily afford to have the place vacant with zero income while the property is up for sale.
All-cash sales have surged across the country, and Bay Area cities are realizing some of the biggest spikes.
The financial crisis of 2008 wreaked havoc on homeowners across the US. Millions of Americans bailed on the housing market after the downturn when they simply couldn't keep up with their mortgages.
Millennials get all the press these days, but Baby Boomers still have a larger impact on the real estate market than any other demographic. This excellent infographic sheds light on this generation’s ongoing influence over the housing market.
California has one of the most dynamic and multidimensional housing markets in the world. Wrapping your head around all of the nuances and complexities can be daunting. In this elegant infographic, we demystify the Golden State’s real estate market.