5 Negotiating Tactics That Can Hurt A Sale

Negotiation is a subtle art in real estate, but skilled negotiators can usually find some common ground that satisfies all parties. On the other hand, using the wrong negotiation tactics can sink a deal pretty quickly.

8 Must-Have Tools For Every Homeowner

From replacing cabinet doors, to burned-out light bulbs, to everything in between, all sorts of scenarios will sneak 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.

Short Sale And Foreclosure: What Sets Them Apart?

As unfortunate as it can be when homeowners fall behind on mortgage payments and must face the possibility of losing their homes, short sales and foreclosures provide them options for moving on financially.

4 Ways To Eat Organic Food On A Budget

Organic food usually tastes better, and is better for you, but it can also be very expensive compared to non-organic products. Organic food can cost nearly 50 percent more, thanks to the extra labor required to produce it and consumers’ demand exceeding supply.

Priority Tasks For Your Move In

Moving into a new home is an exciting time, and you’re probably daydreaming about decor and paint schemes and new furniture. But before you get into the fun stuff, there are some basics you should cover first.

5 Criteria For Pricing A Home

When you put your home up for sale, one of the best ways to determine the asking price is to look at comparable sales. There’s rarely a perfect apples-to-apples comparison, so a pricing decision often relies on comparisons to several recent sales in the area.

Consider This: When To Refinance

Refinancing your mortgage is something most homeowners consider at least once throughout the lifespan of their home loan. It allows you to pay off your previous loan by applying for a new one that has better financial advantages. While there are many good reasons to refinance, here are five common ones.

These 6 Things Can Cause Water Damage in Your Home

Water might be a necessity in life, but it can also wreak havoc in your home when it's not properly contained. Water can cause mold, mildew, and major damage to surfaces in your home. It can even compromise the integrity of your home's structure.

What's the Purpose of a Building Permit When Renovating Your Home?

Improving your home is a great way to not only improve its aesthetics and functionality, but it's also an effective way to add value. Certain projects can bring in a high ROI, adding more value to your property compared to what you spend on the actual project itself.

What Are the Different Liens That Can Be Found on Title?

There are plenty of terms to agree to when you sign a real estate contract to purchase a home. But one thing you likely would never agree to take over are liens on title. Unfortunately, liens can derail real estate deals and cause headaches for both buyers and sellers.

Turning An Ordinary Bedroom Into A Luxurious Bedroom

For most of us, our bedroom is little more than a place to sleep and relax. However, just because it’s always been that way doesn’t mean that we have to settle for drab and dreary.

Which Down Payment Strategy Is Right For You?

You’ve most likely heard the rule: Save for a 20-percent down payment before you buy a home. The logic behind saving 20 percent is solid, as it shows that you have the financial discipline and stability to save for a long-term goal. It also helps you get favorable rates from lenders.

How To Become A Morning Person

Ever wish you could become one of those rare morning people? The ones that wake with a start, feeling refreshed and energized. The ones that get in that morning workout or wrap up some work before many of us even hit the snooze button for the first time. Here are five tips to help you achieve that early bird status!

What To Negotiate When Buying A Home

Whether you are a first-time homebuyer or a seasoned veteran, the negotiation part of the transaction can be a little daunting and stressful. However, it is necessary to ensure you are getting the best possible deal for your money. So, what should you negotiate when buying a home?

4 Repairs To Make Before You List Your Home

When you’re getting ready to list your home, it’s of the upmost importance to ensure you are showing it in the best light. Taking time to highlight its strengths and fix up some of its possible weaknesses can make a big difference in how fast it sells. Here are our top five recommended repairs to make before selling your home.

IS IT TIME TO UPSIZE YOUR HOME?

Unfortunately, our homes don’t always grow with us. What may have initially worked fine for a single person, a young couple’s starter home, or a family with a newborn can quickly become too small as families expand and multiple generations live under one roof.

Create An Evacuation Plan For Your Pets

An evacuation plan is a necessity for every home, especially if you live in an area where fires, earthquakes, hurricanes, flooding, and other disasters are a possibility.

EASY LANDSCAPING DIY PROJECTS

Ever get the itch to do a DIY project? Whenever we do, our favorites involve getting outdoors and mixing up our landscaping features. Whether it's as simple as installing some lighting or a little more time-consuming like re-plotting plants, a fresh look for the lawn always gives your home a fresh look as well. Here are our top five easy landscaping projects!

Should You Test For Radon in Your Home?

Imagine something dangerous lurking in your home that you can't see, smell, touch, or taste. That's what radon gas is, and it can be hazardous to your health and that of your family. But it's virtually impossible to detect without the proper tools.

Should Sellers Bother Staging a Vacant Home?

There's a lot to do when it comes to getting a home ready for sale, and staging it is one of them. Obviously, a home that's properly furnished with pieces that are appropriate for the size of all rooms and decorated with tasteful accessories and neutral colors will show a lot better than a home that looks disheveled.

Are You Subject to Paying Capital Gains Taxes When You Sell Your Home?

There are so many perks to homeownership, including certain tax breaks. For instance, if you own a home, you may be eligible to deduct interest expenses on up to $750,000 of mortgage debt, which can save you some cash come tax time.

How to Ensure a Vacation Home Purchase is a Good Investment

If you've been thinking about investing in real estate and buying a property to rent out over the long haul, you might want to consider a somewhat unique investment opportunity: vacation rentals. In fact, renting out vacation properties has become all the rage lately thanks to sites like Airbnb, VRBO, and HomeAway.

Should You Buy the Best House in the Neighborhood?

A gorgeous house in a great neighborhood is definitely something that will catch buyers' attention. And the best house on the block will certainly stand out from the rest. But is purchasing the best house in the neighborhood a sound investment? It's safe to say that many buyers want a home that's move-in ready.

These Home Improvements Could Hurt Your Home's Value When You Sell

Every seller wants to snag the highest possible price for their home when they sell, which is why certain measures should be taken to prep a home and craft a solid listing for buyers to see. And one of the recommended things that sellers should consider is making improvements that will help garner more attention from buyers.

Should You Refinance Your Home?

If you own a home and have some equity built up in it, you may have the opportunity to refinance your current mortgage. And there may be some good reasons why may want to consider refinancing, depending on your situation.

Short-Term or Long-Term Amortization Periods: Which One is Best For a Mortgage?

There are a number of factors to consider when choosing a particular mortgage product. While the interest rate and fees associated with a home loan are certainly important factors to consider, so is the amortization period.

8 Best Paint Colors For Your Front Door

Curb appeal speaks volumes. It not only creates a welcoming vibe to your home, but it also plays a key role in its value, too. Given this, it's important to keep up with your home's curb appeal and spruce it up if need be.

6 Ways to Boost Security in Your Condo, Even Without a Concierge

All homeowners want to take measures to make sure their homes are secure and that all occupants within their homes are kept safe at all times. When it comes to condos, there is usually an added level of security in the form of a locked main entrance, security cameras, or 24-hour concierge.

How Do Appraisers Determine the Value of a Home?

Sellers are obviously interested in knowing the value of their homes so they can figure out roughly how much they can potentially sell for. But buyers also want to know the value of homes they're interested in and may put an offer on, as it will help them determine an appropriate and competitive offer.

INFOGRAPHIC NAR's Existing Home Sales Report For January 2019

Sales across the nation have dropped over 8% in January compared to the same time last year, though it's expected that such a slow down has tapered off.

Do You Know How Much Your Home is Worth?

Every homeowner wonders exactly how much their home is worth at some point, whether they're planning to sell or not.

How to Get a Mortgage When You're Self-Employed

Getting a mortgage is a real financial feat, especially with the stringent mortgage lending criteria that borrowers have to meet these days.

Open House Etiquette For Buyers

If you're actively in search of a new home or are just mulling over the idea of making a home purchase, open houses present an ideal opportunity to visit homes that have recently been listed on the market.

INFOGRAPHIC: Best Home Renovation and Design Websites to Follow in 2019

If you're in the mood to do a little remodeling, you might take to the internet to gain some inspiration. The following sites top the list in terms of ideas, content, and DIY projects.

How Buyers Can Increase Their Odds of Winning a Bidding War

Bidding wars have long been a common trend in California's housing market over recent years, though the rates seem to be declining somewhat.

7 Things That Are Left Behind When You Sell

When it's time for you to move out of your old home and into your new one, there's a lot of packing and hauling to do.

8 Things Buyers Should Know About Buying a Fixer-Upper

While many buyers tend to look for turn-key homes that they can just drop their belongings in and not have to worry about any extra work, others like the idea of having the opportunity to fix up the home as they see fit while adding extra value to it.

INFOGRAPHIC: NAR’s Existing Home Sales Report For December 2018

Real estate sale prices inched up in December, though the number of existing family home sales dipped.

Buying and Selling at the Same Time? Follow These Tips

If moving is on the horizon for you sometime soon, then you've got plenty of decisions to make. And one of these important decisions is whether to sell or buy first.

What Exactly Do Your Condo Fees Cover?

Condo living is pretty popular among buyers who are looking for something more affordable than traditional freehold homes.

6 Tips to Choosing the Best Mortgage Lender

The purchase price of the home you agree to buy will obviously have a direct impact on your mortgage payment.

What Does it Mean to 'Sublet' Your Rental Unit?

Many homeowners rent out a part of their home in an effort to make a little side cash for space that they're not using.

9 Things NOT To Do When Staging Your Home For Sale

If you want your home to stand out from the crowd and entice buyers to put in an offer, you'd be well advised to have it staged.

INFOGRAPHIC: Median Home Prices Across California

The median price for a single-family home in California currently sits at $554,760.

8 Tips to Baby-Proofing Your Home

Babies are innocent, but they still manage to get themselves into trouble when they become mobile.

What California Homeowners Should Know About Earthquake Insurance

Earthquakes can have devastating effects.

7 Advantages of Living in a 55+ Community

When you reach a certain age, your needs and tastes may be different than what they may have been in your younger years, and that includes your housing arrangement.

INFOGRAPHIC: NAR’s Existing Home Sales Report For November 2018

For the second consecutive month, the number of existing home sales saw gains in November.

Are You Ready to Go From Renting to Buying?

Making the leap from "renter" to "homeowner" status is a big deal, for obvious reasons.

Mortgage Versus Rent: What's the Real Difference?

Whether you rent or own, you still have monthly expenses to pay in exchange for a place to live.

9 Surprising Things That Can Affect Your Credit Score

Thinking of applying for a mortgage any time soon?

INFOGRAPHIC: 10 Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Buyer Agent

Buying a home is a big deal, and you need the right team beside you to help you navigate the process and end up with a successful transaction.

7 Hazards in a Home For Buyers to Look Out For

Buying a home always comes with inherent risks.

9 Tips For Throwing a Housewarming Party

Buying a new home is incredibly exciting.

7 Tips to Stage Your Home For the Holidays

During the holidays, it's hard for homeowners to resist adorning their homes in festive decor.

Buyers: 9 Smart Tips For Negotiating a Home Purchase

All homebuyers are looking for a deal, which is why the negotiating process in a real estate transaction is so important.

8 Key Components to Successful Home Staging For a Quick Sale

First impressions matter, especially when it comes to what buyers think of a home they're visiting.

INFOGRAPHIC: California Sales Report For October 2018

The housing market in California continued to show signs of slowing in October as the number of sales declined for the sixth consecutive month and the median sale price dipped as well from the month before.

7 Things Buyers Should Know About HOAs

There are so many great reasons to buy into an HOA.

INFOGRAPHIC: 10 Most Expensive Places to Rent in the US in 2018

Buying a home might be an expensive endeavor, but renting can also be incredibly pricey, especially in specific parts of the country.

5 Open House Myths, Debunked

Open houses have long been a part of the real estate process for sellers.

6 Things to Consider Before Buying a Foreclosure

Homebuyers are always looking for a deal on a home purchase.

What Disclosures Do Sellers Have to Make?

No home is entirely perfect. There will always be some issue with a property, whether minor or major, that may or may not require some attention to rectify.

INFOGRAPHIC: California Sales Report For September 2018

The housing market in California appears to have cooled somewhat over recent months, with the number of home sales continuing to dip in September.

5 Reasons You're Having a Hard Time Getting a Mortgage

After finding a great home that you're willing to spend the big bucks on, it can be really disappointing and disheartening to be turned down for a mortgage.

8 Questions to Ask Your New Roommate Before Moving in

Let's face it: even the best of friends can get under each other's skin when they live together, so cohabiting with a complete stranger and adapting to each other's habits can be tough.

5 Other Pros You Need (Besides an Agent) When Buying a Home

When it's time to buy a home, the most obvious professional you'll likely think to hire is a real estate agent.

INFOGRAPHIC: Habits of a Successful Seller

Some homes are sold in a matter of hours, while others tend to take forever to find a willing buyer. If you want to avoid the latter situation, consider adopting the following habits.

Can You Get Rid of Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI)?

The actual mortgage payments that you're responsible for making when you purchase a home are only part of the overall cost of buying real estate.

5 Things Buyers Should Know About Purchasing a Vacation Home

The thought of having a place of your own to retreat to whenever you feel like getting away sounds nice, doesn't it? That's the beauty of having your own vacation home.

6 Tips For Screening Tenants For Your Rental

Choosing the right property is an important part of the equation when it comes to investing in real estate. But if you're going to fill the property with sub-par tenants, your investment income can potentially suffer.

What Can You Learn From Visiting Open Houses?

While not necessarily a requirement when you're on the hunt for a new home, attending open houses can give you the opportunity to scope out properties that are available on the market.

How Long Does Mortgage Refinancing Take to Complete?

Are you looking to get a lower interest rate for your mortgage?

INFOGRAPHIC: NAR’s Existing Home Sales Report For August 2018

After a steady decline in existing home sales throughout the summer, sales across the US have leveled off in August.

These 10 Things Are Compromising Your Lawn

You've got a lot of tasks to tend to when it comes to maintaining your home, and lawn maintenance is one of them.

How Can Buyers Tell if a Seller is Willing to Negotiate?

Every buyer wants to get a deal on things that they buy, and real estate is no exception.

Is Selling With a Lien on Your Home Possible?

Plenty of issues can slow down, delay, or even kill a real estate transaction, and liens are one of them.

INFOGRAPHIC: What Do First-Time Homebuyers Look Like?

First-time homebuyers make up a big chunk of all the buyers on the prowl for a new home. But what exactly do they look like?

California Wildfires Are Making Homeowners Insurance More Difficult to Get

Homeowners insurance usually offers some coverage for any damage done to homes and belongings as a result of wildfires.

Protecting Your Home Against Wildfires

The latest string of wildfires in California have torched over 688,000 acres and destroyed more than 2,000 structures.

9 Maintenance Tips to Keep Your Swimming Pool in Good Shape

Swimming pools are a common staple in California backyards and provide homeowners with a convenient retreat to and get some relief from the hot sun.

INFOGRAPHIC: NAR’s Existing Home Sales Report For July 2018

Sales of existing homes dipped again in July, slowing to a pace not seen in months. However, prices in July increased for the 77th straight month to new highs.

7 Crucial Steps to Closing a Real Estate Deal

After a real estate deal has been negotiated between a buyer and seller and an agreement is reached, it's time to go through the steps to actually close the deal.

What All Buyers and Sellers Should Know About Easements

When you buy a home, it's exclusively yours to use, right? Not always.

What Are the Signs of a Housing Bubble?

With housing prices as high as they've ever been in California, many have been wondering if we're in the middle of a housing bubble.

INFOGRAPHIC: 8 Reasons Why FSBOs End Up Selling With Real Estate Agents

Here are some of the biggest reasons why FSBOs wind up seeking the help of a real estate agent to help them seal a deal.

7 Tricks Real Estate Agents Use When Negotiating

While you might not necessarily be doing any of the wheeling and dealing at the negotiating table when buying or selling a home, it's still interesting to know how your real estate agent handles these talks in order to get their clients the best deals possible.

8 Simple Landscaping Ideas to Minimize Yard Maintenance

A good landscaping job can exponentially increase the aesthetic factor of a home and boost its curb appeal.

5 Things Buyers Should Know About Earnest Money Deposits

While you won't be expected to dish out the full sale price when you buy a home, you will have to put up a certain amount of money to seal the deal, and an earnest money deposit is part of it.

INFOGRAPHIC: California Sales Report For June 2018

Home sale prices across California hit a new peak for the second consecutive month, but the number of sales barely inched higher from May.

9 Tips to Getting Rid of the Smell of Cigarette Smoke From Your New Home

When you're on the prowl for a new home, the last thing you want to walk into is a home that reeks of cigarette smoke.

How to Buy a House Before it's Listed

If you want to find and buy your dream home, you'll have to wait until it hits the market and is advertised on popular mediums like the MLS, right?

How to Sell Your Home in a Bad Location

When it comes to real estate, location is everything, hence the adage, "location, location, location." You could have a fabulous home, but if it's in a bad location, its value can definitely suffer.

What Are "Bump Clauses" and Should You Consider Putting One in Your Contract?

Real estate contracts can include any number of clauses and contingencies, and one that may not be as popular as some others is the "bump clause."

8 Home Improvement Jobs No Homeowner Should Tackle on Their Own

Some homeowners are pretty handy, which can be very convenient when a light bulb burns out or a door hinge needs to be tightened. But no matter how good you might be around the house, there are certain jobs that you should think twice about taking the DIY route for.

Tips to Keeping Your Landscaping Healthy This Summer

California isn't exactly known for its heaping mounds of rainfall, which can make it a bit of a challenge to keep your greenery healthy, especially in the summer.

Buying a House With Bad Credit? Here's What You Need to Know

Credit scores are crucial little numbers that play a key role in your financial health.

INFOGRAPHIC: NAR’s Existing Home Sales Report For May 2018

The median price for a home across the US reached a new high this past May, though overall sales were down slightly. Here are some other pertinent stats about the housing market in the US as compiled by the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

8 Valuable Lessons First-Time Homebuyers Should Learn

There's always a first time for everything, and that includes buying a house.

8 Most Common Issues Home Inspectors Find

Home inspections typically accompany real estate deals, giving buyers an opportunity to check out the house in greater detail with a professional in an effort to uncover any problems that may not have been detected during the initial visit.

10 DIY Kitchen Staging Tips to Prep Your Home in a Hurry

Buyers look at a lot of things when scoping out homes on the market. But if there's one room in particular that captures their attention first, it's the kitchen.

7 Steps to Build Good Credit Before You Buy a Home

You're a homebuyer hopeful who has a big dream of buying a home of your own. There's just one thing left to consider: what's your credit score like?

7 Mistakes to Avoid When De-Cluttering Your Home

If you're planning to sell your home soon, you've got a lot of tasks to accomplish. Besides getting yourself a real estate agent and determining what price to list at, you'll also be faced with prepping your home for the market.

INFOGRAPHIC: 9 Questions to Ask a Real Estate Agent Before Hiring One

Are you in search of a real estate agent to buy or sell? Be sure to "interview" them appropriately to make sure you find one who's best suited for you.

8 Things to Do Before Moving Into Your New Home

Moving is a huge endeavor. Just think about your life's worth of belongings having to be carted from one house to another, and depending on how far you're moving or how much stuff you've accumulated over the years, the job can be an even bigger one.

9 Walkway Tips For Your Outdoor Space

The addition of a walkway in an outdoor space can both add visual interest and create a functional and convenient means of getting around the yard.

7 Reasons Why Working Without an Agent is a Big Mistake

With the internet at your disposal, it's easy to scope out what's available for sale right now, and with all those Open Houses that take place every weekend, visiting homes for sale on your own is a real possibility.

INFOGRAPHIC: N.A.R.’s Existing Home Sales Report For April 2018

The following are some highlights of the housing markets across the US, as compiled by the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

6 Mortgage Programs That Allow For Low Down Payments

Based on the average price of houses these days, coming up with a down payment can be a major endeavor.

How to Finally Get Rid of Your PMI or FHA Mortgage Insurance

If you're planning to apply for a mortgage to help you finance a home purchase, you could get stuck paying mortgage insurance, depending on the type of home loan you take out and your down payment amount.

Different Types of Homeowners Insurance Policies to Consider

Homeowners insurance is essential when buying and owning a home. In fact, you won't even be able to get a mortgage if you are unable to secure an insurance policy for your home, as lenders will want to make sure a home is eligible for insurance before extending a mortgage.

INFOGRAPHIC: How Much Value Can Be Added With Exterior Upgrades?

If you're planning to sell your home soon and are looking for outdoor projects to undertake in an effort to boost the value of your home, consider the following updates.

8 Trends in Outdoor Living Spaces

Given California's fabulous climate, the outdoors can be enjoyed year-round, especially at home.

What is an Estate Sale and How Does it Work?

An estate sale is the sale of a property of a recently deceased homeowner with the purpose of liquidating the home and all assets in it.

9 Things to Consider Before Installing a Pool

Having a pool in the confines of your own backyard can certainly be a statement element for your outdoor oasis.

INFOGRAPHIC: N.A.R.’s Existing Home Sales Report For March 2018

Here are some stats surrounding the existing home sales activity in March 2018, according to the National Association of Realtors.

What Factors Matter When Determining Your Home's Listing Price?

If there's one thing you definitely want to get right when you market your home for sale, it's the listing price. In fact, your price is a big determinant of how fast your home can sell and how much you can sell it for.

8 Reasons Why Sellers Regret Not Selling With a Real Estate Agent

No one said that selling real estate was cheap. In fact, it can be downright expensive. Because of the potentially hefty price tag associated with selling, many sellers may be tempted to go it alone without the help of a seasoned real estate agent in an effort to save some money in commissions.

8 Tips For Your Indoor Garden

There's something about plants that brings a sense of vibrancy, life, and coziness to a home. To help ensure a flourishing indoor garden, consider the following tips.

INFOGRAPHIC: Your Home Inspection Checklist

Don't miss the opportunity to have the home you plan to purchase inspected before you finalize a real estate contract. Before you close on a deal, make sure the following components are checked out during the home inspection.

9 Things to Think About Before Listing Your Home on Airbnb

If you own a property that is vacant for at least part of the year, you might be able to make some good money by renting it out as a vacation rental on sites like Airbnb. But while there is certainly some profit potential associated with using a service like Airbnb, there are a number of considerations that should be made first before you open your doors to the masses.

8 Signs of a Pest Problem in a Home

As a buyer, you'll want to scope out a home in great detail before you agree to put in an offer. But one more thing you'll want to add to the list of things to check out when house hunting is a potential pest infestation. The following are some telltale signs that a home is likely infested with pests.

Are Adjustable-Rate Mortgages Too Risky?

If you're taking out a mortgage on a home, you'll be stuck paying interest on top of the initial loan that you take out. The lower the interest rate, the less you'll be paying towards interest overall, which is why it's always best to try to get the lowest rate possible on a home loan.

INFOGRAPHIC: First-Time Homebuyer Stats

What do today's first-time homebuyers look like? The following stats will help paint that picture, as compiled by the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

7 Signs Your Air Conditioner Needs to Be Repaired or Replaced

California homeowners are heavily dependent on the air conditioners, especially as the summer sun starts to really sizzle. There's no denying the importance of your air conditioner, which is why it's so important that it remains in good working order all throughout the year, even during times when you're not using it.

How to Find a Reputable Contractor For Your Home

Whether you're looking to improve your living space to better suit your lifestyle or want to spruce up your home before putting it up on the market, sometimes a little professional help is needed. Unless you're extremely handy and a licensed contractor yourself, many times it's necessary to call in the pros when it's time to tackle a home improvement job.

Avoid These 6 Decor Trends When Selling

As a seller, you want to make sure that you find a buyer in a reasonable amount of time. You also want to find a buyer who's willing to pay you what your home is worth. And one of the best ways to do that is to prep your home in such a way that it "speaks" to buyers.

INFOGRAPHIC: California Sales Report For February 2018

The real estate market in California made strides in February with sales improving from January, as well as from the same time last year. Here are some statistics surrounding the housing market in California for February 2018, as compiled by the California Association of Realtors (CAR).

7 Things to Know About Modular Homes

Unlike traditional home construction, modular homes are structures that are built in phases entirely inside a factory. If you're considering buying a modular home, there are certain facts you should know about first in order to make a sound purchasing decision.

6 Reasons to Reduce the Price of Your Home

No seller ever wants to have to reduce the price of their home, but sometimes it might be a necessary step to sell in a reasonable amount of time.

5 Ways to Finance Your Home Remodel

Home improvements are super expensive and often require a huge chunk of money in order to bring them to fruition. Luckily, there are different ways that you can fund your home improvement project without having to sell everything you own or beg your family and friends for money to cover this expense. Here are a few options you may want to consider to help you finance your next renovation.

INFOGRAPHIC: California Sales Report For January 2018

January's housing market in California was characterized by a lag in home sales thanks to the continued shortage of inventory across the state. Here are some stats surrounding the market in the Golden State in January 2018, as compiled by the California Association of Realtors (CAR).

6 Types of Fencing to Give Your Home Some Privacy

Your home's fence plays a key role in two critical factors in your home's exterior: esthetics and privacy. The type of fence you choose will be integral in how visually appealing your fence is and how much privacy you'll be able to enjoy.

What is a Kick-Out Clause in a Real Estate Contract?

Many buyers are not able to afford the purchase of a new house until their current home sells first. Once their home sells, they can use the proceeds of their sale to be put towards to the purchase price of a new home. Even those who may be able to afford a new home without first selling their current property might not necessarily want to carry two mortgages until their current home finds a buyer.

5 Things Sellers Should Do Before Relisting

No seller ever wants to have to take down their listing after little activity and zero offers. But it does happen, and these sellers are then left with the task of relisting their homes at some point in the future.

INFOGRAPHIC: 14 Real Estate Terms All Buyers Should Know

As a buyer, you'd be well-advised to understand certain terms in the real estate world that directly affect buyers. Before you sign on the dotted line, be sure to familiarize yourself with the following terminology.

6 Alternatives to Traditional Hardwood Flooring

Here are some alternatives to hardwood flooring that warrant some consideration.

7 Types of Ceiling Styles to Consider

When it comes to remodeling or decorating a room, the ceiling is one of those often-overlooked components. Yet ceilings play a key role in the overall look of a space and should be given its deserved attention.

6 Home Loan Tips For First-Time Buyers

Buying your first home is an incredibly exciting time, but it can also be a frightening one, especially when considering the cost associated with such a purchase. But before you apply for a mortgage, there are a few things you should know first.

INFOGRAPHIC: 11 Common Myths About Buying a Condo

Owning a condo is an attractive option for buyers for many reasons: it's more affordable and easier to maintain compared to single-family homes. However, those who are unfamiliar with condos might have some misconceptions about owning one.

5 Elements of Feng Shui For Your Home

Your home should ideally be a safe retreat that you can feel comfortable and tranquil in, no matter what's happening in the outside world. Interior designers go to great lengths to try and create a space that's not only stylish and visually appealing to homeowners' tastes, they also strive to create a home that provides a sense of balance.

Sellers: How to Respond to Lowball Offers

The goal for every seller is to sell for top dollar within a reasonable amount of time. But it can be pretty disheartening to find out that there's an offer on the table only to find out you've been lowballed.

Babyboomers: Things to Consider Before Downsizing

Of all the owner-occupied homes in the US, about 53% are owned by the Baby Boomer generation. And while a large proportion of baby boomers are staying put in the homes they've lived in for decades, others are contemplating downsizing.

INFOGRAPHIC: 16 Guidelines to Follow For a Well-Organized Home

Unless you've hired a daily cleaning service to come in and tidy up after you, maintaining the cleanliness and organization of your home is your responsibility. But it can be easy to fall behind on keeping up with the clutter that has a tendency to build up in our homes.

6 Things to Consider Before Buying Land to Build on

It can sometimes be a challenge to find a home on the market that checks off all the boxes on your list of must-haves. If that's the case, there's always the option to buy a piece of land and build your own home, customizing it from top to bottom to your heart's desire.

6 Reasons Why Sellers Reject Buyer Offers

If you've submitted an offer on a home that you fell in love with after viewing several properties, it can be pretty disheartening to have it rejected by the seller. As it turns out, there are several reasons why sellers reject offers from buyers, including the following.

Rent or Sell? Questions to Ask Yourself to Help Make the Right Decision

California has been in the midst of a sizzling seller's market right now with demand for housing and tight inventory driving up prices through the roof. If you're planning to make a move, selling would likely be a great option.

6 Mistakes Buyers Make at Open Houses

If you're serious about buying, you should use an open house to your advantage to see if a particular property has what it takes to warrant another showing and perhaps a bonafide offer. To make the most of an open house as a buyer, make sure to avoid making any one of the following blunders.

6 Ways to Recycle Your Christmas Tree

A real Christmas tree can be a significant fire hazard if it's left indoors to dry out for too long. When the holidays are over and the time has come to take the tree down, there are many ways that you can recycle that Christmas tree that has added some festive cheer to your interior throughout the holidays. Here are a few ideas to help give you some inspiration.

INFOGRAPHIC: Housing Outlook For 2018

Experts in the real estate field anticipate a healthy year ahead for the housing market. Demand is expected to be strong, new home builders are more optimistic, and a slight alleviation in the inventory shortage is anticipated. Here are some predictions for the US housing market as we head into 2018.

8 Things Interior Designers Spot in Homes Right Away

Much like a mechanic might be more likely to notice an odd sound coming from a car, an interior designer will be more inclined to spot problems with the decor in your home. It's what they do every day and is something they've been trained for.

7 Lessons First-Time Buyers Learn When Purchasing a Home

Buying a home for the first time comes with its own set of lessons to be learned and potential mistakes to be made. Here are some of the more common lessons first-time homebuyers have learned from their own experiences that you may want to take into consideration.

6 Reasons Why You Shouldn't Sell Your Home When it's Vacant

Maybe you relocated to another city and needed to move right away. Or perhaps you found a great deal on a home that closed really quickly, prompting you to move all your belongings into your new abode long before finding a buyer for your current home. Whatever the reason may be for moving out of your home before it sells, leaving it vacant can turn out to be a big mistake.

INFOGRAPHIC: 14 Real Estate Marketing Statistics

When it comes to the world of real estate marketing, technology plays a key role. More and more people are going online to search for their homes, while real estate agents are taking notice and are increasingly using the internet to market their listings and services. Here are some interesting stats surrounding real estate marketing in 2017.

7 Reasons Your Credit Score Dropped

When it comes to applying for a loan, your credit score matters - a lot. At some point, you'll likely need to take out a loan for whatever reason, whether it's to purchase a home, buy a car, or even just to take out a personal loan to cover any one of life's big expenses.

Possible Tax Breaks For California Renters

With housing prices being as high as they are in California - especially in certain centers such as the San Francisco Bay Area - many residents of the state are choosing to rent.

4 Reasons to Do Your Best to Avoid Private Mortgage Insurance

As if buying a home isn’t a large enough expense that comes with hefty monthly mortgage payments, there are other fees that are tacked on to the overall cost, including Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) in many cases.

INFOGRAPHIC: California Sales Report For October 2017

Home sales in the Golden State lost a little bit of steam this past October, with both pending home sales and median statewide prices dipping. Here are the numbers characterizing California sales activity for October 2017, as gathered by the California Association of Realtors (CAR).

9 Simple Hacks to Creating a Less Wasteful House

You’d be amazed - or even disappointed - at how much waste your home might be responsible for creating. In fact, the average American produces about 4.4. pounds of garbage every single day, which amounts to over 700,000 tons of trash produced daily based on the national population.

Interesting Stats on the Relationship Between Real Estate and Social Media

Social media is undoubtedly a staple for both businesses and consumers alike. And when it comes to the world of real estate, both real estate professionals and buyers/sellers are increasingly depending on social media channels to ensure a successful deal.

Orange County Housing Report: A Holiday Lull

The Holiday Market is in full swing, bringing a lot less inventory and the lowest level of new deals for the year. The Holiday Slowdown: Year in and year out December is notoriously the slowest month of the year in terms of demand and new sellers placing their homes on the market.

4 Reasons to Buy During the Holidays

As the malls are bustling with busy holiday gift shoppers and airports and bus terminals are filled with travelers eager to visit family, you might have your mind set on something completely different - buying a new home. But is this really the time to buy?

Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure an Option When You Default on Your Mortgage

Despite the fact that the prevalence of foreclosures has decreased since the housing crash a decade ago, it still happens quite often. Fortunately, there are ways to curb foreclosure proceedings if you find yourself in default of your mortgage, and one alternative is to work out what's known as a 'deed in lieu of foreclosure'.

California Sales Report For September 2017

The sales activity in September across California continues to maintain its strength month-to-month and year-over-year. Here are some stats covering California sales activity for September 2017 as compiled by the California Association of Realtors (CAR).

7 Affordable Spots in California For Retirees to Settle Down

California isn't exactly the cheapest place to live in, but that doesn't mean there aren't certain gems in the state that offer affordable housing options as well as a lifestyle abundant in activity. For those who are nearing retirement and are seeking a place to settle down in that provides an active and enjoyable lifestyle without the sky-high price tag, the following spots might be perfect.

8 Tips For Selling a Unique Home

Selling a cookie-cutter house can be a challenge because you've got to go the extra mile to make it unique enough to stand out from the rest. But what about when your home is so unique and quirky that buyers find it downright strange?

NAR's Stats on the Home Search Process in 2017

Since the emergence of the internet, the home search process has transformed significantly from years ago. Technology has been the single biggest influence on the change in how buyers search for their next home to buy.

Orange County Housing Report: Not Anytime Soon!

Not a Buyer’s Market: Since 2012, the active inventory for Orange County has been extremely limited. It is time to load the plate with turkey, ham, sweet potatoes, string beans, mashed potatoes, Brussels sprouts, stuffing, and cranberry sauce. Thanksgiving is all about plenty of choices and not enough room on the dinner plate to fit it all. As Americans, we eat more on this day than any other day of the year.

12 Christmas Tree Decorating Ideas For This Coming Holiday Season

The holidays are typically marked with all sorts of festive decorations, but perhaps none is more prominent and attention-grabbing than a Christmas Tree. When it comes to decorating your tree, you don't necessarily have to break out the same old decorations year after year.

Thinking of Selling Over the Holidays? Consider These Suggestions First

The months of November through to January are often thought of to be the worst time of year to sell simply because of the holidays that tend to take over. People are busy entertaining, visiting friends and family, and going away for the holidays, which is why sometimes it can be a bit tougher to sell compared to any other time of the year.

Tips on Making the Most of Your Fall Listing

We're officially smack dab in the middle of the fall season and are inching closer and closer to the holidays. While you're busy making your list of ingredients for your holiday dinner and running around picking up gifts for your loved ones, there are plenty of things that need to be done if you're planning to sell during this season.

The Most Expensive Home Purchase on the Records in L.A. This Year Goes to Beyoncé and Jay-Z

For the past few months, pop queen Beyoncé and her rapper-mogul husband Jay-Z have been on the hunt for the perfect abode to all home in L.A., and it looks like they've finally found it.

Orange County Housing Report: Hot in November?!?

With such limited supply, this is the hottest November housing market in years. Hot November Housing: With an expected market time of just 61 days, the Orange County housing market is still firing on all cylinders.

What Buyers Should Know About the Earnest Money Deposit

When buying a home, your offer price shouldn't be the only dollar figure to concern yourself with. There's also the earnest money deposit that you need to seriously consider.

INFOGRAPHIC: Home Selling Trends Across the U.S. in 2017

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.

Using Houzz and Pinterest to For Your Next Home Improvement Project

Everyone's heard of Houzz and Pinterest, but these sites are a lot more than just a vast collection of online images. They also serve as fabulous resources for homeowners who need a little inspiration and help coming up with a solid plan for their next home improvement project.

The Lowdown on FHA Condo Approval Requirements

Whether you're selling a condo or are considering buying one, it's important to know if a certain complex is FHA-approved.

Orange County Housing Report: Running Out of Time

Last Call for 2017: Four more weeks until the slowest season of the year starts for housing. Pass the turkey! It is right around the corner… cranberry sauce, gravy, stuffing, mashed potatoes, corn bread, glazed carrots, green beans, pumpkin pie, honey baked ham, and, of course, plenty of turkey.

INFOGRAPHIC: Top 11 Reasons Home Renovations Go Over Budget

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.

When is it a Good Time For a Cash-Out Refinance?

Many homeowners throughout the country have built up enough equity in their homes that can be pulled out and used for many of life's major expenses. Yet while there are various ways to get that money out, one popular way is through a cash-out refinance.

Why You Should Think About a Home's Resale Value When You're Buying it

When you're buying a new home, the last thing you're probably thinking about is selling it. But not only should you consider how well the home will suit your lifestyle, you should also be thinking about how easy it will be to sell at some point in the future and what its potential value will be.

INFOGRAPHIC: 15 Best Houseplants For Keeping Indoor Air Clean

You may not realize it, but there are tons of toxins that are filling the air in your home. Luckily, there are plenty of house plants you can get that will help purify the air in your home while sitting pretty.

Orange County Housing Report: “I’m Going to Wait to Buy”

There have not been enough homes on the market for over five years now. This trend has been reinforced in 2017 with 7% fewer FOR SALE signs compared to last year. Buyers have been tripping over each other in search of their piece of the “American Dream.” The lower the price range, the harder it has been to secure a home.

What Real Estate Investors Need to Know About the 1031 Exchanges

As a real estate investor, you're likely already aware of the tax implications of selling investment properties and the profits made from such transactions. Normally when an investment property is sold for more than what was paid for it, capital gains tax needs to be paid on the profit. This can take a huge chunk off of your bottom line, but there's this little thing called a 1031 exchange that can help keep some of that money back in your pocket.

INFOGRAPHIC: Top 20 Most Walkable Neighborhoods in California

While you would think most people in California drive to all their destinations, there are plenty of communities throughout the Golden State that have extremely high walkability scores, making it easy for residents to access all amenities with just an easy stroll.

Tips For Comparing Mortgage Loans With Different Lenders

When it comes to obtaining a mortgage for a home purchase, you don't necessarily have to use your everyday bank. Instead, you might be better off comparing mortgage packages with various lenders to see where you can get the best deal.

How to Finally Get Rid of PMI Insurance on Your Mortgage

If you took out a conventional mortgage, your monthly payment will consist of more than just principal and interest components. You'll also be stuck paying for PMI, or Private Mortgage Insurance, if you purchased your home with a down payment less than 20%.

Orange County Housing Report: My Home’s Not Selling!!!

Even though the housing market is hot, there are plenty of homes that are sitting with no success. Sitting on the Market: 43% of the active listing inventory has been on the market for over two months.

6 Kitchen Design Trends Sellers Should Consider

No buyer is going to want to put up a huge sum of money to purchase a home that they don't like, unless they're specifically looking for a fixer-upper. If your goal as a seller is to sell your home as quickly as possible, your best bet is to prep it in such a way that buyers can't help but fall in love with your place. The more attracted buyers are to your home, the more likely they'll be enticed to put in a handsome offer.

INFOGRAPHIC: 14 Things To Do During Your Final Wall-Through

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.

7 Quick Tips for Buying Your Second Home

Everyone needs a getaway every once in a while, and a change of scenery can be just what's needed to refresh and unwind. But sometimes having to book a hotel or chalet can be a bit of a challenge, especially during peak seasons when availability is scarce and prices are through the roof. In cases like these, having your own retreat that you can visit at the drop of a hat can be a lot more convenient.

INFOGRAPHIC: California Sales Report For July 2017

The housing market in California got off to a slow start in home sales over the third quarter of 2017. Median prices also dipped in July from the month before, though they continue to grow year-over-year.

Orange County Housing Report: Home Supply Slicing Into Sales

Supply Cuts Pending Sales: The number of pending sales over the past month dropped by 7% due to a supply of homes that is now dropping as well. Homeowners have been behaving differently ever since the Great Recession began a decade ago. A trend evolved and it has not changed since 2008. That trend is a drought of homeowners opting to sell their homes. In fact, this year it has been even more pronounced.

How to Make Your Home More Pet Friendly

Pets are much more than just animals - they're part of the family and should enjoy your home just as much as you do. The thing is, pets can be messy, smelly, and can even cause damage to your home. Sometimes they may not even be comfortable or safe in your home if certain adjustments aren't made for your furry friend.

Negotiating Repair Requests From Sellers

Unless the home you're buying is fresh off the builder's hands, it's likely going to have some blemishes, no matter how minor they may be. Ideally, you should have included a home inspection contingency in your purchase agreement, which will give you the opportunity to have the home inspected in greater detail.

7 Myths Vs. Facts About Your Credit Score

If you're planning on applying for a conventional mortgage, you're going to need a decent credit score before applying. Generally speaking, anything over 620 is needed to get approved for a conventional mortgage, though a lower score is fine for other types of government-backed home loans.

INFOGRAPHIC: How is Your Credit Score Broken Down?

Your credit score plays a huge role in your eligibility to qualify for a mortgage. If you're planning to buy a home in the near future, you'd be well-advised to understand exactly how it's broken down.

Orange County Housing Report: A Blazing Hot Autumn

With an extremely low inventory and blistering demand, the Autumn Market is poised to be the hottest in years. A Hot Autumn: With 19% fewer FOR SALE signs this year compared to last, the Autumn Market is going to be hot.

What is Covered Under Home Warranty Plans?

Many purchases that you make come with the option to buy a warranty in the event that the product is damaged, such as small appliances and electronics. This helps cover the cost of repair should they break down so you're not paying out of pocket.

Tips to Identifying Issues That Sellers May Be Trying to Keep Hidden

When you're visiting several homes in search of the perfect one to put an offer on, you're not just looking at the layout, esthetics, and size of the home and surrounding property. While these components are certainly important, it's essential that you keep your eye out for potential issues with the home that could leave you with big, expensive problems on your hands.

10 Ways to Create an Extravagant-Looking Bathroom (On a Budget)

Flipping through home design magazines and catching a glimpse of some extravagant bathrooms can easily get you drooling over the possibilities for your own bathroom redesign. But with bathroom renovations easily tipping into the thousands, it can be tricky to revamp this important little space while sticking to your budget.

Tips to Counter a Lowball Offer on Your Home

As a seller, getting an offer on your home is exciting, especially if it comes soon after listing your property for sale. But just because there's an offer on the table doesn't necessarily means it's going to be a good one. Unfortunately, lowball offers happen, more often than sellers would prefer.

Orange County Housing Report: An Early 2017 Peak

The active inventory has been low for years, but this year it has been exceptionally low. The Orange County housing market has been frustrating buyers for years now and 2017 has proved to be especially frustrating. With 7% fewer FOR SALE signs this year compared to last year, there just have not been enough homes to satiate the voracious appetite of buyers.

How Do BPO's Determine the Value of a Home?

Plenty of factors impact the value of a property. From its location, to its size, and everything in between, a home's value is determined by a multitude of components, and bank appraisers will come up with this value according to current market conditions before a sale is made.

INFOGRAPHIC: This is Where All the Energy is Going in Your Home

Out of all the energy consumption in the U.S., about 40% is used by residential and commercial properties. More specifically, residences rank third highest in energy consumption in the country. Given these stats, what is all this energy going towards in the average American home?

10 Unique Materials to Use For Your Kitchen Backsplash

Today's modern kitchen backsplash is no longer limited to the traditional types of materials. These days, the options for backsplashes are seemingly endless and provide a plethora of choices for homeowners to create a truly unique kitchen space.

How to Pick the Right Property Management Firm For Your Investment Property

If you've only got one or two rental properties and live close by to them, maintaining them is not really a big deal, if you've got the time. However, if you've got a few properties on the books or aren't located anywhere near them, hiring a property management team is a necessity.

Orange County Housing Report: Inaccurate Measures

Buyers and sellers often rely on the price per square foot as a way to determine the value of a home, but it is just not accurate. Do not rely on the price per square foot as a reliable method to determine a home’s value.

Should You Buy a Starter Home or Wait to Buy Your "Forever" Home?

Given the prices of homes these days, it's no wonder many homebuyer hopefuls choose to get into the market by purchasing smaller, more modest homes that are on the affordable end of the spectrum. After a few years of building equity and allowing time to appreciate the value of the home, there will be a lot more capital available to put into purchasing a larger, more suitable "forever home."

6 Tips to Ensure a Prompt Closing

The entire homebuying process can take a long time. Imagine all the homes you have to look at before you find "the one." Even after you've negotiated a deal and your offer is accepted, there's still the escrow period to have to go through, which can be a lengthy process itself.

Orange County Housing Report: A Mid-Year Checkup

With half of 2017 in the rearview mirror, it is helpful to take a look at where housing has been, where it is now, and where it is heading.

7 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Buying a Vacation Property

Having the flexibility to head over to your very own retreat without having to find availability is fantastic. It's like home away from home, a place that you can set up as you please and outfit with all the things you need when you're away from your primary residence.

How Different Type of Loans Can Impact Your Ability to Secure a Mortgage

One of the more important factors that lenders look at when assessing whether or not to approve you for a mortgage is your credit score. This important little number plays a key role in your mortgage application, and several things affect it, including various loan debt.

Important Deadlines in Real Estate Contracts That Can't Be Missed

A real estate contract can be confusing for both buyers and sellers, especially for first-timers. Not only is there plenty of jargon that many may not be familiar with, there are also many deadlines stipulated that must be met. Failure for these deadlines to be satisfied can result in a dead deal, which is why it's essential that all necessary parties do their due diligence to meet these milestones.

6 Things That Buyers Should Never Compromise in a Home Purchase

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Buying a home is a big deal. It's a huge financial investment and therefore one that should be made with careful consideration.

6 Reasons to Consider Buying an Old House

When it comes to buying a home, you've got options; namely, should you buy new construction, or an older home?

7 Rookie Seller Mistakes That Can Prevent a Successful Sale

Your home is a huge investment, so you obviously want the sale to be as successful as it can be. Unfortunately, many newbie sellers can actually sabotage their own sales without even realizing it. If you want to give yourself the highest odds of selling your home quickly and for the highest sale price possible, make sure you avoid making these rookie home selling mistakes.

How the Mortgage Process Works When Buying a Home

When it comes to buying a home, a mortgage is almost always a part of the process. But as common as they are, mortgages can often be highly confusing. That said, it's in your best interests to become familiar with the mortgage process, regardless of whether you're a first-time buyer or have bought and sold many times in the past.

8 Tips For Selling a Unique Home

Selling a cookie-cutter house can be a challenge because you've got to go the extra mile to make it unique enough to stand out from the rest. But what about when your home is so unique and quirky that buyers find it downright strange?

6 Questions Every Buyer Should Ask the Seller Before Move-in Day

There are obviously plenty of questions that you should ask sellers before you even put in an offer on a home. This will help ensure that you're making a sound buying decision. After all, this is a huge investment that should only be done with due diligence.

These Things Will Have Your Mortgage Denied, Even After Pre-Approval

Real estate professionals will always advise their buyer clients to get pre-approved for a mortgage. Why? For a few reasons.

INFOGRAPHIC: California Sales Report For April 2017

After a strong first quarter in 2017 for sales in California, the second quarter started off a tad slow. While sales improved in higher-priced housing segments across the state, they slowed in lower-priced markets. Having said that, the median home price in California has been trending upward every year since March 2012 and is currently at its highest level in almost a decade.

Orange County Housing Report: Applying the Brakes

It is the season for commencement speeches, diplomas, and caps thrown into the air to mark the end of a chapter and the beginning of something new. Similarly, this is the season where the robust, hot Spring Market comes to an end, making way for a different market, a new chapter in local real estate, the Summer Market.

What's the Difference Between Market and Assessed Value?

If you're planning to sell your home some time soon, knowing its current market value is extremely important in order to price your home right. Of course, many sellers tend to believe that their homes are worth a lot more than what they really are. But it's not wise to establish a listing price based solely on what you might think your property is worth.

Buying a Home With a Pool? You Should Have it Inspected

A swimming pool is not exactly a foreign feature among homes. In fact, if you're looking to buy a home, the odds of finding one with a pool are pretty high, especially further south. And just like any other component in a home, they're subject to break down over time.

5 Savvy Tips to Packing Delicate Items When You Move

The odds of your most fragile belongings suffering damage during a big move are pretty high if the necessary precautions aren't taken into consideration. It's vital that you take the time to properly package and label your delicate items in order to make sure that they arrive to their final destination in one piece.

6 Signs Your HOA Might Be in Bad Shape

Condominium living might not be for everyone, but there are definite perks to them, including affordability, desirable location, and access to amenities. They're particularly well suited for those who like the idea of having someone else take care of many aspects of their property for them.

Myths Vs. Facts About Home Appraisals

Appraisals are almost always a part of a real estate transaction, but many buyers and sellers often have misconceptions about what they are and how they're carried out. Even those who have some experience buying and selling in the past may still be misinformed about appraisals.

INFOGRAPHIC: 8 Tips to Dealing With Your HOA

Living in an HOA community has its perks, but how you deal with your HOA can make a big difference in your enjoyment of your home and surrounding community.

10 Factors That Affect Your Home Appraisal

Before your lender approves your home loan, the property you agreed to purchase will need to be appraised first. Your lender will want to get an objective and professional assessment of the home's actual market value before matching that price with a home loan.

What Are Bridge Loans and How Do They Work?

If you’ve bought a new home that closes before your current home does, you may be stuck with the responsibility of paying for two homes for a brief period of time. As daunting as that might sound, you may be able to arrange for a bridge loan to help alleviate this financial burden.

How to Make Sure Your Home Sells Faster Than Others on the Block

Having the only home on the block that's up for sale means less competition for you. But what happens when one or more of the neighbors decide to follow suit and plant their own For Sale signs on their front lawns? How can you compete to make sure your home stands out from the crowd?

6 Reasons You Were Turned Down For a Mortgage

The prospect of buying a home is an exciting one, but a rejected mortgage application can put a damper on things. Instead of wallowing in despair, look at this situation as a learning experience. Find out why you were denied a mortgage, then take the steps required to make the necessary changes.

6 Questions to Ask Before Converting Your Attic Into a Usable Space

If adding some livable space in your home in on your agenda, then transforming your attic into a usable area may be just the ticket. Rather than going through the trouble of building a completely new addition to your home, converting your attic will likely take a lot less work.

What You Need to Know About Lead Paint in Your Home

If your home is over 50 years old and hasn’t been renovated since it was originally built, there’s a chance that there’s lead paint lurking somewhere within the space.

5 Tips For Moving With Kids in Tow

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.

INFOGRAPHIC: 12 Tips to Holding a Successful Estate Sale

Whether you’re moving out of your current home or are just looking to purge a bunch of stuff you no longer use, an estate sale can be a great way to clear out things you no longer use and even help you make a good chunk of change at the same time.

6 Signs Your Home is Listed Too High

As a seller, the first thing your should understand is that the price point you list your home at will determine how successful your sale will be.

What You Need to Know About Buying a Home on a Golf Course

Most people would automatically assume that a home located directly on a golf course would be worth much more than a similar home on a block that isn’t, and they'd be right most of the time. The idea of having crisp, clear views of pristine, meticulously maintained greenery is often enough to prompt buyers to up the ante in terms of offer prices.

How Smart Home Technology Affects the Real Estate Industry

When homeowners make improvements on their homes, it’s in their best interests to choose upgrades that will bring them the biggest ROI come sale time. Traditionally, a new coat of paint, a kitchen reface, and new hardwood flooring have been the frontrunners in this department.

INFOGRAPHIC: Do’s and Don’ts of Homeowner’s Insurance

Your home is likely your biggest asset, which is why a sound homeowner’s insurance policy is crucial. Heed the following advice to ensure you obtain the best insurance coverage possible for your home.

6 Design Trends That Buyers Don’t Like

When it comes to selling your home, impressions matter. Ideally, you want buyers to be impressed with your home's look and functionality when they see its listing photos or attend a showing or open house. Your home should look its absolute best when it’s on the market in order to boost the odds of a quick sale at a decent sale price.

6 Mistakes Novice House Flippers Are Often Guilty of

When it comes to making some money with a fix and flip, every dollar spent counts. There just isn’t any room to make big mistakes or else your profits will quickly fizzle. But just like anything else in life, experience can teach you a great deal, including when it comes to fixing and flipping. The most successful house flippers in the world made their own mistakes that cost them thousands of dollars when they were just starting out.

Tax Blunders That First-Time Homeowners Make

When Uncle Sam comes knocking on your door, it can be pretty painful to have to part with some of your hard-earned money. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to keep some of that money in your pocket instead of handing it over to the IRS (the legal way), and your home can provide you with plenty of tax incentives. Unfortunately, many homeowners don’t take full advantage of all of the tax incentives that come with owning property.

INFOGRAPHIC: 10 Ways You Can Protect Your Home Against Wildfires

The sun and heat in California attract many people to this beautiful state, but they're also the source of devastating wildfires on the west coast. Here are some ways to effectively protect your home against wildfires.

What Considerations Should Be Made When Adding a Skylight to Your Home?

Nothing beats natural light. A dark and dingy room can easily be light-filled by installing a skylight, if the space permits. Skylights offer a unique way to introduce more natural light into a home and bring the outdoors in. In fact, they can let in over three times as much natural light compared to conventional vertical windows of the same size, and distribute it more evenly.

What is an Exclusive Right to Sell Listing?

There are different types of listing agreements that sellers can choose from when it comes time to sell their homes. But the most popular type of listing by far is the “exclusive right to sell” listing. In fact, it’s not very often that another type of listing contract is used in real estate.

How Prorations Are Handled in Real Estate Transactions

It’s not uncommon for real estate contracts to include prorations for both buyers and sellers. Prorations exist to reasonably divide any expenses related to the property, including property taxes, HOA dues, mortgage interest, utilities, and so forth so that both parties are not stuck paying for more than their fair portion.

INFOGRAPHIC: 8 Habits to Improve Your Credit Rating

Having poor credit can make it tough for you to buy a car, get a small business loan, and be approved for a mortgage. If your credit is lagging, there are habits that you can adopt today to improve it.

Should You Purchase Extra Coverage on Mover’s Insurance?

Relocating can be stressful, especially when you consider the idea that total strangers are handling many of your delicate, valuable belongings. While movers are professionals in their particular trade and are well skilled and experienced in transporting goods during moves, anything can happen.

INFOGRAPHIC: Tips for Filing a Disaster Claim on Your Insurance

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.

Solar Panels: Should You Lease or Buy?

Solar panel systems can offer a great way to scale back your utility bills while helping the environment at the same time. But their upfront costs can be pretty pricey: a typical four-kilowatt system for an average-size home in California can cost anywhere between $15,000 to $35,000. However, there are some rebates that you might be eligible for that can offset these costs.

What is Considered a Fixture in Real Estate?

The issue of what constitutes a ‘fixture’ in a home and what doesn’t has been the source of many conflicts in real estate. What the buyer might believe is a fixture and should come with the house might not be considered a fixture by the seller.

INFOGRAPHIC: C.A.R.’s End-of-Year December Sales and Price Stats

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.

Why a "Pending Sale" Doesn't Mean That Dream Home is Off the Market Just Yet

If you’re on the hunt for a new house, you’ve likely been scoping out all sorts of listings online. Out of all the thousands of listings that you come across, you may have stumbled upon one that you can really see yourself living in.

Sell or Rent Out Your Home? How to Decide

Whatever your reason may be for wanting to relocate, selling is typically on the agenda. However, you might not necessarily have to give up title to the property in favor of another home. While selling is certainly a popular and viable option, you may also want to consider the possibility of retaining ownership of the home and renting it out instead.

Buying New Construction? Why You Need an Agent to Help

It’s customary to call a real estate professional to help you when you’re on the prowl for a resale home, but what about if you’re interested in new construction? Isn’t it enough just to deal with the builder to choose a lot, select your home’s layout, and seal the deal? After all, you don’t have to deal with a seller or need a home inspection.

Things That Can Kill a Real Estate Deal (And How to Save it)

Sales activity is anything but lagging in the real estate market, but there are still plenty of deals that are either delayed or terminated completely because of some sort of snag in the process.

How Do Contractors’ Warranties Work to Protect Homeowners From Poor Quality Work?

Renovating your home is no easy feat. The process can often be complex and present a number of obstacles along the way. That’s why enlisting the services of an experienced and reputable contractor to take care of the job for you is an absolute must.

INFOGRAPHIC: Costs Involved in a Bathroom Remodel

Depending on the scope of your bathroom remodeling job, the costs can vary a great deal. A number of factors can affect the overall price, including the details of the job, the materials used, and even the area you live in.

What’s the Difference Between a Promissory Note and a Mortgage?

You’ve likely heard of a mortgage, but are you familiar with something called a “promissory note?” When you take out a home loan, not only will you need to sign a mortgage, you will also need to sign a document known as a promissory note. The question is, what exactly is this? Isn’t it really the same thing as a mortgage?

Common Restrictive Covenants in an HOA

If you’ve decided to buy a home in a planned community that’s governed by a homeowners' association (HOA), then you're probably already familiar with the fact that there are certain rules that need to be followed in order to live there.

What’s the Difference Between Staging Your Home and Decorating it?

When it comes to interior decorating and home staging, it all comes down to who you're trying to impress: yourself (the current homeowner) or the buyer (the future homeowner). When you’ve got your home on the market for sale, you need to create a space that speaks to the tastes, needs, and wants of prospective buyers that will be looking at it.

INFOGRAPHIC: 10 Things Sellers Should Know When Evaluating Offers in California

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.

Areas in Your Home That Are Not Included in the Overall Square Footage

Not every space in your home is counted towards the overall square footage. From an appraisal perspective, there are certain areas that are ignored when calculating the overall size of the home.

New California Bill Makes it Easier to Add Second Units in Homes

It’s no secret that there’s a housing shortage across California, in some markets more than others. The squeeze in inventory has led to an affordability crisis which has made it harder for buyers to get into the market.

9 Ways to Make Your Cookie-Cutter Home More Unique

Living in the suburbs offers plenty of benefits to homeowners, including more space, newer home features, and access to family-friendly amenities. But there are also some downsides, including the fact that many of the homes in these communities look almost identical to each other inside and out.

INFOGRAPHIC: 10 Fast Facts About Home Buying

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.

7 Decor and Design Predictions For the New Year

2017 is here, and what better way to start the new year than to revamp your home’s interior. Whether subtle in nature or an all-out overhaul, there are plenty of fabulous new interior design trends on the horizon that you might want to consider implementing into your home.

The Process of Going From Putting an Offer to Closing Escrow

Buying a home is a big deal, and is typically an involved process, especially during the time between offer acceptance and the actual closing. “Escrow” is basically when a neutral third party holds on your earnest deposit until all contingencies are met in a real estate transaction.

6 Things to Consider When Designing an Outdoor Kitchen

Californians have the distinct advantage of being able to enjoy the outdoors year-round thanks to the mild climate in the state. Considering this fact, adding an outdoor kitchen can help homeowners maximize the enjoyment of their outdoor space.