Whether you're currently on the prowl for a rental unit or are just casually considering renting, there’s a lot to think about. The thing is, there's a lot of information about renting floating around out there, much of which is true, and a lot that isn't.
Renting out a property is a great way to bring in supplemental income, whether it's a home, apartment, condo, or other type of real estate. But there are rules that landlords must adhere to in order to comply with the law while enjoying rental income.
Just the thought of having to go through the mortgage process after deciding to buy a home can seem daunting for the average buyer. It can seem like a complicated process with all of the numbers and calculations involved.
While the median sale price of existing homes rose in January from the same time in 2017, the number of sales has dipped. Here are some statistics that have characterized the existing home sales market in January 2018, as compiled by the National Association of Realtors (NAR).
It's the age-old question when it comes to taking out a home loan: should you go for an adjustable-rate or fixed rate mortgage?
Once an offer has been accepted on your home, the buyer's lender will order an appraisal on the property to make sure its current value is in line with the mortgage amount. Usually, the appraisal closely matches the agreed-upon purchase price, but there are times when it doesn't.
Selling a home is undoubtedly an expensive endeavor, but it can be even more costly if you go it alone. Without the help of a real estate agent, you could find yourself making some expensive mistakes and missing out on lucrative opportunities.
What exactly do real estate professionals think about home staging and how much it influences a real estate deal?
Borrowers have plenty of options when it comes to the type of mortgage they can take out to finance a home purchase.
Qualifying for a mortgage is typically an in-depth process that involves several factors to be considered. If you're in the market to buy a home and are looking to take out a mortgage to finance this big purchase, you might want to know what's involved in the home loan approval process.
Buying a home is undoubtedly a massive purchase that requires a substantial amount of money up front in the form of a down payment. But it can be tough to come up with a lump sum of money. As such, many homebuyers choose to buy homes with minimum down payment amounts, such as 5% down, 3.5% down, and even 0% down in some cases.
Here are the stats for the California housing market in December 2017 as gathered by the California Association of Realtors (CAR).
There are obvious perks to buying a brand new home; namely, new materials, the ability to customize to your liking, and the potential to buy at pre-construction prices. But as convenient as new home construction may be, there are certain things that buyers should be wary of when buying a new home from a builder.
If you're thinking of selling some time in the near future, you might want to take a look around and pinpoint areas that could use some improvement. Making some updates around the house can add some extra value to your home that you can recoup when it comes time to sell.
You might be sharing your home with a furry friend or two, but those cute critters have a tendency of leaving foul odors behind. While you might not notice these smells that much, buyers will. Here are some ways to help you get rid of those awful scents before the first prospective buyer walks through your front door.
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. Here are some interesting facts about how social media is being used by both realtors and the clients they serve.
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.
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.
Your credit score is a critical component of your financial health, so you want to make sure it's as high as it can be. If it's in bad shape, you'll find it difficult to get approved for a mortgage, auto loan, and other loans on credit.
While marriage rates may have been on the decline in recent years, homeownership continues to be a goal for many Americans, regardless of marital status. But those who do have plans to marry have the choice between buying a home together before marriage or after.
You don't have to toss out your dreams of buying a home and getting a mortgage just because you work for yourself. If you are confident that you can handle a mortgage, there are several things you can do to increase the chances of getting approved for a home loan.
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).
Listing your current home for sale while purchasing a new property can be a real challenge if you don't have all your ducks in a row. Unless the closing dates between the two deals coincide perfectly, there's always the chance of either carrying two mortgages or being stuck without a place to live until the deal on your new home purchase closes. To ensure everything runs seamlessly, a few steps should be taken. Here are some factors to consider when buying and selling a home simultaneously.
When it comes to keeping small children and pets safe near swimming pools, specific measures are absolute musts, such as having a fence around the perimeter of the water. But even with safety measures like these in place, anything can happen. Drownings can and do still occur even with the best of intentions.
Everybody needs their own space from time to time. For men, the "man cave" has long been a place to retreat to when a little time with the boys is on the agenda. But man caves don't have to be dungeon-like when it comes to their design and ambiance. Today's man cave is much more sophisticated and stylish, not to mention a lot more convenient.
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.
There are plenty of awesome companies out there to work for, and Californians have the great benefit of having many of them headquartered right here in the Golden State. From unlimited time off work to on-site play facilities, the following companies have amazing perks that make them some of the top-ranked workplaces in California.
The new year is right around the corner, and along with all those resolutions everyone is making comes a whole slew of home design trends that homeowners will be coveting and implementing into their interiors.
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.
Foreclosure is not nearly as rampant as it was a decade ago when the housing market crashed, but it’s still a very real scenario for many homeowners across the country. No homeowner wants to be the victim of foreclosure, but it can easily happen if mortgage payments aren't kept up with.
Even rooms that are generous in square footage can seem dark. And with the days continuing to shorten and fewer daylight hours available to brighten things up, things can get pretty gloomy indoors.
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 is known to have some of the best beaches in the world, giving both locals and tourists the pick of the litter. With so many awesome beach towns to choose from, it can be tough to decide which one to visit first or even plant roots in. Among all the beach towns in California, these are some of the best.
Luxury homes are loaded with plenty of over-the-top amenities, but one that has become a staple in these expensive properties are lavish outdoor kitchens. More and more homeowners are spending an increasing amount of time in their kitchens preparing meals and entertaining guests, and outdoor kitchens have simply extended that useful space beyond the interior walls.
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.
As a REALTOR you have no doubt heard about tax reform plans from Washington, DC. Now Congress is threatening tax incentives for homeowners, like the mortgage interest deduction and the state and local property tax deduction. These incentives are critical for a strong housing market that creates jobs and builds stable communities.
The National Association of Realtors (NAR) released the results of their latest Existing Home Sales Report which revealed that sales rose 0.7% month-over-month, but remain 1.5% lower than they were a year ago. Some may look at these numbers and think that now is not a good time to sell their house, but in fact, the opposite is true.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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%.
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.
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.
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.
We all have either heard, or if we are fortunate enough experienced, how owning investment real estate is one of the most proven paths to wealth and financial security.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
Buying a home is a big deal. It's a huge financial investment and therefore one that should be made with careful consideration.
When it comes to buying a home, you've got options; namely, should you buy new construction, or an older home?
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.
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.
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?
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.
Real estate professionals will always advise their buyer clients to get pre-approved for a mortgage. Why? For a few reasons.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
There’s good money to be made by investing in real estate, and one of the more popular and traditional means of making a profit with real estate is by renting. With the economy continuing to recover and mortgage interest rates still hovering near historic lows, now may be as good a time as ever to invest in a property and collect rental income.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Regardless of how long you’ve lived in your first home, selling for the very first time can be a daunting task if it's not done right. While there are certain factors that you can’t do much about - such as the current market conditions and your location - there are plenty of other components to the selling process that you have total control over, which can significantly impact the end result.
Even the slightest bit of condensation built up in your home’s crawlspace can wreak havoc on your enter home. Water that’s allowed to sit for extended periods of time can cause a whole slew of problems in your home, including musty smells, efflorescence (crystaline deposits), rotting material, mold, and a cracked foundation.
When you're renting your home, your landlord doesn’t need to know what brand your television is, what you stock your fridge with, or who you invite over for dinner; nor does your landlord particularly care.
The housing market in California is anticipated to experience moderate gains in 2017, according to the California Association of Realtors (CAR).
Real estate has long been one of the most concrete and profitable investment vehicles, and can certainly be a solid financial move when done right. The rent collected each month can provide a regular stream of income while building equity and reaping the rewards of appreciation in the property.
One of the biggest fears that sellers have is receiving an offer that’s well under the listing price. Homeowners typically have a dollar figure in their minds that they want to sell their properties for, and if an initial offer comes in well under that price, it’s obviously frustrating and even insulting.
Just about everyone has heard of a timeshare, which essentially involves using points to stay at different resort properties for a week or two out of each year.
When it comes mortgages, you’ve got plenty of options, including an adjustable rate mortgage (ARM). Their competitive interest rates attract plenty of homebuyers, but choosing an adjustable rate mortgage just because of its advertised rate isn't always a good idea if your specific financial situation doesn't call for it.
If you’re looking to change or update the look of your kitchen on a budget, simply changing the face of your cabinets can work wonders. Not only is this a cost-effective option, it can completely alter the look and feel of your kitchen.
It’s a fact: homes that are professionally staged sell faster and for more money than homes that are not. But why is that? What exactly are home stagers doing that can command such a result?
When people think of the Golden State, their thoughts likely head to popular centers, like Los Angeles, San Francisco, or San Diego. While these are certainly amazing places to dwell, there’s something quite special about the smaller cities in California that offer residents a fantastic lifestyle surrounded by natural beauty, be it the mountains or the coastline.
Sure, most homeowners want their home to be up-to-date and attractive, and often that means making some changes and improvements to it. But while many projects can have positive effects on the functionality of a home, its visual esthetics, and the overall value of the property, others, on the other hand, are just over-the-top, and can actually have a negative impact on how prospective buyers see your home.
One of the fastest growing trends in kitchen designs is hardwood on the floors. Although tile has long been the most popular choice for practicality purposes, more and more homeowners are opting for hardwood instead.
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.).
Listing your home at the right price is critical. Pricing too high or too low can keep your home on the market a lot longer than you’d like, and can even leave thousands of dollars on the table.
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.
If your home has a specific problem that could affect the enjoyment of the new homeowner or even lower the property’s value, you’ll need to disclose it. If you fail to do this and a major problem arises as a result of that particular issue after the buyer purchases and moves into the home, you could find yourself in legal hot water.
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.
In typical real estate transactions, buyers and sellers are usually represented by their own separate agents. Each agent has a fiduciary duty to protect the interests of their clients.
Single women are claiming the coveted title of homeowner in higher numbers compared to their single male counterparts, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR).
Sellers don’t have a crystal ball to tell them who is going to bypass their homes and who is serious enough to put in a solid offer. However, buyers do exhibit certain traits and behaviors that will allow sellers and their agents to be able to distinguish those who just aren’t in the game.
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.
It would be nice to be able to trust your contractor’s word when you’re having work done on your home, but a written contract really is the only way to go. Having everything in writing can ensure that every party involved fully and clearly understands what is expected of them. It keeps the job running smoothly and ensures that everyone agrees on what should be done and when.
Everyone loves a well-manicured lawn and lush landscaping. It commands pride in ownership, boost the esthetics of a home, and even adds a certain amount of value to a property. But did you know that lurking within your prized yard may be plants that could be potentially hazardous to you, your family, and your pets?
The prospect of having a brand new interior is exciting. The things about your home that have been irking you can finally be changed and updated. With a little planning and budgeting, your dream home isn’t too far off.
If you’re renting, the dwelling you live in isn’t yours. You’ve got no responsibility to insure it; that’s your landlord’s obligation. But what is yours - and what you should consider insuring - are the belongings you’ve got within your home. The dollar value of your TV, stereo system, jewelry, designer shoes, or anything else that has some sort of value should be protected in case of a fire, theft, and so forth.
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.
When it comes to homes, styles change and features come more innovative. So it’s pretty unlikely that whatever state your home is in now will be up to snuff in a decade or so. At that point (or probably sooner), you’ll be looking to update the finishes or improve the functionality of your space. The thing is, these kinds of tasks costs money, and budget always rears its ugly head when the need for a big revamp in a home is called for.
Has your home been on the market for a while and hasn’t attracted a serious buyer? There could be any number of reasons for that. In the meantime, you’re wasting time and money carrying the home while the listing continues to become increasingly stale by the day.
When it’s time to move, you may be faced with the decision to either buy or rent. This conundrum isn’t just reserved for young adults moving out of their parents’ homes, but also to empty nesters or professionals who are relocating for a new job opportunity.
Having poor credit isn’t a good thing, but neither is having no credit at all. Getting approved for a mortgage - or any other type of loan, for that matter - is pretty much an impossible feat if the lender has nothing to go on. How will your lender know if you'll be good for the money if you don't have a history of responsible repayment? While you may be avoiding debt like the plague, you’re also failing to build up any sort of credit whatsoever.
Home builders know how to wow potential buyers. When developing brand new subdivision, the home they put on show is loaded from top to bottom with all the bells and whistles. The coveted model home not only helps entice buyers into purchasing a home, but also to dish out more money for upgrades.
Buyers and sellers tend to have a long list of demands when it comes to real estate transactions, and so they should. After all, the buying and selling process can be pretty complex, so anything that can streamline the process would be welcomed. The way real estate agents conduct themselves and handle situations can make a huge difference between a smooth transaction and a frustrating one.
With mortgage interest rates being as low as they have been over the past few years, plenty of homeowners have been jumping on the refinancing bandwagon to slash interest payments on their mortgages.
Every industry - including real estate - can benefit immensely from big data. These massive data sets have long been used in the financial and healthcare industries with great success, providing invaluable information about human behavior and interactions, as well as critical patterns and trends among consumers.
Whether you’re having trouble making your mortgage payments each month, are looking to free up a little more cash to put it towards something else, or want to save money in interest over the life of your loan, there are ways to lower your monthly mortgage payments.
The majority of Americans out there who are buying homes will have to assume a huge debt in the form of a mortgage. Considering the magnitude of this type of loan, you definitely want to make sure you’re making the best decision before you take it on.
The commercial real estate market in California has been a strong one over the recent past thanks to job and income growth, affordable financing rates, and limited building construction. In fact, the values of commercial real estate are more than double what they were back in 2009 following the financial crisis.
There’s no one easy equation to use to determine exactly how much a home renovation will cost. You can’t just multiply a specific unit price and multiply it by the square footage of the area you plan to remodel.
Summer is typically a time for holidays, backyard BBQ’s, pool time, and just lounging on your deck. But it’s also a time when the bugs like to come out and play, at the expense of your outdoor enjoyment. If all you’re doing is swatting and shooing, it's time to do something about the problem.
No matter which side of the real estate coin you happen to be on, it’s worth it to have a licensed real estate agent represent you. Buying and selling come with their own set of challenges, which can leave you vulnerable to liability should you make the wrong move. A realtor will make sure you’re protected at all times.
Keeping your home in pristine condition while it’s on the market is one of the biggest challenges that most sellers face. It can be tough to continue to live your daily lives while trying to make your home look like nobody’s been living in it.
Buying a house is an expensive endeavor, obviously. But when it comes to big a completely new home from a builder, there are plenty more costs that you’ll be responsible for that you wouldn’t necessarily have to cover with a resale.
Taking the 'For Sale By Owner' (FSBO) route isn’t as easy as planting a “For Sale” sign on your front lawn and putting up a few pictures on the internet. There’s a ton of work that goes on behind the scenes that many folks who aren’t directly working in the real estate business usually don’t understand.
If you’re like many other property owners, you likely cringe when you get your property tax assessment in the mail. But as annoying as it may be to have to open your wallet to pay these pesky taxes, they do actually serve an important purpose.
When it comes to your landscaping, you want to be able to spend more time enjoying it and less time slaving over it. But it all comes down to careful planning and designing, and what you choose to include in your garden.
Baby boomers who are approaching or have already entered their retirement years have traditionally been known to downsize. Not having as much property to take care of and minimizing the number of stairs that have to be climbed are generally the traits that tend to change once the Golden Years arrive.
No other state in the US is more mesmerizing and dream-catching than the coveted state of California. Sunny days, yummy foods, a diverse culture, and a laid-back lifestyle make California the land of opportunity.
If you’ve watched shows such as “Property Brothers” and the like, you know that there’s real potential in buying and renovating a fixer-upper. Instead of paying more for a home that’s already upgraded, you can potentially save some money and create a home exactly to your liking.
Building codes might seem like a nuisance for homeowners, but they’re there for a reason: safety. Many homeowners might not be aware of the building codes they need to follow, which not only puts them at risk for paying fines, but also makes them vulnerable to injury and even death.
If you’re planning on purchasing a high-priced home and leveraging the majority of the money to pay for it, you’ll likely need a jumbo mortgage. Almost 90% of mortgages are backed by either one of two major government-sponsored enterprises: Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Part of the remaining 10% are considered jumbo mortgages, a home loan option for expensive homes that approach the $1 million mark and beyond.
Bad credit. Insufficient income. Inadequate down payment. These reasons - and many more - can stand in the way of getting approved for a conventional home loan. Many would-be homeowners often turn to others as co-signers in order to get approved for the mortgage they so desire.
It’s a no-brainer: there are very few instances where you wouldn’t insert a home inspection clause in a contract to purchase a home. A property may look flawless on the surface, but you just never know what’s lurking in the attic or in the electrical panel. The best way to protect yourself from a potential money pit is to hire a home inspector to take an in-depth look at the property in question before you seal the deal.
Just because you’ve locked into a fixed-rate mortgage doesn’t mean your mortgage payments won’t change some time in the future. This can come as an unpleasant surprise, especially when you’re trying to manage a budget. If you’ve allocated a specific chunk of your income to your mortgage, your budget can be thrown for a loop when these payments increase.
The housing market in California has been characterized by sky-high prices, fierce competition, and affordability issues. While there are a few factors that have contributed to these scenarios, tight inventory is one of the biggest.
Population growth continues to swell in many centers across the state of California, and while the big cities have typically been the focus of major population growth, this trend is now expanding to surrounding suburbs.
The current presidential election is definitely an interesting one, capturing the attention of not just Americans, but people across the globe. We’re still quite a ways away from November when the 58th Presidential Election Day takes place on the 8th, which means things are only going to get even more heated.
Are we finally seeing a slowdown in the Silicon Valley housing market? Data seems to suggest so. After record-breaking price climbs in the luxury housing market over the past few years, it looks like the tech-rich strip in the Golden State is finally entering a cooling off period. Homes over the $5 million mark took an average of 16 days to sell in April, compared to 11 and 10 days during the same months in 2015 and 2014, respectively.
With 43.5 million millennials making up the US population, it’s worthwhile to find out exactly where this generation is buying and moving. Whether they’re already existing homeowners who are relocating, renters who are entering the housing market for the first time, or are homebuyer hopefuls who are moving out of their parents’ homes, millennials are on the move.
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 first thing that prospective homebuyers see when they visit your home is the exterior. From the lawn, to the bushes, to the walkways, and finally to the front door, all these components make up the ‘curb appeal’ of your home, which you want to be certain is nothing short of impressive. Some buyers can be so turned off by the front lawn of a home that they don’t even bother checking out what’s behind the front door.
Spring has notoriously been prime time for the real estate market, and in certain centers, it’s been a particularly heated one for a while now. With an improvement in the labor market over recent months already playing its part in driving the housing market, experts believe many other trends will add fuel to the fire.
One minute your little one is depending on you to flip her on her belly, and the next minute she’s crawling out of her crib. Babies can quickly become mobile in the blink of an eye, so it’s best to be prepared before they let their curiosity compromise their safety.
Just because your name is on title of the new home you’ve purchased doesn’t necessarily mean that no one else has any legal right to a portion of your lot. It’s called an easement, and it can give your neighbors and other entities a right to access a certain part of your land in some circumstances.
The truth is, there are plenty of ways that a garden can be both wasteful and even harmful. From the pesticides that can be used to all the water spent keeping plants hydrated, some gardens can use a total revamp when it comes to being more friendly to the environment.
The truth is, there’s a lot that you can learn from the sale of homes on the block. Regardless of where you live and the market in your area, similar homes that have recently sold in your neighborhood can provide you with a wealth of information that can come in really handy when you list your home for sale.
Saving up for retirement is something that everyone should start working towards the moment they enter the workforce. But it’s not as easy as it sounds. Life can throw curveballs at us, from unexpected medical emergencies to a sudden job loss. And with so many baby boomers reaching retirement age over the recent past and into the foreseeable future, there’s great concern that many of them won’t be able to live comfortably throughout retirement, or even meet basic needs.
Having a deal fall through after being so close to selling can be extremely frustrating and stressful. Whether it was because the buyer had trouble obtaining financing, the home appraisal came in too low, or the buyers didn’t like what they saw on the home inspection report, the thought of having to go through the whole listing and selling process all over again doesn’t exactly sound fun.
Florida, Texas and California made up 27 percent of the population in 2015, yet were responsible for 48 percent of the population growth in the country from 2014 and 2015. Compared to the average population growth in the US since 2010, Texas experienced a 9.2 percent growth in population during that same time period, and Florida and California saw a growth rate of 7.8 percent and 5.1 percent, respectively.
Sellers revel when buyers are competing for their properties, but buyers themselves can often get disgruntled when they’re snuffed out of offer after offer. Landing the right home isn’t impossible during a competitive real estate market, however, as long as you’re aware of the circumstances you’re dealing with and come to the table prepared.
With over 80 million millennials now making up the US population, it’s impossible to ignore this rapidly growing demographic. And when it comes to the housing market, the sheer size of this generation means they are playing an increasingly important role in the housing market. As the now largest demographic in the country after surpassing the baby boomers, millennials are certainly having a strong impact on the home buying process.
Even with a down payment as low as 3.5%, it can seem nearly impossible to scrape together thousands of dollars to put words a home purchase. It’s usually the down payment that stands in the way of many homebuyer-hopefuls’ dreams of being able to secure a mortgage. And when you factor in rent, credit card payments, student loans, and living expenses, saving up for a down payment can be even more of a challenge.
Buying your very first home is incredibly exciting, but it can also be pretty overwhelming, especially since the entire process is completely new. But despite your limited experience in the world of buying real estate, it’s critical that you make sure you are well-informed before making any decisions that could put you in a compromising position.
You know exactly what you want to do to improve your home: a kitchen renovation, a bathroom remodel, a finished basement . . . the list can go on. But having a vision and making it come to fruition isn’t as easy as hiring a contractor and picking out your finishes. There are plenty of steps - and obstacles - along the way, one of which is obtaining building permits.
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.
Nowadays, there are options for homeowners to put a minimal down payment towards the purchase of a property. Amounts as little as 5%, 3.5%, and even zero percent have been pretty popular, particularly with first-timers who are trying to break into the housing market for the first time and don’t have the funds from a previous property to put towards another purchase. But while small down payments are definitely an option, they’re not the best choice if you want to be free of mortgage payments sooner rather than later.
Not only is there a serious lack of inventory in many parts of the US, there’s also a housing affordability issue at play. And depending on where you live, both of these matters combined spell trouble for the average American who is looking to get into the real estate market but can’t find the right property at the right price. How much do foreign investors have to do with this scenario?
While the inside of your home may be getting a lot of attention, the exterior warrants the same. If you cringe every time you approach your front door, it’s time to make some changes. And if you’re planning on selling any time soon and want to attract as many buyers as possible, boosting your curb appeal is even more important.
Housing prices in California have long been higher than most other states in the US, and the gap just seems to be getting bigger. Unfortunately, that's driving many blue-collar and middle-class residents out of the state.
Real estate agents will often recommend that their clients get pre-approved for a mortgage before embarking on a home search. It gives buyers a better idea of how much they can comfortably afford, and gives sellers the peace of mind knowing that there’s a good chance that the buyers will be capable of obtaining financing for a streamlined deal.
If there’s any state in the US that has experienced a sizzling hot real estate market over the recent past, it’s California. 2015 was a stellar year that brought significant growth and milestones in California’s housing’s recovery.
After pounding the pavement in search of the perfect home, you finally find one. An offer is put in and accepted, and all closing processes and costs are taken care of. You move in and begin life in your new home - what could possibly go wrong? That depends on whether or not you opted for title insurance. When you buy a home, you’re given title to the property. It’s this title that provides you - the new owner - with the right to possess and use the home and the land that it’s on.
If there’s any place on the planet that’s known for its luxury housing, it’s San Francisco. But despite flourishing since the market started improving after the recession of 2008, the luxury market in San Fran is beginning to cool off.
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.