It's never easy to lose a parent, but having to deal with the sale of their family home and the contents within it can make things even harder.
If you're planning to sell your home in the near future, you've got a few tasks on your plate, and one of the more important ones is teaming up with a real estate professional.
Not every homeowner is blessed with oodles of outdoor space outside their home, but even the smallest yards can be just enough to enjoy what Mother Nature has to offer.
The following are some highlights of the housing markets across the US, as compiled by the National Association of Realtors (NAR).
Aside from storing a bunch of your belongings, you probably don't give your crawl space much thought. But while you might not actually spend any time down there, your crawl space is still an important part of your home that requires some level of attention.
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.
A lease is a crucial component of renting real estate and is meant to ensure that both the landlord and tenant uphold their promises in the landlord-tenant relationship.
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.
If you're on the hunt for a new home, you've got a lot of decisions to make, including the type of home you want to buy.
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.
You've found a home you love, put in an offer, and the seller accepted it. That's half the battle, but the process isn't yet complete. There are still some hoops to jump through in order for the deal to close.
Here are some stats surrounding the existing home sales activity in March 2018, according to the National Association of Realtors.
If you're selling your home in the near future, one thing that you will want to find out is its exact size. Your home's square footage is a critical element in establishing the listing price of your home.
You pay homeowner's insurance, and although you never want to have to use it, there may be some unfortunate circumstances that may require you to file a claim. Of course, it's important to crunch the numbers to make sure that it makes financial sense to start a claim, considering the fact that there's a deductible to pay and an increase in premiums to deal with.
Your home's curb appeal plays a key role in its perceived value. Whether you just want to improve the look of your home to appease your tastes or are looking to attract more buyers as a seller, it all starts with amazing curb appeal.
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.
It's that time of year. Many homeowners dread spring cleaning, but it's a necessary task when you consider how many things typically get overlooked as part of every-day cleaning.
Real estate transactions aren't always free of unpleasant surprises. Sometimes a home inspection will uncover an unknown issue or the buyer won't be able to secure financing despite being pre-approved. But there's another potentially unexpected issue that can arise after an offer has been accepted: property liens.
Open concept floor plans have become incredibly popular among homeowners and buyers. As such, many homeowners have been opting to knock out existing walls in their homes in order to swap their traditional segmented layout for something more open and free-flowing. But before taking a sledgehammer to a wall, it's imperative to make sure that it's not a load-bearing one.
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).
Are you planning to buy an older home? If so, there are a lot of things you'll want to know about the home, including whether or not there's any asbestos present.
The final walk-through of a home is your last chance to make sure all is as it should be before you close on the deal. Here are some tips for conducting the final walk-through of the home you've agreed to purchase.
Whether you're on the buying or selling end of a real estate deal, you probably have a specific date in mind for when you'd like the deal to close. But generally speaking, closing shouldn't be too quick nor too long.
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).
Every home seller wants to get as much money as they can from their sale. If you've owned your home for a while and the real estate market in your area is healthy, odds are your home is worth a lot more than what you paid for it. But there are other ways for you to increase your profits even more.
Depending on where you live and the temperature of the market in your area, attracting several offers on your home at once might already be easy enough.
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.
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).
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.
Here are some pros and cons of open concepts to determine if it's right for your home and lifestyle.
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?
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.
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.
There are specific advantages to having a home inspection done before listing your home for sale, including the following.
Borrowers have plenty of options when it comes to the type of mortgage they can take out to finance a home purchase.
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.
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.
Whether you're buying or selling a condo or other type of home governed by a homeowner's association (HOA), there are few extra considerations that need to be made compared to the average freehold home.
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.
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.
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.
Terms and amortizations are often the sources of great confusion among buyers, many of whom aren't fully aware of their distinctions. So, what exactly is the difference between a mortgage term versus amortization?
It's always nice to have people come to visit, but being a host typically involves a little tidying up. But getting your home ready for guests might involve a little more than just clearing the shoes out of the front entrance or getting that pile of dishes done. Your guests will notice a lot more than what you may think.
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.
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.
It's common practice for homebuyers to offer a price on a home that's under the listing price in hopes of negotiating a number that both parties can agree on. By leaving a gap between the listing and offer prices, you've got some wiggle room to allow for a little back-and-forth bantering. But when is it customary to offer the full listing price on a home?
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.
If you’re ready to take the plunge into homeownership and are on the prowl for a new home, a mortgage is likely required to finance your purchase. While there are plenty of factors that determine whether or not you'll be able to get approved for a home loan and get a decent interest rate and terms, your credit score is among the most important.
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.
One of the great things about owning a home is the tax breaks that typically come with it. The tax code allows homeowners to deduct a number of items come tax time, putting more money back in their pocket after dishing out to keep their properties operational.
It’s a well-known fact that plants need the energy from sunlight to grow. But that doesn’t mean that all plants necessarily need to bask in the light at all hours of the day in order to survive and thrive. In fact, there are plenty of houseplants out there that do extremely well in low-light conditions, making them the perfect choice for darker areas in the house.
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.
It's not uncommon for homeowners to miss a mortgage payment or two, especially if they've fallen upon rough financial times and are struggling to keep up with all of their bills. Unfortunately, defaulting on a mortgage is likely if the home loan amount taken out is a lot more than what the borrower can comfortably afford.
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.
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.
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.
Wouldn't it be nice if you could find the perfect home and put in an offer on it without the pressure of knowing that there are other prospective buyers that may be eyeing the same property?
Every component in your home has a certain life expectancy, some longer than others. As a homeowner, you'll find yourself repairing or replacing things in your home every so often - it's just part of the deal.
Houzz is easily the most popular online platform for anything to do with home design and remodeling. Since the site launched back in 2009, it has grown immensely in popularity, as well as in services. Here are some impressive numbers that Houzz manages to keep growing every year.
Millions of Americans depend on public transit to get around, especially going to and from work every day. It's a fact that proximity to public transit generally has a positive impact on property values as it adds convenience to the everyday lives of residents in any given neighborhood.
Most homeowners who are thinking about remodeling or renovating their homes often scope out home design magazines or popular television shows on HGTV. But thanks to the internet, there are tons of websites out there dedicated to home design that homeowners have been increasingly tapping into to get some ideas for their next project.
What does the average homebuyer in the U.S. look like in 2017? Here are a few stats that will help paint that picture more clearly.
It's one of the more common questions buyers and sellers ask themselves: should I buy or sell first? This can be a hard decision to make, especially if you fear being stuck holding two homes - and therefore two mortgages - if selling ends up taking a lot longer than you thought.
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.
You've probably heard of sellers lowering the listing price of their homes if they're not generating enough interest. Reducing the price of a home is typically done if the price was listed too high in the first place, or if the market is losing steam and the demand isn't necessarily at par with supply.
When you take out a mortgage, you'll be paying an interest portion on each monthly payment in addition to contributing to the principal. The mortgage rate that you're quoted makes a big difference in the overall cost of your mortgage.
If you're ready to sell your home, a real estate professional is an absolutely crucial piece of the equation. But there are options for you to consider in terms of the exact type of real estate service you want to employ; namely, whether or not to work with a full-service real estate team.
The selling process can definitely be intense and even overwhelming at times. After all, we're talking about a massive investment. There are plenty of efforts made to find the right buyer who is qualified and interested in buying your home, but even after you think you've found the right buyer that will see the deal through, there's still a chance that they may back out.
Once escrow has been opened, the instructions for escrow - including the purchase price, inspections, contingencies, and related documents - are completed and signed by all parties. A title report will be obtained from a title company to make sure there are no outstanding liens against the home which could delay the closing procedures.
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%.
Selling a home is a big deal and needs to be done only when you're both emotionally and financially ready to take the plunge. No matter what the current market may dictate, the right time to sell is when you're adequately prepared and in a solid place to do so. While it's still helpful to sell when the market is prime for selling, you still need to take your own individual situation into consideration before selling your home.
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.
Your exterior space is just as important as your interior and warrants an equal amount of attention as far as decorating is concerned. Your landscaping should be inviting and welcoming, and when done right, it can actually add some extra value to your home.
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.
Looking to open up your interior space to create a more spacious and functional layout? If so, you might be considering tearing down a wall or two to achieve your goal. Sounds simple enough, but removing a wall requires some careful consideration before demolition starts. Before you grab that sledgehammer, make sure you've had a few crucial questions answered first.
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.
Whether your home is perched along the shores of the Pacific or on a sleepy little lake, you've certainly got some great curb appeal. This will certainly work well for you when it comes time to sell - after all, it's tough to beat that type of setting.
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.
Are you currently in the market to buy a home, and want to make sure there's enough money in the pot to boost its energy efficiency once you take possession? If so, you may be able to get some financial assistance to help pay for these energy-efficient upgrades.
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.
Just because you pour something down the drain doesn't necessarily mean that it will magically disappear through the pipes. Sure, you can expect most liquids and a few tiny solids to make their way through the plumbing with little issue, but there are plenty of other items that can wreak havoc if you try to pour them down the drain.
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.
Are you planning to buy a condo, townhouse, or a home in a planned unit development? If so, be prepared to have to deal with covenants, conditions, and restrictions (CC&Rs). In fact, any home that's governed by a homeowners association (HOA) has their own set of CC&Rs that all residents must abide by.
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?
Before you seal the deal on your real estate contract, you'll want to do one last thing after all is said and done - perform a final walk-through of the home. Anything can happen from the day you visit the home to closing. A final walk-through is extremely important for buyers to identify any issues that go against the contract. If there are any, they could delay closing or crush the deal completely.
Your lease is almost due to expire: should you renew it, or consider entering the world of homeownership? It's not uncommon for Americans to begin life on their own as a renter when moving out of their parents' homes or graduating from college. Student loans can make it tough to start out as a homeowner right from the get-go, and housing prices aren't exactly cheap.
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.
Furnishing a symmetrical rectangular room is pretty simple, especially if you've got ample space to work with. But how exactly do you go about arranging furniture in an odd-shaped space without it looking like everything's just been thrown together with little forethought?
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.
You're fresh out of college, and now real life really begins. After you've landed yourself a great job thanks to your diploma or degree, your next step is to find a place of your own. Adjusting to a new life outside of college can be daunting and overwhelming, and having to find your first apartment to rent just adds to that stress. But with the right plan in place, the process doesn't have to be as difficult as you may think.
Buying a home is a big deal. It's a huge financial investment and therefore one that should be made with careful consideration.
If you're looking to buy a home that's located in a community filled with all the amenities that will make life in your new neighborhood an enjoyable one, then a planned community might be a viable option.
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.
As a seller, your main goal is to find the right buyer who's willing to offer you a fair price for your home. In a perfect world, these would be the only types of prospective buyers that you would have to deal with. Unfortunately, there will always be those tire kickers out there who may express love for your home but just end up wasting your time.
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?
For sellers to come up with an accurate listing price and buyers to determine an appropriate offer price, "comparables" need to be a part of the real estate process. These "comps" are essential for determining a home's market value, and without them, coming up with a listing or offer price would be like shooting in the dark.
Real estate professionals will always advise their buyer clients to get pre-approved for a mortgage. Why? For a few reasons.
Social media has become a critical component to every real estate professional's business. In fact, there's probably no greater marketing tool for real estate agents than having a strong social media presence, but how you use these platforms makes a huge difference in how well they work for you.
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.
There are tons of things that you can do to save energy in your home, from turning off the faucet when brushing your teeth, shutting off the lights when no longer in use, and letting your laundry air-dry rather than using the dryer.
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.
Selling a home obviously takes up a lot of time and money, but exactly how much money are we talking about? There are the obvious costs, such as real estate agent commissions. But there are also a host of other expenses that need to be factored into the equation, which may be small individually, but can really add up when all is said and done.
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.
Buyers want to see your house, not all of your personal belongings. Too much "stuff" can obstruct their view of your home and can get in the way of them visualizing how your house can become theirs. As a seller, you want to highlight the positive features of your home, but certain things can distract buyers, and sometimes even offend them or put them off.
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.
There's nothing wrong with wanting to save some cash whenever you can, especially when it comes to operating your home. In fact, you'd be foolish not to take advantage of money-saving tactics if they're simple and don't come with consequences.
Buying an awesome house in a great neighborhood that's turn-key and requires little to no work sounds like a no-brainer, right? Not always, especially if that home just happens to be the most expensive one on the block. In cases like these, buying the best home in the area might not necessarily be a good idea.
If you're on the prowl for a home, visiting open houses should probably be on your to-do list. After scouring the internet looking at a ton of listings, visiting open houses provides you with the opportunity to not only see homes up close and personal, but also get your foot in the door in terms of a successful offer on a property that catches your eye.
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.
Finding the right home for you and your family is one thing; buying it at the price you want and can afford is quite another. That's where savvy negotiating comes into the picture. If you want to land the home of your dreams at a price and terms that you're comfortable with, be sure to employ the following negotiating tactics.
The actual purchase price of a new home is typically a hefty amount - every buyer knows that. But what many new homebuyers might not realize is how much extra they'll have to spend above and beyond what the actual home costs.
Curb appeal speaks volumes to prospective buyers. Nobody is going to be enticed to spend the big bucks on a home that looks shabby from the outside, unless the buyer is a flipper or investor. Otherwise, you'll likely be sending buyers in the other direction if your home's exterior leaves much to be desired.
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.
While there are certainly similarities between selling different forms of real estate, there are also some differences that should be noted as well. Before you even begin the listing process for your condo, it would be wise to understand what these differences are.
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.
Two new bills have been recently introduced in California that will protect homeowners with ‘green’ energy improvements on their properties that have been financed through the Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) loan program.
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.
The process of buying and selling is certainly an expensive one, so anything you can do to save a buck or two would be a welcomed proposition. The good news is, you might be able to save a little of money by deducting some of your moving expenses if you’ve relocated because of a change in job. However, there are certain criteria that need to be met in order to qualify for such deductions come tax time.
Curb appeal is a crucial component of a home, both from an esthetic standpoint and in terms of increasing property value. Proper landscaping can dramatically improve the look and feel of a home and is a key player in boosting curb appeal. In fact, homes that are well landscaped tend to sell over 11.3% higher compared to similar homes without good landscaping. That can translate into tens of thousands of dollars added to property value.
Issues with homes are bound to pop up no matter how well you care for your home. Some issues are minor, while others can actually make the home be dangerous to be in. It’s not uncommon to procrastinate on certain repairs, but others definitely need to be dealt with sooner rather than later, including the following.
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.
A home inspection is one of the most common contingencies to be included in a real estate contract. Even if a home is only a couple of years old, anything can happen, which is why it’s important to take the opportunity to have the home inspected before your purchase agreement goes firm.
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.
Depending on the circumstances surrounding the sale of your property, you could wind up having to pay capital gains taxes to Uncle Sam come tax time.
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.
After you’ve decided to sell your home, how much will you be listing it for? The asking price can’t be just some arbitrary number that you come up with in an effort to rake in top dollar for your home. Instead, determining the perfect listing price requires careful consideration and a sound strategy.
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.
Before you start pounding the pavement in search of your next home and book showings, you might want to find out exactly how much you can afford first. There’s no sense in looking in the $600,000 range, for instance, if you can only realistically afford a home worth $300,000.
A home purchase is a very expensive one and typically requires some type of financing. The more common way to finance such a large purchase is to obtain a mortgage from a lender or bank, but there are other more creative ways to get your hands on the money you need to pay for your new home.
Whether your home doesn’t suit your needs or tastes anymore or you’re thinking of revamping it to get a better dollar when you sell, there are dozens of upgrades that you can make to your home to improve it. The question is, which upgrades are worth the money spent, and which ones are money pits that won’t allow you to recoup your investment?
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.
Home inspections are important clauses to include in a purchase agreement. They provide buyers with the opportunity to uncover any potential issues with the property in question before signing on the dotted line.
There are obvious differences between condos and single family homes. But in addition to the type of lifestyles each of them provide, the differences become even more apparent when it comes time to sell.
Holding an open house shortly after your home hits the market is a great strategy to attract prospective buyers. Make the most out of your open house by following these tips.
Without professional representation from a licensed real estate agent, your home runs the risk of sticking around on the market longer than it needs to. The longer it lingers, the higher the odds of having to end up reducing the price just to attract an offer.
Out of all the questions that clients have when it comes to real estate transactions, how commissions are paid is one of the most common. Who's responsible for paying the commission? How much is it? When and how is it paid?
Before you partner up with a specific real estate agent, it’s important that you have a clear understanding of just how agency works, and how a business “relationship” is established with these professionals. The California Association of Realtors (CAR) provides a standard two-page disclosure form that agents provide to their buyer or seller clients that explains this relationship.
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.
The last thing you want is to go through the whole real estate process only to find out at the end that the contract isn’t legally binding. According to the Statute of Frauds in California, these contracts must be in writing. Fortunately, real estate agents in California have access to a standard California Residential Purchase Agreement (RPA) form which makes it easy to ensure all the necessary components are included.
Plenty of real estate investors have made a handsome profit finding, fixing, and flipping homes. However, being successful at flipping homes means doing your homework. There are a number of factors that need to be considered before you determine whether a specific home is worth investing your time and money on.
If you’ve been planning to buy a home any time soon, 2017 just might be the perfect year to do it. There are plenty of reasons why buying a home should be on your checklist this year, including the following.
The start of the new year is the time when many people make resolutions to themselves to improve their lives in some form or fashion. Losing weight, finding a better job, or traveling tend to be among the more popular New Year resolutions, but if buying or selling your home is on the agenda for 2017, there are other specific resolutions that should be on your list, and that you should stick to.
When you decide to sell your home, you need to get the process started off on the right foot, and that begins with determining the right price for your home. Many sellers have a tendency to want to list their home well over what the market deems to be a fair price because they see more value in it than what buyers might see in it.
You bought your investment property for the sole purpose of making money. But the profits should still roll in once you decide to part with the property and sell it. When it comes time to list your investment property for sale, getting the most money out of the deal is most likely where your focus is.
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.
In comparison to other types of investments, real estate income properties come with a reasonably safe reward profile compared to the level of risk they come with. If you’ve got a real estate investment profile in the works, there may be a property or two that you’re considering letting go of.
Coming up with enough cash to make a home purchase isn’t exactly easy to do, and not too many people can scrounge up that kind of money. Yet in a competitive market where homes are being snatched up just as fast as they are listed for sale, all-cash is king.
Condominium buildings and planned unit developments are typically run by a homeowners’ association (HOA), which in turn is run by an owner-elected Board of Directors. The members who serve on the board are responsible for making a lot of critical decisions about the association’s finances, a well as the overall state of the building.
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).
Bathrooms might be tucked away from public view, but they are one of the most important spaces in a home, especially when it comes to property value. And just like any other room in the home, they need to be updated and spruced up every so often.
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.
Thinking about buying a home in the new year? It’s never too early to start preparing for the big purchase to ensure you’re on solid ground. While finding yourself a seasoned and trustworthy real estate agent is a critical step in the game, there are a number of things you should be doing even before that to make sure you’re adequately prepared to buy.
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.
The housing market in California appears to have cooled off somewhat in September 2016, with dull sales, increasing prices, and a continued squeeze on inventory being the common issues.
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.
Closing costs can add a lot more money to the final price tag when buying a home, and much of them need to be paid right out of the gates. Some of these fees might seem like they came out of nowhere and can be difficult to understand, like origination fees or title insurance.
If you’ve got a new kitchen on the mind, you likely want to dive head first into the job and get it done as quickly as possible. After all, you’ve got the budget, the vision, and the desire, so all that’s really holding you back is the swing of the hammer, right?
Living in a condo or a home within a planned community is an attractive option for new homebuyers. They’re affordable, and offer all sorts of amenities to owners, including security gates and guards, swimming pools, and fitness rooms, among others.
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.
They’re the infamous words buyers and sellers will hear at auctions. These platforms have long been used to buy and sell a host of different goods, including real estate. Buyers are hoping to snag a good deal, while sellers are looking to get their properties off their hands in a short amount of time.
There are plenty of sizzling hot real estate markets in California. Some are so hot that homeowners could make an absolute killing should they ever choose to sell any time soon.
Pretty much everyone knows that a home’s size, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, and location have a huge impact on the value of a property. For instance, a 3-bedroom detached home backing onto a golf course will most certainly hold more value compared to a 2-bedroom townhouse that’s situated near train tracks.
Every home purchase transaction should be initiated with an earnest deposit to the seller. In fact, it’s rare for sellers to accept offers without a deposit. This monetary offering essentially tells the sellers that buyers are serious about purchasing the home, and shows their willingness to meet all of the clauses detailed in the contract.
If you’ve got a certain amount of equity built up in your home and want to tap into it, you'd have to either take out a second mortgage, a home equity line of credit (HELOC), or sell your home.
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.
How sellers handle the home selling process can heavily influence the journey as well as the end result. There are certain things that sellers can do that will speed up the sales process, and then there are other actions that can derail the entire deal.
Location, location, location. The phrase may have become somewhat of a cliché in the world of real estate, but it still remains the most important factor in determining the true value of a property. When you’re in the market to buy, you’re not just purchasing the physical home, but you’re also buying into the surrounding neighborhood as well.
There are plenty of reasons why stucco is so popular among homeowners: it’s durable, it’s easy to maintain, and it looks good. If it’s applied properly, stucco can last as much as 50 years, as long as it’s well taken care of.
Being handy enough to tackle many issues that tend to creep up when owning a house can certainly save you a lot of money and hassle. But there are plenty of other scenarios when taking the DIY route just doesn’t pay. In fact, it can even wind up costing you money in the long run.
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.
If you want a comfortable interior without blowing a fortune on your utility bills, then you’ll want to make sure your windows and doors are adequately insulated. Without it, your home will experience drafts that will end up wasting plenty of energy and money. If it’s boiling outside and you want to make sure the cool, air conditioned air stays in while the hot air stays out, you need to make sure that your doors and windows are properly insulated.
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.
Mindful landscape lighting effectively highlights specific design elements, and creates a unique ambiance to an outdoor space. While a few candles can be soothing, you don’t want to restrict yourself when it comes to landscape lighting.
Investing in real estate and allowing others to pay the mortgage for you is one of the soundest means of building wealth over the long haul. It’s been done for decades by savvy investors who’ve been able to use the power of leveraging.
The kitchen is absolutely one of the most important spaces in the home as far as property value goes. In fact, it’s probably THE most important. That’s why many homeowners tend to focus on this particular room in the home when it comes time to do a little remodeling
Everyone knows that “green” homes use much less energy to operate the household and can reduce our carbon footprint on the environment. While more and more Americans are jumping on the eco-friendly bandwagon every day, there are certain facts about the green movement that might not be well-known as far as homeownership is concerned.
You can gain serious value in a home if you buy a fixer-upper and renovate it yourself. But like any other type of investment, you’ve got to make sure the numbers add up first.
If you’re like many other Americans, mortgage payments are probably the biggest monthly expense on your budget. But how does reducing your monthly mortgage payments sound? Pretty good, right? If you’re finding it a bit tough to comfortably pay your monthly mortgage payments, there may be a way for you to save off a few bucks.
California has been under a major housing inventory crunch for a long time now, sending home prices through the roof in many centers across the state. It’s been so bad that many families have chosen to bail out of California altogether in an effort to find some relief from the housing affordability crisis that’s been plaguing the state.
If there’s one thing you don’t want to skimp on when it comes to owning a home, it’s homeowners insurance. Even though your lender will require you to obtain this kind of insurance in order to get approved for a mortgage, you still have plenty of options to make sure you’re adequately covered.
Every seller wants to rake in as much money on the sale of their homes as possible. For this reason, it can be really enticing to list with a really high price in hopes of a buyer taking the bait.
In a perfect world, sellers would only encounter serious buyers who present zero obstacles in the selling process. But just like in all other aspects of life, the world of real estate comes with all sorts of characters.
Americans have been enjoying historically low mortgage interest rates for years now, making financing a home more affordable. But how much longer can the rates continue to scrape the bottom?
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.
Small spaces certain pose a set of design challenges, but there are plenty of savvy decor tactics that can be employed to make a room seem larger than it actually is, while keeping it stylish at the same time. Here are 13 ways to decorate your home to make it appear bigger if it’s short on square footage.
Well into its fifth straight year of severe drought, California continues to experience a major shortage of water. Parched land, dying trees, and wildfires are rampant throughout the state. Regulators have been taking steps to manage the situation, including encouraging homeowners to step up to the plate and conserve as much water as possible. And it looks like homeowners are doing just that.
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.
Many homebuyers are looking for a turn-key property that’s move-in ready. Buying a home with little to do to it is very attractive, especially for the millennial demographic.
Millennials - who are those born between the 1980s and the early 2000s - currently make up the biggest population of homebuyers in the real estate market across the US. In fact, they make up a whopping 68% of first-time homebuyers.
Without a focal point in a room, there’s no visual starting point for optimal flow. Highlighting a striking feature will help set the mood for a space, and will give something for the eyes to rest on as soon as you enter the room. Establishing a focal point is a key component to smart interior design, and when done right, it will balance the design and won’t necessarily make all other aspects of the room go unnoticed.
There are plenty of obvious benefits of being self-employed, including being your own boss and the freedom to choose your own schedule. But applying for a mortgage hasn't always been one of them.
As the mercury on the thermometer continues to rise heading into summer, you’ll want to make sure that your patio is ready. Outdoor space provides homeowners with the chance to expand their living area, and what better way to enjoy life than amongst the gifts of Mother Nature? Here are a few easy and affordable ways to make sure your patio is ready for endless summer days and nights.
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.
One of the tell-tale factors of a fast-moving market is the amount of time that listings spend on the market. The number of property sales also speaks volumes about the activity in the market. According to the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), over 6 million homes were sold in 2016, the first time this has happened in a decade.
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.
Just about every room in your home could be spectacular, but if the kitchen is ho-hum, there’s lost value there. The kitchen truly is the center of a home. It’s not just where dinner is prepared; it's also where people tend to gather. Property values are largely dependent on the quality of the kitchen, so if yours needs a little TLC, now’s the time to bring it up to par.
Vacant foreclosure properties - dubbed ‘zombie foreclosures’ - are on the decline. According to the second quarter 2016 US Residential Property Vacancy and Zombie Foreclosure Report, there are just over 19,000 properties that are in the zombie foreclosure process, a drop of 3.1% from April and a 30.1% plummet from the same time last year. These properties represent 4.7% of all foreclosures.
Savvy scammers are always on the lookout for a way to swindle money from unsuspecting victims, and the real estate industry is by no means off limits. Of course, the overwhelming majority of buyers, sellers, agents, landlords, and others involved in real estate transactions are honest, but there are a few bad apples out there who spoil the bushel.
The housing market continues to sizzle in many cities across the US, but it’s not just domestic buyers that are fueling the fire. Foreign real estate investment continues to be a major player in US real estate, and is expected to pick up the pace throughout the remainder of 2016. Chinese investors, in particular, have their sights set on the US. Many wealthy Chinese investors have been dealing with obstacles stemming from the economic crisis in China, and have been looking outside of their borders to plant their capital.
A steady, predictable, and adequate income stream throughout retirement is a must for anyone in their Golden Years who wants to live comfortably long after they’ve said goodbye to their careers. But without a decent pension, considerable savings, or sizeable dividends from investment vehicles, having the pool of income needed to keep up a certain lifestyle after retirement can be downright difficult.
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.
With mounds of student debt and sky-high housing prices, millennials have certainly had the odds stacked against them when it comes to getting into the housing market. And after seeing their parents deal with the recession back in 2008 after which millions of Americans lost their homes, millennials have been nervous about becoming homeowners themselves.
You’re opening the doors to your home to let curious buyers have a gander at your place, which will hopefully peak someone’s interest enough to put in an offer. After all, the more eyes that see your home, the better. That’s the point of an open house.
INFOGRAPHIC: C.A.R. Survey Reveals Investor Activity in California. Reasons for investment property purchases include good location, rate of return, good price, future development potential, and size.
No matter how amazing and comfortable the rest of your home may be, there’s something about the kitchen that has everyone congregating to it. No doubt, your kitchen is the hardest working space your home, and should be designed to help make it as efficient as possible. And considering how much of an effect the kitchen has on the overall value of your property, you’d be well advised to make sure its design and style are carefully considered.
Certain neighborhood characteristics obviously have certain effects on property values, whether positive or negative. It’s a no-brainer that having loud railroad tracks in your backyard will drag your home’s value down, while nearby public transit will have the opposite effect.
Instead of heading to the supermarket for your daily dose of veggies and herbs, imagine being able to pluck them right from your own yard? And rather than buying plants and flowers to adorn your landscaping with, why not grow them yourself?
Solar energy isn’t exactly new. It’s been around for years now, although it’s only starting to pick up steam as more and more homeowners figure out the potential cost savings in utility bills, not to mention their reduced carbon footprint.
Impressions speak volumes when it comes to impressing prospective home buyers. That’s why it’s absolutely crucial that you present your home in such a way that it attracts buyers, rather than repel them. And curb appeal is probably the first component you should address. After all, it’s the exterior lead-up to the home that buyers will first interact with.
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.
Whether you need to pay for your child’s college education, a major home renovation, or an emergency medical expense, scraping the necessary funds together can be tough, but necessary. But if you currently own a home that you’ve been regularly putting money into via mortgage payments, you just might be able to tap into your home’s equity as a source to fund these major expenses.
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.
The current California housing market can be described in so many di erent ways. Right now the state is experiencing an inventory crunch, and housing a ordability is a real problem. Housing action is starting to shift inland as supply in coastal areas remains tight. But what about the people who make up the California housing market? Let’s have a closer look at the individuals who are part of the buying and selling process in California real estate for 2016.
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?
Picture yourself living in a 300 square-foot minuscule apartment, and paying the same rent price as you would for a place three times the size. That’s exactly what an increasing number of renters are doing these days just to be able to claim zip code in some of the country’s most expensive places to live.
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.
Taking out a mortgage typically means making regular payments until the loan is paid off. But while this may have been the traditional way of looking at mortgages, many homeowners these days are choosing to keep their mortgages by refinancing to take advantage of certain benefits, such as getting a lower interest rate, using the equity to invest, consolidating debt, or taking advantage of tax deductions.
Whatever your reason for wanting to list your rental property for sale, having a tenant still living there while selling the place can definitely make the process a little more complex. But it’s not impossible, nor does it have to be a total nightmare if you play your cards right. While it might be a lot easier to wait until the lease expires and your tenants have vacated the premises, you might not necessarily have the luxury of time. Not everyone can necessarily afford to have the place vacant with zero income while the property is up for sale.
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.
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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.
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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.
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