Our South Bay Community Blog

A Guide to Conventional MortgagesBuying a home is a big step in anyone's life but knowing the right type of loan program to go with or even understanding all of the options available can be tricky. One of the most common loans is the conventional loan. With over half of the mortgages today making up conventional loans, it is important to know what makes them stand out and why buyers should consider the program. There are a lot of things to consider when buying a home and choosing the right mortgage program is one of them that can make your home buying experience great or a nightmare.

The Basics of Conventional Mortgages

Conventional loans are becoming more and more popular every day because of the flexible guidelines that come with them as well as the low interests rates in

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Smart Home Technology that Can Reduce Your Power Bills and Save EnergyThere are certain gadgets that are all bells and whistles for the homeowner. They may look fancy and complicated, but they're not actually doing very much for the house. It can make people think that smart home technology is a waste of money (and time) rather than a way to save more money (and time) in the long run. When it comes to home improvement, see which solutions are the among the smartest if you're hoping to save some dough.

Self-Learning Thermostats

Energy bills can be significantly reduced when homeowners invest in smart technology for thermostats. It learns to adjust the home's temperature based on the family's schedule, and it's easily controlled by a touch of a smartphone. Popular thermostats like Nest work to ensure the right

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Important Tips to Buying a New Construction HomeSome buyers are not interested in purchasing a pre-owned home. They prefer new construction homes. However, looking for new construction homes and going through the closing process can come with its own unique set of issues. What to potential buyers need to know about buying new construction homes?

New construction homes can be surprising affordable when homeowners include the following tips during their home-buying process.

Find an Agent Who Will Work for You

Choose an agent without affiliation with the builder and that has experience in new construction homes. Do not visit a site without an agent as during the initial registration process, a potential buyer may provide information and a builder may not pay a buyer's agent. It is best to

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Why You Shouldn’t Sell an Empty HomeWhether due to work or another obligation, homeowners may be put in a situation that forces them to move quickly and buy a new home before they can sell the current one. In these sorts of cases, homeowners may move out all their furniture and choose to sell the home empty. However, this is a decision that can cause a lot of harm and prevent the home from selling. Here’s why empty homes can be harmful and what homeowners can do to fix it.

Empty Homes are Cold and Uninviting

When buyers come to see a home, they want to see a home, not just an empty house. It’s difficult for buyers to become invested in a home if it looks empty and sterile because they can’t imagine themselves living in it.  If a home has furniture and looks like someone has

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Why Having Proper Home Insurance is Crucial for HomeownersHaving a home means having responsibilities, which can come with some stress and concerns. As long as a homeowner understands the importance of taking care of themselves and their house, though, they can reduce a lot of the worries. One of the biggest ways to have peace of mind when owning a home is to get the right insurance policy. With the proper coverage, a homeowner will feel safe and comfortable, and will know that they will be covered in an emergency. No one wants tragedy to strike their Playa Del Rey home, but having insurance means financial protection if something does go wrong.

What Kind of Coverage Is Best?

Having proper coverage is key, and not just any coverage will do. A standard, all-encompassing homeowners insurance policy is

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3 Considerations to Buying a Vacation HomeDo you have your heart set on owning a vacation home where you and loved ones can simply relax and unwind? There are many vacation homes available throughout the United States and near recreational areas that continue to draw buyers. What should homebuyers know before making a purchase on a Marina Del Rey vacation home?

The following questions can help prospective buyers learn more about important considerations when it comes to buying a vacation home.

Where Should You Buy?

Buying a vacation home is a long-term commitment. Those also looking at the purchase of a vacation home as an investment and potential rental property may want to consider whether or not the area is attractive to those looking to rent or buy in the future. Associations

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What to Know About Buying a Vacation HomeAny buyer who is looking for a vacation home is probably very excited about the prospect of having a specific home to go to each time they want to get away for a while. Vacation homes are often at the beach or in the woods, or somewhere that is highly significant or sentimental to the buyer. While that all makes sense, there are practical issues that have to be considered when purchasing a vacation home, as well. Without taking a careful look at those issues, buyers could end up with a vacation home they really don't use much, or one that costs them much more than they were expecting to pay. Here are several things to consider before making a vacation home purchase.

Is the Vacation Home Affordable and Cost-Effective?

Vacation homes aren't

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What Is Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI)?When you apply for a mortgage, you will find that there are other monthly expenses in addition to your principle and interest on your loan. Properly understanding those expenses and when they apply can ensure that you have enough money in your budget for the home that you want and that you are not paying more than you have to. Private mortgage insurance (PMI) can be costly. Learning whether you are obligated to pay it and what it is you are paying for can make you a more informed purchaser.

What is PMI?

PMI stands for "private mortgage insurance." You will typically be responsible for paying it if you put down less than 20 percent on your home and have a conventional loan.

This is a type of insurance that protects the lender. PMI will

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Hire a Professional or do it Yourself?Many homeowners like to do their own home improvements. Some do it to save money, others because they enjoy taking care of their own property. While saving money and taking pride in home maintenance is a good thing, some projects are not appropriate for an unlicensed, inexperienced homeowner. If you're a homeowner who is thinking about taking on a home improvement project, knowing the limits of your abilities and when to contact a professional can help ensure that your home will be well cared for and well maintained.

Can You Do It Right?

Some jobs, when done without knowledge or expertise, can result in damage to the property. For example, any home improvement project involving plumbing or roofing material can result in water damage if done

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Tips for Selling a Vacation HomeGetting a home ready to put on the market can be an involved process, and making sure that every section of the house has been cleaned and organized is enough to keep one busy. But stop and think for a moment if the list of items to handle would be the same for a primary residence as for a second vacation home?

Many times the answer is yes, but other considerations sometimes need to be taken when getting ready to sell a vacation home. Since it’s often a unique type of property, the real estate techniques used for primary housing might not have the same effect.

Specific Tactics To Try

Selling a vacation home can sometimes require a specific mindset and a little more of a creative strategy to market the property. First and foremost, it’s

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