Our South Bay Community Blog

4 Countertops Materials You Should Know AboutWhen improving a home, replacing the countertops in kitchens in bathrooms is one of the most popular projects that homeowners invest in. When people think of replacing countertops, they usually automatically think of marble and granite, and while these options can both be great materials for counters, they aren’t the only options out there. Here are some of the other materials for counters that homeowners don’t often think about when choosing their new countertop.

1. Laminate Countertops

Natural stone like marble and granite can be expensive, so many homeowners who are trying to save money or stick to a budget will opt for a material like laminate that’s more cost-effective. While laminate doesn’t feel like more expensive materials, it can be

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How to Clean and Maintain Your GuttersThe home's gutters are more than just an ornament on the side of the home. They help prevent flooding, protect the foundation, and can even keep the soil healthy. But after a while, they can start to crumble under the weight of all that water, foliage, or ice. Water damage does more than just ruin a home's resale value, it can potentially cause deadly mold to form on the property. Here are a few tips for homeowners to keep their gutters functioning like new.

Inexpensive and Effective

Unless the gutters are in terrible shape, homeowners can use gutter sealants as a quick fix. Small holes or disconnected joints can be patched together with this strong epoxy that can be purchased for under $10. If the problem is larger, homeowners can consider metal

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What Sellers Should Know Before Choosing Seller FinancingSometimes, the best buyer needs financing but does not have the ability to secure a mortgage. In these cases, the seller might choose to personally finance the transaction. Since this represents some risk to the seller, there are many things they must do before they agree to the transaction. Solid preparation and some extra work may make a big difference. This guide helps sellers know the most important aspects of a seller-financed home sale, and how they can avoid problems throughout the process.

For informational purposes only. Always consult with a licensed real estate professional before proceeding with any real estate transaction.

What Is Seller Financing?

Seller financing is quite similar to the standard home selling process, with the

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HVAC MaintenanceImprove the life of an HVAC system and its efficiency with proper maintenance. Doing routine maintenance on an HVAC system can make for fewer costly repairs and a more energy-efficient system. People searching for a new house to buy want a home with a working and effiecient HVAC system. Use the following tips to prolong the life of an existing HVAC system.

Check the HVAC System

Checking the HVAC system regularly can help homeowners take care of small issues that arise. This should be performed before summer and winter seasons to address any malfunctioning parts without drastically impacting the comfort of occupants in a home. During this time, a homeowner can also inspect insulation on refrigerant lines and the general condition on observable

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What to Know Before Buying a Historic HomeThere is little to compare to the grace and beauty of a historic home. From hand carved fireplaces and finely-wrought moldings, many people find a unique charm that is hard to replicate in a modern home. Some historic homes may be a good investment while others can be expensive and time-consuming to renovate. Potential new home buyers need to be ready to take on the responsibilities of buying a historic home.

The Value of a Historic Home

The connection that a buyer develops with a historic home goes beyond its appraised value. People buying and restoring historic properties may encounter others that can tell them about the previous lives of the home, such as when it may have been used as a school or broken into apartments. The connections that

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How Does a 1031 Exchange Work?The 1031 exchange is a loophole for property owners or real estate investors to avoid paying capital gains when selling their property. It's a complicated maneuver to pull off, but essentially involves purchasing a new property that's close to the same value of the property being sold. It's not available for primary residences but can be used for vacation or secondary homes. See how it works and which sales benefit most from the 1031 exchange.

For informational purposes only. Always consult with a certified tax expert before proceeding with any real estate transaction.

How It Works

This rule is defined by the tax code as the purchase of a new piece of real estate property that is similar in value to the real estate property being sold. Under

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Garage Organization Tips for HomeownersWith the right organizational techniques, the garage can act as a functional workspace and storage room. Homeowners must overhaul their entire garage to achieve this goal, however. Although the process is time-consuming and tedious, the outcome can provide a lifetime of benefits. Here are a few DIY steps homeowners can follow to transform their garage into a truly organized space.

Start By Making a Rough Sketch

By drawing up a rough sketch, homeowners can plan the overall layout of their organized garage. They should include the location of all major toolboxes, workbenches and other large items to start. From there, they can plan where to put the shelves, drawers and other organizational elements to complete the design.

Find the Right

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What Differs Between Mortgage Approval and Prequalification?First-time home buyers may not understand the difference between a mortgage prequlaification and mortgage approval. At the end of the day, prequalification is not the same as being approved for a mortgage loan. While both are important to buying a home, one definitely holds more weight. How should a renter get started and what do they need to know about prequalification, preapproval and the mortgage application process?

Know which one is preferred by sellers. Understand more about mortgage prequalification and approval today.

For informational purposes only. Always consult with a licensed mortgage professional before proceeding with any real estate transaction.

How Prequalification Works

A lender asks about a number of factors and may

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Home Buyer Guide: What Floor Plan is Right for You?The floor plan you choose when you buy a home will have a big impact on the way you live your life. Whether you're walking upstairs and downstairs all day long, cooking breakfast in an open space next to your living room, or doing your laundry on the same level where your bedroom is located, the floor plan can affect all day-to-day activities. Knowing which options are available and what the pros and cons are of each can help.

Multi-Story Home

A multi-level home usually has at least two floors, and some have more. Multi-story homes are romantic and beautiful. Many people like having their bedrooms upstairs, where it's private and quiet, and their living room downstairs where it's louder and more public.

People who have mobility issues

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Financial Considerations in the Mortgage Approval ProcessIt can be far too easy to get swept up into the idea of buying a home without knowing how to position oneself to get approved for a mortgage loan. There are a number of financial considerations applicants should be aware of before and during the mortgage application process. Some actions may inadvertently make it less likely for an applicant to be approved for a mortgage loan. Avoid these financial pitfalls when applying for a mortgage loan.

For informational purposes only. Always consult with a licensed mortgage professional before proceeding with any real estate transaction.

Don't Lower Your Credit Score

Some behaviors can serve to lower one's credit score. Do not apply for additional credit lines a short time before applying for a loan.

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