Our South Bay Community Blog

Own a Fireplace? Safety, Maintenance Tips You Need to KnowThere's nothing more cozy than lighting a fire in the fireplace on a winter night. And even in sunny California, where winters are mild or even nonexistent, many homes have a fireplace - even if they are rarely used. However, fireplaces can be dangerous if they're not properly maintained and used safely. Here's what you need to know to keep your fireplace in good condition.

Never Leave a Fire Burning Unattended

Fires should never burn unattended. Homeowners with gas fireplaces need to only turn off their fireplace before leaving the room. However, homeowners with wood-burning fireplaces must wait for their fire to burn low: they cannot put out the fire with water.

For this reason, it's important for Manhattan Beach homeowners with a

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How to Set the Right Price for Your HomeWhen it comes to selling a home, there are multiple factors a seller must keep in mind. It may seem as easy as looking up the price of the home that sold last week down the block, but sellers really shouldn't fall into this simplistic trap. Keep these warnings in mind to avoid making a major mistake.

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

Anchors Matter

The price of the home sets an anchor in people's minds, regardless of whether a person goes too high or too low. And while this term is often used to describe consumer goods, it applies to any item for sale. A person may only be so willing to raise their bid when it comes to a home that's

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cash offer for a homeWhen a homeowner is listing a home, they may be anticipating multiple offers. This can help to drive up the final price offered on a home. While many potential buyers will be financing their purchase through a lender, there may be a couple offering to pay for the home in cash.

Cash offers may be an attractive option for a seller. However, those homeowners selling their home for the first time or who may not have dealt with buyers paying in cash may want to learn more about a cash offer and how it may alter the home buying process.

A Cash Offer or Financing

A cash offer is not an option for every buyer. An all-cash offer enables the potential buyer to forgo dealing with a lender's approval process as a mortgage loan is not necessary. A buyer

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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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