Our South Bay Community Blog

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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How to Handle Earnest Money in CaliforniaWhen buying a home, there are many things to consider. One of those things is called ernest money or intial depsits. Initial deposits are often called 'earnest money' in the real estate world because they're designed to show just how serious a potential buyer is in the property. So instead of just making an offer and waiting for it to be accepted, the buyer follows up the offer with actual cash. For those planning to purchase property in California, there are a few things to know about how earnest money works in different markets.

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

It's Not Required

Earnest money is not required according to the rules

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All About Creating a Home OfficeMany people who work in offices dream of working from home. Before this can be done, homeowners must first renovate their home to create a home office. A good home office will be comfortable and properly constructed. It can also be a great asset if you are thinking of selling your home. If you're a homeowner who is thinking about installing your own home office, here's what you need to know.

Get Permits and Hire Professionals When Required

Any time structural changes are being made to a home, it's critical for the homeowner to ensure that those changes are made properly. Hiring a sub-par contractor could have devastating results. To hire a good contractor, homeowners must:

  • Check references and licensure
  • Browse through the
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What You Need to Know About Virtual Reality Real Estate MarketingVirtual reality technology transforms the Internet into an immersive digital experience, and it is changing everything that everyone knows about real estate marketing. VR goes beyond simple drone technology. VR technology allows home buyers to make better decisions in a shorter amount of time by allowing them the opportunity to experience a property before ever setting foot inside the door. Here's how virtual reality is impacting the real estate industry:

Virtual Home Tours are Becoming Increasingly Popular

Across the country, the hottest real estate markets are experiencing record-setting activity. In some cases, the inventory is low and the demand for properties is high, which causes homes to sell as soon as they are listed. For buyers,

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