Our South Bay Community Blog

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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Neighborhood Research When Purchasing a HomeBuying a home is one of the biggest investments that many people will ever make. Making the right decision can be difficult, especially for a first time home buyer. The neighborhood where a home is located is just as important as the home itself. Knowing what to look for and how to identify a good neighborhood makes the home buying process easier. Here's what you know.

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

Walk Around the Neighborhood

Before making an offer on a home, it's important for home buyers to spend time walking the sidewalks or driving around in the neighborhood where the home is located. Paying attention to sidewalks, flow of

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Should You Refinance Your Home? A Closer LookThe term refinancing is often thrown around in casual conversation today, especially in the wake of the housing crisis. Some homeowners make it sound like it might be the smartest move they ever made, while others say that refinancing is not such a good idea. The truth is that it can be both. So it's understandable if not everyone understands its explicit meaning, or whether or not it's right for them. Find out more about what home refinancing entails, what it's used for, and how to decide on a long-term plan.

For informational purposes only. Always consult with a mortgage expert or financial advisor before proceeding with any real estate transaction.

What It Means

Refinancing happens when a homeowner gets rid of their own old loan (by

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All About Home Appraisals for Home BuyersThe home buying process includes many steps, some easy and some not. If a home buyer is borrowing money to buy a home, there are more than steps involved in the process than someone who is paying cash. If a buyer is using a lender, soon after a good home purchase offer is accepted and once the home buyer has entered the escrow period, an appraisal is performed by the lender. Understanding appraisals and their purpose can help the home buyer through the escrow process. Here's what you need to know.

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

What Is a Real Estate Appraisal?

A real estate appraisal is a professional assessment of a home's market

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What You Should Know About Reverse MortgagesReverse mortgages are available to homeowners aged 62 or older who have managed to accrue plenty of equity in their home. There is no standard for equity, but experts will recommend at least 50%. Find out more about how it works, and whether or not its consequences are worth the rewards.

For informational purposes only. Always consult with a financial advisor or attorney before proceeding with any real estate transaction.

The Reverse Mortgage is a Type of Loan

The reverse mortgage is a loan that provides a homeowner with cash based on how much equity they have in their home. They are different from other types of mortgage loans. Instead of the homeowner paying their lender, the lender pays the homeowner by drawing on the equity the

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