Our South Bay Community Blog

Pool Maintenance: A Reality Not to IgnoreSome homeowners consider a backyard swimming pool a mixed blessing. A pool is typically an attractive focal point and a social gathering spot during the season. In some parts of the country, owners enjoy year-round use of a pool and adjacent patio. In addition to the pool, many homes have professional landscaping around the pool to enhance the functionality and beauty of the backyard.

However, every pool requires regular maintenance: In addition to thinking about the fun it will provide, also consider the time and expense to keep a pool in prime operating condition as well as assuring that it is always visually attractive and safe for use. Although they are not normally an overwhelming concern, a homeowner must also be aware of the need for

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What to Know About Installing a DeckInstalling a deck can be an exciting new project for any homeowner to take on. They picture summer evenings sipping beer or serving dinner to all their friends. But there are a few factors to keep in mind before measuring or hiring contractors. The rules of decks vary across the nation, depending on where a person lives, what materials they're using, and how the land slopes beneath their feet. Keep these tips in mind for better results.

Check for Permits First

Whether owners are subject to HOA rules or not, they still need to check with their local authorities to learn more about what they can and can't do. In some El Segundo neighborhoods, owners can install their decks without permits or governmental permission. In others, they may only be

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Housing Bubble Information for HomeownersA housing bubble can be a confusing situation for a person who does not understand the real estate market. Homeowners who know what a housing bubble is, how to identify a bubble when it happens and how to protect their assets can fare better during a bubble than homeowners who don't.

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

What Is A Housing Bubble?

A housing bubble is a market condition that happens when housing prices increase such that a significant portion of the population can no longer afford to buy a home. Usually a bubble grows sharply, often in a time of a good economy when most people have more disposable income. A housing bubble often happens

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What You Need to Know About Property TaxesThe property taxes on a home are designed to help homeowners take part of their community. Property taxes are distributed to the schools and shared community spaces of an area so they can continue to thrive. However, property taxes are also an important part of a new Venice home buyer's budget—one they need to calculate long before they ever move their first box into a home. The exact amount a homeowner pays is based on the location and neighborhood a homeowner has chosen, but there are ways to plan ahead so there are no surprises.

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

State and Local Calculations

State and/or local officials determine how much the

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How to Apply for a Jumbo LoanWhen borrowing money in the form of a mortgage to buy a home, there are many mortgage choices. However, many of those mortgage choices have maximum loan amounts that limit the size of a mortgage to a particular amount. This is where a jumbo loan comes into play. A jumbo loan is a mortgage that has (technically) no upper limit as to the amount of the money to be loaned in the form of a mortgage.

However, jumbo loans have different conditions than traditional loans, which means home buyers may need to adjust their financial strategy to meet the additional requirements of their lender. An approval on a jumbo loan used to be far more difficult to obtain than it is today but that doesn't mean it's easy to be approved for one. Before buyers begin

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Understanding Home Interest RatesWhen buying a home with a mortgage, there are many factors that come into play that effect the monthly mortgage payment. One of the most important is the mortgage interest rate. The interest rate each individual home buyer receives is based on a variety of financial data, such as the buyer's credit score, assets, and debt. Home buyers should understand the basics behind interest rates and amortization formulas, but they should also know about the other factors that can help or hurt them when it comes to paying off their debt - prior to obtaining a mortgage.

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

Amortization Basics

Amortization formulas tell

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What to Do If You Need to Defer Your Home MaintenanceTo defer maintenance on a home is to postpone necessary upkeep or repairs. At times, deferred maintenance is unavoidable due to financial or time constraints, but it's easy for homeowners to get carried away when it comes to putting off their to-do list. They may gravely underestimate just how important the repairs are to the integrity of the home. Here's how to mitigate the long-term consequences of deferred maintenance.

Understand the Consequences

Postponing repairs is primarily a safety issue at its core, but it's also a financial one as well. Experts claim that homeowners can spend up to four times as much on deferred maintenance than on the original repair. If wiring needs to be replaced, the home will be prone to electrical fires. If

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Can You Use the Money In a 401K to Buy a Home?Getting together the money to make a down payment on a home can be difficult for many home buyers. In fact, for some the down payment makes buying a home prohibitively expensive. Fortunately, there are options. Having a 401K of significant value can be very helpful, under the right circumstances. Home buyers who are having a hard time getting together their down payment should be aware of the various ways that they can use their 401K to buy a home.

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

Can You Take Money Out of Your 401K to Make A Down Payment?

Yes, in most cases, a home buyer can take money out of their 401K to make a down payment on a home

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Popular Home Styles in 20th Century AmericaIt can be hard to differentiate between the many architectural styles still found in different areas of the country today. While some styles may be captured in registered and recognized historic homes, some styles are more recent and may be spotted while driving through town. It is also interesting to note that certain architectural styles only become prominent after particular man-made materials became available. While other architectural style attempt to bring elements of nature indoors, integrating natural materials in the construction and aesthetics of a home.

Common Home Styles of the 20th Century

There are a range of architectural styles found in residences that continue to inspire builders, contractors and potential homebuyers. Simpler

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5 Siding Choices for the HomeReplacing home siding is a great way to improve the look and value of the entire property. Since there is such a wide variety in styles and prices, people should carefully think about siding materials before making a choice. Here are five of the most popular options homeowners could consider.

1. Vinyl Siding

In bang for the buck, there is little that beats vinyl siding. That is why vinyl takes up almost a third of the siding market. Vinyl siding came out in the 1990's as an inexpensive material that is pretty simple to maintain and can keep its color over time. Unlike wood, vinyl does not absorb water. Homeowners do not have to worry about the color flaking off due to weather or wind. The paint color is applied to the siding before

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