What Millennials Want

What Millennials Want

  Millennials are influencing the marketplace, prioritizing integrated technology and storage solutions in modern home design.   The next generation of homeowners wants smart, stylish homes that enable them to connect with friends and family.  Millennials will lead the way in adopting new technology — making features like the ability to preheat an oven or unlock the front door from your smartphone the new norm in home convenience.   All About Millennials This segment was born between 1980 and 2000, meaning the youngest are in their mid-teens and the oldest are just hitting mid-thirties. Many are still in school and...Read more
California’s Solar Initiative

California’s Solar Initiative

California Makes Solar Power Easy! What better place to take advantage of the sun’s rays then sunny California?  The state has been at the forefront of new and sustainable energy initiatives, with solar power being one of the most popular and widely accessible alternative energy solutions.  Homebuyers and even renters are enticed by “green” amenities, so outfitting your home with solar panels can have a big payoff! California’s Solar Programs California has been expanding the Go Solar California campaign, which includes incentives for qualified single-family, low-income homeowners (SASH), as well as incentives for qualifying affordable housing (MASH), the New Solar...Read more
Understanding Tax Proration

Understanding Tax Proration

Property taxes are paid current when a property is sold.  Find out how to calculate tax proration at the close of escrow.   Closing costs for the sale of real property will include property tax proration.  The purpose of a proration in a sale escrow is to fairly divide property expenses – such as taxes and homeowner’s association dues (HOAs) – between the buyer and seller to ensure each party is only paying for the days which s/he actually owns the property.   THE TAX YEAR Unlike the calendar year, the tax year begins on July 1 and ends on...Read more
Understanding the California Residential Purchase Agreement & Joint Escrow Instructions

Understanding the California Residential Purchase Agreement & Joint Escrow Instructions

  Learn how to read and negotiate the terms of the standard California Residential Purchase Agreement when buying or selling real estate.   The transfer of real estate is a legal process with loads of paperwork, often written in legalese.  While the interpretation can seem daunting for those new to the marketplace, the standard California Residential Purchase Agreement is not as complicated as it seems.  With built-in safeguards for both the buyer and seller, the standard California Residential Purchase Agreement is written with consumer protection in mind. Below we explain each section in detail.  Sections where terms can be edited...Read more
13 Hottest California Real Estate Markets

13 Hottest California Real Estate Markets

Everyone loves California!  Here are the statistics to prove it.   Spring is upon us!  As the temperatures are steadily rising, so too are the nation’s hottest real estate markets.  It should be no surprise for our fellow Californians that California is dominating the housing market yet again.  Preliminary data for the month of March shows that spring home-buying season is in full bloom.   The Research Realtor.com identified the 20 hottest medium- to large-size housing markets for the month of March 2016.  To estimate demand, they analyzed the number of listing views per market; and to estimate supply, they...Read more
5 Simple Home Improvements to Increase Your Home’s Value

5 Simple Home Improvements to Increase Your Home’s Value

Some home improvements cost more than they are worth.  Here are 5 simple home improvements worth more than they cost!   Some projects will protect your dollars more than others if you’re planning to sell in a few years.  Invest your time and money wisely, and your home improvements can increase your home’s value. The Data Want to know how to get the most bang for your buck with a home remodel?  Check out Remodeling’s website.  Since 2002, this trade magazine for contractors and builders has been tracking common home improvement projects and how much of the cost of each...Read more
Is an Encumbrance Affecting the Value of Your Property?

Is an Encumbrance Affecting the Value of Your Property?

Find out how non-possessory interests, or encumbrances, can affect the value of your property. An encumbrance is an interest in real property that is held by someone other than the owner of the property.  Anything that affects the use or the title of a property is an encumbrance.  Encumbrances are very common and while it is not always a problem to purchase an encumbered property, it is important to understand the type of encumbrance you are dealing with to know how it may limit the use or transferability of your property. Encumbrances fall into two general categories: financial encumbrances and...Read more
Should I Work With a Real Estate Agent to Sell My Home in California?

Should I Work With a Real Estate Agent to Sell My Home in California?

You are never required to work with a real estate agent when buying or selling property in California.  Not surprisingly, however, most home sellers will choose to contract a licensed California real estate agent to manage the marketing and sale of their property.  There are many benefits to working with a real estate agent; find out if a licensed California real estate agent is the right choice for you.   Real Estate Education: Practice, Principles, Law and Appraisal To become a licensed real estate associate in California, you have to take a number of classes regarding real estate law, practice,...Read more
What are Closing Costs in California?

What are Closing Costs in California?

Closing costs are fees paid through escrow for the transfer of real property.  Closing costs can include lender fees, escrow fees, title fees, title insurance, property taxes, agent commissions, recording fees, and more.  Many buyers and sellers are surprised at how expensive closing costs can be in some cases, and unfortunately, California has some of the highest closing costs in the country.  Find out how to estimate your closing costs when buying or selling a home in California.   Who Pays For What? Like most aspects of the California purchase agreement, delegation of closing costs is negotiable, however, there may...Read more
What is a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA)?

What is a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA)?

A comparative market analysis, or “comp,” is used by California real estate professionals to determine the value of a particular property.  The value of a home will vary between different cities and even within more localized markets within the city.  For instance, a 2-bedroom 1-bathroom home in San Francisco will be priced much higher than an identical home in a suburb such as Hemet.  Furthermore, a beachfront property in San Diego will cost more than a similar property further inland. A real estate agent or licensed appraiser will compare the property characteristics and condition of your property to similar properties...Read more