Is the area’s average income increasing? The more affluent a neighborhood, the higher the property values.


Are employment opportunities growing nearby?  More jobs=more people that want to live in the area. 


Are there any nearby housing or community developments that will enhance the quality of life in the area? If a park with a quiet walking trail, a new golf course, a new grocery store, etc. is being built nearby, the value of the neighborhood will increase.


Is the crime rate on the rise or decline? This can have a significant impact on future property values. 

Are there public transit lines located nearby? This is key in higher-density, more urban parts of town.  It's also important near colleges,…

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 If you have had your offer accepted, congratulations!  That is a big step.  You may think now is the time to relax.  After all, you've worked hard to get a mortgage pre-approval, connect with a Realtor, see homes, submit an offer, negotiate, and agree to the terms.  However, there is much left to do, so it's important to stay focused to get through the Escrow process.  We have broken the next steps down into small, manageable tasks that will help you stay on track.  Your Realtor will be there for you every step of the way, guiding you through each task.  If you follow these 10 steps after your offer is accepted, you'll be on track towards closing your Escrow successfully.  



Earnest Money 

You need to submit your Earnest…

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I KNOW your grandma had or has wallpaper in her house, right!?  I bet you didn't think it would ever come back into style, did you?  Well, surprise!  We are seeing wallpaper all over Pinterest, in home design magazines, and in pretty houses that I tour around San Diego!  We think there's definitely a "right way" to use wallpaper. Here are a few of the best tips we've found for how to use wallpaper to spruce up your space: 

Choose the Right Color:  

Color sets the mood of a room!  To make your space feel bigger, choose cool colors, like blue, green, and violet.  If the room has a ton of sunlight already, a bold, warm color such as yellow, red, or orange can look great.  The more intense the color, the more vibrant and exciting the room will feel;…

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An escrow is a deposit of funds or deed from one party, with the intention to deliver it to the other party upon completion of a series of events, as laid out in a contract.  Escrow "opens" upon delivery of escrow instructions and a fully executed real estate contract to a certified escrow company.  The escrow officer processes the escrow, essentially by making sure all of the terms of the agreement set forth by both parties have been met.  Once they have all been met, and the trust deed is recorded at the city recorder's office, funds/deed change hands and escrow is then "closed."  In short, Escrow makes sure everything that the buyer and seller agree upon in the contract are carried out correctly.  

Escrow officers and companies are…

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I want to share with you a few common mistakes that home buyers make, so that you can avoid them at all costs when you buy a home yourself.

Eek! This is a biggie. You probably know your approximate monthly budget for your groceries, car payment, student loans, gas, and weekend outings. So why, then, would you go into a home search without a budget? The best advice I can give it to speak with a mortgage broker early on in your home search to get a sense of your budget. This way, your agent has a number to be respectful of, and you won’t fall in love with a house you can’t afford. 



Try not to get too excited or downtrodden throughout the process.  I know you are passionate about your new home. However, there will likely be many…

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"Can I keep it?"  This is a very common question amongst homebuyers, and comes up in almost every real estate transaction.  The Realtor usually starts talking about fixtures vs. personal property to help the buyers determine what will be theirs and what won't be.  There are, though, a lot of grey areas regarding what is considered a fixture and what is personal property.

Fixtures are items which are affixed to the property (usually bolted in).  Typical examples of fixtures are light switches, plants in the ground, windows, mail boxes, garage doors, etc.  Personal property includes items which can be easily moved and removed from the property.  Examples are art work, potted plants, TVs, standing lamps, tables, etc.  However, consider the following…

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 1. Price it a LITTLE LOW

This may seem counterintuitive. However, let’s look at this concept for a moment. Many homeowners think that pricing their home a little OVER market value will leave them room for negotiation. In actuality, this just dramatically lessens the demand for your house. (see chart below)

Instead of the seller trying to ‘win’ the negotiation with one buyer, they should price it so that demand for the home is maximized. By doing this, the seller will not be fighting with a buyer over the price, but will instead have multiple buyers fight with each other over the house., gives this advice: “Aim to price your property at or just slightly below the going rate. Today’s buyers are highly informed, so if they sense…

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How do I set my budget? 

Answer:  If you are paying cash, you are the only one that can decide what your budget is.  If you are getting a mortgage, your pre-approval will help you set your budget.  You are approved to buy a home in the amount of the pre-approval or below.  However, just because you are pre-approved for a certain amount does not mean that you have to spend that much.  Look at the monthly payments on the pre-approval letter to see if they are appropriate for you.  If not, consider spending less on a home than the amount you were pre-approved for.  Feel free to play around with the mortgage calculator on my site.  I can't stress this enough--set your budget BEFORE you start to search for homes!  


What are my loan options?  

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Finances:  Keeping your financial position stable will increase the odds that you will quality for a loan and that the loan will get funded (no new credit cards, don't quit your job, no huge purchases, etc).  Remember during tax season that buying a home qualifies you for numerous tax benefits.  

Down Payment:  Figuring out your down payment is critical.  In general, down payments can be comprised of money you have saved OR money that has been gifted to you.  Different loans have different down payment requirements, but all loans except for VA loans require some down payment.  

Leave Lease:  Will you be breaking a lease to move out into your new home?  If so, what's the penalty for this?  If your lease is up soon, consider waiting until it…

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I want to write a post about home fixes that add value to your home.  I was hosting an open house recently and a potential home seller came in and asked a bunch of questions about selling, and was very curious to know about what he can do to add value.  The truth of the matter is.... it's not an exact science.  That being said, here are some ideas of fixes that CAN bump up your home's value, whether you are looking to stay there or sell. 

Bathroom and Kitchen Upgrades 

Bathroom and kitchen renovation is a rather costly job, but these areas of the home do add value to the home when they are nicely upgraded.  These are the go-to rooms of the house that people think of when they think about adding value.


Front Door 

A new front door…

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