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5 TIPS FOR BUYING A HOME

Looking to buy a home? Here are five essential tips for making the process as smooth as possible. Get your finances in order. Start by getting a full picture of your credit. Obtain copies of your credit report. Make sure the facts are correct, and fix any problems you find. Next, find a suitable lender and get pre-approved for a loan. This will put you in a better position to make a serious offer when you do find the right house. Find a house you can afford. As with engagement rings, there’s a general rule of thumb when it comes to buying a home: two-and-a-half times your annual salary. There are also a number of tools and calculators online that can help you understand how your income, debt

RELOCATING TO THE BIG CITY

Moving from a small town or suburb to a large city can be an intimidating proposition. Here are a few tips to help make your move as painless as possible. Research before you move. It’s important to understand the culture you’re joining. Do research online and find out about school systems, neighborhoods, parking, weather, public transportation, and laws that are native to that area. If you can, visit a city before moving and connect with someone who’s lived there before. Have a plan. There are a lot of steps to go through before you start packing the moving truck. Find housing before you leave, or at least know where you’ll stay while you look for a home. Never sign a lease on an apartment

PREPARING TO SELL

Selling your home doesn′t just mean hiring a realtor to stick a sign out front. There are a lot of preparations you should make to ensure you get the best offer possible in the shortest time. Repair. Just because you’ve gotten used to the cracks in the walls and the rattles in the radiators doesn’t mean a buyer will too. If you have hardwood floors that need refinishing, be sure to get it done—hardwood is a huge selling point. Buyers like to snoop around, so be sure to fix any sticky doors or drawers as well. Finally, don’t forget to address any issues with the exterior—fences, shingles, sidewalks, etc. After all, without curb appeal, some buyers may never get to see the inside. Neutralize.

DEALING WITH FINANCING

As the events of the last few years in the real estate industry show, people forget about the tremendous financial responsibility of purchasing a home at their peril. Here are a few tips for dealing with the dollar signs so that you can take down that “for sale” sign on your new home. Get pre-approved. Sub-primes may be history, but you’ll probably still be shown homes you can’t actually afford. By getting pre-approved as a buyer, you can save yourself the grief of looking at houses you can’t afford. You can also put yourself in a better position to make a serious offer when you do find the right house. Unlike pre-qualification, which is based on a cursory review of your finances, pre-approv

GO LONG BEACH APP

As someone who sells homes in Long Beach, I am always looking for value ads I can pass on to the citizens of this fine city I call home. One of the newest and coolest ideas I’ve come across recently is the “Go Long Beach” app for your smart phone. How the app works: “Any time someone with a smart phone notices a problem anywhere in the City, they can now use the Go Long Beach App to provide a picture, description and precise GPS coordinates of the problem to be fixed." The initial service categories are graffiti, graffiti in parks, code violations, loose dog running in the street, broken water fountains in parks, potholes, illegally dumped items, missing street signs, sidewalk damage, dead a

PREPARING FOR DROUGHT IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

For some folks in this country talking about a drought right now might not make a whole lot of sense. With that nasty ‘polar vortex’ dropping down south a few times this year, it’s still very cold in the east. Surprisingly enough, it is bone dry here in southern California. We are coming off the driest year since they have been keeping rainfall records. Unfortunately 2014 didn’t show signs for bringing anymore rain than 2013, in fact the Governor has just declared a drought in the state of California. How do they know that we are in a drought you say… or that summer will be dangerously dry…. they count the snow pack in the mountains. If we don’t have snow, we don’t have run off water and thi

BIGGEST HOME SELLER MISTAKES LONG BEACH, CA

Some of the biggest home Seller mistakes in Long Beach, California are listed below. While the ‘mother ship’ has provided us with this beautiful graphic there is something a little strange about it . . . do you see what I see? Data provided by ActiveRain.com. ActiveRain is an online community of real estate professionals who exchange best practices, write real estate blogs and get free education from the industry and their peers. These are clearly the top mistakes made by Sellers. I feel confident that ActiveRain really did the research with the 1,000 agents. But I added up all those percentages and came up with 212%… did you see that too? Who knows, working through some of these issues can

HOW DO I GET RID OF AN UNWANTED TENANT?

Investment Real Estate ownership comes with a ton of responsibilities, one of which is tenant relations. When a unit is vacant you certainly want to fill it, unfortunately in your urge to fill the unit you may move in tenants with issues. Issues that prevent them from paying the rent. If you are lucky that’s their only issue. Sometimes said tenant will be such a nuisance, they will actually ‘drive off’ other tenants from the property; sadly this happens every day. The above referenced issues have legal, not always pleasant , but legal remedies and that’s not really what this article is all about. Right now I’d like to address the tenant that has been on the property for many years, and for w

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