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What’s the Best Day to Put Your Home on the Market?
May 16, 2018 in Blog

What’s the Best Day to Put Your Home on the Market?

When it comes to listing a home, sellers don’t want to leave anything to chance, including what day they put their home on the market. Toward that end, Redfin analyzed a sample of 100,000 homes that sold in 2017 and found that homeowners should put their property up for sale on a Wednesday to gain the most money; a Thursday for the quickest sale; and to avoid Sunday altogether. Here, more... Read more
Old House Versus New House: Which Is Better to Buy?
May 8, 2018 in Blog

Old House Versus New House: Which Is Better to Buy?

If you’re shopping for a place to live, this may be one of your primary decisions. Is it better to buy brand-new? Or do homes, like wine, get better with time? It turns out there is no one-size-fits-all answer, but there are distinct pros and cons to each purchase. That means your final answer may boil down to a personal preference. Here, Realtor.com tells you what to keep in mind when... Read more
14 Factors That Can Stall the Mortgage Closing Process image
May 1, 2018 in Blog

14 Factors That Can Stall the Mortgage Closing Process

You’ve found your dream home and your purchase offer has been accepted. Now you have to get through one more step before you move in: mortgage closing. The time it takes to close on a home will vary from one person to the next, but when everything goes right, loan closings can be completed in as little as 21 to 28 days. However, not everything always goes according to plan. Issues can arise... Read more
April 26, 2018 in Blog

13 Smart Ways to Sell Your Home as Fast as Possible

Thinking about selling your home? Here, Reader’s Digest offers 13 smart ways to sell your home faster! 1. Sell at the right time If you have been debating whether or not to sell your home, spring it the best time to do so. Listing your home from March through May is usually the best time, since conversation rates and sales velocity usually are at their highest levels for the... Read more
April 16, 2018 in Blog

How to Make Your Home Appear Warmer—and Less Sterile—to Potential Homebuyers

Arranging furnishings and decor in a house so buyers can envision living there can be an important tool for home sellers. In fact, studies show that staged homes sell 88 percent faster and for 20 percent more money than those that aren’t staged. However, home staging can be taken too far. Home sellers sometimes clear out every family photo, pillow and doo-dad until their house appears quite... Read more
April 16, 2018 in 2018 Blog Newsletter

Focus on Fascinating Riviera Retailer: Soil

The space may be small, but the unique gift ideas are overflowing at Soil, a centrally located kiosk in the heart of the Riviera Village. Once an information booth, the kiosk sat empty for many years until 1998, when the owners of Soil proposed a small retail space with any profits exceeding a set amount being donated back to the local schools. Today, Soil specializes in exquisitely scented... Read more
April 9, 2018 in Blog

How to Get a Higher Price During a Sellers’ Market

Do certain amenities attract buyers to pay a premium for a home? According to Zillow—which analyzed 3.6 million home sales between 2016 and 2017 to see how listing keywords associated with different features can impact the sale price and time on market of a home—the answer is, “Yes.” The top amenity? Steam showers, which can lead to a home selling for 29 percent above its expected value.... Read more
April 6, 2018 in Blog

Which Offer Should You Choose When Selling Your House?

If you’re selling your home, you might receive multiple offers from prospective buyers. So, the smart move is to pick the highest one, right? Not always. Price is one of many considerations when deciding which offer is best for you and your home. Here, Trulia discusses some of the other factors that matter when selling your home, and how each one could affect your... Read more
March 26, 2018 in Blog

How to Navigate the House-Hunting Process from Long Distance

Searching for a house locally is not without its difficulties. Add hundreds or even thousands of miles to the equation, and it becomes infinitely more complicated. Although long-distance house hunting has its unique challenges, it’s not impossible. In fact, with the right agent and the convenience of modern technology, it’s never been easier to buy a house remotely. Here, Trulia.com offers a... Read more
March 26, 2018 in Blog

How to Determine How Big of a Home You Truly Need

When it comes to homes, bigger isn’t always better. For one, bigger homes obviously cost more, and oversized houses also can be more difficult to sell. As such, you’ll want a home that’s neither too big nor too small. But how do you strike that balance? Here, Realtor.com suggests five questions to ask yourself that will help you determine how much space you really need. 1. Is this... Read more
March 19, 2018 in Blog

How to Know When It’s Time to Sell

Did you know that there is a best time to sell a house? The month—and even the day—you list your home can make a big difference. In real estate, timing is everything, and if you’re able to take your time, it can be worth waiting for the best time to sell a house. But even if you have time constraints, you likely can still find the best time to sell within them. Here, Trulia offers some... Read more
March 2, 2018 in 2018 Blog Newsletter

Community Event Saves Lives

16th Annual Torrance Relay for Life April 21-22 at South High The statistics remain grim – cancer is the second most common cause of death in the U.S., exceeded only by heart disease. According to the American Cancer Society, in 2018 there will be an estimated 1,735,350 new cancer cases diagnosed and 609,640 cancer deaths in the United States. Which is why it’s more important than ever for... Read more
February 27, 2018 in Blog

Six Surprising Ways Home Staging Could Sabotage Your Sale

Home staging can be great when it comes to helping prospective buyers imagine themselves in your space. On the other spectrum, staging also can go wrong. Here, Realtor.com points out some mistakes that are easy to make when beautifying your home for the market. 1. Overdesigning The goal of home staging is to help buyers visualize what the house could look like once they are settled. The trick... Read more
February 23, 2018 in Blog

Is Now the Time to Seek Out an Adjustable-Rate Mortgage Loan?

Since 2009, annual mortgage rates have been below 5 percent, and demand for adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) has been in the single digits. Ellie Mae reports that ARMs comprised just 5.6 percent of the marketplace in December 2017, up from 3.9 percent in November 2016. Why the new interest in ARM loans? There are few financial products that are easier to understand or a better deal for... Read more
February 22, 2018 in Blog

Five Reasons Why Buying a House Is a Much Bigger Commitment Than Marriage

Some couples might not be ready for marriage, but they are happy to join together in buying a house. Here, Realtor.com discusses why purchasing a home is much more of a commitment than walking down the aisle. 1. You can return a ring—but not a house There are almost always clauses that allow at least a 50 percent refund from wedding vendors if someone gets cold feet. There is no such... Read more
February 5, 2018 in Blog

Five Sure-Fire Ways to Get Acquainted with Your New Neighborhood

1. Make the first move It can be intimidating to approach a new next-door neighbor and introduce yourself. However, your new neighbors might be equally hesitant to disturb your family, especially if you seem busy moving boxes and unpacking. So, take the initiative and look for an opportunity when the neighbors don’t look rushed or preoccupied. A wave or hello can open the door without being... Read more
January 29, 2018 in Blog

How to Find Your Ideal School in a New Neighborhood

Schools often are the most important deciding factors for a family seeking out a new neighborhood to call home. While there’s no single solution to finding the right one, there is more to consider than test scores alone. Think commute times, the school’s PTA scene and your child’s classroom experience. Here, Trulia offers six steps to choosing a school that will fit your family. 1. Ask... Read more
January 29, 2018 in Blog

Five Ways to Come Out on Top if You’re Buying a Home in 2018

Buying a house can be difficult, especially when the rules keep changing. When it comes to purchasing a home, the methods that worked in the past now no longer apply. Today, there are new tax codes, tougher competition and more that will require you to be on top of your game. To help you prepare, Realtor.com offers five tips to buying a house in 2018. 1. Know the new tax codes Recent tax... Read more
January 17, 2018 in Blog

Busting Some Common Home-Buying Myths

Busting Some Common Home-Buying Myths   Dreaming of buying your first home? Here, Realtor.com dispels a few common home-buying myths and offers some tips to help you purchase the house of your dreams.   Myth No. 1: “I’m too young to worry about buying a house right now; there’s plenty of time” The fact is, 40 percent of all homebuyers are 34 years old and younger... Read more
January 16, 2018 in 2018 Blog Newsletter

Hiking is a Way of Life for This Riviera Resident

If it’s a Saturday, there’s one place you’re sure to find Riviera resident Minoo Hart – on a hike with the Sierra Club. http://liveinhollywoodriviera.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/IGOR_0118-460x750.jpg Minoo has been a member of the Sierra Club for 8 years and loves it so much, she became a hike leader. In this capacity, not only does she lead Saturday morning hikes, she also... Read more
January 8, 2018 in Blog Uncategorized

Mortgage Rates Drop

Freddie Mac’s most recent Primary Mortgage Market Survey shows that treasury yields fell from a week ago, helping to drive mortgage rates down to begin the new year. “The 30-year mortgage rate is down a quarter of a percentage point from where it was a year ago, and the spread between the 30-year fixed and 5/1 adjustable rate mortgage is the lowest since 2009,” says Len Kiefer, Freddie... Read more
January 2, 2018 in Blog

Homebuyers are Bringing Cryptocurrency to the Housing Market

Bitcoin—the first digital currency that works without a bank or middleman—has risen 183.6 percent during the previous month, from $5,870.37 per coin on Nov. 12 to $16,650.01 on Dec. 12, according to Bitstamp data. Its market cap is more than $293 billion, and although some analysts warn of a crypto bubble, others say Bitcoin could eventually compete against the gold market. Redfin has seen... Read more
December 28, 2017 in Blog

Deed Versus Title…What’s the Difference?

Most people use the terms deed and title interchangeably, but there’s a significant difference between the two—a distinction that’s important to understand when you’re preparing to buy a home. Here, Realtor.com examines what distinguishes a deed from a title. The difference between the two real estate terms A deed is a legal document used to confirm or convey the ownership rights to... Read more
December 19, 2017 in Blog

Why You Shouldn’t Buy a House Without a Home Inspection Checklist

A home inspection checklist is a rundown of features throughout a house that might be faulty or need fixing. Home inspectors use these lists while inspecting homes, which prevents them from accidentally overlooking small things and thereby guarantees that their inspection is thorough. Getting a good home inspection is crucial, since it can help you root out potentially costly problems... Read more
December 11, 2017 in Blog

Seven Home-Staging Secrets That Can Make a Small Living Room Look Huge

When it comes to home staging, the golden rule is to make a space look bigger to prospective buyers. And perhaps nowhere is that concept more vitally important than in the living room—the place where homeowners tend to spend most of their time entertaining and relaxing, and where potential buyers will be placing extra scrutiny. Here, Realtor.com offers a few quick and relatively affordable ways... Read more
December 4, 2017 in Blog

Five Tips That Can Help Sell Your House Fast

Looking to find a buyer as fast as possible? There’s good news: It’s possible to sell a home fast by taking care of a few key tasks before your home hits the market. Although these tips from Realtor.com can’t guarantee a speedy sale, they definitely won’t hurt your chances of securing a buyer. 1. Tidy up to make your house stand out Pristine houses are much more attractive to a buyer,... Read more
November 27, 2017 in Blog

Five Signs That You Need to Upgrade Your Kitchen Before Selling Your Home

The kitchen is one of the most beloved rooms in any home. So, when it comes time to sell, you’ll want to make sure it’s not only functional but appealing as well. Here, Zillow offers five signs that scream for a kitchen upgrade. 1. Outdated appliances If you still have the same appliances as you did when you first moved in to your home, they likely are outdated. This means they usually are... Read more
November 27, 2017 in Blog

What Happens When a One-of-a-Kind Home Needs a New Owner?

Sometimes when you’re shopping for a home, you can come across one that truly stands out for some reason. Maybe it’s architecturally significant or in some way conveys a “different” attribute—it might be a castle, church or a fire station that has been converted into one or more living spaces. With an unusual home, pricing and marketing can be a challenge, but Zillow offers three... Read more
November 16, 2017 in 2017 Blog Newsletter

L’Atelier in Riviera Village Draws Close-Knit Community of Craft Lovers

Step into the warmly– lit embrace of L’Atielier in the Riviera Village and you’ll hear the soothing sounds of chatting, laughing and the clicking of wooden needles as able hands knit works of art. The clientele here will readily admit to being hooked on knitting, an ancient handicraft with millions of devotees and a plethora of benefits. Owned by Karen Damskey for the past 41 years,... Read more
November 13, 2017 in Blog

Check These 12 Items Off the To-Do List Before Selling Your Home

Getting ready to put your house on the market? It involves a lot more than just placing a “For Sale” sign in your yard. Before you sell your home, Realtor.com suggests that you make sure you’re prepared by completing these important tasks that are sure to pay off once potential buyers begin looking at your property. 1. Find a great real estate agent In a hot market, it might be tempting... Read more
November 6, 2017 in Blog

Six Things You Should Know Before Buying a Condo

A condominium allows you to wade into homeownership without adopting the responsibilities of a single-family home. You pay dues to a condo association, which typically handles exterior building maintenance and landscaping. So, you may find you don’t have to worry about painting your window frames or mowing a lawn. But you also could find trouble if you don’t ask the right questions. Here,... Read more
October 30, 2017 in Blog

Seven Steps to Take Now if You’re Considering Buying a Home in 2018

If you’re thinking about buying a home in 2018, November and December are the perfect time to “warm up” for the house hunt so you can hit the ground running in the new year. No matter where you’re looking for a home, the prep work is relatively the same. From organizing your finances to save money to finding a real estate agent and mortgage lender, Trulia offers seven steps prospective... Read more
October 23, 2017 in Blog

Six Steps for Selling a Home with Pets

Just because you love your pets—whether that be dogs, cats or hamsters—it doesn’t mean that potential buyers want to see those pets (or any evidence of them, for that matter) when they’re looking at a home they’re thinking of buying. Here, Realtor.com offers tips on how to “pet-proof” your place when preparing and showing it for sale. 1. Check your insurance Although you... Read more
October 17, 2017 in Blog

How to Use Music to Sell Your Home

Can music really get a buyer in the mood to seal the deal? According to Adrian North, Lorraine Sheridan and Charles Areni, a trio of Australians who tested this theory in 2015, hearing music makes people want to spend more money than if tunes were not present. In other words, music adds more perceived value to the product being offered. Toward that end, Realtor.com offers some insight into... Read more
October 16, 2017 in 2017 Blog Newsletter

Riviera Resident Leah Lewis is the New Rabbi at Temple Menorah

Riviera resident Leah Lewis does not fit the profile of a typical rabbi. In fact, this young female rabbi is among the growing ranks of women rabbis in the U.S. Women still make up a small percentage of rabbis in Judaism -- only 35 percent of reform rabbis and 17.5 percent of conservative rabbis. The orthodox movement does not ordain women. But in a trend that is gaining speed, women rabbis are... Read more
October 10, 2017 in Blog

Five Surprising Benefits of Buying or Selling Your Home in the Fall

Are you seeing less for-sale signs now that summer is over? That can be great news for both buyers and sellers. Don’t think you’ve missed the boat on making your move this year. Here, RealtyTimes offers five ways that buying and selling in the fall can reap big benefits. 1. Less competition While there might be fewer homes on the market, there also are fewer buyers out there competing... Read more