Understanding Closing Costs

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You can generally break down all closing costs into two basic groups: Amounts paid to state and local governments. These include city, county and state transfer taxes, recordation fees, and prepaid property taxes. Costs of obtaining a loan or mortgage. These fees include title insurance, appraisals, credit checks, loan origination and documentation fees, commitment and processing fees, hazard and mortgage insurance and interest prepayments. There are plenty of fees that you’ll have to pay during the closing. Many of these costs are … [Read more...]

The Pre-Qualification Process

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Pre-approval can be a very valuable step towards purchasing a home. Many home buyers get pre-qualified for a home loan early on, and then become pre-approved before beginning a serious home search. By completing your mortgage application prior to choosing a home, you can get a pre-approval letter stating how much home you can afford. Your pre-approval letter lets you know exactly how much you can spend, and it shows home sellers and real estate agents that you're serious about buying a home. This may give you leverage in the negotiation … [Read more...]

4 Tips for Buying a House in a Buyer’s Market

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Now is a great time to buy a house. Prices are falling, and so are mortgage rates.  Millions of houses are for sale, and sellers are getting anxious. That's one way of looking at it.  Alternatively, you could say: This is a bad time to buy a house. Prices might be lower in a few months. Same with mortgage rates. With more than 4 million houses on the market nationally, and more being added daily, sellers are bound to become desperate. Why not wait them out? In many places, it's a buyer's market in real estate, with sellers outnumbering … [Read more...]

Why You Should Have a Home Inspection

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Whether you're buying an older home or new construction in the South Bay, a home inspection is an absolute necessity. A home inspection will assess the building code conformity as well as all the systems and structural components that make up the building, such as: Structural elements, foundation, framing etc Plumbing systems Electrical systems Heating and Cooling systems Roofing Cosmetic condition, paint, siding, etc. General Environmental Issues. When you’ve decided upon the South Bay home you want to buy and you’re … [Read more...]

Showing Tips for Your Home

A sale sign advertises a home in Alexandria, Virginia

Once you have decided to put your home on the market, try to view it from a buyer’s prospective. Here are six helpful steps to give you home a winning look: Keep it clean. A good cleaning and fresh paint create the impression that your home has been well-cared for. Keep it uncluttered. It will be neater and look larger. You want to convey a spacious feeling. Keep it repaired. Fix it before the buyer inquires about it; the need for repairs can affect a potential sale. Keep it neutral. Eliminate distracting colors and personal … [Read more...]

16 Mistakes That Sellers Make When Listing Their Home

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When the market favors buyers, as it does today, it is important to do everything possible to avoid the common mistakes which often lead to homes sitting on the market. Without question price is the most important aspect of getting your home sold, and the most common mistake that sellers make. Here is a list of common mistakes and how best to avoid them. Pricing Your Home Too High Solution: Price is almost everything! We are area experts and can research comparable sales in your area and advise you of the appropriate price range of your … [Read more...]

How to Look for Foreclosures

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With all the news regarding sub prime lending and an ever increasing number of foreclosures and auctions, it's good to understand what foreclosures are, the reality of buying a home, and how to go about trying to accomplish it. Please read through our foreclosure information pages to get some valuable information. What is a Foreclosure? Foreclosure is the legal proceeding in which a bank or other secured creditor sells or repossesses a parcel of real property (immovable property) due to the owner's failure to comply with an agreement … [Read more...]

All About Down Payments

downpayment

An important aspect of getting a home loan is saving money for your down payment. You have many choices to make your home more affordable to you. Lenders used to require a down payment of at least 20% of the home's price. These days, however, many lenders offer flexible home loan programs allowing you to put very little down -- three percent or less of the home price. For some buyers it used to be possible to buy a home with no down payment at all, or to receive help from local down payment assistance programs. With the recent problems with … [Read more...]

South Bay Lifestyle

South Bay Lifestyle

The Cities of the South Bay are idyllic examples of the beach lifestyle. The beach lifestyle is all about a relaxed attitude. Life is casual at the beach. The pace is unhurried. Nature provides excitement and time is spent outdoors as much as possibe. Living at the beach gives one a chance to make spending time outdoors a priority. One also has ample opportunities for keeping in touch with people because everyone wants to visit you when you live at the beach. Make 'seize the day' your motto for life at the beach. Every day is a precious … [Read more...]

What’s Manhattan Beach About?

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Manhattan Beach is ideally located.  We are close to Santa Monica on the Westside, Century City financial offices and about 20 miles from downtown Los Angeles.  The 405, 105 and 91 Freeways are just minutes from Manhattan Beach. The city is 3.88 miles square with 2.1 miles of coastline.  Approximately half of the city land is devoted to residential use. The 2000 census put the population close to 34,000.  Our population is a diverse mixture.  We have new people moving to our town each day and older residents who have lived here … [Read more...]