New Year's Firework Shows

Make your New Year’s Eve memorable with fireworks, entertainment, art, style and dancing at these fun Orange County celebrations. Knott’s Berry Farm This alcohol-free New Year’s event is ideal for those who prefer to celebrate without drinking or desire a family-friendly outing to ring in 2014. With live entertainment, face painting, balloon art and plenty of tasty food on site, as well as within walking distance to the downtown Buena Park area, Knott’s Berry Farm is the place to be. Additionally, one of the most special aspects of the evening is the 10-minute fireworks show held at midnight. Gather those who mean most for a festive gathering under the stars. (credit: Disneyland) Disneyland

Sellers: The Benefits of Staging Your Home

Your home might be beautiful. Maybe it is immaculate, stylishly appointed to suit your tastes or highly upgraded with the finest materials and features. Perhaps it is all of these things. But, unless you are one in a thousand, it is not “staged.” Staging a home for sale is not a new concept, but it is a practice that has gained steam with our more challenging market. I see many home sellers confuse staging with decorating and consequently resisting the process and the recommendations of the staging professional. But the reality is that the moment you commit to marketing your home for sale, you need to commit to transforming your home into a place that potential buyers can easily picture as t

10 Quick Tips To Flip Your Home

Though the heady days of the real estate boom are gone for now, real estate continues to be one of the safest investments you can make—that is, if you invest smartly. The key is to know what improvements to make, be realistic about what you can expect to gain, and to have a very clear idea of what is happening in the neighborhood. Caroline Altman of Lighten The Load, a company that specializes in a range of home staging, decorating and moving services, offers the following tips to would-be real estate tycoons. 1 Do your homework Before you even think about flipping a property, compare the home you plan to flip with other homes in the area. If a comparable property sold for $600,000 with a

5 Reasons to Buy This Winter

Cold weather compounded with the holiday frenzy aren't the typical backdrop for buying a home. Last minute shopping trips and holiday gatherings typically put the home search on pause. Resuming your home search in the new year might seem like the easiest thing to do, but why wait? Homes are on the market now, and sellers need their listings to move. It might be time to reconsider the advantages of purchasing during the slower, winter months. We've compiled 5 great reasons why winter is the best time to buy. 1. Motivated Sellers // Homes for sale in the winter may be easier to negotiate due to many sellers relocating. Use that to your advantage and get a favorable deal. 2. Bargain Prices //

6 Surprising Reasons to Go to an Open House—Even If You're Not Buying

Perusing online real estate listings can be nothing less than addictive. We've all spent time scouring the internet, ogling homes for sale that we don't intend—or can't afford—to buy. Because it's fun! But would you ever hop in the car and go look at a house in person, even if you're not at all ready to make an offer? Before you dismiss the idea, consider what you stand to gain by turning house hunting into an extracurricular activity. Just ask Kristin McGrath. She and her husband visited all sorts of open houses in Austin, TX, while they got their finances in order to buy. They wanted to hit the ground running in the competitive real estate market. “After weeks of checking out other homes,

More Single Women Are Buying Homes

NAR: According to the 2016 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, married couples have the higher household income, but first-time homebuyers are more than likely to be single females or males. However, today, single female buyers only made up 17 percent of buyers while the share of single male buyers is 7 percent less. In past years, single females made up more than one-fifth of the market place and single males made up more than one tenth of recent buyers.* Single-women increased their share in the market, hitting levels not seen since 2011, according to the National Association of Realtors’ annual Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers survey. While married couples make up the largest share of h

Should I Sell My Home When I Retire?

What will your life look like once you retire? Do you plan to travel? Visit grandchildren more often? Maybe retirement is something you do more on paper because you still plan to work. Whatever your particular retirement looks like, you have to think about your home. Some people elect to downsize from a house that was once full of kids. Others would stay forever, if possible. Here’s a look at which option might be right for you. The Pros of Selling There are plenty of reasons to put your house up for sale. If you own your home outright or have a lot of equity, selling could be the boost your retirement accounts need. “If you’ve lived in your home for the last two out of five years from the d

Mortgage Rates Briefly Explained

Rather than explain mortgage rates every time I write about home financing, let me briefly explain the differences between fixed and adjustable rate mortgages, and mortgage points here. Good, clear mortgage information can be hard to come by, but I have tried to make everything as straightforward as possible here. What is the difference between a fixed rate mortgage and an adjustable rate mortgage? It’s mortgage rates 101: the difference between a fixed and adjustable rate home loan. Just like it sounds, a fixed rate mortgage stays at the same interest rate for as long as you are paying down the loan, regardless of whether interest rates, in general, go up or down. Conversely, an adjustable

11 Must-Haves to Sell to Millennial Homebuyers

What young buyers want The millennial generation has emerged as a dominant force in the housing market. According to the National Association of Realtors’ 2016 study of generational housing trends, millennials (or Generation Y) — those born between 1980 and 2000 — comprise the largest segment of the buyer market (35%), ahead of Generation X (26%), which covers those born between 1965 and 1979. Together, these 2 generations represent today’s younger buyers, and broadly speaking, they tend to fall into 1 of 2 categories, says Margie Gundersheim, a Realtor with Keller Williams in Newton, Massachusetts. “They’re young professionals who prefer a turnkey home that needs little or no work,” she say

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