February 22 2017

Everly at Playa Vista Sets New Standard in Westside LA Living

by racheal

Los Angeles new homes for sale at Playa Vista

Westside LA living has a new standard. Luxury homes are nothing new to this classy area, but a collection of Los Angeles new homes for sale has changed the game. Everly at Playa Vista is an elegant community that perfectly couples beachy relaxation with chic flare. It’s proximity to nearby destinations makes it ideal for those excited about a Silicon Beach lifestyle. Now, Everly is offering turnkey, fully-designer-furnished homes for those with a taste for the finer things.

Playa Vista has a wealth of enticing recreational options, no matter your interests. There’s creative and tech hubs like 72andSunny and Google. Dining and relaxation options abound at The CenterPointeClub and The Resort. And of course, the beach is just over a mile away. The choice for how to enjoy this array of destinations is easy at Everly.

Open floor plans and large windows allow natural light to flood the homes. Designer finishings and furniture will have you ready to go from the moment you put your key in the front door. This is luxury living the way it was meant to be experienced. Prices for Everly at Playa Vista homes start from the low $2,000,000’s. Discover the new standard for Westside living. To learn more, call builder Brookfield Residential at 888-211-9069.

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December 20 2016

Cameo’s Los Angeles New Homes Provide First-Class Amenities and Spacious Floor Plans

by racheal

Homes for sale in Whittier, CA - Kitchen

First-class amenities and a spacious floor plan that allows you to grow — that’s family-centric living. A brand new collection of single family homes for sale in Whittier present the best in family living. The secluded enclave of Cameo offers privacy and security. However, there’s plenty of fun to be had as well. You and your family will love the robust recreational amenities surrounding Cameo. The neighborhood’s central Los Angeles County location makes it easy to run errands as well.

Cameo homes feature gorgeous exteriors. Travel down one of the cul-de-sac inspired courts to find a place all your own. When you step inside the home, you’ll be treated to a floor plan with up-to 3,674 square feet. That’s a level of flexibility that you’ll appreciate as your family continues to grow. Bonus rooms and optional outdoor rooms contribute to the dynamic quality of Cameo homes. However, the fun really begins when you explore the community.

Nineteen local parks and scenic trails offer easy ways to get outside and play. La Mirada Creek Park, Vista del Valle Park, La Bonita Sports Complex, and a number of golf courses are all waiting for you. A location near Trader Joe’s, Lowe’s and La Habra Westridge Plaza add to the convenient fun. Prices start from the $700,000’s. Join the Cameo interest list to schedule a showing of their model homes.

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October 30 2016

Juniper at Spencer’s Crossing: Superior Home Design in a Master-Planned Community

by racheal

New Home for Sale in Murrieta, CA

There’s a reason master-planned communities are so highly coveted. With their combination of amenities, welcoming green space, and resident-friendly features, master-planned communities simply make life more fun. Now, in Murrieta, there’s a new place to call home that’s brimming with fun. Juniper at Spencer’s Crossing presents a master-planned setting with superior home designs. Spacious homes compliment a host of recreational amenities.

Choose a home that suits the needs of you and your family, both for now and for the future. With options that include up to 3,462 square feet, the possibilities are limitless. You’ll be able to customize your living experience to fit your lifestyle. Open-concept designs create floor plans that flow seamlessly together. Features like a modern kitchen and 3-car tandem garage simplify life. Find spacious walk-in closets in the master suite and secondary bedrooms. Comfort meets luxury at Juniper.

The master-planned community delivers outside the home as well. The nearby Heroes Park and Sports Park are great destinations for active afternoons. A private recreational center and swimming pool add to the extensive list of ways to have fun. Prices for Juniper at Spencer’s Crossing homes start from the $400,000’s. Call home builder Brookfield Residential at 888-595-0153 to schedule a showing of their model home.

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April 11 2016

5 Factors to Consider when Buying Homeowners Insurance

by racheal

Buying Homeowners Insurance

Whether you are just starting your search for a new home, or you are about to close on the home of your dreams, you are going to want to protect your investment and to do so will need to purchase homeowners insurance.

Homeowners insurance can be a homeowner’s best friend. And just like any other type of insurance, homeowners insurance vary in cost and coverage. The policy cost may depend on the age of the home, location, deductible and the amount of coverage you would like.

To help you find the type of homeowners insurance that is the right fit for you, we have compiled a list of what you need to consider when selecting your insurance coverage.

1. Location, Location, Location

While you are looking for a home that is near top schools, great shopping and dining and easy access to the freeways, insurance companies are looking to see how close your home is to fire stations, the number of fire hydrants near your home and if you are in a fire or flood zone. While homes located near fire stations can cost you less in homeowners insurance, homeowners near a coastline may have to pay more due to the fact that they have a higher risk of placing claims after a bad storm.

2. Think Twice before Denying Flood Insurance

Many homeowners insurance policies will not cover flood damage if a home is near a known flood zone; they will ask you to pay for a separate policy that covers just flooding. The good news is, not only are their options from a number of insurance companies, but the federal government also has a National Flood Insurance Program.

What if you don’t live in a flood zone? Did you know that 90% of natural disasters involve flooding? Even in areas that were not designated as flood zones. If you don’t live in a flood zone you may be able to get a low premium for flood protection.

3. Same Goes for Earthquake Insurance

When we think of earthquakes, we think of California, however 39 other states have experienced earthquakes. Like flooding, earthquake policies need to be purchased in addition to your standard homeowners insurance. Depending on your homes location, age of the home and home type (single family or townhome/condo), earthquake insurance varies in cost and deductibles.

4. Pool Owners

If your new home comes with a pool or you are planning on having one built, you will need to increase your liability coverage. Liability coverage is part of the homeowners insurance which pays toward the court costs and other expenses that accrue in your home for another individual. So as you can image, having a pool can increase your chances for slips and falls, as well as more serious accidents like drowning.

5. Having a High Deductible Can Pay Off

Make sure you shop around to find the best homeowners insurance that fits your needs. You should compare rates, deductibles and coverage options for at least three companies to make sure you have the right coverage for your home. Take note, the average homeowner will only make a claim around every 10 years. So if you pick a policy with a higher deductible, you end up saving money every year you do not file a claim, and the rate tends to be lower for higher deductible policies.

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April 4 2016

Five Steps to Get Your Home Ready To Be Sold

by racheal

Tips for Selling Your Home

Unless you are a Realtor, no one breezes through the home selling process, especially if it’s your first home sale. To help out, we provided some real estate basics to get your home ready for the real estate market.

Less is More
Moving can be the best way to get organized. Clutter in your home can make rooms appear smaller than they are. Make sure you remove all unnecessary clutter so your home looks open. Use this time to clean out unused items, and I don’t mean just hide the clutter in your closets. Buyers WILL look inside your closets and you want them to appear large and great space for storage. Create two piles, one for things you want to take with you to your new home and another pile for donation or trash. Getting rid of unwanted items before you place your home on the market will also make packing an ease.

Organize Home Owner Documents
While you are getting your home organized, it’s a great time to find and set aside all paperwork needed for both the sale of your current home and what you will need for the loan of your new home.
Buyers may ask for warranties, mortgage documents, HOA documents and the name and numbers of your utility companies. For a list of documents needed for your new home loan, check out HomeLoanHelpCenter.com. Keep all the documents organized together for quick reference during the selling process.

Find a Real Estate Agent
Don’t just pick the first real estate agent you come across. Ask your friends and family for referrals, do some research and set up interviews. You want to make sure you pick a realtor who you feel is going to work hard for your best interest. Here are a few questions you should ask a realtor during the interview:

What's your experience?

How do you plan to market the listing?

Do you represent both sides of the transaction?

Do you work with buyers in this price range?

What are your sales figures?

Stage your Home
Ok, so your home is organized and clean, you have all your home documents in order and you signed up with a realtor. What is next? Schedule a home walk-through with your realtor before you place your home on the market. The realtor will point out areas that could use a little help, such as how to make your living room look bigger or how to make your outdated bathroom seem modern and updated. Most of the time just rearranging furniture and a fresh coat of paint can make for a huge difference and can help you reduce the amount of time your home is on the market. Make sure your realtor does not take the listing photos until your home is staged.

Be Patient
You may get tired of constantly signing documents, making repairs on a home you will soon not own and making sure your home is always clean and ready to be shown, but the reward is worth the effort. Keep in mind, this is just temporary and soon you will get the offer you have been waiting for. And most importantly once your home is sold, then you can start to look for your dream home.

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March 25 2016

Tips for Designing Your New Backyard

by racheal

Backyard Design

One of the best parts about buying a new home is that your house is like a blank canvas; no paint on the walls and only dirt in the yard. This allows you the freedom to design the home, inside and out, however you want from scratch.

However, landscaping a yard can be overwhelming, especially if you have never tackled the project by yourself. Where do you start? Do you start with purchasing plants, laying down a patio, adding grass…? You will want your yard to have a theme and not look like a bunch of random vegetation. Here are six tips to help you design the backyard of your dreams for your new home.

1. Get organized.

Make a list of the items you need in your yard as well as the items you would like. Do you need grass for pets? Do you need a play space for kids? Do you need a section of the yard reserved for your vegetable garden? Do you need a patio for outdoor dining and barbecuing? Once you figured out what is functional for your yard, add a list of plants you would love to have. (Keep in mind to keep with the same hues when it comes to purchasing plants.) Do a rough sketch of your yard on where you would like to place the above items.  Remember, this is just a rough sketch and does not need to be detailed. This is just a tool to help you visualize your yard’s look and feel.

2. Take into account the outdoor elements.

Consider where the sun and wind is during different times of the day and year. For example, you may want to place your patio on the west side of your home due to the fact of that is where you will get the most sunlight during the day. But that also means, come August, you may be enjoying your BBQ in the sweltering sun. The wind is also a factor that many beginner landscaping designers forget to consider. Wind that blows around a corner can easily extinguish a fire pit. 

3. Choose a focal point.

To keep your yard looking organized, choose a focal point or a series of focal points. This can be anything from a tree, a stunning plant or even a sculpture or water feature that draws your eye and makes it move through your yard.

4. Don’t rush

Don’t rush to getting your yard done the day you move into your new home. While if you live in an HOA community, you may have to have your yard done within a few months of moving in, take your time to get familiar with your yard. Find out the areas in the yard that have the best views or the perfect amount of sun where you would enjoying sitting or dining in.

5. Start Small

This is not one of those “Go big, or go home” activities. Start small. We have all seen those TV shows that make over a yard in just three days. What you do not know is behind the scenes is a crew of fifty working nonstop. Gardening can be very soothing, so try and enjoy the process. Start with planting a small flowerbed for just a couple of hours. Don’t worry about filling in everything at once. Don’t forget plants grow and will fill in empty space on their own. Many beginner landscapers for get this fact. If you try and rush to have a finished yard, you are more likely to cut corners and end up with a sloppy yard.

6. Placement and Size

Make sure to take note of plants placement and size. This can be the hardest part when designing your new yard. Since plants come in different sizes and colors, you want to make sure you place the taller plants in the back of the flowerbed, against walls or along walkways. To keep your yard organized, have some repetition or pattern with plants that have the same hues or shape. 

In conclusion remember, as a beginner, the key is to stay patient. If your dogs or kids are dragging in mud in your new home, or your HOA needs the landscaping done ASAP, fill the yard with easy to remove items like mulch or annuals that can be removed or transplanted. Make sure you take your time and try to enjoy building your new yard.

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March 24 2016

Design Trends Builders Should Know About

by racheal

Open kitchen

It is important for homebuilders to stay on top of the latest design trends, since homebuyer preferences are constantly changing. Here’s what builders need to know about the designs motivating new homebuyers in 2016.

Two trends builders need to incorporate in their homes designs in 2016:

1.    Gone is the day of separating the kitchen, dining room and family room. Here to stay is the open floor plan. Great rooms and open kitchen designs have been a growing trend for some time now. The kitchen is now the center point for entertaining and has become somewhat of a new living area. Islands have replaced the traditional dining tables for family gathering at meal time.

2.    The second trend incorporates the first. Indoor/outdoor rooms are becoming a norm in 2016. Buyers are showing high demand for kitchens that flow seamlessly to outdoor rooms. Separated normally by bi-folding doors from an open kitchen, outdoor rooms are large enough for dining tables or an extra living space. Builders should have options available for buyers to choose from appliances and upgrades that work with this outdoor space.

Tips for builders when designing a kitchen

There are two words for homebuilders to keep in mind when designing their kitchens: “open” and “simple”.

Homeowners want an open kitchen with modern touches that make their life simpler. Builders can accomplish this by dedicating one wall for appliances for easy flow during cooking and cleaning. Building floor-to-ceiling cabinets will continue the open floor plan feel, yet will meet the need for storage space. Including the highly demanded long island will allow for extra storage space as well as for a gathering area for family and friends. Include windows wherever possible within the kitchen to increase natural light.

Incorporating indoor/outdoor rooms and open kitchens when designing new homes can make a huge impact on a home’s aesthetics. Builders will need to meet these needs to stay in tuned with their buyers.

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October 7 2015

Ideas on a Stylish Halloween in Your New Home

by racheal

Chic Halloween Decoration Ideas

Halloween is just a few weeks away, but don’t get spooked, there is still time to haunt your home with stylish and easy do-it-yourself Halloween decorations. Here you will find inexpensive ways to fill your home inside and out with chic jack-o-lanterns, ghosts, spiders and other creepy designs.

Black and orange maybe the traditional décor color for October, but while the weather gets cooler outside we begin to spend more time inside our homes, so try to bring the outdoors in. Decorate with branches, wheat sheaves and dried flowers. When using natural adornments, you can also keep them out through Thanksgiving.

To spook up the décor add mercury metal accessories, candle stick holders and mirrors with fake spiders, rats and crows. You can use pumpkins painted in gold, metallic colors and white to add that extra chic look.

For more ideas on a stylish Halloween in your new home, check out this Holiday Pinterest board.

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August 28 2015

Top 4 Things You Need To Know About Home Staging

by racheal

Home Staging Tips when Selling Your Home

Until a few years ago, home staging meant cleaning your home and hiding your clutter from inquisitive eyes. Today, it hasspawned an industry of its own and evolved into one of the most popular ways of ensuring that your home is sold quickly and for the best possible price. So if you are planning to put your house on the market soon, here are a few things that you absolutely need to know about staging.

Why you need to stage your home

Have you ever wondered why a home builder spends so much money on staging his model homes? It is because he knows that he has a better chance of making a sale if the house appeals to you and he can convince you - the buyer - of the lifestyle you will have the chance to enjoy if you buy the house.

And there is no question that a staged home looks several times better than an un-staged one. So if other houses in the market are staged, then you are going to lose out on potential buyers if you opt not to stage your home.

Hiring a professional vs doing it yourself

Depending on the market and the size and condition of your home, the cost of professional staging can range anywhere between $500 to a few thousand dollars. However, professional home staging has its own advantages.

Homeowners often have an emotional connection with their house due to which they find it difficult to view the property objectively. A professional stager, on the other hand, can look at your home with fresh eyes and show you how to highlight its best features and offsetthe less desirable ones.

Again, your choice of home décor or style may run to the modern or the slightly offbeat, but it may not resonate with all potential buyers. You may also have got used to living in the house in a certain way that makes you oblivious to other uses for your spaces. However, a professional stager knows how to display your home in such a way that it appeals to a wide range of buyers. What’s more, most professional stagers have their own staging supplies, such as neutral accessories, curtains or furniture, which will save you a lot of time and money.

Adding Curb Appeal to your Home

The all-important “curb appeal”

Do you know that many buyers make up their mind in the first few seconds after they arrive? And hence the importance of what stagers and realtors call “curb appeal”. So if you’ve got some extra time and money, use it to beautify your home’s exterior. Freshen up the paint on your front door, mow the lawn, trim bushes and hedges, add fresh plants, weed, and repair your dented mailbox. Make sure that the entryway is well lit and welcoming. If needed, add a new doormat. Remember, you have only one chance to make a great first impression – make it count.

Don’t miss out on any space

When preparing your home for staging, work with the assumption that a buyer will want to look at every square inch of space available. That means that you cannot ignore moldy shower curtains, overstuffed closets, grimy backsplashes or dirty windows. If you can afford a professional cleaning service, invest in a thorough cleaning of your home from top to bottom. If you’ve got a lot of extra stuff lying around, arrange for it to be stored until you move into your new place.

By Kurt Jacobson. Kurt is a snowboarding enthusiast with a background in real estate. Having moved 11 times in the past nine years, he thrives on helping others learn from his experiences. When he’s not out shredding the mountain, he writes about all things home related for the website HouseHunter.co.

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June 15 2015

Curb Appeal Ideas to Enhance Your Home

by racheal

Curb Appeal Ideas to Enhance Your Home

Potential buyers make a lot of judgments before they even walk in the door of your home. With so many listings on the market, seemingly small issues like rusted gutters, cracked driveways, or an overgrown lawn can cause buyers to overlook your property altogether. Invest a little time and energy into helping your home make the best first impression possible. It just may be the difference between a listing that sells quickly at top dollar and one that languishes on the market for months and months. Read on for suggestions for greatly enhancing your home’s curb appeal.

Prioritize the Front Door
Of all the home improvement projects that you could take on, updating your front door provides you with the most consistently high return on investment. According to the Cost vs. Value Report, a replacement steel door averaged a 96.6% return on investment. Updating your door can also make your home more energy efficient, and unlike other home improvement projects, it requires virtually no maintenance.

If a new door is beyond your budget, consider painting your door a bold color and updating the hardware. While you’re at it, make sure that your address signage looks good and has a consistent look with the hardware on your door and your mailbox if it is attached to your house. Add a wreath to create a welcoming environment.

Landscaping Your Yard

Dedicate Time to Landscaping
Landscaping can make a big impact on the overall appearance of your home, especially if your lawn is lacking in mature trees. Keep shrubs and trees well-manicured and your grass freshly mowed. Also, keep an eye on weeds so that your flower beds look fresh. Introduce pops of color with flowering plants if you can, but ultimately focus on plants that are simple to maintain or that match your level of gardening expertise. Plant marigolds and citronella near the front door to repel insects. Landscaping can be costly and tough work to maintain, but it can also increase your overall home value by an impressive  28%.

If you don’t have a lot of green space, look to achieve a similar effect with window boxes and container gardens.

Install Lighting
Many of your guests and would-be buyers will be visiting your home in the evening after work. Make sure to highlight your home’s best features, while creating a warm and inviting glow. Investing in outdoor lighting can result in a 50% ROI, while also improving your security. Here are ten ways to light the outside of your home for maximum wow factor.

Camouflage Eye Sores
Get creative and come up with attractive ways to conceal items that don’t add to your curb appeal like trash cans, recycling bins, AC units, and electrical boxes. If your electrical boxes are attached to your home, think about painting them the same color as your home to help them fade into the background.

How to Hide your AC UnitWhile you're at it, make sure that your gutters and downspouts are in good shape. They may work fine, but if they are rusted or hanging loosely from the house, buyers will wonder what else in your home is being neglected. Firmly adhere gutters and downspouts and give them a fresh coat of paint to brighten up your entire home.

Dress Up Driveways and Walkways
A beautiful driveway and walkway can really compliment your home and landscaping. At minimum you want to make sure to pressure wash and tend to any cracks. If you’re willing to invest more time and money, think about pouring gravel, using grass as a design element, exploring stamp concrete, or installing pavers. If it fits the style of your home and your neighborhood, you can even install a gate for greater privacy and security.

Via Modernize
By: Danielle Hegedus

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