February 2015

There are 34 blog entries for February 2015.

March 1st -7th is the Orange County Restaurant Week featuring amazing food at great prices from over 130 local eateries and restaurants.

The great thing about OC Restaurant Week is that there’s something for everyone to enjoy – no matter what your budget. Each restaurant has a special fixed menu and you can search by price range to find the perfect new eatery. Take advantage of $10, $15 or $20 lunches or complete dinners for $20, $30, $40 or $50.

If you’ve done OC Restaurant week in the past, you definitely won’t want to miss the newcomers this year. The event has added about 30 new restaurants to this year’s lineup including:

  • Adya
  • Tempo Urban Kitchen
  • The North Left
  • C4 Deli, Pascal
  • Bluefin Fine Japanese Cuisine
  • Shirley Chung’s

Spring will here before you know it so if you’re waiting for the warm weather and hot market to buy then now’s the time to start looking. You can visit open houses this weekend in Orange County to start your home search. If you start searching now you’ll be able to spend all summer in your beautiful new home.

You can search all Orange County open houses by city search through our complete list of open houses available this Saturday, February 28th and Sunday March 1st in Southern California.

The best way to make the most of your open house search is by bringing along a real estate agent. An agent knows all the hard-hitting questions you need to ask homeowners and they’re with you ready to pounce when you find the perfect pad to call home.

You can

If you plan to buy a home in 2015, start your search this weekend at an open house in the Inland Empire. The best time to buy is now while mortgage rates are low and home prices are coasting without any large gains.

Riverside County Open Houses

San Bernardino Open Houses

If you have questions about home buying and the local real estate market, contact a First Team agent near you for assistance. Buyers agents are free (their commission is paid by the seller) and an invaluable resource to any homebuyer – especially first timers! Search for an area specialist near you or just contact us and we’ll match you with a top agent near you.

Email us at clientservices@firstteam.com

Call us at 888-870-1142

Home Buyer Tip: There is a “Cost of Waiting”

Can you believe March is already here? Time to make good on those New Years resolutions to get serious about life goals. And if those goals for 2015 include getting into a new home that fits your lifestyle then get started by visiting open houses this weekend across Los Angeles County.

You can search open houses this weekend in Los Angeles County by city or search over a hundred open houses happening across Southern California this weekend.

If you’re going shopping for a home this weekend, the smartest plan is to have an agent by your side. An agent can help you act fast when you find the perfect home and answer all of your burning home buying questions. If you have questions before you head out to see homes or would like to team up with an agent,

The latest infographic from the California Association of REALTORS® explores the way in which technology is transforming the home based on data from the ERA/HGTV Automation Survey. From what you can see, consumers of all generations value smart tech features not only in their own homes but in future homes as well.

What Home Technologies Are Out There?

Over the past few years a lot of exciting technology has come onto the market. Here are just a few ways in which technology is making its way into the home and transforming our lives.

  • Smart environment management: Not only can you have a programmable thermostat, you can get one that learns your usage patterns. The Nest controller is a prime example of this cool new tech. It's a palm-sized

Spring is nearly here and the best way to welcome it into your home is with a gorgeous sunroom. Here in Southern California it's been spring and summer weather for the past year so you might as well start taking advantage of it with a room built to enjoy the sun.

Sunrooms can provide relaxation, an area to gather the family, or a place for people who have health trouble to enjoy the outdoors without having to deal with the problems that going outside might cause. There are virtually infinite ways to arrange a sunroom to your specific needs. It takes only a few considerations to create one perfect for your tastes. 

Choosing the Room

Source: homedit.com

Perhaps the most important part of designing your sunroom is selecting the most suitable

When it comes time to look for a new home the first thing you do is figure out a budget so you know what price range to search in. However, it’s important that you not only look at a home’s price but also consider the long-term cost of the house.

That’s right, there can be a significant difference between the price of a home and the cost of it after all is said and done.

The Difference Between Cost and Price

The price of a home is what the home is listed for. There are a lot more factors that go into the ‘cost’ of that home however. Most importantly the interest rate you secure on your mortgage loan and the home’s appreciation over time. The rate at which these two factors change over time is commonly referred to as "The Cost of Waiting".


America is a country of nomads. The average American will move between 11 and 13 times in their life. If you’ve ever moved across the country, you know how stressful and exhausting it can be. Yet so many of the “moving tips” you find on blogs and websites focus on labeling boxes and making checklists, with relatively little information on how to make moving tolerable, or even enjoyable.

This massive collection of relocation tips from AreaVibes drew from the real-life experience of some knowledgeable bloggers and writers, with the aim of putting a human element into the task of relocating.

These well-traveled writers know that moving is so much more than just packing and unpacking. What do you do first when you get there? How do you find your way

Taxes change drastically when you become a homeowner. Most importantly, there are a plethora of tax deductions that open up to you. In most cases, you need to itemize your taxes in order to take advantage of all the homeowner tax breaks.

This can seem overwhelming but once you get the hang of it – and your sizable tax return – it will all be worth it. If you bought a home this year or just want to learn more about what real estate costs you can deduct from your taxes, then take a look at where you can get some money back this year.

House Payment

If you took out a mortgage to finance your home, you make monthly payments. You can’t deduct all of your costs, however there are several components of your house payment that you can deduct.

First Team’s Weekly Mortgage Watch (February 22nd, 2015) this week highlights the following updates:

  • Mortgage rates managed to move up slightly in a week featuring a noncommittal Fed and more international financial market drama. The minutes from the Fed’s latest meeting revealed very little that we didn’t already know.
  • All things considered, it does appear that the Fed could raise rates in July or September, but the likelihood of a move before that appears slim.
  • Greece and Germany took center stage in the ongoing saga of the crisis with the Eurozone’s weakest member. Markets appear to be hedging toward a situation that somehow keeps the currency union from losing the Greeks.
  • Japan officially exited from its latest recession, providing