Articles, tips, and suggestions for home buyers.

There are currently 262 blog entries related to this category.

In your average home purchase, a buyer presents an offer, it is accepted by the seller, escrow closes and to top it all off the property and its title changes hands. An alternative solution to buying a home the conventional way is setting up a rent-to-own or lease-to-own contract with your landlord or a current homeowner. If you are considering rent-to-own with the property you're currently renting, you'll need to take these steps. But first, let's discuss how rent-to-own works and under what circumstances it can be a good investment for buyers. 

How rent-to-own works

First of all, every scenario is different because you draw up your own contract with the current homeowner. When buyers sign this kind of contract, they agree to rent the home for a

Buying a house is the American Dream, but it's an expensive endeavor. Home prices have been rising for many years in most parts of the country, and in most areas, buying a home is a real stretch financially for the average person. That's why it's important to know how to invest in a house while still living within your means. If you want to afford a home in Southern California, employ these strategies so that you don't break the bank.

Avoid Other Debt

Even though mortgages carry low interest rates, because they are such large loans with very long payback terms, you wind up paying tens of thousands of dollars in finance charges over the life of the loan. That makes for a very high monthly payment, especially when you also account for the cost of

Southern California is an absolutely beautiful place to call home. It’s an exciting place to live near the beach, amazing shopping, and great restaurants - and all of that drives up the price of local real estate. For example, the current average sold price in Orange County is $814,000 according to Trendgraphix, February 2017 data.

To help you find a place to fit your budget, we suggest taking a look at the top 10 Most Affordable Cities in Orange County, and taking the following advice. Once you have a buying strategy, you'd be surprised what you can afford in sunny SoCal.

Condos are a first-time buyer’s best friend

How to afford a home in Southern California

24362 Berrendo 6, Laguna Hills. Price: $370,000

If this is your first time buying or a home, or just your first time buying

The plumbing system is one of the most important systems of the home—and one of the most expensive to repair or replace. When you buy a home, you want to know that major systems are in good condition and likely to function well for at least the next few years. Here's why you should get a plumbing inspection before you finalize a home purchase.

The sewer line may be clogged or ready to fail

Think replacing a failed sewer line is no big deal? If your new home's sewer line is cracked, severely clogged, or otherwise preparing to fail, replacing it could cost between $2,500 and $8,000 in addition to the damage to your front lawn. Even if the sewer line doesn't need to be replaced, a backed-up sewer line can lead to serious consequences. You definitely

Building your dream home will give you an incredible amount of flexibility over everything from the floor plans to the materials that are used. While having a home built is extremely satisfying, it can also be quite a lengthy process. Many buyers find themselves struggling with dozens of minor hiccups that keep them out of their new homes for months. Here are three steps you can take to make sure that you get into your new home as quickly as possible.

1. Work Closely With The Pros Whenever You Can

Throughout the course of your home construction, you’re going to need to work with a number of different companies including home designers, general contractors, and land developers. No matter whom you’re working with, stay close to the projects. When

You have worked hard your entire life, saved up a bit of a nest egg, and now you are ready to enjoy it. That means retirement is coming, and along with that comes the important decision about where you would like to live out your golden years. There are so many options whether you’re relocating a few cities away or across the country.

What’s important is to start getting an idea of what your ideal retirement community should include. Here’s a quick list of popular retirement spots within Southern California and across the country to give you a start.  

Southern California

Southern California real estate is expensive, but you can find great communities hidden within for a much smaller price tag. According to Trendgraphix, the average sold price

Deciding to a buy a home is a big decision. So when you're finally ready to go, you want to hit the ground running. But purchasing a home often takes longer than most people realize, so moving forward with efficiency is key. The good news is, you can speed the process up if you have a plan in mind, and it's not difficult. 

Get Pre-Approved

Don't wait until the last minute to apply for a loan at the bank. If one of your goals is to avoid wasting time, then getting a pre-approval should be at the top of your list. This step involves going to the bank and filling out a loan application before you approach any sellers. Getting pre-approved shows sellers that you're serious and ready to move on a home as soon as you find the right one. Completing the

FHA loans take about the same amount of time to be processed as a conventional or VA loan, approximately 45 days. That includes the entire process, from the loan application to the final approval and closing. Here's a quick breakdown of the FHA loan approval timeline as outlined by the FHA handbook:

  • Underwriting: 10-20 days
  • Appraisal: less than a week
  • Closing (i.e. the rest): 3 weeks – 3 months

Keep in mind however that there are a dozen different variables that can affect the time your loan takes to close. What can often take an extended amount of time for FHA loans however is finding a property that meets FHA standards.

FHA Home Requirements

The FHA loan is designed to protect the buyer by setting certain standards that a home

It's T minus 2 days and you've got to be out of your old place and into the new by Monday. It's stressful, but it isn't impossible. Here are some tips that you can follow that will make your weekend whirlwind move easier, without causing unneeded stress. In order for these methods to work, you simply need a bit of organization and planning.


The most important thing that will help you get out of one home and into another in only a few days is a strategy. Get rid of the things that you don't need any longer, as well as items that will be provided in your new home. Be ruthless about old clothes, outdated decorations, and anything that you haven't used in your home for 2 years. This can dramatically decrease the number of boxes that you have to

When buying a new home, there are so many details to consider, questions to ask, and decisions to make. And if the home you have your eye on happens to have a pool, it leads to additional considerations. If you've always dreamed of summer barbecues that make a big splash and are shopping for a home with the pool, here are four questions to ask before buying.

1. Does the pool add value to the home?

The answer to this question will be very specific to your region, with pools adding the most value in places like Southern California (score!) and western areas with warm weather. Whether a pool adds value also depends on its age and condition. Also keep in mind that if you've always wanted a pool, purchasing a home that already has one will typically cost