Three Places to Enjoy in the San Gabriel Valley

December 28th, 2015

If you are planning a move to Southern California, you may want to consider the San Gabriel Valley. This area northeast of downtown Los Angeles County is home to vibrant communities such as Arcadia and Monrovia with entertainment opportunities for residents and visitors alike to enjoy.

Santa Anita Park

If you like horse racing, Santa Anita Park is a place you will not want to miss. Whether you want to bet on the horse races or you just want to soak up its rich history, Santa Anita is a great place to visit.

This year’s grand opening of Santa Anita was last Saturday, December 26, so you’re in luck! Be sure to take home an officially licensed American Pharoah t-shirt commemorating the first ever Grand Slam champion of horse racing!

Of course, the Pharoah himself won’t be there. But you can learn about another equine track star who made it to the Big Screen. Seabiscuit Tours are every Saturday and Sunday morning during racing season. This free tram ride takes you to see things such as Seabiscuit’s original stall and barn, stable areas, the saddling paddock, and the walking ring. You will also get the opportunity to see areas used for the filming of the movie about the champion thoroughbred.

Even if you are not a horse racing fan, Santa Anita Park hosts other events throughout the year, including concerts, a farmers market, and activities for children. Read More >

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10 Mistakes to Avoid When Buying New Housing, Part II

December 21st, 2015

Although you may have a great idea of what to do when purchasing new housing, it’s equally important to have a checklist for what not to do. Below we present Part II of 10 mistakes you need to avoid. (See Part I for mistakes 1 to 5.)

6. Not asking questions of your real estate agent and lender. If you’re a first-time homebuyer, it is to be expected that you’ll have a lot of questions and require more time of your agent and lender than someone who has been around the block.
Interview them before committing. Ask specific questions, such as their strategy recommendations for your needs and how long they have been in the business. (For a complete list of suggested questions, see here.) Your agent should take care to show only homes that fit both your desires and your budget. They should not pressure you to buy a particular home, or one that is too expensive for you, or that doesn’t fit with your needs. Read More >

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A Costa Mesa Christmas Surrounds Seabright

December 14th, 2015

Christmas time brings family together and brightens hearth and home with festive décor. Your Seabright home in sunny Costa Mesa, California, grants you all those perks without any of the hassles of winter storms or shoveling snow that you get back East or in the Midwest. If you want to know where to find the holiday spirit near you, check out these Orange County suggestions. 

Holiday Display

You’ll find plenty of homes decorated in Christmas finery to admire and inspire. But if you want to visit a 48-year-old tradition that attracts about 80,000 visitors a year, check out the Snoopy House display starting December 12 from 5 to 9 PM nightly until Christmas Day. This free holiday happening was once part of the Jordan family home and was in danger of disappearing when the house was foreclosed in 2011. The City of Costa Mesa stepped in to move the spectacle to Costa Mesa City Hall at 77 Fair Drive. You can see numerous scenes featuring the Peanuts characters, ride a train, and even buy food and drink. 

A Christmas Carol

Travel to Dickensian London for the 36th annual production of “A Christmas Carol,” at South Coast Repertory. Hal Landon reprises his role as the crotchety Ebenezer Scrooge nightly until December 27, with two performances on Saturdays and Sundays, including matinees. Read More >

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10 Mistakes to Avoid When Buying a New Home, Part I

December 7th, 2015

Buying new housing is a long process with many factors to be considered. You may have a checklist of what to do, but it is equally important to be armed with a list of what not to do. Below, we provide 10 mistakes to be avoided at all costs.

1. Not having a long-term budget. A budget is an essential step before even beginning to look, because you can’t buy a home if you can’t afford it. Your mortgage, principal, interest, taxes, and insurance should take up no more than one-third of your monthly household income. There are many budget apps and mortgage calculators available online to help you determine these crucial elements. One of the latter can be found here. Read More >

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