Eight Tips on Saving Up for Your First Home (Part 2)

February 5th, 2018

Welcome back to the second half of this two-part article about saving up for your first home. There are many different techniques people use, but the most important thing to remember is to actually save money and make your plans. Last time we talked about managing your own expectations, setting your price range, making your savings accounts and the right mindset for your house hunting. If you missed the first half, read it here. For everyone who’s already caught up, let’s pick back up where we left off at point five:

5) Don’t Choose a House Right Away

The homes available the day you start saving are most likely not going to still be available when you are finally ready to make a down payment and cover all the title transfer, conveyancer and closing costs. Read More >

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Eight Tips on Saving Up for Your First Home (Part 1)

January 29th, 2018

The first time you take a really clear look at the housing market and calculate how much you’ll need to pay upfront to buy even your first home, the cost can be daunting. Down payments, processing fees and the continually rising cost of homes can look like an impossibly steep hill to climb, one with goal posts that seem to constantly move higher as you try to approach them. It’s all too easy for first-time home buyers to see the dream slipping away before they even have a fraction of the needed money saved up, and yet somehow new people are becoming homeowners every day. While it may be difficult, putting together enough savings and finding a home is within your reach. You just need to approach the situation with the right mindset and be prepared to make a few compromises on your first property.

1) It Won’t Happen All at Once Read More >

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Caring For Your New Hardwood Floors

January 22nd, 2018

Many new home buyers shake their heads at the thought of professional cleaners deep cleaning hardwood floors. They don’t realize just how much dirt and gunk can get into the nooks, crannies and crevices of wood floors or understand what dirt and gunk can do to the finish of a wood floor. Nor do they think of cleaning them properly. So here’s the down and dirty on cleaning hardwood floors.

What Kind of Dirt and Gunk?

Look at it this way. When you step through the front door of your home, whatever you walked through all day is on the bottom of your shoes –chemicals, broken glass, small stones caught in the tread of the shoe, leaves, twigs, pine straw, animal stuff, sand, dirt and the list goes on and on. All that is going to walk across your hardwood floor. It will scratch, scour and scrape the finish, which is the first thing your shoe will encounter on your wood floor. Read More >

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Is 2018 The Year You Will Move Into A New House?

January 15th, 2018

Do you have dreams of moving this year? Do you want to move but have panic attacks at the thought of what the moving process will involve?

We know moving is not at the top of everyone’s list of their favorite things to do. Not only will you have to physically move all of your things into a new place, you will also have various other things to consider, including creating a budget, finding the perfect location, and you will have to make sure you keep your sanity. Do you think the challenges will truly be worth it if you are indeed ready to move to a new place?

If you are having a difficult time making a decision about moving, we suggest you start 2018 off by paying attention to various signs that it may be time for you to start searching for a new house. Once you make the decision that it is time to start a new search, you can get started by searching for homes in Southern California. Read More >

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Relax! Living the Luxury Southern California Lifestyle in Yorba Linda

January 8th, 2018

Imagine a bright Southern California morning with a gentle breeze blowing through trees along your street and birds chirping in the warm sunshine. You look out over your large yard – maybe there’s a swimming pool there, just for you – and see gorgeous hills beckoning as you plan your day. That’s not a daydream; it can be your experience when you live somewhere as relaxing as Newbury, Brandywine Homes’ new luxury development. This is an exclusive development of four- to six-bedroom homes with four-car garages and ample space for everything you want to do. Read More >

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Mix It Up in 2018: Exciting New Year’s Resolutions You’ll Want to Keep

January 1st, 2018

If you’ve ever at the start of a new year vowed to lose weight, save money or live life to the fullest, you’re not alone: these are regularly among the most common new year’s resolutions that people make–and break. In fact, less than 10 percent of people actually succeed at their resolutions (and more than a quarter fail in the first week!).

It’s exciting to start a new year, but as the days and weeks wear on, our motivation starts to dwindle. We sacrifice our ideals to meet our real-life demands. Don’t set yourself up for failure with another half-hearted resolution that you know you “should” keep. Instead, mix it up in 2018 with some alternative new year’s resolutions that you’ll actually look forward to keeping. Try these:

Make a Fancy Meal Once a Month Read More >

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13 Clever Ways to Use Leftover Wrapping Paper

December 26th, 2017

It’s the morning after Christmas with the family happily enjoying their gifts in the den… and oodles of leftover shimmery, shiny wrapping paper. You thought filigreed wrapping paper from a posh boutique for your mother-in-law was an extempore, noble gift, but now you have a whole roll left! So, what to do?

We know many creatives out there will have their guests unwrap gifts slowly and carefully not ruin the wrapping paper! Why save wrapping paper? Well, there are many uses for wrapping paper; here are our thirteen top suggestions.

13. One use for leftover wrapping paper is saving it for the next season. Many people end up developing a collection of glittery rolls after many Christmases. You can find wrapping paper storage containers as specialty stores, or even on Walmart’s website here. Read More >

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Eight Ways to Keep Restless Kids Happy During a Family Holiday Event

December 18th, 2017


The holidays are a wonderful time for the family to get together and enjoy each other’s company. But if you don’t make some plans for the smallest members of the family, their shenanigans at the kid’s table could get out of hand. Here are eight ways to keep restless kids happy during all your big and festive family holiday get-togethers.

1. Set out a unique table runner.

Run brown or white kraft paper down the length of the kids’ table and place crayons or washable markers at each child’s setting. Encourage the kids to decorate however they like; after the meal, hang the masterpiece along a wall or above the fireplace so everyone can admire the budding artists in the family. (Use removable poster tape or strips to hang the art so your wall doesn’t get damaged.)

2. Print out placemats.

You don’t need to be extra fancy – of course you can design your own custom placemats, but you can also simply paste coloring pages, one with each child’s name, on heavier-duty butcher or kraft paper. If you don’t already plan to have colored pencils, crayons or markers out, integrate three or four into a napkin ring or cup for each child that will serve as extra decor on the table. Read More >

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9 Ways to Pull Off Winter Fashion Trends Even in Our Warm Climate

December 11th, 2017

Southern California is a great place to live no matter the time of year. Yet, you might find yourself, at times, a little envious of your friends who can wear great winter fashions without getting too hot (although not envious enough to trade your flip-flops and the sun for snow and icy roads). Fortunately, there are at least nine ways you can embrace winter fashion in our area without overheating.

1. Ditch the Sleeves

If you want to wear great winter apparel, get it in the sleeveless variety. This includes sleeveless coats, turtlenecks, sweaters, and other clothing. Vests layered over other clothing are also a great way to enjoy the winter look while not getting too warm. Read More >

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Buying and Selling Real Estate

December 4th, 2017

It’s interesting to think there are “seasons” when it comes to the housing market, but that’s exactly what you’re going to be dealing with when you either start selling or buying a home. It’s not as clear as the fashion seasons, so to speak, but there are definitely considerations to take into account when it comes determining the best time to buy or sell a home.

Buying Is Better in Spring and Fall
Purchasing a home isn’t something you can really time. It’s not like going to a store and buying a new computer or a phone. The process takes time, from finding the home you want to buy to closing on it. In some cases, it can take months. New houses come onto the market at any given time, and buyers come in at all times of the year as well. Read More >

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