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You can forgive those responsible for the Costa Mesa family shopping if they tend to be suspicious when we go for long without hearing much about inflation. Last Wednesday’s Associated Press headline, “Yes, your grocery bills have gone up,” probably confirmed their feeling from recent supermarket forays. Earlier, the AP had already reported a summer surge at the nation’s grocery stores, illustrated by the fact that July rang up the biggest monthly gain since late 2018. September’s rise (.4%) “was bigger than economists had been expecting,” constituting the sharpest rise since May, which was when pandemic-triggered shutdowns at food processing plants caused a 5.6% spike in prices.

Yet, inflation-wise, Costa Mesa home budgets have emerged relatively

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The U.S. News & World Report weighed in last week with a quite useful list: housewarming gift ideas that are both thoughtful and practical. The entire list ran to 15 entries—some less appropriate than others (right now, the “hummingbird feeder” might be more appreciated come springtime)—but for most Costa Mesa readers, on the whole, it presented a very useful compendium.

It spurred a wider search for other lists that have appeared in recent years. Here, in addition to some of the U.S. News ideas, are ten good ones:

  1. Customized return address stamp or stickers.
  2. Personalized doormat.
  3. A choice item from a favorite local Costa Mesa business.
  4. Cooking herb planter.
  5. Step stool.
  6. Keyholder (a tray, bowl, or set of hooks).
  7. Personalized
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The-L3-Rentals-In-Costa-Mesa

When yahoo!finance (the exclamation point is part of the title) puts residential real estate at the top of their feed, a fair number of Costa Mesa readers are apt to come across it. Last Thursday, such was the case with the commentary, “U.S. will ‘become a renter nation,’ says real estate investor.” The report was offered by a reliable reporter, Sarah Paynter—and since the byline included a promise that time-crunched readers would welcome (“2 mins read”), Costa Mesa web surfers probably checked it out.

The real estate investor quoted in the title was making the point that the current historic high residential prices are making homeownership more and more difficult for many to afford. “If you keep pushing prices, you’re pricing people out,” was his

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Ask any grandparent: “is it actually true that Costa Mesa mortgage rates averaged more than 18%?” They’ll tell you. It happened. And that was less than 40 years ago.

The reason to revisit such an unimaginable scenario isn’t that anyone expects Costa Mesa mortgage rates to repeat that history anytime soon (or anytime, period). It’s useful to recall because the current era of incredibly low home loan rates has been going on long enough that it’s beginning to seem to be the natural order of things.

Psychologists recognize the human tendency called “normalcy bias”—the inclination to overestimate the likelihood that current circumstances will continue. That would be harmless enough, were it not for the fact that it leads otherwise rational humans to

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Last month’s U.S. News article headline looked promising: “The Guide to Understanding Your Home Value.” What Costa Mesa homeowner isn’t at least curious about that? Written by U.S. News’s real estate editor, the piece addressed a slew of informational tidbits, some of which are not as commonsensical as you’d think.

Chief among them was a description of “the process of calculating” your home’s appraised value and how that relates to its market value. The relationship between the two—and the reasons they are different—is illuminating. A couple of the tidbits:

FALSE: “…your property value is based on what a buyer is willing to pay for it…” This sounds like it should be true, but it’s not. Unless the buyer is able to buy it singlehandedly, the

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October arrives on Thursday, which means it's time for homeowners to set aside the hour or two it takes to carry out an annual October home safety check-up. October is widely deemed the appropriate month for attending to this kind of annual exercise—after all, it is Fire Safety Month.

Especially this year, Costa Mesa residents who spent a greater amount of time indoors than usual may find some extra safety-motivated vigilance is called for. Here's a 10-point checklist of areas most likely to need your attention:

  1. Rugs. If the ends have curled, add non-slip backing corners or double-sided adhesive tape to prevent tripping.
  2. Extension cords. Reconfigure any extension cord octopi that could become fire hazards. Replace frayed cords, for sure.
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When corporate leaders seek to communicate good news on their company’s performance, they frequently reach for the ‘R’ word: “robust.” Sales are robust; production is robust; future prospects are robust, etc. The ‘R’ word performs the near-miraculous feat of conveying strength, energy, and accomplishment —all without having to come up with specifics.

Especially in earnings guidance season, you see the ‘R’ word a lot.
So it was surprising that last week’s widely quoted tidings about existing home sales (which were very good tidings, indeed) included the ‘R’ word at all. The news—at least as cited by The World Property Journal—hardly needed the vocabulary assist. The details alone were astonishingly favorable. “U.S. Home Sales Spike in August, Highest

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Costa Mesa residents who will be buying a home, refinancing their mortgage, or even just financing a car anytime soon, should think twice before making abrupt credit moves. Even some actions intended to reflect positively on their creditworthiness can backfire.

As everyone learns, your individual credit score determines not just whether financial institutions will grant your application for a home or auto loan—they also play a decisive role in the interest rate you will be quoted. Your score is calculated by using various historical data to determine the degree of risk the proposed loan would subject the lender to—an arithmetic calculation projecting the likelihood that repayment will proceed on schedule. As you can imagine, millions upon millions

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The first words of last week’s Realtor Magazine title were reassuring to area homeowners with homes currently included in the Costa Mesa listings: “Sellers Are Calling the Shots…” For most regions across the U.S., that’s become apparent as the summer wore on. Realtor.com’s Chief Economist elaborated: “Prices are rising, and housing inventory is vanishing as fast as it appears.”

The following details bore him out. The Housing Market Index hit 107.7 for the week ending September 5th—nearly eight points higher than January’s. Significantly, that’s the pre-pandemic baseline figure. Median listing prices were up 10.8% annually, comprising the fastest pace of growth in more than two years.

Homeowners mulling the prospects should they decide to add

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Custom Single Story by the Beach! A HOME is more than just a structure, it is something that has been cared for, cultivated, and loved by the owners. This home embodies all of those things and you feel it the moment you walk in the custom oversized Dutch doorway. The open and spacious layout consists of 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, and almost 1,500 sq ft of interior living space. Inside, you immediately notice the cathedral style ceilings and the abundance of natural light that exudes throughout the main area. The remodeled kitchen overlooks the spacious family room with the oversized kitchen island as the centerpiece. It features granite counter tops, stainless steel appliances (including a warming drawer), and country style kitchen cabinetry. The master

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