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Home Improvement

Found 56 blog entries about Home Improvement.

Costa Mesa home security issues—and family safety as a whole—are always high priorities named by future homeowners. A recent Mortgage Professionals Association survey found safety and security to be “the most important” factors for homeowners deciding where to move.

That growing concern could be why last week’s dispatch from afar was picked up by many U.S. media outlets. Knowing that today’s homeowners are becoming increasingly edgy about the issue, they brought word from the far side of the globe of a threat that few had previously considered. The Guardian said it all with last week’s dramatic headline:

“Seal breaks into New Zealand home, traumatizes cat and hangs out on couch.”

Seldom has a headline packed so much detailed

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For scads of Costa Mesa residents, 2022 will mark the first true summer vacation season in a long time. The U.S. Travel Association tells us that domestic leisure travel spending has already surpassed pre-pandemic levels (even adjusting for inflation).

For Costa Mesa vacationers, taking off for longer than a weekend will require thinking back to retrieve some of the smart traveling habits developed when yearly trips were routine—household security measures among them. For all the Costa Mesa vacationers whose homes will be left unattended, reinstituting a few precautionary measures will go far to prevent a miserable surprise from spoiling the return home. Here’s a refresher:

  • Secure seldom-used doors and windows that usually remain unlocked.
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It may have seemed as if the springtime rise in the rates Costa Mesa home loan originators were quoting was overdue for a pause, and that's what local applicants found last week. The rate dips weren't gigantic, but they pointed in the right direction. Over the weekend, Yahoo! finance's "Moneywise" column was able to headline, "Homeownership just got 5% cheaper as mortgage rates fall off a cliff."

To applicants whose recent memories include interest rates that began with a "3," that cliff may seem to be a low one—but the NARs' senior economist was correct in asserting that purchasing a home was 5% more affordable at week's end than at its beginning. At week's end, Freddie Mac's calculation for the average 30-year mortgage rate was 5.3%—down from

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When the experts make a point of advising that you remove the family photos as part of preparing your house for sale, they don’t mean to criticize your family. Even if Aunt Agatha’s scowl seems to be in every group portrait, it’s not that. It’s also not about the art of photography in general, either.

It’s about YOU.

That may not seem to be a very client-friendly sentiment, but no offense should be taken. Costa Mesa homeowners shouldn’t take offense. The overall goal of depersonalizing your home—that is, making the house as ownerless-seeming as possible—is an important part of helping house-hunters envision your property as their own. Removing the objects that reveal your family’s personality—things like awards, family portraits, and vacation

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“You May Want to Invest in Real Estate While You Still Can” was Yahoo!finance’s doubletake-inducing lead article last Friday—although would-be Costa Mesa real estate investors weren’t immediately seen scrambling to closings in response. Local investors are a sophisticated bunch who tend to take high-pressure warnings with a grain of salt, anyway—and given the recent glut of dire prognostications on many fronts, Yahoo’s hint of an impending end for area real estate investment opportunities wasn’t likely to be taken very seriously.

Still…they did have a point.

There is renewed evidence that the incursion of large institutional players into the single-family and small multifamily realms is gaining steam. Their buying activity so far this year

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Second only to, MarketWatch is the most often-visited financial and business news site—pulling in more than 38 million unique readers a year. That beats out more prominent names like the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, and Reuters. Such popularity can be interpreted as “highly trusted”—but given today’s heightened level of free-floating skepticism, that remains to be seen.

Last week MarketWatch’s “Picks” page presented four predictions for the housing market that might interest Costa Mesa readers—including owners of Costa Mesa luxury homes and those interested in acquiring Costa Mesa high-end properties. It dealt with residential real estate as a whole, but the writers—economists and real estate pros—placed a luxury market prediction

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Kudos to the editors at Forbes for this month’s thoughtful offering—a checklist that can clarify the advisability of buying Costa Mesa homes “in this hot real estate market.” The six questions combine to create a personal inventory that prospective Costa Mesa homebuyers can use to gauge the timeliness of a commitment to buy in this spring’s busy season.

While much of the rest of the real estate and financial press spent last week speculating over whether a U.S. residential “bubble” was either forming or about to burst (none of them thinks so), Forbes contributor David Rae’s questions were more valuable for homebuyers with legitimate concerns about the advantages of buying right now. Here are the questions—

  1. Will I be willing to live in this
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When it comes to your own Costa Mesa real estate holdings, so long as a sense of proportion is retained, keeping up with fashion writers’ latest opinions is usually a harmless pursuit. So it was that the publication on March 31 of Betty Stefanova’s “5 Interior Design Trends that will Disappear this Year” seemed worth checking out. After all, the abrupt termination of a trend could be costly to any local homeowner who went all-in on one of the soon-to-be-axed design ideas—especially if their property was headed for the Costa Mesa market. Although Ms. Stefanova’s qualifications were not readily available, her strong opinions were undeniably thought-provoking:

  1. Open-Floor Plans. Now that “most of us” are working remotely, the need for silence in our
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As a practical matter, being able to identify with pinpoint accuracy the single week that market conditions suggest will be the optimal time to list your Costa Mesa home isn’t really possible. For one thing, for a market the size of Costa Mesa’s, the numbers aren’t large enough. That’s why Realtor® Magazine’s annual “Best Time to Sell Report” calculations are based on the entire country’s data, which seldom duplicate our own.

So this year’s “Best Time” calculation is really no better than a hint for how things will turn out when the year is in the books. Even so, if you have been holding your own house off the market, waiting for an unambiguous signal that it’s time to list, that absolute perfect moment does look to be close at hand. Realtor’s

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If ever there were a time to organize your Costa Mesa spring cleaning, Sunday was it. The March equinox happened at about a half-hour before noon EST: the official start for Costa Mesa’s spring. Online spring cleaning task lists started re-appearing well ahead of that inaugural moment, however—many began populating the web in early February. Rather than just revisiting any of those checklists, this year it might be more interesting to take a step back to consider a more holistic approach to preparing for the annual effort:

  • First – if the oven has a self-cleaning cycle, try using it, following the manufacturer’s directions. These may include removing the racks and catch-pans, and using a soapy cloth or scouring pad to reduce thick spills. Also,
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