5 Family Fun Activities to do in Fall


The holiday season is here, and what better way is there to spend it than with the family. Take advantage of the holidays and get out and explore some of the fun-filled activities that this time of year brings. Take a look at these great family-friendly activities that will surely be filled with fun and memories.

Get Lost In A Maze

Go down to your nearest pumpkin patch or fall festival event near you, and you’ll be sure to find a corn maze. The great thing about corn mazes is that there is usually no age restriction and young children as well as grandparents can find their way through the maze. Some mazes make it more challenging by having blindfolds and a family or friends voice trying to guide you along the way.  Aside from the fun experience you and your family will have getting through the maze, it is worth mentioning that corn mazes make a great location for pictures.

Grab Some Apples

Most of the fall and holiday season tends to get dominated by the notion of having a pumpkin and going to pumpkin patches. Those are great, but if you’re in the mood for stepping outside the box, then you can take the whole family out to an apple farm. With pumpkins getting most of the attention this time of year, the holidays tend to forget about apple season. Oak Glen is a great spot less than 90-minutes from the LA area and has a few farms where you can soak in the countryside, pick some apples, and take part in activities geared for the whole family.

Fallen leaves

One of the best memories you can have with the family this holiday season doesn’t involve you spending a penny. Going out to your lawn jumping into a giant pile of just-raked leaves is a feeling that you and your family will remember for years to come. Feeling the soft earthy leaves break your fall will be the most fun you’ll have making a mess out of the hard work it took to get those leaves piled high.


There is not a better way to get the family together and telling stories than with a nice warm bonfire. If you don’t have a built-in bonfire in your yard, many hardware stores sell small self-contained fire pits. Bring out the delicious s’more recipe make some warm cocoa and let the time pass by as you exchange memories and jokes with the family. Things always get interesting when someone brings out the guitar and the campfire songs get sung.

Go On A Hike

The best time to go on a hike is fall season. Seeing all the bright leaf colors as you walk through a beautiful breezy afternoon is a feeling that everyone should experience. Take out the family and make a scavenger hunt out of it to find colorful leaves, pine cones, and other fall themed things that you can make decorations out of at home. If you are hiking to a hilltop, then be prepared to see the beautiful fall hues surrounding you.

Halloween Decor Tips


The holidays season is creeping up quick, and the first one knocking on our door is Halloween. The anticipation and goosebumps can be a little overwhelming as the neighborhood begins to put up their decorations. As you start your home decor take a look at these helpful tips to make your home stand out and instantly get a spooky vibe.


The Front Entrance

We have all know how important a first impression can be, and when it comes to creating the scary illusion for Halloween, it is no different. The front entrance can instantly create a creepy vibe for your visitors and set the mood for the rest of your home. You can never go wrong with decorating the hall with a few black spiders crawling around. One fun idea is to create a small web themed wreath to hang up on your front door. You can keep up with your black spider and white web theme by adding a few black and white pumpkins. Keep this theme going with a few smaller accessories if you’d like such as a web themed mat or message for your visitors to maintain a beautiful but frightening entrance.


Table Decor

Your coffee and dining table are perfect for continuing an eerie feel to your home. Adding Halloween candles is always a good way of adding a scary vibe around the house. Keep in mind that your Halloween decor doesn’t have to follow the traditional orange theme that is associated with it. Black and white themes create just as terrifying of an illusion and Halloween feel around the house. Having a nice centerpiece on your coffee and the dining table can tie in your table decor together. Bring out your creative vision and have some fun with your centerpieces. Having a blackbird in a cage or a spider in a cage is always a fun twist to spookily the eating table.



When it comes to decorating your kitchen, accessories are key. Swap out your daily coffee cups for some scary inspired ones. The Same thing can go for your hand towels. To wrap up your kitchen, add a few bottles of wine for decor. The great thing about wine bottles is that you can bring out your creativity again and decorate them to look old and rugged or make them into candles that can create a frightening vibe in the kitchen.


The Hallway

Yes, you can spookily any part of your home and the hallway and welcome room are an excellent way to continue the spookiness. A great and terrifying addition to a hallway is spray painting a mirror with reflective paint. This mirror will create a very eerie illusion for anyone looking at it and be the finishing touch to a very spooky and fun filled Halloween home decor.

Easy Tips to Get Your House Buyer-Ready


Finally deciding to put your house on the market can be an exciting time but also a stressful one. You are excited to move onto the next chapter in your life, but know that a lot of work needs to be done before you can sell. Don’t worry, though, here are a few tips to get your house show ready.

Add Mirrors

One of the best ways to bring life into any room is by using mirrors. The advantage of mirrors in any room is that they make the room larger. Part of getting your home ready to sell is creating space that conveys an inviting feeling. The quickest way to create this feeling is by adding mirrors to the rooms in your home. The one thing to pay attention to when you are adding mirrors to any room is the image it is reflecting. If you have a mirror reflecting something unsightly such as a television might not be the most appealing.

Clear Out All That Clutter

The most challenging step in the process of getting your home ready for a show is the decluttering process. Yes, it was a good idea to compact the DVD collection you are proud of next to the television. But, to the eye and anyone that might be interested in buying your home it just looks unpleasing. Getting rid of things can be tough, so if you’re not quite ready, tidying up all countertops can go a long way in decluttering a space.

When in Doubt Paint the Room

One of the main things a buyer looks for when purchasing a home is the work they are going to have to do. Having a room that hasn’t been painted might cause your home to be on the market a few more weeks. If you are not sure what to paint your walls, a simple white can never steer you wrong, and it will allow the buyer the opportunity to be free to choose any color.

Bonus Tip

An easy tip to remember when getting ready to show your home is to turn on your lights and let as much light in as you can. Opening the curtains and turning on lamps can create a very warm and inviting environment for prospective buyers.
These are just a few things to keep in mind when you finally make that big decision to sell your home and get yourself ready to move into that new one. Selling and buying a home can be a big step for anyone, but if you are ready to take that step, hire us for the best representation and results. We work in the South Bay and beyond. Our experience, resources, and expertise will help you get a smooth and stress-free close.

Tips to make your bathroom space grow


Let’s just cut to the chase, a bathroom whether big or small can feel very uncomfortable, cramped, and rather dull.

But be rest assured that with a few tweaks and pointers, your bathroom can have a huge makeover that will create a very warm and spacious feeling throughout. Here is a list of a few tips to make your bathroom visually grow.


Research shows that bathrooms are usually small and dark. Paint can go a long way in a bathroom if you tend to stay with lighter colors. If you choose a unified lighter color throughout, it will visually expand the height of the room and at the same time mask the transitions and planes intersecting. As an extra tip when painting, if you use semi-gloss paint it will reflect the light coming in.


There is only one rule that you should have in mind when thinking about what mirror you should put in the bathroom. The bigger the better. Mirrors can make a room feel like it has twice the space and add more light to the room in the process. Make sure that you don’t use mirrors side by side though as it will have an opposite effect and make the room feel once again crammed.

Natural Light

The more light you have come into the bathroom the greater visual effect it will have on the space. Just as I have mentioned above semi-gloss paint and big mirrors will attract a lot of light in the room. If you decide to want to go further with the natural light or feel that it’s not enough to your liking a solatube-skylight should do the trick.

Make Your Glass Clear

When it comes to shower doors many people like a sense of privacy and settle for an opaque version. What actually happens when you decide to go opaque is cut down on the space that has been visually created.  Having a clear glass door will create a feeling of being in one big room. Most of the time when you are showering you are in the bathroom alone so the privacy may not be much of a factor.


Lastly, the thing you will need to tie the room together is your own personal touch. As far as the aesthetic feel to the room is concerned, the only tip that can be given is to keep things simple (you don’t want to take away from all the hard work you’ve done to create space) and make sure that everything is of the same tone or value so that it can flow seamlessly.

Top Five Signs Of A Bad Real Estate Agent



When choosing your real estate agent, it can be hard to tell if they are as qualified as they say they are. If you’ve been trying to sell your home for months, it may not be the home’s fault, but your agent’s. Here are a few signs of a bad real estate agent.

Lack of communication

If your agent goes M.I.A. for weeks at a time that’s the first sign that it is time to look for a new one. Even if no one has shown interest in your home by calling for a showing, or they haven’t found any homes that match your requirements as a buyer, he or she should be touching base with you regularly to keep you updated on the process. The agent is supposed to be acting on your behalf, if they are not getting back to you, you’re not a priority.

Lack of leadership

If your agent is a yes man and agrees with you on every point then you are either a real estate genius or he or she is just trying to please you. You want someone who has your best interests at heart and will represent your interests in the real estate market. When your agent comes up with a price, ask for the research that was used to produce that number. An agent that asks you the price of your home and lists it as that is a sign of trouble. Your agent is the expert, look for someone who will take the lead and will offer expert advice.

Unused resources

A good agent will use all of his or her tools to help market your home to the public. A bad agent, on the other hand, will rely on the efforts of other agents to market your home to their clients. Your agent should have professional photos taken of the home and have a well-written description. Your agent should also be marketing your home anywhere, anyway, to anyone that could possibly be interested. This includes listing it on real estate websites, local newspapers and magazines, and even creating fliers to distribute to homes in the area.

Too much pressure

You do want an agent that offers you professional and expert advice, and someone who will try to persuade you from a bad decision. What you don’t want is someone who will push you in any particular direction. When it comes to buying a home, there should no reason for the agent to want you to buy any particular home over another. If you feel like this is happening it may be because the agent is trying to get you to buy a home that is listed by him or her, which will give your agent additional commission. Most states require the buyer to be informed if there is a conflict of interest, but if you feel like your agent is not being completely open, be cautious.

Lack of follow-up

Whether you’re selling or buying a home, a good agent that goes above and beyond is one who calls to follow up past the transaction date. Since the agent, by this time, has probably already received their commission, calls for a follow-up is really providing customer service. The bottom line is, there are many great agents out there, but there are a few that just don’t measure up. If you feel your agent is not doing their best or does not have your best interest in mind, don’t be afraid to look for a new one.


5 Steps to Getting Your Home Ready to Sell

6251905978_4d05fcc247_bNow that spring is upon us, you may have the urge to sell your home. This is the time of the year in which the housing market sees the most activity. Buyers are out and about, and eager to buy. Take advantage of the season and sell your home. Whether selling your home is planned or spontaneous, there are a few things that you should do before you sell.

1. Deep clean

You’re going to have to clean your home anyway if you plan on moving, why not start now. Giving your home a full, deep clean will really help attract and keep prospective buyers. Start with cleaning all the windows, inside and out, power wash all carpets, and clean out your closets. Also, cleaner closets will give the impression of more storage space, which everyone is looking for in a home.

2. Stage your home for sale

Staging a home means you create a more appealing home for your potential buyers. Staged homes sell 25 percent faster than homes that were not staged. You don’t have to hire professional stagers, just create a more generic home by scraping the personal decor, like family photos, trophies and awards, and religious items. Increase curb appeal by cleaning up the landscape, replacing outdated house numbers, and fixing up your front porch.

3. Have your home appraised and set your selling price

In order to find a qualified appraiser, talk with your real estate agent. Agents usually have an appraiser they work with and can refer you to. You can help the appraisal process by providing them with plot plan or survey of your house, you most recent tax bill, your home inspection report, and the title policy. Inform the appraiser of renovations you have made like a new kitchen or roof, this will help increase the value of your home.

4. Keep your home clean

We all know how fast a clean place can become messy once again. Throughout the time your home is on the market, it should be open-house ready. You never know when a potential buyer may stop by for a viewing. Just take a couple extra minutes in the morning to make the beds, clean up any grooming products you have used, and make sure the kitchen is spotless. Also, make sure not only is your home decluttered, but as well as your closets. Above all else, you should keep your home smelling fresh and clean.

5. Leave your home during showings

It may be tempting to stick around and listen to what potential buyers have to say about your place, but it would be wise to leave. Your presence may make the prospective buyers feel uncomfortable and rushed. Leave for a few hours on open house day and let your agent do their job.

5 Ways You Can Save On Your Move


Moving is never an easy process, it’s also not a very cheap process either. According to a report done by Worldwide ERC, the average household moving costs are $12,230. These numbers are for full-service, professional movers, many people opt to move themselves by renting U-haul trucks. Even if you hire professionals, there are ways to cut costs through tax breaks, research, and packing up the small stuff before the movers arrive. The busiest time to move is from April to October, where moving can cost about 25 percent more. Here are a few ways in which you can save on your move.

1. Unload what you don’t need

The weight of your entire load is factored into your cost when moving long distances. By getting rid of things you don’t need or want anymore, you’ll be able to save money. If you have furniture or other big items, there are hauling services that will come take it away for you. Also, make sure the furniture you do own will fit in your next home. You don’t want to be paying to have furniture moved that you won’t use.

2. Timing it right

Schedule your move for the middle of the week in the middle of the month. Most people move on the first of the month or the end of the month. As the movers get busier, the more expensive they will be.

3. Save on boxes

You can buy used or recycled boxes to pack up your smaller items. The less time the movers have to spend packing the less it’s going to cost. If the boxes are still in good condition by the end of the move you can often times, sell them back to that moving company.

4. Research the movers

Contact more than one moving company for estimates, experts suggest at least three different companies. To get the most accurate estimate have the company come out and give you an in-home estimate. This way the movers understand what they will be working with and you’re not surprised with a price increase. Also, research each company to make sure they have their licenses and are equipped with the proper insurance.

5. Plan ahead

By ordering colored tape and labels, you’ll be able to reduce the overall time it takes to move. Also, you can reduce the move time even further if you draw a map of where each room is for the movers.


What Will the Housing Market Look Like in 2016

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This last year had a lot of firsts for the real estate market since the crash in 2008. It was a good year in terms of real estate for 2015. We saw some of the lowest mortgage rates since the 90’s and activity continued well into the “off season.” So where is the market headed now, especially since the Fed raised interest rates right before the year’s end? Many real estate forecasters expect 2016 to surpass 2015, even with increasing prices and higher mortgage rates. Here is what you can expect from the housing market in 2016.

Homeowners should expect another year of gains in housing prices. Since the housing market crash, lenders are cracking down on giving out loans to people who can’t afford them. Since the beginning of the recovery in 2012, housing prices have been going up, reaching peak levels. In 2016, it is expected that these prices will be stable because they are supported by homeowner incomes. Negative homeowner’s equity is also fading fast. At its worse, 17 million people owned homes that were worth less than their mortgages, by the year’s end that number is expected to drop to 5 million.

It is a sellers’ market. Current market conditions favor owners who are looking to sell. This is because there is a low inventory of homes. Sellers have been holding off on selling their home until prices rise back to where they were. Although it may be harder for buyers in this current market, the growing economy and low mortgage rates are expected to help. Mortgage rates are still around 4%, but buyers should be aware that this won’t last long. It isn’t all bad news for buyers, though, mortgage rates aren’t going to spike anytime soon and full employment is expected to return in the next few months.

2016 is going to be a difficult year for renters. Rents are at an all time high. This is because there is a high demand for rentals and not enough supply. The demand for rentals has increased so much because millennials are coming of age, looking for their own place and families who were foreclosed on are still renting. Builders are constructing more rentals, but this is still not keeping up with demand. Also, the demand for affordable housing in urban areas are still not being met.

For first-time buyers, 2016 is going to be their year. The Federal Housing Administration, which helps first-time buyers with getting a mortgage, has been cutting fees since last year. As the economy improves, this government agency is expected to cut fees even further. They are also working to lower the current credit bar that stops many potential buyers.

2016 looks like it will be the year of the seller, but buyers are also going to benefit from this year. The only ones that are going to have trouble are renters, as prices are not expected to level off anytime soon. If you are in the position to buy or have been contemplating buying, you should do so. Now is the best time to buy as mortgage rates are still low and easy to obtain. Also, many buyers are now putting down less than 20% as their down payment.

The 6 Major Steps in the Home Buying Process


The homebuying process can be intimidating for anyone, especially first-time buyers. Buying a home is a major process, but with the right people, it doesn’t have to be a stressful process. Here are the major steps in the home buying process and what you can expect from each.

1. Before you decide to buy a home

The first thing you should start on before you even consider buying a home is to build good credit. After you build your credit up, you should start with a mortgage pre-approval and find out what type of mortgage is right for you. You should also be saving for the down payment, which can be anywhere from 10-20% of the property value. Don’t forget to save for the closing costs which can include taxes and other fees.

2.Find a Real Estate Agent

Finding a real estate is probably one of the most important steps. You want an agent that knows the area in which you are wishing to buy. You also want someone who has years of experience. Those years of experience will make all the difference, from knowing how to negotiate to filling out and filing the paperwork for you.

3. Finding the right property

Before you start looking you should make a list of everything you want in a home. Make sure your list is realistic. Sometimes first time home buyers feel as if they will never find their dream home because of unrealistic expectations. Make a list of needs vs wants, also a list of absolute deal breakers. Sometimes homes have funny quirks that you may hate at first, but over time, develop into a feature that makes your home, home.

4. Financing the right property

You’ll need to find a mortgage broker as well. Your realtor should have a list of contacts they would suggest. Mortgage brokers are important because they can help you find the right mortgage suited for you. If you have already been pre-approved, the lending process will be a lot easier.

5. Making an offer

Before you make the offer, make sure you have a licensed home inspector in place. Acquire title insurance and make sure the title is clear before you place an offer. Make sure you read and understand all contracts before you sign, if you have any questions, make sure to ask. Keep your credit score high throughout the entire process and wait for big-ticket purchases until long after you close. Remember, one offer makes a sale, so be prepared to move on if you offer is not accepted.

6. Closing and life after the big purchase

The first thing you should do after you close is protect your purchase, buy insurance, including disaster, fire, and flooding. Keep a record of all your files, either physically or digitally. This includes all warranties, insurance documents, contracts, etc. Set up bills in your name with your new address. Now that all the hard work is done, it’s time to enjoy your new place, go out, meet your neighbors, explore the neighborhood. If you had a positive experience with your realtor, recommend them to your family and friends who may have just begun their own real estate journey.