Closing Costs Explained

Wondering where your money goes when Closing Escrow? Check out this diagram that explains where your money goes starting with Title Fees to commission fees to Loan pay off fees! Don’t purchase a home without understanding the true costs of buying a home and the money processing order. Call Us today with any questions!

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2nd & PCH Project Update

Long Beach’s New 2nd & PCH Shopping Center Update!

As you have probably seen, they are making steady progress towards the opening of 2nd and PCh. While we are all anxious to hear the finalized tenants, we know now twenty confirmed tenants, and are expecting to know more in the near future. The current tenants are restaurants including Ola Mexican Kitchen, Tocaya Modern Mexican, Caffe Luxxe, Shake Shack and Hungry Angelina. Retail stores so far include Sephora, Linne’s Boutique, Gorjana, free people and Urban Outfitters. The center will also include several workout facilities including Hawt Yoga, Motion Stretch studio and Barry’s Bootcamp as well as convenient service stores such as Chase Bank, HSBC and AT&T.

As you can see in these pictures, there will be parking structures on either end of the center fit to hold around 1,150 vehicles. Marina Drive also features new parking spaces along the ocean side of the center to accommodate more visitors. The 2nd Street & PCH project is still expected to open this October. As we cross over this busy intersection every day we can tell the center is looking more and more complete so we can’t wait to see the final product!

You can find out more details and construction updates on their website here.

Attention First-Time Home Buyers!

Attention First time home buyers! Don’t stress about the unknown… HIRE AN AGENT!! Aside from hiring a real estate professional to guide you through your first home purchase, here are some tips to make it a smoother, less stressful experience.

1. Hiring an agent is important but hiring the RIGHT agent for you is even more important. Find a professional who will have your best interest in mind and knows the local area and market well. This will guarantee you the quality services and guidance you need.

2. Buy within your budget. Calculate how much percentage of your monthly income you are willing to put towards your mortgage. Come to a price on your own to give you a good idea of where you may be financially. Next, get pre-approved from a lender to finalize your ideal budget for your future home. Going over budget will only limit your potential renovation plans or design aspirations. Know your budget prior to beginning your search!

3. Inspect your home! Don’t fall into the trap and go the cheap route of skipping an inspection on your home. People who pass on inspections end up paying more to fix problems that previous owners would have been financially responsible for had you gotten inspected. You may want to renegotiate the price of a home based on the inspection results and could save you money!

Things to remember when searching for your first home
1. Paint is cheap!! Don’t let paint color deter you from a home, it is an easy fix!
2. Appliances are easily replaced. Compared to a home price, appliances are cheap so don’t base your home off of luxuries, those can be purchased later.
3. Popcorn ceilings are an easy fix also!
4. Wood floor finishes can easily be altered.
5. Look past the lighting or fixtures, that’s a simple, quick fix!

Of course everyone has their own image of their ideal home but we suggest you make a reasonable list of must haves and know that several deterrents in homes are usually easily fixable or changed. Keep this in mind when searching for your first home. House hunting is fun!

Moving Sucks!! Read how to ease the process here

Poor organization

            Stay organized with your packing. LABEL LABEL LABEL! Label all boxes, bags, containers so you can easily position the boxes in your new home to be unloading. The biggest time consumer is figuring out which box has which items. Take the time to measure your furniture being transferred to the new home as well as the entry ways into the new home to guarantee it will fit. If it will not fit it is better to know ahead of time so you can arrange for a proper moving company to help transfer the furniture professionally.

Paperwork is one of the most difficult things to transport when moving homes but only if you are unorganized. Keep files LABELED of everything you own. Put those files into a bigger box that will hold all paperwork together. Keeping paperwork organized can be stressful but you will thank yourself later if you organize PRIOR to move in day.

Create a moving budget weeks before you move that includes costs of moving companies and extra services you may need prior to staying at your new home. Planning too late will result in higher fees as well as unnecessary stress trying to find available companies. Those who do not make a moving budget more often than not end up over spending simply due to lack of planning and organization.

Relocation can be a very stressful process so planning ahead and remaining organized through the process before and during is the key to a smoother process.

 Traffic Problems

            A common struggle when moving from one location to another is the process of unloading and carrying furniture, boxes etc. from the car into your new home. Finding a parking spot right in front of your homes will make the process easier as well as the load lighter because you will not have to carry it as far. We suggest coning off spots the morning of your move in day to eliminate the extra walking, carrying and stress on your body.

 Misleading Movers

There are hundreds of moving companies out there. Make sure to do extensive research on movers to get a well estimated price that is suitable for your situation. The best suggestion is to use a company a friend or family member can refer to you so you know they are reliable and trustworthy. Purchasing appropriate insurance for your belongings may be a good idea to do as well prior to moving date.

PLAN PLAN PLAN! Stay on top of all expenses, dates and appointments when planning to move. Make the process as stress free as possible to make moving exciting rather than stressful!

Be Prepared and Stay Safe!

Being prepared for a disaster, whether a severe storm, power failure in the winter, flood, large urban fire, earthquake, or large chemical spill, we have responsibility to be prepared. Emergencies can occur at any time and without warning. Living in Southern California, as we have seen recently, earthquakes unfortunately take place so take the initiative to get your home and family ready for any future earthquakes or natural disasters! First, get your home re-inspected to ensure it is up to the new earthquake safety standards! Consider installing earthquake straps or bolts to help hold shelving, wall units or water heaters to the walls in case of emergencies. Aside from home safety, your family’s and your personal safety are also important! Safety kits can be purchased in stores all over including Amazon or grab a bag and make your own kit! Here are some tips and tricks to easily and inexpensively prepare an emergency bag.

DIY earthquake kit essentials:
•  Earthquake water! It stays good longer than your typical bottled water.
•  First aid kit
• Non-perishable foods
• Medication
• Batteries
• Flashlight
• Sanitation and personal hygiene items
• Multi-purpose tool
• Copies of personal important documents
• Family and emergency contact information.
• Cash
• Paper maps
• Emergency blanket

Following an Earthquake here are some things you should do:
• Stay calm and prepare for aftershocks.
• Check for injuries and administer first aid to your best ability.
• Check for obvious hazards or dangers to your home.
• Do not turn off or on any lighting or electrical device.
• Use emergency supplies only if necessary.

The better prepared, the better you can minimize upset and anxiety that often occurs during an emergency! Find more safety tips to consider before, during and after an earthquake below.

Earthquake Safety


Before you begin your dream home search, understanding the difference between your WANTS and your NEEDS is an important first step! As you start previewing properties, you will likely have a dream list of ideas that you desire in your new home but the key is to identify whether those features are imperative. While it’s normal to fantasize about high tec., luxary amenities, we recommend you remain open minded when searching for your new home to assure we find the best home fit for you. Maybe your dream kitchen could be a possible future renovation plan which would allow you to acquire a perfect home fitting your current needs and setting aside your wants for the future.

The first step in the process is getting pre-approved so you are well aware of your budget and what you can and should be looking for as well as which location would be priced right for you. To keep your WANTS vs NEEDS in order, begin your process by first making a list to start realistic when searching for your home.

“Must-Haves” – if this property does not have these items, then it shouldn’t even be considered (ex: distance from work or family, number of bedrooms/bathrooms).

“Should-Haves” – if the property hits all of the ‘must-haves’ and some of the ‘should-haves,’ it stays in contention but does not need to have all of these features.

“Absolute-Wish List” – if we find a property in our budget that has all of the ‘must-haves,’ most of the ‘should-haves,’ and ANY of these, it’s the winner!

Remember to decipher between the necessities of your potential new home and those luxuries you can live without well before you begin your home search. This will ensure staying on budget and finding the perfect home for you within a short time period!