Real Estate Blog

Chances are, your mortgage payment is your most expensive monthly bill, which is why it is important to make sure that you take the time to look over it each month. Keep these tips in mind to ensure that you are not overpaying for your mortgage.

  • Get rid of PMI – PMI, or private mortgage insurance, is only necessary if your mortgage balance is over 80 percent of your home’s value. If you can prove that your balance is less than 80 percent of your home’s value, you can get rid of PMI and save hundreds of dollars each month.
  • Consider refinancing – if refinancing your home will help to lower the interest rate of your loan, you should seriously consider it. A lower interest rate will help to save thousands of dollars over the life of your mortgage.
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Buying a home is a huge financial decision. While most of what you pay for a house is not in cash, in some cases you may have to open your wallet. The most common out of pocket expenses when buying a home include:

  • Earnest money – also known as a good faith deposit, earnest money is typically around 1 percent of the purchase price of a home. Earnest money is used to let the seller know that you are serious about buying the home.
  • Home inspection – typically around $450, the home inspection will let you know if there are any problems with the property that will need to be fixed. Once all inspections are complete you will need to negotiate what if any repairs the sellers will be responsible for.
  • Closing costs – many costs are part of the closing
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Trying to buy a home in a seller’s market can be both difficult and stressful. With more competition and less houses available, it can be very challenging to get your offer accepted. Keep these tips in mind when submitting an offer in a seller’s market.

  • Do not ask for anything extra in your offer, such as asking them to pay for the homeowner’s association documentation fees or the home warranty coverage. The “cleaner” your offer is, the better.
  • Be sure to read through the exclusions on the listing. Do not ask the seller for any of their personal property, such as their washer and dryer or the refrigerator.
  • While the typical earnest deposit on a house is around 1 percent or the purchase price, provide the largest deposit that you can to help
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As the New Year is kicking off, there is no better time to invest in a new home. While the past few years have seen serious issues within the real estate market, 2015 is expected to be a time of change.

According to experts, 2015 is going to bring balance and normalcy back to the real estate market. As the home value growth slows down, investors are less interested in buying up all the available real estate, which will make it much easier to find the right home in 2015. As the real estate market shifts to better benefit buyers, those who are looking to move into a new home will see less competition and more negotiating power. Buyers will be able to insist on more contingencies in the home contracts to ensure that they invest in the right house for

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Buying a new home is one of the largest investments you will ever make in your life. However, before you sign all the paperwork, you will need to invest in homeowners insurance to ensure that your new home is protected from any potential hazards. Keep these tips in mind to ensure that you invest in the right policy for your specific needs.

  • Know the value of your home – make sure you are insuring your home for the replacement cost, not the current market value of your home so that you will be able to rebuild it if it is completely destroyed.
  • Look beyond the price – while price should be a large factor when it comes to investing in the right insurance policy, it should not be the only one. Make sure you consider the coverage that is provided with
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With the holiday season in full swing, it is the perfect time to get the family together to see all of the beautiful Christmas lights in your local community. Make sure to check out all of these displays to get into the holiday spirit.

  • Belardo Lights – you do not want to miss out on the one-house masterpiece at 5306 N. Belardo Dr. The design started in 2006 as a way for the family to create a light show for their two autistic sons. The lights dance in unison to music that is played on a special radio station that you can listen to while looking at the lights.
  • Garrison Street in Point Loma allows you to take a leisurely stroll down the street to enjoy all of the massive lights the line the road. Getting out of your car allows you to fully enjoy
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If you are thinking about buying a home, there is no better time than now. If you think that you are ready to invest in a new home, keep these reasons in mind why there has never been a better time.

  • Prices are right – even though home prices are still rising, they are not rising as rapidly as they have been in the past, which means you will be able to get a home for a good deal.
  • Rates are low – interest rates for home loans are at an all-time low, around 4 percent, which will help you save thousands of dollars over the life of your loan.
  • Softer loan requirements – loan companies are not sticking to such strict regulations for loans, meaning that more people can qualify for a loan.

Contact The Alan Shafran Group for all of your home

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When selling your home, you want to make sure that you are putting your home on the market for the right price. Looking at your neighbor’s houses is one of the best ways to make sure that you are pricing your home right. Keep these tips in mind to ensure that your home will sell as fast as possible.

  • Compare apples to apples – every home in a neighborhood is different, so make sure that you are not comparing your home to a home that is completely different.
  • Look at the competition – visit a couple open houses in the area to see what is currently on the market. This will give you a good idea of what your home has that others do not, which can be a strong selling point.
  • Learn from your neighbor’s mistakes – if there are homes in your area that
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With the holiday season here, you may find yourself planning a last minute holiday party for all of your friends and family. Keep this last minute checklist in mind to ensure that you are ready when your guests start arriving.

  • De-clutter and sweep your porch and walkway. Shake out your doormat to give your guests a clear path into your home.
  • Make room in your coat closet. Chances are, your guests will be bundled up. Clear out some of your coats in your coat closet to make room for all of your guest’s coats.
  • Freshen up your bathroom. Clear everything off of your counter and give it a quick wipe down. Make sure there is enough soap and toilet paper in visible areas for your guests to use.

For all of your North San Diego County real estate

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Keeping your floors looking their best can help ensure that your home is always welcoming. Keep these simple floor maintenance tips in mind to keep your floors looking like new:

  • Doormats – lay down doormats at all of the entrances into your home. Dust, dirt, and grime that is tracked in from the outside can quickly and easily ruin your floor.
  • Shoes – have everyone take off their shoes at the door so that whatever is on the bottom of their shoes does not get tracked into your home.
  • Clean – regularly cleaning your floor will not only keep them in good shape, but it will also help to keep your home cleaner overall.
  • Spills – if something is accidently spilled on your floor, clean it up immediately to ensure that it does as little damage as
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