Our Real Estate blog offers, tips, tricks and advice covering a wide range of topics to help educate buyers and sellers.


Dec. 11, 2018

The 2019 South Bay Real Estate Market Is Going....

The United States stock market has showed some volatility in 2018 causing mortgage rates to slow. Freddie Mac just revealed that mortgage rates actually drop to 4.75%. So how does this affect the real estate market?


Every indication is that mortgage rate increases are going to slow through 2019. Making the present the best time to buy a house.




Both pending and home sales closed has slightly dropped in the past few months. The primary reason from polled buyer is that the increasing interest rates that were nearing 5% wasn't attractive to a home buyer. The regression to 4.75% should bring out a larger buyer pool to stimulate sales in the South Bay housing market.



Industry experts project that these lower and slowed rate hikes will create an attractive landscape for buyers.  Especially at the start of the year in Q1, as a rate hike could be coming in Q2. If you are a home buyer you will want to purchase in the first 90 days.



Home sellers will want to price their homes properly as buyers have been moving inland from the coast because of their high asking prices. A well priced home will draw a lot of attention from buyers, multiple offers will start to drive the price back upwards on competitively priced homes.


We are expecting a huge buyer pool to start the year. They will be bound by the constraints of their loans in luxury markets potentially causing them to overlook overpriced homes. Sellers should price aggressively to drive the sales price upwards while negotiating, listing high and staying at a high listing price has caused several homes to sit on the market in 2018. We expect home values to steadily rise through out the course of the year.



Posted in Market Forcast
Dec. 6, 2018

Tips On How To Sell Your Home During The Holidays

How to Sell Your Home During the Holidays

As soon as October draws to a close, many sellers will take their houses off the market for the holidays. Buyers also tend to take a seasonal pause. Historically, the slowest stretch for home sales is November through February before sales pick up again in March. But, if you need to sell your home right away—for a job relocation, for example—there are some encouraging factors. Buyers who stick around during the winter tend to be very serious and ready to commit. There also are not as many homes on the market to compete against. Here, USA Today offers tips for making a warm impression during these colder months.


Get The Best Photos


Although it’s winter, you don’t want the outside pictures of your home to look barren because buyers won’t see a well-landscaped lawn. Plan ahead and take exterior pictures before the leaves fall, even if it’s a month or two before you actually list the house. If you have a swimming pool or hot tub, find an old picture that shows the feature during the summertime.


Maintain The Outside

Keep up with lawn maintenance, even if it’s not growing season. Rake dead leaves, and edge and weed if necessary. Trim hardy evergreens if they get too unwieldy. Add new mulch to any landscaped beds. Make sure driveways and walkways are well-lit because there is less daylight during the winter.

Cozy Up Inside


Buyers will spend more time on the inside when it’s cold outside, so make sure they’re comfortable. Set the temperature between 68 and 70 degrees. Address any drafts from windows or doors before having an open house. Good lighting also is key at this time of year when it gets dark earlier, so don’t skimp on lighting. Replace tired table lamps and chandeliers with updated models. Use higher wattage bulbs to bathe the house in light. Make sure windows are cleaned to maximize sunlight. Enhance the coziness of your house with the smell of freshly baked cookies, serve hot apple cider or hot chocolate for guests, and turn on any gas fireplaces for added ambience.

Celebrate Modestly


You can still decorate for the holidays, but keep it muted. Use reds, winter white, silver and clear blue decorations along with natural elements such as pine cones and evergreen branches to celebrate the season without going over the top with kitschy themes. Add a splash of color on the outside with an elegant wreath, which will keep your home from looking drab in these gray months. Think seasonal; you don’t want your listing pictures to have out-of-season décor in January, signaling that your house has been on the market for a while.

Other Considerations


• Price It Right

Be realistic about the market conditions in your area, especially if buying activity cooled off even before the weather did. Price competitively and be open to buyer incentives, such as funding a home repair or offering money toward closing costs to make a deal.

• Vacant Homes

If you have already moved to another location, make sure to winterize your home before showing it. That means hiring a plumber to blow out pipes and put antifreeze in them. If the furnace goes out and the water pipes freeze, then you’ll have a big problem.

• House size

The market for condos, townhomes and smaller, entry-level homes doesn’t wane nearly as much in the winter than for larger homes. People often get engaged during the holidays, so these couples often start looking for a home in the winter. For larger homes with four-bedrooms, you might want to wait until after Feb. 1 to put your home on the market.

• All homes

No matter when you sell your home, make it look its best. Have your home professionally cleaned and repainted with current colors. Declutter throughout, and organize closets and pantries to highlight ample storage. Limit the amount of furniture to improve walkability and showcase space.

Posted in Market Forcast, Selling
Nov. 29, 2018

Our 10 Best Secrets To Sell A Home

Secret #10: Price it Right


Properly priced homes get more attention, under priced homes get every qualified buyer & investor’s attention. Price it right and you will be stampeded with multiple offers, causing a bidding frenzy that will drive the value back up. This method takes a good amount of courage but when executed properly this is one of the best strategies to sell a home in any market


Secret #9: Show Off All Your Space


Its easier for a buyer to visualize how they would use the space when it’s a some what blank canvas. Having ample storage space is a top request, but it is hard to visualize where a buyer will put all their knick-knacks if they cant see past your personal possessions.

Bonus Tip: Show the closest space buy keeping them tidy and half full.



Secret #8: Natural Light


Do what you have to do to make your house bright and cheery, it will makes it more sellable. Every buyer wants there how to be well lite. To get more natural light take down the drapes, clean the windows and trim the hedges around your windows to get the most light possible!

Bonus Tip: Use higher wattage light bulb  and different lampshades to get better artificial light.


Secret #7: Hire The Best Agent

Not all agents, brokers, and sales teams are created equal. Ask them questions about their past sales, the home down the street and where the best place to get a bite to eat locally is. These questions will help you find out who the local expert is. You want them to be able to tell you what your neighbors house sold for and to sell the area as much as the home.

Bonus Tip: Find a broker who embraces technology – a tech-savvy one has many tools to get your house sold and 83% of buyers first see the home on the internet.

Secret #6: Hide Your Pets

While your pet might be a heart stealer not everybody is a dog- or cat-lover. The bowl of dog food, the smell of a litter box, pet hair in the carpet, etc...  Could give buyers the impression that your house is not clean. If you’re planning an open house, send the critters to a pet hotel for the day.


Secret #5: Go Easy On The Upgrades

If its a small quick fix then go ahead and complete it, patching up nail holes, new switch faceplates and other small tasks will show pride of ownership and that your property has been well maintained. Restructuring the floor plan? You might want to reconsider, these types of renovations could pay off if done right but not every house will get value from these colossal projects. Instead, keep it simple. Some of these smaller tasks can generate higher offers as well as more offers: clean the grout, freshen the paint, new cabinet hardware, fixing that leaky faucet.


Secret #4: The Future Homeowner Mind Trick

The home will soon no longer be yours so start to depersonalize it ASAP. The more personal stuff in your house, the less potential buyers can imagine themselves living there. Give them a little guidance on how you used the room (or the way you always wished you had) with your large furniture (the things that are hardest to move).  Things such as keepsakes, family photos and collectibles should be tidily packed and put in storage (you will be moving soon and glad that you got a head start anyway). 

Bonus Tip: Call a Home Stager. Many times they will be glad to give you a consultation on how to use your existing furniture to create the best first impression.


Secret #3: You Are Really Selling The Kitchen

What is the most important room in your home? 99 times out of 100 its going to be the kitchen. Trust us it really is that important! Remodeling a kitchen offers huge upside. New counter tops will cost a couple thousand dollars but a buyer could knock ten thousand dollars off of your asking price because the current ones are dated. Some off the simpler tasks such as paint and new cabinet hardware should always been done - try to stay neutral and not too stylized as you want to appeal to the masses.

Selling Secret #2: Its Showtime!

You should try to be show ready at anytime. The best real estate agents have a good memory and probably saw your home a broker's open house and meet a ton of people. You never know when your agent is going to have a hot and ready buyer that needs to see the home immediately. So, always try to keep the dishes washed, the bathrooms clean and the floors swept. Its a little bit of an inconvenience but it helps get your house sold!

Curb Appeal


Selling Secret #1: You Only Get One Chance At A First Impression.

You never have a second chance to make a first impression. Curb appeal is huge factor for every buyer and the first thing they see about your home. So, it’s important to make people feel warm, welcome and safe as they approach the house. Spruce up your home’s exterior with inexpensive shrubs and brightly colored flowers. You can typically get a 100-percent return on the money you put into your home’s curb appeal. Entryways are also important. You use it as a utility space for your coat and keys. But, when you’re selling, make it welcoming by putting in a small bench, a vase of fresh-cut flowers or even some cookies.



Posted in Selling
Nov. 21, 2018

Home Buying for Veterans and Active Duty Military: Understanding the VA Loan


Veterans Day in Manhattan Beach CA

Buying a home is one of the biggest financial decisions anyone can make. And if a home buyer isn't paying cash, then they will usually obtain a mortgage to pay for the home. One popular mortgage for those who can obtain it is the VA loan. The VA loan is one of the benefits provided for veterans and active duty military personnel. This type of loan makes home buying easier for many service men and women who would like to see their dream of owning a home realized. Understanding the VA loan, the way it works and how it compares to other loans can help home buyers decide if the VA loan is the right loan for them.

What is a VA Loan?

The VA loan is a loan that has been backed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. The VA does not issue the loans directly, but provides a guarantee to approved mortgage lenders. Service people who want to get a VA loan can do so by contacting a qualified lender, and not by contacting the VA itself.

What Are the Benefits of VA Loans?

VA Loans

There are many benefits of VA loans. These benefits make home buying easier for service men and women. One of the most attractive benefits of VA loans is that they require no money down to buy a home. In addition, VA loans have no mortgage insurance requirements. This can save qualifying active military and veterans a lot of money when the time comes to buy a home.

How Does the VA Loan Work?

To qualify for a VA loan, the home buyer begins by getting pre-qualified. This is a quick process that involves answering just a few questions about credit history, salary, assets and other financial information. At the end of the pre-qualification process, the potential home buyer is told how much money they are approved to borrow.

Once the home buyer is pre-qualified, he or she must get pre-approved. Pre-approval is a much more involved process than pre-qualification. To be pre-approved, the home buyer must turn in financial documents that support the information provided when the buyer got pre-qualified. Pre-approval is a long and involved process, but when the pre-approval is finished, the buyer can make competitive offers on homes with confidence that their loan will be approved at the close of escrow.

Once the loan funds, the home buyer must pay a fee to the VA to fund the program and keep the loans going. This fee can be rolled up into the loan, to lessen the burden on the home buyer.

How Do VA Loans Compare to Other Loans?

Nearly all other types of loans require the home buyer to make a down payment. Some loans (like FHA loans) require low down payments around 3.5 percent. Conventional loans may require the home buyer to make a down payment of 20 percent or more. For home buyers on a budget, the down payment is a major hurdle that can prevent some people from buying a home. Therefore, the VA loan's requirement of no down payment is an very appreciated bonus.

Many loans that require a low down payment (like the FHA loan) also require the home buyer to pay for mortgage insurance. The VA loan is different because it does not have this requirement. This can save home buyers thousands of dollars over the life of the loan.

A VA loan does not impose a maximum amount that an eligible veteran may borrow to buy a home using a VA loan. However, the VA loan program does limit the VA's liability by capping the guaranty amount to $453,100 in 2018 for most loans. This maximum limit effectively limits what most banks or lenders are willing to lend to lend without requiring a down payment.

Who is Eligible for a VA Loan?

The VA home loan is for active military, surviving military spouses and veterans. In most cases, to be eligible, the home buyer must serve 181 days on active duty during a time of peace, or must serve 90 days active duty during a time of war. Home buyers who have served six years in the National Guard or Reserves are also eligible. Veterans, active military and surviving military spouses who want to know whether or not they are eligible for a VA loan can find out by contacting their VA office.

Even borrowers who have a history of foreclosure or bankruptcy are still eligible for a VA loan. However, the VA loan is not provided to buyers who are trying to purchase a second property. The VA loan is only given to people who want to purchase a primary residence.

How Can You Get Started?

Home buyers who would like to get started with a VA loan should first contact a qualified lender to find out what kind of paperwork they'll need to provide in order to be pre-approved. It also helps to look at homes in the area where the home will be purchased. This can help home buyers find out where they want to buy and what their budget will be. Finally, home buyers who would like to get started with a VA loan can work with a qualified real estate professional. Working with a good real estate professional can help you get the home you want at a price you can afford.

Posted in Buying
Nov. 15, 2018

Commercial & Residential Real Estate Investing


 In this week’s EdZone, Ed Kaminsky interviews investment expert Chris James who has had some massive gains in real estate investing. Chris has found great success in the South Bay real estate market with investments in commercial real estate and residential homes.  By integrating more verticals, such as luxury homes and commercial properties, into liquid investment portfolios Chris has turned profits of up to 20% for his clients.


Ed Kaminsky and Chris James came to meet through a rather bold real estate acquisition at auction.  Chris purchased a commercial real estate property totaling around 320,000sqft with dismal occupancy rates. Kaminsky was a tenant of the building while waiting for construction of his recent commercial space to complete, the future home of SportStar Relocation and Kaminksy Real Estate Group. Ed was in awe of what Chris James’ company paid for the building. As Chris will tell you, this asset was the perfect storm for a real estate investment acquisition in the thriving Manhattan Beach real estate market.

Up Coming Manhattan Beach Home


What many thought was a crazy purchase turned out to be a massively lucrative investment. If you are considering purchasing a real investment property fill out the submission form below to have one of real estate advisors contact you. Our experts are versed in commercial and residential investment properties all over the nation. Whether looking to acquire a property of sell one and get a tax deferment we can help advise on the transaction.


Also, in this podcast Chris dives into luxury homes, where massive returns on your capital can be realized. With a focus on strong coastal markets that hold value the company has been finding older and unfinished houses for remodeling and flipping, view Palos Verdes Home Values to see some of the prices Chris and his company are achieving. Chris has recently entrusted Ed & Kaminksy Real Estate group to put a Manhattan Beach home for sale, a funky Santa Fe style home that didn’t fit in the Manhattan Beach real estate market. The construction and marketing of preliminary design plans has lead to offers before the home has even hit the market, let alone start construction. Please be sure to follow the EdZone to get updates on more Real Estate advice and News.


Nov. 5, 2018

How To Pick The Right Realtor To Sell Your Home

How to Find The Right Realtor To Sell Your Home

Thinking about selling your home? Whether relocating, cashing out on your investment, or needing to up/down size it is important to find a the Realtor to list your home for sale.  Your home is a big investment and proper representation can help you make tens of thousands of dollars more than simply assuming all realtors put homes on Zillow. A well experienced pro will also make the process simple and quick while protecting your best interests. Here are our tips on how to find the right real estate professional to sell your home.

1) Ask For Referrals

When selecting an agent its best to start by asking friends, family, and neighbors.  But approach the question logically. Asking "do you know a realtor" is a great way to get a list of friends of friends. Instead ask your question like this " Do you know someone who has sold a home in the area recently?" This narrows the referral field substainially as it eliminates the newly licensed from potential suggestions. There are so many stages to a real estate sale that having a seasoned pro is in your best interest. An experienced local pro will know how to market your home, they probably even have a couple of potential buyers ready from the home they just sold down the street.

Get a free and instant home valuation

2) Test Your Agent

Once you have your list of agents ready its time to start narrowing the field. The first measure should be response time. Send your potential agents an email or text message (call their office as well). Now sit back and wait. This is to measure the agents response time. Ideally your agent is immediately responsive or has a team that handles these matters swiftly. This test is to gauge the level of service to expect. Imagine if you had an issue come up with an appraisal or home inspection? As a seller you would want immediate attention to any and all issues that would come up, so chart your prospects response time. 

3) Ask the Right Interview Questions

Treat your realtor as a potential employee. You can ask about their services and track record. Ask the following:

A) How long have you been in business?

Aim for agents with a couple years experience and who sell homes full time. Being in business a couple years means they have formulated a marketing plan, while being a full time agent means that this is their livelihood and your satisfaction is a priority.

B) How many houses did you sell last year?

General rule of thumb is to look for agents who sell more than 30+ homes per year. This shows that they offer outstanding service that leads to referrals and have a sense of marketing to find potential buyers.

C) What percentage of your listings do you sell?

Just like grade school percentages are important. The higher the better. Do not consider an agent who sells less than 70% of their listings. 

D) What is the average list price to actual sell price ration for your listings?

This can fluctuate depending on the state of the market. Nonetheless you should set expectations for a high percentage. Look for a ratio above 93%. Accurate pricing is one of the most important factors in selling a home. Being off on price causes you to sit on the market. Time on market leads to price reductions and price reductions lead to lower sales figures.


4) Ask For A Marketing Plan

Its not rocket science, to sell a home you need to make sure its viewed by as many potential buyers as possible. Use these questions to gauge your realtor's marketing prowess:


A) How will you market my home?

Its 2018, every agent and brokerage has a website, listings syndicate to Zillow, and the local newspaper is saturated with for sale homes. Buyers are no longer local and you want your home to stand out. Look for a realtor who is regularly featured in local magazines, has a social media marketing campaign, and an online marketing department (most buyers first see the home online). Give bonus points to realtors with large databases, an investor could be interested in purchasing your home and putting it back on the market as a rental.

B) What offline materials do you use?

While digital marketing is a growing industry you still want to have a print presence. Fliers, yard signs, brochures, etc. The "take home materials" are important, you want your flier to be the one that stands out in the collection from a weekend spent viewing open houses.

5) Do Not Go For Cheap

The least expensive agent is seldom the right choice. An agent who is confident in their abilities and has track record of success will stand by their pricing. Think about it this way, if your agent can not protect and negotiate their own cost, do you really want them trying to get top dollar for your home?



Posted in Selling
Oct. 23, 2018

Selling Your Home? Here Are 4 Tips To Get The Highest Sale Price

4 Tips For Selling Your Home

Selling your home is an emotional event. You have probably spent years living in it, not to mention all the fond memories in it. It is also one of your biggest assets, so you will probably want to get an expert listing agent who can get you the most money for the sale, while offering unrivaled service. When trying to achieve these goals people often make costly mistakes. Do not let that happen to you!

4 Tips For Selling Your Home!

1) How to Price Your Home

The first rule in real estate is: "location, location, location." Manhattan Beach homes are red hot, so are Hermosa Beach homes and Redondo Beach Homes. The second rule is pricing. It is no secret that when selling your home, correct pricing is everything. Price your home too high and it sits on the market, often going through a price reduction and generating weak offers. By pricing too high you are competing against properties that have more to offer and you will not draw the same interest as if you were correctly priced. Correct and competitive price in relation to what is available on the market is the key. 

To price your home correctly ask for comparables (click to get an instant home valuation). These "comps" are how industry professions price your home to generate interest.  They will adjust the price based on comparison to what is available on the market.


2) First Impressions

Do not assume that potential buyers can look past your personal belongings to visualize how they would utilize the home. This isn't always the case, people are very visual. Like it or not sometimes they get thrown off by aesthetics. This is why staging is important when selling your home. You want to minimize distractions and allow the agent to show your home in the best light possible.

Style and taste is subjective so go for a neutral décor for mass appeal. Also, keep your home clean and orderly. Clean homes show better, you would be amazed how much a quick dusting and a pressure wash help. If you are highly opposed to this, ask for virtual staging, we have successful utilized this strategy to "stage" or even some cases remodel our listings.

3) The Buyer Is No Longer Local

More people will view your home on the internet than in person. Having stellar, stand-out photos is key. Real Estate professionals often send your property as a link to clients to view the home on the web. They then direct them to the open house of call for a showing. There is also the global reach of the internet and powerhouses like Zillow, Trulia, etc... have global reach. If your listing agent did not obtain well lit photos, ask for a reshoot. Proper real estate photos will give potential buyers a sense of the layout and "flow" of your home.


4) Play It Cool

So you tips 1-3 covered and have offers in hand. Now its time to remember that selling your home is a more of a business decision than an emotional one. Far too often sellers will lose the best offer because they talked themselves out of a good decision.

Always be aware of your bottom line when considering offers. To find this out calculate how much you owe on the home you are selling and how much you will need for the purchase of your next home. Use this number to compare all the offers, any offer close to or above this figure is worth negotiating.




Posted in Selling
Sept. 28, 2018

Jumbo Loans for First Time Buyers

south bay home buying

Home buying in Manhattan Beach, Redondo Beach, Hermosa Beach, Torrance, Hawthorne, and Rancho Palos Verdes can get costly. You may have to take out a loan and not just any loan, a jumbo loan. But what if you are a first time buyer? Living in an expensive housing marketing may cause first time buyers some struggle to find a home under the Jumbo Loan threshold.

What is a Jumbo Loan?

For 2018 the threshold for non jumbo loans is $679,650. Anything over that and you are now in jumbo loan territory. These non conforming loans are not guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Meaning the risk is higher for lenders and they often have more requirements. The bright side is this means you can borrow as much as your lender is willing to loan you.

First Time Buyer Loans

Typically a lender will ask for 20% down on a jumbo loan to purchase that Manhattan Beach home you have been eyeing. This isn't a standard though, some applicants will find lenders who require less than 20% down. Some tips to qualify for a jumbo loan with less money down.

  1. Have a credit score of 720 or higher. Lenders view your credit score as a "report card" rewarding higher scores with higher limits and better rates,

  2. Build your assets.  Affluent buyers can buy homes with 0% down buy using their assets as collateral against 20-40% of the loan value. You can typically find these loans through the bank holding your assets.
  3. Build your liquid assets. The best jumbo loans are for 65% of a homes value or less. That means you will need to make a down payment of 35% or more. You could also seek a second position loan to bring down the loan-to-value.
  4. Set aside a reserve.  Buying a home is costly. Especially after the purchase. Home buyers find themselves having to pay a mortgage and wanting to do upgrades, remodels and in some cases pay an HOA fee.
  5. Compare your lenders. Some lenders are more reserved while others are more aggressive. Some will not offer a jumbo loan to a first time buyer at all, making your great score even more critical. Do not be afraid to seek a better rate/terms.


South Bay Home Buying


We have amassed thousands of home sales. With the South Bay real estate market climbing we see home values climbing all across Hermosa Beach, Manhattan Beach, and Redondo Beach. We have great relationships with our lenders and are happy to offer our assistance to help you not only get the best loan but the best purchase price for your home.



Posted in Buying, Market Forcast
Sept. 17, 2018

The Worst Mistake You Can Make Before Selling Your Home



The Worst Mistake You Can Make Before Selling Your Home




When it comes time to put your home on the market, getting the place in the best condition possible can help you bring in top dollar (especially in Manhattan Beach, Redondo Beach, Hermosa Beach, and all of the red hot South Bay real estate market). However, that involves spending money on contractors, painters and other professionals. You can try to tackle some of the projects yourself, but unless your do-it-yourself skills are fairly advanced, most experts agree that this is one of the biggest mistakes a home seller can make. After all, you could wind up making things worse and have to shell out even more money down the road. Here, Realtor.com offers some DIYs to avoid when preparing to sell your home to help you separate the tasks you can tackle from those best left to the pros.




Drywall repair


Have rooms that need a fresh coat of paint? Go for it. But if you have cracks in the drywall from a shifting foundation or a little depression from years of doorknob slams, it’s worth it to hire a pro. It’s a good idea to hire someone to fix plaster or drywall. If you don’t get the texture just right when painting the wall, the repair will stick out like a sore thumb. You don’t want your “fix” to look worse than the original problem. Contract out the drywall repair, then DIY the paint job afterward.






Never mess with anything inside an HVAC. The heating and cooling systems in your house are complex, and often connected to both electrical and gas. Making a mistake could mean blowing out the entire system, setting you up for a much more expensive repair in the end. Potential buyers also will ask their inspector go over the HVAC as thoroughly as possible. Even something relatively simple, such as installing a smart thermostat, can destroy your wiring if done incorrectly. When it comes to your heating and AC, approach with caution.




Dishwasher installation


Installing a new dishwasher is complicated compared with putting in a refrigerator, stove, or washer and dryer (usually a simple DIY task). Complexities involved with setup include the installation of water and drainage lines under the kitchen sink cabinet, which is best handled by a professional. Doing the job wrong could mean flooding your kitchen, which will ruin the floors and more. Most big-box stores offer installation for a fairly reasonable price if you’re buying a new unit, or a plumber can handle it for $150 to $500.




Tree removal


Digging around the roots of a tree can be difficult. It also can be dangerous, especially if you don’t have the tools professionals would use to remove the upper part of the tree before taking out the stump. Don’t be that person who puts a tree through your own roof because you decided not to hire a tree-removal professional.




Siding and window fixes


Heed caution when considering DIY siding or window replacement. Water can seep into the walls if you don’t reseal the layers properly, and although it might not be noticeable at first, mold and water damage will start to appear down the line. That could wind up costing you a lawsuit.




Advanced electrical


While it could be fine to replace a light fixture or ceiling fan yourself, experts draw the line at any electrical work involving the breaker box. Not only could you hurt yourself, but you also could create a fire hazard, especially if your home isn’t new. Older homes usually don’t have safety devices, such as ground fault circuit interrupters, which makes it especially dangerous. If a task involves running new wires or repairing faulty wiring, it should be left to a professional. Aside from the risk of fire or injury, serious electrical work completed by an unlicensed electrician could have code problems, meaning you likely will get a thumbs-down from the inspector later anyway.




Roof repairs


Be cautious…even if it’s just a little fix that the average DIYer could easily handle (such as hammering down a shingle or two, or replacing chimney pipe roof flashing). It’s very easy to get disoriented, especially on a peaked roof. Even professional roofers always use a harness in case of falls.






Repairing a running toilet or snaking a slow drain are fairly easy to do. The problem with attempting bigger DIY plumbing tasks, however, is that you often don’t quite know what you’re getting into. For example, disassembling leaky or blocked pipes underneath the sink seems simple enough, but pipes are complex and tricky to reassemble. That’s especially the case when they’re close to other plumbing components and machinery, such as dishwashers or garbage disposals. Note: What might appear to be a straightforward problem, such as low water pressure or a fractured pipe, actually could be a symptom of a larger issue with your system. Plumbing has a way of getting out of hand with broken pipes and flooding, for instance.


Fill out the form below to have one of our Real Estate Advisors contact you before you list your home. Our consultation is free and we can help advise you on the best way to get the most return on your home! We have amassed hundreds of sales in the South Bay and our reviews speak for themselves (we are Hermosa Beach, Redondo Beach, and Manhattan Beach experts!)


Posted in Selling
Sept. 12, 2018

How to Pick the Right "Fixer Upper"



How to Pick the Right "Fixer Upper"




Renovating a fixer-upper takes money, hard work and patience. If you’re able to pull off a successful transformation, you’ll reap the benefits. Keep in mind, however, that unforeseen problems could surface along the way that might make your fixer-upper a money pit. Here are the features and characteristics you should look for in a fixer-upper that will make the renovation go much more smoothly.




Strong structural elements?


A solid structure is critical when you’re buying a fixer-upper. If the home has a crumbling foundation or serious roof problems, you’ll have to decide if you’re willing to pay to repair this type of damage. The five important structural elements include the roof; heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC); plumbing; electrical; and foundation. To get a good idea of the house’s structure, explore the basement, attic and unfinished areas. Focus on those areas rather than the pretty, recent additions to the home.




Minor plumbing problems?


Your fixer-upper could need plumbing work. Depending on the scope of the project, the work will be either a quick fix or a significant undertaking that will eat into your budget. Some fixer-uppers may have low water pressure (fairly minor problem), while others may have pipes that need to be replaced (a big problem). Before buying a fixer-upper, make sure you’re comfortable with the amount of plumbing work that will be required.




A sound layout?


A logical layout is important when looking at an old home. Older homes often are divided into small rooms, while many people searching for a home these days are seeking an open floor plan where there is no separation between the zones of the house. If you envision needing to knock down walls to create a more open, airy interior, know that the job can be expensive and time-consuming.




Little to no infestations?


It’s not uncommon to encounter a fixer-upper with an infestation, whether it’s mice, termites, mold, dry rot or asbestos. A minor issue such as mice can be resolved by putting out traps and filling holes in the house. However, severe termite damage could require a costly solution, including lifting the house off of the ground to access the foundation and check for further damage. A seller is required to disclose such infestations, but a home inspector also will uncover any issues during the inspection that may occur after the house goes under contract. If you find any of these problems in your fixer-upper, it’s a good idea to get an estimate from a contractor to resolve the issue.




Recent occupation?


Although buying a foreclosed home that has sat unused for several few years might get you a low sales price, it also could present a challenge when you begin renovations. Homes that are empty for an extended time could have plumbing issues. If the water wasn’t turned off properly in the winter, for example, it could cause the pipes to freeze, split and leak. It also could become a refuge for animals, such as squirrels and bats. All of these problems can be fixed, but they add more to your bottom-line costs.


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