Showing posts from February, 2020

Make Your Home a Wellness Center

David Deem 714-997-3486

Massages are lovely, and a personal chef can ensure you eat a healthy menu. But, say yoga masters, nutritionists and trainers, it isn’t difficult or nearly as expensive to create a wellness oasis at home.

As consumers place more value on health and wellness, try these seven tips for transforming your home into a place for your family to thrive:
Declutter - Clutter can cause anxiety and depression. Train the family to put back what they take out, such as games, books, and toys. Look for smarter storage solutions, like baskets or closet shelving, to help keep floors and tables clear.Keep a healthy kitchen - A tidy, well-organized kitchen invites healthier eating. Clear the counters of all but the most necessary appliances. Visual triggers are important, so keep a bowl of lemons or a vase of fresh flowers on view. Keep the fridge stocked with fresh produce ready for snacking, and cupboards stocked with healthy snacks instead of potato chips and sweets…

4 Minor Fixes That Can Have a Major Impact on Your Home’s Resale Value

David Deem 714-997-3486 By Meghan Belnap

Even if you have a beautiful home in a great location, you should still consider carrying out a few fixes and upgrades before you put it on the market. Minor fixes might seem like a hassle at first, but they could appeal to potential buyers, possibly increasing the price of your home by a considerable amount.

Replace the doorknobs. Outdated and damaged doorknobs aren't a major issue, but they can make your home appear much older than it really is. If your doorknobs are more than 10 years old, consider replacing them. Changing them out is an incredibly simple job that should take no more than an hour or two as long as you have a few basic tools. You can also upgrade the entryway doors with electronic locks.

Fix the driveway concrete. Over the years, the ground that's under your driveway could begin to shift, resulting in cracks or sunken sections of concrete. While this type of damage is usually only cosmetic, it's only…

7 Removable Products Every Renter Should Know About

David Deem 714-997-3486
Renting a house or apartment is a great alternative or interim solution to buying. Maybe you’re saving up for a more permanent home or you’re just moving into your first place away from your parents. Whatever the case, the rules of renting can sometimes get in the way of you feeling “at home.”

In most rentals, painting, putting up wallpaper, installing floors and adding anything “permanent” is not allowed. Plus, you don’t want to spend time and money renovating something that you don’t own. There are, however, many temporary options that can keep you from sacrificing comfort and style.

1. Peel & Stick Tiles 
If the kitchen in your rental is a bit outdated, or you just can’t stand the existing backsplash, these tiles are a great temporary option. You can find them in almost any shape, size and design. Simply remove the film from the adhesive side of the tiles and place onto the wall. When you are ready to move out, apply heat - you can use a h…

A Host’s Guide to Social Gatherings in a Small Space

David Deem 714-997-3486

By Brentnie Daggett
Living in a smaller home, or an apartment or condo, may make hosting a party or event seem overwhelming. A small space definitely presents some challenges, but a little creativity and planning will go a long way to create an atmosphere that is both inviting to your guests and manageable for your space.
If you want to welcome guests into your home, don't let a small space deter you from celebrating the way you want. Whether you're envisioning a dinner party or a movie night, here are some tips to make your social gathering a success–no matter the square footage of your home:
Handle the Logistics Beforehand Having many people squeeze into close quarters is stressful enough, so do your best to think of and plan out all of the logistics for hosting before your guests arrive. A well-planned gathering requires more than just great food and decor. Consider things like parking—do you have enough parking available to offer your …

Budget-Friendly Bathroom Upgrades

David Deem 714-997-3486

Bathrooms, though some of the smallest rooms in a home, can require the most work when it comes to upgrades. If your budget just isn’t ready to take on a remodel, taking the DIY path can be the best choice...and the most fun! With a quick trip to your local hardware store and the will to get creative, these budget-friendly projects can spruce up your bathroom:

Frame Your Mirror
No matter the size, a bathroom mirror is an essential piece that all eyes are naturally drawn to. Give the room a finished look by framing the mirror. Most hardware stores will cut wood to size and offer tips for staining or painting, so you can construct the perfect frame for the look you’re going for. Alternatively, you can purchase a frame that fits your mirror and intended style.

Install Wall Hooks
Instead of the old dorm-style over-the-door hooks, add sophisticated functionality to your bathroom by installing beautiful wall hooks to hang your bathrobes and towels. Get …

4 Essential Bed-Buying Tips

David Deem 714-997-3486
After finding the perfect home for you and your family, it may also be time to buy the perfect bed.

After all, your old bed may be pretty worn out, and buying a new one is an effective way to make your move a bit easier as you won’t have to worry about lugging your current bed from your old home to your new one. All you have to do is order the new bed and wait for it to be delivered to your home.

However, buying a new bed is a big deal. Beds aren’t cheap, and it’s something you spend a third of your life in, so be sure to put some thought into the process.

Do Your Research
Starting out your search for the right bed online is fine, but part of your hunt should include a visit to a store so that you can see the bed for yourself. You want to know that the bed you have your eye on is comfortable, but it’s also important to consider its size and design.

Get the Family Involved
One person shouldn’t decide what everyone in the family is sleeping on. Whil…

4 Home Design Trends to Implement in 2020

David Deem 714-997-3486

With every new year, a new set of home trends comes to the forefront. While you don’t want to remodel your whole home based on a whim of style, it is important to be aware of current home design trends to ensure that your home stays modern and welcoming. Here are the top trends to implement throughout 2020.

Add Color to Your Kitchen:
The all-white kitchen trend is on its way out the door. White cabinets are still the most prominent choice, but it has some up-and-coming competition. Breath life into a sterile white kitchen with a little paint. Opt for tuxedo kitchens (featuring color on the bottom row of cabinets and white on the top) or ditch the white entirely and replace it with soft and rich hues. Light blues and greys will star in your kitchen for the subtle pops of color.

Imperfect Wood:
Rattan had its heyday in years prior, but exposed or lightly stained wood will be the highlight of any room in 2020. Wood’s organic imperfection is the perfe…

Home Maintenance 101

David Deem 714-997-3486
Your home is likely your largest (and most important) investment. Not only is a home purchase a huge financial undertaking, but your house keeps you safe from the elements and welcomes you home after a long day. To keep your home as comfortable as possible (and to protect your largest asset’s value) it is crucial that you understand the basics of home maintenance.

Here is your crash course on home maintenance 101.

Monthly to Seasonal Maintenance Items:

Change HVAC filters (frequency need depends on pets and dust in your home)Test smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors and fire extinguishersEach season’s respective outdoor maintenance (including lawn and garden care)Vacuum lint from dryer ventClean gutters

Each season will come with its own list of to-dos, and while it may be easy to push them aside until later, a small time investment now will mitigate the need for costly and time-consuming repairs in the future. With each season, be sure that yo…

7 Insurance Factors to Consider When House Hunting

David Deem 714-997-3486

If you plan to buy a house, you’ll also need to purchase homeowners insurance. An insurance policy can help protect you, your family and, of course, your new home in case the unforeseen happens. Because coverage can add a significant amount to the overall cost of homeownership, however, it may pay to keep in mind that certain features of a home can affect the price and availability of insurance. To help you save and ensure that you’re properly protected, the Insurance Information Institute offers some factors to consider when house hunting:

1. Quality and location of the fire department.
Houses that are located near highly rated, permanently staffed fire departments usually cost less to insure. This also holds true for homes that have a hydrant nearby.

2. Proximity to the coastline.
Houses located on or near the coast will generally cost more to insure than those further inland. They’ll also likely require a separate hurricane or windstorm deducti…

Home Improvement Predicted to Slowdown

David Deem 714-997-3486
Analysts are expecting less remodeling and repair spending in 2020, with expenses predicted to rise 1.5 percent this year—far from the historical 5-7 percent range of recent years, according to the latest Leading Indicator of Remodeling Activity (LIRA) from Harvard University's Joint Center for Housing Studies' Remodeling Futures Program.

"While home-building and sales activity are now firming, softness from earlier last year will continue to pull on remodeling spending growth in 2020," said Chris Herbert, managing director of the Joint Center for Housing Studies, in a statement. "However, the slowdown should begin to moderate by year-end as today's healthier housing market indicators will ultimately lead to more home renovation and repair."

"A 2020 growth projection of less than 2 percent is certainly lackluster for the remodeling market, especially given historical average annual growth of about 5 percent,&…

Top Design Trends to Follow for 2020

David Deem 714-997-3486

By Patty McNease, VP of Brand Marketing for

With the start of a new decade, many changes are taking place. In regards to design trends, 2010 brought white kitchens, clean lines and minimalistic decor. Now, there's a shift to older, more rustic looks.

While these trends may not peak until later on, now is the ideal time to start working with sellers to prepare their house for new buyers filtering into the market. This includes many Gen X buyers who are starting to reach the age when they're thinking about homeownership. To help you educate your clients, here are some of the top design trends to look for in 2020.

In 2010, white kitchens were all the rage. In fact, according to interior design company Houzz, nearly 40 percent of homeowners are still installing white cabinets during their renovations. If your clients are part of this group, you may want to tell them to wait. Wood cabinets are projected to make a comeback thi…

5 Ways to Know Whether a Fixer-Upper Is a Good Deal or a Money Pit

David Deem 714-997-3486
For homebuyers on a tight budget, it’s tempting to consider buying a home in need of repairs; it may grant you access to a coveted neighborhood or a larger home than you could otherwise afford.

But sometimes, a fixer-upper can be more than you (and your budget) bargained for, and the home seller is the one who ends up with the great deal by unloading their problem home on you.

Money Crashers offers these five things to watch for that could be signs you’re investing in a money pit.

The listing says 'as-is.' This signals that the seller is not in a position to make any repairs before selling. Before you proceed with such a home, find out exactly what repairs will need to be made and get a quote or two from a contractor. If you’re afraid of losing the home while you investigate these costs, make an offer with an escape clause in the contract. Also, be aware that the appraiser must sign off on the house as habitable, which is a condition for …

Prep Your Gutters for Winter Weather

David Deem 714-997-3486
While you may have taken care of a variety of tasks in order to button up your home for winter weather—from replacing weather stripping to closing-up the fireplace—chances are, you neglected your gutters.

The problem is, ignored, clogged or underperforming gutters have the potential to wreak havoc on your home during the coldest months of the year, according to The Brothers That Just Do Gutters, Ken and Ryan Parsons. Here, they share the top five ways to get your gutters ready for winter weather.

Clean out debris. Remove leaves and other debris from gutters, as waste will clog your gutter system and create an environment ripe for ice dams. Ice dams can degrade your home’s roof, walls, foundation and ability to insulate.

Install guards. Adding gutter guards will help prevent such buildup in the first place. Available in a variety of styles and finishes, make your selection based on your budget and climate.

Use heat. Installing a deicing cable as …

Organizing Strategies for a Streamlined Home

David Deem 714-997-3486
Most of us avoid organizing our homes because the prospect seems too overwhelming: too much to tackle and no clue where to begin.

But according to Better Homes and Gardens, by following a few simple rules, you’ll be able to break organizing into manageable tasks, and be on your way to a tidier home. Get started by trying the following:

Change your mindset. In order to get organized, you must be willing to let things go. And don’t get bogged down thinking that the task is too large and will never be accomplished. Organizing is an ongoing project, so every step should be considered progress.

Be okay with disruption. Decluttering means rolling up your sleeves, pulling things apart and digging through everything. Set up five bags or boxes and label them “donate,” “trash,” “recycle,” “shred” and “other rooms”—then start divvying up your belongings among them. During this process, learn to live with the mess and keep the endgame in sight. Organizing tak…

4 Rooms to Renovate Before Selling a Fixer-Upper

David Deem 714-997-3486

By Meghan Belnap

Purchasing a fixer-upper gives homeowners the perfect opportunity to have their own dream home makeover. As these renovations can be quite costly and time-consuming, homeowners would do well to focus on a few key areas of their home when starting the renovation. Consider the following ideas during a home remodel:

The kitchen is one room that's guaranteed to get a lot of traffic. Homeowners that are remodeling often like to begin with the kitchen to make sure this room fits in with the rest of the home. Start by developing a remodeling plan and removing all unwanted appliances, cabinetry and other items from the kitchen. Experts recommend updating the plumbing, replacing the wiring and upgrading the lighting in the kitchen at this time. Remodeling details like a new coat of paint and adding in tech-savvy appliances should be the final step in a kitchen remodel.

Your bathrooms will likely receive just as much tr…

Quick-Fix Items for Your Home to Have on Hand

David Deem 714-997-3486
Maintaining your home requires more than your seasonal large maintenance projects. It also requires small day-to-day fixes to keep your home looking its best. Keep these handy items nearby for a quick fix whenever your home is in need.

Extra Paint:
Whether you opt to have paint samples or just save your current wall paint, it’s always a good idea to keep extra paint around. Scuffs, small scratches and holes can be quickly repaired or covered with a small bit of matching paint. While yes, your paint will never dry exactly the same as your first application, it will still be the perfect solution for minor issues.

E6000 Glue:
No mere super glue, E6000 is specifically formulated to handle your most intense gluing projects. With its praises sung by crafters and hardware stores alike, there is no doubt that this glue will come in handy. Said to be able to handle heavy materials like wood, metal and concrete. As well as an array of craft mediums, you will…

Why You Shouldn’t Apply for a New Credit Card While Shopping for a House

David Deem 714-997-3486
If you’re looking for a new house and plan to apply for a mortgage, the lender will closely scrutinize every aspect of your finances. If a lender approves your application, it will check your credit again shortly before closing to see if there have been any changes that are cause for concern. Applying for a new credit card while looking for a house could jeopardize your chance of getting approved for a mortgage at a competitive interest rate, or of getting approved at all.

How a Credit Card Application Could Affect Your Mortgage
If you applied for a credit card, the issuer would check your credit report. That is known as a hard inquiry, and it could negatively affect your credit score. The drop might be relatively small and temporary, but it could make a difference when applying for a mortgage.

A FICO score is based in part on the average age of your accounts. A new credit card would lower the average age of your accounts and could have a particu…

How to Properly Babyproof Your Home

David Deem 714-997-3486
Babyproofing your home is an essential step to keeping your child safe. All over the house, spanning from the bathroom to the fireplace, their nursery to your kitchen, there are potential threats and risks that can cause serious harm.

First things first, you’ll want to take a good look at common factors throughout your home, such as electrical outlets, smoke and carbon-monoxide detectors and doorways. Each of these commonalities can create a potentially dangerous situation that can be easily avoided.

Outlets, for example, are generally low to the ground and accessible for walkers and crawlers. Cover each open outlet with a plastic cap, and for those where items are plugged in, you can either move a large piece of furniture in front to block the cord or purchase plastic cord covers.

Be sure to check all smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. If batteries are low or have never been changed, change them! You can also consider upgrading the tech in yo…

Orange County Housing Market Summary:February 11, 2020

David Deem 714-997-3486
•The active listing inventory decreased by 18 homes in the past two-weeks, nearly unchanged, and now totals 4,005. Last year, there were 6,100 homes on the market, 2,095 more than today, or an extra 52%. 
•Demand, the number of pending sales over the prior month, increased by 471 pending sales in the past two-weeks, up 28%, and now totals 2,173. Last year, there were 1,791 pending sales, 18% fewer than today. 
•The Expected Market Time for all of Orange County decreased from 71 days to 55, a hot Seller’s Market (less than 60 days). It was at 102 days last year, substantially slower than today. 
•For homes priced below $750,000, the market is a hot Seller’s Market (less than 60 days) with an expected market time of 40 days. This range represents 35% of the active inventory and 50% of demand.
•For homes priced between $750,000 and $1 million, the expected market time is 37 days, also a hot Seller’s Market. This range represents 16% of the active i…

Find the Right Security System for Your Home

David Deem 714-997-3486
Installing a home security system is an important step to protecting your home and family. But with technology on the rise, there is an overwhelming number of systems and services to choose from. Here are some things to consider when choosing the right security system for your home:
Systems & Services

For many years, home security was either a guard dog, locked windows and doors, or both. Today, something as simple as your doorbell can be a camera that you can view from anywhere in the world. Companies like ADP and Vivint offer a range of professional packages, including indoor, outdoor and doorbell security, as well as smoke detectors and smart home capabilities. Systems like Ring and Nest can be purchased online and shipped directly to your door. These systems also offer indoor, outdoor and doorbell security, smart home technology, and can be easily installed or moved to a new home by you, with no appointments necessary.


How to Pack Big Style in a Small Kitchen

David Deem 714-997-3486
If you’re living in an apartment in the city, or even a small house in the ‘burbs, your kitchen is probably not very spacious. With limited storage and counter space, it’s easy to put style aside and only focus on function.
But, just because your kitchen is on the small side doesn’t mean you can’t give it character. Here are some tips to spice up the style in your tiny kitchen:

Add a Pop of Color
Adding a bright color to your kitchen can be done in many ways. If you have a small island or breakfast bar, consider adding colored stools. Display vibrant bowls and jars on your countertop and put them to use, holding fruit or storing tea bags. Even find a matching teapot to display on your stovetop. Or, you can take another approach with color and paint your cabinets for a more dramatic look.

Bring in Patterns and Textures
From patterned tiles to an eye-catching backsplash, adding a pattern can easily make a small room feel larger than life. Go for a M…