Showing posts from March, 2020

10 Kitchen Hacks That Will Blow Your Mind

David Deem 714-997-3486
Nobody ever said you were the world’s best cook – or maybe they did! Either way, anyone who does serious time in the kitchen knows how messy it can be.  Here are 10 lesser-known kitchen memes to help you streamline your culinary tour.
Stop boil-overs – Nothing’s messier than cleaning up after a pot boils over. Next time it starts to boil over, place a wooden spoon across the rim to settle the bubbles.Clean up a broken egg – Dropped a raw egg on the floor? Who hasn’t? Throw some salt on it to soak up the whites and make the mess easier to clean.Nuke your sponge – When your damp sponge seems gross or smelly, pop it in the microwave for a few seconds. Voila! Hey, honey – When measuring honey or other sticky stuff, spray the measuring cup with cooking spray first. The stuff will slide right out, getting all the ingredients into the recipe and leaving the cup easier to clean.Soften brown sugar – Brown sugar hard as a rock? Pop the box into the microwav…

Here's Why You Should Decorate With Green

David Deem 714-997-3486

Regardless of the shade, adding elements of green to your home can improve your mood, complement your design, and more. Below are a few reasons to choose green for your interior design scheme.

It's soothing. Green has long been used in decorating for its calming effect. Add some green curtains to your bedroom, paint the wall across from your sleeping space green and snag some easier ahhhhs.

It looks great with wood. If you have wood floors or furniture, tying in a shade of green will make your space even more lustrous.

It's complimentary. There are so many gorgeous shades of green that it will be easy to thread a little green into your decorating scheme.

It's natural. Don't want to add any permanent green to your home? No problem! Just grab a few fresh houseplants and pepper them throughout your room for a fresh splash of green.

It may bring money. While you may not believe in this superstition, some swear that the color green brings w…

For a Safer Home: How to Clean Your Dryer Vents

David Deem 714-997-3486

You may think you have all the bases covered when it comes to fire safety at home, but have you considered your clothes dryer?

Clothes dryers are responsible for nearly 15,000 house fires each year, and according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), the leading cause of dryer fires is a build-up of lint in the system. While you may be vigilant about cleaning your dryer’s lint trap, it’s also critical to take care of your dryer’s vent system as well. Here’s how to do it in 10 steps, courtesy of Erie Insurance:

1. Buy a dryer cleaning kit. You can typically purchase a dryer cleaning kit from a home improvement store for under $50. The price will go up depending on the quality of the kit's materials and the length of the cleaning rods. If you have the proper attachments, a household vacuum may work, too.

2. Unplug the dryer. When working on any appliance, be sure to unplug it first for maximum safety. Either unplug your dryer or shut…

How to Pick Your Patio Material

David Deem 714-997-3486
A patio is a wonderful addition to your home, offering al fresco space to connect with family and friends during the warmer season. But choosing the right outdoor flooring for your patio is important. Below are a few of the most popular choices.

Tile. Unglazed, ceramic tiles are a wonderful option for your new patio. The most popular varieties are quarry, terracotta or porcelain. Skip glazed tile, however—while it looks sleek, it's dangerously slippery when wet.

Cut stone. Also known as stone tile, these include a wide swatch of options, including marble, granite, slate, limestone, travertine, blue stone, phyllite and sandstone.

Concrete. This is a great, versatile and sturdy option. Before you imagine an ugly slab of poured concrete, remember it can be molded into any shape. Create attractive patterned tiles, or opt for stunning stained concrete.

Flagstone. These gorgeous stones offer an iconic, rustic look, and are identifiable by their irregul…

How to Protect Your Valuables During a Sale

David Deem 714-997-3486

With your house on the market, naturally this means that numerous strangers will be walking through the rooms of your house, opening closets, looking in cabinets and seeing all the home has to offer.

And while an agent is present for a showing or open house, sometimes house hunters can enter a room unaccompanied, and this is why anyone selling a home should keep their valuables locked up or out of the house completely. After all, you never know who is coming to your home and what their true motives are.

Never leave jewelry or money out on your dressers and put away any collectible that could catch an unwanted eye. Sure, it might make the room look appealing if it’s full of autographed sports memorabilia, but the last thing you want is for that special memento to disappear.

Think outside of actual value as well. If your kid has a special toy, take it with you when there’s a house showing going on, as some other child could start playing with it and t…

Pros and Cons of Smart Appliances

David Deem  714-997-3486

Smart appliances can make life easier and more convenient. Since the technology is relatively new, many manufacturers are still working out problems and resolving glitches. Before you purchase a smart appliance, it's important to understand what they have to offer and to be aware of potential pitfalls.

Popular Smart Appliances
A smart refrigerator can make grocery shopping easier. A camera allows you to peek inside the fridge even if you aren’t home, and you can keep a running list of what you need. You can also control the temperature and humidity to keep your food fresh as long as possible.

Smart refrigerators are much more expensive than traditional ones, and they are more expensive to repair. There is also the risk of viruses. If you have linked your email and social media accounts to the smart refrigerator, they could be at risk.

A smart dishwasher can help you get sparkling dishes every time. It can tell you if you need more detergent and …

6 Trending Living Room Colors

David Deem 714-997-3486

Looking to update your living room vibe? A fresh paint color can have a big impact on the look and feel of the room and will cost you a fraction of the price of new furniture. Martha Stewart talked to paint experts who say that we’re moving away from the grays and clean whites of the past decade to embrace new colors that add warmth and play off of a room’s natural light.

Here are six of the most popular paint hues the experts are eyeing for 2020:

1. Deep blue. This rich shade will give your living room a sophisticated look. Use a matte finish for a suede-like feel or a gloss for a more regal vibe.

2. Pale peach. Neutral hues like pale peach will become more popular this year as they help add warmth to a room. This shade will also help balance out cool tones in your living room furnishings, such as gray, and nicely complement natural woods.

3. Crimson red. This shade of red is imbued with smoky tones and browns to add warmth to a room that’s lacking …

Orange County Housing Market Summary: March 24, 2020

David Deem 714-997-3486
•The active listing inventory decreased by 2 homes in the past two-weeks, nearly unchanged, and now totals 4,159. Last year at this time, there were 6,532 homes on the market, 2,373 more than today, a 57% difference.
•Demand, the number of pending sales over the prior month, decreased by 185 pending sales in the past two-weeks, down 7%, and now totals 2,398. In the past 5-years, demand has increased an average of 5%. The drop is due to the Coronavirus. Last year, there were 2,350 pending sales, 2% fewer than today. 
•The Expected Market Time for all of Orange County increased from 48 days to 52, a hot Seller’s Market (less than 60 days). In the past five years, the Expected Market Time has dropped by an average of 4%. The increased is due to the Coronavirus. It was at 83 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 32 days. …

How an Appraiser Can Help With Home Renovation Decisions

David Deem 714-997-3486

Are you considering making a big change to your home? Maybe adding a deck, replacing the roof or expanding your kitchen? One of the hardest parts of deciding whether or not to move forward on a home reno project is determining the return on your investment in terms of your home’s value. Here’s where an appraiser may be able to help.

According to the Appraisal Institute—a national, professional association of real estate appraisers—homeowners should choose wisely when it comes to renovations in order to maximize return. The right upgrades can pay dividends when it comes time to sell your home, helping your home sell more quickly and for the greatest possible price. Smart home renovations can also help drive up the values of homes nearby, increasing the overall market value of your neighborhood.

One of the most common mistakes to avoid is “over-improving,” says the Appraisal Institute. Embarking on renovations that are above and beyond what would be …

Productivity Tips for Working From Home

David Deem 714-997-3486

Whether you’ve been working remotely for years or are new to a work-from-home scenario, there are important strategies for doing it successfully.

Many have the misconception that working from home is easy and will automatically lead to increased productivity. In reality, the opposite is usually true. There are often more distractions at home, and not having the office resources you rely on readily available can hamper your ability to do your job.

If you want to improve your chances of being productive while working from home, do the following:

Create designated space. Don’t try to do your job from the sofa, or worse, your bed. If you don’t already have a designated office space in your home, create one. Set up a table and comfortable chair in a room—or corner of a room—where you’re likely to have the most privacy. Use a decorative screen to help section off your workspace if need be. Take over a guest room, if you have one, or claim the dining room …

Is Now a Good Time to Get a Mortgage? Lenders Say Yes

David Deem 714-997-3486

Strong consumer demand for both purchase and refinance mortgages drove mortgage lenders' profit-margin outlook for the next three months to a new high. According to Fannie Mae's Q1 2020 Mortgage Lender Sentiment Survey®, based on data collected in the first half of February, 51 percent of lenders believe profit margins will increase this quarter compared to the prior quarter, while 44 percent believe profits will remain the same; just 4 percent believe profits will decrease. Operational efficiency was cited by lenders as the second most common reason for the optimistic outlook.

According to Fannie Mae Senior Vice President and Chief Economist Doug Duncan, lenders point to favorable interest rates as the reason for the increase in demand, adding that the first quarter survey data, which were collected during the first two weeks of February, do not reflect the potential impact of the recent decline in the 10-year Treasury rate. “Given capaci…

High-Resale Value Projects You Can Tackle In A Weekend

High-Resale Value Projects You Can Tackle In A Weekend: Always thinking about your home's resale value? Here are five weekend projects you can tackle yourself! DRE# 0126652

The State of Housing: Experts Discuss Global Influence, Trends, Coronavirus and Other Challenges, and Potential Solutions

David Deem 714-997-3486

By Liz Dominguez

The real estate markets are in a constant state of flux. On a national level, there are continuous shifts between buyers' and sellers' markets, housing inventory, affordability, and more. Zooming in, the challenges and opportunities of each housing market become even more diverse and nuanced. And with each individual environment comes the need for action—whether through government policy, industry action or consumer response—that solves challenges, lessens burdens and embraces opportunity as they relate to housing.

Here's a look at today's real estate market, both on a national and micro level, from the perspective of several industry practitioners.

Global Events Impacting Real Estate
The state of the economy and global occurrences can have a substantial influence on real estate, both nationally and locally. Experts are currently keeping a close watch on a global event that's having a sweeping impact on the econom…

Two Big Myths in the Homebuying Process

David Deem 714-997-3486

Two Big Myths in the Homebuying Process

The 2020 Millennial Home Buyer Report shows how this generation is not really any different from previous ones when it comes to homeownership goals: “The majority of millennials not only want to own a home, but 84% of millennials in 2019 considered it a major part of the American Dream.” Unfortunately, the myths surrounding the barriers to homeownership – especially those related to down payments and FICO® scores – might be keeping many buyers out of the arena. The piece also reveals: “Millennials have to navigate a lot of obstacles to be able to own a home. According to our 2020 survey, saving for a down payment is the biggest barrier for 50% of millennials.” Millennial or not, unpacking two of the biggest myths that may be standing in the way of homeownership among all generations is a great place to start the debunking process. Myth #1: “I Need a 20% Down Payment” Many buyers often overestimate what they n…

How to Choose the Right Neighborhood for Your New Home

David Deem 714-997-3486
By Kara Masterson

Choosing the right neighborhood is a concern that no prospective homeowner can ignore. From commute times to safety and security, knowing what to look for can make selecting the best neighborhood far simpler.

Consider the following issues before choosing the right neighborhood for your new home:

Commuting and Ease of Access
While living further away from the hustle and bustle of the city can seem like an ideal option, longer commute times can often be a hassle. Consider giving top priority to neighborhoods that can provide you with a shorter daily commute or easy access to shopping and other points of interest. Even a dream home can turn into a real nightmare if it's located too far off the beaten path.

Finding the Right School District
Education is an important concern, especially for buyers who are considering starting a family. School districts are typically determined by geography, and you may want to focus your search on thos…

Are Your Aging Parents Safe at Home?

David Deem 714-997-3486

We all tend to take our parents’ health for granted. But the reality is, as our parents get older, daily life at home can quickly become hazardous for them. Now may be the time to survey your parent’s home and start making some adjustments to keep them safer as they age.

In the kitchen
If the kitchen floor is made of tile or another hard or slippery surface, make sure it’s outfitted with some non-skid mats. Make sure frequently used items are stored at a reachable level. Purchase a long-handled ‘grabber’ tool for harder-to-reach items.Keep a slip-resistant step stool handy for reaching higher items safely.Create an emergency phone-number list and hang it on your parents’ fridge or hang a small, dry-erase board with important numbers near their phone.
In the bathroom
Remove tripping hazards, like fuzzy bath mats, and replace them with non-skid, low-pile mats - or keep the area free of all rugs and mats.Install grab bars in the shower to help prevent f…

What Your House Color Says About You

David Deem 714-997-3486

One of the first things that often draws us to a house is its color. While various hues go in and out of fashion on the color-trend charts—and the occasional research report will claim that certain color homes sell faster than others—the color we choose to paint our home ultimately reflects our personal taste...and our personality.
According to Psychology Today, these colors may reflect the following about our personalities:

Charcoal: This darkest shade of gray is as close as you can get to black when it comes to house paint colors. People who like black are often artistic and sensitive, and may be closely guarded about sharing the details of their lives.

White: One of the most common colors for a home, people who are drawn to white are usually organized and logical. Don’t expect to see a lot of clutter in their lives...or homes.

Blue: Available in myriad shades when it comes to house colors, those who lean toward blue seek harmony, are reliable, sen…

Loan Options for First-Time Homebuyers

David Deem 714-997-3486

Affordability is a big issue for renters looking toward homeownership. Beyond the purchase price, putting together a 20 percent down payment is a big roadblock for many people.

It doesn’t have to be, however. While 80 percent of millennial renters say they can’t afford to buy a house, according to an Apartment List survey, there are various options that they may not be aware of.

You’ve probably heard of Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) loans, and of Fannie Mae, a government agency that backs mortgages, but there are other programs to help buyer into their first home.

FHA / VA / Fannie
FHA loans are insured to give lenders a layer of protection if you default on the mortgage. They typically have competitive interest rates, smaller down payments and lower closing costs than conventional loans. A low credit score can still warrant only a 3.5 percent down payment.

The VA guarantees home loans that …