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Item of Value Category

building a family budget, that works!

  As distasteful as the task may seem, it really is important to map out your expenses and purchases so you can see just where your money is going. The following tips can help you build a budget that actually works. 1. Opt for simplicity. You can harness the power of Excel spreadsheets, Quicken and other software programs, but there’s also nothing wrong with using an old-fashioned pencil and piece of paper. The main objective is to figure out whether you need or... Continue Reading >

property taxes – avoiding reassessment

Kathleen Finnegan This is a question that my clients bring up a lot. How to transfer property taxes and/or avoid reassessment. This post should help to shed a little light on, what tends to be, a confusing matter. Prior to the passage of Proposition 13, the county assessor in each county would reassess the value of property every four years or so. During times of high appreciation, property taxes often quadrupled, leaving those on a fixed income unable to afford the taxes, and being... Continue Reading >

getting prepared for pre-approval

What is a pre-approval? A pre-approval is a commitment in writing from a lender that a borrower would qualify for a particular loan amount based on income and credit information. Most pre-approval letters are good for 60 to 90 days. Why you should get pre-approved? There are many reasons why you should get pre-approved. The most important reason you should get pre-approved early in the process of purchasing a home is that you will get an accurate idea of how much you can... Continue Reading >

home buyer tech tools

Home buyers are increasingly depending on the internet when beginning their search. Here are a few sites that are sure to lend a hand. Google Maps Real Estate Google Maps has grown enormously as a service since its launch in 2005, adding features like walking directions and Street View [source: Google]. Type in an address in any populated area, and Google Maps can likely pinpoint local businesses and give you a good look at it with satellite imagery. But there's another feature... Continue Reading >

are neighborhood preferences changing?

Kathleen Finnegan Americans are increasingly showing their desires for walkable neighborhoods that combine a mix of homes and stores. In fact, a new survey shows that the least popular neighborhood is a suburban one with just houses in it. Sixty percent of Americans surveyed say they favor neighborhoods with a mix of houses and stores and other businesses that are easy to walk to over neighborhoods that require greater driving among home, work, and recreation, according to the 2013 Community Preference Survey of... Continue Reading >

appraisals – how to maximize value

So, you’ve got an offer on your house from a qualified buyer and you’re ready to call the movers. Before you pick up the phone, remember that a few hurdles still have to be overcome before settlement day—in particular, the home appraisal. An appraisal, paid for by the buyer, is required by the buyer’s lender to ensure that the property’s value is equal to or higher than the loan amount. If your buyer has offered $250,000 on your home and intends... Continue Reading >

you’re all settled in – now what?

Kathleen Finnegan After buyers move in to their new home, they should be prepared for some home fixes to present themselves each season. Below is a checklist of routine maintenance and small home repairs that home buyers should expect to do their first year to help avoid more costly problems from surfacing later on: During move-in week: Turn on all major appliances and run them for a complete cycle. Even if the buyer already completed a home inspection, they should test again, experts say. After... Continue Reading >

rise to new heights – Bershire Hathaway announced

Warren Buffett’s new real estate franchise is officially open for business.  This change has little effect on daily operations, but we are excited by the opportunity to collaborate with such a wonderful network of brilliant minds. Buffett's company, Berkshire Hathaway, has launched its Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties division with about 3,200 agents in more than 62 offices across Southern California and the Central Coast. San Diego-based Prudential California Realty became the first brokerage to relaunch under the HomeServices franchise. The franchise... Continue Reading >

what’s in a wine glass?

Kathleen Finnegan Figuring that out can be tricky, even embarrassing, for casual tasters and experts alike. And that raises the question: Should we spring for the expensive labels or settle for box wine? In the most recent of these experiments, British psychologist Richard Wiseman asked 578 visitors to the Edinburgh Science Fair to taste eight pairs of wine, evenly divided between red and white. In each pair, one wine cost significantly more than the other. Yet, overall, the tasters correctly identified the wines by... Continue Reading >

ask Kathleen

You've got questions. We've got answers! A real estate transaction has many moving parts. The real estate agent's role is to smooth the home sale process, from setting the price to closing the deal. Before hiring a specific real estate agent, take advantage of his or her knowledge about houses and the market, ask the right questions to determine the agent's suitability for your transaction. The real estate agent whom you hire should be a good match for your style, your neighborhood,... Continue Reading >

Kathleen Finnegan

23925 Park Sorrento
Calabasas, Ca 91302
#01193021

Office 818-876-3111
Cell 818-601-0056