GoToHome Realty & Loan Blog

If you are considering selling your home, keep in mind that the first thing a potential buyer will notice as they drive by or pull up to view your home is the exterior of your home, better known as curb appeal. Ratty yards, torn screens and peeling paint are just a few of the factors that may well see a slowing car speed up and look for another home, or witness a car backing out of your driveway. Let’s take a look at 5 ways to give your home more curb appeal.

Landscaping: Remember when you were buying your home? Do you recall the houses you passed by because the yard looked horrific? A great looking yard creates excellent curb appeal and can be done on the cheap. By simply maintaining the grass (get rid of those unsightly weeds), planting inexpensive shrubs and flowers, the value of your home can increase as much as 10%. However, keep in mind that any bushes or shrubs show not obstruct the windows of your home.

Roofing: Weather conditions can wreak havoc on your roof. Missing or damaged shingles or tiles can be spotted by any savvy potential buyer and be a total turn off. Consequently, ensure that your roof is replaced if it is outdated, damaged or unsightly. And if you’re able to sling some shingles yourself, you can save a lot of money, but amateurs or first-timers should leave the work to a professional roofer. One very important thing to remember is not to purchase cheap shingles or those that do not match the roofs in the immediate neighborhood. Poor roofing sounds a death knell to any potential buyer.

Exterior Maintenance: By all means, to enhance the curb appeal on your home, replace any broken shutters, torn screens or cracked glass. These items stick out like missing teeth on a hockey player, and trust me, your potential buyers will skate on by your home without checking the interior. In addition, peeling or faded paint is like flying a kite in a hurricane: it just won’t work with buyers.

Sidewalks and pathways: These are two biggies your potential buyer will pick up on quickly. If you have a grass pathway that is worn, consider laying concrete or a stone pathway and allowing the grass to grow back. Furthermore, you can enhance your curb appeal by planting tiny shrubs, installing solar lights or even potted flowers along your pathway and sidewalk.

Online curb appeal: One sure way to observe less buyers who are interested in purchasing your home is to neglect taking quality photos for your real estate agent. Many buyers will browse through their agent’s MLS listings before embarking on a visit to your home. Consequently, once you have the exterior of your home spiffed up, standing tall and looking good, take some high resolution photos of your home.

Great curb appeal enhances value and attracts buyers: Unless you’re quite the handyman, you’re going to need to hire professionals to make repairs to your home. Again, keep in mind that the first impression a potential buyer has will go a long way to getting them inside or turning them away. Follow these 5 ways to give your home more curb appeal to your home and watch it sell quickly.

For all of your real estate needs, be sure to give GoToHome’s Jack Roemer a call.
Posted in:General
Posted by on April 4th, 2017 11:58 PM

For most people, home ownership in the United States is the quintessential American dream. Many responsibilities come with owning a home, but perhaps the best aspect of owning is to have a place to call one’s own and to be free from the shackles landlords place on renters. The primary hurdle for first time home buyers consists of lack of knowledge of the types of loans available to buyers on the market. Here are 4 facts first time home buyers should know about home loans.  

Advantages. The easiest aspect of buying a home is arguably finding a place you want to call your own. Conversely, going about obtaining a home loan can be confusing. The good news is that there are certain advantages for first time home buyers. First of all, your preferred lending institution may offer to pick up your closing costs, saving you a bucket of cash. Second, down payments on your dream home may be smaller with certain lenders. Buyers should do their research, shop around, and find the best lending institution to take full advantage of saving money.

  • Disadvantages. As mentioned, first time home buyers should shop around so as to avoid, if at all possible, any disadvantages or negatives with respect to obtaining a home loan. One restriction that may arise is the amount of money an institution may be willing to loan. Of course, this is also dependent on your down payment, credit history, net income, and outstanding debt. Another restriction may consist of a limit as to what loans you may apply for. Again, these are hurdles that can be overcome and first time buyers should be aware of them and not become discouraged.

  • Types of loans. There are several types of loans on the market at present for first time home buyers. First time home buyers should do their homework and see which loan suits them best and is the most practical.

  • One of these is a FHA loan which is both fixed and adjustable. These are loans that are guaranteed by the Federal Housing Authority in the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Lenders have an affinity for these loans because the US government insures the loan. Lenders may be predisposed to permit smaller down payments and lend to first time buyers with a not so perfect credit score.

  • Another excellent home loan is the Veteran’s Administration loan, commonly referred to as a VA loan. This may be applied for if one of the home buyers is a veteran with anything other than a dishonorable discharge. Much like the aforementioned FHA loan, they are guaranteed by the Veteran’s Administration through the government. Common to these loans are no down payments, which can enable you to use your savings to remodel or renovate your home, or conversely, spend your money on furniture or appliance upgrades. 

  • Still another is called the fixed rate loan. Fixed rate loans can be advantageous for first time home buyers because changes in the economy and interest rates do not affect your monthly payments. Therefore, however long the duration of your loan is, the payment will not change. If your interest rate is 3.75%, it will remain “fixed” for the 20 or 30 year duration of your loan.

    Finally, there is what’s known as the adjustable rate loan. These loans establish a low initial fixed interest rate, typically for the five to seven 5 years. As a consequence, your mortgage payment will be lower thus making it easier to buy your dream home. However, subsequent to the previously mentioned period of time, the interest rate will change to whatever the market value is at present.

Those dreaded closing costs. First time home buyers are typically excited about getting in a new home. As a result, they often forget that there are associated costs when buying a house. Additional fees consist of: appraisal fees, loan origination fees, cost of a title transfer, transaction settlement fees, and possibly more depending on the situation. Ensure that your lender provides you with a good faith estimate of all of these associated fees, along with your estimated house payment. This is required by law. Try to hold your lender accountable and obtain these estimates within a three-day time period subsequent to completing your loan application. As previously mentioned, your lender MAY pick up some or all of these fees.  You need to ask.

Now that you have basic information you need to know, you’re pretty well set to look for your home and start the process leading to actually owning your own home.

If you have any questions at all, contact us at 949-348-0669 or

Posted in:Home Loans
Posted by Doug Dahl - Broker | CA Home Loans on February 10th, 2017 3:57 PM

Are you really prepared to showcase your home and attract potential buyers? Keep in mind that what a likely buyer sees from the street will determine whether they bump it on down the road or stop in to take a look. Let’s look at some tips to prepare for an open house that are inexpensive and that can result in a speedy sale.

  • Make your home easy to find. Buyers obviously need to know where your house is located and the weather isn’t always cooperative. Ensure your house number is prominently displayed and leave a porch light on during inclement weather or if your open house runs into the early evening hours. When prospective buyers approach your home, there should be evidence that suggests careful maintenance. A fresh coat of paint on trim and replacing any damaged exterior goes a long way towards attracting buyers.

  • Spiff up the interior. Your open house is your chance to allow your prospective buyers to see how tidy you have been. Floors should be clean and a coat of wax applied if warranted. Carpets should be free of stains and otherwise spotless. Carpet cleaning services are available for less than $100 with major franchises and are well worth the investment. Also ensure that your walls are free from marks, scratches and peeling paint. If necessary, slap a coat of fresh paint on your walls to give your home a fresh look.

  • Kustomize your kitchen. Take an honest appraisal of your kitchen and determine if it is up to modern specifications. If your cabinets look dull and haggard, sand those puppies down and apply a fresh coat of stain, varnish or paint as applicable. Replace older appliances with modern ones that bring life to the kitchen. Be sure to clean the kitchen tile grout on the cheap with vinegar. You can apply baking soda on the grout and then use a spray bottle of vinegar (available in most stores) to effortlessly spiff up your kitchen tiles and provide a fresh, clean appearance.

  • Enhance the back and front yards. It should go without saying that a carefully manicured yard attracts buyers. Get rid of unsightly weeds, ant mounds, and if the weather is appropriate, apply some fertilizer to obtain greener grass. This serves to provide your potential buyers with a relaxed atmosphere that can add value to your home. Refrain from cutting your grass too short as higher grass maintains adequate moisture. And don’t be timid about adding a few potted plants around the exterior of your home to provide curb appeal.

  • Beautify the bedrooms. People spend a considerable amount of time in their bedrooms even if most of it is while asleep. Your bedrooms should induce a feeling of comfort and coziness. Eliminate any clutter and use an inviting bedspread to elicit a strong appeal. Simple wall décor is appropriate so lose the posters in the kid’s rooms and scrub the walls or apply fresh paint if necessary. The last thing you want is for your bedrooms to look like a drab 1950s motel. Be creative, wise, and spend money sparingly.

Readying your home for an open house is basically an exercise in common sense. If you observe something that you believe would send a negative impression to prospective buyers, correct it. In the end, no house is perfect, so spend your money wisely and do the best you can to appeal to the hopeful home buyers. The above tips will go a long way to making your home attractive to the scores of people who will hopefully decide to drop in and have a look.

Posted in:General
Posted by on January 30th, 2017 5:21 PM