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January 2020

Whether you own a home or are looking to buy or sell one, here are some useful tips, ideas and advice. When you’re ready to make your move, give me a call or drop me a line.

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties
Jenee George
Realtor DRE#02011178
562-254-4347 or 619-304-8447
jenee@jeneeghomes.com
www.jeneeghomes.com

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MORTGAGE ADVICE

Prequalify, Preapprove - What’s the Difference?

Some mortgage terms can be confusing, none more so than the similarities and differences between prequalification and preapproval. The two terms are often used interchangeably, but they mean very different things to lenders, real estate professionals and home sellers.

Prequalifying is a rough-idea process that tells you how much money you’ll likely be able to borrow to buy a home. You can prequalify yourself on any banking or real estate-related website simply by putting your salary, type of loan you want, down payment amount and a ballpark home price into a mortgage calculator. You can talk with a lender, who will also give you a ballpark amount without a credit check.

When you apply for a mortgage loan, you’ll share your income records, the source and amount of your down payment, and your social security number so the lender can pull your credit. This is the key difference between prequalification and preapproval – when the lender is able to review your application and verify your credit standing to make a lending decision.

The lender will get back to you within three days or less with a preapproval letter stating the maximum amount of money you’re approved to borrow.

Preapproval gives you the real numbers so you know exactly how much you can spend on a home. It lends you credibility with real estate professionals and with sellers who will take you seriously as a buyer.

Prequalification becomes preapproval once you have a purchase contract on a home. Then, the preapproval is real.

HOMEOWNERS’ ADVICE

Emergency Plans for Your Family

Do you know what to do when a disaster strikes? Do your children? By creating and practicing an emergency safety plan, you can protect your family when natural disasters happen. Wildfires, tornadoes, hurricanes, and earthquakes each require special preparations, including emergency kits with food, water, first aid, medicines and blankets.

Fires. The National Fire Protection Association advises you to have at least two ways to escape the home in case of fire. Practice fire drills with your children at least twice a year so they can identify safer escape routes from anywhere in the home.

Tornadoes. Tornadoes are fast, unpredictable and destructive. The Red Cross recommends the safest shelter for the family as rooms without windows, such as interior rooms, closets, hallways or a storm shelter/basement, if available.

Hurricanes. The Insurance Information Institute suggests learning where the nearest public shelters and evacuation routes are before hurricane season begins.

Earthquakes. Earthquakes happen without warning and can be followed by powerful aftershocks. Ready.gov says to practice drop, cover and hold-on drills, like getting under a sturdy desk or table, against an interior wall, or in the jamb of a door on a load-bearing wall.

Before disaster strikes, review your homeowner’s insurance and make sure you’re covered for flooding and wind damage. Upload photographs of your home and valuables to the cloud. Keep valuables, important files, priceless photographs in a safety deposit box. Prepare your emergency kit.

You may lose some material objects, but you’ll keep what matters most –- your family.

HOMEBUYERS’ ADVICE

The Fairytale Tudor

Great Britain’s Tudor reign spanned 1485 and 1603 and was unprecedented in terms of prosperity. International trade led to a great expansion in free-thinking and in – home design concepts, including new ideas like the decorative indoor fireplace with a mantle, hand-made rugs from the Orient as table coverings, and built-in cabinets and seating. 

Tudor style is down-to-earth and charming, and many urban homebuyers are enchanted by their asymmetrical designs, distinctive half-timber accents, deeply pitched roofs, leaded glass windows, gables, turrets, and brick or stone exteriors, accented by one or more large brick-patterned chimneys.  The entry is typically a plank style door with a rounded arch and iron hardware. 

Tudor interiors feature lots of wood – wide plank wood floors, wood beams on the ceiling, wood mantles and more. Timber beams on cathedral-style ceilings are usually stained dark in color. Interior walls are textured and painted off-white to mimic plaster.

With materials and craftsmanship that simply can’t be duplicated today, few Tudors were built after WWII as the country needed quick, easy-to-build housing. But, between 1910 and 1940, Tudors comprised 25% of architectural styles, so they can still be found, according to House Beautiful.

Due to their solid construction, these homes can be easy to update. Lighten the interior with candlelight bulbs, natural stone floors, colorful rugs, and minimal furniture bedecked in plush velvets, tapestries and brocades.

If you believe your home is your castle, enjoy antiques, and have a romantic streak, the Tudor style will bring you years of comfort and delight.

HOMESELLERS’ ADVICE

What the CMA Can’t Tell You

The comparison market analysis, otherwise known as a CMA, is an analytics tool real estate professionals use to help sellers learn what homes similar to theirs in size, age, and features have sold for, and buyers learn how close to asking price homes have sold for so they have a better idea how much to offer.

A CMA can provide quantifiable commodity details – such as age, square footage, lot size, and location, and number of bedrooms, living areas, and baths. But it can’t tell you the subjective details that make one house more attractive than another similar home, such as how well it’s been updated, landscaped, or maintained.

And that’s where your Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices network professional can be invaluable. With their market knowledge, neighborhood expertise, and connections, they can provide the house-by-house intelligence you need to make a better-informed decision.

For homes that are listed for sale, your Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices network professional can show you inside the ones most similar to your home or the home you’re most interested in buying. Homes that have already sold could still have virtual tours and photos that you can peruse.

Your Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices network professional can also provide you with a detailed market report including graphs and pie charts compiled by the multiple listing service. You’ll learn the current macro and micro market conditions that explain why prices are trending up or down.

The market is constantly changing, and the more you know, the easier it is to reach your buying and selling goals.

DRE#: 02011178
356 Redondo Ave. Long Beach, CA 90814

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