7 Need to Know Tips for Millennial Home Buyers

 

“How can I purchase a home?” is the question many millennials are asking themselves. Millennials  have been forced to look at the purchasing of real estate in a very different lens than the generations before them. The recent real estate recession is still all too fresh in everyone’s memory, and when coupled with student loan debt, high unemployment, and much tighter loan requirements, the very idea of owning a home can seem very unnerving, or even impossible.

Well great news — it isn’t. Those in their 20’s and 30’s that have considered buying a home are in a position to capitalize on extremely low interest rates. Historically real estate has been a very safe investment that has benefited many people. And just like every recession before this past one, the market always bounces back to a varying extent.

Owning a home can be a long term investment that will really pay off for you later in life. Take a look at our 7 need to know tips before you start your home search!

1. Seek help from a professional: If you are in your 20’s and are thinking about buying a home, you are already very ahead of the game. To get the most out of your home buying decision, you should hire a professional. A great example of this is that if you buy a home with road noise, it may not disturb you at all, however it will be much harder to resell in the future and might yield less of a profit. While living in an internet-centered world means that also any information you need is right at your fingertips, this is one life decision you don’t want to do alone.

2. Pick an agent who you can trust:  Although most millennials are very knowledgeable about the internet and are used to researching anything they need to know, a good real estate agent is invaluable during the home buying process. While you can certainly research homes you want to see with the click of a mouse, your agent has the industry experience and negotiation skills that will help ensure you get the best price for your dream home and that the transaction is as smooth as possible. Selecting an agent you trust is of the utmost importance and you should interview several agents before deciding on one. This may seem like common sense, but many home buyers go through family, friends, or a google search. While this may provide comfort in the short term, it could end up being a hindrance in the long term. Be sure to read online reviews not only on the agent’s website, but also independent review sites like Zillow or Trulia. Choose wisely!

3. Identify great locations and neighborhoods: A lot of first time buyers don’t realize just how important location is in real estate. It is the single most important factor that not only affects value, but determines how easy it will be to sell your home at some point down the road if / when you choose to do so. You may love the attributes of a particular home, but not have the foresight required to know that it might not be a smart investment.

4. Understand immediate and long term costs: There are many different costs that factor in to buying a home such as the mortgage application, mortgage insurance, home inspection costs and much more, which can add up quickly. Aside from these short term costs, many first time home buyers don’t budget properly for long term costs and expenses that come with owning a home. With knowledge of all the various costs and fees, you can plan more effectively.

5. Decide on what type of housing makes the most sense / Thinking towards the future: A major decision many face is deciding between buying a condo or a home. This requires planning for both the now and the future, which is what makes this stage rather difficult. You need to weigh your current life with the life you will most likely want to cultivate in the future. What does your 5 or 10 year plan look like? That influences everything from where to buy (good schools or not), what to buy (house with lots of extra rooms), and what kind of mortgage to get (30-year fixed vs ARM). Someone who’s buying a house for their family to grow up in looks different than someone with no immediate plans and different still from someone who is buying now, but is on track to make a lot more money in 5-10 years…they might consider moving up in 5-10 years before those kids ever really factor in the picture. Because San Diego can be expensive, it’s very important to make a good move now to set yourself up well for the future.

6. Choosing a fixer upper or a turn-key home: Another thing home buyers need to think about is what they will want to do with their property. Do you want something that will be just as you like it right when you move in? Or maybe you’ve always had dreams of designing your own home. This is a factor that many first time home buyers don’t consider, and should have some serious thought put into it.

7. Be patient: This may go without saying, but buying a home is a major life decision and needs to be treated appropriately. You should do copious amounts of research and really think about what you want, both now and in the future. Taking your time to familiarize yourself with the home buying process will allow you to make much more knowledgeable decisions. And remember, you can look at as many houses as you want to, and can make offers on ones you are interested without actually committing if you are unhappy with even the slightest detail. You only want a house that you will be truly happy with!

Wherever you are in your home buying process, we are ready to help answer any questions you may have!

Restaurant of the Moment: Hideaway Cafe

Hideaway Cafe

150 S Acacia Ave, Solana Beach, CA 92075

858.755.3388

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Open from 7am to 2pm everyday, Hideaway Cafe has been a breakfast and lunch staple for Solana Beach since 1984. They specialize in breakfast but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t stop by their for lunch! Their breakfast menu includes all of the American classics, Mexican classics, omelets, french toast, pancakes, and they even have their own bakery! As for lunch, they have sandwiches, burgers, salads, and soups.

For those who enjoy the classics, this is a must visit spot. Their home cooked style meals and location (30 second walk from the beautiful Fletcher Cove) are definitely some of the defining factors that have kept them in the area for so long, and will for a very long time.

Make sure to try the Hawaiian French toast, potato pancakes, and the regular pancakes!

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Design Trends: Surfboard Decor

There is one very obvious use for a surfboard — Surfing. But another less popular (although growing) use is for home decor. Whether it be a surfboard that was made for artistic purposes, or a board you have used in the past, there are quite a number of ways you can incorporate it into your home. Here are just a few good examples.

All images via our Pinterest

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Recipe: Amy’s Sensational Summer Salad

 

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What You Need:

  • 3 (6 ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  • 1 Cup italian-styled salad dressing
  • 1 Granny smith apple, cored and diced
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 Head romaine lettuce, chopped
  • 1 Avocado, diced
  • 4 Ounces feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1 1/2 Cups diced fresh strawberries
  • 1 Cup dried cranberries
  • 3/4 Cup balsamic vinaigrette, or to taste

Directions:

  1. Place the chicken breasts and Italian dressing into a resealable plastic bag.  Mix together to coat the chicken with the dressing, squeeze out excess air, and seal the bag.  Marinate in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
  2. Preheat and outdoor grill for meduim-high heat, and lightly oil grate.
  3. Remove the chicken from the marinade and shake off excess. Discard the remaining marinade.  Grill the chicken breasts until no longer pink in the center, or to an internal temperature of 165 degrees F (74 degrees C), about 3 minutes per side.  Set aside to cool while preparing the ingredients for salad, then dice.
  4. Toss the diced apple with the lemon juice in a large mixing bowl until well coated; drain and discard any excess lemon juice.  Place the lettuce into the mixing bowl, then sprinkle with the diced chicken, avocado, feta cheese, strawberries, and cranberries.  Gently toss the salad with the balsamic vinaigrette, and serve immediately.

How to Be a Good Neighbor

Neighbors

 

Over the years our neighborhoods have changed quite a bit, but regardless of the the type you live in, there are still basic rules and etiquette that you should follow to be a good neighbor:

  • Reach Out: Investing time in getting to know the neighbors will help keep relationships harmonious and make it easier to handle any problems that arise.
  • Keep The Music Respectful:  If you play your music in your backyard, remember to keep the volume to a reasonable level and turn it off before it gets too late.
  • Be Friendly: A friendly smile and wave to a neighbor when you go out and get the mail can go a long way toward creating a pleasant atmosphere.
  • Be a Courteous Driver: Don’t treat your neighborhood streets as your own personal racetrack.  You always have to be mindful of the possibility of dogs and kids playing around.  Also, your neighbors don’t need to associate your comings and goings with loud music up and down the street.
  • Close Your Garage Door:  Avoid the habit of leaving your garage door open, especially if it is unorganized.  Not only is it a security issue, it’s also an issue of extending common courtesy to your neighbors who may not wish to see your collection of boxes and garbage cans.
  • Avoid Leaving Things in the Front Yard:  Whether it’s toys, yard equipment, or car parts, it’s bad policy to leave items on your front yard or driveway.
  • Don’t Let Your Dog Bark All Day/Night:  Leaving your dog alone to bark all day or night is a definite way to strain relations with your neighbors or possibly violate a city noise ordinance.
  • Considerate Outside Lighting:  Make sure your security lights don’t shine into your neighbors house.
  • Yard Maintenance:  At a minimum, meet the basic standards of yard maintenance by mowing, weed-whacking and doing your best to keep your yard looking decent. Neighbors lose sleep over the thought of their property value decreasing due to their neighbors poor yard maintenance.
  • And If Any Problems Arise:  Be sure to approach the situation in a non hostile way and speak with them in person.  Also, use good judgement in identifying real problems.

The Pinteresting Five: Open Shelving Organizing Solutions

Adding open shelving is a great way to get more storage space out of your home. Cheaper than built-ins or more cabinetry, shelving comes in a range of sizes and finishes. When it comes to organizing the items on your shelves, it’s most successful when handled in one of two ways: either by opting for a sleek, monochromatic look or embracing an eclectic style!

All images via our Pinterest

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Recipe: Farmer’s Market Grilled Cheese

 

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What You Need:

  • 1/4 Cup mayonnaise
  • 2 Cups fresh baby spinach
  • 1 Teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/4 Teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 Teaspoon pepper
  • 8 1/2-inch-thick slices sourdough bread
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 3 1/2- 4 ounce package garlic-and-herb goat cheese, softened
  • 1 Small zucchini, thinly sliced lenthwise
  • 1 tomato, sliced

Directions:

  1. In a blender or food processor combine the mayonnaise, 1 cup of the spinach, the garlic salt, and pepper. Set aside.
  2.  Brush one side of each slice of bread with the olive oil; place, oiled side down, on waxed paper. Spread goat cheese on half of the slices; layer zucchini, tomato, and remaining spinach on top.  Spread some of the spinach mayonnaise on remaining slices; place bread on top of vegetables, spread side down.
  3. Cook sandwiches in a very large skillet over medium-high heat for 6 to 8 minutes or until bread is golden brown, turning once,  Pass any remaining spinach mayonnaise.