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The 3 Best Places To Raise A Family In California

California is the land of the American Dream. It’s so big and has so many opportunities that it is no wonder that people flock here from all over the world to live. There is a lot of work, salaries are generally very high and the weather is fantastic. It has everything in other words. If you have a family then it is an ideal state to want to live in. 

When looking for the ideal place to raise a family, you’ll want to narrow things down a little and find the right town and city. You will need to have access to good schools, good infrastructure, and low crime rates. Public spaces are a plus since kids need to get out of their own backyards and be around other people. Being close to nature is another perk that many parents will be looking for. In this article, we will go over some of the best places in California where you can raise a family.

1 - Glendale

Glendale is a town near Pasadena that is very popular with families. It has just about everything you would need as far as family-friendly infrastructure. For starters, Glendale is very safe and has a low crime rate. In fact, it is consistently ranked in the top ten safest cities in the US. 

The real estate in the town is very varied. There are more renters than owners in Glendale so you can find many condos available as well as single-family houses. Real estate investment companies such as TFS Properties invest in real estate to then put up for rent so if you are thinking of renting before buying to get a feel for the place then this is a good option here. 

One of the biggest benefits to living in Glendale is that it is within an easy commute of LA. If you work in LA then you can be home in time to enjoy time with the family and enjoy everything a small city has to offer after the hustle and bustle of the big city. 

The public schools are very highly rated and there are some good hospitals in the city as well. It has just about everything a family would need. There is also good access to nature just north of the city with hiking and mountain biking opportunities in the surrounding hills. 

The biggest downside to Glendale is the cost of living is very high. Those people making an LA salary will likely find it to be affordable, however. 

2 - Imperial

Imperial is a small city that is as far south as you can go in California and still be in the US. It is right above the border with Mexico. As a result, it has a very international feel. Families here enjoy a lot of diversity in the population and culture of the place which is a big advantage. 

It has another advantage of being a small city with just under 20,000 inhabitants. This makes it one of those places where everybody knows each other and is always looking out for each other. It’s still got a lot of city conveniences and is close to Chula Vista when you need a city fix. 

There is a huge winter festival that takes place every February that is very popular with people in the area and is a lot of fun for the kids. 

3 - Moorpark

Looking for a town with a sizable community of families is ideal. Moorpark has the greatest concentration of young families so it is perfect for other families looking to relocate. Schools are well funded and there is plenty for families to do there. In fact, there are 20 public parks that are used by these families all the time. 

It is a very safe community with a low crime rate and high quality of life. Being close to downtown LA is also a plus so you can commute if you work in the city. You may not need to commute to the city anyway since there are a number of high-paying jobs there which can keep you close to home and enjoy more time with your family. 


These cities have a lot going for them in terms of livability and amenities that you need to raise a family. Since your kids are only small for a short period, it makes sense to choose a place like these cities to take advantage of everything they offer to get the most out of the years while they are still little.


Why Buying a Home in Texas is a Smart Move

If you’re planning on buying a house, one of the most important things you need to consider is where you want your house to be. While some people may need to look in certain areas due to a job or other responsibilities, others may be free to go wherever they please. If you are not sure where to buy your next house, Texas is a good idea.

There are many reasons why buying a house in Texas is a smart move, and we’ll be discussing a few of them.

Texas homes are often more affordable

While there are always exceptions to the rule, generally, houses in Texas are much more affordable than in other places. And even if a house costs the same as in another area, the odds are that the one in Texas will be much bigger, so you will be getting more value for money. 

Buying a house isn’t cheap, so you need to try and save wherever you can. Texas homes are known for being both big and affordable, making them a great option for those with smaller budgets. Have a look at Texas real estate to see more of what a house in Texas can offer you. 

Warm temperatures

If you are someone who loves summertime, you’ll probably enjoy Texas. While there are months that have more severe weather, Texas in summer is a paradise for those who prefer warmer temperatures. Even the winter months are often much milder in Texas compares to other locations.

So, if you love swimsuit season, the odds are that you will love the summers in Texas. That being said, you should keep in mind that you may not have as much snow there as you are used to.  

There are plenty of opportunities

Texas is one of the fastest-growing US states, which means that if you are seeking more opportunities, it’s a great place to be.

With it being one of the bigger states, you are bound to find something you will enjoy doing in Texas, and if you’re lucky, you could land a job with room for growth. If you feel suffocated and like you don’t have many options where you are, buying a house and moving to Texas might just be the change you need. Of course, you will also need to follow these steps for getting a better job once you are in Texas. 

The resale value is great

Another important thing you need to consider when buying a house is what the resale value will be. Luckily, as you can imagine, houses in Texas often have great resale value.

This is because of Texas’s reputation for low real estate, its warm climate, and the opportunities that it offers. If you do buy a house in Texas and you ever decide to sell it, you will probably have many willing buyers. 

For that to be the case, however, you also need to make sure that you keep the house in good condition and take on these projects if you want to boost its resale value.


Things to Consider When Looking For a Pest Control Company

Pest infestation is one of the most commonly encountered problems by people from all over the world. These little unwelcomed creatures can literally destroy your property in no time. Stings from pests can pose serious health issues especially when an allergic reaction is involved. Most of the owners of the house are often seen rushing for home remedies to eradicate these disturbing creatures from their property, but let it be clear that this always isn’t helpful. At times, the situation worsens and the infestation becomes so large that you need a pest control company to take care of the situation. The professionals from these companies know pests better than you and have a better understanding of which treatment to use to effectively treat the problem.

However, before hiring a pest control company, there are some points that you should consider to make sure that the professionals you are calling in are worth your time and money. 

Let it be clear that dealing with a pest problem isn’t as easy as it sounds, and not everybody can apply the pest formulas. The chemicals used in the formulas are highly toxic and if not prepared properly using the right proportion of everything, they may pose serious health hazards. Therefore, when choosing a pest control company, you have to be sure that the professionals you are welcoming into your space have the license. 

Check Customer Reviews
Reviews help a lot in making the right decision. It’s always best to check the reviews from previous customers and going through them to get an idea about the company’s performance. If in case you come across any negative reviews, look for how the company responded to them. Most of the companies allow their customers to share detailed experiences with the company, thus making it, even more, easier for others to get to know more about the company’s services. 

Pest control treatment isn’t all about just having the knowledge of applying the pesticide and getting away from it. A professional should have a good understanding of the various behaviors of the pests he is going to deal with. This also involves knowledge of their food habits, breeding, and having the skills to control their growth in an effective way. Therefore, it's imperative to connect with a reputable company like Aptive Pest Control, or a company of a similar caliber in your area, to ensure a lasting solution to your pest problems.

Check Price
Keep in mind that a pest control company involves very detailed and service-oriented work, therefore, looking for a company that offers the lowest price might not be a good choice. Short-list all the companies that you think you might hire and compare their prices. Beware of companies that offer you abnormally low prices. Companies like these use half-used, old formulas, and trust me, that is only going to make the situation worse. Be sure that the pesticide is freshly opened and applied the right way.

Quality Guarantee
It is essential that you look for a pest control company that offers you a service guarantee like Quality Affordable Pest Control. Let it be clear that you can’t figure out whether the treatment was effective or not until it’s been two or three weeks. Therefore, the pesticide company should always offer you some kind of work guarantee. Such companies are pretty much confident about their work and go the extra mile for their customers to ensure that the best services are served. The best part about these companies is that most of them have compensation policies in case the pesticide doesn’t show the expected results. 

The Beginner’s Guide to Home Loans

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Okay, you’re finally ready to buy a house. You’re cruising the market, scouting neighborhoods, and just beginning to look at your finances. Unfortunately, however, house hunting is a lot more difficult than the shows on HGTV portray it to be. Here are a few basic financing terms you should know before showing up to your bank when looking for a house.

First, you should know what a mortgage is. A mortgage is essentially a long-term loan where you borrow money from a bank and pay it back, with interest, until you’re the full owner of whatever you bought. Basically, it’s a type of loan for property. It’s also usually a secured loan, where you put something up for collateral that the bank can take in case you stop making payments.

You also should understand what a loan is, more broadly. A loan technically occurs anytime one person borrows a lump sum of money and agrees to pay it back at a later date. Typically, formal loans involve interest, which means that you pay back a little more than you originally borrowed. Mortgages are always a type of loan, but not all loans are mortgages.
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Home equity loans are loans for a set amount of money that’s secured by your home — in this case, your home is the collateral. The danger, here is, that you might lose your home if you stop making payments. But many use a home equity loan to make home improvements, pay for their child’s education, or invest in some other significant item — they’re usually used for big purchases that you can’t otherwise afford.

This is actually almost a synonym for a second mortgage, which is probably another term you’ve heard. They’re essentially the same, but have slightly different rules for how much you can borrow and when you can get the loan. Home equity loans typically occur after you already own a property, whereas a second mortgage can be taken out while you’re still paying off your first mortgage. Your credit history, financial state, and bank will all determine what you’re allowed to do, however.

Hopefully, this brief guide helped explain some of the differences between the types of loans you can take out as you prepare to buy a house. Nothing about the process is simple, but with a little research and a lot of expert help, you’ll be homeward-bound in no time — happy house hunting!

5 Things No One Told You About Shopping for a Home

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Buying a new home is exciting, but if you’ve never gone through the process before, you may be in for a big surprise – and probably more than a few. When you aren’t experienced with the ins and out, your excitement can quickly turn into frustration. The National Association Realtors recently released some of the latest numbers related to home-buying transactions showing that of all homebuyers, 34% are purchasing a home for the first time. If you’re thinking about becoming a part of that statistic, knowing what most were never told about shopping for a home can prevent learning the hard way.

It’s Going to Cost You Lots More Than You Think

If you’re renting, paying say, $1200 a month, plus perhaps utility costs, you have a pretty good idea of what you have to pay each month. If utilities are included, you know exactly what you’ll be shelling out when rent is due. But when you’re shopping for a house and the lender says the mortgage payment will be only $1400 a month, you might think, “Well, that’s only $200 more, I can easily handle that.” But you’re wrong. There are lots of other things to consider in addition to that payment plus utilities. You’ll need to pay for homeowners insurance, maintenance and repairs (something that’s inevitable), property taxes, and perhaps home association dues and even appliances.

That makes it difficult to determine your exact monthly costs as you never know when something is going to break, and there’s no doubt that total figure is going to be a lot more than just the mortgage payment.

You’ll Need to Limit Your Credit Card Use

Before you start shopping for a new home, you’ll need to hold off on purchasing any big items on credit cards, opening any new lines of credit, obtaining a car loan, etc. In fact, the more you can pay down your debt the better as the ability to get approved for a mortgage, and a good interest rate depends largely on your credit score.

Even If You Don’t Have Kids or Plan on Having Any, Considering Are Schools is Important

Singles and couples who don’t have children and don’t plan to often overlook the schools in the area when shopping for a home. While you probably think it doesn’t matter, it will if you ever decide to sell your home. That’s an important aspect to buyers, with homes in neighborhoods that have access to good schools generally appreciating in value faster than homes in neighborhoods where schools are average are worse, whether you’re purchasing a house among Charleston real estate or any other town in the country.

You Won’t Be Able to Resist Looking at Homes Higher Than Your Price Range

It’s only human nature to want something you can’t have, and nearly all people who shop for homes ended up looking at places that are out of their price range. While that’s all well and good, just don’t move forward with it. What’s even worse than living in a house that may need a few minor repairs is living in a nice home that you can’t really afford and eventually having to sell it when you don’t want to, or even worse, going through a foreclosure.

You’ll Probably Get Outbid

In a sellers’ market, or in areas that are hotter than others and likely to have cash buyers, you’ll probably get outbid, and more than once. While getting your offer rejected isn’t fun, keep trying - odds are that you will succeed.
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Easy Ways to Add Value to Your Home

Are you looking to sell your home in the near future? Then we are sure you will want to try and make as much money as you possibly can on it! There are lots of easy ways in which you can increase the price of your property without having to spend a fortune.  We will take you through our top tips on how you can do this, but without having to get pricey contractors involved.
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Start with the Exterior 

The first thing that people will see when they arrive at your home for a viewing is the exterior and so you will want to make sure that this is pristine, and looks like a home where people will want to instantly move into. As soon as they see your home, they will be thinking about how much you are asking for and whether they think this price is justified. Start with little tasks such as weeding the garden, fixing the fence, and adding a fresh coat of paint to any outside windows. These little things can make a big difference!

Structural problems can also significantly decrease the value of your home, and the big one here to think about is the roof. The roof also makes up the outside exterior of your home, so it will clearly be visible to anyone viewing it, and will also most likely impact how much they want to offer. Before you start to allow viewings of your home, have any roof work repaired, and clear the drains and gutters to improve its appearance.

Finally, to complete your outdoor space, you will want to think about having some type of storage available as this will be a big selling point in your home. We would suggest getting a steel building as these are extremely cost-effective, easy to build and you don’t have to worry about labor costs. Plus, they can even be used as a garage. Armstrong Steel wrote a very useful article about how a steel building can increase a property’s value here:

Brighten Up Your Home

One of the biggest things that can add value to your home is the amount of light coming in. A room that has a lot of light coming in instantly feels bigger, and so this is a cheap and easy way to increase your home’s value. A few easy things that can ensure more light is coming into your home is cleaning your windows, installing bright energy efficient lights, and installing a skylight or sliding patio doors.

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Decorating and Flooring

You would be surprised by how much value can be added to your home simply for painting a wall that is slightly drab! If you are going to be painting your home to up its value, make sure to go for neutral colors and avoid using any bright colors and this will probably be unappealing to the majority of buyers out there. The same can also be said if you are going to be replacing carpets.

Adding value to your home doesn't have to be anything over-the-top or costly. Thanks for stopping by!

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How to decorate a Southwest Styled House

What does a Southwest Style House look like?
A Southwest-styled house is specially made to give an inviting and gorgeous look to guests and visitors. You can recognize a Southwest-styled house with some prominent features such as flat roofs, its covered porches, stoned pillars and walls, smaller windows, large wooden doors and lower roof when viewed from inside. It has patterned tile work creating a cool environment. Another feature which is noticeable is the use of stucco walls.

Stucco walls are made by applying thick layer which hardens when dried. These houses are usually found in single story homes. Such houses are commonly found in Southwestern areas of America (like Phoenix, Las Vegas, California, etc.). These houses have also embraced current trends in decoration along with old traditional wooden style.

Southwest Style house plans have a historical background after which it was known all over the world. In earlier times, Southwest style houses were also known as Pueblo Revival Style. This design was taken up from Spanish mission in New Mexico. Its popularity increased during the 1920s and 1930s. The main features of such houses at that time included the use of bricks and concrete on walls and flat roofs. This style was very famous in New Mexico, Arizona, and Colorado in earlier times.

Tips to decorate your Southwest Style house

  • As you will start decorating your house, you will also color its walls. Southwestern styled houses are painted with bright and vibrant colors (including yellows and oranges). On the other hand, those colors should not be extra bright that it irritates your eye. The color chosen should be warm. Shades of yellow, orange, golden and blue are in tradition with this style. Paints denote natural colors of the sky.
  • Use of wood should be easily seen. Using different kinds of wood such as pine, oak, maple, birch, etc. can indicate Southwestern style. Bold wooden furniture is also encouraged. New Mexico was famous for more use of wood.
  • If you do not feel like using more wood in your house, you can go for metalwork. Furniture made from metal is also found in Southwestern styled house. You can set up wrought iron tables and chairs or railings.
  • Add creativity to your walls by either making it with stones or stucco. Textured walls are more liked in such houses. You can enhance the interior by putting spiritual content on the walls.
  • Every house has pillars inside it. Making it out of stonework will look more inspiring. It will then look more like a Southwestern styled house.
  • Simple wooden flooring will not sound like a house of such category. Therefore, adding art will help you. You can either use stones or rough planks and brick. To add beauty, you can also place rugs all over the floor with different designs. Southwest house designs have variety, so you could also add mosaic tiles on the floor.
  • Include more of Spanish decoration. Guests should find more Spanish details. Pottery of different shapes and sizes are promoted.


The Tiny House Craze

I don't watch a lot of television, but when I do it is usually something news, food or home related. I flip through channels at night and have recently noticed a common thing; Tiny Houses. I assumed they meant lavish playhouses for kids. No, I was so wrong. Apparently there are many people downsizing their home for a version that is about 10% its size. The average American house size is 2,300 square feet and the tiny house size is roughly 230 square feet. I had to check out some different shows to see what it was all about.
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People are getting these homes either custom built or looking one in a specific location and they range from around 100 sq ft- 400 sq feet. You have people buying a house the size of a storage shed! I can't imagine it. Some of the homes are very luxurious on a teeny-tiny level and others very rustic.
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I personally could never do it. I saw one episode of Tiny House Hunters where a family of 6 went from a 3,000 sq ft home down to 400 sq ft. NO. No, no NO! I can't imagine that at all! I understand that people are trying to live mortgage or debt-free, but sheesh. I don't want to have people all in my personal space. It is certainly not something I would ever desire for myself. There's only so much family bonding one can take.

So what about you? Could you live the tiny house lifestyle?

Tips for buying a home

Everyone dreams of owning their own home, but buying one is a lot of work. Just preparing for homeownership is a massive undertaking that can seem daunting. There are processes that you have to go through before you can even think about looking for the home you want to buy.

Budgeting and banks
First, you have to know exactly what your budget is and how much you can afford to spend. The banks will need this information before they will even think about giving you a mortgage loan, so have it all ready. The difference can sometimes help in negotiations with a seller for a better price on the home. Make sure that you are pre-approved not pre-qualified. Research diligently through different lenders as well. Make sure you get the best possible mortgage and interest rates.

Look into the area
You will have to know what you need as far as size like the number of bedrooms, bathrooms, square footage, etc. You will have to take into consideration schools, transportation, and stores as well. If you prefer public transportation, you will have to make sure that you are near to the local pick up. Do you want the local stores to be close at hand? The Local Records Office can give you a lot of information about the neighborhoods you are considering, so make sure to look them up.

Contract a buyer's agent
The housing market changes constantly. Even though we are recovering from the housing crisis from a few years ago, you will want to do plenty of research. You don't have to have a real estate agent and honestly, agents work for the seller not you. However, you can contract a buyer's agent if you wish. A buyer's agent will ensure you find the house you want for a good price and actually works for you.

Look for homes
Look at a lot of homes before you make an offer for one. You want to make sure that you are getting exactly what you want and not just settling for what you think you can afford. After all if you are paying that much money to buy a home, you want to be happy in it. Likewise, don't allow an agent to push you into a house you can't really afford either. Just because you qualify for it, doesn't mean you should buy it. You could overtax yourself and that will lead to trouble later on.

Once you make an offer and it is accepted, there are several steps that have to be taken. A home inspection to check the foundation, construction, heating and cooling system, electrical etc must be done. This is important so that you and your bank know that the home is sound.

You will have to buy homeowners insurance and bring the document with you to your closing along with your down payment and another check for closing costs unless you have negotiated for the seller to pay them, you will be responsible for those.  The closing should take about an hour and when you are finished, you will be the proud owner of a home of your own.

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