Sheltering at home is the safe bet, but it can get a bit tedious. This is when gardening can come in and save the day. If you are growing your first vegetable garden, we have some tips to lead you to success. We will also share with you the benefits of crop swapping with your neighbors. There’s no better way to get fresh produce at home without having to go to the stores.

Starting Your Garden

Before anything else, you want to learn what will grow well in the Los Angeles climate. During late summer and early autumn, plants such as asparagus, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, Chinese cabbage, fava beans, and lettuce will thrive and grow well.

Squash, cucumbers, carrots, sweet corn, watermelon, blueberries, and radishes are also wonderful choices. Just make sure you choose the varieties that will grow best in the current climate. Blueberries, for example, often do better in a cooler environment. However, you can find radish varieties that will do well during the spring months.

Tips For Gardening In LA

If you are planting vegetables, consider building the garden closer to your kitchen door, if possible. Doing so will allow you to get to the plot more easily and tend to it more closely.

You should also consider building raised beds. The soil in California is not always naturally fertile for vegetables, so you want to raise the bed and fill it with the best possible soil.

An automatic irrigation system is ideal for providing your plants with water. Some people may forget or may not have the time to water the garden manually and even end up not thoroughly wetting the soil.

You should also set traps for pests that eat fruits and vegetables. If anything has fallen, pick it up to prevent fig beetles and other pests from going to your garden. You also need to stay on top of the weeds before they go to seed.

Crop Swapping

Now that you have your garden up and running, why not check with the neighbors to see what they have grown? This is an excellent opportunity to organize a crop swap with others in the community so that everyone has access to fresh fruits and vegetables without heading to the stores.

What are you looking to plant in your new garden?

If you’ve been considering a home sale in the near future, staging is probably something you’ve at least heard of, staging can have a huge impact on the selling process.

In this post we talk about how staging can impact selling your home.

Home staging involves setting a home for sale up with furnishings that make it look ready to live in, and it gives prospective buyers an idea of what this home will look like when they make it their own. This move-in ready look creates a better first impression than an empty home, and it gives something to prospective buyers that they can really resonate with.

According to data from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, home buyers decide if they’re seriously interested in buying a home within the first 30 seconds they spend within the space. This shows just how impactful these first impressions are, and why you want to go the extra mile in making sure the first impression you make is a great one.

Take a look at this great timelapse video to see how staging can bring a home to life and presented in the best possible way.

Staging Statistics

It’s been proven that staged homes sell more quickly than non-staged homes. In 2007, a study was conducted by the Real Estate Staging Association. In this study, a group of vacant homes that were on the market for an average of 131 days were staged and re-listed. The results of this study found that these “new” properties sold in half the time or less than what they were on the market before, selling on average in just 42 days. This study was repeated once again in 2011, when the market was deemed more competitive, and the homes were sold 73% faster. What this study shows is that staged homes sell more quickly, and they spend a significantly less amount of time on the market.

Return On Investment

Staging a home for sale doesn’t just cut the time your home will spend on the market, it can also increase the value you get for your property. Home staging has an impressive return on investment, so if you’re looking to invest in your home before a sale, this is a consideration you should be making. According to the National Association of Realtors, the typical return on a home staging is around 8 to 10% of your total home’s value. Not only will your home likely sell more quickly, but you’ll get more for it, which together makes for a highly successful sale.

Home staging may seem like a frivolous investment in the selling process, but the truth of the matter is that it’s one of the most worthwhile investments one can make in their home sale. Here are six ways in which staging can help you sell your house faster. 

With a fixer upper, you are presented with the opportunity to make the home more valuable. Many times, you will find this kind of home at approximately 8 percent below market value. You will be paying less in taxes as well because the taxes are calculated based on your home’s sale price. So, how do you even go about finding your ideal fixer upper? Read on below for more information.

The Perfect Choice

It is often said that the perfect fixer upper is one that everyone will want to own in the future, but no one wants it right now. The location is going to play a key role in your selection. Make sure the home is in a desirable location or an up and coming neighborhood.

The layout of the home should also flow and have a good configuration to start with; otherwise, you may find yourself spending even more money to move and take down walls.

Choosing a Mortgage

When you choose this kind of home, there are different mortgage loans to consider because of the condition of the home. Renovation loans, for example, allow you to finance the home while also making improvements at the same time.

The improvements you make can then be paid off over a longer time and typically at a lower interest rate than with other types of financing.

Another type of loan is a construction loan. It is a more short-term option and often comes with a higher interest rate, but it provides the owners with the funds they need to build and renovate the property.

Before you can consider this type of loan, however, you need to find a qualified builder, have your minimum 20 percent down payment, and have the value of the property in its current condition appraised.

Less Competition

Since more and more buyers are looking to purchase newer and updated homes, you will find little competition when it comes to the fixer uppers that are available. However, instead of competing with other buyers, you are often competing with builders and investors which can drive the price up.

Final Thoughts

When choosing a fixer upper, make sure you understand your needs and make sure the home is what you are looking for. Depending on the renovations that need to be done, it can be a time-consuming project.

Finally, keep in mind that the property taxes will go up following the renovations because of its new value. If you remember all this info and you know where to draw the line, and you can envision the home’s potential, then you are ready to start your journey towards finding the perfect fixer upper.

If you are in the market for a Condominium, read on! The Department of Housing and Urban Development’s new condominium financing rules will bring more entry level homes to the market helping to meet buyer demand.

The National Association of REALTORS® says the new condo rules, which will help more would-be buyers access affordable housing, satisfy many of the changes the association has backed for more than a decade. Read more here.

One of the first steps to take when you consider purchasing a home or investment property is to take a very close look at your credit score. Keeping your credit rating in good standing to ensure that you can purchase cars, homes, and other items that require financing. Sometimes that means you will have to do some credit repair.

Of course, it is not uncommon for persons to find themselves in a financial bind every once in a while. An unexpected health expense can leave them strapped for cash and unable to pay their bills. Getting fired or laid off can cause the same dilemma. Sometimes, things even get so bad that vehicles, homes, and other possessions become repossessed. These types of things affect one’s credit. If the number dips too low, the individual usually has a hard time getting a bank to finance them.

When they do happen to get approved for a loan with bad credit, the down payment is typically high.

There are plenty of credit card companies out there that will give just about anybody a line of credit. However, if your stats are less than stellar, you should expect an extremely high-interest rate. Luckily, there is a solution for this dilemma though. So, curious individuals should read further to learn more about it from our Los Angeles real estate agency.



How Credit Repair Works

Our firm is ready, willing, and able to help you find that perfect piece of Los Angeles real estate. But, if you know that you have overdue past loan payments, repossessions, or other credit issues, you might want to consider having your credit repaired before trying to obtain a mortgage. The first step is to find a reputable debt consolidation company that specializes in credit repair. Once that is out of the way, the process can begin. 

Basically, a large loan is taken out to pay for smaller loans. The payment is usually affordable, and one must make every effort to pay it on time by the due date. As the older bills start to become removed from your record, and you are paying for the new loan, your credit score will slowly begin to improve.

Also, it is a good idea not to take actions that will affect your credit score during this time. For instance, don’t take out a payday loan and forget to pay for it. Then, in a matter of no time, you will have repaired credit and be able to buy that Los Angeles real estate that you long for.

What If My Credit Is Not Great But Ok?

There are quite a few things you can do to improve your credit:

  1. Correct any errors on the credit report.
  2. Become an authorized user on a family member or partner’s card, providing they have great credit.
  3. Raise your available credit. A super easy step that can help you boost your credit quickly and without any ‘hits’ on your score.
  4. Negotiate a better rate or payment with your debtors.
  5. Always make minimum payments on time.
  6. Reduce debt-to-income ratio.
  7. Have a good mix of debt.

Here’s a handy page full off information to help you get your credit score to a healthy range.

While we typically do not share any Dutch content with you our dear English speaking readers we couldn’t help but share our CEO’s starring role in today’s Dutch National TV News. Letty speaks to how she got started in real estate and how her Dutch Directness translates perfectly to succesfull business relationships here in the US.

During shifts in the real estate market place, like the one we are experiencing right now, we receive more questions about real estate investing. Home prices are growing at a much slower pace and this can have a positive impact on income property prices for first time investors. The rental market is not indicated to slow down, we foresee it will keep on climbing, creating a great environment for investors. 

Investing in real estate to create wealth is sound strategy, but what many don’t realize is that there are some very real dos and don’ts when it comes to making your (first) investment.

Real estate investing is not just exciting and potentially profitable – it’s also intimidating and carries with it some very real risks. As such, it’s important to pay attention to some of the main things that can help you get the absolute best results possible from your efforts.

These dos and don’ts can make a huge difference in your results, and can ensure that you find true success when investing in real estate. Here are the main points to keep in mind.

The bottom line here is simple – don’t make rash decisions and be sure to consider all of your options carefully to make sure you get the results you need and get the best outcome from every investment.

2019 interior design trends are expected to combine elements from the past with more contemporary looks, and also to blend in artistic elements wherever possible. Here are some of the main things to think about.

There are blasts from the past coming back into style for 2019 as well as some new looks and styles. Buying a home is exciting, but decorating and improving the interior is just as much fun, and these design elements are a big part of what to expect from 2019.

image via: https://www.devolkitchens.co.uk/kitchens/classic-bespoke-kitchen/peckham-rye-kitchen 

This city we call home is known for its year round mild climate, beaches and summer fun. But if you are like some of us here at Aspire LA, you’ll enjoy the cooler months just as much if not more. We’ve put together a list of winter activities to inspire you.

1. Watch A Winter Sunset

Folks don’t necessarily want to spend a lot of money discovering a way to pass the time. Therefore, if you are on a budget and love to look at beautiful scenery, visit a place such as the Griffith Observatory, Terranea Bluff Top Park, or Hermosa Beach Pier to watch the sunset. Of course, a person can do this from any state, but there is just something about the view from the coastline. It is a moment that can be enjoyed alone or with others. If this sounds like your cup of tea, don’t forget to bring a camera along to capture the scene.

2. Christmas and Holiday Drive- Thru Events and Experiences

2020 is the year that Christmas really needs saving, and thanks to Holiday drive-thru events and light shows, we will! Buckle up, because there are a plenty of drive-thru experiences that are happening in and near Los Angeles! Make sure to double check the entrance fees.

Holiday Road is the newest and most exciting drive-thru in Calabasas. The Elf on the Shelf’s Magical Holiday Journey in Pomona,  WonderLand Holiday– themed Drive-Thru in Woodland Hills.  Santa’s Speedway Christmas Lights drive-thru in Irwindale. Six Flags Magic Mountain Drive-Thru Experience. Dodgers Stadium drive thru Holiday Festival, Electric Noel Drive-Thru Christmas & New Year’s Event in Silver Lake. Candy Cane Lane in Woodland Hills, and Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills. Do you want to know more about these delightful events? Click here.

3. Hiking

Hiking is great all year around but for those of us that don’t love the heat,  hiking can be especially attractive during the cooler winter months. If you go the day after the rain, the skies will be clearer, the views better and the trails cleaner! Read more about great hikes here.

4. Drive up to the snow

Southern California is famous for its beaches ànd its abundance in ski resorts. Even if you don’t want to go all out and get on the slopes, a drive up the Angeles Crest highway for some winter fun is worth it! There are a few stops along the way that are perfect for sledding, making this a great family outing. Another great location for easy snow fun is Lake Arrowhead, home to many lake view cabins, search Lake Arrowhead on AirBnB for a quick getaway.

When it’s time to head out into the wide – and sometimes wild – world of real estate, you’ll have a lot of things to decide. Budget, size, location, and more will all impact your real estate buying decision. But one thing that everyone needs to consider when starting the hunt for the perfect home is whether or not they need to consider buying a fixer upper.

Should I Buy A Fixer Upper?

For centuries, the fixer upper has been a mainstay in the housing market. After all, those willing to invest a bit into giving a property some TLC may find that their home was even more stunning than they realized. But is a fixer upper right for you? It’s a harder question than you might realize, and taking a look at a few other points may help you come to an answer.

Are You Flipping?

Fixer uppers are bought for two main reasons – to fix fast and sell for a profit, or by those looking to save money on a great home. If you’re a home flipper, you’ll need to take a serious look at how much you’ll invest in the remodel and what comparable homes in the area go for when they’re in great shape. In other words, you have to see if you’re making a smart investment. If you’re buying to live in, you have a little more time and flexibility in how fast you finish the remodel and what the finished outcome is worth.

What Else Does It Offer?

Don’t just buy a fixer upper because it’s cheap – you’ll still end up investing thousands into the repairs and remodels, and that could end up bringing the overall cost to a spot very comparable to other homes that are in better shape. Instead, use the lower cost of a fixer upper to take advantage of things that you wouldn’t otherwise be able to access. For instance, you may not be able to get a home as large as a fixer upper at the same price, or one in the same neighborhood. Consider what the home offers to determine whether or not it’s a good buy.

Do You Have Time to Invest?

You’re not just investing money into a fixer upper – you’re buying something you’ll invest time into. If you can see the final vision in your mind and fall in love with what the home’s potential is, the next question is simply whether or not you have the time and energy to put into a fixer upper – or if you just want to buy a home, move in, and not worry about a thing.

These simple questions can help you determine whether or not a fixer upper is the right buy for you. Think about them and you’ll find your perfect home, no matter what it is.

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