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Century 21 Gold

  • Where You Work Should Help You Decide Where To Buy

    If you're entering into the real estate market for the first time, you'll hear the old adage: location, location, location. That's three of the key factors... I'm kidding but, location is, indeed, a very important concern.

    However, many buyers think location is most important because of the surrounding area. So, if the neighborhood is nice, with parks, good schools, retail stores nearby, and somewhat close to freeways, it's a good location. But what also makes it a good location is how close it is to your work.

    These days many people are telecommuting, which allows them to work from home and save gas. If that's the case, a 45-minute or hour-plus drive, one-way to the office, might not be too intimidating because you're not going to have to do it every day. But your long commute could still become a key factor when it comes to getting a mortgage.

    Some lenders may factor in your long commute as part of your overall debt-to-income ratio, (DTI) which will directly impact how much money you can borrow. Regardless of whether the lender takes your extended commute into consideration, buyers should. With rising gas prices and increasing traffic, an extra long commute to the office can hurt your pocketbook.

    A study from the Center for Housing Policy and the Center for Neighborhood Technology reported that transportation expenses for households in the largest metro areas increased 44 percent from 2000 to 2010. And about 600,000 full-time workers have a huge commute of at least 90 minutes and 50 miles to get to the office, according to U.S. Census data.

    Sometimes the allure of rural areas with typically less expensive housing prices is so strong that buyers forget to consider how long they'll be on the road before they're home at night. They also don't factor in the gas costs that add up fast and can amount to hundreds of dollars in expenses each month.

    If you do purchase a home with a long commute, talk to your company about possible commuting subsidies, arrange a carpool, or try to work remotely more frequently to reduce the back and forth commute. eRideShare.com help connect people with others who live and work nearby. Some cities even have their own sponsored program for free online matching services for carpooling. You can also ask your work to adjust your hours so that you can come in and leave at times when you'll miss rush hours. This way you're not just burning gas while sitting in tight, slow-moving traffic.

    Cities with good mass transit are attracting buyers and providing options that help avoid putting extra unwanted miles on their vehicles. It makes sense. Sometimes the commute, if they don't have to drive, is a welcome break giving workers time to catch up on a good book, movie, or extra work. Plus, some cities have waterway ferries that make it a beautiful and enjoyable commute.

    If you're shopping for a home and considering the long commute, spend a little time weighing the pros and cons. Also, do a little research. You can visit commutesolutions.org to use their online calculator to determine the true cost of your driving commute. Having a road map that shows your expected expenses will help you accurately budget for them. 

  • 6 Steps to a More Drought-Proof Yard and Garden

    Several states are experiencing drought or near-drought conditions today. Areas of the country that aren’t facing droughts right now still anticipate water shortages in the coming years. All of us can conserve water—and money!—with xeriscaping.

    Keep it simple — Drought-tolerant plants are the easiest way to drought-proof your yard. The USDA’s Plant Hardiness Zone Mapwill help you figure out which plants will have the best chance at thriving.

    Location, location, location — If you want to keep some water-needy plants in your garden, locate them in a place where they can naturally get the most water, such as near a downspout.

    Rock it! — Incorporate gravel as an accent feature, such as in a pathway or between your sidewalk and the street. Keep in mind that many experts recommend limiting the amount of hard materials you use in your landscaping.

    Save for a sunny day — Rain barrels are a handy way to conserve and use water in your yard and garden. You can make your own with a plastic trash can or buy one that does double-dutyas a composter and rain catcher for that extra-green touch.

    The old switcheroo — Still love a luscious green lawn? Swap out grasses that need lots of water to maintain for more drought-hardy grasses.

    Get rid of that lawn altogether — Plant drought-tolerant ground cover such as thyme, lantana and hens-and-chicks instead of grass.

  • 7 ways to keep important documents protected

    We live in a digital world, but that doesn’t mean paper has disappeared. Social security cards, birth certificates, wills and other important documents still need to be protected.

    What to Protect — Not sure which documents are the “important” ones? Experts recommend safekeeping insurance policies, passports, family photos and other indispensable records.

    Keep It Together — Store important documents in a portable, lockable home safe—preferably fire and water resistant—that can be easily located in an emergency.

    Fire Prevention — Fireproof boxes are a great backup plan. But preventing house fires in the first place can bring peace of mind to every homeowner.

    Burglarproof Your Home — Make sure all windows and doors are locked when you leave. A dog’s bark (large or small!) is an excellent deterrent. Security systems and surveillance cameras, along with a warning sign, can deter would-be criminals.

    Offsite Storage — Keep important documents at your attorney’s office or with a trusted relative. Just remember that a bank safe-deposit box may not always be the best option.

    Create Digital Backups — Scan everything. A CD, flash drive or an external hard drive can be kept in a separate location, or you can use an online storage service that can be accessed from any computer.

    Get Rid of It — Identity theft is a concern for many consumers. One way to protect yourself is to shred documents that you don’t need anymore. Old bank statements, credit card offers and pay stubs are great candidates for the crosscut shredder.

  • Home Buyers - Homeowner & Investors

    Come Join us Sat & Sun May 17th and 18th of some informational Seminars 

     

    Home Buyers - Are you tired of throwing money away on rent?  Have you had a Short Sale, Foreclosure, Bad Credit? We can Help! 

    Interest rates are still low  

    Stated income programs available - Loans for as low as 1/2% down! 

    Homeowners - Is your home still under water? Can you refinance? We have  answers to these any many other questions you might have.. Plus, programs to help you

     Investors - Interest rates are still low!  Are you looking to increase your portfolio? Not getting a good return on your investment? 

    Invest in Real Estate!

    Everyone is invited! Classes will be held at Century 21 Gold 2055 Hamner Avenue, Norco CA 92860

    When: Sat & Sun May 17th & 18th

    Time: Saturday 10am-2pm and Sun: 12pm-4pm

    Please call to RSVP as seating is limited 951-479-4581

     

       

     

     

     

  • 7 fun gift ideas for moms with green thumbs

    Does the favorite mom in your life have a green thumb? Here are seven useful gardening products that are sure to bring a smile to her face on Mother’s Day.

    Get cooking — This futuristic-looking indoor herb garden is perfect for the mom who loves to spend time in the kitchen as well as the garden.

    Pamper her — Inspired by England’s historic landscape gardens, Crabtree & Evelyn’s Gardeners Collection offers products that will soothe her hardworking hands.

    Safety first — Gardeners spend a lot of time under the sun. Help her protect her skin with a wide-brimmed hat that offers UPF 50+ protection.

    Keep her cool — Cool Mud gloves incorporate aloe vera to help moisturize her skin even while she’s digging deep down in the dirt.

    The avid gardener — Does your mom love everything from amaryllis to zinnias? She can customize these hardwood markers (Sharpie included) to help her locate every last plant.

    Put down some roots — Rootcup’s silicone planters boast great design but remain practical; they’re even dishwasher safe. Thestarter kit is perfect for the desktop or countertop gardener in your life. Just make sure she knows it is not a Koozie.

    A fruitful gift — The Apple Tree to Be kit is a unique present for the patient mom—it can take 10–15 years for an apple tree to actually produce apples. The set includes seeds harvested from heirloom apples, a seedling pot and saucer and a customizable I.D. tag she can hang on the tree someday.

  • 6 Tips to Pay off Your Mortgage Faster

    Filing taxes got you down? Or maybe it went well this year, and you’re expecting a sizable refund. Either way, tax season is a great time to “spring clean” your finances. One way to do this is to pay off your home mortgage faster. Use these tips to get it done ASAP:

    Refinance Your Loan — Refinancing a 30-year fixed mortgage to a 15-year fixed mortgage can help you save thousands on interest and build equity faster. Typically, shorter-term mortgages also have a lower interest rate, which means even more savings.

    Make Extra Payments — If you don’t want to refinance, adding a few more dollars to your mortgage payment each month—or even just once a year (maybe with that tax refund)—can help you get to that magic number zero faster. Just make sure all extra payments are credited toward your loan principal, not the interest, and that your mortgage does not have a pre-payment penalty.

    Create a Budget — Seeing how you spend your hard-earned dollars can help you find ways to put more money toward paying down your mortgage each month.

    Change Your Payment Schedule — In a biweekly payment plan, you pay a mortgage “half-payment” every other week. At the end of the year, you will have made 13 monthly payments instead of the usual 12.

    The Proof Is in the Pudding — Use this calculator to see the impact extra payments could have on the life of your loan.

    Positive Effects — Some experts say that having your home paid off before retirement can lead to happier golden years, due to reduced cash-flow needs and the peace of mind from being debt free.

  • Inland Empire Home sales March 3 - March 9

    PriceDescendingSq. FootageZip CodeDateBaths TotalBedroomsCityStreet NameStreet NumberStreet SuffixUnit NumberYear Built 
    $13,065,8651,0639287922CoronaVista Del Cerro1030Drive1041991Details   
    $6,300,00014,873928819/7/2012116CoronaCASPER1111Circle2009Details   
    $2,710,0009,546928818/2/201395CoronaPrairie1060Circle2001Details   
    $2,400,00010,073928817/20/201276CoronaGarretson3091Avenue2006Details   
    $1,850,0007,2009288110/19/201297CoronaHidden Springs1340Drive2004Details   
    $1,665,0005,2009288110/4/201356CoronaJuliette3865Circle2000Details   
    $1,625,0005,881928815/17/201366CoronaRobby4150Circle2005Details   
    $1,575,0005,4499288111/2/201245CoronaCleveland910Way2004Details   
    $1,225,0005,200928813/23/201275CoronaCleveland477Way2006Details   
    $1,201,1116,1009288112/28/201286CoronaCleveland495Way2005Details   
    $1,150,0005,9419288110/7/201165CoronaJameson4215Circle2005Details   
    $1,099,0005,712928811/6/201265CoronaShady Ridge3945Drive2003Details   
    $1,000,0004,010928819/27/201354CoronaMaravilla1144Circle2007Details   
    $999,0004,384928818/10/201255CoronaAshwood3878Drive2003Details   
    $981,0005,2429288111/4/201165CoronaTejon4185Circle2003Details   
    $979,0004,811928814/19/201355CoronaAshwood3971Circle2003Details   
    $966,4344,700928815/3/201334CoronaGarretson3021Avenue1999Details   
    $960,0004,5599288155CoronaCleveland1245Way2003Details   
    $950,0005,2519288111/23/201255CoronaSuzie4083Circle2005Details   
    $940,0008,600928836/21/201376CoronaHUNT9130Road1982Details   
    $925,0006,1399288165CoronaENCANTO855Street1999Details   
    $910,0003,980928816/7/201344CoronaMangrove935Circle2000Details   
    $910,0005,307928838/23/201365CoronaSanctuary8211Drive2005Details   
    $899,0003,9809288111/1/201344CoronaArmstrongs3180Drive1999Details   
    $898,0004,2319288145CoronaAlamitos1645Circle2003Details   
     
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  • Freddie Mac: Mortgage rates down; 30-year fixed averaging 4.28%

    The cost of a home loan dropped early this week on less than robust news about the economy and housing, with Freddie Mac reporting that the average interest rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage was 4.28%, down from 4.37% a week earlier. 

    The average for a 15-year fixed mortgage was 3.32%, down from 3.39%, Freddie Mac said Thursday in its weekly survey of what lenders are offering to solid borrowers.

     

    The average start rate for a popular type of adjustable mortgage with a fixed rate for the first five years edged down from 3.05% to 3.03%.

     Rates rose late last year when it became clear that the Federal Reserve would scale back its enormous purchases of mortgage bonds and Treasury securities, a program designed to stimulate the economy by keeping long-term rates low.

     

    But the 30-year fixed rate has since fallen back about a quarter of a percentage point, a decline attributable at least in part to an economic recovery too weak to raise fears that inflation could become a problem. 

     

    Freddie Mac's chief economist, Frank Nothaft, noted that the news early this week included a downward revision in the fourth-quarter gross domestic product and a weaker than expected report on private-sector job growth.

     

    Freddie Mac asks lenders each Monday through midday Wednesday about the terms they are offering creditworthy borrowers who pay less than 1% in upfront lender fees and discount points to obtain mortgages. Charges for services such as appraisals and title insurance are extra.

     

    Actual rates fluctuate, sometimes more than once a day. Borrowers can pay additional points to obtain lower rates, or get zero-cost loans by accepting a higher rate.

     

    US 30 Year Mortgage Rate Chart

     

     




  • Which green upgrades are worth it?‏

    The Bottom Line on Energy Efficient Upgrades

    Wondering which energy-saving upgrades are worth it? These simple steps tend to pay for themselves quickly:

    Installing weather stripping to an older home can reduce heating costs by 10 to 20 percent.

    Adding or upgrading insulation in an under- or un-insulated attic or basement can pay off quickly on energy bills.

    Upgrading from incandescent light bulbs requires spending more on replacement bulbs, but with the energy savings and longer lifespan, LED bulbs pay for themselves in about three years, and CFL bulbs can pay for themselves in as little as three months.

    Replacing inefficient showerheads with a water-saving modelwill save the average family 2,900 gallons per year and 370 kilowatt hours of electricity.

    Switching to low-flow toilets can reduce the water used for toilets by 20 to 60 percent (or 13,000 gallons per year) for an average savings of $110 per year.

    Using a programmable thermostat to automatically adjust the indoor air temperatures lower or higher to save on heating and cooling costs can pay for itself in less than a year.

    Upgrading to Energy Star appliances can reduce energy costs dramatically, especially if your current fridge or dishwasher was manufactured before 1990.

    Switching to a front load washing machine can save you $150 a year, using 35 to 50 percent less water and up to 50 percent less electricity than a conventional top-loading model.

    Installing a water heater blanket is an inexpensive way to save you 4 to 9 percent in water heating costs.

    Upgrading an older heating system to a high-efficiency furnace is a good investment if your system is older than 20 years.

  • FREE HOME BUYERS SEMINAR - March 22nd

    If you have done a Short Sale, had a foreclosure or any credit issues or a VA Buyer

    We are holding a FREE seminar to provide you with information about City programs that might be able to help you

    When: March 22, 2014 From: 1pm-4pm

    Where: 2055 Hamner Avenue, Norco, CA

    SEATING IS LIMITED PLEASE CALL TODAY  TO RESERVE A SEAT

    Call 951-479-4581  

     

  • REAL ESTATE SCHOOL! (Norco, California) MARCH 25TH!!!!

    NEXT CLASSES STARTING - MARCH 25TH 

    Classes will meet in the evening twice per week, on Tuesdays and Thursdays for six weeks from 6pm to 10pm. The curriculum will be from RE Trainers, one of the most respected real estate training courses in California! Fee will include a weekend cram session to assist you in passing your state exam and everything you need to be ready to take your state exams! 

    You will have a knowledgeable, experienced, Realtor guiding you through the course. And, because it's a real classroom, you will get your questions answered on the spot! What an outstanding opportunity! 

    And, be sure to ask about the incentive Century 21 GOLD offers for new licensees joining our office! Once you pass your test, if you hang your license with Century 21 GOLD, we will refund the cost of your class when you close your first transaction!

    Please send us an email or call the office for more information @ 951-479-4581. 

    Contact us to reserve your spot today! It will be the first step in launching YOUR NEW CAREER!
  • 4 Tips for Effectively Staging Your Home for Sale

    You've accepted the job offer, met with the REALTOR, and are starting to get bids from moving companies.

    It's official—you really are selling your home and moving away!

    As anybody who has ever sold a home knows quite well, it takes a lot more than sticking a For Sale sign in the front yard and hoping that potential buyers will love it as much as you did. In order to get the best price for your home and pique the interest (and bidding power) of buyers, you need to take some time to stage your home so that it looks and smells—yes, smells—terrific, inviting, and worth every dollar of your asking price.

    The following four tips can help home sellers effectively and attractively stage their home:

    1. Consider new window treatments

    Take a look at the various window coverings in your home and ask yourself if they look new, clean, and in excellent condition. If the answer to any of these questions is an honest "no," then consider getting some new window treatments. Home window treatments are available in a variety of textures and colors, and can make a huge difference in the quality of light that enters a room.

    2. Upgrade your tile with paint

    As HGTV notes, bathrooms have been known to help sell a home, but old and shabby tile will definitely steer potential buyers away faster than you can say "avocado and almond tile." Because replacing tile can be on the costly side, sellers can repaint them. After coating the tiles with a primer (be sure you purchase one that is marked "high adhesion"), paint the tiles with a ceramic epoxy coating. This relatively easy and low-cost job can really help update the look of the bathroom without having to spend a ton of money on new tile.

    3. Tone down an old fireplace

    Sure, that brick fireplace in the living or family room looks great during the holidays when it's festooned with stockings and the various trimmings of the season, but the rest of the year it really doesn't do much for the look of the room. To lessen its visual impact, try adding a thin coat of paint to the bricks. In order to avoid the mortar, you do have to paint one brick at a time, which can be time-consuming. But the pay-off of painting your fireplace is well worth your patience when you have a new neutral focal point in your room. One additional tip: to make sure the fireplace blends in as much as possible, choose a color that closely matches the surrounding walls.

    4. Simmer some apples

    Nothing will turn off home buyers faster than a musty, moldy, smoky, and/or any other type of undesirable smell. Even the cleanest home can often benefit from the addition of a nice aroma. Shortly before your open house, place some sliced apples and cinnamon sticks in a sauce pan on the stove, and let them simmer. The delicious smell will be sure to tempt potential buyers to spend even more time—and hopefully money—on your home. 

  • Curb Appeal is a Must!

    If your home has curb appeal, you'll be able to sell it quickly and for top dollar. That's why REALTORS® rate exterior home remodeling projects as the most valuable homeowners can make.

    Many homeowners are confused about which projects will provide the most return on investment as they prepare their homes for the market.

    The 2014 Remodeling Cost vs. Value Report, co-sponsored by the National Association of Realtors and Remodeling magazine, outlines the costs and resale returns on the most popular home improvement projects.

    Realtors know which home features are important to buyers in their area. Projects such as a new entry door, siding and window replacements can recoup homeowners more than 78 percent of costs upon resale.

    So why remodel anything if it's not going to give you back 100%? It's because the first impression a homebuyer gets is priceless. You want the buyer to choose your home, and quit looking for something better.

    If the buyer doesn't like what he sees, you won't get another chance to make any kind of impression.

    So which home improvement projects will net the most return?

    Eight of the top 10 most cost-effective projects are exterior projects.

    Replacing your front door with a steel entry will cost $1,100 on average, but you'll get nearly 97% of what you spent back in your pocket.

    The second most popular improvement is a wood deck addition, which will return over 87 percent of costs, similar to the return on fiber-cement siding. Vinyl siding returns a little over 78 percent of costs.

    A midrange garage door replacement returns nearly 84 percent while an upscale garage door replacement offers 82.9 percent of costs recouped. Wood window replacements recoup over 79% of costs and vinyl windows return nearly as much.

    Rounding the top 10 projects are an attic bedroom and minor kitchen remodel. These are important too, but you've got to pique buyers' interest first.

    The good news is that the return for all projects is higher in the last two years. To find out what the best return on home improvements is in your area, talk with your REALTOR. 

  • 9 Easy Ways to Go Green

    So, you've decided you want to go green. Time to ditch everything leather, along with all the meat in your diet, buy a bike, and turn your backyard into a composting garden. You ready?

    You could make all these drastic changes - go "cold turkey" eco - or you could make these nine small changes that make a big eco-friendly difference.

    1. Being eco - friendly will not only lower your carbon footprint and allow you to do your part for the environment, but it can also pay you back financially, said Better Homes and Gardens in their "10 no- or low - cost ways to lessen your impact on the planet, create a healthier house and garden, and even fatten your wallet."

    Start with your light bulbs. "Installing a compact fluorescent bulb (CFL) is the quickest, easiest way to save energy -- and money," said BHG. "Unlike incandescents, CFLs convert most of the energy they use into light rather than heat."

    That translates to less cost over the life of the bulb - a savings Better Homes and Gardens says can be $83 for one 75-watt incandescent bulb swapped out for a 25-watt CFL. That's big when you consider that Energy.gov says energy for lighting accounts for about 10% of the average family's electric bill.

    2. That gorgeous French door refrigerator you've had your eye on? Here's another great reason to buy it: It could actually save you money! Older appliances can be energy suckers. Check EnergyStar.gov and take their test to see how much energy you could be saving by upgrading your fridge.

    According to Energy Star, "a household with Energy Star products uses about 30% less energy than the average household -- an annual savings of about $570."

    3. Do a home audit. A home audit can give you a close-up look at your home's energy usage and identify areas that could be more efficient. But Fox Business estimates an audit would cost between $300 and $500. If you're just trying to shave a few bucks off your electric bill in the summertime, it might make sense to go another route, like a self-audit of the most likely suspects. (Energy.gov recommends starting by making "a list of obvious air leaks (drafts)," because the "potential energy savings from reducing drafts in a home may range from 5% to 30% per year.")

    But if you're about to spend $15,000 on new windows, a few hundred bucks of before-hand checks won't hurt.

    4. Talk about simple. Improving your eco-friendliness and removing toxic substances from your house is as easy as buying a spray bottle and a bottle of vinegar. If you really want to get crazy, get a couple of lemons and some olive oil, too.

    "As many as a third of Americans have an adverse reaction to common household chemicals. Safer products can save you money, too," said Martha Stewart. "While furniture polish will set you back about $4, cleaning with 1/4 cup of distilled white vinegar and a few drops of olive oil costs mere cents.

    5. Switch to showers. A typical bath takes 30 to 70 gallons of water, while the average eight-minute shower uses only 17 gallons, said Stewart. If you just can't bear to can't give up your weekly soak, installing low-flow shower heads and toilets will help offset the greater water usage.

    6. Recycle your water. It's far easier (and way less disgusting) than it sounds. "For many areas of the United States, rainwater harvesting systems could probably provide at least 50% of our water needs, saving the huge amounts of energy required to process the water and transport it to the home," said Live Green. All you need is a 50-80 gallon rain barrels that you can connect to your downspout, and rainwater collected can be used for gardening.

    7. Recycle…your clothes. We all know about recycling paper, plastic, and glass. But what about clothes? Donating your unused clothes has an impact on the environment, and on the individuals who receive your items."

    "By some estimates, for every item of clothing donated, 27 pounds of carbon emissions are reduced based on the fact that you don't have another item being produced while one is headed to the landfill," said Real Simple. You can donate to a local charity or list your items on Freecycle.org.

    8. Hold on to that holey pair of sweats or the t-shirt you never got rid of from your college ex and turn it into a rag to clean with. "13 billion pounds of paper towels are used in the U.S. every year. If all Americans used one less paper towel a day, 571,230,000 pounds of paper would be spared over the course of the year," said Earth 911.

    9. Go Meatless on Mondays, says RealSimple.com. Think you can handle a day a week living like a vegetarian? "Raising livestock produces a large amount of greenhouse gases, so cutting back, even one night per week, makes a big difference.

    How big a difference? "Adding one meat-free meal per week (for a family of four) has the same impact as driving a hybrid car," they said. 

  • Cops & Cars Motorcycle Car and Show

    Title

    Cops & Cars Motorcycle Car and Show

    Location

    Wicks Brewing Co.

    Start Date/Time

    2/1/2014 11:00 AM

    End Date/Time

    2/1/2014 4:00 PM

    Type of Event

    Special Events

    Contact

    Description

    Fundraiser for fallen and injured riverside police officers. 
     
    Live band, drinks, BBQ, and D.J.
     
    $20 per car and $10 per motorcycle.  100% of proceeds and donations from the show go to the Riverside Police Officers Association
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