West Hills, CA Real Estate News

By Esperanza Butler® 818 926 5425, Homes For Sale in West Hills, Ca (818) 926-5425
(Century 21 Peak )
                                                                             9-1-1:     Ambulance/Fire/Police   800-222-1222:  Ca Poison Control System  800-222-6366:  To report abandoned cars.  800-252-4613:  To report abandoned shopping carts. 800-288-7664:  To report odors, dust, smoke, & smog from cars, trucks & buses 800-988-6942:  Hazard Waste Hotline: To dispose of oil, paints, household chemicals.  800-524-5323:  Lead Hotline: To find out how to get rid of dangerous lead. 800-773-2489:  Sanitation Hotline: To get rid of mattresses, appliances, metal items   dead animals and bulky items.     818-902-4470:  Environmental Health Department: To report unhealthy conditions such as rats, rodents, or bugs & to get FREE rodent poison   800-996-2489: Bureau of Street Services: To report ...
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By Esperanza Butler® 818 926 5425, Homes For Sale in West Hills, Ca (818) 926-5425
(Century 21 Peak )
      The Seller Can Generally Be Expected to Pay For: ·       Owner’s title insurance policy premium ·       Escrow fee ·       Real estate commission ·       Document preparation fee for deed ·       Documentary transfer tax (typically by contract) ·       Documentary transfer tax (typically 1.10 per $1,000.00 of sales price) ·       City transfer or conveyance tax (defined by contract) ·       Any loan fees required by buyer’s lender )FHV,VA) ·       Payoff all loans in seller’s name (or existing loan balance if being assumed by buyer) ·       Interest accrued to lender being paid off, statement fees reconveyance fees and   prepayment penalties ·       Termite work (defined by contract) ·       Home warranty (defined by contract) ·       Any judgments, tax liens, etc against the sell...
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By Esperanza Butler® 818 926 5425, Homes For Sale in West Hills, Ca (818) 926-5425
(Century 21 Peak )
There are a lot of alarming statistics out there about foreclosures. But when you understand what a foreclosure is and how it works, it takes some of the fear out of the unknown.   To break it down to its bare bones, a mortgage foreclosure happens when a lender exercises its lien against a borrower's home in order to sell the house to pay off the mortgage loan. This, of course, only happens after the borrower has failed to make mortgage payments for an extended period of time, has ignored notices that the payments are behind, hasn't bothered to call the lender to see what can be worked out. So how did we get from popping the champagne cork on closing day to having our belongings set out on the lawn? It didn't happen overnight:   Step 1 - What is a Notice of default? and when is it recor...
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By Esperanza Butler® 818 926 5425, Homes For Sale in West Hills, Ca (818) 926-5425
(Century 21 Peak )
The Spring is a busy season for me as I help people to get ready to buy or sell a home, but it’s also a great time for new book releases.     I’m often on the lookout for new titles, especially those which relate to decision making,  planning for the future, and self-improvement.    I find that my clients tend to enjoy these as well. Just wanted to share three titles I thought you might also find interesting:     1. Sidetracked: Why Our Decisions Get Derailed & How We Can Stick to the Plan by Francesca Gino (February 2013)   “Sidetracked will help you identify and avoid these influences so the decisions you make do stick—and you finally reach your intended goals.”   2. Decisive: How to Make Better Choices in Life & Work by Chip Heath and Dan Heath (March 2013)   “In Decisive, the Heath...
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By Esperanza Butler® 818 926 5425, Homes For Sale in West Hills, Ca (818) 926-5425
(Century 21 Peak )
  Two days before the official start of spring Daylight Savings Time will begin on Sunday, March 10th  at 2 a.m. as clocks ‘spring’ forward an hour. Remember to give yourself some extra time to adjust to the time change!!     Also you can Start Saving money on your Energy bill when you; Wash your clothes in cold water. Much of the energy your washer uses is due to heating the water. Washing in cold can save you as much as 30%. Put your computer on “standby” mode. This will use about 80% less energy. Use your microwave. Heating food in the microwave uses 80% less energy that heating it in the oven.. Set your water heater to 120 degrees. Adjust your thermostat at night or while you are away.     For every degree you lower it, you’ll save about 3%                     My Website For Seller...
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By Esperanza Butler® 818 926 5425, Homes For Sale in West Hills, Ca (818) 926-5425
(Century 21 Peak )
West Hills Real Estate-Homes for Sale- Home upgrade guide   I’m helping clients a lot recently with the decision on what to upgrade in their home, and thought you might also appreciate these three guidelines I use to advise them:   Stumped as to which home upgrades make sense? Interested in renovations for value, but you’re unsure what to tackle? I have a few simple guidelines I use to help clients narrow their scope and focus on the right choices.   Question #1: How long will you live in your house?   If you’re hunkering down for the next decade or two, don’t hesitate to do what you would most appreciate in your home. This is especially true of cosmetic changes, when appealing to potential buyers is a non-issue. After a decade or two, your upgrades might need upgrades, so go with proje...
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By Esperanza Butler® 818 926 5425, Homes For Sale in West Hills, Ca (818) 926-5425
(Century 21 Peak )
West Hills Ca - First Time Home Buyers - Great habit forming tools!   Two Tools to Help You Foster Good Financial Habits for Home Ownership I often field questions from people who are thinking about buying their first home. Many are very early in the process, some in college, some working their first jobs. Many want to know what they need to do now to one day be able to have a place of their own.   Part of being ready for home ownership means having the discipline to make personal and financial decisions which put you in a good position when the time comes. A lot of this means sound habits, such as saving cash for a down payment, reducing debt, and maintaining good credit. Many people have yet to form these habits.   There are strategies to help you stick to your habits, such as telling...
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By Esperanza Butler® 818 926 5425, Homes For Sale in West Hills, Ca (818) 926-5425
(Century 21 Peak )
West Hills Ca - First Time Home Buyers - Buying from builder?    If you know anyone who is buying a home from a builder soon, they might appreciate this short article on how to protect their interests:     Q: Do I need to hire a real estate agent to represent me when I buy a new home from a builder?   A: Legally, no. But if you don’t, you might be missing out on some tangible benefits that impact your wallet and how much you get for your money.   There are many reasons why an agent is a sound investment during the purchase process with a builder. While some of them can be quite complex (and go beyond the scope of this blog post), here are a few highlights:   Market Value Compared to Purchase Price: How much money are you going to be able to come out of pocket for your down payment? If y...
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By Esperanza Butler® 818 926 5425, Homes For Sale in West Hills, Ca (818) 926-5425
(Century 21 Peak )
West Hills Real Estate-Homes for Sale-Handy reminder system    Have you ever tried Boomerang? I thought you might find it useful for personal reminders and follow-ups. I wrote a little bit about how I use it with clients here: Buying or selling a home can be a little overwhelming once you put together your own “to do” list of task to get ready for the process. From curb appeal to loan approval, both buyers and sellers can get the feeling that managing their regular lives on top of their real estate project can be overwhelming.   While I make every effort to help my clients experience a stress-free real estate transaction (including tracking milestone dates every step of the way!), there are those who often benefit from a little help keeping themselves organized.   One handy tool I’ve di...
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By Esperanza Butler® 818 926 5425, Homes For Sale in West Hills, Ca (818) 926-5425
(Century 21 Peak )
West Hills Real Estate/How to protect your WiFi connection in public     I am a West Hills Resident. I like to go to Starbucks our neighborhood coffee shop and spend some time with friends and have nice conversation catching up on our lives… I usually bring my lap top with me knowing that they have free WiFi     Free WiFi is great!!! Almost every coffee shop has it. But have you ever stopped to think: Is this WiFi network safe? Who might be trying to hack my computer? Can people see private information such as email, client information, and my passwords?   The short answer: Yes, it's possible. But now you can protect yourself and your information with a free download called "Hot Spot Shield."   Named by PC Magazine as one of its "Best Free Software Downloads," Hot Spot Shield will:   - ...
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By Esperanza Butler® 818 926 5425, Homes For Sale in West Hills, Ca (818) 926-5425
(Century 21 Peak )
West Hills Real Estate/Understanding recent Real Estate stats Wondering what the newest figures about real estate mean? Some thoughts about why you might want to talk to a local West Hills agent before you go to national economists:   “Advice to children crossing the street: damn the lights. Watch the cars. The lights ain't never killed nobody.”   Jackie "Moms" Mabley (born Loretta Mary Aiken), American standup comedian   "But I had the light," is probably one of the most common phrases spoken after a car accident. Green means go for me, red means stop for them. Before you know it, you're on the phone with your insurance company.   Who doesn't remember an adult reminding them to "look both ways before you cross the street"? It seems like common sense so basic we wouldn't even need to te...
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By Esperanza Butler® 818 926 5425, Homes For Sale in West Hills, Ca (818) 926-5425
(Century 21 Peak )
                                             First Time Home Buyers                      !!!!!TIRED OF RENTING!!!!!                          Now is the best time to OWN your Own home                     Property values here in West Hills are very stable                                                                                                                              1.    Would you like to enjoy the privacy of your own home ? 2.    Would you like affordable home payments? 3.    Would you like home equity rather than rent receipts? 4.    Your own garage 5.    Your own backyard 6.    And the most important thing, (To pay your own mortgage-not your Landlord’s mortgage) üLow prices üLow interest rates üFHA 3 ½  down payment      ü              If the answer is YES to the above que...
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By Esperanza Butler® 818 926 5425, Homes For Sale in West Hills, Ca (818) 926-5425
(Century 21 Peak )
  Is Your House Making You Sick? Improving Your Indoor Air Quality     As a very involved West Hills Realtor I commit to provide  information to the public because as we may know many people spend a large portion of time indoors - as much as 80-90% of their lives. We work, study, eat, drink and sleep in enclosed environments where air circulation may be restricted. For these reasons, some experts feel that more people suffer from the effects of indoor air pollution than outdoor pollution.   Nation Wide and  here in West Hills as well we are aware that there are many sources of indoor air pollution in any home. These include combustion sources such as oil, gas, kerosene, coal, wood, and tobacco products; building materials and furnishings as diverse as deteriorated, asbestos-containing i...
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By Esperanza Butler® 818 926 5425, Homes For Sale in West Hills, Ca (818) 926-5425
(Century 21 Peak )
West Hills Real Estate/ Identifying Air Quality Problems                                                                         Identifying Air Quality Problems   Some health effects can be useful indicators of an indoor air quality problem, especially if they appear after a person moves to a new residence, remodels or refurnishes a home, or treats a home with pesticides. Another way to judge whether your home has or could develop indoor air problems is to identify potential sources of indoor air pollution. Although the presence of such sources does not necessarily mean that you have an indoor air quality problem, being aware of the potential sources is an important step toward assessing the air quality in your home. Finally, look for signs of problems with the ventilation in your hom...
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By Esperanza Butler® 818 926 5425, Homes For Sale in West Hills, Ca (818) 926-5425
(Century 21 Peak )
                                           Home Modification for the Elderly   Here in West Hills we have several contractors that make home modification and repairs that includes adaptations to homes for elders that can make it easier and safer to carry out activities such as bathing, cooking and climbing stairs, as well as alterations to the physical structure of the home to improve its overall safety and condition.   Why Is Home Modification And Repair Important?   Home modification and repair can help prevent accidents such as falls. Research suggests that one-third to one-half of home accidents can be prevented by modification and repair.   Home modification and repair can allow elders to remain in their West Hills homes. Older people tend to live in older homes that often need rep...
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By Esperanza Butler® 818 926 5425, Homes For Sale in West Hills, Ca (818) 926-5425
(Century 21 Peak )
West Hills Real Estate-Let's Have a Garage Sale   Let’s Have a Garage Sale! Free 'Yard Sale' Website Before the Sale Find out if your West Hills area requires a permit or has any restrictions regarding garage sales. When choosing items to sell, a good rule to follow is sell anything you have not used for a while, or that you don't foresee ever using again. Pick your sale dates. The most popular days are Thursday through Saturday on a non-holiday weekend. Place a short ad in your local newspaper. This will attract people who wouldn't normally see your street signs. Invite a neighbor or friend to join in your West Hills sale, the more stuff you have to sell, the better! Plus, it's cheaper to split the cost of the newspaper ad with someone. Price everything! Prices should generally be 10-5...
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By Esperanza Butler® 818 926 5425, Homes For Sale in West Hills, Ca (818) 926-5425
(Century 21 Peak )
  Increasing the Value of Your West Hills Home                   Like most Americans, your West Hills home is probably your single largest investment. While the value of your home is largely determined by such things as location, size, condition and amenities, there are still steps you can take to maximize its worth.  First, you need to evaluate your plans carefully if you're improving your West Hills home to put it on the market. Cutting corners could hurt rather than help your prospects. You don't want to go overboard either. Your home's value should be no more than 20% above the average. That means a $10,000 kitchen improvement project might be a better idea than a $10,000 hot tub, especially if no other homes in your area have hot tubs.  In other words, it's best to keep changes sim...
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By Esperanza Butler® 818 926 5425, Homes For Sale in West Hills, Ca (818) 926-5425
(Century 21 Peak )
It’s not surprising that people receive emails like the one below.   The surprise is when people believe that they a legitimate and get into situations where they loose their hard earned money just because someone took advantage of their desperation in these hard times. If it sounds too good to be true it usually is. Please be aware of these scams so that you don’t become a victim of one. One of the most common ones that I receive is a desperate plea to help the widow of a king or Monark that just died. They need help to move millions of dollars from banks that are over sees  to banks in the United States. Of course the entire email is a come on to try to steal your money. Just be aware!!!   Greetings               (THIS IS THE SCAM) POSITION: A fast-growing online mail management busi...
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By Esperanza Butler® 818 926 5425, Homes For Sale in West Hills, Ca (818) 926-5425
(Century 21 Peak )
Parkwood Barbershop, Best Haircut in West Hills Where: 23711 Vanowen St. & Platt West Hills, Ca. 91307Hours: M-Sat  9:00am-7:00pm  (7 Barbers )What: Men's Haircuts  Contact: RobertPhone: 818-703-7927     Specializing in Men's Haircuts on West Hills Robert at Parkwood Barbers has been cutting hair in West Hills since 1967. The mostly male barber staff knows how to cut a man's hair. I take my Dad there and my husband goes there also so I should know. Seriously, unless you're still wearing a men's perm, the staff at Parkwood will be able to cut your hair with no problem. Their specialty is making your hair look good...and we all know you can't have a good haircut without the fade. My guy Robert is the best. I can't speak for any of the other barbers but I know if you  are in need of a qual...
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By Esperanza Butler® 818 926 5425, Homes For Sale in West Hills, Ca (818) 926-5425
(Century 21 Peak )
I often hear from my West Hills clients who are worried about their parents (or themselves) when it comes to living in their home through their retirement years.  There are lots of reasons why a dream home can become a retirement nightmare as we age.  From safety issues to neighborhood concerns, there are numerous factors which impact whether or not a home is ideal as we get older.  Consider:   1. Falling / slipping hazards.  Are bathrooms designed with mobility challenges in mind?  Are the surfaces we once loved (hardwood, tile, concrete) now slipping hazards?   2. Accessibility.  Is a second story practical?  Will stairs become a painful hassle in years ahead?   3. Entrapment.  Could locks in the house be inadvertently engaged, trapping a resident in a back bedroom or bathroom without...
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