Tiffany Pesonen - RE/MAX Regal | San Ardo, CA Real Estate

In the internet age, we’ve all seen dream homes on Google, Pinterest, or Instagram that seem to encompass everything we’ve ever wanted in a home.

Sometimes, obsessing over dream homes can be detrimental to us--making us feel bad about our own living situation or discouraged about ever being able to afford the home we truly want.

However, dream homes can serve a purpose when it comes to identifying what we really want out of a home.

In today’s post, we’re going to use the idea of a dream home “wish list” to help you narrow down what really matters to you and your family in your next home.

Step 1: Start by making a list of your dream homes

This is the easy part. If you’re like me, you probably have a Pinterest board or bookmark folder just for home inspiration.

Put all of the dream homes on your list. The order doesn’t matter, and you’ll find out why below.

Step 2: For each home, write down one or two of your favorite things

Is it the square footage? The location that’s perfect for your commute or for trips to your favorite places? Or, is it just the color scheme of the kitchen?

No aspect is too small for this list--it all depends on what you like, not what the price tag is.

Step 3: Go over your list and try to put the items in order of how much they matter to you.

An example would be:

  1. A cheerful, bright colored kitchen

  2. A cozy office to wok quietly in

  3. A two-car garage

  4. A playroom for the kids

  5. A location that’s close to the water

Looking over these five things, there are only two items that can’t be found in most houses, a two-car garage and a location that’s near the water. And, this house-hunter didn’t even list those items as the most important.

So, what can we learn from this exercise? Oftentimes, the things we’re looking for the most in a home can be things that we can do later, like interior decorating or designating spare rooms to serve as an office or playroom.

Step 4: Use your top 3 when house hunting

Now that you have the top three things that you’d find in your dream home, take this list with you on your house hunt. Try to seek out a home that has a combination of these items and one that will be the most practical for your family.

You might find that these conveniences, such as being closer to your work for a shorter commute, will pay off in the long run, as they’ll let you spend more time with our family and make each day a little bit easier.

Golfers rejoice! California offers a broad range of top-notch golf courses, many of which are located just minutes from luxury residences.

In fact, luxury homebuyers should have no trouble finding first-rate houses available near some of the top Golden State golf courses, such as:

1. Cypress Point

Opened in 1928, Cypress Point offers a timeless golf course, one that you won't soon forget.

Cypress Point is a private golf course that frequently ranks among the world's best. It blends unmatched natural beauty with 18 challenging holes, ensuring golfers of all skill and experience levels can enjoy a fun, exciting experience.

Plus, Cypress Point is located in Pebble Beach on the awe-inspiring Monterey Peninsula. And if you buy a luxury house in the Monterey area, you're guaranteed to live close to one of California's top golf courses.

2. Pebble Beach

Considered by many golfers to be the greatest golf course in America, Pebble Beach is a legendary golf course that boasts a look and feel all its own.

Pebble Beach was established in 1919 and hugs the rugged California coastline. As such, Pebble Beach boasts open vistas, cliff-side fairways, sloping greens and other captivating landmarks that make the course a golfer's dream come true.

Furthermore, Pebble Beach brings golf history to life. It has hosted a wide assortment of professional golf tournaments and continues to be a top choice for both professional and amateur golfers.

Let's not forget about the luxury homes located near Pebble Beach, either. If you take a look at the luxury residences close to Pebble Beach, you're sure to find many great houses that will match or surpass your expectations.

3. Los Angeles Country Club

Since 1897, Los Angeles Country Club has served as a premier choice for Los Angeles golfers young and old, and perhaps it is easy to understand why.

Los Angeles Country Club is home to the charming North Course, which features a one-of-a-kind design that any golfer is sure to appreciate.

Of course, no discussion of Los Angeles Country Club would be complete without mentioning the Hollywood elite who use the North Course. The country club boasts many notable members who often tee off at North Course.

As a Los Angeles luxury homeowner, you can make a quick trip to Los Angeles Country Club at your convenience. By doing so, you can enjoy a round of golf and might even meet some of your favorite celebrities as well.

Buying a luxury home near any of the aforementioned Golden State golf courses may be easier than you think, especially if you work with a real estate agent.

With a real estate agent at your side, you can learn about various California luxury houses as soon as they become available. Then, you can explore luxury residences near some of California's top golf courses and find a house that you can enjoy for years to come.

Kick off your California luxury homebuying journey today, and you can discover a superior residence near one of the Golden State's top golf courses.

If you've been pre-approved for a mortgage, you can enter the housing market with a budget in hand. In fact, this mortgage will enable you to spend up to a certain amount on a house. But in many instances, it pays to buy less house than what you can actually afford.

Ultimately, there are many reasons to consider purchasing a house below your means, such as:

1. You might not have to worry about significant home maintenance.

A small house likely means less home maintenance than would be required in a large house. Therefore, you may be able to spend less time worrying about keeping your residence looking great if you acquire less home that what you can afford.

Of course, let's not forget about the money that you might save by purchasing an affordable residence. If you buy an inexpensive home, you may be able to use the money that you save to hire professional home cleaners, landscapers and others to help you enhance your residence's appearance.

2. You'll be better prepared than ever before for unexpected expenses.

There is no telling when a family emergency, natural disaster or other dangerous situations may arise. Fortunately, if you spend less on a house now, you may be better equipped than ever before to handle the expenses commonly associated with these unforeseen events.

Purchasing a cheap house may prove to be valuable if you encounter costly, time-intensive home repairs down the line too.

For example, your home's roof won't last forever, and you likely will need to fix or replace it at some point. But if you purchase a budget-friendly home, you may be able to save extra money that you can use to cover the costs associated with various home repairs.

3. You'll have more money that you can use to personalize your house.

The money that you save on a house today may be used to upgrade your home both now and in the future.

For instance, if you want to install a deluxe swimming pool or fire pit in your backyard, spending less on a house now may provide you with the financial resources that you need to fund these projects. And if you complete a broad range of home renovations, you may be able to increase your house's value as well.

Deciding how much to spend on a house can be a tough decision for any homebuyer, at any time. If you collaborate with a real estate agent, you can explore a vast array of residences that fall within your price range.

A real estate agent will learn about your homebuying goals and tailor your home search accordingly. He or she also will set up home showings, keep you informed about new residences that become available and ensure that you can discover a home that matches or exceeds your expectations.

Consider your budget closely as you prepare to kick off a home search. By doing so, you should have no trouble finding a terrific house at an affordable price.

Whether you plan on selling your home in the next few months or the next few years, it’s always a good idea to start thinking about the things that can increase or decrease the value of your home.

There are some factors that are mostly out of your control. Things like climate and the state of the housing market aren’t something you can do much about. However, there are several ways you can gain an edge once you put your house on the market.

In today’s article, we’re going to talk about some of the main things that contribute to the value of a property, and a few lesser known ideas to help increase your home value.

The most important appraisal factors

Before you start thinking about adding bonus features to your home you should make sure the basics are covered. To maximize appraisal value, your home should be:

  • Structurally sound. The foundation, roof, plumbing, and other vital items need to be in top shape.

  • Efficient. Houses that haven’t been updated with energy efficient windows, insulation, and HVAC systems are going to drag down the value of the home. Prospective buyers want to know they won’t be spending extra each month of the utilities.

  • Well-maintained. Inside and out, having a clean appearance shows potential buyers that you’ve taken care of the home. This includes driveways, lawns, and fences on the outside, and paint and carpets on the inside.

  • Size, location, and market. You won’t be able to influence these, and many times putting additions on a home can actually lower its estimated value, so it’s best to focus on other areas where you can make a difference.

How to increase your home value

Depending on how much time you have left before you want to sell, there are a number of things you can do to improve your home. Some home improvement projects are costly and time-consuming, where others can be simple and cost-effective. Here are some ideas for increasing the value of your home.

  • Revitalize the neighborhood. If you’re going to be living in your home for years to come, it can be worthwhile to integrate yourself into the community. Starting community gardens or converting lots into fields and playgrounds are long-term projects that will add culture and amenities to your neighborhood. Not only is this good for the town, but it could also increase the value of your home.

  • Small upgrades pay off. If you plan on moving within the coming months, you still have time to increase the value of your home. By replacing old faucets, handles, and doorknobs you can make older items appear new again. Similarly, minor electric upgrade, like replacing old light switches or outlets, combined with a fresh coat of paint can make a room look like new.

  • Simple landscaping. You don’t need to start carving topiary animals into your shrubs to increase your curb appeal. On the contrary, having a yard that is simple and well-maintained will appear cleaner and easier to take care of for prospective buyers.

  • Consult an expert. If you’ve lived in your house for a while, it might be difficult for you to see which things might decrease the home’s value. Contacting an agent will help you gain an outside perspective on your house so that you can plan home improvement projects accordingly.

One of the advantages of living in California is the availability of many outdoor activities, countless places to explore, and a culture which encourages exercise and healthy eating.

Whether you enjoy hiking, rollerblading, or running on the beach, many communities offer easy access to public parks, hiking trails, the ocean, and bicycle paths.

The fact that the Pacific Ocean borders the entire western edge of the state means that millions of residents live minutes away from places to surf, walk on the beach, or go kayaking, The hilly and sometimes mountainous terrain also offers opportunities for mountain biking, hiking, and other physically demanding activities.

Among the surveys and reports that document California's healthy lifestyle is the Gallup-Sharecare State of American Well-Being series. In its community rankings for healthy eating, ten California cities were listed among the top-25 in the country. The most notable ones include Santa Cruz–Watsonville (#3), Salinas (#4), Santa Rosa (#6), and San Luis Obispo–Paso Robles (#8). The other California communities ranking high in the healthy eating survey are Santa Maria–Santa Barbara (#17), San Diego–Carlsbad (#18), San Francisco–Oakland–Hayward (#19), San Jose–Sunnyvale–Santa Clara (#20), Vallejo–Fairfield (#23), and Oxnard–Thousand Oaks–Ventura (#24).

Last year, the organization also issued a report on a related topic: communities that have the most "active living environments." San Francisco–Oakland–Hayward ranked #2 on the list (of 48). Other California communities in the top 20 were Sacramento—Roseville—Arden–Arcade (#15), Los Angeles–Long Beach–Anaheim (#16), San Jose–Sunnyvale–Santa Clara(#19), and San Diego–Carlsbad (#20).

As far as specifics, the report noted that there's been a measurable improvement in the health of Beach Cities residents. In the communities of Hermosa Beach, Manhattan Beach, and Redondo Beach, the number of residents who are overweight or obese has declined by 15% since 2010. Smoking dropped by 17%, bringing the percentage of smokers in the Beach Cities down to 8.9%. Part of that improvement may have been due to the implementation of local policies aimed at creating more smoke-free outdoor environments, multi-unit housing smoking bans, and other programs. During that same timeframe, the Beach Cities secured over $8 million in transportation funding for improving walkability, bicycling safety, and livability projects.

California communities also fared well in rankings on In its 2017 list of The Healthiest Cities in America, the following communities earned an A+ for health and fitness: San Francisco (#2), Berkeley (#4), Sunnyvale (#5), Oakland (#6), San Jose (#8), Santa Clara (#9), Hayward (#11), Costa Mesa (#14), Santa Rosa (#15), and Irvine (#16). The rankings were based on government data on smoking, alcohol abuse, and obesity, as well as access to healthcare, mental health services, and local fitness centers. Other California cities ranking among the top 25 in the country were Santa Ana (#17), Orange (#18), Pasadena (#19), Torrance (#20), Glendale (#22), San Diego (#23), Anaheim (#24), and Los Angeles (#25).