What is a Spanish Style Home?

A Spanish style home is perhaps one of the most identifiable and remarkable piece of architecture. Such houses have many easily identifiable characteristics that make them stand out. These characteristics have a deep-rooted history and share remarkable cultural and traditional values.

Not only are Spanish style homes aesthetically pleasing, they’re also built with a purpose. Most Spanish style homes in North America can be found in California, Florida, and Texas. Zumbly offers home scores for all kinds of homes, including Spanish style houses. Read more about this kind of architecture to see if it’s right for you.

Related: Beautiful Houses: 10 Best Styles

History of Spanish Style Houses

The introduction of Spanish style houses can be dated back to the period of the 1600s to 1800s. This is when Spaniards began to settle in temperate parts of the USA like California and Florida. They constructed houses similar to what they were used to, in styles that they were used to and materials that they were familiar with. This style of architecture was popularized in the 1900s with the Colonial Revival Movement. The influence of the architecture persists to this day and has ingrained itself into the Californian casual style.

The details in these houses, right from the architecture to design, is suitable for the climates in the states they’re popular in and that’s where they function the best.

There’s a reason why this style is popular to this day and the popularity doesn’t seem to be dying down. Here are some characteristics that have popularized Spanish style homes and have given them the unique look that everyone seems to love, admire and replicate.

Characteristics of Spanish Style Houses

Tile Roof

Not only does the red-tile roof serve as a distinguishing factor, but it also serves a purpose. The ‘S’ shaped tiles, which are usually red or maroon in color are arranged in a downward slope. These clay tiles help with keeping the house cool and also measure up against harsh climates. The clay-tiles are durable and last a lifetime while requiring only periodic maintenance.

Many houses also have flat roofs with the same red clay tiles, which require extra attention to drainage.

Arches and Arcades

Arches are an indisputable element of a Spanish style house. Many homes also have an arcade, which is a series of arches held together with columns. The arches are often seen in doorways or passages, while the arcades are often used for sheltered patios or courtyard boundaries.

White Stucco Exterior

White stucco exteriors are a mix of cement, water and sand or lime that are often applied by nad which gives a house an old-world charm. The earthy or white tone is what distinguishes Spanish style homes and gives them a distinct look. White is also said to be a cooler color that keeps the temperature under control as it reflects heat rather than absorb it. The thick walls also absorb the heat and store it in them and slowly release them all over the house during nighttime.

Painted tiles

Patterned and painted tiles decorated with ornate patterns can be found in the interiors of Spanish style homes. Usually, in bright colors, the tiles either have a glossy or matte finish. Walls and floors are often covered with patterned tiles and can also be found in staircases and kitchens.

Ironwork

Ornamental ironwork has a deep-rooted space in Spanish style homes. Wrought iron has made its mark as a unique characteristic that is almost exclusive to Spanish style homes. It often graces stair railings, gates, window grilles, lanterns and can be found in different corners of the house.

Ironwork is also prominent in the small windows of Spanish style homes which replace glass panes as a medium of sealing the windows.

Tower Chimnies

Another characteristic that gives Spanish style homes an old-world edge is tower chimnies. These functional chimnies give Spanish style homes a castle-like appearance and provide the perfect balance between form and function. Not only that, but they also give a sense of dominion to an otherwise one-storeyed architecture.

Guest Casitas

Casitas in Spanish translates to “little houses”. In a Spanish style home, these guest houses serve the purpose of a mother-in-law suite. They are either located in the front or back of the house and have a separate entrance.

Inner Courtyard

What used to be a space for open-cooking, the inner courtyard is now a space used for informal gatherings and events. Regardless, it is still an indisputable part of a Spanish style house and often incorporates shaded areas, which are perfect for summers and serve as a space for setting up fireplaces and barbeques for moderate winters.

Related: Renting versus Buying: The Ultimate Guide

One-Story Houses

Spanish style homes are attributed to be the predecessor of modern ranch style homes. These houses are often one story. While modern Spanish style homes do have multiple floors, one-story houses remain to be the popular choice. The houses with multiple floors are often part of the Spanish Colonial Revival movement.

Use of Indigenous Components

Spanish style homes are known for their use of indigenous components. Right from the clay tile for roofs to the material used for the construction of the house. This varies from location to location. Spanish style homes in the Southwest are made of adobe, while those in Florida often use coquina rock.

The reason why these are used is because of their resistance to heat and harsh temperate climates. The same adobe walls in wetter and colder climates tend to shrink and swell while in warm climates are incredibly long-lasting.

Conclusion

It’s no surprise that the attention to detail when it comes to Spanish style homes is immaculate. There’s no stone left unturned when it comes to bringing together form and functionality along with cultural elements. The houses are built for the environment they’re in and fit perfectly.

In today’s times, inclusion of these characteristics is more of a choice and is done keeping both the aesthetic and functionality in mind. Check out Spanish style homes and more at Zumbly.

Related: Buying a House Checklist

Evolution of Home Tech

Interested in buying a home? Homeownership and house hunting have both changed drastically over the past decade, no thanks to transformative changes in technology. This article will talk you through how technology has changed the definition of what a home looks like over the years.

From finding a house to buy to living in one, there’s tons of technology in and around the housing industry. This wasn’t always the case.

Smart homes have been around longer than we think, but they’ve evolved greatly. What was smart in the 1900s is just a basic necessity in 2019. This really goes to show how revolutionary home technology is, and how it has impacted homeownership in the past decade and continues to do so.

From the visible to the invisible, home technology has evolved in ways nobody could have predicted.

The Dawn Of Home Technology

The beginning of home technology can be traced back to the invention of home appliances way back in the 1900s. Chores like cleaning were taken over by the first vacuum cleaner in 1901. The next two decades saw appliances like refrigerators, washing machines, irons, toasters, etc being invented.

More and more Americans started adopting home technology and saw a massive improvement in their standard of living. The days of storing food in ice-boxes and worrying about meat going bad were far behind. The introduction of home appliances gave way to a smarter way of living for most people.

The First Smart Device

When someone says “smart device,” one’s mind usually goes to modern tech. However, the first smart device was introduced way back in the 60s. Echo IV was invented in 1966 to act as a sort of home computer. It was designed to operate kitchen appliances and regulate temperature. This 800-pound computer did not make it to the market (for obvious reasons).

While this smart device did fail, it made way for conversations and possibilities that people didn’t couldn’t have imagined at the time.

The First Smart Homes

The early 2000s saw the rise of the first smart homes. The technology was becoming cheaper, so more and more Americans were able to afford revolutionary pieces of technology for their homes. Home technology was driven by safety and convenience. More improved variations of existing technology and new technology like the home security camera, computers, etc were introduced.

Technologies for domestic use, networking and various other gadgets started showing up on shelves. These were being consumed all over the USA at a large scale, which led to the need to stay connected. The rise of the internet made way for a completely different landscape for home technology owners and manufacturers.

One example of this is Dial-Up internet being replaced by wifi. From being able to either use the internet or talk on the phone to having multiple devices connect over a single network source, home technology has evolved to meet changing consumers’ demands.

Related: What to Know About Buying a House with Leased Solar Panels

Today’s Smart Homes

The shift in buyers’ perspective is the main reason behind the evolution of today’s smart homes.

Accessibility, security, environment-friendly homes are the major focuses of today’s buyers. Modern smart homes have given remote access to everything from the thermostat to television. The introduction of voice-powered virtual assistants has resulted in a new wave of smart homes.

Practically all appliances in today’s homes can be connected to one another.

The convenience of having appliances connected to a mobile device and the ability to have remote access has made life simpler for many. Gone are the days of worrying if someone forgot to turn off the lights before leaving – all one has to do is open the app on their phone and check. That’s it.

Technology has found its way into other aspects of a homeowner’s life as well.

Remote video surveillance? Check. Feeding a dog while away? Check. A leak in the pipes? Check. Smart technology has enabled users to be in complete control of what’s happening in their house.

This rise in technology is also responsible for making life easy for people with disabilities or other health problems. Homes are now more accessible to those with special needs and the conversation around elderly care has also shifted to adapting to a “smart” lifestyle that ensures safety and convenience for all.

Emergency services are a mere voice command away and so are friends and families.

Related: Buying a House Checklist

The Way Ahead

Home technology also gives prospective home buyers advanced resources to find a home to their liking. For instance, Zumbly provides home scores in real-time, helping everyone from first-time buyers to experienced investors find a property with the right value for them. These home buying technologies are changing the game of real estate, making house hunting tools more accessible to everyone.

The future of home technology is simple, proactive and intuitive. The current scenario is dependant on commands made by the homeowner; futuristic technology will be based on the judgment of the machine.

The rise of machine learning and artificial intelligence has enabled technology to interpret, analyze and now guess the actions of humans. Machines are likely to get smarter by adapting to the changing needs of humans. This will result in a ‘humanization’ of machines, allowing them to relate more to human actions through collecting data.

What this means for the future of home technology is that all appliances and devices will be connected to one another, and will most likely have the ability to predict what a homeowner will require and suggest the same before being asked.

The age of the Jetsons is coming!

In Conclusion

Smart homes aren’t just a trend, but a way of living that has been rising since the 1900s. Right from the humble refrigeration to the modern voice assistant that turns on the lights, the definition of what a home looks like has dramatically evolved.

This has resulted in changed home-buying patterns and different selling points for buying a new home. The optionality of “smartness” in a home is going to be replaced by necessity, because of the ever-changing tech-dependence and ecosystem. What seems as a luxury now is going to be a pivotal part of any average home down the line.

The way forward is having the world at our fingertips, and access to unimaginable services and home technology within our reach.

Related: How Long Does It Take to Buy a House?

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Easy Guide to Leasing and Renting

A lease agreement is a legally binding document that most people, unfortunately, tend to underestimate. Typically, the landlord drafts the lease agreement, although some properties use a standard lease formulated by the area’s trade association for landlords.

Most people interchange the words leasing and renting, but the two terminologies have several major distinctions.

Here at Zumbly, we’re experts in helping you find a home to buy, rent, or lease that’s right for your taste and your price range. Let’s walk through some of the primary differences between a lease and a rental.

1. Maintenance responsibilities

When leasing, the lessor hands over the property to the lessee for an agreed-upon amount of time. During this time, the lessor expects the lessee to maintain the property and take care of all the responsibility the lessor typically would.

With renting, the tenant never takes up the maintenance responsibilities which remain the duty of the renter.

2. Timing

A lease involves a longer period of time, usually a year or more. On the other hand, renting often involves a shorter period. The tenant usually rents a space on a month-to-month basis.

3. Accounting standards

Renting is free of a standard renting agreement, unlike a lease. A lease has a set Accounting Standard 19.

4. Fluctuations in prices

While rent rates typically fluctuate with inflation and the landlord can change them at their discretion, leases do not fluctuate. The price that the landlord and the renter agree upon in the lease remains fixed until the lease expires and a new rate is agreed upon.

In fact, nothing can be changed in a lease agreement once it’s been signed.

5. Terminologies

In a renting relationship, the renter is the landlord and the rentee is the tenant. In a leasing agreement, the property owner is known as the lessor and the person taking the property or asset is known as the lessee.

6. Offer to purchase

Once the lease term is finished, the person leasing typically has the option to buy the asset or property outright. This is not an option with renting. The landlord does not offer their property to the tenant for purchase upon the end of the agreement.

What is in a lease?

A lease agreement features

1. A description of the property

The correct and comprehensive description of the property is necessary to give the lessee an accurate picture of the property. All these details make the property unique from others.

2. The agreed length of time

Leases will show the exact dates from the starting date to the last date of the lease. It’s very rare to have a lease that features a general time period like “one year” or “six months.” This is because leases, for legal purposes, can’t leave anything open to interpretation. Plus, having exact dates ensures there are no future disputes about when the lessee should vacate the property.

Related: Best Time of Year to Sell a House

3. Terms of leasing

Some leases come with renewal options or the option to purchase the property/asset. If any of these is the case, it should be clearly stated in the lease. Among other terms in the leasing contract is the lessor’s intention or right to inspect the property’s condition, especially when the lease is very long term. Such intentions must be agreed upon in the contract. As much as the lessee has a right to privacy, the lessor is also entitled to know the state of their investment.

4. Rules of escalation

Once a lease is signed, it’s virtually impossible to change it. This is why being clear about escalation protocol from the get go is crucial. For example, if one intends to buy the property at completion of the original lease they should make this clear. If they intend to escalate their operations for a commercial property or have a home office in a residential property, a new lease agreement needs to be drafted to incorporate such changes.

What is in a rent agreement?

A rental agreement features

1. Description of the rental

Create detailed and accurate descriptions of the property so that the tenant knows exactly what they’re renting. It is essential to include details about parking slots, storage areas, and amenities large and small. If the property owner has other units or sections on their property that are off-limits to the tenant, these stipulations must be present in the rental agreement.

2. Terms of agreement

Rental agreements have shorter periods of occupancy that can be interrupted by either the tenant or landlord. However, issues like termination of the contract need to follow certain procedure so that there are no aggrieved parties. For example, agreeing on a written notice from either party when terminating the contract is vital.

Like a lease, the rental agreement states the exact dates of starting the occupancy of the property to the last day and the vacating time frame.

3. The payment procedure

The rent amount should be written numerically and also spelled out for the tenant to read. The agreement should also stipulate how the rent is to be paid, on what exact dates, and how long the contract is meant to last.

Rental agreements should also be clear about the security deposit for the rental and how it is to be used. For example, does it cover the rent in case the tenant defaults, or repairs in the midst of the tenancy period caused by the tenant?

4. Repairs

It s crucial to outline the way repairs and maintenance will be carried out. This is to protect both the interests of the tenant and the landlord. Instead of going into rent-withholding haggling, having a previously worked out solution well laid out in the rental agreement gives you both a better chance of resolving issues amicably.

Related: How Does Rent to Own Work in the Year 2019?

Consequences of breaking a lease or rental agreement

As mentioned before, a lease and rental agreement are both legally binding documents which may result in legal action against the person who breaks them. The consequences range from prosecution to hefty fines and legal fees, a poor credit score and even trouble renting or leasing from other people.

However, there is a possibility to break a lease or rental agreement without repercussions as long as both parties are in agreement. Read about early lease releases that should be contained in the signed agreement. If this clause doesn’t exist try talking to the landlord or lessor. If you have a decent relationship they will probably agree and let you off the hook (at a cost, of course). Sign up to find out more about Zumbly’s housing and rental solutions.

Related: What Happens When You Break a Lease?

What to Know About Buying a House with Leased Solar Panels

It is a complicated process when an individual wants to buy a house with leased solar panels. Solar panel leases can last anywhere from ten to twenty years. Plus, it can be expensive to buy out of the contract or roll it into a new house purchase with a mortgage service provider.

Solar leases also operate on an escalating payment system, which poses an ongoing liability while under personal ownership. In situations where a solar lease increases one’s debt-to-income ratio, there may be other hurdles to clear when going through the mortgage qualification process. Be sure to review the solar lease contract before signing on the dotted line.

Is it possible that a highly-touted initiative can end up costing a family time, money, and well-being when purchasing a new home?

Possibly. Let’s take a closer look at the issues surrounding the purchase of a home with leased solar panels:

Related: Is Buying A Home Without A Realtor A Good Idea?

How Buying a House with Leased Solar Panels Affects Your Mortgage

Some homebuyers may balk when discovering that taking on a home with leased solar panels means qualifying for additional credit to take on the contract payments for up to 20 years. There is even the possibility that the solar panels become technologically obsolete after paying around $15,000 for the benefit.

Solar panels still generate energy now and in the future. It’s likely technology can create adaptations to account for the lag between technological advances and past purchases. However, the effects on one’s mortgage terms are more important to consider.

Ready to buy your first home? See how Zumbly can help!

Find Out Who Actually Owns the Solar Panels Before Taking on a Mortgage

There are upsides to purchasing a home with solar energy whether still on lease or purchased outright. The cost and energy savings alone are reasons enough. However, asking a few questions beforehand can help ease anxiety when it comes to taking over the contract.

First, it’s essential to find out whether the seller leased or purchased them. Even if they bought them outright, it’s possible they purchased the solar panels on credit. That makes the seller responsible for paying off the loan and providing proof of ownership before the sale takes place.

Related: Best Time Of Year To Sell A House

Increased Costs Mean a Bigger Mortgage for Buyers

It’s more challenging to obtain a mortgage loan with leased solar panels as well. Leased solar panels require additional funding that is unnecessary for most home sales. Find out what the lease agreement entails, including the contract term length and associated monthly fees.

A homebuyer may even want to discuss how the added cost of leased solar panels affects his or her overall financial picture, too. It may increase one’s debt-to-income ratio and end up being a disadvantage in other areas of a person’s economic life.

Ready to buy your first home? See how Zumbly can help!

How Solar Panels Affect a Home’s Value

Solar energy has amazing financial benefits since they are more efficient and offer tremendous cost-savings. Plus, it’s clean, green energy that puts power “back into the grid.”

First, buying a home with leased solar panels means that the job is complete. A family can start benefiting from their installation immediately without having to set-up and schedule an installation.
Aside from long-term financial gains on one’s bank account, leased solar panels give a boost to the home’s overall value by $15,000 or more on average due to the immediate savings.
It’s a form of equity that a buyer can’t afford to miss. In fact, it allows the individual to recoup most, if not all, of the original investment in case one decides to take out an equity loan or resell the home later on.
Related: Buying A House Checklist

Know What You Are Getting into Before Going Under Contract

Buying a house with leased solar panels does not disqualify a person from getting a mortgage directly. However, there are a few details to iron out with the bank and financial advisors before agreeing to the purchase.
Transferring the solar panel lease is the major issue to address first. Each manufacturer has different terms, so it’s critical to understand how the process works. Obtain a copy of the lease and review it with an attorney to ensure the details are understood.
It’s likely that the manufacturer requires proof of the pending mortgage before transferring the equipment into the new owner’s name. The prospective buyer must also inform his or her bank that the house comes with leased solar panels. Although rare, the lender may decide not to engage in this type of home purchase transaction.
Buying a home with leased solar panels may be an excellent decision for homebuyers. However, one must determine the best course of action for his or her current and future goals before reaching a final decision.
Ready to buy your first home? See how Zumbly can help!

Consider These Additional Issues Regarding Buying a Home with Leased Solar Panels

If a person is considering purchasing a home with solar panels pre-installed, speaking with the homeowner first is a good idea. He or she should be able to address the following questions:

  1. Are the solar panels leased, owned on a personal loan, or purchased outright?
  2. If they are under contract, what are the terms of the agreement?
  3. Who manufactured the solar panels?
  4. Who installed them?
  5. Did the installers guarantee their craftsmanship?
  6. Can you provide copies of the lease, warranties, and guarantees?
  7. How big is the system?
  8. How much power does the system generate?
  9. What was the difference in your energy bill before and after the installation?
  10. Does your utility service provider offer net metering?

Uncovering the answers to the above-referenced questions is the best way to dig for information regarding the terms and conditions surrounding a home purchase that comes with leased solar panels.
Avoid engaging in any transactions in which the seller seems reluctant to answer anything. He or she may be hiding something that no one wants to take on.

Final Thoughts and Considerations on Buying a House with Leased Solar Panels

The main takeaway from this article that homeowners need to know what they are getting into when purchasing a home with leased solar panels before formally sign anything. It’s still an excellent investment. However, no one wants to encounter any surprises later on after conducting a transaction of this magnitude.
If the homebuyer decides to take over the lease, he or she must be clear on what his or her long-term obligations are and discuss any rebate programs available with the utility company. Doing so can help factor in the real costs of purchasing a home with solar panels.
Ready to buy your first home? See how Zumbly can help!

How to Improve Your Home to Make More Money on Airbnb

Airbnb is becoming a popular source of revenue for homeowners around the world. You too could enjoy passive income on your extra bedroom, house, or apartment. However, one of the things to consider is the security of your premises and guests, which you can guarantee by getting the best home security system you can buy.

Unfortunately, making money using Airbnb is proving to be difficult due to the increased number of listings. Here are a few tricks you can use to improve your home to make more money on Airbnb.

Looking to buy a home for Airbnb? Signup to Zumbly for FREE to find out the best investment homes for Airbnb.

Step 1: Inspect and Design Your Space

Before you start taking pictures and uploading them on Airbnb, inspect the room or the home to identify any problems and fix them if any. This could include a leaky tap or a flaky wall that needs a fresh coat of paint. Here is a full guide on how to remodel your house.

You will need to design the space with a unique style that will distinguish your listing from the thousands that are in your city or location. However, when designing or redesigning, think about the functionality of the space and how easy it will be to maintain it.

Related: How long does it take to buy a house?

Step 2: Take High Resolution Photos

It is vital that you only use high-resolution photos for your listing. Since potential guests are looking through thousands of listings, you must photograph every inch of your space in different angles.

On top of this, the more photos you have, the better. Better yet, you could hire a professional photographer to take the pictures and edit them. This will surely attract guests to your listing and make money.

Photographer taking photo in desert

Step 3: Be Honest in Your Listing

Most homeowners tend to exaggerate the truth about their Airbnb investment home, and this ends up costing them rankings and good reviews. You should not give the guests a chance to second-guess why they chose your listing over the rest.

The bottom line is that you should tell the guests what to expect, and they will give you credit for your honesty in their reviews.

Step 4: Decide How Often You Want to Host Guests

Airbnb allows you to set the rules for bookings ahead of time. This includes the minimum and maximum stay limits, and you can block out the calendar a day before or after the booking. This will allow you to clean up and welcome the guest to a tidy home.

With the rules in place, you will know how to arrange your schedule to present a homey feeling worth five stars.

Step 6: Install  Home Security System

People are apprehensive of the security of their lodging facilities. For this reason, it is important to include information on how you plan to protect the home to make them feel safe. A security system is an excellent place to start. However, it will not only give the guests a sense of security, but it will also be for your benefit.

By having one of the best home security systems money can buy, you can pass on the costs to your guests and they will not mind as long as they feel safe.

Step 7: Interact with Guests

Think of the Airbnb guest as a new friend you have invited to dinner. You need to know the purpose of their stay through friendly interaction and mention whether you will be present during their stay at your house.

Step 8: Get a Superhost badge

Airbnb has a ‘Superhost Badge’ that is awarded to owners who have a current calendar among other criteria. However, the main purpose of keeping your calendar current is to avoid booking guests when you are not in a capacity to provide a holistic experience. This will result in guests leaving bad reviews.

Moreover, you could restrict how far and when guests can book your space. For example, you could reduce the number of months from six to three or less. Moreover, you could also block out the dates that you are not available to host guests.

Step 9: Price Your Listing Accordingly

When considering the pricing of your listing, you can use the auto-pricing rules on the platform, or you could set your own. The recommended pricing works well for people who do not have the time to keep up with the current real estate listings of the area.

However, if you have an event in your area, you could adjust the prices manually to account for the major bump in demand. With that said, always look at the pricing of similar listings in your area and standardize the price as you see fit.

Related: Best Real Estate Tech Startups

Conclusion

Airbnb creates an avenue for you to earn a passive income, but it is tied to the reviews you get from your guests. However, do not be discouraged with a few negative reviews; work on the feedback and improve the quality of guest experience in your home. Despite all else, the security of your guests should be the top priority. These tips will help you earn more money from your space.

Beautiful Houses: 10 Best Styles

There are some homes that make you sit back and think, “Wow, I wonder who lives there.” Our love of beautiful houses will never go away, and there are many different styles to differentiate one from the others.

Some home styles have a rich history in our culture while others came from overseas. Here are ten of the most popular home styles.

Related: Buying A House Checklist

Victorian Homes

With steep sloping roofs, large windows, and built-in furniture, Victorian homes are magical. This form of architecture made its appearance between 1830 and 1910 during the time of Queen Victoria. These homes are constructed with appearance and beauty in mind. The downfall is the functionality of victorian homes. They are sophisticated with their trim, rooflines, windows, and more. Looking at one is beautiful but maintaining one is a different story.

Ready to buy your first home? See how Zumbly can help!

Log Cabins

Log homes originated as little cabins from the 1600s. At this time, they contained no rooms and no hardware. The people who built them used slotted logs to develop walls and flat roofs. Now, every time you enter a log cabin, it is a display of luxury and craftsmanship. These homes are popular in rural areas, and you’ll find them often on vacation retreats and resorts. You can build a log cabin almost anywhere, but the climate will determine what type of wood to use.

Tudor Style

Tudors are some of the most beautiful homes in the world. This design hails from England. It’s known for a steep pitched, multi-gabled roof with timber framing. They are most popular in snowy climates because of the steep pitch roof, so you’ll often find them in large quantities along the east coast and New England.

Tudors typically have incredibly elaborate chimneys with highly involved masonry and stucco in between the timber framing. These homes were most popular before World War II, and most of the Tudors built after are a playful rendition of the original design.

Related: Best Time Of Year To Sell A House

Colonial Style

You can tell a Colonial home by looking at its symmetry. These houses will feature a square design with lower and upper-level windows directly over one another. There were many variations in the 1600s when this style was popular but back then it was a highly formal style of design. The royalty and wealthy people who owned these homes wanted their house to appear neat and orderly at all times.

Ready to buy your first home? See how Zumbly can help!

Contemporary

Contemporary is a word used to describe a wide assortment of modern homes. Today’s architecture varies dramatically from updated art deco to new craftsman style homes. Regardless of the specific design, there are a few components used to describe a modern home. Contemporary houses feature an open floor plan with plenty of connection between indoors and outdoors. These homes feature sustainable materials with a lot of natural light. They also components that are energy efficient with plenty of non-toxic materials.

Related: Is Buying A Home Without A Realtor A Good Idea?

Cape Cod

This style of home made its way into the United States around the 1600s. These beautiful homes mimic cottages in Britain. Some of their characteristics are steep roofs, large chimneys, and dormer windows. Many owners of Cape Cod homes talk about their second-floor having sloped ceilings due to the low roofing design of this style. These homes are usually modestly priced, and they didn’t grow in popularity until after World War II.

Ready to buy your first home? See how Zumbly can help!

Craftsman Style

Often called a Bungalow, Craftsman style homes feature a large “wrap-around” porch, with low-pitched roofs, and natural building materials. This home style is old, and if you travel to certain areas of the country, you’ll find Craftsman style homes lining the streets because they built a ton of them at one time with all the same design. On the inside, Craftsman homes feature an open floor plan with built-in furniture and exposed beams.

If we take a look at the difference between a Craftsman and Bungalow, you’ll find that there is no difference. The word Craftsman refers to the Arts and Crafts movement, while Bungalow is a word used to describe this design.

The modern Craftsman has started to make its way into architecture and compared to the original design; this one features gabled roofs and a more open interior floor plan.

Related: How Long Does It Take To Buy A House?

Mediterranean

Brought to the US from the place for which it’s named, the style was most popular in the early 1900s. You’ll find the design mostly by bodies of water up and down the coastline. These beautiful homes usually feature plaster with red tile roofs and high arches. The design has many ornamental features like fancy balconies, luscious courtyards, and indoor fountains. Many also have a grand entrance with a big wooden castle door.

Ready to buy your first home? See how Zumbly can help!

Ranch Homes

Ranch is a widely used word to describe a usually single level home with an attached garage. These houses were built less for appearance but more for functionality. These started popping up around the 1930s modeled after Western Ranches. They feature a modern design with plenty of connection between indoors and outdoors. Split-level designs are also categorized under ranch style. Exterior details are usually quite modest and plain.

Related: What Happens When You Break A Lease?

Greek Revival

We still see some of these homes present in the United States. They are popular in areas of affluence, and you’ll often see a bunch of them in the same neighborhood. These are inspired by Greek architecture and were most popular in the country during the mid to late 1800s.

The Greek Revival is noticeable by its large columns, painted plaster, symmetrical shape, and intense moldings. This beautiful home style does not skimp on the details or expenses. If you purchase a home like this, expect to pay top dollar to maintain it.

Final Thoughts

After taking a look at some of the most beautiful homes and designs, you might be unsure of which to choose. There are many more options beyond these, and the possibilities are endless as we continue to develop new technology to bring old architecture back to life.

Ready to buy your first home? See how Zumbly can help

Apartment Investing 101: The Ultimate Guide

Apartment construction is at a record high, and the number of apartment rentals rose by 11% compared to last year in the U.S.

Even amongst the concerns of an imminent recession, the market is still hot. After all, recession or not, people need homes right?

This spells opportunity when it comes to apartment investing. There’s always REIT funds that can be purchased but directly looking for investment opportunities in the real estate market around you is a sure-fire way to pay large dividends in the future.

So how does one get started with apartment investing if they’re looking to get into real estate investing? And why apartments over other investment opportunities?

Related: Buying a House Checklist

The Benefits of Apartment Investing

Stable investment product

Compared to other real estate investment products such as office or retail space, multi-family residence comes with less risk and volatility. This is because they often don’t involve high turnover and tenant composition in these apartments usually dictate stable long term occupancy.

Build equity

On top of gaining monthly income that goes towards paying off the mortgage-related to the apartment. As the unit(s) appreciates, this is an asset that’s gaining value and building equity for the investor.

Low-cost debt

Lenders love apartment investment loans due to the stability and high-occupancy rates involved for attractive investment options. This means the cost of capital is low and there are many low-interest loan options to use.

Monthly dividends

Compared to investments in the stock market that may not pay dividends, apartment investments are guaranteed large sums of monthly dividends. This is great for improving one’s cash flow and these dividends can be reinvested in other investment products.

Inflation protection

Compared to cash and stocks, investing in real estate is a strong way to protect against any future inflation and protect the value of one’s wealth. It’s also a tangible asset, one that can’t vanish overnight due to sporadic market movements.

Related: How to Make an Offer when Buying a House

Obstacles

It’s not all benefits when it comes to apartment investing, and there are some drawbacks to be aware of.

Higher down payments

Lenders are often skeptical of non-owner occupied residence loan applications. This means that acquiring a loan will involve higher down payment requirements of 20 to 30 percent, and in rare cases, higher interest rates compared to if it was to purchase an owner-occupied unit.

It’s not a liquid asset

Compared to cash, or even investment in the stock market. Investing in apartments means the asset isn’t liquid and will require time and effort to liquidate if one needs to sell the apartment for funds. This can put a strain on one’s finances if a significant amount of their net worth is locked into this asset.

More active management

Apartment investments come with actively managing the unit and collecting rent. Airtight rental agreements must be drafted that outline payments and actions carried out in case of defaults such as late payment penalties. If tenants are unable to pay, many times there are state regulations in place that can have the tenants remaining in the unit rent-free until the case is resolved with mediation between the owner, tenant, lawyer, and state boards. All of this may occur with the owner on the line to pay monthly mortgage payments without any rental income.

This extends to the active management of the unit itself. Any issues with the apartment that require maintenance will commonly have the owner on the hook to fix. This can be avoided by hiring property managers but will require a portion of monthly rent going to the management firm.

Related: Best Time of Year to Sell a House

What to look for when investing

1. Goal setting and financials

Investing always starts with goal-setting. One must have a clear idea of why they are investing in an apartment and what level of risk and return they are comfortable with.

Based on this, one can narrow down the apartments that fit this criterion and evaluate the financials of the apartments. When looking at financials, the net operating income of the apartment is most important. What’s the annual income of the apartment currently and does it exceed annual expenses? Don’t trust any numbers shown on the agent or brokers brochure but investigate thoroughly to see if the numbers indicate a positive return on investment.

2. Location!

With any real estate investment, location trumps all and dictates how the future holds up. This means one must scout the neighborhood and significance of the location thoroughly. Research metrics such as crime rate, commute times, and nearby amenities or landmarks.

Take into account nearby ‘reasons to live’ when looking at the location. For example, is there a nearby university or large business complex? These will mean there are a growing and consistent demand for housing nearby to these areas for those that work or study in these establishments.

3. Vacancy rates

Historical vacancy rates are important when it comes to determining the attractiveness of an apartment to invest in. If the building has a low vacancy rate and many units are off the market very quickly after listing, this is a good sign.

4. Building history

Older buildings may come with a lot of hidden costs that an owner is unaware of. These buildings will have more maintenance issues that can drive any building maintenance fees, adding to the total monthly cost of owning the unit. It’s good practice to have a professional inspection carried out and visit the building often to notice if there any issues such as elevators out of service to gauge this.

5. Management competence

Finally, be sure to evaluate the competence of the building management team. This team handles the day to day of the building and ensures any small maintenance issues are handled. They also ensure the apartment building is well kept, clean, and safe for residents – all of which will impact how attractive it is to be rented out by prospective tenants.

Investing in an apartment can be a great way to build equity and gain passive income. Real estate values over the course of one’s lifetime are only guaranteed to rise with small corrections. This makes it a perfect vehicle for one to build their worth and gain passive income for retirement.

Ready to start investing? See what Zumbly can do for you!

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What is the Smallest House in the World?

The Smaller The Better?

If you ask most people to describe their dream home, they’re likely to mention that they imagine a big house or even a mansion. Others, however, may prefer a smaller accommodation. In fact, the tiny house movement has gained immense popularity in the past few years. The tiny house movement advocates living simply in small, minimal homes often the size of a trailer. But of all of the small houses in the world, tiny or otherwise, which one is the smallest?   

What is a House?

The issue is more complicated than you might think at first. It leads to the question of what a house really is. Is it just a place where people live? Can a shed be considered a house? What about a box?

According to Tiny House Association co-founder Elaine Walker, “a person should be able to carry out normal daily living activities in a house, including standing up.” Google defines a house as a “building for human habitation.” But can a structure that merely resembles a house count as a being house?

Related: How much does it cost to build a house in 2019?   

A House Smaller Than A Hair

In 2018, scientists from the Femto-ST Institute in Besancon, France built a “house” that is only 20 micrometers long. According to the scientist team, the house isn’t even big enough to fit a mite. It was built with a layer of silica set on the tip of an optical fiber, thinner than the width of a human hair.

The house boasts four walls, seven windows, and even a tiny chimney. Why did these French scientists bother with all of this? French scientists wanted to demonstrate the power of a device called the μRobotex. The μRobotex is a combination of an electron microscope/gas injection system/robot that scientists hope can one day utilize in the medical community.

So if you’re willing to accept the idea that a microscopic structure can resemble a house without actually serving as a home, then wait for it. You’d be hard-pressed to find out there’s one even smaller than this.

One Square Meter

We find another example that pushes the limits of what a real house is in Berlin: the one square meter house. After all, a short person could stand up in it but would have a difficult time doing much of anything else. It’s your call whether or not that counts.

If you’re having doubts about these borderline “houses,” then you’re probably still wondering what the smallest “real” house in the world even is.

“The Smallest House In The World”

Glen Bunsen, of smallesthouseintheworld.com, would tell you that it’s his. At 25 square feet, his home can fit in a regular van, and – somehow – it has a sink, a shower, a stove, a waste system, a wind turbine, and a greywater system. Even so, there are critics who would resist calling Bunsen’s home a house. For example, it does not meet Elaine Walker’s “standing up” criteria. But Bunsen does indeed inhabit the home.

The tiny house movement inspired Bunsen after marveling at just how large these “tiny” houses (which are typically about 400 square feet) really are. He claimes to have been motivated by time, not space. With his portable home, Bunsen can live wherever he chooses. “I have lots of time now that I live wherever I need to go,” he writes. “And you can even stay there if you want to since it’s listed on Airbnb.”

Related: House Hacking: Live for free with an Airbnb Investment Property.

Small Houses Around the World

Bunsen’s home might be the smallest in America, but there are others nearly as small located around the world.

Related: Best Places to Buy a Home in Southern California.

Smallest House in Toronto

A home in Toronto built in 1912, with a living room, kitchen, and bathroom comes in at only 28 – 29 square feet (reports vary). This famous home has even appeared on the Ellen DeGeneres Show. Like many of the world’s smallest homes, it was built in the space between two existing properties in an attempt to maximize the space. Arthur Weeden and his wife successfully lived in this space for 20 years. In 2010, it was on the market for $180,000.

Smallest House in Poland

Meanwhile, in Warsaw, Poland, a house called the Keret House is described as “the narrowest in the world,” coming in at just 5 feet at its widest point. Its first tenant, Israeli writer Etgar Keret, named the house after himself. Even though it’s used a residence, the house is classified as an “art installation” because it does not meet Polish building codes. The house has a bedroom, kitchen, bathroom, and living area.

Smallest House in Great Britain

Quay House, also called the Smallest House in Great Britain, was built in the 16th century and used until 1900, when a 6-foot 3-inch fisherman named Robert Jones inhabited it. And, no, he couldn’t stand up in the ten by 6-foot space. Unfortunately, the house has since been declared “unfit for human habitation.”

Smallest House in Austria

In Salzburg, Austria, there is a house barely over 4 and a half feet wide, that currently serves as a storefront for a jeweler. If four customers enter this store at once, it has to close due to overcrowding. This home was built in the 1900s to close a small alley.

Smallest House in Amsterdam

Because of an old law that calculated property tax based on the width of a building’s facade, narrow houses are unusually common in Amsterdam. A popular tourist attraction, the Smallest House in Amsterdam, sometimes also called the Smallest House in Europe, is 6 feet 8 inches wide and 16 feet 5 inches deep. It’s even registered as a national heritage site.

Smallest Tea Room in Amsterdam

Additionally, there is a home at Oude Hoogstraat that is 6 and a half feet wide, which is currently open to the public as the smallest tea room in Amsterdam. Reservations are recommended. And the house at Singel 7 has a facade of just over one meter, or 3 feet wide. It makes for a great photo op.

So There You Go.

Now, if you ever want to go on a tour of the world’s smallest houses, you know where to visit. Just be careful about getting into the “what is a house, really?” debate with the wrong people. You might be stuck on a delicate subject – maybe even as delicate as a house smaller than the width of a hair.

Related: The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide On How To Find Investment Properties Using Zumbly.

The Smaller The Better?

If you ask most people to describe their dream home, they’re likely to mention that they imagine a big house or even a mansion. Others, however, may prefer a smaller accommodation. In fact, the tiny house movement has gained immense popularity in the past few years. The tiny house movement advocates living simply in small, minimal homes often the size of a trailer. But of all of the small houses in the world, tiny or otherwise, which one is the smallest?

What is a House?

The issue is more complicated than you might think at first. It leads to the question of what a house really is. Is it just a place where people live? Can a shed be considered a house? What about a box?

According to Tiny House Association co-founder Elaine Walker, “a person should be able to carry out normal daily living activities in a house, including standing up.” Google defines a house as a “building for human habitation.” But can a structure that merely resembles a house count as a being house?

Related: How much does it cost to build a house in 2019?

A House Smaller Than A Hair

In 2018, scientists from the Femto-ST Institute in Besancon, France built a “house” that is only 20 micrometers long. According to the scientist team, the house isn’t even big enough to fit a mite. It was built with a layer of silica set on the tip of an optical fiber, thinner than the width of a human hair.

The house boasts four walls, seven windows, and even a tiny chimney. Why did these French scientists bother with all of this? French scientists wanted to demonstrate the power of a device called the μRobotex. The μRobotex is a combination of an electron microscope/gas injection system/robot that scientists hope can one day utilize in the medical community.

So if you’re willing to accept the idea that a microscopic structure can resemble a house without actually serving as a home, then wait for it. You’d be hard-pressed to find out there’s one even smaller than this.

One Square Meter

We find another example that pushes the limits of what a real house is in Berlin: the one square meter house. After all, a short person could stand up in it but would have a difficult time doing much of anything else. It’s your call whether or not that counts.

If you’re having doubts about these borderline “houses,” then you’re probably still wondering what the smallest “real” house in the world even is.

“The Smallest House In The World”

Glen Bunsen, of smallesthouseintheworld.com, would tell you that it’s his. At 25 square feet, his home can fit in a regular van, and – somehow – it has a sink, a shower, a stove, a waste system, a wind turbine, and a greywater system. Even so, there are critics who would resist calling Bunsen’s home a house. For example, it does not meet Elaine Walker’s “standing up” criteria. But Bunsen does indeed inhabit the home.

The tiny house movement inspired Bunsen after marveling at just how large these “tiny” houses (which are typically about 400 square feet) really are. He claimes to have been motivated by time, not space. With his portable home, Bunsen can live wherever he chooses. “I have lots of time now that I live wherever I need to go,” he writes. “And you can even stay there if you want to since it’s listed on Airbnb.”

Related: House Hacking: Live for free with an Airbnb Investment Property.

Small Houses Around the World

Bunsen’s home might be the smallest in America, but there are others nearly as small located around the world.

Related: Best Places to Buy a Home in Southern California.

Smallest House in Toronto

A home in Toronto built in 1912, with a living room, kitchen, and bathroom comes in at only 28 – 29 square feet (reports vary). This famous home has even appeared on the Ellen DeGeneres Show. Like many of the world’s smallest homes, it was built in the space between two existing properties in an attempt to maximize the space. Arthur Weeden and his wife successfully lived in this space for 20 years. In 2010, it was on the market for $180,000.

Smallest House in Poland

Meanwhile, in Warsaw, Poland, a house called the Keret House is described as “the narrowest in the world,” coming in at just 5 feet at its widest point. Its first tenant, Israeli writer Etgar Keret, named the house after himself. Even though it’s used a residence, the house is classified as an “art installation” because it does not meet Polish building codes. The house has a bedroom, kitchen, bathroom, and living area.

Smallest House in Great Britain

Quay House, also called the Smallest House in Great Britain, was built in the 16th century and used until 1900, when a 6-foot 3-inch fisherman named Robert Jones inhabited it. And, no, he couldn’t stand up in the ten by 6-foot space. Unfortunately, the house has since been declared “unfit for human habitation.”

Smallest House in Austria

In Salzburg, Austria, there is a house barely over 4 and a half feet wide, that currently serves as a storefront for a jeweler. If four customers enter this store at once, it has to close due to overcrowding. This home was built in the 1900s to close a small alley.

Smallest House in Amsterdam

Because of an old law that calculated property tax based on the width of a building’s facade, narrow houses are unusually common in Amsterdam. A popular tourist attraction, the Smallest House in Amsterdam, sometimes also called the Smallest House in Europe, is 6 feet 8 inches wide and 16 feet 5 inches deep. It’s even registered as a national heritage site.

Smallest Tea Room in Amsterdam

Additionally, there is a home at Oude Hoogstraat that is 6 and a half feet wide, which is currently open to the public as the smallest tea room in Amsterdam. Reservations are recommended. And the house at Singel 7 has a facade of just over one meter, or 3 feet wide. It makes for a great photo op.

So There You Go.

Now, if you ever want to go on a tour of the world’s smallest houses, you know where to visit. Just be careful about getting into the “what is a house, really?” debate with the wrong people. You might be stuck on a delicate subject – maybe even as delicate as a house smaller than the width of a hair.

Related: The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide On How To Find Investment Properties Using Zumbly.

How to Find Out Exactly Who Owns a House

Are you searching to find the owner of a house or property? It happens, and there are a million different ways that you can find what you’re looking for. In fact, deciding on the best option can be overwhelming.

Luckily, we’ve compiled the best strategies on how to find out who owns a particular property – check them out below.

Related: House Hacking: Live for free with an Airbnb Investment Property

How to Find Out Who Owns a House: Use the County Recorder

One way to find out who owns a property is by paying a visit to the Country Recorder with the address of the property. It is one avenue to explore that can help you find out who owns a house. Here, the clerk can look up who owns the current property and any previous owners. It’s also possible to gather additional information such as existing liens on the property, ownership disputes, and if it has been sold or transferred in the past.

If a business owns the property, the clerk can also check if there are any ‘Doing Business As’ certificates that exist for the property.  In most places, an in-person visit is necessary, but some counties have created online portals to conduct this search from home.

Using Wayne County as an example, https://www.waynecountylandrecords.com is the online search portal that allows you to look up land records. By using the ‘Free Public Search’ feature, you can find records based on searching a name. To search by address, sign up for a ‘Pay As You Go’ account and pay a fee of $6 for 15 min of search time.

 Pointing at laptop country records

Not all of these online services are paid; this is something that varies by county. For example, with Nassau County, their online portal allows searches by address for free.

How to Find Out Who Owns a House: Use the Register of Deeds

With the Register of Deeds, you can find the owner of a house by carrying out a deed search. First, you need to find out what county the house belongs to. Then you must find the Registry of Deeds website for that specific county. There’s an online search function that allows you to determine the owner for a given address.

For example, when looking at the North Berkshire County in Massachusetts, their online portal is here. Here, deed records related to a specific property searched by providing the street number and name. By retrieving the most recent deed, one can find the current and previous owners.

large mansion dream house

How to Find Out Who Owns a House: Check with the Tax Assessor

The County Tax Assessor is the third method by which property records can be dug up for a certain house. With this option, there are online platforms for particular counties, but others will require an in-person visit to the Tax Assessor Office.

By using the address of the house, you can conduct an online search to find property details. Such details include the owner’s name, liens on the property, historical sales, and current disputes.

Here’s an example of a Tax Assessor providing an online search portal for the County of San Bernardino: https://www.mytaxcollector.com/trSearch.aspx

How to Find Out Who Owns a House: Check listings of corporations with the Department of State

Sometimes, certain properties won’t have an individual owner but instead, are owned by a corporation. The previous methods of finding an owner might reveal no DBA (Doing Business As) certificates. In such a case, the Secretary of State or the Department of State’s website will have the underlying owners.

For example, by visiting the Pennsylvania Department of State’s website, you can search for registered business entities here. You can use the corporation name you used to search for the house’s owners to retrieve the registered individual owners and directors of this corporation using this search tactic.

Related: 10 Best Real Estate Investor Websites in 2019

How to Find Out Who Owns a House: country home in morning realtor owner

Ask a realtor

Now an easier solution to all this is to find a realtor. Most realtors are well versed in finding out the owner of houses in their area and can help you find this information quickly. Some realtors also have access to private databases to find this information fast, but the ability to use this depends on the underlying reasons for the search.

Related: How Does Rent to Own Work in 2019?

How to Find Out Who Owns a House: Use online tools

Many online aggregated search tools can find property records across many states in the country. These search tools can make things easier than having to find individual county or state respective websites.

Here are a few online databases worth using to help you find out who owns a house:

NetrOnline

NETROnline, short for Nationwide Environmental Title Research Online, is a database with millions of property records. It also offers environmental data, historical aerial shots of various areas in the U.S., and public records.

Using NETROnline enables you to quickly drill-down to your respective state’s repository of public information. Use the Property Data Store feature to quickly find the state, county, and available databases that you can use to search. On this database, you can search for property details by address or zip code.

U.S. Title Records

The U.S. TItle Records is a private business that allows you to access property ownership details for a fee. Searching using their service costs a minimum of $19.50. It provides you with a high-level property report illustrating the current owner, sale history, property details, and tax assessor records. The service will produce results instantaneously and can be searched by simply entering the address and zip code of the house.

PropertyShark

PropertyShark is another third-party service that can help determine who’s the owner of a house or property at a specific address. It’s a paid service starting at $19.95 per month if searching within a particular state, or $59.95 per month if it’s to perform searches nationwide. This base plane includes the ability to download 150 property reports, and these reports will include comprehensive information such as the owner details, property characteristics, tax, and sales history.

With PropertyShark, you can also get supporting information about corporate-owned properties to uncover who the real owners are. They offer their first report for free after signing up as a way to trial the service and see if it meets your needs.

Related: The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide On How To Find Investment Properties Using Zumbly.

neighborhood from above find home owner

Closing Statement

Sometimes we find ourselves needing to know who exactly owns a certain house, whether it’s because we are interested in the property or have a reason we need to speak to the owner. But it can start to get frustrating when a simple Google search doesn’t reveal their name right away. 

Luckily, there are many ways to track down the homeowners these days: 

  • A town or city’s public documents
  • Realtors
  • Online tools

No matter which route you pursue, you’ll be sure to get the information you need. 

Related: The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide On How To Find Investment Properties Using Zumbly.

Best Places to Buy a Home in Southern California

California is known to be the third largest state in the entire area of the United States, Alaska being the first largest, and Texas the second largest. When it comes to buying a home, asking yourself where exactly the best place to buy a home is, is a solid question.

If you know that you want to buy a home in Southern California specifically, here at Zumbly we can help you make the best choice in terms of where the best area for you to buy your home in is.

 

Register for your free account here and we got you covered.

 

One of the biggest mistakes that people typically make is not doing enough research before buying a home, especially in terms of precise location. Spotting a bargain and knowing where exactly is best to buy is not exactly easy, but with Zumbly it’s never been easier. 

We have provided a step-by-step guide for you that goes over how to get the most out of our website, and even better, if you’re just like us and would rather watch a video and learn, we got that for you as well. Just check out our blog on “The ultimate beginners guide on how to find investment properties using Zumbly.”

Related: What is a Good Cap Rate for Rental Properties in 2019?

5 Best Places to Buy a Home in Los Angeles

Los Angeles, as you already know, is known to be one of the world’s top tourist destinations and a very happening city. Home values have indeed risen over the past few years in the United States; however, this does not change the fact that buying a house is something extremely valuable in the long run, especially with rental prices skyrocketing each year.

 

So, you want to buy a home, but want to make sure that it is part of the best places to buy a home in Los Angeles. Our website at Zumbly has been developed in such a way, that will help you to make the best choice, concerning both the location of your future home and its value for money.

 

Here at Zumbly, we have conducted the appropriate research that will put things into perspective for you in terms of the best places to buy a home in Los Angeles. Remember, location is key and at the end of the day it comes down to what kind of neighborhood you ultimately desire to be around the most.

Below are the top 5 best places to buy a home in Los Angeles.

Buy a Home in Santa Monica

One of the best places to buy a home in Los Angeles is actually in Santa Monica. This suburb of Los Angeles is located right next to the Western coast of downtown Los Angeles. Here, you will find an immense diversity of people and places to go, including great nightlife, outdoor activities, health and fitness, numerous jobs and office buildings, and most importantly, a great location in terms of being in a somewhat central part of the city. There are a great number of tourist attractions, with Venice beach being right around the corner. Some tourist attractions include the original Muscle Beach, Santa Monica Pier, and downtown Santa Monica itself, amongst others. Abbot Kinney is a great spot for some of the top cafes, bars, and restaurants that Los Angeles has to offer. Feel like shopping? Third street promenade is your place to be. Santa Monica is also known to be home to over 75 art galleries and museums. If you are someone who especially values the arts, then Santa Monica is definitely the place for you. There is no question as to why Santa Monica is included in the list of the best places to buy a home in Los Angeles.

Buy Homes in Manhattan Beach

surfer under Manhattan Beach pier

Manhattan beach is another one of the best places to buy a home in Los Angeles. It is an area which grants you the best of both worlds: the city life and the more quiet life. It is also located on the Western coast of downtown Los Angeles, a couple of minutes under Santa Monica. It is typically referred to as a “classic California coastal town”. This neighborhood is known to have numerous outdoor activities, great jobs, and offices, beautiful weather, it is located right next to the coast,  great nightlife, a good commute distance to other parts of the city, and also a particularly low level of crime and high level of safety in comparison to other parts of Los Angeles. It is a great location for families, while simultaneously has a great nightlife scene. The hill section of Manhattan beach specifically, is known to be the second richest neighborhood in Los Angeles; thus, it is clearly a very popular, attractive and desired spot to buy a home in.

Buy Homes in Hermosa Beach

Hermosa Beach is located right under Manhattan beach and is also known to be another one of the best places to buy a home in Southern California. Hermosa beach typically has a mixture of both mansions and beach homes. If this sounds like something that you want, then Hermosa beach is the place for you to buy a home in. 

You can’t mention Hermosa Beach without the beach. The expansive and flat beach is perfect for surfing, beach volleyball, swimming, sunbathing, and even fishing. It’s also great for joggers and cyclists, who can take advantage of the 20-mile paved trail that runs from Torrance through Hermosa Beach to Santa Monica. And don’t forget the the shops near the beach! 

This neighborhood is one that is especially loved by young professionals, who like the outdoor lifestyle and enjoy the variety of outdoor activities available to them. There are several restaurants and clubs in this area, specifically on the Hermosa Pier, that are truly excellent.

Buy Homes in South Pasadena

South Pasadena is a very popular place to buy a home in Southern California. It is located on the southern part of beautiful vintage looking Pasadena, a northern suburb of Los Angeles. Pasadena is filled with interesting and peculiar things to do. If you like exploring new and interesting places, then South Pasadena is an area that you will definitely enjoy. Some places to explore are Storrier Stearns Japanese Garden, The Parsonage, The Bubble House, Fork in the Road, Bissell House and Cawston Ostrich Farm. Pasadena is also known to have some of the best hiking trails in all of Los Angeles. Overall, South Pasadena has a great range of diversity, great health and fitness related activities, some of the top public schools, and is known to be another one of the best places to buy a home in Los Angeles.

Buy Homes in Culver City

Culver City is an excellent location. It is a central area, which makes it easy to commute to the majority of the main cities of Los Angeles. With great nightlife, schooling, and workspaces and offices, Culver City is known to be another one of the best places to buy a home in Los Angeles

Culver City is a favorite for artists, who can’t help but be drawn to the Arts District’s 35 art galleries. There are also over 40 boutiques, shops, and cafes that act as gallery spaces in the area. Every year, Culver City’s Arts District hosts the Art Walk, showcasing local artists and accompanied by live music. Be sure to check out all of the murals and street art throughout the city, too.

Best Places to Buy a Home in Irvine

Irvine is considered to be a part of greater Los Angeles and is amongst one of the top best places to buy a home in Los Angeles. Irvine is actually even one of the best places to buy a home in Southern California itself. Research has shown that Irvine is one of the most frequently asked places concerning the best places to buy a home in California. For this reason, we have placed is in its own separate section, where we discuss more specifically why Irvine is so popular amongst home buyers, and the best places to buy a home in Irvine.

Irvine is located in the Southern part of greater Los Angeles. It is actually ranked as one of the best places to buy a home in Southern California and one of the best places to live in all of California. Public schools in this area are highly rated. Crime levels are low and safety is ranked higher than other locations close to downtown Los Angeles. Some of the best neighborhoods in and places to buy a home in Irvine include Turtle Rock, Great Park, Oak Creek, Woodbridge, Northwood Point, University Park, West Park, Walnut Village, El Camino Real, and UC Irvine.

Irvine is home to about one-third of Fortune 500 companies. This city is overall known to be one of the safest and wealthiest cities in all of the United States, making it one of the best places to buy a home in Southern California, and amongst the best places to buy a home in Los Angeles.

Register for your free account with Zumbly here to find out where the best place to buy a home in Irvine is, and more specifically, which particular home is best suited for you and tailored to your personal preferences.

Related: The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide on How to Find Investment Properties Using Zumbly

5 Best Places to Buy a Home in San Diego

San Diego is located in San Diego County, south of Los Angeles and also known to be one of the best places to live and one of the best places to buy a home in Southern California. A lot of websites actually ran San Diego as the top and best place to live in California in terms of lifestyle and quality of life, attractions, and climate among many other attributes. 

San Diego was even ranked as one of the happiest cities in all of the United States. It is a major metropolitan area city located on the oceanfront, holding a great entrepreneurial spirit, which makes it a city that is particularly pleasurable to do business in.

San Diego has shown a great increase in the number of millennials that are moving there. This is great because San Diego offers the perfect balance of “live-work-play.” Nearly one-third of the population of San Diego actually consists of millennials — which is equal to one million millennials living in the county of San Diego — making it the second city with the largest population of millenials, right after Austin, Texas. Below we have compiled a list of the 5 best places to buy a home in San Diego.

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Buy Homes in Torrey Pines

Torrey Pines is another residential community in San Diego which is ranked amongst the top places to buy a home in San Diego. This neighborhood is known to be one of the best spots for nightlife in all of San Diego, with an immense number of amenities located within the area. The famous Torrey Pines State Beach is known to be one of Southern California’s wildest stretches of coastal land, granting residents the ease to visit this stunning tourist attraction and granting them both the feel of being in a city and being at a beach all at once. Torrey Pines also acquires a great number of fitness related and outdoor activities.

Buy Homes in Torrey Hills

 Lighthouse near ocean in Torrey Pines

Torrey Hills is another one of the best places to buy a home in San Diego. It is known to be amongst one of the cities with the lowest crime rates and highest safety rates in the United States. The urban neighborhood also has highly rated public schools. 

There is a great range of diversity and its location is great in terms of commuting towards more central parts of the city. There are tons of health and fitness associated and outdoor activities to do around this neighborhood. It is a great area for families, with amazing public school ratings.

Buy Homes in Del Mar Mesa

Del Mar Mesa is a great residential community in San Diego and is one of the best places to buy a home in San Diego. Del Mar Mesa can to some extent be described as a rural community in San Diego, acquiring a conserved open space and large homes. 

Del Mar Mesa offers excellent schooling, shopping, and especially well-established restaurants. This residential community also offers access to the Torrey Pines Reserve and Beach. It is a very popular area to buy a home in San Diego.

Buy Homes in Via De La Valle

Fitness work out studio Via de la Valle

Via de la Valle is known as the second best neighborhood to raise a family in the United States. It is located in the northwest region of San Diego and is another area known to be one of the best places to buy a home in San Diego. It is a fun and happening neighborhood, filled with health and fitness activities and some of the best shopping in mid-county. 

This community is both residential, in addition to having very open spaces and land uses. If you want to buy a beautiful home, then Via de la Valle is definitely worth looking into concerning buying a home in San Diego, as this area is known to be home to some of the loveliest houses in San Diego.

Buy Homes in Carmel Valley

Carmel Valley is another very family oriented community and another one of the best places to buy a home in San Diego. Residents are typically known to own most of the homes in Carmel Valley. One of the best things about Carmel Valley is that it’s located in the very central part of San Diego, making it an exceptionally quick and easy commute to the downtown part of the city. 

Many professionals coming from the high-tech biotech and scientific research industries are known to live in Carmel Valley. This is mostly due to the areas very close proximity to San Diego’s high-tech center, Sorrento Valley. This neighborhood also has some of the most highly rated cafes and restaurants. It is a great happening spot, especially for millennials.

Where should you buy a home?

Los Angeles downtown palm trees

Deciding where to buy a home is not easy; at Zumbly we have conducted the necessary research that will hopefully help you in making your decision concerning the best places to buy a home in Southern California, and more specifically, the best places to buy a home in Los Angeles, and the best places to buy a home in San Diego.

Don’t miss another opportunity with Zumbly. Register for your free account here, and we will help you find the best home for you.

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