Three Common House-Hunting Mistakes to Avoid

Looking for the perfect home is an exciting experience, but it can also become overwhelming and exhausting if you don’t know what you’re doing. If this is your first time searching for a home, you could make huge mistakes that could cause a major setback with your goals. How can you take the pressure off your shoulders when you’re house shopping? House-hunting is a significant task that requires you to follow the right steps. Let’s read along to discover three common mistakes that most first-time home buyers make.

House Costs

Will your home cause a drain on your finances? You can make the crucial mistake of choosing a house that is beyond your budget. There is a possibility that you can fall in love with a house that is too expensive. You may think that you can afford the house price but end up paying too much money that you were not expecting. For example, you might not anticipate closing costs, maintenance, repairs, utilities, property taxes, and other hidden costs. You should be aware of all the costs that you’ll have to deal with to decide if you’re making the right decision to become a homeowner.

Not Being Specific

You should have an idea of the type of property that you’re searching for. One simple way of doing this is to make a list of the essential features you need. Some of these may consist of the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the kitchen layout, the size of the house, heating and cooling systems, and more. A successful house sale requires you to have an understanding of your priorities, which helps you to make a good house-buying decision.

Refusing Professional Help

You might think that you don’t need help from a professional realtor, especially if you’re already familiar with a neighborhood. You might also refuse professional help because you’re in the habit of making important decisions. However, this is a common thinking process that could cause you to make critical house-hunting mistakes.

By working with a realtor, you might get a better price for a home, which is a huge benefit that helps you get the most from your budget. Realtors are also more knowledgeable about the particular home that you’re looking to buy and help you to save time with your house-buying process. A professional realtor knows the real estate market, deals with complicated transactions, and is dedicated to helping you find a great home.

Learn How You Can Find Your Dream Home Today

One of the most major decisions that you can ever make in your life is buying a home. Your property search begins with finding the most reputable realtor that you can trust and minimizing a stressful house-hunting process. A full-time realtor in Santa Clarita is always committed to helping you find a great home for you and your family. With our 25 years in the industry, you’re guaranteed that you’re in safe hands. Reach out to us today to learn how we can help you to obtain a successful house sale.

Million-Dollar Homes in Santa Clarita

When you’re shopping in the iconic California community of Santa Clarita, you’re shopping in a market that has relatively high price tags. It also has a lot of appeal, and you’ll see it heat up over and over again!


People move here from all around the country. They come from big cities and small towns. They might come from as far away as the eastern seaboard, or from small communities in the Midwest. In some of these places, homes start at around $150,000.


In and around Santa Clarita, this is not the case. This upscale community has homes that hold their value at much higher prices.


Proximity to Greater Los Angeles


Part of the appeal of Santa Clarita and nearby Castaic is the short distance that you have to travel to get to places like Simi Valley and the San Fernando Valley area.


While these smaller communities are nestled in natural areas, they are only a stone’s throw from places like Sherman Oaks and Ventura.


With such good proximity to all of the iconic Los Angeles urban areas that they are near, these communities are unique ways to have your cake and eat it too – to enjoy being close to the city, but also have the unique vistas and natural landscapes of less populated areas.


That’s just one part of what people enjoy about buying in this local market. We know all about the draw that these neighborhoods exercise on shoppers, and we can introduce you to Santa Clarita and its environs from a position of inside knowledge and real estate acumen. 


Big Houses


Many of our listings are for houses starting around $1 million.


Whether the address is Castaic or Santa Clarita or other nearby municipalities, you’ll see these homes on the market for something like $900,000 or above.


Many of these homes are over 2500 square feet in size. Some of them range even higher. You also want to make sure to look at things like the number of bedrooms and bathrooms to see what suits your needs.


Basically, you can’t go wrong with high-end real estate around Castaic and Santa Clarita. With attractions like Six Flags (and its numerous adjacent parks), the local area is vibrant, and this is a great place to settle if you are relocating to Southern California.


You’re also in good hands with the Marcel Cuschieri Group, and with a realtor that knows Santa Clarita quite well. With our long history of experience in the area, we can show you the inside scoop on properties and help you to make those choices that get you closer to your dream home. Get some data from our web site, and get connected to tour some of these beautiful properties! 


4 Things To Consider When Buying a Rental Property in Santa Clarita

The number of people renting homes and apartments in the United States has grown over the past few years. The rise in renters around the country has led to many individuals venturing into the world of real estate investing. With the right real estate investment, a person can create a reliable form of passive income. 

Over 71 percent of the rental properties in the United States are owned by individuals. If you want to add a rental property to your investment portfolio, then finding the right home in the Santa Clarita area to purchase is imperative. Before you buy a rental property in Santa Clarita, you need to consider some of the following things. 

1. Enlisting the Help of Professionals

There are so many properties for sale in and around the Santa Clarita area. Instead of trying to narrow down the extensive list of properties for sale alone, you need to realize the importance of working with a real estate agent. Ideally, you want to choose an agent that is familiar with Santa Clarita and the neighborhoods contained within this area. 

The Marcel Cuschieri Group is comprised of experienced real estate agents who are passionate about helping their clients. We have a vast number of listings and will narrow down these listings based on your needs. With our help, you can find a great rental property that is reasonably priced. 

2. Lock In Financing Before Searching For a Rental Property

Very rarely does an investor have cash in hand to buy a rental property. Generally, an investor will have to take out a loan from a bank to fund their purchase. Before you begin the search for a rental property to purchase, you need to get pre-approved for a loan. 

When preparing for the loan application process, you will need to review your credit score. The better your credit score is, the easier it will be to get approved for a low-interest loan. You also need to make sure your debt-to-income ratio is low. If this important metric is high, then you need to pay off a few loans and credit card balances before applying for a loan. 

3. Pay Attention During the Home Inspection

If you’re getting a loan to buy a rental property, then the bank will require a professional inspection of the property in question. During this inspection, you must pay close attention to the problems. If a home inspector finds several problems with the potential property purchase, you need to think twice about buying it. 

The last thing you want is to inherit a money pit, which is why reviewing the home inspection report is crucial. If the inspector finds minor cosmetic issues, you might be able to negotiate a better price with the seller. These smaller issues will be much easier to fix and shouldn’t be viewed as a dealbreaker. 

Are you ready to find a great property to invest in? If so, the Marcel Cuschieri Group is here to help.

Santa Clarita Is The Perfect Place To Spend Your Retirement

California has famous, bustling cities full of exciting opportunities, but when you are looking to retire in the Golden State, you may dream of a more straightforward way of life. Fortunately, you can have the best of both worlds in Santa Clarita, California, in retirement. 


Located close to Los Angeles, Santa Clarita is ideally situated in some of the most breathtaking scenery along the Pacific coastline. Not only is Santa Clarita a picture of small-town life, but it is also a thriving city with all the amenities you need while retired. Santa Clarita boasts renowned shopping, entertainment, health care options, and plenty of space to relax and unwind while being a charming place to live. Let’s look at what makes Santa Clarita the perfect place to spend your retirement years. 


Stay Active In The Great Outdoors In Santa Clarita

Santa Clarita offers retirees the perfect setting for staying active and involved in activities of many kinds. The city’s expansive parks provide the space to enjoy the fresh air in the great outdoors. Many area parks have trails for walking or cycling for various exercise capabilities. With so many local trails and paths, you will have plenty of space to roam. 


Join Social Groups With Ease

Often, retirees seek to establish new friends and social activities in their areas of interest. Santa Clarita is a welcoming city with endless options for getting involved in social groups of interest. The area boasts a thriving local arts and crafts scene and hosts many events throughout the year that offer a variety of activities. From active neighborhoods and communities, bustling main street fare, and senior center classes, you’ll find just the right mix of social opportunities to enjoy in Santa Clarita. 


Fun For Families To Visit

Santa Clarita is full of fun activities for families, which makes it an excellent place for grandkids and other children to visit. If you are looking forward to spending quality time in retirement with your family, Santa Clarita offers the best in family entertainment. Six Flags Magic Mountain and the Santa Clarita Aquatics Center draw many families to the area. Santa Clarita also hosts family-oriented festivals that will help you make memories with the ones you love most. 


Find Your Dream Retirement Home In Santa Clarita

Santa Clarita has many different neighborhoods and communities that each offer unique opportunities to enjoy retirement your way. To find your dream retirement home in Santa Clarita, consult an experienced Santa Clarita realtor who can help you make your dream a reality.


Important Steps to Take Before Investing in Santa Clarita Real Estate

Have you been thinking about investing in Santa Clarita real estate? If so, you know how important it is to get your finances in order before searching for properties or scheduling appointments. After all, doing this will help you save quite a few headaches in the long run. 

Making a real estate investment may be one of the biggest investments you ever make, and unless you have money ready for this investment, you’ll need to create a plan to finance the purchase and ensure ongoing cash flow. Before getting in touch with a Santa Clarita real estate agent, there are a few other things you should do. 

Create a Plan for Financing the Investment 

Traditional financing may be the best option for your initial investment if you have a significant down payment, consistent W-2 income, and a strong credit score. That’s because interest rates are usually low, and the terms on these loans are typically attractive. 

It’s important to determine what you can afford based on your expenses and the amount of cash you need to handle upgrades and renovations. Be sure you know where the liquid funds are coming from, increasing the likelihood of getting a good deal. Remember, it’s possible to move much faster when you have cash, which motivates property sellers in Santa Clarita. 

Review Your Credit Report and Keep It Positive 

It’s a good idea to request a copy of your credit report and dispute any errors. You should also explain negative issues or any late payments. Keep your score from falling by avoiding lowering your limits, canceling accounts, or requesting new credit inquiries. 

Seek Mortgage Pre-Approval

Being pre-approved for a mortgage will help you with the real estate investment you want to make. Doing this is going to help lock in an interest rate. If the rates fluctuate while you work with a real estate agent to find the perfect investment property, your rate won’t change. 

Do Your Homework to Remain Competitive

Just because you have been approved for financing doesn’t mean you are ready to begin shopping. Take some time to shop around and get in touch with other lenders to see if they can offer you a lower interest rate. While just a few percentage points may not seem like that big of a deal, it can help you save tens of thousands of dollars during the lifetime of your loan. It can also help improve your monthly cash flow. 

Work with an Experienced and Knowledgeable Real Estate Agent

When you are ready to invest in real estate in Santa Clarita, it’s smart to work with a real estate agent who has experience in the area. This will ensure you find properties that meet your needs and budget. They can also offer more insight into the local properties to ensure you get exactly what you are searching for.

Key Benefits of Owning a Home

The process of finding and buying a home can be difficult. First-time homebuyers are usually unaware of just how much their lives will change once they become the owners of a residential property. On average, first-time buyers are responsible for 34% of all home purchases annually. 

Before you start the process of buying a home, you need to get information about what makes a residential property a worthy investment. There is a reason why over 5 million Americans purchase a home every year and it is because owning a residential property comes with a plethora of benefits. The following are some key benefits that come with owning a home. 

A Great Investment

If one of your main goals is to build wealth, then you can’t deny the importance of owning real estate. When compared to other possessions like a car, homes are far more capable of retaining their value. Generally, a home will increase in value if it is properly maintained and located in a desirable neighborhood. There are also a number of ways you can add value to a home. 

Some of the most effective ways to increase the value of your home include:

  • Modernizing your kitchen
  • Investing in energy-efficient upgrades (i.e., new windows, better insulation, upgraded appliances)
  • Install new flooring
  • Have an in-ground pool installed
  • Professional landscaping

Not only can the upgrades mentioned above help you add value to your home, some of them can also boost curb appeals level. If you want to maximize the value offered by these projects, then allowing professionals to handle the work involved is imperative. 

The Opportunity to Acquire Equity

One of the main things you need to make your dream of owning a home a reality is a mortgage loan. Very few first-time buyers will have enough cash sitting in the bank to completely fund this purchase. With a bit of research, you should have no problem securing a low-interest mortgage loan. Every time you make a monthly payment, only a portion will go towards the principal balance on your loan. 

The term equity is used to describe how much of the principal balance has been paid on a mortgage loan. You need to view the portion of your payment that goes towards the principal as money in the bank. The more equity you acquire, the easier it will be to get large loans for things like home improvements or even investment properties. 

The Freedom Associated With Owning a Home

Not all of the benefits associated with owning a home are tied to money. Perhaps the biggest benefit of owning a home is the freedom it provides you. If you’re renting a home, you will be severely limited regarding the changes you can make to your surroundings. However, if you own the home you live in, there is no limit to the changes you can make. This means you can alter your surroundings to fit your changing tastes. 

Now that you know about the advantages of owning a home, it is time to find the right property to purchase in the Santa Clarita Valley.

Santa Clarita Lifestyle Entices New Residents

If you are considering moving to Santa Clarita, you’re not alone. The 26th largest city in California, Santa Clarita, is ranked one of the best places to live in the state and one of the safest in the nation. The city’s population of over 177,641 is growing as many people are enticed by the many advantages the area offers. 


Located only 30 minutes from Los Angeles, the Santa Clarita Valley is ripe with excellent public schools and booming with commerce. For many people, the city is an oasis where families and businesses thrive. From its abundance of natural spaces, bustling shopping centers, and the thrill of Six Flags Magic Mountain, Santa Clarita Valley provides new residents the amenities and sense of community that make calling Santa Clarita home a pleasure. Let’s look at what you have to look forward to when moving to Santa Clarita. 


Abundance Of Natural Spaces

When you arrive in Santa Clarita, you’ll be greeted by an abundance of natural fauna and wildlife thriving on the area’s many nature preserves. Preserves like Placerita Canyon, Mentryville, and Ed Davis Park offer residents and visitors to the Santa Clarita Valley to enjoy many different outdoor activities. Not only are these nature preserves beautiful places to explore, but they are also rich in the valley’s pioneer and gold rush history.


Outstanding Public School System

Many families move to Santa Clarita so their children can take part in one of California’s top public school systems. Most of the public schools in the Santa Clarita Valley have received the state’s distinguished honor of the blue ribbon award, but one high school is listed in the top 10 percent of high schools in the nation. In addition to their rigorous academics, Santa Clarita schools are known for their robust athletic programs that have produced many professional athletes. 


Shop ‘Till You Drop In Santa Clarita

With an abundance of booming businesses, you can shop ’till you drop in Santa Clarita! The city’s Valencia Town Center bursts with designer and chain stores, and it’s only growing. Residents of Santa Clarita enjoy shopping and dining at the Town Center and the mall, which has over 150 stores. Suppose you can’t find the treasure you’re looking for at these primary shopping centers. In that case, you can stroll the downtown streets of Santa Clarita and peruse the many goods sold by local merchants and crafters or attend one or more of the community’s festivals and art fairs. Santa Clarita has something in store for any shopper!


Find Your Home In Santa Clarita

If you are considering a move to Santa Clarita, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the housing choices in the area. Contact a local realtor with extensive knowledge of Santa Clarita to find your home and become part of the Santa Clarita family!


Why Now Is The Time To Invest In Santa Clarita Rental Properties

After the last few tumultuous years, many people are looking for ways to get back on track, both personally and financially. With all of the different investments on the market, choosing the right one can be difficult. If you don’t like the risk associated with things like buying stocks or cryptocurrencies, then finding an investment that has a track record of providing solid returns is crucial. 

Many financial analysts view real estate investments as fairly safe. Nearly 88% of all housing units are currently occupied in the United. This means that American consumers are willing to spend good money to rent or buy living spaces. Read below for more information on why now is a great time to invest in rental properties in the Santa Clarita area. 

Mortgage Interest Rates Are Very Low

Few investors have the capital needed to buy a rental property with cash. If you are like most real estate investors, you will need to secure a loan from a bank to make your purchase. The great news about securing a mortgage loan in 2022 is that interest rates are still very low. Currently, the average interest rate for a 15-year fixed mortgage is around 5.2 percent. 

By locking in a lower rate for your mortgage loan, you can pay more toward the principal. This means you can pay off this loan sooner. Before choosing a lender to help with your mortgage loan needs, check their reputation and the interest rates being offered. With a bit of research, you can find a lender that fits your needs. 

Increasing Rent Prices

Before pursuing an investment, most people want to know what type of return they can expect. Over the past few years, the rent prices in the United States have increased substantially. If you buy rental properties in highly desirable areas like Santa Clarita, you can charge top-dollar for them. 

If you are new to the Santa Clarita area, you might be unsure about which neighborhoods to buy rental homes in. Working with a real estate agent who is familiar with this area is the best way to ensure the right neighborhood is selected. 

Managing Rental Properties Is Easier Than Ever

Owning rental properties can be a lot of hard work. Some people mistakenly think that all of the work involved in managing rental properties will fall squarely on their shoulders. In reality, there are a number of things you can do to make managing these properties easier. 

Hiring an experienced property management company is crucial when trying to avoid problems with your rental investments. These companies can do things like screen potential tenants, collect rent payments and handle maintenance/repair issues. With their assistance, you can keep your rental properties profitable and pristine. 

Now that you know more about the benefits of investing in rental properties, it is time to take action. With the help of the team at Marcel Cuschieri Group, you can find highly desirable rental property investments.

Simple Tips For Boosting Curb Appeal

If you plan on selling your Santa Clarita Valley home, boosting your property’s curb appeal can provide you with a positive return on your investment. How your home is viewed from the street is a critical component for potential buyers who decide to tour your home or not. Often, potential sales are lost from the road as buyers are turned off by a home’s overgrown and run-down appearance. 


While you may not be in the position to re landscape your home in its entirety, there are simple steps you can take that make a big difference in your home’s curb appeal. Let’s take a look at what you can do to ensure your home is inviting to potential buyers from first sight.


Clean Out Overgrown Bedding And Shrubs

If your landscape is overgrown, it will appear that your home is unkempt to potential buyers. More often than not, simply tending to your landscape, flowerbeds, and shrubs will make a significant difference in the appearance of your yard. 


Trim back bushes and trees, weed flowerbeds, remove dead and dying plants, and keep lawns mowed to ensure your home is seen in its best light. Opting for a low maintenance landscape is also an option; consider using plants indigenous to the Santa Clarita Valley region for a beautiful and hassle-free yard. 


Focus On Your Property’s Strengths

When boosting your home’s curb appeal on a budget, focus your efforts on your property’s strengths. Maintaining a neat yard goes a long way to catch the eyes of potential buyers who don’t want to purchase a home that needs a lot of work. Choose areas to highlight that draw potential buyers into your property to enhance your outdoor spaces. 


For instance, if you have unique trees or other natural elements on your property, consider highlighting them plantings to draw the eye to these areas. Or, designate outdoor entertainment areas by placing tables, chairs, and even a fire pit in the space to create an inviting atmosphere. 


Light Up Your Property

Outdoor lighting is essential to your home’s security, safety, and curb appeal. Not only do lights need to be placed by driveways, sidewalks, stairs, and entrances to your home for safety and security reasons, but also to create ambiance once the sun goes down. 


Uplighting trees, architectural elements, and outdoor entertainment areas will create a warm and welcoming feel to your property. Repair and replace any existing exterior lighting fixtures to ensure they work properly, and upgrade older fixtures to motion-sensing devices for a more modern feel. 


Final Thoughts

Your home’s curb appeal is essential to how potential buyers view your property. These strategic and straightforward tips will help your home sell more quickly.

Follow These Tips To Finding Your Perfect Neighborhood

Many things such as your budget and square footage must be considered when deciding which new home to purchase. However, choosing the right neighborhood may be one of the most critical parts of a successful house hunt. Even if you may have a general idea of neighborhoods you like, it can be challenging to narrow down your decision on where to buy a house. 

Local communities tend to fluctuate in costs and amenities from neighborhood to neighborhood, impacting property and way of life. While you can change certain aspects of a house to fit your needs, its location is permanent. To help you find the perfect neighborhood to buy your next home, let’s take a look at some tips from the area’s real estate pros. 


Consider The Market And Your Budget 

The housing market significantly impacts your budget for purchasing a home plan to buy a house. To determine whether or not a neighborhood works within your budget, focus on the Market Action Index and the Median List Price. 

A buyer’s market is reflected in a Market Action Index of less than 30, while a more competitive market can be shown in an index above 30. By understanding the market when you plan to buy a house, you can determine what neighborhoods fit your budget. For example, in a buyer’s market, you may be able to consider homes in areas that otherwise may be out of your price range. 


Keep An Eye Out For Red Flags

When you buy a house, you are investing in the neighborhood in which it is located. One way to know if a community is right for you is to spend some time in its various areas and assess what you see. As you drive or walk around these areas, look for red flags such as anything that may negatively affect the property value of the home you wish to purchase. 

Red flags in neighborhoods can be their proximity to harmful industry to dilapidated neighboring residences. Also, research the area’s number of foreclosures and property values over the last few years; these factors may also be red flags that indicate your investment in the property may not be wise. 


Lifestyle And Quality Of Living

All neighborhoods boast unique qualities that impact those living within them. Some areas are laid back and removed from the hustle, while others may be pedestrian-friendly and full of amenities. Consider neighborhoods that fit your lifestyle and add to your quality of living. 

To determine what qualities you need most in a neighborhood, create a neighborhood wish list that lists your priorities. Your realtor will help you better choose communities to consider by understanding what is most important in a neighborhood to you.