Guest Writer Jane Norton
Jane Norton is a freelance writer, editor, and mother of two. She spent a decade in the travel industry, working in everything from hospitality, to guiding tours, to planning luxury trips. When she's…See full bio
Sales of Southern California homes rose almost 30 percent from the previous year, thanks to a housing boom driven by low mortgage rates and people looking for more space. At the same time, the median cost of homes also rose by 10 percent. So, with rising prices and increased competition for top properties, how do you still manage to acquire the house of your dreams in California?
If you have time, energy, and imagination, think about picking up a fixer-upper for a good price in a great location. Expand your search to look at rural, suburban, and up-and-coming areas that you might not have considered before. Or, if your current property no longer meets your needs but you love the setting, extending or remodeling could mean your ideal home is right under your nose.
If you are able to see beyond peeling paint and crumbling walls, renovating a neglected house in an ideal location could be the best way to create your dream home. A foreclosed property offers great potential at a low cost. However, if a property has been left empty for an extended period of time, you may find it has some issues with rising damp, leaking pipes, or pest infestations.
Subterranean termites, the most common in California, are also the most destructive, causing considerable damage to wooden structures and features. If there is any evidence of an infestation, follow up with a professional inspection and fumigation before embarking on any major changes.
If you already love your beach view or the community you live in but you’ve outgrown the space in your home, extending and remodeling could be the solution. With home inspection costs and real estate commission, selling a home can be expensive.
If you decide to invest in your current property instead, you can bring an older house up-to-date with a modern, open-plan kitchen extension, outdoor pool, and landscaped garden. Or, you can simply reconfigure your living space and update your décor to match your new lifestyle.
The last few months have seen many more people leaving large cities to settle in more suburban and rural areas. If you’re able to work remotely, you can widen the search for your dream home to include many more locations. In finding a small town or community where residents already work from home, you’ll know that the infrastructure is in place to enable teleworking.
Away from the congested cities, you could have more room to create a home office and a more expansive outdoor space in which to relax and entertain. Being flexible in your choice of location could give you a better work-life balance and allow you more time to enjoy your new dream home.
In a changing market, you could find your potential dream home listed in a foreclosure auction or located in a rural town that you may not have considered before. After a remodel of your current property, you might even find that you were already living in it.
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