Articles, tips, and suggestions for homeowners.

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Last month you probably heard that hackers stole the personal data of up to 143 million Americans in the Equifax breach. You might have frozen your credit cards as a safeguard, but did you know that hackers could use your personal information to steal your home?

If someone has your social security number, driver’s license number and birthdate, then they can also have access to your signature if you’ve ever signed a grant deed (property deed) that was publicly recorded. Worst case scenario, an imposter with all of your personal information could go into a county recorder’s office with a properly filled out and notarized deed, and the recorder’s office is obligated to record the document. And just like that, you've lost the title to your home. 

Wooden floors have beautiful finishes. They are durable and easy to clean and maintain. But if you’re environmentally savvy, there is always the concern that the type of flooring you choose will negatively impact the environment. But what if there was a way to have beautiful wooden floors in your home without causing undue harm to the environment? Here are some eco-friendly wooden flooring solutions for your home that you might not have considered.

1. Bamboo

Light as it is, bamboo is a hard material and can withstand more use than your traditional hardwood floors, even though it looks just like it. It is easy to maintain and is a natural resistant to mildew, water, and insects. Bamboo is renewable. It is harvested from natural vegetation and takes

Many people have seen or heard of those old English mansions where bookshelves pivot to reveal a secret room. Or perhaps a section of what looks like old books is actually a doorway. Behind the door is another door to a safe that holds the family jewels. Though most people don’t live in such stately homes, there are many new and innovative ways to keep possessions safely hidden away even in the humblest studio or tiny house. Indeed, almost every house could use a hidden built-in. Whether it’s a playroom for the kids with a touch of the mysterious, or a functional way to hide your gun safe, having hidden built-ins is something to consider. Here are some of our favorites!

The Kitchen

Many houses and apartments have kitchens where space is a premium.

If you love living a vacation lifestyle, then you don’t need to leave home to enjoy luxurious amenities. Whether you’re looking to create the perfect staycation or you’re considering renting out your current residence as a vacation home, these changes will make your house feel like a luxurious getaway. 

In Southern California, the best way to make your home a vacation spot is to focus on your outdoor living spaces. With near perfect weather all year long, you'll want to focus on accentuating any and all outdoor experiences. Check out the five upgrades that can transform the functionality of your home.

Build an Outdoor Fireplace

3901 Prima Buca, Yorba Linda listed by Kristen Fowler

To enjoy your backyard on a cool summer evening, build a

One of the keys to making the most of a small living space is organization. Even a tiny dorm room or apartment can have plenty of room for all your essentials if you make the most of the space you have. From getting a functional piece of furniture that serves several purposes to investing in hidden storage cubes, the opportunities are endless. Some cleverly placed dividers can even turn a one-room studio into a multi-room apartment without much effort. For more ideas as to how to maximize your space, check out the infographic below.

The Minimalist Approach to Maximizing Space

For the creative owner of a small living space, there are plenty of solutions available to optimize the room available to you. Browse Seville Classics’ multipurpose furniture and storage solutions that help you make

There are plenty of hidden costs of homeownership that buyers forget to account for when purchasing a home. From property taxes and homeowners insurance to closing costs, there's plenty to look out for during your real estate acquisition. According to the National Association of Home Builders, new homeowners also spend on average $10,600 within the first year of ownership on things like new appliances, furnishings and additional repairs and alterations. 

The infographic below from CAR outlines the average costs most buyers spend within their first year. You may already have a couch and dining room table, but it's a good idea to consider the additional costs that could be coming your way. 

For help budgeting for your new home purchase, work with

Homeowners insurance is a must for new buyers, most importantly because it is required by your lender if you have a mortgage. However, even if your home is owned free and clear, you may not want to take the significant financial risk associated with being uninsured. Insurance rates are a subject of concern for many homeowners, and the cost of insurance for real estate varies dramatically based on a variety of factors.

These factors include the age of the home, its construction materials, its size and value, where it is located, and more. Many homeowners spend well over $1,000 to $1,500 per year on home insurance. With this in mind, you may be looking for a reasonable way to reduce the cost of your insurance. There are several strategies that you can

Even if you're not planning on selling your home anytime soon, it's always a good idea to consider the overall value of your home and what you can to do improve it. Doing a bit of work on your home won't just improve its value, but it will also help to make your entire neighborhood more desirable and may inspire your neighbors to take better care of their homes.

Luckily, there are a number of basic improvements and upgrades that you can do without having to dedicate a huge amount of money or time. In fact, by taking the following steps, you could potentially add thousands of dollars to the value of your property by the end of the summer.

Give Your Exterior an Update

Simple things like repainting your doors and trim can have a huge effect on the

There are many ways in which you can increase the value of your home and invest in it. Upgrading, repairing and paying of liens all build equity and get you one step closer to full ownership. Try these four strategies of investing in your home to grow your home equity.

Make Necessary Repairs

Making necessary repairs is an important way of investing in your home. A new roof not only adds value and aesthetic appeal, but it also prevents major damage. Installing new siding, doors or repairing a fence also adds equity to your home by increasing its value. Inside, replacing the furnace and air conditioning, upgrading the electrical panel, fixing the plumbing and installing new flooring could also increase equity.

Understand How Home Equity Works

Summer is the perfect time to focus on adding value to your home and fun to your increasingly outdoor lifestyle in Southern California. These renovations are the perfect projects if you have a bit of extra time and you want to start spending it outdoors. These four projects are just the thing to make a big impact on the look (and value) of your home without breaking the bank. 

Repave the Driveway

Chances are that you've tripped a couple of times walking up your driveway if the pavement is uneven. Maybe you've even had concerns that a guest would fall when you have all of your summer barbecues. Paving the driveway is one way to deal with this safety concern, but it also adds greater aesthetic appeal to your home. This is especially true if you allow