Real Estate Definition: Essential Terms Everyone Should Know – Part 1

Real Estate Definition - Part 1

Real Estate Definition Essential Terms Everyone Should Know in order to understand the real estate process. Real estate has its own share of language and some of it is hard to understand. Learn your home buyer vocabulary before you start looking for your dream home.

Annual Percentage Rate (APR)

The annual rate charged for borrowing or earned through an investment and represents the actual yearly cost of funds over the term of a loan.

Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI)

Borrowers have to pay this when they take out a mortgage from a commercial lender and pay a down payment of 20 percent or less.

Adjustable-Rate Mortgage (ARM)

This type of mortgage allows the lender to change the interest rate at certain points during the term of the loan.

Conventional Loan

This type of mortgage is not guaranteed or insured by any government agency.

Fixed-Rate Loan

This type of loan has an where the interest rate doesn’t fluctuate during a “fixed-rate” period of the loan. This allows the borrower to accurately predict the amount of future payments.

Federal Housing Administration Loan (FHA Loan)

This type of mortgage is issued by an FHA-approved lender and insured by the Federal Housing Administration.

Interest Rate

The amount charged on top of the principal by a lender to a borrower for the use of assets.

Housing assistance grants for homeowners and renters affected by the Camp, Woolsey, and Hill fires

Through a $1 million gift from the REALTORS® Relief Foundation, C.A.R. is offering disaster relief grants up to $2,000 per household to provide housing assistance with mortgage relief or temporary housing, such as payments on the mortgage of a primary residence that was burned in a fire, lease or rent payments on replacement housing, or payments to a temporary shelter.

Grant details:

  • Relief assistance is limited to a maximum of $2,000 per applicant household. The deadline for application submission is June 30, 2019, contingent on the availability of funds.
  • Assistance is for housing relief only; other expenses including mortgages on property other than a primary residence, vehicle purchase, rental, repair and or mileage are ineligible for reimbursement under this program.
  • Documentation requirements: proof of residency, proof of lease/ownership, proof of damage/loss.
  • One application per household.
  • Grants are available only for the applicant’s primary residence.
  • Recipients of other financial assistance (FEMA, charitable groups) are eligible.
  1. Frequently Asked Questions (pdf)
  2. Link to online application

If you are in the Los Angeles area, have any questions or real estate sales or financing needs, feel free to contact us

Best Christmas Lights and Awesomely Decorated Homes Around Los Angeles

Whether your holiday of choice is Christmas, Hanukkah, or Kwanzaa there is a timeless joy to be found in taking a spin around the holiday light displays. There is a particular magic to those over-the-top holiday light displays created by someone’s next-door neighbor. Even better is a whole street made up of nothing but this kind of neighbor. LA County has plenty of these community treasures hidden in plain view; some of the top Christmas crowd-pleasers are listed.

Sleepy Hollow Christmas Lights –  Robert Road, Torrance 90505
Also known to locals as “The Hole,” Torrance’s Sleepy Hollow neighborhood has been sending up flares for Santa for more than 40 years. Fans pour through nightly from Thanksgiving weekend until Christmas, and the best way to enjoy the vibe is to park outside the neighborhood and walk through. Kidpreneurs in other neighborhoods have their lemonade stands; the ones around here set up hot chocolate and candy cane stands on every block. Residents (some dressed as Santa) sit around their fire rings and wave at the holiday lights admirers, the most dedicated of whom could easily spend a couple of hours wandering the whole display. Parking options are best on either Pacific Coast Highway or Prospect. Robert Road is just north of Calle Mayor off PCH.

Candy Cane Lane – 1200 Acacia, El Segundo 90245
The eastern block of Acacia Avenue is announced by a Candy Cane Lane sign, marking a tradition of more than 60 years. Houses are alight with trains, reindeer, giant characters, and music, plus frequent appearances by Santa Claus in a covered sleigh at the end of the cul-de-sac. The lights are on by 6 pm (though most turn on at dusk); Santa usually sits down in his sleigh at about 7 pm.  If you’re looking for the most holiday lights per square foot, Candy Cane Lane is your destination.

The street itself is closed to cars, making for a delightful, one-block family stroll, and parking is available throughout the rest of the (well decorated) neighborhood. The last night of the official display is usually December 23, keeping the street more private for the actual holiday

Candy Cane Lane – Lubao and Oxnard Streets, 91367
The Valley’s version of Candy Cane Lane can be enjoyed from the comfort of one’s car, but be prepared for traffic as the holidays draw closer. The group of homeowners on the four streets bordered by Oxnard, Martha, Corbin, and Winnetka collectively out-do themselves every year, and cars are drawn like kids to Santa. Visitors are encouraged to dim headlights on the eight-block stretch so that everyone can enjoy the holiday lights.
The lights can generally be enjoyed from the second Saturday in December through New Year’s Day, though many homes start decorating Thanksgiving weekend.

Lights on Display – 3901 Longview Valley Rd., Sherman Oaks 91403
When a guy names his Christmas lights display and gives it a website, you know it’s worth the drive. Mike Ziemkowski mixes his film industry expertise and a love of Christmas to produce a display whose fame extends far beyond the San Fernando Valley: this house is the 2015 winner on the national reality show The Great Christmas Light Fight. The display goes way beyond lights; the timed show with music and motion is the sort of thing some places would charge admission for. The nightly show generally runs from Thanksgiving weekend through January 1, 5 pm-10 pm. 

Protect yourself and your belongings in case of fire

Fire season is officially upon us here in Southern California.  With thoughts of fire season, come thoughts of insurance and whether we have the appropriate coverage to cover our belongings.  Most insurance policies require that you provide an inventory when you file a claim.  Your inventory will need to include proofs of purchase such as receipts and often insurance companies will also ask for pictures of the items that have been lost.

Photographical inventories are regarded as the most exhaustive and reliable form to evidence the condition of the items before the loss.  Insurance agents will often advise that a color photograph is take, in good lighting and labeled.  A good way to ensure that you receive appropriate coverage is to include a purchase price and date with the photo and sometimes even a family member or other person to validate that it is an actual photo taken by you.  Include items in and around your home and take care to include items in vaults, safes and safe deposit boxes. 

It is not enough to make the inventory, but also to have several copies of it (both electronically and in paper), should you need to provide it to insurance agents.

Finally, make sure to keep this inventory list up to date and include new purchases or gifts as you get them. 

While sentimental value can not be replaced by insurance, taking these steps should ensure that you receive meaningful compensation for the physical items you have lost.


California Proposition 5 & California Proposition 10

November 6, 2018 is around the corner and I am sharing two propositions affecting Real Estate properties with you.

California Proposition 5
Property Tax Transfer Initiative (“Prop 5”) concerns calculating property tax on owner-occupied replacement properties.
  • A “yes” vote on Prop supports amending Proposition 13 (1978) to allow homebuyers who are age 55 or older or severely disabled to transfer their tax assessments, with a possible adjustment, from their prior home to their new home, no matter (a) the new home’s market value; (b) the new home’s location in the state; or (c) the buyer’s number of moves.
  • A “no” vote opposes amending Proposition 13, 90 & 60, currently in effect, to change how tax assessments are transferred between properties for homebuyers who are age 55 or older or severely disabled.
California Proposition 10
Local Rent Control Initiative (“Prop 10”) concerns rent control for rental properties affecting tenants and landlords.
  • A “yes” vote supports allowing local governments to adopt rent control on any type of rental housing, thus repealing the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act.
  • A “no” vote opposes the initiative, thus keeping the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act and continuing to prohibit local governments from enacting rent control on certain buildings.
You can read more about each Proposition at the links below.
Read what they are all about. Make a decision and remember to vote!
  • Prop 5
  • Prop 10
Foot Notes
  • Prop 5 is in addition to initial prop 13 voted in 1978, Prop 60 voted in 1986 and prop 90 voted in 1988
  • For additional info on prior propositions, simply google “California Prop” and the number and read all about it.

2018 4th of July fireworks in Southern California

Alhambra– Almansor Park
800 Almansor St.
Family activities begin at 3 p.m; fireworks start at 9 p.m.

Parade, dinner and fireworks at the casino
4th of July Parade on Crescent Ave in Avalon begins at 1 p.m
Buffet dinner and concert with USC Marching Band begins at 6:15 p.m. (Tickets are $59 for adults, $29 for children)
Firework Display 9 p.m
Mardi Gras Party at El Galleon Restaurant featuring karaoke from 9:30 p.m. to 1 a.m 

Burbank– Starlight Bowl
1249 Lockheed View Drive
Gates open at 5:30 p.m.; live entertainment and fireworks

Calabasas– Calabasas High School Football Field
22855 W. Mulholland Highway
Gates open at 5 p.m.; fireworks at 9 p.m.
Advanced tickets required; $10 per person

Cerritos – Cerritos Civic Center
18125 Bloomfield Avenue
45th Annual Let Freedom Ring Celebration runs from 4 to 9 p.m. Fireworks show at 9 p.m.

Claremont – Memorial Park
840 N. Indian Hills Blvd.
Claremont, California 91711
Freedom 5000 Run/Walk 7:30 a.m – 10 a.m
4th of July Festival 10 a.m – 2 p.m
Parade at 3 p.m

Culver City– West Los Angeles College
Food trucks, carnival games, and live music
Gates open at 4 p.m

Diamond Bar
Diamond Bar High School Fireworks
5 p.m – 9:30 p.m
21400 Pathfinder Road
Diamond Bar, California 91765

Downtown Los Angeles – Grand Park Block Party
Doors open at 3 p.m.
Fireworks at 9 p.m.
200 N Grand Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90012

Rowley Park – 13220 S. Van Ness Avenue
Fireworks and food trucks
Food trucks open at 5 p.m; fireworks begin after dusk

Hollywood – Hollywood Bowl
July 4th Fireworks Spectacular: Daily, July 2 – July 4
Performance by the Go-Go’s and fireworks
2301 N. Highland Avenue

5050 N. Irwindale Ave.
Celebration starts at noon; Fireworks display at 9 p.m.

La Crescenta – Crescenta Valley High School
4343 La Crescenta Avenue (main entrance off Prospect Avenue)
Gates open at 4 p.m (close at 8:30 p.m); fireworks at 9 p.m.
Pre-sale tickets are $7, $10 at the gate; kids 7 and under free 

4th of July Fireworks Extravaganza
Gates open at 4 p.m.
Professional Bull Riders Touring Pro Division at 7 p.m
Free firework show at 9:30 p.m
Antelope Valley Fairgrounds
2551 West Avenue H

Long Beach
The Queen Mary
1126 Queens Highway
Games, entertainment, fireworks, arts & crafts
Pre-sale tickets are $44.00 per adult (ages 12+); $24 per child (ages 4-11)
Tickets at the door are $39 per adult (ages 4-11)

Marina Del Rey
Fireworks launch at 9 p.m
View the show from either Burton Chace Park (13650 Mindanao Way) or Fisherman’s Village (13755 Fiji Way)

Pacific Palisades – Parade, concert and fireworks
Parade and skydivers starts at 2 p.m.
Food/Concert gates open at 4 p.m; main stage concert at 6 p.m
Fireworks at 9 p.m

Pasadena – Rose Bowl Americafest
1001 Rose Bowl Drive
Festival begins at 2 p.m.; fireworks p.m.
Tickets start at $15

Pomona – Fairplex
1101 W. McKinley Avenue
Gates open 5 p.m.
Motocross and monster truck show begins 8 p.m.
Fireworks show begins at 9:15 p.m.
General admission starts at $18.50

Porter Ranch– Shepherd Church
19700 Rinaldi Street
Live entertainment, food vendors and fireworks
Doors open at 4:30 p.m

Parade beginning at 10 a.m. (Valley Boulevard and Muscatel Avenue)
Carnival and food vendors; fireworks at dusk

Santa Clarita/Newhall
4th of July Parade in Old Town Newhall
Parade starts at 9 a.m.

Santa Clarita/Valenica – Westfield Valencia Town Center
Fireworks at 9:20 p.m.

Six Flags Magic Mountain
26101 Magic Mountain Parkway
5-day Independence Day celebration
Fireworks all five nights, festive foods, and more

Santa Monica– 4th of July Parade
Main Street
Events 9:30 a.m.-12 p.m.

South El Monte– New Temple Park
4900 Southern Avenue
Celebration begins at 1 p.m.; fireworks at 9 p.m.

South Gate– South Gate Park
4900 Southern Avenue
Fireworks display at 9 p.m.

Sunland-Tujunga– Verdugo Hills High School
10625 Plain View
Live music, games and food
Gates open at 5 p.m. (close at 8:30 p.m.); fireworks shortly after 9 p.m 

Suzanne Park
625 Suzanne Road
Live entertainment, pooch parade, food trucks and fireworks.
Fireworks start at approximately 9 p.m.

Councilman Bob Blumenfield’s July 4th Fireworks Extravaganza
6 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.
For more information visit

Aliso Viejo
Grand Park
AVCA July 4th Celebration & Fireworks
Aliso Creek Road and Pacific Park Drive
6 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. 

Anaheim Hills
Canyon High School & Peralta Park
Firecracker 5K/10K Run/Walk at 7 a.m. at Canyon High track
Pancake Breakfast from 7:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. at Canyon High
Yankee Doodle Dog Show at 9 a.m. at Canyon High
4th of July Parade at 1 p.m. at Canyon High
Food booths & entertainment from 3 p.m. – 8:45 p.m. at Peralta Park; fireworks at 9 p.m.

Disneyland Resort

Dana Point
24650 Dana Point Harbor Drive
Fireworks Extravaganza at 9 p.m

Doheny State Beach
25300 Dana Point Harbor Drive
Park hours are 6 AM to 10 PM; Fireworks start at 8:45 PM.

Laguna Cliffs Marriott Resort and Spa
4th of July BBQ buffet and fireworks
25135 Park Lantern
5 p.m. – 8:30 p.m
Price: $89 for adults, $40 for kids 6-12

4th of July Cruises from Dana Wharf Sportfishing and Whale Watching
Dinner and fireworks display cruises
Price starts at $29

Fullerton Union High School Softball Field
201 E Chapman Avenue
5 p.m. – 9 p.m.; fireworks at 9 p.m.

Huntington Beach
Pier Plaza at Huntington Beach Pier
Parade at 10 a.m.
Fireworks at Huntington Beach Pier at 9 p.m.

Irvine High School stadium
4321 Walnut Avenue
Pyro Musical sky concert & Fireworks extravaganza
Gates open at 3 p.m.; fireworks at 9 p.m.

La Habra
La Habra High School football stadium
4th of July Spectacular
801 W. Highlander Avenue
Gates open at 5:00 p.m; fireworks begin at 9:15 p.m.

Laguna Hills
Food, music, carnival games and more
Community Center & Sports Complex
25555 Alicia Parkway
4 p.m – 9:30 p.m; fireworks at 9:10 p.m

Laguna Niguel
Crown Valley Community Park
29751 Crown Valley Parkway
9 a.m -12 p.m Adult Lap, 12 p.m -5 p.m Rec Swim
Festivities 6 p.m – 8 p.m; fireworks at 9 p.m

Lake Forest
El Toro High School
25255 Toledo Way
Kiwanis Pancake Breakfast 7 a.m – 10 a.m; $6 per person
PSTO CHARGERS 5K Run/Walk 7:30 a.m
Parade at 10 a.m; starts at the corner of Toledo Way and Ridge Route Drive and ends on Serrano at Ridge Route.

Los Alamitos
Joint Forces Training Base
11200 Lexington Drive
Gates open at 4 p.m.; fireworks at 9 p.m.

Mission Viejo
Olympiad Road
Between Marguerite Parkway and Melinda Road
Noon – 9 p.m.; fireworks at 9 p.m.

Newport Beach
Old Glory Boat Parade Event – Newport Harbor
7 a.m. – 9 p.m; fireworks follow

4th of July parade and fireworks cruises through Newport Bay
1 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.; 4 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.; 7 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.
Tickets start at $45

Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort & Marina
1131 Back Bay Drive
Gates open at 8 a.m; fireworks at 9 p.m.
$50 per car

San Clemente
Independence Day Fireworks 9 p.m

7 Pier
622 Avenida Del Mar

Santa Ana 
Centennial Park
3000 W. Edinger Avenue
4 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.; fireworks at 9 p.m. 

Tustin High School football field
1171 El Camino Real
6 p.m – 9:300 p.m

Yorba Linda
Yorba Linda Middle School
4777 Casa Loma Avenue
Festivities kick off at 5:00 pm – 10:00 pm; fireworks at 9 p.m

Stewart Park
653 East 9th Street
Celebration from noon to 9 p.m; fireworks to follow

Santana Park
598 Santana Way
Main street parade begins at 9 a.m
Celebrations 4 p.m- 8:30 p.m; fireworks to follow /

Palm Desert
Palm Desert Civic Center Park
43900 San Pablo Ave
Evening kicks off at 7:15 p.m; fireworks at 9 p.m

Palm Springs 
Palm Springs Stadium
1901 E. Baristo Road
Fireworks to follow the baseball game

Evergreen Memorial Historic Cemetery
14th and Pine Street
5 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.
General Admission: $5
Pre-sale tickets available online

San Jacinto
Valley Wide Regional Park
901 Esplanade Avenue
Fireworks start at 9 p.m.

4th of July Parade will start at Old Town Temecula at 10 a.m
Entertainment from 2 p.m – 9 p.m at Ronald Reagan Sports Park; fireworks to follow

Big Bear
Fireworks over Big Bear Lake
Fireworks start at 8:45 p.m

Fontana High School
9453 Citrus Avenue
6 p.m – 9:30 p.m

Daytime activities at Sylvan Park
Festivities start at 9 a.m.; parade starts at 10:30 a.m.
Fireworks celebration at University of Redlands
Gates open at 6 p.m.; show starts at 7 p.m. with fireworks at 9 p.m.

San Bernardino
Baseball game and fireworks July 4
Watch the game then stay for fireworks
Game starts at 7:05 p.m., followed by 4th of July fireworks display
Tickets between $5-$15
280 South E Street

Yucca Valley
56525 Little League Drive
Gates open at 6 p.m.; fireworks at 9 p.m.

Camarillo High School stadium
4660 Mission Oaks Boulevard
Gates open at 4 p.m.; fireworks at 9 p.m.

Sespe Creek Car Show and Fireworks
300 Block Central Avenue
Car show from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Fireworks launched from Fillmore High School at 9:15 p.m.

Nordhoff High School stadium
Concert and fireworks
1401 Maricopa Highway
Gates open at 5:30 p.m.; fireworks at 9:15 p.m.

Channel Islands Harbor

Simi Valley
Ronald Reagan Presidential Library
40 Presidential Drive
Family fun and food
10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Rancho Santa Susana Community Park
5005 E Los Angeles Ave
Simi Valley, CA 93063.

Thousand Oaks
The Oaks Mall
350 W. Hillcrest Drive

Westlake Village
47th Annual Westlake Village 4th of July Parade, Fairytales in the Park, fireworks and more!