Tyler Grossman | Corte Madera Real Estate, San Rafael Real Estate, Mill Valley Real Estate


Purchasing a home can be stressful, and the homebuying process might even cause your blood pressure to rise if you're not careful. Fortunately, there are many quick, easy ways to minimize stress and stay calm during the homebuying process, including: 1. Don't Be Afraid to Take a Step Back and Relax. The real estate market remains an ongoing battle between homebuyers. Plus, after you find a house you like, you may encounter problems with a home seller as you try to finalize a purchase agreement. But remember, as you move along the homebuyer journey, don't be afraid to take a step back and relax. Buying a home represents a life-changing event, one that should not be taken lightly. However, homebuyers who try to rush through the homebuying process may watch their stress levels rise quickly – the last thing any homebuyer wants to encounter. If you feel stressed at any point during the homebuying process, be sure to take a deep breath and focus on the big picture. By doing so, you'll be able to improve your chances of remaining cool under pressure and simplify your journey from homebuyer to homeowner. 2. Stay Organized. As a homebuyer, you may be required to make phone calls and emails as you move along the homebuying journey. And in some cases, problems could arise if you don't document your conversations properly. But a homebuyer who devotes the necessary time and resources to stay organized should have no trouble tracking phone calls and emails that are sent to a home inspector, lender or other professionals who may be involved in the homebuying process. Jotting down notes on phone calls usually is a great idea for homebuyers, as this allows you to keep track of your conversations. And if you send emails, you already have a surefire way to monitor any messages you send or receive, too. 3. Hire a Courteous, Diligent Real Estate Agent. Let's face it – it often is easy to become emotional during the homebuying process. On the other hand, if you have a courteous, diligent real estate agent at your side, you'll be better equipped to overcome any hurdles that you may encounter during this process. Your real estate agent will offer information about upcoming open houses and set up home showings, enabling you to check out many homes that fit your needs. Also, this professional ultimately will serve as a liaison between you and a home seller and can help you stay calm, cool and collected during negotiations. Furthermore, your real estate agent will keep you up to date as you progress through the homebuying journey. As a result, this professional is exceedingly important and can help streamline the process of buying a home. The homebuying process can become time-consuming and complicated, and as such, cause stress. Conversely, if you use the aforementioned tips, you should be able to simplify the process of finding a home that suits your perfectly and buy this residence without delay.

Want to hire a moving company to help you transport your belongings to your new address? You're in luck, as many world-class moving companies are available in cities and towns nationwide.

Ultimately, there are various factors to consider as you try to differentiate one moving company from another, including:

1. Experience

A top-notch moving company probably will possess many years of experience. As such, this business should have no trouble helping you identify potential moving hurdles and ensuring you can overcome these problems quickly and effortlessly.

If you're uncertain about a moving company's experience, searching the business' website may prove to be an excellent starting point. By reviewing the business' website, you can learn about the company's services and find out how it supports its customers.

Also, feel free to reach out to a moving company if you ever have concerns or questions. This will enable you to receive first-hand insights into the business' experience so you can make an informed decision.

2. Quality of Service

Although every moving company should be able to provide unparalleled customer support, few businesses may go the extra mile to ensure customers are helped at each stage of the moving process.

Try to find a moving company that is dedicated to its clientele – you'll be glad you did. This company should be able to respond to any concerns or questions leading up to moving day. In addition, the company will be able to offer affordable pricing and set realistic expectations about what to expect when moving day arrives.

Keep in mind that a first-rate moving company should be able to provide customer referrals that you can use to determine whether this business is the right choice for your upcoming move.

Ask a moving company for client referrals before you make your final decision. That way, you can reach out to past clients to learn more about the quality of service that a moving company provides.

3. Licensure and Insurance

Find out whether a moving company is licensed and insured. This may require you to allocate substantial time and resources to perform an in-depth search of licensed and insured moving companies in your area, but the benefits of doing so will pay off in the long run.

A licensed and insured moving company will possess the necessary credentials to provide support for an intrastate or interstate move. As a result, this business can safely handle all of your possessions and ensure your items are fully protected from the time they are picked up until the time they arrive at your new address.

Lastly, if you recently sold or bought a house, your real estate agent may be able to provide extra help. He or she likely can provide moving company recommendations and put you in touch with a moving company that can fulfill your moving day requests.

Get ready for your upcoming move – consider the aforementioned factors, and you can find the ideal moving company to help you take your belongings to any location, at any time.


An entryway is the first room you enter when coming home and the first to welcome guests. Many couples have a grand entryway at the top of their wishlist when buying a new home. Make yours count with upscale upgrades that won’t break the bank. Here are my tips for creating a high-end entryway no matter the size of your budget:

Paint vent covers a new color and/or finish. This is a great subtle way to add a touch of luxury to your entryway. You can find spray paint in every tone and finish possible to match the rest of the hardware in your hall. Be sure to allow it to dry well before putting them back in place. Alternatively, you can swap out a plain grill for one with more decorative detail.

Add decorative brackets tucked against the tread on the side of your stairs for a unique handcrafted millwork detail. Paint and or stain them to match the original woodwork. This will give your home a touch of upscale elegance visitors will fawn over. If your stairs are painted consider giving them a fresh coat of paint while working on this project for a clean new feel.

Add frames to your light switch plates and paint them to match. Luxury is all about the details, quite literally. This is a quick project with big impact. Consider hunting around antique shops for a vintage option. Don’t feel you have to paint them stark white. Try a deep brown or a creme color for your plates.

Create faux baseboards along bare walls with molding. You can even create a wood-paneled look by installing molding along the halfway point of your wall and painting the area down to the baseboards all of the same color. Install molding fitted into rectangular frames along this space for a more detailed look.

Update your entryways light fixture to a piece that is more upscale and elegant. Replace flush mount light fixtures with a chandelier or pendant light that is just as stunning as it is functional. Afterall, good lighting is key to an entryway that wows.    

Add new life to your entryway with a fresh coat of paint. Rich, deep colors and neutrals feel high-end and luxurious. This is a great room to choose two colors for - one for the top half of walls and another for the bottom half. This is another way to create a unique and interesting room without installing paneling.

Bring in a runner or carpet to add a layer of depth and luxury to your entryway. While oriental style carpeting is a classic don’t be afraid to choose a pattern you love. Again, neutrals will guarantee a high end feel to the room. With that said rich, warm colors can feel chic and glamorous.


Gold in the BankOur homes contain almost everything of value to us. In a way, your home is like a giant safe that you want to protect from break-ins, floods and fires. Unfortunately, you can't always be one-hundred percent sure that everything in your home is protected from these hazards. For an added layer of security for your most important belongings, buying a home safe is an excellent option. However, there are many different types of safes across a large price range. Knowing which one fits your needs but also your budget can be complicated. What's more, deciding what items you own should be kept in a safe is a process all of its own. But we've got you covered. In this article, we'll talk about the types of safes and some items you should keep inside of them.

Safe Categories

Not all safes are created with the same purpose. Some may be designed for you to be able to open from your smart phone, whereas others are created from an everyday object, such as a book, to be hidden in plain sight. Others might be small and fireproof but not very effective against burglars who can easily carry them out of your home. When shopping a safe and thinking about size, remember that you should probably buy a safe that is a bit larger than your current needs since you will probably someday add items to your safe.   Here are the main types of safe to help you choose which one is right for you:
  • Water-tight and fire resistant. If you have important documents, jewelry, or electronics that you want to keep secure, a weatherproof safe is the way to go. For added security against floods, keep the safe away from areas that are prone to water damage like basements. These are the most common safes and are a great choice.
  • Diversion. Diversion safes often only have minimal security measures (locks), if any at all. Their main strength is that they can be hidden in plain sight, such as being a book inside a bookshelf.
  • Wall-installed. You've probably seen this type in the movies. They are installed into a wall and can be hidden behind objects. These have the advantage of being hidden like a diversion safe, but also use thick metal and complex locking mechanisms. But be prepared to pay a hefty price for all those features.
  • Anti-burglary. These safes are very difficult to break open. They have complex locks and thick metal with few vulnerabilities.
  • Object-specific safe. Some safes are designed just for weapons, others designed just for jewelry.

What to keep safe

Generally speaking, anything of value to you that isn't easy to replace can be kept in a safe. Depending on how easy it is to access your safe and how often you use the item, you may decide it's simpler to leave the item out of the safe. However, you can always use the safe to secure backups of documents and files. Here are some ideas for items to keep in your safe:
  • Passports
  • Birth Certificates
  • Social security card
  • Spare keys
  •  Wills
  • Flash drive containing important photos and documents
  • Important passwords
  • Jewelry
  • Family heirlooms
  • Weapons and other dangerous objects
 

Buying your first home is a huge financial accomplishment and life milestone. The process is long, and can seem complicated at times. However, if you do your research and manage your money carefully, buying a house can be an excellent financial asset that will serve you for decades to come. 

Many people who hope to own a home in the near future aren’t sure of the best way to start off on their path toward homeownership. This uncertainty leads them to put off their preparations. If you want to stop renting and start building equity, this is time wasted.

In today’s post, I’m going to give you some advice on how to start planning for homeownership, regardless of your current circumstances.

Build credit responsibly

One thing that will help you on nearly all mortgage applications is a good credit score. For those of us who had a difficult time paying off bills or had loans go into default, it can seem like a daunting task to ever raise your credit score into good standing.

However, when your score is low, it is actually easier and faster to raise than if it is already in high standing.

To boost your credit score, make sure your current debt is paid on time each month. If you’re thinking about taking on a new line of credit, consider setting it to auto-pay each month for the full statement balance. This way, you’ll still improve your credit score but can also avoid costly interest payments.

Read up on mortgages and fees

There are many different types of mortgages available to borrowers in the United States. Some, such as USDA and VA loans, are guaranteed by the U.S. government. This means they often have less stringent credit and down payment requirements.

Don’t be afraid to shop around between lenders. You may see different interest rates from similar lenders in your area.

Finally, make sure you’re familiar with the type of closing costs and property taxes you’ll be responsible for. It’s one thing to be able to afford your monthly mortgage payments, but there are other costs to consider when it comes to being a homeowner.

Budget and save

Budgeting and saving are both skills that need to be learned and developed over time. None of us are born with the knowledge of how to best budget their expenses and earnings. However, there are some free tools available in most app stores.

When it comes to saving, remember that the more you save for a down payment, the lower your interest rate can be. The difference may seem small now, but over the lifetime of your mortgage can save you tens of thousands of dollars. Wouldn’t you rather that money end up in your retirement fund than in your lender’s pocket?

Before you apply for a mortgage

If you’ve saved for your down payment and built credit and are ready to take the next step and get preapproved, be aware that opening new lines of credit will temporarily decrease your score.




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