Remodeling a bathroom?


Homeowners planning a remodeled bathroom featuring a new shower/ tub are often faced with a key choice: Should you install a prefabricated shower stall, or build a custom ceramic tile shower?

Pre-fabricated Units

Pre-fabricated shower stall units are usually fiberglass or acrylic kits created in a factory and shipped to your home in one or several pieces. They can be installed by a professional crew, or by a DIYer. Most shower kits include a shower pan and two or three solid wall panels, although some are one-piece shells, in which the shower base or bathtub is integrated with the walls. One deciding factor in the choice between a one-piece or multi-piece unit is whether you can get a one-piece unitthrough the doors of your home. Homeowners often choose multi-piece units for this very reason. The multi-piece kits usually come with everything you need: shower pan or tub, molded wall panels with shelves and soap dishes molded into them, and even the shower door. Big box home improvement centers may stock some simpler shower stall kits in the store, but better-quality products will require special ordering based on the precise measurements of your shower alcove space.

Hiring a Contractor? Ask this 6 questions first



With a raft of home improvement websites that specialize in matching homeowners to contractors, and social media sites making it easy to receive referrals from friends and family, finding a reliable contractor is a straightforward process.

But once you find a potential contractor, you must ensure he or she is the right fit for your home improvement project. That’s why many experts advise making a few key inquiries to learn more about a prospective contractor and assess accountability before hiring one. Before you select a contractor, ask these questions to set realistic expectations, avoid hitting major snags and ensure you get what you want.

Home prices start to level out

For most of the last decade, Los Angeles has been a seller’s market. Since 2012, when housing prices began to recover from the Great Recession, competition among buyers has been fierce and real estate values in the area have ascended rapidly.

But market analysts and real estate agents say those trends are changing. Home prices have leveled off in recent months, and the number of overall sales is far below the historical average.

What’s changed?

How Minimalism can help the environment

There are several decisions we make each day that contribute to the environmental pollution of our planet. These often include what we choose to spend our money on, as well as some lifestyle habits. Although people of many different lifestyles can live in environmentally conscious ways, one of the most inherently eco-friendly ways to live is through a minimalist lifestyle. Minimalist lifestyles are based out of a mindset that prioritizes objects in an attempt to focus on only the centerpieces worth noting. This artistic sense of style creates a lifestyle that decreases clutter, waste and the purchase of unnecessary objects.

How Minimalism Can Help the Environment


The Three Common Mistakes Beginners Do in Property Investment

“Entrepreneurship is living a few years of your life like most people will not, so that you can spend the rest of your life like most people cannot.” –Author Unknown

There has never been any doubt that investing in real estate has been one of the tried and tested paths towards financial freedom.

It is one of those pecuniary avenues that provide the most revenue. With this in mind, so many individuals who wish to seek better leverage on their finances have decided to dip their toes into real estate and invest their money on properties that would potential make up their real estate portfolio. While this is a sound idea, novice real estate investors would often experience roadblocks that would cause them to give up on their endeavors. This is unfortunate considering there is a wealth of information offered online as to what budding investors should do in order to lock in success. However, as it is real estate investments require not only your enthusiasm and interest, but your discipline and commitment as well.

Much like any other industry in the world, it is integral to be aware of the common pitfalls so as to avoid become a statistic in the game of properties. There have been way too many investors who start with the intention of making their marks in the industry. Unfortunately, only a handful of them would ever really make it big or even get past their first property investment. In this regard, their chances for making genuine wealth through real estate would seem diminished. In any case, if you have been  for a while now, take a gander at this list first. What you are about to read might prove to be useful in your venture towards making it big in the real estate industry.

#1. Heart over head

The reality is, most prospective real estate investors would buy a home that is neither driven by logic or practicality. More often than not, their purchasing decision would be influenced by their emotion and rarely would it be about logic. While this is a sound way to purchase your first home which you intend to occupy and reside in (it is your sanctuary after all), the same cannot be said for investment properties. When buying your first property, you should approach it based on analytical research. Remember, if you let your emotions cloud your judgment, you will be more likely to overcapitalize on your purchase. This means you will hardly negotiate the price and the possible outcome of your investment goals.

#2. You fail to plan

Planning is an integral part of any type of venture—be it an investment one or a business pitch. In this regard, ploughing through real estate sans a meticulously laid out plan is the worst possible mistake you can make. When you fail to plan, you are planning to fail. It might sound like a clichéd adage, but it holds true until today. Most novice property investors would center their goals on building a lucrative property portfolio. But this would almost be impossible to do without a concrete strategy as to how to do just that. Remember, your plans serve as the navigating tool towards realizing your goals. So, ensure that you dedicate enough time in planning before buying your first property.

#3. Diving in or dithering

Either of the two would be incredibly detrimental when it comes to any of your real estate ventures. Two of some of the most common traits among novice real estate investors who never make it past the first property are either being too cautious or acting way too impulsively. While the former procrastinates and is their own worst enemy, the latter is in a hurry and would not think things through before going with a transaction. Impulsive investors immediately buy into the first property they see potential in without thinking it through. After that does not make them rick overnight, they become disappointed and entirely give up on their endeavors. The procrastinators are not any better either as they are paralyzed by their fear of over investing and never making any returns. Impulsive buyers tend to learn from their mistakes and lead a successful career in real investment in the future but the latter might never overcome their fear. In this regard, your best tack would be to find the medium and learn as much as you can in order to be comfortable the decisions you would soon make as regards your investments.

How to start Home buying process

Before you start visiting every open house that you see and looking to seek out a lender or two to get pre-approved. Doing that  you’ll  get a firm grasp on how much you’re willing to spend on your future home.

Seek out a realistic budget that you can work with. Or, you can contact a financial professional and have him or her crunch some numbers for you. By doing so, you’ll have a true estimate of what you can afford and what’s way beyond your price range.

Plenty of buyers overstep their financial boundaries and find themselves in a predicament down the line. Remember to consider every factor, as a home will undoubtedly be the biggest purchase that you’ll make in your lifetime.

Once you have a good understanding of your budget, it’s time to think about the down payment that you’re going to make. Today’s home buyers are saving at least 20% (minimum) for the down payment and another 3 to 5% for closing costs – which is a whopping amount if you think about it. However, by taking this route, you’ll avoid having to purchase private mortgage insurance – we’ll talk more about insurance in a bit.

Take a Look At Your Mortgage Options
If you’re for the entirety of your home upfront in cash, you’ll likely be pulling out a mortgage.
Starting this process involves finding a trustworthy mortgage lender that’s easy to communicate with. They will provide you with detailed information and options and can answer every one of your questions in detail – which I assume that if you’re a first-time home buyer that you’ll have plenty.

To break this down in a simple manner, there are two primary options that you’ll be choosing from. The first is known as a fixed-rate mortgage, which keeps your approved rate steady throughout the duration of your entire loan. The second is an adjustable-rate mortgage, which tends to fluctuate based on the market. Both have their pros and cons, so speak with your mortgage lender about the what’s best for you and your financial situation.


How can a home appraisal help the sale of my property?

Pricing your home is by far one of the trickiest aspects of selling a home. Price too low and buyers will assume there’s something wrong with the home and you are trying to dump it. Price too high and you may completely shut out your target group and end up selling the home for significantly less.

You may also run into real estate agents that offer you vastly different price options for selling your home. Keep in mind that a real estate agent does not provide and unbiased assessment of your home. While they can provide suggestions, a real estate agent can only provide a casual estimate of a home and ultimately, they are attempting to gain your listing to profit their business.

By having the right price when listing your home, you will be able to attract more buyers. This is because pricing your home over market value in the hopes that someone will be willing to pay the higher price will mean that buyers don’t even see the option of your home. Depending on your location and market, buyers may be looking for homes only within a certain price range. If you choose to mark up your home from $299,000 to $310,000, for example, buyers looking for homes under $300,000 will not see your home at all, even if you were ultimately willing to accept $300,000 for the home.

The right price means more confident buyers
It’s a strange thing about selling a home, but for most buyers they are expecting the seller to tell them what they’re home is worth. If you offer your home for a fair price that is similar to comparable homes in the neighborhood, buyers will feel better about the transaction. They may reason that, since you’ve done your homework about the price, you will most likely have done it about the home itself.

10 tips to landlord


  1. The landlord process begins with a thorough screening of tenants. Whom you allow to move into your property always makes a difference in how profitable your business will be. No landlord likes having a vacancy but allowing the wrong tenant to move in can be more costly than a vacancy. The problems that bad tenants can cause are countless. If it’s a multifamily residence, one bad tenant can cause good tenants to move out. Bad tenants can move bad friends in to create even more trouble. Of course, the damage they do to the property can easily exceed your rent profits, the security deposit, and cause you headaches to make repairs. Besides the obvious screening for criminal backgrounds and credit reports, always follow up on references. Require at least two previous landlord references and place more weight with a landlord that doesn’t currently have him or her as a tenant. A current landlord is likely to give a bad tenant a glowing report just to get them out of their rental property. Also make sure all adults living in the residence sign the lease.
  2. Go beyond the standard rental agreement to set your own rules. Certainly, your state has minimum requirements that must be met to rent a property. Usually, these apply mostly to the landlord. You need to have your tenants sign a set of rules that you require them to obey. Common rules include not disassembling vehicles in the parking lot, no excessive noise after 10 pm, the number of days a guest is allowed to stay overnight, etc.
  3. Understand and enforce security deposits fairly. Some states allow double or triple recovery of unfairly withheld security deposits when a tenant moves out. Always have a walk through with a new tenant and take photos of existing damage. Have the tenant sign and date the written description along with signing printed copies of the photos.
  4. Keep the property in good repair. Failing to make prompt repairs can give tenants the right to move out without advance notice, to withhold rent, or to make repairs themselves, and deduct it from rent. Stay in control of your properties by requiring tenants to promptly notify you of needed repairs and then you promptly making the repair.
  5. Maintain a secure property. The best tenants insist that the property be kept secure from criminal activity. Often this only requires good outside lighting and shrubbery kept cut back. Larger properties might add security cameras as an additional deterrent to crime.
  6. Notify tenants before entering their dwelling. Tenants have a right to expect privacy. Most state laws allow landlords to enter under emergency conditions but you must give notice before entering for any other reason.
  7. Give notice of any known hazardous conditions. For older properties, the most common hazard is lead paint. Even if you don’t know if lead paint is four or five layers down, it’s wise to give notice of the potential so that you don’t become liable for tenants’ (especially young children) health problems. You may have other hazards such as an old covered well.
  8. Maintain enough insurance to protect your investment. You need rock solid insurance to protect you from injury liabilities, discrimination lawsuits, fire, storm damage, and much more. Now is good a time to review your coverage.
  9. Manage your property manager. If you use a property manager, be sure you vet them before hiring them and supervise them while they work for you. Not doing so can leave you responsible for his or her criminal behavior

Orna Eilon

Orna Eilon was born, raised and educated in Israel. In 1985 Orna moved to the United States with her husband Ori, and since then have together built numerous businesses, support for their community and a beautiful family.

In 1989 after having her second child, Orna acquired her Real Estate license and since then has been actively and aggressively working in this field. As a multi-faceted Real Estate agent, Orna continues to enrich her knowledge and education through various courses and programs that allow her keep up with the changing markets and economy.

In 2005 Orna became heavily involved with the Jewish Federation, Valley Alliance and served on numerous committees, as well as volunteering her time for the Board of Directors. A few years later, along with some friends and colleagues, Orna established MATI – Israeli Community Center, which had grown to be one of the most influential organizations in Los Angeles by developing, leading and financing cultural and community programs. Orna serves as a volunteer for this organization, giving her time and heart back into her community.

Her clients who are well aware of her commitment to her family, professional and volunteer work often ask her, “Where do you find time for all of it!?” Her answer is one that speaks to her commitment to excellence. She does it  “to give back to the community that gave her so much.”