🏡How to Save on #HOME Closing Costs – #Irvine

 Home Closing Costs -  - Christina Khandan -  Irvine California  - www.IrvineHomeBlog.com
Typically you can expect to pay anywhere from 2% to 5% on the price of the home as closing costs.

Purchasing a property will always have certain costs associated with it. These costs are called the closing costs and are normal and customary for a home purchase, although some will differ from one state to another,  but the components of closing costs are pretty much uniform regardless of which part of the country you live in.

Closing costs are made up of:

Closing Costs Fees - Christina Khandan - Irvine California IrvineHomeBlog.com

(depending on the transaction you might or might not be responsible for all of the above)

A standard closing cost will usually run you about 2% to 5% of the purchase price of the home. Assume you are buying a $800,000.00 home in Southern California, The Closing costs can be a substantial amount if the range is between $16,000.00 to $35,000.00. These amounts are affected during the price negotiations and the offer process for your home. There are several things you can do to save money on your closing costs and here are few examples of them.

1. Negotiation Process:
during the offer process you have to negotiate with the seller. Find out what your estimated costs will be and make sure you try to build some or all of it into the offer. The payment of all closing costs can be a very important part of the negotiation with the seller. This can vary depending on what kind of a Real Estate market you are in. The Sellers motivation to sell and their timing is also very important. Know why they are selling. Do some work and find out why they are selling. Having some facts can help you in the offer process and come out ahead at the end.

2. Shopping:
prior to making the offer for your dream home, do some research and shop for your closing costs. Mortgage rates are not the only item you need to shop for. Everything from Inspection to Title insurance you can do some shopping around and ask for best prices. This can be a great way to save money. One peace of information you might want to keep in mind, is that the seller has the right to choose the Title and Escrow company.

3. Community:
different communities around the country will have closing costs which are higher and lower depending on the locality of the property. Many high-tax areas of the country have much higher closing costs which will get you toward the upper end of the range 5% to 6%. Some areas will have flat rates on certain parts of closing costs like Title insurance or Escrow fees. Take the time and ask around in your community, friends and family, Realtor advice always helps too. Its always best to research the estimates close to your community, better doing some research, rather than blindly assuming a wrong number as the basis for your closing costs.

4. Timing the Closing Schedule.
It is suggested to try and keep the closing date toward the end of the month. It might seem like penny pinching but every penny will count towards how much you will end up paying for your home. Bottom line many lenders assess a charge between the settlement date and the last day of the month. This is to cover the lenders fees and compensate the lender before you will be paying the full principal and interest payment the following month after closing. Even if a nominal amount is involved this cost can be reduced by a good margin if you schedule your closing toward the end of the month.

5. Full checkup.
make sure you get a good faith estimate right up front. Between the initial good faith and final closing the Escrow, title and others tend to add additional fees and expect you to not notice it. Always compare your Good faith estimate with your final cost sheet and make sure the numbers are what you had initially been promised. If you do see a significant price change on any line item make sure you have access to a good Real Estate Attorney and keep all your legal options open.

Don’t let the process stop you from getting a deal on your next home purchase. Do not be embarrassed to negotiate on the price or costs. If the tables were turned they would be asking or the kitchen sink. So make sure you work on your skills, information gathering techniques and remember if you don’t ask for it the seller will not be offering you any price breaks.

 

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🏡Tips For Choosing Home Owner’s Insurance – #Irvine

Home Owner's Insurance - Christina Khandan - Irvine California - www.IrvineHomeBlog.com
Natural disasters and accidents could happen at any moment, You could have a burglary in your neighborhood, many unexpected changes damages to your homes foundation etc. You should know how to protect yourself before it is too late.

 

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If you have a mortgage you are required to have home owner’s insurance. You can be out in the cold if a natural disaster or other home disaster strikes.

Below are a few helpful hints regarding home owner’s insurance.

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1. When considering home insurance, consider how important it is to have a higher or lower deductible. With a lower deductible, your rates will be higher throughout the year, but you’ll have to pay less for damages to your house.

2. If you have recreational amenities in your backyard such as pools, hot tubs, trampolines, or other contraptions that are likely to cause injury, these can raise your insurance premiums.

3. Install smoke alarms in your home. It will not only help to protect your family in the case of a fire but it will also get you about a ten percent discount on your home insurance policy. Many newer homes already have them installed but if they are not, it is an affordable thing to add to your home.

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4. Before getting a renter’s insurance policy, take a look around your apartment and take photos of the things that you would like to have covered if there was a disaster. Calculate each item’s worth and find an insurance policy that will cover at least that amount in the case that you have to file a claim.

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5. Know your coverage limitations if you own equipment that insurers consider high-risk, such as swimming pools or backyard trampolines. Your insurer may not pay liability claims for accidents involving such equipment or you may be required to purchase extra insurance to cover any injuries or damages that occur because of them.

6. When shopping for homeowners insurance, try to choose a user-friendly company. Hassle-free claims processing is key. Consumer Reports is one of many consumer advocacy organizations that provides unbiased, comprehensive information about various companies.

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🏡Plan Your Mortgage – #Irvine

Plan Your Mortgage -  - Christina Khandan -  Irvine California  - www.IrvineHomeBlog.com

 

Planning your Mortgage is almost more important than looking for your Home. There are few key points you need to make sure are taken care of prior to searching for your home.

Here are a 10 Items to You Will Need For Your Mortgage:

 

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  1. Drivers License
  2. Secondary IDs (Social Security Number/Card, Passport)
  3. Most recent pay stubs
  4. Copy of Tax Return (Signed)
  5. W2 forms from Employers for last 2 years, Document Employment History (Each Lender will vary)
  6. Most Recent Bank and Asset Statement
  7. Fully executed purchase contract for the property you are buying (needed later)
  8. If refinancing, a copy of your deed
  9. Name, address and phone # of your landlord – if you are currently a renter.
  10. Name, address, phone, fax #s and e-mail address for your Agent/attorney – to coordinate the closing (depending on which state you live in)

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Water Conservation Tips #Home – #Irvine

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Save-Water

Like most Californian’s I am not looking forward to higher water rates and everything that goes along with it.  This morning I received a newsletter from my local water district and thought I would share some of the things that they had written about.

These are just ideas and suggestions that they had so I hope this helps you as much as it will help me not only conserve water but also keep my water bill under control.

The top 3 ways to save water

In their news letter they mentioned the top 3 ways to save water and they are:

1.  Get rid of your lawn and either get turf, artificial grass or drought tolerant and water efficient plants.  Some water districts are even offering rebates so this might be a good time to try not only to save on water but also save a little “green” or cash as well with the rebates they are offering.

2.  Check sprinkler timers.  Are you watering either early morning or late night?  Well, you should be….. also just like checking batteries on your smoke detectors make sure the batteries in your sprinkler timer is also working.

3.  Use either drip irrigation or water efficient nozzles when water your yard.  It can really make a difference on how much water you use and directs the water to the areas that are needed and not everywhere.

Some other ideas that I have heard from around as well is to use recycled or reclaimed water.  When you are washing your dishes there is nothing wrong with saving that water you just used and use it to water the plants outside.  It can really help assist save on water.  If you are washing clothes you can save the water after the rinse cycle and use it to use in the bathroom to flush toilets etc….

download

Again these are all suggestions that I have read either in my local water district news letter or heard from around the area.  Happy Saving :)

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🏡 #Home Maintenance Guide – #Irvine #RealEstate

Home Maintenance Guide red   - Christina Khandan -  Irvine California Realtor - www.IrvineHomeBlog.com

As a landlord or property manager, examine your units regularly for these minor fixes and take care of them before they become a huge expense. Few basic rules to follow for your home maintenance needs. Specially if you are getting ready to sell.

 

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1. Check for leaks.

Identifying-and-fixing -  - Christina Khandan -  Irvine California Realtor - www.IrvineHomeBlog.com

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2. Re-caulk showers and tile grout.

 Regular-use-of-bathroom  - Christina Khandan -  Irvine California Realtor - www.IrvineHomeBlog.com

3. Update electrical wires.

 - Christina Khandan -  Irvine California Realtor - www.IrvineHomeBlog.com

4. Re-paint your property.

Don't-wait-until-you-can  - Christina Khandan -  Irvine California Realtor - www.IrvineHomeBlog.com

5. Replace the air filters.

Waiting-for-your-air -  - Christina Khandan -  Irvine California Realtor - www.IrvineHomeBlog.com

6. Regularly test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.

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7. Check for pests.

Waiting-until-you -  - Christina Khandan -  Irvine California Realtor - www.IrvineHomeBlog.com

8. Landscape

Try-to-regularly  - Christina Khandan -  Irvine California Realtor - www.IrvineHomeBlog.com

 

 

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🏡Vacation Checklist for the home #Irvine #vacation #Realestate

images
Many of use take vacations during this time of year because travel is good for the soul, but nothing is worse then going on our vacation and worrying while you are soaking the sun about your home.  Smart technology can help keep all my minds on vacation rather then on home.
I have a vacation checklist that I go through personally before I go on vacation and just thought I might share it with you all to help you ease your mind while on vacation.
1.  Place all your sweat items such as cereals, chocolates, candies etc… into a air tight container.  Spray around your house with some sort of a bug spray as well.  This is another extra step that will keep those pesky ants out.  The worse thing to come back to from a vacation is a house full of ants.
2.  Lock all your windows and doors.  Make sure that all of them are closed correctly and then close your shutters or drapes to keep the home cool in hot weather.

 

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3.  Lock the door that goes from the garage to the house.
4.  Set your outdoor lights to come on each night during the holidays specially if you are on vacation.  This is just an added extra security to deter anyone from breaking in.
5.  Set a few lights inside the house on a timer to come on at different times during the evening.  This is a great deterrent that will hopefully keep thieves out thinking someone is still at home.
6.  Have your neighbor take our your trash cans and bring them back in just as if you were home.  This is one thing that thieves look for when staking out a house.
7.  If you have a home security system make sure it is operational and all batteries are new to avoid any false alarms to be had.  Also make sure you have enough tape space on your video recorder if it is taping while you are away.
disarming alarm system --- Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis
disarming alarm system — Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis
8.  Place a hold on your mail or ask a neighbor to pick up your mail on a daily basis.
9.  Turn off your appliances.   While your away there is no need to have any of your small appliances plugged in it will just add to your electricity bill.
10.  Turn your water heater to low  so you are not warming water while not using any

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11.  Adjust your thermostat.  You don’t need A/C while not home and for an empty house.  If you like set it to a comfortable temperature such as 80 so you don’t return back home to a sauna but also your plants don’t wilt either.
12.  Water your inside plants so they don’t die while you are not home.  I made that mistake once and will not make that mistake aga
in :)
13.  Set the alarm while you are gone. And make sure the alarm company is aware that you are not home so once alarm goes off they know that it is not you and to immediately contact the police
These are just a few things that I have learned to do du
ring the years and from experience.  Hope this makes your vacation a little bit more enjoyable and less worrisome.  Happy Vacation!
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Weekend Projects to Improve your #Home – #Irvine

Happy family painting wall in green.

 

___________________________________________

Improve Your Home: 30 Weekend Projects.

This is a pretty good size list, you might want to print or put away for future Planning. If you are planning to sell your home or just bought one, these ideas can help.

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Install Beaded Board

Beaded board lends a traditional touch to kitchens and bathrooms. Cut holes in the boards or sheets for outlets, phone jacks, and other wall necessities. For a modern take on beaded board, try wider plank paneling, which dresses up the island in this fresh kitchen.

Storage to entry

 

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Add Storage to Your Entry

If a traditional entry closet or a beautiful built-in shelving system is not an option in your home, refashioned furniture can achieve a look that’s equally stylish and storage-savvy. This small-scale table is a perfect size for beside the front door. Though compact, the table’s drawers and shelf make the piece super functional for busy drop-zone items. A wall-mount shelf above the table hangs keys within easy reach.

Make your entrance inviting

 

Make Your Entrance Inviting

A cheery front-door color and a touch of landscaping can do wonders for your home’s curb appeal — and make a lasting impression on guests. Dress the door with new hardware, and add a welcome mat and potted plants near the entrance. Consider installing outdoor lighting to enhance your home’s architecture and illuminate the walkway.

Recharge and reorder

Recharge & Reorder

Get creative with drawer space. Outfitted with divided storage (typically used in kitchen drawers) and a power strip, this drawer serves as a charging dock and daily organizer for cell phones, music players, and other electronics. Drill a hole through the back of the dresser and drawer to accommodate electrical cords.

Give your yard a boost

Give Your Yard a Boost

With flagstone, you can easily make an outdoor patio in a weekend — no mortar required. Add potted plants and outdoor seating, such as a bistro set or an eclectic mix of colorful chairs, to create a quaint backyard escape.

Add Molding

Add Molding

Living room, dining room, great-room: Any common area looks better with the finishing, defining touch of crown molding. If you live in a historic home, make sure your molding choices complement your home’s architectural style.

Paint or Paper a wall

Paint or Paper a Wall

Self-adhesive and repositionable wallpaper creates a romantic accent that’s easy to apply, remove, and reuse. It works like a giant sticker. Peel the decorative paperoff the backing and adhere it to a primed and painted wall. To create a curvy top edge, use your mirror to inspire the outline of your design. Cut the shape from kraft paper and test the look. Tape the pattern on the decorative paper applied to the wall; use a crafts knife to cut around the template. Peel away the paper above the cut.

Update your hardware

Update Your Hardware

Spice up your cabinets and drawers by replacing factory-issue handles and pulls with designs that reflect your personal taste. For a unique, eclectic look, scour antiques shops for hardware pieces.

Look up

Look Up & Give your ceiling a little eye candy.

Beautifully highlight a coffered ceiling with colorful paint, and keep the trim white for a bold visual effect. Placing a ceiling medallion around a fan or light fixture is another way to add architectural flair overhead. Decorative ceiling medallions are available in all shapes, sizes, and styles.

switch to Engery saving windows

Switch to Energy-Saving Windows

If you have a window that faces the prevailing winter winds, replace it with a high-efficiency unit. If the window opening is a nonstandard size, you’ll probably have to order the new window.

Make your fireplace efficient

Make Your Fireplace More Efficient

To quickly and easily rehabilitate your existing fireplace, a gas or wood-burning insert adds energy efficiency to your home without tearing apart your hearth and mantel.

get a Builtin look

Get a Built-In Look

Create extra storage in a snap with kits for bookcases or shelving that you assemble yourself. Try a cabinet/open shelving combination for display spaces.

patch a hole in walls

Patch Holes in Walls

Whether an art-arranging project went awry or you’re tired of looking at dings around the house, concealing wall blemishes is a weekend-worthy project. With a putty knife and surfacing compound, you can easily repair nail holes and other minor wall imperfections. For larger holes, place an adhesive patch over the area and spread an all-purpose drywall compound over it with a trowel. Depending on the size of the wall hole, the compound may need to dry overnight. Paint over the patch when it is dry.

Hang a medicine cabinet

Hang a Medicine Cabinet

With just a stud finder and a drill, you can install the cabinet in less than an hour. For quick installation, choose a cabinet that can mount directly to the wall above your bathroom sink, rather than cutting away drywall and recessing the cabinet between studs.

add a ceiling fan

Add a Ceiling Fan

Add a ceiling fan and save money by not running the air-conditioner on those marginal days when all you need is air movement.

Install a new faucet

Install a New Faucet

Inject elegance into your daily life with a faucet that ups the ante in looks and quality. Just make sure the configuration matches your existing sink, or you might end up replacing that, too.

Spice up your stairway

Spice Up Your Stairway

Add drama to a staircase with distinctive railings or embellishments. Architectural-salvage and reuse centers are hot spots for ideas and materials.

Put dimmers on lights

Put Dimmers on the Lights

Dimmer switches quickly give your dining room the atmosphere of a swank restaurant. You can use standard incandescent bulbs, but if you prefer fluorescent light, look for special dimmable bulbs.

Replace your showerhead

Replace Your Showerhead

Choose a low-flow unit and you’ll get virtually the same sensation of water flow while saving money on your water bill. If your showerhead flow is already low (and shouldn’t be), check to see if hard-water deposits are clogging the holes.

Redo your backsplash

Redo Your Backsplash

Tired of a dull kitchen? Transform the mood of the kitchen with a bold new backsplash in ceramic or glass tile. Just make sure the wall is sound before you start the installation.

Replace an appliance

Replace an Appliance

If you bought your refrigerator before 1993 or your dishwasher before 1994, when the federal energy-efficiency guidelines for each went into effect, consider replacing them with more efficient models. Some newer models use at least 15 percent less energy than required by current federal standards and 40 percent less energy than the conventional models sold in 2001.

light up a corner

Light Up a Corner

With attic space above a dark corner, it’s easy to add a new light fixture, says Daryl Berg, a journeyman electrician in Longview, Washington: “Just cut the hole for the fixture and run the wires through the ceiling joists to a new circuit.”

Swap out a sink

Swap Out the Sink

A new sink can energize a boring bathroom. Before you replace it, though, consider your needs. You might want to try standing in front of the model you’re considering and acting out your morning routine. Will you have enough room to brush your teeth or put in your contacts? Your choice should balance aesthetics with practicality.

Replace interior doors

Replace Interior Doors

Update these often-overlooked interior elements with form and function. Switch a blah door with a finely detailed antique. Or simply upgrade with solid-core doors, which dampen noise far more efficiently than the hollow-core doors common in new construction.

Swap out cabinet door insight

Swap Out Cabinet Door Inserts

Make boring cabinets sing by replacing the door inserts. Stainless steel, stamped tin, wrought-iron grillwork, glass, and wood painted to match your flooring or countertops are all possibilities. The process is simple, says Mike McAllister, owner of Riverside Kitchen Center in Mount Vernon, Washington: “Remove the small flange that holds the existing insert, then replace the insert with your material and add wood or metal stops to keep it in place.”

upgrade flooring

Upgrade Your Flooring

Installing a hardwood floor can take longer than a weekend, so choose a material that’s less time-consuming. Start with anything that comes in a roll, such as sheet vinyl, which looks better and lasts longer than it used to.

Dress up fireplace

Dress Up Your Fireplace

If it’s time to replace that dingy 1970s-era mantel, choose one with enough depth to let you display pictures or other decorations. If you buy a ready-made mantel, don’t be afraid to paint it or add moldings.

add grab bars

Add Grab Bars

Grab bars are one of the simplest ways to make an existing bathroom more accessible, and stylish designs can be found at your local home improvement center. The most important thing to remember when installing grab bars is to find the studs and mount the bars directly to them. Miss the studs and you’ll be pulling out more than the bars when you put your weight on them.

Strip and stain wood cabinets

Strip & Stain Wood Cabinets

Stripping and staining cabinets takes only a weekend, and it will give your space a major facelift. Sealing cabinets with polyurethane will also increase durability. Begin by removing cabinet doors and hardware. Wipe cabinet fronts and doors with mineral spirits to remove any dirt, dust, and grease. Apply a gel-type stripper per manufacturer’s instructions, and then remove the stripper with a plastic putty knife. Next, sand the wood with sandpaper. Using a disposable sponge brush, apply stain in the direction of the cabinets’ wood grain. Allow the stain to dry thoroughly, and seal with polyurethane.

 

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Water Conservation Tips for Outside #Home – #Irvine

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Now that California is in a historic drought we need to do our part to try to save as much water as possible.  Not to say that starting July most of the local water companies will be taking up their rates.  So what can we do to conserve water?  Here are just a few tips for the outside that you may want to consider.

Water your plants in the early morning hours or later in the evening when the temperatures are much cooler.

Plant drought-resistant trees and plants.

drought tolerant 2drought tolerant plants

Check your sprinklers frequently and adjust them accordingly. You don’t want the sidewalk, house or street watered :) you are only water your lawn, trees and flowers.

photo_sprinkler sprinkler_head_calibration

Place a layer of mulch around your trees and plants. This will reduce water evaporation and keep the soil moist and cool.  Makes the garden look richer as well.

Mulched-flower-garden-bed

 

Don’t wash your driveways and sidewalks but rather use a broom to sweep away any dirt or dust.

Also you may consider requesting a free landscape audit from your local water supplier. They at times offer these services and assist you with any questions or concerns.

Once a month check your water bill and look for unusually high uses. If you see your bill is a bit higher this month then last look for the reason and try to adjust accordingly.

Hope this helps out on some water conservation tips for outside but for more info check your local water companies website and see what other ideas they may have

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Contact me for any Questions about the Real Estate Market, Schools, Communities around Irvine. If You are planning to Relocate to Orange County or are Looking for Vacation Home & Investment Property Please do not hesitate to Send me an Email Email
 
Christina Khandan
Keller Williams OC Coastal Realty
949-433-0803. Mobile
714-388-3771. Fax
Christinakhandan@gmail.com

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4th 🎆 Of July Celebration – #Irvine #FourthOfJuly 🇺🇸 #Home

4th of July

Variously known as the Fourth of July and Independence Day, July 4th has been a federal holiday in the United States since 1941, but the tradition of Independence Day celebrations goes back to the 18th century and the American Revolution (1775-83). In June 1776, representatives of the 13 colonies then fighting in the revolutionary struggle weighed a resolution that would declare their independence from Great Britain. On July 2nd, the Continental Congress voted in favor of independence, and two days later its delegates adopted the Declaration of Independence, a historic document drafted by Thomas Jefferson. From 1776 until the present day, July 4th has been celebrated as the birth of American independence, with typical festivities ranging from fireworks, parades and concerts to more casual family gatherings and barbecues.

A Brief History of the 4th of July- Animated Documentary

 

 

4th of July Events Around Orange County:

Orange County Register List of Events on the 4th

OrangeCounty.net Events

CruiseNewportBeach Event

Tustin CA Event

 

No Bake 4th Of July Treats

4th candy

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Contact me for any Questions about the Real Estate Market, Schools, Communities around Irvine. If You are planning to Relocate to Orange County or are Looking for Vacation Home & Investment Property Please do not hesitate to Send me an  Email Email

 

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Christina Khandan

Keller Williams OC Coastal Realty
949-433-0803. Mobile
714-388-3771. Fax
Christinakhandan@gmail.com
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🏡Remove Paint and Electronic Waste – #Irvine

Paint and e-Waste - via Christina Khandan - IrvineHomeBlog.com

 

Moving isn’t one of the most enjoyable parts of the home purchase process. I have helped family members and friends during the move and cleanup and know first hand what is involved.

 

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While helping them sell and buy their new homes one thing I have noticed is that seller clients want to leave cans of paint behind for the buyers.
Sellers suggest that the new owners will use the paint for touch-ups and coloring of additional rooms along with future matching. I encourage the buyers I work with to have the paint removed from the home before they take possession because they are never going to use that paint.

Ask Me Anything (Christina Khandan Irvine, California Realtor)

If a seller leaves you cans of paint for the above reasons, You can pickup all paint and electronics and take them to the following location in Irvine:


– Waste Management e-Waste WM

– City of Irvine Environmental Programs

Irvine has a great recycle center and you don’t even have to leave your car. Just pull up to the location and advise the person of the items in your trunk( kind of like drive-thru). If it’s paint you used for your own purpose then there is no charge. If you are dropping off 25 gallons of leftover paint then they know it’s not for personal use and it was a business ( so be prepared to pay). They don’t just take paint they take hazardous household waste including electronics.

Orange County Hazardous Waste Center Collection

There are four convenient centers located throughout Orange County that accept residential toxic waste. All of the centers are open Tuesday-Saturday 9a.m.-3p.m. and are closed on rainy days and holidays. Note: proof of Orange County residency is required.

Irvine Regional HHW Center Do not place in the trash bin
6411 Oak Canyon (adjacent to the City of Irvine O.S.F.)

Anaheim Regional HHW Center
1071 N. Blue Gum Street

Huntington Beach Regional HHW Center
17121 Nichols Street

San Juan Capistrano Regional HHW Center
32250 La Pata Avenue

For more information on any of the aforementioned centers or materials accepted, please contact Integrated Waste Management directly at (714) 834 – 4000 or by visiting www.oclandfills.com. Click here to download a pdf about HHW from OC Landfills.

 

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Contact me for any Questions about the Real Estate Market, Schools, Communities around Irvine. If You are planning to Relocate to Orange County or are Looking for Vacation Home & Investment Property Please do not hesitate to Send me an Email Email

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Christina Khandan
Keller Williams OC Coastal Realty
949-433-0803. Mobile
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(Christina Khandan Irvine, California Realtor)

 
 
 
 

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