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Elizabeth R. Elstien

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Kidspace Children's Museum: A Place for Kids to Create and Innovate Kidspace Children's Museum: A Place for Kids to Create and Innovate

By Elizabeth R. Elstien

For over 35 years, Kidspace Children's Museum has created hand-on learning experiences for ages 10 and under.

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Craft Whiskey and Burgers at the Blind Donkey Craft Whiskey and Burgers at the Blind Donkey

By Elizabeth R. Elstien

In Pasadena, The Blind Donkey features whisky from around the world - even a 116 proof from the island of Tasmania! Check out the trivia games, craft cocktails, and french fries, too.

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Go Out Of Your Way To Eat At Bistro 45 Go Out Of Your Way To Eat At Bistro 45

By Elizabeth R. Elstien

This classic eatery in Pasadena is consistently rated in the Top 30 of Southern California restaurants by Zagat. Drive down the one-way street and taste why diners have gone out of their way for 25 years to eat and drink at Bistro 45.

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Build Your Own Burrito at Baja Fresh Santa Monica Build Your Own Burrito at Baja Fresh Santa Monica

By Elizabeth R. Elstien

Baja Fresh in Santa Monica serves up fresh guacamole, grilled Wahoo fish tacos, and build-your-own burritos.

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Andrew's Cheese Shop: Where Cheese Meets Chocolate and Champagne Andrew's Cheese Shop: Where Cheese Meets Chocolate and Champagne

By Elizabeth R. Elstien

The only Cheez Whiz here is cheesemonger and owner Andrew Steiner, whose shop in Santa Monica was voted one of the best cheese shops in America. Come for the cheese and chocolate and stay for the sold-out monthly grilled cheese and beer events.

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International Technical University: Hands-On Education in Silicon Valley International Technical University: Hands-On Education in Silicon Valley

By Elizabeth R. Elstien

"Global Development through Silicon Valley Education" is the motto of the San Jose-based International Technical University. In a unique educational model, ITU business and engineering graduate students blend real-world technical solutions to everyday problems while working hands-on with research and development.

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"What You Start with" Matters at a/k/a in Pasadena

By Elizabeth R. Elstien

Robert Simon has done it again, this time with a/k/a in Pasadena. Seriously committed to sustainable, seasonal, organic products, along with efficient service and comfortable décor, everyone that eats here feels special.

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Happy Trails Catering: Where an Ancient Tree Meets Café and Catering Services Happy Trails Catering: Where an Ancient Tree Meets Café and Catering Services

By Elizabeth R. Elstien

Looking for old-world charm, an ancient tree, a café and cosmic catering services? Happy Trails Catering has all that, and more.

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Understanding Architectural Homes Understanding Architectural Homes

By Elizabeth R. Elstien

Architectural homes or "architecturals" are custom-designed homes, pieces of structural art that reflect the architect chosen. Often sold in the millions of dollars, no two are alike. These are truly dream homes in every way, designed from the ground up. Inside, we'll find out about architectural homes and how to obtain one.

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Dorm Room Versus Renting: Weighing Your College Housing Options Dorm Room Versus Renting: Weighing Your College Housing Options

By Elizabeth R. Elstien

If you are a college or university student searching for housing for the upcoming academic year, this is a must read. Housing options include dormitories and off-campus apartments or houses. Inside, we'll take a look at pros and cons of student housing to help you make an informed decision this school year.

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5 Must-See Hollywood Landmarks 5 Must-See Hollywood Landmarks

By Elizabeth R. Elstien

Since the early 1900s, Hollywood, California has created a worldwide buzz. Tourists come from all around the world to bask in the movie and TV stars' glow. Visit these well- and lesser-known landmarks and get a glimpse into the real Hollywood.

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Hollywood At A Glance Hollywood At A Glance

By Elizabeth R. Elstien

The hip, mostly young residents of Hollywood, California total 86,000. The area went from a thriving agricultural community to a motion picture empire. It's hard to picture, but Hollywood once banned movie theaters. See why tourists flock to this Los Angeles neighborhood.

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How To Become A Real Estate Broker in California How To Become A Real Estate Broker in California

By Elizabeth R. Elstien

Taking the leap from real estate agent to broker allows you to take control of your career, start your own firm and hire agents to work under you. Although it requires years of work, experience and knowledge to acquire licensing, you can enjoy working as your own boss while retaining more sales income from commissions.

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5 Great Places To Live In Orange County 5 Great Places To Live In Orange County

By Elizabeth R. Elstien

Orange County in Southern California has both beachfront and inland communities. A great county to live in, it is also one of the most expensive in all of California. From small towns to bigger cities, find out which ones are the five greatest places to live in Orange County.

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Bakersfield At A Glance Bakersfield At A Glance

By Elizabeth R. Elstien

With 350,000 diverse residents, Bakersfield is located 110 miles north of Los Angeles, California, and greets visitors entering the city with its name on a bright yellow arch. Noted in songs, find out why many consider Bakersfield the Nashville of the West.

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Los Angeles At A Glance Los Angeles At A Glance

By Elizabeth R. Elstien

The southern California city of Los Angeles is the second most populated city in the U.S. Known for its movies and sport teams, find out why nearly four million people brave earthquakes and perpetual gridlock to call "the City of Angels" home

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How A Right Of First Refusal Clause Works How A Right Of First Refusal Clause Works

By Elizabeth R. Elstien

A right of first refusal clause may be part of a residential lease that allows the tenant to potentially purchase the property under certain conditions. Find out what those conditions are and just how this clause works.

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Fresh Home Design Techniques Fresh Home Design Techniques

By Elizabeth R. Elstien

Life is changing and new home design techniques are no exception. From bulk storage pantries to drop zones, see how modern home life has evolved. Inside, we spotlight some of today's most popular design elements

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Home Staging Tips For All Rooms Home Staging Tips For All Rooms

By Elizabeth R. Elstien

The key to home staging, a form of marketing, is to make the property appear to be a model home that creates a lifestyle that the most potential buyers can relate to. Appearance and presentation are crucial. Read inside to learn some home staging tips for each room and why they work.

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Smart Decorating Tips For A Small Room Smart Decorating Tips For A Small Room

By Elizabeth R. Elstien

A small room doesn't have to cramp your style. Take advantage of these smart tips to enhance the charm of a small space on a realistic budget.

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What Will My Mortgage Really Cost? What Will My Mortgage Really Cost?

By Elizabeth R. Elstien

Taking into account both closing costs and monthly payments is the only way you will know what your mortgage loan will really cost you. Find out how to learn the true cost of your mortgage.

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6 Projects That Add Value To Your Home 6 Projects That Add Value To Your Home

By Elizabeth R. Elstien

Remodeling can be a deeply personal expression of your creative vision and pride of ownership of your home. But it also can bump up the value of your property. Inside, we offer tips on projects that may maximize your home's curb appeal and value.

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10 Features Homebuyers Are Searching For 10 Features Homebuyers Are Searching For

By Elizabeth R. Elstien

Trends among home buyers are always changing. We highlight amenities and features that are desired the most right now.

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Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act and the Homebuyer Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act and the Homebuyer

By Elizabeth R. Elstien

The Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA), enacted in 1974, protects buyers and sellers of real estate in the U.S. from high mortgage settlement charges and condemns abusive practices. Learn about the changes in RESPA and how it affects you.

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Mailbox Security At Home Mailbox Security At Home

By Elizabeth R. Elstien

Protect your mail from theft and weather. Use these helpful tips to keep thieves at bay and bring style on the way.

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The California Home Search The California Home Search

By Elizabeth R. Elstien

Whether this is your first or fifth time buying a home, there are some important items to consider when moving within or from outside of California.

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Has My Mortgage Been Sold? Has My Mortgage Been Sold?

By Elizabeth R. Elstien

It's a fact that mortgages get sold every day. Another mortgage company, bank or credit union, investor or any type of financial institution may purchase a borrower's commitment to repay a housing loan. Certain companies buy mortgages as a money-making venture. How does this affect you?

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What Is A Title Company? What Is A Title Company?

By Elizabeth R. Elstien

A title (or escrow) company is a neutral third party in a real estate transaction. Learn more about what this important entity does in this article.

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Monitor Your Credit Before Buying A Home Monitor Your Credit Before Buying A Home

By Elizabeth R. Elstien

Protect your finances from fraud. Learn how and why to monitor your credit before buying a home.

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Importance Of A Rental Lease In California Importance Of A Rental Lease In California

By Elizabeth R. Elstien

A rental lease is a legal and binding agreement that is an important part of renting a house, apartment, condo or townhome. Learn how this contract benefits you as a California tenant and why you should have one.

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Buying A New Construction Home And Lot Buying A New Construction Home And Lot

By Elizabeth R. Elstien

Do you relish the thought of being the one and only owner of your home? Do you appreciate the piece of mind that comes with having systems that have never been used before? Here are the basics of purchasing a new-construction home and lot to get what you want.

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Mold Maintenance in Southern California Mold Maintenance in Southern California

By Elizabeth R. Elstien

Inspect your Southern California home to prevent and stop mold growth with these important tips. Learn to practice mold maintenance instead of mold cleanup.

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Home Remodeling Tips Home Remodeling Tips

By Elizabeth R. Elstien

Remodeling tips to benefit all homeowners, from picking a contractor or doing it yourself to choosing materials and budgeting.

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Cost-Saving Heating and Cooling Tips for Your Home Cost-Saving Heating and Cooling Tips for Your Home

By Elizabeth R. Elstien

With some planning and home improvement, homeowners and renters can lower their continually rising utility costs with these heating and cooling tips.

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Six Crucial Steps to Buying a Home Six Crucial Steps to Buying a Home

By Elizabeth R. Elstien

Ready to make the leap and purchase a home? We outline six vital steps every buyer needs to take on their path to home ownership

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Residential Property Investing Residential Property Investing

By Elizabeth R. Elstien

When purchasing an investment property, there are a number of business items to consider, such as property management, budgeting, rental rates and desirable rental features. We highlight what to expect as a landlord.

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California Home Buying Choices California Home Buying Choices

By Elizabeth R. Elstien

Three different options to consider when looking for a home to purchase in California, along with details of ownership.

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Getting Your Home Inspected in California Getting Your Home Inspected in California

By Elizabeth R. Elstien

Considering buying or selling a home in California? Read this review of the many compelling reasons to have your home physically examined by a home inspector first.

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To Rent Or Own? To Rent Or Own?

By Elizabeth R. Elstien

Homeownership used to be the ultimate American goal. These days many are purposely choosing not to buy a home, but to rent one instead. Pros and cons of renting and homeownership are discussed to help make an informed decision.

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Elizabeth R. Elstien is a Staff Writer at Southern California Homes.

Elizabeth R. Elstien has worked in real estate for over 15 years as a real estate agent, consultant and writer. Her expertise encompasses buying and selling homes and investment properties, property management, REOs, short sales and loan modifications.