Informed Investor Alliance

What’s in store for Orange County Real Estate in 2014?

Posted on January 14, 2014. Filed under: First Time Buyer help, Home Seller Tips, Informed Investor Alliance, Lenders & Loan info, Orange County CA Foreclosures, Orange County Real Estate, Orange County Short Sales | Tags: , , , , , , |

Orange County 2014 Real Estate Economic Forecast

What’s in store for 2-0-1-4?

Today we had the pleasure of attending a lunch & learn by The Real Estate Focus Group and Steven Thomas, one of Orange County’s best real estate forecasters.  Steven’s reports have been published in Forbes, USA today, NY Times, and especially the OC Register because he’s constantly pulling tons of valuable data about what’s going on with the OC housing market.

2013 Real Estate Review

In 2013, short sale volume dropped by 61%, (holla:) we experienced a hot hot hot market with 18% appreciation and then the unrealistic sellers entered the market after June.  We saw many more move up sellers, which is a great sign.  There was a significant lack of inventory at the beginning of the year, followed by a spike and overpriced inventory in the fall.  We also had a refinance bonanza, so hopefully you took advantage of that!  Interest rates are still historically low, but tapering is looming, so 2014 is a year to get your financing while financing is still good.

2014 Real Estate Ramp Up

We currently have 5000 homes on the Orange County market, and we have a 49% increase in inventory since this time last year.  Our market is healthy because interest rates are still low (but expected to go up), and we are currently at 90% equity (standard) sales.

Only 5% of the mortgaged homes in Orange County are currently underwater.  That means 95% of you are back to even or have (gasp!) equity – FABULOUS NEWS – and this makes the perfect formula for a continued move up market.  If you’d like to get the house with the yard or the pool, this year is opportunity time for you.

First time buyers who have been squeezed out of the market the last 12 months will come back, even though their rates are a little higher and FHA guidelines have changed.  In addition, more luxury buyers are expected to enter the market this year.

Sellers, our expected time for a properly priced home on the market in Orange County is 93 days.  Our median sales price is 610K, and buyers, your monthly payment for a 4.5% loan at this price is approximately $2500.  Still affordable.  Unless you like paying off your landlord’s mortgage instead.

New home construction is going up: Rancho Mission Viejo, Great Park Irvine, and Baker’s Ranch in Foothill Ranch are all big developments underway.  Remember it’s still a good idea to have a Realtor represent you even in a new build situation, so be sure to call us if you would like to check out any of the inventory out there.

Some concerns for 2014….. uncertainty, lack of fair market value homes, interest rates, and the circus in Washington DC.

Some expectations for 2014…… buyers will insist on fair market value vs. paying over appraisal, active inventory will continue to rise, interest rates will continue to rise, and we should have a mild appreciation of 0-5%.

If you are interested in MORE geeky data, we have it at our fingertips!  Just email angie@askangie.com, tweet @angieweeks or @weeksteam, or call 877-230-3211 to request a copy of this month’s Orange County housing report.

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Is it Mortgage D-Day? Qualifying for a Home Loan in CA Gets Harder

Posted on January 10, 2014. Filed under: First Time Buyer help, Informed Investor Alliance, Lenders & Loan info, Orange County Real Estate | Tags: , , , |

2014 home loan guidelines

2014 Loan Guidelines are changing!

What’s New & Different for 2014 Home Loans in California

Today’s been coined in the real estate industry as “Mortgage D-day”; new Qualifying Mortgage regulations are rolled out and they are changing the way your mortgage can be structured.  We recently had the pleasure of attending a Lunch & Learn hosted by Brian Kimball, loan officer with Summit Funding.  Brian went over a few of these changes in the lending industry so we figured we would share! A word of warning….lending land is confusing with a ton of acronyms!  If you have questions or clarifications about this information, feel free to reach out to Brian or your preferred lender to help clarify and explain.

Some improvements and changes for California home loans starting next week:

- license required for all team members
- dual compensation is now prohibited (no more point in the front and point in the back)
- geographical standardization of commission percentage (no more getting different loan origination quotes from different lenders at the same company!)

Home Owner Equity Protection Act (HOEPA)

- 1st time buyers are now required pre-loan counseling. This education can be done online. It will hold up your closing if you do not complete this education so if you’re buying your first home or condo be sure to address this with your lender EARLY and get your certificate :)  PS. A 1st time buyer is defined as someone who has not owned a home in 3 years.

Higher Price Mortgage Loan (HPML)

- Lenders must require 5 yr escrow payments (impound account) REGARDLESS of your loan to value ratio. Borrower must meet residual income requirements, so this means that many lenders are not going to be willing to offer and provide these higher price mortgage loans :/

General Qualified Mortgage (QM)

- Points and fees are less than or equal to 3% of the LOAN amount (not purchase price..cool!)
- No ‘risky’ features. This includes negative-am, interest only, or balloon payments
- Maximum loan term is 30 years. Darn, the young buyers really liked the 40 year option :(
- Maximum total Debt to Income (DTI) ratio is 43%

Temporary Qualified Mortgage (TQM)

- Meets product requirements of Qualified mortgage and is available to GSE direct lenders only
- Available until 2021: This creates some “breathing room” for lenders and buyers to settle into the new QM.

Ability to Repay (ATR)

- Lenders currently look at your big deposits, and NOW they are going to be looking into your big withdrawls too.  If you have a personal loan from someone that does not show up on your credit report they will be looking into your regular payments.
- Lenders can be liable for deficiencies over the lifetime of the loan.
- Underwriting will now be based on 8 federally mandated criteria.
- All lenders must standardize underwriting practices. This means there will be less ‘exceptions’ during the underwriting process.
- Buyers must qualifiy based on fully amortizing payment and maximum payment in the first 5 years. This means buyers cannot use ARMs to qualify for more $$, simply to lower monthly payments.

Points and Fees Limits

- 100K or more -> limit is 3% max of the total loan amount
- 60-99K -> limit is $3000

What points and fees are always included in the 3% max?

- loan origination fee, rate lock and discount points
- prepaid interest
- application, processing, and underwriting
- admin fee and commitment fee
- conventional up front mortgage insurance cost
- all compensation to mortgage broker
- ‘junk fees’

What is never included in the 3% max?

- FHA MIP and VA funding fee
- Hazard insurance and property taxes
- Appraisal fee, credit report, and tax service
- notary fee and courier fee
- title insurance, flood cert
- seller paid fees and points. Sellers, think EARLY about what you are willing to add to the pot to keep a deal together.

On the 2015 horizon:

- Loan Estimate may replace the Good Faith Estimate
- Closing disclosure will replace the HUD1

Both of these things will standardize the format so buyers can easier compare lender to lender.

Wow – lots of changes to California Home Loans but many are good ones to protect consumers. Getting a loan is complicated and it’s very important to your financial future.  We always encourage you to talk to a couple lenders so you can find who offers the best programs, payments, and education. If you select the wrong lender, you very well may select the wrong loan, and this could cost you thousands of dollars and big headaches in the future. DO YOUR DUE DILIGENCE and research so you don’t get burned. The Weeks Team is here to help you every step of the way with your Orange County real estate needs – call us at 877-230-3211 or tweet @AngieWeeks or @WeeksTeam with your questions!

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California Real Estate Market Update from Leslie Appleton Young

Posted on November 15, 2013. Filed under: First Time Buyer help, Informed Investor Alliance, Lenders & Loan info, Orange County CA Foreclosures, Orange County Real Estate, Orange County Short Sales | Tags: , , , , |

California Real Estate Market update 2014What’s in store for Orange County Real Estate and the California market in general in 2014? We had The California Association of Realtors Chief Economist Leslie Appleton Young present a ton of great market data and facts today, so we wanted to share with you!

Here are 8 quick facts about CA Real Estate:

1. REO level is at 5%. There are only 205 bank owned properties for sale in OC right now.

2. There are now only 15.4% underwater homeowners in California.

3. Foreclosure and delinquency rates are now at their historic normal level. (Big WHOOP WHOOP!!)

4. Sept median price in CA for detached homes: $428,810

5. 72% of properties from the beginning of this year had multiple offers. (This is why you need a good Realtor!)

6. 82% of investors bought & HELD. Only 18% flips in 2013.

7. There are 3.6 months of inventory supply in CA as of Sept.

8. Only 28% of buyers were first time buyers because they were outbid by all cash investors :( The long running average is 38%.

The big question: Will there be home appreciation or depreciation in 2014????????

Leslie predicts we will have more inventory, and sales volume will be up 3.2%. She is projecting a 6% appreciation, and mortgage rates will RAISE to 5.3%.

What does this mean for you? It’s a great time to seize the opportunity of lower prices while rates are still in the 4′s! Call us at 877-230-3211 for help and to maximize your investments!

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Tax Benefits For Home Owners – Make the Most of Orange County Real Estate

Posted on February 11, 2013. Filed under: First Time Buyer help, Informed Investor Alliance, Making Life Easier, Orange County Real Estate | Tags: , , |

As an Orange County Realtor, I can’t technically offer advice on taxes, but I always try to network and meet great tax professionals who can help our clients! Today I sat in on a great session by Irene Mack, CPA, and I wanted to share some notes and insight with you. Irene’s website is http://www.oc-cpa.com if you have any particular questions – she is always happy to talk taxes with you :)

20130211-120503.jpg

Homeowner Tax Benefits

- Mortgage debt relief on up to 2 million loss ($1M if married / filing separate)

Will California extend our debt relief? The answer is still up in the air, but there is a bill on the table. This concerns many homeowners who are thinking about a short sale, so be sure to contact your legislators and let them know you want an extension!

Energy Tax Credits for Homeowners

- many have a $500 max lifetime credit
- some include on site installation costs, some don’t, so be sure to check
- must be on principal residence
- includes central air
- allows tankless water heaters
- solar
- geothermal
- energy star

California Short Sale Tax Benefits

Sb931 focuses on 1st Trust Deed, and ensures lien holders can’t come back to homeowners for deficiency judgement after the short sale.

Sb458 focuses on 2nd trust deeds, and this law came a little after sb931 to help homeowners steer clear of judgements from 2nd mortgages and HELOCs.

Equity Sale Tax Benefits

- No taxes on $500k profit for married couples
- No tax on $250k profit for single filers

Capital Gains Taxes

Will you be taxed if you sell for a profit? Yes, unless your profit is below the $500k/$250k mentioned above.

- Long term (1 year and one day+) is determined on your tax bracket
- It’s best to keep your home ‘long term’ when it comes to taxation

First Time Homebuyer Tax Credit

- 2008 credit – when your home is no longer your personal residence, the balance of repayment becomes due immediately instead of over 15 years, so be careful!

-2009-2010 credit – 36 months of primary residence is required, most of you are almost ready to move up with no penalties ;)

Wow!! Taxes are confusing!!! Make sure to consider your tax benefits and / or penalties when you go to sell your home in Orange County. Irene’s number is 714-957-6936 if you’d like more info.

Remember The Weeks Team is here to help you navigate through tough real estate waters. Be sure to call 877-230-3211 or comment here if we can help you in any way!

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California Real Estate Forecast 2012 – 2013

Posted on November 6, 2012. Filed under: First Time Buyer help, Home Seller Tips, Informed Investor Alliance, Orange County Real Estate | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

    If you are interested in what is to come in Orange County real estate, then listen up as Leslie Appleton Young has provided us with some great insights.  We had the chance to attend one of Leslie’s recent luncheons, and she gave us great information we needed to know for the upcoming Real Estate shift.

As mentioned in our recent video summary on YouTube (embedded below), Leslie stated California Realty is a “Bright Spot in the California Economy; and that the bottom has been reached and is on its way up.”  We also found demand is starting to grow, big time!  83% of Real Estate investors are buying to hold.  57% of homes in Orange County are recieveing multiple offers of more than asking.  There are an average of 4.3 offers per property!!!  Homes are flying off the market right now as well – the average days on the MLS is cut in half from a year prior.  Southern California Median home prices are up 14.3 %. Things are looking much better for Orange County and California real estate in general…great news!!

Are you ready to get your Orange County home on the market and upgrade?  Call The Weeks Team…877-230-3211

CALIFORNIA REAL ESTATE FORECAST 2013

  2008 2009 2010 2011 2012f 2013f
SFH Resales (000s) 441.8 546.9 492.3 497.9 523.3 530.0
% Change 27.3% 23.8% -10.0% 1.1% 5.1% 1.3%
Median Price ($000s) $348.5 $275.0 $305.0 $286.0 $317.0 $335.0
% Change -37.8% -21.1% 10.9% -6.2% 10.9% 5.7%
30-Yr FRM 6.0% 5.1% 4.7% 4.5% 3.8% 4.0%
 1-Yr ARM 5.2% 4.7% 3.5% 3.0% 2.8% 2.8%
f = forecast

Contact info:
The Weeks Team
949 – 338 – 7408
angie@askangie.com

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Mission Viejo Real Estate Statistics – Time to build that portfolio!

Posted on November 1, 2012. Filed under: First Time Buyer help, Informed Investor Alliance, OC Property Profiles, Orange County Real Estate | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

Mission Viejo Real Estate is selling like no other! Homes come on the market and are off just like that. Here are some of the stats for Mission Viejo Real Estate, but 1st I will allow you to view the meanings of each before anyone is confused as to what each stand for…

  • Active - indicates the property is on the market and accepting buyer offers.
  • Backup – means the home has technically accepted a buyer offer and is sold, but the buyer is still in his/her contingency period of due diligence investigations and full loan approval.  California buyers get 17 days after offer acceptance to complete all contingencies and inspections.
  • Pending – implies all contingencies have been removed on this listing and its only a matter of time until close.
  • Closed – entails the buyer’s loan has funded, and title has officially recorded in the new owner’s name.

There are a few other status’ you may see:

  • Hold – property is on hold and not being shown to new buyers for various reasons. (there are 36 of those right now)
  • Cancelled – means the property listing was cancelled by the owner before a sale took place.
  • Expired – indicates the listing agreement on the home for sale expired before a sale occurred.
  • Withdrawn – similar to cancelled status, this property has been withdrawn from the market.

Current Mission Viejo Real Estate Statistics

Active: 108
Attached: 19
Detached: 89

Back Up: 154

Pending: 107

Closed (last 30 days): 114

Now lets compare these stats with last years Mission Viejo home statistics.

Average Sale Price in Mission Viejo 1 Year Ago: $416,951
Average Sale Price in MV in the Past 30 Days: $428,500

Avg. Square foot price 1 year ago: $231.31
Avg. Square foot price Today: $280.77

Avg. Days on Market 1 year ago: 93
Avg. Days on the Market Now: 76

We are currently moving towards a seller’s market in Mission Viejo.  There are an average of 4.5 offers for every one property, and we are seeing properties sell in 1 day or even before they hit the MLS!!  Now is a perfect time to move up and get more square footage for less than ever before. If your interested in upgrading your home, or adding to your Mission Viejo real estate portfolio, please contact The Weeks Team 888-281-7665 for more info on how you can take advantage of this ideal real estate opportunity!

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California Home Buyer Recovery Timeline – do you agree???

Posted on May 25, 2012. Filed under: Home Seller Tips, Informed Investor Alliance, Orange County CA Foreclosures, Orange County Real Estate, Orange County Short Sales | Tags: , |

ImageHappy Memorial Day!!  We hope you have a nice and relaxing long weekend planned :)  Here’s an interesting email we received about homebuyer recovery from the folks at FirstTuesday.us and Barry Zanck, one of our preferred lenders.  What do you think?

California Home Buyer Recovery

2005-2009 California economic development stagnates.

2007-2009 The Great Recession

2009-2010 The Federal Reserve takes direct control of long-term interest rates – all new mortgages are Fed funded by bonds.

2009-2016 The Lesser Depression, characterized by persistent slow job growth and low demand from home buyers, while dominated by speculators.

2010-2015 Home sales remains on a “bumpy plateau” recovery approximating their 2010 numbers. The state’s homeownership rate drops below 55% (state’s historic point of stability) to near 50%. Collectively, short sales, foreclosures sales and REO resales remain high.

2012-2013 The most likely bottom for home sales volume to users, followed by an extremely gradual sales volume recovery for lack of user demand. Apartment construction begins to rise noticeably in response to tenant demand.

2014-2015 Prior low pricing and low interest rates spark a bounce in home sales volume. This bounce is short-lived, as the Federal Reserve raises rates to control the pace of recovery and prevent momentum buying. Property prices keep pace with the rate of consumer inflation. Speculators holding SFRs acquired two or three years earlier begin to dump them

2014-2016 Home sales stabilize. Shortsales, foreclosures, bankruptcies and REOs remain high. 300,000-400,000 new jobs are created annually for a return to the December 2009 peak level. Generation Y begins to come of age and buy homes.

2016-2017 Full recovery mode for employment, home sales, then pricing. SFR construction rises, though no where near Boom-time heights.

2017-2018 Interest rates rise again.

2018-2020 Excess inventory of vacant homes finally returns to pre-recession levels. Generation Y begins to pick up homebuying activity en masse. Homeownership in California is at 50%.

2020-2025 Negative equity homeowners who refused to strategically default finally work their way out of debt and return to a stable financial status, the poorer for it.

2025+ Home prices return to peak levels of 2006. The lessons of the Great Recession forgotten, and home sales hedonism returns. The mistakes of the past are repeated and the cycle continues.

We agree that we are probably at the bottom right now, as we’re already seeing an uptick in California homebuyer interest, and a decrease in inventory.  We disagree that interest rates will stay low until 2017…..although wouldn’t that be nice???!  We also agree (unfortunately) that the lessons of the past will be forgotton by 2025, and the market will again cycle.  It always does!

What do you think?  Please comment below or tweet us @angieweeks or @weeksteamShould you be interested in buying ‘at the supposed bottom’, please call us at 877-230-3211, and we’re happy to show you homes over this Memorial weekend!

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Four Tips for Serious Real Estate Investors

Posted on April 15, 2011. Filed under: First Time Buyer help, Informed Investor Alliance, Orange County Real Estate | Tags: , |

For success in today’s marketplace, a Real Estate investor definitely needs a realistic strategy and set of expectations.  Before you plunk down your hard earned money on an Orange County property, you’ve got to cut through all the debris and determined exactly what IS a good deal, who gets them, and how.  From my experience, investors should adhere to the following guidelines to maximize their chances of success.

1. Determine how much you want to spend.
2. Determine your intention.  Is the property you’re eyeballing a portfolio piece, or buy & flip?
3. Know how to recognize a good deal.  Once you’ve pinpointed market value and neighborhood, grabbing a property at 10% below market value is a DEAL.
4. Get the REAL numbers. How much are expenses, upgrades, commissions, rents, etc.?

I had the good fortune of interviewing John, a full time courthouse steps investor. According to him, a profit of 10-15% on the courthouse steps is good.  Remember, you make your $$ not on a per deal basis, but by how fast you move the property or turn your money.

John added that many investors are going for condos that are un-financeable. Why? Because the less people can buy, the more the value drops. Good ol’ supply and demand at work. Many investors are buying to hold for 5-10 yrs, hoping the hoa recovers, and the property significantly appreciates. And while we’re on the topic of condos, investors should have a good long look at those located in college towns.  Since these properties are a short walk to the local campus, they have a built-in appeal.

Need a spreadsheet to help with your numbers!?  Just call, tweet, or email me! I’ve got just what you need. And, of course, if you have any questions about buying or selling Orange County homes, I’ll be delighted to help. You can connect with me at 949.338.7408 or  angie@askangie.com,  @AngieWeeks or @WeeksTeam.

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Orange County CA Economic Update – Gary Watts says…..

Posted on June 25, 2010. Filed under: First Time Buyer help, Informed Investor Alliance, Lenders & Loan info, Orange County CA Foreclosures, Orange County Real Estate |

Hi everyone,

Just got back from OCAR’s annual meeting held at the beautiful Aliso Viejo golf course.   I thought I would record a video update for you :)

I know you have comments, let ‘em fly!!

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Make the Most of Your Money – DIVERSIFY!

Posted on February 3, 2010. Filed under: Informed Investor Alliance, Making Life Easier | Tags: , |

Mission Viejo Book Signing – ‘Making the Most of Your Money’

Last week I visited the Mission Viejo Library to get a copy of what is supposed to be the best personal financial planning book on the market right now. Entitled ‘Making the Most of Your Money’, it was written by Jane Bryant Quinn.  Honestly, I had never heard of Jane Bryant Quinn until recently, but she definitely is a highly respected voice in the money management community.

Jane got off to a light start, joking that she almost named her book ‘Making the Most Out of What’s Left of Your Money’. She agrees that the economy is in a bad place, adding that the government needed to step in in order to prevent a full-on depression. But this cloud has a silver lining – the economy is recovering. Nevertheless, we’re still feeling some economic aches and pains, which is why keeping our finances in mind and tightening up our ship is such a good idea.

Jane covered quite a bit of financial planning territory. Regarding our current bull market, she recommended diversifying accordingly. She also touched on inflation, predicting that fortunately this monster won’t go very high.

For the U.S. government’s role, Jane pointed out that Congress may soon be restoring the Paygo law, which is intended to control government spending. This, along with a tax increase, could significantly help our budget.

So how do savers and investors pick their way through the current financial wilderness?

First and foremost, according to Jane, get OUT of consumer debt. “Debt is like feeding your dollars to squirrels.” Do NOT make it normal. Debt and credit are not glamorous. Sure, they seem fun at first, but when it’s time to retire and your mortgage is soaring, the debt beast will likely bring you to ruin.

In the Real Estate arena, Jane cautioned that we shouldn’t expect the height of where we were in 2007 for many, many years. OK fine. Thanks for that. In general, home prices follow the inflation rate. Currently, consumers aren’t thinking of their homes as investments. But that’s OK. Because when all is said and done, according to Jane, it STILL PAYS to OWN a HOME!!!!!! But watch those HELOCs. Let’s get back to that concept of paying down our mortgage, people. Jane also advised don’t take a reverse mortgage until you’re in your 80′s, even though you are allowed to in your 60′s.

If you’re underwater on your rental investment, it’s probably a good idea to lower your rent to keep your tenants. You must be prepared for losses for years and years if you are a serious real estate investor.  Make sure you have liquid cash flow.  You can also consider short sale or foreclosure if the property is a huge drain. Talk to a professional Orange County financial planner and / or consider some by the book investment education.

As for stocks, Jane mentioned that she talked with many of the top financial masterminds all over the nation. Apparently, the majority of them have the bulk of their own funds in a broad market index, something like S&P…

She added that for young people, lifestyle funds are a good idea, even though they’ve received a bit of a bad rap.

Jane also stated a good formula for your retirement fund risk is this: subtract your age from 110. Whatever that number is, that’s the percent you should be investing in stocks. As you get older, this formula helps you safely transition into a majority of bonds and a lower risk portfolio.

There are so many valuable insights in this book, it was THICK!  I’m sure  ‘Making the Most of Your Money’ is truly a valuable guide to sound financial planning.  But seriously, no matter how many books we read someone, who does financial planning for a living will always be better than we are, IMO.  You should have a professional on your side.  Just like you should in real estate!!

Speaking of property, if you would like your diversification strategy to include owning some Orange County Real Estate, I’m happy to help.  Contact me at 949.338.7408 or angie@askangie.com.  Or follow me @AngieWeeks or @WeeksTeam.  Happy investing – feel free to post what has and has not worked for you here!

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Grab the Orange County Real Estate Opportunities in 2010

Posted on January 7, 2010. Filed under: First Time Buyer help, Home Seller Tips, Informed Investor Alliance, Making Life Easier, Orange County Real Estate | Tags: , , , , |

New Year, New Opportunities in Orange County Real Estate

First let me wish a ‘Happy New Year’ to all.  Yes, folks, 2010 is here.  And with the new year, there promises to be a wealth of new opportunities emerging in the bustling world of Orange County Real Estate.  So get up off  your comfy couch and do what you’ve been wanting to do for a long time. Don’t let opportunity pass you by.  Add that to your list of New Years resolutions right now.

So maybe you’re thinking about buying your first home. Perfect!  If you’re an Orange County first time home buyer, the time has never been better. A major reason for such bright prospects is that there currently are a number of available incentives created to improve your overall experience.

If selling your home for the first time is on your mind, optimism is in order.  Buyers are returning to the marketplace. So sellers rejoice! The market is definitely moving in the right direction. In fact, there are a number things going on that will make selling easier, from listing to close. If you’re worried about Uncle Sam taking a chunk, be aware you might be able to reduce your tax obligation with a few easy and yes, legal steps.

Perhaps you’re opting to make your first Real Estate investment.  Believe it or not, there are well-focused ways to improve your financial future without getting an advanced degree from the school of hard knocks.

Indeed, the door of opportunity is opening wide in 2010.  If you’re ready to learn more about the diversity of emerging Orange County Real Estate opportunities, I’ll be happy to help.  Contact me at 949.338.7408. Or follow me @AngieWeeks or @WeeksTeam.

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What’s a Hud home? How do I buy a HUD property?

Posted on October 14, 2009. Filed under: First Time Buyer help, Informed Investor Alliance, Orange County CA Foreclosures, Orange County Real Estate | Tags: , , , |

How to buy a HUD home in Orange County, CAIts interesting, we’ve been doing real estate for years now and haven’t had to answer the “How do I buy a HUD home?” question.  We don’t see that many come around.  Today, however, we found a 2/1/1 in Mission Viejo for 160K!

What exactly is a HUD home?

Of course, you know HUD stands for US Dept of Housing and Urban Development.  The listing agent, Barbara Kerr with Realty Execs, explained HUD homes as properties with FHA loans that had been foreclosed on.  Because FHA is a government backed loan, these properties go back to HUD when owners abandon the property or go through foreclosure.

How do I buy a HUD property?

Not just anyone can get their hands on one.  HUD homes have a special key to enter; they don’t have normal lockboxes and supra keys us Realtors typically use.  Interesting… *thought* there could be less competition for our buyers on these properties because this is an additional hoop to jump through. Of course, we checked the details on the website – we need to have a Name and Address Identifier number with HUD in order to make a bid.  It appears the required NAID # is issued to our broker, not us.  So, we’ve been in touch with Darrell our fabulous broker to see about getting all set up :)

Barbara, the nice & helpful *yay, rare!* listing agent, said she gives a class on it, I told her I would like to attend.  I’ll blog more after that…We’re always learning something in real estate!

Having capability to offer on HUD properties will help both our investor and first time buyer clients – double win!!

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Short Sale 101 – how long till I can get this property, anyway??

Posted on September 10, 2009. Filed under: First Time Buyer help, Informed Investor Alliance |

So, you can’t find any decent REO’s, or you’re getting outbid.

And there’s not enough equity sales.

You want the 8k homebuyer credit.

You find youself here, fishing in the sea of short sales in Orange County.

You’ve already read our post about what every buyer needs to know about a short sale.

But you’re still stuck!  Short sales won’t close in time for the 8K first time buyer credit, right?!  Honestly, probably not 80% of them.  But a small percentage will.  What clues should you look for?

1. Check for the word “approved” in the notes.  Short sales that have been approved by the bank can many times sell within 30 days.  Its getting the bank’s approval that usually takes months.

2.  Look for experience / feel of the listing agent or team. Do they respond?  Are they on top of things?   If the listing agent doesn’t know how to deal with the bank it can add months to the process.  Go ahead, Google them.
3.  Do you see Short Sale – Notice of Default on the MLS report ?  This means the property is in process of foreclosure and the bank has filed a notice of default on the property.  You’d think notices would be filed immediately, but many times the bank waits for 3, 6, or 9 months of no payments until filing the NOD.  After the notice is filed, stats are very high that a foreclosure will occur within the next 90 – 120 days.   On short sales with a NOD the bank has a little more motivation because they aren’t receiving any money from the current owner, and they are being offered in essence, a settlement and solution with your offer.

4.  Check for Short Sale – offers submitted – this indirectly tells you the current owner has submitted the hardship package, because it usually needs to be submitted with the offer.  That being said, I have seen this status used when agents had a lowball offer in hand but NOT submitted to the bank.  It depends on the agent, and their ethics.  This status is better than a short sale with no offers submitted, but you are still probably looking at at least 60 days and multiple offers when here.  Not worth chancing for your 8K credit, we need to find you an approved short sale or one close to foreclosure.  PERIOD!

5.  Check notes for only one mortgage!  We’re currently STILL WAITING for an answer to one of our “approved” short sale offers that was literally submitted in JUNE.  (Its Sept.)  The first “approved” the price, but the second loan had not approved their settlement, and the agent didn’t notate that detail in the listing.

Short sales are complicated, but we can help.  Mostly by having the best Orange County MLS searches so you get new REO and equity listing emails the DAY they come on the market!  We still recommend buying foreclosures or equity (normal) sales to have the best experience with today’s market.

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Good news about Short sale taxes, and Mortgage PMI from an expert ;)

Posted on September 1, 2009. Filed under: Home Seller Tips, Informed Investor Alliance, Orange County CA Foreclosures |

Hi everyone!

Thought you’d enjoy this real estate update from Suze Orman – feel free to post questions below!

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Is interest in Mission Viejo homes for sale up?

Posted on June 1, 2009. Filed under: First Time Buyer help, Informed Investor Alliance, Orange County Real Estate | Tags: , |

I was just doing keyword research on Mission Viejo homes for sale, as well as checking some other cities here in the OC.

Its interesting, I’ve found ‘homes for sale’ and ‘foreclosure’ searches to be up, and ‘real estate’ searches to be down:

Mission Viejo Real Estate – 5400 searches last month compared to 8100 average

Mission Viejo ca homes for sale – 22,200 searches last month compared to 18,100 average

Mission Viejo foreclosures – 33,100 searches last month compared to 9,900 average

Newport Beach Real Estate – 12,100 searches last month compared to 14,800 average

Newport Beach ca homes for sale – 33,100 searches last month compared to 22,200 average

Newport Beach foreclosure – 12,100 searches last month compared to 2400 average

Orange County Real Estate – 40,500 searches last month compared to 33,100 average

Orange County homes for sale – 9900 searches last month compared to 5400 average

Orange County foreclosures - 6600 searches last month compared to 4400 average

This data comes from Google’s keyword selector tool, so it may be a raw indication that interest in Mission Viejo and Orange County foreclosures and homes for sale is up.

What do you think??  We’re getting more people signing up for online searches lately, and more questions instead of complaints while we’re out in the field…

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Laguna Beach homes – WOW whatta view!!!

Posted on January 11, 2009. Filed under: Informed Investor Alliance, OC Property Profiles, Orange County Real Estate |

We love selling Laguna Beach homes!  Today is absolutely GORGEOUS, and I am sitting at 637 Loretta Drive in Laguna Beach.  The view of Catalina island is completely unobstructed… I can also see South Laguna, North Laguna, and Newport Beach from the wrap around balcony.  Its so beautiful, I promise my treo pictures don’t do it justice but I will post below anyway.

637 Loretta Drive, Laguna Beach CA

637 Loretta Drive, Laguna Beach CA

Alright, alright.  I’m big on views.  I’m sure you want to know about the property…  Its immaculate :)  The trilevel offers 3 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, 2 car attached garage and 2700 square feet.  EVERYTHING is upgraded, Hardwood floors, granite counters, a nice corner fireplace and wonderful dining/living area to entertain, patios and balconies off of EVERY room, master bathroom with a perfect view of the ocean…definately somewhere you would want to check out.

Laguna Beach views

Laguna Beach views

Laguna Beach is ON SALE right now, there’s 3 active listings on Loretta alone.  One is going for 4.2M, the other for 1.6M, and the one I am holding open today is asking 2.4M.  What a range, huh?  This is one of the reasons its so important to work with a Realtor, we can help you understand why the house next door is twice as much. 

I’ll be here for another hour if you want to come and check it out – or I can schedule an appointment to show you any afternoon.  I recommend to come check it out around sunset…it will be spectacular :)

Laguna Beach sunset off of 637 Loretta Drive lower balcony

Laguna Beach sunset off of 637 Loretta Drive lower balcony

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OMG It’s an economical EARTHQUAKE! What to do from a financial planner’s perspective…

Posted on September 19, 2008. Filed under: Informed Investor Alliance, Making Life Easier | Tags: |

Special thanks to William Jordan, our favorite Orange County financial planner, for taking time out from his hectic week to help educate our clients on what is REALLY going on with the economy right now.  Mike & I highly encourage all of you to call your financial advisors this week, and if you don’t have a financial advisor, go and talk to William at his Laguna Hills office - he rocks :) 

It’s an earthquake!
 
This week, the financial markets were shaken with an earthquake unlike almost anything we have seen in our lifetimes!  The one similar example is the infamous “black Monday” on October 19th, 1987.  On that one day, the stock market dropped over 500 points for the first time ever.  A decline of more than 25% which dwarfs the declines we saw this week.
 
So what do we do?  Panic?  Run for the hills?  Convert your cash to gold and start buying ammunition?  Of course not.  But to hear it discussed in some circles, that’s exactly what should happen.
 
On Monday evening, I was interviewed on CNBC in the midst of the “AIG crisis”.  Yet another massive financial firm experiencing financial duress.  I was asked what my counsel was to people who have been told to “buy and hold”.  The point I made was that this is a call to arms for people to get their financial houses in order.  Too many people have been speculating financially, and the results are as we have seen.
 
For many people, including most of my clients, this was an expected though unwelcome event.  We know that bear markets and financial downturns will happen.  In fact this bear market has currently been less severe than the average bear markets we have seen in the past!  It certainly doesn’t feel like it, but it’s true.
 
So what do you do?  For starters, do a complete financial physical on where you are at.  You need to examine your assets as well as your debts.  Look in detail at your investment holdings, and decide if you need to make changes.  Don’t make changes for just any old reason, but with a practical and well thought out plan. 
 
As I pointed out in a separate CNBC appearance a month ago, this is a great time to sell highly appreciated assets and pay capital gains.  Those tax rates are still very low historically, and are likely to rise in the future.  You can use the proceeds to pick up some excellent investments that are trading well below their values.
 
Bottom line is, like in any earthquake, don’t panic!  Stop and pick up the pieces.  Make new plans moving forward, but make them with a clear mind and well thought out options.  It’s a perfect time to meet with your financial planner if you have one, or find a new one if yours isn’t up to the task. 
 
Earthquakes happen.  Those who are prepared and don’t panic will be okay.
 
William Jordan, President of The Sentinel Group, Inc, is a well respected speaker and media resource for quality financial advice.  He’s been interviewed by CNBC, Forbes, The Wall Street Journal and was a featured financial expert in Kiplinger’s September cover story.  You can reach William Jordan at (949) 380-8600 or visit www.SentinelOC.com.

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Interview with a mortgage expert – what the HECK is up with loans???

Posted on September 18, 2008. Filed under: Informed Investor Alliance, Orange County Real Estate | Tags: |

Yes, this is a blog about Orange County real estate.  But this week Mike and I have invited a couple guest bloggers to get involved, because you can’t get real estate without financing and loans.  Right now the media is all over what happened with IndyMac bank, and Fannie and Freddie.  We want you to hear from local mortgage and financial EXPERTS, not just the media, what is really going down, and how it may affect you and your current home loan situation.   The following info has been provided by Derek Beisner, one of our trusted OC CERTIFIED Mortgage Specialists.  We encourage your comments, rants, and other expert opinions on this post too!! 

 Uncertainty in Financial Markets Could Cause Dramatic Rise in Existing ARMs at Next Adjustment
If you or anyone you know has an Adjustable Rate Mortgage, this is an important point to consider. Many ARM loans are tied to the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR). In fact, there are six million loans in the United States that use LIBOR to determine the interest rate and as the name suggests, many banks use this rate to lend money to each other.

But, today, banks lack confidence that the money they lend will be paid back. In light of what has happened with Lehman Brothers, IndyMac Bank and others, as well as AIG, banks are requiring much higher rates on LIBOR to offset the added risk.

The Federal Reserve Left Rates Unchanged but…
The Federal Reserve met yesterday leaving the target rate unchanged at 2.00% but just like LIBOR the actual rate being charged by banks to each other is closer to 6.00%. This again suggests that those with ARM loans should consider a refinance into historically low fixed rates.

What Happened?
Financial companies have been under attack. IndyMac was the largest bank to falter in twenty years. What brought IndyMac down was their exposure to defaulting loans. This sapped investor confidence and drove down the stock price until they filed for bankruptcy.

Following IndyMac, we saw Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Lehman Brothers and Merrill Lynch succumb and were either forced into conservatorship, to close their doors, or to sell themselves. AIG, the world’s largest insurance company was also impacted, forced to make a deal with the U.S. government to stay in business.

What You Can Do Now?
ASK AN EXPERT!  DON’T try to figure out this complicated situation yourself!!!!  I’d be happy to go over your loan situation and help you understand how the recent events may affect you, and how you can best be protected. Additionally, chaotic times like these often present opportunities. I look forward to hearing from you.

Derek Beisner
Certified Orange County loan advisor
http://www.DerekBeisner.com
949-637-9939

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Orange County CA Home Sellers, are you overpriced?

Posted on March 2, 2008. Filed under: Home Seller Tips, Informed Investor Alliance, Orange County Real Estate | Tags: |

The Orange County Real Estate market is moving.  What direction?  Many.  What are we seeing?  Good deals, strapped homeowners.  What are we hearing?  Happy stories, Sad stories.  There’s a positive and a negative in every environment, and we always encourage you to look at the glass as half full.

 BUT….if your house is on the market right now….are you chasing the market down?  What if your Realtor is doing it for you?  Are you AND your agent strong enough to take the truth?  I read this sad story on a popular Realtors “hub” online, its from a Realtor working out of Florida.   

OC Sellers and potential sellers, you often choose to work with the agent who says your home is worth the most money.  I want to encourage you to question the pricing method, not just get “sold” on potential dollar signs.  Question the marketing strategies, your agent better have the money to do traditional marketing or they better be able to kick butt online.  ASK how many contacts they have in their database, how many listings they have had expire, how many buyers they have searching on their website.  If the agent at your listing appointment has a dog and pony show, and you buy into that without question, it could be a nightmare for everyone in the end.

Also, expect to be QUESTIONED yourself.  A good agent is mostly questions, tayloring their strategies to your specific needs and situation.    A good agent will listen to and really hear what you have to say, but they will also be strong and smart enough to TELL you things you may not want to hear. 

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Mortgage Payment Relief – will the New Stimulus Package help?

Posted on February 28, 2008. Filed under: First Time Buyer help, Informed Investor Alliance, Orange County Real Estate | Tags: , , |

Hi All!
Manny Piceno, one of our OC preferred lenders, wrote an informational email about the new Stimulus bill that Congress has been working on.  Call him at 949-285-0216 if you would like more info….
So where is the relief? As you know, President Bush signed the Economic Stimulus Bill into law Wednesday February 13th.
HUD has 30 days to publish the median area home prices, Metropolitan Statistical Areas and mortgage principal obligation limits after this bill became law. 
The New Proposed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loans (what we know so far):
·         125% of the area median home price not to exceed $729,750.
·         Changes are set to expire on December 31, 2008
·         The new limits will apply to 30 year and 15 year fixed rate, fully amortizing (sorry no interest only) and OWNER OCCUPIED homes!
·         Adjustable rate mortgage are being considered but don’t count on it.
This is a huge undertaking, and isn’t likely to happen fast. Today’s lending environment is difficult but for those prepared, great opportunities exist. Stay informed. I will keep you posted on any changes that may impact your investments. If you have questions, call or write.
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