First Time Buyer help

Avoiding Heartbreak During Orange County Spring Home Buying Season

Posted on March 9, 2018. Filed under: First Time Buyer help, Homeownership, Lenders & Loan info, Orange County Real Estate, Spring Buying Season | Tags: , , , , , |

Spring time has begun in Orange County, even though the weather has been chillier than normal! Spring means lots of exciting things like flowers blooming, maybe a little rain to make the grass more green, time spent at the beach, but for us in the real estate business and those of you looking to buy a home it means a busy and sometimes difficult season. We thought we’d share some of our favorite tips with potential buyers before we jump into this time of the year, full force.

Getting everything prepared to buy your home!

We recommend you always have a buyer’s agent to represent you! This makes communication so much easier with the sellers agent. Having a buyer’s agent that you really trust is so important in the home buying process. You need someone who really knows what they’re doing to be your voice when it comes to real estate matters. They will always have your best interest at heart and can properly represent you during the process.

To speed the process up, make sure you have your pre approval, proof of funds, and all of your paperwork in order. This will be most beneficial when there are other buyers interested in the same home as you, you want to make sure you are ready to go and can prove that to the sellers. There could be multiple people writing offers on the property you love and want to be your forever home, so it is important to make sure you have everything ready to be competitive for that home.

Advanced Tips for Homebuying Success

The seller’s agent is more than likely to want you to cross-qualify with the lender they have chosen to trust and use, so make sure you are able to qualify with anyone that runs your information. This will make the process much more smooth and will show the sellers and their agent that you are reliable. Also, make sure your agent has a cover letter for all of your offers. This just makes you look more organized and professional, and goes back to tip number one of having an agent you fully trust to be your voice throughout this nerve-wracking process.

Have an edge and be ready to go all in for the property you want!

Here’s a video of Angie and Loan Specialist Derek Beisner discussing loan contingency to help avoid heartbreak during spring buying season!

Call or text Angie at 949-338-7408 if you’d like to get moving in the right direction on your dream home this season.

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Making Money in OC with AirBnB

Posted on February 9, 2018. Filed under: AirBnB, First Time Buyer help, Homeownership, Making Life Easier, Orange County Real Estate, Real Estate Stories | Tags: |


Here we are on a wonderful Costa Rica family vacation in Nov 2017 that AirBnB rentals paid for!

Getting help paying your mortgage while traveling the world!

Renting out your home as an AirBnB allows you to travel as much as you want while still making an income to help pay your mortgage. You have complete control over who you allow to stay in your home and you are also in complete control of when you choose to have your home rented out. Why wouldn’t you want to get paid to go on vacation and have someone else paying your mortgage for you? We have had such a great experience using AirBnB and wanted to share what we’ve learned so that you can do it too.

Our AirBnB tips and tricks

Finding a good place to stay while your house is being rented is very important! You’re renting out your house to make money, but you want to be somewhere comfortable too. You want a daily rent potential that is at least 125% of your daily mortgage to insure good profit! When thinking of making your home or a place you buy into an AirBnb, make sure you consider the tourist destination and proximity to arenas and conventions near that property. You’ll also want to make sure that community or city allows short term rentals. We also found it beneficial to make sure we had closets that we could easily lock or a detached garage/storage shed to safely keep items while we were renting out our home.

Screen Shot 2018-02-09 at 1.31.56 PM

Humble houses still make money! Here’s our historical Santa Ana pad before we earned the money from AirBnB rentals to pay for our new walkway.


Having a smart lock such as IglooHome is a great idea. It’s easy for guests, and safe for you. We have “AirBnB Bin” with sheets and towels that are only used for guests, that way the ones we use for ourselves are never used. Shampoo and soap dispensers in the shower are super helpful as well. We make sure our supply closet is always on stock and that we have a house keeper on call, just in case. Syncing with your calendar makes it easier to stay organized with the schedule of your rentals.

Refinancing your Mortgage with AirBnB Income

An initiative is starting this year in order to help you refinance your mortgage using the income you make as an AirBnB host. Previously, banks wouldn’t count your AirBnB income when considering whether or not to refinance your mortgage. Thankfully that is beginning to change. The three financial institutions participating in the initiative include Quicken Loans, Citizens Bank, and Better Mortgage. They have the chance to consider home sharing income earned on Airbnb when hosts in the U.S. apply to refinance their mortgage on their primary residence! This is just another benefit to using AirBnB – someone will be paying your REDUCED mortgage rate which means even more profit in your pocket!

Here’s a video of Angie sharing this information with one of her networking groups!

Finding A Good AirBnB Investment in Orange County, CA

If this sounds like something you want to learn more about, follow our Automatic Millionaire Homeowners group on Facebook! If you want to search out an Orange County property to buy and make your AirBnB contact Angie at 949-338-7408.

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Superior Home Safety Rankings in Orange County, CA

Posted on February 2, 2018. Filed under: First Time Buyer help, Home Improvement Ideas, Homeownership, Orange County Home Improvement, Orange County Real Estate | Tags: , , |

Local Orange County Cities are Among the Safest in the Nation

As real estate professionals, we’re always keeping an eye out for stories on home safety, since it’s consistently one of the biggest priorities for people who are shopping for a new home.

That’s why we were delighted to learn that many nearby Orange County cities are actually ranked among the safest across the United States, according to the latest Home Safety Rankings (HSR) released by local home services app SERVIZ.
SERVIZ created its Home Safety Rankings when the company’s founders realized that they were failing as many as 1 in 3 home contractors for criminal background checks (definitely statistics the company felt they needed to explore further). Concerned by these numbers, SERVIZ then researched and assembled its groundbreaking new Home Safety Rankings (HSR) Index for over 100 metropolitan areas across the U.S., which not only offer statistics on home safety and crime, but which also provide a detailed look at the safety habits and concerns of
residents city by city. SERVIZ’s HSR findings include useful safety tips and suggestions, and received the approval of the National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC) as well.


High Marks for Safety

Let’s look at how we did on a local level.

Out of 108 metro areas analyzed and ranked for home safety, several cities in the Orange County metro area ranked among the very top of the list, with high-ranking cities including Aliso Viejo, Laguna Niguel, and Mission Viejo, California!

Aliso Viejo residents can certainly celebrate, as the city was ranked the third safest overall, with a superb safety score of 79 out of 100 (with 100 being safest). Laguna Niguel also made the top 10, coming in at number 5, meanwhile, with a high 65 safety ranking—and both received A+ letter grade scores, too. Mission Viejo was number 9 in the top 10, meanwhile, with a safety
ranking of 61 and an A- rating. To give you an idea of just how good these numbers are, Los Angeles itself scored a C+ rating and a safety ranking of just 19, by comparison.

These statistics show that your chance of becoming a crime victim is just 1 in 126 in Aliso Viejo, 1 in 89 in Laguna Niguel, and 1 in 82 in Mission Viejo. These are impressive numbers when compared with L.A.’s 1 in 33 chance of becoming a crime victim!

The SERVIZ Home Safety Rankings (HSR) Index was achieved as a result of proprietary data collected over the last 5 years serving over 200 thousand customers, and 300 thousand home improvement jobs, and other publicly available sources. To view how California stacks up against other states, visit

Helping Homeowners Nationwide

Ultimately, SERVIZ isn’t just analyzing crime stats or helping homeowners nationwide focus on the big picture when it comes to home safety – the SERVIZ app is actually helping homeowners stay safer when booking home services right from their PCs or phones (booking a safe, highly rated, and fully vetted handyman in just a few mouse clicks). The company offers a safer, faster,
easier, and more transparent way to book and buy home services online. From handyman work to plumbing, carpet cleaning and appliance repair, SERVIZ provides highly rated, background-checked and licensed professionals at the click of a button, all backed by the SERVIZ Consumer Protection Plan.

To learn more about SERVIZ, visit You can also download the free
SERVIZ App on Google Play or iTunes for immediate use as well.

We also know many trustworthy local contractors if you still prefer a good old fashioned referral. Just text Angie at 949-338-7408.

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2018 Tax Reform & Housing Market Update with YPN

Posted on January 23, 2018. Filed under: First Time Buyer help, Home Seller Tips, Homeownership, Informed Investor Alliance, Orange County Real Estate | Tags: |

IMG_7959Hey everyone!

Today I’m at the Orange County Young Professionals Network breakfast; and Tony Capitelli, Government Affairs director at OCR, gave us the update on taxes and our housing market. If you’d like in on the scoop….read on 🙂

Not Fake News – Orange County Needs Housing Inventory

As previously stated in our post with Steven Thomas, we don’t have enough people selling their home in Orange County right now. Our current estimated time on the market is just 24 days – it’s a strong seller’s market. Furthermore, the ‘affordability’ factor in OC is around 20%, and prices continue to rise with the lack of inventory. Student loan debt keeps renters longer and longer.

IMG_7960Tony doesn’t believe we’re in another bubble, so this is our new normal in Orange County. The median sales price is now $800K. The prices continue to creep so high because of inventory, inventory, inventory. People are staying in their homes longer and longer. It also costs more to build here in OC, so that pushes up new home prices.

Consequences of our inventory drought are less housing, longer commutes, more traffic…people are having to move outside of the city or county.

Even though all these updates aren’t great (especially to renters), please keep perspective. Homeownership is the still the best way to generate wealth for ‘the average Joe’. 

What’s Up With 2018 Tax Reform

DISCLAIMER: This is information on what is in the new tax bill. This is not tax or legal advice…contact your CPA for that or ask us for a referral!!

Harmful tax provisions

  • Raising the standard deduction
    • Single filers – 12K / Joint filers 24K
    • eliminates homeownership incentives for most
  • Lowering the mortgage interest deduction
    • Cap lowered from 1M to 750K
    • Can only deduct HELOC remodeling
  • Limit on State and local tax deduction
  • Eliminates entertainment deduction
    • Businesses can no longer deduct expenses for entertainment purposes. Sorry…less spoiling my clients and more giving it to Uncle Sam.
  • Historic tax credit
  • repeals moving expense deduction
    • Except for military

Helpful tax provisions

  • 20% passthrough for a business entity under 157K (single)
  • Exclusion of gain on sale of principal residence
    • We kept the 2 out of 5 year qualification 🙂
  • Like kind exchanges
    • 1031 exchange is still available
  • Low income housing credit
  • Child tax credit increased
  • Medical expenses deduction remains
  • Student loan interest deduction remains
  • Keeps deduction for casualty losses

IMG_7962We’ve basically de-incentified homeownership and charity, which IMO sucks. The good news is that millennials still see the value in Homeownership and they are pretty darn charitable anyway 🙂 45% want to buy homes in the next 5 years. It’d be cool if we could vote for more benefits to support homeownership incentives in the future you guys! Follow NAR’s #HomeownershipMatters tag if you’d like to stay in the know there.

If you’d like to download Tony’s full presentation, just LIKE Orange County Young Professionals Network on Facebook – we’ll be posting it soon – or email

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2018 Housing Market Forecast by Steven Thomas

Posted on January 8, 2018. Filed under: First Time Buyer help, Home Seller Tips, Homeownership, Informed Investor Alliance, Making Life Easier, Orange County CA Foreclosures, Orange County Real Estate |

Always love to hear Steven Thomas’ yearly real estate forecast – he’s locally famous here in Orange County for his great quantitative economic forecasts. Today he spoke at Orange County Association of Realtors and gave us the scoop….here goes!

It’s a HOT Seller’s Market in OC. Already.

The average OC resident moves every 21 years. This is creating a seller draught for all homes on the market under 1.5M. On the other hand, if you’re lucky enough to own a property over 1.5M, that’s a buyer’s market right now. Typically the Orange County market is slow from Nov – Jan, heats up after Super Bowl, and stays hot well through May. Last year, our market was hotttttt the.whole.year. And it’s continuing into 2018 here.

I’m Going to Wait to Buy….Famous Last Words.

Buyers….please don’t wait for more inventory or prices to go down. Neither is projected to transpire anytime soon. The next trend that comes will be higher interest rates, and that will only compound your issues. Yes, it’s rough to find a home right now. You’ll have to compete with multiple offers, but the good news is that you’re buying a solid long term investment at historically low interest rates, so keep on it! With the right agent you will secure your dream home.

Good News Graph: Interest Rates Over the Last 50 Years


These interest rates are an absolute GIFT. Steven’s words: “Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth”. It’s ridiculous not to consider buying while you’re trashing at least 25K/year in rent. That’s like….a significant portion of your down payment. Because you can get in with just 3.5% down now 😉

Buyers, it’s time to suit up in your battle gear and plan to write at least 4-5 offers. It’s not you. It’s not your agent. It’s INVENTORY. We had 6% fewer homes come on the market in 2017 than the year before. We’re below 4,000 homes on the market, and our long term average is 8,000. We’re starting out this year similar to 2013, which was the lowest inventory in 5 years. There are only 91 condos active right now below 250K, so the low end is literally disappearing. And you can’t blame it on the foreigners, either. International buying is an insignificant 3%. Get in while you still can, PLEASE!

Homeowners, you’ve got the upper hand because you’re just not selling. Below is a comparison of 2016 inventory vs 2017 inventory. Almost everything is down. Yet the population and OC relocations continue to grow. Which are causing prices of our skimpy inventory to grow.


Where Are All of Our Property Sellers?

Why isn’t everyone selling right now? We’re in an up market…right? Well, there’s a slew of reasons, and here are some of them:

  • refinanced into a 3% loan they just don’t want to lose
  • it’s ‘cool’ to stay put right now
  • not enough building to entice the move
  • property taxes are grandfathered in low
  • watching HGTV all day & remodeling instead
  • nothing to buy (such a VICIOUS cycle)

Some people are literally becoming prisoners in their own homes, especially with the new tax laws. 64% of baby boomers literally plan to die in their home, following the hugely popular ‘aging in place’ trend. Until some of these boomers start to sell…or croak.. our market will be stalled.

If you’re considering selling… please do your fellow OC residents a favor & just do it! You’ve literally got buyers in line waiting to see your home. Here’s an inventory & demand year to year comparison:


Scared to sell? What about Taxes & Tax Reform?

Now that the max deduction is $12,000 for singles, and the max property tax deduction is $10,000, will that affect our market? It will absolutely affect many, because the median home price in Orange County is now over $700,000. Some buyers will not be able to write off everything they used to. Steven admits, It may NOT be a tax benefit to own a home in some in the upper ranges. But…It’s still way better than trashing 3-5K/mo on renting, though. And luxury rent is even higher than that. Steven doesn’t think the tax laws will have an adverse affect on our pricing at all this year; we are still projecting appreciation.

Steven Thomas’ 2018 Housing Market Forecast:

  • Low distressed inventory
  • return of the unrealistic overpriced seller
  • normal housing cycle
  • anemic inventory to start the year
  • increase in number of move up sellers
  • mild appreciation 4-5% (perspective. the ‘average’ home is due to increase 30K or more in value)
  • interest rates to land at 4.25%

Only time will tell if these projections are right – but Steven’s usually on point. Feel free to comment your opinions and we’ll revisit this post in about a year 🙂 If you’d like more updates like this throughout the year, just fill out the form below or text ‘subscribe’ to Angie at 949-338-7408.

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Consider Paying Property Taxes Early – Big Tax Changes are Coming to Town

Posted on December 23, 2017. Filed under: First Time Buyer help, Home Seller Tips, Informed Investor Alliance, Lenders & Loan info, Los Angeles property, Making Life Easier, OC Property Management, Orange County Real Estate |

As you’re hearing on the news and seeing on social media…the way we are taxed and the things we can write off will be changing a lot within this next year! As a Realtor I can’t legally give tax advice…. so I’ll preface this post by saying it’s best to consult your CPA before the end of every year and be a proactive advocate for the lowest possible taxes! If you need a CPA referral, just ask 😉

That said, we wanted to make sure our CA friends and clients were aware of this before the end of 2017 – which is fast approaching!

GOP Tax Bill

The LA Times wrote about changes the GOP tax bill will have for California residents. The wealthier areas along the coast are going to suffer more than others due to this. Currently, state and local tax deduction is unlimited. However, in the final GOP plan, people will only be able to deduct up to $10,000. At the beginning the house only wanted the deduction to be on property taxes, but the final bill is for any state and local taxes to be deducted. Property, income, or sales taxes will qualify. An article from The Washington Post says, “The move is widely viewed as a hit to blue states such as New York, Connecticut and California, and there are concerns it could cause property values to fall in high-tax cities and leave less money for public schools and road repairs.” Since the average California homeowner pays 10K or more per year in property taxes, this affects YOU.

Pay Early & Still Get Your Deduction

How can you stay safe from the deduction cap? One way is to pay your second installment of your property taxes (which are usually due in April) before the end of the 2017 year so that you can avoid the amount restriction for 2018 deductions. You can pay online, by e-check, or credit card.

What if My Taxes Are Impounded Into My Mortgage?

If you call and check, most lenders won’t be able to guarantee the payment will get sent before the end of the year, but don’t worry…you’re still ok. You can simply pay your property tax online and then just send the proof of payment over to your lender for an escrow account refund. That way you can still write off your full property tax and state income tax before you get stuck only being able to write off $10k combined next year.

Stay Proactive…Stay Informed

We want you to know that we reply to all Real Estate tax alerts on our client’s behalf. We care about you and want you to get maximum benefits from being a homeowner. Here’s a recent reply from Luis Correa to one of our requests:


Ultimately we all need to watch elections big and small to fight taxes together! Please subscribe to our blog or email us to join the list for regular updates on how to protect your real estate investments.

We hope you have a Happy & prosperous 2018!

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Join us at OC Home Fair – Homeownership Day Event!

Posted on December 15, 2017. Filed under: First Time Buyer help, Home Seller Tips, Homeownership, Los Angeles Real Estate, Orange County Real Estate | Tags: , , , , , |

You’re invited to our 6th annual homeownership day! If you have been thinking about making some real estate decisions but have been holding back because you weren’t sure exactly what you wanted to do or how you wanted to do it, join us and learn about real estate from professionals! Our event will be held January 27th from 10 AM – Noon at Chapman University  (1 University Drive in Orange) and we really hope to see you there!

Our Homeownership Event is FREE and offers 8 classes to choose from during 2 different 50 minute sessions. We are offering some great classes this year that you are not going to want to miss out on! We have something for everyone, regardless of if you own or not. If you’re a veteran thinking about buying a home – we’ve got class for that! If you’re a female and wanting to learn how to grow your real estate profile to be super successful – we’ve got a class for that! Along with safely buying international real estate, finding funds to buy your home…. and…. the one we will be teaching with our YPN friend Eric Wu – Investing to be an Automatic Millionaire. We’d love it if you signed up for our class during your first session and learn about investing in properties to help build your future wealth! If you want to sign up or just check out what all will be offered head over to OC Home Fair website!

Here’s some pictures of our event classes last year, we are hoping to put on an even bigger and better event this year!

We were lucky enough to work with some amazing event partners this year! Chapman University Argyos School of Business is always so generous to offer their classrooms, which allow you to learn in a pitch-free and no pressure environment. Some of our sponsors and nonprofits that are attending with you are NeighborWorks Orange County, Affordable Housing Clearinghouse, VAREP, Orange County Young Professionals Network, and NAWRB!

Don’t forget to fill out the form below to reserve your seat in our #OCHomeFair class:

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Costa Rica Real Estate and Vacation Homes

Posted on November 15, 2017. Filed under: Costa Rica Real Estate, First Time Buyer help, International Properties, Real Estate Stories | Tags: , , , |

Want to live where others vacation?

I was recently visiting Costa Rica where I connected with Melissa Smith, a real estate agent with Coldwell Banker Tamarindo. She went into details about the buying process in Costa Rica, and how you can go about getting yourself a home in the beautiful land of ‘Pura vida’. Spending some time in this gorgeous place made me want to share insights with buyers and investors on how to safely purchase property there!

I mean, wouldn’t you love for these ocean views to just be a short walk away from your home?

What do you have to do to buy a Costa Rica vacation home?

Melissa told us during our interview that Costa Rica real estate’s most busy season is November-April. $250k will give you a two bedroom two bathroom place in Tamarindo with about a five minute walk to the beach. If you want an ocean view, it would be around $350k, but how can you beat that?

The right team can close a house in just 14 days, but typical timeframes are around 30. If you are planning to buy in Costa Rica, you’ll need cash or a HELOC – they don’t offer mortgages to foreigners.

In Costa Rica attorneys do all of the closing, so you need a good real estate agent, and they will connect you with a reputable attorney as well! Buyer beware – anyone can be an agent over there (literally, your taxi driver) so make sure you’re working with someone like Melissa who has the proper credentials and experience.

If you’d prefer to buy in another area of Costa Rica just reach out to us – we’ll use our Certified International Property Specialist (CIPS) designation to interview and connect you with a great Realtor in the area.

My favorite part in researching Costa Rica is that property tax is just .25 percent! In other words… $250 for every $100k…so affordable! 😍 If you are less than 50m from the ocean you are actually leasing from the government which is called “concession land.

There is no multiple listing (MLS) system set up in Costa Rica, so it’s crucially important to hire a very motivated real estate agent to make sure finding your dream home is an easy process! Every office will offer different listings, so your agent will be required to do a lot more legwork and networking than agents here in the US.

If this sounds like something you are interested in learning more about – let’s talk! I’d be happy to help you find what Homes and land are available currently in Costa Rica. You can get ahold of me at 949-338-7408 or email – let’s make your tropical dreams come true!


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Orange County Electrician to help with your Smart Homes!

Posted on October 13, 2017. Filed under: First Time Buyer help, Informed Investor Alliance, Making Life Easier, Orange County Home Improvement, Orange County Real Estate, Property Mangement, Smart Homes | Tags: , , , , |

Have you been wanting to upgrade your home to fit in with this century’s technology frenzy? We have the perfect guy and team to help you do just that!

Mark Gerhard at Gerhard Electric based out of Laguna Hills is an expert on working with smart homes. He can provide you with an instant ring door bell, almost like caller ID for your front door! They can help you install and integrate your Alexa and nest thermostat. They also offer replacing your canned lighting with LED so you can go green and save some money!

Installing a charging station for your electric vehicle in your garage, updating old wiring for safety purposes, and installing hard wired and wireless safety smoke detectors are just a few more things they can help you with. We think a lot of our clients and friends could benefit from a few of these things in there homes!


Smart Home Installation Help

They will do it all for you from installing the product you buy or providing the product themselves and helping you to install it. One of our favorite packages is the doorbell camera and one motion sensor for $783!

We know Mark Gerhard and the team at Gerhard Electric through Saddleback @ Work and our OC LeTip Group and are pleased to be able to recommend them to you all! Get ahold of Mark and his crew at (949) 951-0490!

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Real Estate Realities – Should you buy that Long Beach fixer upper?

Posted on October 6, 2017. Filed under: First Time Buyer help, Long Beach Homes, Los Angeles Real Estate, Making Life Easier, Orange County Real Estate, Real Estate Stories | Tags: , , |

What buying a fixer upper can turn into for you!

Most of us are obsessed with the show Fixer Upper on HGTV where we watch Chip & Joanna Gaines turn older houses into beautiful, updated remodels. Most of us don’t realize this is possible for us to do ourselves, so when we go to look at houses we expect one that already looks like Joanna has put her touch on it. However, we want a fixer price on a newly updated house. It’s ok to admit…we see this every. single. day.

Most times buying a house with a lot of potential and a smaller price tag is beneficial to you and your future…ESPECIALLY on your first place.

Check out what one of our clients, Jason from Long Beach, did to this cosmetic fixer-upper he purchased! Jason looked for quite some time and had specific ideas of what he wanted for his interior. Unfortunately, nothing’s ever perfect. So he decided to buy the ugly duck in the perfect area, and turn it into a swan 🙂

We referred Jason to one of our absolute favorite buildings in Long Beach, located at 555 Maine. We love this location because it’s super affordable, has low HOA, includes parking, is FHA approved, they are big dog-friendly, and um….top it off with a rooftop deck that has city views. So cool.

Here are some interior photos of when he first bought the property. Of course, we helped him nab this condo towards the very low end of comps in the downtown Long Beach area:

It was livable, but nothing really special. Which is always a bummer when you spend hundreds of thousands of dollars. We know, you want to brag about your new home! So….. check out what he did! What an amazing transformation! We are obsessed! Clean lines, consistent colors, upgraded appliances, quartz counters….niiiiiiice 🙂

The time to complete the project was about two months, and with his permission we’re able to post that he invested in the ballpark of $40k.

In true fixer upper style, we’d say after this remodel Jason would easily be selling close to the top of the comps in the area, which gives him about 10K in equity already! Best part is he’s only 6 months into this adventure and living in a great space where he got to choose his decor. Congratulations on a job well done, Jason! We are so proud and amazed with the work you got done on this place while working your hectic hours!


If you’d like to take on a cosmetic fixer challenge just get in touch with us by filling out the form below or texting Angie at 949-338-7408.


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Hot Topic: FHA or Conventional Loan?

Posted on September 22, 2017. Filed under: Conventional Loan, FHA loans, First Time Buyer help, Lenders & Loan info, Orange County Real Estate | Tags: , , |

Wondering which home loan will be best for you? Here’s some helpful tips

Lots of buyers have been questioning which loan is best for them and their situation. Honestly, it does depend on just that – your situation. We have put together some information on both of these loan options to make it easier for you to decide what you think is best for yourself! Some of the biggest, but most simple differences between FHA and conventional loans are based on their guidelines and who can apply for them. FHA loans are government backed programs that require a minimum 3.5% down payment. These loans tend to be best for borrowers with lower credit than necessary to apply for a conventional loan.

Conventional loans are open-market and are geared for people with a higher credit score, typically near 700 or higher. Rates tend to be a bit lower, and in most cases no Mortgage Insurance is required.

FHA used to be a much more expensive option, but after FHA MIP reductions in 2015 it is now a real competitor. However, FHA can tend to be more strict in requirements than a conventional loan is.

What does an FHA Loan Require?

FHA loans require homes to have the following in good working order:

  • stove
  • heat
  • functioning roof
  • locking doors and windows
  • non-lead based paint

If you are looking to buy a condo… it can only be in a FHA approved community. So if you are choosing FHA, you may have less home options available to you. FHA loans also require you to purchase mortgage insurance which protects the lenders from a loss. In January of 2015, the FHA reduced the annual mortgage insurance premium on a 30 year fixed rate from 1.35 % to 0.85% of the loan balance. This is leading to huge savings for many who want a condo but just don’t have the larger down payment.


Okay, so which home loan should you choose?

There isn’t one specific answer that fits everybody. It all depends on you, your needs and wants, and what you can afford to choose. If you plan on owning your home for 6-10 years and you don’t mind refinancing to cancel your mortgage insurance you might choose FHA. If you can put 5% down, you plan on keeping your home for 10-20 years and you don’t like the idea of paying mortgage insurance for thirty years you may choose conventional!

If you are looking into buying a home and need help finding one along with deciding which loan option is best for you – we can help! We work with a lot of amazing lender contacts locally here in Orange County that we would love to set you up with. We like to match-make our clients with lenders that we think will benefit them the most. Depending on your personality, wants/needs, and what kind of loan you are interested in all helps us decide which lender will be best for you! Fill out the form below or contact Angie at 949-338-7408 for more information 🙂


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New Orange County Homes Coming Soon!

Posted on July 3, 2017. Filed under: Balboa's Best Property Deals, First Time Buyer help, Informed Investor Alliance, Los Angeles property, OC Property Profiles, Orange County Real Estate |

DCIM100MEDIADJI_0230.JPGHot new listings that haven’t hit the MLS

Summer is in full swing & we’re excited to bring Orange County some more home inventory – listings have been tight this year and we’re hearing it from buyers in every price range – entry level to luxury homes! If you’re thinking of selling your place, now is a great time to consider.  If you’d like the hot ticket on some homes not yet on the MLS, keep reading..

23412 Pacific Park, Aliso Viejo CA 92656. Fresh carpet and paint in this 2 bed 2 bath Canyon Villas condo. New plumbing, direct access garage, courtyard view, & cozy fireplace all for just $399,999.

1032 Saint Vincent, North Tustin CA 92705. Huge opportunity to gain sweat equity in this 2621 sq ft single level on a 14,700 sq ft lot. Located on a quiet cul de sac with a workroom space off of garage. Schools are all 9 or 10 rated, & you’re centrally located in the heart of OC. This hidden gem is just waiting for a little love. Pre-MLS price: 875K.

Rancho Mission Viejo, CA. Sendero community immaculate design & just 2 over years young. Only had one owner, you could be next! 3 beds, 3 baths, 2 car garage – 2391 sq ft on a 4516 sq ft lot. Walk to pool, parks, and trails for just 950K.

3904 River Ave, Newport Beach CA 92663 for sale for the first time in over 40 years! Countdown to your perfect beach life: 4 beds, 3 baths, 2 car garage, and 1 boat dock 🙂 Stroll to Newport Beach, shopping, restaurants, and pier. Pre MLS invite only open house on July 20th, 2017. Fill out the interest list form on the link for an invite! Priced at just $2,499,000 this is the cheapest priced boat dock listing in Newport. You’ll have to paddle quick to catch this wave!

Prefer Los Angeles area energy?

3710 McKenzie Los Angeles CA 90032 We’ve got a duplex there, too, and it needs a handyman! It’s an ideal time to get into El Sereno during it’s regentrification phase – the area is up & coming located right between downtown LA & downtown Pasadena.

If you’d like an earlybird preview on any of these listings just call or text Angie at 949-338-7408 and we’d be happy the help you get a new pad this summer!

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INVITATION: Citrus College Home Fair

Posted on April 10, 2017. Filed under: First Time Buyer help, Home Seller Tips, Informed Investor Alliance, Lenders & Loan info, Making Life Easier, Orange County Real Estate, Orange County things to do | Tags: , , , , , , , |

Interested in buying a home in Southern California but don’t know how? Would you like safe and solid info on Real Estate Investing or Market reports and trends? We’ve got you covered with free sessions at Citrus College on April 23rd.

The event will be held from 11am – 3pm with an hour lunch break. There are 3 different sessions, each with 4 classes to choose from ranging from flipping to first time buying. We feel honored to be asked to teach 2 classes – Investing and Market Report. Come join us and learn how to buy real estate! The first 100 registrations receive a free lunch on Citrus Real Estate Club – just sign up below.


Yes, sign me up for Citrus College’s Home Fair on April 23rd!

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How to Buy an Orange County Home with 1% Down

Posted on March 23, 2017. Filed under: First Time Buyer help, Lenders & Loan info, Making Life Easier, Orange County Real Estate | Tags: , , , , , , |

We believe everyone, EVERYONE, deserves to own a home!! So what’s your biggest obstacle to get there?

Down payment funds?! Probably!

We don’t live in a society that saves money, so how can you buy a home if you’re savings account isn’t 5 figures or more? There’s a way, and we wanted to let you know you have options!

Orange County Down Payment Assistance Programs

A great resource to reach out to for housing grants and financial help is NeighborWorks Orange County. The NeighborWorks website lists lots of really great programs – here’s a flyer to check out just a few:


For your convenience, income limits for each program are color coded at the bottom of this sheet. NeighborWorks is located in Orange, and they’re always coming up with a new program or a way to help you improve credit, budget, and your overall financial picture. Here’s a link to their homebuyer classes, given in various languages 🙂

In order to learn about everything this great nonprofit has, it’s best to attend a workshop. They also have an online or in house course you can take to get fully equipped to buy a home. It does cost a nominal fee, but you get your money back when you provide your closing statement within 12 months. How cool is that?!??

If you’re the type of person who wants to work with a charity FIRST, or if you just don’t have a down payment and you need help, reach out by texting 949-338-7408 or filling out the form below, and we’ll put you in touch with NeighborWorks so you can get on the affordable path to homeownership!

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Charming Home For Sale in Mission Viejo

Posted on February 3, 2017. Filed under: First Time Buyer help, Informed Investor Alliance, Making Life Easier, OC Property Profiles, Orange County Real Estate |

If you’re tired of ‘overdone’ properties that are completely outside your taste, then this Mission Viejo property for sale should be a breath of fresh air. With solid structure, but old decor, this is the perfect project for the buyer who wants a good deal and the opportunity to do their own upgrades. Priced at just $684,900 – it won’t linger long!

This traditional 2 story offers 3 beds, 2.5 baths, 2 car garage, and 1776 sq ft on a 5000 sq ft lot. All schools are rated 9 or 10, and it’s on a single loaded street walking distance to James Gilleran park.

Additional features include:

  • Jacuzzi
  • Wet bar
  • Fireplace
  • Master bath with separate tub & shower
  • Master balcony
  • Inside laundry room
  • Arched doorways
  • Downstairs newer tile
  • Recirculating hot water – it’s instant!
  • Wired for speakers in & outside, cable too
  • Air conditioning
  • Outdoor LED lights in front.
  • HUGE extra storage closet in office

You won’t find this home on the MLS, so beat the rush! For a private showing call or text Angie at 949-338-7408 or simply fill out the form below!

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Mission Viejo Single Level Gem for sale

Posted on January 21, 2017. Filed under: First Time Buyer help, Orange County Real Estate | Tags: , , , |

Mission Viejo is one of our favorite cities – super safe, great schools, shopping, & scenery! We’re happy to announce a new listing coming to the MLS soon for just $724,900. It’s single level, charmingly upgraded, and sits on an interior corner lot with RV parking.

The backyard is very private & provides a large covered patio with skylights & stone tile – perfect for a future California Room!  Boasting 4 beds, 2 spa-like baths, enormous eat-in kitchen, soaring ceilings, and oversize decorative tile – don’t miss out on this handsome home.

To schedule an earlybird showing for this classic beauty, just fill out the form below. More details and photos are available at

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Become an Automatic Millionaire Homeowner

Posted on November 29, 2016. Filed under: First Time Buyer help, Home Seller Tips, Informed Investor Alliance, Lenders & Loan info, Making Life Easier, Orange County CA Foreclosures, Orange County Real Estate, Orange County Short Sales | Tags: , , , , , , |

Ever wonder how people really come up in real estate? It doesn’t require a huge amount of capital, brains, or hard work. The process is surprisingly simple, and we’ll teach you the jist in just half an hour.


The best thing about becoming a millionaire homeowner is that anyone can do it.

Learn How at Homeownership Day Jan 14th, 2017

We’ll teach you the simple process based off David Bach’s “Automatic Millionaire Homeowner” book in an easy, 1/2 hour session at Chapman University from 12:15 – 12:45pm.

This is a class for normal people who would like to do extraordinary things in real estate while maintaining their existing lifestyle, career, and family.

The Automatic Millionaire Homeowner is not a get-rich-quick scheme; everything is done on your individual timeline, and without a membership in some expensive group or school. The only money you spend will be on real estate itself. Simple concepts that once applied, will bring you huge returns regardless of where you own property. And the younger you have this knowledge and you start…the better.

Register below for this free event – space is limited!

ochfgraphicMore about Homeownership Day / OC Home Fair

This yearly event is a collaborative between Chapman University, Orange County Young Professionals Network, OC Register, and non-profits VAREP and NeighborWorks OC designed to bring you honest real estate information with no pressure or gimmicks.

There will be 4 different sessions, each with 5 classes to choose from. Attendees enjoy a ‘choose your own adventure’ style and pick the classes that interest them most. Instructors are all active experts in the industry volunteering their time to benefit our community. Visit for the full class list and session times.

Where: Chapman University’s Beckman Hall 1 University Dr, Orange, CA 92866
When: January 14th, 2017 from 10am – 1pm
Cost: free

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Orange County All Inclusive Trust Deeds (AITDs)

Posted on November 8, 2016. Filed under: First Time Buyer help, Home Seller Tips, Lenders & Loan info, Orange County Short Sales | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

loan-denialWhat is an AITD? An All Inclusive Trust Deed is basically when the buyer takes over the seller’s existing loan. And NO, it doesn’t have to be an ‘assumable loan’ … The current lender is actually not even notified!

Who Are Good Candidates for AITDs?

As a buyer, you could use AITD as an avenue if you cannot qualify for a traditional loan. If you’re a seller, it’s an option if you don’t want to short sale, or if you have a fabulous loan that you would like to transfer to a family member. Another time an AITD could save the day is if you are a seller and your HOA is in litigation, or there is some type of situation causing purchase loans in your community to get denied.

How do AITD Transactions Work?

With an AITD, most aspects are the same as a normal Orange County real estate transaction. Instead of a traditional lender involved, the escrow company draws up the paperwork and usually collects the payments as ‘the manager’, which they then send over to the existing lender on buyer & seller’s behalf.

AITD allows you to make your own qualification rules, which is pretty neat! You don’t necessarily have to worry about credit history, scores, or capital gains taxes (if it’s not your primary residence) should you go this route.

If you’re thinking of doing an AITD, make sure to record the grant deed as well. It’s better for everyone. Especially if you are the buyer, because then you can technically write off the mortgage interest.

A great company to use for this process locally in OC is Mission Country Escrow. Katie the owner spoke to us about it today, and they have been doing AITD’s in Orange County for 30 years. If you’re thinking of doing one, definitely reach out to them.

Questions To Ask When Doing an AITD

  1. Loan amount: is it a ‘mirror image’ of the seller’s current loan, or if not, what interest rate will be charged?
  2. Down payment: is the buyer putting funds down, and if so, how much?
  3. Length: what is the length of the AITD and are there any extension options?
  4. HOA: does the property have a Homeowner’s Association?
  5. Commissions & closing costs: is the typical ‘each to pay own’ presiding, or who is paying?
  6. Loans: how many does the seller currently have, and are they all current?

All Inclusive Trust Deed Risks

Of course, there are plenty of risks too. Technically, the lender could call the loan due & payable because the owner transferred. However, the chances of that happening (unless there’s a late payment) are very slim.

Furthermore, we had Steve Fink, real estate attorney discuss advantages & disadvantages of AITD. Honestly, there are a ton of risks involved, and these AITD transactions should be done only in very special cases and with extreme caution. Always use a professional, and get your facts!

If you’d like a personal introduction or have questions about AITD’s, just call Angie at 949-338-7408, tweet @AngieWeeks, or fill out the form below – we’ll be sure to connect you with trusted professionals to protect your interest!

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Orange County Solar – will it save me money?

Posted on October 21, 2016. Filed under: First Time Buyer help, Home Improvement Ideas, Home Seller Tips, Informed Investor Alliance, Making Life Easier, Orange County Home Improvement, Orange County Real Estate | Tags: , , , , |

solar-panelsWondering if you should add solar when you buy your home? It’s one of our most common questions, so let’s check into it! Today, we attended a solar seminar with Alan Issacs & GoSolar from our LeTip group to find out more on this popular subject.

The average monthly cost of electricity for a CA resident is $183/mo, or $2200/yr. On top of that, it’s constantly increasing, on an average of 5% per year. So if you think your bills are big now…just wait…

How does Solar work?

Solar panels convert sunlight into the same electric energy you get from the utility company. Materials consist of solar panels installed on your roof, and inverters. In many cases, you’ll still be connected to the grid, so you will have access to electricity if your panels don’t generate enough, and you will get a credit for the excess energy you generate – win win so far!

Solar Installation & Purchasing Tips:

  • Size your system to produce 80% of the energy you need, not 100%. You can always add panels later if you want to, as long as you are using a micro inverter instead of a string inverter.
  • If you buy solar (not lease) before Dec 31st 2021, you’ll receive a 30% federal tax credit
  • Just like homeownership, the really big savings comes over the long term; check out this 20 year projection graph:


Interested in Going Green Now? Steps to Go Solar:

  1. Solar Energy Consultation
  2. Proposal
  3. Solar Site Assessment
  4. Contract
  5. HOA Approval (remember many HOA’s only meet once a month, and many times they require neighbor approval – plan in advance!)
  6. City Permit – the company you select for solar will usually pull this for you
  7. Installation – these work on EVERY type of roof, and typically takes 3 days
  8. Inspection
  9. Net Energy Metering (NEM) agreement
  10. Permission to Operate (PTO)

The entire process takes about 4-8 weeks, depending on weather, how many panels you have, and various other factors.

How Should I Pay For Solar?

It’s all about options – and there’s plenty. Some are by far better than others. Let’s explore them further:

  • Upfront – typically pays back within 5 years and offers a 30% tax credit
  • Consumer Energy Efficiency loan – also eligible for tax credit. This is also tied to you the owner, which will save headaches when you go to sell your Orange County home.
  • HELOC – you can use your current home equity to purchase by taking out a Home Equity Line of Credit
  • HERO / PACE loan – a secured loan where your credit is not even checked. Be careful of these options, it can scare buyers if you go to sell your home. If you KNOW you’re going to stay in your property until it’s paid off, then go for it. The interest rate is usually 8%; so it may be better for you to take out a HELOC if you have equity.
  • Lease / Power Purchase agreement – the worst option for payment, because you are not eligible for tax credit, it’s typically a TWENTY year agreement, and your lease payments typically increase annually (around 3%). This option can also make it difficult for you to sell your home.

If you’d like more info on Solar, feel free to reach out to 949-338-7408 or tweet @AngieWeeks, and we’d be happy to connect you with multiple people we know in the Solar industry!

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Tiny Homes & Cutting Edge Home Performance Monitoring 

Posted on September 23, 2016. Filed under: First Time Buyer help, Home Improvement Ideas, Home Seller Tips, Informed Investor Alliance, Making Life Easier, Orange County Home Improvement, Orange County Real Estate | Tags: , , , , , |


Tiny Home owner / builder Corbett Lunsford

Good times at Orange County Association of Realtors today – we got to tour a tiny home & meet the builder! First cool point, the builder, Corbett, is a totally *normal* person, who has never built a home. He’s towed this tiny 7000 miles & it’s still in tact! Hopefully this inspires some of you readers who are interested to explore tiny builds further 😊 Check out the pics!

Tiny Terrors?

But wait. Isn’t it dangerous to try to build your own home? Well, builder homes aren’t as safe as you might think. Construction crews blow it all the time. A good build is about time & attention, you don’t have to be a rocket scientist. It’s ok if you don’t want to DIY, but read on for some tips about ensuring your existing home is safe for your family.

Your home is a system.

Everything is designed to work together. But does it? Is the symphony in tune? You get a heart monitor at the hospital, but what about a home monitor for your most important investment?

And hey – energy efficiency is all the rage – the government will give you a rebate for replacing your furnace or air conditioner with a higher performance model; plus you’ve heard about all the solar credits too. Who wouldn’t want lower bills & tax breaks?!

How do I know my home is safe & efficient?

You won’t know until you get an Energy Audit & do some home performance testing! Here’s your 4-3-2-1 on what you want to look for:

4 Elements – heat flow, airflow / pressure, moisture, air quality.

3 Recommendations – air sealing (control heat bleed), insulation, HVAC / mechanicals

2 Systems – enclosure, engine (anything that moves)

1 Goal – CONTROL

Thermal imaging can tell you so much about a home’s efficiency. If you’re building a home, buying a home, or selling a home, then consider doing a blower door test and an infared thermal photography scan. This will prove beyond a doubt your mission critical systems are functioning or failing. More tests to prove efficiency are:

  • Duct / air tightness testing
  • Zonal pressure testing
  • HVAC testing

Home Diagnostics with Corbett & Grace Lunsford will be on TV next year if you’d like more info on how to go CSI on a home! Want it sooner? Check out #TinyLab on social media.

Call the AskAngie Team at 949-338-7408 or tweet @angieweeks if you need a referral to do one of the tests mentioned – we want you safe & smiling in your home, whatever size it may be 🏡 😄 🌟

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