First Time Buyer help

Blockchain and how it’s changing the future of Real Estate

Posted on June 25, 2021. Filed under: First Time Buyer help, Informed Investor Alliance, International Properties, Lenders & Loan info, Los Angeles Real Estate, Making Life Easier, Orange County Real Estate | Tags: , , , |

Tuned in to an interesting webinar this week hosted by Dan Smith with Eric Bryant from First American Data & Analytics; they were talking about real estate on the blockchain. Personally I can’t wait for this to happen, I spend half my life ‘grown up babysitting’ to maintain timelines and accountability during the escrow process. I know the blockchain will eliminate quite a bit of that.

Fibree is one of the first adopters, and they are now in 70 regions. They are a real estate technology platform that works with blockchain – keep an eye on them. Rather than talking about too many companies…let’s talk concept first.

What is Blockchain, and how does it affect real estate?

Blockchain defined: Blockchain is a shared, immutable ledger that facilitates the process of recording transactions and tracking assets in a business network. An asset can be tangible (a house, car, cash, land) or intangible (intellectual property, patents, copyrights, branding). Virtually anything of value can be tracked and traded on a blockchain network, reducing risk and cutting costs for all involved.

https://www.ibm.com/topics/what-is-blockchain

Now that you understand what blockchain is, here are a few specific ways it can positively affect the real estate industry as a whole:

  • Decreases time necessary to close property transactions (from 30-45 days down to possibly just minutes or hours)
  • Offers security, trust, and transparency to the transaction
  • Creates an unhackable public record
  • Reduces potential for real estate fraud or data entry errors
  • Streamlines the escrow process
  • Upholds accountability

Question? Will real estate transactions on the blockchain eliminate escrow agents? Transaction coordinators?

Notice we say “how does blockchain”, not “how can blockchain” affect the space. Blockchain is already starting integrations with real estate transactions, and it is likely the future of our industry, similar to the way the Internet disrupted the status quo (in a good way) many moons ago.

Fractional Property ownerships and Tokenization using Blockchain

Tokenization is simply digital fractionalization – it allows you to own a piece of something. Ever wanted to own a piece of a property? Or maybe you already own a traditional timeshare. Bet that was fun to buy, LOL. But what about finding your next investment from the comfort of your own home? RealT based in Detroit is currently selling real estate on the blockchain, and there are many others in the space expected to follow.

Investor groups and investment firms are already successfully selling STO (Secure Token Offering) properties and this opens doors for thousands of new buyers to enter into investing. Want to see? Check out SolidBlock – it looks like any normal property search site…BUT… you can pay with wire, check, or crypto. Soon enough, property search platforms like this will be popping up all over the world.

Another place you can buy land, the entire plot of it, is Fabrica, which allows you to buy or sell your land completely digitally with blockchain technology.

Smart Contracts and Real Estate Transactions

Smart contracts are digital transactions being coordinated on the blockchain, and they will help maintain timelines and accountability. Smart contracts are very similar to paper contracts, working on ‘if –> then’ scenarios, but everything is done virtually instead of with paper. Smart contracts have a higher level of security and they always report and record progress honestly…which does NOT happen all the time with our current escrow process.

One thing I found interesting is our local board of Realtors has over 10,000 members, and there were less than 50 of us watching this webinar. As usual, it seems like the real estate industry tends to cling to their ways. As a techie, I embrace new technology and try to help my clients ride the wave.

Crypto loans – Something to keep an eye on

One thing that could completely change the mortgage space is cryptocurrency loans. Wallets like Celsius and others use actual data to digitally approve loans, much better than the ‘preapprovals’ that lenders offer today. I would personally love to see more of this, because it eliminates loan discrimination and assures the seller a buyer is qualified. Plus, a crypto loan will close much quicker than the traditional big banks. Less headaches will equal more people in the space, and more homeowners, which makes my heart smile to think about.

If you’re sitting on a pile of crypto from the bull run and would like to ‘take profits’, we can help with escrow companies who are familiar with cryptocurrency closings. If you’d like to cash out crypto to buy a home, OR just transfer crypto coins for a home purchase without cashing out first, we can help with the proper referrals or team. Feel free to reach out and text Angie at 949-338-7408 or comment here anytime you’d like to talk tech & real estate!

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First Time Seller? Prepare Your Home for Sale – Our Top 5 Suggestions!

Posted on June 22, 2021. Filed under: First Time Buyer help |

Our Top 5 Suggestions for preparing your home to sell. First impressions make an impact! From the online presentation, to the first home tour, the goal is to have buyers clearly vision how they will decorate and live in the home. Here are a few of our suggestions to making your home ready for the market and attracting excited buyers!

  1. Consider Your Curb Appeal

Once your house hits the market, buyers will be eager to drive by your property to scope out the area. It is important that buyers feel welcomed in their potentially new neighborhood.

Here are a few things you can do to improve your curb appeal:

  • Mow the lawn
  • Place freshly potted flowers/plants on porch or around garage
  • Hide trash cans, recycling bins, garden hoses, toys, and any yard clutter
  • Remove vehicles from the driveway
  • Sweep off the porch
  • Add a cozy welcome mat to the porch

You want potential buyers to envision themselves in the property. Minimizing clutter and things in their way will help them see envision themselves in the new space.

2. Remove Personal Items

Personal items make a home feel like your home. Limit the amount of personal items and photos on display in your home so potential buyers feel like it could be their space, too.

Here are a few items to consider removing from your home:

  • Framed family photos
  • Collectables
  • Dog beds / cages
  • Artwork with busy patterns
  • Children’s toys
  • Magnets on fridge

3. Clean Up

Clean up the interior of your home and remember – less is more. You want potential buyers to imagine how they would decorate the house, where they would put their furniture, and see the potential.

We suggest removing the following items from the interior of your home:

  • Laundry / Clothes Piles
  • Dirty dishes
  • Appliances on countertops (toaster/blender)
  • Remove clutter from top of fridge
  • Floor mats
  • Wash rags
  • Trash cans
  • Tooth brushes and holders
  • Unraveled hoses

4. Organize!

In an effort to declutter your home, organize your space. That includes closets, cupboards and garages. Potential buyers will want to see it all! Try to avoid shoving items into closets and cluttering the cupboards. Full closets might scare buyers that the home does not have enough storage.

Here are a few suggested areas to organize:

  • Bathroom closets
  • Bedroom closets, including guest bedrooms
  • Linen closets
  • Storage closets
  • Kitchen cupboards
  • Kitchen drawers
  • Fridge (especially if the buyer will be keeping the fridge)
  • Laundry Room
  • Make all beds
  • Desk / Office
  • Clear off all surfaces, this helps the rooms feel bigger

5. Maintenance

Broken items around your home? We suggest fixing those items prior to listing your home.

Here are a few items we suggest checking and fixing if needed:

  • Replace all burned out light bulbs
  • Replace light bulbs with warm tone lights
  • Replace any broken curtain rods or blinds
  • Close toilet lids
  • Close shower curtains/doors

Questions? Feel free to contact our team to prepare your home or grab a second set of eyes!

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Women finding freedom through the sharing economy of AirBnB

Posted on May 31, 2021. Filed under: Accessory Dwelling Units, AirBnB, FHA loans, First Time Buyer help, Homeownership, Informed Investor Alliance, Making Life Easier, OC Property Management, Orange County Real Estate, Property Mangement, Real Estate Stories, Summer fun | Tags: , , , , , |

Let’s be honest, a lot of females are juggling household schedules, making beds on the daily, and working full time jobs in customer service or hospitality type industries. A lot of these same females are also searching for a way to spend more time with loved ones, and to find a better work-life balance. 

This brings the question: How can we live richer, more fuller lives while making a difference in the world? Keep close connections with our families & still sprinkle what we were meant to do into the ethosphere?

For those who have a passion to roam and to create, enter the opportunity of vacation rental management, AirBnB experiences, and niche property rental platforms.  

If you have a unique property or space, big or small, this is an opportunity for you. People love to rent not only stick & brick type properties, but also RV’s, boats, cars, treehouses, yurts, water towers, and land. 

We now live in a world where you can tow a trailer, link up to solar, put out a cell booster, charge devices, and work / connect from almost anywhere. As the clouds from Covid continue to lift, people are ready to explore this new world. Are you ready to connect with them? 

I recently had the opportunity to interview some of these women who have opened their spaces in the home-sharing economy. Each has a unique story to tell, weaved in with their life passions and experiences. 

Take for example entrepreneur Heather Carter, running Eureka Springs Coffee House with 2 AirBnB units above. Guests enjoy the main strip of historical Eureka, Arkansas; and also have discount offerings at the coffee shop below. Travelers include vacationers and business professionals alike. In a recent video interview with Heather, she said “We used to live above the coffee house ourselves, but we soon discovered we had a unique opportunity for rentals here”. Indeed she did!

Heather advised she prefers the niche with commercially zoned properties, so she can avoid any roadblocks with residential vacation rental limitations. If you aren’t sure about STR rules in your community or city, be sure to research accordingly to avoid pitfalls.

Another go-getter making the most of her skills is April Snow-Kass, a Realtor in LA specializing in harmonious homes for musicians. April recently branched out to nearby Joshua Tree as a vacation rental host. Now, not only can April sell property in a new area, she can speak to personal experience on the equity gains and the rental income her ‘Retro Ranch‘ in the JT desert is recently experiencing. 

Let’s not forget supermom and High School Counselor Carolynn Cribley. Her and financé Matthew Herman in Grandville, Michigan, are putting an extra room in their home, coined ‘The Barnhouse,’ to STR use. They stated in a recent interview that it’s brought such great results, they not only bought another property, but looped parents in on the opportunity. They inspired and guided Matthew’s parents to a short term rental purchase as well. Not only has Carolynn & Matthew created additional monthly cash flow (partly used to build a fun new pool!), they’ve hopped the family on the path to generational wealth.

According to the NAWRB’s website and WHER report:

“…research found women seek homeownership for these primary reasons:

As a “Sanctuary”
A sanctuary is defined as a place of refuge, an oasis or a retreat. Women value creating a unique space from which to retreat from the outside world—one in which they control the climate, the decor, the layout. One’s home is a psychology of space…”

https://www.nawrb.com/one-tough-mother-how-single-mothers-are-defining-the-homebuying-process/#more-18821

Vacation rentals are a method to live this ‘sanctuary’ lifestyle, and create income. Win-win.

Another example is Corporate Executive ‘girlboss’ Vanessa Montanez, who explained to Homeownership Day attendees in January easy steps to enter into investing. Vanessa discovered the benefits of renting her Temecula wine country home on AirBnB recently, and as a lender herself, was kind enough to share strategies with other would-be investors at Homeownership Day. 

Admittedly, all of these hosts know STR life is not as ‘passive’ as long term rentals; but it can be more profitable, plus it allows the ability to vacation in your own property, afford *more* units, & / or meet new friends. Yes, you may still be making beds, running multiple schedules, and rocking your 9-5. But it’s a way to squeeze the most out of almost any property. 

Best of all, homeownership is open to many, regardless of education level or background. With low interest rate loans and programs like FHA allowing as little as 3.5% down, many females are opting into a property purchase. Additionally, SBA loans for Women Owned Businesses have opened even more doors to run a viable business from home. There are many options to sell creations of any kind from home, be it via online avenues or to guests traveling through your space.

Speaking of online avenues, the fast-track growth of property rental apps makes the marketing side become much easier. You don’t have to do your own Search Engine Optimization anymore – these apps are paying to get the word out on your behalf. Platforms to easily start your sharing economy hosting on are AirBnB, VRBO, Hipcamps, Harvest Hosts, Furnished Finder, Outdoorsy, Turo, and more. 

For additional information or a guide into the vacation rental lifestyle, reach out to NAWRB Delegate Spokeswoman Angie Weeks, or watch her video interviews at http://www.YouTube.com/HomebuyingRegistry/ 

This article was written for Women in the Housing and Real Estate Ecosystem; NAWRB. If you would like an article for your publication simply comment below or reach out to Angie at 949-338-7408.

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Find Your Next Home in Panama!

Posted on March 1, 2021. Filed under: First Time Buyer help | Tags: , , , , |

Your next home on the beach is waiting for you! Panama may be tiny in size but it is booming with features. From the culinary scene, incredible climate, biological diversity, rich culture and affordable cost of living, we are breaking down our top 5 reasons to move to Panama and find your perfect paradise!

1. Gorgeous Culinary Scene

What better way to enjoy an amazing meal than with an incredible ocean view? The cuisine in Panama is filled with rich fine-dining menus comprised of dishes that blend the immigrant culture and local ingredients.

2. Affordable Cost of Living & Great Connectivity

From the housing, to clothing, food and living expenses, Panama has an affordable cost of living compared to other comparable destinations. Direct flights to Panama from around the world make this destination accessible and easy to travel in and out of.

3. Pleasant Climate

For most of the year, you can enjoy waking up to an average temperature in the mid-70s and enjoy the afternoon with mid-80s and pleasant breezes. Have your house windows open all day long!

4. The Beauty!

Panama is full of beautiful sceneries. The geography encourages adventure and the beautiful beaches encourage relaxation. The lush forests, lakes, rivers, volcanoes, provide you with peace and paradise. We know location is key, and this location is at the top of our list.

5. Modern Infrastructure

Panama has invested significantly and heavily in the infrastructure that it can be very proud of. Due to its booming economy and the strategic location, this country has become the world’s second largest free-trade zone.

Panama also offers multiple reasons why a second residency makes sense for investors, digital nomads, retirees and frequent travelers:

– Low Cost of Living
– Foreign-Earned Income Exclusion
– Political Stability
– Modern & International Cities
– Advanced Medical Care
– Stable & Secure Banking
– Incredible Tourist Attractions


Register Here to join ECI Development as they dive into discovering paradise in Panama.

March 2nd, 2021 @ 5PM ET. Virtual Zoom Webinar.

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AirBnB Cancellations – What to Do?

Posted on January 30, 2021. Filed under: First Time Buyer help | Tags: , |

As coronavirus continues to spread across the world, many vacation rental companies, such as Airbnb, continue to expand their policies to allow more leniency in cancelling. This change, welcomed by travels, has allowed many travelers to cancel their reservations penalty-free. We have noticed many renters cancelling their bookings and reservations and choosing to stay home during these uncertain times. While we understand the desire to cancel, this puts pressure on the owners and hosts of these rentals. The cancellations are resulting in an unexpected loss of income. There are many discussions happening on the Airhosts forums, a forum for Airbnb hosts, sharing their financial concerns about the abrupt loss of income and inability to refund that money.

We wanted to share 5 Tips on how you can find local renters that might be interested in renting your AirBnB.

  1. Separated families that need somewhere to stay

As recommended by the CDC, social distancing and quarantining is crucial in limiting the spread of the coronavirus. Unfortunately many families have faced this reality and have had to quarantine away from their family. This reality can cause a lot of stress and uncertainty, having a place to stay where renters feel safe is important. As mentioned in our previous blog post, linked here – we love & care about our family, clients, prospects, & fellow humans. We want to do whatever we can to make them feel safe and comforted. These families might prefer staying in an Airbnb for the comfort, cleanliness and more distanced from others than a hotel would be.

2. Traveling Nurses On the Front Lines

According to a recent poll, there are approximately 25,000 traveling nurses in the U.S. right now. The demand for travel nurses has continued to rise as healthcare needs increase due to COVID-19. As these nurses travel and remain on the front lines, they may be interested in renting an Airbnb to comfort them through these unprecedented times.

3. Other Essential Industries Are Traveling for COVID-19

The demand for typical grocery store items has significantly increased. As we saw with toilet paper, hand sanitizer and bottles of water….People are eager to stock up their homes to be prepared. With this increase in demand, the agriculture and food service industry has increased their travel to ensure stores are stocked around the world. This, among many other industries, have increased travel frequency during these times to ensure essential needs are met. As travel increases in this fields, people are searching for safe places to stay to ensure they stay healthy as they travel.

4. Have a Furnished Rental via the MLS

Attract local renters with a furnished rental on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). MLS is a search tool that helps find listings for sale or rent by Realtors and other realty professionals that are members of your local MLS. Once you have identified your ideal guests, understand the needs of your core audience and furnish your rental accordingly. Comfort is key so achieving a cozy ambiance is important. Check out more tips and tricks here for furnishing tips.

5. Add Your Airbnb to Industry Travel Sits

Here are some we recommend!

For more information on COVID-19, check out our recent blog post here: 5 Things We are Focusing on During Covid-19

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AirBnB Cancellations – What to Do?

Posted on January 30, 2021. Filed under: First Time Buyer help |

As coronavirus continues to spread across the world, many vacation rental companies, such as Airbnb, continue to expand their policies to allow more leniency in cancelling. This change, welcomed by travels, has allowed many travelers to cancel their reservations penalty-free. We have noticed many renters cancelling their bookings and reservations and choosing to stay home during these uncertain times. While we understand the desire to cancel, this puts pressure on the owners and hosts of these rentals. The cancellations are resulting in an unexpected loss of income. There are many discussions happening on the Airhosts forums, a forum for Airbnb hosts, sharing their financial concerns about the abrupt loss of income and inability to refund that money.

We wanted to share 5 Tips on how you can find local renters that might be interested in renting your Airbnb.

  1. Separated families that need somewhere to stay

As recommended by the CDC, social distancing and quarantining is crucial in limiting the spread of the coronavirus. Unfortunately many families have faced this reality and have had to quarantine away from their family. This reality can cause a lot of stress and uncertainty, having a place to stay where renters feel safe is important. As mentioned in our previous blog post, linked here – we love & care about our family, clients, prospects, & fellow humans. We want to do whatever we can to make them feel safe and comforted. These families might prefer staying in an Airbnb for the comfort, cleanliness and more distanced from others than a hotel would be.

2. Traveling Nurses On the Front Lines

According to a recent poll, there are approximately 25,000 traveling nurses in the U.S. right now. The demand for travel nurses has continued to rise as healthcare needs increase due to COVID-19. As these nurses travel and remain on the front lines, they may be interested in renting an Airbnb to comfort them through these unprecedented times.

3. Other Essential Industries Are Traveling for COVID-19

The demand for typical grocery store items has significantly increased. As we saw with toilet paper, hand sanitizer and bottles of water….People are eager to stock up their homes to be prepared. With this increase in demand, the agriculture and food service industry has increased their travel to ensure stores are stocked around the world. This, among many other industries, have increased travel frequency during these times to ensure essential needs are met. As travel increases in this fields, people are searching for safe places to stay to ensure they stay healthy as they travel.

4. Have a Furnished Rental via the MLS

Attract local renters with a furnished rental on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). MLS is a search tool that helps find listings for sale or rent by Realtors and other realty professionals that are members of your local MLS. Once you have identified your ideal guests, understand the needs of your core audience and furnish your rental accordingly. Comfort is key so achieving a cozy ambiance is important. Check out more tips and tricks here for furnishing tips.

5. Add Your Airbnb to Industry Travel Sits

Here are some we recommend!

For more information on COVID-19, check out our recent blog post here: 5 Things We are Focusing on During Covid-19

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Where is YOUR happy place? Homeownership Day 2021 is going virtual, nationwide, & global.

Posted on December 23, 2020. Filed under: FHA loans, First Time Buyer help, Home Seller Tips, Homeownership, Homeownership Day, Informed Investor Alliance, International Properties, Los Angeles property, OC Home Fair, OC Property Management, Orange County Real Estate, Property Mangement, Real Estate Stories, Selling for top dollar, VA Loan | Tags: , , |

Hi friends!

Although 2020 has been a challenging year for all of us, it has not been without some unexpected benefits. One of them is the new age of virtual employment, which has opened doors for so many to have an opportunity at homeownership. Individuals previously forced to rent in expensive urban areas are now free to move to a larger place, for less money, and have more options. We’re all about that – and Orange County Young Professionals Network is here to support your adventure!

Simple Solutions to Buying, Selling, & Investing in Real Estate

To that end, in 2021 YPN will do our annual Homeownership Day event virtually, and it won’t just be about investing in Southern California real estate. Instead, we’ll be offering local expert agent guidance in many popular cities across the United States, and actually the entire world.

If you haven’t looked at your home as an investment, or considered property as a path toward early retirement, we encourage you to attend the event on January 23, 2021 and look at your real estate in a new light. YES, it’s a place to thrive, to make memories, to customize your taste, to raise your family. But it can be so much more.

You can turn one property into a legacy, and that’s the session I teach & am passionate about. This year’s title is “Concepts to Become An Automatic Millionaire in Southern California & Beyond”; you can register for this 30 minute session by filling out the form below. I’ll educate you on a safe, secure, and timeless strategy for building up your real estate portfolio. These concepts don’t encourage you to stretch yourself too thin, take on a second job, or become a handyman; they are simple and easy to follow. And you can learn them in 30 minutes. I’ll tell you what – if you’ll just commit the time – I’m here to cheerlead you to the finish line.

Owning Property Can Change Your Future

As many of you know, I have been personally working on this strategy for over 15 years now! Because Real Estate is my full time job, we’ve taken it to the next level with vacation rentals, and the creation of Flower Den Retreats. I have found that owning property allows me to truly express myself, whether I’m creating art within, or dreaming up the next concept for a therapeutic space with the ones I love.

I want you to be able to flourish in your space too – are you? If you are, please comment what you love about your home below. Its fun to share our unique ideas 🙂 If you aren’t, fill out the form here and let’s get you on your way in 2021.

If you’re curious to hear what other previous attendees have to say, success stories, or info on the sessions we’ve held in the past, just subscribe to our YouTube Channel. We’ll be uploading new content on the regular. Here’s a video from a couple previous attendees who were able to buy a townhome with barely any money down, and now they are happily raising a family there.

Let Homeownership Day Lead You to Your Happy Place

Sometimes, change is good 🙂 To have a supportive tribe around you as you grow is so helpful, and that’s exactly what you’ll get out of Homeownership Day. Like minded people who want to learn and level up too. All the speakers are no-pressure, happy to answer questions, and excited to connect with you. The vibe of this event will be fresh, fun, educational, and there won’t be a single pitch. Promise. We’ll see you online Jan 23rd!

PS. If you know someone who should be presenting at this event, just connect us by emailing ochomefair@gmail.com & the committee will reach out to them – we love new angles of education and to connect with other professionals across the globe.

Homeownership Day 2021 Sign Up

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2021 Real Estate Market Predictions for Orange County, CA

Posted on October 28, 2020. Filed under: First Time Buyer help, Home Seller Tips, Informed Investor Alliance, Orange County Real Estate, Selling your home fast |

Today one of our favorite forecasters, Steven Thomas, gave his thoughts on closing out the crazy 2020 Covid real estate market and what we expect to see here in 2021. If you love stats, be sure to subscribe to our email list, as we send out Reports on Housing statistics monthly. These reports will keep you on top of exactly what is happening right now with property prices, average days on market, and demand.

More space or a home office are very common reasons to move in 2020, which will also likely roll over into our 2021 season.

We’ve had a really interesting year in real estate, almost flipped from our normal Orange County trends. We were slower in the spring, obviously due to quarantine and virus setbacks (coined ‘The Pandession’). Then we heated up in summer and are still going strong here in fall, when things usually cool.

The pandemic really made people think about what they wanted in a home. And now, they are going out to get it. Sometimes it’s a larger yard, other times a pool, being closer to loved ones, or relocating to a rural environment. Change is brewing in all levels of our housing market.

2020 has seen a SURGE in Luxury demand and sales, and we are seeing it in our team deals as well. Here’s a visual for a better picture:

Demand far outweighs supply, so almost every listing is selling with multiple offers at this point in time. Will it continue? Read on…

One of the factors that will affect our market significantly is Coronavirus numbers and which way they are swinging. If we end up in quarantine again, it WILL affect all markets, including housing, so keep that wild card in mind as we enter into 2021.

Foreclosure Predictions for 2021

Should you be worried about foreclosures? Waiting for that screaming deal on one??? Not really. Less than 6% of homeowners are on forbearance or late on their mortgage. That’s not enough to create a ‘foreclosure wave’…even if ALL of them get foreclosed on. This chart helps to tell part of the story. In 2006, owners didn’t have much equity. In 2020, owners have a LOT of equity.

Due to this equity, the forbearance options, and the rates driving buyers, Steven does NOT expect any wave of foreclosures in 2021.

What about the Rental Moratorium?

Approximately 20% of renters are late on their rent. At first that number seems like WOW…but…rewind to Oct 2019… and the tardy-on-rent number was ALSO…20%. So landlords aren’t hurt that bad, even though renters are on a break until Jan 31st 2021 with the rental moratorium here in the state of California.

Will Housing Demand Stay High in 2021?

Demand is strongest it’s been since Sept 2012 – eight years. If you think we’ve been busy hustling homes, this year is even busier. Demand is expected to slightly drop during the holiday season for November and December, but it will still be higher than the last 8 years. If you have a home to sell before Dec 31st – get in touch – it’s totally a possibility!

Inventory is the lowest it’s been since 2013 – pushing the average days on the market in OC to under 40. A hot seller’s market is under 60 average DOM….so we are in a hot HOT seller’s market, which not even the election division is extinguishing.

Should I buy a home in OC before 2021?

Short answer: Yes. Interest rates are LOW. Demand is high. Prices continue to go up. Lucky for our buyers, even with these prices.. the payment is more affordable than it would have been a few years ago. Check out this comparison:

Interest rates drive affordability. Right now your payment is SO affordable. If you can qualify to buy, it is a fabulous time to make a purchase. In Steven’s words…’You’ll be kicking yourself if you don’t’ LOL. We know, you don’t have the down payment saved. But let’s have a conversation with a parent or grandparent who has equity, or get you crowdfunding your down payment with Vow2Save.

2021 Forecast according to Reports on Housing

Uncertainty with Covid, vaccines, Washington DC, travel, and employment can all make things sticky. If we continue to experience the same demand, things can get sticky.

  • Prediction: Real estate will enter 2021 strong and remain that way for at least half the year.
  • Prediction: Appreciation 4-7%. Prices are NOT expected to go down at all in 2021
  • Prediction: Upper ranges will continue to rise
  • Prediction: Closed sales should double what they were in 2020. (from 4 to 8%)

Want to stay up to date on the Orange County real estate market? Simply fill out the form below and we’ll start sending you Steven’s Reports on Housing via email!

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4 Ways to Decorate with Upcycled and Repurposed Items

Posted on October 17, 2020. Filed under: First Time Buyer help | Tags: , , |

Due to COVID-19, we have all been spending more time at home than ever before. Making your home feel cozy and inviting has never been so important.

We all have those random “it might come in handy some day” or “I might find a place for that…” items that we have been staring at for the last few months.. We just aren’t ready to let go of it yet. There’s no better way to revamp your home and your dated items than repurposing and upcycling!

To help you get started, we’ve picked four of our favorite (and…realistic) ideas for repurposing, resuing and upcycling your items.

  1. Bookcase to Coffee Bar

Transform your space and coffee game by upcycling an old book case or storage cabinet. Staying in more means bringing the coffee shop to you!

2. Repurpose Your Caddy for Craft Organization

Caddy’s have a unique look but don’t serve a clear purpose. Upgrade your craft room with this repurposed caddy for storing all of your utensils!

3. Repurpose Your Ladder for Blanket Storage

Ladders add height and texture to your room. To make the ladder functional, add your extra blankets for a cozy inviting look!

4. Repurpose Woven Baskets

Have baskets laying around that really don’t serve a purpose anymore? Spice up your wall decor by adding those baskets to the wall. The baskets add a unique look to your space and make a statement. Just simply place a nail in the center of the basket and create your own gallery design!

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History and Current Rules of Fair Housing

Posted on October 15, 2020. Filed under: First Time Buyer help, Home Seller Tips, Homeownership, Informed Investor Alliance, Making Life Easier | Tags: , , , , , |

It’s important to remember and understand where we have been, to have the best future possible. Today I had the pleasure of attending Young Professionals’ Network webinar on The History of Fair Housing. 

Equality is an important topic of discussion in our country right now. One of the best ways we can honor our Constitution stating ‘all men are created equal’ is through housing. 

Not every race and color has had equal opportunities with real estate in America. It’s something to think about, since real estate is a cornerstone for wealth in our country.

For the purpose of learning and growing, let’s start with a summary of

Where we went wrong with discrimination in housing:

  • ‘Men’ in the quote above meant white men who owned property; not women, nor men of color
  • Real Estate boards prohibited women or blacks in the early 1900’s
  • Redline (racially segregated) areas where residents could not get a mortgage were established
  • Racially restrictive CC&R’s
  • Federal Fair Housing Act was not passed until 1968
  • Realtor Code did not prohibit discrimination until 1974 (that’s under 50 years ago…)
  • Protected class of marital status only recognized since 2005 in California
  • Gender identity was not protected until 2012 in CA
  • AFFA Rule is rescinded in 2020 by POTUS. This took the teeth out of Fair Housing enforcement.

Yes, we went horribly wrong, but there are many ongoing efforts to bring about equal housing in the last few decades and today. This includes lobbying efforts from the National Association of Realtors, and California Association of Realtors to bring back the important elements in AFFA. 

Did you know that nationwide there are 7 Fair Housing protected classes? In CA, there are 24 Fair Employment & Housing protected classes. When it comes to Fair Housing, the greater of regulations apply, not the lesser. So… if you are a landlord in California, you have 24 classes to remember to truly make unbiased decisions with your tenants. To help you, there is a new Fair Housing disclosure that is now included in each California purchase or lease agreement. 

Sometimes discrimination can be subtle, or without malice. Here are just a few examples of Discrimination in Housing…some may come as a surprise to you.

What Discrimination in Housing Looks Like:

  • Treating anyone unequally
  • Failing to show a home or lease 
  • Offering unequal terms 
  • Advertising specific terms or preference
  • Inquiring about a protected status
  • Refusing to accomodate a disability (aka emotional support animals)
  • Denying a family with children’s offer because you don’t think your pool or busy street is safe for them
  • Refusing to rent an upper unit to an elderly tenant because you feel stairs are too dangerous
  • Showing preference for one protected group above another (i.e. preferring a family with children over a gay couple)
  • Not renting the home to a family with multiple kids because ‘the children will destroy the home’.
  • Not treating everyone with the same professional courtesy (greetings, returning calls, tonality, response time)
  • Buyer or agent ‘love letters’; especially those with photos

Up until this year, I was an agent sending & receiving love letters. I had no idea they were an indirect method of discrimination; and our stories previously helped my clients get the deal. 2020 brings about many changes, and I am happy to adjust course to assist in offering a better opportunity for all. Please, encourage other professionals in the industry and owners to practice making selling and leasing decisions based on criteria that does not exclude. I will recommend future sellers do not read letters during the decision making process. We can all improve from here and be better at this. 

Here’s an interesting infographic with the most common Fair Housing complaints from 2018:

If you know someone who has been party to discrimination in housing, it’s important to educate, and to speak up. Here’s a link to submit a violation:

hud.gov/fairhousing/ 

The only way we change the cycle and truly offer equal housing to all humans is through a system of ethics, awareness of implicit bias, and accountability measures. Feel free to comment your thoughts or experiences below – let’s bring about some positive acknowledgment to build better, stronger, more diverse communities together. 

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New Property Trends: Modular Net Zero Homes

Posted on May 12, 2020. Filed under: Accessory Dwelling Units, ADUs, AirBnB, Building, Construction, First Time Buyer help, Homeownership, Informed Investor Alliance, International Properties, Smart Homes, Vow2Save Orange County Real Estate Registry | Tags: , , , , , , |

Hi friends! Have you been looking for a cheaper, better, faster way to build a home? Read on for some new trends in modular housing that might suit exactly what you’re looking for!

What is a modular home?

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S2A Modular Model #GreenLuxHome 22

Modular is NOT manufactured. They are not your rectangle box mobile homes that might come to mind. They are created 90% in the factory, and about 10% on site, and they look and feel like any normal home. Modular homes aren’t different than a traditional stick built home, other than they are built indoors in a controlled factory environment, instead of outdoors.

Brian Kuzdas, CEO of S2A Modular, presented an interesting webinar today and told us about ways that modular homes are more sustainable for the Earth, take less time to create, have a 35% potential ROI for investors.

A couple of the main benefits of modular homes are they save you from shady contractors, and there is no compromise when it comes to design.

Other advantages of modular homes:

  • Time (traditional home build time: 1 year; modular home build time: 3 months)
  • Price (15-20% cheaper to build in factory)
  • Strength (modular homes have to survive a literal transport, traditional homes don’t)
  • Neighbors (much less stress on the neighborhood)
  • Contractors (get to work inside instead of out in the elements)
  • State inspections (less time waiting for inspectors)

One of the downsides to modular is financing. There aren’t a ton of lenders familiar with modular housing loans, but US Bank is one of them. Just reach out if you’d like a contact!

Want to build a modular home of your own?

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S2A Modular Model #GreenLuxHome 13

Modular homes can be built ‘tiny’ as ADU’s, and size all the way up to 10,000+ sq ft mansions. There are 7 steps if you’re interested in building a custom modular home from start to finish:

  1. Feasibility study (cost $3500, and helps you determine how big you can build)
  2. Design (a modular architect is recommended, it will be less expensive in most cases)
  3. Construction agreement (firming up your choices)
  4. Engineering
  5. Permitting
  6. Site construction / setting modules
  7. Onsite completion (this is the last 10% of building that assembles the pieces & happens on site. These last materials also dictate the style and make your home exactly as you want it)

Check out https://www.s2amodular.com/ for various design styles & ideas to build a modular home of your own. Endless customization – so neat!!

Sustainability & Modular Homes

The modular homes that S2A builds are ‘Net Zero’ & ‘Net Positive’ when it comes to net metering. They also use high performing, affordable, solar panels and solar roof tiles with Graphene technology. You won’t have any utility bills.

Smart windows, doors, heating, cooling, insulation, & lighting are all used in these custom modular homes. Furthermore, organic building materials are used, and they are all resistant to termite, dry-rot, and mildew free….which saves money down the road. Li-Fi technology is used instead of Wi-Fi, and there is a singular app that controls these homes, which makes the systems un-hackable.

If you’re interested in planning your modular home build, just reach to Angie via text at 949-338-7408, or fill out the form below. We’ll help you plan for your perfect pad, & get you all connected to the right contacts to create your custom home 🙂

 

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Need to Improve Your FICO Score? Women’s Credit Connection Can Help!

Posted on May 3, 2020. Filed under: First Time Buyer help |

No Better Time to Buy

Mortgage rates fell to an all-time low last month and borrowers are rushing to buy. As the housing market enters the spring selling season, falling interest rates are encouraging people to purchase homes. There has never been a better time to buy!

As you start the home buying process, it’s important to have good credit score health before submitting a mortgage application.  Your credit score will play a significant role in the rates you qualify for. As mortgage lenders review your credit score, they use borrowers’ FICO scores along with credit reports to determine the risk and likeliness that you might default on your mortgage loan. The better your FICO score is, the less risk from a mortgage lenders perspective.

Generally, a FICO Score of 670 or above is considered a good credit score, while a score of 800 or above is considered great. If you need help improving your FICO score before submitting your mortgage application, Women’s Credit Connection can help.

Women Educating Women

Women Educating Women offers multiple core services through platforms such as automative assistance, credit assistance, mechanical assistance and real estate referral services. Their credit service, Women’s Credit Connection, works to maximize your credit score as much as possible so that you can achieve your financial goals.

By working directly with credit bureaus and creditors to challenge negative items on your credit report, Women’s Credit Connection will maximize your scores as much as possible. With over 25 years of experience in evaluating credit, Women’s Credit Connection offers:

  • 100% Money Back Guarantee
  • Experienced Tools for Consumer Credit
  • Intimately Involved in Your Credit Repair Experience
  • Active Support Throughout the Entire Process
  • Affordable Prices and No Long-Term Contracts
  • Easy access to your account 24/7
  • Live status updates regarding improvements on your credit report and score

Here is how it works:

To request a free consultation and credit analysis, click here. For more information on Women Educating Women, visit their website or contact them by phone at: 949-475-6883. 

 

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Global Real Estate – Hot Spots & Tips to Buy in them

Posted on April 23, 2020. Filed under: AirBnB, Costa Rica Real Estate, First Time Buyer help, Homeownership, Informed Investor Alliance, International Properties | Tags: , , , , , , |

Global & International Real Estate is GROWING

IMG_6359Did you know 1 in 10 US residents are considering owning international real estate? But how can you protect yourself from making a lemon investment? Thanks to OCR’s Global committee, we have some pointers for you! Michael Cobb CEO of ECI development started off our International Real Estate Forum today reminding Realtors that we bring value to international transactions by helping our clients know to ask the right questions. In foreign countries, hot water, running water, and other conveniences (like plumbing) we take for granted in America are not alway included in the price tag. It’s critical to be careful and make sure you align with multiple professionals to ask ALL the right questions when you buy internationally. One way to do this is to work with a CIPS Realtor to help you find the most reliable real estate contacts in your preferred country. CIPS agents are Certified International Property Specialists, and have special training to help you avoid international buying nightmares.

Nicaragua – an International investment gem

Depositphotos_236823284_xl-2015Nicaragua has been a growing spot to get deep discounts in real estate, and Michael personally lived there for 14 years, while raising 2 young daughters. It usually takes about 6-9 months after you visit Nicaragua and sign documents to receive your title, and buying is friendly to foreigners. The country has beautiful scenery, and also offers the following benefits:

  • Safe
  • Inexpensive real estate
  • Low cost of living
  • Low cost medical care
  • Fishing, diving, snorkeling, surfing
  • Social projects & involvement
  • You CAN own the land and get freehold title
  • Property tax is only 1%
  • Easy residency programs

Foreign Property Investments in Belize

DSC01964Belize is a tiny country that wasn’t on the radar at all until recently, and now it’s exploding. The title process is 3-6 months, but you can complete a property transaction in just an hour if you’re there in person. English is the official language, so it’s easy to read contracts. Prices are reasonable right now, and the hotspot to check out is Ambergris Caye. Belize was also voted the “most wished for place to visit” on AirBnB, so an excellent consideration for your vacation rental. If you’re thinking of AirBnB, you will have to pay hotel tax, so be sure to factor that in. Speaking of air…air travel has doubled over the last 3 years to Belize, and there is still plenty of room for growth. Baymen Gardens by Best Western currently offer options under 100K for a residence if you’re looking for an affordable vacation rental. Some benefits of owning property in Belize include:

  • Political stability
  • Short easy flights
  • 17% tourism growth the last 3 years
  • Property is still affordable

US Citizens are now buying property in Costa Rica easily

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Beautiful Ocho Bungalows in Costa Rica – Sean the owner used to live in US, and now calls Tamarindo his home. He built these gorgeous bungalows there.

Costa Rica is an absolutely stunning country, with 27% park-protected land. Costa Rica has a “Pura Vida” (Pure life) mindset, so this is the place to go if you like a healthy lifestyle. Hunting is banned, no zoos, and animals cannot be pets. No tornados or hurricanes there, however, they do have earthquakes. Ocean temp is about 80 degrees all year long, so it’s perfect for a vacation home or rental. Weather is typically nice, but they do have rainy season. You can stay for 90 days with a US passport, so plenty of time to research areas, builders, and pick your perfect property! Costa Rica is also a solid consideration for a second home because:

  • Democracy for 196 years, stable society, tradition of peace
  • Mostly Bilingual
  • Foreign property rights
  • Blue zone for longevity, excellent health care
  • Quality national public health system, as well as private healthcare
  • Wildlife tours, river rafting, hikes to waterfalls, hot springs, zip lines
  • US Babies born there get dual citizenship
  • Property tax only .25%-.40% (niiiice)
  • Food has no hormones or weed killers

An update to our previous video about buying real estate in Costa Rica —> there’s now NEW foreign mortgage opportunities for US citizens in Costa Rica!!  Previously you had to buy with all cash, so this is really cool! It’s for residential only, no business or land. Interest rates in Costa Rica for locals run high, around 12%. This program comes from a lender in TX, and currently has a 7.5% rate for loans over 100K. No coastline foreign investments closer than 200 meters, though. 720 credit is required, and 30% down is required. If you’d like more info just contact us at 949-338-7408 and we’ll help you on your way to a Pura Vida lifestyle 🙂

Mexico beaches drive global condo buyers

IMG_4057Real Estate expert Alvaro Quirante presented about Riviera Maya and the consistent growth of traffic into the Cancun airport, which creates opportunity. Travel is consistent all year long, so there is no on or off season. Currently they are creating a huge marina, and a theme park, which will create 5000 new jobs in the area. Tulum has been one of the cities that gets the best capital gains each year. A few reasons:

  • Eco-friendly
  • Mayan ruins, top TripAdvisor destination
  • Tulum famous beaches
  • Stable economy with multiple sources of income
  • Properties start around 75K
  • Availability to have major companies back your investment guaranteeing 8-13% yearly ROI, with Lux properties for example.
  • You can buy property with a self-directed IRA

What does the buying process in Mexico look like? We tried to explain it in this video about buying real estate in Cabo…but here’s an easy slide from today’s presentation that guides you through the process:

Mexico buying process

As you can see, each country is really different when it comes to process, ability to get a mortgage / title, and the various property options you have. We LOVE international real estate and would love to help you explore your next global property investment. Simply fill out the form below or text 949-338-7408 and we’ll send you some international property buying tips!

 

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Down Payments Holding You Back? Home Buying Hack: Silent Investors!

Posted on February 15, 2020. Filed under: First Time Buyer help, Homeownership, Owning Despite Student Debt |

Ready to Own a Home?

Owning a home is the American Dream yet this dream has become more and more challenging to achieve. With the increasing burden of student loan debt, high interest rates, rising rent costs, and a competitive housing market – it seems impossible to purchase your first home on your own.Screen Shot 2020-02-15 at 8.51.14 PM

The costs of owning a home go beyond what you can afford in a monthly payment. Monthly mortgage payments and interest rates depend on how much you can afford for the down payment. But how can you afford a down payment when the cost of living continues to rise? The upfront costs associated with purchasing a home often intimidate people from owning a home. The ease of transferring rental deposits from rental company to rental company seem easier when comparing upfront costs. So, how do you secure your dream home that could be a great investment for your future, without cashing out all of your assets or taking out MORE loans?

Insert Unison!

Unison is a San Francisco-based company that helps homebuyers get the home they want by providing them with the money they need to AFFORD the down payment.  Screen Shot 2020-02-15 at 8.52.03 PMUnison shares the down payment cost with you, lowering your upfront costs, reducing your overall mortgage loan, while also lowering your monthly payments. The money is given to homebuyers in the form of an investment, its NOT a loan! That’s right – that means you have no monthly obligations to Unison – interest free! Imagine walking into your dream home and having confidence that you can afford it. 

How It Works: Unison Invests in Your Home

  • Unison helps you purchase a home by giving you money to put towards your down payment (contributions ranging from 5-20% of the homes value).
  • You don’t owe Unison any money until you decide to sell your home. Yup, no monthly obligations, no interest, no extra loans!
  • Once you decide to sell your home, you send Unison a single payment equal to the initial investment offer. If your house has increased in value (appreciated) or decreased value (depreciated), Unison will add or subtract the difference.
    • If your home appreciates, you’ll make a payment to Unison equal to the original amountUnison provided for the down payment + (or -) the appreciation value.

View Unison’s approved lenders here.

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Looking to Buy or Sell a Home? See You January 18th!

Posted on January 10, 2020. Filed under: First Time Buyer help, Home Improvement Ideas, Home Seller Tips, Homeownership, Homeownership during divorce, Making Life Easier, OC Home Fair, Organizing, Renting |

8th Annual OC Home Fair 

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Looking to buy or sell a home? Investment property? Just curious about becoming a homeowner? Renting and want to own? WE have an event for you! 

The Southern California Home Fair is a *FREE* community event designed to provide home owners, home buyers, renters, and seasoned investors with free, personalized and comprehensive information from some leading experts in real estate! Attendees can choose from a variety of relevant topics including: hassle-free home buying, investing to be an automatic millionaire, buying a home under your business umbrella, and much more. Below are 5 OC Home Fair highlights. 
The Southern California Home Fair is next Saturday! Join us next week, January 18th at the 8th Annual OC Home Fair and experience Homeownership Day.

5 OC Home Fair Class Highlights

#1 Easy Tips to Improve Credit 

#2 Finding up to 90K to Buy Your Home – Down Payment Programs

#3 Real People – Real Estate Success Stories

#4 How Student Loan Debt Can Fit Into your Home Buying Picture

#5 Home Buying 101 – Pre-Purchase Counseling

View the full class schedule list here.
homeownership-day-2016

Click here to register, just enter your information and select the class you want to attend!

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Helping Orange County’s Underprivileged: WISEPlace

Posted on December 22, 2019. Filed under: First Time Buyer help |

Meet WISEPlace

WISEPlace, a nonprofit organization, is a “community of housing and hope for women in crisis.” With 90-years of history of caring for the community, WISEPlace provides safe, affordable transitional housing, healthy meals, and employment assistance to help women move from “homelessness and hopelessness” to independence and hopefulness. There case managers provide counseling to help women overcome the issues that led to unemployment and or homelessness. To learn more about WISEPlace, watch this video. 

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We got to meet Brateil Aghasi, Executive Director at WISEPlace and learn all about WISEPlace while attending the NAWRB conference. WISEPlace offers regular open houses to support the community to assist in a better understanding of homelessness and the ways we can all come together to work towards ending it. Interested in attending an upcoming event with WISEPlace? View the upcoming Learning Session & Tour dates here. 

Homeownership Day & OC Home Fair 

We can’t wait for our annual Homeownership Day & OC Home Fair at Chapman University for the 8th year in a row on Saturday, January 18, 2020. We are only a few weeks away! We are even more excited to invite the Women of WISEPlace to Homeownership Day.

Learn more about WISEPlace here. We are looking forward to supporting the WISEPlace mission by continuing to encourage and empower women through organizations like this. 

 

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Going Global with California Real Estate

Posted on November 23, 2019. Filed under: First Time Buyer help |

Going Global! 

The world just keeps getting smaller! We attended a great forum this week by Orange County Association of Realtors Global Committee – they went over 4 of the most common countries that Californians move to and from. Have you ever considered an international investment property? Such fascinating info, read on!

United Kingdom buyers 

  • Usually they hire an independent buyers agent that they pay 1-2% out of pocket to.
  • There is no MLS system. Right move & Zoopla are the platforms most listings are on. 
  • Agent helps search for properties, viewings and makes offer.
  • Sellers agents only works for the seller. 
  • Buyers can ‘outbid’ and existing buyers offers and its allowed in a sellers market, so it can be tough.
  • When it comes to loans & financing, buyers typically put 5-20% down, the rest can be financed
  • There is no such thing as escrow, lawyers executing the contracts once a price is agreed upon
  • Buyers receive title deeds 2-5 months after completion / closing. 

The UK welcomes US buyers. HSBC is best bank for a smooth mortgage – its in both countries. A warning about age….a 36 year old got 2.5% rate and a 50 year old client got 4%, so they literally practice age discrimination over there. Buy young!?! The exchange rate as of the date of this post is low, and college towns are great to invest in, as there are many international students. Birmingham, London, and others are all good. 

UK buyers are very self reliant to buy in US, and they frequently buy in Florida, California, Texas & New Jersey. Most tend for suburban areas, but 20% are still opting for in urban areas and cities. UK buyers need to be able to trust the agents and feel educated by them. We also need to remind them that they receive our services for FREE.

Tips On Buying Investment Property In India

Raj Rajpal, CIPS in India offered us some international business tips . India is the 8th most secure country, and India is the fastest growing economy in the world, at a GDP of around 8% for 5 years in a row. India is building over 10M properties per year, which gives plenty of inventory!  

Price points in India are very similar to CA, 300K – over 1M. You can search India properties on Realtor.com. They don’t have an MLS either, but seem to be working on one. Many of the homes range 1000-2000 sq ft range, are concrete, and take about 6 months to build. 

India uses both buyers and sellers agents. Commissions there do not have to be disclosed. It’s common practice to buy homes cash, but they do offer financing options. 

When it comes to Indian buyers in the US, the numbers consistently increase every single year. They don’t tend to sell their homes as much as other buyers. 

Planning on buying in or from Canada, Eh?!

Tricia Lehane is a CIPS Realtor well versed on Canada and US real estate, and helped us with some great stats today. Canada’s average price is around 500K. Canada’s population is smaller than the state of CA, and they have Provence instead of states. Putine for heart attacks haha. 

There IS an MLS in Canada, and they have a Canada Real Estate Association (CREA), which is nice to see the structure and organization ahead of some of the other countries discussed here. Realtor Quest in Toronto is a great conference to go to. 

Canadians hate winter and they love California… Don’t we all?!

As a Michiganer who used to go to Canada regularly, I can feel your winter pain and I now only visit the cold. If you’d like to accomplish this migration as well, simply call me! 

Canada financing can happen in 10 days – 2 weeks, so its important to make sure Canadian buyers understand the difference in a California timeline. Canada doesn’t do Home Warranty, and they usually require 20% down. RBC bank and bank of Montreal are good banks to use for financing. 

US is the main country that moves to Canada, and China is also has high stats. 

For foreign sellers in Orange County, Escrow leaders has a great program that doesn’t tie up your profits with the IRS for a year like many other escrow companies do. 

Our Final Presenter: Luis Mendoza About Buying In Mexico.

Luis’ advice is to work with the system in the country you are buying or selling in – don’t try to change it to the system you know. Mortgages are available but tough to obtain. No FICO scores. 

Mexico has a new president and a lot of people want to bring their money here to the US, and get a green card. Did you know Mexico City has more billionaires than any other city? And Tijuana has 72 cranes right now??? 

You can own land(ish) through a bank trust called a Fedicomico. Mexico uses escrows and a Notario Publico who has been appointed by the government. See this video interview for more info. Cabo is one of the most popular cities right now.  San Felipe, Rosarito, and Los Alamos are all up and coming affordable cities. One thing to note is closing costs are 9%, so PLAN ACCORDINGLY. Property taxes are basically non-existent – they make their money off of sales tax. Proxio is a great international platform. 

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Buying Your First Home in California: How to Dig up Down Payment Funds

Posted on October 22, 2019. Filed under: Conventional Loan, FHA loans, First Time Buyer help, Foreclosure Assistance, Homeownership, Lenders & Loan info, Loan Advisor, Long Beach Homes, Los Angeles property, Los Angeles Real Estate, OC Home Fair, Orange County Real Estate, Real Estate Stories | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

Angie & Hyepin Im, FACE FounderToday we’re spending a Saturday in Pomona at FACE LA’s Homebuying Fair – we met them through NAWRB and LOVE what these organizations stand for. FACE has compiled quite a few programs to help you with down payment funds, and have relationships with LOTS of generous banks who can help with lower interest rates, buy downs, silent seconds, and more. Sharing is caring…so read below to find some free down payment funds to get your family into a home!

Tip 1: Find a lender familiar with the Community Reinvestment Act, and align yourself with a housing non-profit like FACE.

 

There are literally programs EVERYWHERE. And they change on the regular. Don’t spend your precious time researching outdated internet options when you can meet someone face to face who will help you with free homeownership coaching and what’s available right now.

 

As of Oct 2019, when we’re writing this post, we wanted to include some snippets on current programs that could help you close the gap to your down payment goal.

 

Tip 2: Explore Down Payment Programs & properly prepare to buy a home with education

 

In LA for example there are LIPA & MIPA . The LIPA or low income purchase assistance program offers 90K in down payment funds. The MIPA or moderate income purchase assistance program offers 60K, which goes a long way even in Los Angeles.

 

Businesspeople Giving High Five In OfficeThese purchase programs (and many others) have some caveats. The home must be your primary residence, and you must pass a homebuyer education class (approx 8 hours). Did you know taking homebuyer education classes before you buy make you 30% less likely to go into foreclosure? This is why many city, bank, and state programs will require you take one before receiving funds. Everyone wants you to succeed in your homeownership venture, so there are milestones like this in place to set you up to win.

 

If you don’t like the CITY of Los Angeles traffic, maybe the County of LA’s 75K down payment program would be a better fit for you.  This program offers a second Trust Deed loan provided at 0% interest with all payments deferred until sale, transfer, refinancing, no longer owner-occupied, or full repayment of the first mortgage. HOP (Home Ownership Program) loans are available to first-time homebuyers in the unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County and cities participating in the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Urban County Program.

 

Maybe Los Angeles isn’t your thing at all….no worries!! CALHFA works all across the state of California for low and moderate income first time homebuyers. They finance almost everything when it comes to costs…down payment AND closing costs. You can literally close with $300 out of pocket. Yup. Read again. We’ve seen it. In OC!!!! Their requirements include 660 credit, owner occupied, and a homebuyer education class. The price cap is currently 765K.

 

The homebuyer fair today was in City of Pomona, and Pomona offers a fabulous down payment program (MAP) up to 100K! This city has some adorable craftsman homes that could use your TLC. Pomona basically does a silent second for 100K, there is no interest or payments owed by you. It does need to be paid back upon the following circumstances: sale of the home, refinance, occupancy change, or 15 years.

 

The City of Pomona loan will take a little share of your equity; if you borrowed 10% for this loan, then you need to pay back 10% of your equity upon sale to the city. This is totally fair since they gave you the same percentage to help start you out! Details include no ownership in the last 3 years, homebuying education class (by HUD), income cap requirements, and working with a lender who participates in the program.

 

 

Tip 3: Use OPM (Other People’s Money) to Help with your Down Payment

 

Here’s a video with Cain Rivera’s down payment success story testimony.  He was the youngest ever to receive a down payment from the city of LA program. Cain went from paying $1500/mo rent to UNDER $1000/mo mortgage owning his own condo in Balboa Park, and he didn’t have to leave LA to do it:

 

Tip 4: Layer your SoCal Down Payment Program benefits with bank programs too:

It was great to see so many banks offering programs to first time buyers. Here’s just a few of the programs our banking panelists talked about. If you’d like to get more info, sometime’s it’s easiest to just call FACE or check out an upcoming Home Fair – like OC Home Fair every January.

  • Bank of America currently offers a 10K grant offering in low to moderate income communities, PLUS a 7500 closing cost credit that applies to the entire country, check into it! In many states 7500 would cover the majority of your closing costs! 🙂
  • Wells Fargo has a lift program that gives 25K.
  • Boston Private has a 1% down conventional first time buyer program without mortgage insurance (when layered w other programs) that considers the entire scenario. If you’re self employed.. this is a great bank to call.
  • IMG_7409Union Bank has a 3K down payment assistance grant for closing costs or down payment assistance, which can be layered with other programs. Sorry couldn’t find the link for this exact program, but here are the low down offerings!
  • HSBC offers 7K toward closing costs for first time home buyers, and also 1/2 off your interest rate! Their credit requirement is only 620 so they are good if your credit is bad.
  • US Bank has 95-97% loan to value offerings & non-traditional credit consideration. They have a Mortgage Insurance program where they pick it up on your behalf. If you want just a lot, ask about their land program! You may also qualify for the American Dream program.
  • Bank of Hope has an in house underwriting Dept with a quick turnaround. They also waive mortgage application fees if you have an account with them.
  • Loan Depot – prides themselves on being very familiar with DAP – down payment assistance programs. They like to layer, and they can take credit as low as a 520 score.

 

These are just a few offerings and programs that are available in communities here in Southern California. Programs work if you are 20-70 years old – it’s never too late or early to consider homeownership!

 

One negative is these programs sometimes take major negotiating to get a seller to accept your offer, because they take 2x as long as a traditional escrow. You NEED a Realtor to represent you and keep the seller calm and informed.

 

Also, by the time you come across this post some of these programs may be expired, and new ones available. If you’d like us to hold your hand through the journey we’d be honored, just call or text Angie at 949-338-7408. As a 19 year old first time buyer who put only 3K down, I understand EXACTLY where you are at, and have a heart and the resources to help 🙂
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Homeownership Day 2020 – Register Today!

Posted on October 21, 2019. Filed under: First Time Buyer help, Home Improvement Ideas, Home Seller Tips, Homeownership, OC Home Fair, Orange County Real Estate |

Looking to buy or sell a home or investment property? Homeownership Day has a class for you!

Our annual Homeownership Day & OC Home Fair is coming soon! We are hosting at Chapman University for the 8th year in a row on Saturday, January 18, 2020.

The Southern California Home Fair is an event open to the community designed to provide home owners, home buyers, renters, and seasoned investors with free, personalized and comprehensive information from some of the leading experts in real estate.

OC Home Fair is for Everybody!

Attendees have a variety of choices from many classes offered throughout 3 sessions Image result for money homescovering a variety of topics! Some of the topics include:hassle-free home buying, investing to be an automatic millionaire, buying a home under your business umbrella, and much more.

Twelve classes are available this year, spread out over three sessions – pick from four during each time slot! When you register online at OC Home Fair you are able to choose which class you want to be in during each time slot. Some of the highlighted classes this year include:

  • Investing to be an Automatic Millionaire
  • What to Expect With New Home Builds
  • Buying with Cryptocurrency – What You Need to Know
  • How Veterans Buy with Zero Down

Click here to register to attend this year’s OC Home Fair, held Saturday, January 18, 2020!

Check back here for updates as the event approaches!
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Sustainable & Strong Housing – Meet Sol-Nest

Posted on October 12, 2019. Filed under: Accessory Dwelling Units, ADUs, AirBnB, Building, Construction, First Time Buyer help, Homeownership, Informed Investor Alliance, International Properties, Making Life Easier | Tags: , , , |

Sol-Nest: Building for Humanity

Sol-Nest is “building for the right reasons” and changing the building industry while they do it! Sol-Nest strives to ensure families have a sustainable and affordable roof over their head. Sol-Nest provides people with shelter regardless of where they’re located. It is their mission to reverse the housing attrition trend by “creating resilience and lowering the threshold of affordability.”

Sol-Nest recognizes that fires, floods, hurricanes, earthquakes and tornadoes destroy thousands of homes every year. Your home is an investment, to some it is your greatest asset – the last thing you want to worry about is a natural disaster destroying your home. But how can you minimize the risk of natural disasters destroying your home without packing up and moving?

The Disaster Proof Housing Solution? Sol-Nest

Sol-Nest understands the economic effects that these events cause, thats why Sol-Nest developed a patent pending proprietary building technology that is less expensive than your typical building methods. The new building technology can be used in distressed areas to provide affordable housing, built to last longer than traditional homes. Sol-Nest, LLC homes are built to survive earthquakes, fire, floods and 250 MPH winds.

Hybrid I- Post and Panel System

The patent pending process under Sol-Nest, LLC is called HIPPS™. HIPPS stands for Hybrid I- Post and Panel System.

What Makes Sol-Nest, LLC/HIPPs homes sustainable and strong:

  • The use of indigenous materials 
  • The use of Basalt Filament Rebar
  • Stands up to an ever changing climate
  • The method of laying concrete 
  • Quick assembly: little as eight weeks
  • Designed to be implemented in large-scale housing projects
  • Lower cost of building
  • Ability to utilize solar power to build homes “off the grid”

Screen Shot 2019-10-11 at 10.09.07 PM

If you’re thinking of building anywhere in the world, make sure you build strong. For more information, visit: https://sol-nest.com/

Interested in investing in this sustainable building technology? There’s opportunities in Puerto Rico and other gorgeous areas across the world.

Contact Garry Spain.

Phone Number: 310-625-6622

Email: intercorpresources@yahoo.com

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