Home Seller Tips

Tis’ the Season – it’s now an even Market in Orange County

Posted on September 1, 2018. Filed under: Balanced Market, Home Seller Tips, Homeownership, Normal Market, Orange County Real Estate | Tags: , , , |

Finally a NORMAL market in OC

If you are have been considering buying, but were reluctant due to the market – the times have changed! For the first time in 7+ years, our market in Orange County is even. This makes it a great time to consider buying, especially because we never know how long it will last. For quite a while it has been a sellers market due to low inventory of houses. This left buyers frustrated due to not being able to find the home they had been dreaming of. Many people were putting multiple offers in on whatever homes were available even if it wasn’t their dream place, just to be turned down because of all the competition in the market. This Spring it quickly started to become a more balanced market where both sellers and buyers had the opportunity to be successful. The active inventory has more than double this year, which is the fastest the market has changed since 2008. This does not necessarily mean it is favoring buyers more than sellers now, but is much more favorable towards buyers than it had previously been which is a huge plus for Orange County and clients who have been wanting to buy for awhile.

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Until this Spring, houses were flying off the market at higher than normal prices due to demand, now this is what is sitting on the market due to the change in demand.

Luxury homes are still in demand

Even though it is a much more balanced market at the moment, luxury homes are still being sought out for and there isn’t enough inventory for those luxury buyers. Anything over $1.25 million is needed in the market. Every year luxury demand goes down a little more. So all our luxury owners who are reading this – its your time to make the most money for your home, and possibly upgrade to something even more luxurious 😉
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Importance of listening to your Realtor

You all know that we are always advising to find a good real estate agent and sticking with them and their advice, this has not changed. We think it is so important for both buyers and sellers to be properly represented in order to give them the most smooth home purchasing or selling experience. In a balanced market it is almost more important to really listen to your Realtor. We have become so accustomed to the market we have been stuck in that people have a hard to adjusting back to a normal market. In a more balanced market there is no room for error, which is when a Realtor really comes in handy. In a sellers market it is easier to stretch the price because buyers are desperate, but in an even market overpricing leads to failure. It is important to have a Realtor help you decide on upgrades and pricing. Careful and well thought pricing is crucial for the remainder of the year now that it is no longer a sellers market.

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If you would like to subscribe to regular market reports, email us at successinweeks@gmail.com. If you are interested in selling or buying a home in the new balanced market, contact Angie at 949-338-7408 so she can help you with all your real estate needs.

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Fight Foreclosure & Win – Orange County Real Estate Stories

Posted on August 12, 2018. Filed under: Divorce, Foreclosure Assistance, Home Seller Tips, Homeownership during divorce, Making Life Easier, Orange County Real Estate, Orange County Short Sales, Real Estate Stories | Tags: , , , , , , , |

This week we had the unfortunate task of stopping a foreclosure sale. Long story short, the buyer’s wire didn’t get to escrow in time for escrow to move the funds to title, & title to pay off the existing loan. This put our divorcing sellers in a terrible hands-tied position and at risk of losing the 150k+ in equity they still had in their home. We had to basically drop everything & work all day & night long to save this property from being sold at auction.

I want to share how things unraveled and how we stopped the foreclosure sale, in case other Realtors or homeowners need tips on how to stop their own foreclosure or auction sale.

It Takes a Team to Fight Foreclosure

First off, I want to point out this is never a one person job. At least TWENTY people were involved & acting fast (or slow) to help pull this off. I will be giving credit where credit is due as you read on. There were at least 10 people CC’d on every email. Outside consultants who had nothing to do with this deal were called. LinkedIn connections & messages were sent. Social media posts were fired off.

Stress conceptIt all started with an incorrect payoff demand that had Friday’s date instead of Monday or Tuesday. The property auction was scheduled for Tuesday 8/7 at 1pm. The bank HAD to be paid off before that time. Escrow brought this to my attention the previous week, stating the attorneys who were acting as the trustees for Flagstar Mortgage were not getting them the updated payoff demand. For the record, the buyer was SUPPOSED to bring his funds to escrow on Friday, but he was ‘too busy’. Gee, thanks. Attorneys moving slow, cash investors moving slow…us prodding cattle.

Come Monday, I was told at 9am by the buyers agent Clay Matthews of New Western Acquisitions that the wire had been sent. Great, we made it in the nick of time! We thought. Until escrow calls me at 11am stating they still don’t have the funds. I call Clay again, and he stated the funds have been wired, he will call B of A. Well, in his call he discovers the girl who sends out all the wires for B of A was supposedly on vacation, so the wire did not get to escrow until 1pm.

Foreclosure Sales are ALWAYS messy

This still should have been ok, but enter in technicalities, wire cutoff times, & paranoid high ups at Corinthian Title. Although escrow got the wire to title, title refused to ‘pay off’ the loan because Flagstar Mortgage would not receive the funds until Tuesday morning, and their ‘payoff demand’ expired Friday. They had an ok from Flagstar to press the payoff until 5pm on Monday, but not a moment afterward.

So, we need an updated payoff demand then. But escrow had been asking the attorneys representing Flagstar at Zieve, Broadnax & Steele since last week, & they had not given it to us. Now when we call & email 3x on Monday we get a response….it was ‘too close’ to the sale date; they refused to give us the updated document, and said they needed permission from Flagstar. How. Convenient. 

I called Flagstar, and in traditional foreclosure loophole fashion, they proceed to tell me that the attorneys at Zieve must stop the sale, they have no control anymore. I get the name & extension of the rep & proceed to call back Zieve, Broadnax & Steele, who never answer the phone and have a lovely one star review on Google. I go on their website & find out who the partners are, and I email their Foreclosure Attorney along with our rep. Katherine Walker emails me back a bunch of legal mumbo jumbo but states if I can get Flagstar to request a postponement, then she will postpone the sale. An inch of progress.

I know I’m out of time and this finger pointing / permission needing / document requirements will go all the way up to the foreclosure if I can’t cut through the BS and get to a decision maker. I start with my partners first.

Begging, Borrowing & Pleading to Stop a Foreclosure

I call Teresa at Corinthian Title and she advises me that there is no way to record title if a wire is still out, absolutely none. I say fine, just pay it off tomorrow very first thing, and she advises me no, that can’t be done either, because the demand expires today. I request that she simply pad the payoff with additional funds so even if more money is owed for this one day, we still get the proper payoff over, even if it’s too much. I plead my clients case to her and still get nowhere. I realize she is just doing her job…but SOMEONE over there should be able to help me, so I ask her to connect me with an individual who CAN authorize this.

She puts me in touch with Mike Godwin, CEO of Corinthian Title, who I plead with further. Mike explains he ‘cant insure’ the title when it is in this risky of a position, and he can only record it IF we get the payoff demand AND if we now get a sale date extension. (Basically perform a freaking miracle so he can CYA) I asked him what the real risk is here and I still don’t understand what it was. I reminded him my clients have 150k in equity in this house and the bank is drooling to take back this property…and he has the power to help them, or to devastate them right now. He still refuses to record the title. Eff. I have exclusively used Corinthian for ALL my title deals since our reps moved there & this is what we get for it??? Seriously!?!!! Shame on you, Mike Godwin.

I literally hang up with policy-pushing Mike & cry. But I have to keep moving on. This is SO unfair. I can’t leave it like this. Please know…..this is where MOST Realtors would have thrown up their hands. It’s 4:45pm & no chance of a title recording today anymore. The sale is mid day TOMORROW.

Fine. If my partners wont’ help then maybe I can network. I then reach out to a real estate attorney I know to see if he knows the attorneys at Zieve, because attorneys all seem to be in the same ‘bro’ club. No luck. I ask him what for SURE way we can stop the sale at 1pm tomorrow, & he advises my clients would have to declare bankruptcy. I can’t recommend THAT to them. They are already so beat down from their divorce. I call my client with an update and he reaches out to a well connected attorney HE knows. They also email and leave a message for Katherine Walker with no reply.

Delay Foreclosure with Social Media

Sigh……..the clock ticks on… so I guess it’s time to swallow my pride & go social. I had already tweeted Flagstar on my own a couple times with nothing yet.

I proceed to search Flagstar Mortgage on LinkedIn to find someone in loss mitigation. Sweet, they are in Michigan. I’m from there, so maybe these people will show some love. I send out connection requests and nice customized emails to all of them pleading my case. While doing that…LinkedIn pops up an alert that states ‘Your connection with the most connections to Flagstar is Desiree Patno’. I know her from Homeownership Day & NAWRB. She’s BEYOND busy. I decide not to bother her.

Screen Shot 2018-08-11 at 7.16.21 PMI humbly create an Insta message recruiting my friends to help. I ask them to send a specific tweet Flagstar. I know that banks HATE being pounded on Twitter. They care more about their reputation than they do your case, so I’ve gotta pelt that to get your case handled.

I smile through my tears as friends & other do-gooders tweet out my message. I ask the buyers agent Clay to help….crickets. Oh, but he did manage to give the keys to the property away & his clients started moving in. Before close. My clients asked me about it and I literally had to tell them that I cannot focus on who is moving into your house right now…I have to stop your foreclosure. How embarrassing….status = sh*tshow.

Engage National & Local Organizations to Postpone Foreclosure

It’s about midnight, and I still can’t sleep. I decide it’s my ego that is causing me not to contact Desiree, so I email her & her trusty assistant Lucille begging for Flagstar contacts & email addresses.

I set my alarm for 5am, because thats 8am in MI, when Flagstar opens. I fall asleep praying.

I wake up at 5am & see that 12 friend tweets later, I have a DM from Flagstar that someone ‘will call me’. Excellent. Waiting. Desiree also emailed me back at 3am wanting more details. I sent them to her at 5am.

At 7am I call one of my clients and ask him to call Flagstar again & plead. We still don’t have resolution, & this sale is happening in 6 hours.

Desiree Patno calls me at 8am & gives me her contacts. YES….now I have two email addresses, and one appears to be a C level! Score for Women in the Housing & Real Estate Ecosystem being a truly VALUABLE resource to be a part of.  If you’re a female reading this, join NAWRB. Now we’ve got real progress. I send both of them LinkedIn connection requests with a private message.

Another outside consultant who is an attorney advised me I must get a Flagstar email, and CC all, not just all the attorneys. He said copy EVERYONE on EVERYTHING. I usually hate doing that, but I do know it’s effective in knowing exactly where the buck stopped for accountability. I’ll do whatever I have to in order to get this closed, I can’t have a foreclosure looming on my record, or my heart, for that matter.

I send an email to Zieve & CC the new Flagstar emails, even though I have no idea if they can help or not. Zieve, Broadnax & Steele reply VERY quickly. Ooh, we must be on to something here. We have a few more back & forth & they try to take the Flagstar email addresses off the string. I add them right back on. It’s 10am and we are still going back & forth without resolution, but making small steps of progress. Will it be enough, though?

Meanwhile…Still pelting Twitter. I try CCing OC Register, Orange County Association of Realtors, and use #homeownershipmatters. This is what you call ‘making a stink’. Why haven’t they called me back yet??? Will @flagstar be a zero or a hero????? Is it seriously going to end like THIS?

11:08am Flagstar’s C level Alessandro Dinello accepts my LinkedIn request. No response, but I know he read it, and that’s all I needed. Someone who can make a decision to press a button.

Man on top of the mountain and the other people to climb upAt 11:57am I receive a call from David Woods with The Office of the President at Flagstar Bank. They advise me they cannot speak to me unless I get a client on the phone. I call him, no answer. I call her, no answer. SERIOUSLY??! I text him & ask the nice man on the phone if I can try to call him again. He finally picks up, and confirms it’s ok to speak with me. The Flagstar person explains that because of Twitter, our case was escalated to the Office of the President and it is now being constantly monitored. We explain to him that we need Flagstar to advise the attorneys at Zieve to postpone the sale. He says he won’t keep us in suspense any longer, that they have just done this, and will give us a 7 day extension. I would have cried of happiness but my client was still on the phone. I receive an email from Zieve while David was still on the line that they have received the request to postpone the foreclosure, and will oblige. I tell David he is my hero, and I get his direct contact info as he promises to quarterback any lagging parties for me. I wish I could find him personally on social but I can’t find him anywhere?! Regardless, I tweet out a success & thank you to my social outlets, so everyone knows Flagstar did the right thing.

The attorneys at Zieve, Broadnax & Steele sent the extension and updated payoff demand to Corinthian as Flagstar advised them to do. Corinithian closed the deal by the end of the day now that they had the miracle documents they requested of us. All that work just to buy a few needed hours of time.

Reflecting back, I honestly don’t know if this was saved by Twitter, or by NAWRB email contacts, by random attorneys calling Zieve for me, or a combo of all of the above. I DO know the grace of God was definitely involved!!!!

I want to take a moment to thank the following people who helped me on Twitter, please consider following them:

If you are an agent, know that Twitter is your secret weapon when you’re fighting foreclosure. It’s like Yelp though, you have to be in the space already to get somewhere. Signing up for a twitter account on foreclosure day won’t cut it. You’ll need your army of followers to help you out.

If you’ve found this post helpful or resourceful, please comment! If you’ve got more foreclosure delay tactics, please comment those as well. If you need help fighting foreclosure, do NOT wait, text Angie at 949-338-7408 immediately. This one was saved with one hour and 2 minutes to spare, maybe we can save yours too!

 

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Homeownership and Divorce: What To Do About Your House

Posted on July 27, 2018. Filed under: Divorce, Home Seller Tips, Homeownership, Homeownership during divorce, Orange County Real Estate, RCSD Designation | Tags: , , , , , |

The evil D word, nobody wants it, but it happens to 50% or more of us. Orange County sky rockets the national divorce average from 50% to 72%. Did you know that divorces spike in August and January? As summer winds down, we thought it would be a good idea to give you some pointers on this super touchy subject.

Listing your home during a divorce

MANY of our listings are divorce sales, and we strive to provide solutions to better protect our clients. It’s a HARD time, and we want to make it as easy as we can when it comes to the most important asset. For this reason, I just earned my RCS-D designation with Professor Kelly Murray, who has degrees from Stanford & Harvard Law. Watch this video to find out some important tips to a successful resolution of the house during a dissolution:

 

RCS-D-No-Background-AltReal Estate Collaborative Specialist – Divorce

Did you know that less than 50 Realtors in Orange County, CA have this prestigious designation? Did you know the standard in divorce when it comes to real estate is an appraisal and a mortgage statement?? That’s IT.

  • NO inspection reports
  • NO previous title search for liens or secret mortgages
  • NO insurance search to confirm the property can be refinanced
  • NO preapproval to make sure the home can *actually* be refinanced by one party or the other on their own

Property division is permanent, and not all divorce attorneys are stellar when it comes to real estate handlings. Things you sign in mediation are binding, and sometimes you feel rushed into these decisions. CONTACT US for a no obligation conversation on how you can protect yourself before you ever walk into court or mediation.

Hard Scenarios You MUST Consider During Divorce

Scenario 1: “Oh, just let them keep the house.”

Are you sure about that? One late payment can be 100 credit points! Do you care about your credit score? Ask yourself: Can you or your ex ACTUALLY qualify for the refinance?

  • For example: Can you use your alimony or support payments, and if so, how soon? Many banks have a 6/36 rule. They want to see 6 months consistent income, and receive evidence that 36 months of income will continue before they will lend.

Depositphotos_10853301_s-2015Scenario 2: “It’s ok, I’ll just go buy another house.”

ASK: If you allow your ex to keep the house, will YOU still qualify for with your name on the old mortgage? Can you start your next chapter?

  • For example: In the eyes of a lender, both parties don’t have 50/50 responsibility on a loan……you each have to pay 100% if the other defaults. Does this ruin your chances of qualifying for a second home in your name? Make it a point to find out before you make a promise you can’t keep.

Scenario 3: “I lost my job / health & I can’t pay.”

Consider what might happen in a worst case scenario. Would you be able to carry two homes to save your credit? Or possibly be willing to sell in a down market?

  • UNFORTUNATE FACT: Only 25-30% of individuals regain homeownership 7-10 years after foreclosure. Don’t let your divorce put you into this pool.

If you need help deciding what to do with your house during a divorce talk to the proper Divorce Professionals who can give you the protection, tools, and timeline to make your future a success. We have an entire team waiting to assist you, from moving out all clutter for free to pulling the necessary paperwork to know what you truly owe and own on your properties.

Please reach out to Angie via phone or text anytime at 949-338-7408. Always confidential, always caring, always at your service.

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How to sell your home fast and for top dollar

Posted on June 29, 2018. Filed under: Home Improvement Ideas, Home Seller Tips, Homeownership, Orange County Real Estate, Organizing, Selling for top dollar, Selling your home fast | Tags: , , , |

 

Thinking of selling your home?

Are you thinking of selling your home but the process seems too overwhelming and hard? Maybe you have already decided to sell your home but aren’t sure about the process and how to get started. The AskAngie team has all of the answers for you in either situation. We know deciding to sell your home is not an easy decision and can be a very stressful time in your life. Most people want to sell it quickly in order to purchase the next place and everyone wants to get the most money they possibly can out of their home. We have all the tips to help you do just that.

Declutter and bring in the light

One tip we always recommend to our clients is to declutter before listing your home for sale. Having a lot of clutter around your home or on counter tops can really take away from the big picture of what you’re selling. Most buyers want to be able to come into your home and picture it as their own in order to decide whether or not they want to make an offer, seeing your items everywhere might make it hard for them to picture themselves and their family living there. We also suggest removing any dark drapes or window coverings to really brighten up the space and make it more approachable to a buyer. Bright areas and natural light catch buyers attention every time.

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An example of a light and bright living room

Changing perspective

In order to get top dollar for your home you have to mix it up and change buyers perspective of what they are looking at. One way to do this is using drone photos for your online postings and MLS site. This allows possible buyers to see the area around your home including the neighborhood, parks, or schools nearby. It also provides a different look at the home itself. We also always suggest that our sellers invest in a stager for their home. Making it look its absolute best is a stagers job – and we have some really good ones! This will help you get top dollar because buyers are seeing it at its best.

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Without this drone image you wouldn’t be able to see the AMAZING surroundings this home has. What a change in perspective 🙂

Knowing the market

We believe educating yourself via your Realtor about the current market before listing your home is a good way to prepare yourself for what is to come. Being prepared and knowing what you’re up against is a good idea for selling your home quickly. It is currently a sellers market here in the OC, and we are always looking for people wanting to sell their homes. There’s a lot of buyers looking but never enough houses for them to buy. Knowing this information before posting your home for sale can be very motivating and encouraging as you begin your journey with your house on the market.

Bring the whole package from day one!

We always bring our sellers perfect package to the MLS day one of its listing. In order to do this you need a good Realtor, good photos, and be completely ready to sell. If people have online searches saved they are only sent properties via email the day it’s added and if the price drops, because of this you want to have your pictures and postings perfected before it is listed on the MLS. We also provide a property website for each listings that you are able to share on social media and with any buyer who is interested in your property.
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29 more home selling tips waiting for you!

These are just a few additional tips that we added on to share with you. but our team has created a report, 29 Essential Tips That Get Homes Sold Fast (And For Top Dollar). If this report is something you are interested in reading or you know someone who is thinking of selling their home and could use some tips just fill out the form below to have it emailed to you! If you need any additional advice or are looking for someone to help you sell your home quickly contact Angie at 949-338-7408!

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Organizing Your Family’s OC Move & Memories

Posted on May 18, 2018. Filed under: Home Improvement Ideas, Home Seller Tips, Making Life Easier, Orange County Real Estate, Organizing | Tags: , , , , |

Do you have precious memories you want to save digitally?

digital4keepsWith Memorial Day around the corner we wanted to help you with one of your most precious items to move – MEMORIES! We have just the company to help you keep all those memories and pictures safe during a move. Mike Helsper and his team at Digital4Keeps organize and digitize photos and paperwork for easier keeping for you and your family. They offer a mobile scanning service that they can do for you in your home or in your office. This is used to archive all your important documents into safer keeping than just inside the drawers of your desk or filing cabinet in your home. Their passion is to preserve your families memories.

Preserving Memories

Digital4Keeps offers affordable simple flat rate, inclusive pricing, and packages. They have high speed scanning and organize those in a digital format so they are safer. They transfer memories and provide you with a DVD, flash drive or storage on a hard disk for your own computer. They can also touch up photos after scanning to ensure the best photo for safe keeping and offer to introduce clients to the cloud for better keeping. Have greeting cards that need scanning? They do that too.

Safety for Important Documents

They will protect your important documents and files from fires or any other disaster you wouldn’t expect to happen. They do this by scanning and filing your documents so that they are available in the digital world only for you or family members to have a copy of. To see more of what they have to offer check out digital4keeps.com

If you’re about to move and want your things organized before doing so or if you just want to make sure all of your memories and documents are in safe keeping for your future get a hold of Mike Helsper at Digital4Keeps – 714-814-1648.

If you need help finding that next home to make more memories in, we are always honored to assist! Angie’s standing by at 949-338-7408 to help you find the home of your dreams 🙂

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Add Thousands to Your Property Value!

Posted on May 11, 2018. Filed under: Home Improvement Ideas, Home Seller Tips, Homeownership, Informed Investor Alliance, Making Life Easier, Orange County Real Estate, Real Estate Stories, Smart Homes | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

Easy Spring Upgrades Can Add Thousands to Your Property Value

spring

Spring is here, and it’s a great time for some quick and easy home upgrades that, for less than $1000, can add thousands to your property value! With clear days, sunshine, and wonderful opportunities to spotlight your property and its curb appeal—along with the chance to add to your property value and help make that sale!

Based on the local average home prices of $717,100 in Mission Viejo, this means as much as $28,684 in potential profits for many local home sellers, while also providing home buyers with the little extras and details that can make such a
difference to comfort and peace of mind.

Easy upgrade list for your home!

To help you maximize that appeal, here’s a checklist of upgrades to your home that are relatively inexpensive (most of those listed here can be accomplished for well under $1,000), but that can add significant property value and return on investment.

1. Replace Your Front Door. A beautiful new front door, preferably one that’s reinforced steel, will not only immediately add curb appeal, it’s also a bonus to home safety (and insurance rates), as well as to air quality. To stretch your budget, you can also simply do a nice repaint of the door instead.

2. Add a New Coat of Paint. A new paint job for the entire interior of the property (after covering and filling imperfections or holes in drywall) is a time-honored, popular and accepted method of adding newness and brightness to a home and instant appeal to homebuyers. However, don’t stop there. An exterior paint job can give new life to a home’s appeal, emphasizing its best features and providing home shoppers with a pleasing first glimpse of your property at its best. Just don’t indulge yourself in crazy shades and keep color choices tasteful and neutral.

3. Upgrade Your Garage Door. Your home’s garage door can take up as much as 35 to 40% of a property’s overall façade. It’s no wonder, then, that a new garage door is one of the best ways to increase a home’s visual impact while also increasing return on investment (as noted in the 2016 “Cost vs. Value” report). A new garage door also adds safety and security, and upgrading to an automatic versus a manual garage door is a big plus with home shoppers, according to many experts.

4. Inspect, clean and paint moldings, built-in bookcases and trim. Moldings can help to frame a room and show off its bones. Clean and neatly paint your moldings to show off a room at its most beautiful.

5. Professionally Clean Your Windows (Inside and Out). It’s amazing the effect clean and sparkling windows can have on the appeal of a property. From outside, they twinkle in the sun and provide a pleasant introduction to the home itself. From inside, and framed only minimally with draperies or blinds (keep them open when buyers visit) they maximize light and air, contributing to an overall impression of warmth and cleanliness.

6. Clean Carpets. Far too many overlook this simple, easy way to show off a home to its best advantage, freshen up for Spring, and give new life to old carpets when the budget doesn’t allow for them to be replaced outright with hardwood floors. This task also contributes to overall air quality and can make a huge difference in homes where smoking or pets were also a factor.

7. Install a New HVAC System. A new HVAC system improve air quality and energy efficiency, and can add tangible value to your home’s asking price. It’s also a great way to add an instant edge if you find your home competing with others in your area.

8. Fix and Repair External Gates and Fences. This is a repair that is both useful cosmetically, as well as being a big plus for home shoppers who are both safety-minded or who may be pet owners. You may also want to consider adding on a fresh coat of paint or varnish.

9. Upgrade or Install External Motion Sensor or Safety Lighting. According to many industry pros, now more than ever, the biggest single concern for most homeowners today is safety, so visible and tasteful, well-installed external lighting will go a long way toward giving home buyers peace of mind. Ring doorbells only cost about $100 and it’s a huge comfort when it comes to security.

10. Upgrade Your Water Heater. By upgrading to a better (and professionally installed) water heater, you’ll not only be adding to your home’s safety features and energy consumption, you’ll also be adding one more highly desirable element for today’s home shoppers. Make sure your water heater is properly strapped, too!

SERVIZ_SpringTipstoImproveHomeValue_2018

If you need help accomplishing these tasks, or want to find a Home Repair Professional to assist with them, the SERVIZ app can be a great resource.

Just a few of these basic home repairs and upgrades can be worth their weight in gold for home sellers and real estate pros, and can increase the value of your home overall by potential thousands.

As the Spring sunshine returns, there’s never been a better time to add value to your investment. So what are you waiting for? Contact Angie at 949-338-7408 if you want help on adding to your homes value and getting the most for your home sale!

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Orange County Realtors Annual Meeting

Posted on March 19, 2018. Filed under: First Time Buyer help, Home Seller Tips, Homeownership, Informed Investor Alliance, Making Life Easier, Orange County Real Estate |

economyEvery year we make a point to attend the annual OCR meeting. This 3 hour event is filled with great information about what’s happening in our association and community, and it helps us stay on the pulse of the everchanging real estate market.

Did you know over 51% of real estate transactions in Orange County are completed by a member of OCR?  We are the largest local association in CA and the 9th largest in the nation. We’re a huge group and have over 10,000 Realtors. Yes, there are THAT many agents in our county & we all work differently 😉 Thankfully OCR puts on this event yearly so we can all be on the same page with the expectations of the market.

Chris Thornberg Presents the OC Economic Outlook

Chris, a famous forecaster with Beacon Economics, warns to be careful of weapons of mass distraction.. like the current president’s tweets… and focus on the true story. There isn’t a weather report for democrats & republicans. There’s just a weather report. That said…here is the real estate report 😉

LIFE IS GOOD. But not without it’s challenges. We are not expecting a correction for at least 2 years.

WE ARE NOT IN A REAL ESTATE BUBBLE. Bubbles happen when we overbuild, and when we overborrow. Neither of those things are happening right now.

THE ECONOMY IS STRONG. Wages are rising, unemployment is low, jobs are available.

RATES WILL RISE. We’ve had 5 recent hikes and are expecting more. No need to freak out though….rates will still be lower than they were in 2006. Keep everything in perspective.

CA RANKS 8TH FOR ECONOMIC PERFORMANCE. We’re adding workers (and need more), and we have a large number of high income households. 18% of CA households make over 150K/yr!

WE NEED MORE HOUSES FOR SALE. The reason our prices continue to go up is our huge lack of supply. Builders need to build more… (they are only building half as much as we currently need yearly) and owners need to sell more (the average time owners hold a home has significantly increased the last 20 years).

All in all things are still looking really good for California Real Estate – comment your thoughts below! Ready to jump in? Text Angie at 949-338-7408 if you’d like to surf the wave!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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 Angie@AskAngie.com.

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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

50yearMortgageRates

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.

IMG_7820

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:

IMG_7822

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:

lou-correa

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!
homeown

homeown1
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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Is it time to hire a property manager?

Posted on August 24, 2017. Filed under: Balboa's Best Property Deals, Home Seller Tips, Making Life Easier, OC Property Management, Orange County Real Estate, Property Mangement | Tags: , , , |

Thinking about hiring a property manager? Here’s some reasons why you might want to!

Are you having to move away but want to keep your current home and just don’t have the time to take care of it or deal with renting it out to someone else? Do you own multiple properties and don’t have the time to take care of one or more? Are you frustrated with trying to find a renter for your home but need to get it done? Any of these situations are when hiring a property manager comes in handy and really benefits you! Did you know AskAngie team is willing to be your property manager and take these tasks off your shoulders? Well we are, and we can’t wait to share how with you!

We can think of lots of people who would benefit from this process but here is a few on our list:

  • Active military or veterans who are moving to a different location
  • Seniors looking for additional income without hassles
  • Busy executives who travel
  • Active duty military who are deploying
  • A landlord who needs some extra help
  • Relocating for a job but know you want to move back to your home in sunny California someday

What will we do for you as your property manager?

Helping you take care of your home while someone else lives in it is something we are experienced and know how to do for you. We know dealing with this can be such a hassle, and we are ready to make it easier and smoother for you!

  • We will do all the advertising for you that you will need in order to find you the perfect renter for your home! We will initiate, sign, and renew any leasing agreements as well as any terminations that may need to be done, so that you don’t have to worry about the paperwork.
  • We always run credit reports and verify previous tenancy when looking at a potential renter. We also have access to run a complete background check if needed!
  • We will handle getting any repairs or maintenance work that needs to be done, done for you! Living far away from your property or being busy with work can make it hard to be on top of repairs and maintenance your renter may want or need, but don’t worry – we’ve got it handled for you!
  • We take care of issuing any notices like past due rent or notices to vacate.
  • Contracts, expense payments, and security deposits is so much to worry about and make sure you get done, but once again we would do it all for you so there would be no worrying necessary!

Honestly, just kick your feet up and relax – we’ve got this!!
We take care of all the heavy lifting as well as being a professional shoulder to lean on while renting our your home. It really does take so much weight off your shoulders!

How much do Orange County Property Management Services cost?

I’m sure you’re wondering what cost all this work comes at, so here it is:

for a single family home, townhouse or condo we charge only $175 a month to take care of all of these things for you.

Multiple units would depend on the number of units that property had, but it usually ends up being about 5% of the total gross rents from that particular property.
What do you have to lose besides for some extra stress? If this feels like something you need to take advantage of, give us a call today at 949-338-7408! We look forward to hearing from you 🙂

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CIPS – Why we think International Real Estate is so important!

Posted on August 18, 2017. Filed under: Balboa's Best Property Deals, Home Seller Tips, Informed Investor Alliance, International Properties, Orange County Real Estate | Tags: , , , , |

First of all, what even is a CIPS?

That is what AskAngie team is here to explain! CIPS stands for Certified International Property Specialist, which means that we are designees that have been trained and certified on how to help you with your international real estate needs. We are well informed on how different cultures interpret people and real estate. CIPS designees are prepared to work with international clients, international funds, as well as American clients who choose to buy internationally. We are relied on because of our expertise in international real estate.

Why do we need Certified International Property Specialists?

Global business and international real estate have expanded a lot so these designees are need more now than ever before! Recently, foreign buyers have spent a lot more money in real estate – to the tune of over 1 BILLION per year. Earning the CIPS title makes agents more creditable and resourceful. CIPS have access to a wide network of professionals that can help you with your property needs around the world. Through research we are able to protect you from losing property or buying in a country where you don’t actually ‘own’ your home. We make sure you are buying legitimate properties wherever you may be looking! People are moving from foreign countries to the US every single day and many Americans look into property overseas as well. Because of the work Certified International Property Specialists do, these home owners are able to have a smooth and reliable transition into their new space (or out of their old)!

Watch this video on why we think CIPS is an important designation!

We recommend if you’re thinking about buying out of the country, call us at 877-230-3211 or text Angie at 949-338-7408 to take advantage of the CIPS education and put it to work for your real estate needs! 🙂

international

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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.

CitrusFlyer

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

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Selling your home? 29 Essential Tips.

Posted on February 6, 2017. Filed under: Home Seller Tips, Informed Investor Alliance, Making Life Easier, OC Property Profiles, Orange County Real Estate | Tags: , , , , , |

screen-shot-2017-02-06-at-2-20-51-pmSelling a home in Southern California is no small job. There are hundreds of items that could be attended to – but which are most important?

Smart sellers get the inside scoop early – fill out the form below to receive a comprehensive report: 29 Essential Tips that Get Homes Sold FAST & for Top Dollar.

In addition, you’ll receive the latest Orange County Reports On Housing update. Find out out the market temperature, average days it takes to sell, and how many homes are on the market in your city.

A combined $59 value that could net you thousands is yours free by filling out the form below. Get this expert advice at your fingertips – guaranteed to your door within 7 days!

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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.

re-investing

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 www.OCHomeFair.com 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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Got an Ugly Duck Property to Sell?

Posted on October 26, 2016. Filed under: Home Seller Tips, Informed Investor Alliance, Making Life Easier, OC Property Profiles, Orange County CA Foreclosures, Orange County Real Estate |

red-tagged-house

It’s common knowledge that you’ll get the most for a property when it’s upgraded, staged, and correctly marketed. But for some Orange County home sellers, this isn’t an option. Sometimes there was a problem insurance didn’t cover, sometimes the property was inherited and needs 40 years of updates, or other times there is a divorce or a death that requires a fast move. Whatever your case may be, there are buyers out there who want to exchange your ‘problem child’ for quick cash.

This week, we interviewed one of our investors to learn a little more about the types of property she targets. She told me “Angie, we buy other people’s problems.” Here’s a deeper look into those problem homes and how an investor or all-cash buyer may be your solution to avoid headaches.

Southern California Hoarder Homes

If you’ve got a hoarder home on your hands, definitely consider your time and cost to clean it out. The process can take weeks, even months, especially if you have an emotional connection to any of the items inside. On top of that… under all the clutter is probably some deferred maintenance waiting as well. Rather than going to market with today’s buyers who all like everything clean and new, it may be best to strike a deal with an investor who will take the home as-is.

The Family Property

You’ve had Thanksgiving & plenty of holiday parties here, and over the years your parents haven’t had any garage sales, and they have kept every memory packed away in the attic and 4+ bedrooms. Now it’s time to move them to a condo or assisted living facility, but what to do with all this STUFF?

It’s not a problem for an investor. She says:

“…We purchased a property earlier this year. It was from an agent who had a client that she knew the whole family, and the mom had to go into a home. The kids did not want to deal with all of the stuff in the house, they just came and took family photos and a few things. We bought it as she left it – full of her things. We donated belongings to charity and then proceeded with the work.

As a matter of fact, the last several we have bought have been similar situations – that the agent knew the family and they just wanted a quick cash sale. It made it easy for both sides to sell before the house ever hit the MLS.”

The Money Pit

Ever tried to be an investor and failed? Ran out of money, time, or resources before the flip was done? It happens, more than you may realize. Especially with all the flipping shows out there right now! If you’re ready to throw in the towel on problems with the city, or a red tagged, unfinished construction, you’ll probably NEED to find a cash buyer or investor. Lenders won’t typically loan on partially completed construction.

The Get Me Out NOW Divorce

Sometimes, you just want out. You have other things on your mind. You don’t want to deal with a buyer whining about repairs, or people traipsing through your home when you’re trying to pack up and move out. And you definitely don’t want to sit with your future in limbo waiting for the lender who promises the world… but delays at every corner. Nasty divorces are a perfect fit for a cash sale; we’ve all got a story on that one. Sometimes it’s best to cut your losses and move forward on a new path. Like now.

crazy_cat_lady_4The Residential Zoo

Ever walked into a home with too many animals? Barf. Ever try to sell a home with pet smells? Good luck! Homes that had a lot of animals living in them, that were not taken care of, can require a lot of time and attention to air out. Plus, you’ve got the unfortunate situations that have feces inches deep on every surface including walls…damage to doors and baseboards from scratching… definitely a candidate for the investor buyer.

The scenarios are endless, but for every home there is a buyer. It just may not be the traditional kind. If you’ve got a challenge on your hands, give the AskAngie team a call at 949-338-7408 or fill out the form below to schedule a consultation on the best way for you to sell without headaches.

 

 

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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:

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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: , , , , , |

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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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    Orange County, CA Real Estate for hip first-time buyers and investors. Plus, fun things to know and do in OC.

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