Informed Investor Alliance

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 ūüôā

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 ūüôā
  • 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 ūüôā 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 ūüėČ

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 ūüôā 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 ūüėČ

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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Orange County Electrician to help with your Smart Homes!

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

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

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

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

ge

Smart Home Installation Help

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

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

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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! ūüôā

international

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New Orange County Homes Coming Soon!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Prefer Los Angeles area energy?

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

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

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‚Äč Duplex in Los Angeles just 449K

Posted on May 3, 2017. Filed under: Informed Investor Alliance, Los Angeles property | Tags: , , , , , |

Opportunity knocks, and it’s twice as nice for this LA duplex! Located close to parks, freeways, & fun, this classic fixer has so much potential.

Not yet on MLS: 3710 McKenzie Avenue, Los Angeles

 

Centrally located in El Sereno on a quiet tree lined street between downtown LA & downtown Pasadena, with nearby¬†access to 110, 5, and 10 freeways. You can stroll¬†to Rose Hill Park & recreation center from this property, plus it’s very close to Ernest Debs Regional Park.¬†This duplex has excellent potential and rarely comes¬†to market – act quick!

The front unit, built in 1956, is a generous 1178 sq ft. There are 3 bedrooms, 1 bathroom, plus a bonus room (about 300 s.f.). Also included is a 1 car detached garage & driveway parking spaces.

The back unit, built in 1922, is approximately 636 sq ft. The quaint, completely separate home offers 2 bedrooms, 1 bathroom, plus driveway and street parking, it adds additional charm and income to the property.

Both units do have heating, but they are admittedly in need of TLC.

Priced at just $449,000 with a lot size of 7537, this duplex zoned LARD 3 leaves room for¬†so much more! Just check out the zoning regulations and you’ll see lots of options to maximize this great property investment in LA.

Currently this property is owner occupied, and in a rent control area. The owners are looking for a short escrow and are offering tours by appointment. To discover if this is your next investment, simply call or text Angie at 949-338-7408 or fill out your info below:

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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 Р3pm 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 РInvesting 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 Рjust 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 Рbut 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 Рguaranteed to your door within 7 days!

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Charming Home For Sale in Mission Viejo

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

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

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

Additional features include:

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

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

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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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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 ‚Äď 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 ‚Äď 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:

img_9586

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: , , , , , |

img_9170

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 ūüėä 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 ūüŹ° ūüėĄ ūüĆü

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Orange County 1031 Exchange & Other Investor Property Tax Shelters

Posted on September 14, 2016. Filed under: Informed Investor Alliance, Making Life Easier, Orange County Real Estate | Tags: , , , , , , , |

smart-investorGot investment property?

It’s surprising how many property investors we meet who aren’t familiar with 1031 Exchange. Since money doesn’t grow on trees, maybe we can save you some when you decide to sell – read on!

Recently Debbie Bannister with Exchange Resources spoke to our Real Estate Focus group with some 1031 Exchange tips. If you are wondering whether your property fits the mold for a 1031, here are some qualifying terms:

  • Must be an investment property, not a primary residence
  • Property you are exchanging for must be equal or greater value than net sales¬†price
  • Exchange must be done by a qualified intermediary

What kind of properties can be included in a 1031 Exchange?

The properties must be ‘like kind’. Like kind is defined as any real property held for the productive use in a trade or business for investment purposes. Land can also qualify. 1031 properties¬†cannot be for your personal use, but you can put your business in one, per the definition above :). Many investors also ask if the debt on the property counts toward the exchange. The answer is Yes, loan debt is included. If you don’t want to take on new debt, however, you have the option to¬†pay cash as the down payment on your move up property. And if the property you’re purchasing needs work, you can also do an “improvement exchange”. Lots of options!

1031 Exchange Timelines

45 days after the close of your investment property, you must identify a property to buy that is of equal or greater value. If you can’t buy one of the properties you identify for the 1031 exchange, then your¬†exchange is off even if you buy some other property; therefore this is a crucial step. You can identify up to 3 properties, so make sure not to put all your eggs in just one basket. Strategy: identify your favorite on the first day, then wait till day 40-45 to identify your backup options.
180 days to buy, close, and be completely done.

1031timeline

Cashing out funds with a 1031 Exchange

In some situations you may not want loan debt, so a partial exchange is an option. Or maybe you want cash. This is also an option, but talk to your CPA about how much cash you should keep because you will be taxed on it.

Tax intelligent ways to get completely OUT of your real estate investments

Bruce Jones our tax strategist talked to this extent, and you’ve got some options:

  • Charitable property
  • Deferred sales trust (don’t do it – none of our experts recommend this!)
  • Structured sale
  • Traditional installment sale (aka seller carry back)

Remember the IRS is not your enemy, lack of knowledge is.

Bruce suggested to consider coupling a monetized loan with an installment sale. You still get a tax free chunk of change at close of escrow, and you can defer your taxes for 30 years. It’s kinda complicated, so here’s a pic to help!

img_9046

In case you’re on a mobile & it’s hard to see what’s in the graphic above, here’s the breakdown:

You’ll do a interest only 30 year installment sale:
Seller –(installment sale)–> Dealer –(resale on original terms)—> Final buyer

then, with a Separate investment business loan:
Lender –(loan typically 95% of net sale proceeds)–> Seller –(invests)–> $$$

followed by the Lender’s payment processing and loan guarantee system:
Dealer –(automatic installment payments)–> Payment Processor –(single source limited recourse loan–> Lender

Bruce showed us example after example of SoCal & Orange County property investors he has helped to save hundreds of thousands of dollars. Some even millions, so it’s worth a consultation with him if you decide to cash out all or even some of your real estate portfolio. After all, property investments aren’t all about how much you ‘make’, they are really about how much you get to keep. He’s been utilizing this strategy for almost 20 years and never ran into a problem ūüôā

If you’d like a personal introduction to any of our tax experts, Real Estate Focus group consultants, or a list of investment opportunities, just fill out the form below or call / text Angie at 949-338-7408, & we’d be happy to assist!

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Orange County Real Estate Forecast for 2016

Posted on February 9, 2016. Filed under: First Time Buyer help, Home Seller Tips, Informed Investor Alliance, Orange County Real Estate | Tags: , , , , |

Had a great afternoon today listening to expert Gary Watt’s predictions for OC’s real estate market this year. Last year, we had a modest appreciation of 4.8%. Real people scenario:¬†If you own a 500K condo, it’s now worth 524K ūüôā What’s in store for this year?

OC Inventory Predictions

real estate forecastInventory should stay around 6500 homes, and appreciation is expected to be 2-3%. If our inventory goes up to 7500 homes, then we’ll have flat appreciation. If everyone freaks out because the election candidates suck and list their home,¬†then a negative 2% is expected (if inventory rises over 7500).

New home sales should continue to decline (they were down last year), and high end and single family homes should decline. Not in overall price, just in volume, mostly due to affordability.

Rates aren’t expected to go much above 4%. Historically, the Feds have always lowered interest rates in an election year, and this year it’s different…so we have to see if that affects our market.

Buyer Trends in Orange County

First time buyers are 28% of our market, the main reason it’s lower than the rest of the country is affordability. Qualifying for homes is stricter, which is also a factor. And let’s not forget about student debt.

As a nation, the average is 63.7% for homeownership. Only 49.1% of Orange County residents are homeowners; our county is one of the hardest to buy in.

What about the younger buyers? 20% of Millennials are currently homeowners, but we’re seeing a commitment issue with about 10%, who don’t even have ‘buying a home’ on their radar.

Chinese & foreign buyers are still a force to be reckoned with. They like to spend their cash here.

OC Rental Activity

Our rental market is on fire, and will continue to be. The rental gap is about $1000/mo. Many residents are taking a short term mindset of saving the extra monthly spend instead of a long term equity building mindset. There are also many who are still rebuilding credit from foreclosure or short sale, who will remain renting until affordability and credit scores increase.

Overall, we should have another good year in 2016, as long as we don’t get an El Nino of inventory! If you are considering listing your home, the sooner the better, because our busy season¬†starts to slow after May. Call or text Angie at 949-338-7408 to have our team crunch numbers and get a spreadsheet of your potential profit!

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2016 OC Home Fair & Homeownership Day – You’re Invited!

Posted on January 6, 2016. Filed under: First Time Buyer help, Home Seller Tips, Informed Investor Alliance, Making Life Easier, Orange County CA Foreclosures, Orange County Home Improvement, Orange County Real Estate, Orange County Short Sales | Tags: , , , , , , , |

Orange County housing forecast

Will you be able to move in 2016?

Thinking about making some real estate moves this year or next? Check out The OC Home Fair at Chapman University coming up on Jan 30th. The event is free and offers 5 sessions guided by experts (1/2 hour each) with various classes for all levels of real estate education.

Taking a Saturday every year to protect your biggest investment is a great success strategy. Just think of how much better your life would be if you maximized your real estate opportunities! This event is pitch-free and will teach you to do just that. Fill out the form below for a personalized session plan based off your individual real estate goals:






We look forward to seeing you at #HomeownershipDay & helping you achieve your OC real estate goals!

Questions??? Comment below or like our for more details Facebook page.

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TRID – What Consumers Need to Know

Posted on November 9, 2015. Filed under: First Time Buyer help, Home Seller Tips, Informed Investor Alliance, Lenders & Loan info, Making Life Easier, Orange County Real Estate | Tags: , , , , , |

clock-runningTRID is the TILA / RESPA Integrated Disclosure Rule which is designed to help consumers understand the mortgage and real estate buying process more thoroughly.

How to most industry people see it? TRID is dirt spelled backwards ūüôā It’s a pretty big change and it’s causing delays. We’re annoyed.

45 is the new 30. That’s what everyone’s saying about an escrow timeline. In order to close in 30 days, everything has to flow perfectly. Now be honest, how often does that happen???

In this perfect world…Escrow needs to get the fee sheet over the day the lender requests it.

Furthermore, disclosures need to go out immediately, and the appraisal needs to be ordered pronto. Before loan docs, well pretty much before anything, a CD (Closing Disclosure) needs to get out to the borrower. The best lenders right now are providing this digitally, and those who aren’t (*ahem* B of A, Chase, Wells) have a closing timeframe of 60+ days, which is completely unacceptable. ¬†Every time something big changes, a new Closing Disclosure must go out and there is a 3 day mandatory waiting period. There’s no more room for sloppy documents and slow turnaround for paperwork. Having a good real estate team (title, escrow, lender, and Realtor) who all communicate is crucial more than ever with these TRID guidelines.

Delays can be caused by any one or more of these simple elements within the escrow process:

  • HOA dues
  • HOA transfer fees
  • HOA move in/out fee
  • Sewer lateral
  • Roof inspection
  • Pest inspection
  • Security deposit transfers
  • Insurance Certification costs
  • Prorated rents
  • Seller rent backs
  • Mobile signing fees
  • POA preparation fees
  • Subordination prep fees
  • Draw deed fees
  • Buyer paid Realtor commission
  • Repair credits
  • Carbon monoxide detectors missing

Inspections should be done as soon as possible to avoid any of the above issues. Changing lenders in the middle of the deal now undoes the entire timeline and forces everyone to start over.  You need to interview your lenders and have your team in place BEFORE escrow starts. Call us if you need referrals for competent lenders here in Orange County.

If you’re already in escrow with another team, make¬†sure your agent orders Home Warrantee, all disclosures and inspections right away, and is in good touch with the lender. These are all standard practice already with the AskAngie team.

As a seller, you can help too. Right when you open escrow, call the management company right away with the credit card info and order your HOA documents. They are famously one of the slowest moving parts of an escrow so it should be addressed on day 1.

If you have any comments or questions about working with the new normal and TRID, don’t hesitate to call 949-338-7408, comment below, or tweet @AngieWeeks¬†!

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Reverse Mortgages in Orange County – Love it or Leave it?

Posted on October 27, 2015. Filed under: Informed Investor Alliance, Lenders & Loan info | Tags: , , , , , , |

Reverse Mortgage Answers orange countyWe’ve all heard good and bad about the reverse mortgage market, so today I went to a class given by Dirk Pierce with Retirement Funding Solutions at the OC Register building to find out more information. Knowledge is power, right?! Plus it’s not fair to¬†form an opinion about something until the proper research and due diligence is done.

What is a Reverse Mortgage?

Basically, a reverse mortgage lets homeowners convert a portion of the equity in their homes into cash, and eliminate their monthly mortgage payments.

Interestingly enough, Reverse Mortgages are over 100 years old, and they are also available in Britain, Chile, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, and Korea. They were designed to help people who where house rich and cash poor, and were also known as ‘shared equity’. Fast forward to 1989, and Ronald Reagan helped to create the first government regulated Reverse Mortgage plans under the FHA umbrella.

Another variation of a reverse mortgage is HECM for Purchase; both share similiar features:

  • Both are FHA
  • Neither¬†have monthly payment requirements
  • Both offer adjustable or fixed rates

You’ll use HECM for purchase when you are planning to buy a new property, for example¬†to downsize, etc. ¬†Reverse Mortgage is when you stay in your existing home, and simply refinance.

HECM for purchase is an FHA loan that enables a person age 62+ to purchase a home with as little as 40% to 51% down and never make monthly mortgage payments. ¬†So basically you can get a 500K home for 250K and never make payments if you meet the age requirements. BUT….interest still accrues on your mortgage balance. The nice thing about the programs is they come with the following protections:

  • Guarantee that FHA will honor the terms of the loan if the lender becomes insolvent
  • Guarantee that you would never owe more than the house was worth
  • Guarantee that there is no personal liability for repayment of the loan by you or your heirs. It is truly a non-recourse loan.
  • Guarantees that the loan won’t become due until the last remaining borrower leaves the home.

Frequently there is remaining equity in the home…what happens with that? After the home is sold,¬†any remaining equity goes to the heirs.

Do you qualify for a reverse mortgage?

  • minimal credit requirements
  • minimal debt to income ratios

What types of properties are allowed?

  • single family
  • PUD
  • 1-4 unit property
  • FHA approved condo
  • new construction
  • NOT second homes or investment properties, sorry!

More reverse mortgage facts:

  • Only YOUR name is on the title, so don‚Äôt believe the rumors that the bank is on title.
  • The loan becomes due when the last remaining borrower leaves the home.
  • You can sell whenever you want to, and they do not have a prepayment penalty.
  • Family has up to a year to either refinance your property with a normal mortgage or sell it before the loan is officially due.

Reverse Mortgages are all age based, so contact Dirk today if you’d like a chart to see what your down payment would be at your age. ¬†Want to learn more? Register for his class at http://www.OCHomeFair.com on Jan 30th, 2016.

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2016 Real Estate Forecast for Orange County

Posted on October 23, 2015. Filed under: First Time Buyer help, Home Seller Tips, Informed Investor Alliance, Making Life Easier, Orange County Real Estate | Tags: , , , |

Orange County housing forecast

Will you be able to move in 2016?

Today I had the pleasure of meeting Leslie Appleton Young with California Association of Realtors, and hearing a ton of facts and figures about where real estate stands in the state of California. Wow have we come a long way since 2007! Congrats to all of you who held on to your property!!

As of 2015, the housing market has officially recovered, and we’re rolling along at a steady pace. Over 94% of homes were equity sales this year ūüôā Median price is $482,150. Jobs look good; OC is actually #3 on the list up 3.2%, and construction is #2 on the industry list. All great news for housing. But the big question is…

What About Interest Rates????????

Leslie doesn’t really believe rates are going to jump the way other forecasters do. Well that’s good news…if she’s right ūüôā She said there may be an increase next year, but it happens, she’s not expecting rates to go up until March 2016…so you’ve got a little time to get going! (But please note the best time to buy in OC is always Oct-Jan)

Market Stats & Demographics

We are below average with first time buyers in the market right now, less than 30%. On the other hand, over 30% of properties sold this year went to all cash investors. ¬†75% of boomers are homeowners. 20% of millennials are homeowners. The good news is that 43% of all boomers worry about their children’s down payment… and are willing to help their millennial offspring with gift funds. ¬†International buyers are actually down to 4% this year, they were at 8% in 2013. 45% of Millennials have NO IDEA if they could qualify for a loan or not. What?! Need to check on that kiddos! ūüôā

If you’d like all of CAR’s facts, figures, and 2016 economic forecast click here.

Why aren’t people buying homes?

  • Affordability
  • Inventory
  • Foreclosure pipeline is dry
  • Trouble qualifying for a loan
  • They’re happy where they are (average time between homes right now is 10 years)

Regardless of what the facts & figures say, home prices are on the rise right now and many people are getting priced out of the market. Don’t let this happen to you – TAKE ADVANTAGE of interest rates and consider picking up an investment or upsizing to build a strong portfolio and long term wealth! ¬†Tweet Angie today @angieweeks or text or call 949-338-7408.

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