Informed Investor Alliance

2021 Real Estate Market Predictions for Orange County, CA

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Foreclosure Predictions for 2021

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

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

What about the Rental Moratorium?

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

Will Housing Demand Stay High in 2021?

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

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

Should I buy a home in OC before 2021?

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

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

2021 Forecast according to Reports on Housing

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

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

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

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History and Current Rules of Fair Housing

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

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

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

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

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

Where we went wrong with discrimination in housing:

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

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

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

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

What Discrimination in Housing Looks Like:

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

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

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

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

hud.gov/fairhousing/ 

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

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New Property Trends: Modular Net Zero Homes

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

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

What is a modular home?

tesla-model-22-_-9

S2A Modular Model #GreenLuxHome 22

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

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

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

Other advantages of modular homes:

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

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

Want to build a modular home of your own?

tesla-model-13-_-10.29

S2A Modular Model #GreenLuxHome 13

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

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

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

Sustainability & Modular Homes

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

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

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

 

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

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

Global & International Real Estate is GROWING

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

Nicaragua – an International investment gem

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

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

Foreign Property Investments in Belize

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

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

US Citizens are now buying property in Costa Rica easily

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

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

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

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

Mexico beaches drive global condo buyers

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

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

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

Mexico buying process

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

 

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California Mortgage & Rent Help During COVID-19

Posted on April 6, 2020. Filed under: Homeownership, Informed Investor Alliance, Lenders & Loan info, Making Life Easier, Orange County CA Foreclosures, Orange County Real Estate, Property Mangement | Tags: , , , , , , , |

Hi friends!

Worried about paying your California Mortgage or Rent Payment?

Wanted to share this video with you and let you know about some important financial resource links if you’re struggling to make your mortgage or rent payments due to the recent Coronavirus Pandemic.

Renters, you should know there is a moratorium on evictions until May 31st. Click here for more info on the California rental moratorium: https://www.gov.ca.gov/2020/03/27/governor-newsom-takes-executive-action-to-establish-a-statewide-moratorium-on-evictions/ . If you are working virtually and in a position to pay your rent, please don’t use Coronavirus as an excuse not to. This will put undue pressure on the people who really do need this relief.

Landlords & small business owners, you’re likely eligible for some financial assistance through the SBA’s Paycheck Protection program. Here’s a PDF from the US Chamber of Commerce with more info to see the criteria to qualify:

Click to access 023595_comm_corona_virus_sma.pdf

 

Additionally, you can click here to apply for the SBA Disaster Relief Fund. This online form takes about 10-20 minutes to complete. Funds can deposit into your bank account in as little as 3 days:  https://covid19relief.sba.gov/

Homeowners, you’ve got help as well. Most banks and loan servicing companies are offering a forbearance option. It’s ok if you don’t know what forbearance is – here’s the Wikipedia definition:

Forbearance, in the context of a mortgage process, is a special agreement between the lender and the borrower to delay a foreclosure. The literal meaning of forbearance is “holding back.”

When mortgage borrowers are unable to meet their repayment terms, lenders may opt to foreclose. To avoid foreclosure, the lender and the borrower can make an agreement called “forbearance.” According to this agreement, the lender delays its right to exercise foreclosure if the borrower can catch up to its payment schedule by a certain time. This period and the payment plan depend on the details of the agreement that is accepted by both parties.

Historically, forbearance has been granted for customers in temporary or short-term financial difficulty. If the borrower has more serious problems, e. g. the return to full mortgage payments in the long term does not appear sustainable, then forbearance is usually not a solution. Each lender is likely to have its own suite of forbearance products.

Now a word of warning. Homeowners, PLEASE read the fine print from your bank, and only use this option if you need to. Many times you’ll get more interest in the end, or a really big payment after a forbearance, so you need to understand what you’re getting into.

We’ll also offer the same advice as the renters here..If you’re able to pay your mortgage, please pay it. This will keep funds flowing to the banks, and allow the banks to keep lending to new buyers that need a place to live. Our real estate market has slowed, but it hasn’t stopped. We definitely don’t want to add fuel to this fire and create a bigger issue.

If you’ve been doing research on various financial assistance programs out there, feel free to share. Please comment any links you’ve found for Coronavirus or financial relief below.

Hope all of you are feeling healthy and excited to go out and do great things once you’re back into the world! Consider reading our post on 5 Important Things to focus on during COVID-19 next, and let’s make some long term progress while we’re here at home. If you’re not sure what to do, you can always setup a website to crowdfund your next down payment with Vow2Save, install CreditKarma to check your score, or call your lender about a low interest refinance 😉

 

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5 Things We’re Focusing on During COVID-19

Posted on March 24, 2020. Filed under: Home Improvement Ideas, Homeownership, Informed Investor Alliance, Orange County Real Estate, Orange County things to do, Organizing | Tags: , , , , , , |

Welp, in a matter of 2 weeks… our world has completely changed with the Coronavirus  COVID-19 pandemic, and we’re scrambling along with the rest of society to find a ‘new normal’. That said, it’s refreshing to have the opportunity to rethink everything we’ve been doing; both professionally and personally, to reprioritize what’s most important.

Our Top 5 Focus Areas During Orange County Quarantine

  1. Relationships – Above all, we love & care about our family, clients, prospects, & fellow humans. We’re moving to Zoom meetings, FaceTimes, and other online communication forums to ensure everyone’s safety and flatten the curve. Checking in on people who might be lonely or struggling with kind texts. I’ve committed to doing more regular videos, and virtual open houses. One action item was a comfy space at home to do virtual meetings – have you created yours yet? It’s fun! Feel free to comment a pic for us 🙂
  2. Immunity – Clearly, we’ve got nothing without our health. We think and act better when our body is functioning at it’s best. During this time, are you eating for health & wellness? Taking vitamins? For sure….dark chocolate is still aplenty in our home, but personally I’m watching my sugar, soy, hormone, and gluten intake, and drinking more alkaline water. We’ve got handsoap filled by each sink – one of our fave brands is Jade Bloom if you like delivery & to support small business 😉 Another thing we did was up our Farm Fresh to You order. They deliver all kinds of healthy fruits, veggies, & even organic eggs to your door. Why go to grocery if you don’t have to? Also made a nightly routine of essential oils, because they are soothing & help immunity. Favorites are lavender, protect, & lucid for sleeping. Please share…what are your secrets for immunity?
  3. Depositphotos_168021158_xl-2015

    We’re seeing a lot of our clients on social media baking & crafting with their kiddos. We love to watch everyone embracing this family time in their homes.

    Mental health – This is a BIG one. People’s lives just got disrupted and they are angry, scared, and upset. Ignoring it, shaming yourself, or attempts to drown it away won’t help. We need to come to terms, choose LOVE, and a new path to move forward. My preferred way to handle this is to ask: “Is my inner child happy today?” If I do something to make my inner child happy, then I usually feel good about life. When I cage my inner child, shame her, or ignore her because I’m unbalanced in some way….THEN my mental health seems to go sideways. Usually ‘little Angie’ wants to make something, hence the artist studios we’ve been building through Flower Den Retreats. Cooking, yoga, meditation, and prayer are also great daily exercises for mental health. What are you intentionally doing to protect your mindset right now? Are you at peace with yourself & love yourself? This is the space where smart & strategic decisions come from…be ready to make them. And it’s OKAY if you’re down in the dumps. Please reach out to someone you love for a life rope. The national suicide hotline is 1-800-273-8255 – save this number in your phone – you may never need it, but a friend just might!

  4. Budget – Not gonna lie – things could get tight. Are you handling this on a proactive or a reactive basis? You probably have the time to be proactive, so do that. Check online to see what relief your mortgage company is offering, and stay subscribed to our YouTube & blog here for regular updates on national mortgage relief options. Think….Where can you cut more? What small businesses can you support more? For example, we’re planning to cut our 800# & moving to WhatsApp – seems to be the preferred international & ‘long distance’ platform anyway. What apps are you paying for that you don’t use? Subscriptions? This is a great time to organize your finances, put everything on autopay, or even take the time to improve your credit. We recommend the CreditKarma app to get started on credit, and Mint.com for an overall picture. Let us know what resources you use to plan your budget.
  5. Investments – No time like the present to watch your favorite experts on YouTube! Consider sharpening up your knowledge and exploring some new areas to invest in. Ask hard questions like: Am I diversified? Stocks, mutual funds, crypto, property? How can I spread my risk? Do I have all my eggs in one basket? WHO am I trusting to get my facts from? Since we’re experts on the Orange County real estate market, we’ll help you with quality local resources to trust. A couple favorites are Reports on Housing & California Association of Realtors.

woman and hands with paper house

“Nothing can bring a real sense of security into the home except true love.” – Billy Graham

For most of our clients, their home is their biggest investment, and they’re spending a LOT of time in it right now. Hopefully, you’re happy with your space and embracing this time to improve upon it. If you’re worried about your property value going up, down, or sideways… you’re not alone. We offer monthly home value reports to show you what’s happening in your neighborhood. Just text Angie your address at 949-338-7408, or fill out the form below to receive your property’s value.

We want to wish you and your family health, healing, and happiness during this quarantine. Please reach out if we can help you with anything – we’re here for you & care about our fellow humans!

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Sustainable & Strong Housing – Meet Sol-Nest

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

Sol-Nest: Building for Humanity

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

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

The Disaster Proof Housing Solution? Sol-Nest

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

Hybrid I- Post and Panel System

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

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

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

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

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

Contact Garry Spain.

Phone Number: 310-625-6622

Email: intercorpresources@yahoo.com

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What the hoo is an ADU?? Maximizing your Southern California Real Estate

Posted on April 16, 2019. Filed under: Accessory Dwelling Units, ADUs, AirBnB, FHA loans, First Time Buyer help, Home Improvement Ideas, Homeownership, Informed Investor Alliance, Lenders & Loan info, Los Angeles property, Los Angeles Real Estate, Orange County Home Improvement, Orange County Real Estate | Tags: , , , , |

Have you heard of an ADU?

Accessory Dwelling Units are additional legal units on your property, and they can help you earn BIG bucks. If you’d like to run a duplex or generate additional income without buying an entire new property, then adding an ADU to your lot is a GREAT option. ADU’s can cost anywhere from 20K-200K, which is waaaay cheaper than a ‘unit’ in today’s Southern California real estate market. That said, not everyone has an additional 20-200K laying around to seize this opportunity, so let’s learn how you can use other people’s money to make some of your own!

Renovation loans are NOT construction loans, so if you have never heard of one… read on. There are multiple options for reno loans, so it’s about finding your best fit. Today we were at Eric C Miller’s Finance of America’s presentation and got some details & highlights for you. Finance of America highlighted how this process benefits you!

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Orange County Renovation loan process in a nutshell:

Pre-qualification –> Offer Accepted –> Disclose –> Underwriting conditional commitment –> Assign Project manager –> Collect credit conditions –> Project Scope & bids –> Appraisal –> Clear to Close –> Sign Docs –> Close –> Begin Renovations

Fannie Mae Homestyle Renovation Loan

  • Utilizes a construction project inspector sourced by lender
  • No minimum in repairs
  • Inspection prior to draw disbursements, up to 5 draws
  • All repairs and improvements must be attached to property, and supported by appraisal
  • Borrowers have 6 months to complete improvements
  • Repairs must begin within 30 days. (it’s ok if permits are the delay…you can pull permits on a property you don’t yet own)

They can be FHA or conventional, and they are a fully amortized single close transaction. 98% of the time they appraise on resales, so don’t worry if you’re buying resale.

FHA 203K – limited

  • nothing structural,
  • limit of 35K,
  • repairs must be completed in 4 months
  • limit of only two payments to each contractor

Screen Shot 2019-04-21 at 10.27.40 PM

FHA 203K – standard

  • can tear down the entire property but MUST use the entire foundation
  • utilizes a HUD consultant.
  • 6 months to complete improvements
  • can loan up to FHA limit for the county, high balance eligible
  • owner occupants only
  • Contract lingo: “The borrower has applied for Section 203k financing, and that the contract is contingent upon mortgage approval and the borrowers acceptance of additional required improvements”…this must be in there, but is not necessary in the purchase agreement.

Things to know & next steps:

  • Choosing the right contractor and renovation team is critical! Always get multiple quotes. If you’re looking for a forward thinking Orange County ADU company, check out RC Smith Design & Build.
  • 30 day escrows won’t fly, renovation loans take 45-60 days.
  • Reno loans are TOUGH. You’ve got to coordinate bids, contractors, and make deadlines. If you’re looking for an ‘easy button’ into homeownership, this may not be it 😉 BUT then again…you could try buying one of these Amazon ADU’s and avoid MOST of the contractor back and forth 🙂
  • ADU regulations are different and ever-changing. Here’s an OC ADU resource to get started. Always check with the city to find out your guidelines before beginning work or submitting offers!

Did you know most people spend 15K on their home the first year they buy it, and they statistically put it on credit cards? Ouch. Don’t be that guy, there’s a better way! Call or text Angie to start exploring your best ADU options at 949-338-7408 or email Angie@AskAngie.com

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Orange County Area #2 in Global Relocations

Posted on December 4, 2018. Filed under: First Time Buyer help, Homeownership, Informed Investor Alliance, International Properties, Lenders & Loan info, Los Angeles property, Los Angeles Real Estate, Making Life Easier, Orange County Real Estate | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

I’ve got to hand it to OCR’s Global Committee, they ALWAYS put on such relevant and informational events. We continually try to support them and keep our CIPS education up to date 🙂 Today was the Global Forum, packed with info on how we can better serve and attract foreign buyers to beautiful Southern California. International buyers are a huge market in SoCal – read on to learn more about taking advantage of this!

Did you know the Orange County & Los Angeles area is the #2 area of interest for international buyers and global relocations? 

IMG_6967So how can we help international buyers make the most of their money, so they can close easy and afford to pay more for our properties?! One way is MoneyCorp – a unique banking tool international buyers are using to get better exchange rates and guarantee funds. Contact Andrew Graziani to learn about their no-fee / no hassle transactions. They have very small minimums to exchange, and no caps. Furthermore, they have a deep understanding of how to work with every country’s currency, which is not easy. For example, consider Brazil, one currency that bounces around up to 30% in one month, and has a ton of regulations. If you want to protect your foreign transaction, make sure to work with experts like this! There are a ton of landmines when completing a foreign transaction, as noted from our previous Global Forum.

National Economic Forecast by Lawrence Yun

Lawrence Yun is one of the most respected in our industry – as National Association of Realtors’ Chief Economist for the last 10 years… when he speaks.. we listen 🙂 Let’s start with the local picture:

Is Orange County in a Real Estate Bubble? 

Of course, the first thing everyone wonders is ‘are we in a bubble?’ One recent thing to note is the housing market has not been increasing as the job market increases, which is a bit of a bummer. Regardless, Mr Yun doesn’t see any kind of extreme correction on the horizon. Home prices are 3.5x higher since 1995. Lawrence, like the other experts at the recent WCR Economic Throwdown, doesn’t believe there is a bubble. SO STOP WORRYING :))

Seriously, don’t worry, but do always be on the lookout for risks or warning signs of a market shift

  • International trade wars
  • Rising rates and inverted yield curve
  • Shift to snowballing pessimism (perception is reality!)

We have nothing to fear but fear itself – Franklin Roosevelt

What about Interest Rates?

We are on a permanent track to increase rates, so our advice to International buyers is buyer sooner than later, the rates will only rise.

The Global Real Estate Market

Exchange rate, political environment, and comparative price appreciation are all factors that affect our foreign buyers. At this point in time, the US currency conversion is high, so we saw less foreign buyers in 2018 than in 2017. That said, we still have PLENTY of international buyers, and that is not expected to change soon, only increase. Foreigners still love to buy in the United States, overall it’s considered it very safe and secure here.

IMG_6962

Global Committee chair Spencer Hoo introduces 2018 Global Forum speakers

As financing, exchange rates, inventory, and immigration laws all improve, we can expect more and more foreign transactions. Currently, here’s the top 5 countries buying US homes:

  1. China
  2. Canada
  3. Mexico
  4. India
  5. United Kingdom

19% go to Florida, and 14% come here to California!

More expectations for the US market:

  • Short term uncertainty but long term solid pent-up demand
  • Next 3 years of home sales…..booooorrrrrrring. No real increases or decreases
  • Flat & even real estate market

If you’d like a consultation to make sure your home is attractive to the foreign buyer pool as our market softens a bit, just give Angie a call, text 949-338-7408, or WeChat.

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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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​Michigan & the Marijuana Debate

Posted on April 20, 2018. Filed under: Informed Investor Alliance, Property Mangement, Real Estate Stories | Tags: , , , , , |

IMG_9279This blog post comes from deep in the country of MI, a little township called Richmond. My grandparents have owned property there since before I was born, and two years ago my sister, cousin, & I purchased their 10 acres of land; because it is ‘Our Happy Place’. Recently we received a postcard invitation to attend a town hall meeting & have a discussion on whether or not Richmond residents will ‘opt in’ to any or all aspects surrounding Canna-biz.

California is such a progressive state – we always seem to be one of the first to embrace new ideals and directions. It’s been interesting to follow our evolution from viewing marijuana as a problem to recognizing marijuana as a solution. Other states are still struggling with this. Like really struggling. We thought it might be helpful to see how property values have fared in states that have opted for recreational marijuana….are they up in smoke?

The first article we came across is by the University of Wisconsin and states there is a positive correlation found between property values and cannabis:

http://www.westword.com/marijuana/marijuana-dispensaries-linked-to-rising-denver-home-prices-by-university-of-wisconsin-study-9531562

As all of us know, we can pretty much find an article to support any angle, and this one claims it ‘could’ affect values:

http://www.sacbee.com/news/business/real-estate-news/article173621656.html

So I dug deeper. I conducted a couple phone interviews with highly respected Realtors in states that offer recreational reefer.

First call was to Kerri Hartnett, past President of the Portland, Oregon Association of Realtors. Kerri is a single mom, homeowner, & a business owner. She explained that Oregonians are fighting things that increase property tax or limit land use. It is a liberal state but there are still plenty of old school attitudes. Particularly, there’s an attitude anyone who makes money is evil. (I also heard this in the Richmond MI meeting) She said that it’s too soon to really tell if marijuana affects property values either way. That said, she is seeing challenges such as title companies not wanting to insure properties of that sort. She’s also seeing income from Cannabis not ‘qualifying’, and loans getting denied. Furthermore, Oregon’s tax structure setup is at point of sale, not point of grow. This has caused issues with crime since the $$$ isn’t going back to the grow area. She feels these are all challenges with any new type of industry, so the wrinkles will get ironed out eventually and there will a proper balance.

Other calls made had similiar results. I did not hear from ONE active real estate agent that property values have been affected in a negative way. Here in California, I’m seeing & hearing positive appreciation, especially in the commercial realm.

Back to the Richmond, MI town hall meeting. Residents weren’t just concerned with money or equity (OMG). Obviously bringing cannabis into our homes and neighborhoods is about much more than that. What shocked me were some of the fears and world views on cannabis that a small town community…farming community of all things.. has. I wondered if they were backed by facts, and wanted to share what I found.

Cannabis & Kids

kidOf course, family is a huge concern. People didn’t want to expose ‘that’ to their children. Others felt their children might get lured into a world of addiction. Yikes & no thanks! But is that really what’s happening out there? Are we setting up our kids to fail? Here’s an article from the Washington Post that states 12th grade kids in Colorado are no more likely to engage in the ganja than they were before.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.washingtonpost.com/amphtml/news/wonk/wp/2016/12/29/what-happened-in-washington-state-after-voters-legalized-recreational-weed/

Jobs & the Weed Industry

170809073246_1_900x600Another comment made by some folks at the meeting is they did not want to drive in their beautiful town & see the landscape all changed up with mega-sized industrial and commercial grow buildings. Richmond does pride itself on being stuck in time, and it’s honestly one of the things I love about it. I am seeing these enormous commercial buildings purchased frequently in CA’s Inland Empire, but in MI they would need to be built or we could repurpose existing eyesores. This means that proactive towns have the opportunity to define what that looks like. If you’re in an area having this debate – get involved & voice your opinion so you don’t end up with a green dispensary next door! My suggestion for MI: make it look like a barn. And if you want to talk about EYESORES….how bout you do something about your real barn that has been falling down plank by plank for the last 20 years??? (just sayin, ppl)

I’m all for the landscape, but let’s lean into what those buildings could do for the town. MI as a whole has been struggling with unemployment for a long time with all the car factories relocating, and less blue collar needs in general. On top of that… farmers have struggled to make a living there as mega farms take over. Here’s an article from Forbes that discusses how many jobs the marijuana industry will create. As a Realtor, I know anything that creates jobs helps keep people in homes, & eventually buy bigger homes. And then businesses. It’s the necessary circle of life in a healthy community of any size.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.forbes.com/sites/debraborchardt/2017/02/22/marijuana-industry-projected-to-create-more-jobs-than-manufacturing-by-2020/amp/

What’s in the water?

Another voiced concern was what kind of chemicals we are putting into our water & soil with this potential ‘opt in’ status. I was SO glad to hear the town residents thinking this through. We don’t want to hurt our precious land in any way. According to MI law, no pesticides are permitted when growing medical marijuana. If they find pesticides, they have to throw the crop away. According to section 31(3) of the MI Marihuana Facilities licensing act:

Except as otherwise provided, if a sample collected pursuant to Rule 32 or provided to a safety compliance facility pursuant to these rules does not pass the microbial, mycotoxin, heavy metal, pesticide chemical residue, or residual solvents levels test based on these rules, the marihuana facility that provided the sample shall dispose of the entire batch from which the sample was taken and document the disposal of the sample using the statewide monitoring system pursuant to the act, marihuana tracking act, and these rules.

Such a relief that home and landowners are already covered on this matter. We don’t want to end up famous like Flint.

Dude, You Stink

There were multiple residents who were very concerned about the smell of cannabis penetrating their property. Personally, this cracked me up a bit since the town has smelled like cow booty for like 20 years. But again as a Realtor smell is a REAL concern. I have had plenty of listings struggle to sell because of tobacco, pet, and food smells. Is marijuana next on my list???  Maybe…according to this article 30% of smell complaints in Colorado are related to marijuana. On the other hand, the smell has not been deemed hazaradous in any way:

http://projects.registerguard.com/rg/news/local/34040437-75/as-oregon-pot-grows-proliferate-so-do-complaints-about-plants-odor.html.csp

I’m curious if anyone reading this has experienced the issue. Please comment. I have a home in Santa Ana, where there are a TON of in home grows & dispensaries, and I have never noticed anything, personally. Have you?

Cannabis & Violent Crimes

It was stated there were shootings at Port Huron dispensaries, & we are inviting a ton of crime onto our precious Richmond soil. Whoa. That’s hefty. I tried to find the articles to support that, and couldn’t find any shootings that were directly related. If you do have an article supporting this, please share it!

Although every area is still going to have crime, statistically speaking, marijuana does nothing to increase violent crimes (aka shootings) according to Internet Fact-Checker, Snopes:

https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/marijuana-legalization-violent-crime/

PTSD & Cannabis

PTSDvetsThe saddest moment of the meeting to me was when a Veteran stood up and said he was a medical cannabis patient and he truly tried every ‘drug’ to help the anxiety until he came across marijuana. He said marijuana helped him heal & he encouraged the attendees to view it as medicine. Another VA had the nerve to speak up & say he went to war too & didn’t need any of that. To me….how dare any of us judge what heals another. I was tempted to stand up and shout that the real poisonous drugs were the Big Pharma ones in everyone’s medicine cabinet…but that would not have went over well hahaha! Baby steps people… Start by watching The Truth About Cancer Episode 8 & Disjointed on Netflix. Whether you do or you don’t….others are finding relief to both physical & mental issues with CBD & cannabis.

Just the Facts

 

The attorney’s presenting facts to the town were great and kept it neutral. They told me I can find their presentation for the city of Sterling Heights on this matter via YouTube…but alas I cannot locate 😦 If you have a link, please share! The people there were anything but neutral, though. I appreciate a healthy debate and encourage homeowners on either side to comment here & keep commenting to your elected officials. It was nice to see Richmond’s attitude, particularly Richmond Township Supervisor Cynthia Greenia truly seemed invested in discovering & delivering what the residents want. That was refreshing, just like our pond’s water 🙂

DCIM100MEDIADJI_0247.JPG

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Global Forum – International Real Estate

Posted on April 17, 2018. Filed under: First Time Buyer help, Informed Investor Alliance, International Properties, Lenders & Loan info, Making Life Easier, Orange County Real Estate | Tags: , , , |

 

Ways Immigrants Can Buy California Property

Have you been thinking about buying in the US, but live in a foreign country? We can help! There’s lots of talk in real estate about EB 5 Immigration , it’s a program United States offers to encourage foreign investors to purchase property here in the US. Because Trump administration has been putting the brakes on immigration recently, a Green Card is tough to get! This has caused major issues and investors (particularly from China) are getting turned away. 😦 But don’t be discouraged. According to Immigration attorney Qiang Bjornbak, depending on your country of origin and job, there may be options for your visa:

IMG_9297

If you would like to explore which immigration solution is best for you, we would be happy to put you in touch with Qiang for a consultation. She can help pave your path 🙂 Once you are able to legally own a home in the United States, then the next challenge is to obtain financing.

How Foreigners Can Obtain US Loans

Foreign loans don’t come without challenges. Seasoning, or the amount of time your money has been in the bank, can be a big one. Another issue can be a newer social security number. Furthermore, reported income, foreign bank statements, and low appraisals are all landmines that can explode during the loan application process. Red flags everywhere…what’s an investor to do?!

It was great to hear from a panel of lenders who are open to working with foreign buyers, and have experiences to overcome challenges. If you’re buying for the first time in the US, you NEED an experienced lender to make your loan process smooth. Regardless of which lender you select, always run a DU (Direct Underwriting) to make sure your loan is fully approved. Usually about 30% down is required on foreign investments, and you need 2-12 months of reserves. Certain lenders also offer down payment programs. Sometimes these loans can be closed in 30 days, but usually they take about 40-45 days. It’s best to make sure your funds are already in the US to ensure there are no delays.

According to feedback in the room… Sterling Bank & Trust is very easy to work with and has fabulous programs that are easy to qualify. ChinaTrust Bank has an ‘asset based’ program which is great when income isn’t high. Cathay Bank offers a foreign HELOC, which is very rare! Here are all the panelists, just fill out the form below if you would like an introduction!

  • Sterling Bank & Trust – Steven Chang
  • New American Funding – Frank Fuentes
  • HSBC Bank – Buddie Krugh
  • Cathay Bank – Howard Tung
  • ChinaTrust Bank – Kevin Yang

What States Do International Investors Prefer in the US?

Interesting question! Literally, it’s all over! According to 2017 data, here’s the top 5:

  1. Florida
  2. California
  3. Texas
  4. Arizona
  5. New Jersey

If you think sunny Southern California is the best state for you, let’s talk! Just fill out the form below or text call Angie at 949-338-7408. Happy investing – we can’t wait to help you open the door to your US property!

 

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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:

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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:

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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!

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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! 🙂

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 🙂 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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​ 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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