International Properties

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fractional Property ownerships and Tokenization using Blockchain

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

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

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

Smart Contracts and Real Estate Transactions

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

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

Crypto loans – Something to keep an eye on

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

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

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Buying Property in South America: Ecuador, Columbia, & Argentina

Posted on April 15, 2021. Filed under: Buying in South America, Informed Investor Alliance, International Properties, Summer fun | Tags: , , , |

Thanks to our Global Committee for bringing together speakers from National Association of Realtors and South America today for some online networking. It was really neat to interact with people across the country and across the world through our Zoom webinar. The Internet continues to bring us together so we can collaborate about buying and selling across the country. As a Certified International Property Specialist (CIPS), I’m excited to bring you this great info 🙂 You can certainly click around this blog as well as our YouTube channel to learn about buying property in other areas including Jamaica, Spain, Iceland, and Costa Rica.

First of all, if you’re considering moving to the US, and wondering which US states have the most foreign purchases, here’s a map to help you:

California is only 2nd in line behind Florida, with 15%. This makes CA a great place to call home for both investment, and immigrant opportunity angles. But we’re here to talk about South America…not Cali.

Buying property in Ecuador

Adrian Rodriguez welcomes us to Ecuador – discussing the tropical climate and beautiful beaches, as well as the fact the economy is strong in Ecuador. You can purchase using US dollar, which always tends to make things a little more comfortable – especially if this would be your first foreign purchase.

Ecuador offers fun festivals such as Corpus Christi, where you’ll find native foods, fireworks, and fun. Carnaval is another yearly celebration that brings tourism and fun.

Infastructure for health and medical is strong, which adds to the booming economy. Business opportunities are aplenty as well. Cost of living is also affordable, which makes it a popular spot for vacation homes as well.

Tourism activities include:

  • Beaches
  • Surfing
  • Music festivals, including Opera
  • Art festivals
  • Machu Picchu

What is the cost of living in Ecuador?

Wow, pretty affordable! Adrian said a monthly food budget of $100, and a monthly vehicle budget of $100 will have you eating and riding like royalty. A couple things that foreign buyers should know about purchasing property in Ecuador: Foreign owners must own 5 years before cashing out, and there is a 5% tax upon selling.

If you’d like more info about buying property in Ecuador, comment or contact us – we can connect you with Adrian for a Zoom meeting to answer all your questions 🙂 Now, let’s move on to Columbia…

Buying Real Estate in Columbia, South America

Andres Fernando Correa shared some great info about owning property in Columbia with us today. Columbia has SO much nature from birds, to fruits, to frogs…. you’ll find a plethora of bright and beautiful varieties here! The country is basically split into regions, here’s a graphic of them all:

In order to buy property in Columbia, you can use your US Passport, but if you’d like to STAY there longer than 180 days.. you’ll need to purchase at a certain price. Mompox, Santa Marta, Cartagena are some of the Caribbean region popular cities. Here’s a little more about all of them:

We know, you are wondering what region of Columbia is the coffee region… where all the famous coffee is produced???! It’s Andina! Andina is mountainous, hilly, and has mild and cold weather due to the high altitude. It’s great for ‘the coffee belt’. Andina is also well known for cycling, and has a popular pastime of biking with award winning teams. Tourists also enjoy horseback tours, birdwatching, rafting, and other outdoor fun.

Have you ever wanted to explore the Amazon? The jungle of Columbia has wildlife, plantlife, water features, and history to explore.

But let’s talk about Columbia real estate, not just all the fun things to do and see. One important thing to know is that a real estate broker in Columbia is NOT required to have any licenses or education, so buyer beware. You’ll likely want to work with a company you are already familiar with. One of the most popular ways investors are buying property in Columbia is through Social Housing projects. With a lot of developments currently under construction, you can buy a portion of a development in Columbia for as little as $20K. Here are some of the most popular Social Housing projects to explore:

Other popular housing opportunities and developments in Columbia are senior living, shopping malls, strip malls, and tourism clusters. No matter what type of property is your ‘sweet spot’, Columbia has something for you. Remember, just reach out if you’d like a consultation about what type of investment in Columbia may be the best fit for you 🙂

Now, let’s travel to the south of South America for some information on Argentina.

Learn About Argentina Vacation Homes & Property

Argentina isn’t just about the sports and football teams. Santiago Arnoldi presented for us today, and shared all about Argentina. Argentina is located at the bottom of South America, and they have a smaller population. Argentina is a diverse country with residents who have immigrated there from all over the world – including Spain, Australia, and France.

Health and education are both strong in Argentina. Argentina is also rich in tradition and smiles. The culture and community enjoy coffee, matte, and regular BBQ’s – they are a social bunch! Top that off with all of Argentina’s famous wine & olive oil, and you have a perfect place to retire or vacation.

What cities in Argentina are popular for vacation homes?

Buenos Aires is one of the most popular cities in Argentina, with 2.9 million people. You can find a detached 3 bedroom home with a private pool in the metropolitan areas of Buenos Aires for around 300K, and you can get condos or flats in the city for around 400-550K USD. Here’s an example:

Another popular city in Argentina is Rosario, where you can get beautiful homes for the 150-300K range.

Other cities that are growing and great to buy property are Cordoba, Mendoza, and Patagonia.

One thing you need to know about buying in Argentina is they aren’t big on loans. Banks don’t really offer them. Most properties are bought with cash, or private loans, so you’ll want to plan for your financing well in advance. If you’d like to be introduced to some ways to buy property in Argentina, don’t forget to comment or contact us so we can put you in touch with Santiago to show you the ropes.

Please think of us if you’re a US citizen looking for an introduction to buy a foreign investment property anywhere in the world. The CIPS designation allows us to connect you with the best of the best, and you’ll want the highest level of service when you’re making such a large investment in a different country. Happy world traveling!!!

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

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

Hi friends!

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

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

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

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

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

Owning Property Can Change Your Future

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

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

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

Let Homeownership Day Lead You to Your Happy Place

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

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

Homeownership Day 2021 Sign Up

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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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Sustainable & Strong Housing – Meet Sol-Nest

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

Sol-Nest: Building for Humanity

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

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

The Disaster Proof Housing Solution? Sol-Nest

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

Hybrid I- Post and Panel System

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

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

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

Screen Shot 2019-10-11 at 10.09.07 PM

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

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

Contact Garry Spain.

Phone Number: 310-625-6622

Email: intercorpresources@yahoo.com

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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.

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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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Crypto, ADU’s, & Homeownership Day 2019 – Register Here!

Posted on November 3, 2018. Filed under: Accessory Dwelling Units, ADUs, First Time Buyer help, Homeownership, International Properties, Lenders & Loan info, OC Home Fair, OC Property Management, OC Property Profiles, Orange County Real Estate | Tags: , , , , |

Want to learn more about Real Estate?

ochomefairOur annual Homeownership Day & OC Home Fair is right around the corner! We are hosting at Chapman University for the 7th year in a row on January 19th, 2019 from 10 AM – 1 PM!

Orange County Young Professionals Network, Chapman University, Orange County Realtors, and local nonprofits are putting this event together for YOU. Homeownership Day is completely FREE and taught by seasoned professionals who are passionate about helping others to change their lives through homeownership and work towards building their future.

Biggity BONUS:::::::Each attendee will be entered to win $1000:::::::courtesy of Orange County Realtors.

Homeownership Day is ‘choose your own adventure style’, where you attend only the sessions you’re interested in. This year offers twelve classes over three sessions – pick from four during each time slot! When you register online at OCHomeFair.com you are able to choose which class you want to be in during each time slot. Some of the highlighted classes this year include:

  • Buying Your First Home
  • Taking Advantage of ADU’s and Granny Flats
  • Preparing for a Market Turn – How to Protect Your Family
  • Investing to be an Automatic Millionaire
  • Buying with Cryptocurrency – What you Need to Know
  • Reverse Mortgages
  • ++++ so many other great learning opportunities that will help you get ahead.  

Learn Property Down Payment Hacks from the Best

OC Home Fair headerParticipating Nonprofits include NeighborWorksOC and Affordable Clearinghouse – offering a panel on grants, down-payment programs, and more called ‘Finding Funds to Buy Your Home’. If you are currently renting, these nonprofits are here to help YOU! Veterans Association of Real Estate Professionals (VAREP) will also be hosting a class for veterans to take advantage of their housing benefits. Furthermore, Women in the Housing & Real Estate Ecosystem (NAWRB), will be featuring chairwoman Desiree Patno as a speaker.

Buying A Home with Bitcoin?

Featured in Forbes, Entrepreneur, & Inc Magazine, cryptocurrency transaction expert Piper Moretti will teach ‘Buying with Cryptocurrency – What You Need to Know’. As crypto becomes the mainstream, it’s important to know what to expect and how to protect yourself from cyber-fraud. 

Travel much? As the world continues to shrink, Spencer Hoo is a Certified International Property Specialist (CIPS) active in Orange County Young Professionals Network (OCYPN) and Asian Real Estate Association of America (AREAA). This year Spencer is teaching our “Safely Buying and Selling International Real Estate” session.

Tired of Renting?

Orange County Realtors 2019 President Matt Clements will educate on Hassle Free Homebuying, and past Orange County Young Professionals Network chair Angie Weeks (yours truly!) will teach on David Bach’s book concepts to become “The Automatic Millionaire Homeowner”. This information is absolutely essential to anyone who wants to grow their real estate empire safely.

OC Home Fair is for Everybody. Homeownership Matters.

Investing to an Automatic Millionare!Whether you’re trying to buy your first home, or someone who owns multiple homes but is trying to grow your portfolio or buy internationally, our classes have real life applications to help everyone learn how to establish and grow a residual income stream. There is absolutely no pitching, anything to buy, or programs to subscribe to– just solid information presented by experienced industry leaders.

To join the next generation of real estate, and to educate yourself on all there is to know about safely building wealth with property, and for a complete colloquium list, please register online at OCHomeFair.com or simply fill out the form below:

We’ll see you at Chapman University on January 19th!

In the meantime, Let’s be InstaFriends! Follow us at @AskAngieTeam@OCHomeFair

You can stay in touch with all of your connections you’ll inevitably make at Homeownership Day at these by following these tags on IG & Twitter.

#OCHomeFair #HomeownershipDay

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Tips and tricks on buying in Spain’s finest cities.

Posted on August 25, 2018. Filed under: Buying in Spain, First Time Buyer help, Homeownership, International Properties | Tags: , , , , |

If you read our last post about buying property in Spain then you know we think its a great idea! Spain is one of the most beautiful places we’ve ever been, and we can’t wait to purchase a home there! After visiting Spain, we wrote a blog post about all the things we learned, but we wanted to know more! We always want to be as educated as we can in order to help our clients make the best decisions in their home buying experiences. Ever since Angie earned her CIPS designation international buying is extra important to us. We had the opportunity to speak to Realtor, Anna Rubio from Keller Williams Capital Properties in DC who has also earned her CIPS designation and works often in Madrid, and she helped answer some of our questions about purchasing in Spain. Now we have someone we can refer our amazing clients too if they choose to purchase in Spain.

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The process of becoming a homeowner in Spain

When you begin your. process of purchasing a Spanish property you’ll make an offer on the place you love with the seller’s agent. In Spain the buyer deals with the seller’s agent directly, because typically buyers are unrepresented, but you can choose be if you want (which you know we always recommend). If your offer is accepted then you and the seller would sign a preliminary contract and you would pay a deposit, usually around 10%. The contract is signed in front of a notary (in Spain you have a notary help you with the legal paperwork). You can choose your mortgage provider, but the seller’s agent can usually steer you in the right direction if you don’t know any in the area.

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Increase your goal and shoot to become a Spain resident

In order to buy a property in Spain you need a NIE. This is a number assigned by the National Police to all foreigners that want to purchase property, or become Spanish residents. It can be difficult to obtain from overseas if you are not an EU resident and typically needs to be done with the Spain police, in person. EU partners are able to do it easier and more quickly. Just think, if you were already a resident it would be so much easier! If you’re waiting until you purchase your dream home there to become a resident then you should know Spain offers an awesome program that if you purchase property that is $500k worth in Euros, you can become eligible for your resident visa! How awesome to buy a home you love in a beautiful country while all becoming a resident of said country!

Best locations to live in Spain

Spain has some amazing cities to choose from, especially for retiring, but we all want to start retirement early, right? One of the top cities to live in is Barcelona (the second largest in Spain) known for its coastal, but historical views. You get to go to visit the beach and beautiful architecture all in one day, who could ask for anything more? Another great city to purchase in is Madrid. We visited Madrid while in Spain and it was absolutely beautiful! Madrid is the capital of Spain and known for its friendly locals and multicultural views. Malaga is another city that is absolutely breathtaking and would be a wonderful place to purchase a property and become a resident of Spain. It is on the southern coast of Spain with views of the glittering Mediterranean Sea. Its full of Spanish culture and a must see, even if only for a visit.

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Malaga, Spain

We can’t wait to start referring you guys and make your dream of owning in Spain a reality! If you are interested in knowing more please fill out the form below or contact Angie at 949-338-7408.

 

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How foreigners can buy property in Spain

Posted on June 8, 2018. Filed under: Buying in Spain, First Time Buyer help, International Properties, Lenders & Loan info | Tags: , , , , , |

Travel much? So many of our client’s do, which is why I recently got my CIPS designation. Having international connections with real estate agents around the world is important so our team can make sure you’re real estate needs get served…literally everywhere! I recently had the pleasure of attending the SIMA convention in Madrid and had a chance to network while learning all about the process of buying and selling in Spain.

Fun fact: Spain is in the top 3 countries where foreigners make purchases. Not surprising, because it’s beautiful. We’ll save that for a different post 😉

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The process of buying a property in Spain

First things first, financing. It does not make sense to begin your search until you know how much you are comfortable spending. Of course, cash is easiest. But this is a post for normal people, not cash cows…

Options for financing foreign property

So… you have a couple options. HELOC is a great one if you have more than 30% equity in your current home. Every time I mention the acronym HELOC (Home Equity Line of Credit) I feel it necessary to remind you to ONLY do this for appreciating assets. Do not use your HELOC for cars, boats, or babes. Only to buy more property. ONLY.

If HELOC is not an option for you, foreign financing is also currently available in Spain. Here’s a quick video we recorded with Lola from B. S. Bank in Madrid:

Current interest rates may actually be better than your HELOC, so it’s something to consider!

 

Finding your home in Spain

Like most countries, first steps are determining an area for your new home or vacation rental, and then selecting a buyer’s agent. Make sure to consider all the factors when determining your area. Here’s just a few to think about:

  • Proximity to airport
  • Walkable to restaurants
  • Local tourist attractions & festivals
  • Amount the property could rent for, both nightly & monthly
  • Noise levels (planes, trains, bars, church bells)
  • Crime statistics
  • Parking accommodations
  • If you’re vacation renting, does the area embrace that?

 

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Once you’ve got an area in mind, it’s time to get connected with a Realtor who works that region. Just like I mentioned in our post about how to buy property in Costa Rica… a quality agent is crucial in these countries where they don’t offer a Multiple Listing Service or a centralized listing database. We never recommend DIY buying, especially in a foreign land. You need someone who will actually go scout for you and someone who gets along with the other agents in the area so your chances of obtaining your favorite property are higher.

It’s always our pleasure to interview and pair people with quality agents. Please fill out the form below if you would like to find an English-speaking match in your desired area of Spain.

If you’re still nervous about buying overseas, or have any questions about getting started on the process, we would be happy to help. Contact Angie at 949-338-7408!

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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:

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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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Costa Rica Real Estate and Vacation Homes

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

Want to live where others vacation?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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! 🙂

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

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