Making Life Easier

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  • AFFA Rule is rescinded in 2020 by POTUS.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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Endorsed by NAR for Foreclosures and Short Sales

Posted on June 16, 2020. Filed under: Divorce, Foreclosure Assistance, Home Seller Tips, Homeownership during divorce, Lenders & Loan info, Making Life Easier, Orange County CA Foreclosures, Orange County Real Estate | Tags: , , , , |

Short Sale & Foreclosure Resource

Struggling to make your mortgage payment?

Today we sharpened our short sale and foreclosure sword – YES, it’s a battle! Armed with a new designation from the National Association of Realtors (NAR); called Short Sale & Foreclosure Resource (SFR), now we’ve got the most recent tools to fight a foreclosure and win.

There’s plenty of talk about a potential foreclosure wave once all the COVID forbearance terms have come to an end.. so its important to stay fresh on bank policies, foreclosure timelines, and tools to use to save your property from foreclosure, right?!

Yes, we made it through the recession of 2007-2011 closing plenty of bank owned properties and short sales, but that was 10+ years ago. Platforms and policies have changed.

REO stands for ‘Real Estate Owned‘, and is a common term for a property that has been foreclosed. REO’s are property the bank comes to own because the borrower defaulted or could not financially afford to remain in the property. As a foreclosure resource, we can help you STOP your property from becoming a foreclosure, and we can also assist banks in selling off their REO inventory.

Who’s involved in distressed property situations

Servicer – who you make your mortgage payment to, they may or may not own your loan.

Investor – beneficiary entity who owns the promissory note & mortgage or deed of trust on a property.

Borrower – party in distress; typically struggling to make payments or need to sell when equity is negative.

Buyer – potential purchaser of the home

GSE – Government Sponsored Enterprises (Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and others in the secondary money market)

Important Foreclosure Terms to Know

Deed in Lieu – Involves swapping your keys in exchange for relief on the mortgage. Sometimes this will lead you to a 1099 for the money returned. Never do a deed in lieu before you understand the tax ramifications.

Loan Modification – Loan Mods are a permanent change in one or more of the terms of your loan. These must be approved by the investor, servicer, and you. It typically reorganizes the mortgage into something more affordable so you are able to stay in your home.

Notice of Default (NOD) – Official notice of default, and begins your foreclosure timeline. All borrowers have at least 90 days to bring a loan current after a NOD is filed.

Notice of Trustee Sale (NOS) – Official notice of when the foreclosure or auction will take place.

Foreclosure Sale – The actual sale of the property where the title is transferred. Homeowners become tenants upon sale, and lose rights to property ownership.

What are my options to avoid foreclosure?

There are many, but you need to act fast and regularly. One place to check is the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to help you resolve any shady practices in your loan.

Another option is HHF – Hardest Hit Fund which has been extended through Dec 31st 2020. This program is in 18 states and it helps struggling homeowners with mortgage assistance.

MakingHomeAffordable.gov has many trusted routes you can take, be sure to research so you know your most up to date options. Here are their current tips to avoid foreclosure.

Furthermore, there are local nonprofits in many areas who can connect you with the right resources to save your home. Contact Angie by text at 949.338.7408 ASAP if you would like an Orange County referral.

Reinstatement vs Redemption period

Reinstatement is the 90 days you have to reinstate your loan after you’ve received your official Notice of Default (NOD). Redemption periods do not apply to all states, and they begin after the property is sold in a judicial foreclosure. California is NOT a redemption state with judicial foreclosures…once the property is sold at auction it is gone.

How long does it take to foreclose on a property?

Every state is different, and has different laws. It usually takes anywhere from 90 days to 3 years, depending on the condition of the market.

Short Sale to Avoid Foreclosure

In order to complete a short sale, you must show hardship. Every bank defines this differently; but it can include illness, job loss / unemployment, divorce, 50+ mile job relocation, business failure or natural disasters.

Most banks have a ‘Short sale package‘ available on their website, and this includes a list of the documents you need to submit in order to be considered for a short sale. Some of the common items requested in a packet are:

Listing agreement
Short sale disclosure form
Listing agreement addendum
Authorization to release info form
Federal & State disclosures

Before you fill out the paperwork above it’s important to check for recourse in your state, or you could owe a tax bill on the amount you’ve been forgiven. If you’re unsure about this, check with your CPA.

Furthermore, you must get approval. Approval is a gift.. even though it doesn’t feel like it 😦 Not only do you need approval from your mortgage company, you’ll also need approval from any and all junior lienholders including 2nd mortgage, HELOC, & other liens. If you do not have approval from ALL liens then the short sale will not happen, which is why you need to communicate with your debtors early and often!

Sometimes additional costs will be paid by the investor, but you have to know how to work this into your Estimated Closing Statement (HUD1).


Short sales and foreclosures are TOUGH to navigate. Please reach out to us if you need help. Angie keeps everything confidential and will always help you with creative thinking so you have the most options with your home. Contact her at 949-338-7408!

Furthermore, Angie would love to connect with Asset managers, outsourcers, distressed property managers, and others in the banking industry who are looking for a quality agent who effectively works bank systems to get REO properties sold.

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

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

8th Annual OC Home Fair 

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

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

5 OC Home Fair Class Highlights

#1 Easy Tips to Improve Credit 

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

#3 Real People – Real Estate Success Stories

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

#5 Home Buying 101 – Pre-Purchase Counseling

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

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

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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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5 Benefits You Need To Know About VA Loans

Posted on May 25, 2019. Filed under: First Time Buyer help, Homeownership, Making Life Easier, Orange County Real Estate, Spring Buying Season, VA Loan |

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To All of Our Veterans – Thank You. Happy Memorial day! 

The VA loan is a mortgage loan that is designed to help eligible veterans finance their home with no down payment – guaranteed by the US Department of Veterans Affairs.

5 Benefits You Need To Know About VA Loans

1. No down payment required!

The VA loan is a $0 down payment mortgage – available to Veterans, Service Members and certain military spouses. Conventional loans typically require a down payment that can be as high as 20%. While there is no down payment required, there is a VA Funding Fee. The fee is a governmental fee that is applied to every VA loan. This fee can change based on different circumstances and factors.

2. No Mortgage Insurance! 

Private Mortgage Insurance is a type of mortgage insurance that is required for borrowers who finance more than 80% of their home’s value. This is a monthly cost (or one-time upfront premium) that is added to a traditional mortgage loan. Because the VA Loans are government backed, Private Mortgage Insurance is not required by the banks! This is a huge savings for homeowners.

3. Easier to Qualify! 

These loans are backed by the government so that means banks assume that there is less risk involved. These loans do not have as many qualification standards as traditional home loans. These loans are easier to obtain and allow for more credit and income flexibility.

4. VA Loan Closing Costs Are Lower!

Another cost saving perk – the VA limits the closing costs lenders can charge to VA loan applicants. The average closing cost of the loan is between 1% – 3% of the loan amount. The percentage can raise to 3% – 5% if the home is less expensive. Your real estate agent can request the seller to cover some closing costs for you – reducing more costs for you.

5. The VA Loan Is Reusable! 

These loans are not just a one-time benefit. If you have earned this benefit, you have it for life! There is no limit on the number of times you may use the loan. The VA loan has accessibility to different property types, you could re-use it to buy a house, condo, new-built home, manufactured home, duplex or other types of properties It can even be used to refinance your existing mortgage.

 

Supporting our veterans with a lender who cares –

Derek Beisner

Have more questions about the VA loan process? Derek will be there to walk you through the process. He provides expert advice while walking you through every step of the process. You will be a client for life with Derek Beisner

Derek is available to text on weekends: 1 (949) 637-9939

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Spring Cleaning – Orange County Tree Trimming Services

Posted on April 27, 2019. Filed under: First Time Buyer help, Home Improvement Ideas, Home Seller Tips, Homeownership, Making Life Easier, Spring Buying Season |

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The birds are chirping and days are getting longer – spring has sprung! Whether you’re selling your home soon or just want to spruce it up – we wanted to share with you our favorite tree trimming service here in Orange County! Tree Trimming Team – TTT is fast, professional, and knowledgable.

Lets Talk Trees

Properly maintained trees will help you get top dollar for your home, and ‘tree hacking’ by beginners is a real struggle. You don’t want your car squished or someone falling out of the tree on your property. We wanted to provide you with a quick post supporting a small business that will help make your life easier!

Tree Trimming Team can do regular pruning, trimming, unsightly stump removal, palm tree skimming, and more. Since these jobs are tough and frequently require a team, they can turn good buyers away! If you’re planning to sell for top dollar then it’s important to have top dollar curb-appeal.

Meet The Experts (for free!)

Bob is the teams Arborist with 49 years experience! Just priceless if you have a precious tree that you want brought back to life. They offer free consultations so that you can have a true expert come out! The team is bilingual with license, insurance, bonding and workers comp. You can find their raving reviews on Yelp, Instagram & Facebook. They do commercial too.

Our contact is Amir Sharafi with Tree Trimming Team info@treetrimmingteam.com 949 874-7538 – please let him know that we referred you! You can learn about other spring cleaning professionals in our LeTip group: http://ocletip.com/

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Congrats! You Made It To Escrow! Now What?

Posted on April 13, 2019. Filed under: escrow, First Time Buyer help, Making Life Easier, Orange County Real Estate | Tags: , , , |

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Your offer has been accepted – congratulations! You’re ready to settle into your dream home and enjoy a glass of wine. The only thing standing between you and the keys to your new home is escrow, so now what? You’ve probably heard the term escrow (also referred to as closing) thrown around but didn’t quite understand what it meant. Escrow is something most people don’t fully understand until they experience it. In a nutshell, they are your neutral third party assisting to ensure the contract is executed correctly by all sides. 

The Orange County Escrow Process Made Easy

 
Escrow protects all parties involved in the real estate transaction (including you)! Escrow is a third party service that holds a valuable asset (in this case – your “earnest” money) until the transaction between the seller and the buyer is complete. Once your offer is accepted, an escrow company is hired to implement the transaction in accordance with the terms of the sales agreement.

Does A Home Buyer or Seller Choose Escrow?

Not all Escrow companies are created equal and we always prefer to work with companies we know and trust. That said, it’s our advice to negotiate price over services. If you are a buyer, you may get the seller to accept your offer or your price if you let them choose the escrow company. In most Orange County and SoCal cases, the seller selects the escrow and title companies used for closing.

What Happens Next? How Do We Close Escrow?

It’s a series of steps in a specific order of operations. Your escrow, title, and lender will know it all and help guide you through. As your Realtor, it’s our job to make sure they are all doing theirs. Sometimes it feels like a circus and sometimes it feels like a symphony. Rather than writing you a book, here’s a fun graphic thanks to Finance Of America Mortgage to guide you through the main hurdles, contingencies and objections to overcome!

HomeMadeEasy

5 Tips To Make Your Escrow Process Run Smoothly

1. Let Your Lender Lead The Way!

You’ll need to sign loan disclosures before an appraisal can be ordered, so do everything your lender requests and do it promptly. This is the BEST way to have a smooth escrow.

2. Complete Documentation

The purchase agreement must be completed with signatures from all parties. The Escrow officer will send a package of paperwork, make sure to be on the lookout for this paperwork and complete it promptly. Signing documents online will help you stay organized.

3. Sign On Time

The purchasing of a home will require a significant amount of paperwork and legal documents. It is important that all of this paperwork is signed and in a timely manner to ensure that the sale may proceed without any delays. The escrow officer will take possession of these documents to ensure that all necessary paperwork has been completed, signed, and filed on time.

4. Communicate!

Check your email regularly! Your escrow officer will be reaching out to all parties involved frequently! Your escrow officer might need a signature sent over in a timely manner.

5. Halt Credit Utilization – You’re In A Financial Fishbowl

During the closing process, your financial history is being reviewed carefully and frequently. A change in your financial circumstances could implode the escrow process. You have made it this far based on your current financial standing – if changes occur lenders have the right the always make drastic changes.

Learn about what to avoid when closing on a mortgage here:
3 Ways To Mess Up Closing

If you are ready to get your escrow process stated, contact Angie Weeks at 949-338-7408!

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Ringing in 2019 with Real Estate Goals

Posted on January 11, 2019. Filed under: AirBnB, Buying in Spain, Divorce, First Time Buyer help, Home Seller Tips, Homeownership, Making Life Easier, Orange County Real Estate, Renting, Selling for top dollar, Selling your home fast, Vow2Save Orange County Real Estate Registry | Tags: , , , , , |

Dream Big, Set Goals, Take Action Chalk Drawing

What will your 2019 look like?

We have some big goals for 2019 – one of them being helping our clients achieve their real estate new years resolutions! Whether it’s buying internationally or crowdfunding a down payment for an engaged couple, we can help you accomplish them all. Every year our whole team writes down their goals for the new year and we try to help each other accomplish them. This year, we want to do the same with all of our clients. Writing them down and being able to cross them off when they are accomplished really makes you feel good and it will make us feel good to be able to help you do that.

AskAngie Team’s Goals

Our team has a few things were really excited for this year! This year we plan to really grow our Vow2Save program. We are looking forward to helping a lot more engaged couples crowdfund a down payment so that they are able to buy a home after their wedding. This has been a goal of ours for a few years, and after a lot of work in 2018 we know it is really going to be taking off this year and we can’t wait to see the things it can do for people! We also plan to travel more this year in order to have the best information in helping our clients buy overseas. Last year we went to Spain and met with Realtors there, but we want to be able to do that in many more countries.

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So much more we can do for you!

If you need help selling or buying a home after a divorce or identifying a good AirBnB investment we can help with that and everything in between. We have various services that we are experienced in. Another goal we know some of our clients have is to stop renting and own their first home and we are so excited to help many people achieve that this year especially with the current rent prices in OC. We can help you figure out what your home is worth and how you can sell it fast and for top dollar! We truly value our time with our clients and being able to help them grow their real estate profile and accomplish their goals. If you have any questions or want to share your goals with us so we are better able to  help you please fill out the form below or contact Angie at 949-338-7408!

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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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ADUs making you profit in OC

Posted on September 22, 2018. Filed under: Accessory Dwelling Units, ADUs, Home Improvement Ideas, Homeownership, Making Life Easier, Orange County Home Improvement, Orange County Real Estate, Real Estate Stories | Tags: , , , |

Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs)

Anyone else notice how California keeps getting more crowded and more expensive? It is just too beautiful to leave so ADUs are great ways for adding much needed space here. They can be known as in-law suites, secondary units, guest house and more. These are more affordable for California residents because they don’t require purchasing more land or structured parking. Adding a living space above your garage, a basement apartment, or a tiny home in the backyard are great ways to add extra living space to your home. They also have the opportunity for homeowners to make a profit by adding space. Legally adding these spaces onto your home makes it the same property as the main house. They can not be bought or sold separately. The placement of the ADU may be based on criteria such as adequacy of water and sewer services and the impact of traffic flow and public safety. Some of the restrictions that may come up are parking, height, setback, lot coverage, landscape, and maximum size of that unit. Also if any of the homes are listed in the California Register of Historic Places that can change what you are allowed to do when it comes to adding and ADU.

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How to make a profit with your ADU

Did you know the average rent in Orange County is currently $2,500 a month? What would having that amount of money extra in your pocket do for your budget? New law changes as of January 1st, 2018 allowed for home owners to turn their single family residence into a duplex or multi family home in order to rent out one half to make a profit and provide more housing for California residents. The unit can only be rented, and not sold. This is such a great way for homeowners to make some money. Adding on to your home or remodeling to make a separate living space may sound like a hefty project with time and money, but with the rent prices increasing in OC all the time, we think it would be very worth it.

Real Life Scenarios

We spoke to a San Juan Capistrano retiree who decided to do just this in order to make some extra money while being retired. She bought a pre-fabbed ADU for around $60,000 and is renting it for around $2,500 a month. By doing this it will be paid off in around 3 years so she will be pocketing all of that rent money every month. What a perfect way for a retired person to make some extra vacation money or start saving for grandkids to go to college!
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If you want more information on how you can add an ADU to your property and what you could rent it for, fill out the form below.

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Owning vs Renting in OC

Posted on September 15, 2018. Filed under: First Time Buyer help, Homeownership, Making Life Easier, Orange County Real Estate, Renting | Tags: , , , , , |

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Are you struggling with the increase in rent here in OC?

Most people are having a hard time staying in one place with the increase in rent for current residents every year. The Orange County Register posted that Orange County rent is up $73 a month or 3.8 percent year over year in May of 2018. There is no rent control to help current residents stay closer to their going rate after living there year after year. We have been renters before and understand the struggle of paying so much every month for something that isn’t actually yours. In reality you could be paying around the same amount every month to own a home. Believe us, it feels a lot better to make that payment every month knowing that you own your home. It doesn’t look like the price of rent is going to decrease anytime here in Orange County so now is the time to get yourself your own home.

Benefits of Homeownership

There are so many more benefits to homeownership other than just having something of your own. Most people don’t realize how affordable owning a home really is, down payment options are as low as 3.5% currently. We often think about how expensive it is to own our home, but do we ever consider how expensive it is not too? Throwing all that money away on rent every month adds up to such a high price on something you don’t even get to keep. While owning a home you are building equity which helps you have a better plan for your future. You also save on your taxes if you’re a homeowner so really, owning a home makes you some money every year in equity and tax savings. You are no longer tied to a landlord who can raise your rent or change things on you at the end of any lease and your family has a stable home to live and grow in. However, we think the best part of homeownership is the pride you feel knowing you worked hard for something that is all your own.

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Rent vs Own Analysis

To help you more visualize why owning is more beneficial than renting we created a rent vs owning analysis based on a rent of $2500 a month or buying our current home on the market 16555 Sell Circle . Let’s say you had a down payment of around $10,000 and got a loan for $515,000 for the rest of the payment, with a 4.875 interest rate. You pay HOA fees of $360 a month, but you also get a tax benefit from owning a home. This is the amount you’d be SAVING to own instead of renting! Many people think they can’t afford their own home, but they definitely can! We would love to help you put together one of these for your own situation to help you see the difference in your life if you were to buy a home!

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If you are interested in seeing your rent vs own analysis or if you’re ready to find your home contact Angie at 949-338-7408!

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Fight Foreclosure & Win – Orange County Real Estate Stories

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

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

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

It Takes a Team to Fight Foreclosure

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

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

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

Foreclosure Sales are ALWAYS messy

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

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

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

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

Begging, Borrowing & Pleading to Stop a Foreclosure

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

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

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

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

Delay Foreclosure with Social Media

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

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

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

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

Engage National & Local Organizations to Postpone Foreclosure

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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Summer Living at Lake Mission Viejo

Posted on July 20, 2018. Filed under: Homeownership, Lake Mission Viejo, Making Life Easier, Summer fun | Tags: , , , , |

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We just activated our lake pass for the summer at Lake Mission Viejo! We wanted to share our excitement about this beautiful spot and encourage locals to activate yours and join us this summer. Any homes that were built in 1978 or after within the boundaries of Lake Mission Viejo automatically come with membership! You can also contact the membership association and see if your home can be added to the association.

Bring guests to enjoy the lake with you!

It’s only $3 a day for each guest that you want to bring along with you to enjoy the fun in the sun! If you’re bringing kiddos under the age of 8 to play at the lake then they are free of charge, but they count towards the total number of guests you can bring for that day. Each family can bring up to 15 guests every day besides for summer weekends when 10 guests are allowed per family. You can also let your guest come along for fishing trips for just $12 a day. On Concert Days there is a $15 fee per guest, with guests limited to 4 per member household at the North Beach. Regular guest policies apply to the East Beach. Members submit a LMVA guest list and can either pre-pay or pay during check in. Guests have to check in with their member and the member has to accompany them all day, but why wouldn’t you want to spend the day with your friends at the lake?
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Events you won’t want to miss

Two concerts a month for the rest of the summer are put on by LMVA! LeAnn Rimes us performed on the 7th and Gladys Knight is coming up soon, you can checkout the rest of the summer schedule here. Concerts, family fun days, movie nights and special events go on all year long at the lake! This summers calendar is packed and you’re not going to want to miss out on the fun.

More fun in the sun!

Another thing we want you to know about is the contest the LMVA puts on every year called “Paint The Lake.” If you’ve got some built up artistic talent that you’ve been waiting to unleash now is the time. The winner of this takes him $500! Paint the Lake is judged by any attendees of the last concert of the year. You’re allowed to submit multiple, all you have to do is bring a blank canvas or two to get stamped by Lake Mission Viejo. One of our favorite things to do on the lake is rent a boat to spend the day on! Members can rent all kinds of water fun activities from paddle boards to pontoon boats for really amazing prices. If this doesn’t make you go get your lake membership activated today, I don’t know what will!
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Loan Advisor for your Southern California home

Posted on July 6, 2018. Filed under: Conventional Loan, FHA loans, First Time Buyer help, Homeownership, Lenders & Loan info, Loan Advisor, Making Life Easier, Orange County Real Estate | Tags: , , , , , , , |

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Need help with a loan for your home?

We value strong work relationships so much in our line of work. Successful home buying includes many different people and many different skills, and we couldn’t be as successful as we are without the help of our favorite referrals. When our clients are needing help with a loan to purchase their home or refinance on a loan they currently have, we frequently match them with Derek Beisner at RPM Mortgage.

Derek has an ‘advance approval’ program which basically makes buyers look as good as cash investors. This approval allows us to write out the loan contingency and close a loan in 21 days. In today’s tough market, this helps our buyer offers rise to the top of the pile!

Loan Advisor with RPM Mortgage

Derek Beisner has over 20 years of experience in the loan business. We have known each other through Orange County LeTip for almost fifteen years and he is the trusted mortgage lender in our group. He specializes in residential home purchases and refinance loans. His creative problem solving and forward thinking sets him apart from the rest. A key part of what he does for our clients and his own is a Custom Mortgage Analysis to determine the best loan option available that will suit their specific financial needs. This helps make sure each client has a loan that is going to work best with their lifestyle and financial situation. His expertise in the loan profession and his passion for serving clients, as well as, his determination to close on time will win you over (it sure did us)! Derek is one of our preferred Vow2Save lenders and he can loan in all states! Vow2Save is a very important program to us, allowing engaged couples to register for a down payment on their first home, so we only refer the best of the best to these couples.

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Mortgage Done Right

Derek’s Mission Statement shows just how reliable and easy he is to work with. It also shows you how seriously he takes his profession and the passion that allows him to do it so efficiently.

Mission Statement
My goal is to provide my clients with an unbelievable experience from start to finish with the loan process. By developing a vehicle for them to achieve the goal for their loan or refinance in a friendly and stress free environment.

It is my desire to conduct my business with the highest level of integrity and respect for my clients and co-workers.

And it is important to me to honor God in all that I do.

If you’re looking for help on a new or existing loan and you’re not sure who to contact the AskAngie team highly recommends Derek. Contact him at dbeisner@rpm-mtg.com or 949-637-9939 and if you’re looking for the perfect home to use that loan on contact Angie at 949-338-7408.

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Vow2Save – How to Own a Home After Your Wedding

Posted on June 22, 2018. Filed under: First Time Buyer help, Making Life Easier, Orange County Real Estate, Vow2Save Orange County Real Estate Registry | Tags: , , , , , , , |

www.Vow2Save.com 

Wedding Registry Tips

Are you engaged or know someone who is? We’ve got an amazing new tool to share! When you think about your wedding day and what will come after, most people dream of buying a home with their spouse. However, in today’s market it isn’t near as attainable after paying for a wedding. We’ve created a easy down payment registry for all new brides and grooms to make it easier for them to purchase a home using wedding funds! This way you can stress less about earning the down payment for your future home and only focus on the wedding planning.

Easy Down Payment Bridal Registry

wedding-2Vow2Save , as seen in South County magazine, was designed especially for brides and grooms who can’t afford to buy a home. It’s as simple as connecting your own personalized wedding website with your PayPal account. Our registry and website is completely FREE. The account is in your name and earns YOU money towards your future home. This registry program makes it easy for your family and friends to donate towards your goals and dreams as your wedding gift. Forget the shower curtain and bed spread you were going to put on your Target registry and dream BIGGER. If everyone just donates a little bit, then it can really ease the burden of paying your down payment and closing costs. When you’re ready, we will be happy to help you find your new home! Now you can enjoy your marriage knowing you have a solid investment to begin it with – homeownership!

Wedding Website

Not only does Vow2Save allow you a free wedding registry to save for your down payment, it also gives you the space to have you own wedding website and blog on the easy-to-learn WordPress platform. Now your family and friends can pull up your site to see your pictures, love story, details on the ceremony and reception, RSVP, and donate towards your wedding gift all at once! No more worrying about the time and expense of sending RSVPs with the invitations, or having your family shop around at the three different stores you’re registered at. Everything they need once they get their invitation is right on your personalized Vow2Save site! And they can even send you messages along with the donation that will give you digital memories for years to come.

If you or someone you know is engaged and you want to set up a website with us – fill out the form below! If you check out Vow2Save main page and have any questions please feel free to email us at info@vow2save.com. We look forward to helping you register and purchase your first home!

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Organizing Your Family’s OC Move & Memories

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

Do you have precious memories you want to save digitally?

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

Preserving Memories

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

Safety for Important Documents

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

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

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

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Add Thousands to Your Property Value!

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

Easy Spring Upgrades Can Add Thousands to Your Property Value

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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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Relocating to Southern California? Writing a strong offer in today’s OC market

Posted on May 4, 2018. Filed under: First Time Buyer help, Homeownership, Making Life Easier, Orange County Real Estate | Tags: , , , , , |

 

Surf City Huntington Beach Pier

Sunset over Surf City Huntington Beach Pier

Southern California’s Current Housing Crisis

Are you thinking of buying in relocating to Orange County, CA? Today’s market can be frustrating and intimidating, but there are ways to make the buying process easier. The housing market in Orange County and LA has been on the rise and the inventory has been poorly stocked. This usually means there are multiple buyers interested in houses on the market. Bringing your offer to the table fully ready and easy to work with helps you have a rise above the other buyers interested in the home you want! We have some tips that we have experienced with our clients that has helped them get ahead of the game when it comes to receiving offer acceptance on the home they really want.

Rejected? Preparing an offer that gets accepted for your future Orange County home

Down-payment-gift

Having your offer and all of the extras prepared when deciding on the home you want will make the difference between acceptance and rejection. You’ll want to start with a fully underwritten loan that is ready to go! It makes your offer SUPER strong if you can write off your loan contingency, and just leave your appraisal contingency. Sellers LOVE this. This allows the seller to know your loan homework is done and you are ready to go NOW. It shows that you are almost as strong as a cash buyer for their home.

In addition, sellers in today’s market expect to see your Proof of Funds (POF) on day zero. Be prepared to show your reserves with every offer. As a good buyer’s agent, we hold all this info on file ready to fire off as soon as you are ready to submit an offer. Time is of the essence.

Are You Easy to Work With!?

Another thing that has helped our clients have an edge up on other buyers is having a non-contingent offer on a property sale. This gives you that edge up because you are stuck selling your existing home and praying for a fast buyer. If you’re open to handle repairs on your own dime, (aka signing an ‘as-is’ offer), than sellers are more likely to choose you because it gets them out of the headaches of dealing with contractors during escrow. Sometimes, this allows you to go in with a less than asking offer, knowing you will take care of repairs yourself later on.

Having a proper letter written to the sellers also makes you look professional and organized. We always recommend this to our clients so the sellers really know who you are, and why this house is perfect for you! We even include a photo of you & your family in the letter so they can place a face with the name. Trust us…this makes a HUGE difference when there are 5 or 10 offers on the table!!

If you’ve been struggling to get a bid accepted in this market, or don’t have proper representation, please contact us, we will make sure you’re taken care of! Even if you DO have all your ducks in a row, expect to write at least 3 offers in Orange County before you have one accepted. Statistically speaking there are at least 10 buyers for every home, so simply writing an offer is not enough. Let us help you win your bid! We’re at 949-338-7408 for a consult anytime. Just call or text!

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

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