Making Life Easier

Making Money in OC with AirBnB

Posted on February 9, 2018. Filed under: AirBnB, First Time Buyer help, Homeownership, Making Life Easier, Orange County Real Estate, Real Estate Stories | Tags: |


Here we are on a wonderful Costa Rica family vacation in Nov 2017 that AirBnB rentals paid for!

Getting help paying your mortgage while traveling the world!

Renting out your home as an AirBnB allows you to travel as much as you want while still making an income to help pay your mortgage. You have complete control over who you allow to stay in your home and you are also in complete control of when you choose to have your home rented out. Why wouldn’t you want to get paid to go on vacation and have someone else paying your mortgage for you? We have had such a great experience using AirBnB and wanted to share what we’ve learned so that you can do it too.

Our AirBnB tips and tricks

Finding a good place to stay while your house is being rented is very important! You’re renting out your house to make money, but you want to be somewhere comfortable too. You want a daily rent potential that is at least 125% of your daily mortgage to insure good profit! When thinking of making your home or a place you buy into an AirBnb, make sure you consider the tourist destination and proximity to arenas and conventions near that property. You’ll also want to make sure that community or city allows short term rentals. We also found it beneficial to make sure we had closets that we could easily lock or a detached garage/storage shed to safely keep items while we were renting out our home.

Screen Shot 2018-02-09 at 1.31.56 PM

Humble houses still make money! Here’s our historical Santa Ana pad before we earned the money from AirBnB rentals to pay for our new walkway.


Having a smart lock such as IglooHome is a great idea. It’s easy for guests, and safe for you. We have “AirBnB Bin” with sheets and towels that are only used for guests, that way the ones we use for ourselves are never used. Shampoo and soap dispensers in the shower are super helpful as well. We make sure our supply closet is always on stock and that we have a house keeper on call, just in case. Syncing with your calendar makes it easier to stay organized with the schedule of your rentals.

Refinancing your Mortgage with AirBnB Income

An initiative is starting this year in order to help you refinance your mortgage using the income you make as an AirBnB host. Previously, banks wouldn’t count your AirBnB income when considering whether or not to refinance your mortgage. Thankfully that is beginning to change. The three financial institutions participating in the initiative include Quicken Loans, Citizens Bank, and Better Mortgage. They have the chance to consider home sharing income earned on Airbnb when hosts in the U.S. apply to refinance their mortgage on their primary residence! This is just another benefit to using AirBnB – someone will be paying your REDUCED mortgage rate which means even more profit in your pocket!

Here’s a video of Angie sharing this information with one of her networking groups!

Finding A Good AirBnB Investment in Orange County, CA

If this sounds like something you want to learn more about, follow our Automatic Millionaire Homeowners group on Facebook! If you want to search out an Orange County property to buy and make your AirBnB contact Angie at 949-338-7408.

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2018 Housing Market Forecast by Steven Thomas

Posted on January 8, 2018. Filed under: First Time Buyer help, Home Seller Tips, Homeownership, Informed Investor Alliance, Making Life Easier, Orange County CA Foreclosures, Orange County Real Estate |

Always love to hear Steven Thomas’ yearly real estate forecast – he’s locally famous here in Orange County for his great quantitative economic forecasts. Today he spoke at Orange County Association of Realtors and gave us the scoop….here goes!

It’s a HOT Seller’s Market in OC. Already.

The average OC resident moves every 21 years. This is creating a seller draught for all homes on the market under 1.5M. On the other hand, if you’re lucky enough to own a property over 1.5M, that’s a buyer’s market right now. Typically the Orange County market is slow from Nov – Jan, heats up after Super Bowl, and stays hot well through May. Last year, our market was hotttttt the.whole.year. And it’s continuing into 2018 here.

I’m Going to Wait to Buy….Famous Last Words.

Buyers….please don’t wait for more inventory or prices to go down. Neither is projected to transpire anytime soon. The next trend that comes will be higher interest rates, and that will only compound your issues. Yes, it’s rough to find a home right now. You’ll have to compete with multiple offers, but the good news is that you’re buying a solid long term investment at historically low interest rates, so keep on it! With the right agent you will secure your dream home.

Good News Graph: Interest Rates Over the Last 50 Years


These interest rates are an absolute GIFT. Steven’s words: “Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth”. It’s ridiculous not to consider buying while you’re trashing at least 25K/year in rent. That’s like….a significant portion of your down payment. Because you can get in with just 3.5% down now 😉

Buyers, it’s time to suit up in your battle gear and plan to write at least 4-5 offers. It’s not you. It’s not your agent. It’s INVENTORY. We had 6% fewer homes come on the market in 2017 than the year before. We’re below 4,000 homes on the market, and our long term average is 8,000. We’re starting out this year similar to 2013, which was the lowest inventory in 5 years. There are only 91 condos active right now below 250K, so the low end is literally disappearing. And you can’t blame it on the foreigners, either. International buying is an insignificant 3%. Get in while you still can, PLEASE!

Homeowners, you’ve got the upper hand because you’re just not selling. Below is a comparison of 2016 inventory vs 2017 inventory. Almost everything is down. Yet the population and OC relocations continue to grow. Which are causing prices of our skimpy inventory to grow.


Where Are All of Our Property Sellers?

Why isn’t everyone selling right now? We’re in an up market…right? Well, there’s a slew of reasons, and here are some of them:

  • refinanced into a 3% loan they just don’t want to lose
  • it’s ‘cool’ to stay put right now
  • not enough building to entice the move
  • property taxes are grandfathered in low
  • watching HGTV all day & remodeling instead
  • nothing to buy (such a VICIOUS cycle)

Some people are literally becoming prisoners in their own homes, especially with the new tax laws. 64% of baby boomers literally plan to die in their home, following the hugely popular ‘aging in place’ trend. Until some of these boomers start to sell…or croak.. our market will be stalled.

If you’re considering selling… please do your fellow OC residents a favor & just do it! You’ve literally got buyers in line waiting to see your home. Here’s an inventory & demand year to year comparison:


Scared to sell? What about Taxes & Tax Reform?

Now that the max deduction is $12,000 for singles, and the max property tax deduction is $10,000, will that affect our market? It will absolutely affect many, because the median home price in Orange County is now over $700,000. Some buyers will not be able to write off everything they used to. Steven admits, It may NOT be a tax benefit to own a home in some in the upper ranges. But…It’s still way better than trashing 3-5K/mo on renting, though. And luxury rent is even higher than that. Steven doesn’t think the tax laws will have an adverse affect on our pricing at all this year; we are still projecting appreciation.

Steven Thomas’ 2018 Housing Market Forecast:

  • Low distressed inventory
  • return of the unrealistic overpriced seller
  • normal housing cycle
  • anemic inventory to start the year
  • increase in number of move up sellers
  • mild appreciation 4-5% (perspective. the ‘average’ home is due to increase 30K or more in value)
  • interest rates to land at 4.25%

Only time will tell if these projections are right – but Steven’s usually on point. Feel free to comment your opinions and we’ll revisit this post in about a year 🙂 If you’d like more updates like this throughout the year, just fill out the form below or text ‘subscribe’ to Angie at 949-338-7408.

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Consider Paying Property Taxes Early – Big Tax Changes are Coming to Town

Posted on December 23, 2017. Filed under: First Time Buyer help, Home Seller Tips, Informed Investor Alliance, Lenders & Loan info, Los Angeles property, Making Life Easier, OC Property Management, Orange County Real Estate |

As you’re hearing on the news and seeing on social media…the way we are taxed and the things we can write off will be changing a lot within this next year! As a Realtor I can’t legally give tax advice…. so I’ll preface this post by saying it’s best to consult your CPA before the end of every year and be a proactive advocate for the lowest possible taxes! If you need a CPA referral, just ask 😉

That said, we wanted to make sure our CA friends and clients were aware of this before the end of 2017 – which is fast approaching!

GOP Tax Bill

The LA Times wrote about changes the GOP tax bill will have for California residents. The wealthier areas along the coast are going to suffer more than others due to this. Currently, state and local tax deduction is unlimited. However, in the final GOP plan, people will only be able to deduct up to $10,000. At the beginning the house only wanted the deduction to be on property taxes, but the final bill is for any state and local taxes to be deducted. Property, income, or sales taxes will qualify. An article from The Washington Post says, “The move is widely viewed as a hit to blue states such as New York, Connecticut and California, and there are concerns it could cause property values to fall in high-tax cities and leave less money for public schools and road repairs.” Since the average California homeowner pays 10K or more per year in property taxes, this affects YOU.

Pay Early & Still Get Your Deduction

How can you stay safe from the deduction cap? One way is to pay your second installment of your property taxes (which are usually due in April) before the end of the 2017 year so that you can avoid the amount restriction for 2018 deductions. You can pay online, by e-check, or credit card.

What if My Taxes Are Impounded Into My Mortgage?

If you call and check, most lenders won’t be able to guarantee the payment will get sent before the end of the year, but don’t worry…you’re still ok. You can simply pay your property tax online and then just send the proof of payment over to your lender for an escrow account refund. That way you can still write off your full property tax and state income tax before you get stuck only being able to write off $10k combined next year.

Stay Proactive…Stay Informed

We want you to know that we reply to all Real Estate tax alerts on our client’s behalf. We care about you and want you to get maximum benefits from being a homeowner. Here’s a recent reply from Luis Correa to one of our requests:


Ultimately we all need to watch elections big and small to fight taxes together! Please subscribe to our blog or email us to join the list for regular updates on how to protect your real estate investments.

We hope you have a Happy & prosperous 2018!

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Orange County Electrician to help with your Smart Homes!

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

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

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

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


Smart Home Installation Help

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

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

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Real Estate Realities – Should you buy that Long Beach fixer upper?

Posted on October 6, 2017. Filed under: First Time Buyer help, Long Beach Homes, Los Angeles Real Estate, Making Life Easier, Orange County Real Estate, Real Estate Stories | Tags: , , |

What buying a fixer upper can turn into for you!

Most of us are obsessed with the show Fixer Upper on HGTV where we watch Chip & Joanna Gaines turn older houses into beautiful, updated remodels. Most of us don’t realize this is possible for us to do ourselves, so when we go to look at houses we expect one that already looks like Joanna has put her touch on it. However, we want a fixer price on a newly updated house. It’s ok to admit…we see this every. single. day.

Most times buying a house with a lot of potential and a smaller price tag is beneficial to you and your future…ESPECIALLY on your first place.

Check out what one of our clients, Jason from Long Beach, did to this cosmetic fixer-upper he purchased! Jason looked for quite some time and had specific ideas of what he wanted for his interior. Unfortunately, nothing’s ever perfect. So he decided to buy the ugly duck in the perfect area, and turn it into a swan 🙂

We referred Jason to one of our absolute favorite buildings in Long Beach, located at 555 Maine. We love this location because it’s super affordable, has low HOA, includes parking, is FHA approved, they are big dog-friendly, and um….top it off with a rooftop deck that has city views. So cool.

Here are some interior photos of when he first bought the property. Of course, we helped him nab this condo towards the very low end of comps in the downtown Long Beach area:

It was livable, but nothing really special. Which is always a bummer when you spend hundreds of thousands of dollars. We know, you want to brag about your new home! So….. check out what he did! What an amazing transformation! We are obsessed! Clean lines, consistent colors, upgraded appliances, quartz counters….niiiiiiice 🙂

The time to complete the project was about two months, and with his permission we’re able to post that he invested in the ballpark of $40k.

In true fixer upper style, we’d say after this remodel Jason would easily be selling close to the top of the comps in the area, which gives him about 10K in equity already! Best part is he’s only 6 months into this adventure and living in a great space where he got to choose his decor. Congratulations on a job well done, Jason! We are so proud and amazed with the work you got done on this place while working your hectic hours!


If you’d like to take on a cosmetic fixer challenge just get in touch with us by filling out the form below or texting Angie at 949-338-7408.


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Is it time to hire a property manager?

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

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

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

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

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

What will we do for you as your property manager?

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

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

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

How much do Orange County Property Management Services cost?

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

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

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

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THANKS clients & Family Jules Art Gallery!

Posted on May 25, 2017. Filed under: Client Appreciation events, Home Improvement Ideas, Making Life Easier, OC Charities, Orange County things to do, Real Estate Stories |

We just wanted to send a huge thanks to everyone who was able to make it out for our first ever client appreciation event on 5/20/17 🙂 It was absolutely wonderful to catch up and hear your Real Estate Stories. We laughed, reminisced, mixed, snacked, & got a little messy. We thought it would be fun to do a ‘paint night’, where both creativity & vino were flowing. WOW did everyone’s paintings turn out cool!

We purposefully selected this tree. We thought it conveyed such a great light and energy, with a symmetrical yet organic flow. It’s like a ‘tree of life’ or a ‘family tree’; both of which make a great fit in our client’s homes. We want you to have solid roots, bear much fruit, and always be growing.


Making an Orange County Masterpiece

It was an honor to color our canvases in a REAL Fullerton art gallery, Family Jules. Be sure to give them a like on Facebook or follow @FamilyJulesGallery on Instagram. Family Jules supports local artists by giving them a space to feature their art for a reasonable price, and helping artists market, and sell, & network. It’s a really neat concept and we we were happy to support them by donating our easels. Now they can now extend shows onto the courtyard, or hold more paint nights in the future. WIN-WIN. Our goal is to bring awareness and light into other cool venues like this with our future client appreciation events…so stay tuned! Feel free to comment below if you have suggestions.

Just a reminder we love and appreciate all our clients no matter how much we hear from you! Sometimes it’s every 5 years, other times it’s every 5 days…we’re here to support all your real estate dreams and goals. Stay in touch and let us be your resource to grow a solid real estate portfolio. 949-338-7408 or

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INVITATION: Citrus College Home Fair

Posted on April 10, 2017. Filed under: First Time Buyer help, Home Seller Tips, Informed Investor Alliance, Lenders & Loan info, Making Life Easier, Orange County Real Estate, Orange County things to do | Tags: , , , , , , , |

Interested in buying a home in Southern California but don’t know how? Would you like safe and solid info on Real Estate Investing or Market reports and trends? We’ve got you covered with free sessions at Citrus College on April 23rd.

The event will be held from 11am – 3pm with an hour lunch break. There are 3 different sessions, each with 4 classes to choose from ranging from flipping to first time buying. We feel honored to be asked to teach 2 classes – Investing and Market Report. Come join us and learn how to buy real estate! The first 100 registrations receive a free lunch on Citrus Real Estate Club – just sign up below.


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

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How to Buy an Orange County Home with 1% Down

Posted on March 23, 2017. Filed under: First Time Buyer help, Lenders & Loan info, Making Life Easier, Orange County Real Estate | Tags: , , , , , , |

We believe everyone, EVERYONE, deserves to own a home!! So what’s your biggest obstacle to get there?

Down payment funds?! Probably!

We don’t live in a society that saves money, so how can you buy a home if you’re savings account isn’t 5 figures or more? There’s a way, and we wanted to let you know you have options!

Orange County Down Payment Assistance Programs

A great resource to reach out to for housing grants and financial help is NeighborWorks Orange County. The NeighborWorks website lists lots of really great programs – here’s a flyer to check out just a few:


For your convenience, income limits for each program are color coded at the bottom of this sheet. NeighborWorks is located in Orange, and they’re always coming up with a new program or a way to help you improve credit, budget, and your overall financial picture. Here’s a link to their homebuyer classes, given in various languages 🙂

In order to learn about everything this great nonprofit has, it’s best to attend a workshop. They also have an online or in house course you can take to get fully equipped to buy a home. It does cost a nominal fee, but you get your money back when you provide your closing statement within 12 months. How cool is that?!??

If you’re the type of person who wants to work with a charity FIRST, or if you just don’t have a down payment and you need help, reach out by texting 949-338-7408 or filling out the form below, and we’ll put you in touch with NeighborWorks so you can get on the affordable path to homeownership!

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Selling your home? 29 Essential Tips.

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

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

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

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

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

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Charming Home For Sale in Mission Viejo

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

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

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

Additional features include:

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

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

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Become an Automatic Millionaire Homeowner

Posted on November 29, 2016. Filed under: First Time Buyer help, Home Seller Tips, Informed Investor Alliance, Lenders & Loan info, Making Life Easier, Orange County CA Foreclosures, Orange County Real Estate, Orange County Short Sales | Tags: , , , , , , |

Ever wonder how people really come up in real estate? It doesn’t require a huge amount of capital, brains, or hard work. The process is surprisingly simple, and we’ll teach you the jist in just half an hour.


The best thing about becoming a millionaire homeowner is that anyone can do it.

Learn How at Homeownership Day Jan 14th, 2017

We’ll teach you the simple process based off David Bach’s “Automatic Millionaire Homeowner” book in an easy, 1/2 hour session at Chapman University from 12:15 – 12:45pm.

This is a class for normal people who would like to do extraordinary things in real estate while maintaining their existing lifestyle, career, and family.

The Automatic Millionaire Homeowner is not a get-rich-quick scheme; everything is done on your individual timeline, and without a membership in some expensive group or school. The only money you spend will be on real estate itself. Simple concepts that once applied, will bring you huge returns regardless of where you own property. And the younger you have this knowledge and you start…the better.

Register below for this free event – space is limited!

ochfgraphicMore about Homeownership Day / OC Home Fair

This yearly event is a collaborative between Chapman University, Orange County Young Professionals Network, OC Register, and non-profits VAREP and NeighborWorks OC designed to bring you honest real estate information with no pressure or gimmicks.

There will be 4 different sessions, each with 5 classes to choose from. Attendees enjoy a ‘choose your own adventure’ style and pick the classes that interest them most. Instructors are all active experts in the industry volunteering their time to benefit our community. Visit for the full class list and session times.

Where: Chapman University’s Beckman Hall 1 University Dr, Orange, CA 92866
When: January 14th, 2017 from 10am – 1pm
Cost: free

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Got an Ugly Duck Property to Sell?

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


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

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

Southern California Hoarder Homes

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

The Family Property

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

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

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

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

The Money Pit

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

The Get Me Out NOW Divorce

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

crazy_cat_lady_4The Residential Zoo

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

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



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Orange County Solar – will it save me money?

Posted on October 21, 2016. Filed under: First Time Buyer help, Home Improvement Ideas, Home Seller Tips, Informed Investor Alliance, Making Life Easier, Orange County Home Improvement, Orange County Real Estate | Tags: , , , , |

solar-panelsWondering if you should add solar when you buy your home? It’s one of our most common questions, so let’s check into it! Today, we attended a solar seminar with Alan Issacs & GoSolar from our LeTip group to find out more on this popular subject.

The average monthly cost of electricity for a CA resident is $183/mo, or $2200/yr. On top of that, it’s constantly increasing, on an average of 5% per year. So if you think your bills are big now…just wait…

How does Solar work?

Solar panels convert sunlight into the same electric energy you get from the utility company. Materials consist of solar panels installed on your roof, and inverters. In many cases, you’ll still be connected to the grid, so you will have access to electricity if your panels don’t generate enough, and you will get a credit for the excess energy you generate – win win so far!

Solar Installation & Purchasing Tips:

  • Size your system to produce 80% of the energy you need, not 100%. You can always add panels later if you want to, as long as you are using a micro inverter instead of a string inverter.
  • If you buy solar (not lease) before Dec 31st 2021, you’ll receive a 30% federal tax credit
  • Just like homeownership, the really big savings comes over the long term; check out this 20 year projection graph:


Interested in Going Green Now? Steps to Go Solar:

  1. Solar Energy Consultation
  2. Proposal
  3. Solar Site Assessment
  4. Contract
  5. HOA Approval (remember many HOA’s only meet once a month, and many times they require neighbor approval – plan in advance!)
  6. City Permit – the company you select for solar will usually pull this for you
  7. Installation – these work on EVERY type of roof, and typically takes 3 days
  8. Inspection
  9. Net Energy Metering (NEM) agreement
  10. Permission to Operate (PTO)

The entire process takes about 4-8 weeks, depending on weather, how many panels you have, and various other factors.

How Should I Pay For Solar?

It’s all about options – and there’s plenty. Some are by far better than others. Let’s explore them further:

  • Upfront – typically pays back within 5 years and offers a 30% tax credit
  • Consumer Energy Efficiency loan – also eligible for tax credit. This is also tied to you the owner, which will save headaches when you go to sell your Orange County home.
  • HELOC – you can use your current home equity to purchase by taking out a Home Equity Line of Credit
  • HERO / PACE loan – a secured loan where your credit is not even checked. Be careful of these options, it can scare buyers if you go to sell your home. If you KNOW you’re going to stay in your property until it’s paid off, then go for it. The interest rate is usually 8%; so it may be better for you to take out a HELOC if you have equity.
  • Lease / Power Purchase agreement – the worst option for payment, because you are not eligible for tax credit, it’s typically a TWENTY year agreement, and your lease payments typically increase annually (around 3%). This option can also make it difficult for you to sell your home.

If you’d like more info on Solar, feel free to reach out to 949-338-7408 or tweet @AngieWeeks, and we’d be happy to connect you with multiple people we know in the Solar industry!

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Tiny Homes & Cutting Edge Home Performance Monitoring 

Posted on September 23, 2016. Filed under: First Time Buyer help, Home Improvement Ideas, Home Seller Tips, Informed Investor Alliance, Making Life Easier, Orange County Home Improvement, Orange County Real Estate | Tags: , , , , , |


Tiny Home owner / builder Corbett Lunsford

Good times at Orange County Association of Realtors today – we got to tour a tiny home & meet the builder! First cool point, the builder, Corbett, is a totally *normal* person, who has never built a home. He’s towed this tiny 7000 miles & it’s still in tact! Hopefully this inspires some of you readers who are interested to explore tiny builds further 😊 Check out the pics!

Tiny Terrors?

But wait. Isn’t it dangerous to try to build your own home? Well, builder homes aren’t as safe as you might think. Construction crews blow it all the time. A good build is about time & attention, you don’t have to be a rocket scientist. It’s ok if you don’t want to DIY, but read on for some tips about ensuring your existing home is safe for your family.

Your home is a system.

Everything is designed to work together. But does it? Is the symphony in tune? You get a heart monitor at the hospital, but what about a home monitor for your most important investment?

And hey – energy efficiency is all the rage – the government will give you a rebate for replacing your furnace or air conditioner with a higher performance model; plus you’ve heard about all the solar credits too. Who wouldn’t want lower bills & tax breaks?!

How do I know my home is safe & efficient?

You won’t know until you get an Energy Audit & do some home performance testing! Here’s your 4-3-2-1 on what you want to look for:

4 Elements – heat flow, airflow / pressure, moisture, air quality.

3 Recommendations – air sealing (control heat bleed), insulation, HVAC / mechanicals

2 Systems – enclosure, engine (anything that moves)

1 Goal – CONTROL

Thermal imaging can tell you so much about a home’s efficiency. If you’re building a home, buying a home, or selling a home, then consider doing a blower door test and an infared thermal photography scan. This will prove beyond a doubt your mission critical systems are functioning or failing. More tests to prove efficiency are:

  • Duct / air tightness testing
  • Zonal pressure testing
  • HVAC testing

Home Diagnostics with Corbett & Grace Lunsford will be on TV next year if you’d like more info on how to go CSI on a home! Want it sooner? Check out #TinyLab on social media.

Call the AskAngie Team at 949-338-7408 or tweet @angieweeks if you need a referral to do one of the tests mentioned – we want you safe & smiling in your home, whatever size it may be 🏡 😄 🌟

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Orange County 1031 Exchange & Other Investor Property Tax Shelters

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

smart-investorGot investment property?

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

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

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

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

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

1031 Exchange Timelines

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


Cashing out funds with a 1031 Exchange

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Orange County housing forecast

Will you be able to move in 2016?

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

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

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

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

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TRID – What Consumers Need to Know

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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2016 Real Estate Forecast for Orange County

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

Orange County housing forecast

Will you be able to move in 2016?

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

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

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

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

Market Stats & Demographics

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

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

Why aren’t people buying homes?

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

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

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PRE MLS OPEN HOUSE THIS WEEKEND! Investment opportunities in San Marcos – not on the MLS yet!

Posted on May 1, 2015. Filed under: First Time Buyer help, Informed Investor Alliance, Making Life Easier |

2 San Marcos properties on adjoining lots!Located in the rolling foothills of northern San Diego County is San Marcos. Miles of trails in the local hills, unique dining and shopping opportunities in its retail centers, San Marcos has all the ingredients that make life enjoyable. Fifty-six miles of existing trails are great for hiking, biking, running, equestrian use and more! A popular destination is the top of Double Peak Park, which features a panorama of northern San Diego County from the highest coastal peak in the county. The Old California Restaurant largest dining and entertainment experience with eighteen restaurants. Only 12 miles to the Pacific Ocean and 30 miles away from beautiful San Diego.

If this sounds like somewhere you’d like to live or have investments, you are in luck! There are two homes now available that have yet to hit the MLS.

617 Richland, San Marcos CA

The first one is a 3 bed 2 bath; 2,183 sq ft that sits on a 11,878 sq ft lot, great corner lot with a circle drive priced at $499,000!

San Marcos remodeled kitchen at 619 Richland Road

619 Richland, San Marcos CA

The second home is actually right next door, the adjoining lots give huge investment potential! This 2 bed, 2 bath has 1,200 sq ft. and is listed at $370,000.

Open House July 11th 2015 from 1-4pm

Both properties have recently been renovated inside and are scheduled to hit the MLS next week.  Beat the rush and join us at the PRE-MLS open house this weekend on July 11th from 1-4pm.

Can’t make the open house?  These great properties are still available for pre MLS showings by appointment only.  Seller will consider an offer on one or both! If you would like more details on ideal San Marcos property opportunities email or call or text 949-338-7408.jhbigyg

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