Orange County Real Estate

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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Tis’ the Season – it’s now an even Market in Orange County

Posted on September 1, 2018. Filed under: Balanced Market, Home Seller Tips, Homeownership, Normal Market, Orange County Real Estate | Tags: , , , |

Finally a NORMAL market in OC

If you are have been considering buying, but were reluctant due to the market – the times have changed! For the first time in 7+ years, our market in Orange County is even. This makes it a great time to consider buying, especially because we never know how long it will last. For quite a while it has been a sellers market due to low inventory of houses. This left buyers frustrated due to not being able to find the home they had been dreaming of. Many people were putting multiple offers in on whatever homes were available even if it wasn’t their dream place, just to be turned down because of all the competition in the market. This Spring it quickly started to become a more balanced market where both sellers and buyers had the opportunity to be successful. The active inventory has more than double this year, which is the fastest the market has changed since 2008. This does not necessarily mean it is favoring buyers more than sellers now, but is much more favorable towards buyers than it had previously been which is a huge plus for Orange County and clients who have been wanting to buy for awhile.

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Until this Spring, houses were flying off the market at higher than normal prices due to demand, now this is what is sitting on the market due to the change in demand.

Luxury homes are still in demand

Even though it is a much more balanced market at the moment, luxury homes are still being sought out for and there isn’t enough inventory for those luxury buyers. Anything over $1.25 million is needed in the market. Every year luxury demand goes down a little more. So all our luxury owners who are reading this – its your time to make the most money for your home, and possibly upgrade to something even more luxurious 😉
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Importance of listening to your Realtor

You all know that we are always advising to find a good real estate agent and sticking with them and their advice, this has not changed. We think it is so important for both buyers and sellers to be properly represented in order to give them the most smooth home purchasing or selling experience. In a balanced market it is almost more important to really listen to your Realtor. We have become so accustomed to the market we have been stuck in that people have a hard to adjusting back to a normal market. In a more balanced market there is no room for error, which is when a Realtor really comes in handy. In a sellers market it is easier to stretch the price because buyers are desperate, but in an even market overpricing leads to failure. It is important to have a Realtor help you decide on upgrades and pricing. Careful and well thought pricing is crucial for the remainder of the year now that it is no longer a sellers market.

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If you would like to subscribe to regular market reports, email us at successinweeks@gmail.com. If you are interested in selling or buying a home in the new balanced market, contact Angie at 949-338-7408 so she can help you with all your real estate needs.

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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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Homeownership and Divorce: What To Do About Your House

Posted on July 27, 2018. Filed under: Divorce, Home Seller Tips, Homeownership, Homeownership during divorce, Orange County Real Estate, RCSD Designation | Tags: , , , , , |

The evil D word, nobody wants it, but it happens to 50% or more of us. Orange County sky rockets the national divorce average from 50% to 72%. Did you know that divorces spike in August and January? As summer winds down, we thought it would be a good idea to give you some pointers on this super touchy subject.

Listing your home during a divorce

MANY of our listings are divorce sales, and we strive to provide solutions to better protect our clients. It’s a HARD time, and we want to make it as easy as we can when it comes to the most important asset. For this reason, I just earned my RCS-D designation with Professor Kelly Murray, who has degrees from Stanford & Harvard Law. Watch this video to find out some important tips to a successful resolution of the house during a dissolution:

 

RCS-D-No-Background-AltReal Estate Collaborative Specialist – Divorce

Did you know that less than 50 Realtors in Orange County, CA have this prestigious designation? Did you know the standard in divorce when it comes to real estate is an appraisal and a mortgage statement?? That’s IT.

  • NO inspection reports
  • NO previous title search for liens or secret mortgages
  • NO insurance search to confirm the property can be refinanced
  • NO preapproval to make sure the home can *actually* be refinanced by one party or the other on their own

Property division is permanent, and not all divorce attorneys are stellar when it comes to real estate handlings. Things you sign in mediation are binding, and sometimes you feel rushed into these decisions. CONTACT US for a no obligation conversation on how you can protect yourself before you ever walk into court or mediation.

Hard Scenarios You MUST Consider During Divorce

Scenario 1: “Oh, just let them keep the house.”

Are you sure about that? One late payment can be 100 credit points! Do you care about your credit score? Ask yourself: Can you or your ex ACTUALLY qualify for the refinance?

  • For example: Can you use your alimony or support payments, and if so, how soon? Many banks have a 6/36 rule. They want to see 6 months consistent income, and receive evidence that 36 months of income will continue before they will lend.

Depositphotos_10853301_s-2015Scenario 2: “It’s ok, I’ll just go buy another house.”

ASK: If you allow your ex to keep the house, will YOU still qualify for with your name on the old mortgage? Can you start your next chapter?

  • For example: In the eyes of a lender, both parties don’t have 50/50 responsibility on a loan……you each have to pay 100% if the other defaults. Does this ruin your chances of qualifying for a second home in your name? Make it a point to find out before you make a promise you can’t keep.

Scenario 3: “I lost my job / health & I can’t pay.”

Consider what might happen in a worst case scenario. Would you be able to carry two homes to save your credit? Or possibly be willing to sell in a down market?

  • UNFORTUNATE FACT: Only 25-30% of individuals regain homeownership 7-10 years after foreclosure. Don’t let your divorce put you into this pool.

If you need help deciding what to do with your house during a divorce talk to the proper Divorce Professionals who can give you the protection, tools, and timeline to make your future a success. We have an entire team waiting to assist you, from moving out all clutter for free to pulling the necessary paperwork to know what you truly owe and own on your properties.

Please reach out to Angie via phone or text anytime at 949-338-7408. Always confidential, always caring, always at your service.

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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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How to sell your home fast and for top dollar

Posted on June 29, 2018. Filed under: Home Improvement Ideas, Home Seller Tips, Homeownership, Orange County Real Estate, Organizing, Selling for top dollar, Selling your home fast | Tags: , , , |

 

Thinking of selling your home?

Are you thinking of selling your home but the process seems too overwhelming and hard? Maybe you have already decided to sell your home but aren’t sure about the process and how to get started. The AskAngie team has all of the answers for you in either situation. We know deciding to sell your home is not an easy decision and can be a very stressful time in your life. Most people want to sell it quickly in order to purchase the next place and everyone wants to get the most money they possibly can out of their home. We have all the tips to help you do just that.

Declutter and bring in the light

One tip we always recommend to our clients is to declutter before listing your home for sale. Having a lot of clutter around your home or on counter tops can really take away from the big picture of what you’re selling. Most buyers want to be able to come into your home and picture it as their own in order to decide whether or not they want to make an offer, seeing your items everywhere might make it hard for them to picture themselves and their family living there. We also suggest removing any dark drapes or window coverings to really brighten up the space and make it more approachable to a buyer. Bright areas and natural light catch buyers attention every time.

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An example of a light and bright living room

Changing perspective

In order to get top dollar for your home you have to mix it up and change buyers perspective of what they are looking at. One way to do this is using drone photos for your online postings and MLS site. This allows possible buyers to see the area around your home including the neighborhood, parks, or schools nearby. It also provides a different look at the home itself. We also always suggest that our sellers invest in a stager for their home. Making it look its absolute best is a stagers job – and we have some really good ones! This will help you get top dollar because buyers are seeing it at its best.

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Without this drone image you wouldn’t be able to see the AMAZING surroundings this home has. What a change in perspective 🙂

Knowing the market

We believe educating yourself via your Realtor about the current market before listing your home is a good way to prepare yourself for what is to come. Being prepared and knowing what you’re up against is a good idea for selling your home quickly. It is currently a sellers market here in the OC, and we are always looking for people wanting to sell their homes. There’s a lot of buyers looking but never enough houses for them to buy. Knowing this information before posting your home for sale can be very motivating and encouraging as you begin your journey with your house on the market.

Bring the whole package from day one!

We always bring our sellers perfect package to the MLS day one of its listing. In order to do this you need a good Realtor, good photos, and be completely ready to sell. If people have online searches saved they are only sent properties via email the day it’s added and if the price drops, because of this you want to have your pictures and postings perfected before it is listed on the MLS. We also provide a property website for each listings that you are able to share on social media and with any buyer who is interested in your property.
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29 more home selling tips waiting for you!

These are just a few additional tips that we added on to share with you. but our team has created a report, 29 Essential Tips That Get Homes Sold Fast (And For Top Dollar). If this report is something you are interested in reading or you know someone who is thinking of selling their home and could use some tips just fill out the form below to have it emailed to you! If you need any additional advice or are looking for someone to help you sell your home quickly 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

spring

Spring is here, and it’s a great time for some quick and easy home upgrades that, for less than $1000, can add thousands to your property value! With clear days, sunshine, and wonderful opportunities to spotlight your property and its curb appeal—along with the chance to add to your property value and help make that sale!

Based on the local average home prices of $717,100 in Mission Viejo, this means as much as $28,684 in potential profits for many local home sellers, while also providing home buyers with the little extras and details that can make such a
difference to comfort and peace of mind.

Easy upgrade list for your home!

To help you maximize that appeal, here’s a checklist of upgrades to your home that are relatively inexpensive (most of those listed here can be accomplished for well under $1,000), but that can add significant property value and return on investment.

1. Replace Your Front Door. A beautiful new front door, preferably one that’s reinforced steel, will not only immediately add curb appeal, it’s also a bonus to home safety (and insurance rates), as well as to air quality. To stretch your budget, you can also simply do a nice repaint of the door instead.

2. Add a New Coat of Paint. A new paint job for the entire interior of the property (after covering and filling imperfections or holes in drywall) is a time-honored, popular and accepted method of adding newness and brightness to a home and instant appeal to homebuyers. However, don’t stop there. An exterior paint job can give new life to a home’s appeal, emphasizing its best features and providing home shoppers with a pleasing first glimpse of your property at its best. Just don’t indulge yourself in crazy shades and keep color choices tasteful and neutral.

3. Upgrade Your Garage Door. Your home’s garage door can take up as much as 35 to 40% of a property’s overall façade. It’s no wonder, then, that a new garage door is one of the best ways to increase a home’s visual impact while also increasing return on investment (as noted in the 2016 “Cost vs. Value” report). A new garage door also adds safety and security, and upgrading to an automatic versus a manual garage door is a big plus with home shoppers, according to many experts.

4. Inspect, clean and paint moldings, built-in bookcases and trim. Moldings can help to frame a room and show off its bones. Clean and neatly paint your moldings to show off a room at its most beautiful.

5. Professionally Clean Your Windows (Inside and Out). It’s amazing the effect clean and sparkling windows can have on the appeal of a property. From outside, they twinkle in the sun and provide a pleasant introduction to the home itself. From inside, and framed only minimally with draperies or blinds (keep them open when buyers visit) they maximize light and air, contributing to an overall impression of warmth and cleanliness.

6. Clean Carpets. Far too many overlook this simple, easy way to show off a home to its best advantage, freshen up for Spring, and give new life to old carpets when the budget doesn’t allow for them to be replaced outright with hardwood floors. This task also contributes to overall air quality and can make a huge difference in homes where smoking or pets were also a factor.

7. Install a New HVAC System. A new HVAC system improve air quality and energy efficiency, and can add tangible value to your home’s asking price. It’s also a great way to add an instant edge if you find your home competing with others in your area.

8. Fix and Repair External Gates and Fences. This is a repair that is both useful cosmetically, as well as being a big plus for home shoppers who are both safety-minded or who may be pet owners. You may also want to consider adding on a fresh coat of paint or varnish.

9. Upgrade or Install External Motion Sensor or Safety Lighting. According to many industry pros, now more than ever, the biggest single concern for most homeowners today is safety, so visible and tasteful, well-installed external lighting will go a long way toward giving home buyers peace of mind. Ring doorbells only cost about $100 and it’s a huge comfort when it comes to security.

10. Upgrade Your Water Heater. By upgrading to a better (and professionally installed) water heater, you’ll not only be adding to your home’s safety features and energy consumption, you’ll also be adding one more highly desirable element for today’s home shoppers. Make sure your water heater is properly strapped, too!

SERVIZ_SpringTipstoImproveHomeValue_2018

If you need help accomplishing these tasks, or want to find a Home Repair Professional to assist with them, the SERVIZ app can be a great resource.

Just a few of these basic home repairs and upgrades can be worth their weight in gold for home sellers and real estate pros, and can increase the value of your home overall by potential thousands.

As the Spring sunshine returns, there’s never been a better time to add value to your investment. So what are you waiting for? Contact Angie at 949-338-7408 if you want help on adding to your homes value and getting the most for your home sale!

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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:

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

How Foreigners Can Obtain US Loans

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

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

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

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

What States Do International Investors Prefer in the US?

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

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

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

 

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Orange County Realtors Annual Meeting

Posted on March 19, 2018. Filed under: First Time Buyer help, Home Seller Tips, Homeownership, Informed Investor Alliance, Making Life Easier, Orange County Real Estate |

economyEvery year we make a point to attend the annual OCR meeting. This 3 hour event is filled with great information about what’s happening in our association and community, and it helps us stay on the pulse of the everchanging real estate market.

Did you know over 51% of real estate transactions in Orange County are completed by a member of OCR?  We are the largest local association in CA and the 9th largest in the nation. We’re a huge group and have over 10,000 Realtors. Yes, there are THAT many agents in our county & we all work differently 😉 Thankfully OCR puts on this event yearly so we can all be on the same page with the expectations of the market.

Chris Thornberg Presents the OC Economic Outlook

Chris, a famous forecaster with Beacon Economics, warns to be careful of weapons of mass distraction.. like the current president’s tweets… and focus on the true story. There isn’t a weather report for democrats & republicans. There’s just a weather report. That said…here is the real estate report 😉

LIFE IS GOOD. But not without it’s challenges. We are not expecting a correction for at least 2 years.

WE ARE NOT IN A REAL ESTATE BUBBLE. Bubbles happen when we overbuild, and when we overborrow. Neither of those things are happening right now.

THE ECONOMY IS STRONG. Wages are rising, unemployment is low, jobs are available.

RATES WILL RISE. We’ve had 5 recent hikes and are expecting more. No need to freak out though….rates will still be lower than they were in 2006. Keep everything in perspective.

CA RANKS 8TH FOR ECONOMIC PERFORMANCE. We’re adding workers (and need more), and we have a large number of high income households. 18% of CA households make over 150K/yr!

WE NEED MORE HOUSES FOR SALE. The reason our prices continue to go up is our huge lack of supply. Builders need to build more… (they are only building half as much as we currently need yearly) and owners need to sell more (the average time owners hold a home has significantly increased the last 20 years).

All in all things are still looking really good for California Real Estate – comment your thoughts below! Ready to jump in? Text Angie at 949-338-7408 if you’d like to surf the wave!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Avoiding Heartbreak During Orange County Spring Home Buying Season

Posted on March 9, 2018. Filed under: First Time Buyer help, Homeownership, Lenders & Loan info, Orange County Real Estate, Spring Buying Season | Tags: , , , , , |

Spring time has begun in Orange County, even though the weather has been chillier than normal! Spring means lots of exciting things like flowers blooming, maybe a little rain to make the grass more green, time spent at the beach, but for us in the real estate business and those of you looking to buy a home it means a busy and sometimes difficult season. We thought we’d share some of our favorite tips with potential buyers before we jump into this time of the year, full force.

Getting everything prepared to buy your home!

We recommend you always have a buyer’s agent to represent you! This makes communication so much easier with the sellers agent. Having a buyer’s agent that you really trust is so important in the home buying process. You need someone who really knows what they’re doing to be your voice when it comes to real estate matters. They will always have your best interest at heart and can properly represent you during the process.

To speed the process up, make sure you have your pre approval, proof of funds, and all of your paperwork in order. This will be most beneficial when there are other buyers interested in the same home as you, you want to make sure you are ready to go and can prove that to the sellers. There could be multiple people writing offers on the property you love and want to be your forever home, so it is important to make sure you have everything ready to be competitive for that home.

Advanced Tips for Homebuying Success

The seller’s agent is more than likely to want you to cross-qualify with the lender they have chosen to trust and use, so make sure you are able to qualify with anyone that runs your information. This will make the process much more smooth and will show the sellers and their agent that you are reliable. Also, make sure your agent has a cover letter for all of your offers. This just makes you look more organized and professional, and goes back to tip number one of having an agent you fully trust to be your voice throughout this nerve-wracking process.

Have an edge and be ready to go all in for the property you want!

Here’s a video of Angie and Loan Specialist Derek Beisner discussing loan contingency to help avoid heartbreak during spring buying season!

Call or text Angie at 949-338-7408 if you’d like to get moving in the right direction on your dream home this season.

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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: |

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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.

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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.

Systemizing

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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Superior Home Safety Rankings in Orange County, CA

Posted on February 2, 2018. Filed under: First Time Buyer help, Home Improvement Ideas, Homeownership, Orange County Home Improvement, Orange County Real Estate | Tags: , , |

Local Orange County Cities are Among the Safest in the Nation

As real estate professionals, we’re always keeping an eye out for stories on home safety, since it’s consistently one of the biggest priorities for people who are shopping for a new home.

That’s why we were delighted to learn that many nearby Orange County cities are actually ranked among the safest across the United States, according to the latest Home Safety Rankings (HSR) released by local home services app SERVIZ.
SERVIZ created its Home Safety Rankings when the company’s founders realized that they were failing as many as 1 in 3 home contractors for criminal background checks (definitely statistics the company felt they needed to explore further). Concerned by these numbers, SERVIZ then researched and assembled its groundbreaking new Home Safety Rankings (HSR) Index for over 100 metropolitan areas across the U.S., which not only offer statistics on home safety and crime, but which also provide a detailed look at the safety habits and concerns of
residents city by city. SERVIZ’s HSR findings include useful safety tips and suggestions, and received the approval of the National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC) as well.

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High Marks for Safety

Let’s look at how we did on a local level.

Out of 108 metro areas analyzed and ranked for home safety, several cities in the Orange County metro area ranked among the very top of the list, with high-ranking cities including Aliso Viejo, Laguna Niguel, and Mission Viejo, California!

Aliso Viejo residents can certainly celebrate, as the city was ranked the third safest overall, with a superb safety score of 79 out of 100 (with 100 being safest). Laguna Niguel also made the top 10, coming in at number 5, meanwhile, with a high 65 safety ranking—and both received A+ letter grade scores, too. Mission Viejo was number 9 in the top 10, meanwhile, with a safety
ranking of 61 and an A- rating. To give you an idea of just how good these numbers are, Los Angeles itself scored a C+ rating and a safety ranking of just 19, by comparison.

These statistics show that your chance of becoming a crime victim is just 1 in 126 in Aliso Viejo, 1 in 89 in Laguna Niguel, and 1 in 82 in Mission Viejo. These are impressive numbers when compared with L.A.’s 1 in 33 chance of becoming a crime victim!

The SERVIZ Home Safety Rankings (HSR) Index was achieved as a result of proprietary data collected over the last 5 years serving over 200 thousand customers, and 300 thousand home improvement jobs, and other publicly available sources. To view how California stacks up against other states, visit https://www.serviz.com/national-hsr-index.

Helping Homeowners Nationwide

Ultimately, SERVIZ isn’t just analyzing crime stats or helping homeowners nationwide focus on the big picture when it comes to home safety – the SERVIZ app is actually helping homeowners stay safer when booking home services right from their PCs or phones (booking a safe, highly rated, and fully vetted handyman in just a few mouse clicks). The company offers a safer, faster,
easier, and more transparent way to book and buy home services online. From handyman work to plumbing, carpet cleaning and appliance repair, SERVIZ provides highly rated, background-checked and licensed professionals at the click of a button, all backed by the SERVIZ Consumer Protection Plan.

To learn more about SERVIZ, visit http://www.serviz.com. You can also download the free
SERVIZ App on Google Play or iTunes for immediate use as well.

We also know many trustworthy local contractors if you still prefer a good old fashioned referral. Just text Angie at 949-338-7408.

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2018 Tax Reform & Housing Market Update with YPN

Posted on January 23, 2018. Filed under: First Time Buyer help, Home Seller Tips, Homeownership, Informed Investor Alliance, Orange County Real Estate | Tags: |

IMG_7959Hey everyone!

Today I’m at the Orange County Young Professionals Network breakfast; and Tony Capitelli, Government Affairs director at OCR, gave us the update on taxes and our housing market. If you’d like in on the scoop….read on 🙂

Not Fake News – Orange County Needs Housing Inventory

As previously stated in our post with Steven Thomas, we don’t have enough people selling their home in Orange County right now. Our current estimated time on the market is just 24 days – it’s a strong seller’s market. Furthermore, the ‘affordability’ factor in OC is around 20%, and prices continue to rise with the lack of inventory. Student loan debt keeps renters longer and longer.

IMG_7960Tony doesn’t believe we’re in another bubble, so this is our new normal in Orange County. The median sales price is now $800K. The prices continue to creep so high because of inventory, inventory, inventory. People are staying in their homes longer and longer. It also costs more to build here in OC, so that pushes up new home prices.

Consequences of our inventory drought are less housing, longer commutes, more traffic…people are having to move outside of the city or county.

Even though all these updates aren’t great (especially to renters), please keep perspective. Homeownership is the still the best way to generate wealth for ‘the average Joe’. 

What’s Up With 2018 Tax Reform

DISCLAIMER: This is information on what is in the new tax bill. This is not tax or legal advice…contact your CPA for that or ask us for a referral!!

Harmful tax provisions

  • Raising the standard deduction
    • Single filers – 12K / Joint filers 24K
    • eliminates homeownership incentives for most
  • Lowering the mortgage interest deduction
    • Cap lowered from 1M to 750K
    • Can only deduct HELOC remodeling
  • Limit on State and local tax deduction
  • Eliminates entertainment deduction
    • Businesses can no longer deduct expenses for entertainment purposes. Sorry…less spoiling my clients and more giving it to Uncle Sam.
  • Historic tax credit
  • repeals moving expense deduction
    • Except for military

Helpful tax provisions

  • 20% passthrough for a business entity under 157K (single)
  • Exclusion of gain on sale of principal residence
    • We kept the 2 out of 5 year qualification 🙂
  • Like kind exchanges
    • 1031 exchange is still available
  • Low income housing credit
  • Child tax credit increased
  • Medical expenses deduction remains
  • Student loan interest deduction remains
  • Keeps deduction for casualty losses

IMG_7962We’ve basically de-incentified homeownership and charity, which IMO sucks. The good news is that millennials still see the value in Homeownership and they are pretty darn charitable anyway 🙂 45% want to buy homes in the next 5 years. It’d be cool if we could vote for more benefits to support homeownership incentives in the future you guys! Follow NAR’s #HomeownershipMatters tag if you’d like to stay in the know there.

If you’d like to download Tony’s full presentation, just LIKE Orange County Young Professionals Network on Facebook – we’ll be posting it soon – or email Angie@AskAngie.com.

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2018 Housing Market Forecast by Steven Thomas

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

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

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

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

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

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

Good News Graph: Interest Rates Over the Last 50 Years

50yearMortgageRates

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

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

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

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Where Are All of Our Property Sellers?

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

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

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

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

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Scared to sell? What about Taxes & Tax Reform?

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

Steven Thomas’ 2018 Housing Market Forecast:

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

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

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

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

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

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

GOP Tax Bill

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

Pay Early & Still Get Your Deduction

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

What if My Taxes Are Impounded Into My Mortgage?

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

Stay Proactive…Stay Informed

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

lou-correa

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

We hope you have a Happy & prosperous 2018!

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Join us at OC Home Fair – Homeownership Day Event!

Posted on December 15, 2017. Filed under: First Time Buyer help, Home Seller Tips, Homeownership, Los Angeles Real Estate, Orange County Real Estate | Tags: , , , , , |

You’re invited to our 6th annual homeownership day! If you have been thinking about making some real estate decisions but have been holding back because you weren’t sure exactly what you wanted to do or how you wanted to do it, join us and learn about real estate from professionals! Our event will be held January 27th from 10 AM – Noon at Chapman University  (1 University Drive in Orange) and we really hope to see you there!

Our Homeownership Event is FREE and offers 8 classes to choose from during 2 different 50 minute sessions. We are offering some great classes this year that you are not going to want to miss out on! We have something for everyone, regardless of if you own or not. If you’re a veteran thinking about buying a home – we’ve got class for that! If you’re a female and wanting to learn how to grow your real estate profile to be super successful – we’ve got a class for that! Along with safely buying international real estate, finding funds to buy your home…. and…. the one we will be teaching with our YPN friend Eric Wu – Investing to be an Automatic Millionaire. We’d love it if you signed up for our class during your first session and learn about investing in properties to help build your future wealth! If you want to sign up or just check out what all will be offered head over to OC Home Fair website!

Here’s some pictures of our event classes last year, we are hoping to put on an even bigger and better event this year!
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homeown1
We were lucky enough to work with some amazing event partners this year! Chapman University Argyos School of Business is always so generous to offer their classrooms, which allow you to learn in a pitch-free and no pressure environment. Some of our sponsors and nonprofits that are attending with you are NeighborWorks Orange County, Affordable Housing Clearinghouse, VAREP, Orange County Young Professionals Network, and NAWRB!

Don’t forget to fill out the form below to reserve your seat in our #OCHomeFair class:

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Orange County Electrician to help with your Smart Homes!

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

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

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

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

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Smart Home Installation Help

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

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

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    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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