Real Estate Stories

​Michigan & the Marijuana Debate

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cannabis & Kids

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

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

Jobs & the Weed Industry

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

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

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

What’s in the water?

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

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

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

Dude, You Stink

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

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

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

Cannabis & Violent Crimes

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

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

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

PTSD & Cannabis

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

Just the Facts

 

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

DCIM100MEDIADJI_0247.JPG

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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.

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.

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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Costa Rica Real Estate and Vacation Homes

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

Want to live where others vacation?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

costarica

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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!

jason

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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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.

tree

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 angie@askangie.com

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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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