Real Estate Stories

Vow2Save – helping newlyweds afford a home!

Posted on December 1, 2018. Filed under: First Time Buyer help, Homeownership, Newlyweds, Orange County Real Estate, Real Estate Stories, Vow2Save Orange County Real Estate Registry | Tags: , , , , , , , |

Our First Vow2Save Bride!

angela1
Our friend, Angela, was our first bride to use Vow2Save for her wedding website and to help her crowdfund a down payment for their future home. She helped us perfect our site and we are so proud to say she has now been preapproved to buy a home with her new husband! We truly believe in our Vow2Save program and know it will help many newlyweds afford their first home and be able to purchase sooner than they thought they would. We took sometime to interview Angela about her Vow2Save experience so we could share more with you all.

Wedding Website

When you use Vow2Save you are able to customize your website and make it your own. This allows it to double as your registry site and a wedding website with all the information on your wedding and reception. When asking Angela if making her Vow2Save site (happygrahamily) was easy, she told us there are so many options for customizations and edits, but it is clear you don’t have to use every feature. She says this made it easy and simple. Having a liaison that answers any and all questions she had and that helped her edit her site, was one of the best parts. Her site was up in less than a day but she could make changes as often as she wanted or needed. She plans to have the site up for awhile after the wedding for people to reminisce.

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Angela’s homepage on her Vow2Save site! Customized exactly to her wants and needs. It’s so easy to make it your own.

 

Crowdfunding a down payment

The main purpose behind Vow2Save is for newlyweds to be able to crowdfund their down payment instead of receive wedding gifts. Instead of the typical pizza oven or blender, brides and grooms are able to purchase a home with their wedding gifts. We use PayPal to transfer money from the Vow2Save site into your own bank account. We asked Angela how hard it was for her to get the money from the site to her bank account and she told us it was easier than tying shoes! The hardest part of the whole thing is setting up your PayPal account if you don’t already have one, which is super easy! Within 1-2 days of a donation being made you are able to transfer it from PayPal to your bank account! We also let everyone know of the transfer fee on the Vow2Save donation page so that people can choose to cover that fee on top of their donation so it doesn’t come out of their actual donation amount.

angela

PRE-APPROVED TO BUY A HOME!

Angela and her groom Rick got married on October 13th and are already approved to buy their home thanks to Vow2Save and their family and friends donations! They were able to get preapproved because the bank saw the significant amount of money they had saved in their account for a down payment. Angela says thanks to Vow2Save and their donations they were able to get preapproved and (soon) will be able to purchase a home much quicker than they would have without it. Vow2Save helped her put a big chunk of cash into her bank account to help her with the preapproval process. Most newlyweds aren’t able to purchase a home right away and spend many years throwing away money in rent but because of Vow2Save more couples will be able to skip renting and purchase their home right away to begin their marriage just like Angela and Rick. We can’t wait to share with you when they choose the perfect home for them!

vow-2-save

If you are engaged or know someone who is and you want this to be their reality sign up on Vow2Save! You can also fill out the form below for more information or contact Angie at 949-338-7408.

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ADUs making you profit in OC

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

Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs)

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

adu

How to make a profit with your ADU

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

Real Life Scenarios

We spoke to a San Juan Capistrano retiree who decided to do just this in order to make some extra money while being retired. She bought a pre-fabbed ADU for around $60,000 and is renting it for around $2,500 a month. By doing this it will be paid off in around 3 years so she will be pocketing all of that rent money every month. What a perfect way for a retired person to make some extra vacation money or start saving for grandkids to go to college!
accessory-dwelling-unit-garage

If you want more information on how you can add an ADU to your property and what you could rent it for, fill out the form below.

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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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Add Thousands to Your Property Value!

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

Easy Spring Upgrades Can Add Thousands to Your Property Value

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

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

Easy upgrade list for your home!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SERVIZ_SpringTipstoImproveHomeValue_2018

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

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

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

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​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 🙂

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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!

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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.

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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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