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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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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CIPS – Why we think International Real Estate is so important!

Posted on August 18, 2017. Filed under: Balboa's Best Property Deals, Home Seller Tips, Informed Investor Alliance, International Properties, Orange County Real Estate | Tags: , , , , |

First of all, what even is a CIPS?

That is what AskAngie team is here to explain! CIPS stands for Certified International Property Specialist, which means that we are designees that have been trained and certified on how to help you with your international real estate needs. We are well informed on how different cultures interpret people and real estate. CIPS designees are prepared to work with international clients, international funds, as well as American clients who choose to buy internationally. We are relied on because of our expertise in international real estate.

Why do we need Certified International Property Specialists?

Global business and international real estate have expanded a lot so these designees are need more now than ever before! Recently, foreign buyers have spent a lot more money in real estate – to the tune of over 1 BILLION per year. Earning the CIPS title makes agents more creditable and resourceful. CIPS have access to a wide network of professionals that can help you with your property needs around the world. Through research we are able to protect you from losing property or buying in a country where you don’t actually ‘own’ your home. We make sure you are buying legitimate properties wherever you may be looking! People are moving from foreign countries to the US every single day and many Americans look into property overseas as well. Because of the work Certified International Property Specialists do, these home owners are able to have a smooth and reliable transition into their new space (or out of their old)!

Watch this video on why we think CIPS is an important designation!

We recommend if you’re thinking about buying out of the country, call us at 877-230-3211 or text Angie at 949-338-7408 to take advantage of the CIPS education and put it to work for your real estate needs! 🙂

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Tiny Homes & Cutting Edge Home Performance Monitoring 

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

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Tiny Home owner / builder Corbett Lunsford

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

Tiny Terrors?

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

Your home is a system.

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

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

How do I know my home is safe & efficient?

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

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

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

2 Systems – enclosure, engine (anything that moves)

1 Goal – CONTROL

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

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

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

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

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Resort Living All Year Round in HB

Posted on March 3, 2016. Filed under: First Time Buyer help, OC Property Profiles, Orange County Real Estate | Tags: , , , , , |

Affordable Huntington Beach, CA Condo

IMG_1063Looking for your first place or a beach close investment property?  Look no further – 5096 Tortuga #104 is prefect for a college student, first time buyer, bachelor / bachelorette, snowbird, or even investor since there’s great rental potential! Located just over a mile from the beach, the possibilities of sun & fun are endless.

 

Cabo del Mar Community condos

IMG_1048With a long list of amenities that include a clubhouse, pool, spa, sauna, tennis courts, racquetball courts, gated parking, and a large greenbelt area that over looks the wetlands, Cabo del Mar lets you indulge. Plus being situated near shopping, restaurants, and dog beach offers such a convenient lifestyle. If you like nature, you’re just moments to the Bolsa Chica wetlands and the sand of Huntington’s world famous beaches. It’s easy to see why people flock to Huntington Beach!

Cabo Del Mar has parking galore, with underground subterranean parking spots for residents and street level parking for guests, you’ll always be sure to have close parking to your condo. Unlike most studios, 104 has an extra level of privacy / separation thanks to the plantation style shutters, ceiling added soundproofing, and quiet location in the complex. On cool beach nights sit IMG_1045in front of the cozy gas fireplace to warm up and relax.

5096 Tortuga is a must see, a solid investment priced at just $284,999 this unit won’t last long! To schedule a private viewing call us, The AskAngie Team at 949-338-7408, fill out the form below, or email us at Angie@AskAngie.com.

 

 

 

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Orange County Real Estate Forecast for 2016

Posted on February 9, 2016. Filed under: First Time Buyer help, Home Seller Tips, Informed Investor Alliance, Orange County Real Estate | Tags: , , , , |

Had a great afternoon today listening to expert Gary Watt’s predictions for OC’s real estate market this year. Last year, we had a modest appreciation of 4.8%. Real people scenario: If you own a 500K condo, it’s now worth 524K 🙂 What’s in store for this year?

OC Inventory Predictions

real estate forecastInventory should stay around 6500 homes, and appreciation is expected to be 2-3%. If our inventory goes up to 7500 homes, then we’ll have flat appreciation. If everyone freaks out because the election candidates suck and list their home, then a negative 2% is expected (if inventory rises over 7500).

New home sales should continue to decline (they were down last year), and high end and single family homes should decline. Not in overall price, just in volume, mostly due to affordability.

Rates aren’t expected to go much above 4%. Historically, the Feds have always lowered interest rates in an election year, and this year it’s different…so we have to see if that affects our market.

Buyer Trends in Orange County

First time buyers are 28% of our market, the main reason it’s lower than the rest of the country is affordability. Qualifying for homes is stricter, which is also a factor. And let’s not forget about student debt.

As a nation, the average is 63.7% for homeownership. Only 49.1% of Orange County residents are homeowners; our county is one of the hardest to buy in.

What about the younger buyers? 20% of Millennials are currently homeowners, but we’re seeing a commitment issue with about 10%, who don’t even have ‘buying a home’ on their radar.

Chinese & foreign buyers are still a force to be reckoned with. They like to spend their cash here.

OC Rental Activity

Our rental market is on fire, and will continue to be. The rental gap is about $1000/mo. Many residents are taking a short term mindset of saving the extra monthly spend instead of a long term equity building mindset. There are also many who are still rebuilding credit from foreclosure or short sale, who will remain renting until affordability and credit scores increase.

Overall, we should have another good year in 2016, as long as we don’t get an El Nino of inventory! If you are considering listing your home, the sooner the better, because our busy season starts to slow after May. Call or text Angie at 949-338-7408 to have our team crunch numbers and get a spreadsheet of your potential profit!

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

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

Orange County housing forecast

Will you be able to move in 2016?

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

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






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

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

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TRID – What Consumers Need to Know

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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OC Home Fair & SoCal Home Ownership Day 2015 is this weekend!

Posted on March 25, 2015. Filed under: First Time Buyer help, Home Improvement Ideas, Home Seller Tips, Informed Investor Alliance, Making Life Easier, Orange County CA Foreclosures, Orange County Home Improvement, Orange County Real Estate, Orange County Short Sales, Orange County things to do | Tags: , , , |

10923534_364393790399627_1417328444113218007_nHave any plans for this Saturday March 28th? If not, come visit the OC Home Fair at Chapman University. Learn everything about everything on home-owning, buying/selling, investing and plenty more! The speakers are industry leaders and hand selected – the best of the best!  The event is designed to help normal people make the most of real estate, and Chapman graciously hosts it with our YPN group, The OC Register, and NeighborWorksOC every year for FREE!

Existing Homeowner Classes

For all you home owners out there, there are plenty of seminars that could help and educate you. Everyone wants to save money, right? “Go Green and Save Money” and “ Ways to Reduce Your Electric Bill” are a couple of seminar suggestions that will help save precious pennies! Would you like  to be an “Automatic Millionaire Homeowner“?  It’s actually a really easy concept – you’re invited to come learn how.  Thinking about a loan mod? Loan Modifications Tips and Tricks is taught by a non-profit.  You’re welcome 😉 Then, it may be time to consider Moving On Up: Making a Smooth Transition.

Classes To Buy A Home

Loans can be confusing, so there are TONS of classes, FHA Loans and Changes: What You Should Know or How Interest Rates Affect Buying Power is also super important.

First time buyers, check out “Steps to Buy Your First Home” to know what to do. Need better credit first? Well.. there is a class for that too, Ways To Improve Your Credit Score. Foreclosures are always a bummer! But did you know there is Life After Foreclosure and you can get back in the game? Closing costs can be scary but we have a class for that; Closing Costs: What Should I expect?. Want to know The Escrow Process, What to Expect With Your Home Inspection, or How To Make The Most Of A Small Space?  Come find out!

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Learn How to Invest in Real Estate

Investing is always a good long term plan if done correctly. Find out Property Management: Do’s and Don’ts and Commercial Property Purchases: Do’s and Don’tsStaging Your Home for Top Dollar is totally important along with, Deferring Capital Gains Taxes: 1031 Exchanges and Orange County Housing Market Report.  All of these sessions are custom tailored to teach you crucial things to know!

A huge thank you to the OC Register, YPN, Neighborworks OC  and Chapman University. They have all put hard work into promoting and supporting this annual event. Also a big thank you to all the speakers who take time out of their day to help educate the community on the important factors of everything Real Estate!

Now, Hurry and register for any class that interests you before all the seats fill up at www.OCHomeFair.com!!

Questions or comments?  Hashtags are #HomeownershipDay or #OCHomeFair.  See you Saturday 12-5pm!

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Villagio in San Clemente – Homes for sale in San Clemente CA

Posted on March 18, 2014. Filed under: First Time Buyer help, OC Property Profiles, Orange County Real Estate | Tags: , , , , , , , |

Villagio Homes in San Clemente

Villagio community homes – condos with backyards!

Have you been looking for real estate in San Clemente and turning up empty?  Check out the Villagio community!  Villagio is located in  Rancho San Clemente, and although they are technically condos, the entire community is detached!  You’re getting a home for the price of a condo, so that makes Villagio one of the best priced communities in the entire city! Just 3 miles from the beaches of San Clemente, 1 mile from the Talega golf course, and 1 mile from shopping centers and high school, this centrally located community has it all.   Many of the homes have ocean views, plus the community is quiet with very friendly neighbors.

Want to see a home in Villagio?

Check out this virtual video tour of our listing at 716 Via Otono:

Homes For Sale in San Clemente

As of the date of this post, there are only 7 detached homes in the entire city of San Clemente priced below 600K, and 716 Via Otono is one of them!  Hurry!! This gorgeous 3 bedroom 3 bath house has a spacious backyard with a patio. Also includes 2 master bedrooms, a 4 car driveway. If you’d like to get more options for detached San Clemente homes we have 15 available between 600-700K.   Also Want the list?  Just tweet @WeeksTeam for one or email info@successinweeks.com.  You can also schedule your own San Clemente property search at http://properties.askangie.com

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Laguna Beach House Sale

Posted on March 17, 2014. Filed under: First Time Buyer help | Tags: , , , |

Luxury Laguna BeachIMG_4135 (2)

Laguna Beach, located in southern Orange County, is known for many different activities and entertainment.  First, the gorgeous beach, whether you are laying in the sun or drinking a martini at a restaurant you will always have a spectacular view of the ocean.  All of Orange County knows that this is a great place to come relax.  Second, Laguna Beach is known for being very artsy.  In the summer months, the Sawdust Festival comes to town!  This is where many artists come together to sell their beautiful masterpieces, from glass blowing to fabulous photography to jewelry, this is a must see event. Third, the famous Pageant of the Masters which in essence  is “Living Art” – you will see famous masterpieces recreated in a new way.  Lastly, hidden up in the green rolling hills is a little secret spot called “Top of the World”, it is high up, but the view is worth it!  Up there you can also hike or bike through out the trails.

Dream Come True Home

Speaking of the green rolling hills, this is where this dream come true house is located. With a breath taking view of the ocean, this house is to die for.  An incredible 5 bed and 5 bath home includes an outstanding kitchen, a private entrance with a gate, a gorgeous entrance hall way, wrap around balcony, a spacious master bedroom and closet, and so much more.  The house has a modern architecture, built for luxury and entertaining. Though the lot is mostly slope, with minimal maintenance , you will never have to worry about a skyscraper ever stealing your view. Through out the house are huge windows that will let the sunlight surround you.  A great entertaining home. Each of the 5 bathrooms, yes I said 5, is decorated for relaxation and primping.  If this House sparks an interest to you, contact me (949) 338-7408 or tweet @AngieWeeks.

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What’s in store for Orange County Real Estate in 2014?

Posted on January 14, 2014. Filed under: First Time Buyer help, Home Seller Tips, Informed Investor Alliance, Lenders & Loan info, Orange County CA Foreclosures, Orange County Real Estate, Orange County Short Sales | Tags: , , , , , , |

Orange County 2014 Real Estate Economic Forecast

What’s in store for 2-0-1-4?

Today we had the pleasure of attending a lunch & learn by The Real Estate Focus Group and Steven Thomas, one of Orange County’s best real estate forecasters.  Steven’s reports have been published in Forbes, USA today, NY Times, and especially the OC Register because he’s constantly pulling tons of valuable data about what’s going on with the OC housing market.

2013 Real Estate Review

In 2013, short sale volume dropped by 61%, (holla:) we experienced a hot hot hot market with 18% appreciation and then the unrealistic sellers entered the market after June.  We saw many more move up sellers, which is a great sign.  There was a significant lack of inventory at the beginning of the year, followed by a spike and overpriced inventory in the fall.  We also had a refinance bonanza, so hopefully you took advantage of that!  Interest rates are still historically low, but tapering is looming, so 2014 is a year to get your financing while financing is still good.

2014 Real Estate Ramp Up

We currently have 5000 homes on the Orange County market, and we have a 49% increase in inventory since this time last year.  Our market is healthy because interest rates are still low (but expected to go up), and we are currently at 90% equity (standard) sales.

Only 5% of the mortgaged homes in Orange County are currently underwater.  That means 95% of you are back to even or have (gasp!) equity – FABULOUS NEWS – and this makes the perfect formula for a continued move up market.  If you’d like to get the house with the yard or the pool, this year is opportunity time for you.

First time buyers who have been squeezed out of the market the last 12 months will come back, even though their rates are a little higher and FHA guidelines have changed.  In addition, more luxury buyers are expected to enter the market this year.

Sellers, our expected time for a properly priced home on the market in Orange County is 93 days.  Our median sales price is 610K, and buyers, your monthly payment for a 4.5% loan at this price is approximately $2500.  Still affordable.  Unless you like paying off your landlord’s mortgage instead.

New home construction is going up: Rancho Mission Viejo, Great Park Irvine, and Baker’s Ranch in Foothill Ranch are all big developments underway.  Remember it’s still a good idea to have a Realtor represent you even in a new build situation, so be sure to call us if you would like to check out any of the inventory out there.

Some concerns for 2014….. uncertainty, lack of fair market value homes, interest rates, and the circus in Washington DC.

Some expectations for 2014…… buyers will insist on fair market value vs. paying over appraisal, active inventory will continue to rise, interest rates will continue to rise, and we should have a mild appreciation of 0-5%.

If you are interested in MORE geeky data, we have it at our fingertips!  Just email angie@askangie.com, tweet @angieweeks or @weeksteam, or call 877-230-3211 to request a copy of this month’s Orange County housing report.

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California Real Estate Market Update from Leslie Appleton Young

Posted on November 15, 2013. Filed under: First Time Buyer help, Informed Investor Alliance, Lenders & Loan info, Orange County CA Foreclosures, Orange County Real Estate, Orange County Short Sales | Tags: , , , , |

California Real Estate Market update 2014What’s in store for Orange County Real Estate and the California market in general in 2014? We had The California Association of Realtors Chief Economist Leslie Appleton Young present a ton of great market data and facts today, so we wanted to share with you!

Here are 8 quick facts about CA Real Estate:

1. REO level is at 5%. There are only 205 bank owned properties for sale in OC right now.

2. There are now only 15.4% underwater homeowners in California.

3. Foreclosure and delinquency rates are now at their historic normal level. (Big WHOOP WHOOP!!)

4. Sept median price in CA for detached homes: $428,810

5. 72% of properties from the beginning of this year had multiple offers. (This is why you need a good Realtor!)

6. 82% of investors bought & HELD. Only 18% flips in 2013.

7. There are 3.6 months of inventory supply in CA as of Sept.

8. Only 28% of buyers were first time buyers because they were outbid by all cash investors 😦 The long running average is 38%.

The big question: Will there be home appreciation or depreciation in 2014????????

Leslie predicts we will have more inventory, and sales volume will be up 3.2%. She is projecting a 6% appreciation, and mortgage rates will RAISE to 5.3%.

What does this mean for you? It’s a great time to seize the opportunity of lower prices while rates are still in the 4’s! Call us at 877-230-3211 for help and to maximize your investments!

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Why Buy Orange County Property NOW?

Posted on June 6, 2012. Filed under: First Time Buyer help, Orange County Real Estate | Tags: , , |

Orange County Property is a great investment for TWO reasons right now:

  1. Home prices have dropped SIGNIFICANTLY in the last 5 years, the median home in Orange County is now an affordable $435K!
  2. Loan rates are the lowest they’ve been in 20+ years.  A picture is worth 1000 words:

Reproduced with the permission of Mortgage-X.com

If there were ever a time to buy Orange County property, its now.  Renters are renting properties that they could be buying for the same price or LESS.  Down payments are affordable, and banks are even allowing ‘gift money’ if you haven’t been able to save your down payment.

Call us NOW 877-230-3211 before this window of opportunity closes.  The presidential election is coming up, and that can frequently cause uncertainty in the economy, which can drive up interest rates.  Questions?? tweet @angieweeks or call one of our preferred lenders for info!

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Adult 55+ Communities – New Horizon’s Property in Torrance

Posted on March 5, 2012. Filed under: Making Life Easier, Senior Communities | Tags: , |

Know any seniors in Los Angeles who are looking to find good adult 55+ communities? Today we’re featuring our listing on 22919 Nadine Circle B in New Horizon‘s – its conveniently located right off Sepulveda and Maple in the city of Torrance.  New Horizon was built in 1963, and the community is perfect for the senior lifestyle!

New Horizon’s 55+ Community

Residents of New Horizons are friendly and upbeat seniors – just take a stroll around the grounds and see lots of smiling faces and inviting landscapes!  Neighbors take such pride in their homes – carefully upgrading the landscaping and patios outside of their condos with cheerful flowers and plants.

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If you didn’t see enough green on the grounds, you’ll surely find plenty on the 3 par golf course ajoining the neighborhood.  Residents can relax by golfing right there in the community.  The course is challenging but fun, and the best part is its barely ever crowded.

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Homeowners in New Horizon’s also get to enjoy a lovely clubhouse with lots of amenities.  Join the other residents for a game of cards, checkers, or a dip in the pool.  There is also a ballroom and billiard room – plenty of activities to keep busy!

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If you’re interested in the lifestyle New Horizon’s adult 55+ community offers, or our listing at 22919 Nadine Circle B – just give us a call – 877-230-3211.  We’d be happy to take you on a tour of all the active listings and amenities!

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First Time Buyer Fears – 5 Reasons Renters Hesitate to Buy a Home

Posted on January 2, 2012. Filed under: First Time Buyer help, Making Life Easier, Orange County Real Estate | Tags: , , , |

First time buyer Orange CountyAs first time buyer specialists, we’re constantly helping buyers address their fears about purchasing real estate. Some are very valid, while others are simply fear of the unknown. If you know someone going through pre-homebuying drama , please share this post with them, so they know they’re not alone, and understand how to overcome! 🙂

1. Fear of getting rejected.

There are WAY too many renters missing out on today’s buyer’s market simply because they are afraid to get qualified. They’re afraid that one bill they forgot to pay 5 years ago or those charged off accounts from college will keep them from buying a home forever. This is NOT true!! Everyone has dings on their credit, it does not mean you’ll be excluded from buying a home.  At least talk to a lender and see what steps you need to take next to get qualified.  Interest rates are ROCK BOTTOM right now, you owe it to yourself to try 🙂

2. Fear of losing good faith deposit.

A typical California ‘Good faith’ deposit (GFD) is 3% of the purchase price. Buyers write a ‘Good faith’ check and submit it with their offer, and if their offer is selected, the check is cashed and the escrow process begins. We’ve seen lots of buyers hesitate to write this check because they believe once the check clears, they MUST buy that property. In California, this is FAR from the truth. Your GFD is simply funds you as the buyer put forward to show your commitment to the property as you do your due diligence. During this due diligence contingency period, you can decide against the property and have your deposit returned for any reason, so don’t lose a great property because you are in fear of making a deposit!

3. Fear of overpaying.

Even though today’s buyers know the market better than ever with access to the MLS via internet and home value apps everywhere, buyers are still afraid to make a move in fear they will have ‘overpaid’ for a property they fell in love with, and be stuck underwater for years and years. (Sound like any renters you know??) Nothing could be further from the truth. Unless you are paying CASH for a property, it’s impossible for you to overpay, because there are systems of checks and balances in place to ensure this does not happen. During your ‘due diligence’ period, your lender is also doing their due diligence to make sure this is a solid property to loan you money on. The lender will send out an appraiser, and the appraiser’s sole job is to confirm the property is worth the price you offered on it. So rest easy knowing the bank will never loan you more money than the property is worth, even if you wanted to overpay. Plus, having an experienced buyers agent as your Realtor will also help you avoid overpaying, so you’re double covered 🙂

4. Fear of choosing a lemon.

We’ve all seen “The Money Pit” with Tom Hanks….YIKES! There are a lot of people out there who believe sellers will lie, cheat and steal to get their property sold. (and sometimes they may try to!) Fortunately for today’s homebuyers, a property inspection is conducted to ensure the home you love is not a lemon. There are quality home inspectors all over Orange County and they will inspect your property while its in escrow to make sure all the electrical, plumbing, appliances and structure is in working order. After a buyer’s inspection is complete, it is also typical to submit a ‘request for repairs’ to the seller with a list of items you would like addressed before moving into the property. Every property will have its problems, but buyers will always go into the situation with eyes wide open as long as they get a a property inspection with a quality inspector.

5. Fear of overextending.

Another completely valid buyer fear is over extension. “What if I bite off more than I can chew”? “What if I get laid off”? “What if I need to move”? These are all GOOD things to consider, but, they are not reasons why you should rent in fear the rest of your life. Actually, if you rent until you retire, you’re going to have a lot of reasons to worry how you’ll keep the roof over your head. Ideally, you’ll purchase a property, pay down the mortgage, and live in your paid off property after retirement 😉 In order to safeguard your investment, its a really good idea to have 3-6 months worth of reserves in the bank in case you do lose your job or need to move and find a renter for your property.  Talk to your financial advisor about how much you should have in reserves so you don’t overextend and have to eat ramen noodles for the rest of your life.  Its bad for your health.

What makes you hesitate to buy a home? If you’ve already bought your first property, do you remember your biggest fear when you took the plunge the first time? Please share by commenting below or tweeting @weeksteam or @angieweeks – we’d love to hear your story!!

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Orange County VA Loans – 8 Things Realtors (and Vets!) Should Know

Posted on October 3, 2011. Filed under: First Time Buyer help, Lenders & Loan info, Making Life Easier | Tags: , , |

VA LoansHey Orange County Veterans!  Here’s a great article about VA loans from OCAR mag, reprinted with permission here on our blog.  If you’re interested in a VA loan or getting a home with your veteran benefits please contact the AskAngie team at 877-230-3211!

VA Loans on the Rise

With deployment looming and more veterans entering the workforce soon, Realtors might want to brush up on the basics of VA financing.  A VA (Veterans Administration) guaranteed home loan is the preferred loan program for Active (and non-active), Reserve, National Guard, and retired military of the armed forces because there is no down payment needed, the interest rates are low, and no private monthly mortgage insurance is required.

An interesting fact — more than 27 million veterans and service personnel are eligible for VA financing.  This is a growing buyer segment for the real estate community.

Veteran Loans – Do I Qualify?

To be eligible for a VA loan, Wartime/Conflict Veterans must serve for at least 90 days and must receive an honorable discharge.  Here are the dates of active duty:

  • World War II – September 16, 1940 to July 25, 1947
  • Korean Conflict – June 27, 1950 to January 31, 1955
  • Vietnam Era – August 5, 1964 to May 7, 1975
  • Persian Gulf War – Check with VA regional office for specific eligibility.
  • Afghanistan and Iraq – Check the VA’s Web site for eligibility guidelines for current service in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Reserves and National Guard – Members who have completed six years of service and have been honorably discharged (or are still serving) may be eligible for a VA loan.

For peacetime service, an applicant must have at least 181 days of continuous active duty with no dishonorable discharge. If discharged earlier due to a service-connected disability, the applicant must contact the regional VA office to verify eligibility.

8 Things Realtor’s & Vets Should Know about VA Loans:

  1. 100% financing – No down, Zero Down.   Unlike an FHA loan (3.5% down) or a conventional loan (3-5% down), a VA loan requires no down payment.
  2. No monthly private mortgage insurance is required.  Unlike a low down FHA or a no down Conventional loan (which require PMI), a VA loan has no PMI.
  3. 4% seller credit is okay — There is a limitation on buyers closing costs.  FHA and Conventional loans allow for a 6% seller credit, but VA loans cap this credit at 4%.
  4. VA is not a lender — VA does not actually lend the money to you directly. Instead, the VA offers a guaranty to lenders, like me, that if the loan goes into default, they will pay the lender a percentage of the loan balance. The word GUARANTY does not actually guaranty the veteran will qualify for a VA home loan.  Instead, it’s a “guaranty” that the lender will not incur losses in case the VA borrower hits hard times and a foreclosure ever develops.
  5. Interest rates are low – The interest rates are similar to FHA rates.
  6. You don’t need perfect credit – Most lenders require at least a 620 FICO score, but some lenders will go as low as 580, if certain conditions are met.
  7. The VA defines allowable fees and charges that the veteran borrower can pay or closing costs that may be charged to the borrower. These costs are determined as reasonable and customary by each local VA office. All other costs in the transaction are considered non-allowable and generally paid by the seller when purchasing a new home or by the lender when refinancing your current VA mortgage. Allowable fees are appraisal, inspections, recording fees, credit report, prepaid items, hazard insurance, flood check, survey, title insurance, and VA funding fee.
  8. The VA also specifies what is NOT allowable.  Additional fees may be charged to the veteran only if specifically authorized by VA. The lender may request VA to approve such a fee if it is, (a) normally paid by the borrower in a particular jurisdiction, and, (b) considered reasonable and customary in the jurisdiction.  The following list provides examples of items that CANNOT be charged to the veteran as “itemized fees and charges.” Instead, the lender must cover any cost of these items out of its flat 1% fee.   Non-allowable fees include:  Loan closing or settlement fees, underwriting, processing, escrow fees, notary, document preparation fees, preparing loan papers or conveyance fees, attorneys services other than for title work, photographs, interest rate lock-in fees,  escrow fees, broker fees by third party mortgage brokers and tax service fees.

PAUL E. SCHEPER, MBA, CSA, SRES is a devoted member of OCAR.  He is a graduate from Harvard University and USC.  He is a licensed mortgage banker and OC VA loan specialist since 1984.

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First Time Homebuyers Have a New Reason to Rejoice

Posted on September 1, 2011. Filed under: First Time Buyer help, Making Life Easier, Orange County Real Estate | Tags: , , |

As if there weren’t a bonanza of incentives already available to first time homebuyers, newbies have yet another excellent reason to purchase a house. Called Homepath, this very generous program currently enables Fannie Mae to offer buyers up to 3.5% in closing cost assistance through October 31, 2011.  In addition, a $1,200 selling agent bonus is available to agents who close on an owner occupant property and meet all eligibility requirements and terms and conditions. 

Remember, Homepath is available only for Fannie Mae properties and to first time buyers. If you and your chosen property qualify, the program offers you a fantastic way to get some amazing benefits. Possibilities include getting your closing costs paid or changing a prohibitively costly condo into an affordable dream home.

If you’re interested in Homepath, here are some of the conditions you should be aware of.

  • Buyers and/or selling agents (the agent representing the buyer) must request the incentive upon submission of initial offer.
  • Initial offer must be submitted on or after June 14, 2011 and close by October 31, 2011. Initial offers made prior to June 14 are not eligible for the June 14 – October 31 incentive.
  • Sale must close on or before October 31, 2011. No exceptions will be made to this deadline. (Note: Initial offers submitted after September 15, 2011 may not close by the incentive deadline of October 31, 2011.)

If you’d like to learn more about Homepath, I’ll be delighted to help. Just call, tweet, or email me at 949.338.7408,   @AngieWeeks, @WeeksTeam, or  angie@askangie.com.  I’m ready to assist you in any way I can.

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A Good Deal Starts With a Realistic Investor Strategy

Posted on September 1, 2011. Filed under: First Time Buyer help, Making Life Easier, Orange County Real Estate | Tags: , |

Like any investors, those delving into Orange County real estate want the best possible deal. Great. But investors also need to temper their profit quest with a sound strategy and realistic expectations. Getting a good deal boils down to four essentials:

1. Decide how much you want to spend.
2. Determine your intention. Do you want a portfolio piece or a buy & flip?
3. Know how to recognize a good deal.  After determining market value and identifying the desired neighborhood, an investor who gets a property at 10 percent below market value definitely is getting a  DEAL.
4. Factor in the REAL numbers. How much are expenses, upgrades, commissions, rents, etc.?

I gained a few additional insights from John, a full time courthouse steps investor. According to him, if you make 10-15% on a foreclosure, you’ve done mighty good for yourself. Remember, the key to making a profit is how fast you can move the property or turn your money.  

John added that many investors seek unfinancable condos. That’s because the more difficult it is to buy a home, the more its value drops. Many investors buy condos to hold for 5-10 yrs, hoping the hoa recovers and the property significantly appreciates. He pointed out that condos in college towns are in fairly high demand because of their proximity to the local campus.

If you’re scouring the marketplace for investment possibilities and want to do some number crunching, I can provide you with a very useful spreadsheet. Just call, tweet, or email me at 949.338.7408,   @AngieWeeks, @WeeksTeam, or  angie@askangie.com.  I’m ready to assist you in any way I can.

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Four Tips for Serious Real Estate Investors

Posted on April 15, 2011. Filed under: First Time Buyer help, Informed Investor Alliance, Orange County Real Estate | Tags: , |

For success in today’s marketplace, a Real Estate investor definitely needs a realistic strategy and set of expectations.  Before you plunk down your hard earned money on an Orange County property, you’ve got to cut through all the debris and determined exactly what IS a good deal, who gets them, and how.  From my experience, investors should adhere to the following guidelines to maximize their chances of success.

1. Determine how much you want to spend.
2. Determine your intention.  Is the property you’re eyeballing a portfolio piece, or buy & flip?
3. Know how to recognize a good deal.  Once you’ve pinpointed market value and neighborhood, grabbing a property at 10% below market value is a DEAL.
4. Get the REAL numbers. How much are expenses, upgrades, commissions, rents, etc.?

I had the good fortune of interviewing John, a full time courthouse steps investor. According to him, a profit of 10-15% on the courthouse steps is good.  Remember, you make your $$ not on a per deal basis, but by how fast you move the property or turn your money.

John added that many investors are going for condos that are un-financeable. Why? Because the less people can buy, the more the value drops. Good ol’ supply and demand at work. Many investors are buying to hold for 5-10 yrs, hoping the hoa recovers, and the property significantly appreciates. And while we’re on the topic of condos, investors should have a good long look at those located in college towns.  Since these properties are a short walk to the local campus, they have a built-in appeal.

Need a spreadsheet to help with your numbers!?  Just call, tweet, or email me! I’ve got just what you need. And, of course, if you have any questions about buying or selling Orange County homes, I’ll be delighted to help. You can connect with me at 949.338.7408 or  angie@askangie.com,  @AngieWeeks or @WeeksTeam.

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Abundant Opportunities in the Mission Viejo Real Estate Market

Posted on January 15, 2011. Filed under: First Time Buyer help, Orange County Real Estate | Tags: , , |

You say you want to buy a home at a fantastic price in a fantastic community? Then it’s time you discovered the wealth of opportunities Mission Viejo Real Estate has to offer.

Mission Viejo is a community of dreams.  A suburban jewel that has been voted one of the top cities in the United States.  Low crime, high quality of life, outstanding school system, and friendly people are just some of the highlights of this thriving community.

Now if that alone isn’t enough to lure you in for a closer look, consider the choice of excellent homes you’ll discover here.  We’re talking great layouts, generous square footage, and spacious lots. Plus many of these homes offer breathtaking views of surrounding hillsides, mountains, and cityscapes.

Mission Viejo owes a great deal of its inherent appeal to the character of its communities. All of them are united by a common excellence, yet each stands alone with its own personality. Among these standout communities are the La Paz Tract, which was completed in 1970 and consists of 1263 detached homes; the El Dorado Tract, population 62, 000; and the popular Cortez Tract.

And those are just a few of the outstanding communities that make Mission Viejo a place like no other. If you’d like to learn more about any of the city’s upscale communities and the abundant opportunities in the Mission Viejo Real Estate market, I’ll be delighted to help.  You can connect with me at 949.338.7408 or  angie@askangie.com,  @AngieWeeks or @WeeksTeam.

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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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