Crypto, ADU’s, & Homeownership Day 2019 – Register Here!

Posted on November 3, 2018. Filed under: Accessory Dwelling Units, ADUs, First Time Buyer help, Homeownership, International Properties, Lenders & Loan info, OC Home Fair, OC Property Management, OC Property Profiles, Orange County Real Estate | Tags: , , , , |

Want to learn more about Real Estate?

ochomefairOur annual Homeownership Day & OC Home Fair is right around the corner! We are hosting at Chapman University for the 7th year in a row on January 19th, 2019 from 10 AM – 1 PM!

Orange County Young Professionals Network, Chapman University, Orange County Realtors, and local nonprofits are putting this event together for YOU. Homeownership Day is completely FREE and taught by seasoned professionals who are passionate about helping others to change their lives through homeownership and work towards building their future.

Biggity BONUS:::::::Each attendee will be entered to win $1000:::::::courtesy of Orange County Realtors.

Homeownership Day is ‘choose your own adventure style’, where you attend only the sessions you’re interested in. This year offers twelve classes over three sessions – pick from four during each time slot! When you register online at OCHomeFair.com you are able to choose which class you want to be in during each time slot. Some of the highlighted classes this year include:

  • Buying Your First Home
  • Taking Advantage of ADU’s and Granny Flats
  • Preparing for a Market Turn – How to Protect Your Family
  • Investing to be an Automatic Millionaire
  • Buying with Cryptocurrency – What you Need to Know
  • Reverse Mortgages
  • ++++ so many other great learning opportunities that will help you get ahead.  

Learn Property Down Payment Hacks from the Best

OC Home Fair headerParticipating Nonprofits include Women in the Housing & Real Estate Ecosystem (NAWRB), featuring chairwoman Desiree Patno as a speaker. Veterans Association of Real Estate Professionals (VAREP) will also be hosting a class for veterans to take advantage of their housing benefits. NeighborWorksOC and Affordable Clearinghouse will be offering a panel on grants, down-payment programs, and more called ‘Finding Funds to Buy Your Home’. If you are currently renting, these nonprofits are here to help YOU.

Buying A Home with Bitcoin?

Featured in Forbes, Entrepreneur, & Inc Magazine, cryptocurrency transaction expert Piper Moretti will teach ‘Buying with Cryptocurrency – What You Need to Know’. As crypto becomes the mainstream, it’s important to know what to expect and how to protect yourself from cyber-fraud. 

Travel much? As the world continues to shrink, Spencer Hoo is a Certified International Property Specialist (CIPS) active in Orange County Young Professionals Network (OCYPN) and Asian Real Estate Association of America (AREAA). This year Spencer is teaching our “Safely Buying and Selling International Real Estate” session.

Tired of Renting?

Orange County Realtors 2019 President Matt Clements will educate on Hassle Free Homebuying, and past Orange County Young Professionals Network chair Angie Weeks (yours truly!) will teach on David Bach’s book concepts to become “The Automatic Millionaire Homeowner”. This information is absolutely essential to anyone who wants to grow their real estate empire safely.

OC Home Fair is for Everybody. Homeownership Matters.

Investing to an Automatic Millionare!Whether you’re trying to buy your first home, or someone who owns multiple homes but is trying to grow your portfolio or buy internationally, our classes have real life applications to help everyone learn how to establish and grow a residual income stream. There is absolutely no pitching, anything to buy, or programs to subscribe to– just solid information presented by experienced industry leaders.

To join the next generation of real estate, and to educate yourself on all there is to know about safely building wealth with property, and for a complete colloquium list, please register online at OCHomeFair.com or simply fill out the form below:

 

We’ll see you at Chapman University on January 19th!

In the meantime, Let’s be InstaFriends! Follow us at @AskAngieTeam@OCHomeFair

You can stay in touch with all of your connections you’ll inevitably make at Homeownership Day at these by following these tags on IG & Twitter.

#OCHomeFair #HomeownershipDay

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Vow2Save featured in South County Magazine!

Posted on October 19, 2018. Filed under: First Time Buyer help, Homeownership, Orange County Real Estate, Vow2Save Orange County Real Estate Registry | Tags: , , , , , |

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Our Vow2Save program launched

We’ve been working on our Vow2Save program for years now – perfecting and enhancing its qualities. We are very excited that it is now fully functioning and helping newlyweds everywhere. On Vow2Save’s website you can set up your own wedding website with the ability to crowd fund a down payment for your first home together. We know nowadays many couples are living together before marriage or living separate in rented apartments or homes. This means most couples already have kitchen supplies and towels that most couples register for on their wedding registry. Now, instead of getting gifts that you don’t really need or already have you can register for your own home! What better way to start off your marriage than a down payment all ready for you to purchase your own home.

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Vow2Save in South County mag!

We were recently mentioned in South County magazine talking about our program and what all it entails. This is really exciting for us because its one of our first public mentions with our new program! The article in South County Magazine talks about how much debt most Americans are in and how many newlyweds start their marriage off with overwhelming debt due to buying a home. Thanks to Vow2Save they can get into a home without the debt taking over. It mentions how easy it is to set up your own site with templates, infographics and how-to emails. We work with Realtors all over the country so it isn’t secluded to just Orange County! We are so excited to work with newlyweds nationwide.

We are really excited to help brides to be start their wedding website and registry with Vow2Save – so if you or anyone you know is getting married soon and wanting to buy a home please send them over to us! Email info@vow2save.com or fill out the form below for more information!

 

 

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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.

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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!
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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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Owning vs Renting in OC

Posted on September 15, 2018. Filed under: First Time Buyer help, Homeownership, Making Life Easier, Orange County Real Estate, Renting | Tags: , , , , , |

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Are you struggling with the increase in rent here in OC?

Most people are having a hard time staying in one place with the increase in rent for current residents every year. The Orange County Register posted that Orange County rent is up $73 a month or 3.8 percent year over year in May of 2018. There is no rent control to help current residents stay closer to their going rate after living there year after year. We have been renters before and understand the struggle of paying so much every month for something that isn’t actually yours. In reality you could be paying around the same amount every month to own a home. Believe us, it feels a lot better to make that payment every month knowing that you own your home. It doesn’t look like the price of rent is going to decrease anytime here in Orange County so now is the time to get yourself your own home.

Benefits of Homeownership

There are so many more benefits to homeownership other than just having something of your own. Most people don’t realize how affordable owning a home really is, down payment options are as low as 3.5% currently. We often think about how expensive it is to own our home, but do we ever consider how expensive it is not too? Throwing all that money away on rent every month adds up to such a high price on something you don’t even get to keep. While owning a home you are building equity which helps you have a better plan for your future. You also save on your taxes if you’re a homeowner so really, owning a home makes you some money every year in equity and tax savings. You are no longer tied to a landlord who can raise your rent or change things on you at the end of any lease and your family has a stable home to live and grow in. However, we think the best part of homeownership is the pride you feel knowing you worked hard for something that is all your own.

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Rent vs Own Analysis

To help you more visualize why owning is more beneficial than renting we created a rent vs owning analysis based on a rent of $2500 a month or buying our current home on the market 16555 Sell Circle . Let’s say you had a down payment of around $10,000 and got a loan for $515,000 for the rest of the payment, with a 4.875 interest rate. You pay HOA fees of $360 a month, but you also get a tax benefit from owning a home. This is the amount you’d be SAVING to own instead of renting! Many people think they can’t afford their own home, but they definitely can! We would love to help you put together one of these for your own situation to help you see the difference in your life if you were to buy a home!

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If you are interested in seeing your rent vs own analysis or if you’re ready to find your home contact Angie at 949-338-7408!

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

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

Finally a NORMAL market in OC

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

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

Luxury homes are still in demand

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

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

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

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Homeownership and Divorce: What To Do About Your House

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

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

Listing your home during a divorce

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

 

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

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

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

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

Hard Scenarios You MUST Consider During Divorce

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Loan Advisor for your Southern California home

Posted on July 6, 2018. Filed under: Conventional Loan, FHA loans, First Time Buyer help, Homeownership, Lenders & Loan info, Loan Advisor, Making Life Easier, Orange County Real Estate | Tags: , , , , , , , |

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Need help with a loan for your home?

We value strong work relationships so much in our line of work. Successful home buying includes many different people and many different skills, and we couldn’t be as successful as we are without the help of our favorite referrals. When our clients are needing help with a loan to purchase their home or refinance on a loan they currently have, we frequently match them with Derek Beisner at RPM Mortgage.

Derek has an ‘advance approval’ program which basically makes buyers look as good as cash investors. This approval allows us to write out the loan contingency and close a loan in 21 days. In today’s tough market, this helps our buyer offers rise to the top of the pile!

Loan Advisor with RPM Mortgage

Derek Beisner has over 20 years of experience in the loan business. We have known each other through Orange County LeTip for almost fifteen years and he is the trusted mortgage lender in our group. He specializes in residential home purchases and refinance loans. His creative problem solving and forward thinking sets him apart from the rest. A key part of what he does for our clients and his own is a Custom Mortgage Analysis to determine the best loan option available that will suit their specific financial needs. This helps make sure each client has a loan that is going to work best with their lifestyle and financial situation. His expertise in the loan profession and his passion for serving clients, as well as, his determination to close on time will win you over (it sure did us)! Derek is one of our preferred Vow2Save lenders and he can loan in all states! Vow2Save is a very important program to us, allowing engaged couples to register for a down payment on their first home, so we only refer the best of the best to these couples.

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Mortgage Done Right

Derek’s Mission Statement shows just how reliable and easy he is to work with. It also shows you how seriously he takes his profession and the passion that allows him to do it so efficiently.

Mission Statement
My goal is to provide my clients with an unbelievable experience from start to finish with the loan process. By developing a vehicle for them to achieve the goal for their loan or refinance in a friendly and stress free environment.

It is my desire to conduct my business with the highest level of integrity and respect for my clients and co-workers.

And it is important to me to honor God in all that I do.

If you’re looking for help on a new or existing loan and you’re not sure who to contact the AskAngie team highly recommends Derek. Contact him at dbeisner@rpm-mtg.com or 949-637-9939 and if you’re looking for the perfect home to use that loan on contact Angie at 949-338-7408.

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How to sell your home fast and for top dollar

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

 

Thinking of selling your home?

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

Declutter and bring in the light

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

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An example of a light and bright living room

Changing perspective

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

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

Knowing the market

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

Bring the whole package from day one!

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

These are just a few additional tips that we added on to share with you. but our team has created a report, 29 Essential Tips That Get Homes Sold Fast (And For Top Dollar). If this report is something you are interested in reading or you know someone who is thinking of selling their home and could use some tips just fill out the form below to have it emailed to you! If you need any additional advice or are looking for someone to help you sell your home quickly contact Angie at 949-338-7408!

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Relocating to Southern California? Writing a strong offer in today’s OC market

Posted on May 4, 2018. Filed under: First Time Buyer help, Homeownership, Making Life Easier, Orange County Real Estate | Tags: , , , , , |

 

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Sunset over Surf City Huntington Beach Pier

Southern California’s Current Housing Crisis

Are you thinking of buying in relocating to Orange County, CA? Today’s market can be frustrating and intimidating, but there are ways to make the buying process easier. The housing market in Orange County and LA has been on the rise and the inventory has been poorly stocked. This usually means there are multiple buyers interested in houses on the market. Bringing your offer to the table fully ready and easy to work with helps you have a rise above the other buyers interested in the home you want! We have some tips that we have experienced with our clients that has helped them get ahead of the game when it comes to receiving offer acceptance on the home they really want.

Rejected? Preparing an offer that gets accepted for your future Orange County home

Down-payment-gift

Having your offer and all of the extras prepared when deciding on the home you want will make the difference between acceptance and rejection. You’ll want to start with a fully underwritten loan that is ready to go! It makes your offer SUPER strong if you can write off your loan contingency, and just leave your appraisal contingency. Sellers LOVE this. This allows the seller to know your loan homework is done and you are ready to go NOW. It shows that you are almost as strong as a cash buyer for their home.

In addition, sellers in today’s market expect to see your Proof of Funds (POF) on day zero. Be prepared to show your reserves with every offer. As a good buyer’s agent, we hold all this info on file ready to fire off as soon as you are ready to submit an offer. Time is of the essence.

Are You Easy to Work With!?

Another thing that has helped our clients have an edge up on other buyers is having a non-contingent offer on a property sale. This gives you that edge up because you are stuck selling your existing home and praying for a fast buyer. If you’re open to handle repairs on your own dime, (aka signing an ‘as-is’ offer), than sellers are more likely to choose you because it gets them out of the headaches of dealing with contractors during escrow. Sometimes, this allows you to go in with a less than asking offer, knowing you will take care of repairs yourself later on.

Having a proper letter written to the sellers also makes you look professional and organized. We always recommend this to our clients so the sellers really know who you are, and why this house is perfect for you! We even include a photo of you & your family in the letter so they can place a face with the name. Trust us…this makes a HUGE difference when there are 5 or 10 offers on the table!!

If you’ve been struggling to get a bid accepted in this market, or don’t have proper representation, please contact us, we will make sure you’re taken care of! Even if you DO have all your ducks in a row, expect to write at least 3 offers in Orange County before you have one accepted. Statistically speaking there are at least 10 buyers for every home, so simply writing an offer is not enough. Let us help you win your bid! We’re at 949-338-7408 for a consult anytime. Just call or text!

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Avoiding Heartbreak During Orange County Spring Home Buying Season

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

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

Getting everything prepared to buy your home!

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

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

Advanced Tips for Homebuying Success

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

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

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

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

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Superior Home Safety Rankings in Orange County, CA

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

Local Orange County Cities are Among the Safest in the Nation

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

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

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High Marks for Safety

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

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

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

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

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

Helping Homeowners Nationwide

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

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

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

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Hot Topic: FHA or Conventional Loan?

Posted on September 22, 2017. Filed under: Conventional Loan, FHA loans, First Time Buyer help, Lenders & Loan info, Orange County Real Estate | Tags: , , |

Wondering which home loan will be best for you? Here’s some helpful tips

Lots of buyers have been questioning which loan is best for them and their situation. Honestly, it does depend on just that – your situation. We have put together some information on both of these loan options to make it easier for you to decide what you think is best for yourself! Some of the biggest, but most simple differences between FHA and conventional loans are based on their guidelines and who can apply for them. FHA loans are government backed programs that require a minimum 3.5% down payment. These loans tend to be best for borrowers with lower credit than necessary to apply for a conventional loan.

Conventional loans are open-market and are geared for people with a higher credit score, typically near 700 or higher. Rates tend to be a bit lower, and in most cases no Mortgage Insurance is required.

FHA used to be a much more expensive option, but after FHA MIP reductions in 2015 it is now a real competitor. However, FHA can tend to be more strict in requirements than a conventional loan is.

What does an FHA Loan Require?

FHA loans require homes to have the following in good working order:

  • stove
  • heat
  • functioning roof
  • locking doors and windows
  • non-lead based paint

If you are looking to buy a condo… it can only be in a FHA approved community. So if you are choosing FHA, you may have less home options available to you. FHA loans also require you to purchase mortgage insurance which protects the lenders from a loss. In January of 2015, the FHA reduced the annual mortgage insurance premium on a 30 year fixed rate from 1.35 % to 0.85% of the loan balance. This is leading to huge savings for many who want a condo but just don’t have the larger down payment.

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Okay, so which home loan should you choose?

There isn’t one specific answer that fits everybody. It all depends on you, your needs and wants, and what you can afford to choose. If you plan on owning your home for 6-10 years and you don’t mind refinancing to cancel your mortgage insurance you might choose FHA. If you can put 5% down, you plan on keeping your home for 10-20 years and you don’t like the idea of paying mortgage insurance for thirty years you may choose conventional!

If you are looking into buying a home and need help finding one along with deciding which loan option is best for you – we can help! We work with a lot of amazing lender contacts locally here in Orange County that we would love to set you up with. We like to match-make our clients with lenders that we think will benefit them the most. Depending on your personality, wants/needs, and what kind of loan you are interested in all helps us decide which lender will be best for you! Fill out the form below or contact Angie at 949-338-7408 for more information 🙂

 

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Is it time to hire a property manager?

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

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

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

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

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

What will we do for you as your property manager?

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

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

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

How much do Orange County Property Management Services cost?

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

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

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

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Selling your home? 29 Essential Tips.

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

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

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

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

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

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Mission Viejo Single Level Gem for sale

Posted on January 21, 2017. Filed under: First Time Buyer help, Orange County Real Estate | Tags: , , , |

Mission Viejo is one of our favorite cities – super safe, great schools, shopping, & scenery! We’re happy to announce a new listing coming to the MLS soon for just $724,900. It’s single level, charmingly upgraded, and sits on an interior corner lot with RV parking.

The backyard is very private & provides a large covered patio with skylights & stone tile – perfect for a future California Room!  Boasting 4 beds, 2 spa-like baths, enormous eat-in kitchen, soaring ceilings, and oversize decorative tile – don’t miss out on this handsome home.

To schedule an earlybird showing for this classic beauty, just fill out the form below. More details and photos are available at http://www.24151ViaMadrugada.com

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Orange County All Inclusive Trust Deeds (AITDs)

Posted on November 8, 2016. Filed under: First Time Buyer help, Home Seller Tips, Lenders & Loan info, Orange County Short Sales | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

loan-denialWhat is an AITD? An All Inclusive Trust Deed is basically when the buyer takes over the seller’s existing loan. And NO, it doesn’t have to be an ‘assumable loan’ … The current lender is actually not even notified!

Who Are Good Candidates for AITDs?

As a buyer, you could use AITD as an avenue if you cannot qualify for a traditional loan. If you’re a seller, it’s an option if you don’t want to short sale, or if you have a fabulous loan that you would like to transfer to a family member. Another time an AITD could save the day is if you are a seller and your HOA is in litigation, or there is some type of situation causing purchase loans in your community to get denied.

How do AITD Transactions Work?

With an AITD, most aspects are the same as a normal Orange County real estate transaction. Instead of a traditional lender involved, the escrow company draws up the paperwork and usually collects the payments as ‘the manager’, which they then send over to the existing lender on buyer & seller’s behalf.

AITD allows you to make your own qualification rules, which is pretty neat! You don’t necessarily have to worry about credit history, scores, or capital gains taxes (if it’s not your primary residence) should you go this route.

If you’re thinking of doing an AITD, make sure to record the grant deed as well. It’s better for everyone. Especially if you are the buyer, because then you can technically write off the mortgage interest.

A great company to use for this process locally in OC is Mission Country Escrow. Katie the owner spoke to us about it today, and they have been doing AITD’s in Orange County for 30 years. If you’re thinking of doing one, definitely reach out to them.

Questions To Ask When Doing an AITD

  1. Loan amount: is it a ‘mirror image’ of the seller’s current loan, or if not, what interest rate will be charged?
  2. Down payment: is the buyer putting funds down, and if so, how much?
  3. Length: what is the length of the AITD and are there any extension options?
  4. HOA: does the property have a Homeowner’s Association?
  5. Commissions & closing costs: is the typical ‘each to pay own’ presiding, or who is paying?
  6. Loans: how many does the seller currently have, and are they all current?

All Inclusive Trust Deed Risks

Of course, there are plenty of risks too. Technically, the lender could call the loan due & payable because the owner transferred. However, the chances of that happening (unless there’s a late payment) are very slim.

Furthermore, we had Steve Fink, real estate attorney discuss advantages & disadvantages of AITD. Honestly, there are a ton of risks involved, and these AITD transactions should be done only in very special cases and with extreme caution. Always use a professional, and get your facts!

If you’d like a personal introduction or have questions about AITD’s, just call Angie at 949-338-7408, tweet @AngieWeeks, or fill out the form below – we’ll be sure to connect you with trusted professionals to protect your interest!

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Orange County Solar – will it save me money?

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

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

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

How does Solar work?

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

Solar Installation & Purchasing Tips:

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

img_9586

Interested in Going Green Now? Steps to Go Solar:

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

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

How Should I Pay For Solar?

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

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

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

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Tiny Homes & Cutting Edge Home Performance Monitoring 

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

img_9170

Tiny Home owner / builder Corbett Lunsford

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

Tiny Terrors?

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

Your home is a system.

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

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

How do I know my home is safe & efficient?

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

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

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

2 Systems – enclosure, engine (anything that moves)

1 Goal – CONTROL

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

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

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

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

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Orange County 1031 Exchange & Other Investor Property Tax Shelters

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

smart-investorGot investment property?

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

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

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

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

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

1031 Exchange Timelines

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

1031timeline

Cashing out funds with a 1031 Exchange

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

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

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

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

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

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

img_9046

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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, CA Real Estate for hip first-time buyers and investors. Plus, fun things to know and do in OC.

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