April 12, 2018

How to Consolidate Your Loan


Loan consolidation is a solution a lot of our clients are turning to. Here’s what you should know about it.

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Today we’re joined by Lauren Williams, our favorite lender, to talk about consolidating your loan so you can save money and not have to worry about these rates as they continue to go up.

 

Loan consolidation is something that a lot of our clients are looking into right now. If you’re in your current home, we want to help you position yourself so that you are in a prime position of not having to pay through the roof with your mortgage payments or being forced to sell because you can’t consolidate.

 

Right now, interest rates are going up. The Federal Reserve recently announced that they will be increasing the prime rate again, meaning that a lot of the home equity lines of credit you may have are increasing. Now is the time to get in touch with Lauren to see whether or not you can save more money.

 

 

Interest rates are going up soon.

 

 

One of Lauren’s clients had three different home equity lines of credit, but she’s saving them $5,000 by consolidating. It’s definitely worth it to explore your options.

 

To learn more or to find out whether consolidation works for you, give Lauren a call at 714-625-0130. If you have any other real estate-related questions or needs we can assist with, don’t hesitate to give us a call or send us an email. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

Posted in Real Estate News
April 2, 2018

4 Reasons to Sell Your Home This Spring


There are four reasons why now is the perfect time to sell as we enter the spring market.

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Springtime is in full force, and there are four reasons to put your home on the market right now.

 

First, buyer demand will remain strong. Buyers are out in full force right now looking for their dream home. In certain price points, buyer demand continues to outpace the actual supply of homes for sale, which means buyers are often competing with one another for the few listings that are available.

 

Second, there’s less competition right now. Housing inventory is still under the six-month supply level that’s needed for a normal market. This means that in the majority of the country, there aren’t enough homes for sale to satisfy the number of buyers in the marketplace. Here in Orange County and other LA county markets, home sellers have little-to-no competition in certain price points.

 

 

The bottom line is that now is still a great time to get involved in the real estate market.

 

 

Third, there will likely never be a better time to move up. Prices are projected to appreciate by 4.3% over the next year, according to various economists and real estate websites. If you plan on moving into a higher-priced home, it will cost you more in terms of your down payment and your mortgage payment if you wait.

 

Last but not least, it’s time to move on with your life. Look at the reasons you decided to sell in the first place and determine whether it’s really worth waiting any longer. Perhaps it’s time for you and your family to move on and start living the life you deserve.

 

The bottom line is there’s never been a better time to sell. We have low inventory, lots of buyers, and homes are appreciating. What more could you ask for?

 

If you have any questions about why you should sell this spring or you do plan on listing your home and you want to talk strategy, don’t hesitate to give me a call. I’d love to help you.

Posted in Selling Your Home
March 19, 2018

2 Important Things to Know About Our Real Estate Market


How do rising interest rates and low inventory levels impact you as a homebuyer or seller? I’ll explain today.

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It’s March, and the big story in real estate right now is about inventory and mortgage rates.

 

We have a very low supply of inventory. It’s actually down 7% from the same time last year. That means there are fewer choices for buyers and less competition for the home sellers out there. Those who act quickly and list their home right now would benefit greatly from additional exposure to buyers before the flood of competition hits the market in the next few months as we enter spring and summer.

 

We are also beginning to see the rates for 30-year fixed mortgages increase. About six months ago, rates were in the high 3% range. Now, rates are bouncing around in the 4.75% to 5% range.

 

 

The bottom line is that now is still a great time to get involved in the real estate market.

 

 

When interest rates go up, that has an impact on how much a buyer can borrow to purchase a home. For example, with a 3.75% interest rate, a buyer could qualify for a $600,000 mortgage. If rates increase to 5%, that same buyer would only be able to qualify for a $550,000 mortgage.

 

The bottom line is that with low inventory and historic low interest rates, now is still a great time to get involved in the real estate market.

 

If you have any other questions about our current market, just give me a call or send me an email. I would be able to help you!

Posted in Market Update
Feb. 27, 2018

3 Tips for Maximizing Your Home’s Showings


To maximize your home's showings, you need to appeal to a buyer's sense of smell, sight, and hearing.

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When showing your home while it’s on the market, it’s important to engage the buyers’ three senses: sight, sound, and smell.

 

As far as sight goes, this means decluttering and depersonalizing your home. Take down any excessive family photos or collectibles and anything else that might take the buyer’s focus off of your home. You want the buyer to be able to visualize themselves and their family in your home. If your home is vacant during its showings, I highly recommend virtually staging it. Some people have trouble visualizing the inside of a home, so virtual staging will help them a lot.

 

When it comes to smell, it’s critical that the moment a buyer walks through your home, their scent experience is positive. Lighting some scented candles, baking some cookies, or utilizing some air diffusers can be the perfect touch.

 

 

First impressions are everything.

 

 

In fact, I recently sold a home that had been sitting on the market with a different Realtor without any success because the owners didn’t realize their two Labradors had given the home a distinct pet odor that was turning buyers off. Once we got rid of the dog smell, it was like a completely different property. We sold it in record time for a record price, and the sellers were absolutely thrilled.

 

For sound, I recommend playing some soft music in the background. If you have windchimes or a fountain, that can help too. As we already know, first impressions are everything.

 

If you have any questions about how to prepare your home to sell it for the highest price possible in the quickest amount of time, don’t hesitate to give me a call or shoot me a text. I’d love to help you.

Posted in Selling Your Home
Sept. 21, 2017

Does Your Current Home Fit Your Needs?

Does your current home fit your needs? If you’ve been waiting to move up into a more luxurious property, now is the perfect time to do so.

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Today, Lauren Williams from JMJ Financial joins me to discuss a great opportunity in our current market.

 

Does your current house fit your needs? Does it seem like everyone else is moving up into more luxurious homes? What would it take for you to live your real estate dream life?

 

If you want to keep up with the Joneses, now is the time to make your move.

 

Local and national market conditions have created a great opportunity for those who are looking to move up into a premium or upscale home.

 

The National Association of Realtors reports that inventory levels are just a tad over four months. Locally, Orange and LA County have about three months of inventory.

 

Less than six months of inventory is considered a seller’s market. The market needs six to seven months of inventory in order to be a balanced or neutral market. However, the national market is in a seller’s market, as inventory has declined year over year for 25 consecutive months.

 

Homes for sale in lower-priced markets have seen double-digit drops in inventory. Inventory has declined by 60% for start-up homes and 13% for trade-off homes over the last 12 months. However, inventory in the premium market only dropped by 4%.

In other words, you have the option to sell your lower priced home in a seller’s market that only has 30 to 45 days of inventory. Then, you will enter a buyer’s market if you’re looking at high-end homes, which are on the market for about 120 to 160 days.

On the lending side, interest rates are at an all-time low. According to Lauren, jumbo rates are actually lower than the high-balance rates, so you can buy a higher-end home with a lower rate and a lower payment. Everyone wins!

The bottom line is if you’re thinking of listing your home and moving up into a higher-end market, now is the time to sit down with a real estate professional and evaluate your ability to do so. After all, homeowners across the country are upgrading their homes—why can’t you?

If you have any questions for Lauren, you can reach her at 714-625-0130. As always, if you have any questions about real estate, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I would be happy to help you!

Posted in Buying a Home
Sept. 6, 2017

Why Are More Boomerang Buyers About to Enter the Market?

The number of homebuyers in the real estate market is about to increase as boomerang buyers prepare to re-enter the market. 

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What are boomerang buyers and why are more of them entering the real estate market?

 

As a professional Realtor, I study home prices daily, as well as research studies that could impact our market so that our clients are two steps ahead of the marketplace.

 

A recent study by TransUnion, “The Bubble, the Burst, and Now—What Happened to the Consumer?” revealed that 1.5 million homeowners who were negatively impacted by the housing crises could re-enter the housing market between 2016 and 2019.

 

 

 

 

The interesting thing is that a good portion of buyers who have purchased a home over the last 12 months previously lost their mortgage through a short sale or have recovered from bankruptcy.

 

In fact, HousingWire recently analyzed data from the U.S. Bankruptcy Courts and found that six million Americans will have their bankruptcies removed from their credit reports in the next five years. According to HousingWire, this could “send a flood of more homebuyers into the housing market.”

 

If you look at the video, there’s a chart that shows the total number of bankruptcies filed in the United States over the last two years. Over 3.3 million people have already waited the seven years necessary to remove their bankruptcies from their credit reports.

 

 

 

 

So, how exactly will this send a number of boomerang buyers into the housing market?

 

Think of the time lapse alone. As the article mentioned, in 2010 the number of Chapter 7 bankruptcies increased to nearly 1.14 million. Seven years later, those bankruptcies will fade from credit histories, enabling prospective buyers to become homeowners again once their credit scores improve.

 

Both reports show that there is an opportunity for the homeownership rate to increase drastically over the next few years as all of these boomerang buyers return to the market.

 

If your family was negatively impacted by the housing bust, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. You may be able to buy your dream home sooner than you think.

 

If you are thinking of selling your home in the near future, now is the time. Housing inventory is low, interest rates are low, and buyer demand is high.

 

If you have any other questions about boomerang buyers or you’re curious about entering the housing market, just give me a call or send me an email. I would be happy to help you!

 

 

Posted in Real Estate News
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Posted in Selling Your Home
Aug. 1, 2016

Why Paying Less Commission Will Cost You More Money

Buying an Orange or LA County HomeSearch all Homes for Sale
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Why is paying less commission going to cost you more money?

A good, strong, professional Realtor usually charges about 6% commission to list, market, and sell a property. Why are there Realtors out there who would charge less than half of that?

Let’s think about that for a moment. If a Realtor is going to reduce their fee to sell your home, what are they going to do professionally to market your home outside of the MLS? Because I specialize in listing and selling homes that other Realtors couldn’t sell, I can say from experience that most discount Realtors have extremely low marketing capabilities. Under their guidance, homes take longer to sell and receive lower offers due to their lack of negotiating experience.  

If you pay less, you’re going to get less.
At first, it seems like you would be saving 1% or 2% on commission, but in reality, you’re losing 4% to 7% on the sales process. Another thing you should be concerned with regarding a Realtor who reduces their fee (i.e. paycheck) is how strong their negotiating skills are in the first place. If they can’t even defend their own paycheck, how are they going to defend the equity in your home?

You want a Realtor who’s going to market your home aggressively, negotiate the highest dollar, and
has a great team behind them to give you world-class service. For example, we’re getting almost 5% more for our homes than the average Realtor in the marketplace. Our clients are walking away with almost $21,000 more than the average Realtor can get.

In real estate, you get what you pay for. If you pay less, you’re going to get less. Any Realtor that’s any good in this town, or any town, is going to charge at least 6%. Any agent that offers less is either part-time or new to the business. I can’t guarantee it, but 99% of the time I’m right.

If you’re thinking about selling or know somebody who is, call me or send me an email. I look forward to hearing from you soon.
Posted in Selling Your Home
July 16, 2016

Preparing Your Home Without Breaking the Bank

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It’s summertime, and a lot of people are getting ready to sell their homes. If you’re in preparation mode, you want your home to look as good as possible to increase its value, but you don’t want to break the bank in preparing it. We have five easy and cost-effective ways you can spruce up your home’s value without investing a ton of money into the preparation.

1. Paint. A fresh coat of paint and a splash of color is an easy way to warm up a home and make it look more updated. Use a soft, neutral color to warmly welcome buyers. If you want to add some bright color, put it on the front door. It can differentiate your home from others on the outside and make it shine from the street.

2. Curb appeal. Aside from the front door, a few simple tasks can help your home look great to the buyers who are walking up to it. A layer of mulch is the easiest and quickest thing to do. Pulling weeds and making sure the yard is maintained by mowing and planting a few flowers here and there will make a big difference as well. Add touch-up paint to the eaves and baseboards too.
If you want to add some bright color, put it on the front door.
3. New appliances and hardware. Even if the rest of the kitchen needs work, new appliances or hardware can further entice a buyer.

4. Quick bathroom updates. A newly painted vanity, hardware, fixtures, and new lighting can make a tired bathroom look fresh again. A fluffy set of towels, a nice rug, and sleek accessories make the space look good too.

5. New bedding. You would be surprised how new bedding can transform the look of your bedroom for next to nothing. There are two schools of thought on how to apply this tip. You can either get a cheap bed set that looks nice, or spend a little more for something with the look and feel of luxury.

We have been helping a tremendous amount of homeowners get top dollar for their homes without breaking the bank in the process of getting it ready. If you want to talk more about your home, your future goals, or you’re just curious about how these things enhance your sale, give us a call or send us an email. We would love to help.
Posted in Selling Your Home