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Here’s how you can find your debt-to-income ratio and qualify.“What exactly does it take to qualify for a mortgage?” Interest rates are rising, and I’ve received this question a lot recently as a result. Many buyers want to find a new home before rates increase further. If you’re in that boat but don’t know what you qualify for, today I want to bre…
 
Here are a few things you should not do until your home purchase is final.If you’re in the process of trying to secure financing for a home purchase, there are certain things you should avoid doing at all costs. There are three, in particular, that you should watch out for:1. Avoid making large purchases. It’s exciting to be so close to the finish …
 
Here’s what buyers and sellers need to know about rent-back agreements.Today we’re going to talk about renting a home back. Typically, renting is something that you want to avoid as a seller, but when you rent a home back, you’ll be renting it from the buyer. This gives you more time to find your new home and transition smoothly into it. Let’s go o…
 
Here are the basics about what buyers will pay for in closing costs.What do buyers have to know about closing costs? In addition to the down payment, buyers need to factor in closing costs of 1.25% and 2.5% to pay for prepaid items, lender fees, escrow fees, and title fees. Here’s an example of prepaid items: If you’re closing on your purchase in J…
 
Here are the pros and cons of making or accepting a cash offer. What should you think about when dealing with a cash offer? According to Atom Data Solution, 26% of homebuyers used cash in 2020. A cash offer means there is no financing in regards to the mortgage of a home. There are a couple of reasons why a buyer might put up a cash offers:• They m…
 
Are low appraisal values still an issue in today’s market?Though things in the market have changed this year, we are still seeing homes appraising low in today’s market. Why does that happen?Oftentimes, the appraiser is an independent third party, but they have to substantiate the valuation of the home using the data that’s there. Typically, they n…
 
What’s behind the low inventory of homes here in Orange County?There are four reasons that the inventory in Orange County remains so low:1. There is a foreclosure moratorium. The moratorium preventing foreclosure expired, but it was extended in August. However, we don’t anticipate that there will be a lot of foreclosures, at least in the short term…
 
Is purchasing real estate still a good idea?With home prices as high as they are, does it still make sense to buy real estate in 2021? It all depends on your circumstances, but by and large, yes, it is a great time to buy. The reason is that the return on money is historically low. Often, it’s under 1% even for a certificate deposit that runs five …
 
Thank you for all of your support.We did it! Thank you for all of your support. We collected over 200 pounds of dog and cat food, 147 pounds of cat litter, 77 towels, 11 gallons of detergent and countless toys.We’re grateful for the incredible community for supporting our local event, benefitting shelter animals with Priceless Pets, A No Kill Shelt…
 
Here’s how the market has changed in the last year.We’ve just hit the third quarter of 2021, and that means it’s a perfect time to look at the emerging trends in our housing market. Today we’ll be going over all the important stats you should know in order to see where our real estate market has been, where it’s going, and where it is now.Now that …
 
Getting top dollar requires more than simply preparing the home for sale.Right now, we’re experiencing one of the strongest seller’s markets ever. How can you maximize the sale price of your home? You obviously need to get the property ready, but there are other considerations.First, make sure every buyer knows about your home. As soon as we get on…
 
Here’s how you can buy another home without first selling your current one.One of the most common questions we’ve received lately is, “How can I buy a house without selling the one I have now first?” With inventory being as low as it is, homeowners are concerned about not being able to find a new home if they sell their current home. Luckily, there…
 
Should you sell your home in the current real estate market? We’re in an aggressive seller’s market in most price points under $2 million. So yes, you should sell your home right now if you’re looking to maximize your sale price. If you’re looking to move up in the present market, you may have to trade equity. If you’re downsizing, you might have t…
 
Here are the key market changes we saw in our first quarter. The first quarter of 2021 is behind us, so today we’ll be talking about what happened in our real estate market from January to March and how it compared to last year.Interest rates are going to be affecting the market. The rates of 30-year fixed mortgages have gone from 2.65% to 3.09%, w…
 
Here’s why home prices keep rising in our real estate market these days. Why do home prices continue to increase? While yes, we’re still in a global pandemic, there are a few other factors to consider when asking this question. “More bedrooms mean more opportunities in the market right now.”First, there are currently fewer houses available to purch…
 
Here’s what you need to know about closing costs as a homebuyer. A lot of potential buyers focus solely on saving up for their down payment, be it 3%, 5%, 10%, or 20% of the purchase price. There are, however, several other costs you should be aware of. The associated expenses of buying a home, known collectively as “closing costs,” typically accou…
 
Here are the things you should and shouldn’t spend money on when selling. What improvements should and shouldn’t you spend money on before you list your home for sale? Some updates will net you more, while others will cost you.You want to focus on the areas buyers will concentrate on the most. From the moment they walk into your house, the predomin…
 
Here are the top three things today’s homebuyers are looking for. Due to the fact that people have spent more time in their homes than ever with COVID-19 restricting social capabilities, homebuyers are thinking differently now. Demand remains sky-high in our market, but sellers would do well to note how today’s home-buying trends are a departure fr…
 
Here’s why we’re immensely grateful for your support this past year. As we look back on 2020 and gaze ahead into 2021 with excitement, we recognize the unique challenges that this past year brought all of us. For some, 2020 was a great year, or perhaps a mediocre one; for others, it just felt like one wave after another kept crashing down on them. …
 
Here’s why so many home sellers are excited about our real estate market. As we finish 2020, I remember the first Christmas tree I ever had as a child. It was a sad-looking plastic Christmas tree that was stored on its side, but we brought it out every year and decorated it while listening to holiday music.Earlier sunsets and cooler evenings are ta…
 
Here’s what you should consider before buying an investment property. Here’s what you should consider before investing in real estate: 1. Who? You must decide whether you’re investing on your own or bringing in a partner. You may not want any exposure or to passively invest in real estate. An alternative option is to invest in a real estate investm…
 
Here are the three steps all buyers must take to prepare for their purchase. What do you need to do if you’re preparing to buy a home? Here’s a three-step guide to help you:1. Decide which area works best for you. You need to know which areas are important to you and why they’re important. Certain areas have fantastic school districts, for example,…
 
Learn the three most common mistakes to avoid during your home buying adventure. We’ve been receiving a lot of questions from homebuyers about what pitfalls and traps to avoid during their search. To prevent you from falling victim to these errors, today I’ll be diving into the three most common mistakes that homebuyers tend to make. The most commo…
 
Here are three tricks to help you sell for more in today’s market. If you want to sell your house for more money in today’s market, here are the three tricks you must remember:1. Outreach. You need to have an aggressive outreach program because most agents work in bands, both geographically and in terms of price point. Your goal should be to make e…
 
Here’s a story about how I made a negative experience positive. About five years ago, I flew into Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport. It’s an airport notorious for delays and cancellations of flights. My story is not very different. When we arrived at the airport, there was a delay at the gate and I missed my connecting flight, the last flight …
 
We want to give back to our community, and we want your suggestions. Today I want to thank you all for your support because we’re celebrating some records in our business. Last year we had the opportunity to help 70 families make the right move. This year, as of this recording, we’ve currently helped over 50 families! This wasn’t a specific goal we…
 
I’m sharing the top five reasons to love Costa Mesa. I’m excited to share the five main reasons I love Costa Mesa, California, one of the many areas I service here in Orange County. It has much more than wonderful weather and the yearly Orange County Fair (though those are great too).1. City of the Arts. Costa Mesa is known as the “City of the Arts…
 
You may have heard through the grapevine that home values are dropping, but is that accurate? Here are the numbers that prove this is not the case. The big question we’ve been hearing lately is, “Are home prices dropping?” The short answer is no. If you look at our market activity over the last 30 days, only 1,142 homes have been listed and 1,750 h…
 
I’m providing a guide to the CARES Act to show how you could benefit from it. Recently, many clients have been asking about how the CARES Act works, the $2 trillion that will provide relief to several groups impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. Today I’m covering a few of the main points from the Act. For example, an estimated $560 billion will be…
 
Recently we partnered with Priceless Pets, a no-kill shelter, at a local community event. As a team, the only thing we enjoy more than helping people find homes is helping pets find homes. I interviewed Becca to assist in explaining what Priceless Pets is all about. “Priceless Pets’ motto is ‘Saving one by one until there are none.’ So, I feel stro…
 
Moving up is an exciting topic, but it’s also one that generates a lot of questions from homebuyers. There are three questions, in particular, we get asked most commonly, and asking yourself these questions will help you get a better idea if now’s the time for you and your family to move up. 1. What is my current home worth? There are a lot of fact…
 
Summer is in full swing here in Orange County, and our real estate market has definitely seen some interesting changes throughout this season. Today, let’s take a look at some of the most notable developments.For one thing, inventory is way down. This July, there were 11% fewer listings available on our market than there were during that same month…
 
For the past three years, our real estate team has partnered with [Organization] to source backpacks for local children, so that families without the resources to provide them on their own can still send their kids to school with all the necessary tools. In addition to The Purist Group, we also work closely with local law enforcement to create thes…
 
A recession is looming, but there’s no reason to believe it will look anything like the crash of 2008. The stock market is close to all-time highs, unemployment is extremely low, and inflation is still seemingly in check.And yet, this might be the last party before the crash. A recent Wall Street Journal poll of 73 economists found that the majorit…
 
Real estate investing is hotter than ever, and it’s no wonder why. Mortgage rates are low, home prices continue to grow, and demand for rentals is strong.But if you’re interested in investing in real estate, where do you start? And what do you need to know? Here are five crucial tips I’ve gathered from successful real estate investors to help you o…
 
If you’re in the market to buy a new home, I’ve got some advice for you today. Here are the top things you should take into consideration before making the plunge:1. Location, location, location. You’ve probably heard this phrase before. When you’re looking at a new home, it’s important to know where you’re at and what school district you’re in. Ev…
 
As home buying season really kicks off, sellers are in a prime position to earn top dollar—that is, assuming they take the time to properly prepare their properties for the market. If you want to sell quickly and for a great price, you need to make sure your home is in the best possible shape before you list it. But not all home upgrades are worth …
 
First-time homebuyers often focus on two things: the price of a home and the monthly payment they’ll be bound to after purchasing it. This is quite understandable. However, there’s one more thing you need to consider when buying a house: the future value of the property.In a nutshell, appreciation, or the increase in prices over time, is how a majo…
 
Spring is here, and if you’re a buyer, there are plenty of things to love about buying a home right now. However, there are also a few things to hate about the spring buying season.I recently came across an article from Realtor.com that outlines all the major positives and negatives you need to be aware of before taking the plunge. To read the full…
 
With the onset of Daylight Saving Time, the times have changed, and so has the spring market.There are currently 44% more homes on the market than there were last year at this same time, increasing from 4,420 to over 6,000 homes. Overall, demand for housing has picked up, rising 91%.A big portion of that increase can be attributed to our interest r…
 
One thing we’re noticing in the world of real estate design trends is that there’s a shift occurring. Modern styles are becoming more popular where rustic was once en vogue. For colors, blacks, mattes, and grays are wending their way into the forefront of the market.Even though modern styles are resurging in popularity, that doesn’t mean that rusti…
 
When it comes to buying a remodeled home, there’s usually more to it than meets the eye. Here are five tips to help you avoid buying a remodeled home that might be more than what you bargained for:1. Make sure all of the major systems work. Having new floors and counters is great, but if you have to replace the home’s heating system or electrical s…
 
I recently read an article in The New York Times titled, “Why Do All Home Repairs Cost $1,000?” The author was complaining that it didn’t matter much what went wrong at home—be it a leaky faucet, broken garage door, or failed water heater. In each case, the bill came out to at least $1,000. Most homeowners underestimate the costs of various home re…
 
Today we’ll be going over our latest market numbers, as well as recap what we’ve seen throughout the year.2018 had an incredible start with a limited amount of inventory, record-breaking prices, and multiple-offer situations for nearly every property sold.This is a stark contrast to today.Currently, homes spend an average of 127 days on market—the …
 
One thing that some people don’t know about me is that I actually worked for the REO Division at JPMorgan Chase. ‘REO’ means ‘real estate owned’; we dealt with the bank-owned foreclosed properties. Since then, I’ve been able to help a number of clients successfully purchase foreclosed homes. Sometimes, however, foreclosed homes are more than people…
 
To fully understand what I mean for today’s topic of bad real estate photos, follow along in the video above, or use the timestamps I’ve provided below to navigate the video at your leisure: 0:20—Distracting colors on the walls. Lurid wallpaper or paint can make a room look even smaller. To counter that effect, use lighter, more neutral colors. 0:5…
 
Julie Hudash started Team Kids 18 years ago in part because of her own children. She wanted them to have the opportunity to know that they were powerful, to understand that the community was counting on them, and to be exposed to critical issues in the community. She started the organization to let all children learn that they’re strong enough to m…
 
What questions should you be asking your mortgage lender? Today I’ll discuss eight of them.1. “What type of loan is best?” This depends on your scenario—how long you plan to own the property, if it’s a primary residence you plan to live in for a long time or if you plan to rent it out at some point.2. “What is the interest rate and annual percentag…
 
Having a home security system comes with both benefits and drawbacks, and if you’re thinking of getting one for yourself and your family, there are a few facts you should know before making a decision. A study by HomeFacts found that just having a theft deterrent was beneficial, but one of the main reasons homeowners decide against getting a home s…
 
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