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The Pros and Cons of Living on a Golf Course



If you’re looking to buy property on a golf course, there are many factors you should take into account.

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Recently, one of my clients was interested in purchasing a home on a golf course. While this might sound like a great idea, there are seven different things you should consider before you go through with the purchase:

  1. Find out if it’s a private, semi-private, or a public golf course. If it’s a public course, you might expect to see a lot more people playing there than if it was a private course.
  2. Do they host other events? This may affect certain things, such as area parking and traffic, depending on how close to the course your property is.
  3. Is the property located on the green, the fairway, or the tee box? Properties on or near the green will expect to see golfers meandering around for longer periods of time, whereas properties closer to the tee box will only see those people teeing off, and golfers will spend less time nearby. On the fairway, golfers may not even be in front of your house at all.
  4. Consider the views. Can you see the course itself? What about the lake or other water features? Does it have a view of the mountains? Perhaps the house is on or near a signature hole at the course. These can have a definite impact on pricing the house.
  5. Does the golf course require membership? Find out whether or not you’ll need to pay for membership. It may not be a bad idea to look into what other features they offer, such as tennis courts, restaurants, or pools, and what it might cost to enjoy those amenities.
  6. You have to consider those playing on the golf course if you host your own event on your property. Disturbing players with noise and distractions may get you into trouble later down the road.
  7. You have to consider those playing on the golf course if you host your own event on your property.
  8. How well is the course maintained? Golf courses require a lot of meticulous upkeep, so there will likely be maintenance crews near your property using noisy machines like mowers and blowers throughout the day.

Finding the answers to these seven questions will help you determine whether or not living in a home near a golf course is the right fit for you.

If you have any other questions, feel free to give me a call or send me an email. I would be happy to help you!

A National and Local Market Update



What has been going on in our market? Today, I’m going to bring you the latest numbers from both a national and a local perspective.

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What does our current market look like? Today, I wanted to take a look at some of the numbers from both a national and a local perspective.

After 2009, people nationwide are much more apt to believe that real estate is a good investment. In fact, 34% of people believe this is the case, whereas only 26% of people think the same about the stock market.

Following the recession and recovery in our market, there is more consumer confidence in today’s market. Interest rates have reached historic lows, confidence in retirement savings is higher, and unemployment is down.

Here in Southern California, we’ve seen a 6% increase in prices since last year. This means that areas like Riverside, San Diego, Los Angeles, and Orange County have an anemic amount of homes available for sale.

Not only has this driven up prices, it has also caused a rise in demand. This is especially true for homes that are under $700,000.

Recently, a client I’ve been working with has made four offers on four different homes that were all listed under $550,000, and has lost out on each one because of cash buyers and hot competition.

In San Clemente and Mission Viejo, we have about 200 to 250 homes currently on the market. In Mission Viejo, the average price is $789,000. In San Clemente, however, the average price is about $1.8 million.  

Escrow is taking about 39 days to close for homes under $1 million. For homes over $1 million, the average days it has been taking to close escrow has been around at least 77 days.

Right now is a great time to sell.

Ultimately, now is a great time to sell. If you price your home correctly, you’re more likely to expedite the entire process.

If you have any other questions or would like more information, feel free to give me a call or send me an email. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Send Your Questions in for Our Upcoming Webinar



Barry Krevoy and I are hosting an upcoming real estate webinar. Do you have any questions you’d like us to answer?

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In case you haven’t heard already, my friend Barry Krevoy and I are hosting a real estate webinar series in the next few weeks. The reason we are reaching out to you today is that we want to know what questions you have.

Whether it’s a question about buying a home for the first time, investing, or securing the best mortgage rate, we can help.

Feel free to comment with your question below, or reach out to us via phone or email with your questions. Stay tuned for more details about the webinar, which are coming soon.

If you have any other questions, comments, or concerns, give us a call or send us an email. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

Want to Get Started in Real Estate?



The sooner you get started in real estate, the stronger the likelihood you’ll be able to retire with a nice real estate portfolio.

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Are you thinking about getting started in real estate? Barry Krevoy and I have a story to share that might interest you.

It starts with a man Barry met 30 years ago. Recently, Barry and this man were talking about one of the properties the man owned, and he mentioned that he actually owned seven properties—four of which were paid off. When Barry asked the man what he did for a living, he said he was a foreman at a steel mill. Barry then asked—with all due respect—how a foreman at a steel mill came to own seven properties.

The man said that when he was young, he scraped and saved until he could buy his own place. He then moved out of that place after a couple years and started renting it. He did the same thing with the next place he bought, and the same thing with the property he bought after that. Every time he collected rent from these subsequent properties, instead of putting that money in his pocket, he paid the mortgages of those properties down quicker.

This story illustrates the power of being a landlord, and it’s something you need to understand. Being a landlord means having someone else pay your mortgage for you.

Don’t wait for your dream home to come along to get started in real estate.

You have to get started somewhere, though, so don’t wait for that dream home to come along to do so. Your first home won’t be a 2,000 square foot house with a big backyard. Your first home should be a small place you don’t mind moving out of and then renting out. There are many down payment assistance programs we can help you with if need be.

We can help you get started in real estate. Don’t self-diagnose yourself—contact us so we can formulate a plan to get you into your first home. If you already own a home, let us help you get more of them. If you get started, the likelihood that you’ll be able to retire with a nice real estate portfolio is very good.

If you want to get started in real estate or you have any other questions, don’t hesitate to give us a call or send us an email. We’d be happy to help you.

2 Myths That Millennial Homebuyers Believe



Today I’m debunking two commonly held myths that millennials have about home buying.

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I had a situation that came up this weekend with a young couple who came along to a showing with their parents. I wanted to take some time to debunk two commonly held myths among millennial homebuyers.

1. You need to pay more than 20% down on your purchase. This couple was looking at a $500,000 condo last weekend. They were only 27 years old and believed they needed to put 20% down on the condo before they could buy it. The thing is, 20% of the purchase price is $100,000. That’s quite a bit of money, especially for this couple.

What I suggested was against the father’s advice, but that they should strive to put 10% down on the condo. Now, of course they’ll have to pay the mortgage insurance because they’re coming in with less money, but the payment would only be an additional $247 per month instead of waiting and coming up with the additional $50,000.

If you can’t make a 20% down payment, talk to a lender about other options.

Ideally, you’d want to come up with the 20% down payment, but if that isn’t immediately feasible, the best option is to talk to a lender and see if you can come to an agreement to pay less of a down payment so that you can get into the home quicker instead of waiting to save that additional money.

2. Many millennials are under the impression that you need to have a credit score of more than 780 to qualify for any home loans. While that is a great credit score, the reality is that 54% of people have a credit score that is less than that.

There are many different types of loan programs that allow you to qualify for financing with a credit score that is lower than 780. Granted, you probably won’t qualify with a 500, but if your credit is higher than 640, most lenders can work with you.

If you have any more questions about this topic or you’re looking to buy or sell a home, please feel free to reach out to me. I’d be happy to help!

5 Things That Set Us Apart From Other Brokerages



Today I want to share five things I can do for you as a home seller that separate me from other brokerages.

As a Realtor, there are many things I can do that separate me from other brokerages. Here are five examples to give you a glimpse of the full service I provide if you’re looking to list your house and get the highest price possible for it. First, having a larger brokerage means having more experience to draw from. There are old rules, and now there are new rules. Technology has come a long way, and my brokerage has more than 1,700 agents that I can talk to on a daily basis. We also have 32 offices here in Southern California. Second, I can maximize the demand for your home and get the most money from a buyer. 84% of buyers search for their next home online nowadays. With that, I can put you in our own buyer pipeline and reach out to the other agents in my sphere before the home even goes on the market.

My brokerage has more than 1,700 agents I can talk to on a daily basis.

Third, I can market with more than just 10 pictures and use a professional to do so. I have a professional photographer that takes more than 40 pictures for each listing. Those pictures are taken with a tripod. Three pictures are taken of each room and then blended together to give a fantastic view of the home and give the buyer a real sense of what each room looks like. I can also provide night shots, a videographer with a drone, and a voiceover video. Fourth, I can stage your home at a much higher quality. If the aesthetic of your home isn’t up to par with your competition, I can have a professional designer come to your house and give you recommendations on how your home can be staged, decluttered, cleaned up, and made to look like a model home for all of its open houses, broker previews, and any private showings. Lastly, I can utilize market trends to price your home. Getting the most money out of your home sale means knowing how and where your competition is pricing their homes and making sure our market trends for your specific city, neighborhood, and zip code will be priced right where the market is trending. Stay tuned for the next video of this series that will reveal more of what I can do that sets me apart from other brokerages. If you have any questions in the meantime, don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I’m here to help.

What Will a Monthly Home Payment Look Like?



How much does a home truly cost? We’ll break it down for you today.

One of my clients recently asked me how much of a home they could afford. I wanted to answer that question today by breaking down the cost of homeownership on a monthly basis.

To get a quick estimate of what your mortgage payments would be like when buying a certain home, you can visit my mortgage calculator here. Just put in the price of the home you’re thinking about buying, how much you’re putting down, the interest rates, and the length of the loan. Then you’ll get an estimate of your monthly payment.

Use our mortgage calculator to figure out your payment.

For example, let’s say you’re buying a home for $500,000 and only putting 10% down. Putting less than 20% down will result in you having to pay private mortgage insurance which would be an extra $250 on your payment each month.

There are also a few other costs that go into this monthly payment, including a tax rate of $55 for every $100,000 the home is worth. Property taxes will also cost you approximately $15 for every $1,000 of home. In the end, the monthly payment for a $500,000 home like this would be about $3,159.

If you have any other questions for us, don’t hesitate to give us a call or send us an email. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

How to Freshen Up Your Curb Appeal



Curb appeal is essential to drawing in buyers to your home. Here are three ways to increase your curb appeal.

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A client of mine recently asked a question about how to spruce up their home when getting it ready for the market. Specifically, they wanted to know what they could do to increase their home’s curb appeal. These are the three areas I advised that they focus on:

1. The entryway. This is the first impression buyers will get when they actually walk into the house. The door should be in good shape. If it’s not, repainting it and replacing the doorknob are two good options.

2. Home structure. Clean those windows and screens. Repainting your trim is a good idea as well.

3. Landscaping. When someone drives up to the property, this is the first thing they will see. A well-maintained lawn free of weeds is a great image to put into a buyer’s mind. Other good ideas include power washing your walkways and cutting back shrubs or trees that may be blocking natural light coming in through your windows.

These are the most important areas to focus on.

These are the most important areas to focus on for curb appeal, but getting your home ready for showings is an even more complicated task. If you have any questions for us about how to prepare your home for sale, don’t hesitate to give us a call or send us an email. We would love to hear from you.

A Handy Program for Savvy Buyers



I’m joined once again by Barry Krevoy to talk mortgages. He’s got a program right now that can save buyers thousands over the life of their loan.

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Today I am excited to be joined once again by our preferred lender, Barry Krevoy. He’s with us today to talk about a great program that he has access to that could greatly help you if you’re thinking about buying a home.

Most lenders want you to put at least 20% down on your home purchase, but you aren’t required to. However, if you don’t put that 20% down, you will have to pay mortgage insurance each month. On a $450,000 loan amount, you could pay over $300 per month in mortgage interest alone.

To get around this problem of having to shell out thousands of dollars extra over the life of your loan, Barry has an investor down payment assistance program. With this program, you bring as much as you can to the table for the down payment, and the investor will cover the rest up to 20%, eliminating mortgage insurance.

When you add up all the money you would have had to pay for insurance over the life of the loan, this program is saving you tens of thousands of dollars. This program helps buyers out by giving them a partner. If you end up selling the home at a loss, the investor will take the loss with you.

This is a fantastic program for any buyer.

Another way this program helps, especially in Orange County, is by allowing you to win homes that are just outside of your price range. If you only qualify for $500,000 and your dream home is listed at $510,000, the investor can help you cover the difference. It’s really an amazing program.

If you have any questions about this program or any other loan program for that matter, give Barry a call at (949) 735-4009. If you have any other questions, we are always here to answer them as well. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

Barry Is Making a Move



We’ve got some exciting news to share today. Our preferred lender, Barry Krevoy, has the scoop.

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We’ve got some great news to share today. We are happy to be joined once again by our preferred lender, Barry Krevoy, to help break this news.

Barry and his team have officially moved over to a new company, imortgage. Imortgage is owned by Loan Depot, the second-largest direct lender in the country. They did over $37 billion in loans just last year. Barry has worked at imortgage in the past and chose them because he was looking for a company that had some better and more unique loan products. One in particular caught his eye.

Barry and his team are the only people in the country who can offer that loan.

Barry and his team are the only company in the country that offers a VA renovation loan. This loan gives veterans up to $35,000 to renovate a home they buy. The only limitations on it are your income, the loan limit in your county, and you have to qualify for a VA loan by being a veteran.

Once the loan is secured, an appraiser will come out to do an appraisal. They will take into consideration the impact that different upgrades would have to the home’s value. When a contractor gives you a bid on the renovation, that will be included in the home’s purchase price.

If you have any questions for Barry about this loan or anything else, give him a call at (949)-735-4009. If you have any other questions for us, don’t hesitate to give us a call or send us an email. We look forward to hearing from you.

Busting 2 Myths Preventing People From Getting a Mortgage



You don’t need to pay more than 20% down or have a FICO score 780 or more to get a loan. Here’s the truth about these myths.

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Today I want to address two common myths floating around out there that keep people ( especially millennials) from getting a mortgage.

Myth #1: You need to have more than 20% down.

I recently worked with young couple who wanted to buy a $500,000 condo. A 20% down payment on that $500,000 property would’ve cost $100,000, which for them would’ve been an exorbitant amount of money. That’s why I suggested they pay only 10% down. Paying less meant they’d have to pay the PMI (private mortgage insurance), but that payment would only be an additional $247 a month instead of the additional $50,000.

Ideally, paying 20% down would be awesome, but in some instances it might be better to talk to a lender and see if there’s a way you can come up with less money down and still get a house right away instead of paying a huge amount like $50,000.

The world of lending is more flexible than you think.

Myth #2: You need to have a FICO score of 780 or more.

Obviously, that’s a great credit score, but the fact of the matter is that 54% of all people typically have a score that’s less than that. There are many different loan programs out there, and any lender will probably be able to get you a loan if you have a score between 640 and 680. Just make sure you’re not in the 500s.

Whether you’re trying to buy a new home or buy your first home, don’t fall for these two myths. If you have any questions about this or any other real estate-related topic, feel free to reach out to me via phone or email. I’d be happy to help.

Is a Cash Offer Always Better Than a Financed Offer?



Cash offers are usually more appealing than financed offers, but as you’ll see today, there are other things to consider before you make a decision.

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Are cash offers always the best offers when it comes to selling your home?

I just recently had a client who faced this same question. They listed their home for sale and received two offers—one of them cash, one of them financed. The cash offer was about $10,000 less than asking price, but it didn’t require any contingencies or inspections. Furthermore, the buyer wanted to close quickly in 15 days. The financed offer, on the other hand, was at asking price, but that buyer wanted a multitude of inspections done and needed a larger closing period.

There’s more than meets the eye when it comes to cash offers.

In this instance, my seller went with the cash offer. In fact, they were happy to do so. The price was lower, but the quick closing period and the lack of inspections and closing costs were more than a fair tradeoff.

If your home is on the market and receiving multiple offers, though, should you always go with the cash offer? It depends. You have to consider other variables within the offer, like how fast it’s going to close and how many inspections it will require, and decided how important those variables are to you.

If you have any other real estate questions, please feel free to call, email, or text me. I look forward to helping you!