The Anaheim Brewery – A Somewhat Hidden Gem

I had just finishing showing some young clients of mine the newly constructed houses and town homes at Colony Park in Anaheim.  As we were wrapping up the visit, I noticed the Colony Park sales center had on display the manliest beer growler I had ever seen with the words “Anaheim Brewery” printed on the side.  Naturally, as an “area expert,” more investigation was required.

As it turned out, just a few blocks away, a commercial center was being built by the same company that developed The Lab in Costa Mesa.  The Packing House was in the earliest stages of development.  But one storefront was open:  The Anaheim Brewery Tasting Room.  This place is fantastic!

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Staging – Real Estate Seller, Not Dweller!

Home staging is economical and a well-proven benefit to Realtors and home owners alike. Here are some basic staging principles every home seller can use.

Become a Seller, Not a Dweller

Homeowners must make the mental shift necessary to become Sellers, not Dwellers. It is only then sellers are able to realize they own a commodity to be sold and no longer their home.  The way we live in our homes is different than the way we sell our homes. With this mental shift in place, the next step in the process may begin.

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Irvine Foreclosure Listings – 25 Most Recent

Irvine Real Estate Foreclosures and Bank Owned Homes for sale (REOs) have been a hot topic lately.  Clients have asked if there’s an easy place to track them as they come available.  This post will update itself automatically with the 25 most recent Irvine foreclosure listings.

If there’s a particular type of automatically updating Orange County real estate list you would like to see, leave a comment or drop me an email and we will create it.

Click the “Read More” link to see the current list.

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A Simple Weekend Project To Add Value To Your Orange County Property

baby painter

Many home renovations are expensive money sinks that, by the time you’re finished, add little more value than what you’ve invested.  But painting your home’s interior is one of the easiest and least expensive ways to give your piece of Orange County Real Estate a little more “wow.”

Self painting costs very little and can be knocked out in a weekend or two.  It can also be a great bonding moment for the family.  Put a paintbrush in the hands of an cover-all clad 7 year old and watch their face light up.  Just be sure you masked off the area before turning them loose.

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Irvine Housing Prices Chart

I’ll never be confused for a high level economist. But my command over 5th grade mathematics is masterful. I can add and divide using a calculator better than most people I know.

Self deprecating humor aside, when I hear reports about the housing market on the news, they always speak in the broadest terms. “New home sales have declined X percent nationwide. Foreclosures are up X percent over last month.” As a buyer or seller of Orange County real estate, how can you apply that information in a meaningful way? Yeah, I’m not sure either…

I wanted to better understand housing market changes on the city level. So I decided to choose a city, choose a house type (3 bedroom, detached homes), and chart the average price per square foot based on 3 month comparable sales. Here’s the logic: if you decide to sell your home, the price will be determined by the sale of similar homes in the last 3 months. So if an appraiser came to your home on January 31st, he would be looking at sales that closed in the months of January, December, and November.
When you look at the chart, the number shown for a particular month is the average price per square foot of all the comparable 3 month sales. Let’s look at Irvine:

irvine real estate prices chart

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Why Orange County Condo Purchases May Require Higher Down Payments

FHA financing has been a popular financing choice for first time buyers of Orange County condos. While an FHA loan carries higher closing costs than other loans, they allow buyers to purchase with a down payment of as little as 3.5%.

However, new rules have been implemented disqualifying many Orange County condominium communities from FHA financing.

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Renting – Apartments or Privately Owned Rentals

When making the decision on whether to rent from an apartment community or private owner, there are a few subtle differences to consider.

Private rentals are homes or condos owned by individuals who, rather than living in the homes themselves, have decided to rent them to the public. The owners may act as landlords, collecting rent and dealing with maintenance issues on their own, or they may hire a 3rd party management company to handle day to day tasks for them.

There are some nice advantages to renting a privately owned home or condo. In general, these homes are less expensive from a dollars per square foot perspective. They also tend to be less densely occupied than apartment communities, where homes are often stacked four high with shared walls on 2 sides. Many private homes have their own pool, yard (typically maintained by professionals), attached garage or other unique features that many apartment communities just can’t provide.

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2 New Laws Orange County Property Owners Need To Know

We strive to keep our real estate clients and potential clients informed on the latest industry news. We are real estate professionals, not lawyers or tax professionals. The following information should not be construed as tax or legal advice.

Carbon Monoxide Detectors

HOMES NEED CO DETECTORS BY JULY 1, 2011. California passed SB183 in 2010 requiring installation of carbon monoxide detectors in existing homes that have fossil fuel burning appliances, fireplaces, or attached garages by July 1, 2011. All other homes have until January 1, 2013 to comply.

We recommend installing one CO detector on each living floor, out of the reach of children. All CBPP Property Management clients will have detectors installed by our maintenance crew prior to the July deadline.

New IRS Requirement

LANDLORDS REQUIRED TO 1099 VENDORS AND SERVICE PROVIDERS. The Small Business Jobs Act, passed in late 2010 requires all owners of rental property to issue a 1099 to all service providers who are unincorporated and receive at least $600 in compensation for the year. Failure to report the payments made to a gardener, plumber, handyman, pool guy, etc. could lead to stiff fines and penalties. It’s also believed that, in the event of an audit, the IRS may invalidate any deductions an owner failed to report via 1099.

The good news for our clients is we have conducted this type of reporting for years. For landlords who self manage their properties, this requirement could be a paperwork and reporting nightmare as they now have to collect tax ids and report 2011 payments.

-Brian Donlyuk

Aliso Viejo 2 Bedroom Condo Special

Recently, this amazing two bedroom condo we manage in Aliso Viejo came available after our previous tenant bought a house. The listing description is below:

This turnkey home in the prestigious Canyon Point community has a great open and spacious floor plan. It is highly upgraded with Brand New high quality Emperor Garden pattern carpet, crown moldings, custom paint, and much much more. It is a corner unit in a quiet cul-de-sac location, ready for move right in. No one above and one common wall.

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Short Sale Listings Obscure Actual Real Estate Prices

In some pockets of Orange County, shortsales account for as much as 70% of the homes for sale. This often gives buyers an unrealistic impression of where housing prices are.

The price of a short sale home is determined by the bank holding the mortgage. In a perfect world, an Orange County real estate agent would be able to call a bank’s short sale department, present them with their market analysis and ask what price the bank will approve before placing it on the market. Unfortunately, banks usually won’t start processing a short sale until they have an offer from a buyer.

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