Panoramic Views of Ocean, Sunsets & Catalina Island from both of these 2 Master Suites and the Large Living Room: boasting a Romantic Fireplace & Beautiful Balcony for BBQ & Entertaining! Formal Dining Room adjacent to open Gourmet’s Delight Kitchen, Stainless Steel Appliances, canned lighting & Silestone Countertops! 18 inch Tile Floors in Kitchen, Dining & Living Room while both Master Bedrooms have Hardwood Plank floors! Loaded with Closets in Foyer and both Master Bedrooms. Each Master Bathroom with Silestone Countertops & upgraded lighting! Newer Dual Pane Sliding Glass Doors & Newer Dual Pane Windows in both Bedrooms bringing in the cool Ocean Breezes! HOA dues include a resort-style Clubhouse, new in-ground pool, 2 exercise rooms, sauna, Jacuzzi, entertainment party room with kitchen and library plus your HOA dues includes all your water, trash & gas!

Steven Thomas says, Call your REALTOR® – Zillow is not the answer

A great article written by Steven Thomas may have eluded you, but I feel it would benefit to read it.

“Today’s sellers and buyers turn to the Internet to determine their home’s value but forget to look at the fine print.

Online Home Valuation Tools: even though sellers and buyers turn to Internet sites to establish the property value of a home, it’s not even close to being accurate. Everything is on the Internet. Recipes, comparison shopping, product ratings, music, dating, news, financial tips, economic analysis, entertainment, medical information, every business and every person is now on the Internet. With access to so much information, sellers and buyers now feel empowered with the ability to go online to learn as much about the home selling and home buying process as they wish. They can search to their hearts content as everything is now seemingly at their fingertips.

With this access comes the sense that sellers and buyers can control the process. They feel like they are in the driver’s seat. From home searches, to researching about the skillset of a REALTOR®, to looking at payment calculators, they can do a tremendous amount of research from the comfort of their homes. Zillow.com, REALTOR.com, Trulia.com, OCRegister.com, LATimes.com, YahooRealEstate.com, CNN.com, CNBC.com, etcetera, there are plenty of choices to learn more about the local, regional, and national real estate markets. There is a lot of great information available to real estate consumers to help in the process. Unfortunately, there is plenty of misinformation too.

The number one real estate website is Zillow.com. The main purpose of the site is to determine a home’s value, what they more affectionately refer to as a Zestimate®. Tragically, sellers and buyers rely on this site in their attempt to secure the precise value of a home. In looking up the Zestimate® of a home, sellers and buyers feel as if they are tapping into the most complex, accurate real estate program known to man. They enter in an address and Zillow® spits out the exact market value of a home. The problem is that it is NOT accurate at all. The site admits to its own shortcomings on the landing page and states, “Use the Zestimate® as a starting point in determining your current and future home value.” Not too many buyers are going to take the time to read that admission.

Good luck on finding the fine print too. You have to click on the term “Zestimate®,” even though it does not have a hyperlink, to learn more about what goes into their estimate. The fine print can be found by then clicking on “How Accurate is the Zestimate®?” Isolating Orange County is an even further challenge. The numbers illustrate exactly why sellers and buyers cannot rely on this tool to accurately hone in on a home’s value. It also illustrates why they should not even rely on the site as a “starting point” in the home valuation process.

Their numbers are eye opening. Shocking is an even better description when anybody with an economic background takes a closer look. Zestimate® accuracy is computed by comparing the actual final sales price of a home to the Zestimate® that the system originally came up with. In Orange County, only 41% of all closed sales were within 5% of the actual sales price. That means that 59% were off by more than 5%. For proper perspective, let’s take a look at a $700,000 Zestimate®. 5% of $700,000 is $35,000. It could be off by $35,000 more OR $35,000 less. That means that the actual value would be somewhere between $665,000 and $735,000, a $70,000 gap. That is just way too big of a spread to be able to pinpoint the value of a home.

67% of all closed sales were within 10% of the Zestimate®, meaning that 33%, one-third, is off by more than 10%. For the $700,000 Zestimate® example, the actual sales price would be somewhere between $630,000 and $770,000, a $140,000 gap. And, 86% of all closed sales were within 20% of the Zestimate®, meaning that 14% were off by more than 20%. That basically means that 1.4 out of 10 homes is off by a truckload. For the $700,000 Zestimate® example, the actual sales price would be somewhere between $560,000 and $840,000, a $280,000 gap.

To rely on Zillow® to determine the value of a home is nothing short of absurd. Sellers and buyers typically only bring up the Zestimate® when it works in their favor, about a 50/50 chance of that happening. If a home that should really sell for $650,000 has a Zestimate® at $700,000, the seller stubbornly ends up overpricing their home and is forced to reduce in order to find success. As a result of so many sellers feeling empowered to price based upon an online valuation tool, the housing market is plagued with overpriced homes.

There are thousands of valuation tools and some claim to be even more accurate than Zillow®, but that claim doesn’t really say much. Instead, buyers and sellers need to know the fine print which illustrates that while the Internet may be chalk fool of great real estate information, it just cannot be used to determine a home’s value. There are just too many factors that go into the price of each and every home. Every home is unique, making the valuation process too complex for even the most sophisticated computer program.

So, if you cannot use an online program to determine a home’s value, what is the best method in coming up with the Fair Market Value? Sellers and buyers need to turn to their REALTOR® to isolate the value, the true professional. They are able to help factor the condition, location, upgrades, and amenities of a home, something a computer program cannot duplicate.

Active Inventory: the inventory continued its descent, and shed another 3% in the past two weeks. The Autumn Market inventory drop continued in the past couple of weeks, shedding 220 homes in the past two weeks and 450 over the past month. It now totals 6,509. This is the time of the year when not as many sellers are coming on the market and many unsuccessful sellers are throwing in the towel as we quickly approach the Holiday Market, now just a few weeks away. The inventory will continue its descent through the end of the year.

Last year at this time the inventory totaled 7,174 homes, 665 more than today, with an expected market time of 3.24 months, or 97 days. That’s 13 days longer than today.

Demand: Demand decreased by 2% in the past couple of weeks and 8% in the past month. Demand, the number of new pending sales over the prior month, decreased by 45 homes in the past two weeks and now totals 2,333 homes. The drop is its lowest since the end of August. Demand stays fairly steady for the next month until it drops further as we dive into the Holiday Market. By the end of the year, it will drop to its lowest level, levels not seen since January.

Last year at this time there were 118 fewer pending sales, 5% less, totaling 2,215.

In the past two weeks, the foreclosure inventory increased by 12 homes and now totals 62, Only 1% of the total active inventory is a foreclosure. Distressed homes are quickly reaching pre-Great Recession levels, a normal market.

Have a great week.

Sincerely, Steven Thomas Quantitative Economics and Decision Sciences”

The Real Estate Market Is Gearing Up for Spring Buying Season

The Real Estate Market Is Gearing Up for Spring Buying Season
According to Fannie Mae’s National Housing survey last month, Consumer sentiment looks like it will give the Market a boost.

67% of responders feel that NOW is a good time to buy a home, while 44% said now is a good time to SELL.

These are all time HIGHs in Survey sentiments.  I expect that Spring buying Season will Take Off. ( It has already started!)

Why??  1. New Home purchases Jumped 29% in January

2. Interest Rates are still Very LOW sitting about  3.75% for 30 year fixed

3. Inventory of existing homes is up over a year ago (about 5%)

4. New Home Inventory is up 90% over 1 year ago in Orange County

So there are plenty that Buyers and Sellers should get excited about in this upcomingSPRING housing Market so Why Wait?

 home sales increasing home sales home_construction_107110054

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What’s Happening in Orange County January 2015

What’s Happening in Orange County in January 2015

Beautiful bride Dana point ship Fair

Farmers Markets Ongoing

 

List of Farmers Markets in Orange County

http://www.orangecounty.net

 

Orange County Parks & Outdoors Ongoing

 

Orange County, California has beautiful beaches, scenic vistas, and pristine wilderness areas that are visited year-round by residents and out-of-town guests alike. OC Parks is the caretaker of these beautiful county assets and operates nearly 60,000 acres of regional and wilderness parks, nature preserves, historical sites and famous OC beaches. New! Annual passes are available all year round.

http://www.ocparks.com

 

Knott’s Fire and Police Recognition Days

Thru Jan. 31

 

As a thank you to all the men and women who assist in protecting life and property, Knott’s Berry Farm Theme Park is proud to offer Fire and Police Recognition Days. Starting November 22 through January 31, 2015, Knott’s will once again extend free Park admission to all active fire and police personnel and one guest.

http://www.visitbuenapark.com

 

Commitment Day 5K Jan. 1

 

The Commitment Day 5K will start and finish at Life Time Athletic: 25600 Rancho Niguel Rd, Laguna Niguel, CA 92677

http://www.commitmentday.com

 

BrideWorld Expo Jan. 3

Orange County’s annual wedding planning expo where brides-to-be can shop and compare 150 local wedding professionals including photographers, entertainers, cake bakers, bridal salons, tuxedos, invitations and romantic honeymoon destinations.

http://www.ocfair.com

 

Dana Point’s “IlluminOcean” Thru Jan. 4

 

Dana Point’s “IlluminOcean” featuring the wonders of the deep blue sea, dazzling spectacle of sights, sound and motion that’s electrifying our ocean views like never before will be happening November 26th thru January 4th.

http://www.kwve.com

 

Southern California Half Marathon & 5K Jan. 10

 

Take a run around the course known to locals as “inside the loop” at the Southern California Half Marathon & 5K, which celebrates its 24th annual running in 2015 as the official warm-up road race for other California races like the Los Angeles Marathon, the O.C. Marathon and the Surf City Marathon later in the year.

http://www.active.com

 

Holidays On Ice Mission Viejo Ice Skating Rink

Thru Jan. 10

 

The “Holidays On Ice Mission Viejo Ice Skating Rink” at The Shops at Mission Viejo is open seven days a week thru January 11th 2015.

http://www.kwve.com

 

Monster Jam Jan. 10

 

Angel Stadium. Monster Jam® Trucks: Grave Digger® driven by Carl Van Horn, Dragon driven by Scott Liddycoat, El Diablo℠ driven by JP Ruggiero, Scooby-Doo™ driven by TBA, Grave Digger the Legend® driven by Adam Anderson, El Toro Loco® driven by Dan Rodini, Tropical Thunder driver TBA, Freedom Keeper driven by Matt Clark, Menace driven by Darren Migues, Time Fly’s driven by Kelvin Ramer, Detour driven by Garrette Ladelle, Felon driven by Mark Schroeder, Shocker driven by Pat Gerber, Bounty Hunter® driven by Jimmy Creten, and Scarlet Bandit™ driven by Dawn Creten!

Subject to change without notice.

http://www.monsterjam.com

 

Film Night at the Museum Jan. 15

 

Laguna Art Museum

http://www.visittheoc.com

 

Anatolian Cultures & Food Festival Jan. 16

 

This multi-day festival celebrates the history, food and music of this region of Turkey, showcasing the civilizations that thrived in Anatolia, dating back to the Trojans, Romans and Ottomans. Coordinated by the Pacific Institute, Orange County Branch.

http://www.anatolianfestival.org

 

3rd Annual Baby & Kidz Expo Jan. 17

 

One day expo of vendors, giveaways, entertainment, activities, coupons, information and samples for the whole family.

http://www.ocfair.com

 

New Year’s Hustle 5K: Your Next Step Is the Cure Jan. 24

 

The Orange County Great Park

http://www.renegaderaceseries.com

 

Laguna Hills, CA – Wine Class: Wine 101 – Back to Basics Jan. 29

 

This seminar is ideal for learning the fundamentals of wine tasting. Attendees will learn how to identify the key components of a wine, how to score a wine like the experts and proper serving temperatures. They will also explore how to select favorite wine styles and how to pair wine with appropriate foods. Eight delicious wines will be featured.

http://www.eventbrite.com

 

Snow Day Jan. 31

 

Tons of the frosty stuff is delivered to the dam to enable youngsters to sled, make snow people, and have old-fashioned snowball battles. Children are advised to wear warm clothes and gloves. Space is limited to 900 persons, and early registration is recommended. Advance registration fee for the event is $12 per person for Fullerton residents and $15 per person for non-residents. The day of the event admission will be $15 per person for Fullerton residents and $18 non-residents.

http://www.orangecounty.net

Where to put your cash? A house or a stock

Where to put your cash? A house or a stock

homes VS stock

 

A new article came out today trying to indicate whether to put your money in a home or stock.

They try to go back to the late 1890’s to give their advice but looking since the 1980’s it seems to me that that there are conflicting reports. The home values have gone up and taking into account you can live in your investment and receive a tax deduction for your interest paid on your home; and after 2 years you can declare a tax free gain of $250,000 per person ($500,000 per couple) this is a much better investment return than putting your money into stocks.

That being said, you never want to place all your eggs in one basket, less you drop that basket and break your eggs.

If you kept your home investment, even though you received a paper loss, you will end up with a true capital gain. Real estate always goes up, but you cannot say that about all stocks if you hold on to them.

The government is pushing home ownership as an investment. Which is good, interest rates are low, and home owners get a tax deduction which is not received if you are a renter.

 

Also if you live in Orange County, your values have really returned strongly and had you held onto your home, you would have a nice equity growth, much better that the stock market.

 

A house can also offer greater returns if the owner chooses to rent it out and not to live in it; and if you sell it within 3 years of renting it you can still receive your tax free capital gains.

It’s a riskier choice, given the current volatility in home prices, but it may be the best way to build wealth.

Before doing anything you should check with your Professional for advice, your tax accountant for taxes and your Real Estate Agent for Real Estate

MarleneDietrich@Realtor.com

Feds May Hike Interest Rates Next year

interest rates climb

According to sources, the Feds may hike Rates in 2015, not because of any fear of inflation or fears but just because they want to test the waters. They want to raise because they are expected of them.

It has also been predicted that oil prices will go down even further. If it goes to $75 a barrel this would suggest a near Zero inflation in the economy.

With both of these indicators and a number of other important facts, there may be a higher interest rate to buy your home with next year. Even if the homes go down in price, the fact that the interest rate is higher you will not be able to buy the same home for less money monthly unless you are an all cash buyer.

Take advantage of the Holiday Real Estate Market slowdown and negotiate a good price, capture a great interest rate that has just dropped again, and write off the non recuring closing costs on the 2014 tax year so that you can enjoy your new home NOW.

Contact us anytime at 949-400-1021 or MarleneDietrich@Realtor.com

Visit us at www.MarleneDietrichRealEstate.com or www.MarleneDietrichNewportCoastRealtor.com

 

 

The Real Estate Market will also have it’s own BLACK FRIDAY

The Real Estate Market will also have it’s own BLACK FRIDAY  black friday 1

According to Forbes.com:

Usually sellers are doubtful that the end of the year will be the best time to sell, since most people are busy with Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hannukah and bad weather. However, due to the end of the year and a rush for tax purposes, etc… homes have been selling and closing more quickly.

More serious buyers will look at the end of the year as they believe it is an opportune time. This makes it an ideal time for sellers to put their home on the market.

Buyers may take a last minute look at their tax status and want to write off points, interest, property taxes and all non recuring closing cost this year. Some buyers face a capital gains tax and want to offset with another purchase required within 180 days.

With rates so low and holding, there are lots of opportunities to buy your dream home this year.

Contact us for any assistance you may need

MarleneDietrich@Realtor.com  www.MarleneDietrichRealEstate.com  949-400-1021

Million-Dollar Home Sales Are on the Rise

 

Million-Dollar  Home Sales Are on the Rise

Based on an article in the Daily RE News, the wealthy are now buying million-dollar homes again, as sales of homes priced at $1 million or more climb while lower-priced properties are taking longer on the market to sell.

Homes that sold for $1 million or more rose by 8 percent this year, while homes at every other price point dropped by 4 percent, according to National Association of REALTORS® research.

Million-dollar homes climbed out of the Great Recession much faster than those at other price points. Homes in the Million plus bracket fell in 2008 as did the rest of the market but in the last 2 years have almost reached the 2007 peak levels, according to CoreLogic.

Currently there are lenders who will loan upto $1.5 million with only a 10% down, with great rates and with NO PMI.  That is a big help for professionals with great income, great FICO scores and less than the normal 20% down payment.

“The opportunities for wealthier borrowers are now better than they’ve been in a decade as far as rates and terms.”