Here's What Happened in June

Here’s the nitty gritty:

Orange County Home Sales are up 20% this month.  We weren’t kidding when we said this was the busy season, but that number comes from zip codes with million dollar price points.

Resale homes are up almost 4%, while condos resales are up 5% and new home sales UP over 10%.  If you’ve been tracking the numbers, don’t be surprised at the large jump.  Developers push grand openings during this time of year to capture the summer buying rush.

Things are going fast this month, especially if it’s priced right.  A home in Orange County will be on the market 62 days on average, so if you find yourself in a hurry, feel free to give us a call and we always guide you through the process.

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In times of drought, is it time to consider synthetic grass?

So often we get into conversations with homebuyers who are thinking of putting in synthetic grass.   They want to know what we think, what we know and if it makes sense for them, so here’s the real deal on fake grass.

Synthetic grass has made huge strides in the last few years and is definitely more common in home landscapes.  It works well in putting greens, areas where there are inhospitable conditions for growing real grass (such as perpetually shady areas) and areas where small pets relieve waste.

The pros: Low maintenance (obviously): no trimming, no watering, no fertilizer, no pesticides, no mowing.  Most of your household water use is taken up by landscaping, so if there is no need for watering, you’re not going to be running up a bill.  Synthetics look great year round, and with the strides in aesthetics, it’s almost impossible to tell fake grass from real grass unless it’s closely inspected.

The cons: Cost.  Fake grass is expensive and takes skill to install.  The less expensive types can look cheap and unnatural, though in time, you could recoup your investment.  You can expect to pay $2-$3 per square foot for material, and $20 per square foot with installation.  This stuff gets hot, too.  Real hot.  Synthetic material is usually stronger than natural materials, so the polymers that bind it together tend to heat up to degree that sand does.

For us, function over form when it comes to aesthetic grass.  If you can come up with a good reason to use it, then we say do it!

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What your millennial might be crying about today.

It’s not because someone has left a hurtful comment on their latest selfie, or because their skinny jeans don’t fit anymore, but many millennials these days are having legitimate concern over their future, and where their future will take place geographically.

It’s no surprise that cities with most economic prospect draw residents from all over the country.  You’re going to go where the jobs are, and where the money is.  Young couples looking to buy a home, raise children and achieve the American Dream are facing a broad dilemma in California.  Macro-economics teaches us that the cities with the least affordable housing often have the best social mobility.  Inversely, cities with the most affordable housing have the worst social mobility.  California is home to six of the seven least affordable housing markets, though has four of the 11 best cities for upward mobility and job opportunity, including Southern California, according to Kolko’s affordability metric.  (Kolko/Chetty 2015)

High-income metros often have greater influence over planning commissions, and rightfully so at times.  The coastal communities, for example, often deter and vote against new construction, as opposed to lower income metros.  The unique thing about Southern California, is that may of these high-income metros and low-income metros, seem to live in symbiosis.  The best advice to give your millennial seeking the American Dream? Uh, we’ll let you know when we find it.  Until then, we’re open to suggestions.

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Pocket Listing 101

Here’s what you need to know:

A pocket listing is a property for sale that is not listed on the MLS.  These off-market properties carry unique benefits for buyers and sellers in today’s market.

Buyers may seek the help of a real estate professional in search of off-market properties, or properties that have yet to hit the market, in low-inventory markets.  When inventory is low, buyers may find themselves in steep competition, and may grow tired of being outbid.  Pocket listings allow for an added ease in buying a home, since there’s less competition and less stress.

For homeowners undergoing construction, or prior to construction, the decision to list your home as a pocket listing gives you the added benefit of early exposure without the stress of managing showings.  Traditional marketing strategies strive to obtain as much interest in a home as possible.  For high profile homeowners, implementing an off-market strategy to selling their home allows them to maintain privacy, allowing only qualified buyers to preview and tour the home.

Want to know more about pocket listings? Ask us how they might benefit you here.

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