Photos courtesy of livesouthcove.com

One of the newest communities to be coming to the downtown Dana Point area is called South Cove. Progress is moving full speed ahead on South Cove, featuring 168 luxury condo residences located just steps from beautiful Doheny State Beach and Dana Point Harbor’s restaurants and shops. Additional attractions include a new 9,000 square foot surf museum, highlighting and paying homage to the city’s storied history. Two new hotels – a 130-room boutique and 136-room offering more affordable options – will replace the existing Marina Inn on Dana Point Harbor Drive.

Under the proposed plans, South Cove residents will have easy access to a wide variety of new harbor amenities – all within walking distance of the barefoot community. Slated to begin construction in 2018, planned features for the harbor include new restaurants, outdoor dining areas, marine-related retail and a small portion of office space. The renovation will also showcase a market hall and food court, providing a variety of diningoptions for South Cove residents and tourists alike.

The city’s contributions to the renovations and additional amenities – including the recently introduced Harbor Shuttle service that provides easy access to the Ocean Institute, Baby Beach and other harbor businesses and dining spots – are sure to bring added value and appeal to Dana Point. Fortunately, there is still time to stake your claim at South Cove – the first development of its kind in Dana Point in more than 25 years. If you have any questions or are interested in owning a property in South Cove, please contact your Greentree Properties Specialist at (949) 492-0090 or here.

Buying a home is an immense purchase, most likely the largest you will make during your lifetime. Avoid self-sabotaging and ensure your journey to home ownership goes smoothly every step of the way. Here are three things you may want to avoid:

1. For Sale by Owner
Trying to sell your home by yourself is sheer madness. Your real estate agent will have your best interest in mind, gearing you in the right direction. This professional will guide you through the process including the piles of paperwork that can seem extremely overwhelming. Please contact GreenTree Properties and we will represent you all the way home.

2. New Lines of Credit
Your credit score can be a game changer. During contract you do not want to do anything that will impact your credit score. That includes buying a car, boat, or any other large purchase that has to be financed. Along the same lines, your credit score needs to remain stable during the closing process. Opening new lines of credit can make your FICO score drop and send up a red flag to your lender. Avoid doing this at all costs!

And here is a great tip from Realtor.com

3. Saying too much—and undercutting your negotiating power
Be careful what you say when you’re viewing a property at an open house or home showing. For instance, if the listing agent hears you say to your spouse, “I love this house, and it’s way under our budget,” the seller might try to play hardball when you try to negotiate on price. Keep private conversations private.

Questions? We are happy to help. Please get in touch with Greentree Properties at (949) 492-0090 or here.

While it’s easy to look up information online and try to sell your house on your own. Real Estate Agents can provide you with the expertise to get the most value for your home.

Here are just 4 ways that a Real Estate Agent can add value to your home sale:

  1. Education and experience: Most real estate agents have extensive knowledge in the market. They know all the tricks in the book and can really help you get the most value out of your home.
  2. Provide price guidance: Agents can look at recent data from sales in the area and determine the best price. Agents tend to look at market supply, demand and the conditions to pick the best price. In addition, they can come up with a game plan to help you negotiate the price with potential buyers.
  3. Negotiation skills and confidence: Real estate agents have the unique ability to remove themselves from emotional aspects of the housing process. Agents can easily showcase their clients house in the best light and negotiate the best price.
  4. Handling paperwork and answering questions: There’s no shortage of paperwork to be done when you are selling a home. An agent can walk you through all the steps of filing the paperwork and they are available to answer questions even after the sale has gone through. A good agent will always be on stand by and ready to assist you so that you do not run into any legal trouble while finalizing the sale of your home.

They’re called boomerang borrowers, and they could be changing the housing market in the coming months and years.

The timeframe for borrowers who were significantly hit after the Great Recession between 2007 and 2010 to improve their credit score is about the happen, opening the door for a lot of consumers to re-enter the housing market.

Foreclosures, short sales, and bankruptcies remain on a credit report for seven years, which means these items are due to fall off the credit files of 2.5 million consumers by June 2017, the largest of the group over that time frame.

With millions of borrowers coming back into the housing market, should this be the time to sell?

Consider low inventory.  There is a shortage of homes for sale in many markets throughout the country in relation to buyer demand.  This is economics 101 and happens to create a highly desirable atmosphere for sellers to obtain the best possible sale price and terms.  According to Redfin, buyer demand rose by 13.3 percent over the month in September, it’s highest level in three-plus years.  We’ve seen buyer demand gain momentum since Labor Day, when a pop of fresh listings hit the market.

Home prices are on the rise after several years of dealing with distressed and foreclosed inventory.  As of August 2016, foreclosure inventory included only 0.9 percent of all homes with a mortgage.  As foreclosures drop, home values rise, which could mean higher appreciation for home owners.

Low interest rates hovering around the 3.5 to 3.7 percent range make the cost of borrowing money extremely attractive, especially for those boomerang borrowers who are re-entering the market with now above average credit.  Modern day loan programs offer a wide variety of options to buyers at various price points and stages to purchase property, so you know that when you accept an offer, the loan process isn’t going to diminish on your buyer, thus securing your sale.

Chances are, it’s been a while since you’ve sold your home—at least 7-10 years.  Predictive analytics help optimize buyer searches.  Social Media marketing brings visibility to a whole new level.  Drones and video tours help create powerful story telling campaigns.  All done to attract buyers across the market and secure sales.  Welcome to modern day real estate!

Make yourself ready for boomerang borrowers by preparing your home to show in the best light possible.  Talk with one of our real estate professionals if you’re thinking of selling your home and find out what they can do for you.

Two demographics influencing the housing market are baby boomers and fist-time buyers plagued by student loan debt. Both groups are leaving stagnant markets and low turnovers.

Baby boomers themselves control about two-thirds of the nation’s aggregate home equity, which computes to about $8 trillion. Whether they decide to move from their current place, downsize or age in place, the cumulative impact of their decisions on mortgage demand, housing options to Millennials and other aspiring homeowners will be substantial.

In a recent survey by Freddie Mac, 63 percent of respondents age 55 and over prefer to age in place, which computes to 42 million homeowners spread out across the entire 55+ demographic. These numbers suggest baby boomers’ housing decisions over the next few years “will take our market to brand new places.” says Freddie Mac Economist Sean Becketti.

Not only are baby boomers staying put, so are Millennials buried in student debt. Nearly three-quarters of people who are repaying student loans say their debt is hindering them from buying a home, according to surveys released by the nonprofit American Student Assistance.

More staggeringly, nearly half of those surveyed said their debt is expected to delay their home buying for at least five more years.

The housing market feels these affects keenly, as the homeownership rate among the 35-and-younger crowd has plummeted from 44 percent at the height of the housing boom to 34 percent today.

So, you’ve decided to do it.  You’ve set a goal, set your budget and location, got pre-approved and you’re ready for it.  You’re doing it.  You’re going to buy a home.

Now what? A home purchase is a significant and expensive transaction with long-term implications. You want to buy wisely, at the right price and on good terms.  But if you overpay for a home or buy one that involves more upkeep than you can manage, you may end up with buyers remorse.

In order to make the best decision on buying your home, you need to have the best possible information and guidance to make a well-informed decision from someone who’s fiduciary duty is to you solely.  Using an Exclusive Buying Agent provides you with the level of representation you need to make sure you aren’t overpaying, overlooking the upkeep, or buying on bad terms.  This also helps to avoid any conflicts of interest.

An Exclusive Buyer’s Agent is just that: a real estate professional branded towards representing homebuyers exclusively.  Compare this with a dual agent, or sellers agent, who’s vested interest lays across multiple platforms—to the seller and to the homebuyer.

An Exclusive Buyer’s Agent will:

  • promote and protect the interests of the buyer with the utmost good faith, loyalty and fidelity, by law
  • educate you on local market conditions and the home buying process in general
  • perform cost comparisons to protect you from overpaying
  • negotiate price and terms exclusively on your behalf

If an agent gives you dual agency disclosure, they aren’t representing you.  Conflicts of interest arise when a selling agent represents both the buyer and the seller, and still carries a fiduciary duty to the sellers, which means you don’t get the best deal possible.  If you meet a seller’s agent at an open house, for example. and mention to them your need to relocate in one month’s time, that agent must promote the interests of the seller by law and inform the sellers of your situation, thus diminishing your negotiation power.

In their report analyzing rents, housing supply and population grown in Southern California, researchers at USC have forecasted the average rent on an apartment will rise by at least $100 over the two years.

Housing supply remains low in Southern California.  You probably know this if you’re knee deep in a home search and meeting 20 other offers on every home you see.  (See our guide to beat out the competition here.) When supply is low, and demand is high, basic economic principles kick in and landlords are able to fetch higher rents on their units.

But why is demand so high? Population and employment growth are driving up demand faster than inventory can hit the market—recession recovery, economic growth and job placements all lend support to an increase in demand.  With young adults in the Millenial Generation entering the rental market, and the older generations still enveloped in it, the normal turnover cycle hasn’t spun over.

In 2015, the average rent in Orange County was $1587 per month.  By 2018, USC’s Lusk Center for Real Estate expects rent to increase to an average of $1736.

We can expect more supply in the coming years, but not enough to satisfy the needs of most would-be renters—in 2015, more than 38,000 construction permits were issued in Southern California for new apartment units.

The forecast by USC also looked at the national rental market, which is beginning to cool as more renters become home owners.

More people are taking the leap to homeownership as a result of rising rent prices, job security, low interest rates and generous home loan programs.  And that just might be your dilemma, that many people are doing this, and for good reason, but it might be making the market a bit more competitive.  In areas where inventory is low, homes are being snatched up in a matter of days.  To help you land the home you want, follow this guide to give you the edge in a competitive market.

Get a pre-approval letter.  A pre-approval letter shows you’ve been vetted, you’re serious and you’re ready.  This also gives you a realistic idea of how much of a mortgage you can afford so you can limit your search to houses in your price range before setting your sites on properties out of reach.

Make sure your agent gets the scoop.  A good agent will find out the scope of interested parties in a house before writing an offer.  Knowing how many people have seen it and written offers on it will tell you how aggressive you need to be.  Knowing the seller’s story and timeline can also work to your advantage.  Something that doesn’t match up with the sellers timeline might get rejected.  It also lets us know in advance to start preparing for a bidding war.

Be flexible with timing.   That being said, you can improve your chances of landing the home you want if sellers know that you are willing to work with their schedules in as quickly– or as slowly–a manner as necessary.

Make it personal.  Real estate is a visual industry: you look at homes, you look at neighborhoods, you look at the numbers, sellers look at offers.  All of this can get cold and impersonal.  Consider adding a personal letter that shows why you love the house and what you plan to use it for.  Some people with an emotional attachment to the home they’re selling may be inclined to sell it to someone they know will take care of it and appreciate it the way they did.

Pay more upfront.  Money talks.  You can beef up your offer by providing more money up front in your earnest money deposit.  The cash works as insurance for the seller in case the buyer backs out of the deal.  Knowing you have more skin in the game might make take your offer as the safe bet.

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.

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.