🏡Lessons on Home Equity – #Irvine

Home Equity Christina Khandan Irvine California - Realtor

Banks have started to get more relaxed about Home equity loans.That means that home owners are more confident about the future and about home values which is a good thing. However every year people come to me who want to sell their home for an unrealistic amount of money because they have to pay off the money they borrowed against it.

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I always tell my clients that the truth is you can not ask for more money for your home because you do not have enough equity to pay the selling costs. Once you pay off the loans and have enough money left over from escrow you can have funds for the down payment on another home or other expenses.

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The less equity you have on your home the more risky the home loans become from the banks perspective. If you barrow money you need to remember that you have to pay it back with interest. People do live different life styles, but I always preach to my clients to stay within your means and don’t stretch your finances. I would not like to be trapped in a house payment or a home which I can not sell for a good price.

 

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🏡 Home Inspection – #Irvine #Home

Home Inspection Done Right

 

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During the past several years many homes sat on the market for extended period of time and then were upgraded and rehabbed to be up to standard.

Many of these homes were obviously taken over by banks and during the financial crises banks did not have time to collect all needed document like seller disclosure, inspection report etc.  Also when the Banks sold the homes they could not provide Seller disclosures to the new buyer. In many cases the new Buyer which was flipping or just doing a quick transaction refurbished, cleaned up and did minor upgrade to the homes and then sold them for quick profits.

Home Inspection will Help you with Price Negotiation
Home Inspection will Help you with Price Negotiation

 

Some of the new owners of these homes are now running into old problems which would normally show up on the Seller Disclosure documents or inspection reports assuming they existed prior to their purchase. There could be Cracked plumbing,  sewer line problems, mold in the walls from water damage, but none of this was disclosed during the financial crises fast moving home transactions.

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There are some basic things a buyer needs to do when buying a home:

1. Make sure you have a professional home inspection by a reputable Inspection company local to the area.

2. If your county has access to housing inspections reports, it would be best to access them and try to pass the data to the inspector for additional review.

3. Look up city permits for any work done on the property and look for any special work as reference and pass it to your inspector.

Since the financial crises many homes have been bought and sold and many with the same problem being passed along to the next buyer. Take the time and make sure regardless of the homes age, you request for a full home inspection and pay for it.

 

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Few Home Inspection Checklists to review:

 

Home Inspection Checklist
Home Inspection Checklist

 

 

Home Buyer Inspection checklist
Home Buyer Inspection checklist

 

 

Home Buyer Mold Checklist
Home Buyer Mold Checklist

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Christina Khandan
Keller Williams OC Coastal Realty
949-433-0803. Mobile
714-388-3771. Fax
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🏡Mello-Roos Tax – #Home #Irvine

Mello Roos Pic

In 1789, Benjamin Franklin wrote, in a letter to Jean-Baptiste Leroy, “ . . . in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.”

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And one certain thing about taxes is that, once imposed, they are usually increased, seldom reduced, and almost never go away.

In 1978, California voters passed Proposition 13, which restricted the ability of local public agencies to raise funds by increasing property taxes. To provide an alternate method of financing public improvements, state Senator Henry J. Mello (D-Watsonville) and Assemblyman Mike Roos (D-Los Angeles) co-authored the Community Facilities Act of 1982.

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This Act made it possible first to define a community facilities district (CFD) and then to tax all of the parcels within that district as a means of paying the principal and interest on bonds used to fund facilities—such as parks, roads, and schools—for that district.

Thus, rather than forcing builders to pay upfront for projects to meet the needs their developments created, it was possible for government agencies to borrow hundreds of millions of dollars for those projects and to pay off that debt through Mello-Roos taxes collected over decades.

MelloRoos Def

 

Mello-Roos is a form of financing that can be used by cities, counties, and special districts (such as school disricts). Mello-Roos Community Facilities Districts (referred to as “CFDs”) raise money through special taxes that must be approved by 2/3rds of the voters within the district. A CFD is formed to finance major improvements and services within the district which might include schools, roads, libraries, police and fire protection services, or ambulance services. The taxes are secured by a continuing lien and are levied annually against property within the district

All new communities in Orange County will impose some level of Mello-Roos tax to support their Education, Parks and more. Communities that do not impose this tax are always older homes within the community. That is not to say older homes in Irvine or rest of Orange County are in less quality school districts.

My advice to my client purchasing homes in Orange County is:

  1. Plan for Minimum 1% Property Tax
  2. Your monthly Mortgage Payment
  3. Homeowner Association dues (HOA)
  4. Homeowner Insurance
  5. Always have your Agent Check for Mello Roos Tax

Knowing these basic rules when planning to purchase a home you should have a pretty good understanding of your monthly confirmed expense for your home purchase.

Usually you can put in a property address and see the breakdown of all the taxes if you go through the “pay your bill online” button. I have found searching by address to be a little unreliable though. By parcel number always works.

Resources:

Orange County Treasurer Tax Collector

 

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🏡It is Time for Buyers to buy – #Irvine

For a while now experts have been predicting that interest rates would increase by the end of the year….. But lucky for buyers the experts have been quite wrong.  Quite the opposite has occurred, rates are much lower then they were in the beginning of the year and they are the lowest most of us have seen since middle of 2013.
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As a buyer this is the best time to purchase a home.  For those waiting on the sideline believing that interest rates will not go up are misinformed but as a Realtor I can tell you that waiting will involve a lot of uncertainty and why not take advantage of the low interest rate as well as the sellers who would like to move on.  This is a great window of opportunity to take advantage of the great rates as well as some great home prices.  It truly is somewhat of a buyers market at this time.
With the low rates you can save thousands of dollars each year on your new mortgage.  As the interest rates rise today’s buyers who have the rates locked in fixed payments could essentially save money over time.
So take a look around and you might be pleasantly surprised that your dream home is closer then you think.

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🏡 Bathroom Renovations #Home – #Irvine

I had a client contact me today and tell me that they are doing a bathroom renovation and wanted to know what would be good.  She wasn’t sure what to place as the main focal point in the bathroom.  she really wants to make a wow factor but just needed advise.

When you take on a bathroom renovation you have to consider a few things;

1. Size of bathroom

2. What is your style

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For larger bathrooms one may want to consider making your focal point the bath tub.  The bath tub you say? yes, the bath tub.  Traditionally the bath tub has always had a nice tucked a way alcove that you normally don’t get to see it.  Then the shower is either the focus or the sinks.  In today’s new homes builders are making the bath tub as your main focus when you walk into a bathroom specially the master.

Now based on your design you can either choose to have a free standing bath tub or one that is surrounded by walls.  The free standing bath tub can give a pretty dramatic first impression when you enter the bathroom area.  The free standing bath is then not only accessible from all sides but also gives a finished look to the room.

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Just remember though that normally these types of bath tubs or any bath tub is usually used for soaking only so don’t forget you will probably need to have the contractor also consider placing a shower stall in the bathroom as well.  Maybe one with two shower heads to give it the “spa” feel.0a6c678638f444952a813ee02ffbceee

 
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🏡Homeowner Association Dues (HOA) – #Irvine

Homeowner Association & Credit Score -  - Christina Khandan -  Irvine California  - www.IrvineHomeBlog.com\HomeDecor
How Homeowner Association Dues can affect Your Credit? If you live in a community with a homeowners’ association, you probably have to pay association dues. They can run anywhere from less than $100 a year to more than $1,000 a month, depending on the community. What happens if you don’t pay?
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What can HOA members do to protect themselves?

First thing to understand is Credit report items related to Homeowner Association Dues (HOA) do not show up on your credit report unless there is a problem.

The only way the credit reporting agencies get this information is via a negative reporting from a foreclosure or judgement. Many reporting agencies have people that comb through the public records for this kind of information, and this is usually the only other way this can show up on a homeowner’s credit report.
To avoid any credit damage from your HOA, try to make payment arrangement with the HOA and do whatever you can to get current.It is best to get started on this before the HOA Attorney receives your file for collection. This could and will result in Attorney fees and expenses.

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HOA payment obligations on a property are a legally binding promises between the Homeowner and the HOA and is enforceable under law.

If you are experiencing payments delay issues, monitor your credit report and get a free credit report once a year to see if anything shows up on your credit report. (CreditKarma.com) is a good source.

 

Prior to purchase of any home within an HOA, make sure you read and understand all restrictions and rules regarding your homeowner association.

 

Homeowner associations are responsible for much more than just payments. If you do not paint your home or take care of your Landscape they will send you fix it notice and an allotted time to take care of it. If you do not take care of these requests, plan to be paying large fines until you take care of them.
When searching for a home I always tell my clients to be aware of Homeowner Association Neighborhoods. Yes they are great to have for when you have a neighbor which wants to change their home color to Pink but at the same time you have to follow the rules and upkeep your home.

 

 

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🏡 Your Home Feng Shui – #Irvine #RealEstate

Your Home Feng Shui  - Christina Khandan -  Irvine California  - www.IrvineHomeBlog.com\HomeDecor
Your Home Feng Shui

 

Feng Shui is a Chinese philosophical system of harmonizing everyone with the surrounding environment. The term feng shui literally translates as “wind-water” in English.

Getting started with feng shui for your house & home can be easy when you start with the house basics and gradually move on to the more complex feng shui levels.

This  by no means is the full guide to feng shui, but its some information I gathered since many of my real estate clients have interest in it. If you want to find more information and content regarding feng shui, you can search the internet, find a professionals who do feng shui as a living.

To help you get started with good feng shui in your home, here are some helpful feng shui house steps for beginners:

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  1. Clear Out Your Clutter, get rid of everything you do not love in your house. Clutter clearing is a time-and energy-consuming process that will feel like therapy, but it will help you “lighten up the load,” so to speak.
  2. Have Good Quality Air and Good Quality Light in your house. These two elements are essential for good feng shui energy (called Chi) in your home. Open the windows often, introduce feng shui air-purifying plants or use an air-purifier. Allow as much natural light as possible into your home, and consider using full-spectrum lights.
  3. Define the Bagua, or the feng shui energy map of your house, by using one of the two main feng shui methods – the classical school bagua or the BTB grid. Once you define the bagua, you will know which areas of your home are connected to specific areas of your life. For example, in traditional feng shui, the Southeast feng shui area of your home is connected to the flow of money energy in your life. (read more on Bagua click here)
  4. Get the Basics of 5 Feng Shui Elements in order to create balance and vibrant energy in all areas of your home. For example, if you are working on attracting more prosperity, you will introduce the feng shui elements of Wood and Water in the Southeast area of your house. If your need to improve your health, you will place lush wood feng shui element items, such as plants or pieces of wood furniture in the East area.
  5. Find Out Your Feng Shui Birth Element and create a home to nourish and support your energy. For example, if your own element is Fire, you need to introduce the expressions of Fire feng shui element, such as the Fire element colors (red, orange, purple, magenta, pink, yellow), triangular shapes, etc.
  6. Find Out Your Kua Number and Your Lucky Directions so that you can be energized by good energy from your best, or lucky feng shui directions. Adjust the position of your bed, your desk, the seating in your dining area, etc. For example, if your Kua number is 1, it is best to face one of the following directions: Southeast, East, South, and North.
  7. Always Be Mindful of the Feel of Your Home and how its energy influences your well-being. Make a habit of paying close attention to the so-called feng shui “trinity” that is deeply connected to your health – your bedroom, your bathroom and your kitchen. Nothing is static in the world of energy, so be wise and keep your home healthy and happy.

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Click on the Feng Shui Picture to view the 2 Page pdf (Click here)

Feng Shui cheat Sheet

 

 

Additional Content and information about Feng Shui  – Click Here

 

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Keller Williams OC Coastal Realty
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714-388-3771. Fax
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🏡How to Save on #HOME Closing Costs – #Irvine

 Home Closing Costs -  - Christina Khandan -  Irvine California  - www.IrvineHomeBlog.com
Typically you can expect to pay anywhere from 2% to 5% on the price of the home as closing costs.
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Purchasing a property will always have certain costs associated with it. These costs are called the closing costs and are normal and customary for a home purchase, although some will differ from one state to another,  but the components of closing costs are pretty much uniform regardless of which part of the country you live in.

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Closing costs are made up of:

Closing Costs Fees - Christina Khandan - Irvine California IrvineHomeBlog.com

(depending on the transaction you might or might not be responsible for all of the above)

A standard closing cost will usually run you about 2% to 5% of the purchase price of the home. Assume you are buying a $800,000.00 home in Southern California, The Closing costs can be a substantial amount if the range is between $16,000.00 to $35,000.00. These amounts are affected during the price negotiations and the offer process for your home. There are several things you can do to save money on your closing costs and here are few examples of them.

1. Negotiation Process:
during the offer process you have to negotiate with the seller. Find out what your estimated costs will be and make sure you try to build some or all of it into the offer. The payment of all closing costs can be a very important part of the negotiation with the seller. This can vary depending on what kind of a Real Estate market you are in. The Sellers motivation to sell and their timing is also very important. Know why they are selling. Do some work and find out why they are selling. Having some facts can help you in the offer process and come out ahead at the end.

2. Shopping:
prior to making the offer for your dream home, do some research and shop for your closing costs. Mortgage rates are not the only item you need to shop for. Everything from Inspection to Title insurance you can do some shopping around and ask for best prices. This can be a great way to save money. One peace of information you might want to keep in mind, is that the seller has the right to choose the Title and Escrow company.

3. Community:
different communities around the country will have closing costs which are higher and lower depending on the locality of the property. Many high-tax areas of the country have much higher closing costs which will get you toward the upper end of the range 5% to 6%. Some areas will have flat rates on certain parts of closing costs like Title insurance or Escrow fees. Take the time and ask around in your community, friends and family, Realtor advice always helps too. Its always best to research the estimates close to your community, better doing some research, rather than blindly assuming a wrong number as the basis for your closing costs.

4. Timing the Closing Schedule.
It is suggested to try and keep the closing date toward the end of the month. It might seem like penny pinching but every penny will count towards how much you will end up paying for your home. Bottom line many lenders assess a charge between the settlement date and the last day of the month. This is to cover the lenders fees and compensate the lender before you will be paying the full principal and interest payment the following month after closing. Even if a nominal amount is involved this cost can be reduced by a good margin if you schedule your closing toward the end of the month.

5. Full checkup.
make sure you get a good faith estimate right up front. Between the initial good faith and final closing the Escrow, title and others tend to add additional fees and expect you to not notice it. Always compare your Good faith estimate with your final cost sheet and make sure the numbers are what you had initially been promised. If you do see a significant price change on any line item make sure you have access to a good Real Estate Attorney and keep all your legal options open.

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Don’t let the process stop you from getting a deal on your next home purchase. Do not be embarrassed to negotiate on the price or costs. If the tables were turned they would be asking or the kitchen sink. So make sure you work on your skills, information gathering techniques and remember if you don’t ask for it the seller will not be offering you any price breaks.

 

 

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Biking in #Irvine

Bike Trail

Biking in Irvine

Many clients wanting to move to Irvine, ask: ” Why are property values so much higher in Irvine vs. Other Cities?” The Simple answer is: “Planned Community”. Irvine was planned with all aspects of family living in mind. A well designed home community will have access to Work, Roads, Shopping, Entertainment and Outdoors with Biking being one of the most enjoyable sports, Irvine has created a vast distribution of bike paths for the residents of Irvine which can travel from Irvine all the way to Huntington Beach.

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Beautiful weather in Irvine and all of Southern California. High 60’s to Mid 70’s, perfect for a day out at the great number of parks in Irvine and or Bike trails Map which are offered throughout the well designed communities in Irvine, Tustin Newport Beach Area.

bikepath

The City of Irvine provides a network of on-street and off-street bikeways to encourage the use of bicycles as a safe and convenient means of transportation for both commuting and recreational purposes. This is evident by 301 lane miles of on-street and 54 miles of off-street bikeways provided in the City today.

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Current Irvine Weather

biking

 

Bike Resources: 

Bike Irvine

City of Irvine BikeWays

City of Irvine Interactive Bike Map PDF Version: City_Bikeway_Map_06042013

Orange County Interactive Bike Map

bike trail

 

(read it here)
Irvine Home Paper

 

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Keller Williams OC Coastal Realty
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714-388-3771. Fax
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