Rosanne Nitti at RMN Investments & Realty Services

"Real Estate Representation for today's Market"

Hotel Laguna from the beach side

Hotel Laguna from the beach side

This image will be featured on a T-Shirt as the Sawdust Art Festival this summer in Laguna Beach.

2014 Real Estate Market Forecast

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What’s it take to get your offer accepted when buying a home?

In this crazy market, all CASH investors have been ruling the roost. How do you get your offer accepted if you aren’t a cash buyer? Here’s some tips that MAY help.  Finding a good buyers agents is key and being realistic about the market another factor. If you are an FHA, VA and Conventional buyer,  whether you are upgrading, downsizing or first time homebuyers, there’s a few things you should consider when putting in your offer. #1) Remember you aren’t the only one that LOVES that home, with high demand and low inventory multiple offers are coming in sometimes you are competing with 5 to 10 buyers. #2) Put in your “Highest and Best offer” FIRST! Low balling or thinking you can negotiate may be the “make it or break” if factor in the seller even considering your offer.  This is not a buyers market or a car dealership where you haggle over the price. #3) Have your financial ducks in a row.  Be pre approved or even DU approved BEFORE you put your offer in. It helps the sellers to see that you already have loan approval and can move forward quickly.  Don’t be shopping for a loan or rate AFTER your offer is accepted. The more you have down the better, especially of they want you to remove your appraisal contingency. #4) Write a letter for your buyers agent to include with your offer stating why you love the home and how you feel you will be a good fit for it. Sellers are emotional about their homes and knowing someone is going to love it and care for it is a good way to get your offer in the running. These are good starting points to get your offer noticed.  Remember a GOOD Realtor/Broker will be up front and tell you the facts.  If you need advice, I’m here to help. Rosanne Nitti Broker 949-315-9104Image

Missed Mortgage Payments can attract Scam Proposals!

 

 

When natural disaster strikes, you can be certain that two groups will soon be there: the Red Cross — and scam artists. Unfortunately, the same holds for turmoil of all kinds.

Local homeowners who have missed mortgage payments should be aware that, in addition to getting their accounts back on track as soon as possible, they should be prepared to be targeted by unethical operators.

Missed mortgage payments can cause a  homeowner’s name to appear as ‘arrears’ on public tax records: it’s one way unscrupulous characters locate their victims. That can set off an onslaught of solicitations through the phone, mail, and possibly even at the front door! Normally level-headed householders can be misled by the prospect of a quick fix, especially since stress levels can be high. Knowing the telltale signs that a mortgage scam is in the offing can stop it before it gets far.

One indication is any ‘cure’ that requires a large up-front payment to the mediating agent. Likewise, any proposal that involves repayment to anyone other than the lender — no matter how convincing the reasons offered — is not likely to be authentic.

In one devious mortgage scam, the agency tries to convince you to sign over ownership of your property with the promise that you will be able to rent it back in a “lease-to-own” arrangement. That may sound convincing since some banks are experimenting with a similar option. But anyone other than the mortgage holder who proposes that you sign over the property deed or title to them is probably not working in your best interest. Likewise, an agency that seeks your power of attorney should raise another red flag — in this case, the agency could have the power to circumvent your wishes.

If you’ve missed mortgage payments  your first action should always be to talk to a reputable attorney and financial advisor to sort out your available options. If selling your home is one — either by conventional or short sale — it’s my job to help make accomplishing that easier. Don’t hesitate to contact me with your private real estate needs.

 

Give me a ring today so I can help.  Rosanne Nitti 949-315-9104 DRE#01810310

OC Real Estate Listings: New Super-Highway

Remember the days when you didn’t have to rummage furiously through the house to find a ringing phone, because it stayed where it was supposed to be—plugged into the wall? You remember: it used to take less than 10 minutes to check out the TV listings because there weren’t hundreds of channels. And a gallon of gas cost less than a loaf of bread…

Of course, those days are long gone. Unless you want to live on an isolated island somewhere in an underdeveloped country, that’s that.

In the real estate profession, the good ol’ days are gone, too. When I’m helping a client sell his or her home, I make the most of the fact that the super-highway to today’s buyer is no longer the newspaper or snail mail. It’s the Web.

It’s the listings.

The first glimpse potential buyers get to any property is most often found through our local real estate listings. Those attention-grabbing  Orange County real estate listings are the agent and seller’s best chance to attract an in-person visit—with all that follows.

So how do you help your agent ace the Orange County real estate listings? 

As in preparing for any performance: set the stage!

Photographs are your best listings allies, so “stage” the house before photography begins. Professional photographers know that the viewer’s eye will be attracted to any out-of-place detail: a dog bed in a corner, or one window with a blind pulled lower than the others will create a distracting element. What looks okay in real life is much less critical.  

Savvy buyers will peruse real estate listings in the areas they are interested in online before scheduling visits. They save time, effort, and expense—and for those not committed to a specific area, the wealth of information published online about the community helps narrow their search. If you’re looking to sell your house, be sure your listing catches the attention of those serious and educated buyers. They’re the ones who are likely to write an offer.

Ready to set the stage for a successful sale? I’d love to prepare a marketing plan for you this spring!

Rosanne Nitti- RMN Investments & Realty Services 949-315-9104

 

Homes for Sale prices rise to highest in 7 years!

 

 

When real estate occupies most of your day (as it certainly does mine), you find yourself receiving no end of information. Some summarize points of view that are available elsewhere; some provide original information that isn’t particularly relevant to our local market.

One piece that gets more than the usual quick-scan-then-into-the-recycle-bin treatment is the HPI Data Report. It comes in once each month from the demographers at CoreLogic ®. This group knows what they are talking about: among other things, they collect the most comprehensive property database in the U.S.

Last week was relatively quiet on the news front, so when they checked in, I was able to give their report a thorough going-over. What I found:

Holy smoke! Prices of homes for sale nationwide made the biggest year-over-year increase in seven years!

Yikes! Year-over-year, even including distressed sales, prices of homes for sale jumped by an average 9.7% That’s just a whisker short of double-digits!

Good golly! Those homes for sale price jumps were taking place everywhere — in 49 out of the 51 states (the only exceptions were Illinois and Delaware).

One more exclamation! (I’ve run out): As if the trend direction isn’t already crystal clear, this represents the 11th consecutive monthly increase.

As we prepare for our area’s spring selling season, it’s noteworthy how much this year promises to be a notch up from even last year’s —already a noticeable improvement.

If you have a property that is a good candidate to join this spring’s complement of local homes for sale, now is a good time to give me a call. Rising prices mean that the buyers are out there!

I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Call me for any information or questions you may have.

Rosanne Nitti 949-315-9104

                                                                                           

Yards Weigh In With Orange County Buyers

Your yard is your  home’s calling card. A dated or overgrown yard can be a huge turnoff to potential buyers – just as an appealing one can trump other objections. 

Landscape designer Cynthia Bee knows this well. “Landscaping often makes the difference,” she says, “between a prospective buyer getting out of the car for a closer look or simply driving on by.”

The same goes for Internet prospects as they scan through listings in search of a  home to buy. An unappealing yard can detract from your all-important curbside glamour photo — and cause them ‘to drive on by’ your listing. The backyard is not as important in attracting buyers, but often proves vital in holding their enthusiasm.

To help sell  your  home this spring, right now is prime time to consider some yard-focused dos and don’ts:

DON’T allow ornamentation designed to create character — that ‘character’ may be hard for prospective buyers to see past. In this category are mirrored globes, plastic fauna, and (definitely) gnomes of all varieties.

DO consider maintenance issues when you plan front and backyard updates.  To sell a  home that appeals to the widest swath of prospects, avoid intricate garden plantings that shout, Weed me!  Water me! Trim me!

DON’T let original planting design make an otherwise appealing property feel dated. It used to be considered elegant to have flat-toped and rounded bushes alongside pathways – but that was the 50’s. Today, the vast majority of buyers appreciate the natural look (and native plants).

DO consider who your likeliest prospects will be – and how your yard will fit their family. If you are going to sell a home with four bedrooms, a back yard with plenty of playing space for the kids is a good idea.

Sometimes it can be the smallest details that determine how quickly you sell your home.  It’s my job to help in figuring out which and what those are likely to be.  If you are getting ready to sell a home in Orange county, I hope you will call me to put my knowledge to work!

Rosanne Nitti

949-315-9104Image

Agents Help Orange County ‘For Sale by Owner’ Buys

Suppose you are driving past one of those ‘For Sale by Owner’ yard signs…and the house looks good!

Do you screech to a halt, jump out and rush up to the front door to – quick! – sign a deal? More likely, you jot down the phone number (hopefully one is visible, though with For Sale By Owner signs, it’s not always the case) so you can call up your agent to get the details.

Veteran buyers considering an OC  For Sale by Owner (FSBO) property know why it’s highly beneficial to use their agent from the start.  Even if you have found the home yourself, you should want that first call to go to an agent.

Here’s why:

  • Agents offer advanced relationships that stand to improve your bottom line. For example, timing often can make or break a deal, and agents can utilize their network of the lenders who have proven most reliable.  Agents are also likely to have vetted referrals for specialized services to address fireplace and chimney issues, drainage, asbestos removal, etc.
  • Agents are experienced negotiators whose familiarity with  real estate requirements strengthens your position vis-à-vis credits and repairs. Agents understand potential issues likely to come up at inspection — and can help you evaluate each item in your inspection report.
  • Some buyers believe they can save money by not using an agent in  For Sale by Owner transactions. Sometimes that happens, but more often than not, it’s the FSBO owner whose heart is set on pocketing that extra 2.5 – 3%.  Agents can save you money in other ways –  by negotiating a lower selling price, proposing intangible benefits (like cash for closing), etc.

Circumstances differ, but the bottom line value an experienced agent adds is a clear understanding of the complications and issues that often arise during dealings – whether ‘For Sale by Owner’ or not.   To get to closing, be sure your agent is involved. And if you’re looking for an agent, I would love to help – call me today to discuss how I will help!

All the best,

Rosanne Nitti

Broker

949-315-9104

DRE#01810310

Are Home Prices Trends in Orange County Sustainable?

Who doesn’t want to know what will happen in the future? That’s a very small group, for sure, since good planning is a cornerstone of good management — for households as well as for organizations of every kind.

So, whenever OC homeowners see headlines like “Home Prices Up ‘Unsustainable’ 5.9% in 2012,” above a MarketWatch article that explains that price growth is expected to slow, they probably would like to gauge the reliability of the forecasters.

In this case, MarketWatch is part of the relatively stalwart Wall Street Journal, so credibility goes up. But closer examination finds that the author is just reporting information real estate site Zillow compiled. Zillow is indeed an internet behemoth — but can OC homeowners rely on its national predictions to gauge  home prices?

My own take is to find out how well has this source done in the past…

Looking back a very short while ago (to December 26 of last year), I find that Zillow’s survey of 100 economists and forecasters “said they expect home prices to increase in full-year 2012 by 4.6%.”

Hey! Hold it! This is only February, but now the same outfit is telling us that the actual home prices gain last year was 5.9%. Doing a little arithmetic, it seems that the 100 economists and forecasters, faced with the task of estimating home prices for a year that had just a week left, were off by 28%! (They also acknowledge that the same panel had predicted the rise would be 2.3% only three months earlier).

So I guess it’s not that surprising that they feel home price rises like last year’s are going to be ‘unsustainable’ in 2013. Apparently the actual home prices were unsustainable last year, too!

Since real estate and home prices in OC are inherently local, it takes on-the-ground expertise to keep up with them.  If you’d like to know where your home falls in today’s market, contact me now to schedule an initial consultation.  I think we’re getting ready for an interesting spring season —and I’d love to help you explore your options!

 

If you would like a FREE evaluation of what your home is worth go to www.propertyvalueindicator.com and I will get that report to you right away.

 

All the best,

Rosanne Nitti

Broker

949-315-9104

 

Rental Increases Motivate Investors, 1st-Time Homebuyers

Rentals Study Paints Good News, Bad News Picture

To the extent that OC rentals reflect wider real estate movement, there is good news and bad news for OC tenants. It all depends on how they view it (and how they chart their personal housing strategy). The bad news was not unexpected: for the third straight year, rents were up across the nation in 2012, according to apartment housing industry expert MPF Research.

Although rents rose at a slightly slower pace than in 2011, national forecasts are calling for rent increases in 2013 that match last year’s. The research firm said that apartment rents climbed 3.0% in 2012, down from 4.8% in 2011, but again were above the long-term norm of 2.5% registered over the past 20 years.

For tenants currently in OC rentals — both apartments and single-family homes — rents may be heading up, but the good news is that this price pressure has not yet resulted in a less friendly home buying environment. “Loss of renters to purchase in the now-improving for-sale housing market is having only a very small impact,” according to MPF’s report. In other words, rentals are not being lost in large number even though rents are rising, so floods of first-time homebuyers are not yet adding significant upward pressure on single-family home pricing.

Even with housing prices on the rebound, first-time homebuyers who decide to leave the world of Orange County rentals to buy a home now will still benefit from the record low interest rates and distressed property bargains that result in historically affordable home prices.

Another group that would hail rising OC rental rates are investors.  “Most places are starved for new product right now, so properties that will complete over the coming year appear likely to do incredibly well, generally without hurting the results for the existing stock,” according to Greg Willett, MPF’s vice president.

Whether you are looking to buy or sell a rental home in Orange County CA, conditions warrant a thorough look at the opportunities available now and those opening this spring.  Call me to get started on a plan of action!

Rosanne Nitti/RMN Investments & Realty Services

668 N. Coast Hwy #1343 Laguna Beach CA 92651

949-315-9104  www.shopochomes.com / http://www.oc-realestate-guide.com

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