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