Thoughts from Jenean

Need Help Voting This Year?

vote-1286584_640

Are you concerned about making choices that align with your personal values in this election cycle? This year, more than ever, we need to make choices that thoughtfully embrace strong moral values. Here is a great resource for making these choices:

www.NancysPicks.com

Here is Nancy’s condensed statement regarding criteria for her picks:

“Research is done from a CONSERVATIVE WORLDVIEW PERSPECTIVE (fiscal & social), looking for candidates/issues that BEST support LIMITED GOVERNMENT, LESS TAXES, PERSONAL FREEDOM, PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY, PARENTAL RIGHTS, PRO-LIFE, PRO-FAMILY, PRO-2ND AMENDMENT, PRO-BUSINESS, SECURE BORDERS, EDUCATIONAL CHOICE, PROPERTY RIGHTS, and CANDIDATES that STRONGLY ADHERE to the US CONSTITUTION, ETC.”

A Huge Thank You!

ISSUU---July2015-by-Orange-County-Association-of-REALTORS-I went to my mailbox yesterday and there was the latest edition OC Realtor magazine showing the newly elected Directors of O.C.A.R. on the cover. I’m very honored to be selected for a third term as a Director. I am very humbled by the peer support, the help of friends, and support from all the First Team agents. I will work hard to represent you and continue to bring top quality education and tools to Orange County Realtors. Thank you all so much!

Lake Forest, California Real Estate – 2010 ‘Days on Market’ Stats

How’s the market?  When people bump into me in Orange County and ask me, “How’s the market?” I know that what they are really asking me is, “How is the market in my neighborhood?”   PS0357Below is a chart that demonstrates how long it takes for an average REALTOR to sell their listings in my neighborhood: About 3 to 4 months in 2010.  If you have been following my blog for some time, you know that in the past decade my listings sell in an average of less than one month.  In 2010, my listings entered escrow in an average of 8 days – whether they were standard sales or short sales.  There is a lot that goes on behind the scenes to make this happen.  In fact I am working on preparing a listing to sell in 8 days at this very moment.

Jenean's Behind the ScenesWhile at the annual Orange County Association of Realtors Board of Directors ‘Summit” this month, I got a call from the out-of-town heir to a townhome in Lake Forest’s Sun & Sail Club community.  They received my name from their sister’s friend who got it from a former neighbor whose home I sold last year.  They told me that they needed to sell the condo, and that they realized it needed to have some work done.  I met with them a few days later and showed them what items, if fixed, would add significant value to the sales price of the home and what items wouldn’t.  I agreed to spend the next month getting these repairs and upgrades completed using the best and yet most affordable service providers. 

Within hours of signing the listing I had the opportunity of pursuing two 2700 sq.ft. home listings down the street.  I knew that there was no way that I could market another property or two while preparing this condo for sale.  That was o.k. with me. My objective is leave no stone unturned in helping  my existing clients sell their homes for more – NOT to help myself sell more homes. 

It is common for Homeowner sellers to phone up the agent whose signs they see all over town, week after week assuming that they will do the best job in selling their home.  What they may actually be observing is an agent who priced their listing high in order to ”win’ the listing and be able to set up shop in the client’s home week after week in order to meet neighbors who are thinking about moving, as well as pick up more buyer-clients.  In the mean tine, the seller is having to make 3 more house payments on average before the home sells for a lower-than-expected sales price.

My model couldn’t be any more different: Much of my work to obtain top dollar for a seller’s home happens behind the scenes in the few weeks prior to putting the home on the market.  While doing repairs and finishing touches, I put the listing in the que to be advertised on the prime page in the real estate section in the most read newspaper in Orange County and on websites across town and across the country.  The home and community are beautifully and professionally photographed to drive the maximum number of buyers to the home’s Grand Opening Open House.  It is not uncommon for me to have hundreds of visitors to these events.  Often, the following Wednesday it enters escrow as the highest recent comp in the neighborhood.

You won’t see multiple Jenean Hill ‘For Sale’ signs all over town as I generally work with one or two clients at a time and enter escrow in about a week.  What you will see are big Grand Opening Open House crowds that come from extensive marketing with beautiful photos and a smile on the seller’s face when their home’s sale price just broke neighborhood records!

California insurance commissioner urges earthquake preparedness

California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones this week urged Californians to update their earthquake preparedness plans and evaluate the need for earthquake insurance.

“On this 17th anniversary of the Northridge earthquake, let us be reminded that we live in a region of the country that is constantly in flux,” said Commissioner Dave Jones. “While it was certainly a tragic event that impacted many Californians, we must be even more prepared for the next big earthquake that scientists say may come at any time.”

Earthquake preparedness includes the following:
• Review your insurance policies at least once each year with your agent or broker to ensure that they provide adequate coverage.
• Consider purchasing an earthquake policy if your home is in an earthquake-prone area, doesn’t meet current building standards, or is built upon unstable ground.
• Take measures to retrofit your home to increase your safety during an earthquake.
• Brace your water heater to minimize the risks of fire and water damage caused by water heaters that topple during earthquakes.
• Bolt your home’s wood frame to its foundation to prevent damage resulting from the structure sliding off its foundation. And for houses on raised foundations, brace of “cripple walls” to reduce damage from earthquakes.
• Mobile home owners should use earthquake-bracing systems to reduce the chance of damage from homes slipping off support jacks.
• Fasten cupboard doors with child-proof latches to prevent them from opening and spilling their contents. • Fasten bookcases, mirrors, televisions, and other tall or heavy objects to wall studs.
• Gas appliances should have flexible attachments, and family members should be familiar with gas shut-off techniques.

Most homeowners’ and renters’ policies do not cover damage from earthquakes. The California Earthquake Authority was formed to provide earthquake insurance to residential property owners including homeowners, individual condominium unit owners, mobile homeowners, and renters. Under the CEA plan, the CEA member insurance company is required to offer earthquake coverage subject to the minimum dwelling and personal property. Dwellings must be covered according to CEA policy guidelines; however, other structures such as outbuildings, swimming pools, and masonry fences are specifically excluded, as is the case with the majority of earthquake policies. CEA has more recently offered broader coverage in response to growing claim reserves and positive reports of plan solvency.

Earthquake coverage can not be purchased directly from CEA. CEA does not offer stand-alone earthquake policies. Only licensed California insurers who are CEA-member companies can sell CEA policies.  A residential property policy must be in force or homeowners must purchase a new residential property policy from a CEA member insurer in order to be offered a CEA policy. The residential insurance companies participating in CEA currently underwrite more than 70 percent of the residential property insurance sold in California. A participating CEA company can only offer CEA policies.

Get important information about preparing for a disaster from the California Department of Insurance website at www.insurance.ca.gov. Or, call its consumer hotline at (800) 927-HELP.

Kit2I am preparing a very nice Earthquake Preparedness Kit for the next 4 buyers who select me as their REALTOR and email me a letter of recommendation with their family or pet photo upon closing escrow!  ….and yes, I make it myself. 🙂

Keeping Lake Forest Green: Bring your own ‘to-go’ containers

[tupperware]Americans throw out more than 2.1 million tons of paper and plastic plates and cups every year, and many restaurants still use Styrofoam to-go containers.  Bring your own to-go containers and ask restaurants to consider eco-friendlier options like compostable containers.

Weekly Fraud Alert: Fraudulent FDIC e-mails

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) has received numerous reports from consumers who received an e-mail that has the appearance of being sent by the FDIC.  The e-mail informs the recipient that “in cooperation with the Dept. of Homeland Security, federal, state and local governments…the FDIC has withdrawn deposit insurance from the recipient’s account “due to account activity that violates the Patriot Act.”

This e-mail is fraudulent and was not sent by the FDIC.  It is an attempt to obtain personal information from consumers.  Consumers should not access the link provided with the body of the e-mail and should not provide any personal information through this e-mail.  Report any attempts to obtain this information by sending an e-mail to the FDIC at alert@fdic.gov.

Heading to San Diego

Fred Car 1.JPGI am in the car heading to San Diego to be a part of the Orange County Association of REALTORS’ Strategic Planning Event.  Each year Directors spend 2-3 days together discussing the Real Estate Industry and how we can best serve the 10,000 REALTOR members of our Association.  We know that the better the education and tools that we provide to real estate agents, the better they will be able to serve the you.

During my breaks at this event, I will be able to give quick responses to your emails thanks to my T-Mobile Android smart phone.  Partners Chris and Rudy are staying in the office to help with existing files and new business.

OC Elvis Scott Robertson Performing in Mission Viejo

Neil Diamond SingsIf you have been to one of my annual Client Appreciation Parties, you probably know the name, Scott Robertson.  He is the performer you enjoyed as Elvis or Neil or just plain…entertaining.  If you are looking for a little fun this Saturday, January 15th, you will want to call up Antonuccis in Mission Viejo and make a reservation for the OCElvis Room.  He will be performing from 6:30 to 9:30pm.

From the Stevens Family in Lake Forest

We have been working with Jenean Hill since 2004.  She has represented us as sellers and buyers on numerous properties.  In addition to her straightforward and honest approach she is tremendously knowledgable about the markets she serves.  Due to her strategic marketing techniques we were even able to sell in the difficult market of 2008 in less than one week while still fetching a good price.  

She has substantial contacts not only for common selling and buying needs (handyman, inspectors, mortgage brokers, etc) but can also help our friends and family members purchase homes in various counties and states in which she doesn’t work by interviewing and recommending fantastic local Realtors in their area!  My mom is moving to Riverside County from Northern California and is all set up with her new agent working hard for her.  She also was eager to help my sister in Los Angeles buy in her own community.

Jenean is always willing to go above and beyond for her clients and treats them as friends – building long lasting relationships.  We frequently recommend her to our friends and family and would strongly encourage anyone thinking about a real-estate transaction to let Jenean put her skills to work for them.

 The Stevens Family

Quote of the Week:

“It’s not what we eat but what we digest that makes us strong; not what we gain but what we save that makes us rich; not what we read but what we remember that makes us learned; and not what we profess but what we practice that gives us integrity.”

Philosopher, Francis Bacon