lake forest

Live! Work! Play! Photo Contest

lfconcertThe city of Lake Forest wants to showcase how you live, work, and play in Lake Forest every day. They’re asking readers to submit up to five photos along with an article (250 words or less) showing how they live, work or play in the City. Resident-submitted articles will be featured in the next five issues of The Leaflet. The City is accepting stories and photos (emailed to chon@lakeforestca.gov) through April 2016 with the first deadline date of Monday, August 10.

SOLD – 25271 Tanoak, Lake Forest – Seller Follows Plan, Wins Big

tanoaksold

This just happened…Another of our listings went into escrow within five days of going on the market (and hours of being viewed for the first time). The property sale at 25271 Tanoak, Lake Forest is a great success story for our seller. She had been following Jenean’s work for years and knew that good communication, trusting her advice AND following it to a “T” would sell her property quickly and for the highest price possible. She knew the drill and it was as easy as 1-2-3:

1) Make her home look great for professional photos by doing some cleaning, fixes and staging.
2) Setting a fair price to make BUYERS want to come see it.
3) Setting a commission that would make buyers’ AGENTS drop everything and bring their buyers to it on DAY ONE. (No buyer’s agent wants to be cheated by being offered 1/2 of a listing agent’s discounted commission because that listing agent knew their own services weren’t worth paying full price for).

The Grand Opening Open House was on Saturday and there were almost 100 visitors to the home in 4 hours. If you do the math, that is one visitor per 2-3 minutes. The offers started coming in and they were quite varied. The difference between the high and low offers for this home was huge…$30,000.

We stopped taking offers on Monday because one of the many offers was so good that it would be nearly impossible for anyone to top it. In fact, it was so high that it couldn’t possibly appraise at that price. Jenean went line by line over the purchase agreement with the buyer’s agent and made recommendations to meet the needs of her seller and give the buyer the best chance at acceptance. At the end of the day, the buyer agreed to buy it even if it didn’t appraise at the sales price! WOW. This property fetched the top selling price in recent history for the entire community – even amongst larger properties!

By following Team-Jenean’s 1-2-3 marketing plan for sellers, similar success can be yours. Keep in mind that all 3 components make the system work. If you leave out any one step, you will be leaving money on the table: It’s your money – It’s your call! (There are other parts of this plan that make it successful, Jenean will share them when you are a client!)

As most of you know, in order to give our best efforts to our clients we only take a limited number of sellers or buyers each month. If you are thinking about moving, and getting the best price for your home is important to you, then call Jenean or David at (949) 583-1331.

22252 Anthony Drive, Lake Forest: GRAND OPENING OPEN HOUSE Pizza Party May 18th, 12-5pm

Anthony Front PS reducedhttp://www.youtube.com/embed/EMTE0k6so-4

SEE ALL THE PHOTOS by clicking link above.

Exquisitely-upgraded Sun & Sail Club, Parkwood Estates 4-bed, 3-bath, 3-car garage, 600 SF bonus room culdesac home shows like a model!   Huge upper master with 2-person Jazuzzi tub & travertine 4’x6’ double shower AND Downstairs Master/in-law ‘wing’ with travertine fireplace, ¾ bath & multi-purpose craft/ food storage/exercise/sewing room.  Upgrades include travertine flooring, patterned Berber carpeting, raised-panel doors, recessed lighting, 2” white slat blinds, & cat-5 outlets. Spacious kitchen/great room has walk-in pantry, expansive center island with double O.G. Granite counter tops & pull-out trash bins/recycle center, pull-out drawers, double deep & wide sink with ‘touch 20’ pull-out faucet & stainless steel appliances including Bosch dishwasher & G.E. Monogram 5-burner induction cook top.  All bedrooms have walk-in closets. Baths have granite counters, new cabinets, tubs, toilets & mirrors.

Brighter Sun  Sail from jacuzzi to fountain and Sailboat reducedYour family will love what nature offers you surrounding this cul-de-sac home.   Grassy front, side & back yard with patio, landscaped slope & mini orchard! Short stroll to woodsy walking trails or the fabulous Sun & Sail Club & it’s lovely lake, 4 pools, spa, saunas, tennis, volleyball, state of the art fitness center, youth center, snack bar, lounge,  & more.  You can even launch your own kayak for a sunset cruise. 

The home will be priced in the $750,000-775,000 range. Call me at 949-583-1331 ASAP if you have been waiting for this lifestyle to become a reality.

Anthony Living room PS reduced

NOT selling more Homes, BUT Selling Homes for MORE! 

This business model has made my sellers successful for over a dozen years.  While other agents may be listing 4 homes a month, I generally accept one listing and spend 4 times as long preparing and marketing it to sell for MORE… and to sell faster!  That is why you don’t see my open house signs around town week after week.  Highly marketing one seller’s home at a time with hands-on service…

…Come see the difference it makes.

Anthony grass and slope after

Anthony living room close up toward window after Anthony kitchen toward sink after

Grand Opening Open House- Sat., March 23, 12-5pm …………………Outback Steakhouse Luncheon at noon

$599,900-$625,000. Expansive 5-BED, 3-BATH home w/ Dual Master Suites is a part of Lake Forest’s highly desirable Beach & Tennis Club (down the street off Ridge Route). Located on a private culdesac street, this home is surrounded by greenbelts & has a rural, country feel. Upper master suite has large living/office/ sun room while Lower master has living area/retreat & adjacent bathroom – perfect for extended family living. Stained glass double door entry has hardwood flooring & step-down living room w/ soaring wood cathedral ceilings, fireplace & plush carpeting. Recent upgrades include newer roof, skylights, HVAC system, scraped ceilings, paint, baseboards, TV/Ethernet outlets. Kitchen, family room & lower master suite open to private backyard with newer covered patio & fire pit. Low taxes & no mello roos.

Beach & Tennis Club membership includes 2 swimming pools, swimming lagoon, wading pool, indoor spa, lighted 6 tennis courts, tennis pro, outdoor volleyball & basketball courts, fitness center (with Star Track Pro recumbent and Treadmills & elliptical machines), a billiards room and lake view lounge with bar and large screen TV. They also offer a preschool program on-site. This community is also surrounded by forests where you’ll find seasonal creeks & shady walking trails. Seller bought another. . If you do NOT have a Realtor you have committed to and want the best chance of getting your offer accepted, call lender, Tom Testerman at (949) 422-4497 on Friday to start working on your preapproval… then bring your financial paperwork to the open house to meet him in person. An offer will be accepted from one buyer who visits the open house on Saturday. Will it be you?

To see the amazing floor plan, click here: JeronimoFloorPlan003

Video Tour: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xi_7X1s1gdc

 

With very few homes for sale, the market is EXTREMELY challenging

Everybody is frustrated.  Buyers write offer after offer after multiple instances where they did not have the “winning bid.”  Many wonder if they will ever be able to secure a home.  Frustrating. REALTORS® representing buyers have to work ten times harder than a normal, balanced market, showing every home that appears on the market, analyzing the data and writing offers that are one of 20 submitted.  Frustrating. REALTORS representing sel- lers have to keep their clients from getting too far ahead of themselves and grossly overpricing their homes.  Frustrating.

What is going on?  Quite simply demand, the number of homes placed into escrow in the past month, is about equal to the number of homes on the market. The chart below illustrates the issue.  When supply, the housing inventory, is much larger than demand, it takes a lot longer to sell a home.  As they get further apart, it becomes much easier to purchase.  Take a look back in mid-2007 when there were close to 18,000 homes on the market with demand at about 1,200 homes.  Buyers had their choice of homes and it there was no competition.  Last year at this time, the active inventory sat at 7,597 homes and demand was at 3,569.  The lines were much closer, but the difference was still 4,028 homes.  Today, the active listing inventory sits at 3,272 homes and demand is at 2,887, that is a difference of only 385 homes. The last time this occurred in Orange County dates back to 2005.

Demand is much less today than back in 2005 when there were 4,549 pending sales in a month.  But, back then there were 5,146 homes on the market, a lot more than today.  Since demand is based upon the number of recent escrows, it is currently heavily muted because there are simply not enough homes that have entered the fray.  If there was a surge in the inventory tomorrow, there would be a surge in demand as well. There are throngs of buyers waiting in the wings for a fresh supply of homes.

This market will remain extremely frustrating until the supply of homes increases.  It appears as if that is not going to happen soon and the tight inventory will remain a major issue in 2013 and a stumbling block for many buyers to successfully purchase.  The tight inventory will also encourage homeowners to place their homes on the market and aggressively pursue the market by pricing their homes well above the last comparable pending or closed sale.  Unfortunately, many will drastically overprice their homes and they will sit on the market and procure no offers.  Buyers are willing to pay more for a home, but are not willing to absurdly overpay. 

Pricing a home is a delicate balancing act that requires a homeowner to carefully analyze the local market and the rate of appreciation.  Remember, homes may increase in value by as much as 10% in a year, but not in a month.  Carefully selecting a REALTOR® is a must.  Finding one that knows the local data and market dynamics is essential to success.  Hiring somebody solely based upon a projected sales price is foolish.  Instead, look for somebody that understands the market the best and has a strong command of the data.

Active Inventory:  The inventory remained the same.

The inventory started the year at the lowest level since tracking the active listing inventory back in 2004.  Since then the inventory has only added an additional 111 homes.  In the past two weeks it actually dropped by 4 homes and now sits at 3,272 homes.  The inventory sits at an unprecedented anemic level.  For proper perspective, just ask any buyer who has seen the few available homes and written several offers to no avail.  They will tell you how they are watching the market like a hawk, ready to pounce on the next home that hits the market that closely matches their parameters.  The only problem, when there are this few homes, too many other buyers are doing the same thing. 
So far this year, there have been 17% fewer homes placed on the market compared to last year, which represents 918 homes.  The buyer masses waiting in the wings would appreciate an additional 900-plus homes on the market.  The anemic levels are here to stay for the foreseeable future.  Last year at this time there were 7,597 homes on the market, 4,325 more than today.

Demand:  Demand continued to rise.

In the past two weeks, despite very few homes entering the market, demand increased by 11%, or 291 pending sales, and now totals 2,887.  It has grown by 33% in the past month, or 715 pending sales.  Compared to last year at this time, there are 682 fewer pending sales today.  In 2012, the market was sizzling forward at a breathtaking speed, fueled by a much larger inventory.  Today’s demand is strongly dependent on the inventory.  As soon as the inventory increases, demand will increase.  Until then, you can expect continued, subdued, muted demand.

The Distressed Market: The distressed inventory dropped by 11 homes, a 3% drop.

The distressed inventory continues to drop, shedding an additional 11 homes, which amazingly represents 3% of all foreclosures and shorts sales on the market.  There are 339 distressed homes within the active listing inventory, just 10% of the total active listing inventory.  There have not been this few distressed listings since April 2007, nearly six years ago. 

In the past two weeks, the foreclosure inventory increased by 24 homes, totaling 117, and has an expected market time of 25 days. The short sale inventory decreased by 35 homes in the past two weeks, totaling 222, and has an expected market time of 11 days.  Short sales continue to be the hottest segment of the Orange County housing market today.

NEWS FLASH – We may be losing our Mortgage Interest Deduction – Please Help!

Call your member of congress today to protect the mortgage interest deduction
Congress, as part of negotiations on avoiding the “Fiscal Cliff,” has made direct references to “closing loopholes” and “limiting deductions” as a way to raise revenues. Clearly, the mortgage interest deduction is high on this list of revenue raisers.

Losing the mortgage interest deduction will disproportionately affect the middle class because a larger proportion of the middle class takes the deduction. In California 89% of those who took the mortgage interest deduction earned less than $200,000. Losing the deduction would cost the average California taxpayer over $3,900 (Way more than this in Orange County).

What you can do to help:

Call Congress. First and foremost, I am urging my friends and clients to call Congress @202-224-3121. The Capitol switchboard operator will help callers identify their member of Congress and connect them. The hours are Monday-Friday from 9 a.m. – 6 p.m., Eastern Time.

Get the word out. Many people seem to be blissfully unaware that their mortgage interest deduction is in danger. Please do the following to make sure that the message spreads.

  1. Forward this message to your family, friends, and clients.
  2. Post this information on your personal and office websites and blogs.
  1. Share this information on Facebook and urge others to share it as well.
  2. Tweet about it on Twitter and urge others to retweet. Use the hashtag: #keepthemid.
  3. Link to the following web page: www.KeepTheMID.com.  This site has information about contacting Congress, more information on the MID, and links to articles.
  4. As you see new information and articles, share these on all your social networking sites.

This affects all present and future homeowners.  Your call to your Congress member is invaluable.

Housing demand in Orange County is so low that it cannot be measured

This is a continuation of yesterday’s piece on the status of the market.  The active listing inventory is muted this year because many homeowners are still underwater.  They may have good credit and a stable job, but they do not have the cash necessary to close because they are currently too far underwater.  Also, many homeowners are now sitting on the fence while they recoup their equity.  Everybody is familiar with the term “buy low, sell high.”  It appears as if the bottom of the market was reached last February and now buyers are flooding the market attempting to “buy low.”  Homeowners know it is a low, so they want to wait.  They don’t want to “sell low.”

 DemandThe lack of inventory is cutting into demand.

As discussed above, true demand is much higher than demand based upon the number of new pending sales over the prior month.  In the past two weeks, demand dropped by 470 pending sales, a 16% drop, and now totals 2,543.  Based upon the word on the street, buyers are scrambling around at anything and everything that is placed on the market right now, but there just is not enough coming on the market.  And, that will remain the case throughout the holiday market, which does not end until the second half of January, right after everybody gives up on their New Year’s resolutions.  Buyers are in a rush to buy, but homeowners are not in a rush to sell.  Instead, they are going to enjoy the holidays with the knowledge that as their homes are slowly appreciating.  Last year at this time there were 46 additional pending sales, a 2% difference.  But, there were 8,905 active listings for buyers to choose from. 

The Distressed Market: The distressed inventory dropped by only 16 homes, but that is still a 4% drop.

For buyers looking for a “deal” and looking closely at the distressed inventory, the pickings are slim.  There are only 434 total short sales and foreclosures on the market today.  Distressed homes make up only 12% of the active inventory and 34% of demand.  Last year at this time there were 3,357 distressed homes on the market, 38% of the active listing inventory and 57% of demand, much different than today.  In the past two weeks, the foreclosure inventory decreased by 12 homes, totaling 110, and has an expected market time of 18 days. The short sale inventory decreased by only 4 homes in the past two weeks and now totals 324.  The expected market time is only 14 days and continues to be one of the hottest segments of the housing market.  Both 110 active foreclosures and 324 active short sales are new lows for the year and levels not seen since the beginning of all of the distressed activity back in 2007.

Orange County Homes – 2 for the price of One!

It is not just the low interest rates that are bringing buyers to the market, it is that you can practically buy TWO homes for the price of ONE house payment compared to the hot market we had  a half a dozen years ago.  Let’s look back in time and do the math:

Below are two  3,000-ish  sq. ft. homes in the Lake Forest II/Sun and Sail Club community of  Parkwood Estates. 

SIX YEARS AGO: The house on the left sold in a market that was full of multiple offers at a sales price of $850,000 in an era of 6.60% interest rates.  A 20% down purchase would have required a $170,000 cash down payment.  Including property taxes of $708 per month, the monthly payment would have been $5,050 plus HOA and insurance.  (Actually it would have been higher because it was a non-conforming loan rate)

TODAY: The house on the right was offered at $575,000  and just entered escrow yesterday.  The market in this price range  is very hot as well.  If the buyer put 20% down that would only be $115,000 down.  With an  approximate interest rate of 3.47%, and property taxes of $479, the buyer’s (P,I&T) payment would be $2,536 per month.  The new buyer is paying HALF of what the 2006 buyer paid and they also have an extra $55,000 in their pocket.

You can see that right now we have a perfect storm.  Prices are great and interest rates are at an all time low – about half of what they were in the mid 2000’s.  Have you been longing to move out of your crowded surroundings and buy the home you dreamed of?  What if I told you you could select your new home first?  Through my “Select-then-Sell System”, First Team’s teamwork, and Sneak Preview system, I can help you identify your move up home prior to placing your home on the market….and then when we do put it on the market your Grand Opening Open House will look like this: http://youtu.be/39KFlc7Sz8Y

Alternatively if you love the home you’re in, but want to reduce your monthly payments, give me a call and I will help you determine your home’s value estimate and refer you to my mortgage partner to give you white glove service in lowering your interest rate and keeping more money in your pocket.  It’s a win/win! 🙂

Home values rise for first time in 5 years


Here’s a great CNN article I just read that does a good job spelling out what is happening in the market. Home prices hit a bottom and are finally bouncing back, according to an industry report released Tuesday. Nationwide, home values rose 0.2% year-over-year to a median $149,300 during the second quarter…

Click here to read full article

FREE $500 Gift Certificate Toward Escrow or Moving Costs

By now if you live in the City of Lake Forest, you should have received a Shop and Dine Passport with coupons for deals all across the city.  I have a Real Estate coupon in the book for a $500 certificate toward escrow or moving costs.  

If you would like the certificate (and a valuable stamp in your  “passport”) this is all you have to do:

1) View one of these four short videos and comment on what you like best about my real estate methods.

Selling SFRS for Top Dollar in One Day

Selling Condos for Top Dollar in One Day

Client Testimonial

Lake Forest Community Video

 

2) Email me at Jenean@JeneanHill.com and give me your name, address and phone number so I can get you your $500 certificate (which will be good for the next year).

3) For an added bonus, “like” me on my Facebook business page, Jenean Hill’s “Live in Lake Forest” and you will receive a Starbucks gift card, and if you share me with your friends, I will put you in this month’s drawing for 2 SeaWorld Tickets.

Thanks, and I look forward to serving you in the future.

Jenean Hill  – (949) 583-1331
Broker Associate, First Team Real Estate
Director, Orange County Association of Realtors, 2006-2011, 2013-2015
Lic# 01312003