Mission Viejo Homes

A Tale of Two Sonoita’s (or Traditional Agent vs Jenean Hill)


David here to report on the recently sold 23046 Sonoita property (the ‘Taco Edition’ Grand Opening Open House). We opened the property to the pubic on the same day as another property opened just 4 doors down the street. Both homes back to a very busy street and present a challenge to market and sell. What a great opportunity to show the power of Jenean’s marketing and selling of homes versus traditional agents. (I was going to mention that the other agent was out-of-area but then I realized that Jenean sells out-of-area all the time, using the same system to quickly sell homes anywhere.)

Here’s what happened so far:

Both homes opened on the same day. The other agent did the traditional marketing, put a sign in the yard and put the home on the MLS. Jenean spent the entire month in advance of the open house to market the property and get it ready for the public. When she opened the doors for the Grand Opening Open House, it resulted in almost 200 guests and created a sense of excitement for the guests, and the neighborhood. Guests were served tacos and listened to salsa music while they enjoyed the atmosphere and explored the home. While the other home got the benefit of Jenean’s marketing, with a few curious spillover visitors, they failed generate many visitors of their own.

In about one week, a guest who visited the open house wrote an offer above the asking price and went into escrow.

The other home…well, it’s still on the market and will probably be there for a while. At some point they will likely lower the price to try and entice someone to make an offer. If it’s on the market for the average time, that will be in about 3-6 months. (I’m sensing a huge advantage for Jenean’s system here.)

Who do you know that’s getting ready to buy or sell? Would you like to be their hero and save them from waiting on the same old traditional agent marketing? Would they love to have their home sold quickly for more than the asking price? Send them this blog post and tell them to call Jenean right away. It’s always nice to share good things with friends. Here’s Jenean’s number (949) 583-1331.

Grand Opening TACO EDITION: 23046 Sonoita – Saturday June 20th, Lunch at Noon


A community so nice, we are doing it twice. Recently we sold a house across the street. Neighbors came to the open house and saw the amazing, over-the-top effort we put into selling a property. One neighbor liked it so much they hired us to sell their home.

Sonoita-Living-room2This attractively upgraded tri-level home shows like a model. The beautiful front courtyard leads to double door entry opening to a tumbled stone-like tiled foyer. A main floor bedroom has its own bath. Upstairs, the master suite features vaulted ceilings & retreat perfect for nursery or exercise room. Remodeled master bath has dual vanities, linen closet, walk-in closet & sky light. The upgraded kitchen has recessed lighting, newer solid wood cabinets with pull-out shelving & quartz-style counters. Family room has fireplace.

Sonoita-BackyardExpansive backyard is perfect for entertaining.  Besides the colorful, grassy, landscaped yard there is a pad plumbed for an above-ground spa & another perfect for an above-ground pool, trampoline or sport court. The back yard patio cover with ceiling fan spans the width of the home.  Other upgrades include multiple skylights, new light fixtures, decorator paint, plush neutral carpet, low-E dual-pane windows & overhead garage storage system.

Award winning Capistrano Schools. Strolling distance to Lake Mission Viejo offering sandy beaches, fishing, volley/ basketball courts, concerts, yacht club, picnic areas & kayaks, peddle or party boats to rent for sunset cruises with your friends. Minutes from shopping, fine dining & local eateries. Aggressively priced to sell this weekend.

Jenean Says: Arrive early at 11:45am and enjoy the live catered taco bar ‘while supplies last’. There will be a line at the door, embrace it, you’ll want my same over-the-top effort when I sell your home.

Grand Opening Open House – 23035 Sonoita, Mission Viejo – April 18th, 12pm-4pm, Lunch at Noon

sonoita front

sonoita-grand-master-suiteHighly upgraded 5-bedroom pool home shows like a model. Beautiful brick courtyard with fountain leads to double door entry. Travertine-like tiled foyer. Grand staircase. Main floor mini-master bedroom has attached bath and separate entrance –an ideal scenario for extended family, or room for your children’s nanny. Upstairs master suite features his/hers closets-one a walk-in. Expansive remodeled master bath has dual vanities & separate shower/tub and water closet. Attractive master suite deck doubles as covered poolside patio.

sonoita-kitchenThe highly upgraded kitchen/great room features GE Profile appliances, walk-in pantry, expansive quartz center island & plank flooring. French doors lead to the backyard with its sparkling pool and spacious area for entertaining or gathering around the fire-pit. The upward slope provides privacy and the perfect place for a fruit orchard. Well over $120k in upgrades including new wide plank flooring, two-tone decorator paint, new windows & French doors.

One of the secondary bedrooms adjoins an annexed attic space creating a fun teen hangout or “man cave”. In the hallway there is a pull-down staircase leading to stand-up attic space for additional storage.

sonoita-from-firepit-to-houseCapistrano Schools. Strolling distance to Lake Mission Viejo offering sandy beaches, fishing, volley/ basketball courts, clubhouse, summer concerts, yacht club, picnic areas & even kayaks, peddle or party boats to rent for sunset cruises with your friends. Minutes from shopping, fine dining & local eateries.

Jenean is a Director of the Orange County Association of Realtors and a Broker Associate at First Team Real Estate.  You may reach her at (949) 583-1331 or Jenean@JeneanHill.com. She has been holding her branded Grand Opening Open Houses for 10 years.  (In fact she sold our previous Lake Forest home with a similar Auction style with a line of buyers and their agents out front waiting to enter to present their offers which ended up being 10’s of thousands over asking price.) sonoita-from-dining-room-to-living-room If you come on Saturday, you will see that she launches her client’s homes the same way Apple launches a new product.  This results in potential buyers lined up at the door before 12 noon, escrows that open on the following Tuesday and sales that raise the property values of the surrounding homes overnight.  If you would like to see the explosion of buyers and multiple offers that come from her “Grand Opening open houses”, simply search ‘Jenean Hill’ on Youtube.

Jenean spends her free time as the volunteer ‘troop goodie bag’ buyer for Saddleback Church’s Acts of Appreciation Military Outreach and as an ambassador for Irvine’s Free Wheelchair Mission – a non-profit organization providing no-cost wheelchairs and the ‘gift of mobility’ to the disabled poor in developing countries.  She has purchased 10 wheelchair gift cards to be given away to the first 10 groups who arrive to her open house before noon.  Those individuals will later be able to go online and designate the region of the world to which they would like their wheelchair to be sent.

Grand Opening Open House Saturday, January 31st 12-4pm Lunch at Noon – 22018 Bahamas, Mission Viejo


Very attractive 2-bedroom single-level carriage unit condo (no one above or below) on quiet street surrounded by lush tropical landscape throughout the resort-style Coral Gardens community.  This end unit home backs up to wild lands area and provides a very serene and beautiful setting. Private staircase leads from attached garage to upper living space with patio ideal for sunset entertaining. Spacious home has wide plank flooring throughout, 2-tone decorator paint, dual-pained windows, white custom shutters, vaulted ceilings, interior full-size laundry and more.  

Bahamas PoolYou will love the lifestyle that comes with this turnkey home.  Coral Gardens offers tennis courts, spas, a sparkling resort-style pool. Home is strolling distance to Lake Mission Viejo which offers sandy beaches, fishing, volley ball & basketball courts, clubhouse, picnic areas and even kayaks, peddle or party boats to rent for sunset cruises with your friends.  There are summer concerts, a Yacht Club and so much more. Minutes from shopping, fine dining and local eateries.  

This home with its model home good looks it is aggressively priced below others to sell this weekend. Come with your checkbook, and be amazed.  This is the lowest priced 1986 or newer 2-bedroom in Mission Viejo, Lake Forest, Laguna Niguel, Laguna Hills or Rancho Santa Margarita!  Seller must move right away.  Their loss is your gain!

I have not been posting for over a year as I was dealing with cancer. I am healed and my blog is now up and running again. I would love to see your smiling faces at my open house. This place would make a great investment now and later could be a first home for your grown kids. See you on Saturday. This home is not on the MLS yet, for best chance to get this home call Jenean Hill at (949)583-1331

[youtube http://youtu.be/2GUI_otVJ4E&w=520]

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.

Entertainer’s Paradise with Pool, Spa, Fruit Orchard and Guest Suite! OPEN SUNDAY, July 17th –

A lush, tropical paradise surrounds this incredible cul-de-sac property.  Enjoy summer in the sparkling solar pool and spa or picking a variety of fresh fruit from one of 3 dozen trees in the side yard orchard and gardens.  Inside this beautiful 3,200 sq. ft. 5 bedroom home you’ll find travertine tile, Karastan carpeting, crown molding, recessed lighting, decorator paint, plantation shutters, mirrored wardrobes, and 3 fireplaces.

The upgraded kitchen has elegant dark wood cabinets, granite counters, center island, oversized stainless steel sink and Bosch dishwasher.  The formal dining area has a bay window overlooking the orchard. The expansive family room offers a stone fireplace,  granite walk-in wet bar with wine alcove and views of the backyard pool, spa, and king palms.  As you lounge poolside or move about the home and grounds, you’ll enjoy music from the built-in surround sound system.

  Upstairs, the Master suite has a cozy sitting room with wrap around fireplace.  Remodeled master bath has dual vanity with marble counters, separate roman tub and shower and walk-in closet.  There are a total of four bedrooms upstairs PLUS a large bonus room – perfect for operating a home-based business or installing a home theater. If that isn’t enough, there is a separate first level 1-bedroom, 1-bath + living area guest/in-law quarters with disability access.  The seller is being transferred and has priced this exceptional home to sell this weekend.

The home will be priced in the high $500K’s to low $600K’s once upgrades have been completed this week. I am holding an open house for this one-of-a-kind home  for the first time on Sunday, July 17th from 12-5pm.  Come at noon and enjoy a light lunch and bring your friends…and their checkbooks as it will not last.  24622 Cresta Ct., Laguna Hills.  IF YOU BRING ME THE BUYER, I WILL GIVE YOU A BRAND NEW TABLET COMPUTER!

To view a video of this property, click on the youtube link below:


or click here for more photos: http://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/24622-Cresta-Ct_Laguna-Hills_CA_92653_M24797-31318?cpPreview=true

Downsizing the American Dream Home

According to the National Homebuilders Association, five years ago, the average home’s square footage was 2,400 square feet.  Relocation.com recently released a survey that revealed more Americans now desire a smaller home.  48 percent of respondents said their ideal home would be 1,000 to 1,999 square feet, with only 29 percent wanting a home ranging 2,000 to 2,999 square feet.  The survey also found that the majority, 54 percent, still desire a suburban lifestyle.

Whether you are looking for a small home or a large condo, you will love the afordable options available here in the Saddleback Valley.  Check in with me for a your of Lake Forest, Mission Viejo, Laguna Hills, Portola Hills, Foothill Ranch or Rancho Santa Margarita.

Do you have to repay your home buyer credit?

If you claimed a federal income tax credit for a 2008 home purchase, you’ll probably have to pay it back over 15 years, starting with your 2010 Form 1040 (due next April).  In contrast, if you claimed a credit for a 2009 or 2010 purchase, you probably won’t have to pay it back…. 

Click on this link for a great breakdown of the differences between the various income tax credit programs and how it might affect you.