September 2014

There are 23 blog entries for September 2014.

Previously listed at $15,995,000, 29 Bay Drive in Laguna Beach will be auctioned off October 6th with an opening bid of $9,990,000. This could be your chance to snag an incredible beach front property for millions under the market price.

Located in one of South Laguna's most spectacular cove beaches in Laguna, this ocean front estate auction is a one of a kind, innovative sale.

"Auctions are often the best way for buyers and sellers to build the best transaction for unique luxury estates, and the pristine estate on 29 Bay Drive certainly fits that description," explained Chris Pollinger, Senior Vice President for Sales, First Team Real Estate Christie's International. "Luxury buyers understand the opportunities offered by a well run home auction and

Owning a new home is much different than renting and unfortunately, if you've never owned before it's hard to fully grasp what all it entails. From handling repairs to decorating on a budget, there's a lot that changes once you are your own landlord.  So whether you're just beginning to search for a house or you're in the middle of closing, let's look forward to what you'll need to do know as a new homeowner. Take these 5 tips to heart so you're armed with the knowledge you need:

1. It's Okay to be Bossy

When you first buy a home, you're typically going to need to hire outside sources to take care of everything from the flooring to plumbing. This is often our first taste of managing an employee, so while we want to obviously be accommodating to

The escrow process, also known as closing, is one of the most complicated pieces of real estate puzzle because there are several moving parts and quite a bit of paperwork to get in order. The process begins once seller signs the purchase agreement and ends when the buyer gets the keys to their new home. Escrow ensures that the entire process runs smoothly from start to finish.

You’ve probably heard the word escrow used in phrases such as “the house fell out of escrow”, or “we’re waiting for escrow to close.” So the first question is, what is an escrow?

What is escrow?

Simply stated, escrow is the involvement of an impartial third party in a real estate transaction. This neutral third party acts as an intermediary between the buyer and seller, and

Crack the champagne and make the first toast to your new house, it’s all yours!

Prior to improvements, call your C.P.A. (Certified Public Account) A.S.A.P. They will direct you to the following important financial decisions to make regarding your new home:

  1. What is an improvement that you can write off now (such as windows or solar panels) and what is for the future when you sell, applied to capital gains
  2. How to organize a system to save all receipts
  3. Estate planning i.e. Will and Trust
  4. Property tax write-off including how much you pay annually, bi-annually, or monthly. Hint: monthly payments will require an impound account
  5. Pro rations in taxes
  6. How much will be owed in your supplemental tax bill

A lot of the above was addressed

Owning real estate can be a great way to diversify your portfolio, or make extra income in retirement. However, managing more than one property can be time consuming. How can you manage multiple properties in an organized manner that keeps tenants happy and your wallet full? Keep these tips in mind as you get deeper into the real estate game.

1. Hire a Property Management Firm

A property management company will take care of maintenance requests, collect rent, and ensure that properties are up to code and complying with all other state or local laws. While a property manager will charge a fee, he or she can keep an eye on your properties wherever they happen to be. Check out First Team Property Management to learn more about services offered and the

Tiny houses have been growing in popularity over the past few years because of their affordability and shift toward simplified living. The average American home is over 2,000 square feet where as these new micro-living spaces are around 200.

These tiny homes have a smaller environmental footprint and are helping Americans stay out of the debt, but most importantly – they’re adorable. Here’s our list of 6 design tips we’ve learned from these tiny houses that can be used in your home or to help you design your own micro-home down the road!

1. Use all walls as storage space

In this tiny cabin the wicker baskets add tons of useful storage. The wicker compliments all the other natural materials throughout the house plus it saves counter space because

When it's time for an open house of course you need to clean your house, but there's a few not so obvious things you need to take care of before the crowds come. Hiding these few things from view will make your home more inviting and desirable to potential buyers so someone falls in love with the property when they come to visit.

Even if you don’t stage your home, be sure to hide these 5 things before potential buyers start showing up.

1. Your Pet

Dogs and other pets can be rowdy, messy distracting at an open house. Even if you have a friendly family pet, take them to a friend’s house or out with you during the open house. Some buyers might be allergic to pet hair or even scared of animals.

And most importantly hide their SMELL from your home.

Buying a house in a exciting process but it can also be a very stressful process as well. A home is the largest purchase most people make in their entire life so there's a lot on the line. From locking in a great mortgage and rate to negotiating home price, there's a lot of financial business to get in order.

The best way to avoid mistakes that could put a big dent in your pocket is by consulting with the right experts - the people who know and have mastered the real estate process. You can save hundreds and even thousands on repairs and other costs just by learning a few things from these people.

Credit Expert

There are many different ways to calculate credit scores. However, FICO, the most commonly known type of score, is used by many mortgage

The OC Register’s Best of Orange County was released this week, announcing everyone’s local favorites from services and products to restaurants and downtown hot spots. The poll is conducted by the OC Register and consists of 100,000 OC Register readers.

We are honored for the 4th year in a row to be voted Best Real Estate Company in Orange County. Our Senior Vice President of Sales here at First Team says it best: "It is very gratifying to be honored for a fourth straight year by Orange County residents. It speaks volumes about our agents, managers, and entire company's commitment to serving every buyer and seller individually."

If you’d like to learn more about First Team and our history of excellence, you can read the full story here.

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First Team’s Weekly Mortgage Watch (September 14th, 2014) this week highlights the following updates:

  • After weeks of immobility, mortgage rates went up last week. While the movement upward was relatively small, it does serve as a reminder that rates will not stay at this low level forever.
  • Retail Sales numbers came in strong last week, notching up 0.6%. Consumer Credit expanded significantly more than expected last month, which some read as another sign that consumers are more ready and willing to spend.
  • So, are we finally at the beginning of the end of low rates? We’ll get more insight into that with this week’s Federal Reserve meeting. Most analysts expect another taper to QE3, and a slight