huntington beach: International Buyers are Loving California - 09/10/12 06:39 AM
In a new report from NAR (okay, it was in May), they state that international buyers of US real estate properties have increased 24% over the past 12 months.
Pretty incredible, and an interesting picture of our economy and just how much international consumers are having an impact on the real estate business.
In the report, I noticed that of the top 10 cities international consumers are searching for, 6 were either in California or Florida (3 each).  What's most interesting is that those are the two states hit the hardest when the real estate bubble burst.
The leading foreclosure states.

huntington beach: Spring Cleaning Checklist For You - 05/22/12 01:59 AM
It's not too late to do your spring cleaning if you haven't already.  Many people get so busy that it's summer by the time they get to it.  If that's the case with you, here is a handy checklist to help you get it done.
Dust and vacuum your refridgerator coils - This can not only save you money by your fridge running more efficiently, it can also years to the life of your refridgerator.
Defrost freezer and/or deep freeze - I know, I know.  Many people dread doing this, but it's good for keeping tabs on what you have … (1 comments)

huntington beach: Home Market Time At Lowest Point In 7 Years In The O.C. - 05/01/12 03:45 AM
It's been fascinating to watch the ups and downs of the slow recovery of our real estate market in Orange County and, as I stated numerous times last year, we're not there yet and we still have a ways to go.
Good news does keep trickling in, however, and the latest report by Jon Lansner in the Orange County Register shows demand for homes in the O.C. at its highest point in 7 years!  Current records show that on the average homes in Orange County are taking 4 fewer days to sell.  As of the end of April, Steve Thomas of says … (0 comments)

huntington beach: Finding the Right Neighborhood for You and Your Family - 02/14/12 07:11 AM
One of the most important considerations in planning your move is to find the right neighborhood for you and your family. Beyond the practicalities and aesthetics of your new home, there are important points to consider about the area you're looking at possibly moving to. Here is a checklist of 12 points to consider: How close is it to your place(s) of employment, entertainment and shopping for your needs. How close is it to a hospital and medical facilities? Are there more homeowners than renters? Are there quality schools with high standards?  Is there daycare available close by?  Is there … (0 comments)

huntington beach: How To Keep Your Stone and Tile Surfaces Looking Like New - 02/01/12 08:59 AM
The beauty of stone countertops and ceramic tile has become more and more popular over the years.   It's no wonder, as these surfaces add a nice upscale touch to your home and actually add to the resale value.
Though people love stone and tile for both the look and the durability, both do require proper care and shouldn't be taken for granted as resurfacing or replacing can be quite costly.
Here are 4 tips to help keep your stone and tile surfaces looking their best while at the same time protecting your investment:
The 6-Month Seal Rule:  Every six months, reapply … (2 comments)

huntington beach: Real Estate Recovery in 2012? - 01/17/12 07:13 AM
There was a great article in the Orange County Register recently regarding 2012 and what real estate experts and insiders are predicting.   The overall concensus seems to be that we should see slight improvement in 2012, but the real improvement won't be realized until 2015 at the earliest.
Cameron Merage, the founder and CEO of First Team Real Estate had some interesting insights into the coming year and made these points:
1)  We will see a flat to improving market in 2012 just as we did in 2011.
2)  Economic rebound could be delayed by more influx of foreclosures and … (0 comments)

huntington beach: New Year's Checklist For Home Buyers - 01/06/12 02:53 AM
It's 2012...a new year with new opportunities for us all.  If you're on the market to buy a home, make your New Year's Resolution to be prepared for the process of buying a home.
Here is a checklist to help you along and eliminate some of the potential headaches along the way:
Get Pre Approved For Your Mortgage - This really goes without saying, but there are still many people who don't do this beforehand and it just adds time to an already lengthy process.
Work With A Realtor - Hey, what would you expect me to say?  Seriously, though, the real … (2 comments)

huntington beach: Down Payments - More Important Than Ever Heading into 2012 - 12/30/11 02:12 AM
Especially in today's economic climate, the amount of your downpayment has never been more important.  There are many aspects of the real estate transaction process which can be major roadblocks if you're not prepared.
The most challenging part of buying a home can be coming up with an acceptable down payment, unless you have equity built up in your current home.  The amount of your down payment really determines how much home you can afford and how much you can be pre-approved to borrow.
Down payment money can come from:
1) Equity in your current home
2) Other asset equity
3) … (2 comments)

huntington beach: How to Make the Best Use of Your Home Office Space - 12/09/11 02:41 AM
More people are working from home now than ever before. More and more people are dedicating areas in their homes to be used as full-time home offices. Whatever the size, here are some tips for maximum efficiency in designing and equipping your home office: 1. Be organized. Make the most your home office space by using uniformly sized storage containers to store important papers and office supplies. The uniform size will be a better fit in your office space and eliminate most wasted space.
2. Ergonomic chairs and wrist pads help prevent carpel tunnel syndrome, as typing has become more common … (2 comments)

huntington beach: Safety and Security After the Sale - 10/11/11 06:00 AM
So, your move is over and you have unpacked the many boxes and are arranging furniture and such. Now is a great time to do a safety and security check of your new home.
Here's a checklist to get you started:
Check your home for loose floorboards and/or tiles
Check the smoke alarms. Are there smoke alarms on each floor? Put fresh batteries in each smoke alarm when you move in.
Check all handrails. Are they secure and sturdy?
Put all of your transaction records in a safe place where you can easily access them for tax time, etc. These records … (2 comments)

huntington beach: Homebuilding On The Rise? Not Quite What You Think... - 10/07/11 07:47 AM
Recently, I wrote about how apartment rents are on the rise in the Orange County and Beach Areas and that experts are projecting this to be the case for the next 5 years or so. Reports are coming out now that new home construction is up exponentially from last year, which is true; however, as you will see that report on its surface can be a little misleading.
New home permits in Orange County are up 73.7% from the same period last year. That's 3,901 housing a value of $694 million dollars, which is 38.3% higher that the same period … (0 comments)

huntington beach: "Supply and Demand" or "Greed and Need"? - 09/21/11 01:50 AM
There was an article at the end of July in the Orange County Register that I'm revisiting because it's the completion of a circular chain reaction that is important to understand whether you're currently a Beach Areas home buyer, a home seller or are a home owner wanting to keep up with the market climate.
The article is titled "Apartment Rents To Rise For Many Years" and features an interview with the CEO of Steadfast Cos. in Irvine.  The article approaches the subject of rising rents in the face of only modest employment growth.  In response to the question of what … (1 comments)

huntington beach: Recommended Reading For Homebuyers - 09/07/11 05:30 AM
Whether you’re a first-time home buyer or just haven’t gone through the buying process in a long time and want to get current (or if you just love reading books about real estate), here’s a list of reading that I think you will find very helpful in the process:)
10 Minute Guide to Buying and Selling Your Home (10 Minute Guides)
This book covers it all efficiently, from price to strategy to the big one for both buyer/seller and agent – preventing and avoiding last-minute problems at the closing table.
10 Steps to Home Ownership: A Workbook for First-Time Buyers
Author … (3 comments)

huntington beach: Home Buying On The Rise Again In Orange County - 09/02/11 03:43 AM
Signs are pointing to a rise in homebuying in Orange County and an end to the slump we've experienced in 12 of the past 13 months. Two recent articles in the Orange County Register present some encouraging statistics as well as some points to keep in mind for both buyers and sellers.
Here are some highlights:
2,593 homes closed in the latest period, up 1.7% from a year ago.
Median selling price for homes is down 0.7% from a year ago ($437,000)
Sales are up 1.7% for the county
15 Orange County zip codes had an increase in sales and prices … (1 comments)

huntington beach: 9 Ways to Keep Your Home Safe While You're Away - 08/17/11 06:25 AM

Some people are preparing for their summer vacation getaway before the summer is over. Some people are already preparing for going away to visit family or friends during Thanksgiving and Christmas, Hannukah, etc.

Before you go away for any vacation, make sure you've made proper preparations for security while you're gone. An empty house, condo or apartment can be a tempting target for burglars. These pre-vacation/weekend getaway tips will help you rest easier while you're away:

Install sturdy and secure locks on all of your outside doors and windows.
Make your home look as lived-in as possible while … (5 comments)

huntington beach: What REALLY Adds Value To Your Home? - 07/11/11 12:24 AM
There are many misconceptions about what truly adds value to your home and can make it sell for a higher price. Some sellers have found out the hard way that modifications they perceived as adding value actually do the opposite, especially in today's market. In past years, the big culprit has been the addition of a swimming pool.
NAR has released reports over recent years that clarify what adds value and what doesn't. Here is a checklist of some of the results.
Central AC can add up to 12% to the price of a home.
Remodeling to add additional living area … (0 comments)

huntington beach: Getting A Loan Is Like Having A Baby! - 07/01/11 06:27 PM

Don’t know about you but this last few months has been a challenge for my buyers when it comes to the loan process.  They understand the need to get a pre-approval letter and most are very pro-active about getting quotes and comparisons, etc.   The pre-approval helps us get the offer accepted and escrow opened.  The buyers are happy to provide job info, bank statements, and credit history – all the “usual” paperwork that we’ve all come to expect. 
Of course, they are extremely excited when the loan rep calls and says, “your loan is approved” and expect they’ll be in their new … (5 comments)

huntington beach: When Is The Best Time To Sell At A Loss - 06/27/11 12:30 AM

While I truly wish no one ever had to ask this question, some of you are wrestling with it right now. Homes are staying on the market longer than in years past and many sellers are having to come down on their price more than once to get the deal done.
Other sellers are standing pat on their price, hoping that the market will rebound enough for them to turn a small profit or at least break even. The problem is (as shown on the chart I posted a few weeks back) that prices still have not bottomed out in … (6 comments)

huntington beach: Accounting For Your Deposits - 06/17/11 03:12 AM

As crazy as it may sound, deposits are causing some problems with loan approval in this time of more  stringent guidelines for mortgage loans.  Whether it's here in the Beach Areas or anywhere else, the story's the same... Having the funds in your bank account isn't enough anymore.  In fact, having the funds for closing in your bank account isn't enough any more.  In fact, sometimes having reserve funds in your bank account isn't even enough any more. It's true.  Lenders are scrutinizing bank statements like never before...especially any deposits outside of your normal paycheck deposits.  There is a … (2 comments)

huntington beach: Get Rid of Clutter Now and Save Time Later - 06/08/11 09:18 AM

How many times have you moved in your life?
Close your eyes and remember the feeling…you get the big, bulky pieces of furniture, appliances and other items out of the way and then you realize it's time for the real work.
You have your work cut out for you with all of the clutter and miscellaneous bits and pieces that will either need to be given away, sold, boxed up or thrown away.  This is typically the most tedious and time-consuming part of the moving process.
Even if you’re not planning on moving anytime soon, take some time on a … (3 comments)

Ann Stefanucci (First Team Real Estate Inc.)

Ann Stefanucci

Huntington Beach, CA

More about me…

First Team Real Estate Inc.

Address: DRE #00635764

Mobile: (562) 244-8021

Fax: (714) 908-0381



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