Tag: Stacy and Nicole

20
Dec

How to Sell Your Home During the Holiday Season

Are you wondering how to sell your house during the holidays? While putting your home on the market between holiday celebrations, looming family visits, and school vacations might seem like miserable timing, home sellers can actually benefit by using this period strategically to show and possibly even sell their place.

Most home sellers take a holiday hiatus until the New Year. This can mean that your home may suddenly become a hot commodity. Also if buyers are truly squeezing in house showings between shopping trips and holiday school programs, you know these potential buyers must be serious.

So if you are ready to put up a “For Sale” sign under the pretty glow of your holiday lights, now is the time! Here is some advice on how to sell your house during the holidays.

A little mistletoe will most likely help rather than hurt.

You should be festive and decorate your home. It is when your home looks the best and you take the most pride in it. This will show better and most likely net more.

Avoid going overboard

Go easy on the Christmas decorations. Christmas lights and a tree in the living room are okay, but staging a nativity scene in the front yard and going crazy on decorations can scare off potential buyers.

Throw a holiday party

You should consider squeezing in the time to host a holiday party. This can be a great way to showcase your home to family, friends and neighbors. Chances are that at least one person at the holiday party is looking for a new house or knows someone who is.

Preheat the oven

December is a wonderful time for potential buyers to walk into a home that smells of fresh-baked cookies, treats and holiday cakes. Sweeten up potential buyers a tad more by leaving a plate of treats out for them to enjoy.

Don’t encourage thieves to make a visit

Even though most people are wishing peace and goodwill, not everyone will take this message to heart. For this reason, you should play it safe and don’t leave gifts under a holiday tree during a home showing. You should consider leaving empty decorative boxes instead.

Let your home shine

Winter days have never been darker or shorter, so to ensure your home gives off a warm vibe, you should replace some of your lights with brighter bulbs to add more light for evening showings.

Be giving

Give a little more time than you might if you were selling at a less frantic time of year. Prepare to let people into your house even when it is not convenient for you. Everyone doesn’t celebrate the same holidays, so you might be asked to show on days you normally would not want to.

Use the cold weather in your favor

If it is raining, you should have umbrellas handy for people to look at outside areas. Boot covers by the front door are a nice touch as well. This is the time to accentuate your attached garage and update heating systems and fireplaces.

Are you thinking of selling your North Orange County home this winter? Click here to contact Stacy and Nicole today!

28
Nov

How to Buy a Vacation Home in Anaheim with Friends

Find out if teaming up to buy a second home is right for you and your friends.

Given the current strength of the fast-moving real estate market in Anaheim, you might be thinking about buying a second home close to Disneyland or miles from the beach. But what can your vacation home budget realistically get you?

If your vacation-home budget can only afford a fixer-upper instead of a dream home, going in on a purchase with friends or family can be a great way to get much more home for your money. If you are considering going this route, here is how to get started.

1. Decide if this is right for you

The number-one reason to consider purchasing a house with friends is that it lowers your investment amount. Unlike fractional ownership or timeshare opportunities, when people go in together and purchase a property at market price, they will enjoy the equity gains of the traditional real estate market.

The best candidates for shared property are those who want to use the house for a few weeks in the year, then rent out the home when they are not here.

Owners also need to be comfortable sharing ongoing expenses, like property management insurance, fees, utilities and repairs.

2. Lay down the legal groundwork

To protect all owners when unexpected events happens and to avoid hurt feelings, we recommend hiring an attorney to set up an LLC, then purchasing the home through the company.

Owning a home with friends or family is fun and exciting on the front end, but what happens three years later when an owner wants out?

Your lawyer could write an operating agreement that will clear up expectations on everything from how utilities are shared to how a buyout will work if one owner wanted to sell and the others did not.

3. Start searching for a home

Keep in mind that the vacation-home market moves rapidly. With multiple stakeholders needing to agree that a home is the one, it would be best to decide on your shared criteria before you start searching.

This is very important if you are searching from afar or if one person will be doing most of the home touring on behalf of the group. This way, when you find the right property, you could put an offer together quickly.

Treat the whole transaction like a business. Make a spreadsheet with a list of potential properties and a list of pros and cons.

You should also enlist a local real estate professional with expertise in the area where you would like to buy. This person is best qualified to help you identify houses that are a good value, that will do well in the local vacation rental market, and that are in areas likely to appreciate.

There is plenty of legwork in this process, but if you find the right people to partner with and act fast when you find the perfect home, you will be sitting back and enjoying your dream home before you know it.

Thinking of buying in Anaheim or the northern Orange County area? Contact Stacy and Nicole here!

21
Nov

5 Steps to Break Free of Mortgage Trouble for Good in Northern Orange County

The short sale process could seem intimidating, but getting a handle on the steps can make it a lot less scary. A short sale is where homeowners sell their home for less than they owe on their mortgage. This is often the last resort for people who cannot pay their mortgage and are facing foreclosure.

How does a short sale work? Read the steps involved below:

1. First consider a loan modification
Before you assume that you need to have a short sale, speak to your lender or housing counselor about your current situation. You might be able to get a loan modification and avoid having to sell your property.

The federal Home Affordable Modification Program is a project run by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and might be a good option. If you are eligible for HAMP, your mortgage company will most likely put you on a trial plan for three months. This will give you time to show that you can make timely payments at a new monthly payment level. If you make it through the three-month trial, you might have a new mortgage payment and avoid moving ahead with a short sale.

If you can’t make it through the trial, the next step would be to move forward with a short sale.

2. Speak to your lender about a short sale
Since a short sale means you are trying to sell your home for less than you owe on your mortgage, your mortgage lender will need to sign off on it. But initially, the lender is going to need proof that the short sale is necessary.

The sellers need to submit a short sale packet. This includes hardship papers that show the bank the seller is currently undergoing financial hardship.

That paperwork might include account information and bank statements, copies of bills, pay stubs, asset disclosures and more.

3. Call a real estate agent
You will need a real estate agent to sell your home. Since short sales are complicated, you will want an agent with experience in the short sale process to handle the deal.

The agent will then assess your financial situation as well as the property’s estimated value to estimate a listing price. Click here to get in touch with Stacy and Nicole to schedule an in-home consultation!

4. Listing your home
This is one step in the short sale process that is like any other home sale. The property in question is listed by your real estate agent, who will search for a buyer and get your home under contract.

When you get an offer from a buyer, it must be submitted to your lender for review. Further negotiations might be required between the buyer’s agent, your agent and the lender until a settlement is reached.

If your lender has approved your short sale under the United States Treasury’s Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives program, it will be done in about four months. If you did not qualify for HAFA, the process could take longer.

5. Closing the deal
If your mortgage lender approves your buyer, you will move out and the buyer will move in. The money used to purchase the home will go to your lender and your mortgage debt will be forgiven.You will also walk away with three thousand dollars in moving expenses if you qualified for HAFA. If you did not qualify, you simply walk away without the mortgage debt on your shoulders.

Do you need a real estate professional to sell your home? Contact us here!

20
Oct

5 Instagram-Worthy Food Halls in Orange County

Your friend wants carne asada tacos, but you want a steaming bowl of pho. What do you do? Go to a food hall, of course! Food halls are modern food courts offering a wide variety of food vendors and they are the hot, new trend in Orange County! Take a look at the following guide for five of the best food halls in Orange County. Your stomach and Instagram followers will thank us later!

 

TRADE

2222 Michelson Dr.

Irvine, CA 92612

 

One of the newest food halls in Orange County, TRADE has taken over Irvine by storm. Located near John Wayne Airport, TRADE is Irvine’s first food hall and home to tasty vendors like Dos Chinos, Slapfish, Afters Ice Cream, Two Birds, Butterleaf, and GD Bro Burger. TRADE has eight restaurants and one bar serving simple, classic cocktails, boutique wines, and 10 taps of craft beer. The open-air concept gives the food hall a fresh vibe, while the delicious food keeps visitors coming back for more.

 

Must try:

  • Avocado Bombs at Butterleaf: diced avocados rolled in crushed corn chips, deep fried and topped with kimchi tiger sauce
  • Maple Bacon Jam Burger at Pig Pen Delicacy: a beef patty topped with swiss cheese, maple bacon jam, chive aioli, crispy onion strings, and a pan fried egg
  • Calamari Bowl at Portside: fresh calamari topped with a bright array of peppers and onions

 

Anaheim Packing House

440 S. Anaheim Blvd

Anaheim, CA 92805

 

Built in 1919 along the Southern Pacific rail line in downtown Anaheim, the Anaheim Packing House is a historic landmark where local farmers would pack their freshly picked citrus to be sold around the country. The restored Packing House is now home to modern cuisine, live entertainment, and so much more. This two-story food hall features a huge central atrium with communal dining surrounded by a variety of vendors as well as outdoor picnic gardens and a huge porch overlooking Farmers’ Park. The Anaheim Packing House contains 25 delicious vendors and a secret bar that you’ve got to check out.

 

Must try:

  • Orange Mocha Chip Ice Cream at Hans Homemade Ice Cream: This unique blend of ice cream is one of their signature creations and just one of their 50 distinct flavors.
  • Short Rib Poutine at The Kroft: french fries and braised short rib topped with short rib gravy, mushrooms, pickled red onions, cheese curds, and parsley
  • Jardiniere Savory Crepe at Pandor Bakery: a crepe stuffed with roasted eggplant, zucchini, bell peppers, goat cheese, pesto, portobello mushrooms, tomatoes, and onions

 

4th Street Market

201 E 4th St.

Santa Ana, CA 92701

 

With 15 different vendors like Falasophy, Chunk N Chip, and Jinny’s Pizzeria, 4th Street Market is the ideal place for foodies. Located in downtown Santa Ana, 4th Street Market offers innovative food, open kitchens, and a fun community space. 4th Street Market also offers movie and trivia nights and tennis table tournaments. So grab your friends and enjoy a fun night with mouthwatering food.

 

Must try:

  • Stoner Papas at Dos Chinos: shoestring french fries piled with carne asada, bolsa roast pork belly, chorizo fried rice, a sunny side up fried egg, salsa verde, onions, and cilantro
  • Alchemistic Blend at Portola Coffee Lab: a blend of the Nicaraguan and Helsar de Zacero blends roasted a smidge darker with distinct notes of baker’s chocolate, dried fruit, toasted almonds and spice.
  • Hawaiian Punch Pop at Front Porch Pops: a seasonal blend of mango, strawberry, and orange on a stick

 

The Camp

2937 Bristol St.

Costa Mesa, CA 92626

 

Located across the street from The Lab in Costa Mesa, The Camp is the ideal spot for health and wellness with a hipster vibe. With unique spots like Milk and Honey, Umami Burger, and Black Market Bakery, The Camp provides visitors with a culinary experience. The Camp also offers more than just yummy food as locals enjoy purposeful shopping at various stores and monthly “Last Tuesday’s” Sobeca ARTwalk, film screenings, and special events.

 

Must try:

  • Wine Flight at Wine Lab: three organic red or white wine samples picked specifically for you and poured into picturesque test tubes. Hint: Go during happy hour for $2 off select wine and beer.
  • Bacon PB and J Tacos at Taco Asylum: roasted peanut butter, carrot-ginger jam, fresh greens, sweet and spicy bacon, and pickled fresno chili served on a 5” flour tortilla made from scratch
  • Sesame Kale Macro Bowl at Native Foods Café: seared tempeh atop creamy tahini sauce, tangy sauerkraut, steamed kale and organic brown rice served with toasted sesame seeds, green onions and crunchy cucumber salad

 

Lot 579

21010 Pacific Coast Hwy

Huntington Beach, CA 92648

 

Located in Huntington Beach’s fun, new entertainment complex, Pacific City, Lot 579 is named after the three lifeguard towers on the beach directly across the street from the complex. With a variety of vendors, Lot 579 serves everything from Australian meat pies to fresh seafood and more. Pick up a delightful snack after a day at the beach or grab lunch to go as you shop at the nearby stores. Lot 579 has it all!

 

Must try:

  • Spaghetti Grilled Cheese Sandwich at Burnt Crumbs: pressed spaghetti, fresh mozzarella, and meat sauce in between slices of sourdough bread with a marinara dipping sauce
  • Grilled Seafood Sandwich at Bear Flag Fish Co.: your choice of fish served with lettuce, tomato, onion & Tommy sauce on a C’est Si Bon baguette
  • Californipa at The Dudes’ Brewing Company: This local IPA is just one of 24 different brews on tap at their new tasting room.

With all the delicious food halls in Orange County, what’s not to love? Orange County is the ideal place to live! Contact Stacy and Nicole to make Orange County your home today!

06
Oct

5 Secrets About Living in Orange County You Have to Hear

From the magic of Disneyland to the chill vibes of Huntington Beach, Orange County is home to a lot of popular tourist destinations. But what people who are new to the area wouldn’t know is that Orange County is also full of a lot of other hidden gems. Check out these five secrets about living in Orange County that only locals would know!

 

1. It’s not always how it looks on tv

Orange County is known as the infamous backdrop to popular shows like Laguna Beach, The Hills, and The O.C. These shows often depict beautiful stars having the time of their lives as they cruise along the traffic-free coast in their Mercedes or frolic down the empty beaches in Newport. While these portrayals may have some truth behind them, others are pure exaggerations for the sake of entertainment. In reality, some of these shows weren’t even filmed in Orange County. So no, locals don’t actually call Orange County “The O.C.” and not everyone drives a Mercedes, but there are so many reasons why the reality of Orange County is even better than how it appears on television. Good food? Check. Awesome people? You bet. Fun adventures? Of course. Orange County really does have it all and television shows just don’t do this extraordinary place justice.

 

2. Traffic is no joke

…but there are ways to get around it! If you’ve ever been to Orange County, you’ve probably heard people referring to the 5, the 22, the 55, and the 405. These seemingly random numbers are actually names of freeways and talking about the best way to navigate the roads is like another language to Orange County residents. Orange County natives have mastered the art of the sometimes hectic freeways and you can too by following these tips. First, avoid rush hour. Although it varies depending on the freeway and your direction of travel, the weekday morning commute is generally from 7:30am to 9am, while the after-work commute typically lasts from 4pm to 6:30pm. Fridays, however, are a whole different story with the after-work commute starting as early as 1pm. If you’re traveling on the weekend, it’s best to start early or after dinner to avoid the potential traffic from people heading off to their next adventure. Another helpful tip is to download Google Maps or Waze. Unlike some other GPS systems, these apps offer alternative routes and route changes to help you get to your destination as quickly as possible. Since Orange County has so many exciting things to do and something for everyone in each city, the freeways can get a bit crazy, but the priceless memories you’ll make from your day trip to the beach or the many laughs you’ll have during your amusement park adventure will make the commute more than worth it!

 

3. The best day to go to the beach is Wednesday

…or any weekday really. It’s no secret that Orange County is home to some of the best beaches along the West Coast. There’s the infamous Newport Beach, tourist favorite Laguna Beach, and the holy grail of surfing, Huntington Beach, just to name a few! But with the wildly popular beaches comes the huge crowds and parking nightmare. So when’s the best time to go to your favorite beach without all the hassle? Well, from our experience living in Orange County, we found that the middle of the week is the best time to escape the crowds that tend to populate every Saturday and Sunday. If you are going on a weekend, however, try to beat the rush and head to the beach in the early morning. Nothing sounds better than a peaceful morning relaxing on the beach followed by a delicious brunch along the water. Another beach tip is to avoid the peak of summer if possible. Autumn is an ideal time to visit the beach and it’s Southern California so the weather is always perfect regardless of the time of year!

 

4. Orange County is home to a lot of foodies

From the octopus ceviche at Javier’s in Newport Beach to the soup dumplings at Din Tai Fung in Costa Mesa, Orange County hosts a wide variety of cuisine. Every city has their specialties, so almost every type of food is accessible as long as you know where to go. Want to find the best food without taking all the time and effort to do the research? Check out some of our past blogs to find the best dessert spots , top brunch destinations, and more!

 

5. Orange County really is the best place to live!

Orange County has more than just gorgeous beaches and yummy grub. The fantastic sights, relaxing vibes, and plethora of things to do are giving locals so much to love about their hometowns. Comprised of 34 cities with over three million residents, Orange County is much more diverse than television may lead people to believe. Looking for a quiet place where you can walk around the farmer’s’ market or browse antique stores? Old towne Orange is the perfect place for you. Maybe you want something with a bit more nightlife? Check out Fullerton and everything the city has to offer. In Orange County, there truly is something for everyone!

 

Interested in moving to Orange County? Let us know and we’d be more than happy to help!

30
Mar

The Best of Brea

Lookout everybody! Today we are talkin’ food!!! By far one of our most treasured past times…. and if there is anything that Nicole and I know better than real estate it’s where to find the best food in town! Today, we are going to start in our home town and present to you not only our favorite eating spots, but also without a doubt, the best of Brea…..These are all restaurants that we have personally visited and enjoyed.  So, if you are ever out and about and happen to spot us at one of these very fine establishments, please don’t be shy! You know what they say…. Use Stacy and Nicole for all your Orange County real estate needs! Oh, wait…. that has nothing to do with this bog…….carry on!

 

— TAPS Fish House & Brewery

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This is always at the top of our list. Filled with mouth watering steaks and jaw dropping lobster tails you can’t go wrong. The staff and management are fantastic, Woody has always made us feel like part of the family.

https://www.yelp.com/biz/taps-fish-house-and-brewery-brea-2

— Yard House

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You can’t go wrong with a trip to the Yard House. We frequent their happy hour often. If you go make sure you try the vampire tacos, you wont regret it!

https://www.yelp.com/biz/yard-house-brea

— Lazy Dog Restaurant & Bar

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When you combine beautiful people, pups and patios you can’t lose. We know our furry friends love this place and we know you will too.

https://www.yelp.com/biz/lazy-dog-restaurant-and-bar-brea

— Jimmy’s Famous American Tavern

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If you are a burger person this place is a must visit. We didn’t know a cheeseburger could be so good. Get it with parmesan garlic fries…. yum

https://www.yelp.com/biz/jimmys-famous-american-tavern-brea?osq=Restaurants

— Cha Cha’s Latin Kitchen

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Prime location in downtown Brea. Enjoy an amazing meal and a stroll through the promenade area before you catch a movie at the local Edward’s Theaters.

https://www.yelp.com/biz/cha-chas-latin-kitchen-brea

–D’Vine

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Looking for some Mediterranean flavor? D’Vine is the answer. A great blend of flavors and wonderful presentation. This place is always a huge hit with my vegetarian friends.

https://www.yelp.com/biz/d-vine-brea-2

— Slapfish

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Slowly becoming one of my favorite places. If you go you must try the “clobster”,  the crab and lobster grilled cheese! If that doesn’t convince you, the lobster burrito will!

https://www.yelp.com/biz/slapfish-brea?osq=slapfish

— The Cheesecake Factory

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Enough said… I’ll leave you with that.

https://www.yelp.com/biz/the-cheesecake-factory-brea

Those are just a few of the many restaurants that Brea has to offer. If we happened to miss your favorite spot, comment and let us know your ‘Best of Brea.” Now I’m sure you are all good and hungry so we’ll let you get on to planning your dinner.  Remember, for any of your Orange County cravings call the Stacy and Nicole Real Estate Team, we always have what you looking for.

16
Mar

Ready to Tip Off the Madness?

MARCH MADNESS IS HERE! While some have already filled out their brackets others wonder what all the “madness” is about. March madness if you’re not sure is the Superbowl of college basketball. The top teams from all over the country compete to be the last team standing. I personally, like many of you, have never made a bracket before nor did I know where to start. If you’re like me and you want to be part of the madness, but are not sure where to start, I’m here to help. I’ll share a couple tips about how I picked my winners and possibly even tell you who’s going to win the whole thing (shhhh).

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With very very little college basketball knowledge my pick style may be a little unorthodox but none the less I had a lot of fun and I encourage you to get involved!

So how did I pick my teams……

1. Home Teams or bust!!

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2. Better Mascot

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3. Best Outfits (duh)

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4. Best Student Section

5. and if all that fails… who do I think is more likely to purchase a home from us??

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Both look so eager to get on the Stacy and Nicole Team!

Well now that I’ve given you all the inside tips, its time to get to work!! I would hate for you to miss out on all the fun. Below I’v attached a link to the copy of the 2017 bracket, just click and print. Pick your winners and share your knowledge with us! By the way, I Picked U-C-L-A as my champions, GO BRUINS! Have fun and good luck…. And remember you’re always on the winning side when you play for the Stacy and Nicole Real Estate Team.

http://printableteamschedules.com/NCAA/marchmadnessbracket.php 

14
Mar

Get Lucky with the Help of the Irish

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Top of the mornin’ to ya! Hopefully your month of March is off to a fantastic start. I absolutely love this month for many reasons (my oldest sons birthday, March Madness, the smell of spring and of course green beer). While I’m sure my oldest (Kyle) would love for me to talk about his birthday, my focus is on the green beer, corn beef and cabbage. I have listed 10 Irish worthy pubs within the Orange County area, some I’v been to and others I’ll visit on Friday the 17th. So wear green or get pinched!  See you out and about!

  1. The Irishman

422 Olive Ave, Hunting Beach CA 92648

     2. The Harp Inn

130 E 17th St, Costa Mesa CA 92627

inside pub

       3. Muldoon’s Irish Pub

202 Newport Ctr Dr, Newport Beach CA 92660

      4. Silky Sulivans

10201 Slater Ave, Fountain Valley CA 92708

st patty sign

      5. Malarky’s Irish Pub

3011 Newport Blvd, Newport Beach CA 92663

      6. Branagan’s Irish Pub

213 N Harbor Blvd, Fullerton CA 92832

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    7. O’Hara’s Pub

150 N Glassell St, Orange CA 92866

    8. The Auld Dubliner

71 S Pine Ave, Long Beach CA 90802

green beer

      9. Durty Nelly’s

2915 Red Hill Ave, Costa Mesa CA 92626

       10. Killarney Pub & Grill

209 Main St, Huntington Beach CA 92648

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While every good Irish lad enjoys an ol’ fashion pub crawl, PLEASE REMEMBER TO NOT DRINK AND DRIVE. Please designate your non-Irish (sober) friend as your driver or just phone one of the many available services. (Uber/Lift/Yellow cab). Everyone have a safe and wonderful holiday. And don’t forget, we don’t get lucky at the Stacy and Nicole Real Estate Team we’re just that good!