Amir's Blog

Tax Reform Law Chart: Prior Law vs. New Law

You may be interested in the latest edition of On the Markets 2017, our monthly publication that summarizes the Global Investment Committee’s market outlook and includes thought-provoking essays that examine the forces shaping the investment landscape.

Please contact me if you'd like to discuss the ideas presented in On the Markets or have feedback on any of this month’s stories.     Amir Vahdat 949-682-9090 
 Click here to see the full report.
 
 
 
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November 2015

Falling gas prices can shorten the time it takes a house to sell and can increase the selling price, according to results from an ongoing longitudinal study by Florida Atlantic University and Longwood University faculty. Using data from central Virginia and spanning over 10 years of gas price changes and housing transactions, researchers found statistical evidence to indicate that for every $1 per gallon decrease in gasoline price, average time to sell a property decreases by 25 days. In addition, for every $1 per gallon decrease in gasoline prices the average selling price rises by 2.4 percent, which amounts to roughly $4,000 per sold property in the study. The good news from the seller's perspective does not end there. A $1 decrease is also shown to increase a seller's chances of selling and closing by roughly 20 percent. "In the event of a forced sale, these odds are very welcome news for a seller who might already own a second property and must close," explained Ken Johnson, Ph.D., a real estate economist and an associate dean of graduate programs and professor in FAU's College of Business. Based on these findings, the immediate future looks bright for home sellers. Gas prices are down nearly $1 from where they were a year ago, and prices this summer are expected to be the lowest they've been since 2009 "due to stabilizing crude oil costs and as refineries complete seasonal maintenance," according to the American Automobile Association (AAA). Source: PR Newswire

Fifteen Republicans are fighting for their party's nomination for president in 2016. The Democratic seekers of the White House so far number five. All 20 of these possible presidential candidates have divergent policy positions, even within their own parties. But one area that all generally agree on is that the tax code is too complex. Another tax issue that also seems consistent across most major candidates is that a tax break for homeowners is safe. Even this election cycle's biggest booster of the so-called flat tax, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., says in his proposal that he would continue tax deductions for charitable donations and interest on home loans. The numbers make it clear why homeowners get such attention. Although Commerce Department data show that homeownership for the first quarter of this year was at its lowest level in 20 years, most of us still own the places where we live. Almost 64% of Americans own their homes. So while weakened, the American dream of a yard for the kiddies and a home loan that offers a tax break persists. Source: BankRate.com

A recent survey shows that consumers saving for a home are willing to forego modern conveniences in order to secure a down payment. That may even mean giving up phones, Internet, cable TV, or Starbucks, according to a newly released survey by the business advisory firm the Collingwood Group. Potential first-time home buyers are making such sacrifices because they want to be able to make a sizable down payment on their home purchase. Nearly two-thirds recently surveyed say they’d like to put 20 percent down or more on their home purchase. First-time home buyers are increasing their ranks lately, with their share in the housing market rising to 32 percent in May. That matches their highest share since September 2012, according to the National Association of Realtors®. A year ago, first-time buyers represented 27 percent of all buyers. The survey showed that around 62 of potential first-time buyers are making plans to purchase a home within the next two years. In addition, more than two-thirds of consumers – 68 percent – who say they’re looking to purchase their first home say they want a move-in ready home, while one-third said they’d buy a fixer-upper. Source: MReport

As always, if I can ever help you, your family or friends with any real estate needs, I’d be delighted.

http://www.ocluxuryproperty.com/home-evaluation.htmlnews1
‪#‎amirvahdat‬ ‪#‎Lagunabeachhomes‬ ‪#‎coastahomes‬

 
 
 
 
 
Amir Vahdat
(949) 682-9090
amirrealtorbroker@gmail.com
http://www.thelagunabeachrealestate.com
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices
30812 S. Coast Hwy.
Laguna Beach, CA 92651

Benefits of Solar Electricity

Solar-generated electricity has been gaining popularity among homeowners. For years, photovoltaic (or PV) systems, which convert sunlight into electricity, have been used to generate power. The most frequent application of PV can be seen in such consumer products as hand-held calculators, portable lights and watches. Recently, this alternative energy source has received attention from an increasing number of homeowners who are interested in protecting the environment.

According to one survey, the majority of today's affluent households are in favor of utilizing renewable energy resources to produce electricity, and six out of 10 are in favor of self-generated clean power. Solar panels scored high on the list, followed by fuel cells and micro-turbine generators.

Many of today's homeowners are already using, or are considering using, PV systems to generate much of the electricity used in their homes.

Less expensive systems feature fewer PV panels that offer supplemental or backup power. More costly systems can include mechanized panels that pivot to follow the sun to gather as much solar energy as possible. Consumers may find the price of these systems begin to drop as more homeowners add them to their existing homes and more new homes are built with them.

Also in this issue...
Getting a Good Night's Sleep
Green Cleaning
Question and Answer
Smart Shopping for Appliances

Getting a Good Night's Sleep

Insomnia, sleep apnea and other sleep-disrupting conditions prevent more than 40 million Americans from getting restful sleep. Sleepless nights are not only frustrating, they can put you at risk for obesity, high blood pressure and make you more prone to depression. If you suffer from a sleep disorder, there are some steps you can take to get a few extra hours of rest.
Remove such distractions as the television and office equipment from your bedroom. Take a warm bath, drink a cup of herbal tea or warm milk, and turn down the lights. This will cue your body that it's time to sleep.

Don't consume anything with caffeine, including chocolate, within four to six hours of bedtime and don't exercise within two hours of bedtime. Exercising raises your heart rate and body temperature - both of which can keep you awake.

Avoid over-the-counter sleep aids. While they might help you fall asleep, your body can build a tolerance in only a few nights. If, despite your preparations, you wake up in the middle of the night, consider this advice: Get out of bed and read or find something relaxing to do, but don't do housework or office work, and don't turn on the television. Have a snack if you're hungry. A banana or glass of milk provides a bit of tryptophan, an amino acid which acts as a mild sleep inducer. Move your pets off the bed. In a Mayo Clinic survey of 300 people with sleeping disorders, half of the individuals had pets - and half of those pets slept in the survey participant's bed. Write in a journal. By writing down what's on your mind you may be able to stop worrying.
Visualize a relaxing scene such as a waterfall or quiet beach. You may want to purchase a CD of white noise to tune out any background sounds.

Green Cleaning

You want your home to look its best, but some products used to clean your home may be doing more harm than good. Some cleaning products contain harsh chemicals that may cause skin irritation, difficulty breathing or damage to the environment. Green cleaning is using products that don't endanger you, your family or the environment. So why not "think green" and select from these safe and effective natural alternatives:

  • Baking soda - may be the most versatile item in your kitchen cabinet; it can be used to deodorize your refrigerator, carpeting and upholstery, remove acidic stains, and safely scour sinks and countertops.
  • White distilled vinegar - is excellent for killing mold and bacteria. Its acidic properties also dissolve soap scum on bathroom fixtures.
  • Lemon juice - acts as a stain remover and its crisp, citrus scent freshens the air.

Be sure to clearly label any solutions you mix and spot test each solution before using it on a large area.

Question and Answer

I feel like I am constantly on the go, but I want to be able to prepare lunches for my family. Do you have any suggestions?

If you are a busy parent and would like to make nutritious lunches for your family, remember that the key is to plan ahead. And changing the plan each week will eliminate boredom, as well as the temptation to stray from healthy eating habits.

You can start by creating a menu plan at the beginning of each week and taking it along when you shop. Avoid prepackaged junk food, and opt for snacks like dried or fresh fruit and low-fat granola.
It will help if you prepare all the lunches in the evening before bedtime. Most people are too rushed in the morning.

Include old favorites along with new variations. Spice up a plain salad by adding chopped apples, raisins, nuts, peppers, chickpeas, cauliflower or pine nuts. Or make a sandwich with whole-grain pita bread, bean sprouts and cucumbers instead of traditional white bread and lettuce.

On days when you don't have time for a homemade lunch, opt for something such as a broiled chicken breast or visit a salad bar. And make sure your children know what wholesome choices they should make at their school cafeteria.

Smart Shopping for Appliances

Buying new appliances can be an expensive investment, especially if you've just purchased a home. Whether you're furnishing your home for the first time or need to update your old appliances, the following tips can help you stretch your shopping dollars and get the most for your money.

Before buying any appliances, measure the height, width and depth of the space where they will be placed. Also measure any doorways or halls the appliance will have to move through to ensure it will fit.

Kitchen
Because it holds most of your appliances, the kitchen can be the most costly room, but it also tends to be the room where friends and family gather, so you want to buy the best you can afford.

Consider your lifestyle. Do you have a large family or entertain often? Do you enjoy gourmet cooking or will you regularly "pop" something in the microwave?

There are many styles and finishes from which to choose. Do you want a side-by-side, top-mount or bottom-mount style of refrigerator? Models with a water and ice dispenser in the door are handy, but decrease your refrigerator's energy efficiency.

Should you buy a gas or an electric range? Keep in mind that sealed gas or smooth top electric ranges are easier to clean than ones with open burners. Self-cleaning ovens eliminate the need for chemical cleaners and are typically more energy efficient.

Compare the inside of dishwashers before selecting one; they may look the same size on the outside, but different models accommodate large pans and serving dishes more easily than others. If you are limited on space, you may want to buy a portable dishwasher.

Utility Room
On the other hand, if space isn't an issue, a large capacity washer may be more economical because you have to wash fewer loads. Front-loading machines are typically gentler on clothing and more energy and water efficient than top-loading washers.

You also have a choice between electric and gas when it comes to clothes dryers. Electric dryers may cost less initially, but gas tends to be cheaper to operate.

When buying any appliance, decide on the make and model you want, then do some comparison-shopping. Contact at least three stores, mention the lowest price you've seen, and ask if the manager will beat that price. Be sure to inquire about delivery and installation charges before making your purchase.


In an effort to keep you informed on the latest economic trends and developments and their potential effects on the real estate and mortgage industries, we’ve compiled the latest stories making headlines for the week of October 7, 2014.OCT6 -Weekly_Report_DP_001http://ocluxuryproperty.wordpress.com/2014/10/09/our-weekly-real-estate-update-for-south-orange-county-and-coastal-october-2014-by-amir-vahdat-949-682-9090/

September 2014 Real Estate Report for Orange County – California

Employment Report Analysis

Amir Vahdat – www.ocluxuryproperty.com

 
 
 

At first blush, it appeared that the jobs report was disappointing. The addition of 142,000 jobs in August was much less than the average of over two hundred thousand for the previous six months. Yet, the day of the report, the stock market reacted positively and interest rates did not fall as expected. What could have caused this “adverse” reaction? To us there are three possibilities. First, the same day as the jobs report, a cease fire was signed in Ukraine. As we have said previously, the world news is over-shadowing our domestic economic news this summer. If the truce holds, this is a positive indicator for the stock market but not necessarily positive for the continuation of lower interest rates.

Secondly, the markets may be betting that the lower number of jobs added might be a one-time occurrence. The jobs numbers are often revised in future months and the markets are not likely to get upset over one report. Now, if we get two or three reports below an average of 150,000 jobs each month, this could be worrisome to the markets. Looking at other indicators such as first time claims for unemployment and the ADP private payroll report, there was no indication that the job creation machine slowed down last month.Real Estate Report September

Finally, even if the production of jobs does slow down, the markets may not be too upset. Slower job growth might cause the Federal Reserve Board to keep short-term interest rates lower for a longer period of time and nothing would boost the stock market more than the prospect for a continuation of lower rates. This factor would apply if the production of new jobs does not slow any further from here. As we indicated last week, it is a good sign with regard to how far we have come in our recovery for the markets to now consider over 140,000 jobs created in a month a poor performance. Which of these factors is correct? There could be a bit of truth in each theory. You can bet on the fact that the Federal Reserve Board’s Federal Open Market Committee will be considering these possibilities as they meet this week.

Have the property ready to market and sell with no lost days.

At least 2.5 million borrowers will face an average increase of $250 per month on their monthly mortgage payment due to the imminent reset in home equity lines of credit over the next three years, according to Black Knight Financial Services’ Mortgage Monitor Report. However, depending upon borrower behavior between now and the time of the reset, payment increases could change, Kostya Gradushy, Black Knight’s manager of research and analytics, said. Borrowers whose HELOCs will reset over the next three years are utilizing just under 60% of their available credit. If these borrowers utilize more of their credit, they could face even more payment shock as the monthly increase would rise above the $250. And the news is not much better for the borrowers whose payments are not likely to reset until 2019. These borrowers are exhibiting even lower utilization ratios — about 40% of their available credit. Once reset, they will likely face an average monthly increase of $200. “Should their drawing pattern match that of older vintages, we could be looking at a significantly higher risk of ‘payment shock’ for this segment,” Gradushy said. Source: HousingWire

Builder confidence in the market for new, single-family homes rose two points in August, bringing the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index to its highest score since the beginning of 2014. NAHB surveys builders across the country and asks them to rate their sales expectations for the next six months, their confidence in current single-family home sales, and their perceptions of prospective buyer traffic. “Each of the three components of the HMI registered consecutive gains for the past three months, which is a positive sign that builder confidence appears to be firming,” NAHB chief economist David Crowe said in a statement. Builder confidence in current sales conditions rose to a score of 58, while expectations for future sales rose to 65. The third index, which gauges expectations for prospective buyer traffic, hit 42. The overall increase in the HMI index can be attributed to factors including sustained job growth, historically low interest rates, and affordable home prices, Crowe said.Source: NAHB

Recently, the Federal Housing Administration announced that they are halting the policy of allowing lenders to collect interest to the end of the month when the homeowner’s FHA mortgage is paid off. Beginning in January of 2015, lenders will be able to collect interest until the day the loan is paid off. However, it should be noted that for the millions of homeowners who currently have home loans insured through FHA, there is no change in policy. The new policy affects only those who obtain new FHA loans in January of 2015. What does this mean for present homeowners? It is important to time refinances and sales of houses to allow time to get the payoff to the present lender before the end of the month. Otherwise, the homeowner could owe a full month of extra interest. The worst time to close on a real estate transaction is the last day of the month because all service providers are especially busy on that day — from the lender to the settlement company. This rule is more on target for those who have FHA loans because payoffs do not go to the lender the same day. On refinances, the homeowner should close their new loan 10 days before the end of the month because the present loan is not paid off until a three day “right of rescission” expires. On a purchase, allow at least one full week before the end of the month to make sure you don’t get stuck paying almost a full extra monthly payment on the present loan being paid off. Note: If you are considering moving up or refinancing your present home and are not sure whether you presently have an FHA loan, we would be happy to help you determine this as well as assisting you with your new transaction.

Choose your agent and their company wisely. My team of Experienced, Wealthy Clients, and Berkshire Hathaway (Warren Buffet Company)

I hope this report finds you well, and please feel free to contact me at any time.

Buying Real Estate Property 

Buying a home is one of the biggest decisions - both financially and emotionally - you will make in your lifetime. If you're a first-time buyer, you're probably thrilled about making the jump from apartment renting t
av logoo owning your own house. While you're excited, however, you also may be a bit overwhelmed by the procedures involved. Relocating or move-up buyers have the advantage of past experience, but still might need a refresher course on the intricacies of the process.

The buying process involves several steps, from finding a REALTOR® to making an offer to closing the deal. Whether you're a first-time or experienced buyer, you'll find an array of information in this section that will assist you on your way to realizing your goal of homeownership.

S. Orange County & Coastal Home Sales (Real Estate Statistics) June 2014

Slowing rise in home prices is a good thing?

Analysts worried that housing prices were going up faster than income.
By NEIL IRWIN | New York Times News Service Washington -
Home prices in the United States are rising more slowly than they were just a few months ago, according to new data out Tuesday — and that may well be just what the housing market needs. The S&P/Case-Shiller index of home prices in 20 major cities rose 0.2 percent in April, down from 1.2 percent in March and well below the 0.8 percent that analysts forecast. During the last year, prices have risen 10.8 percent, compared with a 13.7 percent gain in the year ended in November, the recent peak. A second report on home prices out Tuesday, from the Federal Housing Finance Agency, showed the same pattern. Analysts have worried that the rapid rise of home prices — which have climbed much faster than incomes in most metropolitan areas — might lead to new excesses in the housing market. Jed Kolko, the chief economist of Trulia, estimates that national home prices are only 3 percent undervalued relative to long-term fundamentals, and that a handful of locations, particularly in Southern California, are now significantly overvalued. That being the case, moderation in the rate of home price gains could be good news, in the sense that buyers are less likely than they were a decade ago to stretch to buy a home at any price. "Although it may seem counterintuitive, this is actually welcome news, because it means that we’re not looking at a bubble," Patrick Newport and Stephanie Karol of IHS Global Insight, wrote in a report. "A smaller yearly increase over a higher base is a healthy sign for the housing market: Homeowners continue to build equity, but home purchases remain within the realm of possibility for buyers." Current home price levels are far from the clear bubble levels of 2006. Kolko, for example, finds that the frothiest market in the U.S. is Orange County, California, which by his measures is 17 percent overvalued relative to fundamentals like rents and incomes. In early 2006 it was 71 percent overvalued. That said, those moderate potential overvaluations could easily become major ones if double-digit price increases rise too much longer. In a world where inflation is low and wages are flat, continued steep home prices increases would rapidly move the housing market from broadly balanced to unaffordable and primed for a correction in just a few months. That is what makes this housing recovery seem healthier and more sustainable than the bubble of the early 2000s. Then, even as home prices soared beyond any traditional level relative to income, home buyers responded by taking on more risk and buying anyway, speculating on further home price gains. And they were encouraged to do so by profit-mad lenders who threw caution to the wind in the belief that housing prices could never collapse. This time, mortgage lenders are exercising much more restraint and home buyers seem to be looking at high valuations and not getting caught up in the excitement, instead drawing the line and paying no more than they can afford.
Home price numbers tend to move in steadier, more gradual waves than other economic data. They also come out with long delays; the April Case-Shiller numbers are actually based on transactions that closed from February through April - and those home sales generally went under contract a month or two before they closed. So the latest home price readings are very much a look in the rearview mirror, and it is a look that suggests a deceleration is underway. The question is where it will ultimately settle. If prices were rising 13 percent in the year ended in November and 11 percent in April, what will, or should, the level be later in 2014? The healthiest thing for the housing market would be home price rises that thread the needle: high enough that homeowners are building equity and homebuilders have incentive to start new construction, but low enough that they don’t significantly outpace wage growth and result in unaffordable housing and a painful correction. Gus Faucher, a senior economist at PNC Financial Services Group, forecasts exactly that, predicting low-to-mid single digit home price appreciation through the rest of 2014 and into next year. "This is roughly equal to income growth, and thus is sustainable over the longer run," he wrote in a report Tuesday. In April, the price rises were strongest in the West, with San Francisco home prices rising 18.2 percent over the past year, according to the Case-Shiller index, and Las Vegas prices up 18.8 percent. The weakest price rise among 20 major metro areas was in Cleveland, with only a 2.7 percent increase.
Amir Vahdat (Realtor – Broker) CalBRE#01819847
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services
949-682-9090 30812
South Coast Highway, Laguna Beach, California 92651
Orange County & Coastal Home Sales (Real Estate Statistics) May 2014
 Your new Real Estate Application please goto: http://app.bhhscalifornia.com/avahdat
or text   AMIR to 949-579-9500 to get the app. 

http://app.bhhscalifornia.com/avahdat
 
Orange County Home Sales (Real Estate Statistics) March - April 2014

 

The sales of vacation homes skyrocketed last year. A recent study also revealed that 25% of those surveyed said they’d likely buy a second home, such as a vacation or beach house in places like South Orange County, California and Laguna Beach properties, to use during retirement. For many Baby Boomers, the idea of finally purchasing that vacation home (that they may eventually use in retirement) makes more and more sense as the economy improves and the housing market recovers.
http://www.ocluxuryproperty.com/buying-a-home.html

If your family is thinking about purchasing that second home, now may be the perfect time. Prices are still great. If you decide to lease the property until you’re ready to occupy it full time, the rental market in most areas is very strong. And you can still get a great mortgage interest rate.

 
Rates are still very low as:

Today's Mortgage Rates

ProductsInterest Rate



30yr Fixed FHA 4.250%
30yr Fixed Conform High Bal 4.500%
30yr Fixed Jumbo 4.125%

 As always, if I can ever help you, your family or friends with any real estate needs, I’d be delighted.

 
Amir Vahdat (Realtor – Broker) CalBRE#01819847                  949-682-9090

 

Prices of Real Estate are already rising>>> 1st week of April>>>

• The Dow stock index reached a new record high
• The labor force participation rate rose to a six-month high
• The Treasury will auction $64 billion in securities next week
• The European Central Bank (ECB) made no change in rates
Amir Vahdat
(Realtor -Broker) 949-682-9090
Your local coastal real estate expert & broker

 

 

 
Orange County Real Estate Report February 2014
 
Orange County Real Estate – Are You Ready For Some Real Estate?

Now that the Super Bowl is over (congratulations to the Seahawks) the real estate market is ready to take off.

Active Inventory -remain on the lower side

http://www.ocluxuryproperty.com/

Already this number is starting to tick up day after day, however this is VERY city specific so while some cities may be seeing a dramatic rise in inventory others are still very low. Overall we expect this number to just climb upwards from this point through the summer.

ORANGE COUNTY REAL ESTATE ACTIVE LISTINGS

The chart below represents single family homes, town homes & condos for all of Orange County.

Sales Prices - continues to hold firm

Prices seem very committed to holding their gains over the past year and we only expect Orange County Real Estate prices to trend upwards going forwards.

ORANGE COUNTY REAL ESTATE MEDIAN SALES PRICE

The chart below represents all single family, town homes, and condos in all of Orange County.

Months of Inventory - rose a bit as expected

This rise is really a seasonal factor, expect to see if start to fall over the next few weeks

ORANGE COUNTY REAL ESTATE MONTHS OF INVENTORY

The chart below represents all single family, town homes, and condos in all of Orange County.

Volume - feel sharply

Let’s chalk this one up to post holiday hangover and pre Super Bowl preparations. This number ought to climb steadily and impressively over the next few weeks.

ORANGE COUNTY REAL ESTATE VOLUME

http://www.ocluxuryproperty.com/

The chart below represents all single family, town homes, and condos in all of Orange County.

Days to Sell - rises on us yet again

Another seasonal factor, expect to see this number starting to trend down as the weeks go by.

ORANGE COUNTY REAL ESTATE DAYS TO SELL

The chart below represents all single family, town homes, and condos in all of Orange County.

What all this Means to:

Sellers – The slow days are most likely over for Orange County Real Estate sellers. Traditionally our market really starts to take off after the Super Bowl so expect to see rising volume as more and more people house hunt heading into summer. If you’re curious how much your home is worth in this market simply fill out this home valuation request and Win a Tablet, and I will gladly email you your free home value report.

Buyers - Buyers really had a great couple of months but tradition and statistics say that window is closing. If volume rises as expected buyers negotiating strength will erode quickly and price appreciation may price you out of the home of your dreams. So if you have been considering buying it might be best to do it now rather than wait. If you’re thinking about buying feel free to contact me and we can go over what’s going on and what your options are.

Published by: 949hometeam

Amir Vahdat (Realtor – Broker)
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services
949-682-9090
30812 South Coast Highway, Laguna Beach, California 92651