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Previous San Clemente Home Owners Can Get Back In The Game

Selling your San Clemente home or condo at some point in time is practically a given – no one stays in their home forever.  However, the housing downturn from a few years ago saw thousands of San Clemente home owners lose their homes, not because they wanted to but because they had no choice.  The economic crisis destroyed the credit and incomes of millions of Americans, and those who could no longer afford their monthly mortgage payments were forced to sell their homes via short sale or foreclosure.  For many of these people, buying a home shortly after losing their previous one was not an option due to the massive hit their credit scores took with the added short sale or foreclosure.  However, a program introduced by the federal government last year may help previous San Clemente home owners realize their goals of owning a home or condo in this fair city again – and in a much shorter time frame.

 

This program, run by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), can help previous homeowners qualify for an FHA-insured mortgage on a new home purchase if they meet certain criteria.  The main aspect to qualifying for this program is that potential borrowers must show that they lost at least 20% of their monthly incomes for a minimum of 6 months and that this income loss was the reason they defaulted on their previous home loans.  Another qualifying point is that the borrower must have recovered from their previous income hardship and have maintained a clean credit record for at least one year.  The potential borrower will still have to meet the standard debt-to-income ratio requirements necessary for any home loan, but showing these hardship and recovery factors will provide leniency from the lender with regards to the short sale or foreclosure on their record.

 

There are currently 43 San Clemente homes for sale that would qualify for an FHA-insured loan based on the maximum loan limit of $625,500.  If you lost your San Clemente or condo due to economic hardship, we strongly recommend speaking with a lender to see if you may qualify for this program.  The last several years have been hard on everyone, but there is always a light at the end of the tunnel – maybe this is the one you should follow.


San Clemente Real Estate Sales Peak In May

Once the winter months pass and spring rears its beautiful head, the San Clemente real estate market begins to flourish.  April marks the beginning of the busy home buying season that lasts through the end of summer.  While San Clemente home sales in 2014 have been down when compared to the last 2 years, April saw a sizable uptick from the previous few months, and May only continued this upward trend.

 

According to sales data from the Multiple Listing Service, there were 86 San Clemente condos and homes sold in May, the highest amount of real estate sales so far this year.  This represents a 6% increase over April’s sales but an 11% decrease from year-ago numbers; this year-over-year decrease should not be surprising as this is the 4th straight month where home sales are down compared to last year.  Out of the 86 properties sold, 65 of them were single family detached homes; basically every 3 out of 4 properties sold were detached homes.  Now that schools are letting out and the busy buying season is upon us, families with kids are starting to buy larger homes rather than moving into a smaller condo or townhome.  It will be interesting to see if San Clemente condo sales increase now that we’re in the summer season; condos are a great target for investors, and many will want to snag one soon to take advantage of summer vacation rentals or long-term renters looking to secure a home before the new school year or end of summer.

 

If you are thinking of selling your San Clemente home or condo, now is as good as of a time as any; you are guaranteed to get the most foot traffic through your door during the busy summer buying season.  For potential San Clemente home buyers, there are currently 297 homes, condos and townhomes on the market; the question is, is your new home out there waiting for you?


San Clemente Summer Camps Some Of The Best In Orange County

Living in a beach city like San Clemente offers a variety of perks, but the amount of outdoor activities one may enjoy has to be near the top of the list.  Besides the famous San Clemente beaches, the city offers a variety of walking/hiking/biking trails, numerous parks and sports fields, large amounts of open space, and an overall safe environment that kids may enjoy year-round.  With summer vacation fast approaching, many parents are faced with the prospect of having their children home for a couple of months; and as any parent knows, children need consistent ways to entertain themselves or they will drive you up the wall in no time.

 

Fortunately the City of San Clemente and San Clemente Parks Department have numerous solutions for you – San Clemente summer camps!  San Clemente offers an array of summer programs geared towards children, and the best part is that most of these programs get your children outdoors where they can truly experience the beauty of their city and its amazing summer climate.  The Summer Camp program in San Clemente truly has something for everyone…beach sports like surfing and volleyball; educational programs in math, science and literature; cooking, art and acting classes; and so much more.  There are around 100 different camps offered in multiple sessions throughout the summer, so parents, breathe a huge sigh of relief!

 

If you are interested in learning more about the wonderful Summer Camps offered throughout the summer in San Clemente, please click on the following link to view the Summer Camp Guide provided by the City of San Clemente.


San Clemente Is A Great Option For Families With Kids

Orange County is known for many things – a sunny climate, beautiful beaches, a diverse array of cities and real estate options; one of the lesser known but very important aspects of Orange County are the quality of the schools and school districts.  Several schools districts rank very highly in both state and national statistics when it comes to test scores and teacher ratings, and San Clemente is one of the leaders in these regards.

 

To many families looking to buy Orange County real estate, good schools are one of the most important factors in their decision-making process.  A recent article in the Wall Street Journal (“Your kids decide when you buy a home“) highlights a recent survey showing that over 2/3 of parents buying real estate take their children’s well-being and education highly into account – in fact, it is their most important factor when deciding on where to move.  Not only do these buyers want a safe neighborhood for their children, but the quality of schools and external activities (parks, libraries, etc.) are very important.  To these buyers I say, try to find somewhere that fits these needs better than San Clemente.

 

San Clemente offers some of the widest variety of outdoor activities for kids of all ages; besides the beautiful beaches, there are numerous parks, wide-open outdoor spaces, and sporting fields (highlighted by the amazing Vista Hermosa Sports Park and Aquatics Center).  From an education standpoint, San Clemente is tough to beat.  San Clemente is part of the Capistrano Unified School District, one of the highest-rated school districts in California with regards to test scores and graduation rates.  The city is filled with numerous Blue Ribbon and California Distinguished elementary and middle schools, and San Clemente High School has been ranked within the top 400 high schools in the nation by Newsweek Magazine.

 

Buying a San Clemente home or condo is a great decision to make on its own.  For parents with children looking for a nice place to settle, San Clemente offers so much more than sunny weather and gorgeous beaches.  San Clemente provides numerous opportunities for your children to grow and thrive, and as a parent, what more can you ask for in your new home?


The Kitchen Sets The Tone For The Rest Of Your San Clemente Home

I don’t have any scientific data to back this up outside of clients and potential buyers, but when thinking of purchasing San Clemente real estate, one aspect of the home seems to reign supreme above all else – the kitchen.  If you do a Google search for “home improvement” or “home remodel,” chances are that a vast majority of articles you read will state that an updated kitchen is one of the best selling features of your home.  The kitchen, more than any other room in your San Clemente condo or home, is a prime social gathering spot and the most important room in your home from a usage perspective.  A kitchen is the home’s focal point that ties everything else together, and if you are thinking of selling your San Clemente home now or in the future, the quickest way to a long listing period is by not making sure that your kitchen looks the part.

 

Now, we are not recommending that you spend thousands of dollars remodeling your kitchen with stainless appliances and granite countertops (although these are great investments that potential home buyers love).  You don’t need to revamp your kitchen to make it look nice, but you need to pay attention to the little things.  First off, clutter on the countertops is a definite no-no…one of the features people look for in a kitchen is the amount of counter space, and this space can be negatively impacted with too much clutter.  Don’t leave all of your appliances on the counters – if you don’t use them daily, put them away until needed.  Find somewhere else for your keys, wallets and bills, and try to spruce up the kitchen with a couple of plants, flowers or even a mini herb garden.  You want to create a relaxing, open atmosphere with your kitchen – it needs to feel inviting yet should not bear your personal signatures all over.  Remember, potential buyers need to imagine themselves in your home, so removing all of your personal belongings from the kitchen will add to this desired atmosphere.

 

When thinking of selling your San Clemente home or condo, make your kitchen one of the main selling points.  Take our word for it, the majority of buyers will have the state of the kitchen high on their checklist, so you should too.


Spring Cleaning Items For Your San Clemente Home

Now that springtime is upon us, San Clemente home owners can bask in the relief that, unlike most of the country, winter in Southern California was about as mild as can be.  However, don’t think for a second that your San Clemente home or condo survived the cooler and wetter months unscathed; a colder climate has an effect on your home that needs to be managed to avoid future issues.

 

First off, conduct an inspection of your home to ensure that there are no visible signs of roof or interior leaks.  Cracks in the roof or attached decks tend to rear their ugly heads during rainstorms; if you see the slightest hint of staining on your ceiling, get someone out to test for moisture right away.  Another important thing concerns your landscaping, which will undoubtedly be blooming and growing by now.  You should do your best to keep vegetation away from your home as this can lead to moisture and termite issues.  Trip your trees and bushes at least 6 inches away from your home to avoid these problems.  Now is also a good time to inspect the exterior of your home for any cracks that need to be filled or areas that could use a touch-up paint job.  Even though the rainy season is behind us, June gloom is on its way; more moisture in the air can lead to problems with your home if there are cracks or holes in the exterior (termites, mold, etc.).

 

Owning San Clemente real estate is a full-time job, one that should not be taken lightly.  You have spent a lot of money on your beautiful home or condo, so make sure to spend a lot of time keeping it that way – laziness on your part will only cost you more money.


Remodeling Ideas That Will Save Money Now And Make Money Later

When looking to remodel your San Clemente Home, it is not necessary to take on huge projects when smaller ones will look great and cost a lot less if done right.  Whether thinking of putting your home on the San Clemente Real Estate market or simply wanting a nicer home to live in, there are a few things you can do to spruce up your home without emptying your bank account.

 

1. Landscaping

Many people are so concerned with making the inside of their homes look nice that they neglect the curb appeal.  The exterior of your home is just as important as the interior, particularly to potential buyers whose first impression of the home will be the outside.  Planting some nice palm trees and flower bushes will create a tropical feel to your home; even some smaller plants and healthy grass will add to the appeal.

 

2. Kitchen counters and appliances

Strangely enough, remodeling your kitchen with granite countertops and stainless steel appliances is not as crazy expensive as you would think.  You can find good deals on appliances throughout the year at retailers and online, particularly during holiday events when great sales go on; you can also save money when buying your appliances as a package deal rather than separately.  Nice granite counters may be had for several thousand dollars and look great; take our word for it, the majority of buyers we’ve worked with view granite counters as a huge positive when looking at San Clemente homes for sale.

 

3. Handyman projects

If you conduct a thorough inspection of your home, you will find a variety of smaller items that need repair.  Everything from new caulking around a shower or tub to adding dimmer light switches are small projects that will look nice and add value to your home.  Spend a little money on changing out all of the regular light bulbs in your home to LED lights; not only will you save on monthly energy costs, but these bulbs tend to last for around 10 years (plus they look great!).

 

As you can see, it is not necessary to spend a lot of money remodeling your home in San Clemente.  Find smaller projects like the ones above to complete, and we guarantee that others (and yourselves) will be impressed by the quality of your “remodeled” home.


Smart Phones Leading To Smart Homes

The past decade has seen huge advances in communication technologies, particularly in the smart phone and tablet arenas.  The ways that people communicate with each other have changed so much over the past several years, and these tools are beginning to find their way into the real estate industry.  More and more San Clemente homes are utilizing technology to become more energy efficient and easier for owners to control.

 

There was an interesting article on CNBC.com (“Houses are about to get really, really smart“) highlighting recent and forthcoming advances in home technologies.  When installing a home alarm system, it is no longer necessary to push buttons on the main control pad to activate and deactivate the alarm; now the system may be controlled from your smart phone.  Alarm systems are not alone; things such as your thermostat, utilities, and even door locks can be handled by pressing buttons on your cell phone.  According to the article, these technologies will only continue to grow and improve; as the article points, it is rare to find new construction that is not utilizing at least some type of centralized technology that can be controlled with a mobile device.

 

It is truly an incredible age we live in when it comes to technology, and it is amazing to see that the advances of the past several years may now be applied to San Clemente real estate.  Not only do these innovations make controlling your home much easier, but they can save on utility bills and make your home more secure.  These technologies will eventually become the norm in homes throughout the nation, and installing them now, even if you are thinking of listing your San Clemente home for sale, will only add a “wow” factor to your dwelling.


Things To Consider When Holding An Open House In San Clemente

After (hopefully) spending a good amount of time preparing your San Clemente Home For Sale, you are finally ready to put it on the market!  Once your home is an active listing, one of the first things your San Clemente Real Estate Agent (if you have one, and we highly recommend you do) should do is hold an Open House.  Open houses are a great way to get numerous potential buyers through your home in a short window rather than scheduling a variety of showings throughout the week.  Here are a few things to consider that may not be at the forefront of your mind:

 

1. Inform the neighborhood

While your Realtor will undoubtedly put up multiple signs around your neighborhood directing people to the Open House, you should definitely let your neighbors know that a)you are selling your home, and b)you are having an Open House.  You never know – one of your neighbors may have a friend or family member looking to purchase in your San Clemente neighborhood.  Word of mouth is your best friend when trying to sell your home, so let your neighbors do some of the work for you.

 

2. Find something else to do that day

We know that selling your home in San Clemente is exciting and nerve-wracking, and one of the hardest parts is having patience with the sale’s process.  On the day of your Open House, plan to be somewhere else; let your agent do the talking and allow buyers the freedom to walk through your home without worrying about saying something insulting around the owner.  In fact, this is pertinent advice throughout the listing period…buyers tend to be uncomfortable when the seller is in the home, so give them their space.

 

3. Emphasis on the word “Open”

When holding an Open House, you want to ensure that potential buyers can take the whole house in, both inside and out.  Don’t close off a room because it’s messy or you’re hiding a pet in there; figure something out and make the room accessible.  We know this sounds a little ridiculous, but you’d be amazed at the numbers of open houses we’ve attended where the listing agent tells us to stay out of certain rooms or the backyard because of pets.  If you want to sell your home, closing parts of it off creates more barriers than you should care to have.


More Senior Housing Planned For San Clemente

A little over a month ago, the San Clemente City Council unveiled the five-years-in-waiting General Plan for the city.  The primary intention of San Clemente’s new General Plan is to serve a guide for community decisions, including land use, community improvement, climate action, and a pedestrian master plan.  The document is almost 250 pages long and may be found on the City of San Clemente’s website for those who are interested in viewing all of the work put in by the City Council and others over the past 5 years.

 

One of the interesting land use items found in the General Plan involves a 6-acre piece of land on the Shorecliffs Golf Course in North San Clemente.  Located near the driving range and clubhouse, this land has been set aside for some time as a potential spot for a new hotel in the city, an idea that has never come to fruition.  The City Council decided to change the land use of this area for the eventual development of new senior housing that will neighbor the golf course.

 

San Clemente senior living is some of the best found in all of Orange County.  From affordable options like Bay Cliff Village and Colony Cove in North San Clemente to more luxurious and expensive options in the Talega Gallery, San Clemente offers a wonderful environment for buyers aged 55 and older who are looking for an older living atmosphere.  This portion of Shorecliffs is a great spot for a new senior community; besides being close to the golf course, the beach and Downtown San Clemente are not far away.  Beach communities like San Clemente are a paradise for retirees, and unlike the majority of Orange County coastal communities, it is nice to see our City Council embrace seniors with a variety of wonderful senior living developments.


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