Why Online Marketing Matters!

Based on who you are referencing, between 90-94 % of all home buyers start their search online. Our job as Realtors is to make sure that we capture the interest of as many of those potential buyers as possible. That … Continue reading

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Current Market Decline…Listings Needed!

The inventory of available homes continues to decline, while the number of pending sales continue to climb. Here are some stats from 2 of the areas The Ervin Group has had recent listings. North Orange County: For Sale vs Pending … Continue reading

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Buyer’s… are you paying attention?

I say this in the kindest and direct voice I can. But please keep reading…

The Challenge of Buying in Today’s Market

Inventory is low     

Available homes is at the lowest point in over 6 years     

Was 15 month supply in 2007 (Buyers Market)     

Now 1.7 month supply in 2012 (Sellers Market)

Demand is high     

Highest level of sales since 2006     

Multiple Offers

Appraisals are conservative     

Low comps due to distress sales     

Banks lending conservatively

Multiple Offers are Common (I couldn’t stress this enough!)     

Buyers underestimate the market     

Investors are buying all the properties they can


What you need to know: You will be competing against other Buyers You might need to pay above “appraised value” You will most likely be buying a home “as is” You’ll need representation that will fight for you Market forces and time are against you There are no “bargains” . You can’t offer $450k on a property listed at $599k… especially when even the Zestimate shows a value of $697k!


What you need:

Prepare to be Decisive

Choose a Neighborhood – Not just a house

You need Access to Hidden Inventory (which is where I specialize)

You need a full-time, connected, and networked Buyers Agent who is fully committed to YOU. (Our team has 3!)

Have a strategy, a plan of action, and a timeline



How to Make a Winning Offer The secret to negotiating the best price

Disregard the asking price and the comps.  Know the actual market value and base your offer on the right price to pay for the home.  Your Agent should always provide a CMA for a home before you write and offer. 


Make it personal.  We “package” our Buyers so that we can eliminate any questions about the Buyer and get the Seller to want YOU to be the one who’s offer gets accepted.  Look for personal things you have in common with the Seller. Consider a personal letter to go with your offer.


Write a “Clean Offer”  Don’t write a blind offer.  Your Agent can find out the Seller’s requirements are so you can write your offer with the most acceptable terms possible.


Make an impression with a significant deposit.  You’ll have your inspection period with contingencies to allow you to do your due diligence.  So, make your down payment the deposit.

Be prepared to show your pre-approval and proof of funds You want to be able to prove that you are the most reliable and desirable Buyer.  Sometimes a Seller will accept a lower price from a stronger buyer.


Do“Drive By” before you schedule showings.  You can usually rule in or out a house based on the street.  Eliminate home shopping fatigue by going to see homes that have the neighborhood and street appeal you want.


Stay focused on your needs. Don’t get confused by looking at too many houses.  Write down what your real requirements are so you don’t fall for more than what you need or want.


Know the Purchase Agreement ahead of time. You’ll need to know the basics of the Purchase Agreement so you’ll be comfortable signing it.   You need an Agent who knows the contract inside and out and can use it to protect your interests and negotiate for you.

Shorten Timelines Besides the price, the terms of your agreement can make your offer more attractive.  Shorter timelines for contingency removal or close of escrow can help you get better purchase price or win over other offers.


Don’t waste Agents time You can alienate the Listing Agents if you ask them questions or ask them for showings.  ALWAYS work through your Agent.


Request Your Agent’s Escrow Your Agent will have more control over the transaction and more leverage to resolve any issues if the escrow is handled by an Escrow Company and Escrow officer your Agent has a working relationship with.

Have a Target Date You need to know exactly when you want to move. Establish a goal for when you want to be in your new home and plan a winning strategy according to that timeline.

Now get out there and get off the fence! Be realistic, have fun and move into your home before summer!
My team will give you 110% if you are focused and ready to go! We’ll always be honest and have your best interests at heart.

If you’d like a buyers consultation or just more info on the market.. please contact us today!

Danielle Ervin



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It’s time to buy :)

You heard us say it before (several times in fact): With prices and rates at all-time lows, there has never been a better time to buy a home! With tax time coming, now there’s an even better reason to jump in now! Take these points into consideration:

  • The average tax return in 2011 was $2918 (money.cnn)
  • You can qualify for an FHA backed loan with as little as 3.5% down
  • Home prices are at the lowest point in decades
  • Now ask yourself…why wouldn’t you buy now?

There’s also the tax benefits to owning a home. We’ve documented our top 5 in another post. You can read those HERE.

Already own a home?

Well, if you’ve ever thought about investing in a home…NOW IS THE TIME! Don’t take our word for it, let the numbers do the talking. Sales to third parties, typically investors, rose significantly in January, according to a report by ForeclosureRadar. California saw the most activity, with investors purchasing 3,964 properties for $766.2 million. This is the fourth largest month on record in California, and the busiest since March of 2011. Investors are out scooping up these low prices and rates with more frequency than almost any other time in history! What makes it even sweeter is the fact that the rental market is soaring as well! Where do you think all the families who have to short sell or have foreclosures go? They can’t buy…they have to rent/lease. What are you waiting for???

I’m sure you’ve heard the Warren Buffet article and quotes going around;

“If I had a way of buying a couple hundred thousand single-family homes I would load up on them.”  Warren Buffet

 Why invest in real estate now?

“It’s a way, in effect, to short the dollar because you can take a 30-year mortgage and if it turns out your interest rate’s too high, next week you refinance lower. And if it turns out it’s too low, the other guy’s stuck with it for 30 years. So it’s a very attractive asset class now.”  Warren Buffet


Whether a first time buyer or investor, we are happy to help you with your Real Estate goals!

Danielle Ervin



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Tax credits for home owners

It’s tax time again! People are always talking about tax write-off’s being one of the benefits of home ownership. But what are the options? We’ve compiled the top 5…make sure you consult a tax professional for detailed information (We are just sharing)!

  1. Mortgage Interest Statement (IRS Form 1098). The largest tax deduction for real estate is the one that allows you to deduct 100 percent of the mortgage interest you paid in a year (this includes prepaid interest or points you might have paid at close of escrow if you bought a home last year). Look for Form 1098 from your mortgage lender that reports how much that interest totaled up to last year.  Make sure you include this form with your tax form when you file!
  2. Property Tax Statements.  If you own a home you are eligible to deduct the property taxes you pay to your local city, county and/or state.  Be careful not to include some of the miscellaneous expenses that some agencies bundle up with the taxes they collect (ie, waste management and local assessments for things like street lighting).  Have your property tax statements at hand and make sure you’re only deducting what’s allowed. If you bought your home this year, it’s highly possible that you might not even have received a property tax statement yet – if that’s the case, look to your Uniform Settlement Statement (HUD).  Usually, you would have received this right after closing. It contains an accounting of credits and debits for you and your home’s buyer or seller.
  3. Moving Expense Receipts.  Moving expenses are tax deductible, if your move is closely related to the start of work at a new or changed job location. You must also meet the IRS’ time and distance tests, which can loosely be interpreted as a move 50 miles farther from your new workplace than your old house, and you must work essentially full-time. So, if you bought or sold a home and moved in 2011, you’ll need to include receipts from expenses you incurred making the move (meals not included) in your tax package.
  4. Utility statements for home office.  If there is a part of your home that is “regularly and exclusively” used for business, you might be able to claim that portion of your home as a home office, and therefor deduct some portion of your home utilities and costs of painting and repairs. Talk with your tax provider about what expenses are allowable to be claimed under your home office deduction.
  5. Income and Expense statements from rental properties. If you are a landlord, your tax situation is more complicated. You’ll need to have complete income and expense statements when you put your tax returns together. Consult with a tax professional to make sure you are appropriately depreciating the property over time and not taking deductions that will expose you to the risk of audits, as well as to begin cultivating a long-term tax strategy for your real estate portfolio.

If you’d like to start benefiting from some of these tax deductions, and become a home owner (or investor) call us today!

Danielle Ervin



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FHA to raise mortgage insurance premiums on April 18th

The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) is increasing its annual mortgage insurance premium on all 15-year and 30-year mortgages backed by the agency. FHA Commissioner David Stevens said recently in a statement, “After careful consideration and analysis, we determined it was … Continue reading

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Feng Shui to alleviate stress and sell your home

You may believe that selling your home is impossible in today’s market. There is no doubt that today’s real estate market is extremely difficult to navigate. It can be an emotional process as I tell all of my sellers. You’ll … Continue reading

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