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Lisa
Lisa C. Gaffikin
Realtor, Residential
    Years of Experience: 8

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    ReLo - Relocation Specialist
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    MLS - Multiple Listing Service

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Office: (949) 451-1200



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RE/MAX Premier Realty
5299 Alton Pkwy
Irvine CA
(949) 451-1200


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Short Sales & Starting the Loan Process

Posted by Lisa C. Gaffikin | on Wednesday, March 30th, 2011 at 2:36 pm
Category: Short Sale & Loan Advice.
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2 Points Today!

#1 Today I met a broker from BofA at an agent open house in (Woodbridge) Irvine. His name is Dan Coleman and he is very knowledgeable on Short Sale process and helping agents that represent buyers pursuing these types of properties.  If planning to sell short, there are many key factors that should be addressed before listing your home for sale . Itis very important that your listing broker has prepared all of the documentation you will need to successfully market and sell your home within the guidelines that your bank will accept. It is also important the many questions and concerns have been discussed with the lien holders and that acceptable figures have been determined. As brokers and agents we are finding more and more homes on the market that are trying to sell short and the listing agent has not taken the time to take the seller through the process of preparation. This oversight and negligence can cause hardship on all interested buyers, the seller, the buyers agent and the lien holders.

Whether you are on the buy side of a short sale or on the sell side, make sure the agents representing the seller are well prepared and educated on the process and that they are detailed and organized. If the listing agent is not following the guidelines then the parties involved may be in for a very lengthy and possibly “never” closing sale!

On another note….

#2 If you are a first time home buyer or simply need a refresher on the loan process, check out this website!

http://webmedia.bankofamerica.com/homeloanguide/index.html?nbkid=nbk1pda#purchaseHome-newHome-loanProcessTarget

Great information to help a buyer start the loan process in the beginning stages of buying a home. With lender and underwriting guidelines being strictly enforced buyers today need to really be in tune with their expectations of how much home they can afford. Rates are changing daily and economic times have tightened the lending belts! Enjoy the above link and please contact me for further information regarding the Short Sale Process or the Loan Process.

Thank you ~ Lisa

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Finance and Real Estate

Posted by Lisa C. Gaffikin | on Saturday, March 19th, 2011 at 8:23 am
Category: Finance and Planning.
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With so much information on the Internet and the media you cannot avoid being informed! Now is the time to take a good look at your money, your finances and your spending. Invest diversely and take part in the real estate opportunities that currently exist today. Live below your means and at the same time plan for the future. Teach your children how to save and how to earn. Be positive and good things will come in the future. There is a lite at the end of the tunnel! Max the 401K’s, invest in Roth IRAs, decrease your debt and invest in real estate! ……and Pray!

Two recent articles I like today and Three sites I follow….

http://www.businessinsider.com/suze-orman-vs-warren-buffett-whose-real-estate-advice-should-you-follow-2011-3

http://www.inman.com/news/2011/03/11/summary-10-real-estate-markets-watch-in-2011

http://www.savingforcollege.com/

Thank you!

~ Lisa

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Woodbridge Schools in Irvine, CA

Posted by Lisa C. Gaffikin | on Friday, January 28th, 2011 at 4:50 pm
Category: Schools.
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One of my favorite benefits of living in Woodbridge are the public schools here! Woodbridge has 5 elementary schools, 2 middle schools and 2 high schools that serve our community. There are also several world-class colleges and universities nearby. I often receives calls from home buyers all over the country requesting to live in this area just for these schools! The high schools in Irvine are highly sought after as well as the colleges. For more about schools click http://www.wva.org/cm-schls.htm

Go Warriors! http://www.woodbridgehigh.org/

Enjoy ~ Lisa

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Inventory Needed, Buyers are Looking!

Posted by Lisa C. Gaffikin | on Friday, January 28th, 2011 at 3:34 pm
Category: Neighborhood.
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Thinking of selling your home located in Woodbridge? Please contact me for more information on how to effectively prepare your home in today’s market.

Woodbridge is located in Irvine, CA and  is one of the most sought out areas in Orange County, CA! This centrally located community has highly ranked schools, great shopping, multi cultured, beach close, parks and trails and is ranked one of the safest cities to live in California!

 The community prides it’s association, which sports 2 lakes, “Northlake and Southlake”, used for boating, swimming, children’s activities, biking, hiking/walking/running and scenic viewing. The homes are nicely planned in and around the “Loop”! Walking paths galore and an abundance of HOA parks and pools that are maintained daily! This is a beautiful place to live!

For more information or to tour this development please contact me at http://www.lcgaffikin.com 

For more information on Woodbridge Community please follow this link. http://www.irvinehousingblog.com/blog/comments/irvines-woodbridge/

See you in Irvine!

Lisa

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Out with the old, in with the new!

Posted by Lisa C. Gaffikin | on Tuesday, January 25th, 2011 at 11:41 pm
Category: Home Improvement, Prepare to Sell.
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Organize, clean, stage and market your home for sale. These are just a few of the necessities to bring top dollar in today’s challenging market. Gone are the days when you did almost nothing to prepare your home’s physical condition before sticking the “for sale” sign in the yard! Today’s buyer will view many homes before making a serious offer. They are searching for that warm, cozy, comforting, feeling when they stand in your living room and picture how their furniture will fit in the space and how their kids will play in your yard.

The first thing a home owner should do when readying a home for sale would be to de-clutter and organize. Get rid of unused items, then organize or pack up smaller personal items. Try to store as much as possible in a large closet or garage to minimize the clutter and maximize the visual spaces. Always pack up the personal photos and little collectable knick knacks. Though they may be good conversational pieces they are not helping the new owner to imagine his belongings in your home. A home with neutral staging leads more to the imagination. Once this task is complete you can move on to the next step.

Second I suggest fixing neglected repairs throughout the home. Fix loose cabinet doors, patch and paint walls where needed (if possible newly paint the home in and out if needed!) Replace all burnt out light bulbs and make sure all plumbing and electrical is in good working condition. Fix all visual eyesores, hire a handyman if need be. Do it right!

Thirdly, CLEAN THE HOME! A clean home is never offensive and is always more inviting to newcomers.  A tidy home expresses care in ownership and gives an impression of a well maintained property.  Start in the entry, make sure you do the kitchen (very important area), as well as the bathrooms. The beds should always be made and all laundry out of site!  HIDE it if you have too! Don’t forget the yard and the curb appeal! After all this is the first part the buyer sees when they drive up to your home. If it does not look tidy on the outside they may never cross the threshold!

Lastly you should stage the home. Arrange furniture so that the space looks usable for the intended area. Have fresh flowers in the kitchen, flowers in the garden if possible, and do whatever you can to make your home presentable to a buyer. You still want the home to look functional and lived in but as if it is ready for company and entertaining. If you have odors from cooking or pets, DO NOT mask them with plug in deodorizers! Instead, try to ventilate the home and let fresh air naturally remove the smells. Sometimes good cooking can work in your favor if it is not overbearing and you are lucky enough to capture a looker that likes your flavor of the day. During a viewing you should always have well lit areas, turn on the lights! If the home is vacant let in fresh air well before the showing so that the home does not smell musty or moldy. The more effort you put in to presentation the more money you will save or gain. The goal is to have the most desirable home on the market.

Lastly, price it right! If it looks great and is priced right it will sell soon! The extra efforts you applied will win you the buyer if they are trying to decide between your home and one other. Being second best will not win the sale!

For more on this subject, contact me, I will be happy to evaluate your home and apply my personal touch!

~Lisa

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Home sales on the rise!

Posted by Lisa C. Gaffikin | on Friday, January 21st, 2011 at 3:54 am
Category: Buy a House.
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According to the National Association of Realtors the sales of existing homes increased 12.3% in the month of December, up from the previous reports for November 2010. December being the 6th month in a row showing an increase in sales. The annual rate of 5.28 million compared to Novembers 4.70 million.

 A prominent hedge-fund manager said in a speech last fall:  “If you don’t own a home, buy one.  If you own a home, buy another one, and if you own two homes, buy a third and lend your relatives the money to buy a home.”  He believes that interest rates and home prices will rise this year, so real estate bargains won’t last much longer.

Home prices have reached investment levels, and with interest rates at all time lows the opportunities are many. For a list of bank owned homes, distressed properties or just plain and simply well priced homes contact me!

Thank you,

~Lisa

*Information for this blog was obtained from “Market Matters” by the California Association of Realtors

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New Year, New Home, New Money!

Posted by Lisa C. Gaffikin | on Saturday, January 1st, 2011 at 12:29 am
Category: Property Investment.
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What brings for the year 2011 in the real estate world? So many predictions, so many unknowns! Interest rates are at record lows, foreclosure and short sales are plenty and new construction is still building.  Jobs are needed by many and inflation is around the corner? Or is it!?

Now is the time to save your money! But, what does that mean? Should we not have already been saving? Yes, of course! We should have started saving the day we started making money. We need to teach this to our young ones and define the “needs” from the “wants”. We cannot individually control the money of the world, nor the country, nor the states, but we can control how we spend and save what we earn. Diversification may be key during the times of today.

Real Property is one way of many for diversifying your money and investing in the future. There will always be the need for a home, a place to live. Owning a home gives one a feeling of financial worth. With prices dropping to realistic levels in most areas, real estate makes more sense as an investment. Do your homework, hire a realtor that cares about you and your investment opportunities. Buy what you can afford and buy what makes sense to you. There are deals out there that can help you build a financial future if the investment is made wisely. Good Luck ~ Lisa

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Short Sale Statistics, Irvine, CA

Posted by Lisa C. Gaffikin | on Saturday, December 11th, 2010 at 7:57 pm
Category: Short Sales.
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Homes in Irvine California tend to sell quicker than homes in other parts of the state. Even in the “Short Sale ” market homes in this city are still turning! Very few are actually turning from foreclosure state to bank owned status. Statistic, also show that since January 1, 2010 the average list price/sold price of all short sales in the city of Irvine sold at an average of 99.64%. This number shows us that the “short sale” status homes that are actually closing are sold very near the asking price. 

For the homes that are still on the market they are either not priced low enough for an offer, or the banks are not allowing home owners to sell the property for a price that a current buyer will pay to date. This type of circumstance leaves the distressed home owner in a state of limbo until sales in his/her area support a price that buyers will pay and that the banks will accept. Basically it can become a waiting game for all parties involved in the transaction. 

As short sale properties increase in inventory existing buyers become locked into escrow for longer periods of time than a normal sale. This length of time will tie up and extend the days on market to close properties. Evidence of this statistic is apparent when comparing “days on market” of short sale listings to Standard Sale listings. Keep this in mind if you are a buyer looking for a deal! Sometimes the better price does not weigh over the “Piece of Mind” value of a standard sale property. In a short sale the buyer needs to be flexible on close date and be prepared to extend your contract in order to stay in first position! 

Thank you for reading ~ Lisa

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Turtle Rock, Irvine, CA

Posted by Lisa C. Gaffikin | on Wednesday, December 8th, 2010 at 2:24 am
Category: Neighborhood.
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If you like Woodbridge community in Irvine then you will love Turtle Rock and Turtle Ridge! Another one of my favorite neighborhoods to live, play and if lucky work. This sub area has rolling hills of trees and parks and trails to die for. Views from the upper ridges and cozy spots in the lower canyons. The neighborhoods are exclusive in and each has it’s own personality based on the architecture and design. The schools are well established and boast of near perfect ratings.

People come from all over the country to attend the high school and colleges in this community. One well known is the University of Irvine “UCI.” Another is a small private college nestled within the Turtle Rock community named Concordia University. The high school of choice is the highly sought out University High. The level of high acheivers is great at this Irvine high school and many people from other countries look to relocate to Irvine so that their children can expand their education among these schools.

This is just one of many wonderful Irvine, CA neighborhoods! For more information on Turtle Rock please visit the following link:

http://www.irvinehousingblog.com/blog/comments/irvines-turtle-rock/

Thank you for your visit!

~Lisa

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Living in Irvine, CA

Posted by Lisa C. Gaffikin | on Tuesday, December 7th, 2010 at 11:42 pm
Category: Community.
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Irvine is one of the best planned developed cities in Orange County and is famous for safety, schools and ametities! The planned neighborhoods are many, new and old. Though it is not a “beach” community it offers a proximaty that is ocean close and city active.  There is never a lack of activities in and around Irvine and never a lack of entertainment either. The city is multi-cultured and rich with an educated population.

If you are looking to relocate to a city in Southern California then Irvine may be the place for you. Most of the city is located around two major highways used to commute to and from Los Angeles, Orange and San Diego counties. Irvine also borders the John Wayne Airport located in the city of Santa Ana. JW is the perfect landing destination for travelors visiting Orange County and all of the local beach destinations.

For visuals on this beautiful city please visit the photos: http://localphototours.metroshot.com/usa/california/irvine/  View the few when link opens then click on “Continue to view”! Enjoy ~ Lisa

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Market Recap

  • Avg. Sales Price: 379,000

  • Avg. Days on Market: 69

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