Marketable vs. Valuable…

The upgrades in your home today may not make your home more valuable!   They may however make your home more marketable, and based on where your home is located, that may be helpful.

granite-countertopsI often find myself in a debate with other real estate professionals and home owners themselves, about the value of their listing or their property, and why they believe it’s worth so much more than the other properties either on the market or those that have just closed escrow.  The conversation often goes something like this… “My home is worth $50,000 more than that home because it’s upgraded and it has xyz compensating factor.  Most of the time, it’s granite counter tops, stainless steel appliances, and hard wood flooring… or something very similar to this.  For the purposes of this article… let’s stick with granite counter tops, stainless steel appliances and hardwood floors.

This was a great argument 10 years ago when none of the homes on the market had granite counter tops, stainless steel appliances and hard wood floors; however, today, that just doesn’t hold true.  Granite counter tops, stainless steel appliances and hardwood flooring are common in the homes that are listed for sale.  In fact, you couldn’t buy a Lennar Home in 2007/2007 without those upgrades as it was included in all of their homes!  Don’t believe me?  Click here and view every home for sale in Serafina, which is a great gated community in Eastvale so that you can see for yourself.   Please don’t get me wrong, these are great enhancements, great features and benefits; yet, it simply may not make your home more valuable than the most recent sale!

The next argument is that this is newer construction… the same doesn’t apply to an older home in an older more established neighborhood.  And while I agree with the logic, I simply don’t agree completely with the statement.  If we take an older neighborhood in Anaheim Hills… we may find very similar findings… Here is a snapshot of a random tract home in Anaheim Hills off Imperial Highway and Santa Ana Canyon Rd.  (At this minute in time, there are 4 active listings… all of which have granite counter tops, 3 of which have stainless steel and only 2 appear to have hardwood flooring.  Nonetheless… all of them have granite in the Kitchen!)

When the market gets a little shifty, like now, these homes may sell faster than those without the same or similar improvements, yet they may not sell for a lot more money.  If you are looking to make the most of your home improvements, has a great article for making improvements that get your money back.  When time allows, this is a worthy read.

Bottom line… Improvements don’t always make your home more valuable.  Listen carefully to your real estate professional on both sides of the negotiating table, and work with a professional, like me… one that stays in touch with trends, values, and changing market conditions.

Give me a call today at 714-746-8103 should you have any questions, or send me an email via our contact page, and feel good knowing that we will get back to you shortly.  Thank you for your time and continued attention.

Thinking about buying or selling a home in North Orange County?  Visit every home for sale in Southern California at… or contact us right now for a free, no obligation preliminary market analysis of your home.


Just Listed – 25321 Via Viejo, Lake Forest


Just Listed!

24321 Via Viejo Lake Forest

Priced At: $379,900

Via Viejo is an extraordinary 3 bedroom 1.75 bathroom home nestled in the heart of Lake Forest.  This open floor plan offers approximately 1,241 comfortable sq. ft. with a living room, a quaint kitchen, formal dining room, a 2 car detached garage, as well as tons of privacy in the back patio.  Via Viejo is appointed with upgrades some of which include hardwood floors in all bedrooms, hallway and staircase, newer dual pane windows and sliding glass door, custom light fixtures, recessed lighting, crown molding, custom paint throughout, new vanity sinks in both bathrooms, in addition to a remodeled kitchen with granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, new cabinets and custom shelving.  The grounds are also well maintained as it includes some beautiful landscape, green belts throughout, and a common area pool and clubhouse. This home is practically new…you won’t be disappointed! 

View this home online at:

Click on the lower level floor plan and check out the latest in interactive designing…  This is awesome and we believe that we are the first in Southern California to offer this great technology.  

What does the seller have to say about this home… This property is very convenient and centrally located.  Here are some features you should know about: 

Close By fun places, restaurants, stores, gas stations, and banks…

0.3 mile to Aliso Creek Riding and Hiking Trail (Trail total length 18.4 Miles)

0.6 mile to Target Store & Shell gas station

0.8 mile to Enterprise Ren-A-Car


0.7 miles to Lake Forest Village Shopping Center (Muirlands & Ridge Route)





Village Wine & Spirits

Montessori on the Lake

Auto Zone


Lake Forest Animal Clinic

International Cuisine restaurants

1.2 Miles to Postal Office and Public Library (Raymond Way)

1.2 Miles to Prothero Retail Center on (El Toro & Raymond)

Panda Express

Jersey Mike’s

Golden Spoon


Morgan Dental

1.6 Miles to Home Depot Office/Retail Center (El Toro & Rockfield)

Baskin Robbins




The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf

Wachovia Bank

Bagel Shack

Brightcare Dental

1.6 Miles to The Orchard Shopping Center (Across from the Home Depot)

Corner Bakery

Daphne’s Greek Café

Jalapeno’s Mexican Food

Jamba Juice

Frostings Cupcakes

Cold Stone Creamery

Lee’s Sandwiches

Lucille’s Smokehouse Bar-B-Que

Peet’s Coffee & Tea

Pei Wei

Project Beauty Supply & Salon

Finest Nails

Men’s Wearhouse


Comfort Shoe Loft


Goodwill Keepers Specialty Store


Pier 1 Imports

Aaron Brothers




Verizon Wireless


Comerica Bank

2 Miles Shops at Shops at Lake Forest vi (before Freeway ~ entrance on the left)

Jack In The Box


Sally Beauty Supply


Ross Dress For Less

Great Earth Vitamins

Tula Market

Payless Shoes

2 Miles (before freeway ~ entrance on the right)

99 cents store

Bank of American

Chase bank



2.3 miles Oakbrook Village Shopping Center (next to the Laguna Hills mall)


EL Torito restaurant

Trader Joe’s

Lone Star Stakehouse

Chinese & Japanese restaurant

American Dinner

2.6 Miles to Saddleback Memorial Hospital and Health center

2.6 Miles to the Laguna Hills Mall

What a great place to live… View every home in the area right here!

Who do you know that is thinking about buying, selling or investing in real estate that may need our help right now?  Feel good knowing that we will take great care of them.  



FTB – Short Sales not subject to income tax liability on debt forgiveness!!!

More Great News…Taxes on your back

As anticipated, The California Association of Realtors (CAR), received a letter from the California Franchise Tax Board (FTB), obtained by the State Board of Equalization, clarifying that California families who have lost their home in a short sale are not subject to state income tax liability on debt forgiveness “phantom income” they never received in a short sale.

Last month, in a letter to California Sen. Barbara Boxer, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recognized that the debt written off in a short sale does not constitute recourse debt under California law, and thus does not create so-called “cancellation of debt” income to the underwater home seller for federal income tax purposes. Following the IRS’s clarification, C.A.R. sought a similar ruling by the California FTB. Now with the FTB’s clarification, underwater home sellers also are assured that they are not subject to state income tax liability, rescuing tens of thousands of distressed home sellers from California tax liability for debt written off by lenders in short sales.

The Pacific West Association of Realtors (PWR) is pleased with the recent clarifications issued by the IRS and the California Franchise Tax Board, which protect distressed homeowners from debt relief income tax associated with a short sale in California. We would like to thank Sen. Boxer and BOE member George Runner for their leadership in obtaining this guidance from the IRS and FTB. Distressed California homeowners can now avoid foreclosure or bankruptcy and can opt for a short sale instead, without incurring federal and state tax liability, even after the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act of 2007 expires at the end of this year.

Check out the most recent post from the California Association of Realtors referencing this great win for California homeowners…

P.S. We always advise and suggest that you speak with your accountant for clarification and additional information.

P.P.S. Who do you know that may need my help, yet they have been waiting for this?  Please don’t keep me a secret, and please know that I will always take great care of the people you know, like and care about!

4 Bedroom View Home in Anaheim Hills

4 Bedroom View Home in Anaheim Hills

999 S. Firefly Drive is an Amazing  4 Bedroom View Home In Anaheim Hills!

Firefly is an extraordinary 4 bedroom 2.5 bathroom single family view home nestled in the heart of “the Highlands” in the sought after community of Anaheim Hills.  This stunning home offers approximately 2,604 sq. ft. of living space on a nicely designed 10,000 sq. ft. lot.

This footprint offers a great family room, an impeccable kitchen, a formal family and dining room, a spacious loft, in addition to an office downstairs. Firefly is nicely appointed with upgrades,some of which include a gorgeous kitchen with granite countertops, updated appliances including a Viking stove and a built in stainless steel microwave. Throughout this beautiful home you will also find custom interior paint, tile and laminate flooring, updated carpet upstairs, recessed lighting in all rooms, crown molding, in addition to custom ceiling fans and light fixtures, and so much more. The grounds are resort like –as they offer a quaint grass area, a flagstone-accented pool and spa, mature landscape, vinyl fencing for privacy, and endless serene views of the city lights.  If you are looking for a 4 Bedroom view home in Anaheim Hills, this is it!

View every 4 bedroom view home in Anaheim Hills on our website in real time…

Anaheim Hills is an incredible community… and it is located just south of  Yorba Linda,  North of Villa Park and Orange, East of Orange and it borders the Cleveland National Forest on its eastern side.  Anaheim Hills is really falls within the city of Anaheim, yet anyone with a 92807, or 92808 zip code are allowed to use the “Anaheim Hills” city.

Anaheim Hills has some awesome shopping and restaurants, and it offers a major hospital (Kaiser) just of Riverdale and Lakeview.  There are some with a great shopping centers, specifically – the Festival Center which is located just off of Santa Ana Canyon Rd., and just west of Weir Canyon Rd.  The Festival contains your anchor stores which include Target, Vons Pavilions, Pet Co., T.J. Maxx, Peir 1, and tons of great smaller boutiques such as Hallmark, Justice, Edwards Cinema’s and great eats which include Bagel Me, Chipotle, BJ’s Grill, Wood Ranch and more…

Find out everything about and around Anaheim Hills including places of worship, shopping, banking, and much more on our website.

Free-School-ReportWhat Schools will the Children Attend? 

Anaheim Hills is in the Orange Unified School District and most of the community is served by Cresent Elementary, Imperial Elementary, Anaheim Hills Elementary, Running Springs Elementary School, El Rancho Jr. High School, and Canyon High School.  To get local school information, school testing, rankings, to compare and find out more about these schools, check out the Anaheim Hills School Report on our website.

If you are truly interested in finding the right 4 bedroom view home in Anaheim Hills, please give me a call at 714-746-8103, send me a text, or email me by clicking here.

Jeffrey Simons ~ Named Cultural Icon by Keller Williams Anaheim Hills/Yorba Linda

Jeffrey Simons was named June 2013 Cultural Icon by Keller Williams Realty Anaheim Hills/Yorba Linda

Jeff July 2013

Jeffrey Simons of Jeffrey Simons & Associates at the Yorba Linda Keller Williams Realty Office was named a Cultural Icon by his office, staff and peers during an award ceremony held at the company’s office meeting on Tuesday, June 4th.

Jeff is an active contributor in his office and his community.  As the Tech Committee Chair, Office eEdge Ambassador, &  eEdge Campaigns Trainer, Jeff spends time in the office helping others learn and grow their business.  Outside of work, Jeff is very involved in his family.  Married to Kristina since 1997, they have 3 beautiful children, Samantha, Lauren and Matthew.  The are very active in their schools, in their church at San Antonio in Anaheim Hills, and beyond that he spends as much time as possible with his family on the softball or soccer fields…

“We are proud to see Jeffrey Simons honored as a Keller Williams Cultural Icon,” says Operating Partner Colleen Rogers. “He represents our Company’s core values and is  a true ambassador in the office as well as in the community.  We are proud to be in business with him as one of our founding members.”

The Cultural Icon Award is presented to an elite group of Associates who best live up to the Keller Williams Realty “WI4C2TS” philosophy.


To find out what makes Jeff so committed to his office, his community and his clients… Contact Jeffrey Simons  at 714.746.8103 or visit

To learn more about Keller Williams Realty, call Blake Vartanian at 714.510.1308 or email him at:

There is an App for That!

There’s An App For That!

As you my or may not know… Keller Williams is a pioneer when it comes to technology and training.
With that, we are leading the way again!

Check this out…  my personal, Mobile App!

Simply click on the photo…

or Simply scan this QR Code…

The app is available in the android market and on iTunes or in the app store.  Simply download the app, and put in my personal code:  KW2NM0OHV  This app allows you to view homes in your current location, look up nearby rentals, check local upcoming open houses, and you can even make real time changes to the existing map, or save your favorite properties right there on your device.

Ever wonder how much that home around the corner from you is listed for???  Having lunch with a friend, drive by a house, and become curious about the neighborhood???  Wonder no more… simply open my app, and take a quick look.  It really is that simple!

Please, download the application, and let me know your thoughts as we would love your help and feedback!Our goal is to always help you get from where you are to where you want to be… and we hope this is another way that helps make that a reality!



By the way… Who do you know that is looking to buy or sell a home right now that would love this product?  Please don’t keep this a secret!  Please share it with those you know, like and care about!

More good news for Short Sale Sellers… SB 426

Have you heard about this?  SB 426 has some great changes that will make sure that a lender will not be able to seek or persue a defiency judgement after the agreement and acceptance of a short sale.

An act to amend Sections 580b and 580d of the Code of Civil Procedure, relating to deficiency judgments.

[ Approved by Governor  July 11, 2013. Filed Secretary of State  July 11, 2013. ]


SB 426, Corbett. Civil procedure: deficiency judgments.

Existing law provides that no deficiency judgment shall lie following a judicial foreclosure with respect to certain enumerated circumstances, including, among others, after a sale of real property or an estate for years therein for failure of the purchaser to complete his or her contract of sale. Existing law prohibits a judgment to be rendered for a deficiency on a note secured by a deed of trust or mortgage on real property or an estate for years therein, as specified.

This bill would prohibit a deficiency from being owed or collected following a judicial foreclosure with respect to the enumerated circumstances. The bill also would prohibit a deficiency from being owed or collected for a deficiency on a note secured by a deed of trust or mortgage on real property or an estate for years therein, as specified, and would make nonsubstantive changes to these provisions. The bill also would express the intent of the Legislature that these provisions would not impact existing law regarding the liability of a guarantor, pledgor, or other surety with respect to a deficiency, nor existing law regarding other collateral pledged to secure the obligation that is the subject of a deficiency.

Read the entire article and view the progress of this bill here…

Just Listed ~ 2109 Westwood Ave. Floral Park

An Incredible Floral Park Opportunity

Exterior Front

Listed at $739,900

From the minute you walk in the door, you are greeted with an astonishing footprint that offers a great formal living and formal dining room with sweeping views of the spacious yard. The formal dining leads you to the kitchen, nook and laundry room. To the left of the kitchen, you are greeted with an incredible family room with a stone accented fireplace and custom bookcase. There are 3 spacious bedrooms on the main floor to the left of the entry, with the master suite being at the rear of the home. The upstairs is awesome as it offers what is noted as the 4th bedroom yet this room can easily be a game room, bonus room or separate family area. The home is in need of some cosmetic restoration and improvements thought-out, yet the floor plan, location, and lot, make this a very attractive property. The grounds are fantastic – offering 11,300 sq. ft. of very functional space. The curb appeal is fantastic, the garage is nestled behind a private electric gate, and there is plenty of room for that custom pool to be added, and there is a great dog run/area behind the garage. A little love with make this an incredible home!

Home Features

  • Central AC
  • Central heat
  • Fireplace
  • Walk-in closet
  • Hardwood floor
  • Family room
  • Living room
  • Bonus room
  • Dining room
  • Breakfast nook
  • Dishwasher
  • Stove/Oven
  • Yard


  • Subdivision : Floral Park
  • Type : Single Family Re-Sale
  • Bedrooms : 4
  • Bathrooms : 3
  • Half Bathrooms: 0
  • 3148 Sq. Ft.
  • Short Sale : No
  • Year Built : 1963

Visit our property website at: for additional photos and a virtual tour.

To Fix or Not to Fix when Selling

making the move easy...Here’s a quick note to let you know how I can help you—or anyone you feel comfortable introducing me to.

Deciding what to fix and not fix before selling a home should be a simple calculation of dollars in vs. dollars out. However, whether a given project is worth doing depends on the current state of the property and a buyers’ expectation at that price range. Sellers should talk with their real estate consultants about which tasks to do—and not do. For instance, should they paint? Should they refinish the wood floors? Would replacing the appliances be worthwhile? In your neighborhood, would new plumbing or electrical be a draw for buyers? What a seller does depends on what they’re competing against in their marketplace. A skilled and focused real estate consultant is the best source of information about what will help a home sell.

If you, or someone you know, is thinking of selling their home, call me at 714-386-9176 or send me an email here.  I’ll send you a copy of my free report, Making the Move Easy On the Kids.

P.S.  Who do you know who’s thinking about selling a home? Please let them know I’m available for a home-preparation consultation.

The “Shift” is upon us… are you ready?

Orange County Home Prices IncreaseBeing a seller in California has been a wonderful thing for the past 18-24 months…. The recent appreciation we have experienced has been second to none, with market increases as much as 25% year over year in certain communities.  Here in North Orange County, we have seen multiple offers with no appraisal contingency, priced as much as $80,000 over a home priced in the $500,000 range, reduced inspection times, and buyer’s being mandated to bring in cash to close!

facts and trendsDoes this sound familiar?  Similar to the Real Estate Market of 2004-2005, the market has been on Fire!  The difference in this market is that we have 30 year fixed rate mortgages that have been as low as 3.25%.  There really haven’t been the interest only loans, there are no real “easy qualifier” programs to speak of, and the inventory has been at 10 year lows in certain markets.  The absorption rate in some areas has been as low as 2 weeks…. see graph to the left.

Now continue looking at the graph on the left and take a careful look at what has been happening over the past few months.  Inventory is on the rise, and it’s shooting up quick!  In fact in Orange County we have seen a 22% increase in inventory from February to the end of May.  While that may not seem like a lot, there are quite a few variables that need to be considered when looking at a possible shift.

OC InventoryWith a 22% increase in inventory  (February 2013-May 2013 see graph to the right), there have also been some other huge factors that have come into play…  The biggest is the increase in interest rates.  As of today, rates are hovering around 4.25% and the Bond Market is very volitile to say the least.   This 1% increase in interest rate factors out to huge numbers in affordability.  Check out our affordability index here:

Affordability AnalysisIf we look at the change in payment on a $400,000 loan amount, you can see that there is an increase in monthly payment of $227.00!  We all know that most buyers don’t purchase a home at the lower end of their qualifications, so this increase just wiped out a huge part of the buyer pool.  In fact, they just lost $51,000 in purchasing power, meaning they now can max out at or around $349,000.

This adjustment in rates, coupled with the time of year where buyers are being pulled out of the market with father’s day, graduations, summer vacations, vacation bible schools, camps and other events that will keep them out until the fall, will truly cause a shift!

Please understand that this isn’t the end of the world, and the real estate market isn’t crashing… This is simple economics, with the increase in supply, and the natural decrease in buyers, there will be a softening in the market, some possible downward adjustments and maybe even some normality to our somewhat not so normal market.

If you are a seller, and you were looking for the highest sale, that may, just may have already come and gone.

If you are a buyer, there is hope that this adjustment will allow you and afford you the opportunity to get back in the game or even negotiate with a seller on a 1:1 basis.

Now… if you are looking for more specific interpretation within your specific market, feel good knowing that I would be happy to help you navigate through the details, and figure our your best course of action, and professionally address any questions you may have…  Simply give me a call at 714-386-9176 or send us an email here.